THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN — Volume 18 • Issue 41 | February 24 - March 2, 2006

Editorial
An independent, W.T.C. report is needed and will take time
Gov. George Pataki’s artificial deadline for the Port Authority and Larry Silverstein to resolve their financial dispute at the World Trade Center site is fast approaching. Mayor Mike Bloomberg has sided with the Port and says Silverstein won’t have the money to build five offices at the site and his numbers just don’t add up.

Downtown Notebook
A mirror to the world’s problems right here at home
By Wickham Boyle
I have a host of things to do today, but instead of returning phone calls, or assembling tax papers I am worrying.
Anxiety is not on my list of things to achieve. On that list is mastering the morass that is Medicaid for my 91-year-old father, unlocking the secrets of managed health care in an attempt to get a second opinion on my 17-year-old son’s wrist which seems to remain, in medical parlance “unstable,” which renders it pretty much useless.

The Penny Post
The festival cannot be televised
By Andrei Codrescu
You’re craving carbs and you’re moodier than an eel slipping off a plate. Let’s just say that the body, weakened by intensity and decibels, feels that it’s coming apart like a string of cheap beads. It won’t. We are resilient. This is the way the body has met the challenges of Mardi Gras in the past, stretched to the limit beyond which there is nothing by the infinite boredom of suburbs. But this year there are no suburbs. All there is is old New Orleans twisted and coiled around its festive stubborness.


Letters to the editor

Under Cover

Police Blotter

Downtown Express photo by Jefferson Siegel
Calling for help
This payphone at the west end of Chambers St. perhaps was reaching out for repairs Tuesday.


In Briefs

A peek at Poets House

Synagogue in limbo

Transit problems


Youth/ Sports
Alarming adventure without leaving a country home
By Jane Flanagan
As a grownup, I sometimes forget what it’s like to be a kid. There are moments I’m caught off guard. One night at our house in Connecticut, I was home with my son Rusty, 7. Earlier that day he watched the movie, “Home Alone,” and was now terrified of burglars.

Downtown Express photo by Talisman Brolin

Stella Jiler, a P.S. 234 first grader, smashed a plate last week symbolizing the mayor’s broken promise to build a P.S. 234 school annex in Tribeca and a K-8 school on Downtown’s East Side. Dep. Mayor Dan Doctoroff signed a letter to the community in which he said the city “has provided for $44 million” in the capital budget to build the East Side school in exchange for local support for two Tribeca development projects.<more>

C.B. 1 lashes out at state bill to move 9/11 material from Fresh Kills
By Ronda Kaysen
Community Board 1 voiced its opposition to a bill in Albany to move World Trade Center debris buried in Fresh Kills that some family members say contains human remains.

News
Indie agency should referee W.T.C. dispute, Stringer says
By Josh Rogers
Borough President Scott Stringer is calling for a speedy, independent examination of the World Trade Center site’s finances to determine whose estimates are more accurate: developer Larry Silverstein or Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who wants the Port Authority to take back two of the sites from Silverstein.

Board fines Lopez $170,000 for ’01 campaign
By Lincoln Anderson
After more than four years, the Campaign Finance Board last Thursday finally wrapped up its audit of former City Councilmember Margarita Lopez’s finances from her 2001 re-election campaign.


INSIDE

What school annex? Mayor ignores Tribeca amenity at ceremony
By Ronda Kaysen
It was as if the two schools never existed at all. Mayor Bloomberg celebrated the groundbreaking of a Tribeca residential development last week, rattling off a list of amenities bestowed upon the neighborhood – a Whole Foods Market, a Barnes and Noble, a recreation center. Missing from the list were the most significant amenities of the entire deal: two schools he once promised the community in exchange for the development.

Stringer wants reform, new blood on community boards
By Lincoln Anderson
Vowing to make good on his campaign promise of community board reform, Scott Stringer, the new Manhattan borough president, recently unveiled an array of initiatives to improve community board performance, accountability and oversight.

They fly through the air with ease (inside a tent)
By Judith Stiles
While some athletes crave extreme sports such as sky surfing, which involves jumping from an airplane, with a parachute and a board attached to your boots, Marti Kennedy flies through the air with the greatest of ease in a more moderate thrill-seeking adventure, which she experiences right here in the Big Apple, closer to terra firma

Tribeca boy dies choking on a pill
By Alex Schmidt
The last result a parent would expect from attempting to aid a child’s nutritional intake through vitamin supplements would be the death of the child. Yet that was the very nightmare that visited Marcy Lynn and Wayne Burkey when their 4-year-old son, Cooper Burkey, choked on a vitamin pill last Thursday in front of his mother and twin sister.

Condo project hammers small shops into new spaces
By Chad Smith
Businesses don’t usually pack up and leave a few months shy of a 50-year anniversary. But this spring, Dick’s Hardware at 205 Pearl St. will be doing just that. There’s simply no choice.

Looking for solutions to small businesses’ big problems
By Ronda Kaysen
Laura Stevens knew her upstart theater company had outgrown its fourth floor walkup playhouse on Broadway and White St. Every weekend, throngs of New York parents slung strollers over their shoulders and hauled their kids to Manhattan Children’s Theater performances. Stevens and her partner, Bruce Merrill, knew they had to jump to a larger house if they wanted their fledgling company to grow. But as a nonprofit, they were stuck – wholly dependent upon ticket sales and grants, they lacked the capital to make a move.

Another judge denies injunction on Critical Mass
By Jefferson Siegel
Last week a State Supreme Court judge issued a ruling against the city’s attempts to halt the Critical Mass bike ride and force the cyclists to obtain a permit for their monthly event. Soon after the decision was released, the city’s Law Department said it would appeal.


Downtown Arts & Entertainment

Live, from Utah, a story of survival
By Scott Harrah
Steven Fales had all the makings of a “model” Mormon. A sixth-generation Utah Mormon who was a missionary in Portugal, he graduated from Brigham Young University, married the daughter of a famous Mormon writer, and fathered two children. The trouble is, Fales is gay, and he was forced to go through “reparative therapy” and was eventually excommunicated from the Mormon Church for being “gender-disoriented.”

Oedipus remixed: hip-hop meets Greek tragedy
By Steven Snyder
Some plays strike that elusive spark with an audience, sending a current of electricity pulsing through the theater. Will Power’s “The Seven” is a lightning storm of energy and inventiveness, a wholly unique experiment of reinterpretation that leaves some audience members cheering, others befuddled, but all whipped silly by a theatrical experience flipped upside down.

Movie critic takes director’s seat in ‘Home’
By Steven Snyder
Matt Zoller Seitz said he was always one of those people at parties who observed the action from the sidelines, taking in the stories and characters that only seem to come alive when alcohol, friends, and streams of strangers all mix together.

The Last Bohemian
By Jerry Tallmer
Irene, the beautiful Cuban, in the second stanza above — that would be Maria Irene Fornes, even then, in the early ’60s, an oncoming and most irreverent playwright. Today an internationally celebrated playwright, director, and teacher of drama, but when Edward Field first knew her, or first heard of her, she was merely one member of a ménage à trois, the other two legs of which, if one may put it that way, were Susan Sontag the brainy writer and Harriet Sohmers the stunning 6-foot Art Students League model.

A colonel, a captain, and defiance
By Jerry Tallmer
John Patrick Shanley, born October 13, 1950, in the Bronx, New York, went into the Marine Corps at age 19, toward the beginning of the winding down of the Vietnam War, at what turned out, he says, “to be the nadir of Corps history in race relations, race riots, drug abuse, and court-martial overload.”


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