Volume 19 • Issue 4 | June 9 - 15, 2006

Under Cover

Doctoroff on I.S. Deutsche

Community Board 1 chairperson Julie Menin said the city’s Downtown rebuilding guru, Dep. Mayor Dan Doctoroff, told her that he will put together a team to look at building a zoned middle school on the Tower 5 site of the World Trade Center. “He’s very receptive to the idea,” she told UnderCover. “He thinks it’s an excellent idea.”

Doctoroff splashed some cold water on the proposal when reporters asked him about it at Wednesday’s Lower Manhattan Development Corp. meeting, saying it was a stretch to say C.B. 1 “approached” him about the idea. He said he and Menin had “a brief, brief conversation” at a plaza opening not far from the shrouded Deutsche building on the Tower 5 site. He did tell reporters the city saw a need for more schools Downtown and would take a look at Tower 5, but there were budget constraints.

Before a residential or office building with perhaps a middle school can go up on Liberty St., officials have to come up with an approved plan to take down the building damaged on 9/11.

Wils warnings

Madelyn Wils, an L.M.D.C. member, said the long-awaited stores at the W.T.C. site may not be as big as residents hope, and the long-delayed planning of the site’s Performance Arts Center may never happen if the Port Authority doesn’t change its current plans.

Wils said the P.A. is getting ready to move the temporary PATH station temporarily to the P.A.C. near the Freedom Tower in order to construct Santiago Calatrava’s permanent station and she wants them to look for alternate locations before it is too late.

“My concern is this will put an insurmountable delay in the fundraising” for the arts center, Wils said. She said building costs for Frank Gehry’s yet-to-be designed home for the Joyce and Signature Theaters will only rise with time.

The WTC Memorial Foundation, the organization that theoretically is supposed to raise the money to build and own the center, has said at some point somewhere in the future it will begin to think about raising the money.

As for the stores, Wils told UnderCover that the P.A.’s plans for the train station are to put two large entrances in the Church St. store space, and she wants the Port to think about moving the entrances to Greenwich St.

She’s no quitter

Connie Fishman, president of the Hudson River Park Trust, denied rumors that she’s looking around for a new job with a change of administrations coming in Albany in January. “I’m not looking — and nobody’s looking for me,” Fishman said, adding, “Why would I leave? This is the best job in New York City?” She noted that while Governor Pataki will be leaving office, Mayor Bloomberg isn’t, and that she has good relations with “both administrations.”

Fishman came to the Trust as vice president from the Rudy Giuliani administration and was seen as the city’s check on the Trust’s first president, Rob Balachandran, who was a Pataki deputy. When Balachandran left a few years ago, Fishman had gotten close enough to Pataki to be able to move up to the president’s slot.

The mayor and governor control five appointments each on the Trust’s 13-member board, which appoints the Trust’s president.

Hope for a Fass recovery

Bob Fass, who has been hosting a radio show in New York City for longer than almost anyone, has been in Staten Island General Hospital for the last 10 days with heart problems. Fass was one of the first people to put Bob Dylan on the radio. He has the longest-running radio show on WBAI, and has been on the airwaves in New York for 40 years. Hundreds of East and West Village activists and musicians have been on his show over the decades. Wavy Gravy, the original Woodstock emcee, is on about once a month, and Judith Malina of the Living Theater is another regular guest.


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