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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Law
9:04 am
Sat July 12, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 12:12 pm

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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Law
5:31 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 6:41 pm

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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All Tech Considered
5:38 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 11:51 am

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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Politics
12:02 pm
Sat June 7, 2014

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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Sports
6:22 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 10:38 am

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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News
4:44 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 8:18 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.

Sports
6:13 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Brewskee-Ball Founders Refuse To Be Sidelined By Trademark Case

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

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:04 pm

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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News
4:00 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

New York Rep. Michael Grimm Indicted On 20 Counts

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 6:18 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.

News
4:22 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Columbia Comes Under Fire For Handling Of Sexual Assault Cases

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 7:15 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.

News
4:33 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

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

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:24 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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Politics
4:12 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:03 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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Architecture
4:45 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 9:19 pm

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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The Salt
3:06 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Turning Food Waste Into Fuel Takes Gumption And Trillions Of Bacteria

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

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 1:12 pm

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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Code Switch
5:22 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Shifting Gears To Make Bike-Sharing More Accessible

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

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 1:51 pm

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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Around the Nation
5:46 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 7:42 pm

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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Around the Nation
3:41 am
Mon October 28, 2013

The Slow, Uneven Rebuilding After Superstorm Sandy

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

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 11:33 am

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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Around the Nation
4:37 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Gay Couples Tie Knot In New Jersey As Christie Backs Down

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 10:10 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Governor Chris Christie has dropped his legal challenge to same-sex marriage in New Jersey. His announcement came just hours after same-sex couples there began tying the knot for the first time.

As NPR's Joel Rose reports, Christie's decision means New Jersey is effectively the 14th state to recognize same-sex marriage.

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It's All Politics
2:58 am
Wed October 9, 2013

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

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

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

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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Around the Nation
5:12 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Time For Superstorm Sandy Evacuees To Check Out Of Hotels

Sandy evacuees Shawn Little (right) and her daugher, Terri, joined a press conference to protest for more time at city hotels while they look for permanent homes.
Joel Rose NPR

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:38 am

Almost 300 Sandy victims are still living in hotel rooms on the taxpayers' dime — but not for long. City officials say the program is expensive, and it's time for those remaining Sandy evacuees to move out.

This week, the displaced families living in hotels got a letter from New York City officials telling them they will not pay for those rooms after Friday.

This was the message they sent back on Wednesday: Heck no, we won't go!

At a press conference outside City Hall, several dozen evacuees protested for more time.

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Around the Nation
4:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Hundreds Of Safety Net Hospitals Face Uncertain Future

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Hospitals that serve the neediest patients are bracing themselves through the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act. These safety-net hospitals treat large numbers of people with no health insurance and many are struggling. In New York, a handful of these hospitals are on the brink of closing.

And as NPR's Joel Rose reports, some worry that the health care law will make things even worse, not better.

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Politics
7:46 am
Sat September 21, 2013

New York's Next Mayor, Bound To Be A Brooklynite

Republican mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota speaks at a news conference Monday.
Frank Franklin II AP

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 4:04 pm

This week, the center of New York City's political universe was downtown Brooklyn.

With the dust settling from the mayoral primary, the two candidates who will be on the ballot to replace outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg both live in the city's biggest borough.

On Thursday, Republican candidate Joe Lhota shook hands with voters pouring out of the subway a few blocks from his home in Brooklyn Heights.

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It's All Politics
3:31 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Yet Another Democrat Takes The Lead In NYC Mayor Race

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 4:45 am

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Ecstatic Voices
12:03 pm
Sun August 25, 2013

Atheists Take Old Hymns Out Of The Chapel And Into The Streets

The Renaissance Street Singers give a performance at the Winterdale Arch, near the West 81st Street gate in Central Park.
Joel Rose NPR

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 10:16 am

On a recent Sunday afternoon, 15 members of the Renaissance Street Singers gathered under a bridge in New York's Central Park. With little fanfare, they launched into a free, two-hour concert of music by Palestrina, des Prez and other composers who lived more than 500 years ago.

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Around the Nation
4:49 am
Thu August 22, 2013

New York City Council To Vote On Tough Police Oversight Laws

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 12:43 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In New York, the city council is poised to vote today on some of the toughest police oversight laws in decades. The vote comes just weeks after a judge ruled that the NYPD violated the civil rights of minorities with its practice of stopping mostly young men of color on the streets.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is appealing the judge's ruling and refusing to back down on a policing program he has championed. NPR's Joel Rose reports.

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It's All Politics
4:33 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Cory Booker: Supermayor Or Self-Promoter?

Newark Mayor Cory Booker speaks about his Senate campaign, outside the Grove Path Station in Jersey City, N.J., last month.
Ashlee Espinal The Jersey Journal/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 7:25 pm

In one week, voters in New Jersey go to the polls in a special primary election for a U.S. Senate seat.

No one on the ballot has more name recognition than Cory Booker, the 44-year-old mayor of Newark, who is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. But Booker's critics say he's been more focused on his own ambitions than on governing New Jersey's largest city.

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