Downtown Digest, January 18, 2012

Pops scouts around for musicians
The TriBattery Pops, Downtown’s first all volunteer community band in a century, is seeking out horn players for its ninth season. The band performs six community events each season and records albums that have international distribution and have been nominated for Grammy awards. The band recently performed at Occupy Wall Street demonstrations and multiple nights at an American masterwork dance organized by the Trisha Brown Dance Company. This year, they will be celebrating the end of the Mayan calendar by performing tunes such as ‘The End’ by the Beatles, ‘The End’ by the Doors, and ‘The End of the World’ by Skeeter Davis.

The band is looking specifically for additional horn players, so if you have an ear for the apocalyptic and possess a tuba, trombone, or saxophone, you might want to consider hopping on the TriBattery Pops bandwagon. “Being in the Pops is a lot of fun, requires little work, and goes well with family, school, and work,” assures Pops conductor Tom Goodkind. “As conductor, I would never disallow cellular phone calls – even during recording sessions!”

Band practice takes place starting at 7 p.m. on the last two Fridays of every month between January and May, at the Church Street School for Music and Art (74 Warren St.). For info, email Conductor Tom Goodkind at or visit

9/11 victim’s family outraged
by purported cause of death

Rafael Hernandez, 49, an advocate for immigrant workers exposed to dust at Ground Zero, died on September 25th, 2011, according to an Associated Press report.
The cause of Hernandez’s death was obesity, obstructive sleep apnea and enlargement of the heart, according to the city Medical Examiner’s office. However, friends and family of the Queens resident are railing against the city’s conclusion that Hernandez died of natural causes, contending that, after doing three months of cleanup work at the World Trade Center site, he developed serious respiratory issues including asthma that could have bolstered his claim for victims’ medical compensation and would have granted his name a spot at the National Sept. 11 Memorial.

Hernandez came to the U.S. illegally in 1999 to support his family in Mexico, and later became a volunteer firefighter for the city. Having partaken in the post-9/11 clean-up effort, Hernandez led a bi-weekly support group called Frontiers of Hope for recovery workers to discuss their illnesses and the long-term psychological effects of working in and around Ground Zero.

Thousands of people affected by 9/11 have attributed health problems to exposure to toxic dust at the disaster site, but with respect to those who have died, the city has rarely made the formal link.

Conde Nast signs off for more space at One W.T.C.
Media giant Conde Nast will be expanding its square footage at One World Trade Center by more than 100,000 square feet on floors 42 through 44, according to a report first published in the New York Post.

Once the deal is finalized, the company, which last spring signed a 25-year, $2 billion lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will possess 24 floors — or 1.2 million square feet – of space in the future skyscraper. Conde Nast is expected to move into the building in 2015, according to a previous report by the Downtown Express.

Neither a representative of Cushman & Wakefield, the leasing agent of One W.T.C., nor a Port Authority spokesperson would confirm the news. Both officials declined to comment. Conde Nast, meanwhile, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

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