Morning Headlines | Must-Reads from the WNYC News Hub

Soda Makers Begin Their Push Against New York Ban (NYT)
Michael Grynbaum reports: “Confronting a high-profile attack on its fizzy products, the American soft-drink industry is beginning an aggressive campaign to fight New York City’s proposed restrictions on large servings of sugary drinks. Hoping for a debate about freedom, not fatness, the industry has created a coalition called New Yorkers for Beverage Choices to coordinate its public relations efforts in the city. On Thursday, the group introduced its first radio spot, a one-minute advertisement featuring “Noo Yawk”-accented actors proclaiming, ‘This is about protecting our freedom of choice.’”

Protesters Say Quinn Used NYPD to Thwart Them (WSJ)
Michael Howard Saul reports: “A group of protesters dogging City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has accused the potential mayoral candidate of using the New York Police Department to infringe on their right to demonstrate and take photos of the speaker outside of fundraising events. One of the protesters, Louis Flores, who describes himself as an activist and a blogger, filed a complaint with the Civilian Complaint Review Board accusing a police officer of pushing him during a protest outside a fundraiser for Quinn in Chelsea on Wednesday.”

The 2012 Guide to City Pork (Gotham Gazette)
David Howard King reports: “While some good government groups argue that such discretionary funding is ripe for corruption, other organizations that analyze the budget disagree. ‘Pork is not necessarily bad,’ said James Parrott, of the independent Fiscal Policy Institute. ‘Community services do get served.’”

Brownfields credits: billions (Times Union)
Brian Nearing reports: “Before going home for the summer last week, state lawmakers quietly added nine more months of life to a pollution cleanup program that has turned into a billion-dollar cookie jar for affluent developers.. The credits have cost taxpayers more than $1 billion since 2006, with critics saying too much of that money has gone to subsidize high-end building projects while too little is being used for actual cleanups — especially in poor neighborhoods ravaged by industrial pollution.”

As Furniture Burns Quicker, Firefighters Reconsider Tactics (NYT)
Joseph Goldstein reports: “Plastic fillings in sofas and mattresses burn much faster than older fillings like cotton, helping to transform the behavior of house fires in the last few decades, firefighters and engineers say. With more plastic in homes, residential fires are now likely to use up all the oxygen in a room before they consume all flammable materials. The resulting smoky, oxygen-deprived fires appear to be going out. But they are actually waiting for an inrush of fresh air, which can come as firefighters cut through roofs and break windows.”

N.Y.’s Tour de Hudson (WSJ)
Mara Lemos Stein reports: “While swimming superstars Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte were racing last week for spots in the London Olympics, a band of fanatics known only to the tight-knit open-water swimming community were engaged in an aquatic feat of their own: swimming 120 miles down the Hudson River. For the past seven days, these intrepid amateurs have been swimming south on the storied waterway, going from bridge to bridge in stretches of at least 13 miles daily. They will complete the longest swimming marathon in the world Monday at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.”

House Democratic Leaders Select Hakeem Jeffries for Important Fundraising Position (NYDN)
Alison Gendar reports: “ Brooklyn's Hakeem Jeffries is the new Democratic golden child. He has been tapped for an important fund-raising position as the party tries to take back the majority in the House. Following his crushing defeat of City Councilman Charles Barron in last week’s Democratic primary in the 8th Congressional District, House Democratic leaders selected the assemblyman to be part of a team of 10 cash-grabbing heavy-hitters.”

Amid Falling A/Cs, City Battens Down on Proper Installation (NYT)
Chris Palmer reports: “The rule, long on the books of the New York City Housing Authority, has not been heavily enforced: public-housing tenants who install air-conditioners in their windows must follow the manufacturer’s specifications and have their work inspected by the housing authority. Penalties for noncompliance can include eviction, though no one has ever been kicked out of their apartment over an air-conditioner, the authority said.”

Concussion Law: ‘We Are Protecting Brains’ (Times Union)
Cathleen F. Crowley reports: “The recommendations are the result of the Concussion Management and Awareness Act that went into effect on Sunday. Under the state law, any New York public school student suspected of suffering a concussion must immediately be removed from play and cannot return until he or she is symptom-free for a minimum of 24 hours and has been evaluated and given authorization to return to activities from a doctor.”

Christie Calls Reporter ‘Stupid’ at Press Conference (WABC)
“New Jersey's governor is known for speaking his mind when something displeases him. A reporter was reminded of that candor Saturday when Gov. Chris Christie snapped at him during a press conference, calling him ‘stupid’ and an ‘idiot’ because he asked a question unrelated to the briefing topic.”

Familiar Face to Run Espada’s Clinic (WSJ)
Jacob Gershman reports: “The Institute for Family Health, the largest network of community health centers in the state, has applied to take over Mr. Espada's flagship clinic, Soundview Health Center. The facility stopped serving patients several weeks ago after the state cut off Medicaid funding following Mr. Espada's federal conviction on charges of stealing about $500,000 from the clinic.”

Changes Planned to Calm Flow of Traffic on Harlem’s ‘Boulevard of Death’ (NYT)
Kia Gregory reports: “Mile for mile, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, also known as Seventh Avenue, has become one of Manhattan’s most dangerous roads. The fast flow of traffic has left hundreds injured in vehicular accidents in recent years and, so far this year, three people dead. Meetings are being held between the Department of Transportation, Harlem residents, community groups, and Community Board 10 to settle on measures to make the boulevard safer.”