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2003 Stories by Tom Robbins

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  • Requiem for a Bach Jock

    published December 30, 2003

    Thanks to Jayson Blair and his devilish delight in concocting news stories, The New York Times suffered a public relations fiasco last year... More >>

  • Underground Empire

    published December 23, 2003

    David Walentas is a silver-haired, Porsche-driving real estate tycoon who could have stepped from a Ralph Lauren ad. The 65-year-old developer... More >>

  • Hazardous Labor

    published December 16, 2003

    Nothing illustrates just how messy democracy can be like a good old-fashioned internal union fight. And the bitter rift that has erupted within... More >>

  • Infernal Racket

    published December 9, 2003

    When Saul Heifetz, a 68-year-old contractor with alleged mob ties, was faced with a demand to pay several minority construction workers at their... More >>

  • Mystery Man

    published November 25, 2003

    Former city aide Daniel Carrique gave new meaning to the concept of being lost in the bureaucracy. Fired this spring from his $51,000-a-year post,... More >>

  • Lack of Discipline

    published November 18, 2003

    In March 1998, the city's Department of Investigation quietly filed away a pair of memorandums detailing two completed inquiries into alleged... More >>

  • Taken for a Ride

    published November 11, 2003

    When Roger Toussaint and his team of insurgents won the leadership of the giant Transport Workers Union Local 100 in 2001, they found bins of... More >>

  • The Man Who Couldn't Be Judge

    published November 4, 2003

    The grubby politics involved in the making of judges in Brooklyn's Democratic Party have been the subject of year-long headlines and an ongoing... More >>

  • The Judge on Row E

    published October 28, 2003

    The most significant race in any borough this election day may be the contest for state Supreme Court being waged in Brooklyn by a judge who dared... More >>

  • Rush to Judgment

    published October 28, 2003

    In June 2001, a then long-shot mayoral candidate named Michael Bloomberg accepted the endorsement of the Independence Party, the most rigidly... More >>

  • A Labor House Divided

    published September 30, 2003

    Charles Ensley, the veteran leader of the 20,000-member local representing the city's welfare workers, held an exuberant kickoff rally last week... More >>

  • The New Bronx Market

    published September 23, 2003

    One of New York's rarest commodities—a decent, low-cost housing complex—was put on the auction block this summer by federal housing... More >>

  • The Backroom Crowd

    published September 16, 2003

    Only translucent panels and sliding doors of clear glass divide the backroom at the Park Plaza diner in downtown Brooklyn from the rest of the... More >>

  • Language Lockout

    published September 9, 2003

    The working lives of people like Irania Sanchez, born in Nicaragua, represent New York's dirtiest secret. For six years Sanchez, 34, labored for... More >>

  • Rabbi Bunco

    published September 2, 2003

    Before Rabbi Milton Balkany was charged last week with defrauding the U.S. Government of $700,000 in an alleged swindle involving the orthodox... More >>

  • Phony War

    published August 12, 2003

    The toughest labor showdown in America this year has been the one between Verizon and its unions, and when contracts expired the first weekend in... More >>

  • Refuge of Scoundrels

    published August 5, 2003

    When Rudy Giuliani ran for re-election in 1997, he got a boost from Charles Hughes. A Democrat and an African American, Hughes headed one of the... More >>

  • Moody Blues

    published July 29, 2003

    When Rudy Giuliani appointed Russell Harding—son of Ray Harding, the then mayor's political mentor—to take charge of a... More >>

  • Spoils System

    published July 22, 2003

    Brooklyn's well-oiled courthouse patronage machine has functioned so long and so smoothly that its rewards have quietly reached some prominent and... More >>

  • Showdown for the Phone Union

    published July 8, 2003

    "Let me explain what's really going on here . . . " Those are the words executives at Verizon Communications Inc. should employ when... More >>

  • The Judge in the Purple Plastic Gloves

    published July 1, 2003

    Brooklyn's Democratic Party leaders—already besieged by the worst scandal in a generation over their judicial selection process—are... More >>

  • Forgotten Ones

    published June 24, 2003

    The first time Sammie "Pee Wee" West saw Milton Rogovin point his camera at him, he was on his way to buy a beer at a small grocery on Buffalo's... More >>

  • A Maximus Postscript

    published June 17, 2003

    On December 28, 2001—just three days before the end of Rudy Giuliani's reign at City Hall—officials at the Human Resources... More >>

  • Diminished Capacity

    published June 3, 2003

    It may have been the easiest raise ever won in city government. Approximately every two weeks in 2001, someone with access to the computerized... More >>

  • Hospital Holiday

    published May 27, 2003

    In 1997, as government officials prepared to impose vast changes in the way health care services are provided to the poor, New York hospitals won... More >>

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