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Sheldon Silver outside the federal courthouse on Foley Square last night.
Sheldon Silver outside the federal courthouse on Foley Square last night.

It was a dramatic day Tuesday in Lower Manhattan, as opening statements were delivered in the Sheldon Silver trial. Here’s how various news organizations reported one of the biggest New York stories in recent memory:

The New York Times: “For two decades, Sheldon Silver was one of the most powerful men in New York politics, his control and demands as speaker of the State Assembly virtually unchallenged. And throughout that reign, prosecutors said on Tuesday, Mr. Silver capitulated to greed, taking illicit payments and “selling his office… His lawyers, however, framed the case, and their client, far differently. The government, one said, had “twisted” the sort of actions that state legislators routinely take into “some kind of a criminal charge.”

Wall Street Journal: “Did Sheldon Silver, for two decades one of New York’s powerful politicians, sell his public office for private gain, lie to everyone about it and pocket millions in kickbacks and bribes, as prosecutors said in their opening statements on Tuesday? Or did he act as a conscientious if crafty elected official, backing bills and funneling state money to causes he deemed worthy, while receiving compensation in the form of “common” referral fees, as his defense attorneys said? If the answers to those questions were uncertain on Tuesday, one thing was clear: The Manhattan Democrat’s trial will cut to the core of practices and matters that have bedeviled Albany for years.”

Daily News: “The trial of Sheldon Silver began (Tuesday) with prosecutors saying the politician was all about “power, greed and corruption” — while his defense portrayed him as a tireless fighter for his constituents who’s “as New York as New York gets.”

New York Post: A federal prosecutor had three choice words to describe former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver at the start of his influence-peddling trial Tuesday — “Power. Greed. Corruption.’’ … But Silver’s lawyer, Steven Molo, scoffed that the allegations were simply much ado about nothing. He tried to paint Silver as a homegrown New Yorker to whom the jurors could relate.”

Our own take on yesterday’s opening statements is coming up later this morning.

And other stories of local interest:

Politico New York noted that Sheldon Silver’s trial opened on Election Day, pointing out that “the only people on the ballot in Silver’s Lower East Side neighborhood were seven candidates for seven judicial positions, all Democrats, picked last month in a judicial nominating convention Silver has cast a shadow on for years.

Curbed highlighted a “charmingly rustic” carriage house on Eldridge Street for $12 million.

–“Ramen King” Shigetoshi Nakamura plans to open a restaurant on Delancey Street, DNA Info reported.

Vogue profiled Yael Aflalo of Reformation.

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  1. Is anyone planning a surrender party? Ya know, the day he surrenders to the Federal BOP to start his sentence? Kossars should be reopened by then. Streits may ship in some New Jersey baked goods. Russ & Daughters may have some lox sliced as thin as a page from a Federal Reporter (the kind that Mark grew to know and love at Georgetown Law). But where, oh where, will we get a venue where they serve a beverage of one’s choice? LES Dwellers won’t know, … actually, they might know better than anyone, and by that date singlehandedly they will be giving Hell Square some good fodder for its reputation.

    We really do have to start planning it now, so that it will be easier to shift the focus of some good momentum, cause Shelley ain’t goin’ nowhere but back to Albany.

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