The Villager, Manhattan Express, Downtown Express, Chelsea Now

As a general assignment reporter with these three newspapers, I covered Manhattan’s neighborhood news south of 14th Street, the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, and Midtown.

My articles range from transportation and development news on major stories such as the city’s plan to close Rikers Island and the L train shutdown to stories including a squad of sanitation trucks camped out on a residential sidestreet to Washington Square Park’s ‘serial farter’ and ‘living statue.’ 

Some of my articles provide news coverage of citywide issues with a hyperlocal lens. I asked Stuyvesant teens what they thought about the mayor’s plan to scrap the specialized standardized test to increase diversity and highlighted downtown precinct data on the disproportionate marijuana arrests of black and brown people in my coverage of the mayor’s new pot policy.

During June’s primaries, I spoke with Errol Louis on NY1’s Inside City Hall about the 12th Congressional District’s primary election between longtime incumbent Rep. Carolyn Maloney and NYU professor Suraj Patel. I was also the first reporter in the city to cover a competitive primary in a Downtown civil court election and covered one of the historic wins of an IDC-challenger in the State Senate primaries.

I brought attention to another common source of lead exposure in private housing from construction dust as the city weighed a package of 25 lead poisoning prevention laws and extensively covered tenant harassment issues in the East Village and Lower East Side.

Resiliency infrastructure projects to protect the city from storm surge flooding and sea level rise is another beat I focus on. At two separate meetings in the city, the U.S. Army Corps revealed differing opinions on a process to choose a storm surge barrier plan — a massive infrastructure project in the scoping process to protect over 2,000 miles of shoreline in New York and New Jersey.

I featured a woman who was one of the thousands displaced when Lower East Side tenements were razed in the 1960’s. She moved into an affordable apartment in the newly built Essex Crossing developments some five decades after her family was displaced — a testament to history and the complexities of development and gentrification in an ever-changing city through the eyes of a lifelong Lower East Sider.

In another ongoing development story in Two Bridges, I documented public records showing the city had apparently bailed on a decade-old plan to build a playground on the same lot where a 62-story building is being proposed.

Some of my articles were republished in Schneps Community News Group’s sister papers Chelsea Now and Gay City News. See below for more of my articles.

Tenant Harassment

Private buildings have a load of lead problems, too: Tenants, advocates
Bowery tenants bash Betesh, saying he ditched return date
Croman even worse from behind bars: Tenants
Tenants claim win on right of return at Bowery building
To catch a Kushner: False filings can open door to harassment
Petition, politicians ask hedge fund to waive $250k fee for evictees
Homeward bound! Bowery tenants ready for end-of-Aug. return

Resiliency

Great barrier grief: Study to evaluate five storm-barrier plans, but locals, experts pan process
City presents Two Bridges flood-protect plan
Wave vs. glacier: Slow pace of resiliency plans will leave Downtown at risk for many years to come

Politics

Also on the ballot: Civil court primary is another hot race
With help from Patel gaffes, Maloney holds onto East Side seat
Maloney and Patel spar in debate as primary vote looms
It’s ‘movement vs. machine,’ Nixon tells Dems
Patel ran strongly vs. Maloney in East Village, boroughs
N.Y.U. prof and ‘truther’ poised to challenge Maloney in primary
Three other candidates also vying for East Side Assembly seat 
Robert Jackson wins big against incumbent Senator Marisol Alcántara
IDC issues animates UWS State Senate primary

Development

Seward Co-op’s vote on air rights leaves developer ‘bewildered’
De Blasio: Old P.S. 64 owner ‘exceedingly uncooperative’ on sale
Two Bridges tower site was slated to be public playground
Towering fear for Two Bridges: Gentrification
Two Bridges towers study lowballs impact on school seats, displacement, community says
Planning gives more time for public input on Two Bridges towers
Prison riot: City agrees to hold town hall in wake of jailhouse backlash
‘No jail!’ Boos drown out hearing on Downtown prison
Prison uprising! Furor over change of jail site
‘Historic mistake’: Hotel project imperils museum house
Rivington rally’s cry: Meet with us, Mayor
Battle against supertalls hits West 66th Street
The shadows megatowers cast on a light-starved city
City reneging on all-affordable plan on West 55th Street
Losing battles, supertall opponents hope to win the war
St. Bart’s air rights fuel JPMorgan megatower
City greenlights Sutton Place megatower
UESers debate how to curb mushrooming supertalls
Seaport’s Pier 17 opens this month
3 WTC opens, along with two long-closed streets
Natural wonder: Pier 26 to showcase Hudson’s ecology

State

Pols: Focus on banks behind ‘predatory’ landlords
Gottfried and O’Donnell: Combat opioids with pot

City

Activists cautiously hopeful on ‘Nightlife Mayor’: But boss Menin gives confidence
Sarah Carroll, new Landmarks chief, aims for ‘balance’
Johnson might try to steer traffic plan around Legislature
Under fire, Landmarks leader readies to resign
A boost for moms running for office
Residential parking permits pushed for Upper Manhattan
Zoned out: Bill expanding WTC no-vending zone rankles street-cart vendors
Pot smoking arrests to stop. Or will they?
Whoa! Johnson calls for ‘cap’ on hail apps like Uber and a study

Transportation

Clinton’s the problem, L.E.S. locals tell D.O.T. about bridge-traffic hell
Air to Kenmare, busloads of worry at L public meeting
Fear L shutdown will be ‘Nightmare on Kenmare’
M.T.A. misses the bus on switching to electric during L train shutdown
Verrazano study verifies: 2-way toll would slash traffic
L of a lot of issues raised at L train town hall
CB7 pushing for protected bike lane on Central Park West
Protected lane around Central Park demanded after cyclist’s death
Disability advocates complain B,C renovations ignore accessibility
With ambitious asks, bus advocates await MTA plan
Protected bike lane pitched at Queensboro approach
Crosstown bike lanes remain CB8 flashpoint
Beat that light, every bus rider says silently
Riders caught unawares by UWS shuttering of B, C stations

Arts, Culture, Community Voices

A planet in peril is focus of new AMNH exhibit
Central Park honors women’s suffrage, and its complicated history
One over-Arching question in ‘Living Statue’ bust: Why?
‘Living statue’ petitions to regain park perch
Club Cumming shows spark drama at C.B. 3
‘Rejoice!!!’ Cumming says as club’s shows are O.K.’d
Ex-lax-clusive: ‘Village Farter’ blows his cover
Good causes fuel grueling paddle ’round Manhattan
Nine revolting Rebekah Mercers, in one museum!
Street art: Murals commissioned around 2 WTC site
The color of money: Flashy new art decks the halls of NYSE
Lest we forget: Museum of Jewish Heritage marks Holocaust Remembrance Day
Battery Park Baker: BPC high schooler debuts at Smorgasburg
Celebrating more than a century
Cacophony of colors brings harmony at Governors Island Holi Hai celebration
‘We won’: Original SPURA tenant finally back home

Courts

Dwellers are kvellers after judge SLAPPs down bar’s defame suit
September start for 2nd Ave. gas-explosion trial
Vance targets wage theft in Manhattan construction
Labor pains: Unions rally Downtown as Supreme Court weighs future of organized labor
Wage war: DA says construction company stole $1.7 million in workers’ pay through fraud scheme

Neighborhood Issues

East Siders trash garbage trucks parking ‘plan’
Oversize stores are still a big problem in Soho and Noho
Friends bring in funding, and also the public
Downtown’s sports pier caught in squeeze play
UWS participatory budgeting boosts libraries, schools, firehouse
All booked up: CB1 worries zoning change will push more hotels into crowded Downtown
CB1 asks city to rein in film permits
High impact: Could ‘developmental impact fees’ ease Downtown’s growing pains?
9/11 victims can still get help

Education

Test case: Stuyvesant grads want more diversity, but cautious about scrapping SHSAT
School’s new mural helps rock students’ world
‘Do it all’ science teacher wins coveted award
New special-ed school was a long time coming
Upper East Side high school grads win scholarship, mentorship honors
Longtime leader of BMCC to step down
Academic and activist: Stuyvesant grad tapped as 2018 Milken Scholar

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The Miami Herald Internship Summer 2017 in Miami

Below are a list of various clips from my summer 2017 internship with the Miami Herald. All articles that I wrote, co-authored, photographed for, or contributed reporting for are included.

Feature

Family must relive father’s 1991 murder as his young killer makes new case for freedom
Section 8 tenants treated ‘like garbage’ during troubled renovations

Hurricane Irma

Animal caretakers prepping for Irma with lessons learned from Andrew
Boat owners doubled-up on ropes, fenders, and hope ahead of Hurricane Irma
Where should I park my car during Hurricane Irma? 
Volunteers relocate 41 horses hundreds of miles north ahead of Hurricane Irma
Miami Beach causeways remain opened for cars, but closed for boats
Miami-Dade issues countywide curfew for Hurricane Irma
Hurricane Irma keeps police and paramedics off the roads
When will schools, businesses and airports open after Irma? What we know so far
Hurricane Irma leaves these residents stranded. And many are elderly Hispanics
Hurricane Irma leaves elderly residents stranded, but most want better than a shelter
They fled Nebraska to escape tornadoes. Their escape hatch: the Florida Keys

Environment or Health

Nuclear review board signs off on plan to pump wastewater underground at Turkey Point
Protesters keep up pressure on Rubio, saying healthcare ‘not just for the rich’
‘Get a lawyer’: Federal judge throws out anti-naled suit

Courts

Miami man who killed two over imagined offenses gets 45 years
Miami teen gets 50 years in prison for murdering man walking blind brother home
Miami businessman convicted of jailhouse plot to murder witness, his own lawyer
Jury to decide if Miami businessman arranged scheme to kill witness, his own lawyer
A fake Hooters waitress, a tryst, a murder plot: An only-in-Miami jail tale on trial

Education

Less than two weeks until school starts! Take these steps now to ease opening-day stress
Many families struggle to afford a lawyer. This FIU program could help.

Community

Best way to prevent cars’ floodwater damage? ‘Don’t drive’
Nude swimmer survives a rare shark attack on Miami-Dade beach
Key Biscayne plane accident is the second in two weeks linked to Miami flight school
Elián González, now 23, says he would like to reconcile with his Miami relatives
Miami Beach clear of poop, swim advisory lifted
Hurricane Harvey isn’t hitting Florida — but it may hit gas prices
Miami Beach installs concrete barriers on Lincoln Road to ward off car attacks
Flood watch is extended through Sunday evening in South Florida
He speaks Spanish, carries a Confederate flag and lives in Hialeah. Who is he? 
It’s a girl! Watch a baby giraffe take her first steps

Crime

Woman arrested for fatal hit-and-run that killed a tourist
Man jumps out of a car, shoots another man dead
14-year-old and her 7-month-old baby missing in Palm Beach County
Stop & Shop armed robbery suspect still at large
Man threatens Publix employees with butcher knife that they just sold to him, police say
Florida correctional officer in Miami-Dade is charged with sexual battery
Cop shoots man dead in Liberty Square after traffic stop goes bad

LGBT Senior Centers Receive $150,000 Of Funding On National Coming Out Day

LGBT senior centers in New York City received a $150,000 check on October 11 from state Sen. Jeff Klein.

Klein announced the extra funding for Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders (SAGE) on Tuesday afternoon in recognition with National Coming Out Day. Council member Ritchie Torres and Klein collaborated to give the funds to SAGE.

Around 100,000 LGBT seniors live in New York City, according to Torres.

“It’s an astonishing statistic because the community has been so invisible because it is heavily closeted,” said Torres, the first openly gay public official in the Bronx. “What we’re creating here is a safe space that allows LGBT elders to come out and to embrace who they are without fear of violence or discrimination.”

Two years ago, Torres allocated $1.5 million to open LGBT senior centers in all five boroughs, and with that funding, SAGE’s Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island locations opened.

Forcing Bronx seniors to travel to Manhattan for LGBT senior centers is “outrageous,” said Klein during the event at SAGE’s Bronx location.

This funding, though it will go to all of SAGE and not a single location, is an extra boost to keep these centers open for LGBT elders.

Audrey Mckenzie, who uses an electric wheelchair, goes to the center around three times a week when she doesn’t have doctor’s appointments. Before the Bronx location opened up, she would have to take the train or use Access-a-Ride.

“It’s hard for me to get to other boroughs,” she said. “You use Access-a-Ride and they have you waiting for places and there are times where they’ve never picked me up. Being here in the Bronx, I can actually ride here from where I live and it’s just more accessible for me.”

Mckenzie lives around 20 blocks from the center, and even when she has to take a bus, it’s more manageable than leaving the Bronx.

“And if I can, I can just ride up on a good day with no snow,” she said. “It just makes life a lot better when you can just be around people that you can laugh and joke and just act stupid with. Sometimes it’s fun to be stupid – for lack of a better word.”

The center offers lunch every day, and there is something planned nearly every hour, including meditation, yoga, Zumba, tai chi, Pilates, painting, computer skills, and discussion sessions about current events. The center is housed within the Union Community Health Center, so seniors also have access to the clinic and legal services.

LGBT senior centers are already sparing. “It’s important because some of them are just coming out,” said Cherise Sherriffe, the program coordinator. Some of the seniors she works with come out at 50 or 55 years old.

“This is almost like a safe place that they can come and share their stories and be themselves.”

The Argentine Tango Foundation Battles Parkinson’s On The Dance Floor

I recently wrote a profile on a non-profit organization in Buenos Aires which offers a tango dance therapy class for people with Parkinson’s. Check out some of the great work this organization and the instructor are doing in Buenos Aires!

Visit.org blog

Leaning back to get a wide view shot on her cell phone, Verónica Alegre filmed the afternoon milonga. She smiled—watching several minutes of steps back and forth around the room while her students moved in closer to one another, sometimes cheek to cheek, emulating the famous tango embrace. Her students were swaying to the rhythm, lifting up a foot at the end of a beat, and stepping in coordination underneath the mix of soft blue and red light from the chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

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It was a Tuesday afternoon at Fundación Tango Argentino during Alegre’s dance therapy class for people with Parkinson’s disease. They were learning how to dance tango at the unassuming studio between the Palermo and Chacarita neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Around a dozen older men and women attended the class each week. Some arrived alone while other arrived with their spouse, one of their…

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