Pot Arrests Are on the Rise in de Blasio's New York

Categories: Drugs, Politics

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When he was running for office last year, candidate Bill de Blasio warned of the "disastrous consequences" low-level marijuana arrests have for both the individuals caught with a small amount of pot, and their families. "These arrests limit one's ability to qualify for student financial aid, and undermine one's ability to stable housing and good jobs," the Public Advocate's campaign literature read. Even more troubling, it noted, was the fact that studies showed "a clear racial bias" in such arrests. As mayor, de Blasio swore he would order the NYPD to stop such arrests, but he hasn't. Low-level pot arrests are actually on the rise in de Blasio's New York.

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Young People Still Long to Move to New York. They're Just Going to Buffalo Now

Categories: Politics

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Photo credit: Doug Kerr via Flickr
Buffalo: Your new hipster paradise.

Looking for the young, fabulous people ready to make their mark on the big city?

Forget Brooklyn. It's all about Buffalo now.

At least, that's what this City Observatory report, picked up by the New York Times, suggests. Since 2000, Buffalo has seen a 34 percent spike in the number of recent college grads moving to the Queen City. Buffalo's growth rate for 25- to 34-year-olds came in seventh, after cities like Houston, Nashville, and Portland. Sister cool cities Baltimore and Pittsburgh have seen 32 percent and 29 percent increases, respectively.

And New York? The capital of the hip, the creative, the hungry?

This city's college-educated 25- to 34-year-old population has increased by just 25 percent over the same amount of time.


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Schneiderman Reminds the Voice, 'I Have Not Done Cocaine in 30 Years'

Categories: Drugs, Politics

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Eric Schneiderman via YouTube.com
Updated at bottom, Monday, October 20, 3:15 p.m. In some bizarro-world, Donald Trump and Randy Credico might have been rivals in an election for New York State governor. (Credico lost the Democratic primary in September; Trump abandoned his bid for the Republican nomination in March.) Instead, the proud pothead (Credico, who campaigned as "the only politician in America who smokes pot...and will admit it") and the avowed teetotaler (Trump) are teaming up to accuse Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of being a total cokehead.

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Nigerian Independence Day Parade 2014: Cloudy With a Chance of Ebola?

Categories: Culture, Politics

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Courtesy of the Organization for the Advancement of Nigerians
Dancers from last year's parade.
This past Saturday, more than a thousand Nigerians and other Africans strutted down 10 blocks of Second Avenue from East 54th Street in the annual Nigerian Independence Day Parade. The group that gathered on the damp, cold morning to commemorate the 54th anniversary of Nigeria's independence from Great Britain seemed oblivious to the growing xenophobia on U.S. soil, where the populace appears to be increasingly wary of being around Africans.

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On Switchblades, 'Cheap Dime Store Hoods' and That Wet End, Lachance

Categories: Crime, Politics

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Credit: YouTube clip from Stand By Me
Ace is about to look significantly less tough than he does right now.
My favorite scene in Stand By Me -- which I could more or less recite word for word if you're interested -- comes near the end, when the movie's diminutive hero, Gordie Lachance, stands up to a neighborhood bully.

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Environmentalists Not Surprised, Just Disappointed to Hear Cuomo Meddled With Fracking Report

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Credo Policy Summit via Flickr
On Monday morning, Capital New York published an eye-popping report that suggests a federal fracking study commissioned by the Cuomo administration was edited, and later delayed, by the same administration when it became clear that study was going to "result in a number of politically inconvenient conclusions for Governor Andrew Cuomo."

To environmentalists who have observed the Cuomo Administration over the past four years, the news that wasn't particularly shocking. "It's not surprising," Chris Amato, staff attorney for Earthjustice says of the report that officials from the Department of Environmental Conservation meddled with the U.S. Geological Survey's report.

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First Lady's Top Aide Rachel Noerdlinger Spotted at Department of Investigation Headquarters

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Image via Instagram
Rachel Noerdlinger, pictured in September.
For several weeks, New York news has been full of Rachel Noerdlinger, First Lady Chirlane McCray's chief of staff, after DNAInfo reported on September 25 that she's in a relationship with Hassaun McFarlan, 36, who has a lengthy criminal record. McFarlan spent time in prison when he was 15 years old after being convicted of manslaughter for killing 18-year-old Kenneth Carter; more recently, the website reported, he was arrested in Edgewater, New Jersey for eluding a police officer after a car accident. He was ultimately convicted of disorderly conduct.

The New York Times , citing anonymous sources, reported last night that the city Department of Investigation has opened an inquiry into Noerdlinger. Although the mayor's office has refused to confirm that, earlier this week, we saw Noerdlinger heading to the Department of Investigation, which is headquartered in the same building as the Village Voice.

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DMV to Internet-less New Yorkers: Get in Line

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YouTube
The new system is nothing short of revolutionary -- that is, if you've heard of it.
In February, the New York State DMV launched a revamped website capable of processing a bevy of transactions without requiring that dreaded visit to a DMV office. To expedite those transactions that still require in-person processing, the site offers a quick and easy online reservation system, with many same-day appointments available.

The new system is nothing short of revolutionary -- that is, if you've heard of it.

After checking in, those with reservations receive call numbers near the top of the waiting list, essentially jumping the line.

And those who have already been waiting -- in person -- for hours because they didn't make reservations? Their wait gets longer.

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Charles Barron Wins Inez Barron's Former State Assembly Seat, Completing Swap

Categories: Brooklyn, Politics

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Christopher Farber
Last year, 60th District State Assemblywomen Inez Barron vacated her seat after winning the election for the 42nd District city council seat. Her husband, Charles Barron, had held that seat for 12 years, and he had termed-out.

On Tuesday, Charles Barron won the election for the state assembly seat Inez Barron had vacated. The couple pulled off the seat swap.

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The Rise and Fall of Crime in New York City: A Timeline

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The Warriors
This week's feature story, The Tragedy of Louis Scarcella, explores the context of the now-infamous Brooklyn detective's career. It explained how the culture of policing changed over the years in response to the city's rising crime rate. Crime, in many ways, shaped the modern history of New York City.

And so here is a timeline chronicling the rise and the fall of crime in New York City:

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