THE MISSION
THE CITY is an independent, nonprofit news outlet dedicated to hard-hitting reporting that serves the people of New York.
Reporting For
New Yorkers

ARTICLES BY: Reuven Blau

Reuven is a reporter for THE CITY. He previously worked at the Daily News, NY Post and The Chief-Leader.

  1. coronavirus

    State Prisoners Punished for Wearing Masks as City Jails OK Them

    Two people behind bars in separate upstate facilities were cited for wearing makeshift masks. Meanwhile, now everyone will get them at Rikers Island.

    coronavirus

  2. prisons

    Call for Cuomo to Free Ailing Prisoners as Virus Spreads

    Legal Aid lawyers cite a handful of vulnerable, inmates dealing with cancer, diabetes and more as prime candidates for immediate release.

    prisons

  3. work

    Civil Servants Seek Line-of-Duty Death Benefits for Coronavirus Cases

    Fight evoking 9/11 first responders’ health battle begins to get enhanced pension payouts for families of a wide range of workers felled by COVID-19.

    work

  4. health

    Lysoling the Doorbell: NYC Home Health Aides Take No Chances

    Wiping door knobs. Dressing “like a Martian.” Those are some of the steps workers are taking to make sure they and their elderly clients stay safe.

    health

  5. expecting changes

    Home Births in Demand as Hospitals Shut Partners Out of NYC Delivery Rooms

    As hospitals limit who can be with delivering mothers to curb coronavirus spread, some families approaching due dates look to midwives and doulas.

    expecting changes

  6. jails

    Rikers Inmates Pepper Sprayed for Demanding Medical Care, Sources Say

    Unrest growing behind bars as inmates say their health is being put in jeopardy by crowding potential coronavirus cases with general population.

    jails

  7. coronavirus

    Letter Carriers Balk at Entering Brooklyn Post Office Over Coronavirus

    After a supervisor in Williamsburg tested positive for COVID-19, the U.S. Postal Service workers decided to pick up deliveries outside.

    coronavirus

  8. coronavirus

    Little Relief for Jails’ Most Vulnerable as Pandemic Grows

    “A storm is coming,” a top jails doctor warns amid calls to release older and ailing inmates — including those held on parole violations

    coronavirus

  9. health

    As Symptoms Spread, Hasidic Leaders Sound the Alarm: ‘A Fire Is Burning’

    Many Brooklyn yeshivas have closed, but some synagogues are open. A rabbinical court told seniors to stay home. But some reportedly are already sick.

    health

  10. justice

    Defenders Plead for ‘Intimate’ Rikers Parole Hearings to Go to Video

    The parole process was chaos on Rikers Island Monday as defense attorneys refused to attend hearings they feared were ripe for spreading coronavirus.

    justice

  11. coronavirus

    Nonprofits Ask City Hall to Cut Red Tape Threatening Aid

    Groups helping youth, seniors, formerly incarcerated and more plead to cancel city contract performance targets they likely won’t be able to meet.

    coronavirus

  12. coronavirus

    As Lights Go Out On Broadway, Worry and Confusion Take Center Stage

    The planned month-long darkening of The Great White Way has left the workers who make the magic happen reeling. The next act remains unclear…

    coronavirus

  13. justice

    Evictions and Trials Halted While Courts Defend Against Coronavirus

    Meanwhile, two community courthouses are being eyed as NYPD holding centers for arrested people suspected of having the COVID-19 illness.

    justice

  14. homelessness

    No Hand Sanitizer for Homeless Living on Streets, Even as Virus Spreads

    Advocates call on the city to stop discouraging its outreach workers from distributing sanitary items to people living on sidewalks and subways.

    homelessness

  15. coronavirus

    Sanitizer Squeezed From State Prison Labor Amplifies Calls to Hike Paltry Pay

    Prisoners who work for Corcraft start at just 16 cents an hour — a rate that hasn’t budged since 1992. A bill pending in Albany would boost that.

    coronavirus

  16. health

    NYC Health Department ‘Not Collecting’ Agency Coronavirus Numbers

    In a memo Sunday, the Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations advised city agencies not to report any workers with coronavirus signs to health officials.

    health

  17. rikers island

    The Secret Plan to Lock Down Coronavirus in NYC Jails

    New inmate sleeping arrangements and video court appearances could be on tap if the virus hits Rikers and other local lockups, THE CITY has learned.

    rikers island

  18. second chances

    New Jersey No-Bail System Eyed by New York Leaders Reckons With Bias Risk

    By some measures, the Jersey approach is a success. But critics warn public safety reviews by judges can hold past injustices against defendants.

    second chances

  19. disconnect

    City Hall May Pull Plug on LinkNYC Owner Over Missing Kiosks — and $75M Owed

    The group behind LinkNYC towers that give free Wi-Fi and phone calls is far behind schedule on installations and payments to the city, officials say.

    disconnect

  20. asset forfeiture

    Vance Doles Out Millions in Grants From Seized Dollars, but Some Question Role

    The Manhattan DA’s Office is sitting on a mountain of cash from big court settlements. Should that money be controlled by prosecutors or the people?

    asset forfeiture

  21. justice

    Convicted Rapist Harvey Weinstein May Avoid Time on Rikers Island

    Jail officials are considering shipping disgraced movie mogul to a lockup outside the city as he awaits sentencing, THE CITY has learned.

    justice

  22. the bloomberg way

    Mike Bloomberg’s NYC Jails Record: Drop in Inmates, Rise in Force

    The Democratic presidential hopeful vowed this week to “end the era of mass incarceration.” THE CITY examined how he handled jails as mayor.

    the bloomberg way

  23. constructive criticism

    Epic $62M Landmarks Commission HQ Project Building History of Cost Overruns

    The tab to fix office space and construct a hearing room for the Landmarks Preservation Commission has grown by $33 million amid a four-year delay.

    constructive criticism

  24. emergency contract

    City Hall Makes $147.5 Million Call on Overhauling 911

    The firm enlisted by the de Blasio administration is already behind and over budget on creating a temporary text option for emergency callers.

    emergency contract

  25. justice

    Bail Reform Rollback Battle Rips Rift in Albany

    Senate rethink of mandatory pretrial release for criminal defendants opens divide among Democrats as Assembly activists slam “Jim Crow-style” flip.

    justice

  26. retail politics

    De Blasio Takes Mom-and-Pop Commercial Rent Control Longshot

    The mayor announced a panel to study the issue in his “saving New York” speech. But even he has doubts the longtime nonstarter can pass legal muster.

    retail politics

  27. below market

    De Blasio’s Tiny Houses Plan for Apartments in Basements, Garages and Backyards

    City Hall’s plan would offer $150 million in low-interest loans to boost affordable housing and ease homeowner burdens by legalizing the dwellings.

    below market

  28. jails

    Fines Against City Jail Inmates Add Up to Over $1 Million

    Detainees get hit with a $25 fee per altercation — often leaving family members to pay the tab, which has surpassed seven figures since 2015.

    jails

  29. education

    Some Yeshivas Defying City Push to Boost Secular Studies

    Jewish schools in Brooklyn missed a Department of Education deadline to provide detailed plans to improve non-religious instruction.

    education

  30. prosecution rests?

    Manhattan DA Vance Stumbles in Campaign Cash Race as He Mulls Re-Run

    Cy Vance’s opponents called for his resignation over sex crime case. He defended his office, but won’t say if he’ll seek reelection.

    prosecution rests?

  31. ankle support

    City Scrambling to Get Electronic Monitors for New Bail Rules

    Even with new rules in effect, the city is looking at ankle bracelets and apps. Meanwhile, some defendants are being set free, sans monitoring.

    ankle support

  32. the bloomberg way

    Bloomberg’s Firm Violated Sick Leave Law He Vetoed as Mayor, but Now Supports

    The billionaire presidential hopeful’s media company was cited for a policy requiring workers to provide a doctor’s note after one or two sick days.

    the bloomberg way

  33. jails

    Correction Board Seeks Probe Into ‘Misuse’ of Rikers Body Scanners

    The city jails oversight body recommends “an immediate investigation” — citing “risk of radiation exposure” due to a lack of staff training.

    jails

  34. battling hate

    Amid Hate Spike, A Crown Heights Leader Pleads: ‘We Have to Do Better’

    Richard Green helped bring residents together after the 1991 riots. As anti-Semitic incidents rise, he’s calling for resources — and understanding.

    battling hate

  35. ill bill

    City Sticks Home Health Care Agencies for Violating Paid Sick Leave Law

    More than 4,100 home health aides to get nearly $450,000 in restitution, says Department of Consumer and Worker Protection.

    ill bill

  36. courts

    Key Bail Reform Support Program Is Still Months Away

    “Atlas” promises services to help freed defendants avoid trouble. But with new rules already in effect, no one has been selected to run the program.

    courts

  37. teachable moments

    Amid Spree of Hate Crimes, City Looks to Past Offenders for Mentorship

    The de Blasio administration is considering recruiting those who committed anti-Semitic crimes as teens to teach young people to do the right thing.

    teachable moments

  38. criminal justice

    Bail Reformers Worry Prosecutors Will Amp Up Charges to Jail Defendants

    On brink of Jan. 1 law that will bar pretrial incarceration for lesser crimes, advocates say they’re wary of an unintended consequence: tougher raps.

    criminal justice

  39. clemency

    Ailing Inmate Pins Clemency Hopes on Cuomo

    At 64, Ulysses Boyd has severe arthritis and an enlarged heart, and recently battled pneumonia. He’s not eligible for parole for another 16 years.

    clemency

  40. the bloomberg way

    Newly Revealed Bloomberg Emails Give Glimpse Into NYC Mayor Stint

    His City Hall archive is far from complete. But the limited emails we obtained offer a private look into the billionaire who would be president.

    the bloomberg way

  41. the bloomberg way

    A Search for Emails From Mike Blooomberg’s Mayoral Years

    Only limited emails sent via a server from Bloomberg’s media company made it to the city archives after being screened by his lawyers, officials said.

    the bloomberg way

  42. education

    Mayor Knew About Delay of Damning Yeshiva Report, Probe Finds

    City investigators say City Hall engaged in “political horse trading” during yeshiva review, but de Blasio was cleared of any wrongdoing.

    education

  43. going into detail

    De Blasio’s Presidential Campaign Security Tab Probed

    City investigators examine how Mayor Bill de Blasio used taxpayer dollars on the security detail for his presidential campaign.

    going into detail

  44. health

    IDNYC Drug Discounts Cancelled for Addictive Opioid Medications

    BigAppleRX program can no longer be used for many pain pills — part of a trend toward restrictions that some doctors and advocates worry goes too far.

    health

  45. punitive segregation

    City Jail Overseer Urged to End Solitary Confinement After Layleen Polanco Death

    Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, speaking at Board of Correction’s first hearing on proposed limits, says NYC can “serve as a model for the nation.”

    punitive segregation

  46. health

    Detox Units Closing at All 11 NYC-Run Hospitals

    Patients going through difficult process of weaning off drugs and alcohol will be steered back to overworked emergency rooms, THE CITY has learned.

    health

  47. falling down

    NYCHA Playgrounds Languish in Disrepair While Funds Go Unspent

    At least 22 public housing playgrounds are slated for an overhaul, but the Housing Authority has given little sign of when the work will be completed.

    falling down

  48. health care

    Family Caregivers Seek Tax Credit to Help Pay for Aides and Supplies

    The state would reimburse relatives up to $3,500 annually for costs incurred taking care of ailing loved ones, under a bill to boost unpaid helpers.

    health care

  49. a call to action

    City’s Delayed Response on 911 Overhaul Declared an Emergency

    Lawmakers and advocates demand action, saying snagged plans for a temporary texting system and a comprehensive digital upgrade put lives at risk.

    a call to action

  50. stand back

    Buildings Commish Backs off Order for Q-Train Neighbors to Inspect Subway Walls

    After THE CITY’s report and an MTA intervention, city bureaucrats say homeowners can ignore citations for failing to inspect a busy transit trench.

    stand back

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