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Morning Headlines | Selected by the WNYC News Hub

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Far Rockaway after Hurricane Sandy. Far Rockaway after Hurricane Sandy. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

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

SANDY                                                 
Storm Victims, in Cleanup, Face Rise in Injuries and Illness (NYT)
Anemona Hartocollis and Julie Turkewitz report: “It is impossible to say how many people have been sickened by what Hurricane Sandy left behind: mold from damp drywall; spills from oil tanks; sewage from floodwater and unflushable toilets; tons upon tons of debris and dust. But interviews with hurricane victims, recovery workers, health officials and medical experts over the last week reveal that some of the illnesses that they feared would occur, based on the toxic substances unleashed by the storm and the experience of other disasters, notably Hurricane Katrina, have begun to manifest themselves.”       

POLITICS                                                          
Caught Mapping? Not me: Gropez (NYP)
Sally Goldenberg and Reuven Fenton report: “Embattled Assemblyman Vito Lopez claims he knew nothing about a sneaky plan to change his district boundary that would boost his chances of winning a City Council seat next year. Lopez, under fire for groping at least four female staffers, denied involvement in the last-minute change to the proposed redistricting map in which his block of Stanhope Street in Brooklyn was moved from the 37th District into the neighboring 34th, where his power base lies.”          

SANDY                                                 
Most Hurricane Sandy Looting Cases Tossed Out (NYDN)
Oren Yaniv reports: “At least half the post-Sandy looting busts have been tossed out, despite much grandstanding on the part of Brooklyn and Queens DAs, the Daily News has learned. One of the most publicized looting incidents — in which 16 people were rounded up for raiding a Coney Island Key Foods the day after the storm — resulted in just two indictments for third-degree burglary, records show. Six other cases were dismissed by a Brooklyn grand jury late last week, and eight were knocked down to trespass raps, which are violations, not crimes.”    

POLITICS                                             
After Obama, Christie Wants a G.O.P. Hug (NYT)
Michael Barbaro reports: “A few days after Hurricane Sandy shattered the shores of New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie picked up the phone to take on a different kind of recovery work: taming the Republican Party fury over his effusive embrace of President Obama. On Nov. 3, Mr. Christie called Rupert Murdoch, the influential News Corporation chief and would-be kingmaker, who had warned in a biting post on Twitter that the governor might be responsible for Mr. Obama’s re-election.”          

POLITICS
Poll: N.J. Residents Highly Approve of State’s Sandy Response (Star-Ledger)
Matt Friedman reports: “A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll of 241 registered voters found 77 percent of respondents thought the state did either an excellent or good job responding to the storm. ... A Rutgers-Eagleton poll found that 66 percent of the state’s residents were affected by the superstorm. And while the vast majority did not need the services of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 68 percent said the agency handled things either somewhat or very well.”

SANDY
Christie Seeking Aid Cools Feud With Menendez, Lautenberg (Bloomberg)
Terrence Dopp reports: “In an instant, Sandy also reshaped New Jersey politics. It prompted Christie to seek help from Menendez and Democratic U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, whom he once called an ‘embarrassment to the state’ during a two-year feud. And it led him to praise President Barack Obama repeatedly on national television, angering some Republicans who called it a betrayal.”

POLITICS                                             
Mike: Chaos ‘Perfect’ (NYP)
Three Post reporters write: “Mayor Bloomberg yesterday insisted that the city’s 911 system “functioned perfectly” during Hurricane Sandy — despite evidence of unanswered calls, clueless operators and deaths of people who couldn’t get help in time.”      

HOUSING                                            
A Much Criticized Pocket of the Rockaways, Built to Survive a Storm (NYT)
Corey Kilgannon reports: “Arverne by the Sea has been controversial dating well before 2004 when people started moving in, including a longstanding criticism that the houses were of poor quality. It was the mantra of many dyed-in-the-wool Rockaway-ites that these pretty, modern homes were really flimsy matchboxes that would blow over in the first big storm. But the development, which is eventually expected to include 2,300 two-family houses and condominiums, also weathered Tropical Storm Irene last year.”   

HOUSING                                            
Preservationists Fret Over Midtown Rezoning (WSJ)
Lana Bortolot reports: “As owners and developers of office towers wait to see how New York City's proposed rezoning for the Grand Central Terminal area will play out, preservationists are sounding the alarm for buildings they fear may meet a wrecking ball. If approved next year, the new zoning could permit the construction of taller towers to replace buildings in Midtown East that the city planning office says are outdated and unable to meet demands of top tenants. Of the some 400 buildings in the proposed redrawn area, more than 300 are at least 50 years old, according to the planning office.”   

POINT                          
Muslim Hate Crime Victim Stabbed Six Times Says he Harbors No Ill Will Against Attacker (NYDN)
Vera Chinese reports: “The devout Muslim stabbed outside a Queens mosque Sunday bears no ill will towards the hatemonger who attacked him. ‘If somebody's crazy, what message could you send him?’ said Bashir Ahmad, 57, who was recovering in his Flushing apartment. Instead of matching hate with hate, Ahmad relied on his faith. ‘I love my religion,’ he said. ‘It is my heart.’”  

COUNTERPOINT
Mosque Attack Victim Warns of Eye for an Eye (NYP)
Meanwhile, Lorena Mongelli reports: “A devout Muslim man who was stabbed as he tried to open the door to a Queens mosque on Sunday says his hate-spewing attacker had better watch his back. ‘If I see him again, I will kill him from 20 feet away,’ 57-year-old Bashir Ahmad told The Post yesterday. ‘I will hurt him.’”   

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