Sunday, February 20, 2011

True News Sunday Update; Senator Kruger Russian Problem, FBI Makes and Arrest

Russian Mob Rat

Kruger's pay-to-play pal pleading out

A lawyer ensnared in a federal corruption probe into the activities of state Sen. Carl Kruger will plead guilty to charges that he lied to FBI agents about a pay-to-play bribe. Levitis allegedly acted as a go-between in a pay-to-play scheme to help Kruger raise money in exchange for official favors, the feds say, meeting with a FBI informant posing as a businessman. Levitis, who owns the Russian nightspot Rasputin in Gravesend, was caught on a secretly recorded audiotape in April 2009, telling the informant he needed to pay off Jason Koppel, Kruger's longtime chief of staff and campaign treasurer, to get assistance on an upcoming official business inspection.  Carl Kruger's Russian Secrets State senator's big stash attracts the FBI (Robbins, Village Voice)

Sunday Update

The Rich, the Famous, the Armed (NYT)  * New York Times Week In Review Section Being Overhauled (Huff Post) * City Schools Face New Audits Of Test Scores, Grad Rates (NY1) * Mayor Mike slammed by union TV, print ads(DN) * It's nuts for the NYPD not to collect DNA from every suspect it arrests (DN) * Battle to renew New York's rent-regulation laws may be decided next month (DN) *  Specialized H.S. tests don't discriminates, but the schools that fail to prepare minority students (DN Ed) * Fewer movie permits (NYP) * Hero's unwelcome Columbia University students heckled a war hero during a town-hall meeting on whether ROTC should be allowed back on campus. * The rent is too damn high? Nah! (NYP) * Crane-dead East Side neighborhood struggling (NYP) * Even posh stores in the 'gross'-ery business (NYP) * Parks turn 'greener' for exec$ (NYP) * Sampson Dem $$ payouts (NYP) * HS bigs facing cheat checks(NYP) * Cuomo’s reception with the Caucus (TU) * AQE leads over 200 to Executive Mansion door (TU)* LIFO originally passed over La Guardia's opposition (Buffalo News) *  Le Parker Meridien, New York Hotel, Offers Rooms By The Hour

*** Sunday PM Barron leads ‘shame on you’ chant against Cuomo (TU) *  Cuomo Disrupted, Pressured At Caucus Gala (YNN) * A Caucus surprise for Gov. Cuomo courtesty of Charles Barron (DN)* New Jersey TV Station Is Accused of Failing Its Audience (NYT) *  Cuomo Seeks to Curb Aid to Schools Sharing Tasks (NYT)


TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads(Huff Post)

7 Best Moments From Sunday Talk (The Daily Beast)




Food Fight

Nolita boutiques fighting 'greasy' Feast of San Gennaro



An industry full of skeletons scars the five boroughs The collapse of the housing market has cast a shadow across the city in hundreds of unfinished and decaying apartments, condos and houses (DN)

Vegas Fund Raising
Money in Las Vegas Stays in Vegas

In fact, Meeks spent more than $8,000 late last year on hotels and food in Sin City — plus another $17,000 on fund-raising “consultants” — but didn’t report taking in a single penny. Meekly probing Meeks (NYP Ed)

 N.Y. Congressman Gregory Meeks Won $3,500 from Vegas Blackjack Tables (BlackJackChamp)

23% of corrupt ex-Albany pols from Queens: Report


Leader Pay to Play Nitch

The law firm that employs state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos represents businesses that have more than $1.75 billion in contracts with state agencies and public authorities. The disclosure of such clients has become a central struggle in negotiations over a new ethics law, with Cuomo pressing for naming most clients of a lawmaker's firm or business. (Newsday) * Sheldon Silver's relationship with the Weitz & Luxenberg law firm has complicated negotiations around a new state ethics law. And it continues to draw fire from physician and insurance groups who say Silver uses his official position to protect a plaintiff-friendly system of laws from which he personally profits. (Newsday)


 Incumbents Campaign on the Public Tit

In the run-up to last year's elections, state lawmakers spent about $7.8 million in taxpayer money on mailings to constituents, on par with the spending two years prior to the last legislative elections, a review of records by Gannett Albany Bureau's shows. (IJ)

Rival's $$ power over Vito 

Will the Wisconsin Gov. Walker's Fight Spread To NY? How Will Cuomo Protect the Democratic Party When the Budget Debate is Changing All Around Him?


Wisconsin Governor Walker wants to reduce union's pensions and medical benefits . Right now most of the proposed cuts are in education and health care.  16,000 new school seats wiped away Seats that the city had expected to build by 2014 (DN) * At Front of the Layoff Line This is Stany Leblanc's second year as a New York City teacher. It may also be his last.(WSJ) * Teacher cuts simply may be inevitable, mayor says * Medicaid and New York’s Budget Necessary cuts to New York’s Medicaid program must be made in a way that causes the least possible harm to the state’s most vulnerable * Bloomberg Defends Budget Decisions * Budget fix won't stop teacher ax (NYP)* DOE building blocks razed as tech budget $oars (NYP)


 City to Toughen Auditing of School Test Scores (NYT) * For Autistic Children, a School’s Coffee Shop Imparts Skills While Raising Money (NYT) * Cathie Black dismisses budget cut concerns from city principals  Dismissed concerns from principals outraged over the agency's plans to raid their rainy day funds. * Local universities should join the hunt to open a top science school in New York (DN Ed) * Stanford is eyeing NYC (NYP)


$200,000 and Your Fired Teacher

The process to fire a tenured teacher in New York is long and arduous, often taking more than a year and costing more than $200,000. And little can be expected to change, because the State Education Department fund to pay for the hearing officers central to every case is deeply in debt. (T-U) 


The Chancellor earns a dunce cap (NYP Ed)


New York Can't Even Spend Congressional Pork Before We Lose It

Congressional projects have hit dead ends and they're costing New York taxpayers. The idle funds are counted against the state in formulas for federal highway aid. NBC 4 Investigation: NY Sitting On Mountain of Unspent Earmarks

Ponzi Mets Spreads 

Former New York Mets second baseman Tim Teufel was asked to return roughly $1.2 million he made investing with disgraced financier Bernard Madoff. * Madoff Victims File To Stop Settlement (Fox 5)

 Bagel biz is $pread too thin (NYP)

Famed Bagel Chain's Affiliate Now In The Hole (NY1)

H&H backer bankrupt and $5M in debt (NYP)



Finances Could Sink Seaport Museum (NYT)





Immigration Policies Hit Fashion Jobs(WSJ) * Mayor pushes for immigration reform ... for sexy models (DN)




 No Return for the Catskills in the Cards

Feds put the kibosh on Indian casino in Catskills The U.S. Department of the Interior Friday officially rejected the project, putting an end to the latest attempt to bring a full-scale casino to the Borscht Belt resort area. * Plan for Indian Casino in the Catskills Is Rejected (NYT) *  Pines Hotel: is an example of a hotel which was once vibrant with activity and is now desolate. It was once a bustling ski resort complete with an ice skating rink and multiple swimming pools. It was closed ten years ago and has been sitting empty ever since. This video gives you a close-up look at what the hotel has turned into since that time.

What About Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx?

Obama: December Blizzard Made Staten Island A "Disaster Area" (NY1)


Sigmund Cart Debuts Pretzel-Hot Dog Hybrid at the Met




As Mediator in Mets Case, Mario Cuomo Has Practice (NYT)

Law and Order SI woman dies after husband beats her over TV channels (NYP) * A Suspect in a Killing Spree Is Indicted in Four Murders (NYT)* Today's thieves have no honor preferring grandparents over banks * Scar-faced suspect busted for 2 Bronx rapes * Robbery victim, 84, asks: 'Who would do such a thing?' * Woman died after enraged husband beat her for not paying for cable (DN) * Rabbi gets four years in prison for extorting $4M from hedge fund (DN) * Judge rules probationary cop can't have job back(DN) * Graffiti artist faces prison for using acid to create 'etching'(DN) * Newspaper man 'assaulted' woman in luxury high-rise (NYP) * Bronx rape bust (NYP)NYPD Busts Suspect in 2 Bronx Rapes (Fox 5) * Man Steals Cash from Girl Scouts (fox 5) * Court rules that cops do use quotas; woman injured in 2006 arrest settles for $75,000 * A Brooklyn jury declared Friday that city cops are motivated by their arrest numbers when making collars. (DN) * Nassau County Shuts Down Crime Lab (NYT) * Oh, good golly! I'm no gun molly - HS girl (NYP) * Suspect arrested in rapes a decade apart (WABC TV) * (DN)

Manhattan Pimp Hotel  Le Parker Meridien, New York Hotel, Offers Rooms By The Hour

Terrorism  Quiet Bid to Boost Terrorism Funding (WSJ)

House Votes to Cut $60 Billion, Setting Up Budget Clash (NYT) * Wisconsin Leads Way as Workers Fight State Cuts (NYT)






Lawrence O’Donnell Warns Of Complete Government Shutdown Impending

Showdown: Will the gov't shutdown in two weeks? (DN)


Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail? Financial crooks brought down the world's economy — but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them (Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone)

 How a Whistle-Blower Conquered Countrywide (NYT)




Keep the New York Stock Exchange American


Bill Maher Slams Muslim Men’s Treatment Of Women, Gets Heckled By Audience Member (Mediaite) *Qu'osby Show (The Daily Show)

 Media and New Tech The Murdoch in Waiting (NYT) * How the Internet Gets Inside Us (New Yorker) *  Female Foreign Correspondents' Code Of Silence, Finally Broken (Huff Post) * At Newsweek, a Humble and Frugal Tina Brown (NYT)


China tries to stamp out 'Jasmine Revolution'

Internet postings call for protests in 13 cities...
Hundreds gather in Beijing, Shanghai...
Gov't censors postings with word 'jasmine'...


Public Officials Turn Private Beach Club Into Private Filming Location (NY1)


 Chicago's Mayoral Race Enters Homestretch