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Listen to short and long New York City stories from WNYC Radio
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Listen to short and long New York City stories from WNYC Radio

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Review: Beauty Found, in an Ordinary Life in 'Thom Pain'

11/17/2018
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The subtitle of "Thom Pain," playwright Will Eno's one-character monologue, is "based on nothing." And indeed, nothing much happens in this 70 minutes of seemingly aimless ruminating. And yet there's so much beauty and humanity in it. Thom roams an almost-bare stage that looks like it is under construction. He tells a series of stories — maybe they're connected, maybe not — that sort-of intertwine, but also start and stop, double back, and are interrupted by brief forays into the audience....

Duration:00:00:53

After Months of Conflict, Mayor de Blasio Fires Embattled Watchdog

11/16/2018
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Mayor Bill de Blasio has fired the head of New York City's watchdog agency after months of open conflict. The firing comes more than a month after an independent investigation into Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters found that he had abused his power in trying to seize control of another agency that oversees the city's schools, and then firing two staffers who opposed him. During a press conference Friday afternoon, de Blasio said the move was essential to safeguard the...

Law Enforcement Officers in New Jersey Are Transferring More and More Immigrants to ICE

11/16/2018
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Law enforcement agencies in New Jersey are turning over undocumented immigrants to federal authorities at a rate that is increasing under the Trump Administration and is higher than the national average, according to a new report from the progressive think tank New Jersey Policy Perspective. The report focuses on detainer requests that Immigration and Customs Enforcement makes to law enforcement agencies after local police arrest an undocumented immigrant. The ICE detainers are formal...

Duration:00:01:55

Care Center Under Scrutiny After 10th Child Dies from Viral Outbreak

11/15/2018
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The Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation is on its seventh week fighting a viral outbreak. Ten children have died and at least 30 have been infected with adenovirus, according to state officials. The northern New Jersey facility is one of four centers that offers long-term care to the state's sickest and most frail children. Its practices have come under scrutiny and several reports have revealed a lack of transparency in how it's run and regulated. Lindy Washburn, health care...

Duration:00:04:47

New York Court Finds Local Police Can't Detain Immigrants for Federal Agents

11/14/2018
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An appellate court in Brooklyn ruled Wednesday that local police officers in New York state can't detain immigrants beyond their scheduled release date solely to turn them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, without a judicial warrant. The case involved Susai Francis, an Indian national living on Long Island who overstayed a visa in the 1990s. After an arrest in Nassau County in June, 2017, for driving under the influence, he was transferred to Suffolk County to complete a...

Unpacking Amazon's Incentives in New York

11/14/2018
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You've heard the big news: Amazon is coming to Queens, opening a new office for an estimated 25,000 workers in Long Island City. And in return for doing that, New York State and state have promised some serious subsidies and incentives to the company: as much as $3 billion. But what does that money get the city? And what strings are attached? New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said taxpayers will get a nine-to-one return on investment in the deal. But David Friedfel, Director of State Studies...

Duration:00:04:34

As Homeless Students Spread Across NYC, Support Is Stretched Thin

11/14/2018
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In the 19 years that Mary has lived in Astoria, Queens, she has seen luxury condos replace squat apartments at a steady pace. The gentrification reached her doorstep last summer when she was evicted. That was the moment when Mary and her two children found themselves homeless, joining the record number of people seeking services from the New York City homeless shelter system. Even more than housing, Mary said she worried about her children losing the stability and community of their...

Duration:00:07:44

With More Lawyers for Tenants, City Says Evictions Are Dropping

11/13/2018
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On a typical weekday morning in Brooklyn housing court, there are lines of people just to get into a courtroom. People are pressed so close together you can hear tenants grousing about bedbugs and broken heating systems. In the past, almost all of the attorneys here were representing landlords. But starting last year, New York City’s Right to Counsel law has provided free lawyers for tenants in 15 ZIP Codes throughout the city, three in each borough. The law is gradually rolling out and...

Duration:00:04:28

New York State to Kick in $1.5 Billion in Subsidies for Amazon HQ

11/13/2018
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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Amazon stands to get more than $1.5 billion in grants and tax breaks from New York state in exchange for bringing at least 25,000 workers to a new campus in Queens, a record-setting incentive package that was both cheered and jeered Tuesday by elected officials in the city. At a celebratory news conference, Gov. Andrew Cuomo acknowledged that the economic development plan offered to Amazon to move to Long Island City was the richest in state history. The company would...

Duration:00:07:00

NY State Legislature Gears Up For Next Session, With New Leadership

11/13/2018
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For Democrats, the New York Senate was the place where their favorite legislation came to die. The State Assembly, controlled overwhelmingly from Democrats from New York City, would draft legislation and pass it, but then it would get stuck in the Republican-led State Senate. Democratic lawmakers are eager to change that pattern in 2019, when they take control of the Senate for the first time in years, and both legislative chambers, and the governor's office, become blue. "We've been...

Duration:00:04:47

City's Homeless Plan Isn't Keeping Pace

11/13/2018
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In the University Heights section of the Bronx, a 200-bed shelter for homeless men overlooking the Harlem River opened earlier this year. There’s a lounge on every floor, an outdoor patio, and a kitchen where meals are cooked for those who want them. “It's mellow,” said resident Jarrod Shellock, 46, a disabled veteran who served in Desert Storm, Somalia and Afghanistan. “There's no fighting, and there’s no stealing.” The University Heights shelter is one of the new high-quality facilities...

Yeah, the Mandarin Is Great, But Have You Seen a Wood Duck?

11/13/2018
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For weeks, New Yorkers and people across the internet have been agog at the striking sight of a Mandarin duck paddling around Central Park's ponds. But while its bright plumage might make it an Instagram star, the Mandarin is far from the only notable duck to grace the five boroughs. As National Audubon Society editor Purbita Saha tells WNYC's David Furst, Central Park is great for waterfowl because of all the...water. The park is particularly good for duck watching, thanks to its many...

Duration:00:02:23

The State of New Jersey's GOP

11/12/2018
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November 6th, 2018 was not a good day for Republicans in New Jersey. A final result has yet to be called in New Jersey's 3rd congressional district, where Democratic challenger Andy Kim leads Republican congressman Tom MacArthur by about 4000 votes. But on Election Day, the state went from five GOP House members to, if MacArthur loses, just one. State Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick joins David Furst to discuss the state of the Republican party in New Jersey.

Duration:00:05:07

Review: Terrified Mom of an "American Son" Tries to Get Police to Take Her Seriously

11/10/2018
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"American Son" is an earnest, issue play, given star power by Kerry Washington. She plays a terrified mother who is at a nearly-empty Florida police station at 4 a.m., looking for her 18-year-old missing son. Washington's character is black and her FBI-agent husband (Steven Pasquale) and the bumbling, newbie police officer (Jeremy Jordan) are white and she can't get anyone to take her fears seriously. Her son Jamal is mixed race and hasn't come home. It doesn't matter that he has a Lexus...

Duration:00:00:49

This Week in Politics: Chris Christie as Attorney General of the United States?

11/10/2018
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Chris Christie is reportedly being considered for the U.S. Attorney General job by the Trump administration. "I did not see Chris Christie yesterday. I heard he was in the White House. He's a friend of mine. He's a good man," Trump said Friday. "When he got out of the presidential race, as you know, the next day he supported me. He has good taste." The president fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions the day after the midterm election. Host David Furst takes a walk down memory lane with...

Duration:00:07:47

MTA Chairman Joe Lhota Resigns Abruptly at Critical Junction for MTA

11/9/2018
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MTA Chairman Joe Lhota was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in spring 2017 — at a time when the agency was facing a major decline in service. WNYC's Stephen Nessen discusses Lhota's tenure, his Subway Action Plan, and what the next MTA leader is facing.

Duration:00:04:26

What Went Wrong on Election Day and How to Fix It

11/9/2018
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For many New Yorkers, voting in the midterm elections was a chaotic and miserable experience this year, due to hours-long lines, busted ballot machines and a lack of clear communication from poll workers and government officials. The causes of the problems are myriad: New York City Board of Elections boss Michael Ryan has so far blamed the humidity, the aging scanners and the double-sided, extra-long ballot. Critics have pinned the problem on missteps on the Board of Elections, calling it a...

Duration:00:05:36

448 Days, 12 Hearings and $58,000: One Dreamer's Journey Through the Immigration System

11/9/2018
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Jorge Chajon was 13 years old when gangs infiltrated his neighborhood in Guatemala and his family told him that it was time to go north, alone, to join his parents in New Jersey, where they had settled years earlier. He made the journey with a caravan of 75 people, ultimately reconnecting with his parents and enrolling at Plainfield High School, where he was a kicker on the football team and could have earned a scholarship to Rutgers University — if only he had a Social Security...

Review: A Warhol for the 21st Century

11/9/2018
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You might think you’ve seen enough Andy Warhol to last a lifetime. When I first heard about the full-dress Whitney Museum retrospective of his work that opens Monday, it sounded a bit gratuitous. These are dire times in America, these Trump years. It’s an odd moment to be asked to take a new look at Warhol, the bewigged Pop artist and Studio 54 habitué whose body composition appeared to consist of 99 percent Perrier and one percent fat. Yet the Whitney Museum and curator Donna De Salvo are...

Duration:00:04:34

The Night Nixon Won ... and the Legacy He Left Us

11/8/2018
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The 1968 election was so close, it wasn't decided until the wee hours of the following day. When Richard Nixon finally did claim victory — at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Midtown Manhattan — he suggested he wanted to heal a fractured country. We want to bridge the generation gap," he said. "We want to bridge the gap between the races. We want to bring America together." But those words would puzzle, if not anger, anyone who had been following the divisive and negative campaign he had been...

Duration:00:06:41