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City Looking for New Housing Commissioner

Sunday, February 08, 2009

With former city housing commissioner Shaun Donovan becoming HUD Secretary, the city must find someone to replace him, and a time when the economic downturn has dramatically slowed construction. WNYC's Cindy Rodriguez reports.

REPORTER: Donovan is often credited with finding innovative ways to finance housing for ...

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Some Catholic Schools Could Become Charter Schools

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Four Roman Catholic elementary schools in Brooklyn that are in danger of closing might instead be converted into publicly funded charter schools.

REPORTER: Mayor Bloomberg and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio announced Saturday that they are exploring the possibility of a pilot program that would keep the schools ...

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Yankees Still Hiring as Others Cut Jobs

Saturday, February 07, 2009

As many companies around the country cut jobs, the Yankee organization is one of the few employers that's currently increasing the worker pool, as the team prepares to open the new stadium in April. But who gets the jobs remains to be seen. WNYC's Elaine ...

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200 Pack Hearing on Mayoral Control of Schools

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The question of whether to renew the law granting Mayor Bloomberg control over city schools brought 200 people to a state assembly committee hearing Friday. WNYC's Beth Fertig reports:

REPORTER: Schools Chancellor Joel Klein told Assembly members that the current system led to a rise in ...

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Fund it Yourself Film Criticism

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Well before this recession, the news media started bleeding jobs. Lately, film critics have been especially vulnerable to layoffs, at publications including Variety, the Village Voice and Time Out. But film critic Mike D'Angelo has figured out a way to keep watching movies, and getting ...

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The Silver Touch for the Fulton Transit Hub

Friday, February 06, 2009

An early design of the Fulton Street Transit Center. Courtesy of the MTA.

An early design of the Fulton Street Transit Center. Courtesy of the MTA.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is taking credit for getting the MTA to devote half a billion dollars of federal stimulus money to the Fulton Street Transit Center. Last week, he told reporters he complained to the governor's office when the transit hub, which is in Silver's lower Manhattan district, did not appear on the first list of projects that were being considered as potential recipients of the funds. The allocation of the federal money to the hub, which is wildly over budget, then grew to $201 million and now stands at $497 million.

(The audio here is supplied courtesy of reporter Eliot Brown of The New York Observer, who wrote about the stimulus bill this week.)

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Fenugreek: A Final Reprise

Friday, February 06, 2009

It's safe to say, "fenugreek" is getting its 15 minutes of fame. Sure, it was idenitified as the source of that syrupy smell on Manhattan's west side. But, more importantly, what does it taste like and how is it used? WNYC's Richard Hake posed those very questions to ...

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Second Hearing on Mayoral Control of Schools

Friday, February 06, 2009

The second of five hearings on mayoral control is being heard by the State Assembly's Education Committee this morning at the State Office Building in Lower Manhattan. The state law putting the mayor in charge of schools expires in June.

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, sitting in the ...
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Feds Slam Troubled NY Psych Ward

Friday, February 06, 2009

Months after Videotape of Neglected Patient Dying Spurs Reforms, Feds Fault City Psych Ward in Brooklyn for Continuing Problems

Novelist Charles Dickens visited a New York City mental hospital in the 1840s and reported on dismal conditions there. Forty years later, journalist Nellie Bly had herself committed for 10 days to the same facility on what’s now known as Roosevelt Island and wrote a landmark expose about it. Together, they helped etch in modern consciousness the images of the abject lunatic asylum as Hell on earth – a place where physical violence, sexual invasion and gross neglect amount to the triumph of anarchy and chaos.

US Justice Dept Report on Kings County Hospital

US Justice Dept Report on Kings County Hospital

A new federal report paints a similarly dire picture of the psychiatric ward at Kings County Hospital Center, in Brooklyn, where patients allegedly beat and sometimes rape one another, and staff allegedly ignore patients and use sporadic, ineffective methods of treating violent or suicidal people with severe psychopathologies.

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Joel Klein on Schools and Stimulus

Friday, February 06, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg and schools chancellor Joel Klein have threatened to cut up to 15,000 teaching positions unless Albany restores $770 million in proposed cuts with federal stimulus aid. WNYC’s Beth Fertig sat down with Chancellor Klein this week. She asked him if the prospect of ...

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911 Families Meet With Obama Over GITMO

Friday, February 06, 2009

President Obama told about 40 Nine Eleven and USS Cole victims' family members that his closure of the Guantanamo prison camp will keep Americans safer.

At an hour-long meeting at the White House, the president also thanked the families for serving as the nation's conscience.

Retired Fire ...

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Rising Number of Abandoned Boats

Friday, February 06, 2009

Another sign of economic hard times in the city, more sea-loving New Yorkers who find themselves struggling financially - are abandoning their boats.

REPORTER: A program called "Operation Clean Bay" run by the National Parks Service, retrieves and tows boats that pollute the city's waterways. Volunteer ...

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Feds Say Kings County Hospital "Highly Dangerous"

Friday, February 06, 2009

Federal investigators say a public psychiatric hospital in Brooklyn continues to be riddled with violence and mismanagement – months after the hospital’s video camera showed a woman dying after being ignored for hours. WNYC’s Fred Mogul reports.

REPORTER: A letter by the Department of Justice to ...

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Federal Program Brings Thousands of Summer Jobs to NYC

Friday, February 06, 2009

Tens of thousands of summer jobs for City teenagers are at stake in the negotiations over the federal economic recovery plan. WNYC's Bob Hennelly has more.

The $1.2 billion dollar national Summer Youth Employment program brings $34 million to NYC and creates 22,000 job for teens ...

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School Bus Inspectors Plead Guilty

Friday, February 06, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - Two former New York City school system employees have pleaded guilty to charges that they accepted bribes from private bus companies.

Prosecutors say Neil Cremin and Ira Sokol were among a group of workers who took thousands of dollars a year from ...

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Daycare Owners Charged with Stealing Funds

Friday, February 06, 2009

Five Brooklyn daycare owners are being charged with stealing close to $60,000 in government funds. The owners allegedly faked invoices for things such as computers, cribs, and art supplies, then billed the state for their purchases.

REPORTER: The charges stem from a July audit conducted by ...

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Obama to Meet 9-11 Families

Friday, February 06, 2009

President Obama is spending time today with families of 9/11 victims who are upset about the suspension of trials for detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

The meeting with about 15 family members is set for 3:30 at the White House. They wrote to Obama last month about ...

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Workers Again Cut Fire Protection System at Deutsche Building

Friday, February 06, 2009

Workers mistakenly cut a standpipe at the former Deutsche Bank building at the World Trade Center site yesterday morning, in an eerie echo of the circumstances that led to a fatal fire there two years ago.

This time, Fire Department spokesman Jim Long says nearby units ...

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Bright Lights, Big City

Friday, February 06, 2009

The bright spots in the New York economy.

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Hearing on Renewing Mayoral Control Packed; Bloomberg Optimistic

Friday, February 06, 2009

A hearing on mayoral control of the public schools continues in lower Manhattan. This is the state assembly education committee's second in a series of hearings about the 2002 law that put Mayor Michael Bloomberg in charge of the public school system, and well over ...

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