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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

HEALTH
Pizza As a Vegetable and Other Roadblocks to Proper Nutrition (Gotham Gazette)
Alec Hamilton reports: “School officials and health advocates still face many obstacles to getting children to eat better. Even the best school lunch program can falter in the face of all the junk food options available on city streets and in the disdain of notoriously picky eaters. And, as the recent vote by Congress to consider pizza a vegetable makes clear, institutional obstacles remain as well.”

IMMIGRATION
Cancelling Stay, U.S. Tells 72 Indonesians in New Jersey to Leave (NYT)
Kirk Semple reports: “In recent weeks, most of the Indonesians, many of whom fled persecution of Christians in Indonesia years ago, have received letters from the Department of Homeland Security ordering them to appear at the agency’s Newark office, a one-way ticket to Indonesia in hand.“

ENERGY
Christie Administration Releases Energy Master Plan (Star-Ledger)
Eliot Caroom reports: “The Christie Administration released its energy master plan today with new concessions for the beleaguered solar industry alongside salvos against regional power regulators and warnings about a dearth of clean energy after the Oyster Creek nuclear plant closes in eight years.”

BUSINESS
Report Blasts Mob Involvement in NJ Waste Management Business (NJ Spotlight)
Tom Johnson and John Moody report: “New Jersey just can't seem to shed its image as the Soprano state. How so? The state once again has become a haven for criminally tainted garbage and recycling entrepreneurs, according to still another report from the State Commission of Investigation (SCI). This is the third time in four decades the commission has put authorities on notice of criminal elements in New Jersey's solid waste industry.”

TRANSPORTATION
MTA Forgot About Stranded Blizzard Train (NY Post)
Jennifer Fermino reports: “The MTA’s subway boss admitted yesterday that transit officials got so overwhelmed during last year’s Christmastime blizzard they ‘forgot’ about an A train stuck on the tracks for nine agonizing hours with 500 passengers on board. ‘We forgot about it, and it’s inexcusable,’ NYC Transit President Thomas Prendergast told a City Council hearing yesterday.”

PARKS
Completion of High Line’s Third Section Could Be Fast Tracked (DNAinfo)
Matt Katz reports: “Friends of the High Line co-founder Robert Hammond told an audience of more than 100 people at a public information meeting Tuesday that building the park's third section has become a priority after news that construction of the first building of the  Hudson Yards development — which will surround the High Line — will begin next year.”

REAL ESTATE
West Side’s Hudson Yards Plagued By Cost Overruns (NY Daily News)
Juan Gonzalez reports: “    The Hudson Yards development project on Manhattan’s far West Side is about to become New York’s next big money pit. The city could be on the hook for more than $500million by 2015 just to pay interest on $3 billion in Hudson Yards bonds — largely because commercial and apartment building construction in the area has not reached anywhere near the level Mayor Bloomberg’s top aides predicted back in 2005.”

CRIME
Criminals Barred From New York Garbage Business Find Work in N.J. (Star-Ledger)
The Star-Ledger reports: “The report said rules intended to keep mobsters out of the garbage industry are riddled with loopholes, and that criminals have circumvented background checks and taken advantage of state agencies lacking manpower and money.”

GOVERNMENT
Report: N.J. DYFS Improving, But Still Needs Work (Star-Ledger)
MaryAnn Spoto reports: “The report, which assesses the Division of Youth and Family Services’ gains and shortcomings after a massive reform ordered by a federal monitor eight years ago, cited caseworker and supervisor caseload, supervision and training as areas where DYFS has improved. But the report, based on a survey of 524 DYFS employeess, said agency services are not available to families at convenient times or places and families do not have enough access to housing, transportation and employment.” Meanwhile, a woman is suing the agency saying her adopted daughter was abused on its watch.

TRANSPORTATION
More People Flooding New York City Sidewalks (NYT)
Sam Roberts reports: “Since the city began keeping score at 50 of the busiest intersections five years ago, its “pedestrian volume index” has climbed steadily, except for one year, from 2008 to 2009, perhaps because of the recession. Fixing the volume in 2007 at a base of 100, the index rose by more than 10 percent, to 113.2, last May.”

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