Volume 21, Number 12 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | August 1 - 7, 2008
General Growth Properties won’t let anyone say they aren’t considering community input on their proposed overhaul of Pier 17.
At a public meeting on General Growth’s plans earlier this month, parents and community board members pushed for General Growth to add a school. After the meeting, General Growth reps cornered several parents to ask them for a meeting.
“They’re chasing us down,” said Carolyn Happy, whose daughter is entering second grade at P.S. 89. She and other parents suggested waiting to meet until September, when everyone is back from vacation, but General Growth insisted on meeting immediately.
Neither side is commenting on what they discussed at their first meeting last week, but Laurel Blatchford, vice president of development with General Growth, said they are focusing on the need for elementary seats.
“This is the biggest issue we’ve heard from the community,” she said. “Consistently, it’s far and away the No. 1 concern.”
Blatchford added that she thinks the community amenities General Growth is already offering, including a 30,000-square-foot community center, are generous.
Talk about quotes you want to take back. Chad Marlow, who’s working on State Sen. Marty Connor’s reelection campaign, ripped into Connor’s opponent, Daniel Squadron, telling the New York Observer that the challenger’s campaign literature taking credit for helping get a $3 billion transportation bond act passed “is like the guy who cleaned Michelangelo’s brushes telling people he helped paint the Sistine Chapel.”
Marlow challenged Squadron to “identify one respected, independent leader in the fight for better public transportation in New York City who would identify him as a major player in securing those funds.”
There’s probably no one who fits Marlow’s challenge better than Gene Russianoff, longtime attorney of the Straphangers Campaign, but guess what, Russianoff said Squadron’s flier is accurate.
Kiss and make up
St. Sen. Tom Duane, New York’s first openly gay senator, gave St. Sen. Marty Connor a kiss on the cheek before endorsing Connor’s reelection bid at City Hall Tuesday. Duane did not want to go into the reasons why he helped then State Sen. David Paterson topple Connor as minority leader six years ago, but he did say his opinion of Connor has not changed since then and that his previous opposition only makes his endorsement now “more powerful.”
Duane was joined by seven other Democratic senators including Bill Perkins, who took a dig at U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer for endorsing Connor’s opponent, Daniel Sqaudron. “I think Chuck’s loyal to his staff and we’re loyal to what’s best for New York State,” Perkins told reporters.
St. Sen. Jeff Klein called Connor “our friend, our lawyer,” in reference to the Downtown senator moonlighting as an election attorney.
Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver has been there when Mariama James needed him, so James figured she’d return the favor — and she ended up with a starring roll in Silver’s glossy campaign literature, which he is using to fend off primary challenges from Luke Henry and Paul Newell.
The leaflet’s dramatic color pages tell the story: During the ’06-’07 school year, the city cut the school bus James’s 5-year-old daughter used to get from the Seaport to P.S. 234 each day. The city wanted James’s daughter and 40 other East Side elementary kids to use the subway or a bus that stopped 10 blocks away. James went to Silver for help, and Silver got the school bus service restored.
So when Silver’s reelection campaign called James recently and asked if she would go on record about what happened, she didn’t hesitate.
“That’s just one of the reasons,” James told UnderCover. “He was also an opponent of congestion pricing. I was very thankful that he squashed that. I thought it was a classist, racist piece of legislation. It was horrible.”
While many blame Silver for congestion pricing’s defeat — or credit him with it, as the case may be — he actually maintains that he supported it.
Chris Martin — who has rocked the cold waters of the Hudson River for five years, as opposed to the other Chris Martin who rocks for Coldplay — will be leaving as vice president of marketing and public affairs of the Hudson River Park Trust Friday to join Olgivy and Mather next week. Our Martin, in addition to serving as the Trust’s chief spokesperson, also helped organize the park events including River Rocks concerts. He will be marketing brands for OlgivyAction, a division of the international conglomerate.