New York State Assembly Makes an Appeal to Cuomo on...Pit Bulls

Categories: Politics

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Photo credit: davescaglione via Compfight cc
Does this vicious pit bull have murder in his heart?
We don't generally see a lot of love expressed in the New York State legislature.

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These Five NYC-Based Legislators Are Still in Office Despite Brushes With the Law

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When New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was arrested last week on bribery and corruption charges — only a few months after assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver earned the same fate — it was more proof that Albany is a frigid, snow-blanketed cesspool of dirty dealing. It's no secret that the state of New York is lavishly corrupt, impressively so, actually, and has been for generations.

Politico earlier this week offered an explanation of sorts, citing the long tradition of making decisions based on the whims of "three men in a room," the governor and party leaders in the assembly and senate. The website also cited evidence that the distance between Albany and the state's largest population center here in the city — where the media scrutiny is most intense — might be a contributing factor, too. Jon Stewart weighs in below:

Meanwhile, the lower Hudson Valley's Journal News created a database of the most recent state lawmakers to face criminal charges. In that same spirit, we decided to highlight a few from our fair city (or close by) who have somehow managed to stay in public office despite their brushes with the law. Read on to see the alleged crooks, drunks, and stoners proudly serving the people in your own backyard.


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Coming Soon to a Community Board Near You: Teenagers

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Courtesy of Austin Ochoa
Austin Ochoa is helping to usher in a new, younger breed of community board member.
Two years ago, while a freshman at CUNY, Austin Ochoa skipped class to fine-tune his résumé and fill out a thick application. Most students cut school to sleep off a hangover or head to the beach, but Ochoa had other things on his mind. It was the last day to apply for Manhattan community board membership, and at eighteen, he was just old enough to qualify. With dreams of becoming a district attorney and fighting for the disenfranchised, Ochoa figured he might as well jumpstart his political career.

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Controversial Circumcision Ritual Among Ultra-Orthodox Jews Is 'Unacceptable,' Says Mohel

Categories: Politics, Religion

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Courtesy of Cantor Philip Sherman via website
Cantor Philip Sherman is exasperated.


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Ultra-Orthodox Jews Protest Netanyahu's 'Provocative Politics' Outside Israeli Embassy

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Zach D. Roberts for the Village Voice
Demonstrators of all ages display signs outside the Israeli Embassy in New York City as snow continues to fall.
Thousands of members of the Satmar Hasidic sect gathered outside the Israeli consulate in midtown on Tuesday evening to protest a speech by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu they say will lead to war with Iran.

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De Blasio Agrees 'Black Wives Matter' in Chummy Nightly Show Appearance

Categories: Politics

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Mayor Bill de Blasio on the Nightly Show
Mayor Bill de Blasio was on the Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore on Monday, talking cops, affordable housing, and, thankfully, weed.

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Fueled by Industry Funding, Group Protests State E-Cig Tax

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Jon Campbell
Doctor Gilbert Ross speaks at a rally against new taxes on e-cigarettes.
New York State is considering higher taxes and more restrictions on e-cigarettes, and at least one group is not taking the move lying down.

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Sergeants Union Head and NYC Mayor Side-Hug, Make Up

Categories: Cops, Politics
Mayor Bill de Blasio has forged a new bond with the dude who once called him a "nincompoop."

The mayor and Sergeants Benevolent Association president Ed Mullins have agreed on a roughly $252.1 million contract for the policemen that begins retroactively in 2011. The seven-year agreement, which will end in 2018, includes an immediate 4 percent raise. And it brings more than three-quarters of the city workforce under a contract, including all of New York City's police unions — except for the largest one, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, run by notorious de Blasio–hater Patrick Lynch.

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City Tenants'-Rights Plan Gets Praise, but Questions About Development Remain

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Nick Lucchesi, Village Voice
"As with 300 Nassau [shown], we see tenant harassment take the form of neglecting and destroying buildings," says Adam Meyers, a tenants'-rights lawyer.
Efforts by New York mayor Bill de Blasio to curb the strong-arm and harassment tactics used by landlords and residential property owners are receiving mixed reviews from tenants'-rights advocates across the city.

De Blasio and state attorney general Eric Schneiderman spent much of February 19 trumpeting their new tenant-harassment task force, which, they say, will foster greater communication between the city and state in prosecuting bad landlords. But some housing advocates say the mayor is sending mixed messages, as the city is also currently in the process of rezoning neighborhoods with large swaths of affordable housing and allowing developers to build more luxury residences.

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Longtime Bed-Stuy Residents Have Had It With Hipster Bars Invading Their Neighborhood

As she described the gourmet menu drafted for her new bar on DeKalb Avenue, Bob's Standard co-founder Hilary Krishnan faced a tough crowd. "Gourmet pickle plates, curry sandwiches, chorizo dogs," she said cheerfully. "Are you getting hungry yet?"

The attendees at the February 9 meeting of Bed-Stuy's Community Board 3, whom Krishnan was asking for support, stared back in silence. Leaning back in her chair, 55-year-old Brooklynite Juanita Lewis had a one-word answer to Krishnan's question.

"No."

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