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New PEP office: Battery Park City’s Parks Enforcement Patrol now has a command station at 212 North End Ave. to supplement the headquarters station at 21 West Thames St. The new office, which opened on July 1, is staffed from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
There are about 35 PEP officers in Battery Park City, patrolling its 36 acres of parks and gardens. They are employees of the city’s Dept. of Parks, but the Battery Park City Authority pays their salaries.
Though PEP officers are unarmed except for mace and batons, some of them, designated as “Peace Officers,” are empowered to issue summonses and make arrests, if necessary. All PEP officers provide information and first aid, address park conditions, summon emergency medical services and respond to other emergencies.
Having a command station on the north side of Battery Park City will enhance response times. The new office, located in the Verdesian building, opens onto North End Avenue and Teardrop Park.
The PEP headquarters office on West Thames Street near the esplanade is staffed 24 hours a day. The telephone number is 212-417-3100.
South Cove repair work: Superstorm Sandy took a bite out of South Cove, which is now largely fenced in so that the damage can be repaired. The Battery Park City Authority has hired FGI Construction Group to replace electric feeder cables, conduits, electrical boxes and wiring, all of which were submerged by the storm surge. Sections of wood deck planking and wood rail have to be replaced. Some of the granite on the north end of the quay was loosened in the storm. The stones are being taken down, numbered and will be reinstalled.
The work is scheduled to be completed in early September. The cost of approximately $500,000 may be covered by FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) and by insurance. The B.P.C.A. has submitted claims to both.
B.B. King at Lowdown Blues Festival: The legendary B.B. King will perform on July 10 at the Lowdown Hudson Blues Festival to be held on the Brookfield Place Waterfront Plaza facing North Cove marina. Now 87 years old, B.B. King, who was born in a small cabin on a cotton plantation in Mississippi, has been repeatedly ranked as among the greatest guitarists of all time. He has received 15 Grammy Awards and was honored with a National Medal of the Arts. In 1987, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
He is known for his precise, vocal-like string bends and left hand vibrato, which have influenced thousands of other musicians. He still gives around 100 concerts a year.
He will be joined on the July 10 program by the James Hunter Six.
On July 11, the festival will feature the three-time Grammy Award-winning band, Los Lobos. Their music is an amalgamation of rock, Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B, blues, and traditional Spanish and Mexican music.
Also on the July 11 program, Los Lonely Boys will play “Texican rock ‘n’ roll.” They have been nominated numerous times for Grammy Awards and have sold millions of records.
Both concerts begin at 6 p.m. and both are free.
Common Terns in South Cove: Despite their name, “Common Terns” are not all that common in Lower Manhattan. Two years ago, a nesting colony of them with about 35 pairs was sighted on a Governors Island pier. Now there are around 80 pairs on Governors Island. Two of them have migrated to South Cove, where they have been seen resting quietly between fishing expeditions on the Hudson River.
The small, dainty birds with long, pointed wings and a deeply forked tail lay their eggs on scrapes in sand or gravel. They abound along the beaches of New York City and Long Island, but have been threatened by habitat disturbances and pollution. In the last 40 years, the Common Tern population in North America has declined by more than 70 percent.
Common Terns migrate long distances. The South Cove and Governors Island terns are likely to have spent their winters along the coast of Central and South America, perhaps as far south as Argentina. They eat by plunge-diving for fish from heights of one to 18 feet. An interesting adaptation enables them to do this. They have red oil droplets in the cone cells of their retinas, enhancing their distance vision. Also, they can drink in flight, ingesting seawater and excreting the salt through a specialized gland in their bills.
All of this is packed into a tiny package. The adult birds are about a foot long, including their tails.
B.P.C. Cares raises money for Oklahoma: Many Battery Park City residents have not forgotten the people from all over the world who helped them after 9/11. With this memory still fresh, they founded Battery Park City Cares in September 2005 to raise money for disaster victims elsewhere.
On June 27, B.P.C. Cares organized a party at Miramar restaurant (facing South Cove) to help the Oklahoma tornado victims. The two-hour party netted around $700 to go to Oklahoma — possibly to one family that B.P.C. Cares will “adopt.”
Other sponsors of that evening’s fundraiser included Miramar restaurant, the Battery Park City Neighbors Network, T. Edward Wines, Le Pet Spa, AmsterDog, and MYNY Cookies.
Since 2005, B.P.C. Cares has sent bicycles to a village in Sri Lanka, contributed money to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and to Haiti after the earthquake that devastated the country in January 2010. Money was sent to help tsunami victims in Japan and to help educate girls in India.
B.P.C. Cares did have 501(c)(3) tax status, which is being renewed, according to Anthony Notaro, one of the organization’s founders. He said that contributions are tax deductible.
Battery Park City block party: Battery Park City had its first block party in 2002 as the neighborhood struggled to pick up the pieces after 9/11. Anthony Notaro was there for the first one and is now organizing what will be B.P.C.’s 12th block party, scheduled for September. The first full committee meeting will be July 11 at 6:30 p.m. aboard the Manhattan Sailing Club’s Arabella in North Cove marina. Anyone who wants to help with the block party is welcome to attend.
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