Morning Headlines | Must-Reads from the WNYC News Hub
Monday, June 13, 2011
Mayor Proposes Putting Cameras on Street Sweepers to Catch Illegal Parking (NYT)
Mayor Bloomberg says the cameras could lessen pressure on parking enforcement officer by recording the license plates of cars parked illegally. He needs the state’s approval to launch the pilot program. No one expects state lawmakers to take up the bill with less than a week left in the legislative session.
Judge Directed Settlements Save Time, Money (NYT)
Under the Obama Administration program, judges with medical training get involved in the settlement process before malpractice cases go to trial. With a federal grant, the program recently expanded to New York City. The Health and Hospitals Corporation says it saves the agency $66 million in malpractice costs a year. Lawyers on both sides are rarely happy with the settlement and say they often feel pressured to make a settlement they don’t feel is the best for their clients.
NY State Senators Feel Gay Marriage Pressure From Lobbyists, Constituents and Family (NYT)
With a week to go in the legislative session, three Democrats and five Republicans are feeling the pressure to make up their minds on gay marriage. One senator says his father won’t speak to him again if votes for gay marriage. Another says his mother urged him to vote for it on her death bed. And they’re getting thousands of calls and letters threatening to withhold their votes if the senators don’t vote their way. The Democrats might announce a position as early as Monday. Meanwhile, sources tell the Wall Street Journal that Gov. Cuomo told Republicans the Democrats have 28 votes.
Wild Eastern Cougars May Not Be Extinct After All (NYT)
Sightings of mountain lions in Connecticut have been reported for years, but they were often met with skepticism. That was until Saturday, when a driver hit and killed one when a big cat jumped in front of his car. Earlier this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the eastern cougar was extinct. They say the mountain lion killed on Saturday may have been released or escaped from captivity.
City Councilman Wants to Know the Mayor’s Vacation Plans (NYT)
The bill introduced by Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. would require mayors to disclose their travel plans if they involve being more than 250 miles from the city for more than 24 hours. It’s in reaction to the fact that many city officials didn’t know the location of the mayor or who was in charge after two feet of snow crippled the city in December. Mayor Bloomberg is highly protective of his private life and often refuses to confirm his vacation plans. A spokesman for the mayor says he doesn’t have to be in the city to do his job.
Walmart Considering Move to Bensonhurst (NY Post)
While opponents have been stalling the retailer’s efforts to build in East New York, it’s now considering a location in Bensonhurst. The neighborhood’s Councilman Domenic Recchia, Jr. says, “there’s no way” that’s happening.
Union Square Residents Gearing Up Against New Tower (DNAinfo)
Residents say the tower planned for 31 West 15th St. would be a “monstrosity” and that it would destroy the character of the neighborhood. They’re reaching out to local politicians and lawyers to see how they could stop the 300-foot tower.
Brooklyn Beep Considering Mayoral Run (NY Post)
Sources tell the New York Post that Brooklyn Boro President Marty Markowitz is “strongly considering” entering the race in 2013. Markowitz hasn’t set up a campaign committee but did hire a communications director with experience running mayoral campaigns. Meanwhile, Bill Thompson was the first to formally announce his bid for mayor.
Could Teacher Layoffs Be Prevented by Dipping into Obscure Health Care Fund (NY Daily News)
Union and city officials are meeting to discuss whether allowing the city to take millions from the Health Insurance Stabilization Fund in order to stem 4,100 teacher layoffs and possibly save 20 fire companies up for closure. In the past, the city has used the funds in exchange for boosted supplemental health benefits for union members.
Little Italy Eateries Say Mario Batali’s Eataly is Taking Business From Them (NY Post)
Restaurant and store owners in Little Italy say New Yorkers are abandoning their businesses for Eataly, the 50,000-square foot Italian foot superstore in Chelsea. One restaurant owner complains he only gets tourists as customers. The Little Italy Merchant Association says they’re planning to get the word out about their struggling businesses.
Editorial: Go Means Green (NY Post)
The City Council has a chance tomorrow to give steam to a project to build an esplanade between 38th and 60th streets on Manhattan’s East Side, which would create a waterfront path from the Battery to Harlem. The Daily News editorial boad says the Council needs to send the state legislature a home rule message for permission to sell a small blacktop park at the foot of 42nd St.