Charter School Battles; Otherhood; Explanatarium; Frequent Flyer Changes

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Friday, March 07, 2014

We'll discuss news from the charter school debate, including a look at the money behind some supporters of the pro-charter movement; potential changes to expensive runoff elections in New York City; encouragement for single women who are child-free for many reasons, though not necessarily by choice; and changes are coming to Delta’s frequent flyer program while United is cracking down on oversized carry-on luggage. Plus: the latest installment of The Explanatarium.

City Council Speaker Wants Instant Runoff Voting

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito traveled to Albany earlier this week with 35 agenda priorities, and one of them was instant runoff voting. She and other supporters want to abolish expensive runoff elections and instead have voters rank their preferences. Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union, explains why he supports the policy, and whether it could become reality. Plus: a roundup of other changes to rules and operations in the City Council, and the latest on Bill de Blasio, who was in Chicago yesterday at a meeting of big-city mayors, while poll numbers back in New York City show only a 39% approval rating for the new mayor.

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The Explanatarium

It's time for another installment in our open-phones series "The Explanatarium" -- where you get one minute to explain something to your fellow WNYC listeners. Do you just "get" something most other people find complicated? Have you done the research and figured things out? If you think you can explain something complicated or often misunderstood - in 60 seconds or less - call in and enlighten us.

In previous installments (listen below) listeners have explained the difference between incandescent and halogen light bulbs; common misconceptions about the Protestant reformation; and how subway air conditioning works.

If you can explain something - anything - clearly and simply, call 212-433-9692 or post below. No heavy opinion, no political rants, just compelling information and succinct clarification.

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The Battle Over Charter Schools is Just Beginning

Who's controlling the narrative in the charter school debate? WNYC's Beth Fertig and Robert Lewis explain the role of prominent charter booster Eva Moskowitz; where pro-charter funding comes from; and why this has become such a flashpoint between Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo.

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On Her Own

Melanie Notkin, founder of Savvy Auntie and the author of Otherhood: Modern Women Finding A New Kind of Happiness (Seal Press, 2014), coins the word "otherhood" to define and offer encouragement to a demographic of single women like herself who are childfree, but not necessarily by choice.

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Frequent Flying Headaches

Scott Mayerowitz, airlines reporter for the Associated Press, talks about Delta's change to its "frequent flyer" program to reward money spent instead of distance traveled and United's crackdown on carry-on luggage.

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Gallery: #NYCFromAbove

We asked you to submit your photos of NYC from up high. Here are our favorites.


February Jobs Numbers: Quick Takes

It's the first Friday of the month, which means the Bureau of Labor statistics releases the monthly jobs numbers. The full February report is here in PDF form. Below, quick takes and analysis some from of our favorite economy watchers on Twitter. If there's someone else you'd recommend, tweet us @brianlehrer.


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