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WNYC News

Flooded Out Staten Islander Preps for Second Blow From Nor'easter

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

WNYC
Staten Islander Stephen Drimalas is digging out from Sandy, showing up sporadically to his city job and, as of Wednesday, riding out a nor'easter.

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WNYC News

Snapshot | Staten Island's Midland Beach After Sandy

Monday, November 05, 2012

A week after the storm, residents of Midland Beach, Staten Island, struggled to pick up the pieces — even as a FEMA disaster recovery area is set up at the end of Hunter Avenue and troops of volunteers with granny carts full of food go door-to-door.

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The Takeaway

New York City Marathon Will Go on as Planned

Friday, November 02, 2012

Even as New York gets back on its feet after the storm, tens of thousands of runners have begun descending on the city to take part in the world’s largest marathon on Sunday. Many runners say the event's economic boost — and spirit of celebration — is just what the city needs. But not everyone agrees. Alicia Feghhi is member of the Clifton Road Runners.  Though she lost power in her home, she was initially still planning to run the marathon -- her first.  Now she says, the race should be canceled. Mary Elizabeth Williams, staff writer for Salon is running the marathon this weekend -- also for the first time.  A cancer survivor, she's trained with and raised money for other cancer patients and their families.  She's saddened by the backlash against the race.

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Transportation Nation

Staten Island Ferry Resumes Service at Noon on Friday

Friday, November 02, 2012

The first Staten Island Ferry since Sandy (photo courtesy of Bob Moses)

(UPDATED 11/2/12) The first Staten Island Ferry since Hurricane Sandy will depart at noon Friday, followed by half-hourly service in both directions.

New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan had Transportation Nation Thursday: "I'm hopeful that by tomorrow afternoon, I'll be talking to you live from the ferry terminal."

The city shut down ferry operations in advance of Hurricane Irene. Although the fleet wasn't harmed in the storm, the docks suffered damage.

Sadik-Khan also said high-occupancy vehicle restrictions would remain in place through midnight Friday. "Then we'll revisit it," she said, pending restoration of subway service.

The DOT has been working with the city's Metropolitan Transportation Authority to bridge the gap in subway service between Brooklyn and Manhattan, and has instituted special shuttle bus service and bus-only lanes to speed travel over the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges. Temporary bus lanes have also been set up on either side of the bridges on Third and Flatbush Avenues.

On a normal weekday, said Sadik-Khan, 728,000 people take the subway into Manhattan from the Jay Street, Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center and Hewes Street subway stations. Over 200,000 people usually drive over the East River Bridges.

Sadik-Khan said the dedicated lanes were working. "Traffic was tough today," she said, "but it's pretty good flow considering the challenges that we face."

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Radio Rookies

Remaining in the Flood Zone, Despite the Warnings

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Staten Island was one of the areas hit hard by massive flooding from Sandy. Among the people that stayed, was the family of 17-year-old Tasina Berkey, a current Radio Rookie. Her family, like many of their neighbors, never experienced flooding like this before.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Staten Island: Two Views on the Forgotten Borough

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Richard Flanagan, associate professor at the College of Staten Island and co-author of Staten Island: Conservative Bastion in a Liberal City, and Sarah Henry, chief curator at the Museum of the City of New York host of the exhibition From Farm to City: Staten Island 1661-2012, discuss Staten Island's unique social and political history.

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Schoolbook

Toxic Drip Prompts Swift DOE Response

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The city will begin replacing all of the lighting fixtures at a Staten Island elementary school on Wednesday, after toxic PCBs leaked from an overhead light onto a child's desk and clothing.

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WNYC News

Niche Market | Mandolins and Their Brothers

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

New York is a city of specialists from foodies to academics, laborers to shopkeepers. Every Wednesday, Niche Market will take a peek inside a different specialty store and showcase the city's purists who have made an art out of selling one commodity.

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Schoolbook

Deirdre DeAngelis-D'Alessio: Leading Is an 'Us' Business

Monday, June 11, 2012

In the latest Principal's Office interview, the principal of New Dorp High School on Staten Island says her large high school is working for her students -- and can be a model to help preserve other large high schools in the city. "There are advantages to small schools for a certain kind of kid, but there’s something about the community of a large school that you can’t replace," she says.

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Transportation Nation

Staten Island To Get Faster Bus Service

Monday, May 21, 2012

Staten Island's "Select Bus Service" won't have off-board payment (photo by Kate Hinds)

Staten Island will be the third borough in New York City to get so-called "Select Bus Service."  The service, the S79,  will connect the Staten Island Mall and the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn.  The MTA expects the service to reduce travel times by 20%.

Some 8,900 passengers travel that route daily, according to the MTA, compared to 52,000 along First and Second Avenues in Manhattan and 45,000 along the route of the Bx 12 in the Bronx, New York's first SBS, which has been running since 2008.

SBS is a BRT-like service, though without some of the features that characterize BRT systems around the globe, like physically-segregated lanes and subway-like stations.

However it does incorporate designated lanes, signal priority, and fewer stops.  The Staten Island buses will not have off-board payment, a feature that has irked some Manhattanites unaccustomed to paying before they get on the bus.

Along the busier routes, paying off-board is a big time-saver, the city DOT has said.  But in Staten Island, the route is so lightly traveled -- or "highly dispersed," as the MTA calls it, that the authority has concluded it wouldn't make much of a difference.  Walker Hook, the CEO of the Innstitute for Transportation Development Policy, which sets up and provides technical advice for  BRT systems worldwide, called that assumption "reasonable."

The S79 will only run as a select bus, with local passengers being served by the S78 and S59.

The service will start in September.

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WNYC News

Beep Seeks Boosters to Keep Ferry Tourists on Staten Island

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Argentine tourists Florencia Colacioppo and Noelia Pfeiffer are visiting New York City for nine days. In that time, they plan to see Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, Chinatown, Chelsea and visit museums.

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WNYC News

Staten Island, Long Island Blazes Under Control

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg toured the area of the Staten Island fire by helicopter Tuesday afternoon after firefighters worked through the night and into this morning to contain a blaze at the former Fresh Kills landfill, and managed to contain a brush fire on eastern Long Island.

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WNYC News

Firefighters Battle Staten Island Fire

Monday, April 09, 2012

More than 200 firefighters continue to fight a five alarm-fire at the former Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. Fire officials say the cause of the fire was spontaneous combustion of piles of compost and mulch — all very dry from the lack of snow this winter.

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Schoolbook

Acquainting Parents With New Special Ed Plans

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The city's education department has been working to inform families of changes coming to the way schools deliver special education services. And some parents are asking whether schools will have the resources they need to follow through.

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Schoolbook

A New Education Force Enters the Political Arena

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

To counter the influence of the teachers' union, powerful forces like Joel I. Klein, Michelle Rhee, Eva S. Moskowitz, Edward I. Koch and Geoffrey Canada, backed by a number of venture capitalists and hedge fund managers, have formed a group called StudentsFirstNY, a spinoff of the national group that Ms. Rhee, the former Washington schools chancellor, had formed to press for changes in how schools are run, The Times reports today.

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Schoolbook

Elementary Students in Large Classes Tripled, Report Shows

Monday, March 26, 2012

The number of elementary school students in classes of 30 or more has tripled in the last three years as a result of teacher attrition and budget cuts to public schools, according to a report by City Councilman Brad Lander. Although the report warned of more class size growth, city officials said they do not expect to make further cuts to schools' budgets.

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WNYC News

MTA's BusTime Off To Fast Start

Friday, March 23, 2012

WNYC

The old adage is true: “If you build a system for mobile devices that allows Staten Islanders to find out when their bus will arrive, they will come.”

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Transportation Nation

NY MTA's BusTime Off To Fast Start

Friday, March 23, 2012

Staten Island bus rider Regina Esposito uses Bus Time. (Photo by Jim O'Grady)

(New York, NY - WNYC) The old saying is true: “Build a system for mobile devices that allows Staten Islanders to find out when their bus will arrive, and they will come.”

OK, that’s not an old saying. But it turns out to be true. The NY MTA’s BusTime system has been up and running in Staten Island for barely two months and already an estimated 10 percent of all bus riders use it every weekday. The service lets riders use a mobile device to text or scan a bus stop code and receive a message with their bus’s location.

“Having that information on the phone just revolutionizes the experience of riding the bus,” said Josh Robin, a project director with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which has had its own version of the program since 2009. “You can look on the screen and see the bus moving toward you instead of peering down the road, hoping to see the lights and LED sign of a bus.”

Staten Island is the first of the city’s five boroughs to receive BusTime, which, according to transportation analysts, is off to a flying start.

“I think it is a smashing success to have 10% of the riders using it within a year of opening the service,” said Dr. Kari Watkins, a civil engineering professor at Georgia Tech who studied real-time bus arrival information in Seattle. She said it has taken two and a half years for that city’s version of BusTime, called OneBusAway, to be used by 20 percent of its riders.

The success of BusTime has not come overnight. The NY MTA struggled for years to come up with a GPS system powerful enough to accurately track its buses while they plied their routes. Robin, who observed the MTA’s era of GPS trial and error, said he’s encourage by the outcome. “To think of all the fits and starts that MTA had in getting the GPS out there, this 10 percent rate is really impressive.”

NY MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said the authority plans to introduce BusTime to the Bronx and a borough-to-be-named-later by the end of this year. He said the entire city should be covered by the end of 2013.

Donovan said it’s too soon to tell if BusTime has led to an increase in ridership in Staten Island. He did say that usage of the system in in the borough has grown at a faster rate than it did for a pilot program on the B63 bus in Brooklyn. “We are pleased with the growth rate and we expect that it will grow further as more people become familiar with it and tell their friends,” he said.

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Soundcheck

Gig Alert: Shanren

Friday, March 09, 2012

Chinese alt-folk outfit Shanren performs at Staten Island's Dock Street on Saturday night. Download its catchy song "Thirty Years."

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Schoolbook

Judge Orders Rehiring of Teacher

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A teacher who lost her job and exhausted her appeals process convinced a state judge that she was unfairly dismissed. The city was ordered to rehire her and to pay back wages, but it says it does not have to act yet, because it's considering an appeal.

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