Week of August 22, 2005
Shootings Rise as Crime Falls
Despite a continued decline in crime including homicides, more people have been shot in New York City this year than last. As of Sunday, 1,188 people had been shot in New York City in 2005 -- an increase of 5.8 percent from last year at the same time. Although police sources have no explanation for the increase, some say efforts to fight terrorism may be limiting the amount of attention police can give to conventional crime. Others cite the abolition of the Street Crime Unit, which was disbanded after four of its members shot and killed Amadou Diallo in 1999. Overall, the city's crime rate has dropped almost 5 percent so far this year.
For more see Crime Links in the News,
MTA Security Plan Poses Risks, Experts Say (NY Times)
Community Development Links in the News -- The Graffiti Block Party (Gotham Gazette)
Subway Cell Phone Service
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has begun soliciting bids from companies interested in providing cell phone service in the city's underground subway stations. Representatives of the country's four largest cell phone providers said yesterday they were considering whether to bid on the 10-year contract expected to be worth between $50 million and $100 million. The MTA wants whoever gets the contract to build, operate and maintain the system, which would cover subway stations but not the tunnels, at no cost to the authority. In return, the winning company would have an exclusive license to provide the service, though it would have to allow other providers access to the network.
$45 Million Suit Filed in Suicide of Rikers Inmate (Daily News)
Elections Become Campaign Issue, by Doug Israel (Gotham Gazette)
Public Advocate Debate
The Democratic candidates running for Public Advocate faced one another for the first time last night in a televised debate hosted by NY1 and sponsored by the city�s Campaign Finance Board. During an hour-long debate, the candidates stuck to the themes they have honed for the last several months of the campaign. Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum was relentlessly criticized by the three other candidates; Norman Siegel, Andrew Rasiej and Jay Golub. Gotbaum also revealed that she did not release her public schedule to people outside the news media because she had been followed by a stalker.
For information, go to Campaign 2005
Demographics Links In The News (Gotham Gazette)
Can NYC �Profile� Young Muslim Males? (Gotham Gazette)
Security, Surveillance, Cell Phones
The Lockheed Martin Corporation will lead a team of contractors getting at least $200 million to install some 1,000 surveillance cameras in the subways and other anti-terrorist equipment on commuter lines, in bridges and tunnels, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will announce today, according to both the New York Times and the New York Post. The Daily News reports that the MTA is also planning to enable cell phone service on subway platforms. For details, see the the transportation topic page links in the news
A judge yesterday reversed -- and ridiculed -- the Bloomberg administration's ban on a block party in Chelsea planned for tomorrow by designer Mark Ecko, which will feature ex graffiti artists painting fake subway cars. Jed S. Rakoff of Federal District Court in Manhattan called the city's cancellation of the block party permit a "flagrant violation" of the First Amendment. For details, see the arts topic page links in the news.
Public Advocate Debate
The candidates for public advocate will debate tonight at 7 p.m., presented live on NY-1 cable TV and WNYC radio. For news of the various local races, see Campaign 2005
Street Vendors Protest Fine Hikes (NY Times)
Jets Eye Stadium In Queens (Newsday)
Campaign 2005: Crime Declines, Public Safety Worries Continue (Gotham Gazette)
Crime Links In The News (Gotham Gazette)
In a televised debate yesterday, the four Democratic candidates for mayor attacked each other's campaign promises. Former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer was criticized for his plan to institute a Wall Street stock transfer tax to pay for education. Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields was pushed on how she would fund pay raises for police. City Council Speaker Gifford Miller responded to criticisms that he did not do more to keep firehouses from closing. And U.S. Anthony Weiner, who initiated many of the attacks, defended his plans to cut taxes and reform Medicaid against charges that they are "gimmicks." Read a full transcript of the debate.
Businessman Battles the City for Power Plant (NY Times)
Weld Wants to Be Governor, This Time in NY (NY Times)
Freedom Center Faces More Criticism (Daily News)
Wall Collapses in Greenwich Village (Newsday)