Microfinance in Queens, itinerant artists, Obamania in Milwaukee, more

Voting gap divides the parties

“In Tuesday’s election, 73% of those who went to the polls voted in the Democratic primary, to 27% on the GOP side — a huge difference in a state that in November 2004 was decided by about 11,400 votes.“To be sure, the race between Obama and Hillary Clinton was more meaningful than the all-but-wrapped up Republican battle between McCain and Mike Huckabee. And that may have served as a magnet for independents and crossover voters.”

Mohammad Yunus visits Jackson Heights

“In the always-torrid blogospheric news cycle the announcement on Feb. 15 that Mohammad Yunus’ Grameen Bank is lending money to groups of immigrant women in Jackson Heights, New York, is already ancient. But I can’t resist, given How the World Works’ longstanding interest inmicrofinance. It’s one thing to hear Yunus expound his philosophy on Oprah, or in Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speeches, but it’s quite another to actually see him in action, in the borough of Queens. “That’s a long way from Bangladesh, no? Or is it? Poverty is poverty, whether in Dhaka or New York City. Financial Times says some 28 million U.S. residents live without bank accounts. And as Yunus pointed out in a lengthy interview with the Financial Times, “Now is a good time because of …. the subprime crisis and that highlights the issue that the financial system is not perfect.”

Moving Soon to an Apartment Near You

“‘It’s all about money,’ Ms. Berman said cheerfully. ‘It’s not like I have a penchant for the transient life.’” According to Emily Morse, the director of artistic development at New Dramatists, “two major things have changed as far as this city is concerned: the real estate market and the fact that very little money is going directly to artists.” She continued: “You used to be able to work a 20-hour week, pay the rent on your tiny studio, and still write your plays. That’s no longer possible.”

Immigrant Sex Criminals Being Deported

“The announcement marks another step in Virginia’s escalating crackdown on undocumented immigrants, part of the broader debate over immigration that has roiled the nation and the presidential campaign. The Virginia campaign began when Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell ® asked state police to check the birthplace of everyone on the sex offender registry. State officials then gave federal agents a list of 527 sex offenders who were born overseas, and the agents compared it to law enforcement databases. “‘I trust all Virginians agree that there is no place in Virginia for criminal alien sex offenders,’ McDonnell said. ‘We must take every possible step to remove these dangerous criminals from our commonwealth and nation.’”

Chinatown subway plan makes me wince

“There’s really only one question to ask about the proposal to bore a light-rail subway deep under the heart of downtown San Francisco”:

“You’re kidding, right?”

“Just the initial math makes your head hurt. Basically it works out to somewhere between $1.22 billion and $1.4 billion for an underground railway that runs for less than two miles and has only three stops. That’s not a transit system, it’s a model railroad.”

Another Vegas influence on Dubai

“Light Group, which created nightclubs and restaurants at MGM Mirage properties including Bellagio and Mandalay Bay, is partnering with Dubai-based developers Zabeel Investments to build a Light Group-managed hotel and multiple restaurants in the Arab emirate.

“Which raises the obvious question: How will its glamorous designs, with go-go dancers and cocktail servers in lace-up leather, translate to the Arab world, where gambling is forbidden, drinking is discouraged and skin is definitely not in? “

Tags: subwaysmilwaukeevotinglas vegas2008 presidential electiondubai