Downtown Local

Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert

A cappella singers from Ball in the House performed their mix of R&B and pop last Thursday during a free concert at Trinity Church.

W.T.C. plans
On the afternoon and evening of Wednesday, July 23, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation will hold a public scoping meeting on the Environmental Impact Statement for the World Trade Center redevelopment plan.

The statement will address the proposed rebuilding of the trade center site, including the memorial and commercial, retail, museum, and cultural facilities, new street configurations and open space areas. It will also investigate alternatives such as a no-build alternative and, if feasible, a “no impact” or “reduced impact” alternative.

Officials hope to begin construction on the 1776-foot tower designed by Daniel Libeskind in August 2004.

Two scoping meeting sessions will be held at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers St., between Greenwich and West Sts. The afternoon session is from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. and the evening session is from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Following the sessions, the L.M.D.C. will receive public comment on the draft scope until 5:00 p.m. on August 4.

9/11 reporters
They rushed to the scene on Sept. 11, 2001, witnessed the horrors, inhaled the dust, and then returned, day after day, to ground zero. But reporters have received comparatively little acknowledgement of the dangers they faced as a result of covering the calamity. While many journalist “first responders” say they have suffered the same mental and physical health consequences as emergency rescue and volunteer personnel, they often got less support from their employers.

Nearly two years after the terror attacks of 9/11, more than 60 New York-based journalists gathered last week at Ulysses restaurant on Pearl St. to discuss their personal experiences covering the tragedy and to brainstorm suggestions for the future disaster coverage.

“Journalists are entitled to grieve,” said David Handschuh, a photojournalist for the New York Daily News and the organizer of the event who was seriously injured on 9/11.

Handschuh paused to remember the 11 members of the press who lost their lives on that day. Then, in a general discussion in which the reporters requested anonymity, one broadcast journalist spoke of filing reports from her hospital bed but getting no special assistance or recognition from her news organization. Others spoke about getting diagnosed with bronchial conditions or seeking psychological counseling.

In spite of the difficulties some continue to face, many journalists said they were reluctant to ask their employers for help since they feared appearing unprofessional or uncompetitive. Handschuh pressed for Mt. Sinai to include journalists in its post-9/11 medical screening program, efforts that resulted in journalists, photographers, and other media personnel being classified as “essential services” and included in the study.

Happy birthday Herman
The South St. Seaport Museum will host a special birthday celebration for Herman Melville, author of “Moby Dick,” from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday July 26 aboard the tall ship The Peking on Pier 16.

The celebration will include readings from Melville’s whale-sized novel; lemonade and birthday cake will be served. Guests will be able to design their own whale-inspired mobile at a workshop conducted by Elizabeth Ortiz, an artist and educator. The party requires a $5 fee for art materials. For more information, phone 212:748-8735.

Forward thinking
The old “Jewish Daily Forward” building at 175 East Broadway, converted in 1999 into a residential tower, has been put on the market with an asking price of $20 million, according to Adelaide Polsinelli, of Besen Associates, broker for the sale.

The Hong Kong family that owns the 50,000 sq. ft. former home of the Yiddish language paper converted it into a 39-unit apartment building in 1999 and put it on the condo market just before Sept. 11, 2001, Polsinelli said. After the attack, the apartments came off the market. The building is now being sold as a whole.

Built in 1912, the 11-storey building is on the National Register of Historic Places. It served the Daily Forward until 1974 when the paper moved to midtown.

C.B. 1 meetings
The upcoming week’s schedule for Community Board 1 committee meetings is as follows. Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will be held in room 709 of 49-51 Chambers St.

On Tuesday, July 15, the Seaport, Civic Center committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. to hear a presentation by the Parks Department on new parks, and to discuss proposed entrances and vents for the Second Avenue subway, the street activity permit request by NBA Hoop-It-Up for September 6 and 7 on Water St. from Beekman to Broad St., a sidewalk application for tables and seats at 93 South St., and to pass a resolution on a liquor license application for 160 South St.

On Wednesday, July 16, the executive committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. to discuss community board recommendations for the use of L.M.D.C. funds in Lower Manhattan and to hear committee reports.

On Thursday, July 17, the Landmarks Committee will meet at 6:00 p.m. to discuss and pass resolutions on issues including an application to legalize unauthorized construction in noncompliance with the certificate of appropriateness and a modification of the façade of 320 Pearl St. and an application to construct a one-story rooftop addition, enlarge an elevator bulkhead, and to install a canopy and menu boxes on the ground floor of 131 Duane St.

On Monday, July 21, the World Trade Center Redevelopment Committee will meet at 6:00 p.m. in Assemblymember Sheldon Silver’s office, 250 Broadway, 19th floor to discuss the proposed Vesey St. bridge and walkway, options for West St., and an update on the demolition of the Deutsche Bank building (tentative).

On Tuesday, July 22, the Youth and Education Committee will meet at 6:00 p.m. to discuss Millennium High School, the citywide reading scores for P.S. 150 and P.S. 89, the reorganization of the Department of Education, and over-enrollment at P.S. 234.


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