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Metro North

  1. the morning line
    No Justice, No Peace, as They Say • Several hundreds of people took over Wall Street to protest the police’s killing of Sean Bell and what they see as the NYPD’s failure to punish the guilty. They were met with almost as many police officers, some undercover; for a march that called for a “war on the NYPD,” the protest went without an incident. [amNY] • The State Liquor Authority is cracking down on all-night New Year’s Eve parties, nixing dozens of bars’ requests to stay open late on December 31. (The permit is usually easily granted.) [NYP] • In a similar crypto-Prohibitionist vein, the proposed alcohol ban on Metro-North and LIRR is about to deny suburban commuters one of their few remaining joys in life. Or is it? Meet Commuters Aligned for Responsible Enjoyment, or CARE, a quickly assembled opposition group. Vive la Resistance! [NYDN] • It’s a bit unexpected after all those mayoral pronouncements about the coming population boom, but NYC’s birth rate is way down, at a 25-year low, in fact. Officials call it a quality-of-life achievement, however, since the most rapidly declining subset is teenage births. [NYS] • And the Times tut-tuts the “phantasmagoric, Disney-esque experience” sweeping the suburbs: giant inflatable lawn figures causing an “intramural disagreement among the Christmas crazed.” [NYT]
  2. in other news
    Take the 8:15 Into the City, or Out of It Score another defeat for John Cheever. The world immortalized in his classic short story “The Five Forty-Eight” — about an emotionally distant adman who lives in the fictional Westchester suburb of Shady Hill — has long gone the way of the three-martini lunch. But now it seems even the very idea of the Westchester commuter could be disappearing, too: For the first time in the 23-year history of Metro-North, less than half its riders are commuters from the suburbs into Manhattan, according to a report in today’s Times — 49.3 percent, to be exact, down from 65.3 percent of riders in 1984.