Urbanite

Editorial: NYC's big challenge is to hold costs down

If you live in New York, you are probably shelling out insane amounts of money for the bare basics of life, Forbes magazine proclaims.

Right. We know.

Food, gas, utilities, transportation, medical expenses -- their costs converge in a big ugly lump in our accounts payable every month and put us in an unfortunate tie with Honolulu for America's "Most Overpriced City" of 2014.

The...

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Behind the 'lone-wolf' terror case

What to make of the guilty plea by Jose Pimentel, a so-called "lone wolf" terrorist, after his attorney had said just two weeks before his trial that she planned a strong entrapment defense?

Pimentel, who will receive a 16-year prison term when he is sentenced later this month, is the third lone-wolf terrorism case that the NYPD brought to prosecutors, resulting in a conviction, without the...

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Discrimination has got to go

Kudos to Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council for officially boycotting the St. Patrick's Day Parade for its embarrassing history of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender New Yorkers. For years, parade organizers have forbidden people from marching behind a banner celebrating dual identities: Irish and queer.

Based upon Catholic teachings about homosexuality,...

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Was Ray Kelly right to spy on Muslims?

The reaction of the city's mainstream media is the only thing wackier than U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martini's ruling last week that the NYPD's widespread spying on New Jersey Muslims did not violate their civil rights. Further, he ruled, whatever harm Muslims suffered was caused by The Associated Press, whose series on NYPD's spying received the Pulitzer Prize.

"Ray Kelly was right,"...

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Schindler: Soul of the Folk Art Museum lives on

The decision by the Museum of Modern Art to demolish the former site of the American Folk Art Museum -- a contemporary architectural masterpiece -- at first feels disloyal to the repurposing spirit of the very outsider art the building was erected to honor.

But to focus solely on the fate of the building, however creative its design, overshadows the true heart and soul of any museum: the work...

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MTA finally gives safety its props

The MTA seems to get it now.

In the wake of December's deadly Metro-North derailment in the Bronx, the MTA has installed new speed control technology on 10 treacherous curves in the Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road systems.

And it has drawn up a new executive flow chart.

Don't laugh -- this matters.

The MTA has added the position of chief safety officer to its senior...

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Big brother is getting bigger every day

I went to bed earlier this week a semi-rational person. I awoke the next day a raving paranoid. It happens once in a while.

It wasn't a single thing that put me over the edge; it was the accumulation of stories about expanding police technologies, the ones to which we, as citizens, routinely succumb. Call it a Keyser Söze moment -- if you've seen the 1995 film "The Usual Suspects" you'll...

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City police still keeping Ray Kelly safe

Nearly a dozen detectives have been assigned to protect ex-Police Commissioner Ray Kelly since he left office Dec. 31.

The security detail is composed of first- and second-grade detectives, police sources say, at a cost to New Yorkers of $1 million to $1.5 million a year.

There's a silver lining: Kelly has fewer detectives on his 10-person security detail than did Rudy Giuliani when...

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Bill de Blasio makes news, but 'no big deal' to Commissioner Bill Bratton

NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said last week that he "was not overly concerned" by what he saw after Mayor Bill de Blasio pointed to his NYPD security detail when it was caught speeding and blowing through a couple of stop signs in Queens by a WCBS-TV camera crew.

It was the second embarrassing incident involving de Blasio and the NYPD this month. Two weeks ago, de Blasio contacted a deputy...

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Central Park advocates battle skyscrapers over shadows

Central Park Shadows

(Credit: Central Park advocates say new skyscrapers hurt its quality of life. (Warren St. John))

A couple of new skyscrapers have already cast huge shadows on Central Park, and the greenspace's advocates say they are worried that this vertical trend will drive people away.

Hundreds packed a meeting held by Manhattan's Community Board 5 on Wednesday night to speak out against the developers of One57, which is set to be the tallest residential building in the city at 75 floors when it opens...

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