Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



VIEWS Letters on the NY Blackout

This article shared 3812 times since Wed Sep 17, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Through recent press clips I received an article from the Windy City Times ( Aug. 20, 2003 ) , entitled 'OutQ Gay Radio News Team Broadcasts Throughout Blackout,' which contains some factual errors with reference to the New York Marriott Marquis.

For the record, room access was not impossible 'because new electronic key cards require electricity to work,' as stated in the article. Key cards worked just fine; they operate on a battery system. In fact, we sent our employees to guest rooms throughout the evening to retrieve medication, as needed.

Our decision to evacuate the hotel was based on the malfunction of the hotel's generator, which meant in the absence of electricity, the fire safety backup system was not in place. This posed a threat to our guests' safety, if they had remained in their guest rooms. The New York Marriott Marquis' main lobby is located on the 8th floor; to insure safety, all guests were evacuated to the lower floors of the hotel, on the 3rd floor and the street level lobby entrance, with additional guests outside in the porte cochere drive-through area at the main entrance.

The hotel provided bottled water, snacks, sheets and pillows to as many individuals as possible. We allowed guests to use the banquet restrooms on the lower floors.

While we recognize that this was an extremely uncomfortable situation for our guests, their safety and security are our highest priority.

I was personally at the hotel throughout the entire evening. At no point did I speak with your reporter, 'Gay Boy Ric,' for clarification on any of the abovementioned information. We would appreciate it if your publication would print a correction to these reported facts.

Kathleen Duffy, Director of Public Relations, New York City Marriott Hotels


Gay Boy Ric replies:

My report was purposefully not based on any conversations with hotel employees or press representatives, but on the comments of guests sleeping on the sidewalk ( and, yes, driveway ) outside the Marriott Marquis and Renaissance Hotels, as aired in live reports from a news team at Sirius Satellite Radio's OutQ.

In addition, on Aug. 15, The New York Daily News reported: 'Hundreds of tourists who had been locked out of their rooms at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square—the hotel did not have a generator to power its electronic room locks.' On Aug. 16, Larry McShane of The Associated Press reported: 'The loss of power left many commuters and visitors sleeping on the sidewalks or wandering aimlessly all night —even the hundreds who had reservations at the Marriott Marquis. The would-be guests' electronic room keys didn't work because the hotel lacked a generator.' On Aug. 16, The New York Post reported: ''It's been really hard. Kids are crying, there's no food, and no bathroom,' said Kerry Sobol, 30, a Marquis guest who slept outside on newspapers.' On Aug. 15, The Seattle Times reported: 'At the Marriott Marquis ... hundreds of hotel guests camped out, in and around the building, where the rooms' high-tech key cards couldn't be charged.' On Aug. 15, Amy C. Sims of The Fox News Channel reported: 'At the Marriott Marquis in New York City, hundreds of tourists who thought they had a bed for the night were forced to sleep on the sidewalks, because the hotel did not have a generator to power the electronic room keys.' On Aug. 16, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported: '... Marriott Marquis ... electronic key cards didn't work because there was no emergency generator for the 37-story building in the heart of Times Square.'

In addition, several times, the OutQ team mis-reported the issue of key cards not working on the air. Evidently, many reporters and guests misunderstood the key cards as a major part of the problem, and I apologize for mistakenly reprinting OutQ's report that the key card issue was at the heart of Marriott's difficulties.

My report did acknowledge that blankets and sheets had been provided by the hotel, and that a guest on the sidewalk had said, with irony, 'They have been good about water.' My main point, however, was that, in sending guests out to sleep on the sidewalk, Marriott pleads concern for the safety of their guests. Marriott oddly considered the New York City sidewalk a safe alternative.

Consumers have a right to expect better preparation and contingency plans in the event of any of a number of crises, including a generator breakdown and city-wide blackout.

On another subject, as a public relations executive, I am sure you understand that a byline represents the professional name of the reporter. Therefore, in your letter, there was no need to place quotation marks around the name Gay Boy Ric, as if to infer some lesser credibility.

Sincerely, Gay Boy Ric

This article shared 3812 times since Wed Sep 17, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

SAVOR South Branch Tavern & Grille 2021-08-19
- Before taking a bite of anything at South Branch Tavern & Grille (100 S. Wacker Dr.;, patrons are likely to be impressed. The reason lies in the picturesque views surrounding the spot. Ensconced near some ...

Gay News

VIEWS U.S. Senators: It's time to act against anti-LGBTQ discrimination 2021-07-28
- Georgia has had the eyes of the nation on it for some time now. It's just over five years since people across Georgia braced themselves as lawmakers sent sweeping anti-LGBTQ legislation to the desk of then-Governor ...

Gay News

OP-ED Foreign drug pricing puts America's most vulnerable patients last 2021-07-03
By Guy Anthony - It's no coincidence that American companies led the charge to develop COVID-19 vaccines. Numerous policies—from strong patent protections to a welcoming immigration system—help ensure that the world's smartest scientists can ...

Gay News

Op-Ed: Elevating 'T' in LGBTQ: State government, transgender equity in 21st century 2021-06-28
By Illinois state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz - In recent decades, our laws, pop culture and morality have shifted dramatically for same-sex couples. Our LGBTQ+ neighbors are interwoven into the fabric of our communities now more than ever. We celebrate this recognition and indeed ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT Pride at work 2021-06-23
- Pride Month is a chance for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people to be proud and visible in a world that tells us not to be. Pride Month is a chance to celebrate and ...

Gay News

LETTER: Pride, a time for hope 2021-06-12
- Pride is so much more than a parade, a march or even a demonstration for the LGBTQAI community. In other words, this is an opportunity for us to celebrate our diversity among our various communities, and ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT Tulsa Race Massacre reparations would begin the healing 2021-05-31
- When HBO's 2019 Watchmen series opened with the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, and HBO's 2020 Lovecraft Country series closed with scenes from the riots, most Americans had never heard of the event—even Tulsans. On May 19, ...

Gay News

Illinois Holocaust Museum makes statement on anti-Semitic attacks 2021-05-28
--From a press release - Dear Museum Community, At Illinois Holocaust Museum, we are appalled at the recent rise in worldwide anti-Semitic incidences. We cannot stand by while Jews and synagogues are violently attacked, including in Skokie, New York, Los Angeles, ...

Gay News

LETTER A matter of race 2021-05-20
- I applaud Mayor Lori Lightfoot's courageous statement on only giving one-on-one interviews to journalists of color. She obviously wants to see a public dialogue on this matter. White privilege is a topic we must look at ...

Gay News

The Amazon Trail Notes from a Homebody 2021-05-19
- 's finally here. The end of total lockdown. Am I ready? Absolutely not. I like my burrow. I don't wanna play with others. We've fashioned a comfortable little routine. Week days, work. Evenings, spend time alone ...

Gay News

Illinois Latino Agenda issues statement on shooting of Adam Toledo 2021-04-15
--From a press release - On March 29, 2021, 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer. Since the shooting, there have been different narratives formed of who Adam Toledo was. Various media have made allegations saying ...

Gay News

Pastor Donnie McClurkin's struggle with sexuality mirrors the Black church's 2021-04-13
- The most significant factor that keeps the Black church on the down low are closeted, homophobic ministers. Pastor Donnie McClurkin—a three-time Gospel Grammy winner and the former poster boy for ...

Gay News

The Amazon Trail, How to Write a Book 2021-04-10
- I'm not giving away any secrets here. Not saying it's simple or that anyone can do it if they send $25.00 to Post Office Box 1,2,3. Nope, it's a personal journey and every story has a story. Here's mine, about the ...

Gay News

OP-ED The closet doors are opening 2021-03-30
- (NOTE: The International Transgender Day of Visibility is March 31.) I recently learned that according to a new report, the number of people in this country who identify as LGBTQ has increased by 60% since 2012. ...

Gay News

OP-ED: An AAPI hate crime we dare not say 2021-03-30
- On March 16, Robert Aaron Long killed eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent. Long's action has not yet been classified as a hate crime because the motive, he stated, was his sex ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.