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VOLUME 26, NUMBER 10 OcTOBER 9-OcTOBER 22, 2013 fAIRwAY gOINg DOwNTOwN P. 7 state FIGhts aUthorItY & aUthorItY doesn’t wIn. B.P.c. GroUPs Lose too By T E RE SE L O E B K R E U Z E R he Battery Park City Authority has made it official. There will be no more charitable contributions to support neighborhood organizations such as Poets House, the Skyscraper Museum and the Museum of Jewish Heritage. There will be no “sponsorships” for neighborhood organizations. There will be no funding for the annual River To River Festival or for the block party or for the Battery Park City Neighbors’ Association or for the free arts program that is largely funded by Brookfield Office Properties. The only permissible expenditures will be fees for services such as the $632,000 annually that goes to the Alliance for Downtown New York to pay for the shuttle bus that connects the South Street Seaport with Broadway near City Hall, running through Battery Park City on the way. Carol Willis, founder and director of The Skyscraper Museum said that she had received a letter from the B.P.C.A. saying that they were discontinuing their funding, which had been $10,000 in previous years, and $7,500 last year. “That loss is a definite blow,” she said, “especially since it helps to fund activities that are a benefit to our B.P.C.A. neighbors, such as the Saturday morning Family Programs we offer twice a month, which we run for just $5 per child, parents, free.” Willis also said that the Goldman Sachs Foundation had previously given The Skyscraper Museum $10,000 a year but had eliminated its support two years t Continued on page 6 Downtown Express photo by Kaitlyn Meade Tourists were denied access to the Statue of Liberty last week. They were still showing up in Battery Park this week to visit Liberty and Ellis Islands, but some chose to exchange their tickets for a boat ride close to the statue. Government shutdown puts Liberty out of reach B y KAITLYN MEADE he top deck of the Miss Ellis Island was crowded with sight-seers on a sunny Tuesday morning — one week into the government shutdown. But its lower two decks were completely empty of passengers as the ship pulled away from its Battery Park dock. As a “nonessential service,” the National Park Service is currently in limbo, bringing national monument operations to a grinding halt. And with Congress stalled over the budget and debt ceiling, things are looking no better for tourists t hoping to get up close and personal to one of America’s foremost monuments, Lady Liberty — and no better for the tourism industry’s employees whose livelihoods depend on getting them there. Statue Cruises, which runs ferry service out to Liberty and Ellis Islands, is one of the companies that ceased its primary function on Oct. 1, and a week later, is still adrift. The company is offering a one-hour tour of New York Harbor, giving tourists a glance at Liberty, Ellis and Governors Island, but not docking. 5 15 CANAL ST RE ET • N YC 10 013 • C OPYRIG HT © 2013 N YC COMMU N ITY MED IA , LLC “Welcome, welcome. Sixty-minute tours. Sixty-minute tours only,” Marco Bedoya called, standing by one of the hastily-constructed ticket taking booths on Oct. 8, pausing to explain the shutdown in French to a welldressed couple. Things are “working,” according to Bedoya, who said that business has been slower since the shutdown but “we’re still doing the same, trying to make more signs and keep the customers,” Continued on page 10

Downtown Express, Oct. 9, 2013

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