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.

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2:13pm

Wed July 23, 2014
Around the Nation

N.Y. Man's Death Prompts Police Introspection On Use Of Force

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 8:36 pm

Funeral services are being held for Eric Garner, a New York City man who died in police custody last week in Staten Island. A video of the incident shows one officer using an apparent chokehold on Garner before he died. The incident is prompting the New York Police Department to rethink how it trains all its officers in the use of force.

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7:25am

Sat July 12, 2014
Law

Brooklyn DA Shifts Stance On Pot, But That Won't Impact NYPD

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 10:12 am

Outside New York City Hall, a policeman watches a protest against racial disparities in marijuana arrests. The majority of those arrested are black or Latino, even though those groups are not more likely to smoke pot.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Marijuana enthusiasts should still think twice before lighting up in the streets of Brooklyn.

The borough's district attorney announced this week that he'll no longer prosecute most low-level marijuana possession cases. But not all law enforcement officials in New York City are on board. Police Commissioner William Bratton responded to Thompson's decision with a shrug.

"It will not have any impact on our officers and the discretion they have as they go about their business," says Bratton.

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3:56pm

Thu July 3, 2014
Law

Top NYPD Cop: Stop-And-Frisk Is Not 'The Problem Or The Solution'

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 4:41 pm

The NYPD recently launched a study into what's causing a rise in shootings in the city. Commissioner William Bratton says it will examine a lot of factors, not just stop-and-frisk.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

It's been nearly a year since a court ruling curtailed the New York Police Department's controversial practice known as stop-and-frisk, but NYPD Commissioner William Bratton says the city can be just as safe without it.

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3:15pm

Tue June 24, 2014
All Tech Considered

A New Jersey Law That's Kept Smart Guns Off Shelves Nationwide

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 9:51 am

The Armatix smart gun is implanted with an electronic chip that allows it to be fired only if the shooter is wearing a watch that communicates with it through a radio signal. It is not sold in the U.S.
Michael Dalder Reuters/Landov

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.

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10:02am

Sat June 7, 2014
Politics

Move Over, Bridgegate: Chris Christie's Next Campaign Roadblock

As New Jersey's fiscal outlook worsens, Gov. Chris Christie is fighting to ensure that a traffic scandal is the worst of his political problems as he eyes a 2016 presidential campaign.
AP

The U.S. economy reached a milestone this week: The country finally recovered all the jobs it lost during the Great Recession. But some states still lag behind when it comes to job creation — including New Jersey.

The Garden State's stalled economy may be an even bigger problem for Gov. Chris Christie than the scandal over lane closures at the George Washington Bridge.

When Christie took office in 2010, the state had just lost more than 100,000 jobs. Christie was undaunted. He talked about the "Jersey Comeback" at town hall meetings, on TV and at ground-breaking events.

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4:17pm

Tue June 3, 2014
Sports

Why Is It So Hard For A Horse To Win The Triple Crown?

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 8:38 am

Birdstone (right), ridden by Edgar Prado, upsets horse Smarty Jones to win the Belmont Stakes in 2004. Smarty Jones was one of a dozen horses since 1978 to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown, only to lose at the Belmont.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Only one more race stands between California Chrome and horse racing's Triple Crown, but it could be his toughest challenge yet.

Since 1978, a dozen horses — Sunday Silence, War Emblem and Smarty Jones among them — have won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, only to stumble before the finish line at the Belmont Stakes.

No one can say exactly why there's been a 36-year drought since the last Triple Crown winner, but there are several theories.

An Endurance Test

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2:05pm

Thu May 15, 2014
News

On The Bedrock Of Fallen Towers, September 11 Museum Opens Doors

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 6:18 pm

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum was officially dedicated Thursday in New York. President Obama and other elected officials joined survivors and victims' families in a poignant ceremony.

2:19pm

Fri May 9, 2014
Health

To End Addiction Epidemic, States Focus On Stopping Doctor Shoppers

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 6:45 pm

Nearly every state has a prescription drug monitoring program that's meant to end abuse of opioids and other powerful pain medicines. But critics say most of these programs have a big loophole: they're voluntary, and many doctors don't use them. States that have made participation in PDMPs mandatory say they've started to cut down on practices that allow pain meds to be diverted into the black market. But those states are the exception.

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4:21pm

Tue May 6, 2014
Sports

Brewskee-Ball Founders Refuse To Be Sidelined By Trademark Case

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 7:04 pm

Brewskee-Ball has built a league of competitive Skee-Ball players, but the owners of the name Skee-Ball are not amused.
Courtesy of Eric Pavony

The founders of Brewskee-Ball like to say they've taken Skee-Ball from the arcade to the bar, turning the old-time amusement park game into a competitive sport with hundreds of dedicated players in a handful of locations across the country, including Brooklyn, N.Y., San Francisco and Austin.

But the company that makes Skee-Ball machines is not amused.

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2:37pm

Mon April 28, 2014
News

New York Rep. Michael Grimm Indicted On 20 Counts

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 4:18 pm

Rep. Michael Grimm of New York turned himself in to face federal charges related to a health food restaurant he ran before he was elected to Congress. The Republican congressman says he's innocent and plans to run for re-election this fall, but Democrats have have high hopes of flipping the last GOP-held seat in New York City.

2:04pm

Fri April 25, 2014
News

Columbia Comes Under Fire For Handling Of Sexual Assault Cases

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 5:15 pm

Twenty-three students from Columbia and Barnard say that the university is mishandling allegations of sexual assault. They filed federal complaints with the Department of Education on Thursday.

2:14pm

Tue April 8, 2014
News

Al Sharpton, FBI Informant? New Claims Revive '80s Mob Story

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 3:24 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Reverend Al Sharpton has admitted to working with the FBI and recording conversations with alleged mobsters. The website The Smoking Gun published documents detailing Sharpton's involvement, saying he's the guy referred to in the document as Confidential Informant 7. This was back in the 1980s during some of the bureau's biggest mafia investigations.

As NPR's Joe Rose reports, Sharpton denies any wrongdoing.

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2:55pm

Thu March 27, 2014
Politics

Internal Report Clears Christie Of Bridgegate, But Dems Don't Buy It

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 5:03 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

We now have the results of an internal investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal. Today's report was commissioned by the administration of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and it finds the governor did nothing wrong. It won't be the last word. Critics question the report's credibility, as NPR's Joel Rose reports.

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3:10pm

Mon March 24, 2014
Architecture

In The Face Of Disaster, Pritzker Winner Shigeru Ban Designs Solutions

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 7:19 pm

Cardboard Church, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Stephen Goodenough Photographer Shigeru Ban Architects

Each year the Pritzker Architecture Prize goes to a star architect with a long list of glamorous commissions around the globe. This year's winner is a little different.

Shigeru Ban has designed museums, homes and concert halls. But Ban is best known for a more humble kind of work: The temporary structures he's built for refugees and evacuees all over the world.

Ban may be the only architect in the world who makes buildings out of paper — cardboard paper tubes, to be precise.

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1:06am

Tue March 11, 2014
The Salt

Turning Food Waste Into Fuel Takes Gumption And Trillions Of Bacteria

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 11:12 am

The digester eggs at Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn contain millions of gallons of black sludge.
Courtesy of New York City Department of Environmental Protection

Every year, Americans send millions of tons of food to the landfill. What if you could use all of those pizza crusts and rotten vegetables to heat your home? That's already happening in one unlikely laboratory: the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn.

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3:08am

Thu December 12, 2013
Code Switch

Shifting Gears To Make Bike-Sharing More Accessible

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 11:51 am

Bike-sharing is increasingly popular. But those who need it most often have the least access to it.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

This story is part of a project on commuting in America.

Millions of commuters across the country have a new way to get around. In the past few years, bike-sharing systems have popped up from Boston to Minnesota to Washington, D.C. They're supposed to make commuting easier, greener and cheaper. But the people who arguably need these bikes the most are often the least likely to access them.

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4:06am

Mon December 9, 2013
Music

Remembering The Singing 'Mayor Of MacDougal Street'

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 6:18 am

Dave Van Ronk performs onstage in 1970 in New York.
Sherry Rayn Barnett Getty Images

3:46pm

Mon November 4, 2013
Around the Nation

NYC Race Focuses On Income Gap, But How Much Can A Mayor Do?

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 5:42 pm

New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio rides the subway while greeting commuters in New York on Monday.
Seth Wenig AP

Voters in New York City go to the polls Tuesday to choose their next mayor, and it appears all but certain that they'll elect Bill de Blasio, the city's public advocate.

The Democrat has built a wide lead in the polls by distancing himself from the incumbent mayor, billionaire Michael Bloomberg. In fact, de Blasio has made income inequality the central issue of his campaign, name-checking the Charles Dickens novel A Tale of Two Cities dozens of times at debates and stump speeches.

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1:41am

Mon October 28, 2013
Around the Nation

The Slow, Uneven Rebuilding After Superstorm Sandy

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 9:33 am

Samantha Langello and her daughter Alanna, 2, stand in front of their flood-damaged house in Fox Beach on Staten Island, N.Y.
Joel Rose NPR

After Hurricane Sandy, the south shore of Staten Island looked like it had been hit by a tsunami. The storm surge devastated whole neighborhoods suddenly, in a matter of hours. In the year since the storm, some families have been rebuilding their homes and their lives. Others are ready to sell their flood-damaged properties and move on.

Joe Salluzzo lives in a neighborhood called New Dorp Beach, a few blocks from the ocean. He rode out the storm on the second story of his brick bungalow, which he's been repairing himself ever since.

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12:58am

Wed October 9, 2013
It's All Politics

Booker Gets A Run For His Money In N.J. Senate Race

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 7:22 am

Democrat Cory Booker (left) and Republican Steve Lonegan stand together after their first debate in the race for U.S. Senate on Oct. 4 in Trenton, N.J.
Mel Evans AP

Cory Booker, the celebrity mayor of Newark, N.J., was expected to cruise to victory in the special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat of the late Frank Lautenberg. But just a week before voters go to the polls, he's facing a surprisingly strong challenge from Tea Party favorite Steve Lonegan.

The race was supposed to be a mismatch: Booker, the Democrat, and his 1.4 million Twitter followers versus the Republican former mayor of Bogota, N.J. — population 8,000.

But no one told Lonegan.

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