Annual Ranking of Most Powerful Manhattan Leaders Includes 11 Downtown Doyens
Above: U.S. Congressman Jerry Nadler at the podium, with State Senator Brian Kavanagh behind him. Below: State Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou
The highly regarded local political journalism outlet City & State has released its annual Manhattan Power 100 list, which ranks the borough’s leaders by their influence. This year’s edition contains 11 elected officials and not-for-profit executives whose work serves the Downtown community, and beyond.
Congressman Jerry Nadler took the number one spot for his continuing role, “in drawing attention to the ongoing health impacts of the 9/11 terror attacks in Lower Manhattan,” City & State says. Mr. Nadler has for years spearheaded efforts to secure healthcare services and financial compensation for residents and first responders made ill by exposure to environmental toxins in the aftermath of September 11, 2001.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer placed eighth on the list, for her devotion to land use issues. Most recently, this has taken the form of opposition the development of four super-tall residential towers in the Two Bridges neighborhood.
State Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou notched the 19th spot, for being “a champion of investing more money into New York City public housing, protecting local tenants and assisting small businesses, especially during the coronavirus pandemic,” City & State observed.
State Senator Brian Kavanagh was named 28th on the Manhattan Power 100 list, for his position as chair of Housing, Construction and Community Development Committee in the upper house of the Albany legislature.
Above: Jessica Lappin, president of the Downtown Alliance Below: State Assembly Member Deborah Glick
State Assembly Member Deborah Glicktook place 39, based on her advocacy for legal messages to support women and the LGBTQ community, which have included the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act, the Women’s Health and Wellness Act and the Reproductive Health Act.
Jessica Lappin, president of the Downtown Alliance, placed 42nd on the list, for her relentless advocacy for local businesses—particularly during the economic downturn unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among these efforts have been the Alliance’s Small Business Rental Assistance Grant program, which gave away $800,000 to help to struggling Lower Manhattan shops, and a separate program that donated $10,000 each to 11 local arts and cultural groups.
Wellington Chen, the executive director of Chinatown Partnership, was ranked 44th, for his overlapping roles in supporting local small businesses and addressing the spate of anti-Asian hate crimes in Lower Manhattan.
City Council member Margaret Chin was recognized as the 50th honoree, as a result of her advocacy for reopening senior centers shuttered by the pandemic, and her sponsorship of legislation to swell the number of street vendor permits.
Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy (located on Whitehall Street) was cited in 65th place, for that organization’s role in preservation efforts. Among the group’s Downtown projects has been the Lower Manhattan Emergency Preservation Fund, which gave emergency grants to damaged historic buildings surrounding the World Trade Center site, after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, as well as advocating to ensure that preservation was a component of the revitalization and redevelopment of the area.
Battery Park City Authority president B.J. Jones ranked 79 on the list, because, “he has focused on improving community relations and bolstering climate resiliency in Battery Park City.”
And the Rev. Phillip Jackson, the priest-in-charge at Trinity Church Wall Street placed 88th on the City & State list for overseeing more than $30 million in grants and loans to nonprofits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Taste for Learning
The 11th Annual Taste of the Seaport festival will come to the South Street Seaport on Saturday, October 16, with food from more than 30 Lower Manhattan restaurants, wares from local shops, and live music featuring local artists and musicians, plus a KidZone offering interactive demonstrations and activities.
Proceeds from the festival support enrichment programs for students at two highly regarded, local public schools: the Spruce Street School and the Peck Slip School. The fun will take place between noon and 3:00 pm on Piers 16 and 17 (South Street, roughly between John and Beekman Streets). For more information, or to purchase tickets, please browse: www.tasteoftheseaport.org
Flats for the Frugal
New Rental Building in Hudson Square Contains 30 Affordable Units
Downtown’s roster of affordable rental apartments will soon expand by 30 new homes, as part of a residential development at 111 Varick Street, two blocks north of Canal Street. The building will contain a total of 2100 rental units (with the remaining 70 apartments at market-rate rentals). In exchange for committing to affordability protections on the 30 units, the developer received tax incentives worth many millions of dollars, which helped to build the project.
People wishing to live in the affordable units at 111 Varick are urged enter the affordable housing lottery being overseen by the City’s the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
The Pace University Art Gallery (located at 41 Park Row) has debuted its new, in-person exhibition, “Substance,” which brings together four abstract artists, who express meaning via materials, rather than representational imagery.
Diego Anaya celebrates his Mexican heritage through the use of ground corn, corn ash, and sand. Liz Atz’s bright, immersive artworks critique commercialism, materialism, and consumption. Linda Ekstromuses text from religious sources as both inspiration and commentary, exploring feminist issues, particularly within the role of Jewish and Christian tradition. And Alberto Lule critiques America’s prison-industrial complex as a form of modern slavery, using fingerprint powder as his drawing material, mining insights from his personal experience with incarceration. On display now through October 30. Admission is free, but a Covid vax card and ID are required to enter the gallery as per NYS guidelines..
An Ill Wind Blows
World Trade Center Health Program Faces Funding Shortfall
The World Trade Center Health Program, which provides medical treatment to people affected by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, is facing an impending budget shortfall that, if left unaddressed, could cause it to scale back services starting in 2025. Activists, local leaders, and elected officials are working to head off this possibility with new legislation.
More than 58,000 people are currently grappling with health problems arising from exposure to environmental toxins on September 11, 2001, and its aftermath. More have died from these illnesses in the years since 2001 than perished on the day of the attacks. There are now 21,000 people suffering from cancers related to September 11.
Nadler Presses City Hall to Release Documents from 2001 about Awareness of Ground Zero Health Risks
United States Congressman Jerry Nadler is calling upon the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio to make public previously unreleased City documents, which may shed light on what Rudolph Giuliani, who was Mayor at the time of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, knew about environmental health risks in weeks and months following of the destruction of the World Trade Center.
In a September 20 letter to City Hall, Mr. Nadler and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney write that, “we have yet to see a full accounting of what then-Mayor Giuliani and his administration knew at the time.” They argue that such an accounting would, “help provide injured and ill 9/11 responders, survivors, and their families a better understanding of what the City knew at the time about the likely scope of the health crisis and when they knew it.” To read more…
EYES TO THE SKY
October 4 – 17, 2021
Protect Earth’s night, essential to life on Earth
“For millions of years, there has been a night shift at work pollinating flowering plants and fruit trees.
“If you look at the diversity and the sheer numbers of moths out there, the other pollinators pale in comparison. So, you’re talking about a massive group of animals that probably contribute not just to fruit crops or crops in general … but to pollination overall, they may just be the most important pollinators as a group… The unsung heroes of pollination.”
Excerpts from Into the Night: Shedding Light on Nocturnal Pollinators
Darkness at night is under siege by an excess of poorly conceived and carelessly deployed artificial light, resulting in a sky polluted with a veil of wasted light and our neighborhoods with no oasis of darkness. Light pollution threatens pollination of our food crops and wild landscapes, bird migration, night vision, human health and our view of the universe. To read more…
Award-winning singer-songwriter Toshi Reagon is a celebrant of the people’s music–from folk to funk, from blues to rock–as an irresistible force for unity and joy, playing a crucial role in movements for social justice. She has used her platform as an entertainer to educate, comfort, inspire and motivate.
The Deeper Lecture Series is a talk + Q&A program on Zoom designed to acquaint Gibney’s community of artists and audiences with the most provocative, influential and inspiring minds at work in the arts, humanities and activism.
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Governors Island to Remain Open Throughout the Year
Since Governors Island opened to the public in 2005, the 172-acre greensward off Lower Manhattan has become Downtown’s equivalent of Central Park—with one crucial difference. The latter is open 365 days per year, while the quarter-square mile of hills and towering old-growth trees that was called Nutten Island by British settlers in the Colonial Era has, for more than a decade, been accessible to the public only in warm-weather months.
That all changed on Tuesday, when Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that, effective immediately, Governors Island will remain open 12 months per year. The extended season will begin November 1, the day after the facility was slated to close for the year at the end of October.
More Survivors than Responders Now are Submitting Claims
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) has released its annual report for 2020, which documents some significant developments.
Over the course of its ten years of operation thus far, the VCF has awarded $7.76 billion to more than 34,400 individuals who have suffered death or personal injury as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and their aftermath. The vast majority of these injuries take the form of illness caused by exposure to toxic materials that were released by the destruction of the World Trade Center.
Samascott Orchard Orchard fruit, strawberries from Columbia County, New York
Francesa’s Bakery Breads and baked goods from Middlesex County, New Jersey
Meredith’s Bakery Baked goods from Ulster County, New York
Riverine Ranch Water Buffalo meat and cheeses from Warren County, New Jersey
1857 Spirits Handcrafted potato vodka from Schoharie County, New York
SNAP/EBT/P-EBT, Debit/Credit, and Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks accepted
TODAY IN HISTORY
Born in 1797, Hiroshige is best known for his landscape series The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō and for his vertical-format landscape series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo. He died in 1858
539 BC – The army of Cyrus the Great of Persia takes Babylon.
1492 – Christopher Columbus’s expedition makes landfall in the Caribbean, specifically in The Bahamas. The explorer believes he has reached the Indies.
1654 – The Delft Explosion devastates the city in the Netherlands, killing more than 100 people.
1692 – The Salem witch trials are ended by a letter from Massachusetts Governor William Phips.
1773 – America’s first insane asylum opens.
1792 – The first celebration of Columbus Day is held in New York City.
1799 – Jeanne Geneviève Labrosse was the first woman to jump from a balloon with a parachute, from an altitude of 900 meters.
1823 – Charles Macintosh of Scotland sells the first raincoat.
1892 – The Pledge of Allegiance is first recited by students in many US public schools, as part of a celebration marking the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage.
1915 – World War I: British nurse Edith Cavell is executed by a German firing squad for helping Allied soldiers escape from Belgium
1960 – Cold War: Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a desk at United Nations General Assembly meeting to protest a Philippine assertion of Soviet Union colonial policy being conducted in Eastern Europe
1960 – Television viewers in Japan unexpectedly witness the assassination of Inejiro Asanuma, leader of the Japan Socialist Party, when he is stabbed and killed during a live broadcast.
1964 – The Soviet Union launches the Voskhod 1 into Earth orbit as the first spacecraft with a multi-person crew and the first flight without space suits
1984 – Brighton hotel bombing: The Provisional Irish Republican Army attempt to assassinate Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet. Thatcher escapes but the bomb kills five people and wounds 31.
1992 – A 5.8 earthquake occurred in Cairo, Egypt. At least 510 died.
1999 – Pervez Musharraf takes power in Pakistan from Nawaz Sharif through a bloodless coup.
2000 – The USS Cole is badly damaged in Aden, Yemen, by two suicide bombers, killing 17 crew members and wounding at least 39.
2005 – The second Chinese human spaceflight Shenzhou 6 launched carrying Fèi Jùnlóng and Niè Hǎishèng for five days in orbit.
Memorial portrait of Hiroshige by Kunisada
1710 – Jonathan Trumbull, American colonel and politician, 16th Governor of Connecticut (d. 1785)
1932 – Dick Gregory, American comedian, actor, and author
1935 – Tony Kubek, American baseball player and sportscaster
1576 – Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1527)
1858 – Hiroshige, Japanese painter (b. 1797)
1870 – Robert E. Lee, American general (b. 1807)
1971 – Dean Acheson, American lawyer and politician, 51st United States Secretary of State (b. 1893)
1987 – Alf Landon, American lieutenant and politician, 26th Governor of Kansas (b. 1887)
1999 – Wilt Chamberlain, American basketball player and coach (b. 1936)