Weekly Reporting

MTA combats fare evasion with AI surveillance

Stand clear for rising fares, please. MTA bus and subway ride prices are going uptown by 15 cents later this month: Each swipe will cost $2.90 starting Aug. 20. The current fare is $2.75.

For power riders, a physical seven-day Metrocard will cost a dollar more, pushing the price from $33 to $34. One Metro New York (OMNY) fare-capping will soon start from the first digital tap rather than on Monday midnights—rides will not be charged after the 12th ride (or $34 cumulatively spent) on the same co

Gillibrand touts federal legislation banning 3D printed gun blueprints

Getting a gun in New York City is easier with a router than through Ruger, so Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) hopes the 3D Printed Gun Safety Act of 2023, which bans internet distribution of blueprints for 3D printed firearms, will suppress the burgeoning illegal pipeline of homemade, untraceable “ghost guns,” both locally and nationwide.

Gillibrand announced the bill this past Monday, July 17, at the Detectives’ Endowment Association’s Manhattan headquarters alongside state lawmakers, gun viole

Most can’t contest wrongful convictions without DNA evidence

Steve Lopez got his name back last summer. Well, almost. Looking at his case on the National Registry of Exonerations website, he asks who the heck Steven Lopez is. Steven Lopez is his son’s name. He’s just Steve.

The registry isn’t the only issue. Newspapers all referred to him as “Steven” when he was front-page news 11 months ago. But it’s easier to brush off than when those same publications called him and his co-defendants a “wolf pack” and “beasts,” comparing them to wild animals and publi

What Canadian wildfire smoke means for the most underserved New Yorkers

The Empire State Building was lit up in Knicks orange during the NBA Finals last week. But there’s no championship parade for finishing first in the world’s worst air pollution rankings. On Wednesday, city officials reported the local air quality index (AQI) climbed over 480 on a 500 scale due to smoke traveling south from the ongoing Canadian wildfires, the worst since the 1960s.

“301 or higher is a hazardous condition,” said Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan on Wednesday. “In consultation with

Longterm Projects

'Be-Loved' highlights Harlem credible messenger

Dedric Hammond’s big heart pumped cold blood for the first part of his life. Back then, he was known as “Bad News,” a genuinely scary guy who grew up in Harlem’s St. Nicholas houses. He recounts his dangerous reputation uptown as a “stick up kid,” known to randomly rob people at gunpoint.

Both a perpetrator and victim of violence, Hammond was shot in multiple incidents throughout his young adulthood and ended up spending eight years in prison. While incarcerated, he ruminated over his given nam

The fight for liberation: Modern abolitionists seek to end police and prisons

Just as the fight for freedom for Black Americans did not end with the Emancipation Proclamation or passage of the Civil Rights Act, the fight for abolition continues to the present day—but in a different form.

According to Dominique Jean-Louis, chief historian at the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), the original abolitionists were people who were against chattel slavery of African people and their descendants in the U.S. Inherent to abolition, she said, is a wish to the end of an oppressive syst

How social media divides Asian and Black communities

There’s no “All Lives Matter” counterpart to the Stop Asian Hate movement, but right-wing talking heads like Tucker Carlson and Andrew Sullivan are part of a larger movement that is fomenting a blame-game against Black Americans for the uptick of racist harassment and violence against Asian Americans after the first confirmed COVID-19 infection in Wuhan, China about three years ago.

Dr. Janelle Wong, a co-director of the nonprofit AAPI Data and Asian American studies professor at the University


Leah Goodridge lays out her work as NYC Planning Commissioner

Leah Goodridge rattles off facts and figures on Black homeownership and displacement around town without pause. But the renowned tenant rights lawyer, who also serves on the NYC Planning Commission, is less confident when asked about where she’s eaten her favorite meal.

Thankfully for Goodridge, her parakeets abruptly chime in with a caw-cophony of chattering and screeching, saving their bird mom from finishing her unavoidably controversial answer. At least initially. She ultimately votes with

Jacob Batalon Is Going From Ned to Undead

Three days before his 26th birthday, Jacob Batalon plans to celebrate by traveling to Serbia for work. The Filipino American actor quickly finds the silver lining in any situation, and Batalon’s face lights up as he talks about the surprise gifts he might receive from his girlfriend.

It’s not hard to see why he’s one of Hollywood’s top choices for playing characters with a sunny outlook. Batalon is best known for playing Peter Parker’s earnest buddy Ned Leeds in the trio of “Spider-Man” blockbu

The deep roots of Bronx County D.A. Darcel Clark

The first time Darcel Clark left the Bronx was also the first time anyone from her family attended university. And before she became the borough’s chief prosecutor, she was a lifelong resident, going to city public schools throughout her youth and living in the same NYCHA building her father maintained. So she came back home, with a political science degree from Boston College and a J.D. from Howard University. It just made sense.

“When I left Howard, I guess I could have gone anywhere,” said C

'There’s Someone Inside Your House' Star Sydney Park Shares Her Love for Horror

On a Friday afternoon in late October, leaves are falling, the smell of pumpkin spice fills the air and, most importantly, spooky season’s in full swing. It’s a time when actress Sydney Park is at her best. With past recurring roles on “The Walking Dead” and “Santa Clarita Diet,” she’s a born scream queen—no joke, her birthday literally falls on Halloween. “It’s really funny how I’ve attracted this horror genre,” Park says over the phone. “It’s so meant to be.”

To little surprise, she recently