Volume 20 Issue 17 | September 7-13, 2007

Under Cover

Hold 1 check, write another
Julie Menin, the still undeclared candidate for City Council — yes we know it’s not ‘til 2009 — has already thought about her take home pay if she wins. Menin, Community Board 1’s chairperson and wife of developer Bruce Menin, has said privately that like Mayor Mike Bloomberg, she will not take a salary if she runs and wins, according to a source.

Speaking of Mayor Mike and the Menins, the family hosted a $1.2 million fundraiser for the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation two weeks ago in Wainscott, N.Y. where guests included the mayor, his romantic partner Diana Taylor, who is also the new chairperson of the Hudson River Park Trust, memorial architect Michael Arad, and Jonathan Tisch, co-owner of the New York Giants. Julie Menin was on the jury that selected Arad’s design and now serves on the foundation’s board, where Bloomberg is chairperson.

Menin said it is important to finish raising money for the memorial quickly so the foundation can begin working on the W.T.C. Performing Arts Center, which remains on the backburner.

Local knowledge
New York City’s tourism marketing organization, NYC & Company, wants visitors to “Just Ask The Locals” for advice on what to see and do around the five boroughs. Of course, in the case of the new marketing campaign, the “Locals” are celebrity city residents like comedian Jimmy Fallon and former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber.

The campaign, which features print ads as well as an interactive Web site, is designed to make the city seem more welcoming, as well as to promote destinations that are a little off the beaten path.

While Fallon gives a nod to Two Boots pizza on Avenue A, it is Tribeca Film Fest co-founder Robert DeNiro who is portrayed as the city’s Downtown guide. DeNiro is pictured in ads advising visitors to see Lower Manhattan by walking. DeNiro also recommends visiting the New York City Fire Museum on Spring St.

However, while DeNiro and his Film Fest crew have sued at least two local arts organizations over their use of the name “Tribeca,” the award-winning actor no longer actually lives in the neighborhood. So we’d advise confused tourists to ask an actual local, rather than a “local” if they need help navigating Downtown.

Nimble Nadler?
With the recent fire at the Deutsche Bank building still under investigation and the Government Accountability Office set to release a new report on the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest “Test and Clean” program for Downtown residences, the folks at 9/11 Environmental Action have a jam-packed fall schedule.

In addition to several community meetings, a Sept. 8 rally and a Sept. 9 vigil for 9/11 healthcare, the group is planning a rock ‘n roll benefit concert for Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. at The Bowery Poetry Club. The concert is being organized by 23-year-old musician Danny Ross, who works a day job as a staffer for U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler. Nadler, an outspoken advocate on 9/11 health issues, is expected to make an appearance at the event.

“I’m especially pleased that my boss, Congressman Nadler, who has been extremely active in 9/11 health and environmental issues for the last six years, will be personally involved with the concert,” Ross said in a press release Monday. “Now if we can only get him dancing.”

Deutsche Probe
Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau’s criminal investigation into last month’s fatal fire at the former Deutsche Bank building is not limited to the contractors on the demolition project, a source tells UnderCover. Morgenthau is also taking a close look at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s board of directors, who last year approved the contract for John Galt Corp., a company with alleged ties to organized crime, according to our source.

Dog days
The ever-present issues of dog conduct in Battery Park City surfaced again Tuesday night at the Community Board 1 B.P.C. Committee meeting. Committee chairperson Linda Belfer complained of dog owners (one rude “dame” in particular) leaving doo-doo in the planters by the World Financial Center and elsewhere because they forget to bring extra baggies to clean up the mess.

A committee member suggested that other property owners should install the type of dog refuse bag dispensers that line the River Terrace sidewalk in the north neighborhood. Board member and local dog advocate Jeff Galloway responded that property owners don’t want to put out the doggie bags because they think it encourages dog owners to be lazy about bringing their own bags, as well as tacitly acknowledging the presence of dogs in supposedly dog-free areas.

“But the dogs are going to be there no matter what,” Belfer protested. “That’s like wanting your kids not to have sex, so you don’t tell them about condoms.”

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