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

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?


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.

The most important things about the governor’s speech about Lower Manhattan is that he recognized that all parts of the community are in dire need of commitments to make Downtown better in the short and long-term, and that he put his reputation on the line by releasing a detailed timeline.

Pataki now must meet most of the timeline goals if he wishes history to judge him to be a successful governor. In some cases, Pataki has made commitments beyond his control. We applaud him for directing the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. to authorize up to $3 million for the Millennium High School to open on Broad St., but he said last week that the donation will insure a September opening. If the city Dept. of Education can’t make it happen, Pataki may come back and try and blame it on the city, but it won’t wash. The governor made the pledge and he will have to take the blame. We are of course hoping to give him the credit in September for helping Downtown get its first high school zoned for the neighborhood.

Pataki was also wise to embrace much of Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s “Vision for Lower Manhattan.” Although Pataki and Bloomberg may be in the middle of one of their first spats over the budget, it’s good to see them largely in agreement regarding Downtown. The governor is starting to get more specific about Downtown’s transportation needs and for the most part he is on the right track. A direct link to the Long Island Rail Road and J.F.K. Airport is the type of transportation improvement Downtown hasn’t had for 80 or so years and is the type of bold investment that is needed to prepare Lower Manhattan to compete effectively. The governor said he will find the money to pay for the link once we figure out what the best plan is. Given that Pataki has a good friend in the White House – a man who is planning an important political visit to New York in Sept. 2004 for the Republican National Convention – it does not seem like an outlandish pledge for Pataki to make. If Pataki is unable to find the money, once again, he and only he will have to take the blame.

One project Pataki should give deep thought to taking off the Downtown transportation board is pumping $400 million into refurbishing the South Ferry subway terminal. By the governor’s own admission, the project will benefit Staten Island-Midtown commuters the most. That may be a worthy goal, but it should not be paid for with federal money targeted to help Downtown. And the good cop-bad cop routine that Pataki and his appointee, Peter Kalikow, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairperson, played this week over whether or not any of Battery Park will be sacrificed to the South Ferry project, only calls the project into further question.

But South Ferry can’t sink what was otherwise a fine speech last week. Governor Pataki finally gave a real timeline for the development of Lower Manhattan. For a governor whose detached style has unnerved the Downtown business community, and others, this is a hugely welcome development.

Memorial problems

Somewhere along the line, officials at the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. perhaps will realize that access around the proposed World Trade Center-memorial area is indeed a problem that is in need of more than just lip service.

This week, the L.M.D.C. released the guidelines for the memorial and gave applicants no encouragement to improve the access. A walkway or walkways over the memorial area would be a vast improvement over the current design. Rather than being a limit, such a walkway presents new possibilities for a designer to enhance the views of the memorial in ways that we can’t even imagine. We encourage all who feel that access can be improved to attend the May 28 hearing at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center to make their point to the memorial jury, which holds part of Downtown’s future in their hands.


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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.


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
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


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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