New York steps up building home for the poor

New York City, which has been seeing stubborn poverty rates, is stepping up efforts to provide low-price housing for the poor, with 640 projects all over the city as of July 2011, data from New York City Open Data and the city government show.

Most of the projects are located in The Bronx and parts of Brooklyn, which have the highest poverty rates. All these projects operate under the management of the New York City Housing Authority.
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In The College Degree Rush, Blue-Collar Workers Lag Behind

Median annual earnings among full-time workers aged 25-32, in 2012 dollar rate.  Sources: Pew Research Center, U.S. Census Bureau

Median annual earnings among full-time workers aged 25-32, in 2012 dollar rate.
Sources: Pew Research Center, U.S. Census Bureau

Randy Mancusor, 57, started his job as a marine oiler in the 1970s, and made a decent living at the time. But after nearly 40 years oiling machinery on the Staten Island Ferry, he said his salary increases have not kept up with the rising cost of living in New York City.
“The increase doesn’t completely stop the bleeding of inflation,” he said. “The price of everything has gone up since then – housing, gas… Just air hasn’t.”
The Windsor Terrace resident hopes his son, now 19 and a first-year student at the City University of New York studying criminal psychology, will find a white-collar job after his graduation.
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In Search for Freedom, They Break Away With Bitcoin

Wesley Thornburgh, a portfolio manager from Chicago, found himself the odd man out at an experimental bitcoin auction at the New York City Bitcoin Center, which is seeking to become the world’s first regulated bitcoin exchange.
“I feel like I’m the only person here who doesn’t have a background in IT,” said Thornburgh, in a well-tailored suit, when he was standing among casual-dressed bitcoin investors. But he is among the growing Wall Street crowd who are turning to bitcoin for a profitable investment option.
In the center’s large lounge in the very heart of Wall Street, several dozen people crowded around a man standing on a high podium, joining in what looked like an auction.
“610 bid, 620 ask,” the man shouted. “Now it’s selling at 640 a bitcoin.”
A bell rang, followed by a transaction price on an overhead projector. A deal was done.
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Timid Economic Recovery Leaves Men Struggling for Jobs

Thomas Wagner received an Emmy Award nomination for his work as a music composer in 2005, but today he just can’t find a job. He’s one of millions of men whose performance in the recovering job market is lagging behind women.
“I have experience,” Wagner said. “I hired people, sometimes I fired people. But I don’t have a job with another company that shows that experience. It’s a difficult thing.”
Wagner, 63, was among a crowd of job seekers attending a coaching session at a New York Public Library branch on Madison Avenue last week. Out of the nearly 70 attendees, about two thirds were men, mostly in their 40s and 50s. Wagner’s story was typical. He has been looking for a job for six months, sending applications to a dozen companies, but so far without success.
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Job Opportunities Lure Asians Back Home

Shuo Liu, 27, planned to stay in the United States after completing his undergraduate business program in New York, but staying turned out to be tougher than he had thought.

“First of all, you have to win a ‘lottery’ of H-1B visa,” said Liu, from Chengdu in Sichuan province in southwest China. “So your future is based on some luck.”

He found a job after graduation but failed the visa application process. He got lucky on the second try, getting a visa and a job. But the experience made him reconsider. After working for two years, he enrolled for a master of science program in marketing at Baruch College. After graduation next summer, he plans to go home.

“After all, China is my home,” he said with a genuine American accent while sipping Starbucks coffee. “I’ve got my family there, and honestly, I don’t like to be an immigrant. I want to be the mainstream people.”
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Robberies, burglaries on the rise in Windsor Terrace


A woman walks by police’s warrants on a store’s door for two men who are accused of stealing cash from an ATM on Prospect Park West in April.

When Abi Atiae came to his newly opened restaurant one mid-November morning, he found its glass door broken. Some one had struck the glass and broken into his Mediterranean restaurant.

There was blood on the door, the floor and the cashier. All the cash, mostly change, had disappeared from the cashier. He had only closed the glass door the previous night, because the rolling overhead door was stuck.

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80-year-old bar exhibits old-day Windsor Terrace

All the men standing around the reddish-brown bar turned to look with surprise at the young woman walking in for the first time. They kept watching the stranger take a stool and order a drink, leaving their noisy conversations unfinished.

“We don’t often see women here,” said Ronnie Sardo, a painter who has frequented the bar for 30 years.

But that is changing as Windsor Terrace, a neighborhood in central Brooklyn, is attracting newer residents. While the area has become a destination for more affluent and younger residents, the 80-year-old Farrell’s Bar offers an insight into history and life in the once working-class neighborhood.

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As New Yorkers select mayor, stop-and-frisk anger builds up

Lisa Serradilla, a Harlem resident, was driving her car off her house to the laundry in August when she was followed by a police car and requested to stop. A policeman approached her.

“He stepped out of the car and proceeded and said to me: ‘Get back in the car!’ ” she said, recalling the moment she got out of the vehicle.

“Look at this size of me. I’m 5 feet 5 and 118 pounds.”
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Taxing the rich: It’s tough for NYC mayor-elect

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio will struggle to get his tax-the-rich plan approved by the New York State Legislature because New York City’s population, even at 8.4 million, is still not large enough to have a majority in the legislature, analysts said Wednesday.

“Not everybody in the state legislature is interested in the taxation in New York City, and no politician is interested really in raising taxes,” said Carol O’Cleireacain, former New York City commissioner and budget director.

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Designer Michael Kors launches $5M charity project


Designer Michael Kors (middle) poses at the charity event.

Ready-to-wear fashion designer Michael Kors, who rose to fame in the past 30 years and enormous wealth over the past two years, said Wednesday he would give back part of his fortune to provide free meals to people with severe illnesses.

Kors donated $5 million to the construction of a new building for God’s Love We Deliver, which has been offering food and nutritional counseling to patients in New York City for 28 years.
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