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Morning Headlines | Selected by the WNYC News Hub

Friday, September 14, 2012

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

TRANSPORTATION
Illegal, but Very Popular (WSJ)
Sumathi Reddy reports: “Every day, dollar vans barrel along Flatbush from downtown Brooklyn. Past Atlantic Terminal, on to Grand Army Plaza, through Park Slope and Prospect Park, they head into the heart of Caribbean Brooklyn, all the way to Kings Plaza mall. Nearly all on Flatbush are run by Caribbean operators and ridden by people from the Caribbean. Such commuter vans are not limited to Brooklyn: A large network operates out of Jamaica, for example, and vans shuttle residents and employees between the city's three largest Chinatowns. While there are hundreds of legal commuter vans that ply their trade in the city every day, it has been estimated that there are an equal or greater number of illegal ones”

DEVELOPMENT
Archdiocese of New York wants to sell lucrative air rights to properties, including St. Patrick's Cathedral (NYDN)
Stephen Rex Brown reports: “The Archdiocese of New York wants to cash in on a proposed upzoning of midtown by selling the lucrative air rights to its landmark properties, including venerable St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Church officials are lobbying city agencies to be allowed to transfer their development rights to any building in the zone, rather than just to buildings directly adjacent. Developers would pay dearly for the air rights from such landmarked buildings as St. Bartholomew’s and the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel because the rights allow them to build higher anywhere within the district stretching from E. 39th to E. 57th Sts. and centered on Grand Central Station.”

CRIME
Activists Demand Philippine Consulate in NYC Probe Maid Trafficking (NYDN)
Erica Pearson reports: “Inside a Kuwaiti diplomat’s Manhattan duplex, she worked 20 hours a day, earning as little as $1 an hour, getting barely any sleep. ‘They didn’t let me rest,’ said Filipina housekeeper Daedema Ramos. ‘I got very thin. I couldn’t eat. My nose would bleed.’ The eight-month nightmare ended when Ramos, 50, slipped away from her employer. Now she’s an organizer with the non-profit Damayan, which says it has helped dozens of Filipina maids and nannies — brought here on special visas — escape abusive situations.”

OWS
Fingers Pointed Over Seizure of Occupy Wall Street Library (NYT)
Colin Moynihan reports: “The fate of the books constitutes one of the enduring riddles accompanying the story of the two-month Occupy encampment of the park, in Lower Manhattan. As the group’s librarians sought to retrieve their property from the city, they were able to recover only about 1,000 books. Some 200 were badly damaged, the librarians said, adding that about 2,400 were not found.”
POLITICS
Viverito May Fall on the Sword in Redistricting Game (The Perez Notes)
Roberto Perez reports: “Councilwoman Melissa Mark Viverito is not happy with the proposed maps that have been released. My sources tell me Viverito put a lot of effort into cultivating the Upper West Side of her district and has now lost it as part of redistricting.”

CRIME
Cops Arrest Suspect in Killing of Gas Station Attendant (DNAinfo)
Dan Rivoli reports: “Freddie McGrier, 21, was taken into custody Thursday night for the shooting death of Lamin Sillah, a 28-year-old Gambian immigrant who worked at the gas station to put himself through school and support his wife back home. Sillah, who came to the United States seven months ago, was inside the gas station at East 182nd Street and Southern Boulevard on Sept. 4 about 9:40 p.m. when McGrier allegedly rolled up on a bicycle with an accomplice acting as a lookout.”

POLITICS
Beyonce and Jay-Z Host NYC Sept. 18 Obama Fundraiser (NYDN)
Kristen A. Lee and Jonathan Lemire report: “Beyoncé and Jay-Z, the first family of hip hop, are hosting a fund-raiser for the President in the city next week, the Obama campaign said Thursday. The $40,000-a-head bash will be held Tuesday at the 40/40 Club, the swank Chelsea hotspot owned by Jay-Z.”

HOUSING
August Is a Disgusting Month To Move In And Other Truths Found In Manhattan Rental Reports (New York Observer)
Kim Velsey reports: “Manhattan vacancy rates remained relatively flat in August. At 1.19 percent, they are basically unchanged from the 1.2 percent vacancy rate of July and slightly up from August 2011, when they were at just one percent, according to a report from Citi Habitats. Cause for celebration? Not really. Citi Habitats notes that while this is the highest vacancy rate August—typically a month of intense demand—has seen in the last three years, rents have always stayed remained unchanged (at their incredibly high levels) since last month.”

TRANSPORTATION
Port Authority Official Fired After Vulgar Comments Appear on Gawker (WSJ)
Ted Mann reports: “The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey fired an employee from its real estate division — formerly a member of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration – after a post on the website Gawker described him as ‘inebriated’ and using offensive language at a Fashion Week party in Manhattan earlier this week.”

URBAN WILDLIFE
Bryant Park Could Become Sheep-Filled Pasture (DNAInfo)
Mary Johnson reports: “Bryant Park's legendary green lawn could attract more than picnic blankets later this month, as a flock of sheep could be ready to take over the park. Thirty sheep could be brought into the city from an upstate farm Sept. 27 to munch on, and fertilize, Bryant Park's grass as part of a proposed event to promote the Campaign for Wool, under the plan set to be presented to Midtown's Community Board 5 Thursday night. The animals — part of the promotional campaign started in 2010 by the Prince of Wales — will be penned in a 40-foot-by-40-foot, plexiglass-enclosed area and will be allowed to munch on the park’s manicured lawn.”

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