Volume 16 • Issue 21 | October 21 - 27, 2003


NEWS IN BRIEF



Downtown local

Seaportcelebration
Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Charles Gargano, chairperson of the Empire State Development Corp., are expected to visit the South St. Seaport Wednesday to celebrate the beginning of construction on 14 historic sites along Front St. and Peck Slip.

John Evans of Sciame Development, one of the partners that bought the sites from the city this year, said pile and foundation work has started on the three vacant sites and major restoration work is expected to begin on the 11, 19th century buildings soon. Frank Sciame Jr. and his partner, Richard Berry are building housing.

The deteriorating buildings were owned by the city. Over the last 15 years, the city designated two other developers for the site, only to have to go thorough the lengthy process of regaining control of the buildings.


Greek coins
The American Numismatic Society opened a free, year-long exhibition, “Full Circle: The Olympic Heritage in Coins and Medals,” on Mon. Oct. 20 on the ground floor of the New York Federal Reserve Bank at 33 Liberty St.

The exhibit, celebrating the return in 2004 of the summer Olympics to Greece, the land of its founding, will be part of the coin society’s long-term exhibit, “Drachmas, Doubloons and Dollars: A History of Money,” on the ground floor of the landmarked Federal Reserve Bank.

The Olympics exhibit illustrates the origins of the games and their rebirth and development in modern times through more than 180 artifacts including ancient Greek coins, vases and athletic equipment. From the modern games, a rare 1896 winners medal will be part of the exhibit.

The Olympics exhibit will be part of the larger exhibit until Oct. 2004. The history of money exhibit will be on view at the Federal Reserve until December 2006. Exhibition hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Wheelchair access is from the Maiden Lane entrance.

The American Numismatic Society is converting its recently acquired building at 96 Fulton St. at the corner of William St. for a move Downtown from its long-time headquarters in Audubon Terrace on W. 155th St. Pamela Wright, A.N.S. director of development and public programs, said the move is expected to be complete in January.


Rat talk
On Mon., Oct. 27, Councilmember Alan Gerson will host a district-wide sanitation, sewer and rodent summit to identify problems in these areas. The meeting will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the City Council office at 250 Broadway, 16th floor. Those wishing to participate should call Gerson’s office in advance at (212) 788-7722.


Wedding pictures
Downtown Express photographer Lorenzo Ciniglio, 34, married Jennifer Weisbord, 33, at the Yale Club on Oct. 12. Weisbord, a New York Post photographer, and Ciniglio are Tribeca residents and are currently honeymooning in San Francisco.


C.B. 1 meetings
The upcoming week’s schedule of Community Board 1 meetings is as follows:

On Tues., Oct. 21 C. B. 1 will hold its monthly full-board meeting at 6 p.m. in Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s Office, 250 Broadway, 19th floor.

On Mon., Oct. 27, the Waterfront Committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. in room 709 of 49-51 Chambers St. to discuss Eastside waterfront plans nd Governors Island.

On Tues., Oct. 28, the Youth and Education Committee will meet at 6 p.m. in room 709 of 49-51 Chambers St. to discuss funding for the youth bureau, youth programs of C.B.1, a progress report on the proposed elementary/intermediate school at N.Y.U. Downtown Hospital site parking lot, the spring youth fair, and a report on the meeting with the regional superintendent.

On Wed., Oct. 29, Friends of C.B. 1 will hold a fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. at the Regent wall Street Ballroom. For tickets, call the board office at (212) 442-5050.


Subway birthday
It’s almost time to sing happy birthday for the 100th time to New York City’s subway system, and plans are underway for centennial celebrations sponsored by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and subway rider advocacy groups like the Straphangers Campaign.

New York’s first subway line, the I.R.T., or Interborough Rapid Transit, opened on Thurs., Oct. 27, 1904. The following Sunday, almost a million New Yorkers tried to ride the 9.1 miles of track between City Hall and 145th St., according to the M.T.A.

“It was crowded on first day, and it never became uncrowded,” laughed Roxanne Robertson, director of special projects for the New York Transit Museum.

The M.T.A. is planning a yearlong program of commemorative events, including a re-enactment of the first subway ride and other nostalgic train runs, exhibits of subway memorabilia and performances from Music Under New York, a part of the MTA’s Arts for Transit program.

The Straphangers, along with a public transportation advocacy alliance called the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, are offering subway riders a chance to take part in the planning, too. Anyone can visit the Straphanger’s Web site to submit suggestions for the best way to salute the centennial; 10 winners will receive free 7-day unlimited MetroCards.

“We got over 500 entries in just a few days,” said Neysa Pranger, the Straphanger’s campaign coordinator, but she says she won’t look at them until the 5 p.m. deadline on Oct. 27, 2003. Winning suggestions will also be sent to the M.T.A.


Info request for the E.P.A.
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler and others submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Environmental Protection Agency last week, asking for records relating to the agency’s response to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

On Monday, Councilmember Alan Gerson joined Nadler and concerned residents on the steps of City Hall to urge the E.P.A. to comply with the F.O.I.A. request and also to clean up remaining W.T.C. dust in Lower Manhattan.

In a detailed letter, Nadler and two Congressional colleagues requested all physical and electronic records and documents related to communication between the White House and the E.P.A. from Sept. 11, 2001 to the present. A report issued in August by the E.P.A.’s own Inspector General revealed that the White House encouraged the E.P.A. to downplay possible health risks in the weeks following the terrorist attacks. Nadler also requested all drafts of the Inspector General report and internal E.P.A. e-mails sent among high-ranking officials, along with other materials.

“I am hopeful that by issuing this F.O.I.A. request, we can get to the bottom of who at the E.P.A. and White House was responsible for making decisions that repeatedly put the health and lives of New Yorkers at risk,” Nadler said in a prepared statement.

The Freedom of Information Act is a law that helps interested parties gain access to government records and documents that are often unavailable by any other means. In his letter to the E.P.A., Nadler voiced hopes that his request would not have to go through the full F.O.I.A. treatment, an often time-consuming process.


Health registry
To date, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has received more than 14,500 calls from people interested in enrolling in its World Trade Center health registry, and more than 9,000 have completed the telephone health survey, according to agency spokesperson Greg Butler. The agency is still encouraging people to enroll. Those eligible include the following:

People who were in a building, on the street, or on the subway south of Chambers St. on Sept. 11, 2001. Those who were in the area only after 12:00 p.m. must have spent a few hours in the area to qualify. But if there are specific questions about eligibility, it’s best to call and speak with a counselor, Butler said. The pre-screening questionnaire does not mention the noon cutoff time. Butler said this was because officials did not want too many people to rule themselves out before registering,

Workers and volunteers involved in rescue, recovery, clean up or other activities at the W.T.C. site and/or W.T.C. Recovery Operations on Staten Island any time between 9/11/01 and 6/30/02.

Students and staff at schools (pre K-12) or day care centers south of Canal St. on 9/11/01.

People who were living south of Canal St. on 9/11/01.

To enroll, call 1-866-NYC-WTCR (1-866-692-9827) or visit www.wtcregistry.org.


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