President-elect Barack Obama's selection of Dr. Rick Warren to deliver his inaugural invocation has incited national criticism over the evangelical preacher's stance on homosexuals, including Warren's support of Proposition 8, a California referendum that defined marriage as the union between a man and a woman. Just a small sampling of the vitriol aimed at Obama includes an editorial in today's LA Times, another that appeared last week on Time.com, and the recent comments made by Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank, one of only 2 openly gay US Representatives, who called the decision "a mistake."
More locally, Elizabeth Benjamin reports for the Daily News that at least one elected official in the Bronx has publicly gone on record in support of the President-elect's choice of Warren. State Sen. Ruben Diaz issued a statement yesterday applauding Obama's decision and encouraging him to reject "the call to dis-invite" a man he lauds as an opponent of "homosexual marriage."
Today, the NYC Department of Health announced the launch of a study on neighborhood air quality. Hailed as the "first comprehensive effort to monitor street level pollution in neighborhoods across the five boroughs," the New York City Community Air Survey will install new air pollution monitors on 150 light posts across the city in an effort the City hopes will provide reliable data on the varying levels of air quality from one neighborhood to the next. More information about the survey is available on the Health Department's website.
The Museum of The City of New York's recently opened exhibit "Broken Glass: Photographs of the South Bronx by Ray Mortenson" will be on display through March. Documenting the physical condition of the South Bronx in the early 1980's, Mortenson's photos focus on abandoned buildings and other remnants of the urban economic crisis that left the neighborhood in a state of disarray.