Lower Manhattan’s Local News
Brewer, Chin, and Community Groups Tell Mayor: See You in Court
Borough President and City Council Member to Hold Rally This Morning to Underscore Objections to Planned Development at Two Bridges
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Margaret Chin will hold a rally today (Wednesday, June 5), starting at 9:00 am, outside the Municipal Building to build support for their ongoing lawsuit against the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, over City Hall’s plans to erect a string of super-tall towers along the East River waterfront in Lower Manhattan.
Ms. Brewer and Ms. Chin, along with City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, filed suit last December to stop a package of four proposed residential highrises, which will bring a total of more than 2,700 new apartments to the community situated between the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges, more than tripling the number of residences in the area.
At issue is the approval granted by the City Planning Commission (CPC) of a streamlined process that would allow all of the controversial projects to avoid the full legal scrutiny of the City’s “uniform land use review procedure” (ULURP), and instead move ahead under a less-rigorous standard of review, limited to an environmental impact statement. This was made possible by the CPC’s determination in December that the addition of four new skyscrapers, reaching as high as 1,000 feet, qualifies as a “minor modification” to existing zoning for the area. If this claim by the CPC (which is controlled by Mayor de Blasio) is allowed to stand, it will also preempt the legal authority of the City Council to review, and possibly veto, these projects.
In their lawsuit, Ms. Brewer and Ms. Chin argue that, “such developments are required to be completed with the consultation and advice of the community, including the New York City Council, the Borough President and the Community Board.” They also charge that, “aside from the clear and incontrovertible statutory requirements mandating the application of ULURP, [the City’s] claim that this application, which includes the addition of more than 2,700 dwelling units in three skyscrapers on a single block, is simply a ‘minor modification’ is nothing short of irrational, arbitrary and capricious and is incorrect as a matter of law.”
Ms. Brewer said shortly after the suit was filed that, “City Planning’s staff and the Commission have exceeded their legal authority. They used a made-up process and made-up standards to approve these towers without the full land use review and Council approval that’s required. I don’t like suing the Mayor or his agencies, but if that’s what it takes to get the residents of Two Bridges the full review and real negotiation they’re entitled to under the law, then I’m all in.”
Ms. Chin added that, “this lawsuit was made necessary by the actions of the Department of City Planning and this Administration. My colleagues and I could not stand by as an entire neighborhood’s worth of rezoning was categorized as a ‘minor modification.’ The residents of Two Bridges deserve a full public review process and I will not rest until they receive it.”
In February, Ms. Brewer’s and Ms. Chin’s legal action took on a new dimension, when lawyers representing the Borough President and the City Council uncovered decades-old legal covenants meant to ensure that one of the development sites would remain set aside for the elderly, low income residents, and those with disabilities, in perpetuity. The possible abrogation of this deed restriction, “is akin to the City’s disastrous decision to lift a deed on a parcel of land at the former Rivington House in 2015,” according to revised court papers. This was a reference to the controversial move by the de Blasio administration to sell to a private developer (at a fraction of its market value) a building that had been dedicated to the care of people suffering from AIDS. That developer then closed the facility and sold the building (at a profits of tens of millions of dollars) to another real estate operator, who moved ahead with plans for a market-rate, high-rise condominium.
“Like Rivington, which is in the same Council District as Two Bridges, the lifting of the deed would negatively impact a community struggling to remain affordable for all New Yorkers,” the updated lawsuit alleges.
In March, a second lawsuit was filed by a coalition of community groups, who allege that the planned developments will cause irreparable harm to their neighborhood. The group, which includes the Lower East Side Organized Neighbors, the Chinese Staff and Workers Association, and the Asian American Legal Defense Fund, argues in their court filings that the proposed buildings, “are a catalyst for cumulative environmental damage to the broader Lower East Side and Chinatown neighborhood and beyond.”
Stabilization = Community
To the Editor,
Since the GPTA Rally for Rent Stabilization ended abruptly when the skies opened up, I did not get the chance to express my gratitude to many and to convey some important information.
On behalf of GPTA and all of Gateway, I want to express our sincere gratitude to Congressman Nadler, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and Council Member Margaret Chin for joining us at the rally and standing with us in solidarity (and in the rain).
I would also like to acknowledge the GPTA Board. We all we are all so fortunate to have an Executive Committee with vast knowledge and expertise working for us…
1stVP- Robin Forst, Secretary- Jeff Galloway. Treasurer- Karlene Wiese (who has served longer than anyone in the history of GPTA). We are also so fortunate to have Board members with a variety of talents and strengths and most of all commitment….Honey Berk, Sarah Cassell, Audrey Comisky. Larry Emert, Pat Gray., Howard Grossman, Bruce Katz, Steve Kessler and Ninfa Segarra.
Without the help of the Battery Park City Authority, BJ Jones, Eric Munson, Nick Sbordone, Nidia Reeder, and the wonderful staff at BPCParks, this rally would not have been possible. Thank you.
As for next steps, GPTA urges you to STAY ENGAGED!
If you are not already a member, join GPTA (gpta.org), follow us on Twitter and Facebook, write letters, make calls, attend meetings of CB1 and
make your voice heard.
If you want to stay up-to-date on what is happening, please take a moment and email the words, “I’M IN” to email@example.com. We will keep you informed of any updates and let you know what you can do to help.
At Sunday’s rally, there was a sign on the stage which read “We built this (BP)City.” Like many of you, I have lived in Gateway for almost 30 years and I know that it is and has always been the anchor of Battery Park City.
We believe that Stabilization = Community and there is no other community quite like our Gateway community. The Rent Stabilization Agreement must be preserved and extended for all. I think we can agree, living in Gateway is like living in a small town. And in my opinion, it is the best small town in the Big Apple.
Thank you all… let’s keep up the fight!!!
To the Editor:
The article, “Pupil Protection,” published April 1, 2019, notes the unfortunate shortage of School Crossing Guards (SCGs) in our area, especially at and around PS89 in Battery Park City. It’s been two months since the article appeared, and there seem to still be no “permanent” crossing guards for PS89.
As a parent, every day I see the dangers to our kids posed by irresponsible drivers creeping into crosswalks at red lights, blocking crosswalks with their vehicles, out-of-state cars illegally turning right-on-red, and others speeding to make green or yellow lights; that’s in addition to equally irresponsible bicycle riders heading the wrong way on streets, careening through red lights, riding on sidewalks, and speeding recklessly along the West Street bikeway. I would love to see multiple SCGs posted at the intersections around PS89 (and other schools). It would especially be nice to have local residents as crossing guards since they would have a familiarity with the neighborhood, and also have a more heightened and direct interest in its safety.
For anyone interested, our NYPD Neighborhood Coordination Officers can be contacted with questions at 212-334-6462, or firstname.lastname@example.org (Officer Bodden) and email@example.com (Officer Tasoren). A
lso, there is an online registration at: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nypd/careers/civilians/school-crossing-guard.page.
Wednesday June 5
Elements of Nature Drawing
Battery Park City Parks
Get inspired by the beautiful expanse of the Hudson River & New York Harbor. Embolden your artwork amidst the flower-filled and seasonally evolving palette of Wagner Park’s verdant gardens. An artist/educator will provide ideas and instruction. Materials provided. Wagner Park. FREE
BPC Adult Chorus
Battery Park City Parks
Figure Al Fresco
Battery Park City Parks
Battery Park City Parks
New York Recentered: Building the Metropolis from the Shore
Sashiko Mending Techniques with Althea Gaskin-Fuerich
South Street Seaport Museum
Take a beautiful Sail Around New York on a historic 1885 schooner! See the sights of New York Harbor from the decks of the historic 130-year-old schooner PIONEER. The vessel, first launched in 1885, was built as an iron-hulled sloop to carry cargo along the Delaware River. Bring your family for an afternoon sail, a date for a sunset sail, or just yourself to enjoy history at sea. Get a new perspective on New York City with a sail on PIONEER. The best way to experience the harbor, without crowds, cars, and chaos. Bring a picnic lunch or dinner, afternoon snack, beverages or a bottle of wine to enjoy on your sail. Pier 16 (box office at 12 Fulton Street). $28-$42
Let’s celebrate our graduates during the month of June.
Send us a picture and 100 words about your graduate or your own achievement.Pre-K through Ph.D
Today in History
AD 70 – Titus and his Roman legions breach the middle wall of Jerusalemin the Siege of Jerusalem.
1817 – The first Great Lakes steamer, the Frontenac, is launched.
1851 – Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery serial, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly, starts a ten-month run in the National Era abolitionist newspaper.
1862 – As the Treaty of Saigon is signed, ceding parts of southern Vietnam to France, the guerrilla leader Trương Định decides to defy Emperor Tự Đức of Vietnam and fight on against the Europeans.
1873 – Sultan Barghash bin Said of Zanzibar closes the great slave marketunder the terms of a treaty with Great Britain.
1883 – The first regularly scheduled Orient Express departs Paris.
1893 – Lizzie Borden’s trial begins in New Bedford, Massachusetts, on the subject of the Borden Murders.
1916 – World War I: The Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire breaks out.
1917 – World War I: Conscription begins in the United States as “Army registration day”.
1933 – The U.S. Congress abrogates the United States’ use of the gold standard by enacting a joint resolution (48 Stat. 112) nullifying the right of creditors to demand payment in gold.
1941 – World War II: Four thousand Chongqing residents are asphyxiated in a bomb shelter during the Bombing of Chongqing.
1942 – World War II: The United States declares war on Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania.
1944 – World War II: More than 1000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries on the Normandy coast in preparation for D-Day.
1945 – The Allied Control Council, the military occupation governing body of Germany, formally takes power.
1947 – Marshall Plan: In a speech at Harvard University, the United States Secretary of State George Marshall calls for economic aid to war-torn Europe.
1956 – Elvis Presley introduces his new single, “Hound Dog“, on The Milton Berle Show, scandalizing the audience with his suggestive hip movements.
1976 – The Teton Dam in Idaho, United States, collapses.
1981 – The “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that five people in Los Angeles, California, have a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems, in what turns out to be the first recognized cases of AIDS.
1989 – The Tank Man halts the progress of a column of advancing tanks for over half an hour after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
1998 – A strike begins at the General Motors parts factory in Flint, Michigan, that quickly spreads to five other assembly plants. The strike lasts seven weeks.
2003 – A severe heat wave across Pakistan and India reaches its peak, as temperatures exceed 50 °C (122 °F) in the region.
1801 – William Scamp, English architect and engineer (d. 1872)
1819 – John Couch Adams, English mathematician and astronomer (d. 1892)
1862 – Allvar Gullstrand, Swedish ophthalmologist and optician, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1930)
1878 – Pancho Villa, Mexican general and politician, Governor of Chihuahua (d. 1923)
1883 – John Maynard Keynes, economist, philosopher, academic (d. 1946)
1898 – Salvatore Ferragamo, Italian shoe designer(d. 1960)
1919 – Richard Scarry, American-Swiss author and illustrator (d. 1994)
1928 – Umberto Maglioli, Italian race car driver (d. 1999)
1939 – Joe Clark, 16th Prime Minister of Canada
1941 – Spalding Gray, American writer, actor, and monologist (d. 2004)
1947 – Laurie Anderson, American singer-songwriter and violinist
1949 – Ken Follett, Welsh author
567 – Theodosius I, patriarch of Alexandria
754 – Boniface, English missionary and martyr (b. 675)
1424 – Braccio da Montone, Italian nobleman (b. 1368)
1900 – Stephen Crane, poet, novelist, and short story writer (b. 1871)
1910 – O. Henry, American short story writer (b. 1862)
1993 – Conway Twitty, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1933)
2004 – Ronald Reagan, actor, politician and 40th President (b. 1911)
2012 – Ray Bradbury,science fiction writer and screenwriter (b. 1920)
2018 – Kate Spade, American fashion designer (b. 1962)
Edited from various internet sources
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades Respectable Employment
Lost and Found 212-912-1106
PART TIME SALES POSITION
High commission. B to B sales
We sell donor signage to non-profits,
extremely nice clientele.
Our office is located in FIDI.
Call me at 646-729-7142. Barry Silverberg, Principal
Experienced Elder Care (12 years)
Able to prepare nutritious meals and light housekeeping
Excellent references 347 898 5804 Hope
NOTARY PUBLIC IN BPC
$2 per notarized signature
Text Paula at 917-836-8802
Dishes, windows, floors, laundry, bathrooms.
You name it – I will clean it.
Call Elle at 929-600-4520
IT AND SECURITY SUPPORT
Experienced IT technician. Expertise in 1-on-1 tutoring for all ages.Computer upgrading & troubleshooting.
Knowledgeable in all software programs. James Kierstead firstname.lastname@example.org 347-933-1362. Refs available
Experienced with BPC residents. Available nights, days, and weekends. Will cook, clean and administer medicine on time. Speaks French and English. Can start immediately. Please call or text 929-600-4520.
OLD WATCHES SOUGHT
Mechanical pocket and wristwatches sought and
If you would like to place a listing, please contact email@example.com
‘A Thumb in the Eye’
Local Leaders Don’t Want One Broadway to Get Any Bigger
Community Board 1 (CB1) is resisting plans to add two floors to a landmarked building in the Financial District. In a resolution laced with unusually harsh language, enacted at its May 28 meeting, the Board called upon the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) — which can veto alterations to legally protected historic structures — to reject a proposal by the building’s owner, Midtown Equities, to build a glass pavilion on top of One Broadway (also known as the International Mercantile Marine Company Building), located at the corner of Broadway and Battery Place, directly adjacent to Bowling Green.
The resolution summarizes the developer’s proposal with the words, “to distill the very convoluted design’s description, and despite all the narrative hoopla, it is really a preposterous glass box with a mansard surround.”
Greater Goods and Lessor Evils
Gateway Affordability Rally Draws Large Crowd; Multiple Elected Officials Pledge Support
Hundreds of residents of Gateway Plaza braved ominous weather to attend a tenants’ rally along the Esplanade on Sunday evening, and hear a succession of elected officials pledge their support to the campaign for extended and expanded affordability protections at Battery Park City’s largest apartment complex. The event was organized and hosted by the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association(GPTA), which represents the 1,700-plus households in the community’s first residential development. To read more…
Menhir for the Men and Women Who Came Here
A Stele for Survivors Honors Those Who Came Back, and Those Who Chose to Settle Downtown After the Dust Settled
On Thursday morning, the World Trade Center complex unveiled a new monument: the Memorial Glade, which honors people whose health (or whose lives) were taken from them not on September 11, 2001, but in the years that followed, because they were exposed to toxins in the aftermath of the Twin Towers’ collapse.
‘To Make the Wounded Whole…’
Chin Pushes to Renew Victim Compensation Fund
City Council member Margaret Chin is mobilizing local support for an effort at the federal level to restore funding and make permanent the Victim Compensation Fund, which offers financial awards to responders and survivors of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
This proposed federal measure would renew and make permanent the Victim Compensation Fund that was created by a 2011 law, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which was renewed in 2015.
To the Editor:
I watched the transfer of the bridge spans in person on Wednesday, but seeing your video was AWESOME!
Thanks for sharing that!
Maryanne P. Braverman
Can Prized Community Facility Experience a Re-Berth?
A panel of elected officials and representatives from the Hudson River Park Trust(HRPT) will host a public forum this evening (Tuesday, May 28) to discuss proposed legislation that would enable commercial development at Pier 40, the massive former cruise ship terminal on the Hudson River waterfront, adjacent to Houston Street, which covers 14 acres and now houses athletic and recreational facilities.
Among the elected officials expected to attend tonight are U.S. Congressman Jerry Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, State Assembly member Deborah Glick, and State Senators Brian Kavanagh and Brad Hoylman.
Cruise Ships in the Harbor
Arrivals and Departures
Thursday, June 6
Anthem of the Seas
Inbound 6:30 am (Bayonne); outbound 4:00 pm;
Inbound 7:30 am (Bayonne); outbound 4:00 pm;
Friday, June 7
Queen Mary 2
Inbound 6:00 am; (Brooklyn); outbound 5:00 pm;
Transatlantic (Southampton, UK/Hamburg, Germany)
Saturday, June 8
Adventure of the Seas
Inbound 6:30 am (Bayonne); outbound 3:00 pm;
Bar Harbor, ME/Canadian Maritimes
Inbound 7:15 am; outbound 4:30 pm; Canadian Maritimes/Maine/Rhode Island
Sunday, June 9
Inbound 6:15 am; outbound 4:30 pm; Bermuda
Many ships pass Lower Manhattan on their way to and from the Midtown Passenger Ship Terminal. Others may be seen on their way to or from piers in Brooklyn and Bayonne. Stated times, when appropriate, are for passing the Colgate clock in Jersey City, NJ, and are based on sighting histories, published schedules and intuition. They are also subject to tides, fog, winds, freak waves, hurricanes and the whims of upper management.
EYES TO THE SKY
May 28 – June 9, 2019
The Spring Triangle – an asterism
While writing my recent column about bright stars in the south at nightfall, I was reminded of patterns those stars shape in addition to the position each has in an official constellation.
Arcturus is the brightest star in the constellation Bootes the Herdsman and Spica is brightest in Virgo the Virgin. Denebola marks the tail of Leo the Lion and Regulus the Lion’s heart. Draw imaginary lines to connect Arcturus to Spica and Denebola and we have a Spring Triangle, an asterism. Replace Denebola with Regulus for a larger Spring Triangle.
Asterisms are easily distinguishable patterns often composed of stars from more than one constellation. In the case of the Big Dipper – overhead to the south — the asterism is an outstanding part of one official constellation, Ursa major, the Great Bear.
Judy Isacoff naturesturn.org
On the Waterfront
Governors Island Trust Considers a Plan to Activate the Island’s Perimeter
Visions for the future of Governors Island are beginning to come into focus, as various constituencies emphasize their priorities.
Earlier this month, theWaterfront Alliance unveiled its Maritime Activation Plan for the highly regarded island, which focuses on strategies for capitalizing on the unique waterfront assets located along the island’s 2.2-mile perimeter, while offering practical recommendations for meeting the challenges of being situated in the middle of New York Harbor.
Anthem of the Seas Spins About
Local Elected Officials Say ‘Avast’ to Water-Borne Ads, But Company Claims City Is Out of Its Depth
The advertising barges that have become a pet bête noire for Lower Manhattan residents were the focus of a discussion at the April 23 meeting of Community Board 1 , where Paul Goldstein, who chairs that panel’s Waterfront, Parks, & Cultural Committee, offered an update, saying, “those floating billboards that you’ve seen on both the east and west sides — the good news is that the City is cracking down on them. Both the Mayor and the Council say they find it unacceptable. So they are imposing fines and enacting laws to restrict it.” To read more…
Shelter from the Storm
City Plans Temporary Flood Protection Measures for Downtown
The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio is formulating short-term strategies to protect the South Street Seaport and the Financial District from sea-level rise and future extreme-weather events.
This Sand Is Your Sand, This Sand Is Our Sand…
Although Not Yet a Shore Thing, Proposal for Brooklyn Bridge Beach Takes a Step Forward
After multiple rounds of funding since 2013, the proposed Brooklyn Bridge Beach — a project supported by elected officials, community leaders, and the public — may be inching closer to reality.
The plan, backed by all of these constituencies, aims to create a crescent-shaped wedge of sand along the East River waterfront, just north of the South Street Seaport, where park-goers could wade knee deep in tide. If built, it would become the sole access point at which Lower Manhattan residents could step into the water that surrounds them, rather than merely looking at it.
Poets House Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Journey with us across the Brooklyn Bridge, from Manhattan to Brooklyn, to celebrate Poets House and the poetry of New York City with readings by poets Robert Pinsky, Rosamond King, Gregory Pardlo, Jenny Xie, and Anne Waldman, whom we will present with our Elizabeth Kray Award for service to poetry. This year marks Poets House’s 10th anniversary at 10 River Terrace-as well as Walt Whitman’s bicentennial.
Recognition of Whitman’s 200th birthday will lend special significance to the evening as we gather to hear a reading of Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.”
Afterward, we’ll continue with more readings, accompanied by wine, dinner, and dessert, inside a beautiful historic foundry in DUMBO. All proceeds benefit Poets House’s library, public programs, and class trips for children and teens.
Monday June 10
6:00pm: Walk begins in Manhattan, near One Centre Street
8:00pm: Seated dinner at 26 Bridge Street in DUMBO
For more information: poetshouse.org/poetrywalk2019
Questions? please contact Phoebe at 212-431-7920 ext. 2819or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hudson River Park Trust Seeks Development on Pier 40
The Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT), in collaboration with local elected officials, is seeking to revise its enabling legislation to allow for commercial development at Pier 40.
“The major issue is that there need to be changes to the legislation that created the Hudson River Park, because Pier 40 is sinking,” explained Anthony Notaro, chair of Community Board 1 (CB1) at an April 26 meeting.
Cass Gilbert and the Evolution of the New York Skyscraper
by John Simko
Not So Alone
in Trinity Churchyard
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