Covering Battery Park City

Bill Fink helps six-year-old Christian Holden pull a cunner from the Hudson River during last Saturday’s Go Fish event. Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Go Fish:
The white caps on the Hudson River were gleaming on the morning of Oct. 15 as Bill Fink, 85, helped youngsters reel in fish from the river. More than 20 years ago, Fink founded the Go Fish program for the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy to teach youngsters about catch-and-release fishing and about how to understand and care for New York City’s Hudson River eco-system.

Under the aegis of the B.P.C. Parks Conservancy, Fink supervises public “Go Fish” programs at intervals between spring and fall and also serves as coordinator for the Conservancy’s marine education program that brings around 1,000 school kids a year from all five boroughs to B.P.C. to learn about Hudson River fish.

Fink said that the southern end of Wagner Park, where he holds the Go Fish clinics, is a particularly good place to fish, because the Hudson River and the East River meet nearby and the Atlantic Ocean isn’t far away. Fish come to the seawall, he said, looking for food such as little fish, worms, and tiny mussels and clams that live in clumps of vegetation.

On the “Go Fish” morning, Fink’s acolytes caught more than 35 fish — oyster toad fish, striped bass, sea bass, blackfish, bluefish, cunners, sculpin and white perch. Fink and his colleagues in the marine education program — like him, master fishermen — placed the fish in tanks for observation before returning them to the river.

West Thames Park lawn:
After months of negotiations between the Battery Park City Authority, the Hudson River Park Trust and the New York State Department of Transportation over who should pay to resod the West Thames Park lawn and who should police and maintain it, the lawn already is looking mangy.

“Kids come there from high schools on the other side of the West Side highway and play pick-up sports after school,” said Mark Costello, a Community Board 1 member who is also on the board of the Downtown Little League. “There’s no rule against it. The problem is that that’s not what that lawn is built for. Last year, we also had adults coming over from Wall Street after work, and they would play and were very aggressive. I think the emphasis [for that lawn] should be on passive use and family play.”

The guidelines for the park say, “No cleats, no using more than half the field per group and no aggressive play that may result in harm,” said Anne Fenton, a B.P.C.A. spokesperson. But, she added, “There’s only so much you can control in nature.”

The B.P.C. Conservancy has been entrusted with caring for the lawn, and as of a few weeks ago, the H.R.P.T. and Battery Park City Parks Enforcement Patrols (P.E.P.) assumed joint jurisdiction for policing it.

Amber Rubarth, winner of last year’s Mountain Stage NewSong Contest, playing at the World Financial Center Winter Garden.

Mountain Stage NewSong Contest finals:
The 10th annual Mountain Stage NewSong Contest for singer/songwriters takes place at the Winter Garden on Thursday, Oct. 20.  The semi-finalists take the stage from noon to 2 p.m. The award round is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., with 12 finalists performing their original material. The winner gets a chance to perform on NPR’s Mountain Stage and record an album with L.A.-based songwriter, producer and hit-maker Mikal Blue. Both events are free. Last year’s winner, Amber Rubarth, just released a new album and has been performing from New York to L.A.

To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, email TereseLoeb@mac.com.

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