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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

PUBLIC SAFETY
Test of Verizon’s ‘Civil Emergency’ Alerts Frightens NJ Residents (Star-Ledger)
Eunice Lee reports: “In bold red letters were the words ‘CMAS Alert’ followed by ‘Civil Emergency in this area until 1:24 PM EST Take Shelter Now U.S. Govern.’ The emergency alert message took up her entire screen. It locked her Android phone for several minutes.”

HEALTH
NJ Military Suicide Prevention Helpline to Become National Program (Star-Ledger)
Mark Mueller reports: “Vets4Warriors, a peer-to-peer helpline administered by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, will be available Tuesday morning to members and veterans of the National Guard in all 50 states and four U.S. territories, officials are due to announce today. The program also is open to members of the military reserves.”

HEALTH
City, AIDS Activists Clash Over Fees (City Limits)
Patrick Arden reports: “Advocates say a Bloomberg administration reduction of brokers' fees paid under an HIV/AIDS housing program has made life harder for HIV-positive clients.”

TRANSPORTATION
MTA 2012 Budget Plan Won’t Restore Any Cut Services (NY Daily News)
Pete Donohue reports: “The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s financial outlook has worsened since just last month, when two board members proposed setting aside money to bring back some of the axed service - which included 36 bus routes — sources said.”

GOVERNMENT
Mayor Bloomberg Moves Against Drugs (WSJ)
Michael Howard Saul reports: “Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday will launch a task force to combat the burgeoning prescription drug epidemic in New York City, a move that comes after administration officials identified 21 pharmacies that account for roughly a quarter of oxycodone Medicaid reimbursements citywide.”

REAL ESTATE
Real Estate Industry Steps Up Opposition to Skyscraper District (WSJ)
Joseph De Avila and Laura Kusisto reports: “New York City's real-estate industry is stepping up efforts to halt plans for a new landmark district for downtown Brooklyn, claiming that such a designation will result in nearly $5 million in additional costs for property owners over the next few years.”


POLITICS
Amid Paeans to Cuomo, Some Less Lofty Notes (NYT)
Michael Powell takes a close look at those economic development grants and finds them lacking: “ Then there is the matter of the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council. The Brooklyn Democratic boss, Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez, has long treated this well-heeled nonprofit group as his principality, ensuring that city and state officials demonstrate their pleasure with him by showering money on it. Of late, clouds gathered. The city’s Department of Investigation discovered that Ridgewood Bushwick officials had overlooked fraud and that some salary increases had acquired a hallucinogenic quality. Christiana Fisher, the group’s executive director, saw her pay rise to $782,000 in the 2009 fiscal year, from $336,000 the previous year.”         

MEDIA
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie Texts Morning Joe Complaining About Liberal Guests (Huffington Post)
Katherine Fung writes: "New Jersey governor Chris Christie joined the chorus of conservatives who criticize 'Morning Joe' and co-host Joe Scarborough for leaning too far to the left. On Monday, Christie — who is one of Mitt Romney's most prominent supporters — texted host Scarborough in the middle of the show, asking, 'Who's next this morning on 'Morning Joe' to talk about the GOP race — George Soros?'"

GOVERNMENT
Checking In On NYC’s Participatory Budgeting (Metrofocus)
MetroFocus reached out to the Council members to hear their thoughts on how the process is unfolding, and to learn a bit about some of the ideas being floated.

BUSINESS
Closing Time May Come Two Hours Earlier for Bars in Harlem (DNAinfo)
Jeff Mays reports: “A Central Harlem community board is consdering a plan to require all new bars and restaurants to stop serving liquor at 2 a.m., two hours earlier than normal. The proposal has divided Community Board 10 down the middle.”

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