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No Good News

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• It pales in comparison to Virginia, but it shouldn't: A disturbed Queens man killed his mother and two others before killing himself. The mother is said to have called the police seven times seeking protection, the last time minutes before her death. [NYDN] • The Virginia Tech gunman addressed his manifesto to "30 Rockefeller Avenue, NY, NY 10102" — and it still made it to NBC: the one package that would probably be better off lost. [NYT] • Oh, great, look who's coming to Manhattan: JCPenney. The company will open a 150,000-square-foot store in the midtown. A Lower East Side branch is surely to follow by, oh, 2012. [CNN Money] • The Times produces a think piece on the New Jersey Governors Who Speed, interviewing a Christie Whitman staffer and Thomas Kean. The consensus is that speeding is "just part of the culture." [NYT] • And the final bummer on a wretched morning: The Gowanus whale is dead. Surprisingly, not from poisoning; the poor thing struck a "rocky ridge." We suspect suicide. [NYP]

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A Whale Floats in Brooklyn* A Squib On a Whale**

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As it turns out, "there's a whale in the Gowanus Canal" sounds much more exciting than it looks. * We were trying to go with a Squid and the Whale reference, but nothing worked. Feel free to e-mail better suggestions. ** And the winner is the inimitable Adam Sternbergh, who, whether highbrow or low, is always brilliant.

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Mother of Mercy, Is This the End of San Gennaro?

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• Now that's not very Italian! A subcommittee of Little Italy's community board voted against approving the annual San Gennaro feast, calling it a noisy nuisance. (The CB's votes are merely recommendations to the city, though.) Zeppoles will fly! [NYDN] • Every night can be a night at the museum if you're the lucky (and rich) person who paid $276,000 for a dinosaur skull, or $4,500 for a mummy's hand, at yesterday's I.M. Chait Gallery natural-history auction. [NYT] • Hillary sets a new early fund-raising record, trotting out five-star attraction Bill and netting an Obama-and-Edwards-are-gagging-worthy $10 mil over four events in one week. [NYDN] • Not just the real thing, but kosher, too. The just-for-Passover version of Coca-Cola — made with real sugar, not corn syrup, because corn's among the Passover no-nos — is again available in area supermarkets. [NYP] • State Senator Jeff Klein wants to rat out (ha!) dirty restaurants by giving eateries an A-through-F health grade they must post at their doors. Can penitent taco chains earn an "E" for effort? [amNY]

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January Continues Bustin' Out All Over

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The city's odd new June-in-January weather system — high of 61 today! high of 67 tomorrow! — isn't confusing only to Brooklyn's cherry trees; a walk near the office this morning revealed hard-bitten midtown flora is equally flummoxed. Grass growing in Rockefeller Center tree planters in the dead of winter? Madness! [Snap a Photo Op–worthy shot? Send it to us at intel@nymag.com.] Earlier: January Is Bustin' Out All Over

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