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Morning Headlines | Must-Reads from the WNYC News Hub

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

GOVERNMENT
Gov. Christie Wants Treatment, Not Prison, for Non-Violent Drug Offenders (Star-Ledger)
Christopher Baxter reports: “Gov. Chris Christie today announced a comprehensive plan to help more non-violent criminals break drug and alcohol addictions in an effort to reduce the number of released offenders who return to prison.”

POLITICS
Nassau County Officials: 400 Layoffs Possible (Newsday)
Robert Brodsky reports: “More than 400 Nassau County employees will be laid off and 200 others demoted unless labor unions can scrape together $75 million in concessions by Dec. 15, county officials said Monday.”

BUSINESS
Comptroller Liu Audit Shows Vacancies in Hotels’ Tax Bills (NY Daily News)
Reuven Blau reports: “Tourism is booming in New York, despite the struggling economy, but the cash-strapped city carelessly allowed a group of hotels to avoid paying millions in taxes, a new city audit has found. The Bloomberg administration initially failed to collect a total of $8.9 million from 92 hotels and hostels over the last decade — and that does not include fines or interest, according to the audit by city Controller John Liu’s office.”

EDUCATION
Education Officials Plan 4-Hour Reading Test for 3rd Thru 8th Grade (NY Daily News)
Ben Chapman reports: “A plan to nearly double the length of state reading exams to more than four hours over back-to-back days was flunked Monday by critics who called the extended tests for grades 3 to 8 excessive. State Education officials are expanding mandatory reading exams that students across the state take each spring, according to documents posted on a state website Monday.”

HEALTH
Fordham Law Students to Host off-Campus Birth Control Fair (Above the Law)
Fordham University prohibits its health centers from prescribing birth control and if students want to get birth control, they have to see an outside doctor at an additional cost. Fordham Law Women and Law Students for Reproductive Justice say they’ll host an off-campus Birth Control Clinic and Sexual Health Fair on November 30. The school says they don’t imagine its students are surprised that the Catholic university follows Catholic teaching on birth control.

POLICE
From Tix-Fix to Pepper Spray, NYPD Conduct in Spotlight (City Limits)
Jeanmarie Evelly reports: “Indictments in the Bronx, scuffles on Wall Street, cops charged with planting drugs and running guns. The NYPD is getting a lot of bad press these days. But calls for stricter outside monitoring face familiar obstacles, both practical and political.”

POLITICS
Queens Councilman Eric Ulrich Named Romney’s NYC Chairman (Staten Island Advance)
The Staten Island Advance reports: “Queens City Councilman Eric Ulrich has been named New York City chairman for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. The selection of 26-year-old Ulrich was made this afternoon by former Borough President Guy Molinari, the state chairman for Romney's bid.”

REAL ESTATE
Living Inside a 76-Story Work of Art, and a Symbol of Rebirth (NYT)
Kate Taylor reports: “At 870 feet, 8 Spruce Street — or, as it is known by real estate agents, New York by Gehry — is the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere, though it may soon be surpassed by a 90-story hotel-condominium going up near Carnegie Hall. Still, with its irregular facade, with facets that twist like silver ribbons hanging from the sky, the Gehry building has quickly become a distinctive part of the skyline and a symbol of Lower Manhattan’s rebirth since the Sept. 11 attacks.”

CULTURE
Peep Through Harvey Wang’s Chinatown Window (Metrofocus)
Photographer Harvey Wang writes: “When I moved to Chinatown in 1979 to live in a six-story walk-up with five young artists, everything was about to change. The Lower East Side’s Orchard Street still had the flavor of the traditional Jewish shopping district, but businesses were beginning to shut down as younger people moved into the surrounding tenements. Chinatown was expanding into Little Italy and the Lower East Side.”

LAW
Stricter Laws May Leave NJ Teens Facing Tougher Road to Driver’s License (Star-Ledger)
A bill that would toughen requirements for both teenage drivers with permits — and for their parents or guardians — advanced to the full State Assembly after a unanimous passage by the chamber’s Transportation Committee.

OPINION
Editorial: The Union Zee Bridge (WSJ)
The Wall Street Journal editorial board write: “Mr. Cuomo is selling his plan as an innovative public-private partnership, but it is really an exercise in crude politics, letting him empower unions to finance a project voters want while saying he didn't raise the state's debt to do it. Pension cash has been the holy grail of politicians for decades, and once they start tapping it, look out below.”

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