Volume 17 • Issue 4 | June 18 - 24, 2004

Downtown local

Downtown Express photo by Robert Stolarik

Sea work
Stanley was one of the budding artists who worked on a mural entitled “By Land or… By Sea –NYC” at the Seaport last Saturday. The mural was auctioned off later in the day for $130. The event was organized by Art Without Walls, Inc., a non-profit group that sponsors art therapy programs for the terminally ill and handicapped.

Retail resolution
Stores like a Nordstrom department store or a Whole Foods market should serve as anchor tenants in the World Trade Center retail plans, Community Board 1 recommended in a June 15 resolution.

Forty-eight percent of Lower Manhattan residents leave the neighborhood for their daily shopping, according to a recent survey conducted by Friends of Community Board 1. The same survey found that residents ranked the restoration of local retail services as the most important improvement that would entice tem to remain in the neighborhood.

In its resolution, C.B. 1 urged the Port Authority to build the retail space as soon as possible and not delay until the five commercial towers are built on the World Trade Center site. Downtowners don’t want to wait for “an eclectic mix of unique and interesting retailers and restaurants” for a shopping experiences that would go “well beyond the typical mix of national stores found in most malls,” the resolution said.

Resolutions passed by the city’s 59 community boards are advisory in nature. However, as C.B. 1 chairperson Madelyn Wils said at the board’s monthly meeting on June 15, C.B. 1 enjoys more influence than most other boards.

“We have become insiders in a discussion that normally we would be outsiders in,” Wils said. She attributed this to the board’s position near the former World Trade Center site and also to her involvement on the boards of other organizations, including the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

Silver backs South Ferry plan
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has dropped his opposition to the proposed renovation of the South Ferry subway station.

The source said Silver agreed to reverse his effective veto of the plan because the Metropolitan Transportation Authority pledged to spend about $15 million more on improvements to Battery Park, which will be damaged during construction. Silver and two of his closest allies in Lower Manhattan, Madelyn Wils, chairperson of Community Board 1, and Carl Weisbrod, president of the Downtown Alliance, had opposed using $450 million of 9/11 related money on a project that they argued would do more to move commuters from Staten Island to Midtown than it would to help Downtown. The source said Wils and Weisbrod agreed to the new deal.

The M.T.A. and many Staten Island commuters argue that the renovation would turn a tiny, unsafe and crowded station into a modern stop where commuters and tourists heading for the Statue of Liberty ferry don’t battle for space. The project is also expected to speed up the 1 and 9 trains.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Silver are planning to announce the agreement in Battery Park on June 18.

Fatal car crash
The driver of a blue sedan going south on Allen St. at about 3 a.m. Mon. June 14 struck a westbound car on Grand St., killing a woman passenger and injuring the other driver, police said. Investigating officers arrested Neville Wells, 41, of 347 First Ave., at the scene and charged him with driving while intoxicated. The victim, Judith Gubernikoff, 39, of East Hills, N.Y., was taken to Bellevue where she was declared dead. The driver of the car in which she was riding was taken to Bellevue in stable condition.

Blood drive
The Battery Park City Neighbor’s Association along with CERT, the neighborhood’s Certified Emergency Response Team, will co-sponsor a blood drive with the New York Blood Center on Monday, June 28 at the World Financial Center from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The drive will take place at the north balcony of the Winter Garden Atrium. Donation appointments can be made via e-mail at blooddrive@bpc-cert.org.

Platters play Downtown
The third annual free Summerfest concert is at City Hall Park this weekend. Friday night, Alyson Williams, Amp Fiddler and Rhian Benson will play from 5 p.m.- 8p.m. On Saturday, The Shangri-Las and The Platters will play in the afternoon from 1 p.m. –3 p.m. J & R Music, sponsors of the event, will also be holding its annual Jazzfest in the park in August.

C.B. 1 meetings
The upcoming week’s schedule of Community Board 1 committee meetings is as follows. All meetings listed will be held in room 709 of 49-51 Chambers St.

On June 21, the waterfront, Financial District, and Seaport/Civic Center committees will meet together at 6 p.m. to hear a presentation by the Economic Development Corporation on the East River waterfront plan.

On June 22, the youth and education committee will meet at 6 p.m. to discuss the annex at P.S. 234, a progress report on the East Side K-8 school, fourth grade test scores, and Millennium High School admission figures.

On June 24, the art and entertainment task force will meet at 6 p.m. to discuss the proposed temporary art installation entitled “Freedom of Expression National Monument” by Creative Time at Foley Square.

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