Morning Headlines: Must-Reads from the WNYC News Hub

Espaillat Announces Run for Uptown Congressional Seat (DNAinfo)
Carla Zanoni reports: “State Sen. Adriano Espaillat announced that he is planning to run for 13th Congressional District in Upper Manhattan, setting up a showdown  with the longtime symbol of Harlem politics Rep. Charles Rangel, DNAinfo has learned.”

Painstakingly Reimagining City’s Cabs, Down to the Floor Mats (NYT)
Michael Grynbaum reports: “As the winner of the Taxi of Tomorrow contest, Nissan secured a 10-year contract, worth an estimated $1 billion in sales, to be the sole manufacturer of New York City’s 13,000 cabs. In return, the company pledged to create a bespoke taxicab: the first car since the Checker to be designed nearly from the ground up for the sole purpose of carrying millions of tourists, businesspeople and intoxicated clubgoers around the rough-and-tumble streets of New York City. (The Ford Crown Victoria and other taxis were typically retrofitted for the job.)”

William Thompson Has Slow Start in Mayoral Race (NYT)
Kate Taylor reports: “Mr. Thompson, a former comptroller who was the Democratic nominee for mayor in 2009, enters the 2013 race with considerable advantages. He ran strongly in the 2009 election, surprising many political experts by coming within five percentage points of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. As the only African-American candidate, and possibly the only minority candidate, in the probable 2013 field, Mr. Thompson is also in a unique position to benefit from the growing majority of black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters in the city.”

Divorce Ruling Revised (WSJ)
Sophia Hollander reports: “A Nassau County judge dramatically reversed himself in a decision about divorce payments that had been cited by an independent commission as an example of flaws in legislation passed to reform New York's matrimonial laws.”

Mold Claims For Damages Get New Life (WSJ)
Josh Barbanel reports: “The problem of mold—that furry, slimy or powdery substance that grows in damp places—just got a lot more dangerous, at least for landlords and co-op and condo boards in New York.”

98 Nassau Cops Accept Incentive to Retire (Newsday)
Robert Brodsky reports: “Nearly 100 Nassau County police officers accepted a voluntary incentive to retire last week, saving the county more than $23 million in annual labor costs, officials said. Among them are two of the three commanders charged last month with conspiring to scuttle the probe of a high school burglary committed by a teenager whose father was a financial benefactor of police.”

NYC Whistleblowers Account for 90% of Complaints of Wrongdoing Against City Employees (NY Daily News)
Reuven Blau reports: “Over the past two years, anonymous snitches have led to almost 90% of the 27,538 total complaints of wrongdoing against city employees that were evaluated by the city Department of Investigation, new records reveal.”

City Hall Hiding Report That Slams 911 System (NY Post)
Josh Margolin reports: “The Bloomberg administration is waging an all-out battle to suppress a scathing report aptly called “911 CPR’’ — which has determined that the city’s emergency-dispatch system is on life support, The Post has learned. The document, formally known as the 911 Call Processing Review, charges that despite more than $2 billion shoveled at the problems, response times to emergencies, in which every second counts, have actually slowed.”

Recycling Rate Plummets Under ‘Green’ Mayor’s Watch (DNAinfo)
Jill Colvin reports: “As part of its environmental blueprint, plaNYC, the Bloomberg administration has set a goal of doubling the amount of waste diverted from landfills by 2017. But numbers show that the proportion of waste being recycled has been steadily sliding, falling from a high of 19 percent in 2002, to just 15 percent in 2011 — far behind other green-minded cities like Seattle, with a recycling rate of nearly 54 percent; Portland, Oregon, with a rate of nearly 60 percent; and San Francisco, which achieved a record-setting 77 percent diversion rate in 2009.”

Autism Spikes 28% in New York, But Getting Help Remains a Struggle (DNAinfo)
Jill Colvin reports: “Between 2009 and 2011, New York City saw a staggering nearly 28 percent increase in the number of autistic students between the ages of 3 and 21, Department of Education figures show. By the end of 2011, about 1 in 110 public school students in kindergarten through 12th grade had been diagnosed with autism, the city found.”

A Battle of the Boros for Banks (Crain’s)
Hilary Potkewitz reports: “No longer content to duke it out for space and customers in Manhattan, banks have been expanding into the outer boroughs in recent years. That's largely because the boroughs have the highest concentration of immigrant entrepreneurs, who've been responsible for much of the city's economic growth. In 2008, for example, immigrants accounted for an estimated $215 billion in economic activity, or 32% of the gross city product, according to a survey by the state comptroller's office.”

Bloomberg Does How to Succeed In Business WIthout Really Trying [VIDEO] (NY Observer)
Colin Campbell reports: “While poking fun at himself at various points (he ponders expanding term limits by saying to himself, “Cuatro años más?”), the show was perhaps not as silly as past years where he descended from the rafters with a cape or hung out with the Jersey Shore cast dressed as a hippie.”

World Trade Center High Wire Hero Will Tight Rope Walk Grand Central (NY Post)
Jennifer Fermino reports: “This will be more tense than rush hour on a crowded 6 train. A famous French aerialist is preparing to reprise his death-defying tightrope walk 80 feet above Grand Central Terminal’s marble floor in honor of the station’s 100-year anniversary next year. It was 25 years ago when Philippe Petit first tiptoed above thousands of hushed commuters during a 12-minute lull between trains.”

Judge to Review Brooklyn Special Election (Observer)
Colin Campbell reports a judge will hear the case April 4: At the end of last week, lawyers representing the two candidates in the special election to replace Carl Kruger in the State Senate agreed to a court proceeding to resolve which candidate ultimately received more votes. Republican candidate David Storobin is currently leading by a single vote, but Democrat Lew Fidler is feeling confident.