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?




Some parents concerned
over new ferry terminal

By Jane Flanagan

Photo by Ramin Talaie
Picnic in Rockefeller Park near the new terminal.

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.

“We come to the playground every day for a couple of hours a day,” said Magdalena Hasiec, a Battery Park City parent of two. “That ferry terminal is going to be there for two years. What are the long term health implications of that?”

The temporary slip will operate for two years while the existing terminal near the New York Mercantile Exchange will be replaced by a $48 million permanent facility at the end of 2005.

Hasiec’s health concerns are not unfounded. Diesel exhaust is particularly laden with pollutants, according to a report released by Environmental Defense, a non-profit organization. Diesel emissions can contribute to asthma attacks and a cancer risk greater than that posed by any other air pollutant, according to the report. Children are particularly vulnerable because they inhale more pollutants per pound of body weight and are less able to detoxify and excrete toxins, it stated.

The decision to place the terminal near Rockefeller Park was a joint one made by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Battery Park City Authority.

The site was chosen based upon limited options, according to Leticia Remauro, spokesperson for the B.P.C.A. She said all other feasible locations, including the more commercial North Cove, would have posed too great a hazard to boat navigation.

Also, ferry riders need continued easy access to the World Financial Center and commuter buses, she said.

Pat Smith, a spokesperson for New York Waterway, said the company runs the cleanest marine diesel operation in the country. Out of 30 boats, 19 have the cleanest burning marine diesel engine available, he said. The company is also in the process of putting this engine into the remaining nine at a cost of $250,000 per boat, he said.

New York Waterway is also working with a coalition of government and non-profit agencies, including Environmental Defense, which issued the diesel emission report, on ways to further reduce pollutants by burning low-sulfur fuels and retrofitting engines with filters.

“We are inviting experts to come in and see what works and what doesn’t. We take it very seriously,” said Smith.

Andrew Darrell, New York regional director for Environmental Defense, said that he is optimistic about progress.

Remauro, of the B.P.C.A., said that the new engines the ferry company is using has reduced harmful emissions by 50%. She said the authority is also pleased that New York Waterway is voluntarily working with the coalition of government and non-profits.

“We, like everyone, would like this done yesterday. But they are voluntarily working with these agencies and we are heartened that they are going that way,” she said.

Smith points out that ferries mean many fewer cars on the road. He estimates that, thanks to Waterway, there are 7,000 fewer cars are on the road each day, greatly reducing overall pollution in the region.

But being close to diesel exhaust, which consists of fine particles, is of particular concern. Unlike other pollutants, these particles do not filter into the air and travel elsewhere, according to Darrell.

“If it’s emitted near the playground it will stay there,” he said. There will also be more particles to worry about because of increased traffic at the new terminal, which will have a third slip to accommodate side-loading boats. The commuter taxis that now dock in North Cove — the New York Water Taxi and a shuttle for Mercantile Exchange employees — will dock at Rockefeller Park.

Ferry traffic will increase again in June when the Jersey City Exchange Place PATH station opens and many of those commuters transfer to ferries. But ridership is expected to drop later in the year when path service into Manhattan is restored.

Darrell of Environmental Defense said that ferries are important for the revitalization of Lower Manhattan.

“I’m pro-ferry,” he said. “The Achilles heel is the dirty air emissions. But we don’t have to have dirty ferries. We can have clean ferries.”

Two relatively inexpensive pollution reducing measures would be to retrofit the boat diesel engines with filters and substitute low-sulfur fuel. The hurdle with filters is to find an efficient way to install them in boats, which have cramped engine compartments, Darrell said. As for the low sulfur fuel, engine manufactures will need to agree to extend warranties for engines that use it.

Some parents say the ferry slip at Rockefeller Park took them by surprise.

“I didn’t know anything about it,” said Danielle Feider, a mother of two who lives in north Battery Park City. “About two weeks ago I looked out my window and saw this strange boat with pilings floating along the river,” she said.

Later, when she took her children to the playground, she saw it docked. “Someone told me it was the new ferry terminal.”

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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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