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Bloomberg: Unemployed Freelancers Should Receive Benefits

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg says government needs to do a better job looking after freelancers who are out of work.

He said unemployment benefits should be created for independent workers and he criticized the Unincorporated Business Tax, which he says double-taxes contractors and sole proprietors and discourages businesses ...

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Schumer Now Supports Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New York Senator Charles Schumer has changed his mind about same-sex marriage and says he now fully supports it. WNYC's Elaine Rivera reports:

REPORTER: Gay marriage advocates are lauding Schumer's reversal, saying his support will give them momentum to pass state legislation. Alan Van Capelle, executive ...

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Toxic, But Valuable

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Investors are already buying mortgages in default, so what do they make of Treasury’s plan to grow the market for mortgages? Guest: WNYC’s Lisa Chow.

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Two NYC Spelling Bee Contenders

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thirteen year olds Talia Weisberg and Thomas Harkins, New York City eighth graders, spelled their way to trophies this week. The New York City spelling bee champions competed against 88 other students from all five boroughs, ranging from fifth to eighth grade. The two-day competition ...

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MTA Committee Votes for Fare Hike, Hopes for State Aid

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

At MTA Headquarters yesterday, a lot of talk about state Senate Democrats. They're the ones resisting a rescue package that could head off fare increases and service cuts this spring.

An MTA committee voted to increase the cost of a subway ride to $2.50, in case ...

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MTA Deficit Leads to Simplified 2nd Ave Subway

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Faced with the need to cut service and hike fares, the MTA is cutting back on major construction projects. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman reports that the latest cut is to a section of the Second Avenue subway.

REPORTER: Originally, the MTA wanted to build an extra bypass ...

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Mayor Bloomberg: Not Warm and Fuzzy but Efficient

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Despite budget problems, and his successful, but hard-fought, bid to extend term limits so he can run again, voters still like Mayor Bloomberg. The latest Quinnipiace Universtiy poll shows the mayor with an approval rating of 64 percent. But it also found that 55 percent ...

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Education Advocates Lobby Paterson on Cuts

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Education advocates are in Albany to lobby Governor Paterson and state legislators to make sure funding cuts to schools are kept at a minimum.

Speaking via cell phone from the Capitol, Geri Palast of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, says there's no reason for draconian cuts ...

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Paterson Orders Layoffs of 8,900

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

As state tax revenues continue to decline and state unions stand firm on their contracts, Governor Paterson says he has no choice but to lay off almost 9,000 state workers. WNYC's Bob Hennelly has more.

REPORTER: A spokesman for the state's Division of Budget says the ...

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Report: NY Mistreats Drug-Addicted Inmates

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A human rights group says New York State's prisons engage in cruel and inhuman punishment when it comes to their drug-addicted inmates. Human Rights Watch says inmates found with drugs are put in disciplinary segregation, known as the "box," for 23 hours a day for ...

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NY AG Hopes to Recoup $80 Million of AIG Bonuses

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says he still hopes that more AIG employees will return their bonuses.

In a conference call with reporters last evening, Cuomo saluted the 15 AIG employees who are returning some of the largest bonuses, more then $30 million.

CUOMO: I would ...

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F.B.I. Investigating NJ Developer

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

WNYC has learned that a controversial project to convert a former landfill in the Jersey Meadowlands into a golf course and luxury housing is now the subject of an FBI probe. WNYC's Bob Hennelly has more.

The project is supposed to the pride of Rutherford and ...

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World’s Brightest X-Ray Coming to LI

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Long Island’s Brookhaven National Laboratory is getting a big jolt from the federal stimulus. The lab will receive nearly $185 million in new science funding to help jump start the construction of a new, state of the art facility for advanced research. This will build ...

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MTA Committee Votes Yes on Fare Hikes, Board to Vote Wednesday

Monday, March 23, 2009

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An MTA Committee has said 'yes' to mass transit fare hikes. The unanimous vote by the Finance Committee is the first of two approvals needed before a single ride rises to $2.50. Board members say state lawmakers should step in with a rescue plan before the full board votes on Wednesday.

Allen Cappelli, a board member from Staten Island, says time is running out. 'There are 45 hours before this disaster goes into effect and I hope that something will sink in with both the Democrats and the Republicans,' says Cappelli.

Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger struck a conciliatory tone to reporters afterwards, saying he was optimistic that the state Senate would step in to prevent those fares from taking effect. 'They are going to make it happen, I believe, as soon as they can get together and figure out what they as a majority want to do it,' says Hemmerdinger. 'They will do it as soon as they can I'm sure they want to do it as quickly as we want them to do it.'

Commuters at Grand Central Station this afternoon generally didn't like hearing the latest news about train service. Manhattan resident Eileen Conway, 26, who takes the subway regularly, said it comes at the wrong time. 'A lot of people don't have the funds that they did even six months ago and the fact that they are working with less and having to pay more is incredible,' says Conway.

Metro-North riders would also see their fares go up. Cesar Rodriguez takes occasional trips down to Manhattan from his home near Beacon. But he doubts he will come as often if the off-peak fare goes up from $12 to $15 as approved today. 'It's like they don't want you to come down here,' says Rodriguez. 'As soon as you come down they want to hit you over the head right away.'

Governor Paterson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have reached an agreement. But the Democratic majority of the state Senate has rejected the bridge tolls on the East River as a means of helping the MTA, while Republicans are resisting the payroll tax.

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NYC Kicks off World Water Week in Battery Park

Monday, March 23, 2009

by Annie Shreffler

Hundreds of New Yorkers, many of them high school students, turned out on Sunday to begin World Water Week with a mile-long march. Volunteers carried water to show their support for the Tap Project, a UNICEF program to bring more safe drinking water to ...

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Dogs in Art

Monday, March 23, 2009

The walls of Doyle Auctioneers’ showroom were crowded with pointers and pugs, hounds and hares, 19th century sporting prints and 20th century canine portraits, while the showroom floor was equally crowded with dogs of all shapes and sizes and their human escorts sporting dual purpose name tags (person/dog).

The occasion was the 11th annual Dogs in Art Brunch, a preview of the Doyle sale that will take place this coming Tuesday. Both the brunch and a portion of the sale revenues benefit Angels on a Leash, the Westminster Kennel Club’s canine therapy program. Volunteers from the program visit patients at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, and many were on hand on Sunday.

Angels on a Leash board member Richard Dienst says his black lab was on of the first volunteers for the organization.
Richard Dienst and Fawna. (Mary Bloom)

Richard Dienst and Fawna. (Mary Bloom)

Unlike the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which has rigorous aesthetic standards for participants in its annual show, any dog with the right temperament can be a therapy dog. Gay Cropper’s one-eyed Brussels Griffon, Mr. Gryffed Babian, has a thriving career.

One-eyed Brussels Griffon, Mr. Gryffed Babian (Mary Bloom)

One-eyed Brussels Griffon, Mr. Gryffed Babian (Mary Bloom)

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AA Apologizes for “Unexpected Stop” (a.k.a. Emergency Landing)

Monday, March 23, 2009

(Getty)

(Getty)

What’s the best way to apologize to customers when instead of flying them to Chicago, they must brace for impact and pray to survive an emergency landing? Well, if you’re American Airlines, you “take the opportunity to apologize” for “disrupting [their] travel plans” and provide an e-voucher for $250. Below, we have the letter sent to passengers on board the March 11th flight that was supposed to be a simple flight from LaGuardia to Chicago, but – thanks to an engine malfunction – ended with an emergency landing at Kennedy Airport with fire trucks and ambulances at the ready. No one was hurt, though many were “inconvenienced.”

What’s the best corporate apology letter you’re ever received? Add a comment.

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State Government Debate $120-Billion Budget

Monday, March 23, 2009

Governor Paterson says he and other government leaders continue to struggle over his proposed $120-billion budget. Along with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, Paterson said crucial issues like health care cuts, property tax rebates and how to apply stimulus money ...

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Report: NYS Clinics Chronically in the Red

Monday, March 23, 2009

New York State’s ailing hospitals have garnered headlines as workers and management wage a very public campaign against Governor Paterson’s proposed budget cuts. A new study suggests the financial health of smaller clinics is also precarious. WNYC’s Fred Mogul has more.

REPORTER: The governor has pledged ...

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350 Claims Since Tenant Harassment Law

Monday, March 23, 2009

It has been about a year since the passage of a law giving tenants the right to sue landlords for harassment. Building owners fought to repeal it because of concerns the courts would be overwhelmed with frivolous lawsuits. As of mid-February 350 claims have been ...

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