Morning Headlines | Selected by the WNYC News Hub

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Must-reads headlines from around the city, curated by the WNYC Newsroom.

Fiscal Officer of Sen. Diaz-Founded Non-profits Charged with Stealing
Corinne Lestch reports: “The financial head of two Bronx non-profit agencies tied to state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. pleaded not guilty Tuesday to embezzling more than half a million dollars from the taxpayer-funded organizations. Clement Gardner, chief fiscal officer of the Christian Community Benevolent Association and Christian Community in Action was charged with two counts of grand larceny in the second degree, one for each agency, for stealing $532,000 from Dec. 2003 to Feb. 2012. He had been charged last March with siphoning $75,000 from the benevolent association.”

S.E.C. Pays Out First Whistle-Blower Reward
Peter Lattman reports: “Federal securities regulators said on Tuesday that they had handed out the first reward under a new whistle-blower program, paying nearly $50,000 to a person who helped the agency shut down an investment fraud. An unnamed recipient provided documents and other data to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the case. The commission said the information had helped it prevent new victims from being ensnared in a fraud scheme.”

Obesity Debate Over Where to Serve School Breakfasts
Michael Howard Saul reports: “The New York City Council plans to approve resolutions on Wednesday demanding Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration provides breakfast in the classroom at all city public schools, a policy the administration opposes because officials fear it could increase childhood obesity.”

Kirsten Gillibrand, Grace Meng Push Small-Business Tax Breaks
Lisa L. Colangelo reports: “Gillibrand said she is pushing for a bill that will extend targeted tax breaks for small businesses -- something especially important for women-owned businesses... Gillibrand and Meng are both facing November races against fiery Republican opponents -- attorney Wendy Long and City Councilman Dan Halloran, respectively.”

Busted Pipe Turning Freshwater Ponds Salty in Broad Channel
Lisa Colangelo reports: “A busted drain pipe and valve system is slowly ruining the ecology of Jamaica Bay, driving away birds that usually breed along two freshwater ponds. The freshwater ponds, located in Broad Channel near the entrance to the Gateway National Recreation Area, are filling up with salt water from Jamaica Bay. Local environmentalists are calling on the National Park Service to move quickly on a project that would replace the decades-old drainage and valve systems on the ponds.”

Money for Homeless Used to Relocate Patients at Future Cornell School
Juan Gonzalez asks: “Is the Bloomberg administration using a program earmarked for housing the homeless to partly fund relocation costs connected to Cornell University’s new $2 billion tech campus on Roosevelt Island?”

U.S. Open Umpire Arrested in Murder
Tamar El-Ghobashy and Chris Herring report: “A veteran professional tennis umpire was arrested Tuesday at a Midtown Manhattan hotel after Los Angeles authorities issued a warrant alleging she killed her husband in April.”

Controversial Greenpoint Homeless Shelter Welcomes First Residents
Meredith Hoffman reports: “The new Bowery Residents' Committee facility, a shelter for men to stay short-term before relocating to other residences, also will include 20 beds reserved for Greenpoint's homeless, a Department of Homeless Services spokeswoman said. So far about 25 men who are staying the shelter, sources told, and That Greenpoint Blog noted the shelter's opening earlier this month.”

Slow Down East Midtown Rezoning, Locals and Pols Say
Matthew Katz reports: “An unusually fast timetable for one of the largest rezoning proposals the city's seen in years has local officials saying one thing: slow down. Both elected and community board officials have launched a campaign to ask the Department of City Planning to push back its target dates for public approval of the proposal to rezone Midtown East, a plan that would allow the construction of giant new office buildings in the area around Grand Central Terminal.”

Rising Rents Create a Demand for Manhattan Walk-Up Buildings
Julie Satow reports: “While walk-ups have never been the most glamorous buildings in the city, demand for and sales of these buildings have reached new highs recently.. The popularity and rising prices of walk-ups are owed in no small part to Manhattan’s incredibly tight rental market. Rents have been surging for the last several years as New Yorkers remain skittish about buying homes and mortgages remain difficult to obtain. In June, for example, the average rent was $3,443 a month, according to Citi Habitats, the highest figure since the firm began tracking data in 2002”

A Promise Unfulfilled at an Art Deco Bathhouse in the Rockaways
Lisa Foderaro reports: “With its octagonal brick towers rising above the beach, the sprawling bathhouse at Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways has, since opening in 1932, served as a monument to Art Deco design, grand public works and populist fun. Lately, however, it has become a symbol of something else: public frustration.”

Gay Man Told to Marry Woman or Son Would Lose Inheritance
Alyssa Newcomb reports: “The gay son of a deceased New York City businessman is fighting a stipulation in his late father's will that required him to marry the mother of his child or risk losing the child's inheritance. Robert Mandelbaum, who is a Manhattan Criminal Court judge, said in court documents that his father, Frank Mandelbaum, knew he was gay and included his male partner in family activities. The elder Mandelbaum .. died before his grandson, Cooper, now 16 months, was born. Cooper's fathers, Robert Mandelbaum and Jonathan O'Donnell, married shortly after his birth via surrogate in 2011.”

Searching for a New Neighbor on ‘Sesame Street’
Matt McCue reports: “‘Sesame Street’ held its first-ever open casting call in New York this week to find its newest neighbor — a Hispanic character to reflect the long-running show’s increasingly diverse audience. Hours before auditions began at the Roseland Ballroom on Monday, a line stretched down West 52nd Street and up Broadway as 20-somethings waited for their chance to act alongside the cast of Muppets and mortals.”

Living the Abstinent Lifestyle in New York
Bob Tedeschi reports: “‘Not surprisingly, there are no entirely reliable statistics on the number of abstinent New Yorkers, and researchers and religious leaders interviewed for this article declined to offer estimates. Nationally, though, premarital abstinence is not common. A study released in 2006 by the Guttmacher Institute, which is based in Manhattan, said that by age 30, 93 percent of respondents had had premarital sex. Based on New York’s reputation, one might expect to find even fewer abstinent singles here. Then again, the city is long removed from its Sodom-on-the-Hudson heyday, before former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani’s quality-of-life initiative relegated sex shops, X-rated cinemas and their patrons to the city’s hinterlands.”


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