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Growing Push in Newark to Retake School Reins (NYT)
Winnie Hu reports on “a growing movement of parents, educators and elected officials who want the schools returned to local control 16 years after they were taken over [by the state] amid low test scores, crumbling buildings and charges of mismanagement.”

New Kind of NJ School Privatization On The Rise (Star-Ledger)
Columnist Bob Braun writes that the relationship between New Jersey’s Acting Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf and Larrie Reynolds, the Mount Olive schools chief who’s promoted the idea of allowing public schools to contract with private companies to offer alternative education, “provides a glimpse not just into the growing political brawl over privatization, but also into the network of entrepreneurs who use longstanding contacts in both government and the private sector to try to make money on what had been a public monopoly.”

New Undercover Rules for NYPD After Sean Bell Case (WSJ)
Sean Gardiner reports: “The New York Police Department has instituted about 40 protocol and policy changes for undercover officers since the 2006 fatal shooting of Sean Bell, an incident that sparked deep criticism of the force's undercover operations.”

At Deadline, State Ethics Unit is in Limbo (WSJ)
Jacob Gershman reports: “Over the weekend, the governor and legislative leaders began privately sharing the names of their planned appointees for the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which the governor and lawmakers created in June as part of an ethics package that Mr. Cuomo dubbed "Clean Up Albany Act of 2011." Mr. Cuomo and lawmakers are expected to announce appointments as early as Monday.”

Livery Drivers Begin 10-Day Rally for Legal Street Hails (NY1)
NY1 reports: “Livery cab drivers rallied Sunday for a taxi bill allowing them to pick up street hails in upper Manhattan and the other four boroughs. Livery cab drivers and base owners gathered outside Governor Cuomo's Midtown office building for the first in a series of demonstrations scheduled for the next 10 days. That's how long the governor has to sign a revised version of the Five Borough Taxi Plan, which was presented to him Friday.”

Preservation Group Drops Proposed Greenpoint Historic District (Brooklyn Paper)
Aaron Short reports: “A proposed expansion of Greenpoint’s current historic district was dealt a possibly fatal blow last week when an influential Manhattan preservation group announced it would no longer back the bid, citing lack of public support.”

To Find the Perfect Mayor, Only Two Years Left (NYT)
Kate Taylor reports: “With the election two years away and the field of candidates to succeed Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg seeming to narrow rather than expand, the favorite political parlor game of the moment is determining which famous, rich or ambitious New Yorker might be enlisted to join the fray.”

Massive New Facility for City Harvest (NY Daily News)
Clem Richardson reports: “The agency, which supplies more than 600 soup kitchens and food pantries, moved more than 101,000 pounds of food out of the facility one day last week. That was well above the average 83,000 pounds, said Dave Levy, City Harvest’s vice president for distribution and transportation.”

Ads Laud Idea of NYU Campus in Brooklyn (NY Daily News)
Erin Durkin reports: “Downtown Brooklyn boosters are rolling out an ad campaign backing NYU’s bid to build the city’s “genius school” in their backyard. The ads, which make their debut Monday in print and online, urge city decision-makers to “Get Smart. Go Brooklyn” - citing the area’s high proportion of well-educated residents and easy access to transit.”

Comptroller Liu Hires Outside Lawyer While Publicly Denouncing the Practice (NY Post)
Carl Campanile and Chuck Bennett report that “Comptroller John Liu signed off on some $9.9 million worth of contracts with outside law firms over the last three months — even as he publicly bashed outsourcing government functions to private companies.”

Brooklyn D.A.: 85 Arrested, 177 Victims Identified in Sex Abuse Scandal (NY Post)
Susan Edelman reports: “Launched amid complaints that Hynes was soft on Orthodox child predators, Kol Tzedek (“voice of justice”) aims to coax victims to come forward, despite strong pressure in the insular religious community to cover up such crimes. All but two of the suspects are men, and more than half the victims are male, said Assistant DA Rhonnie Jaus, chief of the sex abuse and crimes against children division.”

Getting Gas Drilling Right (NYT)
The New York Times editorial board writes: “After several crowded and often raucous hearings, Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed to give the public until Jan. 11 to comment on 2,000 pages of environmental analysis and proposed regulations designed to govern natural gas drilling in deep shale formations in New York State. The extension makes sense.”

Freelancer Says She Was Arrested Doing Her Job (Daily Beast)
Reporter Carla Murphy adds her name to the growing list of reporters arrested while covering the Occupy Wall Street movement. In her case, Murphy was taken into custody while covering an OWS event in the Bronx. ‘I stayed behind to complain to Captain Garcia. His flank, as always, stood close. I made some good points but so did he. Unless I carried a press pass from the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information—which I didn’t and which no officer had asked to see, either—then I’d be treated like a protester, he said. “You don’t say who or who isn’t a journalist,” I said. He seemed to concede the point but also fell back on the policeman’s answer, “It’s the law.” Our "discourse"—his word, not mine—was over.’

Michael Mukasey: NYPD’s Secret Terror Fighters Deserve Our Praise (NY Daily News)
The former U.S. Attorney General writes: “The Intelligence Division embodies the NYPD’s collective reaction to 9/11, which was to recognize that New York is a prime terrorist target and to try to assure that such carnage never recurs by turning itself from a force mainly focused on investigating past crimes into a force focused as well on preventing future ones.”