Page 1

INSIDE: ‘NYC WORKS’ CELEBRATES LABOR IN THE BIG APPLE

VOLUME 31, NUMBER 17

SEPTEMBER 6 – SEPTEMBER 19, 2018

Barasch McGarry

7.3

Lawyers for the 9/11 Community

$

BILLION AVAILABLE FOR 9/11 CANCER VICTIMS

68 Cancers Linked To WTC Dust

Residents and OfďŹ ce Workers Eligible Free Consultation

347-619-0623 | www.wtclawyers.com IN

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see inside front cover see inside front cover


WTC Illness Coverage Eligibility Will the new 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund cover my injury or illness? Once you have shown that you were present at the crash sites — as defined by the Federal regulations governing claims under the 2010 James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act — during the period beginning with the attack and ending on May 30, 2002, you must show that you suffered an injury or illness covered by the 2010 James Zadroga Act.

Covered WTC-related responder, resident and worker illnesses The James Zadroga Bill provides for compensation from the September 11 Fund for anyone who meets its presence and time period requirements and who has been certified with a WTClinked physical illness. It does not distinguish among those who worked in rescue, recovery or cleanup and those who lived or worked in the immediate vicinity. As of June 2012, the Zadroga Act also covers 68 specific types of WTC related cancers. The most common cancers linked to the WTC toxins are: ÊÊÊÊÊUÊÊ-Žˆ˜ÊV>˜ViÀÊ­ >Ã>ÊV>]Ê-µÕ>“œÕÃÊViÊ>˜`Êi>˜œ“>® ÊÊÊÊÊUÊÊ*ÀœÃÌ>ÌiÊV>˜ViÀ ÊÊÊÊÊUÊÊ՘}ÊV>˜ViÀ ÊÊÊÊÊUÊÊ œœ`ÊV>˜ViÀÃÊ­ˆ˜V°ÊiՎi“ˆ>Ê>˜`Êޓ«…œ“>® ÊÊÊÊÊUÊÊ Ài>ÃÌÊV>˜ViÀ ÊÊÊÊÊUÊÊ œœ˜ÊV>˜ViÀ ÊÊÊÊÊUÊÊ Ãœ«…>}i>ÊV>˜ViÀ ÊÊÊÊÊUÊʈ`˜iÞÊV>˜ViÀ ÊÊÊÊÊUÊÊ >``iÀÊV>˜ViÀ ÊÊÊÊÊUÊÊ/…ÞÀœˆ`ÊV>˜ViÀ ÊÊÊÊÊUÊÊ,>ÀiÊV>˜ViÀÃ

The Most Common Covered Respiratory and Gastro illnesses include: UÊʘÌiÀÃ̈̈>ÊÕ˜}Ê`ˆÃi>Ãi UÊÊÃ̅“> UÊÊ,i>V̈ÛiʈÀÜ>ÞÃÊ ÞÃv՘V̈œ˜Ê-ޘ`Àœ“iÊ­, -® UÊÊ …Àœ˜ˆVÊ"LÃÌÀÕV̈ÛiÊ*Տ“œ˜>ÀÞÊ ˆÃi>ÃiÊ­ "* ® UÊÊ …Àœ˜ˆVÊ œÕ}…Ê-ޘ`Àœ“iÊÉÊ>Àޘ}ˆÌˆÃ UÊÊ …Àœ˜ˆVÊ,…ˆ˜œ‡-ˆ˜ÕÈ̈à UÊÊ>ÃÌÀœiÜ«…>}i>Ê,iyÕÝÊ ˆÃœÀ`iÀÊ­ , ® UÊÊ-ii«Ê«˜i>ÊiÝ>ViÀL>Ìi`ÊLÞʜÀÊÀi>Ìi`Ê̜Ê̅iÊ>LœÛiÊVœ˜`ˆÌˆœ˜Ã

BARASCH & MCGARRY

Deadline Extended to Register for Compensation There is still time to apply for significant compensation if you have been diagnosed with any of the 68 cancers and/ or gastrorespiratory illnesses that doctors at the WTC Health *Àœ}À>“Ê ­7/ *®Ê …>ÛiÊ ˆ˜Ži`Ê ÌœÊ Ì…iÊ 7/ Ê ÌœÝˆVÊ `ÕÃÌ°Ê ÌÊ Ì…ˆÃÊ «œˆ˜Ì]Ê̅iÊ6ˆV̈“Ê œ“«i˜Ã>̈œ˜Ê՘`Ê­6 ®ÊˆÃÊÃV…i`Տi`Ê̜ÊVœÃiÊ œ˜Ê iVi“LiÀÊ £n̅]Ê ÓäÓä°Ê /…iÊ `i>`ˆ˜iÊ ÌœÊ >««ÞÊ ÌœÊ Ì…iÊ 6 Ê ˆÃÊ two years from the date that a cancer has been certified by the 7/ Êi>Ì…Ê*Àœ}À>“ÊpʜÀÊ>˜Þʜ̅iÀÊ}œÛiÀ˜“i˜Ì>Ê>}i˜VÞ°Ê/…iÊ two-year period to register doesn’t start on the day of a cancer `ˆ>}˜œÃˆÃ°Ê ,>̅iÀ]Ê ˆÌÊ ÃÌ>ÀÌÃÊ œ˜ÞÊ Ü…i˜Ê >Ê V>˜ViÀÊ ÃÕÀۈۜÀÊ ˆÃÊ “>`iÊ >Ü>ÀiÊ̅iˆÀÊV>˜ViÀÊÜ>Ãʏˆ˜Ži`Ê̜ÊiÝ«œÃÕÀiÊ̜Ê̅iÊ7/ Ê̜݈˜Ã° For those who died from their WTC-linked cancers, the two-year period for their family to register starts on the day of the death of the WTC victim.

Please help spread the word about the strict twoyear deadline to register a claim. We Can Help. Please call us at 347-619-0623 for free consultation. Many people have tried to complete the VCF application on their own, only to learn that it requires answers to hundreds of questions and many documents to download. It would be our pleasure to help you complete the process in order to ensure that ޜÕÊÀiViˆÛiÊ̅iÊVœ“«i˜Ã>̈œ˜Ê̅>ÌÊޜÕÊ>ÀiÊi˜ÌˆÌi`Ê̜°Ê*i>ÃiÊV>Ê us for a free consultation.

Barasch & McGarry — helping set things right /…iÊÃi>ܘi`Ê«iÀܘ>Êˆ˜ÕÀÞÊ>Ì̜À˜iÞÃÊ>ÌÊ >À>ÃV…ÊEÊV>ÀÀÞʅ>ÛiÊ helped eligible claimants get the best possible WTC settlement from the Victim Compensation Fund since Congress established the first Fund in 2001. We know the application process from the }ÀœÕ˜`ÊÕ«Êpʜ˜iʜvʜÕÀÊ«>À̘iÀÃ]ʈV…>iÊ >À>ÃV…]ʅi«i`ÊÃiÌÊÕ«Ê the claims process, consulting repeatedly with the Special Master of the Victim Compensation Fund. We have collected more money from the Victim Compensation Fund for our injured clients than any other law firm. And while no amount of money could make up for your pain and losses, we strongly believe that everyone injured or made ill by the catastrophe of September 11 should receive as much financial support as possible. *i>ÃiÊVœ˜Ì>VÌÊÕÃʜ˜ˆ˜iʜÀÊLÞÊ«…œ˜iÊ>ÌÊÎ{LJȣ™‡äÈÓÎÊ̜Ê`iÌiÀ“ˆ˜iÊ your eligibility for WTC compensation or to start the process of applying for James Zadroga Act benefits.

Compensation available to residents and office workers, teachers and students. Not just responders and volunteers Lawyers for the 9/11 Community


VOLUME 31, NUMBER 17

SEPTEMBER 6 – SEPTEMBER 19, 2018

Governors Island Gatsbys The Jazz Age Lawn party was the bees knees Photo by Erica Price

Gatsby groupies Rosanna Rivas, Jason Shevetz, James Mutton, and Gricel Okazaki lounge in the grass at the annual Jazz Age Lawn party on Governors Island on Aug. 25. For more, see page 10.

City agrees to hold town hall on jail site Page 2

Also in this issue: Rezoning Governors Island

Page 21

1 M E T R O T E C H • N YC 112 0 1 • C O P Y R I G H T © 2 0 18 N YC C O M M U N I T Y M E D I A , L L C

CB1 urges crackdown on filming permits Page 6


PRISON RIOT City agrees to hold town hall in wake of jailhouse backlash

BY SYDNEY PEREIRA In the face of a torrent of criticism after the surprise announcement of the proposed location for the new Manhattan jail last month, the city has agreed to hold a town hall Downtown next week to address complaints about the lack of community input. Downtowners were blindsided by the city’s Aug. 15 announcement that it plans to convert the city’s Marriage Bureau at 80 Centre St. into a new jail as a part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to close Riker’s Island, and community anger exploded at an emergency meeting convened by Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou called that same day in Chinatown, where local leaders blasted the city for leading the public out of the loop. “There was no public hearing for Chinatown to respond or discuss on this very important issue that will

directly impact our community,� said Eric Ng, the president of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association. “This process is completely unfair, non-transparent, and insulting to our community,� said Raymond Tseng, president of the Hoy Sun Association. Niou said she still supports closing the long-troubled offshore jail, but the lack of transparency in locating new facilities “enraged� her. “I’m not breaking away from the fact that we need to close Riker’s Island,� she told this paper. But she added: “Our community has not had a voice wherever in this process.� The assemblywoman also complained of what seemed like a baitand-switch with the location of the new Manhattan jail, which the city had long suggested would be an expansion of the existing Manhattan Detention Complex — aka, “The Tombs� — at

Photo by Colin Mixson

The city is planning on converting the Marriage Bureau building on Centre Street into a jail as part of Mayor de Blasio’s plan to close Riker’s Island, but locals are outraged that the city didn’t consult with the community.

125 White St. “They named one site for a whole year, and then ten days before the draft scoping is done, they tell us that it’s a whole different site,� she said. “That’s insane. When were we supposed to have any input?� Councilwoman Margaret Chin was also quick to slam the complete lack of

transparency in the city’s siting process, and pushed for the town hall that will be held Sept. 12. “It’s crucial that the administration participate in a robust community engagement process, which must begin with full transparency about JAIL Continued on page 8

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World Trade Center Health Program opens new clinic Thanks to persistent lobbying by 9/11 victims, the 9/11 community, their advocates, and their attorneys, it became unavoidably clear that something had to be done to alleviate the unfair wait that Ground Zero survivors have had to endure to secure an appointment with the WTC Health Program. Survivors include more than 350,000 Downtown residents, office workers, former students and teachers who lived or worked in Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001 or anytime during the eight months that followed. They were exposed to the same deadly toxins as the first responders and, not surprisingly, they are developing the same insidious diseases, including 68 cancers, as the responders. The World Trade Center Health Program recently opened a new clinic at 156 William Street Manhattan. Aimed specifically at survivors of the September 11th attacks, it is hoped that this new “surge clinic� will reduce the serious backlog that now exists in providing sick residents and office workers the treatment they need and deserve. It will also enable them to be certified for their WTC physical illnesses so that they can then receive the compensation that they are entitled to from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). When Congress passed the 9/11 Zadroga Act into law in 2010, it created both the WTC Health Program and the Victim Compensation Fund. But Ground Zero survivors, especially those who lived or worked Downtown, have struggled to take advantage of this support, in part because the WTC Health Program’s

NYPD / Gregory Semendinger

The collapse of the World Trade Center in the 9/11 terrorist attacks unleashed a lingering cloud of toxic dust that may have sickened as many as 350,000 Downtowners. The World Trade Center Health Program has now opened a new clinic location on William Street to handle the backlog of survivors seeking to register.

clinics at Bellevue Hospital and Governors Island have been swamped with patients and have not been able to see all of them yet. There are currently 2,800 people who have enrolled in the WTC Health Program who haven’t yet had a single doctor’s appointment. The goal is to reduce this backlog significantly. The new facility has the capacity to see up to 750 patients each month. As a result, survivors with respiratory symptoms (or cancer) will soon be able to get an initial doctor’s visit to confirm that their illnesses are the result of their exposure to the toxins at Ground Zero

between Sept. 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002. Thanks to the results from NYPD Detective James Zadroga’s autopsy, which discovered benzene, chromium, lead and a host of other carcinogens in his lungs, there is now a presumption that these illnesses were in fact caused by exposure to the WTC toxins. Advocates for the 9/11 community have widely praised these plans. As Ben Chevat, the executive director of the advocacy group 9/11 Health Watch, notes: “While it is sad and tragic that there are so many responders and survivors who were exposed to toxins at Ground Zero and are now sick, the good news is that there is a WTC Health Program that it is going to be there for them for the next 70 years.� Michael Barasch, Managing Partner of Barasch & McGarry, also lauded the news. His law firm represented James Zadroga, who lost his life due to WTClinked pulmonary fibrosis, and now represents more than 11,000 WTC responders and survivors and has recovered over $2 billion for its clients from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. “We have long understood how important it is that those exposed to the 9/11 toxic dust receive free medical treatment. Since innocent civilians were exposed to the same toxins as the responders, they deserve be treated equally. This clinic gets us one step closer to giving them justice,� said Barasch. Barasch & McGarry offers free consultations regarding the health program and how to get compensation from the VCF at 888-351-9421, or 911victimfund.com.

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Volume 2 | Issue 1

The Pulse of

Lenox Health Greenwich Village

Make no bones about it – prevention is key: 5 tips for maintaining strong and healthy bones Osteoporosis makes bones more susceptible to fractures and breaks. Bones naturally lose density with age, but you can still help keep them strong. May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, so it’s a great time to take action. 1. Boost calcium consumption. Calcium helps give bones their strength. Maintain the recommended daily intake of 1,0001,200 mg with good sources of calcium including low-fat dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables and soy products such as tofu. 2. Don’t forget about vitamin D. For best absorption, pair calciumrich foods with those high in vitamin D, such as salmon, milk and orange juice. Adequate sunlight also provides your body with vitamin D. 3. Pump up the protein. Protein is one of the essential building blocks of bones. Eat plenty of protein-rich foods like eggs, Greek yogurt, lean chicken, beans and nuts. 4. Cut back on the alcohol and avoid smoking. Smoking and heavy alcohol consumption restrict your body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients, which can decrease bone density and increase the chance of fractures.

Did you know…

52 million Americans are affected by osteoporosis and low bone density. If you think you may be at risk, see our specialists, who offer bone density tests to assess and diagnose this condition. Did you know…

Only 35 percent of American adults consume the recommended daily intake of calcium. If you find it difficult to get enough calcium from your diet, consider taking a calcium supplement.

5. Make exercise a priority. People who spend a lot of time sitting have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Combine strength training, weight bearing and balance exercises (such as walking, running, skipping rope and stair climbing) to benefit bones.

Our advanced Imaging Center is dedicated to meeting the radiology needs of the entire Greenwich Village community. Learn more at Northwell.edu/LenoxHealthImaging or call (646) 846-1452.

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Cortlandt St. Station set to reopen with new name

MAKE YOUR NEXT ADDRESS

BY JOSEPH M. CALISI The long-awaited reopening of the Cortlandt Street Station, which was destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, is set for early this month — but it will open with a new name. It has been rechristened “World Trade Center Station.� The station originally opened more than 100 years ago as an extension of the city’s original subway system that opened in 1904. Reconstructed 17 years after it’s destruction at a cost of $158 million, it’s seen as the last piece of the puzzle for the renewal of the World Trade Center site. Artwork on the walls of the station shows artist Ann Hamilton invoking phrases such as “freedom of thought� and “progress and better standards of life� in the tile work. The original name of the station, as with the street it is on, came from a

YOUR BEST ADDRESS Come home to historic Brookdale Battery Park — a luxury environment every bit as Photo by Joseph M. Calisi

This photo, snapped before the offi cial reopening, shows that the former Cortlandt Street station will reopen this month as World Trade Center Station.

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CB1 asks city to reign in film permits BY SYDNEY PEREIRA Alternate side parking rules are a hassle for car owners across the city, but in a telegenic area such as Downtown Manhattan, there’s an extra headache. Production companies shooting films and TV shows in the increasingly residential neighborhoods of Lower Manhattan routinely occupy entire blocks where locals would ordinarily be able to park when the other side of the street is being cleaned — even worse, often the actual filming isn’t even happening on that block. Community Board 1 is trying to work with the city to prevent production crews from blocking vital parking spaces on streets with alternate side rules when the gear and trailers could feasibly be located elsewhere. “Why is it necessary that you have to take the residents’ alternate-side parking spaces?” said Marc Ameruso, a member and longtime Tribeca resident. “Generally, it’s [about] convenience for them.” Often, production companies will seek permits to station equipment and vehicles on particular streets merely because they are near the block where

the scenes are being shot, meaning that they could be parked elsewhere. Walking an extra block may be a hassle for cast and crew, acknowledged Ameruso, who has also worked as a location manager for a production company, but in an area where parking is at such a premium, he thinks it’s a reasonable accommodation to local residents. “It has to be a balancing act between both of us,” said Ameruso. “The community needs quality of life and the film companies need to employ people.” CB1 passed a resolution in June urging the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment — which issues the permits — not to issue filming permits for the 37 blocks south of Canal Street that have alternate side parking if the production company isn’t actually filming on that block. The accommodation is needed, according to Ameruso, because Downtown neighborhoods have seen a surge in residential growth since 2000. Between 2000 and 2010 alone, the number of residents in CB1 increased by 77 percent, according to census data cited in the board’s fiscal year 2019 report. And the population of

Photo by Yannic Rack

The narrow streets around 20 Exchange Pl. are a popular location for movie and TV shoots — much to chagrin of locals on nearby streets, where production vehicles are often parked even when filming takes place elsewhere.

families in those neighborhoods has skyrocketed during that time. The number of young people under 19 increased by 67 percent in Tribeca, 125 percent in Battery Park City, and a staggering 246 percent in the Financial District. Those trends have only accelerated in

the eight years since the last census. “It’s not like it was in the ’80s and the ’90s,” Ameruso said. CB1 chairman Anthony Notaro said the board hasn’t received a response FILMING Continued on page 23

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JAIL Continued from page 2

the proposal to move the Manhattan Detention Center from its current location to 80 Center St.,” Chin said in a statement. “I believe this administration must seize this opportunity to provide clarity, address concerns, and engage residents, business owners, and community leaders in a productive dialogue,” she said. The Sept. 12 town hall meeting, which is co-sponsored by Chin and Borough President Gale Brewer, will be at PS 124, 40 Division St., in Chinatown, and will include representatives from City Hall. But community boards 1 and 3 aren’t waiting until next week. The two panels are holding a joint meeting on Sept. 6, where members will grill reps from the mayor’s Office on the jail proposal. This is all before the previously schedules public scoping meeting set for Sept. 27, which is required as part of the lengthy Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) for projects of this scale. De Blasio’s plan to close Rikers and replace it with local jails in all boroughs but Staten Island is part of a larger strategy to reduce the city’s jail population to 5,000 by 2027. This year, the jail popu-

Photo by Sydney Pereira

Justin Yu, executive director of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, was one of many local leaders who blasted the city’s surprise jailhouse announcement at a community meeting convened by Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou on Aug. 15, which prompted the city to agree to hold a town hall on Sept. 12.

lation is around 8,200 — the lowest in three decades, and 13 percent less than last year. The proposed replacement facilities will each have around 1,500 beds to allow for a total of 6,000 beds citywide. The existing Manhattan Detention Center would need to be either replaced or expanded, since it only has 1,000 beds, according to scoping documents. Each borough’s jail is also expected to include space for educational program-

ming, recreation, therapeutic services, publicly accessible community space, and parking. Under the plan unveiled last month, the new Manhattan jail would be in the 80 Centre St. at building where the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, the city’s Marriage Bureau, and other court-related services are located now. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office is expected to relocate to the south tower of the repurposed Tombs.

The future use of the north tower has not yet been determined. Chin is pushing for the city to dedicate the north tower to community uses as a sweetener for locals upset by the siting process. Niou conceded that at this point the city can’t please everyone, but she kept the focus on facilitating community input. “Not everybody is going to be happy, not everybody is going to get what they want, and not everybody is going to walk away from it thinking that, ‘Oh, I love this in my neighborhood,’” Niou said. “But at the same time, I think that what can happen is that at least people can feel heard.” You can make yourself heard at the following scheduled meetings: Joint CB1 and CB3 Meeting on the Proposed Manhattan Detention Complex — Sept. 6. 6:30 pm, at 1 Centre Street, North Entrance, Mezzanine. Town hall on the jail project — Sept. 12, 6 pm. at PS 124, 40 Division St. Public scoping meeting — Sept. 27, 6 pm, at 1 Centre St. in the Borough President’s office. The public can also submit written comment about the plan until Oct. 15 to Howard Judd Fiedler, Department of Correction, 75-10 Astoria Blvd., Suite 160, East Elmhurst, N.Y. 1137 or boroughplan@doc.nyc.gov.

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September 6 - September 19, 2018

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All that jazz Annual Jazz Age Lawn Party takes over Governors Island BY COLIN MIXSON Thousands of Roaring ’20s cosplayers turned out for the annual Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island beginning Aug. 25 — a two-day, prohibitionera blowout where bootlegging is the order of the day, according to the party’s chief jitterbug. “You’re not supposed to bring in alcohol, but dollars to donuts, people figure out how to smuggle it in,” said Roddy Caravella, Dance Director of the Jazz Age Lawn Party, who teaches newcomers how to do the Charleston and other period moves. Jazz Age Lawn Party is one of the country’s largest ’20s-themed get-togethers, and brings thousands of Gatsby groupies and retro dandies out to the island park for a two-day bash featuring old-timey music, dancing, and dapper duds. At the beginning of each day, Caravella leads revelers in a 45-minute tutorial of the jig of the day — either the Charleston, a spirited, youthful style featuring fancy footwork, or the Peabody, a more elegant ballroom dance that incorporates improvisational elements essential to the musical genre that spawned it.

Photos by Erica Price

(Clockwise from above) Jazz Age Lawn Party Dance Director Roddy Caravella instructed revelers on the Charleston and Peabody styles of dance. Valentina Sasieta, at right, and friends Katherine and Ricki enjoyed an elegant picnic at the annual Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island on Aug. 25. Fabulous flappper Adrienne Weider, a dancer with Roddy Caravella & The Canarsie Wobblers, was dressed to the nines. Dreamland Orchestra leader Michael Arenella kept the joint jumping.

And once class is out, the party starts, as bands including Jazz Age Lawn Party founder Michael Arenella’s

Dreamland Orchestra take the stage and set the tune for a party that appears ripped straight out of time. That’s because patron’s don’t just act the part of sly bootleggers, they dress the part too, sporting straw boater hats, white linen slacks, and chic flapper dresses

evocative of a more dapper age, according to one of the event’s official clothiers. “To get that many people together all dressed up, there’s nothing like it,” said Andrew Yamato, a custom clothier with Alan Flusser Custom. “It’s always a great time.”

Pay to play Gov Island Trust wants to develop park to pay wbills

Photos by Erica Price

(Above) Clothiers Andrew Yamato, left, and Jonathan Sigmon showed off their jazz-era duds at Jazz Age Lawn Party. (Right) Old-timey photography afi cionado Steven Mark Diatz was on hand to snap authentic pics.

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September 6 - September 19, 2018

BY COLIN MIXSON The city wants to transform Governors Island into an education, research, and hospitality hub, and is seeking Council permission to lease out more than 30-acres of seaside property in a bid to pay the island park’s increasingly pricey operating fees, according to the isle’s head honcho. “Our goal is to be financially self-sufficient,” said Michael Samuelian, president of the Trust for Governors Island. The Trust for Governors Island — a non-profit organizaPAY Continued on page 23

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NOTICE OF PUBLIC SCOPING Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Draft Scope of Work for a Second Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SSGEIS) The Phased Redevelopment of Governors Island South Island Development Zones NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT a public scoping meeting will be held at 6 P.M. on Wednesday, September 26, 2018, at the Governors Island Ferry Waiting Room, Battery Maritime Building, 10 South Street, New York, NY 10004. The purpose of the scoping meeting is to provide the public with the opportunity to comment on the Draft Scope of Work proposed to be used to develop a Second Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SSGEIS) for The Phased Redevelopment of Governors Island–South Island Development Zones. Written comments on the Draft Scope of Work may be submitted to the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination until 5:00 P.M. Tuesday, October 9, 2018. Directing that an Environmental Impact Statement be prepared, a Positive Declaration and Draft Scope of Work were issued by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development on August 23, 2018, and are available for review from the contact person listed below and on the website of the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination (www.nyc.gov/oec). Governors Island Corporation, doing business as The Trust for Governors Island (The Trust), is a not-for-profit corporation and instrumentality of the City of New York. The Trust holds title to 150 acres of the 172-acre island (the Island); the remaining 22 acres is owned by the National Park Service and is a National Monument. Governors Island is located in New York Harbor, approximately 800 yards south of Manhattan and 400 yards west of Brooklyn. The Island comprises the North Island (the area north of the former Division Road) and the South Island (the area south of the former Division Road). The entire island is zoned R3-2; the North Island is mapped as the Special Governors Island District. Access to the Island is provided by ferries that are operated by The Trust from slips at the Battery Maritime Building (BMB) in Lower Manhattan, which is the major access point for ferries traveling to the Island. Additional ferry service from Pier 6 in Brooklyn and Pier 11 in Manhattan is provided by The Trust and NYC Ferry via the East River and South Brooklyn routes, respectively, when the Island is open to the public. Two Development Zones on the South Island have been anticipated since 2010 and were previously considered in both the 2011 Final Generic Environmental Impact Assessment (FGEIS) and 2013 Final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Assessment (FSGEIS). Future uses in these two areas were not specifically proposed, determined, or defined in the FGEIS and FSGEIS; therefore, it was assumed that new buildings on the South Island could be designed for academic, research, office, cultural, entertainment and/or a conference center/hotel uses. The Trust is currently proposing to enable up to 4.5 million square feet of development on the South Island (the “Proposed Project”). The proposed development on the South Island would exceed the previously considered development, which totaled 3 million square feet, including approximately 1.375 million square feet on the North Island and approximately 1.625 million square feet on the South Island, and would require zoning changes as well as infrastructure and transportation improvements to support the occupants and uses. The proposed development would serve to enliven the Island with active uses and users 24/7, and would support the on-going maintenance of the park and public spaces and the historic buildings on the North Island. The Proposed Actions include zoning text and map amendments and the potential approval of capital funding. Specifically the Special Governors Island District would be expanded to cover the entire Island and create new controls pertaining to the South Island. The underlying zoning for the South Island would be changed to a middensity commercial district such as C4-5, while the zoning for the North Island would remain R3-2. No modifications of the deed restrictions are proposed and the Special Governors Island District controls applicable to the North Island would remain unchanged. New zoning text applicable to the South Island would define parcels for development, provide design controls for open spaces with and adjacent to the development parcels, specify permitted uses, restrict base height and overall building height and length, require setbacks, provide streetwall and articulation requirements, and restrict lot coverage and provide a minimum distance between upper portions of buildings. To support the South Island Development, new infrastructure and services would be required. This will include increased ferry service and potentially the installation of an additional water main if it is determined necessary. To accommodate the additional population on the South Island, use of the BMB would be limited to passengers. Therefore, it is anticipated that freight transfer activities would be moved to the Brooklyn waterfront and may be distributed to multiple locations. While specific plans for freight deliveries would be developed in connection with the selection of future occupants of the South Island, hypothetical locations would be considered to identify potential environmental impacts of the freight transfer operations.

CEQR Number: Lead Agency: Sponsoring Agency: Contact:

11DME007M Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development The Trust for Governors Island Denise Pisani, Deputy Director Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination 253 Broadway, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10007 Email: dpisani@cityhall.nyc.gov SEQRA/CEQR Classification: Type I Location of Action: Block 1, Lot 10, in Manhattan Community District 1. Governors Island is located in New York Harbor, approximately 800 yards south of Manhattan and 400 yards west of Brooklyn. This Notice of Public Hearing has been prepared pursuant to Article 8 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law (the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA)), its implementing regulations found at 6 NYCRR Part 617, and the Rules of Procedure for City Environmental Quality Review found at 62 RCNY Chapter 5, and Mayoral Executive Order 91 of 1977, as amended (CEQR).

DE: 09/06/2018 DowntownExpress.com

September 6 - September 19, 2018

11


SNOOZE â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; LOSE

A D U LT C L A S S E S

A thief ripped off a sleeping straphanger at the Whitehall Street Subway Station on Aug. 31. The victim told police she dozed off on a bench on the R train platform in the station at 4 am, and awoke nearly four hours later to find her bag and cellphone stolen.

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BIKE BANDIT A villainous biker snatched the phone from a womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hand as he rode by on Walker Street on Aug. 28. The victim told police she was near Sixth Avenue at 7:05 pm, when the bike-riding crook swooped by and nabbed her $1,300 iPhone X.

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September 6 - September 19, 2018

Some nogoodnik rode off with a manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s motorcycle that he parked on Rector Place on Aug. 29. The victim told police he left his 2017 Suzuki bike near South End Avenue at 2 pm, and returned more than eight hours later to find an empty spot where his $7,000 ride had been.

BYE CYCLE A thief nabbed a womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s $3,000 bicycle she parked on Chambers Street on Aug. 29. The victim told police she and her boyfriend locked their bikes between West and Greenwich streets at 10 am, but that hers was missing when they came to fetch them about six hours later. The woman waited three days to report the theft, complicating the investigation, but the peddle-powered vehicle is equipped with a GPS tracker that can be used to located the bike, cops said.

ROLE MODEL A guy with a baby stroller punched another man inside an elevator at the Fulton Street Subway Station on Aug. 24. The victim told police he entered the elevator at 6:55 pm, when the other guy came in with a stroller and shouted, â&#x20AC;&#x153;you cut me off with my kids,â&#x20AC;? before slugging him in the face. Paramedics treated the victim at the scene, while his stroller-pushing attacker fled, cops said.

edly nabbing more than $7,600 worth of designer duds from a Liberty Street fashion boutique on Sept. 1. An employee told police she spotted the suspects stuffing their bags with merchandise from the store near West Street at 2:30 pm, before attempting to sneak past the register with their illgotten attire. Police cuffed the two suspects that day, charging them with felony grand larceny, cops said.

BAD FARE Cops arrested a man for allegedly punching a cab driver in the groin â&#x20AC;&#x201D; twice â&#x20AC;&#x201D; after refusing to pay his fare on Park Row on Aug. 22. The victim told police he was about to drop his passenger off near Spruce Street at 8 pm, when the man refused to fork over the $10.30 he owed, and instead exited the cab to sock his driver where the sun donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t shine. Following his low-blow assault, the suspect allegedly took off and fled into a nearby building on Park Row, but the cabby managed to keep his feet and maintained a hot pursuit, eventually leading police to his alleged attacker, cops said.

BAD BEAT Police cuffed a man and woman for allegedly macing a homeless guy and then beating him on William Street on Aug. 24. The victim told police he was â&#x20AC;&#x153;drummingâ&#x20AC;? near Fulton Street when the pair allegedly jumped him at 7:15 pm, first flooring him with a shot of pepper spray to his eyes, then stomping on him as he laid prostrate on the ground. Cops nabbed their suspects that evening, charging them with misdemeanor assault, according to police.

BLEMISHED BANDITS Two thieves managed to nab more than $1,600 worth of face cream from a Wall Street drug store on Aug. 22. An employee told police the crooks worked together to nab 40 bottles of pricey acne formula from the pharmacy between William and Nassau streets at 8:48 pm before fleeing with their illgotten face wash. No arrests have been made in the case, which remains open, cops said.

DRESSED FOR CRIME â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Colin Mixson

Cops busted two women for alleg-

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CELEBRATING LABOR IN THE BIG APPLE


Meet the Real Power of the Labor Movement;

The Rank and File

Latonya Crisp Recording Sec’y

Earl Phillips Sec’y Treasurer

Tony Utano President

Nelson Rivera Administrative VP

TWU Local 100 | Union Headquarters | 195 Montague Street | Brooklyn, NY 11201 | Tony Utano, President

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COMMUNITY NEWS GROUP • NYC WORKS • SEPT. 6, 2018


NYC WORKS CELEBRATING LABOR IN THE BIG APPLE

Grand marshal is the head of the class Michael Mulgrew, chief of United Federation of Teachers, to lead festivities BY JAMES HARNEY Michael Mulgrew is no stranger to being up front. He spent a decade in front of classrooms teaching English at William E. Grady High School in Brooklyn, but at 10 am on Saturday, Sept. 8, Mulgrew will be in front of a different, much larger gathering, as grand marshal of the 2018 New York City Labor Day Parade. Since taking the helm of the 189,000-member United Federation of Teachers, the city’s teachers’ union, in 2009, the Staten Island native has used his leadership position to advocate for smaller class sizes, more city and state funding for public schools, increased parental involvement in their children’s education, and less reliance on standardized testing. Under Mulgrew’s leadership, in 2014 the UFT won a

GRAND MARSHAL: Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, is this year’s grand marshal of the 2018 New York City Labor Day Parade and March. United Federation of Teachers teachers’ contract with the city that included an 18 percent pay raise.

He serves as a vice president of the American Federation of Teachers; an executive board member of New York State United Teachers, executive vice chairman of the city’s Municipal Labor Committee, and on the executive board of the New York City Central Labor Council. His UFT bio mentions that the veteran union leader “actively promotes issues that include economic fairness, immigration reform, equality and social justice.” When the Central Labor Council tapped Mulgrew to lead this year’s parade, he joined such local labor union luminaries as Thomas VanArsdale of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, John J. Sweeney and Denis Hughes of the AFLCIO, Peter Ward of the New York Hotel & Motel Trades Council, Lillian Roberts of DC 37, and Mulgrew’s pre-

decessor as UFT president, Randi Weingarten, who have led New York’s signature labor union march. “I’m proud and honored I was chosen this year to be the grand marshal of the parade,” the veteran union leader told Community News Group. “The Central Labor Council said to me, ‘your union is out front on labor issues, especially lately since unions have been under attack; we wanted you to be at the head of our march.’ But this is not just about spreading the message on the day of the parade; it’s also about the week leading up to the parade, spreading the message about workers’ rights. Having those rights is the only way we’re going to be able to fi x the income disparities in this country.” Mulgrew said he sensed “a new wave of energy inside the labor movement in

New York,” and pointed to his own union as a prime example. “The UFT is at the lowest number of people who are non-union, about 400 out of a union of nearly 200,000. That’s phenomenal,” he said proudly. “More than ever, [workers] are embracing the value of unions.” He warned, however, that labor unions “should never, ever, stop moving forward at all times,” and continue to fight to protect workers’ rights to fair wages, adequate healthcare coverage, and retirement benefits against forces that would try to strip those away. “If someone had said 15 years ago that Wisconsin would be the most unfriendly state in the country for labor unions, I would have said ‘no way in hell,’ ” Mulgrew said. “But now that’s the case.”

NYC IS A

UNION T WN COMMUNITY NEWS GROUP • NYC WORKS • SEPT. 6, 2018

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NYC WORKS CELEBRATING LABOR IN THE BIG APPLE

Once again, Fifth Avenue the place for the parade BY PHOEBE VAN BUREN Roughly 50,000 labor union members and supporters will take their fight down Manhattan’s storied Fifth Avenue for the annual New York City Labor Day Parade on Sept. 8. Since its inception in 1882, the parade has become a banner event for the labor movement not only in the city, but across America. “It’s really viewed throughout the country, even outside the city, as the signature kind of event for the Labor Movement,” said Vincent Alvarez, who is the president of the New York City Labor Council, which puts on the parade. “Even though it’s a parade, it’s a march — it’s a march for rights.” The architects of the parade, Matthew MacGuire, who was a machinist and secretary of the Central Labor Union, and Peter MacGuire, who was a carpenter, secre-

tary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters, and co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, had come up with an idea to introduce a labor holiday. On a Tuesday in 1882, they brought together 30,000 people in Union Square, meaning that workers had to forfeit the day’s wages to attend. The march was so popular that it was held again one year later, sparking a campaign for a Labor Day across the country. Congress named the fi rst Monday of September as Labor Day in 1894. Masses of union members and their supporters have marched across the city most years, barring periods that it didn’t happen due to several reasons, such as poor attendance as people began viewing the holiday as the fi nal weekend of summer and leaving the city. The parade has its own fl air, however, differing from

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all of the other parades in the city because it is 100 percent participatory, meaning that anyone can join, Alvarez said. “If you are part of the labor movement, a family member, neighbor, friend of the movement, we say march. If you’re a worker in the city whose industry is under attack, we say march,” he said. In the 1800s, participants marched down Broadway, but that changed in 1959 when it moved to Fifth Avenue. A permit for the stretch is almost impossible to secure these days but an existing agreement between the Labor Council and the city allows it to continue on that route. This year, it will be led by Grand Marshal Michael Mulgrew, who is the president of United Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2, while the chair is Lester Crockett, Regional President, CSEA-AF-

AMERICAN VALUES: Local 764 Wardrobe union member Andrae Gonzalo Associated Press / Bryan R. Smith marches. SCME Local 1000, Region 11. And with each year comes different campaigns. In 2018, revelers can expect to see many “Count Me In” signs and banners from construction workers, referring to a campaign against including non-unionized construction workers in big developments across the city. Doing so puts workers at risk since not everyone has proper safety training, Alvarez said. Since the parade is the

Saturday before the primaries, the New York City Labor Council also puts resources into advocating for candidates it supports for office. Beyond being a time-honored New York City tradition, the parade is a way for workers to come together and show the public just how many people are fighting for them. “We show our strength and show our solidarity by marching together,” Alvarez said.


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32BJ SEIU and Airport Workers on Historic Quest for Economic and Social Justice Change often comes after years and years of hard work. No one knows this better than low wage workers. On Labor Day, they are taking a step back to look at their progress towards the ongoing fight still ahead of them. Six years ago, Andrea Bundy was struggling to survive on just $7.25 an hour while working as a cabin cleaner for a subcontractor at the John F. Kennedy International Airport. She struggled to make ends meet and take care of her daughter. Many of Andrea’s co-workers talk about similar, everyday struggles. Their stories are now well known. In 2012, subcontracted airport workers at LaGuardia Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport and the John F. Kennedy International Airport started organizing for a union, higher wages and benefits with 32BJ

SEIU. The historic campaign has been wildly successful, as 9,000 low-wage workers organized themselves into 32BJ SEIU and nearly doubled the minimum wage at New York’s airports. But it didn’t come without a struggle. In the airports campaign, the broad aim was not to organize workers at a few subcontracting companies here and there, but to organize the entire airport industry. 32BJ SEIU successfully organized thousands of workers in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and won a commitment from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Board of Commissioners to a $19 minimum wage for 40,000 employees at Newark, JFK and LaGuardia working for multiple employers. This sectoral approach has helped 32BJ SEIU in the past 20 years organize nearly 100,000

new members up and down the East Coast in the airport, security, cleaning, residential building and food service industries, and 90% of those members are covered under industry-wide “master” contracts that multiple employers sign onto. Organizing the majority of workers in an industry actually reduces the incentive for employers to fight unionization because companies are no longer competing against

each other in a race to the bottom for the lowest labor costs. Unions can create a floor for wages and benefits in the market, which raises job standards throughout the industry, thereby reducing employee turnover and improving the quality of services. It’s not easy but it can be done and in fact, it’s already making life better for thousands of workers. And another remarkable thing that

has come out of these efforts is the realization that raising standards for wages and benefits is not only an antidote for poverty for these workers of color but an economic stimulus for the communities in which they live. Unions remain the best vehicle workers have to fight for better wages, benefits and working conditions and by actively participating in our democratic process we can still speak to the aspirations, direct interests and core values of all working people. It’s been unions that are pushing a bold vision for issues beyond the workplace, including expanded social security, progressive taxation, affordable health care and prescription drugs, extended sick time and family leave, childcare benefits, pre-K for all children, no-cost college and reduction of student loan debt.

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COMMUNITY NEWS GROUP • NYC WORKS • SEPT. 6, 2018

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NYC WORKS CELEBRATING LABOR IN THE BIG APPLE

Labor pains, and labor gains

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STATE OF THE UNION: (Above) Union activists and supporters rally against the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, case, in Foley Square in Lower Manhattan on June 27. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that public employee unions cannot require nonmembers to pay fees. (Left) The New York State Nurses Association called for more staffing to better care for New Yorkers at 14 of the city’s private hospitals in 2015. (Below) Crown Heights Tenant Union tenants and activists protested outside the Bedford Union Armory building in Crown Heights in 2016, demanding the city reverse the RFP given to Slate Property Group to convert the armory building into 330 apartments.

File photo by Paul Martinka

Associated Press / Richard Drew

Associated Press / Karla Ann Cote

BY PHOEBE VAN BUREN Since the Labor Movement took hold of New York City in the 1800s, its workers have fought for fair wages, reasonable hours, and important benefits. With every new government comes new fights, and with new fights, come opportunities to improve workers’ lives, its leaders say. Whether it be against developers behind some of the biggest building ventures in the city or media employees working for the chance to unionize, New York workers are now facing a myriad of issues. The larger movement is at a crossroads right now, as it will need to start using its money and members to keep members while coming to an agreement politically, according to one expert. “It’s going to fi nd itself spending resources to keep members they are already have,” said Ed Ott, who has spent 40 years in the Labor Movement and is a lecturer at the City University of New York’s Murphy Institute Worker Education and Labor Studies. “We have to fi nd out how to keep what we have and what our political situation is at this point.” Perhaps the biggest labor issue of the 2018 came when the United States Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, that people who are represented by a public unions but aren’t members don’t have to pay fees. As a result, unions expect that they will lose 10 to 30 percent of their members and the money that comes with them. To help unions suffering from the ruling, the New York City Central Labor Council has been working to stabilize unions and prepare them with the support they need to keep operating effectively, Vincent Alvarez, the president of the Council, said. While it struggles to recover from the Supreme Court decision, the movement is also experiencing a political divide. “There are many workers split in the Labor Movement who supported and continue to support Trump. We have other unions who are adamantly opposed,” Ott said. Trump supporters can be found in trade unions, while those who oppose the president include the teachers and nurses unions. As workers across the country fight to keep their unions alive, New York workers, nearly a quarter of those who are unionized, have been involved in several campaigns for their rights this year. The “Count me In” campaign launched in response to the developer behind Hudson Yards on the city’s west side using a mix of union and non-union labor. This can create safety hazards, as the nonunion workers may not be properly

trained, Alvarez said. “It’s an issue that’s extraordinarily dangerous and a tremendous amount of danger that exists in construction.” In July, workers at retail store H&M urged the company to negotiate with them for a fair contract that would include the elimination of making workers take back-to-back closing and opening shifts without at least 10.5 hours rest, ensuring a minimum number of hours per week, and the right to time off after five consecutive days worked. Members of the New York City Council got behind the workers and urged the company to

COMMUNITY NEWS GROUP • NYC WORKS • SEPT. 6, 2018

come to the table. And people working in digital media, an increasingly volatile industry, are battling to unionize and strike deals with their employers that would ensure job security, fair wages, and benefits. In August, workers at culture blog Thrillist went on strike after their company refused to reach an agreement with the union. Graduate school unions have been hard at work too — Columbia University employees urged officials to meet their demands to put an end to issues with late paychecks, rent increases, and inadequate medical coverage they

say interferes with their ability to provide the best education possible. Even as they face these new challenges, the problems that come from the government are still the same, Alvarez said. “There’s always the broader attacks on working people from the government.” In 2018 and beyond, workers will have to continue to come up with innovative ideas in order to effectively keep their unions and their livelihoods strong, according to Ott. “Old forms may not work in new capitalism and new forms are gonna be have to be created,” he said.


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Buy America This Labor Day 9PJ:FKKG8LC Let’s try an experiment. It’s Labor Day weekend, when we take a moment to appreciate the contributions made to America by its working men and women. It’s also a weekend when we barbecue. So while you’re at one, ask a friend this question: Do you think New York’s public projects, paid for with your tax dollars, should be spent on American-made goods whenever possible? I bet you know the answer you’d get: “Of course!” That response is in line with statewide and national polling that finds majorities of voters think American-made spending plans for public projects are a good idea. And they are. By guaranteeing that domestic manufacturers are given the first shot when our government repairs a highway or builds a bridge, Buy America laws promote domestic economic growth. They create an incentive for companies to set

up shop in America, and that means more jobs in New York. And more jobs in New York means an expanded tax base and a smaller burden on the social safety net. And they don’t soak taxpayers. Buy America laws always include waivers if domestic material is prohibitively expensive or only available in limited quantities. Here’s an example of domestic preferences applied: A

few years ago, when the Metropolitan Transit Authority went looking for 15,000 tons of steel to replace the upper deck on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, it ended up buying it on the cheap from stateowned companies in China. That’s a lot of business for government-subsidized steelmakers on the other side of the planet, which instead could have put American workers on the job.

By comparison, the recent Tappan Zee Bridge construction project was partially funded by federal money, and was therefore stuck to Buy America rules. And it just so happened that New York officials found it cost-competitive to purchase all the steel required for the new span from U.S. manufacturers. The results? Making it in America saved more than $1.5 billion and years of construction time. It also nearly 8,000 American jobs in the production of its construction material. While you’re at that barbecue, ask your friend which deal made more sense. New York last winter moved to bring its state-level procurement policies into line with federal ones. It now requires the use of American-made iron and domestically melted and poured steel for any and all work on road and bridge projects over $1 million. It also requires the use of domestic iron and do-

mestically melted and poured steel for all contracts over $1 million awarded by the Dormitory Authority, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Bridge Authority or the Thruway Authority. It would be good to see all New York agencies implement such rules in their procurement policies. But this is a good start, because when correctly applied, buying American supports American jobs. New York’s tax dollars should remain in the state and national economy – and not be used to promote jobs overseas, especially when costcompetitive and quality goods are available here at home. They’re a good idea, and they’re good for our economy. So, next time you find yourself using a piece of public infrastructure, ask yourself a question: Do I know where this bridge or road was this made, and by whom? With strong Buy America rules, you’ll know the answer.

American workers built our past.

American workers can build our future, too. www.americanmanufacturing.org

COMMUNITY NEWS GROUP • NYC WORKS • SEPT. 7, 2018

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NYC WORKS CELEBRATING LABOR IN THE BIG APPLE

Labor in New York BY PHOEBE VAN BUREN The New York City Labor Movement has spanned more than four centuries, dating back to the 1600s. Over time, the key players have changed but the problems remain very much the same. It would be nearly impossible to put together an exhaustive list of all of movement’s events in The City That Never Sleeps, but we’ve compiled a brief history showing how workers have fought for their rights time and time again:

1882 Approximately 30,000 Knights of Labor convene at City Hall for an unofficial march that would become the city’s fi rst Labor Day Parade. The event was held on a Tuesday, meaning that workers had to give up a day of wages to attend. Matthew and Peter MacGuire proposed the day be named Labor Day to celebrate workers. The parade was held the following year, inspiring a campaign for the holiday across the country.

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1894 Congress names the fi rst Monday of September Labor Day.

1909 Roughly 20,000 women, primarily Jewish, working in shirtwaist factories, walked out of the job in protest of unfair wages, working conditions, and hours, marking the fi rst mass strike by women in United States history. The following year, the women’s demands were met.

1911 A fi re broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in Greenwich Village, killing 146 garment workers after they became trapped in the building due to locked exits and only one fi re escape. The tragedy was one of the deadliest industrial disasters in American history.

1930s Folk singer Woody Guthrie performs at Webster Hall in support of union workers.

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1954-1968 One million black workers enter the Congress of Industrial Organizations, sparking a new campaign from black workers to use labor issues to win the fight for racial justice. During that time, tensions rise as some unions refuse to make any changes to their traditions.

1959 In a milestone event for the Labor Movement, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to create the AFLCIO, the largest federation of unions in the country. That same year, the Labor Day Parade moves to Fifth Avenue, where 115,000 union workers and their supporters celebrated the day. Also in 1959, city fi refi ghters decide to unionize in a bid to win a pay increase.

1960 Union leaders urge the city to set a minimum wage of $1.25 per hour, asking that the state or Congress raise the rate.

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COMMUNITY NEWS GROUP • NYC WORKS • SEPT. 7, 2018

1. Steven Wallaert, head of Patco’s local 291 in Norfolk, Va., center, shakes hands with Patco President Robert Poli, left, during the parade in 1981. At right is Wallaert’s wife Connie. Wallaert, whose picture was published nationwide when he was taken away in chains by federal authorities, said: “They put me in chains symbolically and this is a symbol that they can keep Patco in chains.”2. Horse-drawn carriage drivers supported by the Teamsters Union march. 3. Local 361 iron worker and Brooklynite Robert Farula carries an American flag during the 2012 parade. 4. Former mayor Ed Koch marches in the parade on Fifth Avenue on Sept. 7, 1981. 5. Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale, center, vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, and New York’s Democratic Gov. Mario Cuomo wave to New Yorkers as they march in 1984. 7. Members of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union wave from a float in 1961. 7. Union members march up Fifth Avenue. 8. Stagehands Local 1 Union member Al Cittadino rides a motorcycle up Fifth Avenue. 9. Members of 1199 Service Employees International Union march up Fifth Avenue in 2015’s Labor Day Parade and March.

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NYC WORKS CELEBRATING LABOR IN THE BIG APPLE

through the years 1961 The Brotherhood Labor Party demands a $1.50 minimum wage, and six-hour, five day a week work schedule. In December, city labor leaders announce they will support a New Year’s Day strike for a 20-hour work week. The city labor commissioner jump-starts negotiations to avoid a strike that may affect streetlights.

1964

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City Council passes a bill that raises minimum wage to $1.50 an hour, boosting the paychecks of approximately 400,000 workers. In return, business owners sue, alleging that the pay raise is unconstitutional.

1965 Governor Nelson Rockefeller vetoes the $1.50 an hour wage, arguing that the raise would force businesses owners to take their work elsewhere.

1967 More than 6,000 handymen, elevator operators, porters, and custodians strike to protest building owners’ assertion that complying with union contracts would mean that they would have to raise rents. The strike affected 1,000 apartment buildings across the city.

1970 Letter carriers in Brooklyn and Manhattan walk out on the job, beginning the fi rst mass work stoppage in the history of the United States Post Office Department. The strike grew to 210,000 employees, causing President Richard Nixon to declare a state of emergency and deploy the military to New York City post offices.

1971

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Approximately 20,000 New York City police officers refuse to report for duty during the fiveday NYPD work stoppage after a lawsuit that would have increased pay for police and fi refi ghters is struck down. Officers said they would still respond to serious crimes, but would not participate in regular patrolling duties. As a result, the city was patrolled by as few as 200 officers at some times.

1985 Roughly 14,000 workers from 45 hotels walk off the job to protest unfair wages in the fi rst walkout in the history of the Hotel and Motel Trade Council of the AFL-CIO.

2005 Starting on Dec. 20, during the busiest shopping week of the year, New York City transit workers went on strike for two days, stopping most bus and subway service. This was a result of a breakdown in negotiations for a new contract over retirement, pension, and wage increases.

2016

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Supporters of the “Fight for $15” campaign win big when a plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour is signed into law along with a 12week paid family leave policy. COMMUNITY NEWS GROUP • NYC WORKS • SEPT. 6, 2018

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NYC WORKS CELEBRATING LABOR IN THE BIG APPLE

They love a parade! More than 150 unions, locals and organizations will march this year SECTOR 5 March Time: 12 pm

BY JAMES HARNEY Some 150 unions and union local members of the New York City Central Labor Council are set to step off from Fifth Avenue and 44th Street in the 2018 Labor Day Parade and March on Saturday, Sept. 8. Here is a list of the line of march:

New York City District Council Of Carpenters and local unions Elevator Constructors Local 1 International Union Of Operating Engineers and local unions Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1

LEAD-OFF SECTOR: March time: 10 am

Tile, Marble And Terrazzo Local 7

NYPD Color Guard LEAD-OFF BAND: The Tottenville High School Marching Band GRAND MARSHAL: Michael Mulgrew, president, United Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2 PARADE CHAIR: Lester Crocket, regional president, CSEA-AFSCME Local 1000, Region 11 NYC Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO: Officers and executive board

SECTOR 6 March time: 12:15 pm

UNION PROUD: Union activists and supporters rally against the Supreme Court’s ruling International Brotherhood of Elecin the Janus v. AFSCME case, in Foley Square in Lower Manhattan, on June 27. trical Workers (IBEW) Associated Press / Karla Ann Cote

International Alliance Of Theatrical Stage Employees and local unions New York Council Of Motion Picture

New York State AFL-CIO

SECTOR 1 March time: 10:15 am

New York State Department Of Labor

United Federation Of Teachers and AFT local unions

Pride at Work

New York State United Teachers and local unions

A. Philip Randolph Institute

Civil Service Merit Council American Federation Of Government Employees and local unions

IBEW Local 3 IBEW local unions New York State Allied Printing Trades Council Allied Printing Trades Council Graphic Communications Conference

SECTOR 3 March time: 11 am Building and Construction Trades Council BCTC officers and staff Helmets To Hardhats

SECTOR 7 March time: 12:45 pm United Auto Workers Region 9A & local unions Utility Workers Union Of America Local 1–2

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance

United University ProfessionsDownstate Medical Chapter

Coalition Of Black Trade Unionists

Professional Staff Congress

The Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills

Coalition Of Labor Union Women

Council Of Supervisors and Administrators

Non-Traditional Employment for Women

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union

Labor Council For Latin American Advancement

United Food & Commercial Workers

CSEA-AFSCME

Plumbers Local 1

UFCW-RWDSU Local unions

New York City Alliance Of Retired Americans

AFSCME District Council 37 and local unions

Steamfitters Local 638

Union Veterans Council

AFSCME District Council 1707 & local unions

Laborers’ Local 731, 147 and National Postal Mailhandlers Union Local 300

International Longshoremen Association and local unions 920, 1814

Uniformed Firefighters Association Local 94

Cement & Concrete Workers Dc 16, Locals 6A, 18A & 20

Uniformed Fire Officers Association Local 854

Pavers And Road Builders District Council, Local 1010

SECTOR 8 March time: 1:15 pm

Public Employees Federation

Cement Masons Local 780

Teamsters Joint Council 16 and IBT local unions

Greater NY Labor-Religion Coalition New York Branch NAACP Jewish Labor Committee New York Labor History Association James Connelly Irish American Labor Coalition Italian American Labor Council New York Committee For Occupational Safety & Health Mount Sinai Selikoff Cornell Worker Institute

SECTOR 2 March time: 10:45 am Communication Workers Of America and local unions The Association Of Flight Attendants

Plasterers’ Local 262 Mason Tenders District Council & Locals 66, 78, 79, 108, 279 & 1261

Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco & Grain Millers and local unions

SEIU Local 1199 SEIU Local 246 SEIU Local UNIONS

SECTOR 4 March time: 11:30 am

Workers United

Roofers And Waterproofers Local 8

Transport Workers Union Of America and local unions

CUNY Murphy Institute

Amalgamated Transit Union & local unions

Empire State College-SUNY

American Postal Workers Union

Sheet metal Workers Locals 28 & 137

Seafarers’ International Union Of North America

New York City Labor Chorus

National Association Of Letter Carriers

Ironworkers District Council and Locals 40, 46, 197, 361, 580

Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, District 1

American Federation Of Musicians Local 802

New York State Nurses Association

Heat and Frost Insulators Locals 12 & 12A

New York Taxi Workers Alliance

SAG-AFTRA

Boilermakers Local Lodge 5

Unite Here! Local unions

American Guild Of Musical Artists

Office and Professional Employees International Union & local unions

Writers Guild Of America East

Organization Of Staff Analysts

International Union Of Painters & Allied Trades DC 9 & Locals

International Association Of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

Actors’ Equity Association

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Air Line Pilots Association

COMMUNITY NEWS GROUP • NYC WORKS • SEPT. 6, 2018

NY Hotel & Motel Trades Council


New York City Brags About the Expansion of UPK, But… New York City Must Provide Wage Parity for The City’s Public Center-Based Day Care and Head Start Employees Employees working for public center-based early education centers are being cheated out of thousands of dollars of income over their careers by the City of New York. And the City is doing nothing about it. For years these dedicated public day care and Head Start employees have made exceptional sacrifices to work in their profession. The City’s response has been to pay them tens of thousands of dollars less than their public school counterparts, even though they are mandated to hold the same education and state education credentials. These employees have provided high quality early childhood education services to New York City’s children and toddlers for nearly two generations. The City has created a multi-tier wage disparity program with Early Learn, Head Start and UPK teachers and other staff earning disparate and lower wages, it seems, because the majority of employees are women and women of color – and many are heads of households. This not happening in Alabama or Mississippi. This is happening in progressive New York City. In fact, a retention crisis has developed in many centers caused by the lack of wage parity. Early childhood education staff earn their credentials and often leave for the public schools. Across the city many centers experience inordinate turnover rates when staff leave the jobs they love for better paying jobs in public schools or other career opportunities. It is the children who suffer because staff retention is necessary for young minds to flourish. The toll on staff and families in these communities-in-need is also particularly painful. It is discrimination at its lowest form. The City of New York cannot pretend to ignore it anymore. New York City must act now to end this thoughtless crisis in child care by providing necessary funding for salary/benefit increases to the staff at the unionized nonprofit early childhood education centers across the city. The time for change is now! Name (print): _____________________________________________________________________________ Address: ________________________________________________________________________________ Date: ____________________ District Council 1707 AFSCME | 420 West 45th Street New York, New York, 10036 | 212-219-0022 COMMUNITY NEWS GROUP • NYC WORKS • SEPT. 6, 2018

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NYC WORKS CELEBRATING LABOR IN THE BIG APPLE

Lights! Camera! Unions! BY JAMES HARNEY Labor — who does it, for whom, and what, if any, is acceptable compensation for it — is a never-ending story. Through the decades, the employeremployee relationship has spawned its own vernacular: walkouts, work stoppages, slowdowns, demonstrations, layoffs, strikes, riots, unions. From time to time, clashes between labor unions and management — and sometimes, the individuals who have emerged at the forefront of those clashes — have drawn the attention of Hollywood’s spotlight. Here are a few noteworthy movies that have crossed the silver screen in recent years:

gling colleagues to go on strike after Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the New York World, tries to one-up business rival William Randolph Hearst by raising the prices that the “newsies” have to pay to buy newspapers from Pulitzer’s distribution centers.

‘On the Waterfront’ “On the Waterfront” was a 1954 movie directed by famed Hollywood director Elia Kazan that depicted union violence and corruption and racketeering on the Hoboken, N.J. waterfront. It featured a star-studded cast that included Marlon Brando, Lee J. Cobb, Karl Malden, Rod

‘Hoffa’ “Hoffa” was a 1992 fi lm biography of the notorious union boss Jimmy Hoffa, chronicling 40 years of his life, his rise to the top spot in the rough-and-tumble International Brotherhood of Teamsters, to his leadership of a violent strike, to his sinister involvement with organized crime, to his well-publicized clashes with U.S. Attorney General Robert

jealous of her closeness with the labor activist, as well as fierce opposition from her employers. The movie climaxes with the workers voting to form a union. In addition to Fields’s Best Actress Oscar win, the 1979 fi lm also won an Oscar for Best Original Song for the theme song, “It Goes Like It Goes.” And in 2011, “Norma Rae” was chosen to be preserved in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, because it is “culturally, aesthetically or historically significant.”

‘Harlan County, USA’ “Harlan County, USA” was a 1976 documentary about labor tension in the coal-mining industry, in which director and workers’ rights advocate Barbara Kopple fi lmed a 1972 strike by miners at the Brookside Mine in rural Kentucky. After the miners join a union, the mine’s owners refuse the labor contract. Once the miners walk off their jobs, the owners bring in “scabs” top replace them. The strike dragged on

High points in “Newsies” include a confrontation between Jack, his compatriot Les Jacobs and Pulitzer in the publisher’s office, a refusal by Brooklyn-based newsies to join the Manhattan newsboys’ strike, and a climactic ambush of the distribution center and destruction of all its newspapers.

‘Norma Rae’ Starring Oscar-winner Sally Field, “Norma Rae” was based on the true story of Crystal Lee Sutton, a worker in a textile mill in a small North Carolina town where the pay is low and the hours long. Inspired by a rousing speech from a visiting labor activist — and af-

F. Kennedy during a federal investigation into Hoffa’s infamous mob dealings, to his unsuccessful bid to re-take control of the Teamsters, to his violent death in a hail of gunshots, presumably fi red by a mob hitman. It ends with Hoffa’s body being taken away in the back of a truck, to an undisclosed location. Exactly where Jimmy Hoffa’s body is buried remains the stuff of organized crime lore.

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Steiger, Pat Henning and Eva Marie Saint, with a soundtrack composed by the legendary Leonard Bernstein. It told the story of the conflict between a cold-blooded union leader and a disenchanted dockworker. The dockworker had been a talented boxer on the rise until a powerful mob boss persuaded him to throw a fi ght. But when a longshoreman is murdered before he can testify in an investigation into the mob boss’s violent control of the waterfront, the dockworker courageously decides to testify himself.

‘Silkwood’

‘Newsies!’ “Newsies!” was a Disney musical based on the real-life New York City newsboy strike of 1899. Starring Christian Bale, and featuring Ann-Margret, Robert Duvall and Bill Pullman, the 1992 movie centers around the story of struggling newsboy Jack “Cowboy” Kelly, who spurs his equally young, equally strug-

gests that the “accident” may have been murder, but the case has never been solved. In real life, Silkwood’s death gave rise to a 1979 lawsuit, Silkwood v. Kerr-McGee. The jury rendered a verdict of $10 million in damages to be paid to Silkwood’s estate, at the time the largest amount in damages ever awarded for that kind of case. Eventually, the estate settled for a $1.3 payout.

ter poor working conditions at the mill start becoming hazardous to workers’ health, including her own — Norma Rae is moved to rally her beleaguered colleagues to unionize. She encounters anger from a fi ancé

COMMUNITY NEWS GROUP • NYC WORKS • SEPT. 6, 2018

Released in 1983, “Silkwood” starred Meryl Streep in a role inspired by the life of Karen Silkwood, a whistle-blowing worker and labor union shop steward who died in a mysterious car accident while on her way to meet with a news reporter investigating alleged wrongdoing and serious safety defects at the Kerr-McGee plutonium plant where she worked. The movie sug-

for nearly a year, and confrontations between strikers and scabs often became violent, with even Kopple and her cameraman beaten in one incident. Clashes were often punctuated by gunfi re, and in one, a miner was killed. Kopple and her crew spent years with the families depicted in the fi lm, documenting how they suffered while striking for decent wages and safer working conditions, and how some miners contracted Black Lung Disease. “Harlan County, USA” won Kopple an Oscar for Best Documentary.


NYC WORKS CELEBRATING LABOR IN THE BIG APPLE

Ratting out the scabs! The story of Scabby the Rat, the inflatable star of many a picket line BY JAMES HARNEY It was early September, 2016. Labor Day had come and gone, and a new semester at the Downtown Brooklyn campus of Long Island University was supposed to have begun. But instead of standing at the front of their classrooms, faculty members — embroiled in a salary dispute with the university’s administration in which replacement educators had been brought in — were marching on the sidewalk outside the school’s main building on Flatbush Avenue, waving placards and chanting slogans. And Scabby was there. For more than 40 years at labor unions’ picket lines around New York, Scabby the Rat — an inflatable charcoalgray rodent with a bubbly pink underbelly, pointed claws, reddish eyes and protruding buck teeth, has often loomed silently nearby, a six, 15, 20, or even 25-foot-tall snarling sym-

bol of protest against real or perceived mistreatment of employees by management. “New York is still a labor union town,” says Senior Professor of Journalism Dr. Ralph Engelman, a former vice president of the LIU Faculty Federation. “Bringing out the rat to embarrass the university and call attention to its attack on labor was something we felt was very important.” Workers who have crossed picket lines to replace union workers have historically been vilified as “scabs,” or “rats,” but “Scabby” didn’t begin appearing at picket lines, demonstrations, or marches until 1990, in Chicago. That’s when the Chicago branch of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers union approached Big Sky Balloons and Searchlights, based in suburban Plainfield, Ill., and asked owners Mike and Peggy O’Connor to design and produce a larger than life inflatable rat that

would send a menacing message alongside a union demonstration. “He [the union official] turned down Mike’s first design, saying, ‘No I want it to look meaner,’ ” Peggy O’Connor remembers. “So Mike tweaked it to give it more snarl, with meaner-looking nails and teeth and that nasty pink belly. That’s what they wanted.” As it turns out, that’s what a lot of striking or demonstrating labor unions wanted. “Scabby” is now in such demand that Big Sky now produces seven sizes of the inflatable vermin, ranging from 6-feet-tall models priced at nearly $2,600 to 25-footers that cost almost $10,000. The price includes a blower, with an extension cord, to inflate the balloon, and stakes to hold it in place on the ground. O’Connor estimated the firm makes “about 50 in a year,” and has expanded their line of inflatable protest bal-

RATS!: Union activists hoisted the giant, inflatable rat outside a residential development in Gowanus in 2015, alleging worker exploitation by the File photo by Jason Speakman contracted construction company. loons to include a “corporate fat cat [a pompous-looking, feline wearing a suit and grabbing a construction worker by the neck in one hand, and a money bag in the other], a “greedy pig,” a cockroach, and a Border Patrol agent. “We once even designed an inflatable bedbug for a group protesting a New York hotel that had bedbugs,” she said. “We’re in the balloon business; they asked for it, so we made it.” In the past, victims of “Scabby the Rat” have chal-

lenged its legality — and lost. In 2011 that National Labor Relations Board ruled that the inflatable rodent was a symbolic form of free speech protected by the First Amendment. And in 2014, a Brooklyn federal judge upheld the right of a laborers’ union to use “Scabby” in its demonstration. “In an era in which attacks on labor are taking place on multiple fronts, it’s particularly important for unions to fight back,” Engelman said. “The use of the rat at our lockout was part of that fight.”

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COMMUNITY NEWS GROUP • NYC WORKS • SEPT. 6, 2018

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NYC WORKS CELEBRATING LABOR IN THE BIG APPLE

Gladly riding the Local

union rate put those workers at risk. In the end, it’s those workers who suffer. He thinks Saturday’s parade “shows that unity brings strength, that we’re the working class people who build and move everything around the city.”

Four workers tell why they value union membership BY JAMES HARNEY

Dave McIntosh Journeyman, Plumbers Union Local 1

“My boys rely on me, I needed to work in a place that’s unionized, where I don’t have to worry about layoffs the way people do working in the private sector,” Diaz said. “I feel a lot more secure knowing I’ve got the protection provided by Local 100.” That’s why she feels union workers should “go out there [and march] in force,” in New York City Labor Day Parade and March on Saturday, Sept. 8, “to show that union presence.”

There are more than one million unionized workers in the New York metropolitan area — policemen, firefighters, schoolteachers, letter carriers, longshoremen, hospital workers, construction laborers, electricians, hotel and motel employees to name just a few — toiling for some 300 union locals, some with predictable names, like the American Postal Workers Union, or the New York State Nurses Association; others with such unique identities as Tile, Marble and Terrazzo Local 7, or the Heat & Frost Insulators Locals 12 & 12A. Many have interesting personal stories about their paths to union membership, and why they value that membership. Here, Community News Group profiles four such workers:

Barrington Anderson Professional mover, Local 814, International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Gloria Diaz

Photo by Caleb Caldwell

Photo by Zoe Freilich

Photo by Caroline Ourso

Train operator, New York City Transit, Transport Workers Union Local 100

Diaz is a single mother who lives in Bensonhurst with her three sons, ages 21, 16 and 11. For a while, she worked as an operations assistant for a marketing fi rm based in East New York, then later went into business for herself, running a small home improvement company. Neither, she says, provided the fi nancial security and healthcare benefits she wanted for her family. “The marketing company didn’t really offer benefits, and with my own company, if no customers came in, I didn’t make any money. I was out there fending for myself,” Diaz said. In 2009, Diaz took the exam to become a New York City Transit train operator. She passed, but then waited six long years before she got the call in 2015 to come in for training. “They put me in a training program that lasted eight months, and it was rigorous,” she said. “NYC Transit holds trainees to a high standard of perfection, which I understand, since as a train operator you’ve got thousands of lives in your hands at any given time.” But Diaz was up to the challenge, and in October she’ll mark her third year as a train operator. She says she’s grateful for the opportunity, and for the security she gets as a member of Transport Workers Union Local 100.

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COMMUNITY NEWS GROUP • NYC WORKS • SEPT. 6, 2018

Anderson has been a member of the Teamsters local representing professional movers in the city since 2005. The work takes him to jobs all over the city, and at times even as far as towns in New Jersey. The work can be tough at times, and he says he wouldn’t even think of doing it without the wage and healthcare protections his union local provides. “I live with my wife and six children in Yonkers,” Anderson, 40, said one day last week during a break from a job at a large hotel in midtown Manhattan. “Being in this union helps me maintain a fair wage and get the coverages I need for my family.” Anderson is so convinced of the value of union membership that he spends some of his down time doing union outreach work. “I represent the freelance movers who aren’t affi liated with one company or another,” he explained. “When they look for jobs and are looking for information within the union, I’m one of the guys to go to.” Anderson says the moving industry in New York is often infi ltrated by non-union workers, a practice he thinks is a bad idea. “There are some ‘fake unions’ out there that aren’t really unions,’ he said. “Their members aren’t certified, they can’t OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] cards to do jobs on some of the newer developments being constructed these days. Unions are important because they protect us in the event of injuries on the job. Companies that try to get by with non union labor to save money and pay their workers less than the

McIntosh, a 13-year member of Plumbers Union Local 1, likes to stay busy. “I wear a couple of hats for Local 1,” McIntosh, 43, readily admits. “Out in the field, I’m a full-time plumber. I was recently elected for my second term on the Local 1 fi nance committee. And I also teach an orientation class — we call it the Heritage Class — for new union members.” The class, which McIntosh teaches two nights a week at the Trade Education Center in Long Island City, is intended to give new members “an idea about unions, what they’re about, and a taste of labor history.” He says the Heritage Class particularly resonates with him because of his own, sometimes rocky, path to union membership. “I was working as a non-union plumber, and did some work as an apprentice, but it was a farce,” McIntosh recalls. “I knew union members made higher rates of pay and had benefits, but this was before the Internet and smartphones, and I didn’t know anything about how to get into a union. I fi gured you had to be a friend of a friend, I thought it was a closed situation.” That changed, he says, when a friend gave him the phone number to the local Plumbers Union hall. On a whim, he called it, left his phone number with a secretary and, to his surprise, got a return call asking for resume. The conversation led to McIntosh signing on with the union “at the absolute lowest entry level, plumbers helper.” In the years that followed, he worked his way up the union ladder from a helper in the service division, to a journeyman in the higher-paying new construction division, attending training classes at night to become more skilled at his trade. He excelled so well in those classes that he was eventually asked to teach them. “I’ve been doing it now for about four years, working as a plumber by day and teaching incoming union members by night,” McIntosh says. “I feel like it’s me giving back to the organization that’s provided such a great opportunity for me.” The married father of three, who lives with his family in Teaneck, N.J., says joining the Plumbers Union


NYC WORKS CELEBRATING LABOR IN THE BIG APPLE changed his life, and he’s a firm believer in its value. “I’m convinced that labor unions are the only viable vehicle for upward mobility. We are the middle class. If an employer is not paying a decent rate of pay, how are workers supposed to get medical coverage for their families, and to have enough money to live on when they retire? Asked why the parade is important, McIntosh said: “I hate to sound jaded, but what are the two things that matter to politicians? Money, and votes. So by turning out in force for the Labor Day Parade, and putting our boots on the ground, so to speak, we’re showing what kind of a force we can be in the political arena.”

Construction engineer, Local 14, Crane & Heavy Equipment Operators Union When Stephens stood before a meeting of Local 14 of the Crane & Heavy Equipment Operators Union in Flushing, Queens in June, 1987, she broke the union’s glass ceiling, becoming the union’s first woman member. The milestone didn’t surprise her; becoming a construction engineer for Local 14 — the union her father, Monroe, had belonged to as a laborer for many years — was a goal she had pursued for several years. What did surprise her was the applause. “About 300 men at the meeting applauded me for fi nishing the training,” Stephens remembers. “It was overwhelming. Then I was told that I was officially in the local. A couple of days later, I went to work as a full-fledged unionized construction engineer.” That moment was the culmination of a road that had begun when she was a young woman who was disenchanted with fi nance classes at Pace Univer-

Photo by Trey Pentecost

Evet Stephens

sity, and with law enforcement courses at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and decided she wanted nothing as much as a career as a construction engineer. “My dad was old fashioned, he didn’t want his daughter working with men who used bad words all day, but when he saw I was undeterred, he relented and drove me to the Local 14 offices,” she said. After trips between union offices in Manhattan and Queens, Stephens completed and submitted the necessary paperwork.

“The man at the union hall looked at me and said, ‘Don’t waste my time. Are you sure you want to do this?’ I said yes, I’m sure.’ Somehow I convinced him,” she said. She was accepted for training in November of 1982, and four years later was inducted into the union as its fi rst woman member. “I went through the same learning and training as any man would do,” Stephens recalls. “When I fi rst started working on jobs, the men would look at me as if to say, ‘What are you doing here?’ It took some time for them to get used to it, but they fi nally realized that I was serious, and that I was going to show up to class every single time, they came around.” After 31 years as a construction engineer at various job sites in the metropolitan area, Stephens says she is “as satisfied now as I was then,” and notes that now, there are “25 to 30” women members of Local 14. “It is a long time coming,” she says of other women joining the union. “It didn’t happen for the fi rst few years. It wasn’t like [women] were pushing in the door to [become construction engineers].” But Stephens has never regretted her career choice, and insists that “unions are what made this country. You have job security when you’re with a union; you’re able to make a decent living and take care of your family. Hiring non-union workers is dangerous; they have no training whatsoever. We’re constantly doing training, doing refresher courses for everything we’ve learned, the industry is changing and we’re studying to change with it.” The parade “shows solidarity for the workingclass man and woman, and it shows that as union members they’re safer, more efficient, and qualified to get the job done.”

COMMUNITY NEWS GROUP • NYC WORKS • SEPT. 6, 2018

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COMMUNITY NEWS GROUP • NYC WORKS • SEPT. 6, 2018


PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE FOR LIQUOR LICENSE APPLICATION SUBJECT:

250 Vesey St., Slip N6 D Dock Application for full liquor license Type of Establishment: Vessel Classic Harbor Line LLC., d/b/a Full Moon Proposed hours: M-F 1pm-9pm Sat-Sun 1pm-9pm

There will be an opportunity for public comment at the following Community Board Meeting: DATE: TIME: LOCATION:

Wednesday, September, 12th, 2018 6:00pm Manhattan Community Board 1 Manhattan Borough President’s Office 1 Centre Street, 19th Floor — South side (Pleaes bring photo ID)

Any member of the public interested in learning more about this application or in expressing their opinion about it is urged to attend this meeting. Please contact Community Board 1 at (212) 669-7970 or via email at man01@cb.nyc.gov with any questions or comments. CB 1 website www.nyc.gov/html/mancb1 A summary of this application is available from CB1 upon request. DE: 09/06/2018 DowntownExpress.com

September 6 - September 19, 2018

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E D ITO R IAL

Reading is fundamental, but so is playing PUBLISHER

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BY LENORE SKENAZY Having arrived in New York as a young adult and not a bouncing bundle of joy, I missed out on what seems to be the crucial forging of a real New Yawker: Playing ringolevio with my friends on a summer night. In fact, I am still not sure how you play ringolevio, or even how to spell it. All I know is, if you did play it as a kid, you will remember it until your dying day as your fondest memory ever. Unless that fondest memory was stickball. Or double Dutch. The fact that our memories — and loyalties, and maybe even our personalities — are formed while playing should hint at just how important it is. But since “play” is the opposite of “work,” it hasn’t gotten a lot of respect as an important activity. Until these past few weeks. Now, finally, playing is kale, sunshine, and Advanced-Placement History all put together. First came the American Academy of Pediatrics report that aimed a Nerf blaster at the current practice of forcing kids to spend all their school time on classwork, and all their after-school time on homework. That is backwards, said the good doctors. What kids need is more free time after school, and more recess while in it. In fact, said pediatrician Michael Yogman, “We’re recommending that doctors write a prescription for play, because it’s so important,” That goes double for kids in pre-K: “Instead of focusing solely on academic skills, such as reciting the alphabet, early literacy, using flash cards, engaging with computer toys, and teaching

Letters To the Editor: NYC Transit President Andy Byford’s proposed $37-billion, 10-year “Fast Forward Plan” to create a worldclass subway and bus system within five years is little more than a fund-raising prospectus for potential transportation investors. Here’s why. Let us assume the next MTA FiveYear 2020–2024 Capital Program Plan starts out at $30 billion. First, they need $2.265 billion, bringing the total local share of funding for Second Avenue

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September 6 - September 19, 2018

to tests (which has been overemphasized to promote improved test results), cultivating the joy of learning through play is likely to better encourage longterm academic success,” according to the report. It may seem as if learning to read as young as possible is the key to becoming Bill Gates, but it is really more important for kids to learn how to build with blocks, play tag, or pretend to be a lion. Once they find something so fun that they “work” to make it happen, they’re learning focus, creativity, perseverance, and initiative. Even rough-and-tumble play is important, say the doctors: When kids roughhouse, they learn how not to go too far because then the game is over — the pummeled kid quits. So the tusslers have to learn how to keep everyone happy to continue playing. Grown-ups call this “empathy.” Mother Nature knew that these social skills are tough to learn, which is why she installed the play drive. Now, in addition to the Pediatrics report comes a new book by New York University Business Prof. Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff, head of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. In “The Coddling of the American Mind,” they set out to discover why college kids are having a harder time these days. Visits to mental health services are skyrocketing, and not just

because the stigma of seeking help has decreased. An unprecedented 25 percent of all adolescents say they fear they are losing their minds. There’s also been an increase in youth suicide. Where is this anxiety and anguish coming from? The authors say, “Children deprived of play are likely to be less competent — physically and socially — as adults, less tolerant of risk, and more prone to anxiety disorders.” Okay, okay: Kids need play. But how can we get it back into their lives, when most kids come home from school and proceed directly to a screen, or put on a uniform and go off to a sport that is fun, but not really “free play,” since an adult is in charge? Simple: Have schools stay open and offer free play as an after-school option. That’s the idea behind the Let Grow Play Club my non-profit recommends. (We don’t make any money on it, we just encourage it in schools.) With a few adults on premises in case of emergencies — but who don’t intervene — kids organize their own games and solve their own spats. They get the kind of play everyone is recommending: Self-directed, no devices allowed. (For a how-to, visit letgrow. org and click on “schools.”) They say you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone. That’s the case with do-it-yourself, ringalevio-type free play. It was the golden part of childhood until it evaporated into homework, organized sports, and Fortnite. Bring it back and everyone wins. Lenore Skenazy is president of Let Grow, a nonpartisan group promoting childhood independence and resilience, and founder of Free-Range Kids.

Subway Phase 2 (96th to 125th streets) up to $4 billion. This is necessary to leverage $2 billion in Federal Transit Administration New Starts dollars to support the total $6 billion project cost. Another $1 billion each will be needed to fully fund the $11.2-billion LIRR East Side Access to Grand Central Terminal and $2.6-billion Main Line Third Track projects. And the backlog of unfunded NYC Transit, LIRR and Metro North safety and state-of-good-repair projects not included under “Fast Forward” combined far exceed $30 billion.

How will the MTA find $19 billion more on top of $30 billion toward funding NYC Transit President Andy Byford’s proposed ten year $37 billion subway system recovery plan? Will Cuomo and de Blasio come up with $2 billion each per year over the next ten years? The odds are slim to none. If NYC Transit President Andy Byford is so confident in the creation of a “World Class Transit System” in five years, let him put up his generous future severance package as collateral. Larry Penner Transportation historian

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Trump’s endless summer of discontent BY MAX BURBANK It’s September, but it’s still hot as hell in much of the country, not least our nation’s capitol, and in more ways than one. If my column were fiction (and you’ve no idea how much and how often I wish it were), my opening sentence would be an example of the “pathetic fallacy” — a literary device in which human emotions are attributed to aspects of nature, in this case late season oppressive and persistent heat waves. Astute readers will note I have referenced this technique in previous articles, a rather grandiose assumption implying I have readers, a subset of which attend to my work with passion, but never mind. I’d defend my repetition in the following ways: First, I am what The New York Review of Books from a parallel universe in which I am an author of note once referred to as “an astoundingly lazy writer.” Second, when I learned the term in junior high school, it sounded naughty and made me giggle, because that was who I was, and it still does because that is who I am. And third, the “heat” is most definitely on the Persimmon Pretender occupying The Oval Office. No matter what angle you look at it from, it’s been a rough few weeks for the man who, despite polls to the contrary, calls himself “your favorite president,” as in, “The good news is that your favorite president did nothing wrong!” Italics added by me, because yeesh, what a dink. Lest you think the Kumquat King left himself an out for later, by not specifically saying your favorite president was Trump. (And oh yes, I said “lest,” an SAT word dog whistle to my elitist base. You’re welcome.) He also tweeted he had higher poll numbers than “Honest Abe Lincoln,” which is wrong, unless Trump meant he has poll numbers and Lincoln didn’t, since The Rail Splitter had been dead (a very unpopular state of being) for around 71 years before scientific polling began. Trump lies. That’s not news, fake or otherwise. As of 8/1/18, an aeon ago in Trump time, The Washington Post’s fact checker had documented 4,229 false or misleading statements made by the president, an average of almost 7.6 per day. The hotter things get for Trump, the more frequently he lies, and the more bizarre and easily disproved those lies become. To be fair, what else can he do? He certainly can’t support his claim to the presidency by telling the truth! DowntownExpress.com

What kind of case does “I mostly golf a lot and tweet real mean stuff without using too many different words” make for greatness? Trump lies fluently, reflexively, with admirable gusto — but the individual lies are beside the point. He’s a human AR-15 loaded with an endless magazine of lies, but he’s just a single, albeit key, soldier. The war, an all-out assault on the very notion of objective reality, is what we need to pay attention to.

Illustration by Max Burbank

“Alternative facts.” Kellyanne Conway coined that beauty just two days into the reign of the Orange Oligarch. We laughed. After all, it’s an open secret in Washington that Conway is less an actual person than a Skeksis muppet Stephen Miller acquired from eBay in a large lot of “Dark Crystal” props, and had one of the kidnapped Disney Imagineers he keeps chained to a wall in the White House basement repurpose with animatronics, hydraulics, and evil. “Truth isn’t truth.” That’s the Rudy Giuliani bon mot Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson labeled “The Trump era’s epitaph.” We should be so lucky. I like to think of it as merely the moment the president’s personal attorney shrugged off his old nickname, “America’s Mayor,” forever, in favor of the more descriptive “America’s Worst Lawyer.”

How seriously can one take this twaddle? Isn’t it just people who have never been very good at the whole sentence thing expressing themselves poorly? Are these idiots even capable of long-term strategy? I’ve argued in previous columns that Trump certainly isn’t, that Occam’s Razor suggest he’s less Machiavelli and more staggeringly dumb historical or fictional character I could theoretically cite while somehow not being offensive? I stand by that argument. But what if Trump and his inner circle aren’t engaging in strategy? What if, instead, they are the virulent bacteria thriving in the agar gel of strategy’s Petri dish? Way back in 2004, Journalist Ron Suskind wrote a piece for The New York Times Magazine about the general lack of interest George W. Bush, the artist formerly known as America’s

worst president ever, displayed in facts. He quoted an unnamed White House aid describing the press as members of “what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” That’s not the way the world really works anymore. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors… and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do. That quote is widely attributed to Karl Rove, who, as this strategy requires, denies it. He was Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to George W. Bush during the Iraq war, where in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks, we destroyed a country we almost certainly knew in reality wasn’t involved while searching for weapons of mass destruction we almost certainly knew in reality didn’t exist. Karl Rove, and men like him, have plenty of Machiavelli in them — and while they are many things, no one would describe them as “staggeringly dumb.” They are more than capable of preparing a Petri dish and patiently waiting to see what sorts of pathogens will grow in it. “What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.” That’s the president not just chipping away at the very concept of objective reality, but taking possession of it. Branding it. Truth isn’t truth unless it’s Trump Truth. Facts aren’t facts unless they’re Trump Facts. At this point, the only way Trump can escape the justice of the reality-based community is by utterly co-opting the notion of truth. And that task is perhaps the only thing “your favorite president” is more devoted to than golf.

September 6 - September 19, 2018

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CATERING & VENUES

BAY RIDGE MANOR 476 76th Street, Brooklyn (718) 748-8855 www.bayridgemanor.com BAYSIDE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 208 Totten Avenue, Fort Totten Bayside NY 11359 (718) 352-1548 email: siterental@baysidehistorical.org GRAND OAKS COUNTRY CLUB 200 Huguenot Avenue, Staten Island (718) 356–2771, www.grandoaksnyc.com GRAND PROSPECT HALL 263 Prospect Avenue, Brooklyn (718) 788-0777, www.grandprospecthall.com HOLIDAY INN 39-05 29th Street, Long Island City, NY 11101 (718 707-3700 www.holidayinnmanhattanview.com HUNTERS STEAK HOUSE 9404 Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209 (718) 238-8899, www.HuntersSteakhouse.com IL FORNETTO 2902 Emmons Avenue in Brooklyn (718) 332-8494 www.ilFornettoRestaurant.com PA-NASH EUROSOUL 144-14 243rd Street, Rosedale, NY 11422 (718) 917-6094 www.panashnyc.com THE PEARL ROOM 8518 - 3rd Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11209 (718) 833-6666 www.pearlroombklyn.com RECEPTION HOUSE 167-17 Northern Blvd, Flushing, NY (718) 445-1244 www.ReceptionHouse.com SHERATON BROOKLYN NY HOTEL Contact Stephanie Mendez, Sales Mgr (917) 281-5550 stephanie.mendez@ sheratonbrooklynnewyork.com SHERATON LAGUARDIA EAST HOTEL 135-20 39th Avenue, Flushing NY 11354 (718) 670-7408 sales@sheratonlaguardia.com sheratonlaguardiaeast.com

SIRICO’S CATERERS 8015-23 13th Avenue, Brooklyn (718) 331-2900, www.siricoscaterers.net SOTTO 13 5140 West 13th Street, New York, NY (212) 647-1001, sotto13.com TERRACE ON THE PARK 52-11 111 Street, Flushing, NY 11368 (718) 592-5000 www.terraceonthepark.com THALASSA 179 Franklin Street TriBeCa, New York City (212) 941-7661 www.thalassanyc.com THE VANDERBILT AT SOUTH BEACH 300 Father Capodanno Boulevard Staten Island, NY, (718) 447-0800 www.vanderbiltsouthbeach.com WOODHAVEN MANOR 96-01 Jamaica Avenue Queens, NY (718) 805-8500

ENTERTAINMENT

HARRY’S HABANA HUT 214-09 41st Ave., Bayside, NY 11361 (718) 423-5049 www.harryshabanahut.com ND CIGARS INC. AKA LA CASA GRANDE CIGARS 2344 Arthur Avenue, Bronx, NY, 10458 (718) 364-4657, lcgcigars.com

FAVORS & INVITATIONS

UNFORGETTABLE EVENTS 2049 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, (718) 377-4535

FLORISTS

FLORAL FANTASY 3031 Quentin Road in Brooklyn, (718) 998-7060 or (800) 566–8380 www.floralfantasyny.com FLOWERS BY MASSENET Jamaica, Queens, NY (347) 724-7044, (718) 526-3725 HENRY’S FLORIST 8103 Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn (800) 543-6797 or (718) 238–3838 www.henrysfloristweddingevents.com MARINE FLORIST AND DECORATORS 1995 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn (800) 447-6730 or (718) 338-3600 www.marineflorists.com

JEWELERS

BUONO JEWELERS 1250 Hylan Blvd., #6a Staten Island, NY 10305 (718) 448-4900, www.buonojewelers.com

LIMOUSINE SERVICES

MILA LIMOUSINE CORPORATION (718) 232-8973, www.milalimo.com M&V LIMOUSINES LTD. 1-800-498-5788 1117 Jericho Tpke, Commack, NY (631) 543-0908 151 Denton Ave., New Hyde Park, NY (516) 921-6845 535 8th Ave., 3rd Flr., NY, NY (646) 757-9101 www.mvlimo.com

ROMANTIQUE/DOUBLE DIAMOND LIMOUSINES 1421-86 Street, Brooklyn, NY, (718) 351-7273 2041-Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island (718) 351-7273, www.rddlimos.com SOPHISTICATED LIMOUSINES Servicing the Tri- State Area, (718) 816-9475 www.sophisticatedlimousines.com

PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO

FANTASY PHOTOGRAPHY 3031 Quentin Rd., Brooklyn NY, (718) 998-0949 www.fantasyphotographyandvideo.com NY PHOTO VIDEO GROUP 1040 Hempstead Tpke Franklin Sq., NY 11010 11 Michael Avenue Farmingdale, NY 11735 Office: 516-352-3188 Joe Cell: 516-445-8054 Peter Cell: 516-343-6662 www.nyphotovideogroup.com info@nyphotovideogroup.com ONE FINE DAY PHOTOGRAPHERS 459 Pacific St., Massapequa Park (516) 690–1320 www.onefinedayphotographers.com ZAKAS PHOTOGRAPHY info@zakasphotography.com www.zakasphotography.com

REAL ESTATE

DREAM HOUSE REALTY 7505 15th Avenue Brookyn, NY 11228 (718) 837–2121, carolynctrp@aol.com Carolyn Trippe, Lic. RE Broker

SALONS

PILO ARTS SALON 8412 3 Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209 (718) 748–7411, www.piloarts.com

SERVICES

COSMETIC & LASER CENTER OF BAY RIDGE 9921 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209 (718) 833-2793 or (718) 833-7616 www.BayRidgeDerm.com ELITE WEIGHT LOSS 1316 Kings Highway, Brooklyn, NY 11229 (917) 444-3043, EliteWeightLossNY.com KHROM DERMATOLOGY & AESTHETICS 2797 Ocean Parkway, 1st Fl. Brooklyn, NY 11235 (718) 866-3616, www.josephlichterdds.com JOSEPH LICHTER, D.D.S. 1420 Avenue P in Brooklyn (718) 339-7878, www.khromMD.com OMNI DENTAL CARE 313 Kings Highway in Brooklyn (718) 376-8656, www.omnidentalcare.com THE VEIN CENTER OF THE VASCULAR INSTITUTE OF NY Dr. Natalie Marks 960 - 50 Street, Brooklyn, NY 11219 (718) 438-0067, www.vascularnyc.com

TRAVEL

JOLYN TRAVEL (718) 232-3139 (917) 797-7341

WEDDING EXPOS

BRIDAL AFFAIR (718) 317–9701, www.bridalaffair.com

WEDDING INSURANCE

TRI STATE INSURANCE BROKERAGE 277 Tarrytown Rd.,White Plains, NY 10607 (914) 607-7799 610 Crescent Ave., Bronx, NY 10458 (718) 618-7666 www.tsinsbk.com

TO BE INCLUDED IN THIS DIRECTORY CALL (718) 260–8302 16

September 6 - September 19, 2018

DowntownExpress.com


Old Wigs and New Attitudes Drag, trans, next gen artists share the stage at Wigstock 2.HO

Photo by Bob Krasner

Candis Cayne (left) told Charles Battersby (right), “When I perform on stage in a lot of makeup, I’m a trans drag performer. One is your identity and the other is fun.”

BY CHARLES BATTERSBY There’s nothing worse than middleaged New Yorkers complaining about how the city has changed since the “good old days” — but it’s wonderful when cranky old coots get up and actually do something to recreate the lost wonders of the city. That’s exactly what drag queen Lady Bunny and Neil Patrick Harris have done with Wigstock. The long-running outdoor festival of drag performances was held in NYC for nearly twenty years in the ’80s and ’90, but fizzled out back in the early 2000s. The event was resurrected as “Wigstock 2.HO” at Pier 17 on Sept. 1, as a daylong festival with scores of performers, wig cannons, the world’s oldest drag DowntownExpress.com

queen, and several close contenders for that title (SNAP). Aside from being a fun show, it also showed how cultural attitudes towards gender identity and drag have changed since the ’90s. There was no shortage of middleaged queens talking about how the city used to be cooler in the Back When times; back when Frankie Knuckles was DJing, when Union Square was still a “needle park,” and when the Club Kids roamed the streets from the Limelight to Pyramid. Naturally, these cultural references were lost on half the audience. Among the longtime Lypsinka fans were some drag enthusiasts who weren’t even born when Divine still walked the Earth. To

these younger attendees, drag means RuPaul’s reality TV series, and Wigstock is something from the history books. We spoke to Dany Johnson, who not only directed Fogo Azul, a Brazilian drum corps that opened the show, but she was also the stage manager of Wigstock from 1989 through the early 2000s. She told us that the younger members of the band “...had no idea what [Wigstock] was. I sent them a link to Tom Rubnitz’s movie and the other movie from 1995.” According to Johnson, even the “Woodstock” reference is lost on some of the youngsters. This younger generation might also have trouble remembering social attitudes about gender expression and gen-

der identity in the 20th century. Some of the performers at Wigstock 2.HO straddle the line between drag queen and trans performer who happens to do drag. Actress Candis Cayne, who performed at Wigstock in the ’90s and also has worked in contemporary film and TV, told us, “To me, drag is what you do, and trans is who I am. “I take trans roles, but I also I take cis [nontransgender] roles. When I perform on stage in a lot of makeup, I’m a trans drag performer. One is your identity and the other is fun.” About Wigstock in the ’90s, Ms. NEW ATTITUDES continued on p. 18

September 6 - September 19, 2018

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NEW ATTITUDES continued from p. 17

Cayne told us, “Back when I started drag, it was still a very fringe thing on the edge of society. We were doing it then for an outlet to be creative, glamorous, and to perform. Because for a lot of us that was our only outlet.” Also on hand was Peppermint, who audiences might know from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and her current work on Broadway, in the musical “Head Over Heels.” We asked her about being openly transgender before achieving fame as a drag performer. “It’s important to make the distinction that many trans women may not want to be considered drag queens,” she said, “Because it promotes the idea that being trans and being a woman and feminine is a put on. Something that is fake, that’s not serious... The idea of ‘a man in a wig’ or ‘a man in a dress’ is attached to drag — but it’s also attached to negative stereotypes about transness.” We also asked Peppermint about trans performers taking on roles in mainstream entertainment, such as in “Head Over Heels” — where her character is of non-binary gender. With the entertainment industry trying to feature trans characters, there isn’t necessarily a trans actor ready to take on all of these roles, or to write and direct them. According to Peppermint, “Everyone wants an authentic performance and an authentic connection to the art. The best way to do that is to have trans people telling their own stories, or participate in telling their own stories,” she explained. But, she clarified, “It’s not necessarily that cisgender people can’t be involved in that. It’s about creating space that doesn’t exclude trans people.” Backstage at Wigstock, we spoke to trans icon Amanda Lepore and drag artist Sharron Needles, a pair of performers who perfectly sum up the influence of the trans community on the drag community, and vice versa. Readers may know Ms. Needles from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Lepore is a model who describes herself as “the most expensive body on Earth,” due to her exquisitely sculpted doll-like features. Needles calls herself Lepore’s biggest fan (she even has a tattoo of Lepore on her shoulder, and recorded a single titled “I Wish I Were Amanda Lepore”). Ms. Needles was too young to be in the original run of Wigstock, but recounted the tale of how she discovered a VHS copy of 1995’s “Wigstock: The Movie” documentary and says she “hid it under my mattress the way most teenage boys hid porn. I used it almost as a bible and a manual to become

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Photo by Bob Krasner

A sign of things to come, here today: Desmond is Amazing, an 11-year-old drag kid, performed at the show.

Courtesy of Charles Battersby

L to R: Drag artist Sharon Needles, Charles Battersby, and trans icon Amanda Lepore.

Photo by Bob Krasner

Peppermint (left), at Wigstock with Lady Bunny. On the topic of art and authenticity, she noted, “The best way to do that is to have trans people telling their own stories, or participate in telling their own stories.” Photo by Bob Krasner

Dany Johnson, who directed Fogo Azul (a Brazilian drum corps that opened Saturday’s show), was a longtime stage manager for Wigstock’s original run. She noted that the younger members of the band had no idea what Wigstock was.

who I am.” She went on to say, “I gives me goose pimple to think that I’m [At Wigstock] today being able to participate in something that meant so much to me cinematically as a kid.” About the club and drag scene near the end of the original run of Wigstock, Ms. Lepore told us, “Drag was sort of dying in the club scene, and it was sad. There were people holding onto it, but it wasn’t like it was in the ’90s where

September 6 - September 19, 2018

everyone did drag. When ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ came, you would see superyoung queens doing drag, and it was amazing. And Lady Gaga helped too, for the freak factor.” “I have to agree,” Needles chimed in. “The post-‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ world are people that want to do drag. But before, we needed to do drag. In a post‘Drag Race’ world, drag queens become the celebrities of their communities

— but before, we were considered the freaks of beauty, and glamour, and fashion. Being shocking and extreme was a necessity to us girls who came before ‘Drag Race.’ It softened the blow of how people approach drag queens, and I think that’s a good thing.” Needles also impishly added, “But I also understand when people say ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ done f@cked up drag.” In an optimistic sign of the potential influence of Wigstock 2.HO, we saw Amanda Lepore greeting Desmond is Amazing, an 11-year-old fan, “drag kid,” and fellow performer at the show. DowntownExpress.com


‘Pen’ is Mighty At 10, parent-focused literary salon has grown up nicely BY TRAV S.D. The old saying notwithstanding, there may be certain circumstances in which it is quite possible to have your cake and eat it, too. That’s the official stance of Pen Parentis, a not-for-profit whose mission is to support writers who’ve chosen to start families — not always the most popular or well-understood path within the arts community. Now celebrating its 10th year, Pen Parentis is marking the occasion this month with a salon showcasing graphic novels by American Book Award winner Victor LaValle, acclaimed novelist Mira Jacob, celebrated nonfiction illustrator Josh Neufeld, and National Book Critics Circle Award winner Darin Strauss. “People need to understand that parenting is a life choice, not a career choice, whereas writing is a career choice, not a hobby,” said M.M. De Voe, founder and co-host of Pen Parentis. “You can have kids and still make art.” An award-winning writer and mother of two herself, De Voe founded Pen Parentis in 2009 after conversations with colleagues in which they commiserated about the difficulty of being a parent and a writer at the same time. “Everything is geared toward supporting full-time artists who don’t have children, [e.g.,] things like month-long residencies. There’s almost a stigma that artists with children are not quite as dedicated, an almost institutionalized position that the really serious people were ones who don’t have families.” To offer parent-authors moral support and encouragement, Pen Parentis presents salons on the second Tuesday of each month, from September through May. The authors read their work and then participate in moderated discussions about how they manage to stay productive while raising a family at the same time. A crucial, if unofficial, part of the organization’s identity is its Downtown location, at the Andaz Wall Street hotel (75 Wall St.). Andaz sponsors the salons with in-kind donations of space, snacks, and beverages. De Voe moved to the neighborhood in May of 2001, just months before 9/11. Following the disaster, long-term effort has gone into the revitalization of Downtown, including the arts. The creation of Pen Parentis has been part of that process, receiving grants from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, among other local DowntownExpress.com

Photo by D. Suziedelis

M. M. De Voe moderates a lively conversation with award-winning novelists Cara Hoffman, Marina Budhos, and Ann Hood.

Photo by Teddy Wolff

American Book Award winner Victor La Valle will be reading at the Sept. 11 Pen Parentis salon.

supporters. Integration into the community has been key to the group’s success. In addition to the partnership with Andaz (“who actually courted us,” De Voe said with amazement), they’ve benefitted from the pro bono assistance of the law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP. “Their office is nearby,” De Voe noted, “and one of their lawyers came to our salons for about six months. She’s not a writer and she’s not a parent. She just enjoyed our events. Through her efforts, Milbank helped us get our not-for-profit status in 2014.” De Voe is quick to point out that the

salons are a group effort. In addition to her co-host and event curator Christina Chiu (who, like De Voe, holds an MFA from Columbia), there are numerous full-time volunteers contributing to such aspects of the effort as tech and communications. Their collaboration has paid off. Ten years down the line, Pen Parentis has presented close to 300 authors, among them such well-known writers as Jennifer Egan, Rick Moody, Jennifer Probst, Jennifer Belle, and Sarah Langan. The organization prefers to present writers of fiction, according to De Voe, but they have also presented writers of non-fiction, such as Laura Vanderkam and Erin L. Thompson. “From the beginning we sought out writers who had managed to make work while parenting, who’ve won awards, and gotten published — and talk with them about how they did it,” De Voe said. “It’s often very emotional. We’ve had [participants] cry during the salons. You’re not allowed to talk about this stuff.” Novelist and Pen Parentis participant John Reed calls it, “a rare and invaluable resource for writers and other creatives who have children. While having children is of course enriching and an essential part of the life experience that

writers seek to express, it can also be an obstacle, in terms of networks and finances. Making the arts more sustainable to more people is a familiar mission statement, but Pen Parentis delivers.” In addition to its salons, Pen Parentis offers writing fellowships, creativity workshops, and is now developing a new database that will list residencies, colony initiatives, and other opportunities for writers that are parent-friendly. The next Pen Parentis salon will be presented on the second floor of the Andaz Wall Street hotel (75 Wall St., at Water St.) on Tues., Sept. 11, 7pm to 10pm. The salon is open to the general public for a suggested donation of $10. Supporting Title Members are admitted free, and a limited number of complimentary student and senior tickets are also available (all writers who are parents are eligible to become Title Members). The organizers stress that you do not have to be a parent or writer, but if you are one of the former, please don’t bring your children, as audiences are 21+ only. Reservations are recommended; you may make them at: penparentis.org. “We always fill the house,” De Voe warned. “During hurricanes, maybe half-full.” Spoken with the realism of a parent, and the wit of a writer.

September 6 - September 19, 2018

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Flipping Our Lid for Wigstock Scenes from Sept. 1â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s relaunch at Pier 17 PHOTO ESSAY BY BOB KRASNER

FLIP LID continued on p. 21

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Photos by Bob Krasner

FLIP LID continued from p.20

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PAY Continued from page 10

tion steered largely by Mayor de Blasio appointees — has worked to transform the 143-acre former U.S. Coast Guard base into an idyllic playland for New Yorkers since the city takeover in 2010, and the trust presided over the opening of more than 30 acres of parkland and public spaces in 2014, in addition to a series of highly vaunted, landscaped hills rising more than 70 feet above sea level in 2016. But the snazzy island greenspace doesn’t pay for itself, and taxpayers are currently paying the lion’s share of a $20-million budget that only accounts for a 6-month season, which the trust hopes to expand into a year-round operation that will see costs likely double, according to Samuelian. “It’s a theoretical number, but I can tell you it would at least double if we became 24/7, 365-days a year,” Samuelian said. In an effort to relieve tax payers — as well as entertain them — the trust is pursuing a scheme to redevelop some 4.5 million square feet of land along the island’s southern coast, while working within the confines of a federal deed restriction that prevents the construction of purely residential buildings, such as condominiums. Instead, the island’s stewards envi-

FILMING Continued from page 6

yet from MOME about the June resolution. “We’ve been on record in the past about trying to eliminate or get this problem resolved, and we’ve heard nothing back,” said Notaro. “We’ll push on this and see how we work together.” The head of MOME, Commissioner Julie Menin, served seven years as CB1 chairwoman between 2005 and 2012, so Notaro believes she’s sensitive to Lower Manhattan’s needs, but he’s still waiting to see how the office will respond to the board’s recommendations. Menin’s office said the agency is still reviewing the request, but touted her efforts already to ease the filmpermit burden on her old stomping grounds. “We only just received the resolution from CB1, and we will be happy to respond to them in a more formal way,” said a MOME spokesperson. “Film permits in the CB1 area have steadily declined since Commissioner Julie Menin was appointed.” DowntownExpress.com

which in the area surrounding Yankee Piers could rise up to 300 feet tall. The upcoming redevelopment push follows a 2013 rezoning that will allow the reuse of 1.35 million square feet of 50 existing historic buildings located on the north-side of the island, all or most of which will be rented out by the trust for office and classroom use, or housing for students. The trust is currentAssociated Press / Mark Lennihan The Trust for Governors Island seeks a rezoning ly gearing up to compile of the island idyl to all for the development of an environmental impact research and educational institutions, as well as statement in advance hotels and a convention center. of a public review process expected to begin sion a scholarly application for its rela- in March next year. Representatives tively virgin coast, and is preparing to will be meeting with members of begin the public review process for a Community Board 1 on Sept. 13, and rezoning that would permit the con- hosting a public scoping hearing at the struction of research and lab spaces, Battery Maritime Building on Sept. 26, and academic institutions compliment- where locals will have an opportunity ed by dorm rooms and faculty housing, to testify and voice any concerns they which are permitted under the residen- have about the project. If all goes according to plan, tial deed restrictions. The trust is also pursuing a second- City Council will vote on the rezonary use for the development space for ing before the end of 2019, and, if use as hotels, a conference center, and approved, the trust will begin issuing privately operated recreation facilities, requests for proposals in 2020.

Film permits dropped by 34 percent in the past two years as a result of Menin’s efforts to push production to neighborhoods that want it and away from those that don’t, according to MOME. And her office has also placed a moratorium on permits for some particularly problematic Downtown blocks. “In addition, many blocks in CB1 are on our moratorium list, and we are always willing to place blocks on the list if the neighborhood desires it,” the spokesperson added. Some of the blocks on that list include Lafayette Street between Worth Street and Canal Street, Hudson Street to the West Side Highway between Chambers and Hudson streets, Duane Street between Church Street and West Broadway, and Division Street between Market Street and Broadway. Though the board’s focus in the June resolution was on residential streets, small business owners in the neighborhood complain the excessive filming permits hurt their businesses, particularly in terms of visibility. Similar to how scaffolding blocks views and signage, a wall of filming

trucks that stakes out a street for days on end might cause potential customers to miss their shops and restaurants, said Ann Benedetto, president of the Tribeca Alliance, a small-business group. “Tribeca is not a shopping center. All the stores in Tribeca rely upon people seeing them [and] stopping by,” said Benedetto, who owns A Uno Tribeca, a boutique on West Broadway between Duane and Reade Streets. “They have to see you. If they don’t see you, you could lose a lot of business.” Pat Moore, chairwoman of the board’s Quality of Life Committee, is already looking into adding more streets to CB1’s wish list of blocks where unnecessary film-production parking could be banned, but she is acutely aware that community board resolutions are purely advisory, and the next move, if there is any, belongs to MOME. “Have they accepted our resolution?” Moore asked. “Will they really take it into account? Will they make it their policy?” So far, she said, “it’s radio silence.”

September 6 - September 19, 2018

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Know Your Rights campaign for 9/11-illness awareness encourages thousands more to sign up for World Trade Center Health Program More Downtown students and teachers have come forward with 9/11 illnesses since Downtown Express and other media first reported about this ongoing health crisis in November. Earlier this year, a coalition of groups representing students and teachers gathered outside of Stuyvesant High School to continue spreading awareness of the health care and compensation that is available to anyone who inhaled the WTC toxins, which has now been linked to 68 cancers and other respiratory illnesses. The coalition included United Federation of Teachers (UFT) President Michael Mulgrew, 9/11 victims’ rights attorney Michael Barasch, and 9/11 Environmental Action Director Kimberly Flynn. They were joined by four former Stuyvesant students who have all been diagnosed with recognized 9/11-related illnesses ranging from severe breathing problems to cancer. The purpose of the press conference, and the two information forums that followed inside the school, was to educate the Downtown community — including former teachers and students — that many serious illnesses not previously associated with the fallout form 9/11 have now been linked to the toxic dust created by the WTC collapse. Over 10,000 people have been diagnosed with WTC-linked cancers since 9/11 and more than 2,000 of those people have died (including 184 NYC firefighters). “Not a day goes by without 5-10 people calling me with the sad news that they have been diagnosed with cancer, or that their loved one has passed away due to their cancer. It’s truly heart breaking,” said Barasch whose law firm of Barasch & McGarry represents thousands of first responders, Downtown residents, office workers, debris clean-up workers, teachers and students. “The real tragedy is that while people continue to get sick, they don’t know that there is help out there for them,” said Barasch. “Most of those exposed to the toxins in Lower Manhattan don’t realize — especially if they have moved outside of the NYC area — that scientists have linked WTC toxic exposure to dozens of illnesses. This is most likely because the EPA Administrator wrongly assured everyone at the time that ‘the air [was] safe.’ The EPA’s assurances were meant to encourage the Downtown community to return to their jobs and apartments while the WTC fires were still raging. However, the government’s false assurances have clearly had another unfortunate consequence: it mislead the public about their right to register with the WTC Health Program and their entitlement to compensation if they are certified with 9/11 illnesses,” said Barasch. “Having heard that the air was ‘safe,’ why should people diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006, or skin cancer in 2010, or breast cancer in 2012 — or any of the many other cancers linked to WTC toxins — make the connection between their exposure in 2001-2002 and their subsequent illnesses?”

Health care and compensation is not just for first responders “Ordinary people who lived and worked Downtown on 9/11, who have gotten sick, often have no idea that they are entitled to medical treatment and possibly compensation,” said UFT president Michael Mulgrew. “We are trying to make sure that everyone who qualifies for the World Trade Center Health fund understands that they do qualify. Kimberly Flynn has made it her mission to encourage Downtown residents and office workers to register with the Health Program. “The WTC Health Program is the best care available for residents and other survivors suffering from 9/11-related health problems — both physical and emotional,” said Flynn. “You will be treated at a program that has cared for literally thousands of people in the community with 9/11 health impacts. The doctors are environmentally-trained and draw on the specialized WTC medical knowledge the program has developed over many years. And you will pay nothing out-of-pocket for this expert care — no copays, including for prescriptions. All that is covered by the WTC Health Program.”

BARASCH & MCGARRY

9/11 Advocates Mike Barasch, second from left, and Kimberly Flynn, far right, joined four former Stuyvesant High School students to promote WTC health-care awareness at Downtown press conference earlier this year. Those who lived or worked south of Houston Street between Sept.11, 2001, and May 30, 2002 are eligible for health care, and those who lived or worked south of Canal Street are also eligible for compensation for illnesses certified by the WTC Health Program. Former students urge everyone to spread the word. The four students, including Lila Nordstrom, who was a Stuyvesant HS senior on 9/11 who has since started an advocacy group for former students called “StuyHealth”, spoke of their own personal experiences and urged their fellow former students to help spread the word about the WTC Health Program and the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), which has so far awarded more than $4 billion to over 22,000 people. Congress acknowledged the EPA’s mistake and it established both the Health Program and the VCF to provide awards meant to compensate victims for their pain and suffering, as well as lost income. The awards have ranged from $20,000 to $4 million. It is non-adversarial and the process takes approximately a year after your illness is certified by the health program. “The Federal Government is trying to do the right thing,” said Barasch. “This is a lot more efficient than a risky personal injury lawsuit that generally takes 3-4 years to wind its way through the courts. ”Unfortunately, the Health Program is going through growing pains as it tries to accommodate the hundreds of applications it is getting every month. But the Health Program is aware of the delays and it is trying expedite the process and reduce the wait times. The WTC Health Program recently opened a “surge clinic” at 156 William Street in lower Manhattan to address the problem. The new clinic sees non-responders who live in any of five boroughs of NYC. “It can be frustrating to wait” says Flynn. “But know that the program is working hard to fix the problem.” And also remember that the deadline to file VCF claims doesn’t arrive for another two and a half years. Everyone in the coalition agreed on what is most important now: If you have any respiratory illness or you have been diagnosed with any cancer, register with both the Health Program and the VCF as soon as possible.

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