Is the CNN Democratic Presidential Contenders Climate Town Hall at Hudson Yards or Not?

HUDSON YARDS, SITE OF CNN’S CLIMATE CRISIS TOWN HALL. THE EVENT WILL FEATURE 10 DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT. AP PHOTO/MARK LENNIHAN

HUDSON YARDS, SITE OF CNN’S CLIMATE CRISIS TOWN HALL. THE EVENT WILL FEATURE 10 DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT. AP PHOTO/MARK LENNIHAN

Of all the places in New York that CNN could have chosen to host its Sept. 4 Democratic presidential candidates forum on climate change, activists, political leaders and fashionistas alike are stunned that the network apparently chose 30 Hudson Yards, substantially owned by billionaire and recent $12 million fundraiser for President Donald Trump Stephen Ross.

Pardon us while we pick up our dropped jaws from the floor. News of Ross’ moneybags haul for Trump’s re-election caused boycotts of Ross’ Equinox gym and the decision of several prominent designers to pull out of Hudson Yards venues for the upcoming New York Fashion Week.

Queens Councilmember Costa Constantinides wrote a letter to CNN earlier this month asking the network to move the venue to an outer borough, where Superstorm Sandy revealed the devastating impact of the climate crisis. The letter was signed by more than a dozen Queens and Brooklyn lawmakers, reports The Queens Eagle.

“If 30 Hudson Yards is the venue, it’s a property developed by Stephen Ross: an ardent supporter of Donald Trump, who believes climate change is a hoax, and a leading figure in Big Real Estate, which fought tooth and nail to stop the landmark passage of the Climate Mobilization Act in April,” Constantinides said in a statement to the Eagle. 

“The candidates should see the communities already living with the effects of climate change on a daily basis, which there are plenty of in Queens and Brooklyn,” he continued. “If the town hall is indeed at Hudson Yards, where a three-bedroom condo goes for $9.5 million, it is a slap in the face to every Rockaway resident still waiting to get his or her home back nearly seven years after Sandy.”

Remarkably, as of two days ago, numerous officials at both CNN and Hudson Yards were denying that they knew anything about a town hall on September 4. A Friday Google search gives no location for the event, with CNN publishing the agenda. for the seven-hour series of one-on-one interviews with the candidates.

Employing due diligence, the Eagle did locate individuals at both CNN and Hudson Yards who — off the record — confirmed the Democratic event was good to go. Still, a staff member at the Shed performance space expressed surprise that the climate policy town hall would actually take place in the complex.

“It would be weird because of the Stephen Ross thing,” the person said.

Staff members were informed that the Shed would not be involved in “anything political” after the Ross boycott, the person added.

Kim Kardashian by Txema Yeste Soars in Mugler Past + Now for Vogue Arabia September 2019

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Kim Kardashian by Txema Yeste Soars in Mugler Past + Now for Vogue Arabia September 2019

The September 2019 issue of Vogue Arabia takes us into the surreal world of Kim Kardashian West, with KKW styled in Thierry Mugler archives past and modern by Casey Cadwallader. Txema Yeste is behind the lens, creating simply smashing imagery in Kardashian’s first cover for the young magazine launched in March 2017.

In an added bonus, the reality TV star, entrepreneur, social activist studying for her law degree and mother of four kids — Psalm, 3 months, Chicago, 19 months, Saint, 3, and North, 6 — is interviewed by her husband Kanye West.

AOC previews the issue.

Russell James Portraits New VS Model Lorena Duran as Sensual Phoenix Teases Rise from Ashes

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Russell James Portraits New VS Model Lorena Duran as Sensual Phoenix Teases Rise from Ashes

VS needs all the support we can muster in our own USA economic interest, so let’s give the formerly great lingerie brand a break. AOC applauds its new hire model Lorena Duran and putting Russell James (who I’ve always adored) behind the lens to photograph her.

Russell James has an impeccable reputation with the VS models for decades. And few contemporary photographers have a better grasp of photographing upscale female sensuality — transgender, bisexual, gay or straight. Russell James respects and appreciates women. (Whatever group I forgot, please forgive me. Surely you get my point.)

Can Environmental Populism Save the Planet? Two Movements Intersect

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Can Environmental Populism Save the Planet? Two Movements Intersect

By Mark Beeson, Professor of International Politics, University of Western Australia. First published on The Conversation.

Populism and environmentalism are words seldom seen in the same sentence. One is associated predominantly with nationalists and charismatic leaders of “real people”, the other with broadly-based collective action to address the world’s single most pressing problem.

Differences don’t get much starker, it would seem. But we are increasingly seeing the two strands combine in countries around the world.

Exhibit A in support of this thesis is the remarkable growth and impact of Extinction Rebellion, often known as XR.

When I finished writing a book on the possibility of environmental populism little more than six months ago, I’d never even heard of XR. Now it is a global phenomenon, beginning to be taken seriously by policymakers in some of the world’s more consequential democracies. Britain’s decision earlier this year to declare a climate emergency is attributed in part to 11 days of Extinction Rebellion protest that paralysed parts of London.

Cynthia Rowley Asks: Is Your Swimsuit Hurting the Oceans? Change Your Ways Then

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If anyone can benefit from surfing in the Atlantic Ocean as a form of meditation, it’s veteran designer Cynthia Rowley. Montauk’s CR Suf Camp is headquarters for a meetup between Rowley and ELLE writer Faran Krentcil.

Rowley has battled fierce financial challenges for the last year, but her life is calm compared to the state of the world’s oceans. And surfers play their part in environmental damage. “Surfing is a reminder the world is bigger than me," Rowley explains, urging me back into the sea as the tide calms down. "The ocean is bigger than any of my problems.”

“Surfers are some of the most eco-conscious people in the world,” says Rowley, who's teamed with charities like the Surfrider Foundation to help promote cleaner beaches worldwide. “But for a long time, our primary uniform—the wetsuit—was made with polyester and really harmful plastics! The irony is mind-boggling... Once I saw how much plastic was in normal neoprene, I knew [surf wear] had to evolve.”

At a time when new designers are burnishing their eco-cred, Rowley has been marketing sustainable wetsuits, one-pieces, and bikinis for nearly 12 years. Partnering with a Thai factory for 12 years, Rowley may be one of the unsung heroes in today’s battle for sick oceans.

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“We started with the basic stuff—figuring out how to make swimsuit ‘skin’ from recycled plastic bottles,” Rowley explains. “The ‘carbon black,’ which is the spongy filler inside neoprene? We make it with recycled tires. And then there are components nobody thinks about, like glue. Every wetsuit uses glue, and so do a ton of swimsuits. But glue is often made from harsh chemicals—we don’t want that. So we found a water-based glue instead. If some of it sheds or erodes, that’s okay—it’s water!” As for the neoprene itself, Rowley’s team makes it with limestone instead of liquid plastic, swapping out a toxic material for one that biodegrades.

And why not wear wetsuits year-round, asks Rowley. And be a poser? In response to die-hard surfers who object to wannabes co-opting their authentic fashion gear, the designer is frankly philosophical. “On the one hand, I get that some surfers treat their wetsuit like a tool, something that really belongs to them as part of surf culture, and they don’t want it co-opted as a fashion item. But we’re trying to change that, because surf culture can’t exist without sustainable living. And if you can turn one item of clothing into like three different outfits, and you love how you look? Then screw it and wear what you want.”

Stopping by CynthiaRowley.com to shop swimsuits, we note that there’s no mention of the great story behind the designer’s sustainable credentials. Searching in earnest for discussion of her commitment to sustainability, we note her CR Surf Camp story but nada on any mention of her concern for oceans.

Perhaps this is why eco-conscious fashionistas know little about Cynthia Rowley’s passion for returning our oceans to their natural glory. That’s a shame, because her story is a good one. ~ Anne

Cynthia Rowley’s CR Girls Camp in Montauk, Long Island, New York

Cynthia Rowley’s CR Girls Camp in Montauk, Long Island, New York