To Keep Them From Violating Restraining Orders, Staten Island Domestic Abusers Will Be Required to Wear Ankle Bracelets

Image via G4S
Today in things we can't believe didn't come sooner: a pilot program on Staten Island is now outfitting convicted domestic abusers with an ankle monitor. Their victims will be alerted by text if the abuser get too close to the "exclusion zones" they've been court-ordered to stay away from. If the abuser actually enters the zone, the victim gets a call from a live operator, warning them to call 911. The program, which was was first reported by the Daily News, was announced nearly two years ago, but has apparently taken until now to implement. And although it's excellent news for an area that's been especially hard-hit in recent years by domestic violence, it's also important to understand what ankle-monitoring programs can and can't do.

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Martin Luther King's Niece Is Suing To Block Obamacare

Priests For Life
Dr. Alveda King, niece of the famed Martin Luther King, Jr., is looking to block parts of the Affordable Care Act. As part of the Staten Island-based outreach organization Priests for Life, King claims that the clauses mandating health insurers cover free contraception have "racist and eugenic roots."

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Dunkin Donuts Must Pay $200,000 in Back Wages to Employees in Staten Island and New Jersey

Flickr/Robert Banh
If America runs on Dunkin, and Dunkin runs on wage theft, then...
When I pay for a gallon of coffee and bacon that tastes like pennies, I expect part of my $4 to go to the hardworking cashiers and managers that served me. The U.S. Department of Labor found that 55 Dunkin Donuts franchises were short-changing their managers. The company operating the branches must now pay $200,000 in back wages to 64 of its employees.

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Federal Transportation Department Shuts Down a Staten Island Bus Company After It Strands 53 Passengers in Virginia for 24 Hours

Photo Credit: Chοkz via Compfight cc
Did you know that when Nietzche wrote all of history happens in circles, that we are eternally bound to repeat the past in an endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, he was referring to delinquent bus companies in Staten Island? Kidding. But also: The U.S. Department of Transportation shut down All Nations Coach Inc. for stranding 53 passengers at a Virginia gas station for 24 hours without a replacement bus back in July. The investigation found that the company was in fact the zombie of a company that USDOT shut down in 2012 for multiple safety violations. An equally negligent zombie, it seems.

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Joe Lhota To Staten Island: Love Me Or Hate Me But I'll Still Win

A few weeks ago, Bob Scarmadella, the borough's GOP chairman and Lhota supporter, stepped down from his position. By doing so, this has raised the possibility for third party candidate Aldolfo Carrion's entry onto the Republican ballot. And then the Borough President endorsed Christine Quinn for Mayor. Most recently, a community board chairman named John Antoneillo, who's indirect acquaintance with billionaire/mayoral hopeful John Catsimatidis, has been eyed for the chairman position.

In other words, it hasn't been smooth sailing for Joe Lhota's campaign in Staten Island. But he doesn't seem to care; if anything, he's pretty confident at his chances there.

According to Politicker, the Republican hopeful responded to a question on Sunday at the Young Brooklyn Republican Club about his Staten Island likability. And there seems to be no problem: "I am very comfortable in my position with the leadership on Staten Island... I'm not bothered by it at all. I will win in the primary in September. I will have more than enough support on Staten Island."

As city politics go, Staten Island is a Republican stronghold - a necessary piece if a candidate on the right is going to capture City Hall. It's a good thing Mr. Lhota has so much optimism going into November. He's going to need it.


Staten Island's NRA Flare: Council Senselessly Votes for Putting Armed Guards in Schools

When Wayne LaPierre spoke to the world in the wake of Newtown, viewers and media folk alike gawked at the NRA chieftain's worldview. Twitter was abuzz with anger as LaPierre proposed fighting guns with guns, swiftly condemning video games and the rest of society for the violence at hand. Not to mention the handful of "NRA Killing Our Kids" protestors that interrupted the speaker. Except, on the ground, the reaction was a bit different.

Several school districts across the country have been seriously considering this idea. Just last week, Voice writer Jason Lewis reported on the public schools in the Marlboro Township of New Jersey. There, the district's Board of Education has instructed the local police to implement a 90-day pilot system where armed guards would hold down the educational fort. It's currently in week two of operation.

And, now, the controversial move has hit a bit closer to home: Last night, the 10-member Staten Island Educational Council voted for a similar program, in which 300 to 500 retired NYPD officials would monitor the hallways dressed as ordinary (armed) civilians. The proposal will run as a recommendation to Education Chancellor Dennis Walcott and his department. But, regardless if it passed or not, the idea was DOA.
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Louis C.K. Will Make You Cry of Laughter for Staten Island Sandy Benefit

Unlike the two-week anniversary, the destruction from Sandy has not yet passed. Communities have only just begun rebuilding as volunteer efforts ramp up to save what's left. And Staten Island, the borough that was arguably hit the worst, is one of them. So for this reason, Louis C.K. -- comedy's current Golden Child -- is offering his hand in the recovery.

This Saturday, the stand-up performer and star/producer/director of FX's Louie, will play two shows (tickets go for $65 a pop) at the St. George Theatre in Staten Island, with all proceeds going to the Project Hospitality Hurricane Relief Fund. Part of this might reflect on the two shows he had to reschedule two weekends ago due to the fact that, according to an e-mail he sent to fans, he didn't want "a pole to smash your face in because you saw some comedy."

Add another reason to the "Why Louis C.K. is the Coolest Guy in the World" list.

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Judge Pauses Bloomberg's "Livery Cab" Plan, Outer Boroughs Must Suffer

This picture was definitely not taken in Brooklyn. Because cabs do not exist there.

Contrary to popular belief, there are people that live outside of Manhattan. The hustle and bustle of New York City is not limited to one island; actually, almost 80 percent of New Yorkers live in the outer boroughs (probably because they cannot afford its real estate horrors). 

And, if taxi cabs follow the people who use them, that should mean that 80 percent of those yellow autos should be leaving Manhattan, right? Wrong.

A Supreme Court justice ruled against Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to expand street-hail service to Northern Manhattan and the rest of the metropolis, issuing what is called a plaintiff request to temporarily enjoin the proposal. In other words, without a final ruling issued yet, Bloomberg's ambitions have been put on hold for the time being.

However, the temporary restraining order from the Court precludes a part of the "livery cab" plan that would auction off 2,000 of those lucky cab medallions, worth millions of dollars in city revenues. The only thing being restrained now is the fleet's new additions in the form of Boro Taxi permits. The outer borough-ers will just have to wait.

However, the Court did not make this temporary decision solely on its tangible proposals; the ruling came to question how Bloomberg went about getting the plan passed in the first place. Looks like he didn't exactly play by the legislative rules.

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A Breakdown of the NYC Bike Share Map


The bicycles are comin'! The bicycles are comin'!

Yesterday, the New York City Department of Transportation released the initial 420 bike share station locations for the program that will unleash (eventually) 10,000 bikes onto the already crammed streets of New York by 2013. Influenced by NYU's much-smaller program and approved by at least 64 percent of New Yorkers, the bike share saga begins in late July. Created and argued by City citizens, the scattered spots across the Big Apple are just the first round of stations to be built; the end total will be something around 600 stations. 

But this primary bike blueprint is missing alot. Although plans are in the work for stations in the Upper East/West Side, Cobble Hill, Park Slope and Sunnyside in Queens, the one we have now leaves out enormous chunks of New York City and puts the bikes in more-than-obvious places. Here's what we've got:

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New York City's New Boro Taxis Are Green -- Apple Green, That Is

green taxi.JPG
Sam Levin
The new "apple green" Boro Taxi, unveiled at City Hall this morning.
It's not lime green, not key lime pie green, not sea-foam green, nor is it chartreuse. Nope. The city's new taxi for upper Manhattan and the outer boroughs, unveiled this morning, is apple green.

The mayor's office emphasized this specific shade of green at a press conference at City Hall this morning by having a basket of green apples on site and one prop apple at the podium that speakers could hold on to and toss in the air if they wanted, to emphasize that this new taxi is in fact "apple" green -- a topic of much debate among reporters in attendance.

In front of the steps of City Hall, the mayor's office took the cover off a model of the new taxi, which looks a lot like the yellow taxis, only it's (apple) green.

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