Today’s news:

Baysider wins tickets to Obama inauguration

A 27−year−old attorney from Bayside and her father will attend President−elect Barack Obama’s inauguration this month after entering a lottery operated by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D−N.Y.) in which 150,000 people vied for a spot on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

Jennifer Kim of Bayside will travel with her father, Sunny, to Washington, D.C. for the Jan. 20 inauguration after securing two tickets from Schumer’s lottery, which began shortly after Obama was elected and ran through early December. In New York state 175 people won the ticket lottery.

“I was surprised that I won because I never win anything,” she said. “I’m going to take my dad with me, though all my friends are bribing me.”

Kim said her father is also thrilled because both her parents, who are originally from Korea, recently became citizens and voted for the first time in the Nov. 4 election.

“We’re excited that Obama won,” Kim said. “It was their first time voting, so it was kind of cute.”

Kim said she and her father will drive to Baltimore, where they will spend the night, and enter Washington by train on the morning of the inauguration. Hotels in the D.C. area have been sold our for months on the days leading up to the inauguration, she said.

Kim said she had originally heard about the lottery from city newspapers and newscasters. Both she and her father entered the lottery, but only she won.

“I’ve heard they are expecting as many as 4 million people, so I suppose we should get there early,” she said.

Kim said she would be seated among 220,000 people on the main lawn area of the U.S. Capitol. The inauguration is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m.

Schumer said his office handed out two tickets each to 175 lottery winners. He said 18 Queens residents scored tickets, while 29 Brooklyn residents, 27 from Manhattan, seven from the Bronx and four from Staten Island were also selected.

“After an historic election season and the extraordinary nomination of Barack Obama, it is time for America to celebrate the bright future that is ahead of us,” Schumer said in a statement.

The senator said he will hand out tickets to the winners on the day before the inauguration from his Washington office.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.

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