V.C.F. ON HOLD UNTIL FEDS ADD CANCER TO ZADROGA ACT VOLUME 25, NUMBER 6
AUGUST 22-SEPTEMBER 5, 2012
discussed body fat, grass finishing and other aspects of his trade. In September, Tiberio plans to open a butcher shop at 78 Rivington St. on the Lower East Side with a Community Supported Agriculture (C.S.A.) option for “beef enthusiasts” that will allow them to purchase and sample a variety of cuts. C.S.A.s are associations of individuals
BY ALINE REYNOLDS ifty-four-year-old Glen Klein is one of scores of injured Sept. 11 first responders who are anxiously awaiting compensation from the government for economic losses tied to their physical ailments. Klein, who has three children, was forced into premature retirement from the New York Police Department due to a slew of medical problems tied to recovery work at Ground Zero, including lung and gastrointestinal troubles. Having had to retire 10 years earlier than planned, Klein could use the financial aid as soon as possible. However, he and other 9/11 first responders, plus others who got sick from their exposure to Ground Zero, will have to wait longer than expected to be compensated by the government. The Victim Compensation Fund (V.C.F.), the reimbursement portion of the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, was supposed to be awarding claims as early as this summer. But distribution of awards has been placed on hold, V.C.F. Special Master Sheila Birnbaum has told the Downtown Express. “I don’t like the idea — not one bit,” said Klein. “Some people have already lost their homes.” According to Birnbaum, who heads the program, the fund won’t be active until the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (N.I.O.S.H.) decides to add cancer to the list of illnesses covered by the law. The reason for the delay is ostensibly due to the program’s financial constraints: The fund, valued at the fixed amount of $2.775 billion, can only be divided in so many ways. Birnbaum made it clear that she and her team have no involvement in N.I.O.S.H.’s final ruling, which is to be determined by Dr. John Howard, the law’s health administrator. In early June, Howard made a proposal to add 50 types of cancer to the list of illnesses
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Downtown Dance Festival turns heads. For more, turn to page 15.
Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess
New Amsterdam Market cooks up ‘ambitious goals’ BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER tanding next to a hindquarter of beef hanging from one of the strong rafters of the Thompson Warehouse at 213 Water St., Robert LaValva, founder of the New Amsterdam Market, introduced butcher Adam Tiberio. “His dream is to create a meat-processing facility in New York City, where animals that would have been slaughtered upstate will be brought whole into the city and cut to speci-
fications for the end users,” LaValva said. “That’s a very ambitious goal, but we specialize in ambitious goals around here.” Tiberio spent the next two hours dismembering the animal and showing his audience of food journalists, chefs, caterers and others in the food business exactly which parts of the animal could produce certain cuts of meat. He visits the farms where he gets his meat, he said, and knows what the animals eat and how the farmers care for them. He
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August 22 - September 5, 2012
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“We do not think of ourselves as units of real estate,” Diane Lapson said at a recent press conference at Independence Plaza North, a residential complex in Tribeca that’s mired in a legal battle with its landlord.
BY ALINE REYNOLDS A 55-year-old woman who goes by “Jean” uses a paycheck-and-a-half toward paying her rent these days. Jean, who has lived in Independence Plaza North (I.P.N.), a Tribeca residential complex, for close to three decades, forks over close to $3,000 a month for her apartment. In the 1990s, her rent was about a quarter of the current rate. “My partner was ill with cancer, and I wasn’t working, so we ended up on the voucher program,” she said. “In 2005, I got a full-time job, and my rent went up astronomically.” Once Jean is no longer eligible for a voucher toward her rent, her landlord, Laurence Gluck, could conceivably raise the rent further. Were that to happen, “I’d either be forced to move or forced to quit my job, and of course I’m not going to quit my job,” she said. “It’s devastating not to feel comfortable and safe in your own home.” If she had to move out of I.P.N., she’d have no idea where to go. “I’ve made a life down here,” she said. Jean requested anonymity out of fear of retaliation by Gluck, who she said sent her three eviction notices over the course of a year after he purchased the property in the early 2000s. She is one of a number of I.PN. residents who might be driven out of their homes if Gluck wins yet another legal battle over rent stabilization that is currently held up in state court. In 2004, Gluck removed I.P.N. from the Mitchell-Lama program, a government subsidy that supports rent regulation. At the time, he was receiving an annual J-51 tax break of $7,500 in exchange for making building improvements and keeping I.P.N. rent stabilized, but in 2006 he backed out of that arrangement. He repaid the two years’ back taxes in order to free himself to raise rents. In response, tenants launched a suit to regain rent stabilization. They were overjoyed when in August 2010 the state’s Supreme Court upheld their case against the landlord. But last summer, a federal court
ruled that Gluck had acted legally when he deregulated I.P.N., a ruling reinforced this April when the state’s Appellate Division decided that he could raise rents as much he pleased because he had retroactively repaid the tax abatement. Elected officials representing Lower Manhattan are actively supporting the tenants. Just last week, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and New York State Senator Daniel Squadron filed documents with the state’s Court of Appeals asking permission for I.P.N. tenants to have a second shot at appealing their case against Gluck. Seth Miller, an attorney representing the residents, expects the Court of Appeals to make a decision about whether to grant the tenants’ appeal request by mid-October. Gluck, chief executive officer of the real estate firm Stellar Management, has claimed that the city’s Department of Finance was at fault when it issued him the J-51 tax credits. Asked for comment, John Marino, a spokesperson for Gluck, said in a written statement, “The legacy residents of Independence Plaza have been protected under a voluntary and generous landlord assistance program that the owners of the building negotiated in 2004. That program remains intact today.” But according to Miller, only about a third of the development’s 1,331 units currently have deregulated rents. Were the tenants to win the lawsuit, he noted, the apartments would fall back into rent stabilization. “They’ve been able to evict people as if the premises were not rent-stabilized,” he said. “Those wouldn’t have been market-rate apartments had the landlord not broken the law.” At an Aug. 16 press conference at I.P.N., Squadron said, “The goal of J-51 is highquality housing and affordability — the mechanism is the tax break. And if [landlords] don’t want it…I’m sorry. We still need high-quality affordable housing across New York City.” Continued on page 17
August 22 - September 5, 2012
NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1-9, 12-21 EDITORIAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10-11 YOUTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 FAMILIES FILE APPEAL VICTIMS’ REMAINS
Seventeen families of 9/11 victims filed an appeal on Fri., Aug. 17 against a court decision that may decide where the victims’ remains will be placed. The group disagrees with the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum’s decision to bury the unidentified remains beneath the memorial’s two reflecting pools. The appeal stems from action taken by the families last year after one of them — a member of the 9/11 Parents and Families of Firefighters and World Trade Center Victims — polled approximately 1,000 other 9/11 families via e-mail to ask where they believe the remains should rest. Of the 350 families who responded, 95 percent said they wanted the remains to be kept above ground, similar to Washington, D.C.’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, according to CNN. The 17 families then filed a petition requesting contact information for all of the nearly 3,000 family members of 9/11 victims, but a New York trial court denied the request last October, ruling that releasing that information would violate privacy laws. The Aug. 17 appeal is based on the families’ belief that the state’s Freedom of Information Law should allow them to access the contact information, so they could then poll the remaining families about where they believe the 9/11 remains should rest, according to CNN.
PASS PROGRAM FOR MUSEUMS EXPANDS
The Downtown Culture Pass, a paid program that provides free admission and discounts on attractions in Lower Manhattan, is being expanded to include a new list of museums and tours. Pass holders can now gain free admission to the Anne Frank Center U.S.A. (at 44 Park Pl.) and the South Street Seaport Museum, as well as a free walking tour from Wall Street Walks, according to an Aug. 17 press release issued by the Museum of American Finance, a member of the program. The expansion will also give pass holders discounts on purchases at J&R Music and Computer World and New York Water Taxi. In addition, users will now be able to access the Downtown Alliance’s “Downtown N.Y.C.” smartphone app, which provides information about events, restaurants and hotels in Lower Manhattan. The Downtown Culture Pass, which was founded in 2010, now includes 10 museums within its free admissions program, according to the Downtown Alliance, one of the pass’s sponsors.
The program is also sponsored by New York Water Taxi and the New York Travel Advisory Bureau. Passes, which last three days, cost $30 for people ages 18 and older, $15 for youths ages 13 to 17 and $5 for children ages 6 to 12. They can be purchased online at www. downtownculturepass.org, or at the Museum of American Finance, the Museum of Jewish Heritage or the National Museum of the American Indian.
9/11 MUSEUM ASKS JUDGE TO THROW OUT ATHEISTS’ CROSS CASE The National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum filed a motion on Mon., Aug. 13 to dismiss a federal lawsuit brought by an atheist group, which seeks to stop the museum from displaying a cross-shaped steel beam that was found in the wreckage of the 9/11 attacks. American Atheists is arguing that the museum should either not display the cross at all, or include symbols representing other faiths — and non-faiths — beside it. Lawyers for the museum are refuting the claim of the American Atheists, the group that brought the suit last year, that displaying the beam would violate the Constitution’s separation of church and state. “The 9/11 Museum is an independent non-profit corporation,” the motion states. “Its curators’ decisions to display particular objects, such as the [cross-shaped beam], in the Museum are not state actions to which Constitutional protections apply.” The motion also states that the museum is treating the beam as a historical relic of the 9/11 attacks rather than a Christian symbol. The American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative law firm that often defends the public display of religious symbols, filed an Aug. 20 court brief supporting the museum’s attempt to dismiss the case, according to the Washington Post.
LUXURY CONDOS IN THE WOOLWORTH BUILDING The 1913 Woolworth Building, one of the oldest and most iconic skyscrapers in the city, will soon have its neoGothic tower transformed into luxury apartments. An investment group led by Alchemy Properties, a New York developer, bought the top 30 floors of the 57-story building on July 31 for $68 million, according to Kenneth Horn, president of Alchemy Properties. The space will include about 40 new condominiums, along with a five-level penthouse in the tower’s copper-domed cupola. Construction of the apartments — which will sit between 350 and nearly 800 feet above ground level — will cost about
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$150 million. The project is expected to be completed by 2015, Horn noted. “We wanted to become part of the Lower Manhattan renaissance,” he said, “and the second we walked into this building, we realized it would be the perfect place to do that.” Although apartment prices have not been set, they may sell for as much as $3,000 per square foot, according to the New York Times — potentially placing a 2,500-square-foot unit at around $7.5 million. Alchemy Properties purchased the 30 floors of the Woolworth Building from the Witkoff Group and Cammeby’s International, which will continue to co-own the lower 27 floors and lease them as office space. “It was a complicated deal, because we had to do a lot of work with [the Witkoff Group and Cammeby’s International],” said Horn, “but they acted in a first-class manner throughout the process. It’s been a collaborative Continued on page 21
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August 22 - September 5, 2012
THE DANGERS OF DOZING
TEENAGE TROUBLE Police are looking for three teenagers who allegedly robbed two younger boys at knifepoint in a Tribeca park on Wed., Aug. 15. The two victims, both 14, were eating lunch in St. John’s Park, at Varick and Laight Streets, when they were approached by the teens, who asked what they had in their pockets. When one of the unsuspecting 14-year-olds said that they didn’t have anything, the perps started punching him in the face. Then the three troublemakers spotted an iPod sticking out of the other boy’s pocket, and one of them grabbed it while saying, “If you don’t give it to us, I’ll use my knife.” One of the perps yanked a $20 bill out of the first boy’s pocket while he was recovering from being punched. All three toughs fled towards Sixth Avenue. The victims described the group of assailants as two Hispanics and one black, all approximately 16 years of age.
NO SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY HERE A visitor from North Carolina recently received a rude welcome to New York City, losing more than $5,000 worth of goods after her pricey purse was stolen. The woman, 30, was at the Greenhouse at 150 Varick St. on Tues., Aug. 14, when, at around 2:30
a.m., she left her bag unattended for a few minutes. When she returned to her table, the bag, a $1,000 Louis Vuitton, was gone, along with its contents — a Michael Kors wallet with both her credit and debit card, an iPhone 4S, Ray Ban sunglasses, a M.A.C. makeup kit, her birth certificate and $700 in cash. When the woman cancelled her stolen cards, she learned that unauthorized purchases had already been made — $76 on the debit card, and $2,000 on the credit card.
A man, 27, had his laptop stolen while he was sleeping on the subway during the wee hours of Fri., Aug. 17. The man couldn’t keep his eyes open while riding the 4 train at around 3 a.m., but he probably couldn’t believe his eyes when he woke up at the Fulton Street stop. He had placed the laptop next to him after boarding the train, but during his brief slumber, it was plucked from the seat. The good news, he told police, is that his MacBook Pro could be tracked by G.P.S. through a security device he had previously installed on it. The bad news is that the souped-up laptop, which he valued at $3,000, is still missing.
ASSAULT BY BOTTLE Police are looking for a supposed Tribeca street peddler who allegedly assaulted a Queens man on Sat., Aug. 18 by, breaking a bottle on his head. The victim said the attack stemmed from a verbal disagreement he was having with the peddler, nicknamed Actar, near the corner of Canal Street and Broadway at around 4 p.m. that day. In the middle of the argument, the man said that Actar picked up a glass bottle and hit him on the side of the head with it. The blow left the man with a cut and in severe pain. Police who spotted him in the street minutes later had him taken to New York Downtown Hospital, where he was treated for the injuries. By that time, Actar — whom the victim described as Asian, approximately 5’7’’ and 165 pounds — had fled the scene.
SECURITY WAS TOO SLOW A commercial van driver found himself the victim of vehicular burglary after he parked on the third floor of the Battery Parking Garage, at 70 Greenwich St., on Sat., Aug. 18 at around 7 a.m. A security guard assigned to the parking lot told police that he had checked the third floor at 10:50 a.m. and considered it clear of any threats. But when he made his rounds again ten minutes later, the front passenger window of the van was smashed in. When the driver, an employee of the New Jersey-based company, Layout, Inc., returned, he realized that a pair of Motorola two-way radios, a calculator and a two-gigabyte flash drive had been lifted from the front seat.
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STUMBLING, FUMBLING THIEF A woman, 40, was walking past the corner of Grand and Wooster Streets at around 3 p.m. on Thurs., Aug. 16, when a man snuck up behind her and grabbed the wallet sticking out of her open handbag. He took off running, but his luck turned sour when he tripped and fell to the pavement, dropping the wallet behind him. The thief fled empty-handed, allowing the woman to recover her property. She described the wallet snatcher to police as black and approximately 20 years old, 5’5’’ and 130 pounds, with a blotchy complexion.
BREAKING AND ENTERING An employee of the Spring Nail Spa N.Y. in the Financial District arrived at her business the morning of Thurs., Aug. 16, to find that it had been broken into and burglarized. The front glass of the building, at 119 Fulton St., had been smashed the previous night, and the employee said that whoever did it also broke into the cash register and walked away with $300. There were no witnesses, and police couldn’t lift any fingerprints from the scene of the crime. The next move would have been to check the nail spa’s security cameras for footage, but there was no video according to the employee. — Sam Spokony
Steven Stucky, 2005 Sonate en forme de preludes
Kevin Puts, 2012 Einstein on Mercer Street
Zhou Long, 2011 Dhyana
Yehudi Wyner, 2006 The Second Madrigal: Voices of Women
Paul Moravec, 2004 Tempest Fantasy Ornette Coleman, 2007 SEPTEMBER 13 Jennifer Higdon, 2010 wissahickon poeTrees David Lang, 2008 these broken wings
SEPTEMBER 27 John Adams, 2003 Son of Chamber Symphony Henry Brant, 2002 Four Skeleton Pieces Steve Reich, 2009 Daniel Variations
John Corigliano, 2001 Winging it an Episcopal parish in the city of New York
August 22 - September 5, 2012
Two more soldiers tried in Chen case, one ousted from Army BY ALINE REYNOLDS Chinatown advocates voiced mixed feelings on the verdicts of two more soldiers tied to the suicide of U.S. Army Private Danny Chen. On Aug. 17, Sergeant Blaine Dugas, 36, was found guilty of one count of dereliction of duty and sentenced to a reduction in military rank and three months of confinement. Dugas — one of eight soldiers charged in connection with Chen’s suicide at the Fort Bragg, North Carolina military base — was being tried for three counts of dereliction of duty and lying to a U.S. Army investigator when asked if he had heard about Chen’s mistreatment. Chen, who grew up in Chinatown, is believed to have fatally shot himself in a guard tower in Kandahar, Afghanistan last October. The judge found Dugas guilty of failing to ensure the physical well-being of Chen by improperly supervising the 19-year-old soldier’s platoon superiors when they were conducting corrective training toward him. According to the court papers, “[Dugas] negligently failed to foster a climate in which everyone is treated with dignity and respect, regardless of race, as it was his duty to do so, by failing to prevent his subordinates from maltreating and engaging in racially abusive language and conduct towards Private Danny Chen.” Dugas also pled guilty to illegal possession and consumption of alcohol. However, since the sergeant has already served 90 days of confinement prior to the trial, he is now permitted to reenter the Army. In January, Dugas had his weapons confiscated and was removed from active duty when the military found him connected to Chen’s death. Liz OuYang, president of the Organization of Chinese Americans’ New York Chapter (OCA-NY), expressed disappointment in Dugas’s verdict, since it doesn’t entail Dugas’s dismissal from the Army. She along with Chen’s parents, uncle and cousins have been attending the Fort Bragg trials since they began in late July. “As the senior enlisted officer, Sergeant Dugas was in a position of power to stop the abuse and didn’t,” said OuYang. “His failure to ensure the physical well-being of Private Chen cost Danny his life. “There is no place in the Army for a staff sergeant, the highest enlisted officer, who turns a blind eye to racial abuse and hazing by superiors.” Lower Manhattan Council Member Margaret Chin, who also decried the ruling, pointed out that Dugas’s demotion doesn’t take away his title as Sergeant. The Army must send a strong message that superior officers will be held accountable for their actions and the actions of their subordinates, Chin con-
tinued. “By failing to do so in this case,” said the council member, “the Army has condoned racism, hazing and bullying.” Responding to the verdict, George Wright, an Army spokesperson at the Pentagon, said “the Army respects the decision of the jury in this case.” Chen’s parents, Lower East Side residents Su Zhen and Yan Tao Chen, weren’t available for comment following the latest verdicts. In a sit-down interview with the Downtown Express prior to the trials, Su Zhen Chen said she didn’t know if witnessing the trials would make her feel stronger or more upset. Either way, she said through a translator, “I must go to do this for Danny.” The Army should more stringently screen those who opt for entry into the military, Chen’s mother added. “People with criminal records and prejudices against other groups of people should not be allowed in.” Previously, on Aug. 13, Specialist Ryan Offutt, 32, received a bad conduct discharge for hazing and maltreating Chen prior to his suicide. The soldier was also sentenced to a reduction in rank and six months of confinement. Between Aug. 23 and Oct. 3, 2011, the day Chen killed himself, Offutt called Chen racially disparaging terms such as “dragon lady,” “Jackie Chen” and “squint eye,” according to the judge’s ruling. He also threw rocks and water bottles at Chen, kicked him on the side of his torso and dragged him along the ground by his vest. Offutt pled guilty to bullying and maltreating Chen in exchange for the Army’s dismissal of negligent homicide and reckless endangerment charges against him. The defense attorneys representing Offutt and the other convicted soldiers declined requests for comment. Chin praised Offutt’s expulsion from the Army, saying that it “ensures that Spc. Offutt will never again have the opportunity to harm or harass a fellow soldier.” “I hope this sentence sends a message to anyone who is suffering from bullying and hazing in the armed forces,” she said. “Now is the time to speak out.” The soldiers’ verdicts comes on the heels of an impassioned rally organized by Chin, OuYang and other local advocates in opposition to the sentence of Sgt. Adam Holcomb. In July, Holcomb, who faced initial charges of negligent homicide and reckless endangerment toward Chen, was found guilty of two counts of maltreatment and one count of assault. Chin along with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn have since asked the Army to conduct separation proceedings against Holcomb that could have the soldier dishonorably discharged from the military. Continued on page 20
Photo courtesy of Organization of Chinese Americans
August 22 - September 5, 2012
New Key Food gets mixed reviews BY H E L A I N A N . H O V IT Z A revamped grocery store now up and running in the South Street Seaport is receiving both praise and criticism from local residents and workers. After knocking down the wall between what used to be a Burger King and a Foot Locker, Key Food re-opened its flagship store at 55 Fulton St. to an awed — and slightly overwhelmed — neighborhood crowd. The store, whose opening day was Aug. 15, is now called “55 Fulton Market,” marking the brand’s first shop in New York City to sell gourmet foods. Contrasting the new Key Food to the old one is like comparing apples and oranges. The new market, which occupies 23,000 square feet of space, hails itself as a 24/7, one-stop shop for Downtown residents and the working crowd alike. Most would agree that the old Key Food was stuffy, cluttered and offered only the bare essentials. The previous store, located at 77 Fulton St., spanned just 3,000 square feet, leaving little room for more than one customer at a time to move through a given aisle. The new space is enormous, the produce is fresh and the selection is staggering — but whether the store will leave a hole in the wallets of patrons remains to be seen. The store’s ground floor isn’t just fully stocked with gourmet goods, a hot food buffet and a salad bar. It has impressive sushi and deli stations, a bakery the size of a small restaurant, a “World of Cheese” offering more than 300 varieties of cheese and a “World of Beer” that boasts 200 brands of booze. The store’s lower level, resembling the standard Key Food — of which there are about 100 citywide — features more generic groceries along with a full-service butcher and seafood station. While the design is well-executed and the food is much fresher and higher in quality than that of its predecessor, it’s expensive, according to Southbridge Towers resident Carolina Barbetto. Prices of certain goods are even higher than those sold at Jubilee and Zeytuna, two smaller gourmet markets on John Street, she said. “Most people who live here are on a fixed
Downtown Express photo by Helaina N. Hovitz
Shoppers flocked to last Wednesday’s grand opening of Key Food’s new 55 Fulton Market in the South Street Seaport.
income and receive a pension or social security,” said Barbetto. “A lot of the seniors I’ve talked to said they can’t afford it and don’t like having to find their way downstairs just for a quick carton of milk.” In contrast, Matthew Fichtemaier, who has frequented the market daily since its opening, found the prices to be reasonable. Ramen noodles at 75 cents a pack, he said, is a steal. “Jubilee is expensive for salad and vegetables,” he said. “This is also easier for me to get to late at night.” Beekman Street resident Charles Chawalko, who also gave the store two thumbs up, said he’s seen the grocery store packed at 11 p.m. “It definitely accommodates people who aren’t on a regular 9-to-5 schedule,” he said. However, not everything about the new market is positive, according to the locals. William Street Anastasia Kurylo thinks the
layout is “confusing,” adding that going back and forth between the floors just to compare prices of produce is “a bit of a hassle.” Still, she said, the wide selection makes it worth the trouble and saves her time from having to schlep to Whole Foods in Tribeca. “It’s great for people with unusual diets, like vegans and people who like to eat organic,” she said. “I’m on a gluten-free diet myself, and they have an entire section dedicated to that here.” Though most patrons seem to love the outdoor seating area, some of them are anxious about what will happen next month when local high school Murray Bergatraum is back in session. In the past, Burger King had problems with rowdy kids loitering in the fast food joint and accosting its employees. But store manager Anthony Marcano promised that Key Food has it covered.
“We’ve got security manning the store 24/7,” he said, “and there will be staff members out there in the afternoon making sure that nobody is bothering our customers.” Safety measures aside, some locals are worried that Key Food could jeopardize the local businesses. Southbridge resident Mary Killoran, for one, fears it could put her favorite neighborhood restaurants out of business. “Why do they have to make pizza and compete with the guy who’s been here for over 30 years?” she asked, referring to long-time neighborhood favorite Pasta and Pizza, also on Fulton Street. Killoran also complained about the staff’s demeanor. “The owner had an attitude when I asked for help finding the elevator. I told him, ‘I have a problem with my eyes,’ but it’s temporary. When they get better, I won’t be back.’”
August 22 - September 5, 2012
August 22 - September 5, 2012
Pier 40 faces closure, Hudson River Trust warns BY L I N CO LN A ND E R S O N “Unfortunately, it seems a bit like the Euro crises — where people don’t understand the problem until the pier is closed down,” Michael Novogratz, a board member of the Hudson River Park Trust, commented at the Trust’s July 24 meeting. Novogratz’s analogy referred to Pier 40, the crumbling and cashconsuming pier on West Houston Street that is the Trust’s biggest concern and challenge. “If it was my decision, I would say, cut it off — not one more dime goes into it — and we shut it down as necessary,” Diana Taylor, the Trust’s board chairperson, said of the problem pier. Even with some emergency fixes over the next few years, the Trust is still facing the possibility of having to do a “managed shutdown,” most likely in phases, of the massive 14.5-acre pier as it continues to decay. Pier 40 has become a serious financial liability for the Trust. The pier needs about $100 million in repairs for its roof and metal support pilings; one of its three stairwells, which are all falling apart, recently had to be closed for safety reasons. The Trust has had to dip into its reserve fund to finance a $6 million fix of the northeastern section of the pier’s roof, which is midway to completion. Even though the pier collects $5 million annually in revenue from its parking operation, Trust officials say the cost of repairing the deteriorating pier has become too high
— especially since, ideally, the pier was supposed to have been redeveloped by now. Trust president Madelyn Wils said the Trust is now assessing the cost of continuing to pour money into Pier 40 for these and other repairs with the hope that, in five to seven years, there will be a long-term plan in place for the pier’s redevelopment. Hudson River Park as a whole is struggling financially. Over the next 10 years, the 5-mile-long Hudson River Park is expected to bring in $200 million in revenue but have expenses totaling $280 million — a deficit of at least $80 million. Yet the park is intended to be financially self-supporting.
‘A DIFFICULT DECISION’ Not only would Pier 40 be lost but, were it to close, Hudson River Park would lose about 40 percent of its annual revenue. Wils called it “a difficult decision.” “No one wants to make this decision, but we don’t have the money for these repairs,” said Wils, adding, “We’re going to do our best to keep it open.” Finding a developer for Pier 40 that would finance the pier’s repairs has proven difficult: The Trust’s previous two attempts were sunk in the face of community opposition, and developers were seeking a lease longer than 30 years — the maximum time allowed under the park’s legislation. Earlier this year, a new study of Pier
Downtown Express photo by Chris Bishop
Pier 40’s fields are heavily used by youth leagues. The leagues commissioned a study, which found residential use on the pier would have low impact with high revenue.
40 commissioned by local youth sports leagues that heavily use the pier’s playing fields found that high-end residential development, compared to other options, would produce the least impact yet yield the highest revenue. Since residential use isn’t allowed under the 1998 park act, a legislative modification would be needed. A strategic task force of select community leaders considered the consultants’ report as part of their brainstorming on how to improve the park’s finances. Assembly Member Deborah Glick reiterated her opposition to the housing idea, insisting that residential buildings should not be built on scarce parkland. Glick slammed what she called the Trust’s “continuing attempt to stampede people into believing there’s only one solution — and that’s residential.” If Mayor Bloomberg has $260 million for Governors Island and money for other parks, she said, Hudson River Park deserves public funds, too. “The discussion [about Pier 40] has only been around since about May, and I don’t think it has been sufficiently broad,” Glick said. “A task force with a handful of people is not enough. We want to find a solution — a joint solution, but it has to begin with them giving up the residential idea.” Major League Soccer was eyeing the West Houston Street pier earlier this year for a new soccer arena, but the plan lacked political support, and legislative changes would also be necessary to permit a soccer stadium. After the state Legislature recessed in June without amending the park act, M.L.S. shifted its focus to Flushing Meadows, in Queens.
CHANGING THE PARK ACT At the July 24 Trust meeting, Wils said she felt the need to “take an aggressive approach” toward the West Houston Street pier a few months ago by pushing to change the Hudson River Park Act before the state legislative session ended in June. “I felt it was necessary, given that now there is no
path forward on Pier 40,” she said. But the Assembly bill that would have modified the 1998 park act never came up for a vote in June, and there was never a state Senate version of the bill. A bill could possibly come up for a vote at a special session in Albany in November or December; otherwise, it could be voted on with the state budget next March. Asked if the Trust will continue to push for changes to the park act, Wils said, “Yes, I think that it’s imperative.” The proposed modifications did not include a provision for residential use at Pier 40. They did, however, include an allowance for an art gallery or museum run by the City University of New York (CUNY) — but it isn’t clear whether those uses are banned from the existing legislation. Obviously, a CUNY gallery wouldn’t bring in anywhere near the revenue of 600 to 800 units of luxury rental housing. Wils said the Trust would like to see the amendments go farther than what was proposed this past June. “We would be looking for more revisions,” she said. “We’re having internal discussions with the city and state. We have to put the park on firm financial footing, and Pier 40 is part of that mix.” Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, who co-authored the original park act, put his name on the bill with the proposed legislative changes but indicated that he wasn’t very enthusiastic about it. “The bill was partly put in as a placeholder…to get a draft out in the public, so people could see it and comment on it,” he said. “I don’t know if anyone thought it should become law. It was a start.” He is hopeful that a modified version of the legislative changes will pass when lawmakers reconvene. “I’m optimistic that there will be strong community support and that a strong bill will be enacted.” Clearly referring to Glick, Gottfried added, “Hopefully, things don’t come down to passing something over anybody’s objection.”
August 22 - September 5, 2012
Zoning complaint highlights tension around POPS regs BY SA M S P O K O N Y An amendment to the cityâ€™s zoning laws, passed by the City Council in spring 2011, has resulted in new commercial uses for the privately owned public space (POPS) outside the Andaz Wall Street hotel. While the changes have received a generally positive community response, they have also sparked recent complaints that highlighted the strictness with which POPS regulations are now observed. This May, the hotel, located at 75 Wall St., opened a beer garden in the space it owns between Pearl and Water Streets. The Lower Manhattan Arcades Text Amendment, which affects 17 buildings on and around the entire length of Water Street, rezoned those properties to allow for the placement of cafĂŠ tables, chairs, umbrellas and garbage cans in outdoor public spaces, in addition to public seating, according to documents obtained from the Department of City Planning (D.C.P.). It was unanimously approved by Community Board 1, and also approved by the D.C.P.â€™s City Planning Commission, before being adopted by the City Council. Andazâ€™s beer garden has now filled its previously deserted outdoor area with a small bar and a variety of tables, often packed by both local residents and Financial District workers seeking a drink after work. â€œThey should have more places like this,â€?
said Wall Street resident Claudio Quaranta, 54, as he passed through the beer garden on a recent weekday evening. â€œIt fills the dark, empty space so nicely, and itâ€™s a great addition to the community.â€? Another Wall Street resident, 30-yearold Summer Harris, who was walking her dog there on the same evening, said that in addition to the beer garden, she enjoys the farmersâ€™ market held within Andazâ€™s POPS on Wednesdays and Saturdays. â€œIâ€™ve lived down here for four years, and there used to be nothing, said Harris. â€œI think this has become a fantastic gathering place, and the hotel has done a really good job of keeping it clean.â€? But senior citizen Diane Wintering, who lives on Hanover Square, recently confronted Andaz managers after being incensed by the beer gardenâ€™s violations of its POPS zoning regulations. Wintering complained to the hotel on Fri., Aug. 10 because ping-pong tables and a large flat-screen TV had been placed in the public space, and because hotel staff were playing music on outdoor speakers. Those entertainment features are not allowed in the space, according to the Arcades Text Amendment. By the following week, the music, pingpong table and television had all disappeared. It was a relatively quick turnaround given the fact that Wintering was the only person who
Downtown Express photo by Sam Spokony
Recent complaints about the Andaz Wall Streetâ€™s new beer garden underscore the increased strictness of zoning rules for privately owned public spaces.
actually approached the hotel about the zoning violations, and city officials had not gotten involved, according to Rachel Harrison, a regional spokesperson for Andaz.
â€œA lot of people loved the ping-pong table and the T.V., but we took the complaint
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Continued on page 17
August 22 - September 5, 2012
Jennifer Goodstein PUBLISHER EMERITUS
John W. Sutter ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Aline Reynolds ARTS EDITOR
Scott Stiﬄer REPORTER
Lincoln Anderson EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS
Bonnie Rosenstock Sam Spokony SR. V.P. OF SALES & MARKETING
Francesco Regini RETAIL AD MANAGER
Allison Greaker Julius Harrison Gary Lacinski Alex Morris Julio Tumbaco BUSINESS MANAGER / CONTROLLER
ART / PRODUCTION DIRECTOR
Right call on Bologna THE WALL STREET JOURNAL RECENTLY
spraying in the general area because the situation was getting chaotic and because some men were allegedly trying to sneak in under the netting. However, the videos are concrete visual evidence of what happened — and many would see intent behind Bologna’s walk-by spraying. In fact, the videos are what apparently dissuaded the city from defending Bologna. Four weeks after the Sept. 24 incident, which occurred during an unpermitted march that ended in dozens of arrests, an internal investigation found Bologna in violation of New York Police Department guidelines. He was given a departmental punishment and docked 10 vacation days. Bologna has reportedly accepted the slap on the wrist rather than go through a departmental trial. Ironically, it was this very pepper-spraying incident that put the fledgling O.W.S. movement on the map — so O.W.S. can thank Bologna for that. We think the city has taken the right step by deciding not to defend him. While the city needs to back its men in blue, Bologna’s actions were outside the scope of appropriate police behavior. This is also an important message for the city to send to its police officers: If you act outside of the parameters of your duties, the city will not indemnify you. This is an important check on police misconduct and brutality.
While Bologna will undoubtedly argue that the context is important and not fully visible in the YouTube videos of the incident, the city also needs to recognize the context of people trying to express their First Amendment rights of freedom of expression and association, and use maximum restraint in these situations. Police are trained to keep their cool in these instances, even when they are being provoked by protesters, as in this case. Bologna’s action, as captured on the videos, was clearly out of line. What’s more, his act casts a very negative light on the N.Y.P.D. — another reason the city is right not to defend him. On the other hand, Bologna’s penalty of being stripped of 10 vacation days is a joke. As a highranking commanding officer, he should be held to a higher standard than most on the force. Pepperspraying innocuous protesters was not befitting for someone of his rank, sent a terrible message to the world and was bad P.R. for our Police Department; the punishment should reflect that. As the protesters say, “The whole world is watching!” Videos and YouTube now scrupulously document everyone’s actions. The city relied on the footage and made the right decision in this case — though, again, we feel the penalty was too lenient.
A.I., OVERHAUL YOUR WHOLE
REMEMBER MOTHER JONES
To the Editor:
Lower Manhattan is a global model of a 21st century central business district — a community where businesses, residents, students and visitors from throughout the world want to be.
To the Editor:
Re “Downtown Express is sold to I.T. executive Jennifer Goodstein” (news article, Aug. 1 web issue):
reported that New York City has distanced itself from the high-ranking police official accused of gratuitously pepper-spraying a group of young female Occupy Wall Street protesters at a demonstration near Union Square last September. YouTube videos of the incident that went viral clearly showed the women were penned inside orange police netting when the officer strolled by and sneakily spritzed them with the noxious spray, causing them to fall to their knees, crying in agony. The city has taken the unusual step of declining to defend the officer, Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna, in a civil lawsuit over the incident filed by two of the women, who charge the officer peppersprayed them “for no legal reason.” Two additional protesters have also filed suit. According to the Journal, the decision means Bologna — the former commanding officer of Lower Manhattan’s First Precinct — could be personally liable for financial damages arising from the lawsuits. The Captains Endowment Association is now covering the cost of Bologna’s defense. According to his defense, Bologna was only acting in his capacity as a police officer and didn’t actually mean to spray the women. He claimed he was pepper-
Letters to the Editor
Arnold Rozon CONTRIBUTORS
Albert Amateau Helaina N. Hovitz Terese Loeb Kreuzer Jerry Tallmer PHOTOGRAPHERS
Milo Hess Terese Loeb Kreuzer Jeﬀerson Siegel PUBLISHED BY
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Re “Art Institute grads face uncertain, debt-filled future” (news article, Aug. 8): The Art Institute of New York City is a business just like every other college, trade school or learning institution. No one is forcing kids to sign up — all the information is in their contract. A.I. could use a revamping of their curriculum, though, not just one business course! I am a student there, and it’s benefited me a great deal, but I don’t expect A.I. to hand me a job. I see a lot of people there who clearly have no business being there and were probably sold on a fantasy. Also, many of the students come to class stoned (if they come at all), text during lectures or are on Facebook. Do they seriously expect to land a job? Sadly, we’re either forced to go to college or suffer a life of struggle in dead-end jobs. But I’d rather have the degree and be in debt than have neither. Don Donalds
Best wishes to my once and future colleagues. John, enjoy your next step. Jennifer, in the words of Mother Jones, I hope you’ll use your media to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” Rich Stein, online editor of LIHerald.com and copublisher emeritus of The Riverdale Press
Elizabeth H. Berger, President of The Alliance for Downtown New York
ADDICTED TO AMATEAU To the Editor: Re “A lifelong newsman looks back as he approaches 80” (news article, July 19):
THANK YOU, JOHN To the Editor:
I have been a member of AA (i.e., a reader of Al Amateau’s articles) for decades and when out of town need a fix! Take a rest, but don’t stay away too long.
Re “John Sutter says goodbye (editorial, Aug. 8 web issue):
On behalf of the Downtown Alliance, I want to join the many voices applauding John Sutter for his strong, civic-minded leadership of the Downtown Express, especially after 9/11. The Downtown Express has run more than 1,700 stories on rescue, recovery and reconstruction efforts in Lower Manhattan; his coverage of how Lower Manhattan has triumphed has brought us all together. John is an essential reason why
E-mail letters, not longer than 300 words in length, to email@example.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to Downtown Express, Letters to the Editor, 515 Canal St., Suite 1C, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. Downtown Express reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Downtown Express does not publish anonymous letters.
August 22 - September 5, 2012
On The Spot with
Joe DiAngelo In mid-September, 36-year-old Joe DiAngelo, a former personal trainer and sports coach from Jersey City, is opening a unique, new gym in Tribeca with his business partner Alejandro Ferrari. Superstar Gym, located at 452 Washington St. between Watts and Desbrosses Streets, will feature intensive personal training programs alongside high-tech machines. DiAngelo spoke to the Downtown Express about why he believes his European methods and equipment will make a big impact Downtown.
BY SAM SPOKONY How long have you been in this field as a business owner? For the last seven years, I’ve owned a personal training company called the Workout Loft. We’re able to transform people within eight weeks — even somebody who is really flabby and out of shape can leave our training sessions with a six pack. Will this be the first gym you’ve ever opened? The Workout Loft currently has a small space at 146 W. 23rd St., but Superstar Gym will be a brand new business, and, yes, it will be the first gym I’ve been a part of. At the
BY JANEL BLADOW
FINGER LICKIN’ DELISH…
A couple of weeks ago, a new, kid-friendly restaurant called Grandma’s House opened its doors on construction-heavy Peck Slip. It’s a daring move, considering the state of disrepair outside the inviting front door. But behind the white picket fence window boxes is another world — an oasis from the dust, noise and bustle of the city to a quaint, comfy world in a country kitchen. The inspiration comes from owner Kevin Barry, a longtime Downtown businessman and BBQ rib specialist. The décor is straight out of, well, a grandma’s house, complete with denim-covered stools and chairs, calico curtains and milk can and steam heaters table legs. A long counter lines the south wall, radiating a “soda fountain of the ’50s” ambience. While the look is fun, the food is the real draw. There, you can sip a fizzy drink from Brooklyn Sodaworks, Lime Rickey or Ben’s Brooklyn Egg Cream by Fox’s U-Bet. When was the last time you were in a Manhattan deli or coffee shop that still makes real egg creams? Quite a while, we guess.
Workout Loft, it’s mostly just based on holding one-on-one sessions with our personal trainers. What made you take the next step? The personal training business started ted growing at a rapid pace, because ause nobody even compares to us when it comes to getting results lts in the shortest possible time. So since we now have so many clients, I talked to Alejandro and we decided it was worth it to start our own gym. Wee also decided to team up with some Italian gyms, which feature state-of-the-art equipment nt designs, in order to combine their machiness with our methods and the experience of our trainers. What makes your training methods distinctive? We customize a unique workout program for each client. It starts with hightech equipment that’s used ed to do a body assessment, sessment, which shows hows us the composition position
While the look and drinks are fun, the food is the real draw. Barry brags about his super slow-cooked ribs, from the Original Grandma’s Baby Back Ribs (which are registered!) through the sassy, Key West Tropical Ribs (peach, mango, pineapple and more fruits with shaved coconut) to Italian-style (tomato gravy with caramelized Grana Padano cheese). The full menu debuts Labor Day. Other staples on the summer preview menu include Hambiggers with a selection of eight-ounce Angus, chicken, turkey or veggie burgers; the original New York Chopped Steak Hero smothered in cheese, onions, mushrooms and peppers; and breakfast all day. Another surefire hit is the homemade sweet potato fries. I tried the super creamy mac-and-cheese that is served in a little individual cast iron frying pan and gave it a tummypleasing thumbs up. “We call it food that hugs you,” Barry said. And he’s right!
HEART & SOUL… All last week, stroll-
ers along Fulton Street were wondering about the giant plastic red heart — not the Cupid kind, the one like our real organ — in front of the entrance to “Bodies…The Exhibition.” The 13-foot
of your body, your muscle mass and other vital statistics about the best ways for you to exercise. And based on that, we create a nutrition p program that is customized for g goal. So whether your personal fitness goa muscle or you want to lose weight, build b focus on areas like your arms or thighs, we build every single step ste around what you want to achieve. who comes to Will everyone wh Superstar Gym Supersta assigned a be ass personal trainer? person They can choose to enter a customized, one-on-one program, one-on but anyone who comes here will also come able get a membe ab bership and just use bersh the machines by themselves. It will them cost $75-100 for hour-long personal hour training sessions, train depending on the depe workout level, and work memberships will mem cost $100 per month. mo Do you plan to open more ggyms in the future? fu Well, we’re
long, 12-foot high heart statue is part of a campaign, “Have A Heart,” to inspire healthy lifestyle choices and educate visitors to the wonderful workings of the human heart. It was moved on Fri., Aug. 17 to Pier 17, where it was weighed as part of a Facebook contest that people around the country entered. The person who most accurately estimated the actual weight of the statue won a $500 travel voucher to New York City, a two-night hotel stay and two tickets to — what else? — “Bodies…The Exhibition” and “Dialog in the Dark.” The winner will be announced this week. Meanwhile, did you know that your heart beats more than 100,000 times a day and that your heart rate rises when you yawn? That information just wears out my little heart!
LOSING ANOTHER PIECE OF HISTORY…
For 29 years, South Street Seaport Museum volunteer and master woodcarver Sal Polisi chiseled, carved, sawed, hammered, painted and polished wooden maidenheads, model ships and signs for the Seaport Museum and others around the country. He worked six days a week, with little heat in the winter and no air conditioning in the steamy summer months, in the crowded carving house made of two shipping containers. Jam-packed with new projects and restorations, Polisi’s shop drew curious visitors like the Sirens wooed ancient
going to be a boutique gym. We’re not focused on trying to become one of those big franchises, but rather we’re focused on creating a unique user experience, which will allow people to get incredible results by using equipment that’s never been seen before in the U.S. What’s an example of your gym’s equipment that will be new to Americans? A very exciting piece is one that was designed by the Italian trainer Vincenzo Canali, who has worked with Olympic champion athletes throughout Europe. It allows you to do the same workouts as other multi-purpose machines, but the seat moves along with your body in order to keep your spine perfectly aligned in a healthy posture. It also provides a unique leverage system that you can use to customize the level of resistance throughout a wide range of weights, based on your own body weight. When it comes to personal fitness, how do you think Americans differ from Europeans? European clients are more focused on demanding results. I think Americans just tend to follow the crowd. They generally go to a certain gym because of how it advertises its celebrity clients, regardless of the results they’re actually getting. We want to change that experience and outlook. We might have high-profile clients, but we want people to be completely focused on achieving their own goals.
Photo courtesy of Grandma’s House
mariners. Sal happily greeted guests and answered questions. Now, New York City wants him out. Officials say his small workshop, perched between the ships and sidewalk on Pier 15 (at John St.), will block a proposed bike path and sidewalk. This has me and other longtime Seaport residents and advocates up in arms! Sal donates his time, never charging for his beautiful work. The Seaport Museum gives him his materials and recently offered him space on Water Street near Bowne & Co. Stationers — but this won’t do. Sal needs to stay where the boats are, in an open space where he can meet and greet locals and tourists alike, where one of the few authentic and living history nods to our nautical past should remain proudly in public view. Please call City Hall and fight to keep Sal, a former U.S. Navy sailor, and his shop on South Street.
August 22 - September 5, 2012
B.P.C. resident handcuﬀed during run-in with patrol oﬃcers
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
On more than one occasion, owners of dogs spotted off leash in Battery Park City’s Rockefeller Park have been handcuffed by local patrol officers.
BY T E RE SE LO E B K R E U Z E R Battery Park City’s Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) had received generally high marks from B.P.C. residents — that is, until January 2011, when former resident Adam Pratt had a run-in with them while walking his dog. As a result, Pratt was handcuffed and taken to Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric observation. On July 3, another disturbing incident surfaced. Neighborhood resident and dog owner Jared Sheer spotted two dogs running freely on the lawn, which is against park rules. Three PEP officers asked the dogs’ owners — a couple from the neighborhood — to leash the pets, which they did immediately. Then, according to Sheer, the officers surrounded one of the owners and demanded to see identification. The man said he didn’t have his ID on him, but that he lived nearby, on River Terrace, and could go get it. The officers pursued him as he began to walk away and then attempted to physically restrain him. “As an officer of the court, I felt a heightened duty to intervene,” said the eyewitness. “However, before I could, the man, clearly fearful of the out-ofcontrol situation, was able to get the Parks Enforcement officers off of him and ran straight for his apartment building.” More PEP officers arrived along with the cops, and the man was handcuffed and taken away in a police car. Jeff Galloway, who founded the B.P.C. Dog Association with his wife, Paula, said that Captain Edwin Falcon, head of the B.P.C. PEP, notified them of the incident the following day, reporting a confrontation involving a civilian’s assault of a PEP officer. The Galloways also heard from Sheer, who painted a different picture. “We contacted Gayle Horwitz, [president of the Battery Park City Authority], to alert her that we had received these reports that were inconsistent with one another,” Jeff Galloway said. “We wanted to make sure that this was being looked into. She informed us that the incident is being inves-
tigated by the Parks Department.” Horwitz wouldn’t comment, pending the outcome of the city’s investigation into the incident. The Parks Department has referred the matter to the city Department of Investigation (D.O.I.), which looks into complaints against city employees and those who do business with the city. A spokesperson for the D.O.I. declined to comment on how long the PEP investigation would take, who in the department was handling it and what the repercussions might be. The D.O.I. has the authority to refer complaints to the courts if deemed necessary. Two Januarys ago, Pratt claimed to have been assaulted by PEP officers on South End Avenue when he didn’t produce identification, but was issued a summons for disorderly conduct. He ended up filing a lawsuit against the city. Officers’ demand for identification often escalates the interaction between them and otherwise law-abiding citizens, Galloway said. “If an officer of the law observes you doing something that justifies them issuing either a warning or a summons, they have the legal right to demand an ID from you,” he said. If you don’t have ID, he noted, the police can haul you to the First Precinct and hold you until your identification can be established. According to Galloway, dog owners such as himself frequently leave their apartments without carrying ID. “I’ve explained to the PEP officers, ‘You have to realize this is not Central Park. This is not a place where people normally have an ID.’” Following the altercation between Pratt and the PEP, the patrol officers underwent special training to make them aware that, though they were patrolling a park, they were dealing with a local population. Some PEP officers were reassigned at that time, which Galloway said had the intended effect. “In general,” he said, “I’ve observed the PEPs interact appropriately with all sorts of people.”
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August 22 - September 5, 2012
New high-tech crime center enables cops to better target terrorists
Photo courtesy of the New York Police Department
The city just announced a partnership with Microsoft to enhance the software used in the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative command center (above).
BY A L I N E R E Y NO L D S Brand-new software is poised to assist cops in the effort to track down terrorists targeting the World Trade Center and other Downtown sites. The New York Police Department has joined forces with Microsoft to institute the initiative, dubbed the Domain Awareness System, with the goal of enhancing the city’s security cameras and other devices used to counter terrorist activity in Downtown and Midtown Manhattan. The system grants investigators access to information through live video feeds, suspects’ arrest records and 911 calls linked to suspects. The majority of the city’s estimated 3,000 closed-circuit TV cameras connected to the system are situated south of Canal Street. The cameras, connected to a real time data system will be automated to locate unattended packages, according to N.Y.P.D. Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne. “If somebody calls up and says, ‘There’s a suspicious package in front of the Stock Exchange,’ nobody has to do anything,” he explained. “It shows up in a coordination center, flashing on a map…and a person can hit a button to see any camera within 500 feet of that location.” With the help of the advanced technology, investigators will also be able to track the location of suspicious cars and map criminal history to reveal chronological patterns of crime. The system will also be able to detect whether radioactive material is naturally occurring, a harmless isotope used for medical treatments or the sign of a dangerous weapon. “We have thousands of detection devices, some as small as the size of a pager that police wear on their belts, to larger scans on trucks, that give details on threat levels,” said Browne.
The Domain Awareness System will be coordinated in the same undisclosed Downtown office as the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative command center, which was developed after 9/11 to heighten the city’s defense against terrorist attacks. The combined system, partly influenced by London’s anti-terorrist system, uses a combination of cameras and physical monitors to detect suspicious behavior. “We have millions upon millions of pieces of information — everything from 911 calls to detectives’ notes about a person arrested,” Browne elaborated. “We’ve now automated that process.” Cops, in other words, now have access to databases that give them critical clues about suspects’ appearances. For example, investigators would be able to quickly identify an arrested suspect with a certain neck tattoo, such as “Sugar.” The city will collect 30 percent of revenues made by Microsoft on future sales of the software and will direct the money toward other new crime-prevention and counter-terrorism programs, according to Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s office. “[The Domain Awareness System] will help the N.Y.P.D. do more to prevent crimes from occurring and help them respond to crimes even more effectively,” said Bloomberg in a statement. “Part of the reason we have been able to continue driving down crime to record lows while devoting considerable resources to counter-terrorism is our heavy investment in technology and our willingness to develop new, cutting-edge solutions to keep New Yorkers safe.” The Department is now devising ways to be electronically alerted about threats such as traces of anthrax, according to Browne. “Right now, it’s still a manual process,” he said. “We’re hoping there’s a way to automate that.”
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August 22 - September 5, 2012
B Y TERESE LOEB KREUZER
MAN RAMS STOLEN CAR INTO IRISH HUNGER MEMORIAL: On Sun., Aug. 12 around 5 p.m., a man in a stolen car drove at high speed down River Terrace and smashed it into the northwest corner of the Irish Hunger Memorial on Vesey Street. The tire tracks are still on the sidewalk. Part of the exterior stone casing of the memorial has been ripped away, exposing the structure within. According to eyewitnesses, a teenager on a skateboard managed to maneuver out of the way of the speeding car, narrowly missing being hit. “To me, it’s a miracle that no one was in the way of this missile,” said Community Board 1 member Dennis Gault, who arrived on the scene just before the car was towed away. The car was “really smashed up,” Gault noted. It appeared to him that the driver was trying to make a left turn but couldn’t because he was going so fast that he went up on the curb instead. The N.Y.P.D. identified the driver as Antoine Odom, 24, of Coram, N.Y. He has been charged with criminal possession of a stolen vehicle, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, grand larceny, operating a motor vehicle in an intoxicated condition and leaving the scene of an accident. The police report describes Odom as “incoherent and in a dazed state at the scene.” Eyewitnesses said that he was shirtless and that after the accident, he got out of the car and started yelling and doing pushups. According to the police, Odom had walked into a parking lot at 288 Pearl St. as some tourists parked their Chevy Malibu and gave the keys to an attendant. They walked away momentarily and then came back asking for the keys. When they put the keys in the car, Odom jumped in and began yelling at the attendant to move the cars blocking his path. When the attendant refused, he struck a parked Mercedes Benz. Odom was not apprehended until he
crashed into the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City. The Battery Park City Authority is working with its insurance carrier to assess the damage. “Many of the details are [still] unknown, but we want to have the repair work begin as soon as possible,” said B.P.C.A. spokesperson Matthew Monahan. The Memorial will remain open to the public during the work, he said, and previously scheduled repairs to the Memorial will be undertaken after the growing season next fall, as planned. “The accident repair project will get underway immediately,” he said.
DINING DEALS CONTINUE AT CONRAD NEW YORK’S ATRIO RESTAURANT: Though New York City’s Restaurant Week officially ended on Aug. 10, some restaurants are continuing to offer discounted meals through Mon., Sept. 3. Atrio, the fine-dining restaurant in the Conrad New York hotel at 102 North End Ave., is among them, with three-course, prix fixe lunches at $24.07 and threecourse dinners for $35 plus beverage, tax and tip. As with Restaurant Week itself, New York City’s tourism arm, www.nycgo. com, is organizing and running the extended promotion. Atrio, on the lobby level of the Conrad, has an ambitious menu with artfully presented fare that layers textures and tastes in interesting and unexpected ways. Among the appetizers on the Restaurant Week dinner menu, roasted Berkshire pork belly marries crisp, salty morsels of pork with sweet plums, crunchy pistachios and a refreshing sprinkling of herbs from the hotel’s roof garden. Restaurant Week dinner entrées include an attractive and tasty dish of Barnegat Light sea scallops that pairs kernels of grilled corn with bits of bacon, charred chilies, avocado mousse and a roasted pepper coulis garnished with upland cress. A delicious chocolate panna cotta dessert on both the lunch and dinner Restaurant Week menus serves up syrup-imbued Amarena cherries with almonds and a dollop of whipped cream. The food is prepared in an open kitchen equipped with a wood-burning stove that
Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Atrio restaurant in Battery Park City’s Conrad New York hotel serves breakfast, lunch and dinner from Monday to Friday and brunch and dinner on weekends. Below, crisp pork belly is served with plums, crunchy pistachios and herbs grown on the hotel’s roof.
imparts an excellent flavor to the restaurant’s stone-fired pizzas ($18 to $21) and other dishes. Atrio’s kitchen is under the direction of Chef Anthony Zamora, who is also in charge of Loopy Doopy, the hotel’s seasonal rooftop bar. He derived some of his signature dishes (caramelized onion pizza, crostinis and meatballs) from his Italian grandmother’s recipes. Before coming to Conrad New York, he was the executive chef at the Four Seasons Hotel. Atrio is open for breakfast from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.; lunch, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday brunch, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. For reservations, call (646) 769-4250. For more information on the extended Restaurant Week, visit www. nycgo.com/goprixfixe.
BATTERY PARK CITY IN BLOOM:
Daylilies adorn the “hot garden” in Battery Park City’s Wagner Park, which gets its name from the palette of colors chosen by noted garden designer Lynden B. Miller.
Battery Park City’s gardens are glorious at this time of year, especially in Wagner Park. On the perimeter of the park, platesized, pink hibiscus blossoms are putting on their annual show. Intriguingly shaped white spider flowers (Cleome) vie for attention alongside masses of yellow Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia “Goldsturm”). Wagner Park has two special gardens created in 1996-1997 by the noted garden designer Lynden B. Miller, who also designed gardens for The Central Park Zoo, Bryant Park, The New York Botanical
Garden and Madison Square Park. Each has its own distinctive color palette. The northernmost of the two gardens is known as the “hot garden” because of its preponderance of red, orange and yellow flowers offset by splashes of white. The southerly garden, with its pinks, lavenders and pale blues, is known as the “cool garden.” In the “hot garden,” an arrangement of yellow daylilies (Hemerocallis “Autumn Prince”) backed by tall, white stems of Phlox (paniculata “David”) is particularly lovely. Daylilies get their name from two Greek words: hēmera (“day”) and kalos (“beautiful”). Each daylily bloom is ephemeral, lasting only one day, but the stalks contain many buds. As one flower dies, another replaces it. The “hot garden’s” daylilies should be blooming for several more weeks. Daylilies are native to Asia, including China, Korea and Japan, but there are thousands of hybrids. They’ve been cultivated in China since at least 479 B.C. for use as food and medicine. Battery Park City’s Hemerocallis “Autumn Prince” was hybridized by Arlow Burdette Stout, a geneticist, plant breeder and educator at the New York Botanical Garden. He was fascinated by daylilies, creating more than a hundred hybrids. He introduced ‘Autumn Prince’ in 1941. To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, e-mail Terese Loeb Kreuzer at TereseLoeb10@gmail.com.
August 22 - September 5, 2012
Downtown Express photos by Milo Hess
Dancers showcase a panoply of moves and genres
The 31st annual Downtown Dance Festival, the longest-running festival of its kind in the city, featured eight days of performances staged at Battery Park, Dance New Amsterdam and One New York Plaza. Highlights from this yearâ€™s festival, which took place in mid-August, include Sri Warisan, a 15-member troupe from Singapore; Philadelphia-based Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers and 10 New York companies performing modern ballet, fusion and other dance styles. The festival culminated on Fri., Aug. 17 with the Indo-American Arts Councilâ€™s special celebration of Indian culture at One New York Plaza.
August 22 - September 5, 2012
Food demos add zest to market
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Adam Tiberio, owner of Tiberio Custom Meats, giving a butchering demonstration at the Thompson Warehouse on Water Street.
Continued from page 1
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that subscribe to a share of the anticipated harvest of a local farmer to receive weekly shares of produce during the harvest season. Tiberio’s July 29 butchering demonstration was illustrative of one of LaValva’s “ambitious goals” for the New Amsterdam Market, whose master plan is to expand from a weekly market on South Street to a hub that nurtures small food business and promotes food education. LaValva founded the market in 2005 to sell goods from local and regional food producers, which it has continued to do as it grew from a once-a-year affair to a weekly fixture on South Street, between Beekman Street and Peck Slip, from late spring to December. But LaValva’s idea was always to have his enterprise be more than a market. “What you’re seeing here today as a demonstration is something that we would love to see in one of the old Fulton Fish Market buildings,” he said, referring to the Tin and New Market buildings on South Street. He would like to install businesses like Tiberio’s in those buildings and hold cooking classes and food demonstrations there. Once the audience for the butchering demonstration had cleared out of the Thompson Warehouse and what remained of the beef carcass had been stowed away, a C.S.A. called Local Roots set up for a knife skills cooking class. Will Griffin, a Yale graduate who went on to become a chef, showed 15 students how to chop and dice like a professional. Griffin’s class was one of several cosponsored this summer by Local Roots and the New Amsterdam Market. Knife skills took place on July 29, followed by an Aug. 12 class on fresh pasta. On Sept. 23, there will be a hands-on class
on how to butcher a whole fish. Each student will get two fish with which to practice gutting, cleaning, de-scaling and filleting, and they’ll be allowed to bring home their handiwork. The Thompson Warehouse, where the classes are held, dates from 1868 and belongs to the South Street Seaport Museum. The historic setting is an important part of LaValva’s vision for a food hub in what he calls the “East River Market District.” The neighborhood, he said, has been a market district since the late 1600s. “Over the past 200 years, most of the buildings in this area were built to accommodate food businesses — whether they were supplying ships with food or importing flour or storing wine or bringing in spices,” he said. Rick and Michael Mast, who go by the name the “Mast Brothers,” will be the next food tenants to occupy the Thompson Warehouse. Since 2007, they’ve run a chocolate factory in Brooklyn, where they roast beans and wrap their chocolate bars in beautiful paper imported from Venice. In collaboration with the New Amsterdam Market, they will sell their chocolate in the Thompson Warehouse and talk about their production methods and about the history of cocoa. The Mast Brothers are the kinds of vendors LaValva said he loves and hopes to encourage with his market. “We know that the food businesses in the city are dynamic and are growing,” he said. “Our goal is to have this district, which is owned by the city, be thought of as a business incubator — especially for small food businesses. The people who saved the South Street Seaport from demolition looked on it as a place where people could come to learn about the history of the city, but also as a place that would support innovation.”
August 22 - September 5, 2012
Beer garden POPS stirs debate Continued from page 9
really seriously and immediately removed them,” said Harrison. “We have a great relationship with the community board and the city agencies, so we wanted to maintain that by being a good neighbor.” But the Andaz’s swift compliance may have resulted from more than just an inclination toward good, neighborly behavior. Since last September, when hordes of Occupy Wall Street protesters camped out in Zuccotti Park — a public space owned by developer Brookfield Office Properties — adherence to POPS regulations has become an increasingly scrutinized issue, said C.B. 1 Financial District Committee Chair Ro Sheffe. “People are much more attuned to the proper and improper uses of those spaces now,” said Sheffe. “What happened last year [at Zuccotti Park] was certainly an eye-opener for many of us, so I think there’s a heightened awareness about the POPS rules.” During the protesters’ encampment, which lasted about two months, police, city officials and Brookfield all struggled to figure out how to legally clear the park. The fact that it was technically open to the public 24 hours a day clashed with
zoning laws that allowed Brookfield to impose restrictions on how the space could be used. City Council Member Margaret Chin — whose office also received a complaint about the Andaz Hotel beer garden before its violations were corrected — stressed the necessity of maintaining strict POPS rules in order to avoid confusion in the future. “It is important that operators, like the Andaz, adhere to zoning restrictions,” said Chin. “[The Lower Manhattan Arcades Text Amendment] wasn’t a license to take over and do whatever you want. There is a balance here, and it must be preserved.” Wintering conceded that, to some degree, she appreciates that the Andaz addressed her complaints so quickly. But she remains dissatisfied overall, noting that she is disturbed by the very fact that the hotel’s outdoor space was legally rezoned for commercial purposes. “If the Andaz POPS is allowed to continue functioning as a beer garden, it sets a precedent for others in the area to do the same,” said Wintering. “Soon, we will have a string of similar POPS all along Water Street, Wall Street, Front Street and, heaven forbid, Occupy Wall Street will have a bar in Liberty Park. How will the public like that?”
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I.P.N. tenants contest skyhigh rents Continued from page 2
Stringer echoed Squadron’s sentiments, asserting that the Appellate Division’s April ruling “goes against the letter of the law, threatens to displace the tenants of I.P.N. and undermines rent stabilization throughout our city.” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, also present at the press conference, stressed the importance of preserving affordable housing for I.P.N.’s future tenants, not just for those who live there today. “This is now a neighborhood… where there are rents that blow your mind,” said the Speaker. “I worry that the person who wants to write the next great American novel, or the next Marvin Hamlisch, won’t think to come to New York — because they won’t think they can find an apartment that they can afford while they’re the waiter or the waitress or the bartender while doing that creative work. “I.P.N. has allowed those people t o c o m e a n d s t a y i n N e w Yo r k , ” the Speaker continued. “That doesn’t
just give us affordable housing. That feeds the soul of New York City.” Diane Lapson, president of I.P.N.’s Tenant Association, spoke to I.P.N.’s role in feeding and otherwise tending to community members around the time of 9/11. “We have been here for everyone’s births and deaths,” she said. “We do not think of ourselves as units of real estate.” Lapson’s college-aged daughter is living with her because she couldn’t otherwise afford to live anywhere near her family, she said. “I don’t just care about preserving affordable housing for me. I care about all the young people who deserve a chance in Manhattan to start their life and go after their dreams. “This is a terrible situation that we have to change.” As an 89-year-old I.P.N. tenant, Gertrude Stein especially worries about being displaced from her home. “Within a period of time, there’s no doubt in my mind that the rent will go market-rate,” she said. “I can just about make it now. I can just keep my fingers crossed and hope I can have some kind of peaceful existence.”
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August 22 - September 5, 2012
Extending Zadroga is in the works, says Feal Continued from page 1
covered by the federal law, but he hasn’t indicated when he’ll make a final decision. As a result, “Our timetable has been put off,” said Birnbaum. “We’re waiting to see what the final rule is going to be on cancer. As soon as we find that out, I think we’re going to be in a position to start trying to make some payments, because then we’ll know what the estimates will be.” In the meantime, Birnbaum is in the process of reviewing all the V.C.F. claims that are complete. She and her team are notifying claimants whose applications lack necessary medical information and other application data, “to advise them as to what they need in order to put their claims into a position to be reviewed for payment,” she said. Asked about the time frame of the cancer addition, N.I.O.S.H. spokesperson Christina Spring said that Howard is in the process of reviewing the feedback from the cancer proposal’s public comment period, which closed on July 13. Once the ruling is finalized, she noted, another 30 days
will transpire before the proposal becomes law. The V.C.F.’s New York City office, to open next month at 290 Broadway, will be responsible for arranging hearings for claimants who will be appealing their compensation awards once they receive them. In the inter-
‘A bill will be introduced in September to extend Zadroga, so that it’s more than ﬁve years.’ — John Feal im, Birnbaum and her team are scheduling additional clinics hosted by the New York City Bar Association, in which practicing lawyers and students help claimants fill out the necessary forms for compensation on a pro-bono basis. “They can submit claims up to five years [from now], but they have to
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awarded at least part of their claim,” she said. However, Birnbaum stressed that her hands are tied with respect to the total sum available to claimants. “We only have the amount of money Congress provided to us,” she said. “The only way there’d be a change, I assume, would be a legisla-
tive change.” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and the other politicians are also looking to reauthorize the existing law — currently set to expire in 2016 — so that money can be added to either the health or compensation portion, or both. The Senator deems Howard’s forthcoming decision to add cancer to the bill “a big step forward,” according to spokesperson Glen Caplin. “We will work as hard to reauthorize the 9/11 health bill beyond 2016 as we did in originally ensuring Congress fulfilled its undeniable moral obligation to our heroes and community survivors,” he said. Legislators are also planning to introduce a bill to Congress as early as this fall that would extend the amount of time people would have to apply for V.C.F. money by several years, according to John Feal, president of the FealGood Foundation, a 9/11 advocacy group. “A bill will be introduced in September to extend Zadroga, so that it’s more than five years,” he said. Gillibrand, he added, would be introducing the bill. Caplin confirmed that new legislation is in the works but wouldn’t confirm the timing.
August 22 - September 5, 2012
Local Chen advocates continue call for justice Continued from page 5
At the Aug. 11 demonstration in Columbus Park, more than 100 civic leaders and politicians contested Holcombâ€™s relatively light sentence of $1,182 forfeiture of pay and 30 days behind bars. â€œWe need to call for the Army to discharge Sergeant Holcomb as soon as possible,â€? Chin said at the rally. â€œHe should not be in there.â€? â€œThe whole Chinese community here is angry and disappointed,â€? said Gary Tai, president of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, who has lent a room in its Mott Street office to OCA-NY for press conferences about the Danny Chen case. â€œWe are all Americans. We should not be discriminated against. We should not be hated.â€? Five additional soldiers from the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division â€” Chenâ€™s military unit â€” face charges tied to Chenâ€™s death and will be tried by the Fort Bragg courts-martial in the coming weeks. Additional reporting by Sam Spokony. For updates on the Danny Chen case, visit www.downtownexpress.com.
Downtown Express photo by Sam Spokony