Volume 16 • Issue 14 | September 2 - 8, 2003


NEWS IN BRIEF



Downtown local

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton left spoke to ex-firefighter Jim O’Donnell last week at City Hall about post-9/11 health concerns. Reacting to a report on the Environmental Protection Agency, the former First Lady said she thinks someone on the White House staff ordered the E.P.A. to downplay the risks in Lower Manhattan. “I know a little bit about how White Houses work,” Clinton reportedly said. “I know somebody picked up the phone…somebody sent an e-mail, somebody called for a meeting, somebody in that White House probably under instructions from somebody further up the chain told the E.P.A.: ‘Don’t tell the people of New York the truth.’ And I want to know who that is. ” Clinton and U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler called for Congressional hearings into the matter. Councilmember Alan Gerson and his Democratic primary opponent, Peter Gleason, also attended. (Photo by Ann Arlen)


Amateau, Seaport named winners
Downtown Express reporter Albert Amateau, Community Board 1 and the Seaport Community Coalition are among the winners of the Historic Districts Council’s Fourth Annual Grassroots Preservation Awards.

The awards event, to be held Wed., Sept. 10, at 6:30 p.m. at St. Mark’s in-the-Bowery, at E. Tenth St. and Second Ave., at H.D.C.’s 13th Annual Preservation Party, will also honor CitiNeighbors Coalition for Historic Carnegie Hill; and Josephine E. Jones; Senator Street 300 Block Association. Receiving the Friend in High Places Award will be Councilmember Michael McMahon of Staten Island’s District 49. Barnett Shepherd will receive the Mickey Murphy Award.

Amateau will receive his award based on his work for The Villager, sister publication of Downtown Express. The Friend From the Media Award is “to honor and acknowledge the dedication and support of officials and media who help the cause of historic preservation throughout the city.” Amateau has written about historic preservation for both papers covering many neighborhoods including the Seaport, Tribeca and the Gansevoort Meat Market.

C.B. 1 and the Seaport Coalition are being honored for their successful fight to limit building heights to 120 feet in the South St. Seaport Historic District.


Deutsche suit loss
Federal District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein last week dismissed on technical grounds Deutsche Bank’s lawsuit seeking to hold New York City responsible for more than $500 million in damages to 130 Liberty St. in connection with the attack on the World Trade Center.

Deutsche Bank claimed the city was negligent in the inspection and control of 1,2,4 and 7 World Trade Center. The suit said collapse of those buildings and excessive diesel fuel stored in 7 W.T.C. caused dust and debris damage to the 40-story Liberty St. building and to Deutsche Bank’s building at 4 Albany St. and to the loss of property the bank leased at 4 W.T.C.

But Hellerstein ruled the bank could not sue the city over diesel fuel storage at 7 W.T.C. because the bank failed to properly file a timely notice of claim. The judge also ruled that the bank failed to cite any facts showing that the city had any duty to Deutsche Bank.

The Deutsche building is about four blocks south of the 7 W.T.C. site although that did not factor into the judge’s decision.

The judge, however, granted the bank leave to re-plead the claims by Sept 19. Deutsche Bank did not respond to a request for comment on the case.

Deutsche Bank is also involved in a lawsuit against two insurance companies, Allianz and AXA, demanding more than $1 billion for what it contends is the total loss of 130 Liberty St. as a result of contamination from the World Trade Center collapse. The insurance companies, however, contend they owe only about $500 million because they say the Liberty St. building could be cleaned and used again.

Kevin Rampe, president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., has filed a statement in the insurance case saying that L.M.D.C. plans include demolition of 130 Liberty St. and inclusion of the site in the redevelopment. The insurance case is pending in State Supreme Court.


C.B. 1 meetings
The schedule of community board meetings for the upcoming week is as follows. Unless otherwise noted, meeting will be held in room 709 of 49-51 Chambers St.

On Sept. 2, the Battery Park City Committee will meet at 6:00 p.m. to services provided to seniors, a City Planning application for a text amendment to the New York City Zoning Resolution regarding the Special Battery Park City District, the increase of rodents in Battery Park City, and difficult pedestrian crossings.

On Sept. 4, the Tribeca Committee will meet at 6:00 p.m. to discuss a City Planning application to allow residential conversion in parts of 38-44 Laight St., a liquor license application for 99 Hudson St., a liquor license application for 360 Broadway, a sidewalk cafe renewal for Edwards at136 Broadway, and the co-naming of N. Moore St. between Varick St. and W. Broadway in honor of Lt. Vincent Halloran of Ladder Co. 8.

On Sept. 8, the World Trade Center Redevelopment Committee will meet at 6:00 p.m. in Assemblymember Sheldon Silver’s Office at 250 Broadway (please bring photo ID) to discuss 7 World Trade Center and the L.M.D.C. Fulton St. study.

On Sept. 9, the Seaport/Civic Center committee will meet at 5:30 to discuss the proposed newsstand on a corner of John and Water Sts., a liquor license application for 15 Gold St., and an update on the proposed development of the NYU Hospital site.


Crime files
There were court developments in three recent murder and rape crimes.

Charlie Lee, charged with murder in connection with a July 2 shooting in Confucius Plaza, has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to appear Sept. 9 in for pre-trial motions, according to District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau’s office.

Lee, 60, was charged with shooting Shu Hong Wu, 48, several times in an apartment on the 40th floor of the Confucius Plaza where the victim was visiting a woman friend of Lee’s. The friend, Su Xian Wu, not related to the victim, was taking care of an elderly woman who lives across the hall from Lee. The defendant is being held without bail.

George Augustine, 67, a parolee who spent 17 years in prison for rape, has pleaded not guilty to attempted rape in connection with a June 2 incident involving a woman who works at 511 Canal St., in the same building where Augustine was an elevator operator. The victim fought off the attack so vigorously that her fingernails were ripped off, according to police

The suspect, arrested on the Queensboro Bridge on June 4 when he was threatening to jump, is scheduled to appear in Criminal Court Sept. 17 for pre-trial motions. He is being held without bail.

Jesse Williams, 21, of Brooklyn, charged with murder in the Aug. 21 stabbing on Stanton St. of Jeffrey Carter, 19, of 189 Allen St. after a dispute over a young woman, will be arraigned in Criminal Court on Sept. 10 according to the District Attorney’s office.


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