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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by Nuclear Matters: HORSE DEAL collapse -- DE BLASIO re-elect preview -- EMPIRE STATE drone

02/05/2016 07:16 AM EDT

By Azi Paybarah in Manhattan, Jimmy Vielkind in Albany, and Mike Allen in D.C., with Daniel Lippman

TWO COPS SHOT AS DE BLASIO DELIVERS SPEECH -- POLITICO New York's Laura Nahmias and Azi Paybarah: Two NYPD officers were shot Thursday night in the Melrose Houses in the Bronx, while Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered his State of the City address in the borough at Lehman College. De Blasio was not aware of the shooting, which took place shortly after 8 p.m., until after he finished his address, which had begun roughly an hour earlier. He and a contingent of other elected officials, including City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito came to Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx where the two officers were being treated once the speech was over.

The two housing patrol officers who have been on the force for two years were conducting a routine vertical patrol in a stairwell at 320 East 156th Street in the Bronx, at the Melrose Houses in the South Bronx. The officers encountered two people on a stairwell, one individual produced a weapon and shot the two officers. One of the officers, a female, was shot in the abdomen. The second officer, a male, was shot in the face. The suspect fled to an apartment on the 7th floor, where he died of what police officials said was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police recovered a .32 caliber weapon they believed was used in the shooting, as well as a shotgun. Both officers are stable and alert.

"Our brave officers were doing their jobs tonight in our public housing on patrol, keeping residents safe," de Blasio said at the briefing. "Thank God, so far in both cases their condition is good. Both officers have been alert and communicating."

-- Daily News headline: "Mayor de Blasio gives State of the City speech as two NYPD cops are shot nearby in the Bronx"

DE BLASIO'S HORSE DEBACLE - POLITICO New York's Dana Rubinstein: Capping what may be one of the more bewildering political debacles in recent New York memory, Mayor Bill de Blasio's third State of the City speech was overshadowed - before he so much as delivered a word of it - by the implosion of his widely mocked, ill-supported deal to get horse carriages off New York City streets. It was a proposal in which the mayor invested a extraordinary amount of political capital. The result has alienated, in no particular order, park advocates, council members, union leaders, community boards, real estate interests, pedicab drivers, political donors, and, ultimately, animal-rights activists. This is occurring just weeks before the City Council will consider his actually consequential push to allow more density in New York City, a proposal that is integral to his affordable housing plan - perhaps the centerpiece of his mayoral agenda - and which the Council will only approve if they are willing to defy blowback in their districts.

"I can't recall anyone getting so hooked on such an infinitesimal issue as this," said George Arzt, who has covered City Hall, worked for City Hall, or dealt with City Hall on behalf of clients since the Lindsay administration. "No one in the electorate cared about this issue."

LONGEST 16 MINUTES EVER -- Post's Yoav Gonen, Rich Calder and Danielle Furfaro: "In an unusual scene Thursday morning, the mayor sat in the front passenger seat of his black SUV for 16 minutes after it pulled up to City Hall while 50 carriage workers gathered between his vehicle and the historic building. The mayor called two aides into the vehicle to powwow before coming out to address the media for less than two minutes - and put the blame for the collapsed deal on the Teamsters."

-- WSJ's Josh Dawsey and Mara Gay: "A couple of hours later, one of his closest advisers said: 'Oh boy' when told of the mayor's remarks."

-- AP's Jonathan Lemire and Verana Dobnik: "When asked for a comment, a spokesman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, de Blasio's frequent rival, responded 'neigh.'"

COUNCIL MEMBERS TRY TO MOVE ON -- POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino: The City Council breathed a collective sigh of relief on Thursday after Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito informed her members that a Friday vote on a much-anticipated proposal to decrease the city's horse carriage industry and confine it to Central Park would be cancelled.

"Many members of the council are pleased that this was put off," said Councilman David Greenfield, one of the most outspoken critics of the proposal in the last few weeks. "There were obviously a lot of concerns that we had and we think the right call was made. We are certainly very pleased about the outcome." Sources close to the mayor said the Teamsters informed Mayor Bill de Blasio and Mark-Viverito of their intention to withdraw their support for the deal late Wednesday night. News that the vote was off spread quickly among members Thursday, who texted and called each other as senior council aides began to inform members."

CRITICS -- BDB tried avoiding them, runs into them at speech -- Times' J. David Goodman and Susanne Craig: "[D]e Blasio and his advisers decided to move the speech into the evening, 'for the first time,' he said on Thursday. ... The mayor felt he could draw a larger television audience, and it would limit the time available for his critics to take jabs at him. ... A smattering of protesters arrived early to the speech and stood outside, carrying signs reading 'Mayor de Blasio has a Latino problem' and 'Stop gentrification.' Some of the proposals announced before the speech drew criticism, including the streetcar plan. James S. Oddo, a Republican who is borough president of Staten Island, shared a letter on Twitter that he received from the Transportation Department in November 2014 after he asked the city to determine whether a streetcar line would be feasible in his borough."

-- amNY's Matt Chayes and Emily Ngo: "The speech was closed to the public, though it was streamed on the Internet and delivered at night when more people could watch it live."

SOUNDS LIKE BDB'S RE-ELECT -- WSJ's Mara Gay: "[M]ost of the initiatives the mayor detailed in the address were concentrated on city management. For prospective voters listening in, they offered a preview of an argument Mr. de Blasio is likely to make during his re-election campaign next year, that he is a progressive who knows how to govern."

ULRICH, STILL EYEING 2017: "A spokesman for [Councilman Eric] Ulrich said the councilman appreciates the outpouring of support, but that he has not yet made a decision about running for mayor and that he is focused on representing his district ..." Queens Chronicle's Anthony O'Reilly:

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TABS -- Post: "TWO COPS SHOT: 'Bloody' night in Bronx" -- amNY: "2 COPS SHOT IN BRONX" -- Daily News "2 COPS SHOT IN BRONX AMBUSH: Bullets fly during NYCHA stair patrol; 1 officer hit in torso, partner in face; Suspect kills self, 2 others nabbed" -- Early edition of DN: "UNION SINKS BLAZ'S HORSE DEAL: Watch him whip - now watch them NEIGH-NEIGH!" -- SEE THEM:

-- Newsday: "SMUGGLED RAZORS, DRUGS TO INMATES" -- Hamodia: "NYC Pulls Reins on Plan for Central Park Horse Carriages" -- El Diario [translated]: Carlito's Way

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 1-col., above the fold: "DEMOCRATS CLASH ON MONEY'S ROLE IN BITTER DEBATE: New Hampshire Event; Clinton and Sanders Battle for Mantle of Most Progressive" -- WSJNY, 4-col. above the fold: "Landlords Hit With Higher Taxes"

LOCAL -- Queens -- Queens Chronicle, south, with pictures of Eric Ulrich and de Blasio: "ULRICH for MAYOR?: GOP councilman mulling run against de Blasio" -- QC, northern: "FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES: Why did the state's top court take the Willets West mall case?" -- QC, northeast: "INSECURITY: Activists say parks need many more cops than mayor plans" -- Queens Tribune: "UBER MAD" -- Times Ledger: "New streets for Hunter Point: $40 million reconstruction project part of mayor's Vision Zero initiative" -- Bayside Times: "Civic leaders rally against mosque plan" -- Flushing Times: "Q44 bus lane cameras spark concern"

-- Brooklyn Weekly: "Derelict cars cover Mill Basin" -- Brooklyn Graphic: "TURNING AROUND: Feds: Historic designation likely for century-old Coney Island carousel" -- The Brooklyn Spectator: "LOX, STOCK & BARRELS: Russ & Daughters coming to Brooklyn Navy Yard"

Manhattan -- The Villager: "Special election call for 65th A.D.; Nominee pick set for Super Sunday" -- Downtown Express: "NEW FIGH FOR NEW SCHOOL: With site finally chosen for Greenwich St. school, locals synod the real fight begins to expand it" -- Bronx Times: "Candidates face off in CD 17 debate"

HAPPENING TONIGHT -- The Daily News and Pro Publica publish the first in a series of articles, which, according to a press release, "examin[es] the New York Police Department's (NYPD) practices of filing civil lawsuits threatening home and business owners with year-long closures. ... The investigation uncovered problematic practices at varying stages of the justice system - from the commencement of these cases through a secret application to a judge that request permission to lock people out of their businesses and homes before they've even had a cache to tell their story; ... to provisions that break up families and allow the police to conduct warrantless searches whenever they want."

SANDERS' NEW YORK LIST - POLITICO New York's Bill Mahoney: While the list of New York delegates pledged to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is dominated by prominent politicians and labor leaders, the anti-establishment candidacy of Bernie Sanders has, perhaps not surprisingly, attracted lesser-known delegates, including a banjo-playing singer-songwriter from Ulster County. That's not to say the Vermont senator's delegate list - which the state Board of Elections posted Thursday for 25 of the state's 27 congressional districts - is completely bereft of establishment support.

Sen. James Sanders, Jr., who is currently mounting a challenge to incumbent Queens Rep. Gregory Meeks (and who is no relation to the Vermont senator), is among the delegates listed in Sanders' column. So is former state senator Tom Duane, who participated in a pro-Sanders rally on the steps of New York's City Hall on Wednesday. Supporters of Sanders, who conferences with Democrats in the U.S. Senate, but identifies as an independent, have argued that much of his appeal is rooted in his willingness to break with the political status-quo. That creates overlap with Duane, who was the one state senator who broke ranks with his conference's leader the most frequently during his final years in Albany. That role has since been claimed by Sen. Bill Perkins, who is also a Sanders delegate.

-- The Times Union posted video of volunteers dropping off petitions in Albany.

ORGANIC GROWING PAINS -- POLITICO New York's David Giambusso: The city's organic waste collection program is moving along, but not without some consternation among City Council members and environmental groups. At a hearing of the Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management, Chairman Antonio Reynoso expressed concern over the program and the fact that it does not appear to limit truck traffic and waste storage in the city's overburdened districts. "There's no true focus in the Department of Sanitation for equity at this point," Reynoso said to Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. "While I was originally a very enthused supporter of the organics program, it's something I'm starting to think twice about."

HELP FOR HOMELESS STUDENTS -- POLITICO New York's Eliza Shapiro: Members of the New York City Council said Thursday the city Department of Education must do more to accommodate the recent explosion of homeless students in schools. The Council's general welfare and education committees held a joint hearing on the influx of homeless children and grilled representatives from the DOE and the Department of Homeless Services on new programs created to help address the enormous and complex needs of the roughly 86,000 homeless students in city schools. Councilman Steve Levin of Brooklyn asked the DOE whether the fact that homeless children generally do worse in school and have higher rates of mental and physical illnesses compared to their peers constituted a "crisis." Lois Herrera, CEO of the DOE's Office of Safety and Youth Development replied: "there are certainly huge challenges that our children are facing."

The population of homeless children has ballooned by 25 percent since the 2010-2011 academic year, according to the Independent Budget Office. The significant rate of growth is proportional to the rise in the city's overall homeless population, which has presented Mayor Bill de Blasio with one of the biggest challenges of his mayoralty thus far. The majority of the city's homeless students go to school in the South Bronx's District 9 or Brownsville's District 23. Most students who live in shelters are black or Hispanic, according to the IBO.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Councilman Ben Kallos of Manhattan, NY1 criminal justice reporter Dean Meminger, DNAinfo reporter Nicole Levy and Alysia Santo of the Marshall Project (Friday), David Pristin, chief of staff and executive vice president for external affairs at NYCHA, consultant Joe Mercurio and flack Eric Blankenbaker (Saturday).

FEARS OF GROWING POLLUTION SPREAD IN HOOSICK - Scott Waldman's dispatch from Rensselaer County: People here are sick of the sponge bath. No one knows just how far the pollution has spread in Hoosick Falls, but people in town are frightened not only of their faucets, but their showers as well. Bill Marcoux's wife, who has health problems (and didn't want to be named), doesn't take her chances, so she boils bottled water before she uses it because she's worried about being harmed by her own shower. "It's like going camping," he said.

People in town are increasingly stressed about the mixed messages they have received from state and local officials, so they're afraid to use the water in their own homes. "They just want clean water and their health," he said. There's a certain type of terror that comes when the EPA warns an entire community of about 4,000 not to drink or cook with its own water supply because it's so dangerous. But raw fear is just the first reaction. Next comes the mental gymnastics as people think of all the ways they use that tainted water: to make their baby's formula, to boil potatoes, to brush their teeth. Those are the thoughts the preoccupy the people of Hoosick Falls today, tracing all the ways they've used water may have been poisoning them for years.

ERIE COUNTY KEEPS 4 A.M. CLOSING TIME - The Buffalo News' Sandra Tan: "A proposal for an earlier bar-closing hour in Erie County failed Thursday, with seven county legislators voting against the idea and only three supporting it. Democratic Minority Leader Thomas Loughran of Amherst, owner of Loughran's Bar & Restaurant in Snyder, abstained from the vote. The measure called on the New York State Liquor Authority to change last call in Erie County from 4 a.m. to 2 a.m. Legislator Ted Morton, R-Cheektowaga, who sponsored the measure to move up the bar-closing time, said he was proud to have his name attached to the proposal and accused lawmakers of sticking their heads in the sand by failing to recognize the public safety risks of the later closing time."

TOP TALKER -- "So It Seems New York Is the Most Talkative State," by New York Mag's Tanya Basu: "According to an analysis of more than 2 million phone calls, New Yorkers are the most talkative people in the country. Marchex, a market analytics firm, anonymously recorded those calls between 2013 and 2015, then pored over them to figure out the fastest, slowest, and most verbose states in the union. New Yorkers - as in, those from the state of New York - blew away their competition in speech density, using '62 percent more words than someone from Iowa [the fifth least chatty in the country] to have the same conversation with a business.'" The release

WATCH OUT -- "Man arrested after crashing drone into Empire State Building," by Post's Amanda Woods : "A 28-year-old man maneuvering a remote-controlled drone above the streets of Midtown Thursday evening crashed it onto a ledge at the Empire State Building - and was arrested when he went inside to ask for it back ... The flying machine hit the 40th floor at about 7:50 p.m. and fell to an overhang on the 35th floor ... No one was hurt. The drone's operator, Sean Riddle of Jersey City, then entered the lobby and spoke with security, ­casually asking to retrieve the hobby craft."

-- "Here's The View From The Private 103rd Balcony Of The Empire State Building," by Gothamist's Jen Carlson: "17 flights above the popular tourist spot, on the 103rd floor, is a much more exclusive platform circling around the bottom of the spire, with just inches of standing room and nothing but a knee-high parapet stopping you from stepping into thin air."

MEDIA MORNING -- "Megyn Kelly Signs Book Deal," by The Hollywood Reporter's Andy Lewis: "Publication is expected in the fall. HarperCollins did not disclose details about the book's subject matter. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed either."

HILLARYWATCH -- GLENN THRUSH on Politico, "Five takeaways from the Democratic debate : Real anger, email dismissal, and another bad Clinton answer on that Goldman money": "Comity turned into tragedy for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and the dream of a harmonious Democratic party during the 2016 primaries. After a series of low-wattage, three-person debates that were the pride of party-unity Democrats, Clinton and Sanders dropped the gloves and went after each other in a GOP-style confrontation that underscored the bitterness of a campaign that was supposed to underscore the broad agreements of progressives on major issues."

REAL ESTATE -- RAISING HELL-"Jehovah's Witnesses saved $368 million in real estate taxes over the past 12 years," by Crain's Joe Anuta: "The Jehovah's Witnesses have been exempted from paying at least $368 million in taxes on their Brooklyn real estate holdings over the past 12 years, according to an analysis by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and consulting firm BJH Advisers. The Partnership released the finding to increase its pressure on the religious organization to donate $50 million to the borough as it sells off at great profit the remainder of its Brooklyn property and moves upstate. 'This is the last chance to do it,' said the partnership's president, Tucker Reed, who initially called for the monetary gift in a December op-ed in Crain's . 'Once they leave and head upstate, if anyone goes knocking on their door with a tin cup saying, 'Hey, remember Brooklyn,' it is going to fall on deaf ears.'"

PRICE POINTS-"Manhattan town houses selling for fraction of initial asking price," by Post's Jennifer Gould Keil: "Manhattan town houses are being so overaggressively listed for sale that when a deal is finally struck, it's for an average of 28 percent below the asking price, a new analysis shows. At the same time, sales are at an all-time high, with the median town-house sales price jumping 28 percent to $5.25 million over the past year, according to Douglas Elliman's latest market report. Such homes are on the market for an average of 112 days, 'which is fast for town houses but not a record,' said real-estate appraiser Jonathan Miller, who compiled the report. Last year at this time, they were on the market for an average 131 days. They represent 2.5 percent of all Manhattan residential sales and are a niche high-end market, Realtors say."

CHECKING IN-"W Hotel Union Square Hits the Market," by Commercial Observer's Lauren Elkies Schram: "You can now check into a high-end Union Square-area hotel and never leave as the W Hotel Union Square is for sale. Eastdil Secured is marketing the 270-guest room hotel (including 26 suites) at 201 Park Avenue South at East 17th Street for sale as a possible 'conversion to residential use,' according to the marketing materials. Or, the new owner could 'pursue a global branding strategy or convert to an independent hotel.' At 20 stories, the roughly 205,473-square-foot 1911 Beaux-Arts-style hotel (180,456 square feet at grade and 25,017 square feet below grade) was renovated and reopened in 2000. It is home to two food and beverage outlets, Irvington, a three-meal-a-day restaurant, and the W Living Room, a bar and lounge."

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: Pistons 111, Knicks 105: The Knicks came all the way back from a 27-point first-half deficit in Detroit, then took a two-point lead... but ran out of gas late.

-- The day ahead: the Kings are in Brooklyn. The Grizzlies are at The Garden.

#UpstateAmerica: More than two dozen people attend a yoga class at a Rochester brewery that includes a lot of breaks to sip craft beer.

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In New York, nuclear energy plants provide 31 percent of the state's electricity and 61 percent of our carbon-free electricity. The existing nuclear energy plants in New York also support about 18,000 jobs and provide $2.5 billion to the state's GDP.

If we want to keep New York working, we need policies that will keep New York's state-of-the-art nuclear energy plants working for all of us. Join us at **

FOR MORE political and policy news from New York, check out Politico New York's home page:

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