Pataki commits to Downtown timeline
By Josh Rogers
Responding to criticisms that the Lower Manhattan rebuilding efforts are proceeding too slowly, Gov. George Pataki last week released an extensive timeline of short and long-term goals, such as a new Greenmarket, which will open across the street from the World Trade Center site this summer, and the last piece – a Downtown link to J.F.K. Airport and the Long Island Rail Road in 2013.

L.M.D.C. begins search for W.T.C. memorial ideas
By Josh Rogers
Any adult with $25 and an idea of how to remember the victims of the 2001 and 1993 terror attacks on America now has the chance to design the permanent memorial for the World Trade Center site.

Chinatown businesses battle SARS fears and rumors
By Elizabeth O’Brien
As rumor played tug-of-war with reality last week in Chinatown, community members voiced concern that an outbreak of the SARS virus—actual or perceived—could bring further economic damage to an area already struggling with fears of the illness.

Police clash with crowds rushing Chinatown banks
By Josh Rogers
Chinatown resembled Bedford Falls at its worst last week as an old-fashioned bank panic prompted over 1,000 immigrants to crowd two neighborhood banks in scenes reminiscent of the rush on the Bailey Building and Loan in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

12 new members join Community Board 1
By Elizabeth O’Brien
For the second year in a row, an unusually high number of new members will join Community Board 1. Retroactive as of April 1, 12 appointees began their two-year terms.

Fields finds a conflict of interest in Pier 40 vote
By Lincoln Anderson
Borough President C. Virginia Fields’ office has just ruled that one of the members of Community Board 2’s waterfront committee had a conflict of interest in voting on matters pertaining to the redevelopment of Pier 40 as part of the Hudson River Park.

Vesuvio, famed bread shop in Soho, is sold
By Albert Amateau
Vesuvio Bakery, at 160 Prince St., where Anthony Dapolito, unofficial Mayor of Greenwich Village, has presided for more than two generations, changed hands last month.

News Briefs
Downtown local

B.P.C. neighbors

Water St. deals

Tribeca teen discovered

Garden winner

Peking staying for now

Gill reappointed

Letters To The Editor

Editorials
Pataki timeline a welcome step
Gov. George Pataki last week began to do what we and others have been calling on him to do: start making decisions about Downtown’s future.

Downtown Notebooks
Krugman up close: ‘What went wrong?’
By John W. Sutter
Paul Krugman, one of the Bush administration’s most tenacious and effective critics arguing from no better perch than a bi-weekly column in the New York Times, addressed a New School University audience last week on the subject, “What went wrong?




Downtown local

Jane Rosenthal, center, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, had a pre-festival party lat Friday at Bubble Lounge hosted by Rosenthal, Tribeca Organization and Tribeca Partnership. At left is Rick Davidman, owner of DFN Gallery and a T.O. member, and with him is Henry Buhl, founder of the Partnership. The festival’s screenings of children’s films kicks off this weekend and the rest of the movies open May 6. For info or tickets go to www.tribecafilmfestival.org, call 866-265-TIXX, or check out next week’s issus of Downtown Express for a full rundown on the fest.

B.P.C. neighbors
The Battery Park City Neighbors’ and Parents’ Association will hold its annual Springfest celebration this Saturday, May 3, from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at various locations throughout Battery Park City. The event will kick off with a picnic in Rockefeller Park from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., with food donated by FreshDirect and other sponsors, a children’s parade, face paintings, and more. From 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., there will be an afternoon volleyball tournament on the Esplanade Plaza, and from 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., there will be a cookout on Pier 25, with free entertainment and food and beverages available for purchase.


Water St. deals
Two of the largest real estate deals in Lower Manhattan since the World Trade Center attack were clinched in April when the owner of 55 Water St. leased a total of more than 640,000 Sq. ft. to Health Insurance Plan of New York and to the Teachers’ Retirement System of New York.

HIP signed a 20-year lease the second week in April for 485,000 sq. ft. — the entire 13-story north building plus the 13th floor of the south building – in a deal worth $400 million. HIP will make 55 Water St. its headquarters after consolidating operations from 132 W. 31st St. and 7 W. 34th St.

At the same time, Teachers’ Retirement System signed a 15-year lease for 157,000 sq. ft. – the second, 16th and 17th floors of the south building – in a deal worth nearly $100 million.

Retirement Systems of Alabama owns the $3.6-million-sq.-ft. complex, which is the second largest privately-held building in the nation after the Sears Tower in Chicago. The Downtown complex still has about 500,000 sq. ft. available, said Harry Bridgwater, manager of the building.

The two new tenants will bring about 1,700 additional employees Downtown, according to Howard Fiddle of Insignia/ESG, which negotiated the deal for the owner along with CB Richard Ellis. GVA Williams represented HIP and The Staurback Co. acted for Teachers Retirement System.

The owner is putting a food court in the main floor of 55 Water St. and has planned a redesign of the third level outdoor plaza. Bridgwater said last week that he was informing the City Planning Department about the plaza design by landscape architect Ken Smith and that demolition of the current space would begin in a few weeks. “We’ve been talking with Community Board 1 and intend to follow all the review procedures,” Bridgwater said in regard to the plaza.


Tribeca teen discovered
The body of Max Guarino, the Tribeca youth who disappeared with three companions after setting out in a small boat from City Island on a cold night last January, was found on Fri. April 25 in City Island.

Barbara Dufty, Guarino’s mother, said on Sunday that she was relieved that her son’s body was found but she told a New York Times reporter, “We hate the word ‘closure’ because when you loose a child there is no closure, it is forever.”

The recovery of Guarino spurred new efforts by police divers to find the three other youths, Charles Wertenbaker, 16, of City Island; Andrew Melnikov, 16 of the Upper East Side and Henry Badillo, 17, of the Bronx.

The boys were last seen about 9:30 p.m. Jan. 24, a very cold night, just before setting off. A 911 operator received a call an hour later from Badillo’s cell phone saying he was in a boat in Long Island Sound off “City I.” and was taking on water. A dispatcher concluded there was not enough information to start a search, so rescuers did not begin until 14 hours later.

The families of the boys have filed papers concerning their intention to file wrongful death lawsuits on the grounds that police mishandled the 911 phone call. Dufty and the other mothers have been lobbying Albany to take quick action to pinpoint the locations of all 911 calls from cell phones. A surcharge on all cell-phone calls is expected to pay for the proposed system, which has not yet been installed.

“I just don’t want this to ever happen to another mother – knowing that help could have come but didn’t,” said Dufty.


Garden winner
The winning design for the $2.5 million British Memorial Garden will be presented to the public today, Aug. 29, in a Hanover Sq. ceremony with Princess Anne as the honored guest.

The design by Bannerman, a British landscape architect chosen last week from six submissions, features formal plantings, yew trees and pruned shrubbery.

The Friends of the British Memorial Garden along with the British Consulate and the St. George Society, an organization of British subjects in New York, are working with the city Department of Parks and Recreation to create the garden as a tribute to the years of friendship between the U.S. and the United Kingdom and as a memorial to the 67 British subjects who died in the World Trade Center attack.

At the Hanover Sq. ceremony at 2:30 p.m., Princess Ann will present the city with a gift of seeds from the gardens of the Royal Palaces.


Peking staying for now
The South Street Seaport Museum has no imminent plans to sell the tall ship, Peking, although three European maritime museums have expressed interest in the vessel, said Peter Neil, executive director of the museum.

A new museum in Hamburg, Germany, where the Peking was built and her homeport when she plied the nitrate trade between Chile and Europe in the early 20th century, is one of the institutions that expressed interest along with museums in Bilbao, Spain and Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

“But there was no money and no offer,” said Neil, who is scheduled to talk about the Peking at the Community Board 1 Seaport committee meeting on Tues. May 13.

Two years ago, the Seaport museum board of directors authorized Neil to explore finding an appropriate new home for the Peking in return for enough money to complete the restoration of the tall ship Wavertree and to maintain the other vessels in the museum.

“We brought the Peking here 30 years ago to have a tall ship that people could visit while the Wavertree was being restored,” said Neil. “We’ve restored her, and we could make her ready to sail — Coast Guard certified — with another $1.3 to $2 million. But that kind of money isn’t available, especially in this economy.”

Neil said it is hard to justify maintaining both tall ships, Wavertree and Peking. While the Wavertree could be made seaworthy, the Peking is not likely to ever sail again. “It’s essentially a 12-story building made of steel and wire and wood,” Neil said. “How much money does it take to maintain something like that?” he added.


Gill reappointed
Gov. George Pataki last week reappointed James F. Gill to a new term as chairperson of the Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority.

The governor first appointed Gill to lead the B.P.C.A. in 1996 and Gill’s reappointment expires on Dec. 31, 2008.

A graduate of Fordham Law School and a former Marine lieutenant, Gill has been an assistant district attorney, chairperson of a commission on integrity in city schools for Mayor Koch, and chairperson from 1995-6 of the Long Island Power Authority.

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IS. 89 film festival ahead of that Tribeca one
By Laura S. Greene
When you grow up in artsy Downtown, maybe you’re never too young to start making documentary and narrative shorts. In fact, you can take an afterschool class to teach you how.

Family Life

Well-played scrimmage
Many of the Downtown Little League games were canceled last weekend because of Saturday’s rain, but the Royals and Diamondbacks played a hard-fought scrimmage on Sunday in East River Park.

High school to open
Millennium High School will occupy its Downtown digs for the start of the school year this September, thanks in part to government funds earmarked for post-Sept. 11 revitalization.

Some parents concerned over new ferry terminal
By Jane Flanagan
A new, temporary ferry terminal, with diesel engine boats shuttling in and out, is set to open in May, across from Rockefeller Playground and Park. Its opening will coincide with the start of the summer season, the busiest time at the park and some neighborhood parents say they are worried.

Children

Resourceful babysitter is quite an icebreaker
By Jane Flanagan
At a preschool event some weeks ago, a woman I’d never met introduced herself and told me that my son Rusty, 41/2, was over at her place having dinner. She knew Rusty well, she said, and he and her 2-year-old daughter were good friends.

Children’s Activities
Everything you will need to plan play with your kid

Arts & Entertainment

Before the M.T.A., I remember Kalikow at The Post
By JERRY TALLMER
In late February or early March of 1988, I stood on the floor of the city room of the New York Post — then on South St., just north of the Brooklyn Bridge — and, with maybe a hundred other ink-stained (okay, computer-stained) wretches, survivors of close to a dozen near-death experiences of our beloved rag throughout the previous 10 years, listened to the new owner introduce himself.

Koch on film
Mayor Koch reviews Raising Victor Vargas and Lilya 4-Ever

Home

Room for Improvement
The best places to let there be light
By Beth Lee Segal
Whenever we turn the clocks ahead to signal spring’s arrival, I ask myself, “how did I live without the clear, pure light of this season?”

The Penny Post
Eulogy for a certain someone
By Andrei Codrescu
One day, a child who had been daydreaming under the big tree, was intercepted by an angry adult who looked at him with one hand on her hip and a ruler in her hand. “What, what?” mumbled the dreamer, who had just driven back an army of intruders and was about to make his victory speech before men in tophats who represented the best minds of all times in the fields of the sciences, arts, and diplomacy.\

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