GAYLE HORWITZ RESIGNS AS B.P.C.A. PRESIDENT VOLUME 25, NUMBER 8
SEPTEMBER 19-OCTOBER 3, 2012
ness owners, first responders and others who contracted the disease from their exposure to ground zero. Howard’s decision mirrors the proposal of the S.T.A.C., which convened several times earlier this year to determine which cancers are medically linked to exposure to ground zero toxins. The soon-to-be added cancers include
BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER lmost two years after she was appointed president of the Battery Park City Authority, Gayle Horwitz announced her resignation, effective Oct. 1. She has been appointed the new chief operating officer of Nardello & Co., an international firm that specializes in litigation support, business intelligence and fraud investigations. William C. Thompson Jr. brought Horwitz in as president when he became chairman of the B.P.C.A. in March 2010. He had worked with her since 1996, when both of them were working at the city Board of Education. Subsequently, when Thompson became city comptroller, Horwitz became deputy comptroller and chief of staff. She served as first deputy comptroller from 2007 to 2010. In her Sept. 12 letter of resignation addressed to B.P.C.A. Chair Dennis Mehiel, Horwitz cited some of her accomplishments at the B.P.C.A. “We opened state-of-the art, multi-sport ball fields with lighting and synthetic turf as well as a newly treasured open space called the Terrace,” she wrote. “The entire length of Murray Street has been repaved with traffic calming measures and street lights, the South Quay has been restored, Wi-Fi has been installed in every park and West Thames Street Park was reopened.” Horwitz also mentioned that construction on Pier A was moving along and that the B.P.C.A.’s part of it should be completed by December. The B.P.C.A.’s finances, she noted, are “on solid ground.” “For the fiscal year that ended on Oct. 31, 2011,” she wrote, “we
Continued on page 9
Continued on page 26
Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess
O.W.S. protesters celebrated the movement’s one-year anniversary in their own unique way. More photos on page 19.
New hope for 9/11 victims: Feds add cancer coverage to Zadroga Act BY A L I N E R E Y NO L D S hough the National Sept. 11 Memorial Museum didn’t open on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, as hoped for, local residents and other 9/11 survivors had some good news to celebrate that week. On the eve of the anniversary, the federal government announced that it will be adding dozens of cancers to the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act — a land-
mark moment in the history of health care for the thousands of survivors that fell ill since that fateful fall. Per the April recommendation of the Scientific Technical Advisory Committee (S.T.A.C.), Dr. John Howard, the Zadroga Act’s health administrator, decided to add more than 50 types of cancers to the law — thereby authorizing treatment and financial reimbursement to area residents and busi-
5 15 C A N A L STREET • N YC 10 013 • C OPYRIG HT © 2012 N YC COMMU NITY M ED IA , LLC
September 19 - October 3, 2012 The event will help pave the way for the organization’s annual Fall Community Planting Day on Sat., Oct. 23, when volunteers will plant tulips and other flowers in the park
CHEN TRIALS RESCHEDULED The trials for the remaining two soldiers associated with the October 2011 suicide of Private Danny Chen have been rescheduled. Sergeant Jeffrey Hurst will be tried on Nov. 5-9, and Staff Sergeant Andrew Van Bockel’s trial is scheduled for Nov. 13-21 at the Fort Bragg military base. As previously announced, First Lieutenant Daniel Schwartz will be tried on Oct. 24-26. “Please keep in mind that these dates are subject to change [again] based on the needs of the court and the progress of the cases,” said Army spokesperson Benjamin Abel. While deployed in Afghanistan, Chen, who grew up in Chinatown, endured hazing and physical abuse by fellow soldiers. Five of the soldiers have already been convicted of bullying and dereliction of duty, but only Specialist Ryan Offutt, who abused Chen on the day of his suicide, was dishonorably discharged. City Council Member Margaret Chin and local advocates believe that all of the soldiers should be ousted from the Army. Chin and other activists rallied in Columbus Park on Aug. 11 to contend what they felt was too light of a sentence for Sergeant Adam Holcomb, who was charged with negligent homicide and reckless endangerment toward Chen and was only found guilty of two counts of maltreatment and one count of assault.
DOWNTOWN ALLIANCE TO HOST TWO OCTOBER EVENTS AT BOWLING GREEN PARK The Downtown Alliance is hosting its annual Adopt-A-Geranium event on Wed., Oct. 10 at Bowling Green Park, from 10 a.m. to noon. The Alliance is giving away the 4,000 geraniums previously planted in Battery Park as part of its Green Around Downtown program, which was designed to reduce the area’s carbon footprint and build community support of green activities.
from 10 a.m. to noon. While Council Member Margaret Chin plans to attend both events, Adopt-A-Geranium, she admitted, is her favorite. “I especially look forward to the event, since it is a wonderful way for me to meet all of my friends and neighbors in the community,” she said. Her geranium from last year, Chin noted, is alive and well. “It is in my office, and it has grown quite large under the care of my staff!” For more information, visit www.DowntownNY.com or e-mail ContactUs@DowntownNY.com.
NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-9, 12-28 EDITORIAL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10-11 YOUTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 ARTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30-31, 33-35 CLASSIFIEDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
C. B. 1 A schedule of upcoming Community Board 1 committee meetings is below. Unless otherwise noted, all committee meetings are held at the board office, on the 7th floor of 49-51 Chambers St., at 6 p.m.
ON THURS., SEPT. 20:
NEW PACE UNIVERSITY PROGRAM TO FEATURE ALL-STAR CAST On Thurs., Sept. 13, Pace University’s Lubin School of Business announced the launch of a new arts and entertainment management program that will boast a faculty of awardwinning directors, producers and managers in the arts and entertainment industry. Confirmed guest lecturers include Katie Couric, Ron Howard and Viacom Entertainment Group President Doug Herzog. Management majors concentrating in this new program will earn a bachelor of business administration degree intended to prepare the students for jobs in museums, dance and theater companies, art galleries, management companies and television production firms. The program is home to Bravo T.V.’s long-running show, “Inside the Actors Studio,” and has facilitated student internships at NBC, CBS, ABC, HBO, MTV, the Metropolitan Opera, Sony Music and SiriusXM Radio. The boundaries between industries and societies are blurring, according to the program’s director, Theresa K. Lant, who joined
The full board will meet at St. John’s University (101 Murray St., between Greenwich Street and the West Side Highway).
ON MON., OCT 1: The Housing Committee will meet.
ON TUES., OCT. 2: The Seaport/Civic Center Committee will meet. The Battery Park City Committee will meet at the Battery Park City Authority (1 World Financial Center, 24th floor).
ON WED., OCT. 3: The Financial District Committee will meet.
Pace University’s faculty in 2009. “Bringing together business and performing arts students in the same classroom prepares students for building relationships across boundaries,” she said.
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Downtown Express photo by Aline Reynolds
Though the Port Authority and the 9/11 Memorial Foundation have ended their financial stalemate, the completion date for the 9/11 Memorial Museum is still ambiguous.
Port Authority and 9/11 Memorial strike deal BY A L I N E R E Y NO L D S Though the hiatus on construction of the National Sept. 11 Memorial Museum looks like it is coming to an end, the museum still won’t be open until late next year, at the earliest. On Mon., Sept. 10, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the 9/11 Memorial Foundation reached a preliminary agreement to move ahead with construction of the underground World Trade Center museum starting in early October. Work at the site significantly slowed down in the past several months due to a financial stalemate between the Port Authority, the site’s construction manager, and the foundation, which is responsible for financing the memorial. As per the deal, the two parties will be meeting on a regular basis to discuss budgetary needs, ongoing operation costs and construction schedules. A coordination task force will be created to tackle any issues stemming from the planning or implementation of activities, in an effort to minimize their disruption among other W.T.C. stakeholders. Additionally, the Port Authority and the foundation will work together to obtain federal funding for the museum’s operating expenses, according to a Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U.) issued jointly by the Port Authority and the memorial. A newly established advisory committee, comprised of appointees by the
New York and New Jersey governors, the foundation and the New York City mayor, will be charged with resolving future disputes between the Port Authority and the foundation. Memorial Foundation president Joe Daniels, who recently voiced disappointment in the project’s delay, told the Downtown Express that he doesn’t see shortfalls in this deal — even though there is no mention of the foundation’s receipt of close to $150 million it was demanding from the Port Authority for expenses caused by museum construction delays. As part of the deal, the memorial has agreed to fork over $12 million to the Port Authority for construction-related costs. “We’re really happy with this arrangement: It says that, fundamentally, construction is restarting and it will not stop until the museum reopens,” said Daniels. “It’s a positive thing for everyone concerned with the project.” The Port Authority estimates that, of the $300 million in anticipated overtime work and other cost overruns, the settlement reduces the exposure by more than $150 million, according to the M.O.U. In a written statement, Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke to the progress made at ground zero in the last few years, and called the agreement “yet another milestone in our work to finally complete Continued on page 24
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September 19 - October 3, 2012
SUSPECTED OCCUPY RAPIST ARRESTED A homeless man sought by police for several days after he allegedly raped a woman near the South Street Seaport, turned himself in on Fri., Sept. 14. Jackie Barcliff, 44, was placed into custody at Manhattan Criminal Court, because he had seen his photo printed in newspapers throughout the city, police said. He was arrested for sexually assaulting a 56-year-old woman at Pier 15 and subsequently pushing her off a 20-foot-high balcony â€” leaving her with a broken pelvis and other serious injuries â€” on Mon., Sept. 10. While investigating the crime, police also linked Barcliff to the Aug. 12 rape of a 14-yearold girl in Midtown, and have charged him with both crimes, the Daily News reported. Both Barcliff and the woman he allegedly raped near the Seaport have ties to Occupy Wall Street. The Daily News also reported that he had been arrested last December, during the O.W.S. protests, for assault and resisting arrest.
D.W.I. HARBOR BOATER CHARGED Richard Aquilone, 43, pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter and operating a vessel while under the influence on Thurs.,
Sept. 13 â€” more than two years after he crashed his boat into a smaller vessel in New York Harbor, killing its operator. Aquilone, who is from Jersey City, blamed a sightseeing boat for cutting him off and causing the July 2010 accident, which crushed a 29-year-old man whose wedding was weeks away. Prosecutors said that Aquiloneâ€™s bloodalcohol level was .06 immediately after the boat crash, the New York Post reported, which placed him below the legal limit of .08 but was high enough to back up the charge of operating a vessel while under the influence. Along with claiming his innocence, Aquilone is suing Circle Line, the company that owns the sightseeing boat that he alleges caused the crash.
SUBWAY PHONE SNATCHER Police are searching for a teenage thief who snatched a womanâ€™s cell phone at a Chambers Street subway stop early on Sat., Sept. 8, and fled the scene alongside a group of adoring girls. The perp â€” described as a 16-year-old dark-skinned Hispanic male, approximately 5â€™5â€™â€™ and 115 pounds â€” boarded a southbound 2 train at the Christopher StreetSheridan Square subway station at around
12:30 a.m., with five similarly aged girls in tow, according to the police report. He spotted a 39-year-old woman checking her iPhone, and when the train reached the Chambers Street station, he plucked the phone out her hand and fled with his posse. The unhappy subway rider tried tracking her stolen phone with the â€œFind my iPhoneâ€? app at the First Precinct, but the digital search turned up no results.
LUNCHTIME LARCENY A 58-year-old woman was left with a bad taste in her mouth after finishing her lunch at a T.G.I. Fridayâ€™s, at 47 Broadway, on Fri., Sept. 7 once realizing that her purse had been picked through. As she prepared to pay the check and leave the restaurant at around 12:30 p.m., the woman realized that her debit card and $150 in cash were missing from the purse, which she had left hanging from the back of her chair, police said. She avoided further trouble by canceling the card before it could be used. The restaurantâ€™s surveillance tapes, released to police shortly after the crime was reported, showed a black woman, approximately 5â€™2â€™â€™ and 160 pounds, rummaging through the victimâ€™s handbag and making off with the items. The suspect was accompanied by two unknown males, according to the report.
GLOVED JEWELRY BANDIT Police are on the hunt for a glove-clad man who stole nearly $6,000 worth of gold rings from a West Broadway jewelry store on
Thurs., Sept. 6. A 25-year-old employee of Pandora, at 412 West Broadway, told police that she had been showing the suspect several items from behind the counter at around 3 p.m., when she walked away for a few minutes to look up a specific ring size on the storeâ€™s computer. Upon her return, she realized that the man â€” who she had previously noticed was wearing blue gloves â€” vanished from the store with a jewelry cone that held three gold, diamondstudded rings, each valued at around $2,000. The employee described the bandit as dark-skinned Hispanic, and approximately 5â€™9â€™â€™ and 250 pounds.
DONâ€™T LEAVE THAT PURSE UNATTENDED An unknown thief made off with a womanâ€™s unattended purse while she was in an Old Navy changing room on Sat., Sept. 8, police said. The 22-year-old woman had left her handbag outside a fitting room, by a clothing rack, while trying on clothes in the 503 Broadway store at around 5 p.m. When she returned to pick up the purse several minutes later, it was gone, along with all of the possessions stowed inside. The theft left the woman â€” who is originally from Florida and studies at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights â€” without her leather wallet, her driverâ€™s license and school identification card, her debit card, her MetroCard, her checkbook and her cell phone. â€” Sam Spokony
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September 19 - October 3, 2012
Prostate Cancer Screening Put to the Test Free Lecture: Cancer Risk, Screening & Controversy
Presented by NYU Cancer Institute, an NCI–designated Cancer Center Downtown Express photo by Helaina Hovitz
Downtown Hospital, Manhattan’s only hospital south of 14th Street, operated an unlicensed detoxification unit for nearly a decade.
Downtown Hospital ﬁned millions for past fraud BY A L I N E R E Y NO L D S Downtown’s only hospital is one of seven hospitals state-wide that engaged in fraudulent activity for years, dating back to the 1990s. New York Downtown Hospital has agreed to pay $13.4 million to the state and federal governments to settle a fraud case involving illegal payments made to the hospital for unlicensed inpatient drug and alcohol services. What’s more, the services were granted to patients who were unlawfully referred to the hospital. The fraud was carried out between 1998 and 2006, according to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office. The scandal was revealed by whistleblowers Dr. Mathew Gelfand, director of a methadone treatment clinic at Long Beach Medical Center, and Enrico Montaperto, a former social worker, who had filed complaints under the state’s False Claims Act. They will share 18 percent of the $13.4 million penalty. The hospital was charged with conspiring with SpecialCare Hospital Management Corporation, a Missouri-based health care provider, to submit false claims to Medicaid and Medicare under the guise of an “administrative services” agreement. SpecialCare marketed its services to Downtown Hospital and other hospitals around the state that initiated the New Vision program for Medicaid patients undergoing substance abuse and alcohol withdrawal. According to the terms of the settlement, Downtown Hospital has agreed to return more than $12.6 million to the Medicaid program, which provides health care for poor and disabled New Yorkers, and $800,000 to the federal Medicare program, which serves the elderly and disabled. While the hospital continues to accept Medicare and Medicaid patients, the controversial detoxification program ended in 2005, said Chiu-Man Lai, an assistant vice president at Downtown Hospital. According to Schneiderman’s office, the
hospital was paying SpecialCare a monthly fee of $38,500 for the referral of Medicaid patients to the hospital’s unlicensed detoxification unit. The services themselves weren’t medically necessary and failed to meet professionally recognized standards of care. In doing so, the hospital violated federal and state anti-kickback laws as well as state Medicaid rules. State law requires hospitals to have a certificate from the New York Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services in order to operate a freestanding chemical dependency treatment unit. The fine places a steady financial burden on the hospital. In settling the case, a U.S. district court outlined a payment schedule by which the hospital would pay $131,493 monthly to the state and $101,577 monthly to the feds from Sept. 5, 2012 to July 5, 2017. “It’s going to be a hardship for us,” said Lai. “We’ll try to continue our daily operations and make the payment on time.” In a written statement, Tony Ercolano, manager of special projects at New York Downtown Hospital, asserted that the hospital has not admitted to liability, as reflected in the settlement with the government. “The current leadership is pleased to get these allegations — which date back over ten years — behind us,” he said. “The hospital can now focus its efforts on continuing to provide the highest quality health care to the Downtown community.” Lai voiced doubt about the charges — after all, the hospital is inspected every three years by the state, she noted. “I don’t think we would take that risk, to operate something that’s illegal,” she said. “If we’re really doing something we’re not supposed to, I don’t think they’d give us that operating license, period.” Nevertheless, Schneiderman contended that the settlement indeed holds Downtown Hospital accountable for the scheme and will make providers think twice Continued on page 25
In 2011, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released an updated statement on PSA (prostate-speciﬁc antigen) testing for men, recommending—for the ﬁrst time—that healthy men avoid getting regular PSA tests. Join us to hear our doctors’ perspectives on the pros and cons of screening and their explanations why views and beliefs about the validity of PSA are changing.
Presenters: Samir Taneja, MD The James M. Neissa and Janet Riha Neissa Professor of Urologic Oncology Department of Urology Stacy Loeb, MD Clinical Instructor Department of Urology William Huang, MD Assistant Professor Department of Urology
Thursday, September 27, 2012 6:00 PM –7:30 PM NYU Langone Medical Center 550 First Avenue, Alumni Hall A In recognition of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Please visit www.nyuci.org/rsvp or call 212-263-2266. Provide your name, phone number, the name of the lecture and number of people attending.
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September 19 - October 3, 2012
9/11 commemorations toned down from years past BY ALINE REYNOLDS AND SAM SPOKONY It was a bright, crisp morning similar to Sept. 11, 2001 — filled with grief, hope and fond memories. Scores of 9/11 family members from around the nation convened at the National Sept. 11 Memorial plaza on Tues., Sept. 11 to commemorate the deaths of their loved ones. The ceremony, held annually at the World Trade Center, omitted speeches by dignitaries for the first time — part of a nationwide initiative this year to scale back 9/11 commemoration events. As usual, neither local residents nor first responders were permitted to attend the ceremony. The program began shortly after 8:30 a.m. with bagpipers and drummers marching alongside an American flag carried through the memorial to the stage, where the Young People’s Chorus of New York City performed the national anthem. Moments of silence were observed throughout the morning at the times of the W.T.C., Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania plane crashes, in between the emotional reading by family members of the 2,983 names of those who died on 9/11. The participants also read aloud the names of the deceased from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The program concluded with a performance of taps by three trumpeters from the New York Police Department, the Fire
Downtown Express photos by Aline Reynolds
For the first time, dignitaries didn’t speak at the Sept. 11 commemoration ceremony this year.
Department of New York and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department. Though 11 years have passed, Alyson
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Lowe, from Fayetteville, Arkansas, felt emotionally exhausted before and during the ceremony. Lowe’s sister Sara Lowe, a flight attendant, was on the American Airlines jet that struck the North Tower at 8:46 a.m. that day. Lowe said the diminution of the ceremony didn’t bother her — particularly if it benefits the Downtown community. “If it gets smaller, that’s fine, or even if it stops altogether, that’s okay,” she said. “We know that it’s really disruptive to the people who live and work down here, and we’re mindful that they deserve to have their lives get back to normal.” Victor Santillan, whose sister and cousin were among the 658 Cantor Fitzgerald workers who were trapped on the top floors of the North Tower, was also indifferent about the non-participation of Mayor Mike Bloomberg and other politicians the day of the ceremony. “As long as people are paying respect to lost ones,” he said, “I’m okay either, or.” Attending the ceremony at the plaza, rather than on barren land at the site, makes such a difference, he said. “For so many years, we had to trek down the stairs, and we weren’t really able to go around.” Commenting on the plaza’s makeup, Santillan said, “The fact that they were able to do the waterfalls is a long-lasting tribute to our family members.”
9/11 MEMORIAL’S ‘COMMUNITY EVENING’ OFFERS QUIET REFLECTION In advance of the more publicized commemoration ceremony, the 9/11 Memorial invited Downtown residents to spend an evening at the Memorial plaza on Sun., Sept. 9. Passes were provided by the 9/11 Memorial through Community Boards 1, 2 and 3. While some tourists were still present,
the plaza was less crowded and even more serene than usual, providing several hours of peaceful reflection for locals who were deeply affected by the disaster. Though artist Diane Blell, who has lived on Cedar Street since 1977, can see the memorial from her apartment window, she hadn’t paid a visit to the plaza until that evening. “I saw the construction taking place every day,” she said, “but once it was done, I just didn’t have the heart to come. But I’m so glad I came tonight. It’s so graceful and reverent, and it has a purity that I didn’t expect.” Blell was hit hard by 9/11, even though she wasn’t in her apartment that morning. The wreckage and debris caused by the collapse of the towers all but made her homeless for a year, as she was forced to sleep on friends’ couches. She was especially moved by the sense that, upon stepping foot on the Memorial plaza, she had truly regained her home. “It’s a beautiful testament, and it just feels so perfect,” she said. Pine Street resident Bill White visited the memorial that night not only because he is a local resident, but because his connection to the W.T.C. dates back to the 1993 bombing at the site. At that time, he was the assistant director of disaster services for the Greater New York branch of the American Red Cross. “Taking the time to reflect on these events is such a personal matter for people of this community, and it’s even more personal for me because of my previous involvement in the site,” said White. “So I think that being invited here tonight sends a very meaningful message to the community.” Continued on page 22
September 19 - October 3, 2012
It’s mutiny on the waterfront as Durst pitches Pier 40 plan
Rendering courtesy of Assembly Member Deborah Glick’s office
A rough sense of how Pier 40 would look with 15-story towers slapped onto its northern edge.
BY L IN C O LN A ND E R S O N Taking a different tack to try to save Pier 40, Douglas Durst, chairperson of the Friends of Hudson River Park and president of the Durst Organization, is pushing an alternative plan to add valet parking and a high-tech campus to the massive, crumbling structure.
Joining Durst in the effort is Ben Korman, the Friends’ vice chairperson and a partner in C&K Properties, which formerly ran the parking on the 14.5-acre West Houston Street pier. Durst’s Pier 40 plan is at odds with the vision of the Hudson River Park Trust, the state-city authority that
operates the waterfront park. The Trust, along with local youth sports leagues, has recently been pushing for residential housing development on the park pier. The youth leagues commissioned a Pier 40 study earlier this year, which found that adding 600 to 800 units of high-end rental housing on it would provide the greatest amount of revenue when compared with other types of development scenarios studied. Doing nothing on the pier is not an option, the Trust says, since without a major cash infusion by a private development project, the decaying pier won’t be repaired, and the entire park — which depends on Pier 40’s revenue — will be increasingly in the red. Until recently, Pier 40 supplied about 40 percent of the park’s revenue. Without funding, Pier 40 might have to be shut down in phases, the Trust’s leadership recently warned. Parking is currently on all three levels of the pier. Under Durst’s idea, the parking would be moved to one level — possibly the ground floor — in order to free up space on the other two levels. Jordan Barowitz, a spokesperson for Durst, outlined the new plan. “It’s attendant parking,” he explained. “With attendant parking, it can be a lot more efficient in terms of space.” Durst’s plan doesn’t seek to increase revenue by increasing either the amount of parking or the parking fees, according to Barowitz. Rather, the extra revenue would come from new uses in the space left over from consolidating the parking in a smaller area. Durst envisions these uses as commercial, offices or a high-tech Continued on page 28
September 19 - October 3, 2012
Dance New Amsterdam announces new ﬁve-year recovery plan BY H E L A IN A H O V IT Z Though it recently avoided eviction, Dance New Amsterdam, the first nonprofit organization that opened in Downtown since 9/11, is still millions of dollars in debt. Consequently, the dance studio has undertaken a five-year recovery plan whose mission is to increase individual, community and philanthropic support with the goal of avoiding raising class prices. Hit hard by the recession, the organization — housed in a 25,000 square-foot facility at 280 Broadway — has to meet an immediate need of $150,000 just to stay afloat. The studio, which opens early and closes late seven days a week, employs 650 people and costs more than $2 million to operate annually. The recovery plan entails increasing revenue by growing class and theater attendance and expanding the size and duration of its classes, among other tactics, according to Catherine Peila, the organization’s executive director. “We’re doing everything we can to stay true to our mission to provide affordable public dance space,” she said. The economic downturn has caused D.N.A. and many other nonprofits to lose their endowments. Peila believes that creating a new business plan modeled after a for-profit business is one way to make them commercially viable. Any surplus revenue, in other words, would go right back into D.N.A. programming. Were D.N.A. to close, the community as a whole would lose some 35,000 customers, according to the organization’s estimates,
Photo by Erika Latta, courtesy of Dance New Amsterdam
which reference neighborhood restaurants that faculty and students frequent along with such stores as Modell’s and Century 21. “This isn’t just about one organization,” affirmed Peila. “If we go, so do a lot of businesses.” The initiative is an outgrowth of the roundtable discussion Peila hosted in June attended by state Senator Daniel Squadron, members of Community Board 1, cultural advocate Paul Nagle and Michael Kaiser of the Kennedy Center’s DeVos Institute. Participants worked together to come up with ideas for a plan to help the center, which Squadron deems “integral to Lower Manhattan’s recovery.” “I’m proud to stand with D.N.A.,” he said in a statement addressing the group’s five-year
NOTICE OF DISTRICTING COMMISSION PUBLIC HEARINGS FROM OCTOBER 2, 2012 TO OCTOBER 11, 2012 The NYC Districting Commission will hold five public hearings from October 2, 2012 to October 11, 2012. These hearings are open to the public. Individuals wishing to pre-register for speaking time or to submit written testimony in advance may do so by signing up online at http://www.nyc.gov/districting. Individuals wishing to speak at any hearing will be provided up to three minutes of speaking time. BRONX Tuesday, October 2nd 5:30PM – 9:00PM
Bronx Community College 2155 University Avenue Bronx, NY 10453
MANHATTAN Thursday, October 4th 5:30PM – 9:00PM
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture 515 Malcolm X Boulevard New York, NY 10037
STATEN ISLAND Tuesday, October 9th 5:30PM – 9:00PM
New Dorp High School 465 New Dorp Lane Staten Island, NY 10306
QUEENS Wednesday, October 10th 5:30PM – 9:00PM
LaGuardia Community College Little Theater 31-10 Thomson Avenue Long Island City, NY 11101
BROOKLYN Thursday, October 11th 5:30PM – 9:00PM
Medgar Evers College Founders’ Auditorium 1650 Bedford Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11225
Prior to the hearings, you may submit written comments to the NYC Districting Commission by mail to: NYC Districting Commission, Attn: Jonathan Ettricks, 253 Broadway, 7th Fl., NY, NY 10007, or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org on or before 5:00 P.M. on the date of the hearing. Please indicate in your correspondence the date of the hearing for which you are submitting your comments. NOTE: The hearing locations are accessible to those with physical disabilities. Individuals requesting an interpreter for sign language or any other language at any hearing should contact the NYC Districting Commission at email@example.com or by calling 212-442-0256 five days in advance of the hearing, and reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate such requests.
recovery plan. “It’s critical to our neighborhood’s emergence as one of New York’s burgeoning cultural centers.” D.N.A. differs from other dance studios, because it doesn’t have an in-house dance company, nor does it operate within a single niche. The organization provides education and rental spaces to artists, hosts performances and teaches every type of dance in the book without requiring membership. In adhering to its nonprofit status, D.N.A. charges minimal fees and conducts a modest amount of commercial business, according to Peila. D.N.A. recently scored a sizeable victory in renegotiating a new, ten-year lease. Consequently, its rent was lowered by $30,000 a month, and the studio was absolved of all overdue back rent.
The studio’s recovery plan is indicative of the need for other Downtown arts organizations to examine and reform their finances and programming. It is currently partnered with the Lower Manhattan Arts League, the Tribeca Performing Arts Center and the New Museum, and aims to collaborate with additional groups in order to increase earned revenue and contributions. “The World Trade Center Performing Arts Center will be built down here, and it would be a brilliant thing to be able to work with them,” Peila said. Founded in 1984, D.N.A. moved to Lower Manhattan in 2006. Hailing from the non profit community herself, Peila, who first joined the organization as a consultant in 2007, became its general manager on the heels of the recession in 2008. Upon taking the helm as executive director last year, she made drastic salary cuts to the highest-paid staff and otherwise restructured the organization. As part of its five-year plan, D.N.A. is on the active hunt for donations and sponsorship from individuals, businesses and philanthropists. Currently, the dance studio manages to provide low-cost rehearsal space, free performances and Friday classes and grants for artists to enable them to develop their work. “The dancers aren’t asking for free classes. They just want to be able to pay for them reasonably,” said Peila. “We don’t want to have to compromise our mission to support the life, career and longevity of dance artists.”
September 19 - October 3, 2012
Trinity Church and churchyard wall get a facelift BY T E RE SE LO E B K R E U Z E R Architect Richard Upjohn’s Gothic masterpiece, Trinity Church, has stood at the corner of Wall Street and Broadway since 1846. This year, it is getting a facelift. Since July, the church’s iconic front has been shrouded in scaffolding. For the first time since 1992, when the church was cleaned and repaired, conservators ascended to the cross 280 feet from the ground to undertake the painstaking task of assessing the condition of the spire and the massive tower beneath it. As workers began repairs on one level, surveyors moved to the level below it to see what needed to be done. The spire appeared to be in fairly good condition, considering that it hasn’t been worked on in years, according to Tricia Atallah, director of Mission Properties and Businesses, the maintenance and preservation department of Trinity Wall Street, the church’s parish. The tower under the spire is in worse condition, she said, though not in dire straits. “We want to take care of safety concerns — loose elements that could fall one day. We will do some preventative work so that the spire and the tower will be good for the next 10 to 20 years.” A major problem has proven to be that much of the church was previously pointed
with a mortar mix of lime, sand and cement that yielded hard, impermeable mortar. ”Water is normally supposed to come through the mortar joints but the water is getting trapped [by the hard mortar] and it’s coming through the stone,” said Luke S. Johns, construction project manager for Mission Properties and Businesses. “As it comes through the stone, it’s causing more and more damage.” Because the church is built of brownstone, which is relatively soft, removing the hard mortar, where necessary, is time-consuming. Should some of the brownstone prove to be badly damaged, it will be fixed with what Johns called “a Dutchman repair,” in which a portion of the stone is removed and pins are inserted in the stone. In extreme cases, he said, the crew would remove a complete stone. The spire and tower are being cleaned, not only for aesthetic reasons but to remove moss, which traps water. The church, whose parish dates from 1697, is one of the most historic sites in Manhattan. The current church is the third in this location. “We may have archaeologists working with us depending on what we bump Continued on page 15
Cancers added to 9/11 health bill Continued from page 1
cancer of the nose, the larynx, the esophagus, the stomach, the colon, the liver, the breast, the ovary and the thyroid. Howard’s decision will become effective on Fri., Oct. 12, 30 days after its publication in the federal register, which occurred the day after this year’s 9/11 anniversary. When patients of the World Trade Center Centers of Excellence — at Bellevue Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital and the Fire Department of New York — will begin to receive cancer treatment, however, is unclear. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, patients can start the process of applying for treatment once the cancer ruling becomes effective. In his written decision, Howard stressed that the addition of these cancers to the law does not guarantee that a particular individual’s condition will be certified for treatment. All cancer-stricken 9/11 survivors and responders must be assessed for their symptoms, exposure levels and personal medical history before being determined eligible for chemotherapy and other forms of care at the Centers of Excellence. Those who do not qualify for care are allowed to appeal Howard’s decision. Though the feds came short of quan-
tifying the benefits associated with the federally subsidized health programs, higher survival rates for cancer patients are expected, since enrollees will receive a higher quality of care than they would otherwise. Says the ruling, “Barriers may exist to access and delivery of quality health care services for cancer patients in the absence of the services provided by the WTC Health Program.” S.T.A.C. member Catherine McVay Hughes, who chairs Community Board 1, was particularly pleased to hear that thyroid and certain other cancers that the S.T.A.C. nearly vetoed for addition were ultimately included in the list. “It’s unbelievable,” she said of the announcement. “This is a huge milestone.” As for the start of cancer treatment at the W.T.C. Centers of Excellence, Hughes said, “It’s something we’ll have to ramp up quickly to address the increasing need.” Politicians representing Lower Manhattan immediately wrote to the press following the news. U.S. Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler and Peter King issued a joint statement that called Howard’s decision “great news for the responders, survivors and their families, who have long known — and have lived with — the reality that 9/11 dust and toxins cause cancer.” Continued on page 23
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September 19 - October 3, 2012
Jennifer Goodstein PUBLISHER EMERITUS
John W. Sutter ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Aline Reynolds ARTS EDITOR
Scott Stiﬄer REPORTER
Lincoln Anderson Sam Spokony EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS
Helaina Hovitz Bonnie Rosenstock SR. V.P. OF SALES & MARKETING
Francesco Regini RETAIL AD MANAGER
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9/11 museum deal only halfway there This site can ill afford to be plagued by further discord and delay. Downtown and the world have witnessed what has happened when disputes drag on too long, as exemplified by the financial stand-off between developer Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority concerning the future office towers. We hope that the agreement will provide the impetus and framework for resolving the existing problems and preventing future stand-offs. Moving forward, Downtown community members and 9/11 families must also remain vigilant by holding the involved parties and politicians accountable for construction mishaps, cost overruns and other snags. Community Board 1, in particular, must continue to invite Port Authority and Memorial officials to its committee meetings for updates and answers. We strongly support the agreement to seek federal funding to cover a share of the estimated $60 million a year needed for operations. A proposed law, were it to pass through Congress, would oblige the federally-funded National Park Service to contribute $20 million annually to the memorial. Once the museum opens, the public should also chip in financially by paying a mandatory admission fee or making a donation at the door.
Not everyone has faith in the settlement. A group of 9/11 families and firefighters is contesting the formation of an advisory board, which, according to the agreement, is meant to mitigate future disputes between the Port Authority and the 9/11 Memorial Museum. The group believes that the advisory board will precipitate years of fighting between the Port and the foundation board, and that the only viable solution is for the license of the memorial to be transferred from the memorial to the National Park Service. One constant that we have learned after 11 years of W.T.C. discussions and deliberations is that not everyone agrees. The Port Authority must now determine a realistic completion date for the museum. The date should allow for a modest degree of wiggle room so that, in the event of unforeseen delays, the agency doesn’t fall hopelessly behind its benchmark. Governors Cuomo and Christie, Mayor Bloomberg and the Port Authority must maintain the momentum of this agreement and assure its successful implementation. It is estimated that, once completed, the museum will attract two million visitors annually. Now is the time for the Port Authority to sprint toward the finish line.
40 that generates revenue and fresh produce. Now is not the time to trust the Trust. Lower Manhattan and our elected officials have always stood strong for our community — why stop now?
We need stricter enforcement of traffic laws A.S.A.P.
THE SETTLEMENT MADE BETWEEN
the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the National Sept. 11 Memorial is a crucial step forward toward resolving the year-long financial impasse that has significantly thwarted progress at the World Trade Center site. Having a written agreement forces both sides to commit to a set of guidelines that didn’t previously exist. It requires the executives and politicians to sit across a table from one another and share budget data, offer construction updates and relay other essential information concerning the build-out of the 9/11 museum. But the battle is only half over. Without continued leadership and close supervision by the mayor and the governors of New York and New Jersey, the agreement itself could become another flashpoint of contention, and delays at the site could recur. The authorities must now systematically work to implement the agreement. It is clear that the rebuilding of the shattered site is one of the most complex construction projects in the world. It entails billions of dollars, careful synchronization of construction and the build-out of millions of square feet — not to mention the needed collaboration of a host of stakeholders, contractors, government agencies and elected leaders.
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GOING BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD FOR PIER 40 To The Editor: Re “Pier 40 faces closure, Hudson River Trust warns” (news article, Aug. 22): When have threatening tactics ever worked? The issue of Pier 40 is not a new one — yet to hear it from the Hudson River Park Trust, the pier will sink today! That hasn’t happened yet, and it won’t anytime soon, but we do need to generate revenue for the park. However, these dire warnings are misplaced. I’m sure many people recall the attempts made just a few years ago by the Trust to amend the Hudson River Park Act. At that time, the Trust proposed amending the Act to allow for parkland alienation and for longer lease terms for Cirque du Soleil, which may have brought in revenue. And now they are at it again. This time, the Trust is trying to alienate precious parkland so that luxury housing can be built. In a community that has very few parks and even fewer open spaces, this new idea certainly is not in the interest of the neighborhood and the users of the park. Instead, we need to go back to the drawing board and have a robust community discussion. Through community forums, we can look at the many options to generate revenue — including establishing a Park Improvement District, creating more ball fields and building community commercial space. Personally, I would love to see a Community Supported Agriculture (C.S.A.) at Pier
Sheelah A. Feinberg Former vice chair, Community Board 2
HEY MIKE — ENFORCE THE SPEED LIMIT!
CENSORSHIP AT SOUTHBRIDGE? NO SUCH THING! To the Editor: Re Censorship at Southbridge Towers (Letters to the Editor, Sept. 5)
To the Editor: Before Mayor Bloomberg scolds other cities and states for not having stricter gun control laws, he needs to focus more on a neglected issue in his own city: traffic laws. In New York City, drivers constantly exceed the speed limit of 35 miles per hour and run red lights without fear of any enforcement by the police. I have been in cabs going 70 miles per hour on the West Side Highway and cars were passing us! Cars run red lights and fail to yield to pedestrians. `The result of this vehicular chaos is the loss of life and injuries. Where is the outrage by the mayor and the public? Traffic laws are strictly enforced in many other cities, resulting in much safer conditions — just try speeding on Collins Avenue in Bal Harbour, Florida, and see how quickly you are pulled over. Recently, I was almost hit by a motorcycle that rode up on the sidewalk going over 70 miles per hour and cops refused to do anything, even though there were witnesses and video cameras.
I am incensed by the completely misleading letter Geraldine Lipschutz wrote in reference to messages against privatization being torn down from bulletin boards. For over a year, letters both for and against privatization have been kept behind locked glass bulletin boards in all of Southbridge Towers’ lobbies. Things have calmed down here as we all await the vote. Geraldine’s letter was nothing but a ploy to rile the residents. Michael Wishner Southbridge Towers resident (100 Beekman St.) E-mail letters, not longer than 300 words in length, to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 212-2292790 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.
September 19 - October 3, 2012
BY JANEL BLADOW Autumn is already in the air as the new season gets underway on Sept. 22. There’s a fresh zest all around as the heavy heat and mugginess of summer lifts and leaves begin to color and fall.
CATCH HER IN THE RYE…
Self-taught Danish chef Trina Hahnemann returns to the Seaport with heirloom rye seed varieties to be tested and planted on farms throughout New York State. The celebrity chef, who has catered for rock gods like Elton John and Bruce Springsteen, will not only talk about these flavorful seeds but also prepare a special dinner to showcase the versatility of this tiny grain. Hahnemann, the author of “The Scandinavian Cookbook” (filled with delicious recipes and memories of growing up in Denmark and beautifully photographed by top Scandinavian food photographer Lars Ranek), helped organize the New Amsterdam Market Smorgasbord Table two Novembers ago. This latest event, Pockets Full of Rye, takes place on Thurs., Sept. 27, at the South Street Seaport Museum (Schermerhorn Row, 12 Fulton St.). For more details, visit www. newamsterdammarket.org.
CELEBRATE THE MAN IN THE MOON…
Talking about food, be sure to stop by our terrific New Amsterdam Market (South Street between Peck Slip and Fulton Street) on
Sun., Sept. 30, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., for the first annual East River Moon Festival. Aimed at introducing shoppers to the traditional celebrations that occur throughout East Asia on the full moon of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, the fest features traditional lion dancing, dumplingmaking demos and Asian-inspired fare. From 6 to 8 p.m., join in a community lantern-lighting, where everyone will get a free red paper lantern and treats from market vendors.
If the Asian delicacies aren’t your, ah, cup of tea, then maybe tasting some favorite dishes from our neighborhood eateries is up your alley. Also on Sun., Sept. 30, throughout the historic district, is the third annual Taste of the Seaport, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fest features a tasting menu from local shops — including Acqua, Cowgirl SeaHorse, Buono Amici and Nelson Blue — along with music and free fun for kids. All proceeds go to enrichment programs for the Spruce Street School (P.S. 397). Purchase discounted advance tickets ($25 for five tastes) at www. brownpapertickets.com/event/202441.
SWIMMING WITH SPONGEBOB…
Like tall tales of life beneath the sea? Then check out readings by Nicki Pombier Berger, founding editor of “Underwater New York,” and other local authors on Thurs., Sept. 20 at the South Street Seaport Museum (12 Fulton St.), from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. The reading is
Illustration courtesy of Liz Daggar
free, but reservations are recommended. Stories of life underwater range from the whimsical — giraffe skeleton and fleet of ice cream trucks — to the historical — the Princess Anne steamship to Coney Island’s Dreamland. The event is a partnership with the American Folk Art Museum and its exhibit “Compass: Folk Art in Four Directions,” currently on display at the Seaport Museum.
YUMMY IN YOUR TUMMY…
The last months have seen several new shops open along Fulton Street. Now comes Baked by Melissa (110 Fulton St.), the no-bigger-thana-quarter stuffed cupcakes started by Melissa Bushell, which became a rage in Soho and has expanded throughout Manhattan. This month’s featured sweet through Sept. 30: Double Cookie with white vanilla cake, cookies, cream icing, a stuffing of chocolate cookies and cookie dough. The bite-sized shop is open ’til 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday
and 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Go get your sugar on!
DANCING FOR A GOOD CAUSE…
New York Downtown Hospital’s 19th Annual Gala Dinner Dance takes place at 6 p.m. on Thurs., Oct. 11 at Cipriani Wall Street (55 Wall St.) It’s the largest fundraising event for the only hospital south of 14th Street. Proceeds benefit the hospital’s critical programs and services, and this year recognizes the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Julie Menin, former chair of Community Board 1 and Eric Poon, chairman of the hospital’s pediatrics department, for their help in improving the quality of life in Lower Manhattan. Each year, the hospital handles more than 30,000 emergency visits, 146,000 outpatient visits, 10,000 inpatients, 5,300 outpatient surgeries and 3,000 new babies are born here. To purchase tickets, reserve a table or place a congratulatory ad to honor a loved one or make a donation, call the hospital’s development office at 212-312-5850.
Reflecting on Downtown’s regrowth around 9/11 anniversary B Y JULIE MENIN
AS UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS FOR
New York City continue to hover at around 10 percent, it is time, as we commemorate the 11-year anniversary of Sept. 11, to look at what we have been able to achieve Downtown — and to take those lessons and actions and apply them across the city. Eleven years ago, Lower Manhattan faced the loss of 65,000 jobs and more than 20,000 residents, in addition to suffering $31 billion in economic loss. Today, the area is the fourth largest commercial business district in the country, the fastest-growing residential neighborhood in the city. Indeed, Downtown’s employment increased by three percent between 2009 and 2010. What has worked has been an active, interventionist government at the federal, state and city levels that has put dollars into sorely needed infrastructure projects. Whether it is school creation, the Fulton Center, the East River waterfront development, green residential buildings or the panoply of projects in Downtown, jobs are being created. These
projects have generated jobs in both the construction industry and local services, such as retail and dining, that will have long-term dividends. Our community led the charge for an investment in building three new public schools in the last four years, which has made Lower Manhattan families flock to the neighborhood, thereby boosting the residential population by 30,000 since 2001. Community Board 1 initiated the rezoning of Northern Tribeca several years ago to comprise inclusionary zoning, resulting in the creation of new affordable housing that helped increase the diversity and stability of the community. To attract new businesses to Downtown, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation — whose board I previously served on — provided grants to companies that committed to generate a minimum of 75 new jobs in the area and to employers committed to retain at least 200 area jobs. As a result, more than 300 new businesses moved Downtown since 2005. The commitment to build new office space at the World Trade Center site has led to the leasing of one million square
feet by Condé Nast. A plethora of media and creative service companies, such as the New York Daily News, B.M.I. and American Lawyer Media, have decided to call Lower Manhattan their home, making the area no longer dominated by the financial services sector. Now, Lower Manhattan has one of the lowest office vacancy rates among business districts in the nation. Another key decision made Downtown was to invest in transportation infrastructure. The Fulton Center, in particular, will modernize and connect some of the outdated and crumbling subway lines and PATH train and include expanded retail space. The combination of infrastructure development and retail expansion will significantly contribute to the ongoing revitalization of Lower Manhattan. The city must continue to invest in such large-scale infrastructure projects. Now, there are certain things we need to do to finish the job Downtown. The opening last year of the National Sept. 11 Memorial will result in seven million visitors coming to Lower Manhattan annually. We should put in place marketing
programs to ensure that the tourists shop in the neighboring stores, dine in the restaurants and visit neighboring communities including, Chinatown, Soho and the Village. The National Sept. 11 Museum should be completed, now that an agreement has been reached has been reached between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the 9/11 Memorial Foundation. To continue to attract new office tenants, retail and restaurants, we should build the W.T.C. Performing Arts Center. Half of the $200 million I found in unaccounted L.M.D.C. funds was allocated to this project. The arts are a proven driver of economic revitalization projects. The L.M.D.C. must disseminate the remaining funds it has to key job-creating infrastructure projects Downtown. Additionally, sunset plans should be put in place for agencies such as the L.M.D.C. The eyes of the world are once again on Lower Manhattan, and now is the time to finish the job. Julie Menin is the former chairperson of Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan.
September 19 - October 3, 2012
53,000 Students Hit the Books In City’s Fastest-Growing School Zone I just went to my 30th college reunion, yet I still organize my year by the school c alendar! Just as I ’m set tling into Lower Manhat tan’s great summer routines—eating al fresco with an afterdinner stroll along the Battery Park City esplanade, snagging a lounger on the fantastic Pier 15, taking a ferr y ride to Governors Island, enjoying a River To River concert—fall is fast approaching. Summer vacation is over with a sigh, and student s of all ages are bac k to the books in Lower Manhattan. As the fall semester begins, more than 53,000 students— from toddlers just starting out to adults resuming their studies—have returned to classes in schools all over the district. T h e u n d e r -1 8 c r o w d i s g r o w i n g in Lower Manhattan. In a 2010 Downtown Alliance sur vey, 76 percent of households with children said t h e q u a l i t y of n e i g h b o r h o o d s c h o o l s w a s a key f ac to r i n t h e i r d e c i s i o n t o l i ve h e r e. S o u t h o f C h a m b e r s S t r e et alone, there are 8, 20 0 pupils in nine preschools, eight elementary and middle schools, and six high schools. For kindergar teners through f if th graders, not only are there the well-regarded PS 8 9, PS 276, PS 3 97 and PS 23 4 — my children’s alma mater—but other options as well, including the Blue School and Léman Manhattan Preparatory School. There’s more on the horizon. Nex t y e a r, t h e L o w e r M a n h a t t a n b r a n c h of the Mandell School will open on Broad Street. And, it ’s back to future for the long - awaited Peck Slip public elementar y school, scheduled to open i n 2 0 15 o n l y a f e w b l o c k s f r o m t h e city’s first public school: New York Free School No. 1 opened in 1806, with 42 pupils packed into a tiny apar tment on Bancker Street (now Madison Street) near Pearl. We’ve come a long way. A significant stor y is that Lower Manhattan has become a college town. P a c e U n i v e r s i t y, N Y U ’ s S c h o o l o f Continuing and Professional Studies and the Borough of Manhattan Community College alone enroll more than 40,000 students here. Pace has three dorms— housing 1, 20 0 student s — and is building t wo more, on Broadway and on Beekman Street, to house another
Photo courtesy of the Trust for Governors Island
This seven-story building is the first of four Governors Island high-rises to be demolished over the next several months.
Demolition begins on Governors Island high-rises
The new Fiterman Hall at BMCC
1,200. The university also has plans for an undergraduate performing arts center with a f ir st-f loor theater, open to the community for special performances, on William Street. All told, there are 10 colleges and universities represented below Chambers Street. This academic year marks an especially big milestone for BMCC, which launched the current semester with the reopening of Fiterman Hall, 11 years after the destruction of the original building in the at tacks on the World Trade Center. With 80 classrooms, st ate - of- t he - ar t c onferenc e spac e, a cafe and street-level art gallery, the new 15-story Fiterman Hall, designed by Pei Cobb Freed and Partners, is a symbol of our community’s dramatic resurgence. I g r e w u p i n N e w Yo r k C i t y, a n d at tended PS 40 in the 19 6 0s; famous graduates inc lude David A xelrod and Tr ibec a’s own Drew Nieporent. Back in t he day, k inder gar ten was all play and learning to sit still. Reading wasn’t t aught unt il f ir st gr ade, st ar t ing w it h Dick and Jane —yes! really! — and, at our school, quickly progressing to Bank Street readers. To this day, I remember the first sentence I mastered: “People l i ve i n c o m m u n i t i e s .” A s I t h i n k yo u know, it is a phrase that has stuck with me for all of my life. Liz Berger is President of the Downtown Alliance
B Y HELAINA HOVITZ On Thurs., Sept. 13, four decrepit highrise buildings on Governors Island were demolished as part of a $250 million plan to improve the island’s topography and infrastructure. In their place will be nothing but wide, open space. The buildings, nicknamed “dogbone” buildings because of their shape, housed military families up until 1996, and have been out of use since. They have also been off-limits to the public, deemed unsafe to enter and are classified as non-historic buildings. The island’s northern historic district, which visitors use today, will remain intact. In the absence of these buildings, a clear, 360-degree view of New York Harbor and Lower Manhattan will be opened up, just one step in the endeavor to overhaul a good part of the island and turn it into “green” space. Back in May, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other elected officials broke ground on Phase One of the project, a 30-acre renovation that will change the entire topography of the island. The first phase includes the addition of Hammock Grove; ten acres of park that will feature shaded areas and hammocks; Liggett Terrace, a six-acre plaza with water features and public art; and the Play Lawn, 14 acres of park equipped with two ball fields. Also in the works are plans for bird habitats and an open plaza called Liberty Terrace, which will provide views of the Statue of Liberty. The Bloomberg administration has invested a total of $250 million in the island’s revitalization, according to Elizabeth Rapuano, a spokesperson for the Trust for Governors Island, the organization tasked with redevelopment, operations and planning. All of this work is part of the island’s Park and Public Space Master Plan, devised by urban design and landscape architecture firm West 8, winners of the Trust for Governors Island’s 2006 design competition. The Trust’s plan to create a dramatic vertical landscape for 87 of the island’s 150 acres will also include a new 40-acre park on the southern end and a new 2.2-mile Great Promenade around its perimeter. The re-shaping of the
landscape will also integrate the abandoned southern part of the island. West 8 did a considerable amount of public outreach in the process — soliciting opinions from community meetings, recreational, cultural and civic groups, conducting surveys and collecting nearly 2,000 Post-it suggestions as part of a 2008 exhibit on the island. Beautification aside, there are also practical reasons for the topographical rearrangement. “Because the island is a low-lying area near sea level, we wouldn’t want it to be flooded in a ‘hundred-year flood’ scenario, killing the 1,500 trees that will be there,” said Rapuano. As part of its Sustainable Initiative, the concrete and brick from the demolished buildings will be used as filler for current and future phases of park construction. Additionally, 19 acres of paved parking lot and roadways will be laid down, and storm water will be collected for reuse in irrigation. “Visitors from Lower Manhattan tell us that coming here is like going on vacation via free ferry ride,” said Trust president Leslie Koch. “We encourage people to come see the changes taking place for themselves and watch [the island’s] progress.” Those who visit the park before the end of the month, when it closes, can still access 2.2 miles of road along Picnic Point and the historic district. Still on display is the Mark di Suvero art show, the Fifth Annual Sculptors Guild Exhibition, and the International Center for Photography’s Occupy! exhibition on the firstyear anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. The Children’s Museum of the Arts, the Earth Matter Compost Learning Center, the mini-golf course and Castle Williams are still operational, and all remaining scheduled events will take place as planned. Throughout the year, the island stays open for the 400 students of its Urban Assembly New York Harbor High School and for artists who work in the island’s studios. Koch said that she hopes the island will eventually open up year-round to the public. “We expect to see a rich array of year-round activities and new buildings over time,” said Koch. “It’s like Lower Manhattan is gaining 150 acres!”
September 19 - October 3, 2012
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September 19 - October 3, 2012
Opening of W.T.C. performing arts center still a ways away B Y ALINE REYNOLDS Plans for the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center are underway now that the board of directors is meeting on a regular basis. However, the center is still years away from opening to the public â€” and what it will look like, what programming it will offer and how much it will cost to build remains to be seen. According to the latest estimates, the earliest the PAC could open is 2016, since the temporary PATH station it is replacing wonâ€™t be dismantled until 2015. Furthermore, construction of the center is proving to be complex, since the PATH tracks run directly below the site, said Kate Levin, commissioner of the city Department of Cultural Affairs. â€œThe below-grade infrastructure is incredibly complicated, and then building the PAC â€” the core of which is the uncolumned space of the auditorium â€” is complicated, too,â€? she said. The center itself, meanwhile, is undergoing a complete redesign, according to Maggie Boepple, senior adviser of the PAC board. â€œWeâ€™ve been working with engineers and theater consultants to make the PAC really sing,â€? she said. The PAC was initially conceived in 2003 as part of the World Trade Center master plan and part of the governmentâ€™s larger
goal to revitalize Lower Manhattan. The PAC board of directors, formed late last year, is charged with fundraising for the center, advising on its design and determining its programming. The facility is poised to become a â€œmajor community force,â€? according to Levin. Its size, in particular, will make it one-ofa-kind, she said. â€œThe city of New York doesnâ€™t have a robust, mid-sized venue,â€? she said. â€œWeâ€™ve got lots of venues up to 40 and 50 seats, and then we jump to 1,700 seats.â€? â€œSo what it means,â€? she continued, â€œis that thereâ€™s a lot of great work from around the country that you donâ€™t see here so much because itâ€™s not economically viable.â€? Julie Menin, former chairperson of Community Board 1, said she and the other PAC board of directors have been meeting every six to eight weeks since the spring to come up with ideas for programming. The Joyce Theater, a modern dance center with locations in Soho and Chelsea, continues to be among the major candidates. â€œWe had a presentation from the Joyce about their plans for the center,â€? Menin said, â€œand now weâ€™re discussing what elements could go into the center in addition to the Joyce.â€? Linda Shelton, executive director of the theater, confirmed in a statement that the theaterâ€™s foundation continues to be involved in the planning for the PAC. â€œWe
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look forward to expanding our programming in what is certain to be an extraordinary performance space,â€? she said. Meanwhile, board members are exploring other uses for the center, including a community center, according to Menin. â€œWeâ€™re looking at what [cultural center] models have worked extremely successfully,â€? such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the John F. Kennedy Center for
Christy Ferer, chief executive officer and founder of Vidicom; Silverstein Properties C.E.O. and president Larry Silverstein; Brookfield Office Properties co-chair John Zuccotti; and Zenia Mucha, executive vice president of the Walt Disney Company. Patricia Harris, the cityâ€™s first deputy mayor, is representing Mayor Bloomberg as an exofficio board member. The PAC nonprofit, which was cre-
â€˜The below-grade infrastructure is incredibly complicated, and then building the PAC â€” the core of which is the uncolumned space of the auditorium â€” is complicated, too.â€™ â€” Kate Levin Department of Cultural AďŹ€airs Commissioner the Performing Arts, she said. Though no final decisions have been made, Menin said, â€œwe continue to look at the need and expect that some decisions will be made soon.â€? In addition to Menin, the PAC board consists of National Sept. 11 Memorial Board Chair Mike Bloomberg, along with
ated last February, is also responsible for overseeing the budget and construction of the center. The board secured a $100 million Lower Manhattan Development Corporation grant earlier this year, most of which will go toward building the PAC. An additional $60 million will finance the facilityâ€™s design by famed architect Frank Gehry.
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