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N.Y. Times Editor-Reporter Dies After Attack in NW

The area where the attack occurred is one of the safest in the city. Street robberies have been reported there occasionally, but homicides and other violent incidents are all but unknown.

Police said last night that they were treating Rosenbaum's death as a homicide, pending an autopsy.

"It's a remarkably safe neighborhood, or it feels that way . . . until now," said Peter Bass, who lives on Gramercy.

On his street and on adjacent streets of single-family homes, "everybody's comings and goings are noticed," Bass said.

In recent years, he said, many of the houses on the tree-lined streets have been sold by longtime residents to younger couples with growing families.

"We have very small children. We'll have our guard up even more, use our alarms more religiously," Bass said.

Karen and Mitchell Strickler, who moved last year after living on Gramercy for more than 30 years, expressed surprise at the news.

It was a neighborhood, Mitchell Strickler said, where people often did not feel the need to lock their houses. "There was no fear of things," he said.

Rosenbaum was known as a mentor to younger reporters and taught and lectured at Dartmouth College, his alma mater, as well as Stanford University and other colleges and universities.

He was a native of Miami and grew up in Tampa. He worked for the St. Petersburg Times in Florida and Congressional Quarterly in Washington before joining the New York Times.

Among the stories he covered were the Senate Watergate hearings, the Iran-contra affair and budget and tax debates between the White House and Congress.

Rosenbaum's work also was focused on national politics; he directed Times coverage of the New Hampshire primaries in the last three presidential election years and continued to be active in covering the 2004 general election campaign.

In the past year, he had covered Social Security restructuring proposals.

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