Irish Queers Call NYC's St. Patrick's Day Parade Diversity Attempt a 'Publicity Stunt'

Zach Roberts for the Village Voice
Out@NBCUniversal members at the St. Patrick's Day Parade
As New York City held its 254th St. Patrick's Day Parade Tuesday, with Irish Americans and members of the Irish diaspora celebrating amid a flurry of green, members of an LGBTQ group officially marched in the parade for the first time, but not everyone was happy.

"It was basically a publicity stunt to deal with the gay problem," says Gaby Cryan, a third-generation Irish American and member of the Irish Queers, a group that's long protested the parade's exclusionary policy.

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Read 'Escape From New York,' From Ellen Willis's Award-Winning Anthology

University of Minnesota Press
Ellen Willis
On March 12, the National Book Critics Circle awarded the late Ellen Willis the top prize in its criticism category for The Essential Ellen Willis, a collection of over 40 years' worth of Willis's writing. Willis, who served as the first-ever pop critic for the New Yorker in the early Sixties, died of lung cancer at the age of 64 in 2006. She began writing for the Village Voice in the early Seventies, and became a staff writer here in 1979, where she remained as a writer and senior editor for the next decade.

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Linda Gordon Says the Feminist Movement Has Become 'Very Individualist'

Library of Congress
'First woman jury, Los Angeles,' November 1911.
While the women's movement was just beginning to ferment in 1969, Linda Gordon was a young woman working toward a Ph.D. in history and teaching at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. One night, a friend took her to a dinner party where she heard a woman say the most unbelievable things. Women were expected to be the passive partner in romantic and sexual relationships, this woman said. It's discrimination. "Some people say it's like a click," Gordon says, describing the feeling of hearing these sentiments for the first time. "It was like, That's right. Why didn't I think of that?"

That dinner-party conversation, led by the writer Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, changed the course of Gordon's life. Yet as Dunbar-Ortiz remembers it, "It seemed to me she was a full-grown feminist." Nearly five decades later, Gordon is a leading historian of the women's movement in particular and social movements in general. A professor of history at NYU and the author of eight books ranging in topic from the women's movement to Cossack uprisings to the life of the photographer Dorothea Lange, Gordon has both participated in and documented the rise of women's liberation, or feminism, as we now call it.

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Vendors at Brooklyn's Morbid Flea Market Embrace the Weird

The Morbid Anatomy Spring Flea Market at the Morbid Anatomy Museum (424-A Third Avenue) in Brooklyn was born from French expat Laetitia Barbier's memories of hitting up flea markets on Sundays in Paris, which were full of all sorts of items, from the traditional to the strange (strange as in, full skeletons).

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Colin Quinn's 'Bitterness' Comes Through on New Web Series, Cop Show

Screenshot via L/Studio
Colin Quinn on his own 'stupid web show.'
"What do we got?"

"Female, Caucasian, late twenties. Looks to be possibly deceased."

Thus begins episode one of Cop Show, a new Web series created by and starring veteran stand-up comedian Colin Quinn. A mockumentary-style take on New York City–set procedurals and the grizzled cops who populate them, Cop Show finds humor not only in the groan-worthy clichés of its titular genre, but also in the overlap between its lead character and the man who plays him.

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Area Man's Arrest Illuminates America's Dumbest Pastime: Shining Lasers at Planes

Photo illustration Times Square photo credit/Boeing 747-700 credit

Update, 3/17/15 5:21 p.m.
Elehecer Balaguer was charged in federal court today with one count of aiming a laser at an aircraft. A press release from the office of Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, said Balaguer surrendered to FBI agents Monday morning, and on Tuesday, he reportedly told a judge that he has struggled with addiction and mental health problems, including bipolar disorder, for years. He faces a sentence of up to five years in prison if convicted.

Update, 3/14/15 1:09 p.m.
The full-grown man who pointed a laser at several aircraft earlier this week may not be Frank Egan after all. At a scheduled court appearance for Egan on Friday, his roommate, fellow area man Elehecer Balaguer, reportedly came forward and confessed that it was he who had purchased the laser pointer in Florida, brought it back to New York City, and engaged in the pastime known as lasing. According to the Wall Street Journal, Balaguer will turn himself in to the FBI on Monday. Meantime, Egan is free on bail. Balaguer is a full-grown man of 54, BTW.

Original story follows:

When the NYPD arrested a full-grown man in the Bronx for shining a laser pointer at several aircraft bound for LaGuardia — and, for good measure, at a police helicopter — earlier this week, you probably thought: What a moron!

It might not have crossed your mind that Schuylerville resident Frank Egan's alleged prank is only the tip of the laser pointer, as it were.

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The Podcast Is the Product for Keith and the Girl

Categories: Comedy, Longform

In a roomful of podcasters, Chemda Khalili is a gravitational force.

As she steps down from the dais at the Los Angeles Podcast Festival's "Getting Started in Podcasting" panel discussion, she's mobbed before reaching the second row of folding chairs. The predominantly male crowd clutches caffeinated beverages, unconsciously uniformed in horn rims and blue plaid button-downs. "What you said about podcasting being a lifestyle," one gasps, "I loved that. It's true. So true!"

"We've got a half-hour," Keith Malley, who earlier moderated the "Getting a Job in Podcasting" panel, warns from the doorway.

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Here's How Mayor de Blasio Hopes to Educate Your Toddlers in the Future

courtesy of Kristin Eno
"If we want social cohesion, if we want hope and possibility, do even more for early childhood education. That's what Reggio Emilia taught us. That's what we can carry on today." — Mayor Bill de Blasio

"What is that noise?" Evelyn Salzman asks her mother. She is listening to the tip-tap of shoes on a stairway.

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A New NYPD Gunfire-Detection System Is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You

Categories: NYPD

NYPD photo
ShotSpotter is designed to detect the sound of gunfire automatically and alert police.
New York Police Department commissioner William Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday that the department would expand its use of a hi-tech crime-fighting tool designed to automatically detect the sound of gunfire.

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The Best One-Star Yelp Reviews for NYC Institutions

Photo illustration. Statue of Liberty credit
The only thing New Yorkers love more than disproportionate outrage is directing that outrage at tourists. So when we're on the receiving end of outsider hate, it definitely stings a little (just kidding, we still win). In the mildly disingenuous interest of fairness, here are the best one-star Yelp reviews for our city's seemingly unimpeachable institutions.

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Video: Mad Men Sets Come Alive at the Museum of the Moving Image

Categories: Film and TV

Two sets from Mad Men, which ends its series run this spring, have been shipped to the Museum of the Moving Image from Los Angeles and are included in "Matthew Weiner's Mad Men," an exhibition that runs from March 14 to June 14.

Curator Barbara Miller says MoMI worked in conjunction with the AMC series to pick the items. "It's kind of amazing, because they really, really do seem very much alive. You kind of expect Don Draper to be sitting behind his desk in his office. You expect Betty Draper to walk through the door into her kitchen." MoMI is located at 36-01 35th Avenue (between 36th and 37th streets) in Astoria, Queens. The second half of the seventh and final season of Mad Men premieres April 5 on AMC.

See also:
Mad Men's Six Best Music Moments
The Unofficial Future History of
Mad Men
Mad Men: Five Academic Theories Explaining Life at SCDP

Councilmembers Want Special Prosecutors to Lead Cop Killing Investigations

Categories: NYPD

Jon Campbell, the Village Voice
Iris Baez, left foreground, and Hawa Bah, mother of Mohamed Bah, both of whom were killed by NYPD officers, spoke at a police reform rally.
A group of fourteen progressive City Council members have signed a letter asking Governor Andrew Cuomo to take the investigation out of the hands of local district attorneys any time police-related killings occur.

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Will Brooklyn's Insane Real Estate Market Doom This Long-Stalled Park?

Courtesy NYC Parks Department
Bushwick Inlet Park, as it stands now in its nine acres of glory
Hundreds of Brooklynites flooded City Hall on Thursday to protest the city's slow action on buying land for Bushwick Inlet Park, as real estate prices have soared in line with condo construction along the East River.

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The Rent Is Too Damn High Guy Continues to Fight Landlord's Eviction Efforts

Screenshot via YouTube
Jimmy McMillan is not homeless.

The Rent Is Too Damn High party founder Jimmy McMillan was scheduled to be evicted in February from his $872-a-month rent-stabilized apartment in the East Village. But the fierce affordable-housing advocate has still managed to stay in his home — at least for now — thanks to the intervention of the city's Adult Protective Services program.

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Parents Want Power, More Sway Over NYC Public Schools

Courtesy of the New York City Department of Education
Chancellor Carmen Fariña announces the start of the CEC application process in February.
On a sunny Saturday morning in early March, around 40 parents — mostly mothers — sat in a small room in a downtown Brooklyn office building at desks arranged in rows. They faced a screen emblazoned with the words "Power and Authority."

"When you think about authority, what do you think about?" asked Claudette Agard, a parent leader with the Coalition for Educational Justice (CEJ), an organization that fights for equality in New York City's schools.

"Control!" one mother called out. "Government!" another added. "Política," offered one woman, who wore an earpiece so she could hear the Spanish translator speaking through a headset at the back of the room.

"Do you think about authority figures?" Agard continued. "What authority figures do you think of?"

"Parents," a woman responded.

"Ooh, I like that!" Agard shot back.

The parents were attending the CEJ's first Parent Power School of 2015. The program began two and a half years ago with the goal of helping parents with children in public schools across the five boroughs understand the city's school system. "It's kind of morphed into a much more robust way of having in-depth discussions about what's happening in the city and why," said the group's coordinator, Natasha Capers.

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Unlikely Trio of Senators Forms Like Voltron to Revise Federal Pot Laws

Credit: Marijuana Policy Project
Senators Gillibrand, Booker, and Paul want to stop federal interference with states that make medical marijuana legal.
On Tuesday, senators from both sides of the aisle stumped for a new bill that could drastically change the United States' confusing relationship with medical marijuana.

New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand stood alongside Kentucky Republican Rand Paul and New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker to promote the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States, or "CARERS," Act.

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The NYCLU and the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association Now Agree on Exactly One Thing

Categories: NYPD

C.S. Muncy for the Village Voice
No one would mistake the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and the New York Civil Liberties Union for best buddies.

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Bronx Restaurateur Fires Back at Disgruntled Workers With a Lawsuit of His Own

Categories: Food, Labor, Work

Courtesy Laundry Workers Center on Facebook
Activists protest outside Liberato Restaurant on a January evening in 2014.
He says they're conspirators. They say he's a thief. A restaurant owner and a food-service labor group are tangled in a web of legal battles over how far a group of disgruntled workers should be able to go to complain about working conditions.

Having filed a defamation lawsuit in 2014, Manuel Antonio Liberato, the owner of Liberato Restaurant, is bringing a RICO case against prominent labor organization the Laundry Workers Center for racketeering, extortion, and harassment.

Meanwhile, the Center has filed a suit of its own against Liberato. The group has also filed five complaints with the National Labor Relations Board for retaliation against workers who organized for workplace reforms. Liberato's attorneys call the complaints "baseless."

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NYU Graduate Students Say They Will Strike If Health Care and Wage Demands Are Not Met

Michael Gould Wartofsky
Grad students protest in front of NYU's Bobst Library before voting on a strike in fall 2014
The union that represents New York University's nearly 1,000 teaching and research assistants is threatening to strike on March 10 after months of fruitless bargaining negotiations with university officials.

The two sides are scheduled to meet tonight in a last-ditch effort to prevent the so-called "limited strike," which union members say would begin on March 10 and end on March 13. The Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC) is asking for 100 percent healthcare coverage for its members, including family benefits; annual wage increases of 3.5 percent, in keeping with the rate of inflation; and tuition remission for Ph.D. candidates.

GSOC members are hoping the threat of a strike will push NYU to accept its conditions. On December 12, 2014, members voted almost unanimously in favor of a strike, to which the university responded with a few concessions, though it has not yet come close to meeting the union's demands. "Our successful strike vote and setting of the strike deadline has put more pressure on NYU," said Natasha Raheja, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology and a member of GSOC's bargaining committee. "It pushed them to offer us some greater material gains," such as increasing healthcare coverage from 50 to 70 percent.

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A History of New Yorkers-Turned-Terrorists Since 9-11

Fighters belonging to the Islamic State group in Anbar, Iraq
The three Brooklyn residents arrested in February for planning to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are set to appear in court on March 11.

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