Photos: "Hands Off Ukraine" Protesters March in Manhattan on Sunday

As the prospect for armed conflict with Russia appears more and more likely in Ukraine, pro-Western activists marched in New York against armed intervention on Sunday.

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Councilman Steve Levin Proposes Bill Requiring Doctors at Youth Football Games

Categories: Football, Politics

Christopher Farber
At a Pop Warner football game in Brooklyn a few months ago, a nine-year-old shuffled toward the sideline, wincing but not crying, cradling his left arm. It took maybe half a minute before any of his team's three coaches noticed, as they directed players into position on the field. The coach met the player at the sideline and escorted him to a bench a few yard back. He talked to the boy for a few seconds, then turned around and strolled several steps onto the field.

He shouted at his counterpart, the coach of the home team, on the opposite sideline.

"Yo! Hey! You got a medic?" He didn't sound particularly frantic or flustered, just serious.

"What's wrong?" the home team's coach yelled back.

"I don't know. He's holding his elbow."

As at many youth football games around the city and country, there was no medic present here. A bill proposed by Brooklyn councilman Steve Levin seeks too change that.

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Charles Barron Sees the Radical Movement Picking Up Steam

Categories: Politics

Christopher Farber
Inez and Charles Barron.
Sometimes it seems like former city councilman Charles Barron lives on a political island--the sole dissenter or the sole proponent on many issues. Speaker Christine Quinn, his longtime rival, praised him for "the courage of your convictions, certainly not afraid to stand alone."

"Black radical revolutionary anti-capitalist anti-imperialist elected official," Barron calls himself.

As we wrote in this week's feature story profiling Barron, he is "a downright outlier who has planted his flag far from nearly every other politician in the nation."

Nearly, but not every. Barron, in fact, is not some sole survivor of a movement long gone. To frame him as such diminishes the resonance of his message. It's a message that has won over voters not just in East New York.

That much was clear to any one in attendance for Inez Barron's inauguration earlier this month.

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Inez Barron Named Chair of City Council's Committee on Higher Education

Categories: Politics

Christopher Farber
Inez Barron
Four years after then-Speaker Christine Quinn stripped then-42nd District City Councilman Charles Barron of his chairmanship of the Committee on Higher Education, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito appointed his predecessor and wife, Inez Barron, to the post.

The decision makes sense. Barron worked as a public school teacher, principal, and administrator for 36 years before retiring then beginning her political life in the state Assembly. Beyond that, she's certainly familiar with the nuts and bolts of the committee. She and Charles work as a single unit, with joint staff meetings and collaborative decision-making.

The Barrons' reclamation of the committee chair, however, also may signal a new role in city hall for the couple (subjects of this week's feature story), away from the fringe and into the fold.

Inez replaces Charles at a good time: November's elections decreased the gap between the Barrons and the rest of city hall.

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Barrons: Discretionary Funding Is A Tale of Two City Councils

Categories: Politics

Christopher Farber
This week's feature story profiles Charles Barron, the polarizing politician from East New York. He was the 42nd District city councilman for 12 years, before getting termed-out at the end of 2013. His wife, Inez Barron, vacated her state Assembly seat after winning the election for Charles's seat, and Charles is the front-runner for Inez's former post in Albany.

The seat-swap attempt helps illustrate Barron's popularity in his neighborhood, which has gained many new buildings and parks during his administration. His supporters appreciate that he doesn't go-along to get-along, that he speaks his mind and fights for his beliefs. But among East New Yorkers who will not vote for Barron this time around, there is a common complaint: Barron's heated rhetoric has driven resources away from the district.

He and Speaker Christine Quinn had their tiffs. Barron ran against her twice for the speakership. Quinn stripped him of his chairmanship of the Committee on Higher Education. Barron never missed an opportunity to declare that Quinn was using her powerful position to maintain a status quo that benefited the rich and hurt the working class.

The speaker controls city council's piggy bank, though. And Quinn granted Barron nearly the bare minimum of discretionary funding, even though the 42nd District has one of the highest levels of poverty in the city.

It's nearly certain that Councilwoman Barron will have a better relationship with her speaker than the councilman did with his. For one, Inez is of a cooler temperament, more conducive to collaboration. Perhaps more importantly, the Barrons eagerly supported Melissa Mark-Viverito's run for speaker and are optimistic about her vision.

In time, we'll see whether this means more resources to the 42nd District. With money at her fingertips, the speaker is a powerful ally. And like a lot of things in this city, the gulf in city council between well-off and the hard-up is vast.

Here's how Quinn distributed discretionary funding from 2009 to 2012, according to a report by the Citizens Union of the City of New York:

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Zachary Carter, Who Led Abner Louima Prosecutions, Is NYC's New Chief Lawyer

Dorsey & Whitney, LLP
Zachary Carter
Peruse the newly filed civil cases in any of the five boroughs' state supreme courthouses and you'll see, each day, dozens of lawsuits filed against the city's police department. The allegations generally range from wrongful arrest to unjust detention to assault. Most of the cases begin by describing an unconstitutional application of the city's stop and frisk policy.

For the past 12 years, those cases fell on the desk of Michael Cardozo, the corporation counsel appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to provide the city's legal representation. And as former city attorney Joel Berger told the New York Times, "Under Cardozo, the policy has been to fight every police misconduct case tooth and nail."

So there is, at the very least, symbolic value in Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's choice for Cardozo's replacement: Zachary Carter, who made his name, in large part, by prosecuting one of the most high profile police misconduct cases in New York City history.

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Melissa Mark-Viverito Is Set to Become the City Council's First Minority Speaker

NYC City Council
Melissa Mark-Viverito, the likely next City Council Speaker.
When the week started, we, the voting public, could only guess who the next New York City Council Speaker would be. There were seven candidates, some more serious than others.

Monday night, though, news broke that Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio had put his thumb on the speaker race scale like no NYC mayor had before, lobbying councilmembers to support his choice, Melissa Mark-Viverito, who represents East Harlem.

On Tuesday, the city seemed poised for a showdown as Democratic county leaders professed their support for Daniel Garodnick, who represents a chunk of Manhattan's East Side (incidentally, just south of Mark-Viverito's territory). And you couldn't help but wonder whether de Blasio might lose his first political battle as mayor.

But it appeared all over by Wednesday night, when Mark-Viverito essentially declared victory three weeks before the vote. "I know that my fellow members will work with me in the City Council to create a more inclusive legislative body where every member's voice is heard and validated," she said. Attached to the statement was a list of 30 councilmembers supporting Mark-Viverito for speaker.

As long as 26 of them cast their vote for her on January 8, Mark-Viverito, who is Puerto Rican, will become the first person of color to serve as New York City Council Speaker.

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Former Romney Intern Adam Savader Pleads Guilty to Cyberstalking One Woman, Won't Face Trial For the Other 14

Image via Facebook
The pithed-looking fellows you see to your left are former vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and Long Island native, former Romney/Ryan campaign intern, and super creepy dude Adam Savader. If Savader's fixed gaze looks familiar, it's because in late April, he was arrested and charged with cyberstalking and sexually extorting a number of female acquaintances. The AP reports that last week Savader pleaded guilty to stalking one woman. That leaves 14 more for which he will not face trial.

According to the complaint, Savader started with a woman he knew from high school in Great Neck, now a college student in Michigan, who is identified in court documents as M.K. He hacked into her AOL account and took nude pictures she'd kept there, ones she'd meant to send to a boyfriend but never did. Then he contacted her by text message using a Google Voice phone number and threatened to send them to her parents and others unless she gave him more photos. He also took the opportunity, the complaint says, to ask her "a series of personal questions relating to sexual preferences, positions, etc."

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Top 5 Presidential Looks for Chris Christie

For the current news cycle, at least, it appears that America's got us a 2016 Republican presidential nominee, and his name rhymes with Tris Fristie.

Just ask New York Times scribes Kate Zernike and Jonathan Martin, who shaped "Chris Christie Coasts to 2nd Term as Governor of New Jersey" around the theme of the Big Man's potential presidentialness, beginning with the opening paragraph:

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey won re-election by a crushing margin on Tuesday, a victory that vaulted him to the front ranks of Republican presidential contenders and made him his party's foremost proponent of pragmatism over ideology.

A lead that looked strikingly similar to the one that topped USA Today's story "Christie wins re-election; seen as prelude to 2016":

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie easily won re-election Tuesday in a race seen mainly as the kickoff for the next contest: The popular Republican is considered a good bet to run for president in 2016.

Of course, Christie didn't shy away from sounding like a guy who wants to be POTUS, declaring, among other things, "I know that if we can do this in Trenton, N.J., then maybe the folks in Washington, D.C., should tune in their TVs right now and see how it's done."

As loath as we are to jump on these media-hype trains, which run more frequently than the No. 3 at rush hour, perhaps it's not too soon to imagine what a Christie campaign -- and maybe a Christie presidency -- would look like ...

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Donald Trump Hints at Run for President, Will Definitely Win This Time

The painful shutdown of the federal government has made one thing all too clear: This country needs better leadership. Leadership only an enraged, self-aggrandizing cantaloupe can provide. Now, where could we find one of--oh hey, here's Donald Trump, hinting clumsily on Twitter again that he'll be running for president in 2016. To the Delusion Mobile! More »

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