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VOLUME 25, NUMBER 23 saluting Boston P. 3 & 12 APRIL 17-APRIL 30, 2013 downtown can helP us Plan schools, walcott says BY JOSh ROGERS t was a typical meeting about the need for more schools in Lower Manhattan with one big difference. This time, it seemed like someone in power heard the message completely. Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott told Downtown school advocates that he’d let them into the Dept. of Education’s planning room to help influence the upcoming five-year plan to build more schools. This came after many years of Dept. of Education officials rebuffing pleas to take a closer, neighborhood by neighborhood i Continued on page 5 Downtown Express photo by Kaitlyn Meade FADE IN: TRIBECA FILM FEST her colleagues approved the plan. “We were kicked out of City Hall that day,” Rajkumar said. “We were not listened to and the Council nearly unanimously voted in favor of the gargantuan expansion into the Village.” Chin did win concessions from N.Y.U. reducing the size of two of the proposed buildings by more than half, but many in the Village said the project was still out of scale to the neighborhood. BY KAI TLYN M EADE fter the fanfare of Little League on opening day on Pier 40’s newly rebuilt fields and the public struggle over getting Battery Park City ball fields in playable condition, one field was left on the bench. Luckily, the school’s custodial engineer stepped up to the plate, and with help from Nike, pulled off a surprising comeback. Construction on the field began Tuesday. The gates to the field were unchained and thrown open early Tuesday morning to accommodate the construction equipment that rolled out under the Manhattan Bridge. When asked how long the construction on the turf would take, Bob Buono of Tri State Athletic Field Services replied, “One day Continued on page 7 Continued on page 31 Jake, right, and Azaan, both students in Lower Manhattan, got some television news experience covering the runup to the Tribeca Film Festival Monday. Read more about the Kids Access program as part of our festival preview, P. 17 - 28. Look for additional reviews on this weekend. Rajkumar & Chin trade barbs BY J OS h R O G E R S ity Council candidate Jenifer Rajkumar made her formal announcement April 7 accusing opponent Margaret Chin of listening more to big developers than the people of Lower Manhattan. “Under this top-down approach, the councilmember goes into the room with a real estate or outside interest, closes the door, makes the deal and shuts the people out,” Rajukmar said of Chin, the incumbent who is also running in c the Sept. 10 Democratic primary. Rajkumar, 30, a Democratic district leader and attorney who moved to Battery Park City in 2010, chose the most common N.Y.C. location for a campaign announcement, City Hall, for an uncommon reason. “It is at this very spot that I decided to run for Council,” Rajkumar (pronounced rahj KOO mar), said at the Sunday announcement. Last July, she and other opponents of New York University’s expansion project were not allowed to stay for the vote in which Chin and most of Forgotten Ball Field to reoPen 5 15 CANAL ST RE ET • N YC 10 013 • C OPYRIG HT © 2013 N YC COMMU N ITY MED IA , LLC a

Downtown Express, April 17, 2013

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