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According to the New York Post, the NYPD is dealing with a big increase in assaults downtown, the "city's party mecca." In the Lower East Side, there have been 43 assaults so far in 2009, up 30-percent from 2008. But the The Village (both East and West) topped the LES in violent crimes. The NYPD blames the big late night bar crowds downtown but the article does not explain what might have caused the increases this year.

District 1 City Councilman Alan Gerson barely squeaked out a victory last night in an endorsement meeting of the Village Reform Democratic Club. Gerson was expected to have an easier time – he used to be the president of the club. Gerson's weak attendance record and vote against term limits may have hurt his standing with the VRDC. Challenger Pete Gleason came in second.

Rent Board head Marvin Markus lays out his proposal for "a rent increase exemption," that would allow people who can't afford rent increases to apply for relief.

Saxelby Cheesmongers in the Essex Market trumpets the arrival of handmade corn tortillas from Hot Bread Kitchen. They're made from pure ground corn. Hot Bread Kitchen provides job training and English classes to women who have immigrated from Mexico, Bangladesh, the Phillipines,
Ecuador, Mali, and Afghanistan.

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Photo: Early morning ping pong at Luther Gulick Park. In the news: --The Times endorses Dan Goldman in the...

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