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Gotham Gazette

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Citizens Union

The Eye-Opener

Mike Muller

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Yesterday a state appeals court unanimously upheld a lower court decision from last year blocking the Bloomberg Administration's ban on large sugary drinks. The First Department of the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court ruled the Board of Health overstepped their authority and that a ban should be left to lawmakers. The four-judge panel said since sugary drinks aren't harmful in moderation, they don't fall under the category of "inherently harmful" foods the board can ban. They also found the rule "manipulates choices to try to change consumer norms” through various exceptions and carve-outs and so went beyond the board's core mission to improve public health. The administration plans an appeal to the state's highest court.

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Bloomberg announced yesterday that the city would expand its voluntary composting program to Windsor Terrace in Brooklyn and four areas in the Bronx after successful pilot programs in some city schools, a few residential Manhattan buildings, and a neighborhood in Staten Island. Next spring it will grow to include parts of Queens and more locations in Brooklyn and Staten Island, as long as the next mayor continues the program. Organic waste accounts for 35 percent of the city's landfill-bound garbage, and officials estimate it can save as much as $60 million a year through the composting program. Cities like San Francisco could be a model for New York as it tries to reduce waste.

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Election Board Pick Could Help Bloomberg Kill NYPD Bill (Daily News)

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The city's 911 system crashed several times yesterday, forcing responders to resort to pen and paper, creating a backlog of about 200 calls at one point. At least one elderly woman had to wait an hour for an ambulance. The Fire Department says no calls were lost, but were not yet able to explain the crashes. The system has come under fire for repeated failures recently.

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City Loses Millions In Teacher Training Funds (WNYC)

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It took an ambulance 31 minutes to respond after a Council intern fainted from heat stroke during a press conference with Christine Quinn. A Jewish volunteer ambulance brought the intern to the hospital before the FNDY ambulance arrived, despite it being a day of fasting. 911 relayed the multiple calls with no issues but was overloaded with nearly a third more calls than normal due to the heat. The incident was originally rated as a medium priority. Quinn, who called Commissioner Kelly for help and met with the FDNY commissioner later about the incident, said the city wasn't prepared for the heatwave and called for an increase in emergency vehicles.

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Obama: Kelly 'Well-Qualified' To Lead Homeland Security (Reuters)

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Anthony Weiner has raised $829,000 since he declared his campaign for mayor. Taxi drivers and dispatch employees gave him over $12,000 the day he announced his opposition to Bloomberg's outer borough taxi plan. Christine Quinn’s mayoral campaign has the most cash on hand -- nearly $6 million, compared to $4.8 million for Weiner. Mayoral candidate Joe Lhota pulled in $516,000 between May and July but spent $732,000. Scott Stringer raised $110,000 in the four days following Eliot Spitzer's announcement that he was challenging Stringer in the comptroller race. That number is more than Stringer raised in nearly a year of fundraising before. In state election news, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver spent $115,000 in campaign funds during the past six months to pay legal bills stemming from his involvement in the Vito Lopez harassment scandal. And 80 percent of the cash Gov. Andrew Cuomo raised this election cycle came from donors who gave $10,000 or more. Meanwhile, the senate's Independent Democratic Conference announced that it has $2,835,000 on hand.

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Spitzer, Weiner Top Names In New Poll Of NYC Races (Associated Press)

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