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Inside NYC (Dec 13th, 2019)

1. Federal data shows the city's outer boroughs lead all counties in New York for increased economic activity. Among the state's 62 counties, Staten Island ranked first in terms of the amount its gross domestic product increased - 7.8 percent - between 2017 and 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The Bronx ranked second with a 7.2 percent increase, followed closely behind by Brooklyn, then Queens. The overall New York state GDP increase was 1.2 percent, which ranks 46th in the U.S. In Manhattan, the GDP fell from $601 billion to $600 billion. -- NY POST

2. A Brooklyn-based development company has unveiled a new construction and design project for the Williamsburg waterfront. The plan calls for two mixed-use towers, each standing up to 650 feet tall, in addition to a six-acre park with access to the East River, according to developers with Two Trees Management. The park will be designed by James Corner Field Operations, which also designed Domino Park and the High Line. Plans for the new recreational space include an amphitheater, kayak rentals, a circular esplanade extending into the East River, a sandy beach, tidal pools and a fishing pier. -- CURBED

3. A petition created in hopes of putting a stop to SantaCon had been signed by about 600 people as of Friday morning. The annual event, slated for Dec. 14, typically draws thousands of men and women dressed as Santa Claus - many of them drinking heavily - to Manhattan's bars and subways. In years past, the parade also has drawn the ire of residents, who have reported revelers fighting and vomiting in the streets. The man who started the petition, comedian Jason Selvig, said he hopes to collect 1,000 signatures and deliver it Friday to the mayor's office. -- PATCH NY

4. City Councilor Joseph Borelli (R-Staten Island) has proposed a bill to study the possibility of an "independent city of Staten Island." Borelli said too many Staten Island politicians and residents are at constant odds with the city, “whether it's bike lanes or parking regulations or a school, a school district or anything." A task force to study the impact of such a move would include city councilmembers, the borough president and other officials. Staten Island was the only borough in which voters favored President Trump in the 2016 election. The island is mostly residential and home to a large demographic of police officers and firefighters. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said this week it would be a “travesty” if the city were to lose the borough. -- GOTHAMIST

5. Staff members have raised safety concerns over a plan to close Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center on Wards Island in Manhattan and relocate its population to a new facility. The facility, deemed outdated by officials, houses the dangerously mentally ill. Unnamed employees recently have described incidents involving “physician colleagues punched unconscious,” “staff having to fight off coordinated attacks,” and "guards attacked with feces." The move is set for January, and would transfer 200 patients - including 50 deemed dangerous - from the prison-like building to a section of the Manhattan Psychiatric Center, a civilian hospital. Employees argue the new facility was never designed for patients with criminal backgrounds. The union representing the center's clinicians is filing a lawsuit seeking a temporary injunction, while guards have created a petition. -- NYT

6. Holiday markets are in full-swing throughout Manhattan. Here are five options: 

  • The Union Square Holiday Market features winding aisles of artwork and gifts created by local craftsmen and artists.
  • A winter village of shops, eateries and spirits at Bryant Park in Midtown includes an ice skating rink and massive Christmas tree.
  • More than 100 vendors at Columbus Circle - located at the entrance of Central Park - have made for one of the city's premier holiday tourist attractions for more than a decade.
  • A holiday bazaar in Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall, which boasts 40 booths, is open through Christmas Eve. *NOTE: the bazaar is closed on Sundays. 
  • The Turnstile Underground Market is a full city block of indoor shopping, pop-ups and food, located at the 59th Street-Columbus Circle subway station.

7. The Harlem headquarters for the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ became the subject of an FBI search Wednesday. The search was in connection with a deadly shootout in Jersey City days earlier that left six people dead. Authorities said the incident - now being viewed as a hate crime against Jewish people and police - was carried out by David Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50. Both had reportedly expressed interest in the group, also known as Black Hebrew Israelites. The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the organization as a hate group, as some sects have become known for their condemnations of white and Jewish people. -- USA TODAY

8. The New York Giants released star cornerback Janoris Jenkins on Friday, days after he called a fan on Twitter a derogatory name. His comment was in response to the fan asking why Jenkins had bragged about his stats, when the stats weren't contributing to team victories. Jenkins was recovering from an ankle injury at the time he was released, so technically he was waived by the team. On Thursday, Jenkins, 31, addressed the incident by saying the word was used as "slang," saying, “It’s a culture that I grew up in where I’m from." He posted what appeared to be a sarcastic response to the news of being fired on his Twitter account Friday morning. -- ESPN

9. Mayor Bill de Blasio said this week the government should more closely monitor social media platforms, and the companies themselves should self-regulate when it comes to hate-driven posts. His comments came days after a shootout in Jersey City that left six people dead, including a police officer and two suspects. The man and woman believed to have carried out the plot had expressed hate in online forums. Without naming any social media companies specifically, de Blasio said, “they’re making a huge amount of money, and they’re making money off of hate speech.” He referred to the online platforms as “unregulated utilities” that were once seen as “harbingers of progress and freedom.” -- NY DAILY NEWS

10. Today's NYC in photos: Instagram user @anthonythebossnyc

From the crime scenes and courtrooms of New York City to the red carpet in Los Angeles, Kyle Lawson has spent the past 12 years chasing leads and developing sources as both a freelance and staff print journalist, photographer and on-air personality. 

 

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