Staten Island Teachers Furious Their Union Didn't Want Them to Wear NYPD Shirts to the First Day of School

Image via Facebook
A group of teachers, reportedly from P.S. 220 in Queens, posted photos of themselves in NYPD shirts.
A group of public school teachers in Staten Island planned to wear T-shirts supporting the New York Police Department to the first day of school yesterday, but most backed off after warnings from their union, the United Federation of Teachers. The Staten Island Advance reports that more than 600 shirts reading "New York's Brightest Supports New York's Finest #ThankYouNYPD" were purchased from a specialty T-shirt printing company in Staten Island earlier this month. A group of teachers, pictured above, reportedly from P.S. 220 in Queens, posted photos of themselves in NYPD shirts in an apparent act of solidarity, although it's not clear if they actually wore them to class.

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New York City's Wealthy Neighborhoods See Spike in Heroin Deaths

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Overdoses are down in Staten Island, but overall things are still ugly.

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Fox News Desperately Wanted Saturday's March for Eric Garner To Be a Bloodbath

All photos by C.S. Muncy for the Village Voice. See more Eric Garner march photos.
Thousands of people marched through Staten Island Saturday to protest the July death of 43-year-old Eric Garner at the hands of NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, and to call for justice for all victims of police brutality. There were no arrests during the "We Will Not Go Back" rally and march, which was organized by Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network, backed by a host of labor unions and social justice organizations, and attended by a smattering of politicians, including City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and former Governor David Patterson.

The lack of violence surely came as a serious disappointment to Fox News, which spent the days leading up to the march solemnly predicting that the whole thing would melt down into a full-scale race war.

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Grand Jury Will Hear Evidence on Eric Garner's Death

Photo by Caleb Ferguson
Pallbearers carry Eric Garner's coffin at his funeral in Brooklyn July 23.
The Staten Island District Attorney's office says a grand jury will hear evidence on the death of Eric Garner, the 43-year-old man who died in July after NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo put him in a chokehold. A press release sent out this morning by Staten Island DA Daniel M. Donovan Jr.'s office didn't mention Office Pantaleo by name, saying only that "after a careful review of the recent findings of the Medical Examiner regarding the cause and manner of Mr. Garner's death," he'd decided to present the case to a grand jury.

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Police Union President: Ramsey Orta, Arrested Witness to Eric Garner's Death, Is "Demonizing the Good Work of Police Officers"

Photo by Caleb Ferguson
Garner's pallbearers carry his casket after his funeral in Brooklyn July 23.
On July 17, 22-year-old Ramsey Orta filmed Staten Island police officers tackling his friend Eric Garner to the ground , watching as officer Daniel Pantaleo wrapped Garner's neck in a chokehold. The New York City Medical Examiner ruled on Friday, August 1 that Garner's death was a homicide, caused primarily by compression of his neck and chest, exacerbated by his prone position as well as asthma, obesity and heart disease.

As Garner's death caused worldwide outrage, Orta told Time he faced increased harassment from the police. On Saturday night, he was arrested by plainclothes narcotics officers and charged with gun possession.

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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.