Appeals Court Okays City Plan Move of Homeless Men to 52 William, But Calls It ‘Moot’
A guard posted to the lobby of the Radisson New York Wall Street Hotel, at 52 William Street. This is one of more than 60 hotels requisitioned by the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio under emergency authority, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, for use as homeless shelters, at a cost of $1.5 billion.
On Thursday, a three-judge panel of the New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division issued a decision that will allow the City’s Department of Homeless Services to proceed with a plan to transfer many dozens of homeless men from the Lucerne Hotel, on the Upper West Side, to the Radisson Wall Street Hotel, located at 52 William Street.
This order dismissed an ongoing suit, brought by a coalition of groups, which sought to allow the men to remain in the Lucerne Hotel. The Appellate Division judges ruled narrowly on the issue of standing, finding that the original lawsuit was moot because the three homeless men named as lead plaintiffs last year have since been moved out of the Lucerne and into permanent housing.
A previous Appellate Division, issued in January, had allowed the the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio limited latitude to begin implementing its proposal on a smaller scale than originally envisioned, moving from the Lucerne and into the Radisson Wall Street men who were willing to go voluntarily, while also transferring to the William Street facility homeless persons from other shelters.
The January ruling had the effect of overturning an earlier decision, issued on November 25 by a lower court, in which Justice Debra James ruled that the transfer, planned by the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio since September, could proceed.
The long-running controversy erupted last October, when the City announced that it planned to extend an emergency measure—under which it had housed homeless men Radisson Wall Street Hotel since the previous April, as a response to the pandemic coronavirus—and convert facility into a permanent shelter.
This sparked a firestorm of criticism, based on the de Blasio administration’s apparent resolve to make a temporary policy permanent without adequate notice to the community, as well as the desire of the homeless men themselves to remain at the Lucerne.
This plan was subsequently modified to use the Radisson Wall Street Hotel as a shelter for homeless families, rather than single men. In the months since, the number of homeless men sheltered in the Lucerne Hotel has dwindled from more than 200 to fewer than 70.
In the interim, the City has also dialed back its COVID-driven effort to house homeless persons in hotels (at one point, there were 10,000 such residents spread across more than 60 hotels) and now plans to return most of this population to traditional shelters.
As a result, it remains unclear how many homeless men from the Lucerne will be transferred to the Radisson Wall Street Hotel, or when this might happen.
The Annual Yard Sale at Southbridge Towers
will take place
June 17th-18th & 19th
From 10AM to 6PM
Great bargains on interesting bric-a-brak, clothing, one-of-a-kind finds and lots of bling bling – both costume and real.
Operators of New Ferry Service Predict Launching by Summer
At the June 2 meeting of the Battery Park City Committee of Community Board 1, officials from the City’s Economic Development Corporation offered an update on their plans for a new ferry that will connect Staten Island to Battery Park City and Midtown.
Jeff Brault, the director of public affairs at NYC Ferry—the company designated by the City’s Economic Development Corporation to operate a network of new routes connecting Manhattan to the outer boroughs—began the discussion by saying, “the next time we speak, the new ferry will have already begun service.”
Committee chair Justine Cuccia asked, “do you have a launch date?”
Mr. Brault replied, “not yet. Basically we’re working really hard. We already have a dock in place at Battery Park City, but not in St. George,” the site of the ferry landing in Staten Island.
From: The Coalition for an Affordable World Trade Center Tower Five
To the editor:
After September 11, 2001, New Yorkers made clear that the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan must include construction of desperately needed affordable housing. However, despite tens of billions spent and promises made by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), not one new affordable housing complex was built. 5 World Trade Center represents the last chance to make good. Instead, the LMDC and the Port Authority are seeking to authorize an 80-story luxury residential tower on public land at the site of the former 40-story Deutsche Bank building.
For over a decade, led by Lower Manhattan housing advocate Tom Goodkind, local residents advocated for the last remaining World Trade Center lot to be fully affordable and include housing opportunities for September 11 survivors and their families, first responders, and seniors. September 11 had many repercussions—including loss of life, illnesses, and psychological effects—that placed many New Yorkers and local residents in dire need of affordable housing. The 25% ratio pledged for this building is not sufficient in light of the need.
Long-time moderate and middle income residents are being forced from their homes. Their children, who survived and grew up in the aftermath of the terrorist attack and helped rebuild Lower Manhattan, cannot afford to live in the area. Much of the new luxury housing is not even succeeding. Many towers are unfilled or unfinished, including 125 Greenwich Street across the street from 5 World Trade Center, which entered foreclosure.
The proposed development with Silverstein Properties and Brookfield Properties, who have already received massive subsidies, does not reflect the best interests of the city or the input of the community. The LMDC was created in November 2001 specifically to dispense federal funding to rebuild Lower Manhattan. The lack of transparency and direct community-engagement by LMDC contradicts their published mission of an “open, inclusive, and transparent planning process in which the public has a central role in shaping the future of Lower Manhattan.”
We ask that you join this coalition. In the coming weeks, with your input and support, we will seek to develop an alternative proposal for an affordable residential building at 5 World Trade Center worthy of everything that the September 11 community and our city have experienced.
THEREFORE, the Coalition asks that:
5WTC be 100% affordable housing, including preference for the responders and survivors, and their children, of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Additional community representatives be included on any Community Advisory Committee (CAC).
The community advisory process should include regular meetings and be transparent and open to the public.
Random Assault in Chinatown Spurs Rally to Decry Anti-Asian Hate
City Council member Margaret Chin led a Wednesday rally of Chinatown residents and local community leaders to condemn the most recent in an outbreak of violent street crimes that appear to be racially motivated. The latest incident occurred on Bayard Street, on Monday afternoon, when a 55-year-old woman (whose name is being withheld) was punched and knocked unconscious in an apparently random, unprovoked assault. In video captured by a security camera, a woman walks in front of outdoor seating area of Kong Sihk Tong restaurant, when she is approached by a man who raises his left arm and smashes her in the face. The woman reels backward from the force of the blow, and then falls to the sidewalk, where she sits motionless as passersby come to her aid.
The Battery Park City Authority began work on its Ball Fields and Community Center Resiliency Project last Thursday, kicking off a $7-million initiative that will construct approximately 800 linear feet of flood-protection barriers along three sides of the facility.
The walls to be erected along the Warren, West, and Murray Street boundaries of the ball fields are designed to enclose and protect roughly 80,000 square feet of outdoor playing surface, as well as the adjacent Asphalt Green community center—both of which suffered catastrophic damage from flooding during Hurricane Sandy, in 2012. The Battery Park City Ball Fields are located at a topographic low point, rendering them especially susceptible to flooding. To read more…
Turns Out That Fighting City Hall Is Kinda Tough
State’s Highest Court Rejects Appeal from Community Groups Battling Two Bridges Development
On Thursday May 27, the New York State Court of Appeals effectively ended the last of a group of lawsuits begun in 2018, in which elected officials and community groups sought to compel the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio to subject several massive residential developments planned for the Lower East Side to the highest-possible degree of legal scrutiny. New York’s highest judicial review panel upheld a prior ruling by the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, which itself had overturned a lower-court decision favoring opponents of the projects.
In its Thursday ruling, the Court of Appeals rejected, without further comment, To read more…
Strengthen the whole body from warm-up to cool-down with a variety of fun exercises. The instructor will lead you in aerobics, balance and coordination exercises, as well as strength training. Come join for a fun workout in the fresh air! 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. Free
Trinity Church online concert. During trying times, music stills our souls and provides a healing grace. Throughout the season of Lent, Comfort at One will present performances that are inspired by the Gandhi quote: “In the midst of darkness, light persists.” These concerts include improvisations by Julian Wachner, light-inspired Bach cantatas, our 2014 Lenten “Lamentatio” series featuring NOVUS NY and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, new performances from the Trinity Youth Chorus and St. Paul’s Chapel Choir, and new virtual content on Fridays from our extended family of artists. Free
‘A Whimsical Oasis’
Little Island Opens to Rave Reviews
The Lower West Side of Manhattan officially has another stunning public space: On Friday morning, the Hudson River Park Trust debuted Little Island, the new park located just off the shoreline, at 13th and West Streets. The park offers more than two acres of gardens, glades, lawns, performance spaces and picnic grounds.
All of this greenery is hoisted above the water by 280 slender concrete columns, driven hundreds of feet down into the riverbed, and supporting 132 flower-shaped masonry “tulips”—pods that appear to be separate platforms from outside Little Island, but form a continuous, undulating surface when seen from the inside. Each of these structural bulbs is a different size, shape, and elevation.
As we come out of covid, it’s clear the city’s thriving cultural scene is on its way back — and Lower Manhattan’s leading the way.
In May, the Downtown Alliance teamed up with En Garde Arts and + The Tankto present Downtown Live, a multi-weekend festival stocked with live performances ranging from music to theater to spoken poetry. The revival of Downtown’s cultural scene continues into June, with the return of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s River to River Festival.
The festival, which runs June 10–June 27, joins the explosion of post-vaccine outdoor events and art exhibits that are set to take over the city this summer. Here are five acts you won’t want to miss, and visit lmcc.net/river-to-river-festival for the full schedule.
Opening Concert featuring Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington and Leo Genovese (June 10)
Spalding is a jazz musician who made waves when she beat out Drake and Justin Bieber to win the Best New Artist Grammy in 2011. Since then she’s won three other Grammys and has been labeled the “21st century jazz genius” by NPR.
Processions with Miguel Gutierrez, Okwui Okpokwasili and The Illustrious Blacks
(June 13, 20, 25)
Artist Okwui Okpokwasili is following up her recent piece on the High Line called “On the way, undone” with another processional performance, which means you get to participate in the art. Okpokwasili’s performance will happen at Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City on June 20, followed by processions led by choreographer Gutierrez and musical duo the Illustrious Blacks will also conduct processions on June 13 and June 25.
Kamau Ware, Land of the Blacks (June 10-27)
Black history scholar and co-found of Black Gotham Experience Kamau Ware is writing an original piece on “Land of the Blacks,” 28 Black-owned farmsteads that once covered a swath of Lower Manhattan. It will debut on the River to River website.
Womxn in Windows (June 15-27)
Womxn in Windows is a multi-part video installation installed in Windows across the Seaport District. They’ll focus on the confluence of culture and society in an exploration of the multi-faceted female identity, created by artists from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Mariana Valencia, Futurity (June 25-27)
Choreographer and performer Mariana Valencia brings a 2021 version of Futurity, a dance performance that will transmit the queer stories of elders in Greenwich Village from the 1960s to the present.
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.
City and State Prosecutors Team Up on Criminal Probe of Trump Finances at FiDi Landmark
In a story first reported by the Washington Post, New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance has expanded his longstanding probe of the finances of former President Donald Trump to include possible criminal charges. The office of New York State Attorney General Leticia James is also cooperating with Mr. Vance’s criminal investigation. To read more…
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.
Marion Post Wolcott 1910 ~ 1990 photo WPA Library of Congress
1099 – First Crusade: The Siege of Jerusalem begins.
1628 – The Petition of Right, a major English constitutional document, is granted the Royal Assent by Charles I and becomes law. It was passed by the House of Commons in 1628 in response to years of abuse by the King regarding forced billeting of soldiers, imprisonment without cause, the use of martial law and taxation. It was sent to the House of Lords and after weeks of debate, the Petition was ratified. Charles I bowed to pressure and sign the Petition on June 7th. It is seen to have served as the predecessor to the Third, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
1832 – Asian cholera reaches Quebec, brought by Irish immigrants, and kills about 6,000 people in Lower Canada.
1863 – During the French intervention in Mexico, Mexico City is captured by French troops.
1892 – Homer Plessy is arrested for refusing to leave his seat in the “whites-only” car of a train; he lost the resulting court case, Plessy v. Ferguson.
1893 – Mohandas Gandhi commits his first act of civil disobedience.
1899 – American temperance crusader Carrie Nation begins her campaign of vandalizing alcohol-serving establishments by destroying the inventory in a saloon in Kiowa, Kansas.
1906 – Cunard Line’s RMS Lusitania is launched from the John Brown Shipyard, Glasgow (Clydebank), Scotland.
1938 – The Douglas DC-4E makes its first test flight.
1938 – Second Sino-Japanese War: The Chinese Nationalist government creates the 1938 Yellow River flood to halt Japanese forces. 500,000 to 900,000 civilians are killed.
1944 – World War II: Battle of Normandy
1965 – The Supreme Court of the United States hands down its decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, effectively legalizing the use of contraception by married couples.
1981 – The Israeli Air Force destroys Iraq’s Osiraq nuclear reactor during Operation Opera.
1982 – Priscilla Presley opens Graceland to the public; the bathroom where Elvis Presley died five years earlier is kept off-limits.
156 BC – Emperor Wu of Han (d. 87 BC)
1761 – John Rennie the Elder, Scottish engineer (d. 1821)
1848 – Paul Gauguin, French painter and sculptor (d. 1903)
1868 – Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scottish painter and architect (d. 1928)
1877 – Roelof Klein, Dutch-American rower and engineer (d. 1960)
1879 – Knud Rasmussen, Danish anthropologist and explorer (d. 1933)
1894 – Alexander P. de Seversky, Georgian-American pilot and engineer, co-designed the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt (d. 1974)
1909 – Virginia Apgar, American anesthesiologist and pediatrician, developed the Apgar test (d. 1974)
1909 – Peter W. Rodino, American captain, lawyer, and politician (d. 2005)
1910 – Marion Post Wolcott, American photographer (d. 1990)
1925 – John Biddle, American sailor and cinematographer (d. 2008)
1947 – Thurman Munson, American baseball player (d. 1979)
1952 – Orhan Pamuk, Turkish-American author, screenwriter, and academic, Nobel Prize laureate
1958 – Prince, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor (d. 2016)
1965 – Damien Hirst, English painter and art collector
1329 – Robert the Bruce, Scottish king (b. 1274)
1358 – Ashikaga Takauji, Japanese shogun (b. 1305)
1394 – Anne of Bohemia (b. 1367)
1866 – Chief Seattle, American tribal chief (b. 1780)
1937 – Jean Harlow, American actress and singer (b. 1911)
1966 – Jean Arp, German-French sculptor, painter, and poet (b. 1886)
1967 – Dorothy Parker, American author, poet, and critic (b. 1893)
1980 – Philip Guston, Canadian-American painter and educator (b. 1913)
1996 – Max Factor, Jr., American businessman (b. 1904)