Fewer Local High School Students Apply for College Financial Aid
In what may augur a lingering social impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, data compiled by a national clearinghouse for information about college applications and admissions shows that five local high schools, either located in Lower Manhattan or else attended by large numbers of students from this community, have seen a drop-off in financial aid applications by graduating seniors. This is a sobering indicator, because it almost certainly means that fewer of these students are planning on attending an institution of high learning next fall. These five schools all boast graduation rates at or near 100 percent and—in a typical year—send all (or almost all) of their graduating classes on to college.
The National College Attainment Network (NCAN) tracks demographic and statistical information about high-school students who plan to continue their educations, with an eye toward closing equity gaps in postsecondary attainment for all students. The organization has released data for high schools around the nation, comparing the number of students who had completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by this time in 2020, versus the corresponding figure for this year.
At Stuyvesant High School, located in Battery Park City, 687 students have completed FAFSA, contrasting with 745 for the same period in 2020, a fall-off of 7.79 percent.
For the High School for Dual Language and Asian Studies, located on Grand Street, 78 pupils have completed the application for financial aid this year, versus 89 last year—a drop of 12.36 percent.
Millennium High School, in the Financial District, bucked this trend, with 143 students applying for money for college this year, compared with 138 in 2020—an increase of 3.62 percent.
New Explorations Into Science, Tech and Math (NEST+M) High School, located at Houston Street, near the FDR Drive, had 106 students seek college funding this spring, while 125 did last year—a decline of 15.2 percent.
The biggest drop was at the Lab High School for Collaborative Studies, located on West 17th Street, where 76 teens sought financial help for college, as opposed to the 100 who did so last year—a retrenchment of 24 percent.
Beacon High School (on West 44th Street) was the only other bright spot, with 327 young scholars applying for a fiscal assist, varying sharply from the 275 who sought such help in 2020—a boost of 18.91 percent.
These metrics look grimmer against the background that 2020’s numbers were already depressed (relative to 2019) by the public health crisis and the economic downturn that it triggered.
More encouraging is the comparison between local and national statistics. For the country as a whole, 130,000 fewer students have thus far completed the FAFSA process than had done so by this point last year, a decline of 6.7 percent.
Locally, however, a total of 1,417 students from these five schools went looking for a way to help pay for college this spring, rather than the 1,472 who did the same in 2020—an overall decline of just 3.7 percent.
Multiple New Bikes Lanes Coming to Lower Manhattan, Adding to Growing Local Network
The City’s Department of Transportation will begin this month implementing a plan—first approved in the spring last year, but delayed by the onset of the pandemic coronavirus—to add more bike lanes to the Lower Manhattan’s streetscape.
Two new physically segregated bicycle thoroughfares will be constructed in the next few weeks: a southbound connection linking Varick Street to West Broadway, and a northbound route via Church Street and Sixth Avenue.
Also coming soon is a protected section of Centre Street—a stretch that will connect Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan to Tribeca and Chinatown. To read more…
Eyes to the Sky
May 17 – 30, 2021
Look west to Gemini’s Castor and Pollux and to Mars, Mercury and Venus
As twilight deepens tonight, beginning around 9:30pm, locate the crescent moon in the west mid-way between zenith and the horizon. Below the moon, a juxtaposed pair of bright stars stands out. Known as the Gemini twins, yellowish Pollux is on the left and blue-white Castor on the right. A ways to the left of Pollux find luminous Procyon the Little Dog. About the same distance to the right of Castor find Capella the Little Goat, brightest of the foursome.
Goldman Sachs, alongside American Express, has partnered with New York City and CVS Health to offer a COVID-19 vaccination program at the Conrad Hotel. All lower Manhattan residents and employees who meet the eligibility requirements are welcome to schedule appointments for the Pfizer vaccine.
In order to qualify for the COVID-19 vaccination program, individuals must be aged 16 years or over and be a resident of New York State OR work/study full-time in New York State.
Scheduling and Location Details
All who meet the eligibility requirements can schedule appointments on the New York City COVID-19 Vaccine Finder by selecting the Conrad Hotel location or use the following links.
Riddle: What Does Downtown Have More of Than Any Other Neighborhood?
Hint: Want to Buy a Brand New, Never-Used Condo Apartment at a Steep Discount?
Multiple analyses of price trends in residential real estate for Lower Manhattan illustrate an ongoing portrait that is grim for homeowners and landlords, but may augur opportunity for buyers and prospective tenants.
A new study from the online real estate database company, StreetEasy, shows that prices for home sales and asking rents continue to soften. During the first three months of this year, for Lower Manhattan as a whole, the median asking price for condominiums and cooperatives fell to $1.75 million, or a retracement of 11.6 percent from the first quarter of last year. For tenants, the median asking rent dropped to $3,000, or a decline of 22.9 percent.
Play ball! As part of the deconstruction of the old Rector Street Bridge and its attendant west side stairs and ramp, public space for the Battery Park City community has been increased via expansion of the Liberty Community Gardens and adjacent basketball courts.
The final portion of this project is the painting and striping of the court surface, currently scheduled to begin the end of this week. This work will necessitate closing of the courts and take (weather permitting) roughly two weeks to complete.
In the interim, as of Friday, May 7 the nets have been installed and the courts are available for play.
The City’s Economic Development Corporation has followed the urging of Community Board 1 by moving ahead with plans to create a floating pool in the East River. The agency has vetoed the recommendation of Lower Manhattan leaders, however, by choosing to locate the facility in the Two Bridges neighborhood, instead of alongside the Brooklyn Bridge, as CB1 had requested.
The proposal styled as “+ Pool” (and verbalized as “Plus Pool”) will consist of a floating dock, surrounding a cruciform swimming hole (with a safety net on its underside), the four branches of which will include a quartet of adjacent pools—one each for children, for lap swimmers, for sports uses, and for lounging. To read more…
City Council Measure Stands to Make FiDi Thoroughfare Pedestrian-Friendly in Perpetuity
The City Council has enacted a law, co-sponsored by member Margaret Chin, that will make permanent the Open Streets program begun by the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio as a provisional measure during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ratified on April 29, the bill is now awaiting Mr. de Blasio’s signature. This measure is significant for Lower Manhattan, because it may have the effect of preserving a local implementation of the Open Streets project, on Pearl Street, where (since last summer) the City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) has each day restricted vehicular access—between Broad Street and Hanover Square from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and again from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm. To read more…
Exercise in disguise! Join in on the fun featuring easy-to-follow Latin dance choreography while working on your balance, coordination and range of motion. Come prepared for enthusiastic instruction, a little strength training, and a lot of fun. Participants are expected to bring their own equipment: weights, water bottle, hand towel, etc. Masks required. Participants must maintain six feet of physical distance between households. All programs will be held in accordance with New York State reopening guidance. Battery Park City Authority Free
Webinar. How have women succeeded in investment management? Katrina Dudley, co-author of Undiversified: The Big Gender Short in Investment Management, will moderate a panel of successful female portfolio managers to highlight some of the brightest stars of the “constellation” of women investors profiled in the book. Free
In her book The Black Skyscraper: Architecture and the Perception of Race (JHUP, 2019), Adrienne Brown examines works produced by writers, painters, architects, and laborers who grappled with the early skyscraper’s outsized and disorienting dimensions. She explores its effects on how race was seen, read, and sensed at the turn of the twentieth century. A highly interdisciplinary work, The Black Skyscraper breaks new ground in analyzing the influence of race on modern architectural design, as well as considering the effects of these designs on the experience and perception of race. Free
Community Board 1’s Waterfront, Parks & Cultural Committee
1) Mediating Establishment and Neighborhood Disputes (MEND) NYC – Presentation by Marisa Senigo, Deputy Commissioner of Public Affairs and Communications, Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH)*
2) Public Safety Update
3) NYC Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform: Preliminary Report – Discussion & Possible Resolution
4) Expansion of SCRIE and DRIE Eligibility to Residents of Former Mitchell-Lama Buildings and Other Enhancements – Discussion & Possible Resolution
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades, Respectable Employment, Lost and Found
The Battery Park City Authority asks that the public not interact with or feed the urban wildlife in the neighborhood’s parks and green spaces, and at the waterfront.
9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Report
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.
FAMILY PORTRAIT OF PLUTO’S MOONS This composite image shows a sliver of Pluto’s large moon, Charon, and all four of Pluto’s small moons, as resolved by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on New Horizons. All the moons are displayed with a common intensity stretch and spatial scale (see scale bar). Charon is by far the largest of Pluto’s moons, with a diameter of 1,212 kilometers. Nix and Hydra have comparable sizes, approximately 40 kilometers across in their longest dimension above. Kerberos and Styx are much smaller and have comparable sizes, roughly 10-12 kilometers across in their longest dimension. All four small moons have highly elongated shapes, a characteristic thought to be typical of small bodies in the Kuiper Belt.Image: NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI
332 – Constantine the Great announced free distributions of food to the citizens in Constantinople.
1096 – First Crusade: Around 800 Jews are massacred in Worms, Germany
1291 – Fall of Acre, the end of Crusader presence in the Holy Land
1565 – The Great Siege of Malta begins, in which Ottoman forces attempt and fail to conquer Malta.
1631 – In Dorchester, Massachusetts, John Winthrop takes the oath of office and becomes the first Governor of Massachusetts.
1652 – Rhode Island passes the first law in English-speaking North America making slavery illegal.
1756 – The Seven Years’ War begins when Great Britain declares war on France.
1804 – Napoleon Bonaparte is proclaimed Emperor of the French by the French Senate.
1860 – Abraham Lincoln wins the Republican Party presidential nomination over William H. Seward, who later becomes the United States Secretary of State.
1896 – The US Supreme Court rules in Plessy v. Ferguson that the “separate but equal” doctrine is constitutional.
1910 – The Earth passes through the tail of Comet Halley.
1917 – World War I: The Selective Service Act of 1917 is passed, giving the President of the United States the power of conscription.
1965 – Israeli spy Eli Cohen was hanged in Damascus, Syria.
1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 10 is launched.
1974 – Nuclear test: under project Smiling Buddha, India successfully detonates its first nuclear weapon becoming the sixth nation to do so.
1974 – Completion of the Warsaw radio mast, the tallest construction ever built at the time. It collapsed on August 8, 1991.
1980 – Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington State, killing 57 people and causing $3 billion in damage.
2005 – A second photo from the Hubble Space Telescope confirms that Pluto has two additional moons, Nix and Hydra.
1048 – Omar Khayyám, Persian mathematician, astronomer, and poet (d. 1131)
1777 – John George Children, English chemist, mineralogist, and zoologist (d. 1852)
1822 – Mathew Brady, American photographer and journalist (d. 1896)
1852 – Gertrude Käsebier, American photographer (d. 1934)
1872 – Bertrand Russell, British mathematician, historian, and philosopher, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1970)
1883 – Walter Gropius, German-American architect, designed the John F. Kennedy Federal Building (d. 1969)
1946 – Reggie Jackson, American baseball player
Portrait of Abraham Lincoln by Mathew Brady
526 – Pope John I (b. 470)
1675 – Stanisław Lubieniecki, Polish astronomer, historian, and theologian (b. 1623)
1808 – Elijah Craig, American minister, inventor, and educator, invented Bourbon whiskey (b. 1738)