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Alice Ramsey's Historic Transcontinental Road Trip

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Pulling Alice Ramsey's Maxwell auto out of a ditch (Peter Ramsey)

Pulling Alice Ramsey\'s Maxwell auto out of a ditch (Peter Ramsey)

On June 9, 1909, 22 year-old Alice Ramsey became the first woman to drive across the United States unaccompanied by a man. Ramsey departed from Broadway Avenue in New York City and completed her journey in San Francisco. The 3,800-mile trip took 59 days.

A representative of the Maxwell-Briscoe automobile company proposed the transcontinental trip after Ramsey entered a 200-mile endurance drive to Montauk, New York. In a public relations stunt, the company paid all of Ramsey's expenses for the cross-country journey, but for Ramsey, the trip was about more than advertising.

Although three female passengers accompanied Ramsey on her transcontinental journey, she was the only one who knew how to drive. The other passengers were her sisters-in-law, Nettie Powell and Margaret Atwood, as well as a friend, 16-year old Hermine Jahns.

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Senate Coup: Reform or Power Grab?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Senator Pedro Espada

Senator Pedro Espada

One of the dissident Democrats who joined Republicans in yesterday's leadership coup in New York's Senate says the move isn't about returning power to the GOP. Queens Democrat Hiram Monserrate tells WNYC's Brian Lehrer it's about ...

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Senators Krueger and Monserrate on Brian Lehrer

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Senator Monserrate

Senator Monserrate

Liz Krueger, New York State Senator (D-Manhattan, 26th district), and Hiram Monserrate, New York State Senator (D-Queens, 13th district), react to the change in leadership in Albany. Plus: Dick Dadey, executive director of the Citizens Union, ...

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Republican Coup in NY Senate

Monday, June 08, 2009

Republicans have retaken control of New York's Senate after two dissident Democrats jumped the aisle in a parliamentary coup. The party-flip of senators Pedro Espada Jr. of the Bronx and Hiram Monserrate of Queens gives Republicans a 32-30 edge in the chamber. Within an hour of the overthrow, Republicans named ...

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Today in History: D-Day

Saturday, June 06, 2009


dday
General Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers an address on D-Day invasion in Normandy, France.

“Soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force. You are about to embark upon the great crusade, toward which we have ...

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Today in History: The Marshall Plan

Friday, June 05, 2009

Marshall Plan poster

On June 5, 1947, Secretary of State George C. Marshall gave a speech at Harvard University in which he outlined the Marshall Plan.

'It is logical that the United Nations should do whatever it is able ...

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Peregrine Falcon Chicks Born on City Bridges

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Five new Peregrine Falcon chicks have hatched atop the city's bridges this spring
. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns the bridges, says that three were born on the Verrazano-Narrows and one each on the Throgs Neck and Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial bridges. They vary in age from three ...

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Cleveland's Health Line: A Boost for Transit and for Business?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Reported by Dan Moulthrop

As American cities increasingly look to expand their transit options -- but keep costs low -- many planners are looking at Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT. The city of Cleveland, Ohio, launched a BRT, called the Health Line, about six months ago with two promises. The first: better, more efficient public transit on an important city artery. The second promise was more nebulous: that the BRT would provide an economic boost to the city's depressed downtown. In WNYC's look at BRTs around the world, Reporter Dan Moulthrop takes a look at how it's going in Cleveland.

Let's start with the buses.

CALABRESE: The vehicles we use are not buses, they're Rapid Transit Vehicles.

And the difference?

CALABRESE: A couple hundred thousand dollars.

Joe Calabrese is the CEO of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. And, he's really proud of the new BRT system. So proud, he still cherishes last year’s bus-of-the-month calendar from a manufacturer that featured Cleveland’s new vehicle.

CALABRESE: The uniqueness is the rail-like design and the rail-like operation. We really designed, built and are operating this as if it were a rail system. The only difference is that they’re operating on rubber tires.

Cleveland’s Bus Rapid Transit line has been running since last October. Euclid Avenue wasn’t supposed to be serviced by fancy buses. In the early 1990s, city leaders pushed for a surface rail line, but the cost for the four-mile line would have been close to a billion dollars. Like New York, perhaps, only more so, Cleveland couldn’t afford that. So the city leaders put their hope in what they saw as the next best much cheaper thing. And they said—and privately hoped—it would spur the economic development the same way light rail has in Portland, Oregon, and other cities.

The downtown end of Euclid Avenue is lined with tall historic buildings—mostly empty. This part of the city stood in for New York in parts of the movie Spiderman Three. Here, it’s not difficult to understand the need for economic development.

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Today in History: The Five Little Quints

Thursday, May 28, 2009


On May 28, 1934, five identical girls were born to Oliva and Elzire Dionne in Ontario, Canada. The Dionne girls were the first quintuplets to survive infancy. The government determined their parents were unfit to be their guardians and made them wards of the state. They became a ...

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Four Councilmembers Endorse Thompson

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

thompson
All four Democratic candidates for comptroller came to the steps of City Hall to endorse City Comptroller Bill Thompson for mayor. This year's Democratic comptroller contenders are Councilwoman Melinda Katz, Councilman David Yasky, Councilman David Weprin, and Councilman ...

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Swine Flu: Two More Deaths, School Status

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Health and Human Services Department Secretary Kathleen Sebelius with Sesame Street character Elmo at a news conference to encourage families and children to take steps to protect themselves from the H1N1 influenza virus, on May 22, 2009, in Washington, DC. (Getty)

Health and Human Services Department Secretary Kathleen Sebelius with Sesame Street character Elmo at a news conference to encourage families and children to take steps to protect themselves from the H1N1 influenza virus, on May 22, 2009, in Washington, DC. (Getty)

Two more New York City deaths have been linked to swine flu. A 41-year-old Queens woman and a 34-year-old Brooklyn man died over the weekend. Both tested positive for H1N1. But Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden says it’s not yet clear whether the virus caused the death or was a factor.

'Both have died, but the autopsy which gives the details and says whether something else is going on won’t be ready for some time.'

Frieden says both had underlying health conditions, but he would not say what they were, citing patient privacy. He also says the two did not work in schools, where the outbreak has been concentrated. He did not say whether they had any links to school students or staff.

Latest swine flu school closures from the Board of Education

Schools closed Wednesday, May 27

The following schools will be closed on Wednesday, May 27 because they have experienced unusually high levels of influenza-like illness in recent days. All of these schools are closed based on recommendations from the New York City Department of Health.

Queens

* PS 58Q - reopening Thursday, May 28
* P9Q's program at PS 58Q - reopening Thursday, May 28
o Please note that the main P9 building in Maspeth is NOT closed. Only the P9 location at PS 58Q is closed.
* P811Q's program at building P822Q - reopening Monday, June 1
o Please note that the P811 program at PS 136Q is NOT closed. Only the location at P822Q is closed.

Brooklyn

* PS 160K - reopening Thursday, May 28
* PS/IS 384K - reopening Thursday, May 28
* P53K's program at PS/IS 384K - reopening Thursday, May 28
* PS 231K's program at PS/IS 180K - reopening Monday, June 1
o Please note that PS/IS 180K is NOT closed. Only PS 231K's program there is closed.
* PS 369K - reopening Monday, June 1

Manhattan

* PS 30M - reopening Thursday, May 28
* PS 138M - reopening Thursday, May 28
* Kappa II - reopening Thursday, May 28
* PS 128M - reopening Monday, June 1

Bronx

* PS 68X - reopening Monday, June 1

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Obama Picks NY Judge for Supreme Court

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Listen to an NPR special about the nomination, including President Obama’s remarks, tonight at 8pm on AM820.
(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

From a housing project in the Bronx to the Supreme Court...If confirmed, U.S. 2nd Circuit Judge ...

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City Hall Commends Plot Foilers

Friday, May 22, 2009

FBI and NYPD and NY State officers meet mayor and governor at City Hall.

FBI and NYPD and NY State officers meet mayor and governor at City Hall.

Law enforcement agents who helped thwart a suspected New York City terror plot have ...

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Eight More Schools Close, Four Reopen Friday

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The city's education department decided on Thursday to close eight additional schools because of concern over swine flu. Most of the school buildings are in Queens, but one is in the Bronx and another is in Brooklyn. That brings the total of school closures due to flu to 37 this week. Tomorrow, the city plans to reopen four school buildings that have been closed since last Friday. More than 15,000 public school students have been out of school this week due to the flu.

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FBI Foils Plot to Bomb Bronx Synagogues, Four Men Charged

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Screen shot from an AP video showing the FBI and NYPD with a terror plot suspect

Screen shot from an AP video showing the FBI and NYPD with a terror plot suspect

The Brian Lehrer Show
Update on Local Terror Plot

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A Colombian Model for the MTA?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New York City's transit system faces two almost-certain realities. Its ridership will swell. And it will continue to struggle financially. But planners are hoping to bring a new type of transit to the city -- Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT. More than an express route, BRT is designed to act like an above-ground light rail system, but at a fraction of the cost. Reporter Steven Dudley begins a WNYC series on BRT with a report from Bogotá, Colombia, which has emerged as an unexpected model for BRT systems around the globe.


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Three More Schools Closed

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg gives a briefing on the H1-N1 flu, May 20, 2009. (Spencer T Tucker)

Mayor Bloomberg gives a briefing on the H1-N1 flu, May 20, 2009. (Spencer T Tucker)

Three more schools are closing down, as a result of students reporting ...

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Ida Unveiled at the Natural History Museum

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg at the unveiling of the 47-million-year-old fossil May 19, 2009. (Edward Reed)

Mayor Bloomberg at the unveiling of the 47-million-year-old fossil May 19, 2009. (Edward Reed)

It may be small, but scientists say the remarkably complete skeleton of a 47-million-year-old ...

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Causing Scenes of Joy & Chaos

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

by Jennifer Hsu of The Takeaway


Networking technology has radically changed how we do many things — including startling other people. The group Improv Everywhere uses it to pull off pranks — ...

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Swine Flu Spreads, More Schools Close

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The front steps of I.S. 238, the Susan B. Anthony Middle School, after one of the school's assistant principals, Mitchell Wiener, 55, died of complications related to the H1N1 swine flu virus over the weekend, the city's first fatality related to the outbreak, and the nation's sixth. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

The front steps of I.S. 238, the Susan B. Anthony Middle School, after one of the school\'s assistant principals, Mitchell Wiener, 55, died of complications related to the H1N1 swine flu virus over the weekend, the city\'s first fatality related to the outbreak, and the nation\'s sixth. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Twenty-six schools in New York City have been shut down because of swine flu concerns. For the latest information on how swine flu is affecting New York City's public schools, you can visit the Department of Education web site and a list of schools is provided at the end of this post.

New York health officials are looking into the death of a 16-month-old toddler who was taken to a Queens hospital with flu-like symptoms. Elmhurst Hospital Center said the little boy had a high fever when he was brought in last night.

On Sunday, a public school assistant principal, Mitchell Wiener, became the city's first swine flu death. Hospital and city officials say complications other than the virus probably played a part in Wiener's death. But his family has said he suffered only from gout, a joint disease.

The city is increasingly encouraging people in certain health categories to get medical help – and even go to the hospital -- if they think they have swine flu. For weeks, Mayor Bloomberg and health officials discouraged most people from heading to emergency rooms. But following the flu death of Wiener and the possible flu death of the 16-month old, Bloomberg says people shouldn’t be shy about getting help.

'If you have an underlying medical condition, such as asthma or diabetes, and you have a fever with either a cough or sore throat, see your doctor immediately for medical treatment.'

Health officials say they are assembling a statewide system for tracking sick students amid the H1N1, or swine flu, outbreak. This follows concerns raised by Governor Paterson who's worried about the lack of a centralized system that could help detect flu cases earlier.
Mayor Bloomberg announced his selection of Dr. Thomas A. Farley – a pediatrician, epidemiologist, and expert in public health policy – as the city’s new head of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Mayor Bloomberg announced his selection of Dr. Thomas A. Farley – a pediatrician, epidemiologist, and expert in public health policy – as the city’s new head of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

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