Tuesday, February 5, 2013

True News Update 24/7


Political Corruption 
Has the NYC Media Given Up On Ending Albany Corruption?
The Times-Union demands that state lawmakers enact common-sense safeguards for legislators’ expenses, after reports that Assemblyman William Boyland put in for more than $67,000 in improper expense reimbursements: 
Pol ‘pad’ to the bone(NYP) Embattled state Assemblyman William Boyland Jr., already the target of a federal corruption prosecution, allegedly falsified documents to reel in more than $67,000 in phony travel reimbursements, according to a bombshell report

A couple days ago, the New York Post fingered Queens Assemblywoman Vivian Cook as complicit in State Senator Shirley Huntley‘s admitted scheme to embezzle state funds. For her part, Ms. Cook now says the suggestion was “a bunch of crap” and “nonsense.” She further added, “Stealing money from taxpayers or from anyone else is not something I would ever do … It doesn’t make any sense.”

Liu's Vinny the Chin Pan

john liu fbJohn Liu’s Campaign Trial Postponed After Controversial Donor ‘Involuntarily Committed’(NYO) * Fraud Trial Delayed After Former Liu Fundraiser Is Involuntarily Committed(NY1)


King of the hill, top of the heap: Koch’s swan song is ‘New York, New York’(NYP) * A shame Ed had to miss this farewell blowout!(NYP) * In Words and Unmistakable Song, Koch’s Bond With City Is Celebrated(NYT) * 'Quintessential Mayor' Mourned at Funeral(WSJ) * City Bids Final Farewell To Former Mayor Koch(NY1)* Former Mayor Koch Buried In His Beloved Borough Of Manhattan(NY1) * City Pols Make Push To Rename Upper East Side Intersection After Koch(NY1) * Uncle Eddie, the Koch most of us never knew(NYDN) * Advance legal columnist: Koch reformed the city's judicial(SI Advance) * Koch Family Sits Shiva At Gracie Mansion(NY1) * Both The New York Times and The Jewish Daily Forward have looked at former Mayor Ed Koch‘s relationship with Judaism in recent days. “He has his own rules on religion,” George Arzt, Mr. Koch’s longtime friend and former spokesman, explained. “He’s Jewish, but he attended Mass. He believes that God hears prayers if they are in Greek, Latin or Hebrew. …. His Jewishness is mixed with a deep, abiding respect for Catholicism.”* Great profile on Koch's Jewishness via * A look back at the Jewish life of Mayor “Yidl Izhik” (AKA Ed Koch). 

Why Not 2013 Koch Albany Reform Law? 
Koch Life Was About Helping People  Not About Naming A Train Station
He George Arzt and All You Very Powerful Friends of Ed Koch Why Use Your Power Make Albany A Reform Bill That Will End Gerrymandering for Real and Institute on the State Level Public Funding Campaigns and Name it the Koch Reforms.  Bloomberg, Clinton, Dinkins, Giuliani Cout Do It!
The News’ Bill Hammond examines former Mayor Ed Koch’s legacy in cleaning up Albany, including his efforts to abolish gerrymandering in the redistricting process:


Stop and Frisk Numbers
NYPD releases stop-frisk data (NYP) The NYPD last night released a report on its controversial stop-and-frisk procedure that breaks down by precinct — and by race — those who’ve been targeted. The figures, all from 2011, show the precinct with the most stops by sheer numbers was Brooklyn’s 75th, which includes East New York and Cypress Hills. More than 31,000 people were stopped, 97 percent of them either black or Hispanic. Brooklyn’s 73rd Precinct, covering Brownsville, was the next highest, with 25,167 stops. About 98 percent involved minorities.After getting them, the civil-rights group said they show a pattern of racial profiling — a charge that the NYPD denies.The New York Police Department released a report that breaks down the number of people targeted by stop-and-frisk policing by precinct, with Brooklyn’s 75th stopping 31,000 people, 97 percent of whom were black or Hispanic*
No frisk profiling: NYPD report(NYDN)*  Stop-and-frisk figures released by the NYPD for 2011 show that nearly 90 percent of those who were stopped for “reasonable suspicion” were black or Hispanic. Together, the two groups make up less than 53 percent of the city’s population.

Serpico Fights Police Corruption Again
 Serpico to assist whistleblower suing NYPD for $50M(NYDN) EXCLUSIVE: Two whistleblowers are better than one. Frank Serpico has joined the legal team of Officer Adrian Schoolcraft, a cop suing the NYPD for $50 million EXCLUSIVE: Officer Adrian Schoolcraft is suing the NYPD after police allegedly dragged him off to a mental hospital after he accused them of fudging crime stats. Serpico, 76, was credited with exposing corruption inside the NYPD in the 1970s.

Sandy Cuomo Buy Plan

In his State of the State speech this year, the governor put it this way: “There are some parcels that Mother Nature owns.”
Cuomo parts the waters (NYP) The gist of his plan to spend up to $400 million to buy homes in dangerous flood zones likely to be inundated again — and then raze them and leave the property vacant. The money would come from the $51 billion federal-aid. The Post praises Cuomo’s plan to buy and raze homes located in flood zones, calling it one of the few instances where using taxpayer dollars will save money long-termpackage for Sandy relief.* Upstate residents who were affected by tropical storms Lee and Irene will also be included in the state’s plan to buy out homeowners living in flood plains, with the money for the buyback plan coming from Community Development Block Grants, the Times-Union reports: * State Plan To Buy Homes At Risk Of Future Storm Damage Awaits Federal Approval(NY1) * Homeowners Must Recertify With FEMA To Continue To Receive Assistance(NY1) * Delayed insurance checks for Sandy victims could slow(NYDN) * Not-for-profits use grant to begin aid program on Staten …(SI Advance)

Staten Islanders call on Cuomo to buy out Sandy-wrecked homes(NYP) * Staten Island's Midland Pharmacy poised to reopen: Devastated by Sandy, owners are renting space in inter...

How to pay a $4.5 billion bill(New York World)

What do a the New York Aquarium, Bellevue Hospital and a wiretapping room for the Manhattan DA all have in common? Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be asking the federal government to pay to rebuild their facilities, and many more, in the wake of superstorm Sandy. Last week, Congress passed a $51 billion–dollar Hurricane Sandy relief bill and the city’s budget office wasted no time in detailing how New York City aims to recoup from the federal government its $4.5 billion in Sandy-related spending. We show where the money will flow.
When Will the Statue Open

[image]Statue Is Alone Until Island Repaired (WSJ) Three months after superstorm Sandy, the Statue of Liberty is still closed for business—and federal officials say they have no idea when visitors can return to the landmark.

NYS Court of Appeals
The Senate has delayed the confirmation vote on Gov. Cuomo’s state Court of Appeals nominee Jenny Rivera in order to go over more material, and are concerned at Rivera’s lack of day-to-day courtroom experience, the Times-Union reports: * Bonacic Decries ‘Social Engineering’ In Judicial Picks(YNN)
During his State of the Judiciary address today, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman will unveil a new initiative for how the state courts handle bail.* “(Jenny) Rivera’s nomination process may well mirror the confirmation of her mentor (Sonia) Sotomayor, who faced all sorts of opposition and ultimately made it to the bench with the support of all the Democrats and a handful of Republicans.”

NYS Government

Skelos: 18a Surcharge Extension A ‘Tax Increase’(YNN)

There will be a pro-minimum wage increase protest outside tomorrow’s Crain’s forum featuring Senate co-leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein.

Cuomo will deliver his budget address at City College of New York in Harlem tomorrow morning.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli still hasn’t made up his mind about Cuomo’s pension smoothing proposal.

Skelos On Gun Control: ‘Perhaps We Did Act In Haste’

Biz Groups Mail Cuomo On Utility Tax Extension(YNN)

Board of Election Commissioner Crisis Week 2

Media Continues the Blackout
True News Told You On July 16th that the City Council Controls the Appointment of  BOE Commissioner. City Council Eric Ulrich checked on the rules and found the council and BOE were not following the state law on the appointments of commissioners.  Now Quinn, the Board and City Council are in a panic on what to do.  The media as always is protecting the BOE and Quinn.So far this year they allowed votes that were not complete for certified to be cast in the electoral college voting process. The media also ignored the fact that Manhattan elected officials were serving in office before their votes were certified.  Brewer Who Threw Her Council Investigation of the BOE Mishandling of Last Years General Elections is Also Silent of the BOE City Council New Commissioner Scandal.

Health Care

Feds Might Ask for $15 Billion Dollars of Medicaid Back
NY Medicaid exec pay is sickening (NYP) Executives at Medicaid- funded not-for-profits in New York are hauling in massive salaries, with one raking in $2.8 million and 14 others topping a half-million, an explosive congressional report has found. The report, titled Billions of Federal Tax Dollars Wasted Annually by New York’s Medicaid Program, called for a sweeping independent audit of the state’s bloated $54 billion in Medicaid spending, the nation’s highest.

Hate At Brooklyn College 

Amid Criticism, College Says Event on Israel Can Proceed(NYT) Brooklyn College’s president said two speakers from a group advocating Israel’s withdrawal from disputed territories where Palestinians live would still be allowed to appear.  "We do, however, strongly defend the decision by the college’s president, Karen Gould, to proceed with the event, despite withering criticism by opponents and threats by at least 10 City Council members to cut financing for the college. Such intimidation chills debate and makes a mockery of the ideals of academic freedom. " NY Times * Councilman Lew Fidler said he would not support giving Brooklyn College extra money if the school co-sponsors a lecture from speakers who advocate boycotting and divesting from Israel. [Jenny Anderson] * An editorial page that strongly disagrees with the school's decision to co-sponsor the event also disagrees with having politicians cut its funding. [Daily News]*
Thank you 4 removing ur name from Lew Fidler's letter. Your integrity is far greater than this letter attacking academic freedom. * Brooklyn College peace talks over controversial anti- Israel forum called off  (NYDN) Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) forum is Thursday

I have withdrawn my name frm City Council ltr on funding 4 BK College. I maintain my criticism of BDS & impression of BK College endorsement

I am appealing to Brooklyn College donors to remove the official endorsement of the hateful BDS event

NYC Government

One On 1 Profile: NYCHA Chairman John Rhea Faced Tough Challenges(NY1)
HUD To Give $1.8B To City Residents, Businesses Rebuilding After Sandy

Soda Ban

Critics seek to delay enforcement of city soda ban(NYP)


New Penn Station and A College

New Idea for Penn Station Entails Relocating a College(NYT) In a proposal to transform the post office on Eighth Avenue in Manhattan into an entryway to Penn Station, real estate developer Related Companies suggested moving the Borough of Manhattan Community College to the back of the post

Tech-Savvy Baruch College Students Seek an Edge in Registration(NYT)

The Times’ Michael Powell writes that Bloomberg’s claims that the teachers union sabotaged a deal on teachers evaluation runs contrary to accounts given by union and state officials:

New York City’s school bus strike has divided the bus drivers’ unions, with the smaller unions slowly crossing the picket line to go back to work while the larger Amalgamated Transit Union 1181 and its drivers continue to strike, The Wall Street Journal writes:

Teacher’s X rap: Brooklyn sub tried to hide 'affair' with Her Student(NYP) A married Brooklyn substitute teacher tried to keep an alleged fling with a teenage student secret by using a phone app to disguise her number, school probers claim. 

At a budget hearing for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, lawmakers took the opportunity to grill Commissioner Joe Martens over the issue of hydraulic fracturing drilling for natural gas, the Times-Union writes: * Liu Pressures Exxon On Fracking Data(YNN) DiNapoli Praises Cabot On Fracking Disclosure(YNN) * Al Gore thinks his “good friend” Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a “tough decision” to make on fracking, which the former VP believes “poses a lot of risk to the water supply.”* The Cuomo administration hired a university geologist and consultant for gas driller to study links between hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes, which drew criticism from a government watchdog group.


CB ok's supermarket because it survived storm(Queens Crap)

From The Brooklyn Paper:Due to zoning laws, the Cherry Hill Gourmet Market has been running a popular but illegal grocery operation out of the historic Lundy’s building since it started up in 2009. The community initially didn’t appreciate hosting a business that willfully violates city zoning laws, but many neighbors had a change of heart after seeing how the business has persevered throughout the hardships unleashed by Sandy. “I think there is one word to clarify what happened,” said Community Board 15 chairwoman Theresa Scavo. “It’s ‘Sandy.’ ”

Mosque Near WTC

Donor, Citing Fraud, Sues Imam Tied to Mosque Near Ground Zero(NYT)

Mets Can't Play the Game Anymore

If the Mets build a casino, would it be the first one where the house always loses?

If You Fail At Fielding A Successful  Baseball Team Gamble the Future
Mets eye casino at Citi to help offset losses suffered in Bernie Madoff scandal(NYP)The New York Mets are exploring opening a Vegas-style casino next to Citi Field, with the Southampton-based Shinnecock Indian Nation already signed on to operate it and the team owners offering the city $100 million for the 62-acre site. The Mets’ owners want to roll the dice on building a Las Vegas-style casino next to Citi Field to recoup some of the $162 million for which team brass are still on the hook following the Bernie Madoff Ponzi-scheme debacle, plans obtained by The Post reveal.
City Says No to Mets Gambling*  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver recently suggested Willets Point as a location for a new casino. That wasn’t the first time someone proposed this idea.

  city says NO NO NO on a METS casino at willets point. that's 2 hours wasted chasing a story

Niagara Falls officials welcomed Cuomo’s plan for a non-Indian casino in their community, but said it should be a large, “destination-style” gambling facility like those in Vegas.

Machine Washing
High Rise of the Machines: Robots Wash Windows(WSJ)New York's legion of window washers have long fascinated city dwellers below with their fearlessness. But the future of the profession might belong to those even more impervious to dangerous heights: robots.


Port Deal Pushed by Menendez Could Benefit Former Aide, Not Just a Major Donor(NYT)
Bob Menendez Condemns 'Smears,' Says He Was Too Busy to Keep Track of $60K Flights(NY Mag)
Menendez On Prostitution ‘Smears’: They’re ‘Absolutely False…Bottom(WCBS)

Waiting Times at Ballot Boxes Draw Scrutiny of Democrats(NYT)*

More Jobs, Higher Pay(NYT Ed) To have healthy economic growth, President Obama needs to elevate labor issues in his second term.

A survey conducted by the Gannett Washington bureau and USA Today found that at least four members of New York’s congressional delegation—Reps. Chris Collins, Tom Reed, Richard Hanna, and Chris Gibson—own guns, The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle writes:
On Guns, Unfinished Business - Eugene Robinson, Washington Post
Fifty Years of Failing America's Mentally Ill - E. Fuller Torrey, Wall St Jrnl
Government's Legitimacy Crisis - Glenn Harlan Reynolds, USA Today
The Winter of the Neocons' Discontent - Michael Hirsh, National Journal
Journalism's Jed Clampetts - James Taranto, Wall Street Journal
New Term, New Truthers, Same Obama - Paul Waldman, American Prospect
Fiscal Sanity Starts With Stopping ObamaCare - N. Owcharenko, Heritage
Kasich Gives Away the Game on Health Care - Ed Kilgore, Wash Monthly
Gun Control: Public Opinion & the Firearms Paradox - Carl Cannon, RCP
Prophets and Losses - Thomas Sowell, Investor's Business Daily
Republicans Versus Consumers - Andrew Rosenthal, New York Times
Democrats Eye Unlikely Georgia as Senate Pickup - Scott Conroy, RCP
Ex-Charlie Crist Backers Take On Conservatives - Erick Erickson, RedState
The Origins of Our American Creed - Brian Vanyo, RealClearHistory
John Kerry, Finally Where He Belongs - Dana Milbank, Washington Post
The Philosophy of Data - David Brooks, New York Times
My Break With the Democrats - Michelle Rhee, The Daily Beast

President Obama Needs a Forceful Labor Agenda - New York Times
Obama's Big Spending Ways Will Mean More Tax Hikes - IBD
The GOP's ObamaCare Flippers - Wall Street Journal
Senate Should Confirm Chuck Hagel - San Antonio Express-News
Universal background checks for gun purchases can get passed in Washington. [Dan Friedman]
Former President Clinton says his wife has undergone more medical tests but is “doing much better.”
Boehner silent on pathway to citizenship(Wash Post)
Obama plans spring trip to Israel reports:
Obama to Visit Israel in Spring(NYT)
Obama Offers Deficit Savings to Head Off Automatic Cuts(NYT)
House G.O.P. Looks at Immigration Path Short of Citizenship(NYT)
President Obama is proposing a short-term fix to avoid the sequester, but the Republicans aren’t interested.

Wall Street

U.S. Accuses S.&P. of Fraud in Suit on Loan Bundles(NYT) A suit against Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service is the first the government has brought against the credit ratings agencies related to the financial crisis.* U.S. Sues S&P (WSJ) The Justice Department filed civil charges alleging wrongdoing by Standard & Poor's in its rating of mortgage bonds before the financial crisis erupted in 2008.* Heard: Putting Rating Firms on Negative Watch(WSJ)