Elected Officials, Local Leaders Push for Environmental Overseer at Jail Demolition
The current Manhattan Detention Complex, which the administration of Mayor Eric Adams plans to demolish and replace with the world’s tallest jail, may contain asbestos and lead—spurring calls for an independent monitor to address safety and environmental concerns.
Community Board 1 (CB1) is pushing for an independent monitor to keep watch over environmental toxins that may be released by the demolition of the Manhattan Detention Complex (MDC). This deconstruction of the existing jail is part of larger, controversial initiative to build the world’s tallest penal facility at the same site, in order to facilitate the planned closure of Rikers Island.
In a resolution enacted at its May meeting, CB1 cites as primary concerns the presence of asbestos and lead within the existing structure, as well as an underground petroleum storage tank. The resolution notes that “CB1 has submitted Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests for, and not yet received, critical documents concerning the environmental hazards on the site, including the Health and Safety Plan (HASP) and Community Air Monitoring Program (CAMP), and the results of all the environmental probes conducted to date and requested documentation of asbestos and lead investigations.”
The CB1 resolution comes in the wake of a letter to the State’s Environmental Conservation Commissioner, Basil Seggos, co-signed by U.S. Congress member Jerry Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, and City Council member Chris Marte, asking for the appointment of an outside expert to oversee the project.
That letter demanded “the retention of an independent environmental monitor to oversee the environmental impacts of demolition and construction on the immediate community,” while also prioritizing five categories of potential hazards. Ranked first among these was “air quality, noise, vibration, and dust control.” Second, the coalition of elected officials urged that “known asbestos in the existing structures [be] extracted from the site following the appropriate protocols.” Their third demand focused on an “analysis of completed boring tests of subsurface conditions… with findings reported to the community,” and the fourth called for an “analysis of found gasoline contaminants, conducted by the independent monitor with findings reported to the community and necessary remedial actions put in place.” Finally, they stipulated that “monthly reports by the independent monitor [be] made public and delivered to the offices of Manhattan Community Board 1 and all local elected officials.”
The resolution enacted at CB1’s May session echoes these calls, noting that “should the… project continue despite robust community opposition, it is critical the community be provided with an independent community environmental monitor to review the environmental impacts and oversee the remediation during all phases of the proposed work, both during the demolition of the existing MDC and the construction of a new jail.”
Additionally, CB1 is calling for the formation of an environmental MDC Working Group to meet at least once each month, with mandatory attendance by representatives from every government agency involved in the project (along with their contractors), “to review environmental monitoring data, the progress of remediation on the site, and to address the community’s questions and concerns.”
‘Each of These Objects Tells a Story’
Museum of Jewish Heritage Launches New Exhibit Tracing History of Holocaust
The Museum of Jewish Heritage has opened a major new exhibit, “The Holocaust: What Hate Can Do,” which brings together more than 750 artifacts from more than 30 different nations (many on public view for the first time) in a 12,000-square-foot gallery. The result is a narrative tapestry of devastating emotional impact.
Gerrymandered District Lines Result in Staten Island Assembly Member Representing Lower Manhattan in Albany
Preliminary, unofficial results from Tuesday’s primary point toward a likely winner in the race to represent Lower Manhattan in the State Assembly. Charles Fall, an incumbent Assembly member from Staten Island, has outpolled Lower Manhattan activist Justine Cuccia.
Join in on the fun featuring easy-to-follow Latin dance choreography while working on your balance, coordination and range of motion. Bring their own equipment: weights, water bottle, hand towel, etc. Free.
A lunch time program for passersby to play a quick game of chess or backgammon. Using clocks, opponents will play 5 minute games that are fast, furious and fun. An instructor will be on hand to offer pointers and tips to improve your game. Free.
Between 1820 and 1924, there was a large influx of Jewish immigrants to the United States from Eastern and Central Europe. They were escaping oppressive laws that many parts of Europe passed that targeted Jews, along with increased violence from pogroms and riots. These immigrants hoped that the United States would provide them with a fresh start and more freedom. However, this was not always the case, as many Jews continued to experience antisemitism in their new home. In this event, Hasia Diner and Daniel Okrent will discuss the different waves of immigration during this period, the reasons why Jews left Europe, and why they chose the United States as their new home. $10 suggested donation.
Play the popular strategy game while getting pointers and advice from an expert. Chess improves concentration, problem solving, and strategic planning—plus, it’s fun! For ages 5 and up (adults welcome). Free.
Reading. From the author of National Book Award finalist “Crossing” comes an unlikely love story in Kosovo with unpredictable consequences that reverberates throughout a young man’s life—a dazzling tale full of fury, tenderness, longing, and lust.
Observe and sketch the human figure. Each week a model will strike short and long poses for participants to draw. An artist/educator will offer constructive suggestions and critique. Drawing materials provided, and artists are encouraged to bring their own favorite media. Free.
Take a self guided tour of the tall ship Wavertree, and visit the 12 Fulton Street galleries to view the exhibitions “South Street and the Rise of New York” and “Millions: Migrants and Millionares aboard the Great Liners.” Free.
Embolden your artwork amidst the flower-filled and seasonally evolving palette of BPC’s verdant gardens. An artist/ educator will provide ideas and instruction. Materials provided; artists are encouraged to bring their own favorite media. Free.
Available for PT/FT. Wonderful person, who is a great worker.
Worked in BPC.
$2.00 per notarized signature.
Today in History: July 5
These are the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon. On this day three years ago, Babylon was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photograph by Mohammad Huzam.
1687 – Isaac Newton publishes Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica. Often referred to as simply the Principia, this work presented Newton’s laws of motion and of universal gravitation.
1775 – The Second Continental Congress adopts the Olive Branch Petition. This document sent to King George III was the final attempt of the 13 colonies to avoid war being formally declared against Great Britain.
1811 – Venezuela declares independence from Spain.
1937 – Spam is introduced by the Hormel Foods Corporation.
1940 – In World War II, the United Kingdom and the Vichy France government break off diplomatic relations.
1946 – The bikini debuts at an outdoor fashion show in Paris.
1950 – The Knesset passes the Law of Return which grants all Jews the right to immigrate to Israel.
1989 – In the Iran–Contra affair, Oliver North is sentenced to a three-year suspended prison term, two years probation, $150,000 in fines and 1,200 hours community service. His convictions are later overturned.
1994 – Amazon.com founded in Bellevue, Washington by Jeff Bezos
1996 – Dolly the sheep becomes the first mammal cloned from an adult cell.
2019 – The ancient Iraqi city Babylon is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site
1586 – Thomas Hooker, English-born founder of the Colony of Connecticut (d. 1647)
1675 – Mary Walcott, witness at the Salem witch trials (d. 1719)
1810 – P. T. Barnum, businessman, co-founded Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (d. 1891)
1889 – Jean Cocteau, novelist, poet, and playwright (d. 1963)
1963 – Edie Falco, actress
1985 – Megan Rapinoe, pro soccer player
1819 – William Cornwallis, English admiral and politician (b.1744)
1833 – Nicéphore Niépce, inventor, created the first known photograph (b. 1765)
2011 – Cy Twombly, painter, sculptor, and photographer (b. 1928)
2015 – Yoichiro Nambu, physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1921)