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Last Build Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:44:05 -0400


Morning Transit Options To and From Hoboken

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:44:05 -0400

A NJ Transit train crashed at Hoboken Terminal Thursday, killing one person and injuring 108 others. NJ Transit, light rail and some ferry service is suspended. NJ Transit is expanding bus, rail and light rail service to make up for the closure of Hoboken Terminal. NJ Transit tickets are being honored by Metro-North, NJ Transit buses and shuttles, and New York Waterway ferries.

Expect overcrowding and delays.

• PATH. Path operating normally.

NJ Transit. 

All New York City-bound trains (Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast Line, Midtown direct), Raritan Valley and Atlantic City lines will operate on normal weekday schedules.

Main, Bergen, Pascack Valley and Port Jervis lines will continue to operate on a modified weekend schedule originating/terminating in Secaucus.

There will be limited rail shuttle service on the Montclair-Boonton Line west of Montclair State University (MSU) – between MSU and Denville stations.

There will be rail shuttle service on the Morris & Essex Lines (M&E) between Hackettstown and Dover.

The Gladstone Branch will have its two regularly scheduled Midtown Direct trains in addition to rail shuttles between Gladstone and Summit.

Buses. There will be supplemental service during morning and afternoon rush hour periods on the #126 (Hoboken-NY) and other commuter lines in Bergen, Passaic, and Essex counties.

Bus shuttle service will operate between Secaucus Junction and Liberty State Park Light Rail Station. Service will begin at 6 a.m. and continue throughout the day until midnight. This service will operate on a load-and-go basis from bus lanes 8, 9 and 10 during peak hours. During off-peak hours, service will continue to operate based upon demand. 

Customers wishing to go from Secaucus to the Jersey City waterfront should use the shuttle bus service to Liberty State Park and make a connection to Hudson-Bergen Light Rail.

Metro-North. Metro-North is honoring all Pascack Valley Line and Port Jervis Line tickets until further notice.

For Pascack Valley Line, Suffern, Sloatsburg, Tuxedo & Harriman: Take Hudson Line Train Service from Grand Central Terminal to Tarrytown station for connecting bus service to all PVL stations. 

For Port Jervis Line customers between Harriman and Port Jervis: Take Hudson Line Train Service to Beacon for connecting bus service to all stations between Harriman and Port Jervis stations. 

Ferry. The NY Waterway Ferry service IS operating from 14th Street in Hoboken, and they are honoring NJ Transit tickets — but NOT PATH tickets. You can take the ferry to West 39th Street or to World Financial Center from there.

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail. Will resume full service Friday morning.

Until then, service to and from 8th Street is being terminated at Newport; service to and from Tonnelle Avenue is being terminated at 2nd Street. 


Train Crash in Hoboken Leads to Questions About Safety

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 08:39:52 -0400

One woman died and 108 people were injured when a rush-hour NJ Transit train crashed at Hoboken Terminal Thursday morning. New Jersey Gov. The wreck renewed questions about whether long-delayed automated safety technology could have prevented tragedy.

A Tale of Two Newsfeeds: Police Shootings and Brangelina

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New York Builds Housing to Cut Healthcare Costs

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 04:00:00 -0400

Barabara Scamordella spent about 15 years living on and off the streets of New York City and Nassau County. This past January, she got lucky: she moved into a new supportive housing development called Boston Road, after the street where it’s located in the Bronx.

Her studio apartment on the sixth floor was built by a New York State program that uses Medicaid funds to build housing for people who’ve been cycling in and out of hospitals, racking up expenses.

New York is among the earliest and most aggressive states to use Medicaid funds to build housing, so far investing around $500 billion in about 10,000 units state-wide. Tenants typically pay around $200 a month after rent subsidies, and they can stay as long as they want.

“We’re really trying to demonstrate both the improved health outcomes and the cost effectiveness of supportive housing – that you can not only improve one’s health but you can also save the state and federal government Medicaid dollars,” said Elizabeth Misa, from the state Health Department.

In the three years before Scamordella got her apartment, Medicaid spent almost 30-thousand dollars on her healthcare, according to state records she authorized WNYC to see. Most of the costs covered short stays in hospitals and detox centers, expensive treatments more for symptoms than the underlying cause of her problems.

Still, the transition off the street can be rocky. Resident Darryl Privott often can’t sleep. He gets up in the middle of the night and sits on a bench out front and smokes cigarettes.

“It’s not every night, and I think it’s getting a little better,” said Privott, who moved into Boston Road in the spring. “Maybe I won’t do it after I’m here a few more months."

Some residents scatter trash in the hallway, spit in elevators and generally disrupt life.

“For some residents, it’s harder than others,” said property manager Maria Rogers. “For those who need a lot of help, we take an all-hands-on-deck approach,” with case workers, mental health counselors and others.

She said that while unruly tenants could be evicted or not have their leases renewed, it hasn’t happened yet at Boston Road and only very rarely occurs at other supportive housing developments owned and operated by the parent non-profit group, Breaking Ground.

For Scamordella, having her own apartment is giving her breathing room to take care of herself for the first time in years. In the past, she grappled with heroin addiction, and she's also had heart and respiratory problems as well as breast cancer. Since moving in, she's begun tending to her health. This month, she had a cataract removed at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, restoring sight to her right eye. In the coming months, she plans to get an overdue mammogram, see a dentist for dentures, and try to quit smoking and lose some weight.

It’s too soon to compare her before-and-after healthcare expenses but, by tending to chronic health problems, she’s dramatically reducing the chances she’ll return to hospitals for anything more than outpatient procedures.

“Now I’m taking care of things,” Scamordella said.

New York Builds Housing to Cut Healthcare Costs

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Fear, Lies and Intrigue: Takeaways from Day 3 of Bridgegate Testimony

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 19:07:00 -0400

On the first days of Bridgegate testimony, one thing became painfully clear: lying to the press, and the public, is a casual by-product of achieving political aims.  It's almost a business model. The trial is only three days old, but so far both the Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich and Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye have admitted lying in their public statements, and evidence has been producing showing that both the New York and New Jersey sides of the Port Authority tried to use traffic lanes in the tiny borough of Fort Lee to maneuver for political advantage. Here's the breakdown.  1. "Trenton" tried to close the lanes again after they were opened. Twice. The morning of Sept. 13, 2013, at 6 a.m., Port Authority executive director Pat Foye called his staff, reopened the lanes in Fort Lee, and sent around the email that ultimately brought the scandal to public light, the one calling the closures "hasty" and "ill-advised" and a "threat to public safety." After that email, Bridgegate defendant Bill Baroni sent an email of his own, to Foye: "There can be no public discourse." Then Baroni met with Foye twice in Foye's office. The first time, Foye said in testimony Wednesday, Baroni asked that the lanes be closed again, saying "it's important to Trenton" and that Trenton "senior staff had been briefed and that it's important to them." We know from other documents that Baroni then spoke with Christie mentor and Port Authority Chair David Samson, and that David Wildstein, the convicted Bridgegate felon, then emailed Bridgegate defendant Bridget Kelly that "Samson is retaliating."   After all that, we now know, Baroni went back to Foye and tried, again, to get him to re-close the lanes. When Foye still refused, Baroni threatened, "Trenton will call Albany." 2. But Pat Foye may have been playing games, too.  A significant amount of Baroni lawyer Mike Baldassare's cross examination was about Foye's prior knowledge of the lane closures — hours before he has previously let on.  Foye was asked about a speech he gave before a transportation group in Lower Manhattan at midday on Sept. 12. "Isn’t it true that by the time you left that luncheon on Thursday the 12th you knew all of the details about the mess up in Fort Lee?" Foye was asked. Isn't it true, the defense attorney asked, that he told a colleague, "You don't know the half of it?" That he authorized his chief of staff "to call a reporter to stir up a story about the lane closures?" And then Baldassare swooped in: "Isn’t it simply true you knew about the lane closures, you knew about the problems well before you reversed the lanes, and you let it continue so you could swoop in Friday after it had already started and look like the hero?" Foye denied all of it, but the question was left hanging as Baldassare ended his cross, with the implication that four witnesses could come in and contradict Foye. 3. Foye repeatedly authorized false statements to the press. By the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 13, Foye knew, everyone knew. Still, in an email exchange with Scott Rechler, the New York Vice Chairman of the Port Authority and Gov. Cuomo's highest board appointment, Foye said, "It's fine with me," to say, "The Port Authority has conducted a week-long study of traffic safety patterns." But that statement was false, as Foye knew. "You’re the executive director, you have a duty to the public," said Michael Critchley, Bridget Kelly's attorney. "Is it part of your duty to make sure false information does not go out to the public? Proud of yourself?" he hammered. "Bill [Baroni] asked for it," Foye insisted. Critchley pressed on, quoting another false statement that had been given to The Record. Foye pushed back, talking about reopening the lanes for public safety reasons. "What about lying to the public?" Critchley demanded. "Immaterial," Foye said.  4. Cuomo's team swept in immediately to gain an advantage. We've known that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's team worked to keep a lid on th[...]

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Only in New York: Bomb No Deterrent to Free Bag

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 15:26:31 -0400

As they build a case against the accused Chelsea bomber, the NYPD and FBI want to talk to two men who may have inadvertently disarmed a second bomb Saturday evening.

The first bomb, on West 23rd Street went off around 8:30 p.m., injuring 31 people. Around the same time, authorities allege that Ahmad Khan Rahami left a second bomb nearby on West 27th street in a carry-on suitcase.

But two men walking by noticed the unattended luggage. Video shows the two passersby open the bag, take out the bomb and walk off with the bag — leaving the unexploded bomb on the sidewalk. The suspicious device was later reported and the NYPD's bomb squad disabled it.

NYPD counterterrorism Chief James Waters said it’s a mystery what the men were thinking when they took out the duct tape and wire-wrapped pressure cooker.

“I think they were more interested quite frankly in the bag and not what they were taking out. It would be purely speculative. We really would look forward to talking to them and asking them what they thought as they were doing that,” Water said.

Officials said the men are witnesses and are in no danger of being arrested. The bag is evidence and authorities want to examine it and see, for example, who bought it and where.

Only in New York: Bomb No Deterrent to Free Bag

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We Have the Documents Showing the Federal Charges Filed Against Bombing Suspect

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 14:08:15 -0400

On Tuesday, the Department of Justice formally charged Ahmad Khan Rahami with 10 federal crimes in New York and New Jersey district courts, including using Weapons of Mass Destruction. Rahami also faces additional charges, including attempted destruction of property by means of fire and explosion, and bombing a place of public use.

Read the complete list of charges below:

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An End-of-Summer Tale

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 12:58:50 -0400

Autumn officially begins today at 10:21 a.m. So to send it off with a flourish, we asked you to send us a noun, an adjective, and many more fill-in-the-blanks to complete this end-of-summer tale.

A Farewell to Summer Tale (Completed by WNYC Listeners)

It’s September 22nd, the day when summer (adverb) sulkily turns over the keys to fall. And what (adjective) whimsical summer it’s been!

Just a few days into the “official” start of summer, Democrats in congress staged a sit-in to protest (noun) pantsuit legislation. Lawmakers sat on the floor for (number) 3-point-1-4-1-4 hours, and even had (food) Omaha Steaks delivered to them. Ultimately, the protest didn’t lead to new legislation. Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted her reaction: (an over-used expression) “bye Felicia.”

By mid-July, the conventions were in full swing! The (adjective) deplorable people of Cleveland were to be hosting the RNC. (Any Republican lawmaker) George W. Bush was nowhere to be seen. And no one knew what to make of Trump's speech, which ended with a line from (the title of any Nicolas Cage movie) “Moonstruck.”

July ended with the DNC in Philadelphia, land of the (junk food) disco fries . The crowd went nuts for Michelle Obama, holding up signs that said: (a phrase from an Adele song) “This ain't lust.” Some media outlets reported that Cory Booker was seen doing (dance move) “the running man. It was a (adjective) really hairy week.

The Rio Olympics connected the world in a celebration of summer sports. The American women’s gymnastics team brought home plenty of gold medals, earning them the nickname “The (adjective) Wild Five”. And Michael Phelps took home his 23rd gold medal, saying he owes it all to (a good habit) cleaning behind his ears and his mom.

Some say summer went by faster than (a thing that moves fast) life after 60 ; others insist it crawled along like (thing that moves slow) a Pledge Drive . But rejoice – (autumn object) pumpkin spice latte -weather is just around the corner!

A Nation Engaged: Getting Young People Work

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 04:00:00 -0400

WNYC has been looking at ways the country can create economic opportunity for more Americans. It's part of a national conversation with NPR and other member stations for the series "A Nation Engaged."

Monday, Adam Friedman of the Pratt Center for Community Development discussed how lawmakers and New Yorkers can help the city's manufacturing industry grow in order to continue creating more jobs.

Then Ann Kirschner with the City University of New York discussed the role higher education plays in ensuring workers have the skills employers are looking for.

But what about people without a college degree or enough work experience to land that first job? Abigail Carlton, managing director at the Rockefeller Foundation, said employers can actually help them.

She leads the U.S. Youth Employment Initiative, which aims to find jobs for young people with limited education and work experience.

Carlton said youth unemployment isn't a new issue, but solutions tend to be focused on education and training young people for potential jobs.

"But what we've seen much less and feels like a really important part of the solution is to look inside companies themselves," she said. "And think about how employers need to evolve their own hiring practices [so] that they're building their talent pipeline."

Carlton spoke to WNYC's Richard Hake. Click on "Listen" for their conversation.

A Nation Engaged: Getting Young People Work

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NJ Muslim Leaders Speak Up to Distance Themselves from Rahami

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 04:00:00 -0400

An attorney for the Dar Ul Islam mosque in Elizabeth said Tuesday that the Muslim man accused in the weekend bombings in New York and New Jersey, Ahmad Khan Rahami, was an anomaly, and doesn't represent the community of Elizabeth.

"The person that's responsible for whatever happened in New York or these other bombs is not part of the Elizabeth fabric and was not motivated by any Imam in the city of Elizabeth," said Hassen Abdellah.

He was among a dozen Muslim leaders and officials participating in a news conference in front of Elizabeth City Hall on Tuesday. City officials did not attend.

Ali Chaudry, president of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, said the Muslim community is grappling with what its role should be when a terrorist act is committed by a person who identifies as a Muslim. He said some feel it is unfair to have to publicly denounce someone else's radical behavior, but he said he feels it is necessary to be clear that he doesn't support terrorism.

Chaudry also said the mosques recognize they need to be role models for their youth, and take steps to steer their kids from getting drawn into terrorist organizations.

"We need to do more to attract them to our activities rather than being distracted by other things or being recruited over the internet. We have to offer a better alternative," Chaudry said.

Another lslamic leader mentioned a Boy Scouts Club that he said is the first in New Jersey for Muslim boys.

Abdellah, who in 1993 represented one of the men later convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, said none of the Imams in Elizabeth teach about terror, and that anything Rahami learned, he learned on his own.

NJ Muslim Leaders Speak Up to Distance Themselves from Rahami

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Feds: Chelsea Explosives Suspect Rahami Championed Jihad

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 19:52:40 -0400

Championing jihad, bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami vowed to martyr himself rather than be caught after setting off explosives in New York and New Jersey, and he'd hoped in a handwritten journal that "the sounds of bombs will be heard in the streets," authorities said Tuesday as they filed federal charges against him. A criminal complaint in Manhattan federal court provided new chilling descriptions of the motivations that authorities said drove the Afghan-born U.S. citizen to set off explosives in New York and New Jersey, including a bomb that injured more than two dozen people when it blew up on a busy Manhattan street. Read the documents here. Meanwhile, more details emerged Tuesday about the Afghan-born U.S. citizen's past, including the disclosure that the FBI had looked into him in 2014 but came up with nothing. According to the court complaint, Rahami's journal included a passage that said: "You (USA Government) continue your (unintelligible) slaught(er)" against the mujahideen, or holy warriors, "be it Afghanistan, Iraq, Sham (Syria), Palestine." Another portion expressed concern at the prospect of being caught before being able to carry out a suicide attack and the desire to be a martyr, the complaint said. It added that another part included a reference, on a page that is largely unintelligible, to "pipe bombs" and a "pressure cooker bomb," and declared: "In the streets they plan to run a mile." There were also laudatory references to Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki - the American-born Muslim cleric who was killed in a 2011 drone strike and whose preaching has inspired other acts of violence - and Nidal Hasan, the former Army officer who went on a deadly shooting rampage in 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas, the complaint said. Before the federal charges were filed, Rahmani, 28, was already being held on $5.2 million bail, charged with the attempted murder of police officers during the shootout that led to his capture Monday outside a bar in Linden, New Jersey. It wasn't immediately clear whether Rahami had a lawyer who could comment on the charges. He remained hospitalized with gunshot wounds to the leg, forearm and shoulder. The court complaint also describes Rahami buying bomb-making equipment so openly that he ordered citric acid, ball bearings and electronic igniters on eBay and had them delivered to a New Jersey business where he worked until earlier this month. Video recorded two days before the bombings and recovered from a family member's phone shows him igniting "incendiary material in a cylindrical container," the complaint says. The video, reviewed by the FBI, "depicts the lighting of the fuse, a loud noise and flames, followed by billowing smoke and laughter. Federal agents have attempted to question Rahami in the hospital. But Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., who received a classified briefing from the FBI, said Rahami was not cooperating. The FBI's 2014 inquiry began after his father expressed concerns his son might be a terrorist, law enforcement officials said Tuesday. During the inquiry, the father backed away from talk of terrorism and told investigators that he simply meant his son was hanging out with the wrong crowd, including gang members, and acting like a thug, the officials said. In any case, the FBI checked its databases and other sources and closed the inquiry in a matter of weeks after seeing nothing tying Rahami to terrorism, three law enforcement officials said. Investigators are looking into Rahami's overseas travel, including a visit to Pakistan a few years ago, and want to know whether he received any money or training from extremist organizations. Rahami's father, Mohammad Rahami, spoke with the FBI after the younger Rahami was charged in 2014 with stabbing his brother, according to the officials, who were not authorized to discuss the investigati[...]

Can Criminal Justice Reform Still Pass Congress?

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 18:20:10 -0400

Congress is likely to leave Washington, D.C. this week without passing bills to reduce mass incarceration, even though there's strong bipartisan support. Instead, members will head back on the campaign trail and won't return until after the November election — when the prospect for criminal justice reform is even more uncertain. 

Republicans are concerned about looking soft on crime. Some Republicans, including Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, oppose the bill because people in prison would be released early. But Democrats are also stalling. In the Senate, they launched an all-night filibuster to try to force votes on gun control proposals — and that held up the bills.

In this interview, WNYC's Jami Floyd talks with WNYC Congressional Correspondent John O'Connor about the future of criminal justice reform. 

Can Criminal Justice Reform Still Pass Congress?

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