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Morning Headlines | Must-Reads from the WNYC News Hub

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg (Yasmeen Khan/WNYC)

INFRASTRUCTURE
Bloomberg Backing Grand Central Plaza (NYPost)
Jennifer Fermino and Sally Goldenberg report: “Mayor Bloomberg yesterday strongly defended a plan to turn a five-block street outside Grand Central into a pedestrian plaza, saying the area could benefit from fewer cars and more walking. And besides, he added, drivers hardly ever use Vanderbilt Avenue. “Vanderbilt is a street with virtually no traffic,” he said. “You’ve got to stop and say, ‘What are the streets for?’ They are for transportation. What is the basic first kind of transportation? It’s walking.’”

POLITICS
New York: The Unexpected House Battleground (Politico)
Kate Nocera reports: “New York isn’t what you’d typically call a swing state — it’s about as blue as they come. But in the battle for the House majority, few states matter more. No fewer than eight seats there are in play in November. And New York Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said it’s no exaggeration that the road to House control may well run through his home state.”

CRIME
Insight: Fed Knew of Libor issue in 2007-08, Proposed Reforms (Reuters)
Carrick Mollenkamp reports: “The Federal Reserve Bank of New York may have known as early as August 2007 that the setting of global benchmark interest rates was flawed. Following an inquiry with British banking group Barclays Plc in the spring of 2008, it shared proposals for reform of the system with British authorities.”

POLICY
Feds Snuff Out the Roll-Your-Own Loophole (Times Union)
Rick Karlin reports: “In a little-publicized move, President Barack Obama last week signed the federal transportation bill that included a measure forcing RYO shops to pay the same taxes and face the same raft of regulations that cigarette makers adhere to.”

EDUCATION
At Top School, Cheating Voids 70 Pupils’ Tests (NYT)
Al Baker reports: "Seventy students were involved in a pattern of smartphone-enabled cheating last month at Stuyvesant High School, New York City officials said Monday, describing an episode that has blemished one of the country’s most prestigious public schools. The cheating involved several state exams and was uncovered after a cellphone was confiscated from a 16-year-old junior during a citywide language exam on June 18, according to a city Department of Education investigation."

TRAGEDY
F.B.I. Divers Called In to Recover Boat (NYT)
Patrick McGeehan reports: “Police officers on Long Island have called in a dive team from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to help them recover the boat that capsized and sank near Oyster Bay on Wednesday, killing three children. Steven Skrynecki, the chief of the Nassau County Police Department … said a dive team from the bureau’s headquarters in Quantico, Va., would use video cameras and sonar to get a picture of how the boat is lying 60 feet below the surface of Long Island Sound.”

TRANSIT
Amtrak Plans 37-Minute Train from New York to Philadelphia by 2040 (Reuters)
Dave Warner reports: “Amtrak announced a $151 billion improvement plan on Monday that includes 37-minute trips from New York to Philadelphia at speeds approaching 220 miles per hour (354 km per hour). However, the U.S. passenger railroad will need substantial financial support from both state and federal governments to make its ambitious plan to transform rail travel in the Northeast a reality.”

POLICY
City Contractors Face Big Bills for 'Perv Insurance' (NYDN)
Tina Moore and Tracey Connor report: “With pedophiles dominating the headlines, the pervert problem has gotten so out of control that the city is requiring abuse and molestation insurance for contractors. Experts say it’s a wise policy that protects taxpayers from massive payouts to sexual assault victims, but the pricey requirement could hurt the little guy stuck paying for the sins of others.”

INFRASTRUCTURE
Lack of Free Public Pools Leaves Central Queens Residents Sweltering (Reuters)
Robert Gearty reports: “A recidivist con man was hit with a maximum sentence Monday for running a $600,000 scam business that was supposed to reunite lost pets with their heartbroken owners. Eric Stein, 54, was sentenced to more than five years in prison by a Manhattan judge for selling people distributorships in his fraudulent Return-A-Pet business.”

INFRASTRUCTURE
Hollis Residents Urge City to Install Sewers on Flood-Prone Block (NYDN)
Nigel Chiwaya and Smiriti Rao report: “There are nine public pools in the borough, compared to nine in the Bronx, 18 in Brooklyn, 19 in Manhattan and eight in Staten Island. Two of them are in Bayside, with one each in neighborhoods like Astoria, Woodside, Jamaica and Douglaston. However, there are zero public pools in Forest Hills, Rego Park, Woodhaven, Middle Village, Maspeth, Kew Gardens or Ridgewood. For central Queens residents, the lack of pools means they must either travel long distances to a free pool or pay to use a private pool. There is a third class of pool — indoor public pools, which require a $150 annual membership fee.”

CRIME
Ex-con Sentenced for $600k Scam Pet-Finding Business (Reuters)
Robert Gearty reports: “A recidivist con man was hit with a maximum sentence Monday for running a $600,000 scam business that was supposed to reunite lost pets with their heartbroken owners. Eric Stein, 54, was sentenced to more than five years in prison by a Manhattan judge for selling people distributorships in his fraudulent Return-A-Pet business.”

WILDLIFE
NY Geese Gathered for Gassing (Reuters)
Gerry Shields reports: “The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge yesterday was the worst place to be a Canada goose. Federal officials rounded up about 700 of the birds from the area to be euthanized in hopes of cutting down on the strikes with passenger jets that have forced emergency landings from JFK and La Guardia Airports.

SPORTS
How the Mets Found Nimmo (WSJ)
Mike Sielski reports: “Brandon Nimmo began keeping a pad of paper and a pen in his locker at MCU Park last week, scribbling down whatever lingered in his mind about his plate appearances with the Brooklyn Cyclones: an unusual pitch sequence, a line drive with topspin, his sense of comfort after an adjustment to his batting stance. Once he leaves the ballpark, he flicks on his iPad and loads the notes into a database that dates to spring training. "If I'm going through a good period, it's like, 'All right, for the past four weeks, I've been hitting the ball well. This is what I've been doing. This is my approach,'" he said. "I didn't used to do that."

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