Joel Rose

Joel Rose is a National Desk reporter based at NPR's New York Bureau.

Since joining NPR in 2011, Rose has covered the political, economic, and cultural life of the nation's biggest city. He's reported on the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the fall of the compact disc, and the fast-changing fortunes of New York's elected officials. He's also contributed to NPR's coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida, and the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal in Pennsylvania.

When pressing news doesn't keep him busy, Rose likes to report on the collision of the Internet and the entertainment industries, and to profile obscure musicians who should be more famous.

Rose has held a long list of jobs in public radio. Before coming to NPR, he spent ten years in Philadelphia, six of them as a reporter at NPR Member Station WHYY. He's also worked as a producer at KQED in San Francisco and American Routes in New Orleans. His writing has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, GOOD Magazine, and the Philadelphia Independent.

His radio reporting has won numerous awards, including a Golden Reel from the National Association of Community Broadcasters for his story about the unlikely comeback of soul singer Howard Tate.

Rose has a bachelor's degree in history and music from Brown University, where he got his start in radio as an overnight jazz DJ at the college station.

At least once a week, federal defender Deirdre von Dornum travels across Brooklyn to meet with her incarcerated clients. The round trip takes three hours, on a good day.

First von Dornum rides the subway. Then she walks half a mile to the Metropolitan Detention Center, a pair of nondescript high-rise buildings on the Brooklyn waterfront. At this point, she still has to wait — sometimes for hours — for guards to bring her client down from his cell.

As the World Series shifts to Queens, the Kansas City Royals hold an imposing two-games-to-none lead over the New York Mets. But the Mets should be used to playing the underdog by now.

New York City may have dodged a major storm recently when Hurricane Joaquin headed out to sea, but it was an unwelcome reminder of what happened three years ago when the city suffered catastrophic flooding during Superstorm Sandy. Now, the New York subway system is racing to get new flood-proofing technologies ready in time for the next big storm.

One of those methods is called the Flex-Gate, a big sheet of waterproof fabric designed to cover subway entrances and keep the water out.

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Republicans eager to blunt Donald Trump's front-runner status in the GOP presidential primary think they've found the issue that will finally sink the billionaire's White House hopes: eminent domain.

The legal process by which states acquire private property for public use, eminent domain is generally far from a big campaign issue. But with other GOP attacks on Trump's record having done little to blunt the real estate mogul's rise in the race, conservative operatives have launched an ad campaign criticizing Trump's past support for eminent domain.

The workweek got off to a rough start for New Jersey rail commuters recently. A disabled train blocked one of the two rail tunnels under the Hudson River to Penn Station during the Monday morning rush hour.

Thousands of people were left scrambling to find another way into Manhattan.

"This really sucks," said Ira Kaplan of Basking Ridge, N.J. "Much worse than past summers."

Kaplan was among thousands of commuters who took a train to Hoboken, where they waited on sweltering platforms for another train to New York.

Michael McCabe knows what it's like to be surrounded by zombies.

Zombie houses, that is.

McCabe still lives in the neighborhood where he grew up, Woodbury Heights, N.J., a middle-class suburb of Philadelphia. He knows which houses are in foreclosure and which have been abandoned. The latest seems to be right behind his own.

From the outside, the AeroFarms headquarters looks like any other rundown building in downtown Newark, N.J. It used to be a store, and more recently a nightclub. Now it's a test farm.

"My favorite is the mustard green that's called a Ruby Streak, which is this leaf right here," says AeroFarms CEO David Rosenberg, sampling some of the company's greens. "And my second favorite is cress, watercress, which is this guy right here."

New York state has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. Compliance with those laws is another matter.

New York passed a broad package of gun regulations after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., despite the objections of hunters and gun rights advocates. Now it appears that many gun owners are refusing to comply with a key provision that requires the registration of so-called assault weapons.

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The Triple Crown is one of the most difficult tests in sports: Three horse races over the course of just five weeks, culminating with the Belmont Stakes Saturday in Elmont, N.Y.

American Pharoah is favored to win, which would make him the first horse to capture the Triple Crown in 37 years. But his rivals have a key advantage: They've had extra time to rest, and that's led to some grumbling inside the sport.

Police departments across the country are facing tough questions after a series of high-profile confrontations with civilians in Ferguson, South Carolina and Baltimore.

Now similar tensions are playing out inside some of the biggest police unions. In New York, one high-profile union president faces an electoral challenge for the first time in a decade.

Try to order "pork roll" in most of the country and you'll probably get a blank stare. But in New Jersey, pork roll is a staple at diners, restaurants and food trucks from Cape May to the Meadowlands. And this unsung meat product is now the star of not one, but two competing festivals on Saturday in Trenton.

To the untrained eye, pork roll looks like Canadian bacon. But New Jersey residents know better.

Police departments across the country are under pressure to rethink their most aggressive tactics — and it's not just flashpoints like Ferguson and Baltimore. The New York Police Department is on the defensive about its long-standing approach known as "broken windows" policing.

Simply put, broken windows is the idea that police should aggressively crack down on low-level offenses to stop bigger crimes from happening. It's been copied all over the country, but now critics in New York say broken windows needs fixing.

State officials released the details of New Jersey's proposed $225 million settlement with ExxonMobil on Monday, giving us a closer look at one of the largest environmental settlements in the state's history.

Environmentalists complain the company is getting off easy after polluting wetlands for many decades. The settlement focuses on two of Exxon's former refineries, Bayonne and Linden, in northern New Jersey.

In New York City, police rarely talk on the record at all, especially about a touchy subject like quotas. But Officer Adhyl Polanco is an exception.

"The culture is, you're not working unless you are writing summonses or arresting people," says Polanco.

One of the dirty secrets in law enforcement that no one likes to talk about is quotas. Police departments routinely deny requiring officers to deliver a set number of tickets or arrests. But critics say that kind of numbers-based policing is real, and corrodes the community's relationship with the police.

This Passover holiday marks the end of an era for an iconic matzo factory in New York City.

Streit's has been baking matzo — the unleavened bread that Jews eat during the eight days of Passover — in the same factory on the Lower East Side for 90 years. But the company announced it will move production to a new, modern factory after the holiday.

That's a blow to Streit's loyal customers, who insist it tastes better than other brands.

After a decade of debate, the federal government is poised to change how it regulates Internet access, to make it more like telephone service and other public utilities.

The movie Birdman is favored to pick up several major Academy Awards Sunday night, but it will not be taking home the Oscar for best original score. That's because it was declared ineligible for Oscar consideration.

Birdman has one of the year's more distinctive musical scores, propelled by the unaccompanied jazz drumming of Antonio Sanchez, a bandleader and longtime drummer for guitarist Pat Metheny.

James Comey's speech on race and policing last week was a big departure for a sitting FBI director. For one thing, Comey quoted a lyric from the Broadway musical Avenue Q: "Maybe it's a fact we all should face: Everyone makes judgments based on race."

A dozen states are considering something that was rarely discussed a few years ago: raising gas taxes. Low prices at the pump have emboldened state officials to think about raising new revenue to repair crumbling roads and bridges.

It's a scene that's all too familiar in much of the country — construction workers performing emergency repairs on a bridge. In Franklin Township, N.J., one bridge closed abruptly last month when it was deemed unsafe.

This week figures to be a big one in the debate about how to regulate the Internet.

Yesterday the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission announced he'll try to overrule laws in two states that restrict community-owned broadband networks. Later this week, he's expected to propose exactly what President Obama asked for last year: reclassifying the Internet under regulations known in the parlance of telecom wonks as Title II.

In Tuesday night's State of the Union address, President Obama offered a number of ideas for improving the economy. Among them was a nod to the role the Internet plays in economic development.

"I intend to protect a free and open Internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks," Obama said.

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Sara Back, a nurse practitioner at a public hospital in the Bronx, is not the kind of person to turn down a tough assignment. This month she's heading to Sierra Leone to work a short stint caring for Ebola patients.

"I am beyond ready," she says.

Back is passionate about treating patients suffering from the deadly disease. But she's not so keen on the mandatory 21-day quarantine she faces when she gets home.

"It's definitely a pain in the tush," she says. "I mean, jokingly, my colleagues say, 'Well, we'll see you in, like ... June.' "

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The first film to point a camera at the graffiti movement in New York City was Stations of the Elevated, which debuted at the New York Film Festival in 1981.

The film hasn't been seen much since, except by generations of graffiti fans and writers who watched it on VHS tapes. Now it's being re-released on the big screen, with a showing Friday at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. It will hit screens around the country this fall.

A gun that fires only in the hands of its owner isn't science fiction anymore. A so-called smart gun is already on sale in Europe. But you won't find it on store shelves in this country — in part because of an obscure New Jersey law that's had unintended consequences for the rest of the nation.

Basically, the Childproof Handgun Law of 2002 says that once "personalized handguns are available" anywhere in the country, all handguns sold in New Jersey must be smart guns within 30 months.

Four years after his death, the former singer of the Box Tops and Big Star is enjoying a level of popular acclaim that eluded him in life. A new biography of Alex Chilton, A Man Called Destruction, follows on the heels of a successful documentary about Big Star released last year.