Volume 19 Issue 51 | May 4 -10, 2007

Under Cover

Formal sailing
A dapper former Battery Park City resident who also happens to be a four-time winner of America’s Cup, Dennis Conner, wore a black tie, tux and shiny boat shoes (scuffed would have been so uncouth) at the Manhattan Sailing Foundation’s annual Sailor’s Ball at the Down Town Association landmark building Friday night.

Conner told the formal dinner crowd that he and his crew were out in the rain in Stamford, Conn. that morning getting two Formula-1 racing boats ready. It reminded him of the Downtown sailing group’s hearty spirit. “You’re real sailors,” the champion skipper told them. “If not, you’d either change sports or you’d move to California.”

Conner lives in San Diego. He told UnderCover that his wife insisted on moving out of B.P.C. after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, when they were separated for several hours during the frenzy.

On Sunday, Conner brought the boats to B.P.C.’s North Cove, which Conner’s firm runs with his partners and former neighbors, commodore Michael Fortenbaugh and architect Jordan Gruzen.

Jim Cavanaugh, the president and C.E.O. of the Battery Park City Authority, which tapped the trio for the marina, was also honored at the event along with Conner.

Fortenbaugh’s Manhattan Sailing Club, which started at the South St. Seaport on May 7, 1987 and moved to North Cove in 1994, was also celebrating its 20th anniversary. The club is four days older than Downtown Express, which marks two decades Downtown next week.

Bad atmosphere
Mayor Mike Bloomberg may be in the process of greening up New York City’s act, but the annual Air Quality Report from the American Lung Association shows that the city still has a long way to go before residents will be able to breath easy.

The city received a failing air quality grade for the amount of harmful particulates in the atmosphere. It also made the dubious Top 25 Most Polluted Cities list in several categories. Manhattan snagged an additional honor, becoming the only New York State county to make the list of counties most affected by long-term particle pollution.

Chiding Chase
A local labor union is taking its fight against JP Morgan Chase to the Internet. Local 32BJ of S.E.I.U., which represents commercial security workers and window washers, wants the banking corporation to hire security contractors who give their workers better wages and benefits.

That primary goal, however, hasn’t stopped Local 32BJ from striking out at Chase in any way they can. The union joined with Downtown residents in protesting Chase’s proposal to build cantilevered trading floors in World Trade Center Tower 5. The cantilever would cast deep shadows over a planned public park next door.

Now the union is reaching out to consumers with an attack on Chase bank’s privacy practices. In a YouTube video, the group catches several Manhattan Chase branches leaving sensitive bank documents — including customers’ names, bank account numbers, social security numbers and passwords — unguarded and unshredded in curbside trash bags.

Crystal Ball
In case anyone thinks “hindsight is always 20-20” after reading Tom Goodkind’s letter to the editor this week blasting the Hudson River Park Trust for demolishing the Tribeca piers without the money to rebuild the recreation areas, bear in mind that a prescient Goodkind wrote us in Aug. 2005 to mock the Trust’s stated plan for “spontaneity” on Pier 25. “What is likely to occur is that the $70 million will disappear, and so will our Pier 25 and Pier 26 ‘informality and spontaneity,’” he wrote then.

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