Volume 21, Number 26 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | November 7 - 12, 2008
I rap and I vote Rapper Busta Rhymes showed up on Hudson St. Tuesday and announced This is the first time Im voting. After hugs from some fans, the Tribecan went into the booth and cast his ballot. Then he hopped in his silver Rolls and rode off.
Albany calendar If you think Dan Squadrons victory in the Downtown State Senate race Tuesday means a 28-year-old newcomer will be taking office determined to help reform Albany, youre wrong. Squadron turns 29 next week. Happy birthday early, senator.
Fiterman funding City Councilmember Alan Gerson had potential good news for UnderCover this week on Fiterman Hall, the CUNY building just north of ground zero that was damaged on 9/11. Last we heard, the city was refusing to put up the $70 million or so needed to rebuild Fiterman, although the state had already agreed to pay much more than that. And this was before the current budget crisis.
But Gerson said this week that he recently had a conversation with Mayor Mike Bloomberg that turned things around.
The mayor said to me, Just stay seated, Gerson told UnderCover. Theres going to be an announcement on that very, very soon. I think theyre going to reach an agreement with the state and CUNY for funding to come together.
We didnt ask developer Larry Silverstein what he thinks about the city possibly putting up the money to replace the eyesore that is Fiterman Hall, which sits across from Silversteins 7 W.T.C. But if the city actually comes through this time, we can imagine Silversteins response: Finally!
Double celebration What was Blake Zeff, the New York State communications director for Barack Obama, doing three days before the election? Getting married, of course.
Zeff, 31, also worked for Sen. Hillary Clintons campaign before joining Obama several months ago, so one would expect that hed keep the last few days before the election open.
Please dont use my sense of judgment and timing as any indication of Senator Obamas, Zeff wrote in an e-mail to reporters before taking off for 48 hours.
Zeff married Patricia Biggins, 28, at Round Hill in Washingtonville, N.Y., according to The New York Times.
The pair first made eye contact on the subway in Washington, D.C. five years ago, but they did not speak until months later when they recognized each other at a bar.
Museum divided? There appears to be a difference of opinion between the leaders of the South Street Seaport Museum over General Growth Properties proposed redevelopment of Pier 17.
Back in June when General Growth unveiled its plans, museum chairperson Frank Sciame, who is a Seaport developer himself, praised the designs, saying they were just what the neighborhood needed. Apart from making the project economically viable, he liked the look of the 500-foot condo and hotel tower General Growth wants to build just north of the pier.
But at a Community Board 1 hearing on the project last week, Mary Pelzer, the museums executive director, said the museum had not taken a position for or against the development. She asked the community board to remember to support the museum regardless of what happens with General Growth.
Friendly resolution Years of dispute over the bank account of the Friends of Lower Manhattan (formerly Friends of Community Board 1) may come to an end soon when State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo approves a plan to distribute the last of the organizations money.
Madelyn Wils, who led the Friends of C.B. 1 while she chaired the board and changed the name when she left the board in 2005, expects to disperse the funds very shortly.
C.B. 1 already received $15,000 from the Friends and is slated for another roughly $50,000. The money will be especially welcome as the city continues threatening to cut community board budgets, district manager Noah Pfefferblit said.
After writing a check to the community board, the Friends of Lower Manhattan will divide its remaining $210,000 between the Hudson River Park Trust and Millennium High School, Wils said. The Trust will put the money toward benches and shade structures. At Millennium, the money will be starting funds for a scholarship given to college-bound graduates for books and travel expenses. Friends helped raise the money to open Millennium after 9/11.