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Friday, December 09, 2011

POLITICS
Governor Christie Pushes to End Unused Sick Days for Public Workers (Star-Ledger)
Megan DeMarco reports: “With the final days of the legislative session winding down, Gov. Chris Christie pressed legislators again Thursday to end payouts to public employees for unused sick days, a practice he called ‘inexplicable.’”

POLITICS
NY Tax Deal Sparks NJ Debate (WSJ)
Heather Haddon reports: “Mr. Christie, a Republican, said Thursday that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's tax deal—boosting rates on the wealthiest taxpayers from 2008 levels but lowering them for the middle class—would leave New York with "significantly lower" rates than those in the Garden State.”

PUBLIC SAFETY
City Park Rangers to Get Cop-Style Training (Brooklyn Paper)
Natalie O’Neill reports: “City park rangers are getting stepped-up police training on the heels of an incident that led to a heroic park worker being reprimanded instead of lionized for busting a gun-toting pervert in Prospect Park. The law enforcement course teaches urban rangers when to “effect an arrest,” how to spot suspicious behavior and what to do if someone has a weapon.”

POLITICS
Troubled Brooklyn Charity Gets State Funds (WSJ)
Jacob Gershman and Joseph De Avila reports: “Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, a housing and social services group once headed by Assemblyman Vito Lopez, won three awards totaling more than $845,806. It was one of dozens of programs and businesses awarded money through a competitive grant and tax incentive program for economic-development projects set up by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat.”

POLITICS
City Councilman Gentile Fined for Breaking Campaign Finance Rules (Brooklyn Paper)
Dan Macleod reports: “Councilman Vince Gentile violated city law by overspending on his re-election campaign in 2009, the Campaign Finance Board ruled on Thursday, hitting the veteran lawmaker with nearly $26,000 in fines.”

POLITICS
Port Authority Names New Independent Auditing Firm (Star-Ledger)
Steve Strunksy reports: “After using the same financial auditor for 30 years, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is taking its business elsewhere. The agency named KPMG LLP as its new independent auditing firm at today’s board meeting. KPMG, a world-wide firm based in the Netherlands with offices in New York, replaces another accounting giant that had done the Port Authority books since 1981, Deloitte LLP, based in New York.”

GOVERNMENT
Renovation Complete, City Council Goes Home (NYT)
Kate Taylor reports: “After a year and a half in exile at a former bank across the street, the City Council returned on Thursday to its City Hall chamber, which was shining following a major renovation.
The mood at the Council meeting was festive, even slightly raucous, as members examined and admired their refurbished surroundings.”

CULTURE
Is the Grid Locked? Reimagining Manhattan’s Master Plan (Metrofocus)
Gregory Wessner reports: “The Architectural League and the museum, along with media sponsor Architizer, issued an international call for ideas that invited architects and urban designers from around the world to use the grid as a springboard for thinking about the city’s future. More than 120 teams from 22 countries submitted proposals, from which a jury of architects and curators selected eight they believed offer the most insightful and provocative ideas for Manhattan’s grid.”

CULTURE
Manhattan Gets First All-Vegan Food Truck (DNAinfo)
Mathew Katz reports: “Vegans rejoice! The Cinnamon Snail has crawled to Manhattan.
The popular New Jersey-based all-vegan food truck served lunch for the first time in the city on Thursday, much to the delight of vegans, who say they are often left in the cold when it comes to lunch choices near their offices.”

INFRASTRUCTURE
Now 80, George Washington Bridge Will Undergo Repairs (NYT)
Christine Haughney reports: “On Thursday, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s board authorized $15.5 million for repairs, part of the more than $1 billion that the project will eventually cost; agency officials want to clean the bridge’s four main cables and also replace, for the first time, all of the 592 vertical suspender ropes that hold up the roadway.”

OPINION
You Mean Those People That Elected Me? (NYT)
The New York Times editorial board questions Governor Cuomo’s tax plan: “Mr. Cuomo’s main pitch is that this new tax structure benefits the middle class. But most New Yorkers will see only very modest tax cuts. The biggest break goes to those with taxable income from about $300,000 to $2 million a year — their taxes will drop to 6.85 percent from as much as 8.97 percent. (That really stretches the concept of ‘middle class.’)”

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