Dunga Brook Diary: Catch Me If You Can

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August 2, 2018 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

May 2011, Albany to LA, SW Flight #4938

Vicki Whicker

The morning sky is orange and pink and purple, the ground is a lush patchwork of greens and blues.

I’m on my way back to the relentless sun and baked neutrals of Southern California.

I already miss central New York.

I pick up my pen and open my journal…but how to describe the first taste of my future?

This Mother’s Day weekend trip, from Los Angeles to central New York, was my first visit to my new-old house.

Back in April, I bought the house, sight unseen, from a post on Facebook. My soon to be New York neighbor (a former LA acquaintance), Jim, is responsible for this purchase. He posted a photo of a forlorn little house for sale and asked, “Who wants to be my neighbor?” And, there it was, my little house, in a field of mud and snow… Read more

Dershowitz dishes on not impeaching Trump

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August 1, 2018 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

Alan Dershowitz in his Twitter photo.


Another version of this article first appeared in The Villager, a downtown Manhattan weekly.

Alan Dershowitz, famed criminal defense lawyer and professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, has been taking heat from fellow liberals for criticizing Special Counsel Robert Mueller and defending the civil liberties of right-wing Republican President Donald Trump, the subject of Dershowitz’s latest book, “The Case Against Impeaching Trump.”

But last Wednesday evening, the lifelong Democrat and contrarian who is nearly 80 and best known for representing notorious clients like O.J. Simpson and Claus von Bulow over five decades of courtroom combats, received a warm welcome on the fourth floor of Barnes & Noble at Union Square in downtown Manhattan. There he was interviewed by Josh Barro, a senior editor of Business Insider. Read more


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August 1, 2018 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 


By Bob Vickrey 

Many years ago, and far away from the bright lights of packed football stadiums filled with cheering fans, there was another annual ritual playing out more quietly on sandlots in just about every Texas town across the state.

Thousands of boys like me, who had never played varsity football, gathered for our own version of the game on deserted and dusty schoolyard fields.

Houston’s scorching, humid summer months were hardly a deterrent for the boys of our town to assemble in the late afternoons and engage in competitive games of touch football. By early August there was already a sense of anticipation in the air about the upcoming fall football season, and many of us gathered as if we were training for the first game—even though few of us were actually members of any organized team. Read more

Law helps freelancers collect from deadbeats

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August 1, 2018 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 


Another version of this article first appeared in The Villager, a downtown Manhattan weekly.

The Freelance Isn’t Free Act was implemented last year in New York City to benefit an estimated 500,000 vulnerable temporary or part-time employees in a variety of occupations from creatives to construction workers. Here’s hoping similar bills show up in other major cities where so-called “gig workers” congregate.

This transplanted California scribe remembers the way it was for independent contractors in downtown Manhattan when I frantically hustled assignments to stay afloat during the dark days right after 9/11, acting as a stringer for The New York Times and a couple of other daily newspapers.

My full-time writing / editing job at Graphic Arts Monthly had been abruptly eliminated during a company-wide downsizing by its corporate parent, Reed Business Information. During sparse work periods as a freelancer, I subsisted on a lot of cheap noodle dishes and paced the aisles of Jack’s 99¢ Stores for bargains. Con Edison once turned off my electricity because of late payment from an upscale magazine. Read more