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Gotham Gazette

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Citizens Union

The Eye-Opener

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The City Council says it will hold a hearing this week on the new 911 system that cost $88 million and has been criticized for several technical glitches. The Wall Street Journal reports that the hearing comes after a 4-year-old girl at a hospital Tuesday after a four-minute delay in sending an ambulance to help the child, who had been struck during a police chase.

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner, a mayoral candidate, made a campaign appearance at the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network in Harlem Saturday morning, where he talked about stop-and-frisk, among other matters. Politicker reports that Sharpton was unimpressed. "I'm not hearing enough ideas," the civil rights activist told the site.

The New York Post reports that funds paid by political action committees to state Sen. John Sampson's campaign filings have gone missing. Sampson was recently accused of embezzling tens of thousands from escrow accounts he was overseeing as a court-appointed referee.

Other Stories We're Following

Reforms To Handling Of Foreclosure Lawsuits Spurred By Embezzlement Arrest (NY Post)

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration created a nationally heralded blueprint five years ago to steer the city toward a more sustainable future.

The mayor now says the city is on track to meet all the goals set forth in that plan.

A new report shows that the city has made significant progress on 100 of the 132 initiatives outlined in the city’s PLaNYC blueprint for sustainability.

The initiatives touch on areas including transportation, parks and open space and housing.

The report highlights last month’s launch of Citi Bike, which is the largest bike share program in the nation; the addition of 300 acres of new parkland; and the rezoning of 119 neighborhoods to allow taller buildings for housing or office space and to create pedestrian plazas.

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Tagged in: environment PlaNYC

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Bill Thompson isn't scared by poor showings in recent polls.

In recent polls from both Quinnipiac and Marist College, the former comptroller and second-time mayoral candidate has stayed in the low double digits while former Congressman Anthony Weiner creeps up and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn tumbles downwards.

"I've yet to see the polls be particularly accurate," Thompson said. "They've been inaccurate through most of my career and many of the elections that I've seen, they've been incredibly inaccurate. This is about Sept. 10 and the primary. That'll be the great indicator."

Whether or not the polls are inaccurate, Thompson continues to shore up support from both Latino elected leaders and long-time New York political stalwarts. The latest came earlier today from former Congressman Herman Badillo.

Badillo was the first Puerto Rican to serve as Bronx borough president and as U.S. House representative. He also served as a deputy mayor to former Mayor Ed Koch. The 83-year-old joined Thompson in East Harlem today to announce his endorsement.

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s budget director says that long-unsettled contracts with municipal unions don’t have to undermine the financial health of the city.

Mark Page, the director of the city’s Office of Management and Budget, told city lawmakers yesterday at a hearing on the 2014 fiscal year budget that any financial burden stemming from contract negotiations would largely be the fault of negotiators.

"You only owe it if you agree to sign a contract that says you owe it," Page said. "The increase is going to be whatever someone agrees to."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a $70 billion budget for fiscal year 2014, which includes the usual cuts to services such as child care and libraries.

While Page fielded several questions about those cuts at yesterday’s hearing before the Council’s finance committee, city lawmakers also asked him pointed questions about the possibility that the unresolved contracts could become a drag on the budget.

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Tagged in: budget City Council

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NEW YORK — While former Congressman Anthony Weiner made his first mayoral debate with his fellow Democrats last night, the sometimes forgotten Republican candidates held a forum of their own in a Midtown Manhattan law firm.

In the flurry of likely voter polls and mayoral debates conducted over the last few months, the candidates for the Republican nomination have been lying low. However, all three came out for a forum hosted by the Republican National Lawyers Association at the Bracewell & Giuliani law firm offices.

Doe Fund founder George McDonald explained why one of the three Republican candidates needs to win in November by attacking the City Council for passing bills in recent months that have been criticized by the business community. He mentioned legislation that would prevent employers from discriminating against unemployed job applicants, block employers from running credit checks on applicants and allow noncitizens to vote in local elections.

"That's now," McDonald said. "Imagine when Mayor Bloomberg isn't there and it's one of these Democrats like Christine Quinn, who's leading the pack for these kinds of things. We're in a very dangerous situation going forward, because they literally override the mayor's vetoes on all of this stuff. So if they have a mayor that's encouraging all of this stuff … Oh, Lord."

The audience, a mix of 70 or so lawyers and rows of people dressed in suits and jackets, laughed at McDonald's cry for a higher power to intervene.

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