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New York Is Full of Hot Air

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• According to a new study, New York City is responsible for a full one percent of the nation's greenhouse-gas emissions. A remarkable thing about the study: It was commissioned and publicized by our own mayor, who's basing an emission-cutting program on it. [MetroNY] • Citigroup is laying off 17,000 employees in a major slimming-down operation, and its New York headquarters is expected to be hit hard, alongside the megabank's London and Hong Kong hubs. [NYT] • A female teacher at the Newark Boys Chorus School is the latest inductee into the tabloid pantheon after an alleged dalliance with a student; she is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of child endangerment. [WNBC] • Notoriously cash-poor Columbia University is in the money, as 92-year-old billionaire John Kluge is giving his alma mater $400 million for scholarships to the needy. Somewhat weirdly, the money will be distributed among already accepted students. [NYP] • And in a cross-platform twist on an old story, a CBS News producer was fired for plagiarizing, "almost verbatim," a Wall Street Journal article — which Katie Couric proceeded to read in her video blog. Those bloggers: No scruples, we're telling you. [amNY]

Bye, I

• MSNBC and CBS are taking Don Imus off the air for two weeks, prompting the Post headline "Don Ho" (you have to think about that one for a minute). Seems calling Al Sharpton "you people" didn't help things. [NYP] •It has begun: Downtown's Community Board 1 is absolutely outraged by JPMorgan Chase's plans to build a skyscraper cantilevering over a nearby park. Joining the pile-on are the unions miffed by Chase's demand for fat relocation incentives. [MetroNY] • Ex–New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey is suing his estranged wife Dina Matos, ostensibly not to stop her from promoting a tell-all but to make her stop dragging their 5-year-old daughter to the readings. He also accuses Matos of, yup, homophobia. [NYP] • East Hamptonites are divided in the wake of an over-the-top immigration raid. Armed agents in bulletproof vests pushed through the doors, SWAT style, in search for the homeowner's estranged husband. [NYT] • And will a Brooklyn Law student be booted after appearing in a Playboy TV video nude and playing with judge's gavels? Probably not, but come bar-exam time, the Committee on Character and Fitness will have some research to do. [NYDN]

Starrett-Crossed

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• Clipper Equity's ingenious PR notwithstanding, the would-be Starrett City buyer was thwarted again. On Saturday, the state's Housing Commissioner rejected the firm's second bid for the complex, concerned with the group's poor track record in the area. [TheStreet.com] • A blaze in a Bronx apartment building injured 53 people by AM New York's count (the Post has the number at 41), including 14 firefighters. The three-alarm fire began on the first floor and quickly spread up and out through hallways. [amNY, NYP] • Barack Obama (who evidently can't just come to a city; he either "swings through" or "invades" it) is back in New York for more fund-raising. He'll hang at a couple of good addresses before stopping by the Letterman show. Obama's previous New York City take is estimated at $3 million. [NYDN] • Bush knew. About Bernie Kerik's past, that is, when NYC's then-top cop was nominated to head Homeland Security. Thus, the doomed pick could have been a purely political gesture. Oh, and Alberto Gonzales had a hand in it, too. [NYP] • And East Hampton becomes a two-newspaper town: The Press, an import from one town over, is taking on the 122-year-old local institution the Star (as New York reported last month). Get ready for war. [NYT]

Gee, Man

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• Friendly fire from fellow FBI men killed an agent in the middle of an operation in Readington, New Jersey. The Feds were taking down a gang of armed bank robbers, one of whom escaped and remains on the loose. [NYP] • David Bistricer of Clipper Equity, the thwarted would-be buyer of the Starrett City housing megacomplex, is back. This time, he cobbled together a camera-ready coalition: a lobbyist with Spitzer connections, an architect, and two black ministers. [NYT] • More awesomeness from Rudy Giuliani's traveling road show: The presidential candidate began a stump speech in California with a Godfather impersonation, then referred to his wife as "a civilian, to use the old Mafia distinction." Yeah, he's a shoo-in. [amNY] • Geese are driving ducks out of Central Park, so the city is bringing in border collies to drive out the geese. Before we make a "who's going to drive out the dogs" joke, let's pause and reflect on the fact that there's a company called Geese Police Inc. on the city payroll. [NYT] • And a strong contestant for the dumbest con ever: An unemployed Brooklynite siphoned off $3.6 million from a city account at JPMorgan Chase (by rigging up 604 individual electronic transfers), spent it through Jewelry TV, then tried to pawn the baubles for cash. [NYDN]

It's Tough to Love a Steamroller

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• Must be all that screaming, cursing, and Medicaid- cutting: Governor Spitzer's approval ratings plunged 13 percent in the latest Quinnipiac poll, with only 48 percent happy with his performance. [NYP] • A Bronx martial-arts instructor has confessed to a plan to train Al Qaeda terrorists. Tarik Shah, a jazz musician by day, was going to provide instruction in hand-to-hand combat. Does Osama's new plan involve simply beating us up? [MetroNY] • We may not have farms in skyscrapers quite yet, but here's one on a barge: Sun Works, a group of local scientists, is growing tomatoes, lettuce, and peppers in a floating garden just off the West Side Highway. [WNYC] • Think the city's taking too much interest in what's on your plate? You'll be happy to know its attention is shifting south: The Department of Health is about to start a campaign promoting circumcision. [NYT] • And in a related item, the City Hall's inexplicably subway-themed condom giveaway has been a huge success, with five million snatched up in 30 days. The city does not provide statistics on the items' actual use. Yet. [NYDN]

Jersey Jackals

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• The Times reveals that the Garden State has been regularly raiding its own state-worker pension fund, funneling billions into other government projects. Given the size of its public sector, disaster looms; New Jersey, we thought better of you. [NYT] • Activists in East Harlem faced bulldozers in a dramatic, and failed, showdown over a community garden. The site, on 110th and Fifth, is being cleared for the future Museum for African Art — and, of course, a luxury condo tower. [amNY] • The Giuliani campaign, God's gift to tabloids, has turned to Rudy's international-policy experience: "I've probably been in foreign lands more than any other candidate" as a private consultant, he assured New Hampshire and hinted he'll hit Iraq next. [NYDN] • The Knitting Factory, the Tribeca music institution, is promising not to go the way of Tonic, Sin-é, CBGB, and many others: Should the rent skyrocket when its lease runs out, the club will try buying the whole building. [MetroNY] • And midtown's old-money hangout/tourist trap '21' Club has even longer arms than previously thought: It just stopped the Pittsburgh Pirates from naming a stadium sports bar "Club 21." Because otherwise the two would be indistinguishable. [NYP]

Cardinal Rules

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• Cardinal Egan turned 75 yesterday, and, as is required of cardinals who reach that age, submitted a resignation letter to the Vatican. The move could well be a mere formality — the Pope doesn't have to accept — but Egan's shaky standing within the archdiocese is giving it extra weight. [WNBC] • They set 'em up, he knocks 'em down: Fresh from vetoing the proposed pedicab guidelines, Mayor Bloomberg is overriding the much-discussed City Council ban on aluminum bats. ("I don't think that it's the city's business to regulate that.") [NYDN] • There will be an Imam on the NYPD payroll. The force is hiring a new chaplain. Khalid Latif, a Sunni who's ministered at NYU and Princeton, will be in charge of counseling the department's many Muslim officers. [amNY] • Starbucks is accused of breaking the law 30 times trying to stem unionization in its Manhattan shops. Now brewing, allegedly: retaliation firings, illegal interrogations of workers, and selective enforcement of the company's dress policy. [NYT] • And police on Franklin Gallimore III, the man that allegedly murdered his parents in cold blood when they asked him to move out: "He was a 20-year-old who was not living up to his mother's expectations." [NYP]

Someone, Think of the Children!

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• The state budget is here — virtually on time! — and guess what provision made it in while everyone was busy arguing about hospital cuts? A program that makes 400,000 uninsured children eligible for near-free health care. [NYT] • Hillary Clinton set a record for pre-primary fund-raising, drumming up $26 million in the first three months of 2007. Her war chest now totals $36 million, with ten left over from the layup Senate campaign. Obama is at $20 million. And Chris Dodd apparently has subway fare. [NYDN] • Q: When does the Post become touchy-feely about animal welfare? A: When it helps torpedo a Giuliani. Turns out that in the seventies, Judith then-Nathan used to shill for a medical-supply firm that put surgical staples on live dogs during sales demonstrations. Ew. [NYP] • Today's USA Today profiles, in heroic prose ("tempers flare as forklifts dart"), the armed federal agents patrolling the Fulton Fish Market for illegal clams. It seems 750 probes into local seafood-smuggling operations were launched in the last year alone. [USAT] • And a new Arabic middle school will take up the top floor of Park Slope's P.S. 282, which put the nabe's parents in a somewhat un–Park Slope–ian nativist tizzy — with some threatening to pull their kids out. Thing is, it'll be an Arabic language school, not a madrassa. [MetroNY]

Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!

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• We were kinda hoping this wouldn't come out until, say, a week before the primaries, but take it away, Times: Rudy Giuliani was briefed on Bernie Kerik's unsavory dossier, including the commish's possible mafia ties, in 2000. Then Rudy made him the city's top cop. [NYT] • New Jersey governor Jon Corzine has already picked a side of the Dem roster for 2008: He's officially endorsing Hillary. (The State Senate president, Richard Codey, is a John Edwards man.) This is not insignificant considering N.J.'s extra-early primary date. [WNBC] • Long Island police are investigating nightmarish scenarios after severed limbs "with pink toenail polish" washed up in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester. There's also a torso in a Wal-Mart suitcase, and revolting details galore for the curious. [Newsday] • Since we're reminiscing about Rudy, how about a big fat Catholic controversy around a work of art? Cosimo Cavallaro is planning an Easter exhibit of an anatomically correct (of course) chocolate (of course) Jesus (of course), and he swears the timing is coincidental (yeah, right). [NYDN] • And meanwhile a polyester-resin security guard named Artie, installed in the lobby of a Uniondale office tower, causes no controversy whatsoever. Probably because he's inedible. [NYT]

Bell, Boss, and Bikes

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• The Sean Bell case continues providing bizarre auxiliary scandals. Now the boss of a grand-jury star witness (a janitor claiming to have seen someone shoot at cops that night) is arrested — for commanding the janitor to keep quiet. [NYP] • Mayor Bloomberg is dishing out some of his patented TLC as thousands in Brooklyn and Queens begin defaulting on their high-interest mortgages: It's "the marketplace at work," he explains. "You can blame the people that borrowed the money." Stop griping! [NYDN] • The Yankee dynasty may be left without an heir apparent: Steinbrenner's daughter, Jenny, is divorcing George's announced successor Steve Swindal. (Of course, there are three more Steinbrenner kids in VP positions). [amNY] • Scorned bicyclists are filing a federal lawsuit against the NYPD, whose new rules let cops stop and ticket any group of 50 or more cyclists that doesn't have a parade permit. (How about a parade permit for those pointless cop-car swarms down Fifth Avenue?) [Streetsblog] • If your bike is your livelihood, however, you're on easy street, kind of. The city just signed a law that requires businesses to provide helmets and ensure safety (new brakes, etc.) to bike messengers and delivery workers. [NYT]

Really, What the Bell?

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• Remember yesterday's sensational admission by a Queens drug dealer that he was once shot — "in the buttocks" — by the future police victim Sean Bell? Disregard. Not only is the guy backtracking, he denies ever saying it to the cops (who say they have it on tape). [NYP] • Meanwhile, in the wake of the Village gunman's rampage, Mayor Bloomberg announced that the city is giving its 4,500 auxiliary cops bulletproof vests (at the cost of more than $2 million). Thing is, though, one of the two slain officers was wearing a vest. [amNY] • And another cop got shot in the ankle. In Park Slope. By a guy who was facing nothing more serious than a possession charge (he was spotted smoking a joint on the street). Great. [NYDN] • The home-buying boom's worst-case scenario is playing out in Newark, which has one of the highest concentrations of brutal "subprime loans" in the country: Staggering debt and foreclosures are close to wiping out entire neighborhoods. [NYT] • And a city councilwoman is proposing a citywide ban on all exotic animal performers, timed to coincide with the circus' arrival at the Madison Square Garden. We wouldn't be the first, either — progressive places from Pasadena to Provincetown have already passed the proposal. [MetroNY]

What the Bell?

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• This shouldn't necessarily sway anyone's opinion about the Sean Bell shooting, but it's, um, interesting: A drug dealer tells the police he was once shot by Bell. Cops call the story credible (shocker). [NYDN] • Wesley Autrey, the Subway Superman, gains a Subway Lex Luthor in lawyer Diane Kleiman. Kleiman and her partner have allegedly swindled Autrey into a deal that would give them half of whatever he gets (book advance, speaking fees, etc.). [NYP] • Jacob the Jeweler is heading to the courtroom on some serious charges: helping launder $270 million in drug money for a Detroit-based crime ring. Now that's cred. [AP via amNY] • JPMorgan Chase has released a twelve-page assessment that itemizes Brooke Astor's fortune: $41 million in real estate, $23.5 million in stocks, and $816 in the bank. [NYT] • And the day's Headless Body Award (it's our new, ad-hoc headline-pun prize) goes to Metro New York, for running the gamut from the awesome "Marky Marksman" (a Shooter review) to the god-awful "An Indie-sent Proposal" (a SXSW feature). [MetroNY]

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]

What's the Catch?

20070323heds_small.jpg • Bill Clinton raised funds for Hillary by hosting a $2,300-per-bike spinning class (and didn't even exercise). Since the total take from the event was a mere $70,000, the SoulCycle studio seems to be the real winner here. [NYT] • Our future First Lady Judith Giuliani attempts to divert attention from her husband's two previous marriages by discussing her own two previous marriages — the first of which was a Las Vegas elopement at the age of 20. Not with a cousin, sadly. [NYDN] • Speaking of multiple marriages — polygamy! In New York! Unveiled, in a bitter irony, by the tragic fire in the Bronx (the victim paterfamilias had two wives at home) is a "soaring" practice among immigrants from West Africa. [NYT] • Was Houdini poisoned? His relatives are asking to dig up the magician's Queens grave to find out. That's on top of the annual séance to invoke his spirit. Leave the guy alone. You don't want him angry. [amNY] • And, OMG, free Netflix: The Brooklyn Public Library is thinking about teaming up with the red-envelope peddler to develop a no-charge home-delivery system for DVDs. We're a little confused as to what's in it for Netflix, but that's none of our business, is it? [NYP]

The British Are Coming!

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• Remember Steven Johnson, the freak who terrorized Bar Veloce in 2002, splashing kerosene on patrons? Well, he just got 240 years in prison. Yeah, we don't know what took five years, either. [NYP] • Renaming corners, part one: A coalition of local businesses, backed by no less than Virgin Airways, is campaigning to call a slice of the West Village "Little Britain." The stage-one strategy apparently involves sub–Benny Hill humor. ("What's one more queen in the Village?") [MetroNY] • Renaming corners, part two: Elaine Orbach may yet get the intersection of 53rd and Eighth named after her late husband, Jerry. After striking out with the grumpy Community Board 5, she found fans on Board 4 — which controls the west side of the same avenue. [NYT] • In a high-tech twist on a classic, a married couple is suing a Park Avenue clinic for allegedly inseminating the wife with the wrong man's sperm: The father is white, the mother Dominican, the baby black. [NYDN] • And New York has joined more than twenty states moving their presidential primaries up to February 5. With any luck, Assemblyman Keith Wright's coinage for the occasion — "Super-Duper Tuesday" — won't get any kind of traction in the media. Oh, crap, we just did it. [NYT]

Second Avenue Subway: It's Coming

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• The MTA has finally committed to the Second Avenue Subway, signing the $337 million contract with MTA Capital Construction (hey! nepotism!) to build the first leg of the line. Only six to eight months until the tunnel-boring machine revs up. [NYP] • The third cop in the Sean Bell case — Detective Marc Cooper, the one who fired the fewest shots and faces the weakest charges — may get a separate trial. His attorney is mulling a motion to sever. [NYDN] • One imagines working at a Bronx welfare office is depressing enough without being "groped, fondled, tackled, kissed, and spanked" by a supervisor. Even, or perhaps especially, a female supervisor who calls herself "Hurricane." [WNYC] • Uma Thurman and bizarre hotelier André Balazs have split up. We predict his impending move into the William Beaver house. [amNY] • And the Postal Service is introducing new Zip Codes to the Upper East Side, 10065 and 10075, which means that the iconic 10021 will shrink even further (it will extend only from East 69th to East 76th). The sound you hear is corks popping at the local paperies as thousands of millionaires order new stationery. [NYT]

Cops Plead, Naomi Cleans

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• The three cops indicted in the 50-shot shooting of Sean Bell pleaded not guilty yesterday. They have quite a bit to deny, too: The charges could get two of them 25 years in prison. [NYT] • Yesterday's antiwar rally in the financial district brought a whopping 44 arrests for disorderly conduct. Considering the event involved a total of 70 people — in organizers' estimation! — that's quite a percentage. [amNY] • Naomi Campbell started her community-service sentence yesterday, in a ritual that, once we've seen Boy George wield a broom, has become a kind of routine (if bizarre) photo op. The News lists the details of her work attire for the curious. [NYDN] • Coming soon to NYU: the treasure trove of the Communist Party of America. Marvel at Joe Hill's rhyming will, Lenin buttons, and "smuggled directives from Moscow"! [NYT] • And the Health Department is still on its rat-fueled, restaurant-shuttering rampage; the latest victim of the new zeal is Brasserie LCB on 55th Street, where the French owner says the inspectors "acted like the Gestapo." So he didn't mind closing, then? [NYP]

Think of the Children

20070319heds_small.jpg • The city is grudgingly admitting that, with the number of homeless families at an all-time high in the year of record surpluses, someone is doing something wrong. Next idea: Revamp the rent-voucher program. [NYT] • The News uncovers "nauseating behavior" on school buses: abuse and rape in the oblivious presence of monitors and drivers. Not exactly rampant (ten cases since 2003) but frightening, especially since two of the cases involve drivers. [NYDN] • More charming kid behavior: A high-school basketball game at MSG ended in a full-on street riot, complete with cops on horseback and over twenty arrests. amNY's reportage, itself seemingly written by a 13-year-old, includes the phrase "other boys then jumped that boy." [amNY] • Broadway theater owners have given up on ticket-resale price caps, removing the last roadblock to the legalization of scalping. Surprisingly, Governor Spitzer's view on the subject is to let the market regulate itself (wouldn't the NYSE have loved hearing that). [NYP] • And, landing today at JFK: Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger jet. The "superjumbo," operated by Lufthansa, is 239 feet long and burns 550,000 gallons of gas per flight. Eh. Call us when it strands passengers for ten hours. [WNBC]

Going Postal

20070316heds_small.jpg • So, yesterday's Village gunman was an ex-Marine and, um, a journalist: he wrote for the Mohave Valley Daily News, a newspaper so small that even its Village-gunman coverage comes from AP. Also, he was a stringer for the Wall Street Journal. [MVDN] • The suspense is killing them: New Jersey is moving its presidential primary to February 5 from February 26 (a year after moving it up from June). So are 25 other states. Oh, let's just have the damn thing right now. [NYT] • A sick nurse exposed an astonishing 700 patients to tuberculosis at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx. Anyone who's been in the maternity, nursery, or psychiatric wards between November and February are well-advised to swing by for a free test. [NYP] • We Only Fly When it's Nice Out: In what is fast becoming an expected occurence, the temperature drops, a little snow comes down, and JetBlue cancels 215 flights, almost all of them to or from JFK. [amNY] • And, this is the lameness that transpires when the U.S. Postal Service tries to do something fun: mailboxes painted to resemble Star Wars' R2-D2, coming to Times Square. "It's not Jabba the Hutt, honey, it's a tourist." [NYDN]

The Noho Corral

20070315heds_small.jpg • A massive gunfight on Macdougal and Houston ended with two "auxiliary officers" (volunteer cops), a bartender, and the gunman dead; as many as 30 shots were fired in all. Bizarre details abound (the perp, wearing a fake beard, shot the bartender fifteen times in the back). [NYT] • Eliot Spitzer and embattled Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno had it out in a fifteen-minute shouting match of the kind that's fast becoming a hallmark of Spitzer's reign; cowed witnesses say Bruno blew up after Spitzer called his proposed budget increases "absurd." [NYP] • Naughty in the Hamptons: An Amagansett physician is out on a $500,000 bail for allegedly churning out millions' worth of phony OxyContin prescriptions; a Southampton cop is accused of soliciting female suspects for sex bribes Bad Lieutenant-style. [WNBC, Newsday] • New Yorkers really, really love Bloomberg: a new Quinnipiac poll finds the mayor enjoying a 73 percent approval rating, with 46 percent preferring him to Giuliani and 46 percent figuring Mike for a better presidential candidate than his predecessor. Considering he isn't even running, that's gotta hurt, Rudy. [NYDN] • And, here's one more demographic the mayor just won over: pedicab drivers. Bloomberg granted the slightly wacky industry a last-minute reprieve from the proposed tough regulations after talking to a group of drivers. Aww. [amNY]