Chris Christie turned away from Newark Airport VIP entrance

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is learning that life as a private citizen is no day at the beach. Just three days after handing over the keys to the governor’s mansion, Christie was told by cops at Newark Airport to wait in line like everybody else. According to reports, Christie was turned away from a VIP entrance at the biggest airport in his own home state. The two-term Republican, who left office on Jan. 16, tried to go through an entrance he had used for eight years only to learn that his first-class expectations were just a flight of fancy. SEE IT: N.J. Gov's son makes 'Circle Game' sign at inauguration Instead of getting the gubernatorial go-ahead, Christie and the state trooper assigned to him for protection were directed to the Transportation Security Administration screening lines at Terminal B. Christie and the state trooper complied with the directions. It was unclear where Christie was going. The order came from police for the Port Authority, which operates the airport as well as the George Washington Bridge, best known during the Christie years for the Bridgegate scandal that dogged him for much of his second term and his failed presidential bid. Democrat Phil Murphy succeeds Chris Christie as N.J. governor Two Christie aides sentenced to prison for engineering lane closures at the George Washington Bridge in an alleged scheme to punish a Democratic mayor who didn't endorse the governor. Christie also came under fire last year after a photographer in a helicopter caught him lounging and taking advantage of his private beach with family and friends during a state government shutdown that closed beaches and parks for state residents. Sign up for BREAKING NEWS Emails privacy policy Thanks for subscribing! Tags: chris christie new jersey newark newark airport Send a Letter to the Editor Join the Conversation: facebook Tweet Continue Reading

United to end service at JFK, focus on Newark

United Airlines is ending service at New York's JFK Airport in October and moving flights to Newark Liberty International Airport, the airline announced Tuesday.Beginning Oct. 25, United will shift its Premium Service called "p.s." from JFK to Newark for flights to San Francisco and Los Angeles. The airline said it will fly up to 17 daily round trips Newark-San Francisco and up to 15 daily round trips Newark-Los Angeles. BOOKMARK: Add Today in the Sky to your favoritesWith the Newark expansion, United said it will cease operations at JFK.United's move to end its service at JFK comes amid an intensifying battle on transcontinental routes that connect New York JFK to Los Angeles and San Francisco. American, Delta and JetBlue each have upgraded their cabins on those routes, adding lie-flat seats and other perks in a bid to win lucrative business travelers. By comparison, United enjoys a strong competitive advantage at Newark, where it operates one of its largest hubs.While the transactions are subject to regulatory approval, the plan is for Delta Air Lines to acquire United's slots at JFK and United will get Delta's slots at Newark."The introduction of p.s. to Newark Liberty, the New York/Newark region's premier airport, offers Los Angeles and San Francisco travelers the highest levels of service in the air and on the ground," said Jim Compton, United's vice chairman and chief revenue officer. "We are investing in the three critical components of the travel experience for our customers – our network, our product and our facilities."Jamie Baker, an aviation analyst at J.P. Morgan Markets, said the changes aren't expected to affect JFK a great deal. For example, JetBlue's share of premium seats at the airport will rise from 14% to 18% and its share of economy will rise from 24% to 30%.Likewise, the slot swap will involve an estimated 12 to 15 pairs exchanged between the two airports, according to Baker.United also announced today that it is making a Continue Reading

Hertz to install solar panels at Kennedy & Newark airports

An international car rental company is going green with plans to install solar panels at two of its locations at New York City area airports. The Hertz Corporation will start construction on the panels this fall at John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty International Airports, a Hertz official said Wednesday. The alternative energy systems are expected to generate more than 800,000 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy annually once they are operational by early next year. “It’s part of our commitment to sustainability and sustainable business practices,” said Hertz spokeswoman Lemore Hecht. “It will ultimately reduce costs for us.” The company will install the panels on the more than 32,000-square-foot roof that covers its Kennedy Airport parking garage, Hecht said. Panels are also to be installed over Hertz’s parking area at Newark Airport. Hertz is also putting in solar systems at six additional locations nationwide, company officials said. Yolanda Rodriguez, an associate at the Center for Sustainable Energy at Bronx Community College, which offers courses on solar panel installation, said the systems present an appealing opportunity to lower energy costs on large, manufacturing buildings. “You’re not relying on fossil fuel,” she said. So “you’ll be saving more in the long run.” But Rodriguez said she hasn’t seen many solar systems crop up in Queens. That’s something that Jack Friedman, executive director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, said he hopes will change. “It’s been slow,” he said of residents and businesses jumping on board. But “clean solar power as a way of generating electricity seems like the type of initiative we want more businesses to take advantage of in the borough.” Friedman said he would like to see more policies put in place to encourage renewable energy generation in the city. There are currently Continue Reading

It’s the last exit for the Nets and their bizarre history in New Jersey

Not long after the Nets dumped Julius Erving and moved to New Jersey in 1977, Roy Boe sold the team to a group of seven, well-intentioned businessmen headed by Alan Cohen for about $20 million, a $19.89 million profit. And not long after that, I became a beat writer covering the team for the now defunct Paterson News, for $265 a week. This was no ordinary franchise, I soon discovered. The inmates ran the asylum, and often ran amok. One day in the locker room, Super John Williamson was unpleasantly surprised to read in The Star-Ledger (a scoop by the late sportswriter Mike Weber) that he was one of the lowest-paid Nets. Sitting on a stool, growing angrier by the moment, Supe threw down the broadsheet and suddenly hurled an ice pack at the unsuspecting general manager, Charlie Theokas. Months later, Williamson grew too large in girth and was shipped to a fat farm under the care of a trainer named Jack Sprat. TIMELINE: NETS FRANCHISE GROWS FROM 1976 TO 2011 ADDITION OF DERON WILLIAMS The Nets staged wonderful, unruly promotions back then. Turkeys stubbornly stood still, or defecated, when they were supposed to race at halftime. A homemade volcano spewed its contents onto the court. A torrent of free Frisbees came raining down from the stands when it was announced that the winning-colored disks could be exchanged only for a 25% discount on any Queen album. For 35 years, the New Jersey Nets endured frustration aplenty, and terrible tragedies involving Drazen Petrovic and Jayson Williams. They were spurned or abandoned by coaches like Stan Albeck, Larry Brown, Rollie Massimino, Rick Pitino and Phil Jackson. Mostly, though, they provided us all with outstanding comic relief. Time to tap the notebook and the memory bank for a few wacky anecdotes, before the Nets start driving Brooklyn insane: * * * Bill Melchionni, then general manager of the Nets, went down to Knoxville to scout Ernie Grunfeld in 1977. He was more impressed with a Tennessee junior, Continue Reading

Stella forecast grows more ominous; millions under blizzard warning

Thousands of flights were canceled and Tostitos were in high demand Monday as a swath of the East Coast awaited what could be the season's most devastating storm.The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning affecting almost 20 million people, including New York City. Winter storm watches and warnings were in effect from the mountains of North Carolina to northern Maine, a distance of more than 1,000 miles. As of 10 p.m. ET, steady snow was falling in the Washington, D.C. and New York City regions as residents prepared for the worst.A nor'easter was forecast to rage up the East Coast late in the day and through most of Tuesday, slamming some areas with more than a foot of snow and wind gusts of 60 mph or more. Much of the storm's energy will be transferred from a weakening storm that pasted the Midwest with snow Sunday and Monday.“A fairly large area of the Northeast should see a foot or more of snow,” National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Hayes told USA TODAY. He said the bulls-eye for the most snow continues to be southeastern Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey and the Lower Hudson River Valley in New York, which could see 18 inches.New England was also a target, with the Boston forecast calling for 10 to 16 inches.President Trump weighed in on Twitter: "Everyone along the east coast be safe and listen to local officials as a major winter storm approaches. @NWS ." The U.S. House canceled Tuesday votes and won't reconvene until late Wednesday.Nicole Chevalier was restocking shelves with chips at a Harris Teeter supermarket in McLean, Va. Chevalier, who works for Frito-Lay, said all the Tostitos were gone when she arrived at the store Monday."People want to eat chips and watch movies since they’ll have to stay at home," she said. "One day before snow, we order up. ...  Party-size Doritos also run out fast when there’s snow.”The forecast brought more chaos to air Continue Reading

New Yorkers with a special love for their adopted land

Independence Day is the ultimate celebration of American patriotism. And Saturday’s holiday is particularly significant for these four New Yorkers who became naturalized U.S. citizens this past year. Here they share their fascinating perspective on what it means to be a new American and the poignancy of the day. Licia Olivetti, 52, a Portuguese language teacher from Brazil, lives in Manhattan. Olivetti believes the best thing about America is how it has become a safe haven for her family. Before she left her native Brazil nine years ago, she ­constantly feared for the lives of her husband, Julio, 53, son Pedro, 28, and daughter Beatriz, 25. “I loved São Paulo, but it was kind of dangerous,” Olivetti recalls. “My husband and I even got robbed in the street at gunpoint. My son was with us at the time and I thought: ‘I don’t want this to happen to my daughter.’ ” Now the new American proudly talks about her children’s success and her love for her new home. “For us, it’s a dream come true,” says Olivetti.The family first settled in Atlanta, where Olivetti learned English at a church. Since then, she, Julio and Beatriz have taken the oath of allegiance. Pedro will do the same in two years. Olivetti is especially ­grateful that her children were able to pursue higher education here. Beatriz graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in English rhetoric, while Pedro received a scholarship from Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. “Because of the scholarship, he is able to study what he wants and provide for himself already,” explains Olivetti. Last year, she moved to New York City so Beatriz could study while Julio stayed in Atlanta to work.“I’ve been an American citizen unofficially for many years now,” says Olivetti. “I’m happily embracing my responsibilities because I have Continue Reading

Residents make getaway: Thousands celebrate Memorial Day out of NYC

Susan Korte studied the heavy crowds toting heavier bags of luggage through Penn Station yesterday with a rueful air of resignation. "The moment I walked in here, I realized it was a bad idea," said Korte, 25, heading for Montauk, L.I., on Memorial Day weekend. "I guess it's better than driving." The upper East Side resident was among the many taking advantage of extra LIRR trains added for the early holiday weekend. She planned a long weekend with four friends in a beach rental. Jared Quiza, 21, of the Bronx, had similar plans - and he said fighting the crowds was worth it. "I can't wait," said the Montauk-bound man. "I work 40 hours a week. It's a good way to relieve some stress." While many travelers took advantage of mass transit, others climbed in their cars - about 27 million nationally, up 2.7% from last year, according to the American Automobile Association. The average price of gas nationally was down nearly $1.50 from the $3.83 it cost per gallon last Memorial Day, according to the AAA. In New York, a gallon of gas was selling for $2.54 - a sharp decline from 2008's $4.11. The Port Authority prepped for about 3.4 million vehicles on its bridges and tunnels - about the same as last year. The economy was still keeping air traffic down, with about 82,000 fewer passengers expected this year than last at Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports. Still, the city's two largest airports were expected to handle nearly 950,000 passengers through Monday. Overall, the nation's airlines were bracing for their worst summer since 2002 as the recession continued to cut into ticket sales. Air traffic has dropped for the last 11 straight months, authorities said. Joe Rome, 24, and Liss Molina, 23, were heading to Cape Cod - by train, car and ferry. They hoped to arrive last night and find a home-cooked meal. "It should be pretty fun," said Molina, of Washington. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Your Thanksgiving made easy: Holiday travel tips

Getting in, getting out or getting just about anywhere in the city during Thanksgiving weekend is an epic battle. And with an estimated 40 million people traveling — only a slight 1.4% decrease from last year — despite the slumping economy, it’s not getting any easier. “Thanksiving is one of those holidays completely dedicated to seeing family,” says Brooke Ferencsik, travel expert for TripAdvisor. “So despite circumstances, travelers are commited to taking the trip.” That means more lines, more traffic and more anxiety. Unless, of course, you know the shortcuts. In the third part in our three part series, we’ve got the scoop on travel tricks. From scoring low-budget airfare to avoiding parking tickets, kick your holiday into high gear with these tips. EARLIER: THANKSGIVING GUIDE PART 2 - MACY'S PARADE SEATS, B'WAY TIX AND MOREHOW TO ... AVOID AIRPORT STRESS Believe it or not, if you’ve yet to book your flight, seats are probably still available, especially on Thanksgiving morning. “airlines usually have lower charges during that time,” says daily News traffic expert Gridlock Sam, “and it makes a world of difference to fly Thanksgiving morning. That’s when the airports are least busy.” This is domestic airlines’ peak travel weekend, and “laGuardia airport really takes center stage for all its domestic trips,” Sam warns. “if you’re going to LaGuardia, allow yourself an extra 90 minutes to two hours before when you would normally arrive. You’ll be better off.” When heading to JFK or Newark airport, take advantage of their air trains. “Then you can arrive in comfort within an hour,” Sam says. Unfortunately, LaGuardia has no train, so you can get stuck in traffic. Security measures will be stepped up, so be sure to follow government guidelines on packing properly, such as putting any liquids you’re carrying Continue Reading

JetAmerica Airlines offers plane tickets for $9; flights to Newark, Minneapolis, South Bend, Toledo

A new low-cost airline will begin serving mid-sized U.S. cities that it thinks larger carriers have left behind. Tickets start at $9! Clearwater, Fla.-based JetAmerica said 34 nonstop passenger flights a week will start July 13 at Toledo, Ohio; South Bend, Ind.; Melbourne, Fla.; Newark, N.J.; Minneapolis and Lansing, Mich. Twenty-eight flights start or end at Newark Liberty International Airport. The carrier will add six more flights - from Toledo to Minneapolis - starting Aug. 14. JetAmerica is targeting small and midsize cities like Lansing, which has seen the number of daily flights at its Capital Region International Airport fall from 35 to 12 the past five years. The decline is part of a national trend that has seen airfares increase at those airports as daily flights have decreased. Robert Selig, head of the Capital Region Airport Authority, said JetAmerica will give Lansing business travelers direct access to New York City and carry leisure travelers to central Florida. "We don't have access to either one right now," Selig said. "So, this is going to fill a major void in our schedule." Filling that void won't be cheap. The Lansing, South Bend, Melbourne and Toledo airports are subsidizing JetAmerica with $1.4 million in grants in its first year, along with about $867,000 in waived airport fees and $1.1 million in marketing and advertising assistance. South Bend, Toledo and Melbourne received their grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Small Community Air Service Development Program, which has awarded $104 million to 223 recipients since 2002 in an effort to restore lost service and bring air fares down. Newark and Minneapolis, each of which serve more than 20 million passengers a year, are not offering assistance to JetAmerica. John Weikle, chief executive of JetAmerica, said the subsidies will help insulate the new carrier from spikes in jet fuel prices. Higher fuel prices have contributed to the failures of at least four Continue Reading


A STUYVESANT High School freshman killed in a car crash two weeks ago was remembered yesterday as an accomplished student-athlete who always maintained a positive attitude. April Lao, 14, and three others on their way to a swim meet in Buffalo were killed April 17 when their disabled van was hit by a tanker truck on the New York State Thruway. "She was a wonderful kid. She always had a smile on her face, tried her hardest and always wanted to do better," said Martha Singer, an assistant principal at Stuyvesant. April's wake at the Chun Fook Funeral Home in Flushing was delayed until yesterday in the hope that her brother Andy, who was injured in the crash, could attend. But he is still recovering in the hospital. Derek Rose Suspected pimp mom in court THE FAMILY of the mom accused of pimping out her daughters to a lawyer turned out for her Manhattan court hearing yesterday, claiming she's being railroaded by her own children. In recent weeks, the accused mom's 15-year-old daughter changed her story, claiming her 21-year-old sister - not her mother - was the one who turned her over to attorney James Colliton, 41, in a sex-for-cash scheme. The accused mom's sister said, "My sister didn't do anything." But prosecutors continue to press the case against her, with one source saying the younger girl might have flip-flopped because of family pressure.Thomas Zambito Strike law ripped by labor LABOR LEADERS told a City Council committee that the Taylor Law does little to protect workers and gives too many advantages to the city during contract negotiations. The law prevents public employees from striking but doesn't push municipalities to bargain in good faith, according to Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch, United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Transport Workers Union Treasurer Ed Watt. But in a letter, Labor Commissioner James Hanley said the Taylor Law has been effective in helping to "foster Continue Reading