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Morning Headlines | Selected by the WNYC News Hub

Friday, January 04, 2013

Members of the National Guard team up with a sanitation worker to clear debris on Staten Island after Sandy. (Amy Pearl/WNYC)

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

SANDY
SI Residents Furious After Google Captures ‘Street View’ Images of Sandy Damage (NYP)
Dana Sauchelli and Dan Macleod report: “Google’s colorful car, with a panoramic camera mounted on the roof, went up Topping Street, Maple Terrace, Cedar Grove Court and Waterside Street before departing along New Dorp Lane. It passed at least three homes totaled by the storm and dozens of others that saw several feet of floodwaters. It also took a tour of damaged areas in the Rockaways. … Google execs insisted yesterday that they just wanted to update their current maps to be more accurate, and to show Hurricane Sandy’s swath of damage.”

POLITICS
White House Tenure Tricky For Carrión (WSJ)
Michael Howard Saul and Laura Meckler report: “As he prepares to run for New York City mayor, Adolfo Carrión Jr.'s short tenure in the White House represents both a key element of his résumé and a potential political liability. Mr. Carrión, who has left the Democratic Party and is seeking the Republican and Independence lines for mayor, has already begun to face questions from GOP officials about why he left a post as director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs in May 2010 after just 14 months. He moved to a midlevel position in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, from which he stepped down in early 2012.”

SANDY
Houses of Worship Seeking FEMA Grants Face Constitutional Barrier (NYT)
Sharon Otterman reports: “ A broad range of private nonprofit organizations qualify for federal disaster assistance grants, including zoos, museums, performing arts centers and libraries. Houses of worship, however, are not on the list, even though in recent years the federal government has ruled that some religiously affiliated institutions like schools and hospitals can get grants. An effort is under way to change that, led by several Jewish organizations, including the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and the American Jewish Committee.”

POLICY
Greg Ball, Steve Katz want Gun-Privacy Law (LoHud)
John Ferro reports: “Two state legislators are vowing to press for a law that would make information contained in a pistol permit application confidential and not subject to the state’s open-record laws. State Sen. Greg Ball, Republican of Patterson, and Assemblyman Steve Katz, R-Yorktown, detailed their intention at a news conference Thursday at the Putnam County Courthouse. The news conference was the latest response to the intense controversy that has followed the Dec. 23 publication by The Journal News of the names and addresses of pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties.”

MEDIA
Gore Went to Bar for Al Jazeera, and Himself (NYT)
Brian Stelter reports: “When he co-founded [CurrentTV] in 2005, Mr. Gore managed to get the channel piped into tens of millions of households — a huge number for an untested network — through a combination of personal lobbying and arm-twisting of industry giants. He called on those skills again after deciding in December to sell Current TV to Al Jazeera for $500 million. To preserve the deal — and the estimated $100 million he would personally receive — he went to some of those same distributors, who were looking for an excuse to drop the low-rated channel, and reminded them that their contracts with Current TV called it a news channel.”

SANDY
$400 Million Raised by Charities Working on Sandy Relief in New York (Reuters)
Jonathan Allen reports: “Charities working on Superstorm Sandy relief in New York have raised at least $400 million, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Thursday. Starting in November, Schneiderman contacted 90 charities that helped after the late October devastation, asking them to complete a survey detailing the amount they raised and how it was being spent. As of Thursday, 88 had obliged and their responses were posted on a website run by the attorney general, www.CharitiesNYS.com. Schneiderman said the charities' information had not been checked for accuracy.”

SANDY
N.J. Senate Committee Passes Bill Allowing Union Workers on Some Sandy Projects (Star-Ledger)
MaryAnn Spoto reports: “The measure, S2425, was billed by supporters as a way to make the bidding process for construction jobs – particularly in rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy – more competitive and fairer toward New Jersey trades workers, many of whom are union members who have been out of work for more than two years because of the recession. But opponents, citing four studies, say the agreements actually increase the cost of jobs and make them more lengthy.”

SANDY
Most Eligible Newark Teachers Take a Pass on New Bonus Program (NJ Spotlight)
John Mooney reports: “New teachers and those with only bachelor's degrees are automatically enrolled in the program -- defined in a new salary guide -- which pays up to $12,500 in yearly bonuses. Under the groundbreaking Newark contract, however, teachers with advanced degrees -- about half of the city’s teaching force -- can choose to stay with the traditional salary guide, which rewards teachers according to experience and academic degree. With the last of the selections completed at the start of the new year, district officials said this week that roughly 80 percent of those who could stayed with the traditional guide.”

POLITICS
Budget Cuts Loom As Shortfall Tops $700 Million (NJ Spotlight)
Mark J. Magyar reports: “David Rosen, budget officer for the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services, told [Senate Budget Committee Chairman Paul] Sarlo’s committee yesterday that it would be “optimistic” to expect the current $705 million gap not to grow over the next six months. ‘Every month that revenues fail to grow by the 8 percent that Treasury projected adds to the deficit,’ Rosen noted, and no state in the nation is experiencing consistent 8 percent growth.”

POLITICS
NYers 2nd in Political Gift$ (NYP)
Gerry Shields reports: “New Yorkers gave nearly $378 million to candidates, parties and political-action committees in the 2012 election, the most of any state except California, a new report found.
Most of that campaign cash came from Manhattan and Brooklyn, but residents of hurricane-ravaged Staten Island also chipped in $1.4 million for political campaigns last year, according to campaign-finance figures compiled by CQ Moneyline.”

POLITICS
Liu Not on Witness List for Straw-Donor Trial (Crain’s)
Chris Bragg reports: “The government’s initial witness list for the trial of city Comptroller John Liu’s campaign treasurer and a top campaign fundraiser does not include Mr. Liu himself, court documents that became available in late December show.”

POLITICS
Feds Launch Probe into Former NYS Senate Majority Leader John Sampson (NYP)
Three NYP reporters write: “The feds have launched a criminal probe of former state Senate Democratic Majority Leader John Sampson of Brooklyn, The Post has learned. The inquiry focusing on Sampson’s campaign fund-raising stems from a broader federal probe into Queens Democratic Congressman Gregory Meeks, sources said. Shady real-estate broker Edul Ahmad is the common link that drew the feds from Meeks to Sampson, said sources familiar with the investigation.”

NYPD
Cop's Twitter Feed That Posted 'Release Alerts' About Ex-Cons Goes Dark (DNAinfo)
Alan Neuhauser reports: “The controversial Twitter feed that a Brooklyn precinct commander used to warn residents about local felons who were released from prison has gone dark. Sources said the NYPD ordered an end to all new posts on the Twitter account @76PrecinctNYPD, which formerly posted periodic "Release Alerts" and "Recidivist Alerts,” sharing names and photos of formerly incarcerated individuals from the neighborhood who were no longer behind bars.”

POLITICS
Christie Exceeds Campaign Goal of $2 Million (The Record)
Melissa Hayes reports: “Just over a month after Governor Christie confirmed he will seek a second term, his campaign has raised more than $2 million. The Republican's campaign issued a statement Thursday saying it exceeded its goal, bringing in $2.1 million by Dec. 31.”

CRIME
Want to Know What the City’s Finest Know? Now, There’s An App for That (NYDN)
Rocco Parascandola reports: “The Police Department has quietly unveiled a free download that allows iPhone users to not only get all the NYPD’s online offerings in one handy place, but also to finally access the same alerts and updates released to the media. It’s under the ‘Breaking News’ section — and will include gory details on crimes and updates as they happen.”

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