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Inside NYC

Inside NYC (Aug 23rd, 2019)

1. City officials announced the expansion of the program meant to give homeless individuals access to shelters and social services rather than subjecting them to arrest. The program launched in early July, and instructed NYPD officers to offer a trip to a shelter or access to other services to homeless people who violated the MTA rules. Since the program launched in Manhattan, the city says at least 200 people have opted to receive social services instead of fines or penalties — now, that program will be expanded to all five boroughs. —NEW YORK POST 

2. Starting Saturday, New York State's "Red Flag" gun law goes into effect, which allows law enforcement, prosecutors, school officials, and family members to request that firearms are confiscated from a person who's shown threatening behavior. The Extreme Risk Protection Orders measure, signed by Governor Cuomo in February, is meant to prevent firearms from getting into the hands of individuals who are mentally unfit to own one. After a petitioner files a request with the state Supreme Court, a hearing will be held on that same day, in which a judge will determine whether to issue a temporary ERPO against the person in question. Following that decision, a separate hearing date will determine whether a final ERPO will be issued for up to one year. —NBC NEW YORK 


Nicolas Heller

3. Going by the Instagram handle @newyorknico and describing himself as the "unofficial talent scout of New York City," Nicolas Heller is a must-follow for any New Yorker. Heller seems to effortlessly capture the feeling of everyday life in the city — mostly by documenting its people, from strangers to neighbors that he's befriended. Every neighborhood has its characters — the hard-to-forget people that always stand out — and Heller documents slices of their lives with compassion and without judgment. 

He's also a documentary filmmaker — and his latest, "If You Know Me is to Love Me," is a tear-jerker. A lot of NYC Instagram street photography or videography can seem exploitative, with the subjects seen as a target for ridicule. Heller avoids that entirely, and seems to be able to effortlessly become friends with anyone he meets. If you don't already, give him a follow — it might make you feel just a bit better about living here. 

4. NYPD officers and police unions are unhappy with the department's decision to fire Officer Daniel Pantaleo — the unions are calling for a work slowdown, and many officers feel the city doesn't have their back. Officers, speaking both publicly and on forums like Law Enforcement Rant, have expressed their concern that they, too, could be punished for doing their jobs like Pantaleo, who placed Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold, killing him. —GOTHAMIST 

5. DoorDash announced that it will stop pocketing tips meant for delivery workers, following a New York Times piece that exposed the misleading practice. Under the previous tipping system, delivery workers were guaranteed a certain minimum payment for delivery, but, instead of adding the tips on top of that guaranteed minimum, the tips would be included in it — essentially saving DoorDash money. Now, delivery workers will receive 100 percent of tips, and the company said they should be earning more money overall after the changes. —THE VERGE 

6. The Vendy Awards food festival, a celebration (and competition) of New York's hottest street vendors, will have its final run this September. The festival first kicked off in 2005, and some proceeds are donated to the non-profit Street Vendor Project. Tickets can be purchased here, and some street cart competitors include NY DosaThe Arepa LadyKing SouvlakiMom’s Momo, and Dulcinea. —EATER 

7. Attending the U.S. Open this year? The NYT has nine ways to "recharge" during the championship — you probably won't want to be stuck in a hot crowd the entire time. Some quick escapes include Heineken’s Red Star Patio Cafe nearby the stadium, the invitation-only Grey Goose Suite, or a stop at Citi Field for a change of pace with the Mets. —NEW YORK TIMES 

8. Slice lovers rejoice: Di Fara's is back, for now. After the Department of Taxation and Finance shut the pizzeria down for owing $167,506 in unpaid taxes, the spot is back up and running after paying a small portion. The restaurant has a new accountant as well, who says Di Fara only recently discovered the disparity in owed taxes. —ABC 7 

9. Silicon Valley is better known for its neverending sea of tech startups and giants — but NYC has recently become a hot spot for Big Tech, with tech firms leasing nearly 15 percent of the 15 million square feet of Manhattan office space that was signed this year. This map, courtesy of Yoryi De La Rosa, shows the current office spaces of Big Tech companies in NYC, as well as locations they've either eyed in the past or are currently considering. —THE REAL DEAL 

10. A phrase that often crosses my mind when witnessing how NYC functions (or fails to) is "It doesn't have to be like this." So many other places get it right, whether it's transportation, housing, or in this case: garbage. We've all seen "trash hell" firsthand, with piles of garbage lining the sidewalks, and this video shows how Amsterdam's sanitation services deal with waste — the trash is stored underground, and lifted directly into a truck. —YOUTUBE

Written and curated by Sean Wolfe. He is a tech reporter based in Brooklyn, New York, and has previously worked at Business Insider and GIE Media. Follow him on Twitter at @seanthomaswolfe.

Editor: David Stegon, senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology.

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