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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

JUSTICE
DSK Attorneys Set Meeting with Prosecution Today (NYT)
The two sides will discuss either a dismissal or a plea. Many legal experts have been predicting that the charges will be dismissed any day now, but sources tell the paper that the prosecution isn’t expected to make a decision today about whether to seek a dismissal. The case has been hobbled because of questions about the accuser’s credibility after the DA found she repeatedly lied about her background among other things. Meanwhile, the paper’s columnist Jim Dwyer argues the prosecution should proceed with its charges against Strauss-Kahn. He says there’s still enough evidence pointing to a forcible encounter between the hotel housekeeper and DSK.

 

JUSTICE
Mayor Bloomberg Changes Tune on Perp Walks (NY Post)
After many criticized Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s perp walk, the mayor said on May 17, “If you don’t want to do the perp walk, don’t do the crime.” Yesterday in a press conference when he was asked about the collapsing case, he said “I’ve always thought the perp walks were outrageous … We vilify them for the benefit of theater, for the circus.”  

CRIME
Mata and Moreno’s Former Late-Night Incident (Village Voice)
A few months before officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata encountered a drunk woman and entered her East Village apartment where they allegedly raped her, they had another documented encounter with a drunk woman. In the first incident, they allegedly verbally abused the woman, failed to identify themselves, did not read her her Miranda rights, and detained her for several hours without explaining why. The Village Voice reports that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office had this information but did not use it during the rape trial.

POLITICS
City Comptroller Sued Over Wages (WSJ)
John Liu is widely considered a potential 2013 mayoral candidate, but a lawsuit will cast a shadow on his relationship with the city’s unions. The lawsuit from the Metropolitan Movers Association charges that Liu ignored a state Supreme Court ruling setting a new wage schedule and was actually paying almost double actual wages in the marketplace. The city comptroller is responsible for setting wages for movers, bricklayers, plumbers, roofers and more than 400 other occupations.

POLITICS
NJ State Senate President: Gov. Christie is a “Mean Old Bastard” (NY Post)
New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney is refusing to apologize for calling Gov. Christie a “mean old bastard ” and  “a cruel man,” in an interview with the Star-Ledger. Sweeney was reacting to Christie’s line item veto of some $900 million in funding for AIDS and health care services, among other things Democrats had added to the state budget. The Senate president might have been particularly angry since he’s being accused of abandoning his base in signing off on a deal with the governor that requires public workers to contribute more to their health care and pension funds.

GOVERNMENT
CityTime Probe to Focus on Mayor Bloomberg’s Staffers (NY Post)
Sources tell the NY Post that the U.S. Justice Department will begin to investigate staff from the Office of Payroll Administration. Prosecutors allege CityTime contractors stole some $600 million from the city on a project that was originally supposed to cost $63 million.

GOVERNMENT
Bias Suits From City Employees Increase Under Bloomberg (NYT)
From 2002 to 2009, the city paid out $69 million in settlements to 400 city employees, more than double what was paid out during the Giuliani administration.

ENVIRONMENT
NJ Towns to Receive $50 Million to Bolster Flood Protection (AP)
Residents in Essex, Monmouth, and Passaic counties are getting $50 million in federal funds for longterm flood protection. Wayne will get about half the money, with almost $25 million approved. Little Falls will receive $7 million. Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin says the funds will target the perennial flooding in the Passaic River basin.

POLITICS
Ulrich Out, Queens GOP Field for Weiner’s Seat Narrows to Four (City Hall)
Republicans reportedly running for Weiner’s seat now include Forest Hills attorney Juan Reyes, Weiner’s 2010 challenger Bob Turner, construction worker and “Ground Zero mosque” opponent Andy Sullivan, and Wall Street executive and former Marine Tim Cochrane. City Councilman Eric Ulrich announced on NY1’s Inside City Hall last night that he will not run for the Congressional seat in NY-9.

ECONOMICS
The Wealth Gap Is Three-Quarters of a Mile Wide (NY Magazine)
Usings infographics galore, New York magazine takes a look at the proximity of one of the richest and one of the poorest Congressional districts in the country--NY-14 (which encompasses the Upper East Side, and NY-16 (which includes parts of the South Bronx). Less than a mile from one another, the areas are worlds apart when it comes to socio-economics.

INFRASTRUCTURE
NYC East Side Pier Renovation Underway (GlobeSt.com)
The East Side waterfront got a boost yesterday thanks to a $13 million investment from Con Edison. The money will help fund the rehab of a pier on the East Side, the first step toward creating a park between 38th and 41st streets. “Rehabilitating the unused Con Ed pier will get us a step closer to turning prime, underused, waterfront real estate into a public amenity for the East Side and all New Yorkers,” said Councilman Daniel Garodnick, who represents the neighborhood.

HEALTH
City Farmers Markets Offer Food Stamp Benefit (Crain’s)
July 4th marked the new year for the city’s farmers markets, many of which started selling for the first time over the weekend. This year, 65 of the city’s 126 markets are participating in the Health Department’s “Health Bucks” program where food stamp users receive $2 in coupons for every $5 they use on fresh fruits and vegetables.

HEALTH
Playground Ban Can Make It Hard To ‘Make New York Your Gym’ (City Limits)
The city’s “Make New York Your Gym” initiative is meant to inspire New Yorkers to head to parks to work out, but it’s technically illegal for adults like this guy to use playground equipment to get buff. The program was launched last month by the Health and Parks departments. Meanwhile, those who want a cheap indoor workout will face a fee increase. The city is doubling the price of its gyms. Annual fees for those with a gym go from $75 to $105, without a pool, the price goes from $50 to $100.

FLORA
Giant Hogweed Looks Like Queen Anne’s Lace, Is More Like “Little Shop of Horrors” (NY Post)
The  closest to New York City the plant has been spotted is Long Island, but the state Department of Environmental Conservation warns that just because it hasn’t been reported, doesn’t mean it isn’t here. The giant hogweed can grow up to 20 feet and its sap can cause third-degree burns and blindness if it gets into a person’s eyes.

OPINION
Editorial: Mayor Bloomberg Prioritizes Teachers Over Toilet Paper in City Budget (NY Post)
The Post editorial board says that the Mayor would rather pay off unions in the city budget than give the Parks Department enough money to pay for toilet paper. This is after the Daily News reported that workers at Coney Island were rationing out toilet paper over the busy July 4th weekend: “It's a lesson from Mayor Bloomberg, who had scant trouble finding the billions needed to keep the teachers union happy, but precious little for seemingly necessary civilities, like toilet paper in public restrooms.”

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