Volume 20, Number 44 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | March 16 - 22, 2011

Downtown Digest

Crash highlights urgency of bus bill
A tour bus from Chinatown crashed on I-95 in the Bronx Saturday morning, killing 13 people and injuring a few dozen others.

The horrific accident prompted NY State Senator Daniel Squadron to press the Senate to move quickly in passing a bill he proposed in early February.

The proposed legislation would regulate intercity passenger buses through a permit system, which would include assigning pick-up and drop-off locations to bus drivers and provide for community input in regulating enforcement of the rules.

The bill, Squadron said, would create a new degree of oversight and help the city better implement federal safety regulations.

“As our entire community mourns the lives lost in the tragic bus crash this weekend, we must work to guarantee that crashes like this one do not happen ever again,” said Squadron.

“Inaction is not an option,” he said. “The federal, state and city governments must act now to keep passengers safe.”

District One Councilmember Margaret Chin issued a written statement about the bus crash, saying, “I am deeply saddened to learn of the terrible accident that occurred early this morning. My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones, and to all those injured in this tragic accident. The details of this morning’s bus crash are truly frightening… I want to thank the New York State Police, NYPD, and emergency personnel for their quick response and work on the scene. I want to recognize the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs, 5th Precinct, and Red Cross Disaster Relief for providing support to those affected by this tragedy.”

Check-ups recommended for post-9/11 Downtown children
The 9/11 Environmental Action and pediatric specialists from the World Trade Center Environmental Health Center at Bellevue Hospital are hosting a forum on how they’re treating 9/11 victims. The event will take place on Wednesday, March 30, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Manhattan Youth Community Center.

“What’s really key here is that parents understand the World Trade Center specialized services that are being offered to affected children and teens at absolutely no out-of-pocket cost,” said 9/11 health advocate Kimberly Flynn.

The forum, she explained, will provide updates to Downtown parents on the most recent findings of 9/11 health impacts on youths. Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment available to Downtown children and teenagers will be discussed.

Out of the 30-to-35,000 youths enlisted in the W.T.C. Health Registry, only about 70 are currently receiving treatment from the above-mentioned specialists. “Where are those children? We want them to see specialists,” said Flynn.

Seating is limited. To R.S.V.P., call (212) 330-7658. Chinese and Spanish translation services will be offered during the event.

City waterfront plan is released
On Monday, N.Y.C. Department of City Planning announced Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, a ten-year vision for the future of the city’s shoreline.

The plan, the culmination of a year-long participatory planning process, offers a framework for additional water transportation, public access to the waterfront and economic opportunities aimed at making the water part of New Yorkers’ everyday lives, according to the D.C.P.

The city also plans to improve water quality through measures that benefit natural habitats, support public recreation and enhance waterfront and upland activities, in addition to restoring degraded natural waterfront areas and protecting wetlands and shorefront habitats.

“The final plan released today incorporates extensive [community] input and represents a consensus vision of multiple city agencies,” said D.C.P. Director Amanda Burden. “With this plan, we will help ensure the health of our waterways, the strength of our port, the ecological vitality of natural habitat, the enjoyment of the shoreline, and the economic benefits of public and private investment in our waterfront,” she said.

NY Downtown Hospital honors City Comptroller John Liu
NYC Comptroller John Liu was honored for his “inspiring leadership” and “fiscal responsibility on behalf of the people of the city” by New York Downtown Hospital in a ceremony last Wednesday.

Jeffrey Menkes, president and chief executive officer of Downtown Hospital, along with Mordechai Hoschander, president of the medical board, presented the plaque to Liu, commemorating his tireless dedication to the hospital and the city.

The hospital issued a statement, saying, “In his years in office, Liu has sharpened the tools of the Comptroller’s Office to make government more efficient and accountable to the people. New York Downtown Hospital recognizes Liu’s efforts and his trailblazing role as the first Asian-American to be elected to citywide office.”


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