No One Knows Why the Eric Garner Grand Jury Is Taking So Long

Categories: NYPD

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Photo credit: gerard_flynn via Compfight cc
Demonstrators this summer at a protest march for Eric Garner
Reaction to Michael Brown's shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9 was immediate, and not in the way journalists usually use that word.

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Seven Indie Movies out This Weekend You Don't Know About but Should

Categories: Film and TV

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Each week new movies open in New York (and online) by the dozen. The Voice reviews all of 'em. Here are some you might not have heard about that got our critics excited, for better or worse:

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Watch History's Most Sexist Local News Dude Report on the 1970 National Women's Strike

Categories: Film and TV

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One of 2014's best films, Mary Dore's She's Beautiful When She's Angry is an urgent, illuminating dive into the headwaters of second-wave feminism, the movement that -- no matter what its detractors insist -- has fundamentally shaped most aspects of our lives today.


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Protest Movement to Kill Massive Gowanus Parole Center Gains Momentum

Categories: Politics

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Katie Toth
Almost 100 protesters stood outside a manufacturer on Second Avenue in Brooklyn to rally against a parole center being built nearby.
The scene at The Bahche, a popular coffee shop on Third Avenue and 7th Street in Gowanus, Brooklyn, was far from a typical pre-protest gathering.

Rather than the requisite leather-clad anarchists and angry militants, more than 60 Gowanus residents were sipping free hot chocolate while they toiled away with a rainbow array of colored Sharpies. There were smiling parents. There were little children. Soon they would all be braving the elements -- it was an unseasonably frigid 33 degrees on November 18 -- to march two blocks away to a dead-end street full of manufacturing and industrial sites. And there, they listened to a band of pre-teens called Eye of Time jam out to a selection of classic rock favorites.

See Also: Literally No One Is Happy About the Massive Parole Center Being Built in Gowanus

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Has Jennifer Lawrence Outgrown Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games?

Categories: Film and TV

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Photo: Murray Close
Jennifer Lawrence in Mockingjay
Can The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 keep up with the first two films? Why was the final book split into two movies? Does Katniss even want to be part of this revolution? On this week's Voice Film Club podcast, we discuss all things Hunger Games before moving on to a documentary about Sheffield, England's Pulp, and finishing with a recommendation for Happy Valley, a documentary on the fallout after the Penn State scandal. Be sure to follow our hosts on Twitter: Alan Scherstuhl (@studiesincrap), Stephanie Zacharek (@szacharek), and Amy Nicholson (@theamynicholson).

Here's a full rundown of the show:
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (11:50)
Pulp: A Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets (31:00)
Happy Valley (35:46)

Subscribe to the Voice Film Club podcast


A Proposed Fee for Plastic Shopping Bags Has Council and City Officials Taking Sides

Categories: The Planet

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Katie Toth
Councilman Brad Lander speaks in front of City Hall about a proposed bill on plastic bags.
New York City Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia knows trash.

So it's not surprising that she has a lot to say about the nuisance -- and dangers -- that plastic shopping bags can pose to the city.

During a City Council hearing on November 19, though she stopped short of giving a full-throated endorsement of a new bill to impose a 10-cent fee for single-use shopping bags, Garcia said that the city is certainly sick of dealing with the plastic vessels that litter our streets, choke our storm drains, and get stuck in our trees. "They're nearly impossible to get out of trees," she told the council during the hearing. Worse yet, they end up in the city's rivers, she added, "posing a threat to marine animals that confuse them with a food source."

See more:
Environmental Activist Daniel McGowan, Jailed for Blogging, Is Suing the Bureau of Prisons


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New Wi-Fi 'Payphones' May Include Controversial Location-Tracking Beacons

Categories: Technology

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Jim Pennucci via Flickr
On November 17, New York City announced an ambitious new plan to replace payphones across the five boroughs with nine-and-half-foot pylons beaming free Wi-Fi to any device within a 150-foot radius, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The new network, Mayor de Blasio declared, would be "the fastest and largest municipal Wi-Fi network in the world."

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NYPD Can No Longer 'Neither Confirm Nor Deny' Whether It Was Spying on Muslims

Categories: NYPD

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The NYPD has been going to the legal mat recently to protect records that might shed light on a now-infamous spy program targeting Muslims in the New York City area.

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The FDNY Now Has More Female Firefighters Than Ever. Is That Good Enough?

Categories: FDNY

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Irene Chidinma Nwoye
Three of the four graduates with members of the United Women Firefighters

History was made in the Fire Department of New York on Tuesday after four female firefighters graduated from the FDNY Fire Academy, raising to 44 the number of women in a department of more than 10,500 members -- the most ever in the FDNY's 149-year history.

See also: The FDNY Is a Force of More Than 10,000. Can You Guess How Many Are Women?

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Reverend Billy Is Headed to St. Louis to Battle Monsanto and Ferguson Cops

Categories: The Planet

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Courtesy Rev. Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir via IndieGogo
"Honeybeelujiah!" is secular pastor Reverend Billy's go-to worship catchphrase.

Reverend Billy Talen is taking his merry band of rabble-rousers to Missouri. Not surprisingly, he's prepared to get arrested.

The environmental and anti-capitalist activist and his Stop Shopping Gospel Choir are setting out for the Gateway to the West, where they plan to make separate appearances to protest genetically modified food producers and, in Ferguson, civil-rights-violating cops.

First stop: Creve Coeur, an affluent St. Louis suburb that's home to agricultural-chemical and -biotech giant Monsanto -- or as Talen calls it, "the world headquarters of the Devil Monsanto."

See More:
Mayoral Candidate Reverend Billy Says 'It's Bloomberg vs. New York City!'

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Bridge-Climbing Tourist Will Face Jail Time, Because Terrorism

Categories: NYPD

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Photo credit: Rick Elkins via Compfight cc
So a French guy, two Germans, and a Russian climb to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge. Stop us if you've heard this one.
Did Lonely Planet add "top of the Brooklyn Bridge" to its list of New York City attractions?

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Here's the 1969 Bill Cosby Routine About Wanting to Drug Women's Drinks

Categories: Film and TV

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Bill Cosby's It's True! It's True! album.
Time was, this country responded to rape accusations against America's Sweater Dad, Bill Cosby, the same way Cosby's Noah did to God's command that he put two of each animal onto a boat: by saying, "Riiiiiiiiiiigghhhht" and then moving on.


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A Brief History of the Police Unions' Campaign to Take Down City Hall Aide Rachel Noerdlinger

Categories: NYPD

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http://twitter.com/rachelnoerd
It's been a rough year for Rachel Noerdlinger. New York City first lady Chirlane McCray's chief of staff has had her love life, her family, her family's friends, her home, and even her parking tickets -- pretty much everything except the actual work she did as a City Hall aide -- dragged out as evidence that she was unfit for the job.

The coup de grĂ¢ce came on Friday, when Noerdlinger's 17-year-old son was arrested and booked on a trespassing charge after he and some friends were caught drinking in the lobby of a building in Washington Heights. It was her 44th birthday. On Monday morning, Noerdlinger announced she will be taking a leave of absence from the administration.

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An Activism Start-Up at Columbia University Wants to Turn Protesters Into Paid Journalists

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Photo credit: tripletstate via Flickr
"Because our generation cares about more than cat videos" - #protestify
In a world of more than 7 billion people, we can probably assume that at any given time, somebody somewhere is protesting something.

And although it's not for lack of trying (journalists love themselves some protests), reporters are simply not able to cover each and every one. Sometimes this is just because there isn't enough time to cover everything that goes on in any city on a given day. But often it's because organizers have difficulty getting their content to appropriate news agencies. One group from Columbia University, calling itself "Protestify," has taken it upon itself to solve this problem by making it easier for organizers to spread the word.

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Window Washing Is A Terrifying Gig: A Brief History

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Photo credit: angeloangelo via Compfight cc
Cleaning windows in New York City is a tough, thankless, and, quite frankly, terrifying job. The city saw that last week when window washers Juan Lopez and Juan Lizama found themselves trapped on a dangling scaffold outside the 68th floor of 1 World Trade Center. For more than 90 minutes, the two were suspended hundreds of feet in the air outside the tallest building in North America, to the horror of onlookers below, before they were rescued by members of the FDNY and Port Authority police department.

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World Trade Center Window Washer Says the Emergency Brake Failed

Categories: FDNY, Manhattan

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SEIU
Juan Lizama, left, and Juan Lopez
When the scaffolding suspending window washers Juan Lopez and Juan Lizama outside the 68th floor of 1 World Trade Center began slipping, Lopez followed the procedures he remembered: He hit the emergency brake. But it didn't work.

He recounted the moment to a room of reporters gathered at the 32BJ SEIU union headquarters on Friday.

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Eight Movies Opening This Weekend You Don't Know About but Should

Categories: Film and TV

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Each week new movies open in New York (and online) by the dozen. The Voice reviews all of 'em. Here are some you might not have heard about that got our critics excited, for better or worse (click on the movie title to read the full review).

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City Council Bill Would Create Criminal Penalties for Cops Who Use Chokeholds

Categories: NYPD

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Timothy Fadek
An apparent chokehold during an arrest in September.
In the months since the death of Staten Island man Eric Garner sparked an intense debate about the use of chokeholds as an acceptable police maneuver, Rory Lancman has been adamant that officers who administer chokeholds should be criminally charged. On Thursday, Lancman, a New York City Councilman from Queens, introduced a bill that would allow the city to do just that.

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The Third Rail: How It Feels to Support New York City FC, the Team That Doesn't Yet Exist

The Third Rail is the name of the supporters group for New York City FC, a team that has yet to play a game, put together a full squad, or find a permanent stadium. And up until the 11 a.m. hour on Thursday, they didn't know what their team's jersey would look like.

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Can Higher Salaries in Albany Stop Corruption? Sheldon Silver Is Willing to Find Out

Categories: Politics

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Photo credit: New York NOW via Compfight cc
Sheldon Silver is willing to trade less Albany corruption for a higher salary.
The perennial call for higher salaries in the New York legislature was heard again this week, although it's probably more of a whisper at this point.

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