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Five Things Engage NY Didn’t Intend to Teach My Kid

by Miriam Axel-Lute December 5, 2013

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  It’s always good to look on the bright side of things, right? (Or at least frequently good. Relentlessly doing so veers toward denial.) Nonetheless, when you have a kid in school in this age of absurd ...

A Sci-Fi Holiday

by John Rodat November 27, 2013

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  A dining room at Thanksgiving. The table is laden with traditional fare: a dirigible-sized turkey glistens golden brown, a snowy Himalayan mound of mashed potatoes steams, gravy rich and black in a ceramic boat so ...

Fight for Your Right to Advertise

by Paul Rapp November 27, 2013

  Sorry I missed the last two columns. There have been gnarly litigation deadlines and some armed insurrections up the mountain. I’m now in a strange sort of exile, operating out of a safe house with ...

We Would Like To Apologize For . . .

by Miriam Axel-Lute November 20, 2013

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  I’m traveling this week again. This means, among other things, that I get to hear a lot of people and companies say “We apologize for the inconvenience.” It took me a little while to realize why ...

The Celebrity Report: Haiku

by John Rodat November 13, 2013

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  His kimono flows. David Bowie loves ping pong. Iman won’t play him.   The chips and snacks aisle: A roadie buys Funyons. Lady Gaga smiles.   No, Donald Glover is not the child of Danny. Nor Corey’s either.   Tom Hanks hates the mail. So many flyers for ...

“Smart” Kids and Hard Tests

by Miriam Axel-Lute November 6, 2013

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  A couple of weeks ago now, I attended the forum on the Common Core standards in Albany with Commissioner King. The parents and teachers and board members and principals who spoke were as a rule eloquent. ...

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Your Own Private Idaho

by John Rodat October 31, 2013

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  Lou Reed conjured a NYC of which he became the embodiment. His cultishly loyal fans are—must be—attracted to those quasi-mythical neighborhoods the way that fantasy and science-fiction fans are attracted to Middle Earth or galaxies ...

Let Teachers Teach

by Miriam Axel-Lute October 24, 2013

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  This afternoon (Oct. 24), from 4 to 7 PM, there will be a forum with New York State Education Commissioner Steve King at Albany’s Harriet and Stephen Myers Middle School on the implementation of the ...

Sad Old Scene

by Paul Rapp October 16, 2013

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  I haven’t seen the CBGBs movie yet, which makes this a perfect time to discuss it. I just learned that it was available as a pay-per-view on DirectTV for the entire month of September. Nice ...

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Who Gets to Play?

by Miriam Axel-Lute October 10, 2013

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  My 2nd grader wants to do everything (Soccer! Gymnastics! 4H! Garden club! Karate! Running club! Contradance!). The only reason an instrument isn’t on her list is because she wants to learn flute and she’s too ...

Charlie Everywhere

by Paul Rapp October 3, 2013

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  Big congratulations to Phantogram’s Josh and Sarah on the release of their teaser EP on Barsuk/Universal (the full album will drop soon), their song placement in (1) that ubiquitous Gillette teevee commercial and (2) the ...

Please, Talk to Strangers

by Miriam Axel-Lute September 26, 2013

  On Wednesday morning I got forwarded the following alert: “Albany police are investigating a report of a male exposing himself on Delaware Avenue. Staff from Myers Middle School notified police that on Tuesday September 24, 2013 ...

Cable Hopping

by Paul Rapp September 18, 2013

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  This is the 200th Rapp On This. Damn. It seems like just yesterday that I marked No. 100. Strangely, though, it seems like eons ago that Steve called and asked if I’d consider writing a ...

History, We Hope

by Miriam Axel-Lute September 13, 2013

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  I’m writing this the morning after a historic primary election day here in Albany, and also the morning after a Presidential saber-rattling speech about a proposed act of war that, amazingly enough, even the general ...

Primary Endorsements: Albany

by The Staff September 5, 2013

  Albany Mayor: Kathy Sheehan The best reason to vote for Kathy Sheehan is her performance as treasurer. We wish she had been more forthcoming in the campaign with her ideas for fixing a city that has, ...

Dream Under Lock and Key

by Paul Rapp September 4, 2013

  Last time, we were talking about the Robin Thicke-Marvin Gaye’s children debacle, and I mentioned that it was disturbing to see a dead creator’s kids wielding a big stick and abusing intellectual property laws in ...

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Questions for Albany’s Next Mayor

by Miriam Axel-Lute August 28, 2013

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  During the Albany 2030 planning process, one of the things that came across loud and clear in the initial public meetings, but didn’t make it into the plan, was that the people of Albany wanted ...

Blurred Law

by Paul Rapp August 22, 2013

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  “Robin Thicke Sues Marvin Gaye’s Family” makes for a great headline, doesn’t it? It brings to mind the sad and shameful legacy of white exploitation of black music and musicians: Pat Boone doing “Tutti Frutti”! ...

Practical Magic

by Miriam Axel-Lute August 15, 2013

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  Many years ago when I was on staff at Metroland covering the ongoing story surrounding Albany Police officer Chris D’Alessandro’s suspension and the efforts of a little innovative community prosecution office headed up by Albany ...

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It’s Getting Better

by Paul Rapp August 7, 2013

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  Since early 2005, I’ve been popping up here more or less every other week and complaining about something or other having to do with the law, information, and technology. There’s never a lack of things ...

On Protesting Killer Coal

by Miriam Axel-Lute August 1, 2013

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  The cooling towers were the first thing we saw, clearly visible from the Little League field in Somerset, Mass., where I had joined several hundred people to call for the closing of Brayton Point Power ...

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Royalty Pains in the Ass

by Paul Rapp July 25, 2013

  The digital revolution changed everything about the business of music. Suddenly, anybody with time and a little patience can record something and present it to the world. Like, for free. That’s pretty staggering. Why, back ...

Somebody’s Child

by Jessica Valenti July 18, 2013

  Copyright © 2013 The Nation; distributed by Agence Global My first week of college, I had a heated debate about abortion with two new friends. Both were white, and one, Nancy, was extremely pro-life. I was ...

Why Gay Marriage is Winning

by Richard Kim July 10, 2013

  Copyright © 2013 The Nation, distributed by Agence Global Dressed in an immaculate white shirt and white pants, a straw hat with a hot pink band and the customary rainbow sash, 84-year-old Edie Windsor looked like ...

Kids on the Range

by Miriam Axel-Lute July 3, 2013

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  At her birthday party last month, when it came time to light her candle, I handed my 7-year-old a box of matches. One of the kids gave her a funny look and said, “I don’t ...