Lower Manhattan’s Local News
TONIGHT IN WAGNER PARK!
Brewer and the Big House
Borough President Expresses Concerns about Jail Plan, But Gives Okay
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has given her approval to a plan by the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio to construct a 1.27 million-square-foot prison complex Downtown.
In a determination issued on Friday, Ms. Brewer wrote that, “there is an overwhelming sentiment that we must remember: Rikers Island must close.”
This was a reference to the primary impetus behind the Mayor’s proposal — a drive to shut down the City’s centralized detention complex (located on an island in the middle of the East River) and replace it with four satellite facilities, one located in each borough except Staten Island.
In Lower Manhattan, the plan would demolish the two jail towers of the existing Manhattan Detention Complex: one at 124 White, which is 13 stories tall; and another at 125 White Street, which is nine stories. These would be replaced with a single, 45-story tower, with room for 1,440 prisoners. That capacity would represent a 60 percent increase from the headcount at the existing Manhattan Detention Complex, which holds approximately 900 detainees. This would make the new facility only slightly smaller than Sing Sing Prison, in the Hudson Valley, which holds some 1,700 prisoners.
Ms. Brewer’s approval comes with a series of 13 non-binding caveats, such as calls to reduce the height and bulk of the proposed structure (currently planned to reach 450 feet), re-open Park Row (a major street closed since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001), and includes various community amenities.
This determination follows a June 11 Town Hall meeting, hosted by Ms. Brewer at Pace University, which was attended by more than 200 people. A strong majority of those who spoke voiced grave reservations with the Mayor’s plan. This followed condemnation of the proposal by a total of five Community Boards: one each in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens, along with two in Manhattan. (Two panels weighed in for Manhattan because the site of the proposed new facility is located within Community Board 1, but is adjacent to the border with neighboring Community Board 3.)
The resolution by Community Board 1 on this matter amounted to a stinging rebuke of the Mayor and his plan. At its May 28 meeting, CB1 recommended that the City Planning Commission veto the proposal — based, in part, on what the panel called, “opaque site selection and lack of community input,” while describing the proposed structure, “grossly out of scale.”
The City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) entails six steps for any proposed use of publicly owned land, such as the White Street location, where the de Blasio administration hopes to build the new jail.
The first of these was certification by the City Planning Commission of the application. Next came the verdict rendered by CB1 (following a similar resolution, by Community Board 3), which is legally required, but advisory. The third step was approval by the Borough President. While Ms. Brewer’s approval came with a request for modifications to the plan, these conditions (along with her decision) are only consultative, and thus not legally enforceable.
Thus, even if Mr. de Blasio’s plan had been rejected by Ms. Brewer, the ULURP process was still poised to proceed to its fourth step: review by the City Planning Commission. This body does have the legal authority to stop a proposal such as the de Blasio plan, provided that it weighs in within 60 days. But because a majority of its 13 members are appointed by the Mayor, approval appears to be a fait accompli.
The next meaningful chance to consider the plan comes in the fifth segment of ULURP, review by the City Council. Here, the outcome has the force of law, but is difficult to predict.
By tradition, the Council as a whole defers to the member within whose district a land use proposal falls. Council member Margaret Chin, while supportive of criminal-justice reform, has expressed serious skepticism about the Mayor’s vision for a new jail in Lower Manhattan.
But, in a high-profile push such as the one mounted by the de Blasio Administration, it is possible that other Council members may be successfully lobbied by City Hall to ignore convention and support the plan, regardless of how Ms. Chin votes. The City Council has 50 days to accept or reject the proposal.
The sixth, and final, step in ULURP is Mayoral Review. If the jail plan successfully runs each of the first five gauntlets in the process, however, approval by City Hall is a virtual certainty. All of these steps, in the aggregate, can take a maximum of 205 days — with some extensions possible if one or more steps must be repeated. This would peg the final decision for sometime in October of this year. But ULURP can also proceed much faster, and multiple published accounts say the de Blasio Administration is hoping to have final ULURP approvals in place by this summer.
Prior to the approval issued last Friday. Ms. Brewer had been a persistent critic of the de Blasio administration’s approach to community engagement on its jail plan. In September, she decried, “the administration’s disappointing rush to scope the project without adequate community input,” while also noting that, “an expanded detention complex in Lower Manhattan is necessary, but no project this sweeping should ever go forward without robust input and involvement from the surrounding community’s residents, businesses, civic organizations and service providers.”
In November, when City Hall abandoned an earlier plan to locate the new jail on Centre Street, she said, “the administration needed to change course on the location for the new facility, but the core problem here was that City Hall wanted to announce its plan before engaging with the community on how to craft it. I hope that in the coming weeks and months, City Hall will engage in a more bottom-up process that builds support in Chinatown and Lower Manhattan, makes people feel like they were actually heard, and improves the plan — instead of repeating the mistakes that got us here.” She added, “it’s not too much to ask that we restart the process, actually listen to the community, and get the land-use part of this right. The mayor must take the time to actually listen to what the neighborhood has to say, minimize the bad, and maximize the good.”
Ms. Brewer’s approval also parts company with two of the other three Borough Presidents whose constituents would have to live with a new prison in their midst. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz have both called for outright rejection of the de Blasio plan. Brooklyn Borough president Eric Adams, like Ms. Brewer, has recommended moving ahead with the Mayor’s proposal, but has attached multiple conditions to this acceptance.
Lower Manhattan-based critics of the Mayor’s plan were quick to express disappointment with Ms. Brewer’s decision. Nancy Kong, a spokesperson for Neighbors United Below Canal, said, “while we applaud Ms. Brewer’s efforts to identify many of the concerns raised by the residents, including seniors and families, and struggling small businesses directly affected by the demolition and construction of this jail plan, we are disappointed that it falls short of holding Mayor de Blasio accountable for the risks, danger and waste his plan presents to the community.”
Thursday July 11
Community Board 1 Landmarks & Preservation Committee
Community Board 1 – Conference Room 1 Centre Street, Room 2202A-North
1) 84 South Street, application for NYC Parks Department Concession – Resolution
River & Blues: Son Little
Battery Park City Parks
Son Little captivates audiences with a magical mix of acoustic and electric guitar that crosses genres yet remains deeply rooted in the blues. Drawing from collaborations with artists such as RJD2, The Roots and Mavis Staples, Son Little’s own inspirational sound shines through on his second full length release, 2018’s New Magic. Whether a long-time fan or new to experience his music, don’t miss this tender, gritty, always genuine and powerful performance by one of today’s most exciting live artists. Wagner Park.
The Tale of the Ticker Tape,
or How Adversity and Spontaneity
Hatched a New York Tradition
What was Planned as a Grand Affair became a Comedy of Errors
While the festivities in New York Harbor didn’t go as scripted that afternoon, the spontaneous gesture it generated from the brokerage houses lining Broadway famously lives on more than a century later.
On October 28, 1886, Liberty Enlightening the World was to be unveiled to New York City and the world as it stood atop its tall base on Bedloe’s Island. But the morning mist had turned to afternoon fog, blurring the view of the statue from revelers on the Manhattan shore and the long parade of three hundred ships on the Hudson River.
What was planned as a grand affair-with President Grover Cleveland as the main speaker-became a comedy of errors. The fog prevented efficient communication between the dignitaries on the island and the ships awaiting orders to fire their salutes and blast their horns at the given signal.
An East River Journey
Hell’s Gate to Long Island Sound
This Sunday, July 14, 2019
Join National Lighthouse Museum members and friends
on Sunday July 14, 2019 when we journey up
the East River through Hell’s Gate to Long Island Sound.
Expert presenters will share the history and little known facts of the lighthouses and sights along the way. We’ll cruise as far as Execution Rocks in the Sound and learn of its gruesome past and haunted present.
When: Sunday, July 14, 2019 11AM to 3PM EDT
Where: Pier 1, St. George, Staten Island,
steps from the Staten Island Ferry
Our boat will leave from Pier 1, St George, Staten Island, adjacent to the Museum. The tour leaves at promptly at 11:00am, rain or shine. Please arrive early. We plan to return to dock by 3:00pm but time and currents may delay our return. Please plan accordingly.
Ticket prices are $62 Adults, $52 for Seniors & Military,
$42 for children under 10 yrs old.
Due to space and safety requirements, large coolers are not permitted on board, only very small carry-ons. Refreshments available for purchase on board. There may be boarding limitations for the disabled.
Kindly call us to discuss if this might be an issue
Tickets are non-refundable. This tour will commence rain or shine!
National Lighthouse Museum 200 The Promenade at Lighthouse Point
Canyon of Heroines
Ticker Tape Parade for Women’s Soccer Team Is First in Four Years; One of Very Few Honoring Female Athletes
If you live or work in Lower Manhattan, prepare to adjust your schedule this morning, when the United States Women’s National Soccer Team will be honored with a ticker tape parade through Broadway’s “Canyon of Heroes,” in observance of their World Cup victory last Sunday.
First, the logistics.
Second, the backstory.
CB1 Calls for Delay in New Staten Island Ferry Route That Will Use Local Terminal
Community Board 1 (CB1) is pushing back against a plan by the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio to launch in 2020 a new ferry service from Staten Island that will bring to the Battery Park City ferry terminal more than 60 new vessels each day, carrying as many as 2,500 passengers.
At the June 25 meeting of CB1, Tammy Meltzer, who chairs the Board’s Battery Park City Committee, explained, “the City’s Economic Development Corporation [EDC] had never spoken to the Battery Park City Committee, the Waterfront Committee, or anybody at CB1. They never came and did a presentation for CB1 about new routes they want to do, before they proposed putting boats at Brookfield ferry terminal from 6:00 am to midnight.”
A Mecca for Millennials
Demographic Analysis Finds FiDi to Be Teeming
Lower Manhattan is emerging as a mecca for millennials (defined here as people born between 1977 and 1996), according to a new report prepared by PropertyClub, an online real estate database website that provides in-depth data for millions of properties in major urban markets throughout the United States.
The study finds that 67 percent of the residential population within the 10005 zip code in the Financial District — a catchment bounded roughly by Broadway, Beaver Street, South Street, and Liberty Street — is compromised of people born between the year “Three’s Company” debuted, and when “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” aired its last episode.
EYES TO THE SKY
July 8 – 21, 2019
All night planets Saturn, Jupiter. Overnight astronomy holiday
Today, planet Saturn arrives at “opposition”.
Like Jupiter last month, Saturn is now coming into position opposite the Sun in Earth’s skies. Saturn rises in the southeast at 8:18pm on the 9th – 8:22 pm tonight, the 8th – opposite sunset in the northwest within seconds of 8:29pm both evenings.
All summer, Saturn will be visible at least until midnight, before setting in the southwest as the Sun rises in the northeast.
Today in History
472 – After being besieged in Rome by his own generals, Western Roman Emperor Anthemius is captured in St. Peter’s Basilica and put to death.
813 – Byzantine emperor Michael I, under threat by conspiracies, abdicates in favor of his general Leo the Armenian, and becomes a monk (under the name Athanasius).
1405 – Ming admiral Zheng He sets sail to explore the world.
1735 – Mathematical calculations suggest that it is on this day that dwarf planet Pluto moved inside the orbit of Neptune for the last time before 1979.
1789 – Jacques Necker is dismissed as France’s Finance Minister sparking the Storming of the Bastille.
1796 – The United States takes possession of Detroit from Great Britain under terms of the Jay Treaty.
1801 – French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons makes his first comet discovery. In the next 27 years he discovers another 36 comets.
1804 – A duel occurs in which the Vice President Aaron Burr mortally wounds former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.
1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Fort Stevens; Confederate forces attempt to invade Washington, D.C.
1893 – The first cultured pearl is obtained by Kōkichi Mikimoto.
1899 – Giovanni Agnelli founds Fiat.
1914 – Babe Ruth makes his debut in Major League Baseball.
1919 – The eight-hour day and free Sunday become law for workers in the Netherlands.
1921 – Former President of the United States William Howard Taft is sworn in as 10th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, becoming the only person ever to hold both offices.
1934 – Engelbert Zaschka of Germany flies his large human-powered aircraft, the Zaschka Human-Power Aircraft, about 20 meters at Berlin Tempelhof Airport without assisted take-off.
1936 – The Triborough Bridge is opened to traffic.
1962 – Project Apollo: At a press conference, NASA announces lunar orbit rendezvous as the means to land astronauts on the Moon, and return them to Earth.
1979 – America’s first space station, Skylab, is destroyed as it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere over the Indian Ocean.
2006 – Mumbai train bombings: Two hundred nine people are killed in a series of bomb attacks in Mumbai, India.
1274 – Robert the Bruce, Scottish king (d. 1329)
1653 – Sarah Good, American woman accused of witchcraft (d. 1692)
1767 – John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States (d. 1848)
1899 – E. B. White, American essayist and journalist (d. 1985)
1934 – Giorgio Armani, Italian fashion designer, founded the Armani Company
472 – Anthemius, Roman emperor (b. 420)
969 – Olga of Kiev (b. 890)
1937 – George Gershwin, pianist, songwriter, and composer (b. 1898)
1994 – Gary Kildall, computer scientist, founded Digital Research (b. 1942)
2007 – Lady Bird Johnson, American beautification activist; 43rd First Lady of the United States (b. 1912)
2012 – Marvin Traub, American businessman (Bloomingdales) (b. 1925
Sourced from various internet sites.
A TIMELAPSE OF THE MAKING OF
THE PRIDE LAWN AT ROCKEFELLER PARK
timelapse by Jonathan Gross/BPCA
Paul Hovitz Concludes 27 Years of Service on Community Board 1
After nearly three decades of building schools, fighting for affordable housing, championing cultural institutions, and generally making Lower Manhattan a better place to live, Paul Hovitz has stepped down from Community Board 1 (CB1), where he has served as vice chairman for three years, and previously presided as chair of the Youth & Education Committee.
South BPC Resiliency Project
The full presentation and video from the South BPC Resiliency Project Public Meeting #3 held last week at 6 River Terrace is now available on the Battery Park City Authority’s Resiliency page under the heading “South Battery Park City Resiliency Project.”
Additional feedback on the concepts presented may be submitted until Monday, July 15 to the dedicated email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Multi-Year Traffic Safety Push Culminates as Traffic Light Comes to South End and Rector
More than a decade of advocacy by community leaders came to fruition on Saturday (June 29) when contractors working for the City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) activated a traffic light at the intersection of South End Avenue and Rector Place.
Tammy Meltzer, who chairs the Battery Park City Committee of Community Board 1, said at a May meeting, when the final approval was announced, “the DOT has agreed that the volume of traffic, and the history of accidents there, both call for a change. The good news is that this won’t be a ‘traffic calming measure,’ which is what we’ve been promised in the past. This will be a traffic control measure.”
Composting Takes Root
in Battery Park City
In a 2017 study of residential waste by the NYC Department of Sanitation, 21% of garbage was food scraps. Not only does food waste take up unnecessary space in landfill, it releases gas, which is detrimental to the environment.
Thanks to the Battery Park City Authority, Battery Park City has always been at the forefront of green living, guided by BPCA’s pioneering green building guidelines and organic park maintenance. For the last couple years, there have been two community compost bins – one at BPC Parks headquarters on Battery Place and one on Chambers Street.
Albany Wants to Keelhaul Ad Barges
State Lawmakers Bark ‘Belay That’ to Water-Borne Marketing Messages
The ubiquitous advertising barges that have become anathema for Lower Manhattan residents over the past year have attracted hostile attention from members of the State Senate and Assembly.
Bills were enacted in the closing days of the legislative session that would ban the 60-foot catamaran — bearing an electronic sign capable of rendering high-definition, full-motion video, similar to the “jumbo-tron” panels that adorn multiple buildings in Times Square — from continuing to conduct its business in New York’s waters.
Very Merry Skerry Ferry
Governors Island Passengers Are Going in Style with Launch of New Vessel
Visitors to Governors Islandembarking from Lower Manhattan now have a new way to get to the beloved greensward that has become Downtown’s equivalent of Central Park.
The new vessel, Governors 1, a 132-foot-long, 40-foot-wide ferry was built over the last two years at a cost of $9.2 million in the Warren, Rhode Island shipyard of Blount Boats, from a design by Seattle-based Elliott Bay Design Group.
Not Ferry Nice
Concerns about Crowding and Noise Surround City Hall Plan for New Staten Island Route to Battery Park City
The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio is planning to launch in 2020 a new ferry service from Staten Island that will bring to the Battery Park City ferry terminal more than 60 new vessels each day, carrying as many as 2,500 passengers.
Subvertising Campaign Shocks the Conscience, But Not for Long
On Wednesday morning, two dozen cages fashioned from chain-link fencing appeared on sidewalks at strategic locations around Manhattan and Brooklyn. A pair of these were placed in Lower Manhattan: one on Centre Street, opposite the Municipal Building and close by the Brooklyn Bridge; the other about two blocks away, near the intersection of Broadway and Vesey Streets.
Each one contained a lifelike mannequin, the size of a small child, wrapped in a foil blanket, which bore a disturbing resemblance to a shroud. From around the edges of these blankets, locks of hair and smalls pair of shoes were visible. Concealed within every cage was also a rudimentary audio system that repeatedly played a track of a small child sobbing. This was interspersed with the sound of a heartbeat.
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades Respectable Employment
Lost and Found 212-912-1106
$99 Hypnosis Session
($247 value) Smoking Cessation, Weight Loss, Motivation, Sports Performance, Confidence, Stress, Insomnia…
Call Janine Today. Limited time offer! 917-830-6127
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cruise Ships in the Harbor
Arrivals and Departures
Friday, July 12
Adventure of the Seas
Inbound 6:30 am (Bayonne); outbound 3:00 pm; Bermuda/Bahamas
Saturday, July 13
Anthem of the Seas
Inbound 6:30 am (Bayonne); outbound 4:00 pm; Bermuda
Inbound 7:15 am; outbound 3:30 pm; Port Canaveral, FL/Bahamas
Sunday, July 14
Inbound 7:30 am Bayonne; 4:00 pm; Bermuda
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, New Jersey, 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.
CB1 Wants to Contravene Convene
Local Leaders Raise Concerns about Traffic and Crowding from Planned Events Venue at Brookfield
The owners of Brookfield Place, are planning to launch an events venue that will host up to 1,000 people at a time, which has sparked concerns about traffic and crowding from community leaders.
At the June 5 meeting of the Battery Park City Committee of Community Board 1 (CB1), Mark Kostic, Brookfield’s Vice President for Asset Management, explained that Convene, a firm that develops and markets meeting rooms, event venues and flexible workspaces (and is partially owned by Brookfield) will be taking over the 86,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Saks Fifth Avenue, at 225 Liberty Street.
Anthem of the Seas Spins About
Cass Gilbert and the Evolution of the New York Skyscraper
by John Simko
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