Morning Headlines | Must-Reads from the WNYC News Hub

Sniff Test Does Not Prove Public Drinking, a Judge Rules (NYT)
Joseph Goldstein writes about a Brooklyn judge who dismissed an open container violation because he said the smell of alcohol wasn’t enough proof that the drink in question was indeed alcohol: “Judge Dear made it clear that he hoped his interpretation of the city’s public drinking law would persuade the Police Department to reconsider its enforcement of the ordinance. In his experience, he wrote, the department singled out blacks and Hispanics when issuing public drinking summonses. ‘As hard as I try, I cannot recall ever arraigning a white defendant for such a violation,’ wrote Judge Dear, a former city councilman who was elected to a judgeship in 2007.”

Manslaughter Charges for Landlords in Brooklyn Fire That Killed 5 (NYT)
Andy Newman and Mosi Secret report: “A guest in the building was accused of intentionally setting the fire and has been charged with murder. But the Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, said that the landlords, Vasilios Gerazounis, 68, and his son, Argyrios Gerazounis, 37, knew that the apartments lacked required exits and that they shared responsibility for the deaths.”

Shelters Swell After Rental Aid Is Halted (WSJ)
Michael Howard Saul writes: “After funding cutbacks ended a New York City rental-assistance program earlier this year, hundreds of recipients—most of them children—have returned to the homeless shelter system, according to city statistics. The program, called Advantage, came to a halt in February. At the time, upward of 18,700 people made up the 6,482 households that were receiving rent subsidies. Since then, nearly 500 people, 300 of them children, have found their way back into shelters, officials said. Both city officials and homeless advocates expect the number to grow significantly. ”

Seniority Not Challenged in Latest Version of Teacher Tenure Reform Bill (Star-Ledger)
Jessica Calefati reports: “A tenure reform bill set to be considered by legislators next week will no longer strip teachers of their seniority rights, a provision Gov. Chris Christie has said he considers a top education reform priority.”

Five Officers Arrested for Rikers Attacks (WSJ)
Jennifer Maloney reports: “Five New York City correction officers have been arrested on assault and other charges after an investigation found that their written justifications for using force against Rikers Island inmates didn't match surveillance video, authorities said Thursday. The city Department of Investigation said the arrests occurred over the past three months as part of a larger probe scrutinizing the accounts officers give for violent altercations with inmates.”

Police Shoot Woman to Death in East Flatbush (NYP)
Four Post reporters write: “A woman out on bail for attempted murder and kidnapping was shot dead by a cop in Brooklyn yesterday after she crashed a stolen car and threw it in reverse to escape, police sources said. Shantel Davis, 23, was blasted once in the chest as she struggled with Detective Phil Atkins, 44, in a Toyota Camry that had collided with a minivan in East Flatbush, the sources added.”

Sen. Tom Duane’s HIV Rent Cap Fails, and Fingers Point (Capitol Confidential)
Jimmy Vielkind reports: A bill to cap rent payments for HIV patients suffered a rare feat Thursday: it was voted down on the floor of the state Senate, 26-27. ...This has long been a personal priority for Sen. Tom Duane, D-Manhattan, who has been living with HIV since the mid-1990s. He is retiring at the end of this year, and asked Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos to bring it to a floor vote before the Senate adjourns at the end of next week.”

Obama Camp Signals Opposition to Charles Barron (BuzzFeed)
BuzzFeed Staff write: “A second senior Democrat, who is close to the White House, noted that the Administration had quietly sent its own message: Jeffries, a lawyer who has drawn union opposition for his support for charter schools, was invited to a fundraiser for President Obama at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City two weeks ago, to have his photograph taken with Obama and Clinton — a valuable piece of campaign literature in a heavily African-American district.”

Restaurant Industry Moves Against Gas Drilling (NYT)
Glenn Collins writes: “Restaurant industry opposition to the controversial gas-drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing is growing as increasing numbers of high-profile New York chefs, restaurateurs, food suppliers and industry executives have joined the effort to lobby Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the State Legislature and the State Department of Environmental Conservation to ban the process. More than 90 kitchen celebrities and food-business leaders have publicly given their support to Chefs for the Marcellus, an anti-fracturing advocacy group named after the natural-gas-rich Marcellus Shale rock formation that runs under several states.”

Parlors Face Age-Limit Bill Over Tanning by Teenagers (NYT)
Eric Newcomer writes: “Under a bill working its way through Albany, teenagers under 17 would be able to get suntans only the old-fashioned way: from the sun. The measure, which has already passed the State Assembly and is expected to be approved by the State Senate, prohibits anyone 16 or younger from using an indoor tanning booth.”

Topless Tryst Teach Gets Second Chance (NYP)
Yoav Gonen and Jose Martinez: “Alini Brito — whose notorious topless classroom tryst with French teacher Cindy Mauro turned Brooklyn’s James Madison HS into a laughingstock — sued the Department of Education last year in an attempt to score a new disciplinary hearing. In a blistering decision, Supreme Court Justice Alice Schlesinger slammed the city and eviscerated an arbitrator for dishing out an “excessive and shockingly severe” punishment to the teacher.”

First Success for Bronx Prosecutor  Pursuing  Cold Case Killers with New DNA Technology (NYDN)
Daniel Beekman writes: “The stunning May 10 indictment of James Martin in the 1998 rape and murder of a Bronx teenager could be the first of many cold case prosecutions to grab headlines in the borough over the next few years. The Bronx District Attorney's Office is pouring time and resources into unsolved murders committed between 1995 and 2000, said Rachel Singer, the assistant district attorney in charge of the $100,000 project, which could grow even larger this fall.     The objective is to prosecute homicide cases that were unsolvable 15 years ago, using new DNA technology.”

Behind Those Cool Squirts in Summer, Many Plumbers (NYT)
Lisa Foderarao writes: “So many fountains. So little time.That might be the mantra of the parks department’s battalion of plumbers: 43 men with the unenviable task of keeping 3,114 drinking fountains flowing in the hot summer months, just as millions of parched New Yorkers and tourists descend on playgrounds, ball fields, beaches and parks.”