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Village Voice: Runnin’ Scared?

Written by Kimberly Thorpe on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

The Village Voice’s weekly news column, “Runnin’ Scared,” has been quietly dropped from the paper for two consecutive weeks, after a 15-month run in the Voice’s news pages. This week’s Voice also failed to include the second part of two-part series by reporter Graham Rayman on Columbia professor Madonna Constantine, after promising readers in last [&hellip
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BREAKING NEWS: Village Voice Employees Settle Contract Dispute, Avert Strike

Written by Kimberly Thorpe on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

Union employees at The Village Voice averted a strike early this morning, forging an agreement with Village Voice Media for a new three-year contract that met their demands regarding health care and salary increases. "We got a deal. 3 o’clock this morning," said Tom Robbins, a Voice columnist and shop steward for United Auto Workers [&hellip
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BREAKING NEWS: Possible Strike at The Village Voice

Written by Kimberly Thorpe on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

The first strike in The Village Voice’s 52-year history again seems a distinct possibility. Contract talks between the Voice’s employees and its owner, Village Voice Media, center on proposed cuts in health care coverage in the latest contract offer from management, which the union considers unacceptable.

“Management is asking for givebacks on our health care policy and on our 401(k)….We are adamant that there won't be any givebacks here,” said Tom Robbins, a veteran staff writer at The Village Voice who covers labor issues, and who also serves as a shop steward with United Auto Workers Local 2110, which represents Voice staffers. “We pay through the nose. We pay co-payments that are very expensive for our members with children. They want more co-payments, they want more, more.”

Robbins said the union has had two meetings with management so far, but vowed that there would be a walkout if no settlement is reached.

“If we don't get it, all bets are off,” Robbins warned. A reporter left a voicemail message with Christina Pettit, the Voice’s spokesperson, for comment on the negotiations.

The contract dispute is the latest in a series of conflicts between the staff of the nation’s oldest and largest alternative weekly and the Voice’s owners, based in Phoenix...

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Missing Dance Parade, Not Missing Much

Written by Kimberly Thorpe on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

The first thing I have to admit before I can begin to describe the second annual NYC Dance Parade last Saturday was that I was late and that I missed it. It supposedly started at W. 28th and Broadway at 1 p.m. According to people's memories, about 5,000 people, all dressed in wild costumes, some even on stilts, danced, laughed, and paraded down Broadway before they made a left on 8th Street, continued down St. Marks Avenue, and finally stopped at Tompkins Square Park.

I missed all of this, though. I was in Washington Square Park instead, the original finish line for the parade. But, due to construction at the park which began in December, the parade organizers had to scramble at the last minute for a new destination. They settled on Tompkins Square, but the press release on the parade's website still touted Washington Square as the end destination.

So, there I was, a little after 3 p.m., confident that at any moment I would hear the loud music and see the swarms of costumed New Yorkers clogging, stepping, and gliding into Washington Square. I sat down for a while under a tree; I walked the perimeter of the park countless times, but no one came. Finally, I left the park and headed toward Broadway. I figured I would just walk uptown until a better idea came to me.

Luckily, at 8th Street, I saw some metal fences—the kind you always see at parades, caging the spectators—leaning against different buildings. I asked around. Sure enough, there had been a huge, fun, dancing carnival-like parade that passed through these streets hours earlier! I followed the metal fences, down St. Mark's, and finally came to Tompkins. Before me, a few hundred people, some indeed in crazy costumes, were milling around. I made my way to the large stage where a man with a microphone was introducing the next dance act....

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