Morning Headlines | Selected by the WNYC News Hub

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

Terrorism Law Is a Niche for a Deepening Pool of Defenders in New York (NYT)
Benjamin Weiser reports: “In New York, rounding up “the usual suspects” in terrorism cases nowadays may well refer to the defense lawyers. As Islamic terrorists from around the world are brought to Federal District Court in Manhattan or Brooklyn to face prosecution, an extraordinary outgrowth has been a deepening pool of lawyers qualified to represent them. It is a peculiar niche of defense work, requiring skills not always taught in law school.”

Mayoral Race With a Rarity: No Top Hopeful Who Is Jewish (NYT)
Sam Roberts reports: “Where are the Jews?  As mayoral election season starts to heat up in a city that has started memorable Jewish political careers like Edward I. Koch’s and Bella S. Abzug’s, one thing seems to be missing: a major Jewish candidate. In the world of politics, the idea of a New York City mayoral race without a serious Jewish entrant is hard to fathom. It would be ‘like the Upper West Side without Zabar’s,’ said Robert Shrum, a longtime Democratic political strategist, or “‘rye bread without seeds,’ said Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic political consultant.”

New Jersey E-Mail Voting a Casualty in Sandy’s Wake (Politico)
Steve Friess reports: “Storm-battered New Jersey’s first-in-the-nation decision to accept ballots by email is shaping up to be a model for how not to conduct Internet-based voting. The problems that arose — confusing rules, a laborious verification process and an ongoing tabulation headache — could invalidate many of the more than 10,000 ballots from people who believe they voted electronically.”

Medical Marijuana Proponents in New York Renew Push for Legalization (NYDN)
Glenn Blain reports: “Medical marijuana could blunt the pain of New York’s budget crunch. Proponents of pot as a medicine have renewed their push for legalization, arguing that licensing fees and taxes could generate hundreds of millions of dollars a year in new revenues for the cash-strapped state... The high-minded talk comes as the state is reeling from Hurricane Sandy bills — and as the pot industry has hired one of the most powerful lobbying firms in Albany to define the issue as a budding financial opportunity.”

Silver to Testify in Ongoing Probe into Lopez Sex Harassment Scandal (NYDN)
Kenneth Lovett reports: “Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver testified recently before state ethics commission investigators about his role in the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal, the Daily News has learned. Silver was subpoenaed to discuss how he signed off on a $103,000 taxpayer-funded settlement with two former Lopez staffers who accused the Brooklyn Assemblyman of sexual harassment, a source close to the Speaker said. A Silver spokesman refused to say whether the powerful Manhattan Democrat testified, saying only: ‘We’re cooperating fully.’”

Opponents of Atlantic Yards Are Exhausted by a Long, Losing Battle (NYT)
N. R. Kleinfield reports: “From its initial stirrings in 2003, the huge Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn evolved into something of a reluctant career for a panoply of passionate opponents, not all of them aligned and with uniform priorities, but who saw democracy being trampled in the interest of a developer whose methodology they found offensive. It has been a clenched battle in which eminent domain was used to gobble up homes and transform a neighborhood. It has gone on and on and on.”

Coney Island Lighthouse Mission Unmoored (Crain’s)
Theresa Agovino reports: “Over the course of six days after Superstorm Sandy, scores of volunteers at Brooklyn's Coney Island Lighthouse Mission tossed contaminated food, ripped moldy plywood from the walls, and hauled out rusted appliances. With the demolition nearly complete, the mission faces a more vexing problem: where to find the roughly $100,000 needed to rebuild the decimated food pantry and soup kitchen that serves 4,000 people a month. The mission, which has an annual budget of $293,000, has no reserve fund or wealthy board members to prop it up, and insurance will cover only a fraction of the expenses.”

New York to Pay Medicaid Patients to Get Healthy (LoHud)
Jessica Bakeman reports: “A federally funded program will see whether paying people in New York to go to the doctor and take medication will ultimately save money and promote healthy living. About 16,700 study participants statewide who are smokers, pre-diabetic, diabetic or have high blood pressure will receive debit-card payments of up to $250 each to work toward getting healthier. The program was initially set to target smokers in western New York and treat the other three conditions in New York City, but the state Department of Health said this week that it would open the program up to include Medicaid recipients anywhere in the state. Department officials did not explain why.”

Harassment, Racism and Wild Behavior Rampant at NY Athletic Club: Employees (NYP)
Dareh Gregorian reports: “The staid New York Athletic Club is a real animal house behind the scenes, employees say. Transcripts of depositions of one current and one former employee paint the tony 144-year-old club — the site of a notorious large-scale brawl between members earlier this year — as a hotbed of sexual harassment, racist remarks and wild behavior in recent years. In the transcripts, which were obtained by The Post, the men say members and managers would often make racial cracks, including using the N-word, and no action would be taken by the club.”

Corporate Cafeteria Workers Fight for Sick Days Lost During Sandy (DNAInfo)
Joe Parziale reports: “Over 4,000 corporate cafeteria workers are fighting to win back paid sick days their employers docked when they couldn't work because of Hurricane Sandy. Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio rallied with food service union Unite Here Local 100 in the Financial District Saturday, charging that employers stripped workers of sick days and vacation time even in cases where Sandy left workers' buildings closed or inaccessible because of stunted transportation.”

From Man Who Insulted Muhammad, No Regret (NYT)
Serge F. Kovaleski and Brooks Barnes report: “Until now, only the barest details were known about the making of the film that inspired international outrage. Initial reports made it seem as if the film had been thrown together in about a year. But a longer, more intricate and somewhat surreal story emerges from interviews with Mr. Nakoula, church and law enforcement officials and more than a dozen people who worked on the movie — those who knew its real subject and those who were tricked into believing it was to be a sword-and-sandal epic called ‘Desert Warriors.’ Together, they paint a picture of a financially desperate man with a penchant for fiction who was looking to give meaning and means to a life in shambles.”

How An Orphan Became the Matriarch of One of New York’s Most Powerful Political Families (Slate)
Paul Lukas continues his “Permanent Record” series on the report cards from the Manhattan Trade School for Girls with this story of Leah Palmigiano Vallone, the mother of former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone and grandmother of Peter Vallone Jr.: “while there are other students in my Manhattan Trade School report-card collection who went on to have brushes with fame ..., I'm not aware of any students whose children achieved a public profile to rival Peter Vallone's. When you add up the political careers of Charles, Peter, and Peter Jr., Leah shapes up as the de facto matriarch of what has become a New York political dynasty—an impressive achievement for an orphaned daughter of Italian immigrants and a classic example of the American dream made good.”

Crane Damaged By Sandy Brings Answers for Son of Man Killed 30 Years Ago (DNAInfo)
Murray Weiss reports: “The image of a crippled crane hanging from the top of a Manhattan skyscraper on West 57th Street during Hurricane Sandy brought a wave of emotion to Simcha Levenberg. Thirty years ago, Simcha’s father, Warren Levenberg, was struck and killed by falling debris on East 54th Street and Madison Avenue when a crane collapsed on the roof of a skyscraper. Warren Levenberg, an accountant with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, was just 32 years old when he was killed July 21, 1982. He left behind two young children. Seeing the crane on TV last month inspired Simcha Levenberg, 34, to find out more about the father he hardly knew.”