Tuesday, May 31, 2011
DSK Attorneys Hire Top Investigative Firm to Research Accuser (WSJ)
Defense attorneys for Dominique Strauss-Kahn are planning to present a consensual-sex defense. Legal experts say that in order to sell this theory to jurors, defense attorneys will have to discredit the credibility of Strauss-Kahn’s accuser. The defense team has hired Guidepost Solutions to look into her background. Some things they’ll be looking for -- “Has she ever had money problem. Filed for bankruptcy? Does she have a history of drug or alcohol abuse?”
Anti-Terrorism Registry Ended, But Its Effects Linger (NYT)
After 9/11, the federal government instituted a program called “special registration” in which thousands of Muslim and Arab American men were screened by the authorities to uncover links to terrorist cells.The program was scaled back in 2003 and ended last month, but some people who were arrested have court cases that have outlived the program.
Elevator Reports Faked? (NY Daily News)
Inspectors from the city’s housing authority say they’ve been pressured to close inspections without doing a thorough job because they all have to meet a quota of six inspections a day. After a 5-year-old boy died when trying to escape a stuck elevator in a housing project, NYCHA vowed to spend $107 million to replace 350 broken elevators and another $5 million for new inspectors and computerized tracking.
Puerto Rican Restaurant Owner Accuses Community Board of Racism (NY Daily News)
The owner of TriBeCa eatery, Genaro Morales, is filing a federal civil rights lawsuit against Community Board 1 and the State Liquor Authority. He’s accusing them of racism for their denial of an application to open a bar. One board member denied the claims saying Morales was a “bad neighbor” and “irresponsible to the community.”
Time It Takes City to Repair Potholes Increases 35% (NY Daily News)
Between July 2010 and February 2011, it took an average of 5.8 days to fix a pothole, up from 4.3 days during the same period a year earlier. Road repair workers were put on five-day furloughs designed to save the city $1 million. The furloughs will be eliminated in this year’s budget. A department of transportation spokesman says the city filled more potholes this year than it did during the same period in 2010.
Church-Turned-Nightclub-Turned-Mall-Turned-Department Store (WSJ)
The former church on the corner of 20th Street and Sixth Avenue has already gone through a few transformations. It was once the notorious nightclub, the Limelight, and now it’s the Limelight Marketplace-- a collection of some 40 vendors who’ve been populating the space since May 2010. Now its owner says he’s turning it into a department store, which he’ll run himself.
Cost of Buying Private Insurance Soars in NYC (NY Daily News)
The state Insurance Department says premium rates for personally funded HMOs soared even as insurers competing for business dropped. Some health plans shot up as much as 30 percent.
Many Fear a Bloody Summer (NY Daily News)
Over the weekend, eight people were shot to death and now many are wondering if this is a preview of the summer. There’s a smaller police force and the crime rate does traditionally go up during the summer. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne says the murders were an “aberration.”
Former Sanitation Worker Rewarded Fulbright Scholarship (NY Daily News)
Edward (Shevy) Shevlin is a former high school drop out who spent 18 years hauling trash for the Sanitation Dept. Now the 50-year-old is on his way to Ireland to study the Irish language on a Fulbright Scholarship.
Long Beach Island Has Final Hearing on Proposed Beach Access Rules (Star-Ledger)
The hearing tonight is the final one before the state department of Environmental Protection rewrites its beach rules. Rules requiring access points every quarter-mile along the shore were struck down earlier this year in court.
Editorial: Governor Christie Abandons a Good, Green Idea (NYT)
The New York Times editorial board calls Governor Christie’s 2009 campaign pledge to be a clean energy advocate “a hollow promise.” Christie has cut all the money from the Office of Climate and Energy, used $158 million in alternative energy funds on general programs, and removed the state from a lawsuit against electric utilities meant to reduce emissions.
Stop Freaking Over Fracking (NY Daily News)
Daily News columnist Bill Hammond says it’s possible to safely drill for natural gas upstate using the controversial practice called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. “Are we so terrified of technology and distrustful of business that we'd rather just let a hugely valuable resource sit underground, going to waste?” he asks. Hammond cites a former Department of Environmental Conservation deputy commissioner to support his push for what he calls “safe, responsible gas drilling.”