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Bad News Bears

Controversy magnet Park51 is in hot water with Con Edison, who claims the downtown mosque and cultural center owes $1.7 million in back rent. The utility giant splits ownership of 51 Park Place with developer Sharif El-Gamal, divided between a former substation on the western half and a five-story building on the eastern side. The problems started in August when Con Ed raised the center's rent from $2,750 (the same since 1972) to a current market price of $47,437/month, retroactive to July 2008. [New York Post]