Morning Read: Stark Steps Down, Bloomberg Talks of Water Rate Hikes, Movie Classics

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Martha Stark resigned yesterday amid questions about her conduct. including dating a former staffer whose salary rose sharply. Stark’s departure also leaves Bloomberg with just two African-American commissioners.

Stark emailed her aides just weeks ago saying she would not quit.

Erik Engquist said Stark was “a star commissioner.”

Arlen Specter’s reason for leaving the G.O.P. “supports the pointlessness of being a fiscally liberal Republican,” writes Jay Golub on Urban Elephants.

Gatemouth writes “Arlen Specter thinks he had an open and shut case: a career built on a stubborn dedication to principle over party – but in reality, it is a case of dedication to the principal over party and principles.”

In an op-ed, Olympia Snowe wrote “There is no plausible scenario under which Republicans can grow into a majority while shrinking our ideological confines and continuing to retract into a regional party.”

Water rates are going up 14 percent this year and 12 percent in 2010.

The city scheduled a public hearing in the Bronx about the water rates at 2 p.m., which suppresses turnout, said Jimmy Vacca.

Michael Bloomberg gave an interview to A.M.C. News (yes that’s American Movie Classics).

Swine flu may have spread to another city school.

But don’t panic, said Bloomberg, again.

Andie Coller writes about politicians putting the epidemic to good use.

The city pension fund voted to no longer allow placement agents.

Dan Janison tries unwinding the probe of the Caroline Kennedy leak.

A Brookhaven town clerk won’t seek re-election after telling party officials she made $40,000 officiating weddings, reports Rick Brand.

C. Scott Vanderhoef will run for a fifth term as Rockland County Executive.

Barack Obama ordered a review of the flyover that scared New Yorkers.

Federal aides wanted the flyover kept classified.

Bloomberg wasn’t too upset about the incident, after all.

Steve Israel, DCCC official, doesn’t disagree with Obama on anything.

Welfare applications in New York City rose 54 percent between 1999 and 2007.

Pit bulls are banned from city housing projects.

And still, after 100 days, no one seems to be able to come up with a joke.

Morning Read: Stark Steps Down, Bloomberg Talks of Water Rate Hikes, Movie Classics