Volume 19, Number 2 | May 26 - June 1, 2006

Under Cover

Between the W.T.C. lines
Two witnesses at Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver’s World Trade Center hearing last week either had trouble accepting that Assemblymember Linda Rosentahl is no longer an aide to U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, or maybe they were trying to get under her skin.

When Rosenthal asked Dep. Mayor Dan Doctoroff about letting the National Park Service take responsibility for the W.T.C memorial, Doctoroff said he never heard much interest in the idea outside of the office “from whence you came.” When she asked Gretchen Dykstra, WTC Memorial Foundation president and C.E.O., the same thing Dykstra said she would be happy to meet with Nadler to discuss it.

“I no longer work for Congressman Nadler,” Rosenthal shot back.

Doctoroff had his own moment of historic tension but everyone seemed to be smiling. State Assemblymember Richard Brodsky asked the city’s deputy mayor where Gov. Pataki was getting the extra $250 million the governor needed to begin construction on the Freedom Tower. Doctoroff said he heard it was coming out of “special funds. Things are different in Albany as I understand it,” before adding in almost a stage whisper, “I’ll never understand it —” a reference to his failed effort to get the state to approve a West Side stadium.

“Yes I know,” Brodsky said.

Challenging talk
Bill Weld, the only New York gubernatorial candidate who has been a governor (yes we know it wasn’t in Albany), won’t be a cheerleader for World Trade Center plans, if elected. “I don’t happen to get the idea of a hole in the ground as a memorial,” Weld said, according to the Empire Zone, the New York Times’s political blog. He’d also take “a Kissinger-esque approach, if you will – shuttle diplomacy” to end any W.T.C. disagreements. Weld’s Republican primary opponent, John Faso, has his own diplomatic style, saying he’d give redevelopment “a good kick in the pants” if things were going slowly in January.

Middle school cut?
Just as Community Board 1 is looking to add more middle school seats in Lower Manhattan, a Dept. of Education official told a board member that the city is thinking about reducing the number that residents thought they had already won.

A C.B. 1 member said at a meeting this week that Region 9 deputy superintendent Mariano Guzman had told him the proposed 630-seat K-8 on Beekman St. may be in for changes. Guzman warned him that “we’re not going to officially comment at this point but there is a possibility that the site might call for far more elementary school seats than middle school seats for your community …. Maybe we won’t be talking about K-8 classes in whatever fashion…and maybe it will just be K-5.” The none-too-pleased member told Guzman “we need middle school seats.”

When asked about the possible change from a K-8 to a K-5 school, Guzman told UnderCover: “I have no comment at all on that.”

The project also includes a 75-story, Frank Gehry-designed apartment building. A spokesperson for developer Bruce Ratner said Gehry’s new drawings will be released next week.

Marketing 101
The glossy marketing materials for 101 Warren St.— formerly known as Site 5B — have been floating around the project’s Harrison St. marketing center, with no mention of P.S. 234, the famously fabulous school in its shadow. “Welcome to the world of 101,” the brochure boasts and with color pictures of impeccable apartments with stunning river views, it lists the first rate amenities including a spa, sun decks, a screening area, a garden maze, Whole Foods Market and a Barnes & Noble. But nowhere is P.S. 234 mentioned, which might come as a surprise to residents who fretted endlessly that developer Edward Minskoff would use the school to lure new residents who would then discover it was overcrowded


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