About three weeks ago, two kittens, later christened Arthur and August, interrupted subway service on the Brighton line in Brooklyn. NYCT staffers shut off power not once, but twice, and stopped train movements in order to retrieve them. (They’ve since been adopted.)
The next weekend, the Republican candidate for Mayor, Joe Lhota (who since won his primary and is now the Republican candidate in the general election in November), who previously ran the MTA (the umbrella organization for mass transit in NYC), noted that he wouldn’t have interrupted subway service for kittens.
That was a foolish thing to say. The issue isn’t the kittens: it’s the passengers, one of whom might take matters into his own hands and attempt to retrieve the cats himself, possibly getting hurt or killed in the process.
In another time, NYCT might have sent two guys with orange vests and flashlights to chase after the cats between trains. They would have left the power on, so that one guy would chase after the cats, while the other would watch out for trains. But by current rules, that’s unacceptably dangerous, so now they stop the trains and shut off the power, and what was a minor event turns into a major production.
Joe Lhota, in spite of his remarks, will probably get my vote this November. The alternative is Democrat Bill deBlasio, who was nowhere in the primary race until he started running campaign commercials featuring his 15-year-old son. (DeBlasio is white; his wife is black; his son is appealingly halfway, very telegenic, with a surprisingly deep voice.)
DeBlasio is running as a traditional Democrat: raise taxes on the rich and spend it on government goodies. He says that it’s time for a break from Republican Mayors who ran the city for the past 20 years. (And gave us a city that works, with crime a small fraction of what it was in the 1980s?)
For my part, I’d vote for Arthur and August if they were on the ballot:
- They’ve shown that they have what it takes to survive in the big city.
- They don’t stop when they get frisky.
- And they won’t raise taxes.