Arun Venugopal

Senior Reporter, WNYC News

Arun Venugopal appears in the following:

Business Lagging? Don't Be Shy

Monday, February 23, 2009

We've all got our ways of coping with the economy. Since I always forget to bring lunch from home, I have become a regular customer at Mamoun's, which makes a mean $2.50 falafel sandwich. And as I was walking back to work with said falafel, I chanced upon this chalkboard outside the Native Leather store on Bleecker St.


Native Leather has been around since 1968 - it sells Italian caps, Argentinian belts and fine Laguiole knives from France - but these days, its owner since 1993, Carol Walsh says things aren't going so well. People continue to buy leather hats and gloves and belts ranging from $20 to $55, but the nicer items just don't move off the shelf. Thus the chalkboard plea, which went up a week ago, right after President Obama signed the economic stimulus package into law.


Preventing a New York Brain Drain

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The city is launching an ambitious plan to shore up Wall Street, and prevent a brain drain of its employees, by encouraging out-of-work financial service workers to do what Mayor Bloomberg did, and start their own companies.

BLOOMBERG: I was fired, and nobody offered me a ...


Climate Report Predicts Hotter Weather and More Flooding

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A first of its kind report on climate change and its impact on New York City has just been released. Expect hotter weather, more rain, and a lot more flooding as the century progresses. WNYC's Arun Venugopal has more on the report, and the city's ...


Conference Counters Notions of Hassidic Women

Monday, February 16, 2009

2,200 attendees from around the world crowded the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Women Emissaries, in Crown Heights.

Chana Weisberg came from Toronto, where she edits She says outsiders may have their own notions of Hassidic women, but that many of those in attendance are essentially ...


Chabad Women's Conference Draws Hundreds to Brooklyn

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Women Emissaries drew twenty-two hundred attendees from around the world to Crown Heights, Brooklyn Sunday.

REPORTER: Chana Weisberg came from Toronto, where she edits She says outsiders may have their own notions of Hassidic women. But she says many of ...


Speaker Quinn's State of the (Can Do) City

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Council Speaker Christine Quinn gave her annual State of the City, and she tried to pack it full of sunshine.

New Yorkers, she says, have a "resounding belief in the future of this country. We may be in the midst of the worst fiscal crisis in decades. But New Yorkers know better than anyone, that no crisis has ever stopped our city from moving forward. As EB White reminds us, New York is the city that reached the highest point in the sky at the lowest moment of the depression."

Lots of policy proposals in her speech, but the splashiest one is certainly this: take all those vacant new or luxury apartments that are scattered around the city, gathering dust, and turn them into affordable housing for the middle class. She says the city would negotiate for the best possible price with developers who are eager to offload their luxury units. She didn't get into the numbers, only saying that there are "thousands" of such units, "just waiting for someone to call them home."

She also announced an ambitious plan to reform the city's tax code, her own version of the so-called Millionaire's Tax that's gaining momentum in Albany. Under this plan:


Cuomo Does His Best Bubba

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

President Clinton and Buddy
Clinton and Buddy (Getty)

If Governor Paterson tends to go heavy on the classical references - he'll quote the Greeks, anytime, anywhere - Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has a lighter touch.

Today, ...


Saving Taxpayer Money, The Cuomo Way

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says he's hitting the road to convince local municipalities to consolidate services and save taxpayer money.

Streamlining the many townships and villages across the state is part of his latest effort to reform state government, but he knows lawmakers won't embrace the ...


The People's Stimulus Plan

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Senate voted to approve its version of an economic stimulus package yesterday. It now heads into final deliberations between Senate and House leaders. But across the country this past weekend, many other conversations took place at thousands of economic stimulus house parties. The gatherings ...


Seizing Election Momentum, Volunteers Organize

Monday, February 09, 2009

About 600 supporters of President Obama -- and others hoping to volunteer -- gathered near Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn yesterday. The event was billed as the "Continue the Change Service Fair." WNYC's Arun Venugopal has more.

REPORTER: The event was organized by members of Brooklyn ...


New York Flight

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A new report finds that, even as New York City's population is growing, its middle-class is shrinking.

The think tank, Center for an Urban Future, says more people left the city for places like Philadelphia, Charlotte, even Allentown, in each of the years between 2002 and ...


The MTA Head and His Aging Doohickey

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


MTA chief Lee Sander has a nifty little gimmick he employs whenever he speaks in public these days. It's a crusty, cylindrical device that he hefts up in the air whenever he needs to impress upon people just how decrepit our subway system is. Sander spoke at an event organized by the Greater New York Construction User Council.

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Feds Can't Stimulate MTA Alone

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

MTA head Lee Sander says that while most of the public's attention is on the sharp fare increases that are likely coming their way, lower spending on capital projects will have just as profound an impact on the transit system.

And Sander told developers and construction ...


Gillibrand Talks Immigration With Hispanic Leaders

Monday, February 02, 2009

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand continues her courtship of the public. Yesterday she met for nearly two hours with Hispanic elected officials concerned about her stand on immigration. WNYC's Arun Venugopal has more.

GILLIBRAND: Thank you for your guidance. Thank you for your advice. I feel we will ...


Latino Officials Ask Gillibrand to Change Positions on Immigration

Sunday, February 01, 2009

A group of Latino elected officials is refusing to back newly appointed US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand until she changes her positions on immigration.

REPORTER: The city and state officials, who met with Gillibrand Sunday, want her to renounce her earlier support for border enforcement and for ...


Councilman Eric Gioia Makes It to Jeopardy!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Could there be an aural pleasure greater than hearing Alex Trebek say your name? Eric Gioia, councilman from Queens, is likely asking himself just that, having attained Jeopardy! immortality (Giopardy?) during yesterday's show. The question--actually, the answer--was 'NYC Councilman Eric Gioia says 10 ...


Getting a Piece of the Stimulus Pie

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New York's education advocates are hoping they can get their hands on $1.6 billion of the federal governments stimulus plan.

Michael Mulgrew of the United Federation of Teachers says the union has put enormous pressure on local politicians to support the plan.

MULGREW: We have had thousands ...


Going Digital - Can 10 TV Anchors Be Wrong?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Fox 5 TV

Fox 5's Ernie Anastos with Mayor B (credit Edward Reed)

If you're the kind of public radio listener who actually watches a little local TV, god forbid, you may have noticed the steady drumbeat of news segments on the coming revolution of digital TV. 'Get your digital converter TODAY, or else...' - cut to shot of TV screen as primetime sitcom suddenly gives way to all-black - ' COULD be left in the dark.'

Mayor Bloomberg joined the chorus today, reminding people that Feb. 17 is the last day when regular analog TVs will get a signal. The remedy, of course, is to either buy a brand-new digital TV - do it for America, viewers - or buy a relatively inexpensive digital converter box, about $40 to $70.


Gillibrand Takes A Cue From Clinton

Monday, January 26, 2009

The rollout of Senator-designate Kirsten Gillibrand moved forward yesterday as she and Governor Paterson had a photo-op and lunch, with now-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Afterward, Gillibrand held a news conference. WNYC's Arun Venugopal was there.

GILLIBRAND: My goal is to try to fill her shoes ...


300,000 May Be Unprepared for Digital

Monday, January 26, 2009

About 300,000 New Yorkers still use analog "rabbit ear" antennae to get their TV signals, according to the mayor. He stood with several local TV news anchors at City Hall to urge these holdouts to get digital signal converter boxes, before the February 17th deadline. ...