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De Blasio and Green Head for Runoff in PA Race

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio

City Councilman Bill de Blasio and former public advocate, Mark Green, are headed for a runoff in the close Democratic race for New York City Public Advocate.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, de Blasio had ...

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Vance Declared Winner in DA Primary

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cy Vance

Cy Vance

Defense lawyer and political scion Cy Vance has won the Democratic primary for the Manhattan district attorney's job, one of the nation's most coveted prosecutor's spots.

The primary is expected to decide the race to replace retiring ...

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William Thompson Declared Winner of Mayoral Primary

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bill Thompson at a Bronx Fair with Bill de Blasio (L)

Bill Thompson at a Bronx Fair with Bill de Blasio (L)


New York City Comptroller William Thompson Jr. has cruised to victory in the Democratic mayoral primary and will ...

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NYC Voters Go to the Primary Polls

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

voteaquiWith voter turnout expected to be near record lows in today's primary, those who are showing up say they feel a special responsibility to vote. Om Agrawal, a mathematics professor, was born in India. He says he has voted in ...

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Eight in Race to Replace Ousted Councilman in Dominican District 10

Friday, September 11, 2009

by Marianne McCune
They say all politics are local. But in the northern tip of Manhattan, that may be more so. The 10th Council District includes much of Washington Heights, Inwood, and the Marble Hill section of the Bronx. There are eight City Council candidates vying to replace former Councilmember Miguel Martinez, whose seat is open because pleaded guilty to misusing taxpayer dollars and resigned. Now, as WNYC’s Marianne McCune reports, voters are looking for a candidate they know and trust.

This is the Dominican district.

MC for Dominican band: (IN SPANISH) You guys want Dominican music?!

Its perimeter was purposefully shaped to elect the first Dominican City Council member in 1991. Yes, there are others here - Puerto Ricans, African Americans and a handful of white people who aren’t Hispanic. But if there’s a street fair on Dyckman Street – you can be sure the band will play Merengue.

So when Dominican-born City Councilmember Miguel Martinez pleaded guilty to stealing more than $100,000 of public money and resigned, leaving his seat empty -- many here took it personally. As if Martinez was a nephew and what he did reflected badly on the whole family.

Polanco: No me enojo …

It’s sad, says Martin Polanco, but I’m not angry because we all make mistakes. A woman on another corner invokes the Bible, saying we’re all just fishermen and that hopefully Martinez will repent. Others worry all Dominicans will drop in the world’s esteem. And over an animated game of dominoes, Ramon Echevarria shakes his head disapprovingly, saying the Dominican community has to make sure it’s not seen as a jungle.Echevarria watching dominoes and talking politics.

Echevarria watching dominoes and talking politics.

Ramon Echevarria: … una jungla. Somos una communidad de avances.

And so, among the candidates for City Council, many here are looking for someone they can trust. And in the seemingly small town that is this neighborhood, someone they can trust often means someone they know – personally.

At a picnic celebrating the candidacy of community board chairman and teacher Manny Velasquez, Ana Julia Coronado says she’s voting for him because, as Dean at her son’s school, Manny helped turn her son around.Chickens and bunnies on asphalt.

Chickens and bunnies on asphalt.

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Comptroller Candidates Debate at WNYC

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Watch the debate

Listen to the debate:

Four Democratic Council Members vying to be elected New York City Comptroller met for a final debate last night at WNYC's Jerome L. Greene Performance Space ahead of Tuesday's primary ...

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US Open: Wheelchair Player Gets 376th Win

Thursday, September 10, 2009

by Nate Chura

As you marvel at the power of Serena Williams’ forehand, or the graceful footwork of Roger Federer, please also consider the agile wheelchair moves of Esther Vergeer.

Early Thursday afternoon, at Louis Armstrong stadium, the 28-year-old from the Netherlands extended a 376-match winning streak, defeating France’s Florence Gravellier, 6-2, 7-5, in the quarterfinals of the US Open Women's Wheelchair Singles.

Vergeer is the winningest wheelchair tennis player in history. The last time she lost a match was in January of 2003.

Highlights from her playing career include winning the Paralympics three times (2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing). She also took the US Open Women’s Wheelchair Singles title three times. Vergeer was the World Wheelchair Champion nine years in a row, from 2000-2008. Her career singles record is a staggering 571-25. Yes, she’s the number one wheelchair player in the world.

For those who don’t follow wheelchair tennis, the ball can bounce twice. You would hardly know this watching Vergeer and Gravellier. The ball seldom bounced twice as the athletes zipped across the court like laser beams. Gravellier is actually an effective net rusher with a fine volley. Unfortunately for the French woman, she ran up against Vergeer.

Watch Vergeer forehand in action:

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US Open: Oudin Undone

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Last night the hearts of 24,881 tennis fans inside the sold-out Arthur Ashe stadium in Queens -- and the dreams of ESPN and Tennis Channel executives -- were crushed as 17-year-old American Melanie Oudin was ousted from the US Open.

Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki tossed the Georgia peach from US Open prime-time, 6-2, 6-2, in 88 minutes.

The girl who captured fans' imaginations with wins over Elena Dementieva, Maria Sharapova, and Nadia Petrova was gracious in her goodbye.

“Caroline played a good match,” Oudin said. “She’s such a strong player."

She said her new role as America"s sweetheart didn't factor into her error-filled game. "These past two weeks have been really different for me. I’ve gone from being just a normal like tennis player to almost everyone in the United States knowing who I am. I enjoyed it, but I don’t think that affected my tennis game tonight at all.”

Listen to Oudin reflect on her US Open run:

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US Open: Bryans Double Out

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

by Nate ChuraThe world’s #1 doubles team, Americans Bob and Mike Bryan, lost their bid for a second consecutive US Open doubles title Wednesday. The defending champions were bounced from the semifinals by the 4th seeds Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(6).

“It was a little frustrating to lose 7-6 in the third,” Mike Bryan said after the match. “It came down to the wire and it could have gone either way. We had a few break points there in the third set, which I thought we could have got, but I’ve gotta tip my hat to them. They played well when it counted. Leander was quick at net. Dlouhy served really well. He was hitting the lines. But we’ll be back next year and give it our best shot.”

The momentum first slipped away from the Bryans at 3-all in the first set, when Dlouhy/Paes broke the Bryans at 30-40 on Mike's serve. Dlouhy threw up lob return and Mike sent the forehand long. That stroke of good fortune was all Dlouhy/Paes needed to consolidate the first set.

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Mayoral Candidates Debate

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Two Democrats who want to unseat Mayor Bloomberg have debated for the last time before Tuesday's primary election. Both candidates agreed that the city should take greater control over the MTA, but differed on how to do that. City Councilman Tony Avella suggested scrapping the 2nd Avenue subway project:

...

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US Open: Off With His Head

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

by Nate ChuraOn match point, Croatian and world #17 Marin Cilic served a bomb down the T of the ad court service box to cut off the hopes of Scottish-born Andy Murray of making a run to a second consecutive US Open final. Brits everywhere are in mourning. The ace was 1 of 10 in the match and the nail that sealed the coffin in the world #2’s straight sets round of 16 loss, 7-5, 6-2, 6-2, on Arthur Ashe stadium.

In a post-mortem, Murray couldn’t put his finger on exactly what gripped him on court. “I don’t know,” he said. “I just couldn’t get myself into enough return games and couldn’t quite find a way to get myself back into the match.”

Cilic broke Murray five times in the match to advance to his first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal. After the match, he spoke about beating one of the hottest players of the summer season.

“I mean I’m feeling tremendously happy,” said Cilic. “Of course it’s the biggest result for me so far. Now that I don’t have this blockade in my head, I can look forward, and, of course, focus on the next matches.”

Murray walked onto Ashe the leading hard court player of the season, having won 37 matches on the surface this year. It was his 6th consecutive appearance in the round of 16 of a major slam. Murray also lead Cilic in their career head-to-head, 3 to zip. But when all is said and done, the numbers had little meaning once the players stepped onto the court.

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Public Advocate's Debate at WNYC

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Watch the debate

The four major candidates for public advocate debated once again Tuesday night in The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space. They were all posed a hypothetical question about succession, in which the mayor suddenly resigned and the public advocate automatically succeeded him. ...

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US Open: A Suite With a View

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

by Nate ChuraThe view from Suite 136 in Arthur Ashe Stadium this afternoon was worthy of a luxury box. On the blue court below, close enough to hear every grunt, were the American doubles juggernaut, Mike and Bob Bryan, taking on Australians Carsten Ball and Chris Guccione.

One person enjoying the occasion was Dina Moscowitz from Forest Hills. She lives near the West Side Tennis Club, where the US Open was held from 1915 to 1978. Moscowitz went to the US Open at the faded gem, but prefers her view from the box at Ashe.

Listen to what Moscowitz says about suite living at the Open:

Despite its number, Suite 136 is one of only 90 luxury suites in the house. Each one has an attendant to care for the needs of its guests. The chief attendant in Mrs. Moscowitz’s suite is Chris French.

Listen to French describe his job:

Meanwhile on court, the Bryan brothers, the #1 doubles team in the world, muscled past Ball and Guccione to clinch the quarterfinal contest: 6-4, 7-6(2).

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President Delivers a Back-to-School Talk

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan host a group discussion with students at Wakefield High School September 8, 2009 in Arlington, Virginia.

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan host a group ...

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US Open: Georgia on My Mind

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

by Nate Chura Ray Charles said it best. Georgia was on the minds of American tennis fans on Day 8 of the US Open in Flushing Meadows, Queens this Labor Day.

After back to back upsets against the fourth seed Elena Dementieva and former US Open champ Maria Sharapova, seventeen-year-old Melanie Oudin, of Marietta, GA, continued the trend, besting 13th seed Russian Nadia Petrova to advance to the quarterfinals of her first ever Grand Slam. The final score was: 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-3.

Oudin got off to a sluggish start, losing the first set in 31 minutes, but quickly took a 2-0 lead in the second. However, the Russian would not give up easily. Oudin had to fight hard to reverse the momentum that had accumulated in the more experienced Petrova's favor. It took a lot of hustle and composure under heavy fire for the upstart to stay in the match. But each point Oudin won bred more inner belief and the large, excited crowd in Arthur Ashe stadium also threw her a lifeline. Eventually, the American found herself up 5-0 in the tie break before she closed out the second set. Oudin allowed Petrova just two points.

Oudin continued to roll in the third set, breaking Petrova in the first game. But Petrova broke Oudin right back. In the fifth game, with Petrova serving at deuce, Oudin hit a deep slice backhand -- a shot she's taken from retired Slam champion Justine Henin's toolbox -- and it caught Petrova by surprise, chipping the back of the baseline. The rattled Russian double faulted on her next serve to hand Oudin a break, and a 3-2 lead.

From that moment on, the momentum was all Oudin's. Petrova's play turned sloppy. She overcooked an overhead at 15-40, serving at 2-4, to give the unseeded teen a second break. Oudin served it out, finally winning on her third match point.

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First Fridays in The Greene Space

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Comedienne Leighann Lord, a New York City native, voted "The Most Thought-Provoking Black Female Comic," at the fourth annual NYC Black Comedy Awards.

Vocalist Maya Azucena.

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US Open: Tennis Apprentice

Saturday, September 05, 2009

by Nate Chura

If television were ever to consider a tennis version of the hit NBC reality series The Apprentice, a different Donald would host the show…Donald Dell.

Dell is a former US Davis Cup captain and founder of Pro Serv Sports Management Agency, one of the first full-service sports ...

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Today in History: Munich Massacre

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Members of the Israeli Olympic team.

Members of the Israeli Olympic team.

On September 5, 1972, during the summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, Arab terrorists took members of the Israeli delegation hostage, ultimately killing 11 Israelis.

President of the Olympic Committee ...

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US Open: Stringer for the Stars

Friday, September 04, 2009

by Nate Chura

Last night’s double feature on the main stage of the 2009 US Open included appearances by Maria Sharapova and Andy Roddick. In between points, the tennis stars occasionally looked to their player’s box. Maybe they were seeking approval from a coach or family member, or maybe they were assigning blame. We’ll never know for sure, but one man who was definitely responsible for the matches under the Virgo moon was Australian, Glen Flint, stringer for these particular stars.

Flint is the full-time traveling stringer for Roddick, and, at the major slams, he is Sharapova’s racquet technician as well. And he is a technician. A stringer at this level isn’t just pulling polyester threads through the holes of a racquet’s head. A stringer like Flint tweaks and manipulates these space-age instruments so that they are, as he says, “an extension of the player’s arm.” Listen here for more:

Listen to what Flint does to Roddick’s and Sharapova’s sticks:

For the day session, Dinara Safina narrowly escaped extinction yesterday for the second time in the tournament. She prevailed in three sets over Kristina Barrois of Germany, 6-7, 6-2, 6-3. By the end of the match, the Russian served 15 doubles faults and committed 38 unforced errors.

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