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Morning Headlines | Selected by the WNYC News Hub

Friday, August 31, 2012

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

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

POLITICS
Assembly Democrats Support Speaker Over Settlement (NYT)
Danny Hakim reports: “Assembly Democrats rallied around Speaker Sheldon Silver on Thursday, as he faced an inquiry into his handling of sexual harassment allegations made against a prominent lawmaker and continued attacks from a lawyer who represented some of the women. In Brooklyn political circles, lawmakers were discussing how to force Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez, the central figure in the sex scandal, to relinquish his seat.”

POLITICS
Bengali Ballots Pushed Back to 2013 (WSJ)
Sumathi Reddy reports: “New York City won't be able to fully meet a federal requirement to provide Bengali ballots in parts of Queens for this fall's elections, a problem the Board of Elections blamed on a vendor. U.S. Census figures published nearly a year ago triggered voting-rights provisions that mandated an additional Asian Indian language on ballots in several Queens neighborhoods, and city officials selected Bengali. Advocates on Thursday expressed frustration and raised the possibility of a lawsuit.”

POLITICS
Columnist: City Councilwoman Diana Reyna Must Speak Up About Disgraced Assemblyman(NYDN)
Juan Gonzalez calls out Councilwoman Diana Reyna, who was once the former chief of staff for Assemblyman Vito Lopez, to come out and talk about what it was like to work for him. He quotes anonymous sources who say she had a “personal” relationship with Lopez that later turned sour when she sought to end it.

RELIGION
Priests Puts Blame on Victims of Sexual Abuse (NYT)
Sharon Otterman reports on some alarming comments on the Rev. Benedict Groeschel: “The comments were published on Monday by The National Catholic Register, which is owned by EWTN, a religious broadcaster based in Alabama. ‘Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him,’ Father Groeschel, now 79, said in the interview. ‘A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.’ He added that he was ‘inclined to think’ that priests who were first-time abusers should not be jailed because ‘their intention was not committing a crime.’”

TRANSPORTATION
Union Head Argues Against One-Operator Subway Trains (WSJ)
Ted Mann reports: “[Transport Workers Union Local 100 President John] Samuelsen says the MTA has been pushing to broaden the use of one-person train operation, or OPTO, in the New York City subway system. While some shuttle trains and the Queens-to-Brooklyn G train already run with only a driver — and no conductor in the middle of the train to handle opening and closing of the doors — expanding the practice would be dangerous, Samuelsen argues.” In the Huffington Post, Samuelsen also took aim at the MTA’s plan of hiring part-time bus drivers.

TRANSPORTATION
US Open Serving up Record Attendance (Crain’s)
Lisa Fickenscher reports: “The US Open, in its fourth day Thursday, is on track to attract a record number of attendees, officials said, after two years of being clobbered by tropical storms and the weak economy... Officials expect the Labor Day weekend crowd to reach the maximum capacity of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which has only occurred three times previously. The 42-acre facility can accommodate 40,000 people, but the USTA caps the number at precisely 37,388.”

EDUCATION
New Hope for Turnaround at Troubled Service Academy (NYT)
Ariel Kaminer reports: “Placing his hand on a Bible, wearing the gold shoulder boards that had been pinned on him moments before, Rear Adm. James A. Helis looked out at several hundred uniformed students last month and took the oath of office as the new leader of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. He was the fourth person to do so in the last four years.”

EMPLOYMENT
Park Slope Chef Accused of Sexual Harassment  (NYDN)
Christine Roberts reports: “A popular Park Slope chef has been accused of sexual harassment at his restaurant. A group claiming to be 22 former female staffers at Juventino on Fifth Ave. has taken to the Internet to share stories of chef Juventino Avila's alleged inappropriate conduct.”

CRIME
NJ Man Accused of Baby's Bridge Death Testifies (Star Ledger)
Sue Epstein reports: “Shamsiddin Abdur-Raheem admitted today that he took his infant daughter, Zara Malani-Lin Abdur-Raheem, after struggling with the baby’s grandmother in her East Orange apartment. And yes, he said, he stopped along the side of the Alfred E. Driscoll Bridge on the Garden State Parkway, after fleeing the apartment that February day in 2010, and tossed the baby into the icy Raritan River below. But, testifying before a hushed courtroom in New Brunswick, the 24-year-old Abdur-Raheem, on trial for his daughter’s murder, said he thought Zara was already dead.”

POLITICS                        
Marriage Equality Supporter’s State Senate Primary Divides Advocates (Gay City)
Paul Schindler reports: “A north Brooklyn State Senate primary that pits a ten-year Democratic incumbent, who twice voted for New York’s marriage equality law, against a pro-gay challenger has divided LGBT advocacy groups in the city, with two political clubs backing the insurgent, one staying with the veteran lawmaker, and the Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA) remaining on the sidelines.”

RED LIGHT
Judge Rules Against Zoning Law on Sex-Related Businesses (NYT)
Russ Buettner reports: “A Manhattan judge on Thursday ruled that a 2001 city law was unconstitutional in seeking to reduce the number of stores and clubs that offer a mix of sexual content and other material in neighborhoods where X-rated establishments are banned. The law sought to plug what the city considered to be a loophole in the 1995 zoning change that banned “adult establishments” from residential neighborhoods and from being within 500 feet of another such establishment, a school or a place of worship.”

CULTURE
Chris Lighty, Manager of Hip-Hop Stars, Dies at 44 (NYT)
Ben Sisario writes about Lighty, who managed the careers of stars like 50 Cent, LL Cool J, Missy Elliot and Diddy: “The police said that they were investigating the death as a suicide. A representative of Mr. Lighty’s company, Primary Violator, did not immediately respond to requests for information. One of the most powerful figures in the hip-hop business, Mr. Lighty helped establish the genre as a major commercial force — complete with huge record deals and tie-ins with commercial brands — during its peak in the 1990s and early 2000s. Violator, which he founded in the early 1990s, was the dominant management company in hip-hop at the time, with a stable of stars that, like Mr. Lighty himself, had street roots and big-business ambitions.”

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