Morning Buzz | Gillibrand Making Her Mark

Windy, cold, Christmasy. Read on!

Once derided as an accidental senator, lampooned for her verbosity and threatened with many challengers who openly doubted her abilities, a succinct, passionate and effective Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand has made her presence felt in the final days of this Congress. Her efforts have won grudging admiration from critics, adulation from national liberals and gay rights groups, and accolades from New York politicians across the political spectrum, including Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who once shopped for potential candidates to oust her.

Even her relentlessness, which once drew mockery, is now earning the highest compliment of all: professional jealousy from her more senior colleagues.

“To have gone from a virtual unknown to being a major player on some landmark legislation in such a short period of time just shows what Kirsten is capable of,” said Ilyse Hogue, director of political advocacy for [NYT]

Government & Politics

Governor-elect Andrew M. Cuomo has selected the chief investigator in his attorney general’s office to head the New York State Police, an agency that in recent years has been implicated in repeated efforts by governors and other elected officials to embarrass foes and protect insiders. [NYT]

Crime & Public Safety

A Manhattan judge criticized the policing tactics in New York City Housing Authority developments, ruling on Tuesday that officers appeared to be routinely flouting the law by questioning people without legal justification. [NYT]

Police officers responding to a domestic dispute on Wednesday night shot and killed a Queens man after he slashed a sergeant in the hand. [New York Post]

A man accused of robbing 11 Bronx churches denies an account given by the police that he said he was out for revenge on pedophile priests. “I never said any of that!” the man, Nathaniel Linden, said. “I’m not angry at God!” His robberies, he said, were all about finding easy targets so he could pay his Con Ed bill and feed his pets. [Daily News]


New York State’s 16 medical schools are attacking their foreign competitors. They have begun an aggressive campaign to persuade the State Board of Regents to make it harder, if not impossible, for foreign schools to use New York hospitals as extensions of their own campuses. [NYT]

People and Neighborhoods

The owner of Coney Island’s Shoot the Freak sideshow freaked out on Wednesday after his Boardwalk attraction was razed. “I’m still in shock,” said Anthony Berlingieri, operator of the famous game in which patrons shoot paintballs at human targets. The open-air attraction and seven other Boardwalk businesses that operate out of storefronts are challenging eviction proceedings by Zamperla USA. [New York Post]

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