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Brian Lehrer Asks: What Did You Learn In Art School?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

While interviewing Brooklyn's Pratt Institute professor Kit White, author of 101 Things to Learn in Art School, The Brian Lehrer Show asked listeners what they learned in art school. Check out some of the best tweets from the conversation here.

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Schoolbook

Student Rumors Triggered Long Island Cheating Investigation

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The SAT cheating scandal in Nassau County has grown to 20 arrests and half a dozen schools. Prosecutors said that it began with student rumors, which led school officials to examine inconsistencies in performance. Some people argue that it is not a criminal matter and that the College Board should have handled it administratively. What do you think?

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It's A Free Country ®

Video Club: Are Secret Committees as Good as they Sound on The West Wing?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sometimes political truth is stranger than political fiction, but the fiction is always more fun.

For that reason, It's A Free Country brings you Video Club with Brian Lehrer, in which our veteran analysts looks at the fun-house mirrors of our government's (in)action: television and the silver screen. What did the writers get right, and where did they flop? Why were the fictional characters more sympathetic, or more detestable? How did the political theater play out in real life? More often than not, it's the reality that looks funny.

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Transportation Nation

NY: NJ Drivers Are Terrible; NJ: No, You Are; Expert: You're Both Bad

Thursday, October 06, 2011

(photo by Elizabeth Thomsen via Flickr)

The Brian Lehrer Show kicked off their month-long series about driving today. This week's installment: the differences between New York and New Jersey drivers--and which flavor is worse. But the guest, Michelle Krebs of Edmunds and AutoObserver.com, debunked the premise right away.

"Most states are full of really bad drivers," she said.  "Part of it is because we never go back and take driving lessons again, (and) it's really important because the technology changes."

Some callers wanted to expand the conversation beyond the two states. For example, Jordan in Mamaroneck "learned to drive a stick shift on Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn." He continued: "I can tell you from regular experience...the scariest license plate on the road is not New York or New Jersey, it's Connecticut."

To hear how local drivers are stymied by highway turning lanes called jughandles, making a right turn on red, and undertaking a maneuver known as "the Jersey Left," listen to the segment below.

 

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Schoolbook

On Eve of Back-to-School, Unhappy Parents and Protests

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Dissatisfaction over Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's handling of the city's schools; protests over lost pre-kindergarten seats, school contamination and budget cuts; and, oh yes, SchoolBook are all in the news today -- the last day before the public schools open to students in New York City.

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Transportation Nation

No Car, No Public Transportation in the Tri-State Area?

Monday, August 22, 2011

(Photo by Doug Kerr via Flickr)

This morning's Brian Lehrer Show took a look at the recent Brookings Institution study about Americans who live without cars or access to transit. One-third of the no-car owners live in the New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania region, and Brian spoke to Adie Tomer of Brookings about people in the tri-state region who don't own a car by choice -- or could really use one, but their finances don't permit it.

Brian also took calls from listeners -- like John from Long Island, who called in to talk about his neighbor -- a house cleaner who gets to work either by bus or by bike. "The other day she rode from Massapequa to Islip to clean someone's house."  (Google Maps says that's 16 miles, one way.) And Lisa in Croton, who moved out of transit-rich Brooklyn to save money on rent. But, she says: "The money I'm saving I'm spending more on transportation."

You can listen to the conversation below.

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It's A Free Country ®

Video Club: The Impasse was More Fun on The West Wing

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Sometimes political truth is stranger than political fiction, but the fiction is always more fun.

For that reason, It's A Free Country brings you Video Club with Brian Lehrer, in which our veteran analyst looks at the fun-house mirrors of our government's (in)action: television and the silver screen. What did the writers get right, and where did they flop? Why were the fictional characters more sympathetic, or more detestable? How did the political theater play out in real life? More often than not, it's the reality that looks funny.

To launch our new club, Brian watches the budget debacle unfold on The West Wing Season Five in an episode called "Shutdown." Then, Brooke Gladstone, co-host and managing editor of WNYC's On the Media,  gives her take. You'll get a chance to weigh in as well. 

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Transportation Nation

Car-Free Central Park, NYC Bike Share, and Weekend Subway Ridership: Your Urban Transit Roundup

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Andrea Bernstein and Brian Lehrer in the WNYC studio, apparently all Hipstamatic print'd out

A car-free Central Park is not a new idea, but it's been gathering momentum in recent months. TN's Andrea Bernstein talks to WNYC's Brian Lehrer about a host of city transit issues: cars in parks, urban transit policy in other countries, New York''s upcoming bike share program, the boom in weekend subway ridership -- and takes calls from listeners.  Is David from Queens  right -- does Mayor Michael Bloomberg have a "War on Cars"?  Listen to the conversation below!

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Transportation Nation

Transpo Nation's Alex Goldmark Live on Brian Lehrer

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tune in on WNYC -- 820 am or 93.9 FM in New York/New Jersey/CT, or at wnyc.org. He'll be discussing our bike ticketing mapping project (below)  Listen here.

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Transportation Nation

Make the Holland Tunnel a Bike Tunnel?

Friday, April 01, 2011

On April 1(!) Brian Lehrer asked listeners to weigh in on the proposal to transform the Holland Tunnel into a bike-only tunnel to be re-named the Charles Schumer Tunnel.  Political perspective from Andrea Bernstein

Segment here.

What do you think about this bike lane expansion project?

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Transportation Nation

Lawyer Suing City on Bike Lane Discusses Bike Lane Popularity, and Why He's Doing Case Pro-Bono

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation)  Jim Walden, the lawyer representing groups who are suing New York City to remove a two-way bike lane that runs along Brooklyn's Prospect Park West, was on WNYC's Brian Lehrer show today (listen here or below) to discuss the lawsuit.  Much of what he said dedicated readers of this blog have heard before, but here are a few interesting parts.

About 15 minutes in, Brian asked Walden about the survey conducted by Brad Lander showing some three-quarters of residents surveyed support the bike lanes as is:

Walden:  (About 14:50 in) "As I've said to Brad directly,  I'm concerned about the position he's taking.  They keep trumpeting this study, as if safety was a popularity contest. What they don't talk about, and it mystifies me how they would do this - there are significant number of people who responded who said they felt less safe.  Now clearly the majority of the people felt more safe but it was more than 30 percent.

"I wonder if he conducted the survey again, and if he conducted the survey in person, and not over the internet so people could pad the numbers, and if he conducted it with senior citizens who access the park and disabled people who access the park what those numbers would say. "

(Michael Freedman-Schnapp, Lander's policy director, had called into the program, and he responded that some of the surveys had been conducted in person, and that all told eight percent of all residents living between Prospect Park West and Eighth Avenue -- a block away -- had responded to the survey. )

Brian Lehrer: (about 17:40 in) " Why are you doing this pro-bono? Isn't that usually reserved for indigent clients, not politically connected neighborhood groups?"

Walden: "No,  but I'm glad you asked me that question.  It's clearly been a source of great interest."

BL: "Right, I mean people say you're trying to suck up to Senator Schumer and get a job from him, because his wife is part of this group."

Walden: "She's not part of the group. He turned me down for the only job I ever applied so I promise you its not for any of those reasons. My pro bono work largely falls into two categories, part of it is a lot of work for indigent people and a lot of it is good government litigation.  I was part of the term limits team, attacking the mayor's decision to sidestep term limits, property tax rebates -- when they tried to double the expansion of a prison in a residential area.  These good government suits largely have big groups of the community, some of them rich, some of them middle class, some of them poor. None of them should have to pay to get their government to work."

[Just to clarify the above, when we'd initially reported on this, Walden told us he'd been introduced to the plaintiffs by Randy Mastro, a former deputy mayor under Rudolph Giuliani.  Mastro has working closely with both Senator Schumer and his wife, the city's former transportation commissioner, Iris Weinshall.  While it's accurate to say that neither Senator Schumer nor his wife are plaintiffs, both have made their anti-Prospect Park West bike lane position clear, in a wide array of forums. Both joined a Facebook group in favor of removing the bike lane, and Weinshall co-signed a  letter to the New York Times. ]

Brian then asked about last week's Quinnipiac poll, showing that New Yorkers think bike lanes are "a good thing" by a 54 to 39 percent margin.

Walden: "If 54 percent support, that means a very, very significant minority do not, and you can feel the pulse around the city and people are largely extraordinarily upset that the administration has been so fast and loose with the data, promised a robust study, and failed to deliver."

Note: New York City deputy mayor, Howard Wolfson, will be on the Brian Lehrer Show on Thursday morning (at about 10:25am) to talk about bike lanes from the city's point of view.

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Transportation Nation

Anti-PPW Bike Lane Attorney on BL Show Today; Tomorrow, The City Gets Its Chance

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Prospect Park West Bike Lane (photo: Andrea Bernstein)

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) If you follow two-wheeled news (and even if you don't), you probably know about the lawsuit to remove the bike lane along Brooklyn's Prospect Park.

On this morning's Brian Lehrer Show (WNYC), Jim Walden (the attorney representing the group suing the city) will be talking about why he thinks the lane should be removed. Tune in this morning around 11:30am --in NY, that's AM820, FM 93.9 -- or listen live on the internet at wnyc.org.

On tomorrow's Brian Lehrer Show, the city will air its point of view when New York City Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson (who recently wrote a memo defending the bike lanes), comes on the show.

Read more about the lawsuit here.

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Transportation Nation

Does The Spoke and Hub Transit System Still Work?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Transit systems in New York, Chicago, and many other cities were designed a hundred years ago to get people in and out of downtowns, where most of the employment was.  A new report from the Center for and Urban Future in New York suggests that's outdated, and that many people now live and work in the boroughs outside Manhattan.   Click here for Brian Lehrer's interview with study author David Giles.

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The Empire

The Cathie Black Compromise

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

After an advisory panel rejected a waiver for Mayor Bloomberg's school's chancellor nominee, a compromise is being floated:

Let Bloomberg's nominee, Cathie Black, act as a general manager, and have her hire a senior administrator steeped in pedagogical issues.

On the Brian Lehrer Show this morning, outgoing chancellor Joel Klein - who got the kind of waiver Bloomberg is seeking for Black - said he hired a top staffer more familiar with education issues than he was.

But Black's critics are knocking down the idea, saying it skirts the system of checks and balances City Hall says they're seeking in schools.

"It would dilute the accountability,"says city comptroller John Liu.

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The Empire

Newt for Paladino

Friday, September 24, 2010

From Newt Gingrich's appearance on the Brian Lehrer Show earlier today:

Brian Lehrer: "Are you endorsing Paladino?"

Newt Gingrich: "Of course. If you want to rebuild the jobs in New York State, Paladino is the only choice in the election. Andrew Cuomo represents paying off the government employee unions, more expensive government, higher taxes, and continuing to destroy the New York economy."

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Transportation Nation

LaHood to Brian Lehrer: We Haven't Endorsed the Transit Bill

Thursday, May 27, 2010

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation)

(This post has been updated)  U.S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood tells WNYC's Brian Lehrer the administration has not endorsed  is not endorsing Senator Christopher Dodd's Emergency Transit Aid Bill. "   In the interview, LaHood did not say whether he or the administration might support the bill or one like it in the future.  "We really need to look at how we pay for that," he said.

In an email exchange, LaHood's Press Secretary, Olivia Adair, went to pains to convey that LaHood's use of the present perfect tense does not imply anything as to to the future.  "He said we have not endorsed it because we're still looking at how to pay for it.  He never says we are not endorsing the transit bill."  When asked if that meant LaHood might endorse a bill in future, Adair would not go beyond his broadcast remarks.

There's room for interpretation of LaHood's statement -- politicians have been known to use the "looking at how to pay for it" explanation to avoid supporting a bill altogether.    "Looking at how to pay for it" can also signal  a yellow light -- Congress has certainly passed emergency aid provisions in the past without first figuring out a funding mechanism.  But it can also mean that, if and when  LaHood and President Obama are satisfied there is a funding mechanism for emergency transit aid, they'll support it.

Here's the full audio of the interview:

[MP3]http://audio.wnyc.org/news/news20100527_bl_lahoodcut.mp3 [/MP3]

Here's a partial transcript of the interview:

Brian Lehrer: We are happy to have with us the U. S Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, a former member of congress from Illinois, Mr. Secretary, thanks so much for coming on WNYC, Good Morning.

RL: Good Morning!

BL: As part of the fiscal crisis for state and local governments, as you know, there seems to be a mass transit bloodletting, underway, in my area the cuts to the MTA and NJ Transit are really bad for mass transit. I’ve heard about Atlanta, where 25 percent of the service could be threatened, there’s a possibility that Silicon Valley could be left without mass transit with CalTrain cut under consideration, imagine no mass transit to Apple and to Google Are you paying close attention to the shrinkage in mass transit taking place nationally right now?

RL: We sure are. We are in communication with our transit folks all over the country on a very regular basis and we know because the economy is lousy and the recession continues that ridership on every transit district around the country is down and has been for quite some time.

At the request of many transit groups, to Congress and to us, Congress was able to provide provisions that allowed transit districts to use some of their operating money so they can keep the buses running and keep the schedule in away that accommodates people that need to go to work early in the morning or come home late at night. And this is certainly true in cities like New York or Chicago or Atlanta or elsewhere in big cities. We’re very attuned to it and we’re trying to do everything we can to try and accommodate the downturn in ridership and the downturn in resources that the transit districts have.

Bl: Unfortunately I think the downturn in resources outpaces the downturn in ridership and that’s the problem but Senator Dodd has an emergency mass transit aid bill is it something you or the President has endorsed?

RL: We haven’t endorsed it because we really need to look at how we pay for that or how the Congress is going to pay for it. But we’re in discussion with Congress on a regular basis about these kinds of transit problems -- lower ridership and lower resources. It’s an issue. We’ve talked to Congress a lot about it, these things have to be paid for too, it’s one thing to say you’re going to appropriate x amount of dollars but we’ll continue to keep a watchful eye on it.

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Transportation Nation

Bike lanes come to the President's Doorstep

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Andrea Bernstein and Brian Lehrer discuss the controversy over bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, why US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is such a surprise, and what the new Times Square should look like. Listen Here.

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WNYC News

Newly Elected Council Members: Margaret Chin

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Next year the city will have 13 new City Council members. Brian Lehrer and WNYC are exploring who they are, where they come from, and what they hope to accomplish.

Today we meet City Councilwoman-Elect Margaret Chin (D-1), who will represent Chinatown, SoHo, TriBeCa, and parts of the ...

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WNYC News

Day of Outrage Called For Today

Monday, November 23, 2009

(Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

(Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)


The National Action Network, a civil rights organization found by Rev. Al Sharpton, is calling today a 'National Day of Outrage.' It is holding a rally in Times Square to protest what ...

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WNYC News

Bronx Borough President Says Violence Must Stop

Friday, November 20, 2009

(Nigel Treblin/AFP/Getty Images)

(Nigel Treblin/AFP/Getty Images)

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. says residents have reached the breaking point with gun violence after 15-year-old Vada Vasquez was hit in the head by a stray bullet Monday.

Diaz told WNYC's Brian Lehrer he'll hold ...

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