George Saunders’ Gentle Advice and Spirited Debates

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Friday, May 09, 2014

It’s almost time to vote for the next mayor of Newark – on May 13, candidates Shavar Jeffries and Ras Baraka face off. Both are here today to make a case for the votes of Newark residents. Then: George Saunders’ commencement address to Syracuse grads (’13) went viral and now it’s a book – the main takeaway? Be kind. Plus: DIY retirement saving isn’t providing very comfortable retirements; and a spirited debate on what may be New York’s official new state snack: yogurt (?!). 

Lilly Ledbetter on Equal Pay in NYC and Elsewhere

The advocate discusses her support for efforts on the part of New York City's school safety agents, and other issues around fair pay around the country.

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Meet The Democratic Candidates for Newark Mayor

Two Democrats are candidates in a fierce race to be the next mayor of Newark. Election Day is Tuesday, May 13. First, Shavar Jeffries, former Assistant Attorney General, talks about his background and platforms for how to fix Newark's financial issues, high crime rate, and educational challenges. Then, Ras Baraka, city councilman representing the South Ward of Newark , talks about his background and policies and makes his case for being the next mayor of Newark.

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George Saunders on Kindness

Last Spring, author George Saunders gave a graduation speech at Syracuse about kindness that quickly went viral. He talks about why the speech touched a nerve, and why he worries that "it's easy to confuse nice with kind." Plus: watch and read the full speech.

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DIY Retirement Savings Isn't Working

James W. Russell, retirement policy activist and the author of eight books, including Social Insecurity: 401(k)s and the Retirement Crisis (Beacon Press, 2014), argues that the switch to 401(k) plans from traditional pensions leaves workers without secure retirement plans.

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Why Are New York's Lawmakers Flipping Out Over Yogurt?

The New York State senate voted yogurt (yes, yogurt) as the official New York State snack. Jessica Alaimo, Reporter at Capital New York, talks about the spirited debate held on the senate floor about this very important issue, and what the state's thriving yogurt industry had to do with it.

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Brian Lehrer Live

Brian Lehrer Weekend

Three of our favorite segments from the week, in case you missed them.

Armando Iannucci of "Veep" (First) | De Blasio's Affordable Housing Plan (Starts at 22:30) | What Should the Speed Limit Be? (Starts at 43:15)

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Got a City Mystery? We're Here to Solve It

Our area is full of little mysteries. Why continue to let them bug you when you could have WNYC find out the answer! On the Brian Lehrer Show blog, we've explained the rules about turning left in New York City, the laws around bodega cats, and why alternate side parking is always "in effect."

Now we want to know what other mystery you want us to explain. Tell us what thing about the city - or anywhere in the NYC area - has always baffled you. It can be a particular behavior, an element of our infrastructure, a law...anything you've always wondered about.

Our Favorite of Your Construction Site Photos

Thanks to a new law, all construction sites must now have a "viewing panel" that lets you peek in and see what's going on. We explain the law, and round up our favorite photos you took through that little diamond-shaped peephole.

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