Digest, week of February 29, 2012

LIU SAYS BLOOMBERG BACKED OFF  |  While NYS Senator Daniel Squadron has called for a restructuring of the Battery Park City Authority, his plan falls short of the proposal floated almost two years ago by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In April of 2010, Bloomberg instructed NYC Comptroller John Liu’s office to explore the possibility of purchasing Battery Park City from the state.

The Comptroller sent a representative to the Community Board 1 B.P.C. Committee meeting to gather input on the idea and the overwhelming sentiment at the time was that the neighborhood was doing just fine under the control of the B.P.C.A.

Comptroller Liu recently told the Downtown Express that after that meeting, his office had not been ordered to look into the matter any further.

“The idea has been out there for quite some time,” said Liu, “but in terms of it being a priority, our office has not been ordered by the mayor to keep looking at it.”

Liu also said that while his office was “ready, willing and able” to work with the mayor, “the B.P.C.A. is not a sole city agency,” and that his “office does not have the authority or the resources that the mayor’s office has.”

Sen. Squadron has called for the B.P.C.A. to be restructured, but not to be absorbed by the city, and cited the costs involved with such a move. Squadron however would like to see the city step in and start appointing more community representatives to the Authority’s Board of Directors.

Rhodes to leave Millennium  Millennium High School Principal Robert Rhodes, who has been with the school since it was founded in 2002, will be leaving at the end of this school year to become the new principal at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua.

In recognition of his contribution to the Lower Manhattan community, Community Board 1 will present Rhodes with a plague of appreciation at its full board meeting in April.

C.B. 1 Youth and Education Committee Chair Paul Hovitz said, “Through Robert’s leadership and his dedication to the community and to the kids, he developed Millennium into one of the city’s premier high schools.”

LMCC doles out grants  The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (L.M.C.C.) has announced more than $500,000 in grants to 186 of Manhattan’s budding and community-based artists.

Sam Miller, president of the L.M.C.C., said, “The L.M.C.C. believes in connecting and facilitating relationships between artists and their local communities, and we have seen the essential role of the arts in sustaining vibrancy in neighborhoods.”

The grants were distributed to artists working in a variety of mediums including dance, literature, media, music, theater, and visual arts. Downtown-based artists receiving grants included Judy Tate, creator of “The American Slavery Project: Unheard Voices,” a three-month workshop and performance honoring slaves who labored in NYC in the 17th and 18th centuries and that are now buried in the African Burial Grounds National Monument in Lower Manhattan. Four Seasons Players, Inc., whose contemporary play “Nights Without You” examines the tension between generations and cultures in Chinatown was also among the recipients as was Milda DeVoe, who received a grant to support her series of nine monthly readings, “Pen Parentis Literary Salons”.

For more information and a full list of recipients, visit www.lmcc.net.

PACE holds Tech Talk On Wednesday, March 7, Pace university will host “Tech Talk” and the “Power of Social Media in Politics.” The panel is set to discuss social media issues that have and are still impacting today’s politics. Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems and the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences have sponsored this panel to discuss the impact of political issues we face today. What a perfect time to discuss this important issue with the upcoming primaries and elections in New York City. Panelists include Dr. Christopher Malone, associate professor and chair of the political science department at Pace, Dr. Emilie Zaslow, assistant professor of communication studies at Pace, and Dr. Cathy Dwyer, associate professor of information technology at Pace. The free event will be held at Pace University’s Downtown campus at One Pace Plaza from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Jeremy Lin moving to FiDi Don’t be surprised if New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin is spotted dining at Bobby Van’s on Broad Street or walking though Zuccotti Park. The Knicks’ starting point guard is close to signing a several-thousand-dollar lease for a posh two-bedroom, two-bathroom suite at the W Hotel in the Financial District, according to a story that appeared in the Feb. 22 edition of The New York Post. The condominium, reportedly worth $2.314 million, has $30-$35,000 worth of designer furniture.

This is a big off-the-court leap for Lin who, just weeks ago, sought lodging at his brother’s East Village apartment, where he was sleeping on a couch. The high-end Lower Manhattan crib will complement the new, two-bedroom pad at the Trump Tower in White Plains, N.Y. Lin is subletting from former Knicks and Golden State Warriors teammate David Lee.

Lin settled for a mid-range pad at the hotel, where monthly rents start at $3,600 and rise to as much as $8,900, according to the Post story. The building is equipped with a gym, an entertainment lounge with video games, a movie screening room, and a rooftop terrace, among other amenities.

NYS Assembly Speaker  immediately released a statement welcoming the athlete to Downtown.  “I’m thrilled to once again have Jeremy Lin as a constituent, and I hope he stays in Lower Manhattan for good! He is sure to enjoy all of the great restaurants, retail and park space near his new home.”

Silver added, “Jeremy Lin continues to bring so much excitement to this city. Let’s go No. 17 and let’s go Knicks!”

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