When I was in fourth grade, our class had pen pals with a fourth-grade class in rural Ohio. Every week, I would write to the Ohio girl I had been paired with (people wrote letters back then) and she would write one to me.
Apparently, she was impressed that I lived in New York City and had an avalanche of questions about life here. She posed questions such as, "Are there crazy people?"... » more
Bill de Blasio seems poised to waltz into Gracie Mansion largely on the strength of his proposal for a soak-the-rich income tax hike.
But the tax increase would need approval in Albany, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to position himself as a moderate tax-cutter for his 2014 re-election bid. So the governor is doing his best to discourage de Blasio, warning that a city tax increase would prompt... » more
The city's public school system should treat the Muslim holy days of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha as public school holidays. After all, nearly 14 percent of our student body -- 150,000 students -- is Muslim.
The City Council has called for making the holy days school holidays. Democrat Bill de Blasio and Republican Joe Lhota -- mayoral adversaries who butt heads on most issues -- agree. But... » more
The gloves are off. New York State's Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption last summer politely asked legislators earning more than $20,000 a year in outside income to shed more light on their clients and pay.
The answer was a thunderous silence in public from those asked to make the disclosure.
Behind the scenes, however, there was a fierce struggle taking place between... » more
This week marks the 154th anniversary of the capture of John Brown at Harpers Ferry, Va.
Brown and a small group of followers, including his two sons, had hoped to spark a slave revolt with weapons captured at the Virginia federal garrison. But things didn't go as planned: Col. Robert E. Lee led a contingent of Marines into Harper's Ferry and quelled the nascent uprising. Ten of Brown's men... » more
Stop me if you've heard this one: A man walks into a polling station to vote for mayor. Surprise! A stealth amendment authorizing new casinos in New York is also on the ballot. That's great, thinks the man, who votes yes -- then winds up divorced, broke and addicted.
OK, not so funny. Because the joke's on us.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo not only worked to get this amendment on the Nov. 5 ballot,... » more
Congress continued flirting with disaster Tuesday as Republicans scrambled to appease their tea party faction, which seems all too willing to risk the perilous unknown of government default. Those uncompromising ideologues can derail the government, but only if their more moderate Republican colleagues let it happen. The party's cooler heads must stop the madness.
Congress appeared tantalizingly... » more
In a move sure to annoy his adversaries, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is scrambling to firm up plans for 23 more charter schools in the city before the final bell rings on his mayoralty, reports say.
He has the look of a guy trying to nail as much as he can to the floor before his term ends on Dec. 31.
But it's no mystery why he's in such a rush.
Republican Joe Lhota -- a strong charter... » more
A bill to increase weekend and overnight Staten Island Ferry service cruised to a 46-0 victory in the City Council this week -- an overdue sign of respect for the economic potential of a borough that often feels like a stepchild.
The bill would boost weekend ferry service within six months of signing. And it calls for round-the-clock service -- at intervals of no more than 30 minutes -- in... » more
As I walked on a quiet street in the Financial District one night, a police car pulled up beside me, giving a quick blast of its siren.
"Excuse me, sir," the white male officer said, leaning out of his window. "May I ask where you're going?" Shaken, I told him.
"Can I see some ID?" he asked. I obliged. "May I take a look in your backpack?"
Nervously, I unzipped it and handed... » more