Morning Read: ‘Featuring a James Brown Impersonator’

Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray meet with Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States. (Photo: Rob Bennett/NYC Mayor's Office)

Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray meet with Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States. (Photo: Rob Bennett/NYC Mayor’s Office)

Headline of the Day: “Bishop responds to L.I. wine criticism on ‘House of Cards.’”

Runner-Up: “Another reason to avoid de Blasio’s New York.

State Senator Greg Ball”s recently-introduced legislation banning killer whales from water parks reportedly plagiarized a 17-year-old Chicago high school student. “I feel really happy that the bill was made, but I’m a little disappointed that they wouldn’t reach out to me or even cite me,” the student said. Mr. Ball’s office didn’t comment.

State Senator Brad Hoylman, who had his own child through a California surrogate, introduced legislation to overturn a New York law that bans such paid contracts. “Mr. Hoylman says views on his Facebook page spike when he puts up pictures of their daughter, Silvia, now 3, but not when he puts up photographs of him and his husband without her,” added The New York Times.

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña told Capital New York she regretted saying it was “beautiful” outside during a snowstorm–a statement that landed her on the front page of the city’s tabloids. “I happen to be a very honest person and I obviously rue the day I ever said, ‘beautiful,’” she said. “It comes with the territory … I understand reporters have to do their job.”

Meanwhile, according to NY1, Bill de Blasio “seems to be struggling to fulfill his promise to bring more transparency to City Hall, as he refused to answer questions Wednesday about his closed-door meeting with real estate developers, and he did not let the media know about a private sit-down with top White House aide Valerie Jarrett until after it was over.”

And Assemblyman William Boyland‘s corruption trial continues: “Ry-Ann Hermon, the political scion’s ex-lover and chief of staff, told jurors at Boyland’s Brooklyn federal court trial that her ex-boss once used $500 in campaign contributions for them to attend two private yoga classes at the Atmananda studios in 2009.”

… and continues: “Former chief of staff Ry-Ann Hermon testified Tuesday at her ex-boss’ corruption trial that Boyland leaned on a nonprofit he controlled to spend more than $50,000 in state funding to entertain the seniors with a boat ride and a picnic featuring a James Brown impersonator.”