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Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:47 am, Thu Oct 31, 2013.

Lhota shaves three points off pending de Blasio blowout

The latest poll from Quinnipiac University — which predicted September’s primary results accurately — shows a slight gain for Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota, but Democratic nominee Bill de Blasio remains so far ahead that he “probably can start drafting his inauguration speech,” in the words of the survey’s director.

The survey, released Oct. 21, has de Blasio at 68 percent among likely voters and Lhota at 24 percent, with 2 percent favoring Independence candidate Adolfo Carrion. Five percent were undecided and 8 percent said there is a good chance they will change their mind before the Nov. 5 election.

In an Oct. 3 poll, de Blasio was at 71 percent and Lhota at 21 percent.

But while Quinnipiac Poll Director Maurice Carroll said the good news for de Blasio is that he can probably start writing his speech, he added that “The bad news is that New York City voters’ priority for the next mayor is — you guessed it — jobs, something over which the mayor has very little control. The next priority is education, and if he can succeed where so many have not, they may name a school after him.”

Job creation was the top priority for 32 percent of respondents, the survey said, followed by 24 percent for education, 20 percent for keeping crime down and 18 percent for reducing the gap between rich and poor.

Reducing crime tops reforming stop and frisk as a priority 62 to 30 percent, the poll also found.

Report sheds light on NY’s Latino population

The Hispanic Federation and the Nielsen group released a new study of Latinos living in the tristate area this week, a report they said is the first of its kind. Among the findings they highlighted were these:

• Nearly one third of young Latinos living in urban areas are high or middle-income earners.

• While Puerto Ricans are still the largest Latino group in the region at 31 percent, two in five Latinos in the tristate are either Dominican, Mexican or Ecuadorian.

• Despite serious gaps, Latinos are moving up the educational ladder. Nearly 1.2 million have at least some college education and nearly one million reported being high school graduates.

• The share of Latino adults who report shopping online increased 14 percent (to 74 percent) from 2009 to 2012.

• Latinos account for $92 billion in household income in the New York region.

Laser pointer shined at a Queens-bound plane

Twice in one day this month, people targeted planes near Queens with laser pointers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said last Friday. One of them was a commercial flight bound for LaGuardia Airport.

The incidents occurred Oct. 15. The first plane targeted by the laser, which can blind a pilot, was Shuttle America Flight 5973, which was hit at 7:35 p.m., the FBI said. The source was believed to be in the Bronx.

Then at 10:37 a private plane was targeted by a laser believed to have emanated from somewhere near the corner of Broadway and Steinway Street inn Astoria.

“The FBI is asking anyone with information about any of these dangerous laser incidents to pick up the phone and call us,” said Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos. “Our paramount concern is the safety of aircraft passengers and crew.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at (212) 384-1000. Tipsters can remain anonymous and a reward is available when information leads to an arrest and conviction.

Big soda appeal

The state Court of Appeals, New York’s highest, has agreed to hear the Bloomberg administration’s appeal of the lower court’s ruling against the “sugary drink ban,” which would prevent certain stores in the city from selling soft drinks of more than 16 ounces.

— compiled by Peter C. Mastrosimone

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