Volume 19, Number 3 | June 2-8, 2006

Under Cover

Toy memorial
Monica Iken, a member of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation’s board, is a part of the fundraising team for the memorial, but she still told UnderCover the plan will end up looking like a “Tinkertoy” if officials hold to the new $500 million limit. Iken, whose husband was killed on 9/11, favors adding two ramps to the design and said ensuring that the memorial is safe should be the top priority. She and Charles Wolf, whose wife was killed, said the first cut to the design should be the memorial plaza’s trees. They both favor the underground design opposed by some family groups.

Fringe government
Any city agency with an office somewhere on the outskirts of Lower Manhattan is a likely candidate to move to 4 World Trade Center in six years or so — assuming there are no further delays in the rebuilding efforts. The city promised Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority that it would rent up to 600,000 square feet of office space at market rates as part of the framework deal to get construction started on the Freedom Tower. Speaking at Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver’s recent W.T.C. hearing, Dep. Mayor Dan Doctoroff said the agencies that may move are “kind of on the fringes of Downtown.”

Clinton’s Downtown blues
Downtown Independent Democrats endorsed Hillary Clinton’s primary election rival, Jonathan Tasisni, for the Senate by a vote of 16-13 — yet another Downtown Democratic snubbing of the senator for her pro-war position. Three weeks ago, Village Independent Democrats also endorsed Tasini. D.I.D.’s district includes the World Trade Center site, and though Clinton supporters in D.I.D. spoke positively of her efforts there, the majority felt she had “abandoned her base.”

“Bush preemptively invaded Iraq, but Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 or ground zero. It is tragic that Clinton conveniently forgets this,” said Sean Sweeney, club president. Her support of NAFTA also did not go over well with trade unionists in the club, nor did her support for the Defense of Marriage Act enamor her with gay club members. “The nail in the coffin was undoubtedly her recent embrace of Rupert Murdoch,” Sweeney said of Clinton’s turn to the right-wing tabloid publisher for fundraising help.

Sweeney also blasted Denny Farrell, State Democratic Party head, for refusing to let Tasini speak to the Reform Caucus at the party’s convention in Buffalo this week, citing a rule that Sweeney said has never been enforced. “So much for reform, when it comes to having an antiwar candidate challenge the doyenne of the State Democratic Party,” groused Sweeney. For state attorney general, the club’s highest vote-getter was Sean Patrick Maloney, followed by Andrew Cuomo with Mark Green coming in third.

False exclusive
Speaking of Tasini, in case you didn’t see The Villager and Downtown Express articles three weeks ago reporting on his endorsement over Hillary Clinton by Village Independent Democrats — don’t worry, the Daily News had a front-page “exclusive” story on this May 30.

Pitching in
Movie star Julia Stiles, who grew up in Soho, threw out the first pitch at Shea Stadium Monday, setting up the Amazin’s come-from-behind win over the Diamondbacks, her mother, Judith Stiles, a contributor to Downtown Express, tells us. Mother Stiles also went to Pier 40 near Houston St. during the day and watched Kenneth Podziba, the city’s Sports commissioner, throw out the first pitch of the inaugural Mayor’s Borough Cup championship game.


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