Downtown Digest, Week of Sept. 19, 2012

Chen trials rescheduled
The trials for the remaining two soldiers associated with the October 2011 suicide of Army Private Danny Chen have been rescheduled. Sergeant Jeffrey Hurst will be tried on Nov. 5-9, and Staff Sergeant Andrew Van Bockel’s trial is scheduled for Nov. 13-21 at the Fort Bragg military base. As previously announced, First Lieutenant Daniel Schwartz will be tried on Oct. 24-26.

“Please keep in mind that these dates are subject to change [again] based on the needs of the court and the progress of the cases,” said Army spokesperson Benjamin Abel.

While deployed in Afghanistan, Chen, who grew up in Chinatown, endured hazing and physical abuse by fellow soldiers. Five of the soldiers have already been convicted of bullying and dereliction of duty, but only Specialist Ryan Offutt, who abused Chen on the day of his suicide, was dishonorably discharged. City Council Member Margaret Chin and local advocates believe that all of the soldiers should be ousted from the Army.

Chin and other activists rallied in Columbus Park on Aug. 11 to contend what they felt was too light of a sentence for Sergeant Adam Holcomb, who was charged with negligent homicide and reckless endangerment toward Chen and was only found guilty of two counts of maltreatment and one count of assault.

Downtown Alliance to host two October events at Bowling Green Park
The Downtown Alliance is hosting its annual Adopt-A-Geranium event on Wed., Oct. 10 at Bowling Green Park, from 10 a.m. to noon. The Alliance is giving away the 4,000 geraniums previously planted in Battery Park as part of its Green Around Downtown program, which was designed to reduce the area’s carbon footprint and build community support of green activities.

The event will help pave the way for the organization’s annual Fall Community Planting Day on Sat., Oct. 23, when volunteers will plant tulips and other flowers in the park from 10 a.m. to noon.

While Council Member Margaret Chin plans to attend both events, Adopt-A-Geranium, she admitted, is her favorite. “I especially look forward to the event, since it is a wonderful way for me to meet all of my friends and neighbors in the community,” she said.

Her geranium from last year, Chin noted, is alive and well. “It is in my office, and it has grown quite large under the care of my staff!”

For more information, visit www.DowntownNY.com or e-mail ContactUs@DowntownNY.com.

New Pace University program to feature all-star cast
On Thurs., Sept. 13, Pace University’s Lubin School of Business announced the launch of a new arts and entertainment management program that will boast a faculty of award-winning directors, producers and managers in the arts and entertainment industry. Confirmed guest lecturers include Katie Couric, Ron Howard and Viacom Entertainment Group President Doug Herzog.

Management majors concentrating in this new program will earn a bachelor of business administration degree intended to prepare the students for jobs in museums, dance and theater companies, art galleries, management companies and television production firms.

The program is home to Bravo T.V.’s long-running show, “Inside the Actors Studio,” and has facilitated student internships at NBC, CBS, ABC, HBO, MTV, the Metropolitan Opera, Sony Music and SiriusXM Radio.

The boundaries between industries and societies are blurring, according to the program’s director, Theresa K. Lant, who joined Pace University’s faculty in 2009. “Bringing together business and performing arts students in the same classroom prepares students for building relationships across boundaries,” she said.

B.P.C. block party reminder

The 11th annual Battery Park City block party will take place on Sept. 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Esplanade Plaza, just south of North Cove marina. As usual, there will be music, dancing, kids’ rides and games, as well as crafts, a flea market and a pet parade. There will also be cooking demonstrations and a cookie ‘bake-off’ with prizes.

The historic sailboat Ventura will be offering 90-minute rides for $10, and the Manhattan Sailing School’s ‘Big Toot’ will take people on 20-minute excursions to the Statue of Liberty and back for $5. The schooner Shearwater, which was built in 1929 and is on the National Register of Historic Places, will offer wine tasting for $10 — proceeds of which will go toward helping victims of Hurricane Isaac. For more information, e-mail info@bpcblockparty.com.

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