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Thursday, December 08, 2011

GOVERNMENT
City in Fight for State Funds (WSJ)
Joseph De Avila reports: “Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be awarding $200 million in competitive funding for economic-development projects around the state on Thursday as part of the administration's long-term plan to boost job creation. New York City is one of 10 regions vying to win the capital funding and tax credits, which the city wants to use for several city projects including the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market and the Brooklyn Navy Yard.”

REAL ESTATE
Frank Gehry Arts Center at WTC Site in Jeopardy (WSJ)
Jennifer Maloney reports: “The fate of a performing arts center slated to be designed by Frank Gehry for the World Trade Center site is in limbo as its boosters await the creation of a board of directors necessary for $100 million in funding. According to a person familiar with the matter, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a major supporter of the arts center, has lined up appointees to the board, which must be formed by Dec. 31 to remain eligible for funding from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.”

GOVERNMENT
Tax Change Poses Problems for GOP (WSJ)
Jacob Gershman reports: “For many Democrats who have long insisted that the most affluent New Yorkers pay a larger civic tab, the passage early Thursday of new income taxes for the wealthy was a moment overdue. But for antitax Senate Republicans, all 32 of whom voted for the tax package, the measure represented a turnaround on tax policy that required some delicate explaining.”

GOVERNMENT
Push to Ban NY Horse Carriages Gains Steam (NYT)
Emily B. Hager reports: “After campaigning for decades, animal rights advocates are gaining support for legislation that would ban the hansom cabs, including endorsements from mayoral candidates and celebrities. The carriage owners say they are being harassed, but they also acknowledge carrying out a campaign to infiltrate the activist groups and secretly record their strategy sessions.”

TRANSPORTATION
Port Authority to Vote on $7.1 Billion Budget (Star-Ledger)
Steve Strunsky reports: “The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey is expected to vote today on a $7.1 billion 2012 budget that spends over half its capital funds on rebuilding the World Trade Center.”

BUSINESS
Former N.J. Gov. Corzine Says He Doesn’t Know Where Customer Money Went (Star-Ledger)
Ed Beeson reports: ‘In a 21-page statement that will serve as the basis for his testimony this morning before the House Agriculture Committee, Corzine said he was "was stunned when I was told on Sunday, October 30, 2011, that MF Global could not account for many hundreds of millions of dollars of client money. I remain deeply concerned about the impact that the unreconciled and frozen funds have had on MF Global’s customers and others."’

CULTURE
For the Big Apple, an Apple Tree Grows on Randalls Island (NYT)
Matt Flegenheimer reports: “Erik Baard, the founder of a group that honors the Newtown Pippin as New York’s signature homegrown apple, said he organized the gathering Wednesday in an attempt to make apples ubiquitous on the island.” In an essay on Channel Thirteen’s Metrofocus website, Baard writes: “The Newtown Pippin Restoration and Celebration centers on our local heirloom apple, first grown in what’s known today as Elmhurst, Queens. The sweet, tart, crisp and yellow-green Newtown Pippin was a favorite of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and the family of Rufus King.”

TRANSPORTATION
Massive Delays on Subway Elevator Repairs (NYT)
Jennifer Fermino reports: “It took the MTA 31 months to start the process of fixing an escalator at an East Side subway station — one of several examples of agency foot-dragging that forces straphangers to take the stairs, according to a new report. The escalator at the 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue station broke down in Sept 2008, but the MTA didn’t alert the owner in writing until this past April.”

CRIME
Police: We’re Going to Find Shannan Gilbert (Newsday)
Newsday reports: “Suffolk police believe the remains of Shannan Gilbert, a missing Jersey City, N.J., woman last seen 19 months ago, are in a marshy area near Oak Beach. After multiple searches using dive teams, K-9 units and military surveillance, police Wednesday found a cellphone believed to be Gilbert's. On Tuesday, a pocketbook containing Gilbert's ID, and separately, a pair of tattered jeans and ballet-slipper shoes, were uncovered.”

POLITICS
City Comptroller Liu Gives Entire Staff a Raise (NY Daily News)
Erin Einhorn and Reuven Blau report: “Embattled City Controller John Liu has quietly doled out pay raises of anywhere from 3% to 8% to 126 employees in his office — a move that surprised some in his inner circle. Liu, whose fund-raising for the 2013 mayoral race is being probed by the feds, told his closest confidants about his generosity Wednesday morning — leading government watchdogs to question his decision to give discretionary raises in tough financial times.”

CULTURE
Questlove Must Have All Songs Approved After Michelle Bachman Prank (NY Post)
New York Post reports: “Questlove has been ordered to have his song choices approved by NBC honchos after his musical attack on Michele Bachmann, when his band the Roots played the opening of “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” as she walked on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”

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