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Immigrants

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FreshDirect Admits That Something Has Turned Sour

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Hey, remember before Christmas when we told you about how FreshDirect was out of many basic products and was having trouble offering prompt delivery times? And how it might have been because of an exodus of illegal immigrant workers after a Homeland Security probe of the company? When we asked a rep for the popular grocery service about the issues, we were cryptically told to "plan ahead and to double-check available times." Now, though, FreshDirect brass are finally addressing the problem. Regular users with e-mail logins were sent a letter late yesterday telling them that this month, the company is "going to have a harder time meeting your food needs" than usual. The letter explains the labor issues and employee shortages they've been battling. Which is all well and good, but if it means we are going to have to carry an entire spiral ham on the M14 bus back from Whole Foods tomorrow, we might just have to move back to the suburbs.

Yay, Immigrants!

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It's now a May Day tradition: nationwide rallies for immigrants' rights. In New York, fewer marchers were expected today than last year, but Washington Square Park this afternoon still drew a significant crowd. Gothamist says the action was focused on the park, with a prayer service at Judson Memorial Church kicking things off, a rally, and then a march to Union Square. Flickr photographer Boss Tweed caught the scene in the park, where protesters were focusing on the impact strict immigration laws have on families. Boss Tweed's Photos [Flickr] Related: Immigration Rally and March Today [Gothamist]

Small Victories

20070207heds_sm.jpg • Nassau County Democrat Craig Johnson was elected to the State Senate, in what everyone sees as Spitzer's proxy victory over the state's head Republican Joe Bruno. Us, we're just mildly annoyed at having to cover an election in February. [NYP] • Do you own property in New Jersey? Here, have a 20 percent tax credit and remember who loves ya: The Garden State's senators apparently almost died passing the bill in a marathon, midnight-oil, multi-day session. [NYT] • A new study chalks up much of New York's economic growth to the efforts of recent immigrants. New arrivals, it states, open their own businesses at the rate of almost five to one compared to the natives. [amNY] • Buying phony police badges and dressing up as a cop is very, very lame, not to mention illegal. But doing the above and having the nerve to commandeer a man's SUV — well, one kind of has to applaud. [Newsday] • And, we won't report on the mad-astronaut story, since it doesn't concern NYC in the least, but we will tally up the headline puns: "Lunar Toon!" and "Astro-Nut" (News) versus "Space Case" and "Astro-Nut" again (Post). Post wins on the alliterative strength of "whacked-out Nowak." [NYP, NYDN]

Lawyers' Group Seeks Inquiry Into Brooklyn's Anti-Immigrant Author-Judge

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When we saw yesterday that Brooklyn judge John Wilson wrote a children's book, Hot House Flowers, that reads as a not-so subtle dis on immigrants — "dandelions," in his telling, barge into a happy hothouse and proceed to spawn legions of weedlike children who take up all the soil and drink all the water — we thought, Well, that's not going to sell in New York, like, at all. But poor sales may be the least of "Border in the Court" Wilson's problems. The Legal Aid Society of New York just told its staff that it is requesting an inquiry by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct into whether His Honor can be trusted to rule impartially in cases involving immigrants. Perhaps Wilson will soon have more time to tend his own garden? — Jon Steinberg Judge Is in Immig Groups' Bad Books [NYDN]