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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

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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-

T

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


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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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September 19 - October 3, 2012



170 William Street, New York, NY 10038 www.downtownhospital.org

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 — leaving her with a broken pelvis and other serious injuries — 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 — 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 Aquilone’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 woman’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 — described as a 16-year-old dark-skinned Hispanic male, approximately 5’5’’ and 115 pounds — 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 “Find my iPhone� 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. Friday’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 restaurant’s surveillance tapes, released to police shortly after the crime was reported, showed a black woman, approximately 5’2’’ and 160 pounds, rummaging through the victim’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 store’s computer. Upon her return, she realized that the man — who she had previously noticed was wearing blue gloves — 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 5’9’’ and 250 pounds.

DON’T LEAVE THAT PURSE UNATTENDED An unknown thief made off with a woman’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 — who is originally from Florida and studies at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights — without her leather wallet, her driver’s license and school identification card, her debit card, her MetroCard, her checkbook and her cell phone. — 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

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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

7

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


8

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

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MANHATTAN Thursday, October 4th 5:30PM – 9:00PM

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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: hearings@districting.nyc.gov 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 hearings@districting.nyc.gov 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.”


9

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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10

September 19 - October 3, 2012

Editorial PUBLISHER

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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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Letters to the Editor

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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!

Keith Rolland

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 aline@downtownexpress.com 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.


11

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.

EVERYBODY EATS…

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.

Talking Point

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.


12

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

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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!”


13

September 19 - October 3, 2012

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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&#x20AC;&#x201D; 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&#x20AC;&#x2122;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&#x20AC;&#x153;The below-grade infrastructure is incredibly complicated, and then building the PAC â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the core of which is the uncolumned space of the auditorium â&#x20AC;&#x201D; is complicated, too,â&#x20AC;? she said. The center itself, meanwhile, is undergoing a complete redesign, according to Maggie Boepple, senior adviser of the PAC board. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been working with engineers and theater consultants to make the PAC really sing,â&#x20AC;? she said. The PAC was initially conceived in 2003 as part of the World Trade Center master plan and part of the governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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&#x20AC;&#x153;major community force,â&#x20AC;? according to Levin. Its size, in particular, will make it one-ofa-kind, she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The city of New York doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a robust, mid-sized venue,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got lots of venues up to 40 and 50 seats, and then we jump to 1,700 seats.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;So what it means,â&#x20AC;? she continued, â&#x20AC;&#x153;is that thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of great work from around the country that you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see here so much because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not economically viable.â&#x20AC;? 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&#x20AC;&#x153;We had a presentation from the Joyce about their plans for the center,â&#x20AC;? Menin said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and now weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re discussing what elements could go into the center in addition to the Joyce.â&#x20AC;? Linda Shelton, executive director of the theater, confirmed in a statement that the theaterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s foundation continues to be involved in the planning for the PAC. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We

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look forward to expanding our programming in what is certain to be an extraordinary performance space,â&#x20AC;? she said. Meanwhile, board members are exploring other uses for the center, including a community center, according to Menin. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking at what [cultural center] models have worked extremely successfully,â&#x20AC;? 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&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first deputy mayor, is representing Mayor Bloomberg as an exofficio board member. The PAC nonprofit, which was cre-

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The below-grade infrastructure is incredibly complicated, and then building the PAC â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the core of which is the uncolumned space of the auditorium â&#x20AC;&#x201D; is complicated, too.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Kate Levin Department of Cultural AďŹ&#x20AC;airs Commissioner the Performing Arts, she said. Though no final decisions have been made, Menin said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;we continue to look at the need and expect that some decisions will be made soon.â&#x20AC;? 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&#x20AC;&#x2122;s design by famed architect Frank Gehry.

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Trinity Church restored for first time in two decades Continued from page 9

into,” Atallah said. Unless something unanticipated arises, Trinity Wall Street expects to be finished with the restoration by early next year, at the latest. At the same time that it is working on the church building, Trinity Wall Street is reinforcing the brownstone wall that surrounds the churchyard. Parts of the wall are more than 225 years old. “Last year, we did a survey of the wall with a structural engineer, and it was determined that some areas of the wall are exhibiting stress,” said Atallah. The wall was supposed to be repaired in fall 2001, but the destruction of the nearby World Trade Center intervened. In 2002, work was halted upon the discovery of buried skeletal remains. The churchyard is situated on some of Manhattan’s original soil. Before landfill expanded the contours of the island, the Hudson River lapped close to the churchyard wall. The downward slope of the churchyard causes drainage problems, according to Atallah. “Water comes down from the church roof and drains into the soil, and the soil pushes against the wall,” she said, adding that the wall was never well reinforced to begin with. “We did some work in 2003 and reinforced parts of the wall, but it was of limited scope,” said Atallah. “Our structural engineer

recommended that we do it right this time.” The church is bringing in masons and consultants who specialize in the restoration of historic buildings. They will start work on the north corner of the wall and then move to the south corner. “You can imagine how tricky it’s going to be to work on this street with all the buses and the tourists and the trucks and the police,” said Atallah. “We have to set up a staging design where pedestrians will be safe and there will be no interference in the traffic flows.” In addition to staying out of the way of the living, the workers will have to avoid disturbing the dead. Trinity Wall Street hired a company with ground-penetrating radar equipment to map out the depth of the vaults in the graveyard. “Using that report, we went to our structural engineer, and they did the calculations so that the soil anchors will go down at a specific angle and won’t interfere with the vaults,” said Johns. The churchyard wall is two to three feet thick and has a section of smooth stone beneath older stones that are roughly hewn. “When they constructed the subway station here, they actually lowered the sidewalk elevation,” explained Johns. “The lower part of the wall was done in the 1920s when the train station was put in. The upper part is the older part of the wall. They would have done that by underpinning the existing wall and then digging under it.”

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Trinity Church is swathed in scaffolding for restoration, repairs and cleaning of its spire and tower.

To repair the wall, each stone that is removed will be numbered and eventually replaced in its original position. “One of the tricky parts of doing this is that we don’t know

the size of each individual stone,” said Johns. “Our masonry consultant has approved the procedures, but there are discrepancies that you never can know until you actually do it.”

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September 19 - October 3, 2012

Little artists unveil ‘Four Seasons Mural’ B Y HELAINA HOVITZ Lower Manhattan has always been home to successful artists, but the newest generation may just be the cutest. On Mon., Sept. 10, the Battery Park City School (P.S./I.S. 276) unveiled a massive art installation of their own making. The “Four Seasons Mural,” created by all 600 students as a tribute to what they referred to as Lower Manhattan’s promising future, took about six months and $25,000 to complete. Work on the mural began in January and continued through August. The project, sponsored by Brookfield Properties, was brought to fruition by Operation Design, a nonprofit organization that pairs architects, designers and artists with public school students to help them create meaningful projects. Brookfield raised the funds through an event the company co-hosted last fall with SpiN Galactic and Operation Design. P.S. 276 was selected because the faculty was “enthusiastic” and able to encourage student participation, according to Naomi Schoenfeld, a spokesperson for the school. Under the watchful eye of artist Edgar Gonzalez, school faculty and 40 other volunteers spent a total of 5,000 hours helping students create and paint ceramic tiles, which they proceeded to assemble in the school’s lobby. Each child painted at least one tile within the cityscape to form illustrations of the school and the surrounding buildings in all four seasons of the calendar year. According to Battery Park City School art teacher Julie Smith, the reflection of the trees in the Hudson River represent the “idea of staying green.” “When I met with our middle school art club to come up with an idea for a mural, the students were very invested in the fact that we are not only a brand-new building, but the very first green school building in New York City.” Miguel Calvo, a volunteer and interior designer, helped

Photo courtesy of the Battery Park City School

the kids trace the buildings against their classroom windows, practicing transferring the design onto a tile using specialized paper. They then prepared their tiles with a background glaze, transferred the actual design onto the tile and, finally,

painted over it with black glaze. “The whole process was a very mathematical procedure,” he said. “They learned about highly conceptual things like negative space and positive space, and we all had a blast doing it.” On Monday, some of the youngest artists showed up to greet guests at a small ceremony celebrating the mural’s completion. One anonymous young lady, who asked that her name be withheld because she “didn’t want to be famous,” commented that, while she got to paint her own tile, she was disappointed with how little else there was to do. “After we painted them, which took, like, really quick, all we did was watch [the teachers] while they put the tiles together,” said the exasperated first grader, adding that it took “forever” for the tiles to dry in the kiln. Her classmate, six-year-old Jagar Bahan, was more enthusiastic about his experience, and revealed his new ambition to become an art teacher, “so I can make more murals!” he exclaimed. “I would like to do that, too, but I would also like to be an astronaut,” chimed in his friend Samuel Basch as he hopped on one foot. “Look, that’s our school,” he said as he pointed to the building as depicted in the mural. Smith, flanked by her students, said that the mural soon became her life. “I ate, slept and breathed the project,” she said. “No one working on it had ever made such a large-scale mural with ceramic tiles, so there were many rounds of trial and error.” After several months of planning, creating and staging, the final piece came out exactly as they had planned it. “To see the final product was overwhelming,” said Smith. “The best part is knowing that the students and staff who began this school will be remembered here permanently, and that even though they don’t all know each other, they all created a piece of the ‘big picture.’”

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Downtown Express photos by Milo Hess

Hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters gathered at Foley Square on Sun., Sept. 16, the day before the movement’s oneyear anniversary, at a rally that entailed musical celebrations, marching, information booths and appearances by supporters of the hacker group Anonymous. A total of 227 arrests were made in Lower Manhattan over the weekend and on Monday, according to police records.


20

September 19 - October 3, 2012

B Y TERESE LOEB KREUZER

WEST THAMES STREET PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE: At the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation board meeting on Thurs., Sept. 13, a pedestrian bridge over West Street at West Thames inched closer to becoming a reality. Local stakeholders have been talking about a bridge at that location for years. In 2009, SHoP Architects drew up plans for the structure. The sticky question of where the bridge would land on the east and west sides of the highway was negotiated. That same year, Community Board 1 sent a request to the city Office of Management and Budget to fund the project, which at the time was estimated at $21 million. When the request was denied, the Battery Park City Authority said it was willing and able to kick in $7 million for the bridge in hopes of making the package more palatable to the O.M.B. The cost of the bridge has gone up from approximately $27 million to $30 million in the intervening years. The cost increase is due in part to revised designs that would cover and illuminate the bridge. The L.M.D.C. authorized $20 million for the bridge in 2010. The city and state have agreed that additional funds designated for B.P.C. infrastructure should go toward the bridge, subject to the Battery Park City Authority’s board of directors approval. The next board meeting is scheduled for Sept. 25. At its Sept. 13 board meeting, the L.M.D.C. credited New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver with playing a key role in bringing the parties together to make the bridge possible. “A pedestrian bridge over West Thames Street has long been a top priority of mine,” Silver said in a statement. “I am thrilled that all parties involved are fully committed to moving forward with the high-quality, all-weather bridge that our community sought. When this bridge is

Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Shortly after midnight on Sept. 11, 2012, retired Lt. Paul Putkowski, who formerly served with the N.Y.P.D.’s 61st Precinct in Sheepshead Bay, led a commemoration at B.P.C.’s New York City Police Memorial for the police officers who died on 9/11.

built, residents of Battery Park City, as well as students, faculty and parents of P.S. 276, will have a safe and reliable way of crossing West Street.” When the bridge was being discussed in 2010, prior to the opening of the Battery Park City school (P.S. 276), Sam Schwartz Engineering projected that 1,342 people an hour would cross West Street at West Thames Street during peak morning hours — including 648 people en route to the elementary school. At that time, without a bridge at West Thames Street, the L.M.D.C. authorized money for the deployment of pedestrian managers at that crossing and along West Street. Since it will take several years to build the bridge, even with approvals and funding, the L.M.D.C. authorized an additional $910,000 to extend the contract for pedestrian managers on West Street through fall 2013. The specially trained managers will continue working from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays at the intersections of Warren Street, Murray Street, Albany Street, West Thames Street and Morris Street.

PAVILION CONSTRUCTION AT WORLD FINANCIAL CENTER: Though much of the construction at 2 World Financial Center is occurring behind opaque barriers, there is visible progress on the pavilion, which will cap the western end of the underground passageway linking Battery Park City with the World Trade Center transit hubs. The 55-foot-tall basket capitals that will support the glass pavilion are almost finished. The last of 400 tons of steel for the capitals were recently welded into place. The structures were built in Canada and shipped to Manhattan in 10 pieces. The pavilion is scheduled to open in the fall of 2013, along with a dining terrace and food marketplace on the southern corridor of 2 World Financial Center. The retail stores in that space had closed by October 2011. Now stores on the northern side of 2 World Trade Center are beginning to close. With the exception of P.J. Clarke’s, Rite Aid, Financier and Starbucks, all retail will be closed by next spring. The new retail corridor will open in spring 2014.

MIDNIGHT SEPTEMBER OBSERVANCE:

The last pieces of more than 400 tons of steel were recently installed in the two basket capitals that will support the glass pavilion of the new front entrance to the World Financial Center.

11

Shortly after midnight on Sept. 11, the Battery Park City Esplanade was almost deserted. A cold wind blew off the river. The flags of the United States, New York City and the New York Police Department fluttered over the police memorial at North Cove Marina, where the names of policemen who have died in the line of duty are incised on a granite wall. Nearby, on South End Avenue, two men were standing, one of them in uniform. They had a large vase of red, white and blue flowers and a smaller bouquet. Policemen from the 61st precinct in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, have come to Battery Park City the evening of every 9/11 anniversary since 2001 to commemorate their fallen comrades. In former years, more than a dozen police officers partook in the commemoration. This year, only a few showed.

Lieutenant Paul Putkowski, who had been the master of ceremonies for the observance in other years, said that he had retired and that most of the precinct’s current cops are young. “If they remember [9/11],” he said, “they were kids at the time, or teenagers.” Police officer Brendan O’Hara, who was in uniform, said that he had left the 61st Precinct and was now with the Mounted Unit. He and Putkowski had purchased the flowers themselves. “We all wear the same badge,” he said, explaining why he visited the memorial every 9/11 anniversary. He had worked on the pile on Sept. 11 and 12, 2001 and had returned to ground zero several times after that. Though he now suffers from breathing problems, O’Hara said he would do what he did again. “It’s part of my job,” he said. “I always wanted to help people. You don’t help people by going the other way.” Putkowski and O’Hara were joined by retired Sergeant Kevin Fitzgerald, formerly a detective in Bay Ridge. The three of them walked down to the memorial with the flowers. There, three men and a woman accompanied them down the steps of the memorial — one of whom had been a police detective. The other men had served with the U.S. Army and the Coast Guard. The woman was a school teacher. Putkowski read aloud the names of the dead and a quotation from Teddy Roosevelt that he has read every year: “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause.” O’Hara placed the flowers next to the granite wall of names. Putkowski knelt briefly to straighten the bouquet. Another year had passed. The group dispersed. To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, e-mail Terese Loeb Kreuzer at TereseLoeb10@gmail.com.


21

September 19 - October 3, 2012

Downtown Express photos by Milo Hess

Remembering 9/11 by looking to the future

Though the official 9/11 commemoration ceremonies were scaled back this year, World Trade Center passersby were surrounded by visual cues of the anniversary. Top right, a bagpiper marched along Cedar Street among hundreds that were paying their respects. Top and bottom left, respectively: Onlookers admire the 9/11 Tribute in Light from the rooftop of the Battery Parking Garage, and commuters catch a glimpse of the lights, which dominated Lower Manhattanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sky at dusk. Bottom right, an imprint of the American flag painted on the crosswalk of Barclay Street at Church Street.


22

September 19 - October 3, 2012

Downtown Express photo by Aline Reynolds

Fighting to make Lower Manhattan the greatest place to live, work, and raise a family.

Assemblyman Shelly Silver If you need assistance, please contact my office at (212) 312-1420 or email silver@assembly.state.ny.us.

Alyson Lowe, who lost her sister on 9/11, traveled all the way from Fayetteville, Arkansas, to attend the anniversary ceremony at ground zero.

Low-key 9/11 reflections Continued from page 6

White added, though, that some frustration has arisen from the politically charged conflicts that have stalled construction on the 9/11 Museum, the opening of which has been delayed several times in recent years. “I’m not sure how to feel about the museum yet,” said White, “but I, and I think many other people as well, have certainly been troubled by the negative events that have resulted from its development so far.” Lowe said it was “very painful” that the museum didn’t open in time for the anniversary — particularly since, as many agree, it is partly attributable to a clashing of politicians’ egos. “The names are beautiful…but we want faces to go along with them,” she said. “So we’re hoping that they’ll stay true to their word and that they’ll finish.” 9/11 Memorial and Museum President Joe Daniels, who was present on the plaza during the community event, acknowledged a sense of incompleteness that he feels will exist as

long as the museum remains unopened. “I’m committed [to its opening],” he said, “and it’s also personal for me, because anytime I start something, I want to see it through.” He continued, “All I can say is that we’re not done yet, and we won’t have the feeling that we have really done our jobs until the 9/11 Museum opens to the world.” But local residents weren’t the only visitors of the plaza that night — and for one particular group of out-of-towners, debates about construction meant little compared to the sheer power of experiencing the Memorial. Master Sergeant Lance Loalbo and three other members of the U.S. Air Force had come from performing the ceremonial flyover at the U.S. Open in Queens. The group was heading back to their base in North Carolina the next morning, so they took advantage of the little time they had left by pacing quietly along the plaza. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Loalbo, as his gaze shifted between the reflecting pools at ground level and the frame of 1 W.T.C. rising above. “Just to walk here, just to be here. It’s huge.”


23

September 19 - October 3, 2012

Zadroga Act to fall victim of budget cuts Continued from page 9

The politicians added, “We look forward to continuing to work closely with Dr. Howard as he and his team finalize the cancer coverage certification process to accomplish this goal.” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said that the decision to include cancer to the Zadroga Act will “literally save lives.”

According to City Council Member Margaret Chin, the announcement is the fulfillment of a promise to provide medical care for hundreds of first responders and area residents. “This decision will help ease the financial burden of co-pays for repeated doctors’ visits and provide access to life-saving treatments,” she said. “Most importantly, it confirms that, years after the clean-up and recovery efforts, the toxic dust first respond-

‘Nothing exemplifies this unbalanced and draconian approach to deficit reduction more than asking our heroes who have already sacrificed so much to sacrifice yet again.’ — U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand “We have a moral obligation to those who put themselves in harm’s way for their fellow New Yorkers, and this will further our goal of meeting that obligation,” said the Speaker. “The eleventh anniversary of 9/11 serves to remind us of the tragedy of those we lost, as well as of the sacrifices made by those who have toiled to rebuild our community.”

ers were exposed to has caused rare and serious health problems, including cancer.” The addition of cancer, however, will place financial strain on the compensation portion of the law, which is valued at a fixed amount of $2.775 billion. To solve the problem, legislators hope to reauthorize the existing law so that money can be added to it.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand had no update concerning a new bill she is planning to introduce to Congress that would extend the deadline by which people would have to apply for financial compensation under the law.

ANOTHER FINANCIAL HURDLE FOR ZADROGA SURFACES The feds’ announcement to add cancer to the Zadroga Act was shadowed by a disappointing development regarding federal funding. Following Dr. Howard’s cancer decision, President Obama’s budget office released a report detailing budget cuts under last year’s bipartisan sequestration bill that, if enacted, would cut $38 million from the Zadroga Act in 2013 and close to $300 million overall. The awarding of claims toward the law’s Victim Compensation Fund was supposed to begin once the cancers are officially added next month, according to V.C.F. Special Master Sheila Birnbaum. But in a Sept. 18 phone interview, Birnbaum conceded that she didn’t know how the forthcoming cut will impact the V.C.F.’s timeline and budget. “I just don’t know how it’s going to play out,” she said. “It’s another complication. We’re just going to have to work through it, like all the other issues we’ve been working through.” The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the law’s administrator, declined to comment.

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Sept. 11 first responder John Feal, who heads the FealGood Foundation (F.G.F.), a 9/11 advocacy group, called the budget shortfall “completely unacceptable.” “As F.G.F. members, union leaders and first responder advocates walked the halls of Congress only two years ago urging members of Congress to enact the Zadroga Act,” he said, “legislative members demanded that we ensure funding for the Zadroga program in cohesion with Congress’s requirement that all new legislation not add to the federal deficit. Feal continued, “For Congressional leaders to now potentially raid that funding flies in the face of reason.” In a statement, Gillibrand said she thought sequestration was an “ill-conceived” concept from the start, which is one of the reasons she voted against the bill. “Nothing exemplifies this unbalanced and draconian approach to deficit reduction more than asking our heroes who have already sacrificed so much to sacrifice yet again so that Republican leadership could appease their special interests,” she said. “Our 9/11 heroes who answered the call of duty should be treated with the same dignity as our veterans.” Members of the W.T.C. Health Program should contact their Center of Excellence to begin the certification process. For more information, current and prospective patients should call 1-888-982-4748 or visit www.cdc.gov/wtc.

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24

September 19 - October 3, 2012

Accelerated construction of 9/11 museum to begin Continued from page 3

the site as a place where people from around the world can come to work, visit and remember.” “By ensuring that no additional public funds are spent to complete the memorial and museum,” he said, “today’s agreement puts in place a critical and long-overdue safeguard to finally protect toll payers and taxpayers from bearing further costs, and, at the same time, put the project on a path for completion.” Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who gave $15 million of his own riches to the project, said the agreement ensures that work at the museum will resume and will not stop until the job is done. “As chairman of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum board, which is made up of supporters and family members who so successfully opened the completed memorial last year, my goal during this period has been to get construction on the museum restarted,” he said. Daniels is optimistic about the foundation acquiring ownership of the eightacre parcel of land that comprises the Memorial Plaza and the future museum. The agreement states that a land swap previously delineated in a 2006 agree-

ment between the bi-state agency and the foundation would be considered in the next six months. “If you look at the Memorandum of Understanding, it indicates that over the next six months we’ll be striving to execute a Master Operating Agreement — which is the lease for the site that entails the land swap,” said Daniels. “It’s critical

to the Port Authority. “Currently, there is ongoing electrical and plumbing work as well as waterproofing, carpentry and exterior panel installation taking place in the [museum] pavilion,” said spokesperson Steve Coleman. While a new completion date for the museum has yet to be determined, Daniels said it should open by the end of next year

‘There’s lots of planning to do in terms of ramping up for an opening.’ — Joe Daniels 9/11 Memorial President

to this arrangement…that our ownership interests would come out of it.” Though construction of the museum has diminished, it has never come to a complete halt. In fact, the structure is now 75 percent complete, and dozens of workers totaling as many as 75 have been working there on a daily basis, according

or, at the latest, in early 2014. The Port Authority, Daniels noted, will be tasked with coming up with a more exact date. “There’s lots of planning to do in terms of ramping up for an opening,” said Daniels. “What I can say for sure is, between their commitment — between our boards with guys like Dan Tishman [chief execu-

tive officer of Tishman Construction, the construction manager of One W.T.C.] — there’s going to be a huge focus on that construction schedule.” Lower Manhattan residents are cautiously optimistic about the deal. Community Board 1 member Allan Tannenbaum, who was photographing the Sept. 11 commemoration ceremony on Tuesday, was pleased to hear the news about the deal. Earlier this year, he launched an online petition on change.org calling for the memorial to erect a wall on the plaza commemorating the deaths of first responders and others who have died from W.T.C.-related illnesses since 2001. “The progress that’s been made is very exciting, but when you see how much there is still to be done, it’s disheartening,” he said, “because the damage that was done 11 years ago is still with us, and it’s going to be with us for quite a few years.” Tannenbaum added, “I really hope that I get to see this [memorial] completed and new and beautiful within my lifetime.” Catherine McVay Hughes, who chairs C.B. 1, said that, while word of the settlement was a relief, “It is important to note that the first point of the Memorandum of Understanding addresses financial transparency, visibility and settlement.”

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Downtown Hospital suffers from past fraud Continued from page 5

before defrauding the Medicaid system. Schneiderman continued, “By exploiting this need in order to maximize revenue,” he said in a statement, “New York Downtown Hospital wasted Medicaid resources and illegally billed taxpayers for unlicensed and medically unnecessary treatment services.” “Together with our federal partners, we will leave no stone unturned in the fight to recover misappropriated money on behalf of New York’s taxpayers.” Suzanne Mattei, executive director of New Yorkers for Patient and Family Empowerment — a patient advocacy group at 11 Park Place — said the case highlights the importance of having vigorous government oversight of institutions that spend public money. “Every dollar that is wasted in fraud is a dollar that’s not going toward proper health care and the health and welfare of patients,” she said. “When you’re spending public dollars on health care, everything has to be done right.” Community Board 1 chair Catherine McVay Hughes, whose family has sought care at the hospital, also stressed the significance of careful oversight of health care in Downtown and elsewhere. “This recent settlement shows

that state Attorney General Schneiderman and U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch are vigilant in making sure that our scarce public resources for important programs such as Medicare are spent properly and effectively,” she said. Downtown Hospital began in 1857 as a care center for needy women and children under Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, America’s first licensed female physician. The hospital has been at its William Street location since the 1950s. Upon the closing of St. Vincent’s Hospital in 2010, it assumed the role as the only hospital in Manhattan south of 14th Street. Prior to Downtown’s population boom, it primarily served the financier population on Wall Street, according to Arthur Levin, director of the Center for Medical Consumers, based in the South Village. Though financial fraud is not too uncommon in today’s health care system, the reputation of Downtown Hospital is now tarnished, said Levin. “The fact they got caught fooling around with money and billing doesn’t automatically mean that their care is poor quality, he said, “but it certainly doesn’t encourage people to think it’s a great quality.” “It’s not something that’ll build confidence in the local community… but they’re certainly not the first or the last hospital to be judged guilty of committing fraud.”

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26

September 19 - October 3, 2012

Gayle Horwitz leaves B.P.C.A. with tainted record Continued from page 1

exceeded our excess revenue projections, returning an additional $12 million to the City of New York for a total of $124 million.â&#x20AC;? She referenced the ground rent negotiations for the South neighborhood that brought â&#x20AC;&#x153;predictabilityâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;affordabilityâ&#x20AC;? to the residents, as well as new leases that had been negotiated with the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Gigino Wagner Park and the B.P.C.A.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own offices. But Horwitzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s record was far from unblemished. She is credited with having scuttled an offer of $750,000 that would have funded artist Tom Otternessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s creation of bronze lions for outside the Battery Park City Library. Otternessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s career was severely damaged when the project was cancelled because of overwhelming opposition against it. Animal rights activists argued that the sculptor could not be forgiven for a film he had made as a young man in which he killed a dog, and Horwitz apparently took their side in the controversy. According to Tom Goodkind, a member of Community Board 1â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s B.P.C. Committee, Horwitzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s legacy comes down to the banning of art. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tom Otternessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s public art has delighted thousands of residents and passersby in Battery Park City for decades,â&#x20AC;?

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Gayle Horwitz at a B.P.C.A. Board of Directors meeting.

he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Those who remain at the B.P.C.A. should do all in their power to reverse Horwitzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s philistine decision.â&#x20AC;? Causing even more of an outcry in the community was Horwitzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s summary firing last November of 19 long-term B.P.C.A. employees, some of whom were within a few months of retirement with full benefits. The day of the announcement, they were told they had less than two hours to clear out of their offices, that they would only be paid through the end of that day and that their health insurance would expire at the end of the month.

When members of C.B. 1 and others in the community said they were â&#x20AC;&#x153;sickenedâ&#x20AC;? by how this was handled, the B.P.C.A. Board of Directors enacted a retroactive policy that provided severance pay and health benefits for terminated employees. The biggest source of controversy during the Horwitz regime, however, was undoubtedly the Asphalt Green community center. In her resignation letter, Horwitz wrote that construction of the long-awaited community center is complete and that final permits are being secured. The community center is now almost a year behind its initially scheduled opening date of last November. Horwitz and others at the B.P.C.A. have attributed the delays to permitting problems with the city Fire Department and the Department of Buildings. As recently as Sept. 4, Horwitzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assistant Anne Fenton and B.P.C.A. spokesperson Matthew Monahan maintained this position before C.B. 1â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s B.P.C. Committee. The audience at the meeting was full of disaffected residents who had paid for Asphalt Green memberships almost a year ago and wanted to know why the community center was not yet open. One woman asked whether the problem was just about paperwork or whether the B.P.C.A. was trying to renegotiate the origi-

nal agreement with Asphalt Green. Fenton replied, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not sure where that renegotiating with Asphalt Green â&#x20AC;&#x201C; where that came from. This is speculation that started in the community, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not going to address it.â&#x20AC;? In the wake of Horwitzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resignation, it turned out that there has, indeed, been a contractual problem with Asphalt Green. On Sept. 12, Mehiel issued a statement that said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have encountered difficulties in preparing to implement our contract with Asphalt Green, primarily because of the differing requirements for transparency and community participation B.P.C.A. must comply with in spending public money, as compared to a private organization.â&#x20AC;? The statement continued, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are actively pursuing a solution that will allow the center to open under terms and conditions that protect the assets we are charged with administering.â&#x20AC;? Mehiel also confirmed that several months ago, the B.P.C.A. had hired consultant Randy Mastro to advise on how the contract could be amended. Christina Klapper, a spokesperson for Asphalt Green, said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;With the new leadership of Dennis Mehiel, we remain focused on working together and look forward to serving as a member of the Battery Park City community.â&#x20AC;?

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September 19 - October 3, 2012

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September 19 - October 3, 2012

Pier 40: No shortage of ideas, only funds ‘EXPLORING ALL POSSIBILITIES’ Continued from page 7

campus. A study of the plan, he said, hasn’t been completed as yet. “It’s in the early stages, but we think it’s viable and certainly worth considering,” Barowitz said. “We think it could provide the incremental increase in revenue to finance the $100 million or so to fix the pier and also provide revenue for the park.” As for building housing on Pier 40, which would require a change to the Hudson River Park Act, Durst — whose organization develops and manages prominent buildings such as One World Trade Center — doesn’t believe it would work. “Douglas speaking for himself does not have an ideological issue, but a practical one — that it will be too difficult to implement and construct and won’t generate the necessary revenue for the pier or the park,” Barowitz said. Changes to the park act would be needed for the implementation of Durst’s plan, Barowitz said, including increasing the allowable length of the lease for the pier’s commercial component. The Trust would have to issue a Request for Proposals (R.F.P.) for someone to manage the pier, he said, though noting, “Neither Douglas nor C&K is interested.”

Regarding Durst’s idea for Pier 40, Hudson River Park Trust president Madelyn Wils indicated she is open to a wide range of uses for the pier but said they must generate sufficient funds. “We are working with all of our community partners to continue to explore all possibilities, including a high-tech campus,” said Wils. “The most important step for Pier 40 is to allow legislative changes that will give us the best chance of receiving the strongest proposals possible. Any viable proposal must be able to provide for Pier 40’s huge infrastructural needs while also making annual payments to help fund the continued maintenance of the whole park.” The Friends of Hudson River Park had previously been the park’s main advocacy group and watchdog. Recently, the group transitioned into the Trust’s private fundraising arm. Now, with Durst and Korman opposing the Trust’s hope for housing on Pier 40, it seems the Friends — or at least its leadership — is reprising its watchdog role. In a statement, A.J. Pietrantone, the group’s president, said, “Friends of Hudson River Park remains committed to finding a sustainable solution to Pier 40 as well as to the care and completion of the entire park. While all ideas and input to that end are wholly welcome, Friends continues to expand fundraising efforts and to work with the community in establishing an improvement district.” A “neighborhood improvement district” is one thing, at least, that people seem to agree on. The district would impose a fairly small annual fee on commercial and residential property owners within a few blocks of the park. The money would be funneled back into the park’s maintenance and operations and

be used to spruce up the blocks near the park.

‘FAIRY-TALE TECH CAMPUS’? P3 (The Pier, Park and Playground Association) is one of the youth sports groups that commissioned the consultant’s study, which concluded that housing was the best high-revenue, lowimpact option for Pier 40. Asked about his thoughts on Durst’s plan, Tobi Bergman, P3’s president, was skeptical. “The proposal wants to open up 500,000 square feet for commercial use based on an R.F.P.,” Bergman said. “But

and urban planners to illustrate possible schemes for residential or mixed-use development on the pier. According to a member of the group, the concept will be to graphically show how “a residential project can increase the space on the pier available for playing fields, improve access and openness to the river and bring more income to the Trust — based on a solution that brings in fewer than 1,000 [residents] who will care deeply about the park instead of hundreds of thousands [of people coming to a destination retail or entertainmentuse pier] who could care less about it.”

‘We are working with all of our community partners to continue to explore all possibilities, including a high-tech campus.’ — Madelyn Wils Hudson River Park Trust President

what if a fairy-tale tech campus doesn’t bid? Then we are left with generic commercial space that can be legally used for retail and entertainment.” The pier’s existing building, he added, is poorly configured for most other uses, and income from parking is too unreliable to support the investment. “Why insist on preserving the existing pier-shed structure when other plans might create more park space and more river access?” Bergman asked. “Isn’t the idea to have a better park?

P.R., PRO AND CON Meanwhile, the local youth sports groups are poised to launch a new public relations campaign in support of residential use at Pier 40. Called The Pier 40 Champions, the group will use architects

The group plans to use a Facebook page to allow people to see visuals of the plan and comment on it. Not to be outdone, Assembly Member Deborah Glick, a fierce opponent of housing on Pier 40, plans to wage her own visual campaign to show how putting housing on Pier 40 would “wall off the waterfront.” She called Durst’s proposal a “common-sense” approach to the pier. “We’re really pleased to see someone who has a tremendous track record in New York City real estate and development share a similar view of the future of Pier 40 that supports the park and preserves the playing fields,” she said. Glick envisions the space on the pier freed up by consolidating the parking used by new media, post-production film facilities and even galleries.

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SARAZAD AND THE MONSTER-KING This re-imagining of “Scheherazade and 1001 Arabian Nights” written by E. J. C. Calvert and directed by Justin Lauro, returns to Canal Park Playhouse for a limited run. Nine-year-old Sarazad escapes bullying at school by retreating into Storyland. There, she meets the grouchy Monster-King and wins his friendship by telling him fantastic stories. When Sarazad returns to school, her experiences with the Monster-King (and her newfound confidence) help her triumph over adversity. Through Sept. 30, Sat. & Sun. at 1pm & 4pm. At Canal Park Playhouse (508 Canal St., btw. Greenwich & West Sts.). For tickets ($18) or more info, call 866-811-4111 or visit canalparkplayhouse.com. NEW YORK CITY FIRE MUSEUM Kids will learn about fire prevention and safety through group tours led by former NYC firefighters. The program — which lasts approximately 75 minutes — includes classroom training and a simulated event in a mock apartment, where a firefighter shows how fires can start indifferent rooms in the home. Finally, students are guided on a tour of the museum’s first floor. Tours (for groups of 20 or more) are offered Tues.-Fri.at 10:30am, 11:30am & 12:30pm. Tickets are $3 for children and $5 for adults — but for every 10 kids, admission is free for one adult. The museum offers a $700 Junior Firefighter Birthday Party package for children 3-6 years old. The birthday child and 15 guests will be treated to story time, show and tell, a coloring activity, a scavenger hunt and the opportunity to speak to areal firefighter (the museum provides a fire-themed birthday cake, juice boxes and other favors and decorations). The NYC Fire Museum is located at 278 Spring St. (btw. Varick & Hudson Sts.). For info, call 212691-1303 or visit nycfiremuseum.org. THE SKYSCRAPER MUSEUM The Skyscraper Museum’s “Saturday Family Program” series features workshops designed to introduce children and their families to the principles of architecture and engineering through hands-on activities. At the “From Fabric to Fashion” workshop on Sept. 22 and the “So Sew Tall” workshop on Oct. 6, kids ages seven and up will learn about the past and present of NYC’s Garment District and then work together to create their own skyscraper factory from different construction materials. On October 20, a special Halloween costume workshop will help kids (ages 6+) craft costumes of their favorite skyscrapers. All workshops take place from 10:30-11:45am at The Skyscraper Museum (39 Battery Pl.). Registration required. Call 212-945-6324 or email HYPERLINK “mailto:education@skyscraper.org” education@skyscraper. org. Admission: $5 per child, free for members. Museum hours: Wed.-Sun., 12-6pm.Museum admission: $5, $2.50 for students/seniors. For info, call 212-945-6324, visit skyscraper.org.

CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF THE ARTS Explore painting, collage and sculpture through self-guided art projects at this museum dedicated to inspiring the artist within. Open art stations are ongoing throughout the afternoon, giving children the opportunity to experiment with materials such as paint, clay, fabric, paper and found objects. CMA’s new exhibit, “Art Forms: 75 Years of Arts Education,” displays children’s artwork from the collections of celebrated arts educators Leon Bibel, Henry Schaefer-Simmern and Sona Kludjian. The works, dating from the 1930s and 1960s, are juxtaposed with contemporary creations by NYC public school students. “Art Forms” runs through Sept. 30. Museum hours are Mon. & Wed., 12-5pm; Thurs.-Fri., 12-6pm; Sat.-Sun., 10am-6pm. Admission:$10 general, free for seniors and infants (up to one year old). Pay as you wish on Thurs., 4-6pm. For group tours, call 212-274-0986, ext. 31. Call 212-274-0986or visit cmany.org for more info. THE NEW YORK CITY POLICE MUSEUM During regular museum hours (Mon.-Sat., 10am-5pm and Sun., 12-5pm), visit the Junior Officers Discovery Zone, designed for ages 3-10. It is divided into four areas (Police Academy, Park and Precinct, Emergency Services Unit and a Multi-Purpose Area). Each has interactive play experiences that teach children the role of police officers in our community. For older children, there’s a crime scene observation activity, a physical challenge similar to those used at the Police Academy. There’s also a model Emergency Services Unit vehicle where children can climb in, use the steering wheel and lights, hear radio calls with police codes and see some of the actual equipment carried by the Emergency Services Unit. Coming up on Oct.27 from 11am2pm is the annual Halloween Party where kids can make slime and decorate trick-or-treat bags. At 100 Old Slip (btw. Front & South Sts.).For info, call 212-480-3100 or visit nycpm.org. Admission: $8, $5 for students, seniors and children, free for children up to two years old.

ing, thinking, talking, creating and moving. At 11am every Tues., Wed. and Thurs., the Scholastic Storyteller brings tales to life at Daily Storytime. On Sat., Sept. 22 at 3pm, come cheer up the lonely former planet at the reading of “Poor Pluto.” Just because he’s no longer in the Planet Song, doesn’t mean we should forget him! Then, on Sept.29, listen to a reading of the new Skip Hop book “Who’s Hiding.” Afterwards will be a free music performance, plus kids can scavenger hunt for hidden stuffed animals. At 557Broadway (btw. Prince & Spring Sts.). Store hours are Mon.-Sat., 10am-7pmand Sun., 11am-6pm. For info, call 212-343-6166 or visit scholastic. com/sohostore. POETS HOUSE The Poets House Children’s Room gives children and their parents a gateway to enter the world of rhyme through readings, group activities and interactive performances. For children ages 1-3, the Children’s Room offers “Tiny Poets Time” readings on Thursdays at 10am; for those ages4-10, “Weekly Poetry Readings” take place every Sat. at 11am. Filled with poetry books, old-fashioned typewriters and a card catalogue packed with poetic objects to trigger inspiration, the Children’s Room is open Thurs.-Sat., 11am-5pm. Free admission. At 10 River Terrace. Call 212-431-7920 or visit poetshouse.org. CREATURES OF LIGHT Descend into the depths of the ocean and explore the caves of New Zealand — without ever leaving Manhattan. Just visit the American Museum of Natural History’s exhibit on bioluminescence (organisms that produce light through chemical reactions). Kids will eagerly soak up this interactive twilight world where huge models of everything from fireflies to alien-like fish illuminate the dark. Through Jan. 6, 2013 at the American Museum of Natural History (79th St. & Central Park West). Open daily, 10am–5:45pm.Admission is $25, $14.50 for children, $19 for students/seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the museum or at amnh.org. For more info, call 212-769-5100.

Photo by David Kern

TAKE TWO: BAD GIGS GONE GOOD Mark Hayward of “Stunt Lab” fame returns to canal Park Playhouse with a solo show. The yo-yo champ will attempt to recreate his most disastrous gigs — ever! But this time, he’ll get them right… right? Stunts and gags abound along with sheer technical yo-yo brilliance. Oct. 6-28, Sat. &Sun. at 1pm & 4pm. At Canal Park Playhouse (508 Canal St., btw. Greenwich & West Sts.). For tickets ($20) or more info, call 866-8114111or visit canalparkplayhouse.com. WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE YOUR LISTING IN THE DOWNTOWN EXPRESS? Please provide the date, time, location, price and a description of the event. Send to scott@chelseanow.com or mail to 515 Canal St., Unit 1C, New York City, NY 10013. Requests must be received at least three weeks before the event. For more info, call 646-452-2497.

BOOKS OF WONDER New York City’s oldest and largest independent children’s bookstore hosts Storytime every Fri. at 4pm and Sun. at noon in their Children’s Room. Meet Mo Willems, award winning artist, as he introduces two new books, “Let’s Go for a Drive!” and “Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs.” Fri., Sept. 27, 5-7pm. On Sun., Oct. 7, 2-4pm, Lauren Oliver and six other friends/authors introduce their new, fantastical books. At 18 W. 18th St. (btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves.). Store hours are Mon.-Sat., 11am-7pm and Sun., 11am-6pm. For more info, call 212-989-3270 or visit booksofwonder.com. THE SCHOLASTIC STORE Held every Saturday at 3pm, Scholastic’s in-store activities are designed to get kids read-

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September 19 - October 3, 2012

Jazz and indie music: Best of fests, and all the rest Autumn brings new, established artists Downtown BY SAM SPOKONY With another sweltering city summer in the can, there’s a whole lot of awesome music on the way this fall — and it’s coming from a variety of artistic sources, both established and unexpected. While summer’s festivals brought some of the industry’s top names outdoors, the coming season will draw great international talent to concert halls big and small throughout the Downtown area. What follows is a preview of some of the best live listening available through late November. I’m keeping it cheap for you, because I didn’t move on up to this tiny, threefloor walkup in Bed-Stuy by just throwing my money away, did I? This fall, we’ve got great shows, series and festivals in Tribeca and the Village (East and West) that range from $20 all the way down to free of charge. And once November hits, the dog days will feel pretty distant — in fact, it’ll probably be cold enough by that point for you to take the cash you’ve saved on cover charges to warm up with a few shots of vodka. But, as they say, that’s a different story for a different day. In any case, here are my picks for the season — featuring some of my favorite players, alongside a few I just recently caught wind of. Keeping an open mind has always worked for me — so my very first fall recommendation would be to do just that, as you look for new music to dig.

JAZZ Austrian violinist Mia Zabelka might not play jazz per se, but she performs in ways that will captivate and engage any fans of intelligently improvised music. Using electronics and multiple microphones to warp her instrument’s tone or create new sounds altogether, Zabelka floats through the many stylistic worlds of contemporary art music while maintaining the distinct spirit of jazz. She’ll play a solo set at one of my favorite havens for experimental music, University of the Streets (130 E. Seventh St., btw. First Ave. & Ave. A), on September 26 at 8pm. Tickets are $10, and can be purchased at universityofthestreets.org. For more info on the artist, visit miazabelka.com. Another foreign talent, Israeli guitarist Oz Noy, developed his natural virtuosity to such heights that he became one of the most in-demand studio musicians in his country by the time he was only 24. Since moving to New York in 1996, Noy has brought his genre-bending sound — which is based in jazz but touches on funk, rock, blues and R&B — to bear with

Photo courtesy of the artist

Violinist Mia Zabelka will bring her innovative violin improvisations to University of the Streets on September 26.

top artists like John Medeski, Dave Weckl, Chris Botti and Eric Johnson. Don’t miss him at 55 Bar (55 Christopher St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.) on September 27 at 10pm, when he’ll be playing with an all-star trio including bassist John Patitucci and drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts. Tickets are $10 and must be purchased at the door. For more info, visit 55bar. comand oznoy.com. October 10 would have been pianist Thelonious Monk’s 95th birthday. Monk, who died in 1982, left his eternal mark on modern jazz by creating and performing in a musical language all his own. So on the anniversary of Monk’s birthday, Arts Brookfield continues its annual “Counting Down to 100” series with a free concert at the World Financial Center Winter Garden (220 Vesey St., btw. North End Ave. & West St.) that will bring together five of today’s top pianists to pay homage to a master. The show, which takes place from 12-3pm on October 10, features Michael Cochrane, Jean-Michel Pilc, Manuel Valera, Elio Villafranca and James Weidman. And while you still have another five years to go before Monk’s 100th, with a lineup like that and no cover charge, I’d recommend making every birthday count. For more info, visit artsbrookfield.com. Most serious musicians, regardless of their level of talent, shy away from making equal contributions to the fields of jazz and classical. But pianist Donal Fox has been doing just that for decades, and has found just as much success in composing — with the St. Louis Symphony and

Photo by Lou Jones

After years of success in both classical and jazz, pianist Donal Fox will play a solo set at 92Y Tribeca on November 3.

Harvard University, among others — as in improvising on the keys. This year, he will lead off the month-long “Four for the Apple” series at 92Y Tribeca (200 Hudson St., btw. Desbrosses & Vestry Sts.) with a solo set on November 3 at 8pm. Fox’s performance, titled “Inventions in Blue,” should give a perfect taste of his deftly nuanced jazz style, while also showcasing the control and precision of his classical training. For more info, visit myspace. com/donalfoxprojects.

The three other concerts in the “Four for the Apple” series feature the Fonda/ Stevens Group — an accomplished quartet that specializes in blending the various idioms of modern jazz, on November 10; pianist Michele Rosewoman and her soulful, bass-less trio on November 17; and PUBLIQuartet, a string quartet that performs both traditional chamber music and contemporary compositions, on Continued on page 33


31

September 19 - October 3, 2012

She sings, she acts, she moves furniture! Talented multitasker Lavin on Billy, the bossa nova and feminizing Fagen MUSIC â&#x20AC;&#x153;LINDA LAVINâ&#x20AC;ŚNOWâ&#x20AC;?

Sun., Sept. 23, 3pm At 54 Below 254 W. 54th St., (btw. Broadway & 8th Ave.) Cover Charge: $30 for bar seats $40 for main dining area $25 food/drink minimum For reservations, call 866-468-7619 For info, visit 54below.com or call 646476-3551 To purchase the CD â&#x20AC;&#x153;Possibilities,â&#x20AC;? visit sh-k-boom.com/lindalavin.shtml Also visit lindalavin.com

BY SCOTT STIFFLER Two times weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve spoken with Linda Lavin, and on both occasions she was immersed in the mundane tasks of everyday existence (doing laundry and moving furniture, respectively). But that didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop her from dispensing showbiz anecdotes and insider analysis with the same gusto she brought to her domestic chores. Heavy lifting done well (and with ease) is the takeaway one gets, whether watching Lavin prowl the Broadway stage as Rita Lyons, chat up the crowd between numbers at Birdland or navigate the intricacies of jazz and Broadway standards on her debut CD, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Possibilities.â&#x20AC;? In the liner notes to that project (which takes its title from her signature tune in the Broadway production of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Bird, Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Plane, Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Supermanâ&#x20AC;?), no less than Hal Prince weighs in on Lavinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s formidable range.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;She had everything, that girl,â&#x20AC;? says Prince of Lavinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rise from bit part to featured player in 1961â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Family Affair.â&#x20AC;? Brought in to direct as the show was floundering, Prince recalls being struck by Lavinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;wonderfully unique singing voice, acting chops and â&#x20AC;&#x201D; what else can you call it? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; star quality.â&#x20AC;? Fifty years later, the song remains the same. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Linda brings her prodigious gifts and uncommon intelligence to this material,â&#x20AC;? gushes Prince â&#x20AC;&#x201D; an evaluation we can back up, having seen Lavin in concert at Birdland shortly before the 2011 release of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Possibilities.â&#x20AC;? Besides understated, borderline melancholy takes on â&#x20AC;&#x153;It Amazes Meâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Two for the Road,â&#x20AC;? Lavin finds room on the CD for the unorthodox. Coming at you from far

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I do as much bossa nova as I can,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; explains Lavin, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;because of Billy.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Billy Stritch, who serves as the CDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s arranger, musical director and pianist.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; left field, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Walk Between the Raindropsâ&#x20AC;? is a cover from Donald Fagenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1982 solo album, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Nightfly.â&#x20AC;? Asked what inspired her to put a feminine stamp on the often lecherous voice of Steely Dan, Lavin observes that as both a singer and a lyricist, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fagen is very masculine. I hear him all the time when my husband and I play him on road trips. His songs, they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t speak of womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives, but stillâ&#x20AC;ŚI call him the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Lenny Bruce of music.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t understand everything he says, but I sure as Continued on page 34

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September 19 - October 3, 2012

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33

September 19 - October 3, 2012

New music to dig

Photo courtesy of the artist

Which do they love more: the music, or each other? Decide for yourself after seeing the husband-and-wife team of Barnaby Bright at 92YTribeca on November 9.

Continued from page 30

November 24. Tickets for the first three shows in the series are all $20 in advance and $25 at the door, and tickets for the November 24 show are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. To purchase tickets, or for more info, visit 92y.org/tribeca.

INDIE If you’re feeling adventurous towards the end of September, you can explore some of the best music you’ve never heard at the NYC New Music Festival — a massive five-day program with stages at 27 venues throughout the East Village, West Village and the Lower East Side. The festival, which takes place from September 26-30, features up-and-coming indie artists from both New York and the rest of the nation, including tinges of rock, pop, folk, blues and more. For info, visit nycmf.com. Amidst the wide selection, my personal recommendation would be to check out Elephants Gerald at the Kraine Theater (85 E. Fourth St., btw. Second Ave. & Bowery) on September 30 at 8pm. The folk-Americana duo from Baltimore brings an earthy, organic sound that goes well alongside introspective lyrics and good guitar interplay. Tickets for that show are $8 at the door, but prices for the festival’s other venues vary, and all-day passes are also available online. To buy tickets or learn more, visit ssa.cc/nycsch.html. For info on “elephants,” visit elephants-gerald.com. A more established voice on the indie-folk scene has been Alex Brown Church, who leads the (currently) six-piece group Sea Wolf. With haunting harmonies, unexpected instrumentation and an intimate sound, the band has been following a Bright Eyes-esque trail since 2007 — and Church has succeeded in his own right, penning a tune for the second installation of the Twilight movie series (2009’s“New Moon”). Sea Wolf’s a new

album, “Old World Romance,” came out on September 11. So after grabbing the record, you can see the band live at (Le) Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker St., btw. Sullivan & Thompson Sts.) on October 19 at 7pm, alongside supporting acts Jim White and Hey Marseilles. Tickets cost $15, and can be purchased at lepoissonrouge.com. For more info, visit seawolfmusic.com. And one more great indie-folk choice this fall — for those seeking something a bit farther Downtown — is 92Y Tribeca’s double offering of Barnaby Bright and Liz Longley on November 9 at 9pm. First of all, Barnaby Bright is basically the cutest thing ever. It’s a husband-and-wife team (Nathan and Rebecca Bliss) who sing soft melodies to each other, intertwining and harmonizing over lush guitar backgrounds. Bring a date. You can’t beat that — not to mention the fact that both members of Barnaby Bright have some pretty solid classical music training behind them, and that their songs have been featured on national TV shows like “ER” and “Days of Our Lives.” For more info, visit barnabybright.com. Singer/songwriter Liz Longley only graduated from the Berklee College of Music two years ago, but she’s already well on her way to transitioning from academia to the pop music limelight. Longley’s ability to craft great tunes has led to prizes in some of the nation’s top songwriting contests, and she also recently raised enough money — nearly $50,000 thus far — to record a new album without the help of a record label. And her instantly relaxing voice makes it all click. For more info on the artist, visit lizlongley.com. Tickets for the November 9 show are $10, and can be purchased online at 92y.org/tribeca. And that’s that! Happy listening to all, and don’t forget to tip your bartender. If you have any questions, suggestions or hidden secrets about sweet shows on and under the Downtown radar, drop me a line at samspokony@gmail.com.

l ita Dig port s s Pa otos Ph

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September 19 - October 3, 2012

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Con B o r o u g h

Photo by Derek Storm

All smiles: Linda Lavin and Birdland “Cast Party” host Jim Caruso.

Post-Lyons Linda is keeping busy Continued from page 31

hell love listening to it.” Lavin, and likeminded Fagen fans, take note: Lenny Bruce may be gone, but the fertile mind who brought us “The Nightfly,” “Kamakiriad” and “Morph the Cat” is still alive, kicking and prolific. Fagen’s latest solo effort, the nine-track “Sunken Condos,” drops on October 16. Spoiler alert: It’s great! As for Lavin’s 12-track debut effort, other uncommon choices include “There’s a Small Hotel” (which, best known as a duet, gets the solo treatment) and “It Might as Well Be Spring,” sung bossa nova style. “I do as much bossa nova as I can,” explains Lavin, “because of Billy.” That’s Billy Stritch, who serves as the CD’s arranger, musical director and pianist. “Billy,” gushes Lavin in full on Hal Prince mode, “is one of the greatest interpreters of Brazilian music that we have. He expresses it sensually and beautifully. “ Lavin recalls how Stritch and Jim Caruso came to see a cabaret gig (at the now-defunct Rainbow & Stars) and encouraged her. “I’ve known Billy and Jim since 1993,” says Lavin. “We’ve played and sung together in our own living rooms since we’ve met. They’re friends, and I’m a fan of them both.” Soon, Caruso (who currently hosts Birdland’s Monday night open mic series “Cast Party,” with Stritch at the keys) was

booking Lavin in the Poconos and Palm Beach. During that period, she notes, “my husband [Steve Bakunas] who is a rock drummer, became a jazz drummer. He became my drummer, and Billy took over as musical director. Then, I was in North Carolina doing a weekend, and my agent introduced me to John Brown [currently director of the Duke University jazz program, and also producer and bass player for “Possibilities”]. Five years later, he said, ‘You gotta do a CD.’ ” While appearing at 54 Below in support of “Possibilities,” Lavin is already plotting her next recording. “I live in Wilmington when I’m not working in New York,” she explained in our summertime interview. Since then, she and Bakunas have put a “For Sale” sign on their North Carolina home in anticipation of becoming full-time Manhattanites. It’s at this point that we’ll resist the temptation to invoke a lyric from the beloved 70s sitcom “Alice” and point out that “There’s a new girl in town.” Instead, we’ll just note how earlier this year, a gig in Wilmington laid the groundwork for things to come. “Back in March,” Lavin recalls, “we did a concert with the 60-piece Wilmington Symphony Orchestra, [Birdland regular] Aaron Weinstein, Billy, Jim and [jazz guitarist] Bucky Pizzarelli. I would love to build on that concert for a new album.”


35

September 19 - October 3, 2012

Just Do Art! MIKE EDISON’S FIFTH ANNUAL BANNED BOOK PARTY Celebrated in his time and frequently censored in ours, Mark Twain used to advertise his lectures with this promise: “The trouble begins at 8.” Author and provocateur Mike Edison isn’t making that claim. But it’s a safe bet that his own upcoming 8pm debacle will see Twain’s savvy marketing slogan come to pass — when Edison and friends present the fifth installment of their yearly tribute to Banned Book Week (Sept. 30-Oct. 6). This self-professed “evening of literary hi-jinks, state-sponsored fear, vampires, music, sex and smokin’-hot smarty-pants thrills” features special guests who’ll read passages from their favorite banned books. Brush up on your knowledge of forbidden titles, because the evening ends with a spirited round of “Name That Banned Book.” Before that, however, those who’ve been burying their noses in profane pages can cut loose and dance to the outer space bop and dirty blues stylings of the Interstellar Rendezvous Band — whose members include drummers Bob Bert (Sonic Youth), Dee Pop (Bush Tetras, Gun Club) and Mickey Finn (the Left Banke), with Edison laying down licks from his set-for-stun theremin.

Somebody’s gonna get censored: See “Banned Book Party.”

Fri., Sept. 28, 8pm. At 92Y Tribeca (200 Hudson St., btw. Desbrosses & Vestry Sts.). Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 on the day of the event. For info and reservations, visit 92y.org. Also visit mikeedison.com.

—Scott Stiffler

COMMUNITY CENTER at Stuyvesant High School 345 Chambers Street, NY www.ccshs.org

FALL Programs

starting mid-September

yoga zumba tai chi tennis

Mondays

ROBBINSCHILDS: I CAME HERE ON MY OWN This exhibition will feature a new video and performance project by robbinschilds — a collaborative duo formed by choreographers Sonya Robbins and Layla Childs in 2003. Though trained in dance, robbinschilds expands the traditional understanding of this discipline by adding site-specific installation-based performances, video, sound and sculptural components. Appealing to various layers of our perception, robbinschilds’ projects have previously been staged at the Kitchen, PS122, Dance Theater Workshop, PS1 at MoMA, The New Museum, Movement Research at Judson Church, DanceSpace Project at St. Mark’s Church and the Autumn Skate Bowl. “I came here on my own” will encompass the entire 6th floor of Art in General. Through Dec. 15, Art in General is located at 79 Walker St. (1 block south of Canal, between Broadway & Lafayette). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 12-6pm. For info, call 212219-0473 or visit artingeneral.org.

—Stephanie Buhmann

Wednesdays Thursdays Fridays/Saturdays

Register Now! Call 646-210-4292 www.ccshs.org www.bpcparks.org Managed by Battery Park City Parks Conservancy


36

September 19 - October 3, 2012

Downtown Express, Sept. 19, 2012  

Lower Manhattan residents turn to Downtown Express for their local community news

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