Disabled tenants who live in New York City's public housing are filing a federal class action lawsuit to force the New York City Housing Authority to fix and maintain its elevators. The tenants say disability and human rights laws are being violated. Phyllis Gonzalez lives on the 12th floor of NYCHA Chelsea Houses and relies on a wheelchair. When elevators break, she says she's stranded in her apartment. As she spoke, she was interrupted by the sound of an alarm signaling that someone was stuck in the elevator. The doors opened moments later.
The elevator issue first drew public attention last August, when a five-year-old boy, Jacob Neuman, died trying to escape from a stalled elevator in his Brooklyn housing complex. Many residents say the problems are chronic, and Gonzalez notes it's especially hard for people who have health conditions.
It's April 15th and plenty of New Yorkers who waited till the last minute are rushing to get their taxes mailed on time. At the Farley Post Office on Eighth Avenue and 34th street, WNYC caught up with Walter Elliot, who was in the midst of preparing his forms:
The Farley Post office in Manhattan is open 24 hours, but taxes are due at midnight!
The family of a mentally ill man, Gamalier Reyes, plans to sue the NYPD for beating him so brutally, they say he'll need facial reconstruction surgery. Relatives and supporters gathered today outside of the 83rd Police Precinct in Bushwick, Brooklyn, holding photographs of Reyes' damaged face. Last Saturday, when Reyes, who is schizophrenic, refused to take his medicine, his mother called his social worker, who then called 911. Zully De La Cruz, Reyes' sister, says when the police arrived they used unnecessary force on her brother, who was upset, but not violent:
Twenty-two people have been arrested for occupying a New School building near Union Square. The protesters want President Bob Kerrey to resign, increased budget transparency, and more communication between students and faculty. The group entered the building around 6 AM and held it for five hours while supporters rallied outside. But not all students at the university were happy with the protesters. David Eisenhauer, a senior who organizes around sustainability issues, says when a protest turns into a police scene, the administration may get less tolerant of other forms of student activism:
Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau unsealed a sweeping 118-count indictment of a fugitive Chinese businessman, Li Fang Wei, who is illegally funneling money through New York City banks in order to sell materials to Iran that could be used for building nuclear weapons. Li Fang Wei has been banned from using the U.S. banking system since 2006, but Morgenthau says he created aliases and shell companies to deceive the banks into processing his transactions.
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 ended this morning in ...
More graduates of New York City's high schools are heading to the City University system for college. The Department of Education and CUNY say there's been a 70 percent surge in the number of public school grads from NYC entering two-year community colleges, and a 37 percent growth at CUNY's four-year colleges, just in the past seven years.
Mayor Bloomberg says the enrollment increases come even as CUNY's admission standards get tougher.
There's a growing bed bug epidemic in New York City. Complaints to the city hotline, 3-1-1, jumped 34% last year, as over 9000 people called asking for guidance in their battle against the insects. In response, the New York City Council is creating a Bud Bug Advisory Board that'll develop a comprehensive strategy to rid the city of the pests. Council speaker Quinn calls the board an important first step:
New York City immigrants want federal stimulus money to be used for job training and English language education. Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of The New York Immigration Coalition, was one of hundreds gathered in City Hall Park Tuesday, urging government officials to keep immigrant services in next year's budget.
QUINN: 'These are 575 New Yorkers who want to be nurses, who are ready to work, and may not be working now because we didn't have the proper resources to train them.'
Two Bronx residents have been indicted in the murder of José Sucuzhanay, an Ecuadorian immigrant who was beaten to death on a cold night last December, as he walked arm-in-arm with his brother, Rommel. Witnesses reported that the defendants, Hakim Scott and Keith Phoenix, yelled racial and homophobic slurs while attacking the brothers. Phoenix and Scott are being charged with murder in the second degree as a hate crime, manslaughter, assault and attempted assault.
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes says if the two men are convicted of all counts, his office will seek the maximum sentence--78 years to life in prison.
HYNES: “The case is a clear message that society simply cannot permit cretins to target anyone because of sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, religion or gender.”
McSorley's Old Ale House in the East Village had a 155th birthday party today.
Ale drinkers crowded the bar while a live band played Irish music. Many had been coming for generations, like Pat Merino.
MERINO: I had my first legal drink here, at age 18, in '66. Last August my son ...