Free Workshop Opportunities


Newmark J-School

Covering Congress101, withMichaelaRoss Thursday,Jan.6,1-3p.m.EST

This class will serve as a crash course for new reporters on the basic resources and procedural understanding needed to cover Congress. It will also present strategies for reporters and freelancers who work on non-federal-government-focused beats but are looking to enrich their stories by sharpening their skills in tracking legislation and regulatory policy development. Michaela Ross is a 2015 graduate of the Newmark J-School and has worked for different arms of Bloomberg News for the past five+ years in Washington D.C.

Social Newsgathering, withRima Abdelkader’09 Saturday,Jan.8,9:30-11:30a.m.

This course will provide students with an exposure to online resources to verify and confirm breaking news and information. It will explore and investigate misinformation online and identify ways to debunk it through traditional and more modern methods. This course requires students to come prepared with examples to workshop in the class. Rima Abdelkader is part of a diverse team of reporters at NBC News and MSNBC that discover, verify, and report breaking news stories and enterprise pieces globally. As a digital media literacy instructor, Abdelkader teaches team courses at NBC on data verification and the use of social media in human-interest storytelling.

The Business of Freelancing, withLynn Brown Monday,Jan.10,5-7p.m

The only way to make money in the business of writing is to treat it like an actual business, rather than a hobby. Longtime freelancer Lynn Brown offers tips, tricks and inspiration on various aspects of running a freelance writing business: how to find the best outlets for your work, how to market yourself, negotiating contracts, record-keeping, taxes (and deductions) and more. The class will also talk about what to do to get the most out of every story, from the small piece that (hopefully) goes viral overnight, to the book project that will take years to complete.

How to Run a Podcast,with MiaLobel and LidiaJeanKott Tuesday,Jan.11,2-5p.m.EST

You’ve come up with a brilliant podcast idea and now you need to execute. How do you do it? Pushkin Executive Producer Mia Lobel covers how to pull together a brilliant and efficient production team, how to make a budget, and how to create a production plan that doesn’t break that budget or burn out your team. The class will be taught with a combination of lecture/presentation slides and hands-on exercises. Lidia Jean is a producer at Pushkin. Previously she’s worked at NPR, the BBC World Service, and WNYC.

JD reached out

10 Incredibly Useful LittleTools forJournalists, withJeremyCaplan Wednesday,Jan.12,11-12:30EST

Discover useful new tools to save you time and boost the impact and efficiency of your work. Walk away with a short, curated list of sites and resources you can use right away. See examples of the tools in action. Learn what they do, how they’re useful and why and when to use them. Open to digital novices as well as pros looking for new workflow ideas. Take home a guide to share with colleagues and friends.

We’ll touch on new features in Craft, Notion, Projector, Flourish, Canva, Roam, and a few other surprises.

Fun withAnimated GIFs, withJohnSmock Wednesday,Jan.12,1-3p.mEST

This workshop taught by John Smock, director of the Newmark J-School Photojournalism Program, will cover using Adobe Photoshop as a design tool with a special focus on GIF animations. News organizations today are experimenting with media content that combines elements of still photography with graphic design and video to tell stories in new and interesting ways. GIFs are a basic building block of this frontier.

News Photography WorkshopforApplicantsandCUNYUndergrads,withJohnSmock Thursday,Jan.13,10am-1pmEST

This workshop led by veteran photojournalist John Smock will help you improve your photographic skills for use in all media. We will cover the technical and conceptual aspects of basic camera usage, composition, visual vocabulary, photo editing, lighting, and Photoshop. You will learn how to handle portraits, news conferences, politics, intimate photo essays, and international conflicts. You will also learn how to photograph while recording audio, shooting video, or reporting for print. Whether you are a beginner or intermediate photographer, you will learn the tricks of the trade that professional photojournalists use.


Reportingon Indigenous Communities with Graham LeeBrewer Thursday,Jan.13,1-3p.mEST

Reporting on Indigenous Communities will touch on the history of Indigenous journalism, how American journalism has influenced perceptions of Native communities, and how reporters can avoid furthering harm and instead do impactful accountability reporting in tribal nations.

Graham Lee Brewer is a national investigative reporter at NBC News, the vice president of the Native American Journalists Association, and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

Travel Writing with TimHarper Tuesday,Jan.18,1-4p.m.EST

We all want to do travel writing, but we don’t know how to get started. This class from longtime freelancer and travel writer Tim Harper, the Newmark J-School’s writing coach, shows you how to turn ideas and experiences into stories, clips and cash — including stories both around the world and across the street. Bring your questions and your story ideas for a class-wide conversation about how to become a travel writer in your spare time.

3-Day CoveringthePandemicandBidenImpactontheEconomy,Markets,andBusiness,with GregDavid



The pandemic led to the most severe — and unequal–recession in American history disrupting every aspect of the economy. The recovery has been equally uneven. Meanwhile the Biden Administration has taken office with a sharply different economic agenda committed to reviving the economy and bolstering

the country’s safety net, tackling what it says are the disastrous effects of corporate consolidation, while mostly leaving in place the trade policies of the Trump era. This three night class, taught by Greg David, director of the Business and Economics Reporting Program, will tackle all these issues. *THISSERIESIS NOTFORSTUDENTSINTHEBUSINESS&ECONOMICSCONCENTRATIONATTHENEWMARK


GhostWriting,withTimHarper Thursday,Jan.20,1-3p.m.EST

One of the things we can learn — and get paid for — is writing other people’s stories. We can do this as collaborators, in “with” or “as told to” projects, or as ghost writers who may or may not see their names anywhere except on the checks they cash. This informal, lively discussion will cover how to find and manage such projects, along with editing or doctoring books and other content for individuals and institutions. There are many pitfalls, but this workshop will scratch the surface to help decide whether this type of work might appeal to you. The workshop will be led by Newmark writing coach Tim Harper, who has a lot of good ghost stories — and a few scary ones.

BreakingintoBroadcasting,withWalterSmith-Randolph‘10 Friday,Jan.21,12-2p.m.EST

Whether it’s tv or radio news, in this workshop you’ll learn what skills you need to break into the world of broadcasting. We’ll go over making a resume tape, how to initiate the job search, and the tips and tricks to make it in the broadcast world. You’ll also hear from on-air reporters, producers and hiring managers from radio and television stations to learn more about their journeys and what they’ve learned along the way.

Walter Smith Randolph, ’10 is the investigative editor at CT Public Broadcasting where he leads the The Accountability Project, producing and reporting in-depth stories for CT Public’s NPR and PBS stations. Previously, Walter spent a decade at local TV affiliates in Elmira, NY, Flint, MI, Kalamazoo, MI and Cincinnati. He also serves as national Treasurer of the National Association of Black Journalists and chair on the Newmark J-School Alumni Board.

VideoAcrossPlatforms:ReportingonTikTok,IG,andYouTube,withWonboWoo Wednesday,Jan.26,Paneldiscussion,12:30-1:30p.m.,followedbyclass,2-4p.m.EST

This special two-part session will start with a panel discussion featuring journalists who have found success creating news and news-adjacent content for TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and more. It will be followed by a practical workshop for students and guests on how to best use and manage these platforms for journalism. Wonboo Woo is an Emmy Award-winning producer and a recipient of the prestigious Nieman Fellowship at Harvard. A former broadcast-journalist-in-residence at the Newmark

J-School, he has worked for WIRED, NBC’s Nightly News, and Nightline and World News Tonight at ABC.

Conflicts of Interest

CNN suspended anchor Chris Cuomo indefinitely because he helped his brother, former Governor Andrew Cuomo, try to combat charges of sexual harassment and inappropriate touching.

Journalists are asked by their employers to disclose conflicts of interest. If you write a story about your family, or have a financial interest in something that you are writing about, you have to disclose it.

Look at this column by Gail Collins in the New York Times. It is an opinion piece not a news story.



Chris Cuomo Has a Funny Idea About What Doing His Job Means

Dec. 1, 2021

Welcome to Cuomo-free America.

Well, at least temporarily.

We’ve been working up to this for a while. Andrew Cuomo was, of course, compelled to resign the governorship of New York in August, approximately one second ahead of likely impeachment for what we can perhaps describe as verbal harassment and pathological grabbiness.

Now Chris Cuomo has been suspended by CNN, where he is a top-rated news host. There’s no question that he was trying to help with his brother’s defense even as he was assuring his viewers and bosses that it was more or less hands off.

(In a happier time, when everything wasn’t so depressing, we might have noted that “hands off” would also have been a policy that could have saved Andrew Cuomo’s career.)

Our job today is to decide how bad Chris Cuomo’s Andrew-related activities have been. It’s very easy to sympathize with his desire to protect his older brother. Their bond was evident in a series of joint, jibing TV appearances they did, some while Chris was recovering from Covid early last year, quarantined away from his family.

“Rule 1 is never hit a brother when he’s down, and you’re literally in the basement,” the governor pointed out.

The banter went on and on. Including one unfortunate episode in which Chris called Andrew the “love guv.” (At a later date, CNN shared “the very moment” Chris finally emerged from his below-ground exile — which was problematic only in that he’d reportedly been out for days.)

As a journalist, Chris had a terrible conflict of interest when Andrew fell into headline-making disgrace. The obvious answer was to keep clear, steeling himself against a very natural desire to protect a brother and a very Cuomo-like impulse to take control of the situation.

Now we know how he really responded.

“On it,” he said, when his brother’s most powerful staff member, Melissa DeRosa, asked him to find out from his “sources” whether Politico was working on a new damaging Andrew story.

In a more perfect world, this sort of temptation wouldn’t have come up because Andrew would have fiercely ordered his younger brother to stay away from the whole mess. Directed the staff to leave Chris alone and maybe organized a family intervention. It does say something that our former governor didn’t try to protect him.

Almost everything in this saga goes back to family. You have to wonder if the brothers’ impulse to take action — even action that objective minds would instantly discern as a really bad idea — is a response to the defects of Dad, who was once nicknamed “Hamlet on the Hudson.”

Mario Cuomo, in a moment that must be seared into the minds of his offspring, was expected to fly to New Hampshire and file, at the very last minute, for the presidential primary in 1991. But he left two chartered planes waiting at the Albany airport, claiming that he needed to go back to work with the Republicans on a state budget.

Not surprising that his sons are action-oriented. Not necessarily always to their advantage.

Chris Cuomo told state investigators — lately state investigators seem to be omnipresent in family life — that he was obsessed with thinking of ways to protect Andrew, and the question of how he should protect himself “just never occurred to me.” Hmm.

One of the things Chris was worried about was an article he had heard Ronan Farrow was preparing for The New Yorker. His paranoia certainly made sense. If you had ever once for a single second worried that a prominent member of your family was pathologically grabby with female employees, Ronan Farrow is one of the last people in the world you want around asking questions.

What did Chris do? Well, according to his own testimony to state officials, he went poking around — sort of like an investigative reporter — trying to find out what Farrow was up to. It was precisely what he’d promised not to do.

“Please let me help with the prep,” he told DeRosa around the time when the team was getting ready for the gubernatorial defense. Many, many text messages and email chains followed.

Then he took on Anna Ruch, who had accused Andrew of trying to kiss and fondle her at a wedding reception in 2019. “I have a lead on the wedding girl,” he reported to DeRosa.

The story, as Chris told it, was that a friend called to express concern that said wedding girl had been “put up to it.” This is very possibly true — the part about the call, that is. If somebody claimed your brother had made inappropriate moves at a public event, a pal or two might let you know they were on his side. Even if they secretly … wondered.

One big problem with Chris’s reporting is that it’s at best pretty useless. And at worst — which is also in reality — pretty wrong.

Where do you draw the line between journalism and family? Maybe at the point where you, the prominent news anchor, start thinking that your job is running down rumors for your brother.

Editors’ Picks


Jimmy Breslin’s Grave Digger Story

‘It’s An Honor’

New York Herald Tribune, November 1963

By Jimmy Breslin

WASHINGTON — Clifton Pollard was pretty sure he was going to be working on Sunday, so when he woke up at 9 a.m., in his three-room apartment on Corcoran Street, he put on khaki overalls before going into the kitchen for breakfast. His wife, Hettie, made bacon and eggs for him. Pollard was in the middle of eating them when he received the phone call he had been expecting. It was from Mazo Kawalchik, who is the foreman of the gravediggers at Arlington National Cemetery, which is where Pollard works for a living. “Polly, could you please be here by 11 o’clock this morning?” Kawalchik asked. “I guess you know what it’s for.” Pollard did. He hung up the phone, finished breakfast, and left his apartment so he could spend Sunday digging a grave for John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

When Pollard got to the row of yellow wooden garages where the cemetery equipment is stored, Kawalchik and John Metzler, the cemetery superintendent, were waiting for him. “Sorry to pull you out like this on a Sunday,” Metzler said. “Oh, don’t say that,” Pollard said. “Why, it’s an honor for me to be here.” Pollard got behind the wheel of a machine called a reverse hoe. Gravedigging is not done with men and shovels at Arlington. The reverse hoe is a green machine with a yellow bucket that scoops the earth toward the operator, not away from it as a crane does. At the bottom of the hill in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Pollard started the digging (Editor Note: At the bottom of the hill in front of the Custis-Lee Mansion).

Leaves covered the grass. When the yellow teeth of the reverse hoe first bit into the ground, the leaves made a threshing sound which could be heard above the motor of the machine. When the bucket came up with its first scoop of dirt, Metzler, the cemetery superintendent, walked over and looked at it. “That’s nice soil,” Metzler said. “I’d like to save a little of it,” Pollard said. “The machine made some tracks in the grass over here and I’d like to sort of fill them in and get some good grass growing there, I’d like to have everything, you know, nice.”

James Winners, another gravedigger, nodded. He said he would fill a couple of carts with this extra-good soil and take it back to the garage and grow good turf on it. “He was a good man,” Pollard said. “Yes, he was,” Metzler said. “Now they’re going to come and put him right here in this grave I’m making up,” Pollard said. “You know, it’s an honor just for me to do this.”

Pollard is 42. He is a slim man with a mustache who was born in Pittsburgh and served as a private in the 352nd Engineers battalion in Burma in World War II. He is an equipment operator, grade 10, which means he gets $3.01 an hour. One of the last to serve John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who was the 35th president of this country, was a working man who earns $3.01 an hour and said it was an honor to dig the grave.

Yesterday morning, at 11:15, Jacqueline Kennedy started toward the grave. She came out from under the north portico of the White House and slowly followed the body of her husband, which was in a flag-covered coffin that was strapped with two black leather belts to a black caisson that had polished brass axles. She walked straight and her head was high. She walked down the bluestone and blacktop driveway and through shadows thrown by the branches of seven leafless oak trees. She walked slowly past the sailors who held up flags of the states of this country. She walked past silent people who strained to see her and then, seeing her, dropped their heads and put their hands over their eyes. She walked out the northwest gate and into the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue. She walked with tight steps and her head was high and she followed the body of her murdered husband through the streets of Washington.

Everybody watched her while she walked. She is the mother of two fatherless children and she was walking into the history of this country because she was showing everybody who felt old and helpless and without hope that she had this terrible strength that everybody needed so badly. Even though they had killed her husband and his blood ran onto her lap while he died, she could walk through the streets and to his grave and help us all while she walked.

There was Mass, and then the procession to Arlington. When she came up to the grave at the cemetery, the casket already was in place. It was set between brass railings and it was ready to be lowered into the ground. This must be the worst time of all, when a woman sees the coffin with her husband inside and it is in place to be buried under the earth. Now she knows that it is forever. Now there is nothing. There is no casket to kiss or hold with your hands. Nothing material to cling to. But she walked up to the burial area and stood in front of a row of six green-covered chairs and she started to sit down, but then she got up quickly and stood straight because she was not going to sit down until the man directing the funeral told her what seat he wanted her to take.

The ceremonies began, with jet planes roaring overhead and leaves falling from the sky. On this hill behind the coffin, people prayed aloud. They were cameramen and writers and soldiers and Secret Service men and they were saying prayers out loud and choking. In front of the grave, Lyndon Johnson kept his head turned to his right. He is president and he had to remain composed. It was better that he did not look at the casket and grave of John Fitzgerald Kennedy too often. Then it was over and black limousines rushed under the cemetery trees and out onto the boulevard toward the White House. “What time is it?” a man standing on the hill was asked. He looked at his watch. “Twenty minutes past three,” he said.

Clifton Pollard wasn’t at the funeral. He was over behind the hill, digging graves for $3.01 an hour in another section of the cemetery. He didn’t know who the graves were for. He was just digging them and then covering them with boards. “They’ll be used,” he said. “We just don’t know when. I tried to go over to see the grave,” he said. “But it was so crowded a soldier told me I couldn’t get through. So I just stayed here and worked, sir. But I’ll get over there later a little bit. Just sort of look around and see how it is, you know. Like I told you, it’s an honor.”

Reporting About What Happened To Ahmaud Arbery


8 potential jurors advance in Ahmaud Arbery slaying trial

October 19, 2021


BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A judge found eight potential jurors qualified to advance Tuesday following intense questioning aimed at finding an impartial jury for the trial of three white men charged with chasing and killing Ahmaud Arbery, whose slaying last year sparked a national outcry.

Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and a neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, are charged with murder and other crimes in the 25-year-old Black man’s death after a cellphone video of the Feb. 23, 2020, killing was leaked online two months later.

“We can’t do this without you,” Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley told the eight pool members, the first to advance after being questioned individually by attorneys on what they know about Arbery’s death, how many times they watched the video and whether they think the shooting was motivated by racism.






Ahmaud Arbery

CaptionAhmaud Arbery 

The shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery outside Brunswick, Georgia, sparked nationwide outrage — but not right away. 

Arbery died Feb. 23, but it took more than two months for charges to be filed, and that was only after a disturbing video of the shooting was released. When Brunswick News reporter Larry Hobbs heard about Arbery’s death a day after it happened, what struck him was how no one was talking about it. 

GPB’s Steve Fennessy talks with Brunswick News reporter Larry Hobbs, the first journalist to cover the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery. 

As the days and weeks went by following Arbery’s death, the scope of the tragedy began to take focus.

On this episode of Georgia Today, Hobbs recalls the strange, silent days and weeks following the shooting, the pinball movements as the case bounced from prosecutor to prosecutor and what the story revealed about the community he covers.TagsGeorgia TodayGregory McMichaelTravis McMichaelAhmaud ArberyBrunswick

Secondary Content

About the authors


Sean Powers

SEAN POWERSDirector of Podcasting

Sean Powers is Georgia Public Broadcasting’s first director of podcasting. He joined GPB in 2014 as a producer/reporter with On Second Thought, and remained with the program until 2018. For his last four months on the show, he served as acting senior producer.


Story Logic From the Daily News

Boy, 13, shoots and wounds Snapchat rival, also 13, in Bronx playground — mom turns suspect in after seeing wanted poster


A 13-year-old boy wanted for shooting a rival his same age over a Snapchat feud was arrested after his mother saw a wanted poster and hauled him into a Bronx NYPD stationhouse, police said Wednesday.

The two boys had been sparring in messages to each other on the popular phone app — and on Oct. 6 the suspect sent a message threatening to shoot the victim, police said.

The next day, the argument moved from online messages to the street, with the 4-foot-11, 110-pound teen allegedly shooting the victim in the left knee inside Hunts Point Playground about 5:35 p.m., police said.

“You just shake your head,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said on PIX11 Wednesday morning. “It’s terrible all the way around. We have to do better as a society.”

EMS took the victim to Harlem Hospital in stable condition.

“It went in and it came out, so that’s good,” the victim’s mother, Suleykie Rivera, said. “They caught it in time, they called 911 in time. He was really lucky. If the bullet would have went in and stayed that would have been tragic.”

The boy was still recovering in Harlem Hospital on Wednesday. He had also tested positive for COVID-19, the mother said.

Rivera, 33, said she didn’t know the shooter or anything about the Snapchat feud.

Social media is really a bad thing for these kids. They shouldn’t even have social media,” she said.

Snapchat allows users exchange pictures and videos — called snaps — that are meant to disappear after they’re viewed. The app, which is particularly popular among teens, has about 293 million daily active users worldwide, according to the company.

She learned of the shooting from one of her son’s friends.

“I was just shocked,” she said. “I couldn’t think, I couldn’t feel, nothing, you know. He’s 13!”

The teen shooter ran off but was captured on surveillance video, gun in hand. A second suspect, still being sought, also appears on the video, clad in a red sweatshirt and riding his bike behind the shooter, police said.

Cops released the video Sunday and asked the public’s help tracking down the suspect, known to police by his nickname Chulo.

The suspected shooter’s mother, who declined comment, saw a wanted poster with her son’s image, took him to the 41st Precinct stationhouse Tuesday afternoon and asked for a lawyer, police said.

The pint-sized suspect was charged with attempted murder, assault and harassment. His name was not released because he is a minor. The Daily News is not naming the 13-year-old victim because of his age.

Cops said that the teen shooter was processed through Family Court and returned to his mother’s custody.

Shea said that the NYPD has been trying to get to children “before they get into the violence” but more needs to be done.

“What do you do with a 13-year-old in this circumstance?” Shea asked. “There is no right answer. The courts will figure it out and you hope. You feel for the victim, but you also think about the side of the family of the child that pulled the trigger here. There are no winners.”

Amanda Palermo, 30, said she heard the shots.

“I was sitting right next to the basketball court. Four shots,” she said. “A bunch of kids came and then all you heard was four shots and he got shot in his leg. “

She said the boy fell to the ground and the shooter dashed off.

“When that happened the other kids in the park ran away,” she said. “The only ones that stayed were (the victim’s) friends.”

Local parents said the suspect and his crew have slashed tires of cars, thrown beer bottles at mothers and scared little kids with threatening looks. One of the menacing boys has a black dog that he sics on smaller kids, they said.

“Last year, they stole my son’s bike,” a local mother said. “I called the police and they never came. ”

She said parents have to take more responsibility.

“These boys have been making this a violent area,” she said, adding that one of the boys punched her son in the stomach during the robbery.

“These young boys know that the police will never come” she said. “It’s a huge problem. And as an adult, I can’t do anything against minors.”

Scared neighbors said there are also mischievousgirls who egg the boys on to fight.

“They’re really aggressive,” one of the mothers said. “They’re always alone, they’re never with their parents. One time we asked about their parents and they laughed at us.”

The parents said one of the boys flashed a knife when they threatened to call the cops but they were unaware of any of the boys carrying guns.

Michael Greene, 63, a painter who has lived in the neighborhood since the 1960s, said locals have worked to improve the area. The shooting didn’t help.

“It was kind of disturbing, a 13-year-old shooting a 13-year-old in a public park,” Greene said. “This neighborhood is trying to clean up and it’s like we’re right back where we started.”

Greene praised the mother who turned in her own flesh and blood.

“Well, that was a good thing,” Greene said. “That’s what parents are supposed to do. The kids, they so-called don’t want to snitch.”

“I feel for the young kid because he’s so young,” Greene said of the suspect. “He’s got his whole life in front of him and you’re making decisions like that. You’re supposed to run around, play fighting, playing PlayStation, eating candy. Not doing stuff like that.”

Rivera said her son is focused on his recovery, hoping to get back on the field to play football again when his knee heels. She said the doctors have given him a good prognosis for his recovery.

“I’m so thankful. He’s gonna be good. He can go back to football. He can go back to school. He’s in shock right now, so right now he isn’t really talking. Right now, he can’t even believe he got shot,” she said.

“And it’s just sad. Kids are kids. Kids trying to kill each other. It’s sad for my son who got shot, but it’s sad for the little boy that shot my son, because he’s also a kid.”

Mayor de Blasio News Conference

October 14, 2021

From the New York Daily News



An obscure city panel may vote to remove a statue of Thomas Jefferson from its place in the City Council chambers amid controversy over the Founding Father’s history as a slaveholder.

The city Public Design Commission will decide Monday whether to loan the statue to the City Historical Society, effectively ending its nearly two-century run in one of Gotham’s most revered spots.

Statue of Thomas Jefferson in City Council Chambers in Manhattan, New York.
Statue of Thomas Jefferson in City Council Chambers in Manhattan, New York. (Bryan Smith for New York Daily News)

The “long-term loan” of the statue is listed as a so-called consent item, meaning the 11-member committee of architecture and museum notables will vote up or down after reviewing any public comments submitted virtually.

“The individuals memorialized within the confines of our People’s House be reflective not only of the best traditions of our city’s history and its diversity but unquestionable character,” the City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus said in a statement.

New York City Councilman Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) disagreed with removing one of the nation’s Founding Fathers from the chambers.

“This is more progressive war on history,” said the Staten Island rep. “Why wasn’t this put on the consent calendar? I thought we were having this big public discussion about monuments. Apparently not.”

City Council Speaker Cory Johnson and four other council members signed a letter to Mayor de Blasio in 2020 asking for the Jefferson statue to be removed. They acted soon after the police killing of George Floyd, which sparked nationwide protests for racial justice.

The 1833 cast-iron statue was created by Pierre-Jean David and was donated to the city a year later by Jefferson admirer and Navy commandant Uriah Phillips Levy.

The statue first came under fire in 2001 when firebrand then-Councilmember Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn) called for it to be replaced with an image of Malcolm X.

Its removal from the place of honor in the City Council chambers would mark another milestone in the campaign to reassess public monuments and memorials dedicated to historical figures with decidedly controversial histories.

Most of the movement’s energy has focused on removing statues of Confederate officials and generals. But many activists say America should also take another look at honors for Founding Fathers, who also owned slaves and held opinions that would be considered virulently racist in modern times.

Traditionalists counter that removing statues of any historic figure with a checkered past amounts to sanitizing history.Dave GoldinerNew York Daily NewsCONTACT 

Dave Goldiner is a political reporter at the New York Daily News. A 30-year newsroom veteran, he believes he is the only reporter to cover both the Sept. 11 terror attacks and the death and funeral of South African freedom icon Nelson Mandela on the ground.Michael GartlandNew York Daily NewsCONTACT 

Michael Gartland covers the New York City Housing Authority, housing and homelessness. During his 20-year career, he’s covered politics, crime and religion for The Record in NJ, The Post and Courier in SC and Newsday, among others. His work has earned local and national journalism awards. He lives in Upper Manhattan with his wife and two children.

Stroll—And Eat—On An Italian Boulevard While In The Big Apple

by Gerald Eskenazi from Forbes

Looking Down Arthur Avenue
Old Italy? No–Little Italy

If you want to know what one of the most interesting neighborhoods in New York was like before the pandemic—-well, it’s back, and in these times, more important, more fun and more needed than ever.

There really is only one Little Italy these days, and it’s in the Bronx, in the area known as the Belmont Business Improvement District. To most of us, it’s simply Arthur Avenue, and if you’re a New Yorker, or are going to visit, this is a place for you along with the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Times Square.

The somewhat-official launching of the return takes place Friday night, April 30, and continues until autumn unveils itself to New Yorkers.

It’s called, grandly and romantically, and with a nod to its Italian roots, Piazza di Belmont—the place for outdoor dining on Arthur Avenue. You don’t have to close your eyes to imagine you’re in Italy on a real piazza, a wide street you can stroll on without looking over your shoulder for a bicycle, car or truck. Look around and imagine an Italian town. You’ll soon be whistling Italian love songs, too.

The street becomes transformed as a piazza on Friday and Saturday nights from 6 to 10 P.M., and from 1 to 9 P.M. Sundays. This means that from East 188th Street to Crescent Avenue this swath on Arthur Avenue will be closed to vehicles. You can walk down the middle of the street, dine without being bothered by honking, hear the tinkle of wine glasses instead of the ring of a bicycle bell or any other vehicular noise.

Madonia Bakery Sample
 Sampling From Madonia Bakery

For Peter Madonia, chairman of the District, and purveyor of the tasty goodies from his eponymous bake shop, there is a deja vu aspect to what Arthur Avenue has done on the weekends:

“Many of the small businesses in Bronx Little Italy are owned and operated by the same families who founded them over a century ago – some of which have already been through the 1918 pandemic.”

During the day, the neighborhood will be the same—that is, the stores will be open for browsing, takeout, dining. This area looks and feels and sounds like the New York you first met in old movies, or television shows. It is a legitimate Little Italy in food—pizza the way it’s made in Naples; pasta from Italian semolina; food shops where a ton of slabs of pork hang from the ceiling; bakeries with 35 kinds of cookies.

If you’re a New Yorker, Arthur Avenue is, at most, a 30-minute drive by car. Little Italy in the Bronx has several parking options including metered spaces and a public parking lot at 2356 Hoffman Street. Also, anyone—New Yorker or visitor—can get to the Belmont neighborhood via Metro-North or the city’s subway via the D/B line.

 If you want to know more about the neighborhood, log on to If you’re interested in making specific reservations, well, this evocative names of restaurants are among the places you’ll want to go: Zero Otto Nove, Mario’s Restaurant, Enzo’s of Arthur Avenue, Estrellita Poblana III, Ann & Tony’sPasquale’s Rigoletto Restaurant,

And, as I once heard someone say in Rome, “Mangia!”

Gerald Eskenazi

I have had a rollicking 44-year ride as a reporter (sports) for The New York Times—that included 8,000 bylines, second-highest in the paper’s history. Along the way, I