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Laura Gottesdiener
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Entries by Laura Gottesdiener

Two Detroits, Separate and Unequal

(9) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 9:01 AM

A Journey Across a City Divided

Cross-posted with

In late October, a few days after local news cameras swarmed Detroit’s courthouse to hear closing arguments in the city’s historic bankruptcy trial, “Commander” Dale Brown cruised through the stately Detroit neighborhood of Palmer Woods in...

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A Trip to Kuwait (on the Prairie)

(15) Comments | Posted October 12, 2014 | 11:43 PM

Life Inside the Boom

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At 9 p.m. on that August night, when I arrived for my first shift as a cocktail waitress at Whispers, one of the two strip clubs in downtown Williston, I didn’t expect a 25-year-old man to get beaten to...

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Drowning in Profits

(2) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 9:28 AM

A Private Equity Firm, a Missing Pool Fence, and the Price of a Child’s Death

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Security is a slippery idea these days -- especially when it comes to homes and neighborhoods.

Perhaps the most controversial development in America’s housing “recovery” is the...

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When Predatory Equity Hit the Big Apple

(24) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 10:37 AM

How Private Equity Came to New York’s Rental Market -- and What That Tells Us About the Future

Cross-posted with

Things are heating up inside Wall Street’s new rental empire.

Over the last few years, giant private equity firms have bet big on the...

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A Glimpse Into the Zapatista Movement, Two Decades Later

(3) Comments | Posted January 23, 2014 | 9:34 AM

Now You See Me

Crossposted with

Growing up in a well-heeled suburban community, I absorbed our society’s distaste for dissent long before I was old enough to grasp just what was being dismissed. My understanding of so many people and concepts was tainted...

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How Wall Street Has Turned Housing Into a Dangerous Get-Rich-Quick Scheme -- Again

(313) Comments | Posted November 26, 2013 | 9:33 AM

The Empire Strikes Back

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You can hardly turn on the television or open a newspaper without hearing about the nation's impressive, much celebrated housing recovery. Home prices are rising! New construction has started! The crisis is over! Yet beneath the fanfare, a whole...

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The Great Eviction

(290) Comments | Posted August 1, 2013 | 11:19 AM

The Landscape of Wall Street's Creative Destruction

Cross-posted with

We cautiously ascend the staircase, the pitch black of the boarded-up house pierced only by my companion’s tiny circle of light. At the top of the landing, the flashlight beam dances in a corner as...

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Economic Weapons of Mass Destruction: Mortgages in the Era of Mass Terror

(9) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 12:23 PM

Terrorism is a tricky act to define, particularly when household appliances have become weapons of mass destruction. Earlier in April, as the National Guard and Boston Police scoured the city's suburbs in search of two men believed to have planted the fatal marathon bombs, another story of violence and mass...

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How We Can Commemorate Boston

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2013 | 4:08 PM

The Boston Marathon course runs in only one direction. Two years ago when I ran it with an old friend, we were lucky. There was a tailwind that lifted us up so hard and so fast that the race's top male finisher, a Kenyan named Geoffrey Mutai, clocked the fastest...

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Grabbing the Bolt-Cutters With Take Back the Land

(11) Comments | Posted May 13, 2012 | 10:52 PM

Max Rameau, by Miami Workers Center, via Flickr

In Rochester, N.Y., activists are fighting to win control of Catherine Lennon-Griffin's foreclosed, bank-owned home as a community land trust, at her request -- making this one of the first examples in the country of a...

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Organizing Against Bank of America in Enemy Territory

(5) Comments | Posted May 9, 2012 | 4:45 PM

This week, thousands are descending on North Carolina for the Bank of America shareholders' meeting. The protest comes on the heels of the successful Wells Fargo shareholder event in San Francisco, where thousands of protesters shut down the conference, and the U.S. Bank meeting in Minneapolis, where dozens of homeowners...

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Hillary Clinton Launches Girls Soccer Initiative (VIDEO)

(19) Comments | Posted June 7, 2011 | 11:45 AM

Snippets of seven different languages and more than a dozen soccer balls flew across the expansive field of the Players Development Academy in Zarephath, N.J., last Thursday evening.

Two Pakistani girls giggled over a joke in Arabic before turning to their partners, a pair of American teenagers from a...

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California Women Prisons: Inmates Face Sexual Abuse, Lack Of Medical Care And Unsanitary Conditions

(692) Comments | Posted June 3, 2011 | 5:09 PM

Over the course of 12 years, former inmate Beverly Henry watched hundreds of untreated women die in the Central California Women’s Facility, a sprawling complex in Chowchilla that comprises the largest female prison in the nation.

One woman had liver disease, with eyes "yellow as a warning sign" and...

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Swin Cash Looks To Score Back-To-Back Team Championships

(9) Comments | Posted June 2, 2011 | 5:55 PM

The Women's National Basketball Association regular season kicks off on Friday with the Minnesota Lynx taking on the Los Angeles Sparks in L.A. Led by Candace Parker and rookie Maya Moore, the Sparks looked strong during an easy preseason win over the Phoenix Mercury. Saturday features a host of match-ups,...

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Kristin Moehl Helps Push Ultra Running to Next Level (VIDEO)

(2) Comments | Posted June 1, 2011 | 6:38 PM

Standing at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, ultra marathoner Kristin Moehl saw more than 20 miles of trails winding down to the canyon floor 11,000 feet below and then back up to the North Rim. The ledge is more commonly a place to pose for family pictures than...

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French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde Is One Of Many Successful Former Female Athletes

(27) Comments | Posted June 1, 2011 | 9:39 AM

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is up for Dominique Strauss-Kahn's former position as leader of the International Monetary Fund. She's making her bid in the same way that she once entered a swimming pool during her years of competing on the French synchronized swimming national team: She

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Badminton Skirts-Only Rule Abandoned in Face of Criticism

(22) Comments | Posted May 31, 2011 | 1:25 PM

The Badminton World Federation ditched a proposed skirts-only rule for female players in the face of intense opposition from both players and women’s rights groups, the international governing body announced Sunday.

Top players immediately celebrated the step away from a mandatory uniform that critics were calling sexist and...

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California Prison Legislation Is Among The Most Punitive In The Nation

(882) Comments | Posted May 27, 2011 | 7:05 PM

NEW YORK -- Since 1977, California’s prison system, one of the most punitive in the country, has been built on the belief that a man like Shawn Vasquez doesn’t--in fact, cannot--exist.

Vasquez grew up on the streets of Oakland, spending his days searching for abandoned houses where he and...

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Angel McCoughtry On WNBA Training Camp And 'The Opportunity To See The World'

(7) Comments | Posted May 26, 2011 | 6:45 PM

The Washington Mystics took the early Eastern Conference lead in the WNBA preseason this week with back-to-back wins over the New York Liberty and the Chicago Sky. The Phoenix Mercury also looked strong in a 96-52 blowout against Japan's Sunflowers with rookie Alexis Gray-Lawson scoring 16 points, although they will...

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Women's Tennis Association Launches New Ad Campaign

(757) Comments | Posted May 25, 2011 | 6:00 PM

At Roland Garros, top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki is still on track for her first Grand Slam championship after surviving a close call against Aleksandra Wozniak. But some women's tennis fans are focusing on what is happening off-court as the Women's Tennis Association unrolls its new "Strong is Beautiful Campaign."


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