Monthly Archives: October 2011

As the Occupy Wall Street movement fans out across the country, it is changing to adapt to local issues.

Both the media and the public have criticized the Occupy Wall Street movement for having little focus beyond the notion of income disparity. On the other hand, the movement’s fluid goals, combined with the consensus-based general assembly model for making decisions, has allowed local Occupy movements to focus their protest on issues in their communities.

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If you can’t measure it, you can’t fix it.

Panelists at the New York State Assembly’s Committee on Workplace Safety said on Wednesday that a major obstacle to reducing the high rate of workplace injuries among youth is the lack of a central database that tracks them. This, in turn, hinders the identification of trends, such as whether workers in certain jobs are injured more than others, said Robert Grey, 45, a worker’s compensation attorney.

“You can’t prove there’s a problem, because the information isn’t there,” he said.

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Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce recently released a study clearly showing, for the first time, the earning potential of certain majors versus others. Engineering, computers, and mathematics top the list of median earnings, although business degrees, at 25 percent of all degrees awarded, are the most popular.

But Peter Thiel argues that college is completely pointless if you’re interested in starting a new venture, and he’s put money into the game.

Read more at ToilTown.

One of Brooklyn’s major environmental cleanup sites is finally getting some attention.

The City of New York’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is in the midst of rebuilding the Gowanus Canal’s wastewater pumping station at the north end of the waterway. The station pulls fresh water from Buttermilk Channel, near Governor’s Island, into the closed-ended canal in order to circulate water.

“It’s basically a toilet tank for the Gowanus,” said Butler Street landlord Rick Rehak, 41. Rehak owns a building next door to the pumping station site, and says he’ll be glad when construction is finished. “When it’s all done, it’ll be great — in the meantime, it’s a train wreck,” he said. Read More

Even a protest against banking and finance has a certified public accountant.

That’s one curious aspect of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is trying to deal with the crush of donations from the month-old movement. According to Pete Dutro, 36, an NYU finance student and member of the Occupy Wall Street finance committee, over $100,000 has been raised since the occupation started on Sept. 17. But the movement is struggling with the overwhelming volume of donors that have overloaded the online donation system.

Read more at City Limits.

DITMAS PARK — There’s a brand new coffee shop in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, and it’s serving up more than just espresso.

First-time café owner Josh Rubin has opened Whisk Bakery Café at the corner of Newkirk Avenue and Westminster Road, just east of Coney Island Avenue and directly across from P.S. 217. The café held its grand opening party on Sept. 17 in conjunction with local artists’ association Flatbush Art Studio Tour (FAST). FAST’s paintings, photographs and even a wooden sculpture remain on the cafe walls for another month.

Read more at the Brooklyn Eagle.

Once a vital transportation channel for Brooklyn’s heavy industries, the toxic Gowanus Canal was named a federal Superfund cleanup site in March 2010. Until now, little work has been done, but in spring 2012, the first remediation project will be completed: the Gowanus Sponge Park, intended to soak up harmful pollution before the toxins can reach the waterway.

Here are a few photographs of the canal and the surrounding areas. Read More

Science fair meets county fair.

That’s how organizers described the World Maker Faire, a celebration of do-it-yourself science and engineering held at the New York Hall of Science this past weekend. The event featured more than 500 “Makers,” with exhibits ranging from homemade robots to a 70-foot-long, fire-breathing dragon made from reclaimed steel and rubber.

Read more at the Queens Times-Ledger.