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Just one absent worker can cripple a small business | THE RIVERDALE PRESS, Feb. 2, 2018
A white plastic jug simply labeled “Pedro Fund” sits on the counter at Noni’s Coffee Shop. While the coins and bills that fill the jug is a big help to the Riverdale Avenue shop’s popular short order cook, the absence of Pedro Torres from the kitchen has had its toll on Noni’s.

Trump energizes opponents (and supporters) on campus | THE RIVERDALE PRESS, Jan. 26, 2018
Donald Trump’s presidency has stirred political passion and activism across both sides of the political aisle. Yet instead of standing on the sidelines, some are channeling their energy to action, working to help at home or just outright diving into the political process.

Black power exhibition takes visitors back to turbulent times | THE RIVERDALE PRESS, Dec. 8, 2017
Make black count. Support black liberation — Free Assata Shakur, Free Sundiata Acoli. African Liberation Day.  With posters like these, the mood of the black power movement comes to life in the “Power in Print” exhibition at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. The show, which runs through March 31, explores the art of the black power movement through its posters. 

Legal loophole trips up disabled subway riders | THE RIVERDALE PRESS, Oct. 13, 2017
Dustin Jones can’t take trains the same way most other people can. Nearly every day, Jones takes a 30-minute Bx9 bus journey from West Farms to West 231st Street and Broadway to catch the 1 train. He skips a closer connection with the 1 at West 225th Street not because he’s particular about train stations — he simply requires one with an elevator.

Excavation creates a site for sore ears | THE RIVERDALE PRESS, Oct. 6, 2017
Bang. Bang, Bang. Bang. It’s like a powerful drumbeat reverberating through the neighborhood as construction crews break up a series of rocks that once made up stone ledges at 3482 Fort Independence St. And neighbors are angry.

Nature serves as fashion’s muse for garment exhibition | THE RIVERDALE PRESS, Sept. 21, 2017
What do flowers, water and scientific theory have in common? They’ve all served as natural inspiration for fashion designers.

Whistleblower remembered as devoted caregiver | THE RIVERDALE PRESS, July 21, 2017
Many may remember Bracha Graber as the city social worker-turned-whistleblower who exposed citywide foster care fraud in the early 1990s. But to countless children looking for homes, the former Riverdale resident was the first person social services called, even in the middle of the night.

Immigrants discuss life under Trump’s policies | THE RIVERDALE PRESS, June 29, 2017
Adult students at the Kingsbridge Heights Center began their English for Speakers of Other Languages class under the Obama administration and ended the course under President Trump.

Step streets overrun by ‘weed trees’ | THE RIVERDALE PRESS, Feb. 8, 2017
Step streets are overgrown by “weed trees” reaching more than 10-feet in height. Stone stairs are littered with debris. Steps are uneven. And city agencies issue conflicting information on which of them is responsible for correcting the problems.

Storied cemetery contains surprises | THE RIVERDALE PRESS, June 17, 2016
Jackie Hoffman Chin, a freelance museum collections manager and art historian, wanted to find the grave of her cousin, songwriter Sam Lewis, who died in 1959. He was known as a “song doctor” with a knack for tailoring lyrics to the vocal style of a singer and co-wrote hits such as “I’m Sitting on Top of the World” and “How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm?” She downloaded information from the internet, but it only told her the coordinates of his grave and she learned from relatives he had a heart-shaped, pink granite headstone.

What retirement? | COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY GRADUATE SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM,
Alumni E-Newsletter, February 2016
**This story was republished in the San Diego Jewish World on Feb. 16, 2016**
At 102, J. Zel Lurie ’39 is likely the School’s longest-working journalist. Lurie, who lives in Delray Beach, FL., suffers from macular degeneration and can no longer read, but it has never occurred to him to end a writing career that started decades ago. Only now, he has an assistant type up the columns that he dictates for two publications twice a month.