Volume 19 • Issue 17 | September 8 - 14, 2006

Under cover

Fuming feminist
Tribeca Community Association president and ’70s feminist activist Carole De Saram can add acting to her list of credentials. She appears in the trailer for “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” Sacha Baron Cohen’s new film about his alter ego from Kazakhstan. When boorish Borat interviews a group of feminists — De Saram included—he asks them if it’s true that women have smaller brains, De Saram taps her watch and scoffs: “We’re finished, we have to leave.” Oh, if only she’d watched a few episodes of “Da Ali G Show” on HBO, she would’ve known that bumbling Borat is nothing more than a Jewish guy from London.

All for the money
UnderCover hears that the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. has tracked down the missing $45 million Community Enhancement Grants. “The mondy was never lost!” L.M.D.C. community liaison Michael Haberman told UnderCover Wednesday. Some suspect requests for proposals for the grants will be announced at an L.M.D.C. board meeting on Thursday.

When the L.M.D.C. announced earlier this summer that they planned to close shop soon, rumors flew that the money earmarked for the community had disappeared into the World Trade Center memorial cost overrun pot and officials said such talk was “premature.” Local politicians and residents went into a tailspin.

But in recent weeks, L.M.D.C. staffers have been quietly trying to ease fears, insisting the money is there and it will be allocated soon enough. At a town hall meeting that aired on NY1 on Tuesday night, L.M.D.C. chairperson Kevin Rampe said the Community Enhancement Grants would be discussed at the Thursday board meeting. It’s unclear who will actually sift through a pile of R.F.P.s and select winners, if the agency created to rebuild Downtown is disappearing. But an L.M.D.C. source told UnderCover that the agency isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and will stick around until the money is doled out.

What’s the score?
School has only just begun and already elementary school parents are freaking out about tests. Only in this case, it’s the tests their kids took last school year.

Results for the English Language Arts Assessment test or E.L.A. are still not in and Downtown parents are getting anxious. The test, taken in the fourth grade, helps determine where kids will go to middle school. Incoming fifth graders start shopping for potential middle schools at the end of September, but without test results to know how well they’re doing, parents don’t know which schools might find their offspring desirable.

“I haven’t heard anything, nothing, which I find very unusual,” said Maggie Marino, whose daughter Madison is starting fifth grade at P.S. 89 in Battery Park City this year. “I’d like to know where my daughter is as far as her academic level. Do I have to put her in tutoring? … I just want a better handle on it.”

Parents at P.S. 234 in Tribeca are stressing out about the missing scores, too. “They’re wondering where they are,” said P.S. 234 parent coordinator Kathy Sussell. Scores usually arrive much earlier, she said.

“People are just frustrated. It’s very disappointing that you can take an exam and then not see the results for so long,” said Kevin Doherty, P.S. 234 P.T.A. president.

P.S. 89 posted a note on its Web site telling parents that test scores will arrive sometime in the fall. “Stay tuned to this Web site for further updates. Please do not contact the school about your child’s scores,” the Web site reads.


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