The sisters of slain Portuguese journalist Carlos Castro swore they had permission from the city to pour their brother's ashes down a subway grate in Times Square, as per his wishes. But a Bloomberg spokesman says that may not be the case. The scattering of remains on city property is only permitted with a written permit, and spokesman Stu Loeser said, "We did not give them permission."
We're told by the city Health Department that human ashes are not regulated by Health Code because "once human remains are cremated the ashes are not human remains." A spokeswoman told us, "Ashes do not constitute a health hazard and are no longer in the Health Department's jurisdiction," but "Dumping ashes, or anything else, on MTA property may be prohibited by the MTA." We've contacted the MTA to see where they stand on the issue, but at least one commenter has expressed puzzlement over why Castro's ashes received "permission" and legendary restaurant owner Elaine Kaufman's ashes didn't. Kaufman wished for her ashes to be scattered over Second Avenue, but the Post said that it's "illegal."