Lower Manhattan’s Local News
Tragedy Compounded by Delay
Renewed Concerns about Emergency Response Time in Lower Manhattan
A new study documents that response times for 911 calls are slower in the First Precinct, which covers Lower Manhattan, than in any other district south of Midtown (an area that comprises seven NYPD commands) and the third-slowest overall in Manhattan.
This comes in the wake of two local automotive collisions with pedestrians: one in April that claimed the life of an elderly resident, and another on Friday that left a woman with an amputated leg.
The study, from the City’s Independent Budget Office (IBO), a publicly funded agency that provides nonpartisan information on critical issues confronting the City, documents that it takes an average of four minutes from the moment when 911 dispatchers first receive a call for help until the time they assign responders. The report also observes that actual response times are longer, because this study gauges only the interval between a call coming in and a radio dispatch going out. The IBO similarly notes that the City has been required by law since 1991 to publish data about how long it takes help to arrive on scene from such calls, but has ignored this law every year since it was enacted.
In Manhattan, only the NYPD’s massive Midtown North and Midtown South precincts logged slower response times than Lower Manhattan, respectively clocking in at six minutes and 59 seconds, and five minutes and three seconds.
One reason for such lengthy intervals in the face of an emergency may be confusion on the part of 911 operators about the location of streets and addresses within Lower Manhattan.
This problem was underscored on the evening of April 4, when a Battery Park City resident named Blake (she asked that her last name be withheld) was walking along South End Avenue, when, “I heard a weird boom and a scream from a woman standing in front of me. At first, I thought something had happened to her, but then I realized she was pointing toward the middle of the street.”
When Blake looked toward where the woman was pointing, “I saw somebody lying on the pavement. As I approached, I thought it might be one of the neighborhood children, but it turned out to be an elderly lady, who was very small.” This was Arlene Kalfus, who had been struck by a Downtown Connection shuttle bus.
“Her chest was moving up and down, so she was breathing, in a labored way. But she was definitely not conscious,” Blake recalls, noting that, “I was calling 911 as I walked toward her.”
“When I got the 911 operator on the phone, she transferred me to another operator, who asked for the location of the accident. I explained that we were in front of 325 South End Avenue, in Manhattan. But this operator kept repeating that help was on the way to 32 South Street in Brooklyn. I kept telling her this was incorrect, but she kept repeating ‘South Street in Brooklyn.’ Then she said they would call me back.”
“A few minutes later,” Blake recalls, “my phone rang, and the operator said an ambulance was being dispatched to South Street in Manhattan. So I corrected them again, and kept explaining that we were on South End Avenue, between Liberty and Albany Streets, in Manhattan. Then they seemed to think we were on North End Avenue.”
During this time, Blake and several other bystanders stood in the middle of South End Avenue, waving away other traffic, so that Ms. Kalfus would not be run over again. After several minutes, a police van approached the scene, “but didn’t have lights or sirens on, so I assumed they were there by coincidence,” Blake recalls. “They asked what was going on, and I explained that this woman had been run over. So they blocked traffic and began cordoning off the area, stopping cars and keeping pedestrians back. At that point, 911 called me back again, and I explained that police were on the scene. I think the officers called an ambulance with the correct location, using their radios, because the paramedics arrived a few minutes after that.”
Asked to estimate how much time elapsed between her first call to 911, and the arrival of the first ambulance, Blake answers, “between six and nine minutes. It felt like forever. When they finally got there, the paramedics just put a sheet over the lady. They didn’t check to see if she was still alive or try to revive her. When a bunch of us standing near by shouted that they should try to help her, the ambulance crew just said, ‘she’s gone.’ Then they began shouting and cursing at us to get back.”
“That woman was still breathing when I first called 911,” Blake insists. “So there is no way of knowing whether they could have saved her if they had got there sooner.”
A similar scene, albeit with a slightly less tragic conclusion, played out on Friday evening, around 10:00 pm, when an alleged drunk driver turned from Murray Street on West Street, and struck two pedestrians. One was Travis Frank-Martain, a safety agent, employed by Goldman Sachs, to escort people through the congested intersection. The car hit him with enough force to throw him into the air, but he escaped with minor injuries.
Less fortunate was Sarah Chan, whom Mr. Frank-Martain had helped through the intersection seconds earlier. She was struck with sufficient force to sever her left foot. Both Mr. Frank-Martain and Ms. Chan were taken by ambulance to Bellevue Hospital, where doctors had to amputate her leg, below the knee. The driver of the car, Travis Funes, was arrested at the scene and charged with drunk driving and vehicular assault.
Confusion about response times when dispatching emergency personnel to Lower Manhattan has been a recurring concern among community leaders for several years. As long ago as 2014, residents raised alarm about a pair of incidents in which injured persons on the Esplanade had to wait as long as 20 minutes before ambulances were able to find their way to locations where help was needed. In one of these, a jogger suffering from a heart attack died while waiting for help.
BPCA Taps Engineering Firm to Design Resiliency Measure for Neighborhood’s Northern Section
The Battery Park City Authority has hired an engineering firm the begin designing resiliency measures for the community’s northern border, and extending into Tribeca.
At the Authority’s March 26 board meeting, Gwen Dawson, the BPCA’s vice president for real property, explained, “this project will address the area that runs essentially from the North Promenade, just west of Stuyvesant High School, eastward across Route 9A and eastward from there to about West Broadway.”
This is one of four separate (but related) resiliency plans the BPCA is in various stages of implementing. The others cover the community’s southern border(around Wagner Park and Pier A), its western waterfront (the length of the Esplanade, from Wagner Park, to Rockefeller Park), and the ballfields (along with the adjacent Asphalt Green community center).
Hither the Hippodrome
Concert Venue Big Enough to Host 3,000 People Planned for Financial District
Plans are under way to develop an 80,000-square-foot concert and performance venue on the former trading floor of the American Stock Exchange building, in the Financial District.
Representatives of Live Nation Entertainment, a firm that owns or operates more than 200 venues throughout North America and Europe, including the outdoor concert space on the roof of Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport, came before Community Board 1 (CB1) on Wednesday evening to explain their plans.
A Quarter of a Century of Great Taste
Saturday (May 18) will mark the 25th anniversary of Taste of Tribeca, the street food fair that raises money for two beloved local public schools: P.S. 234 and P.S. 150.
Come to Duane Street (between Greenwich and Hudson Streets), from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm, for gastronomic wonders from 60 of Tribeca’s top chefs and restaurants — including seven that have been participating since 1994: Bouley, Bubby’s Tribeca, Duane Park Patisserie, Gigino Trattoria, The Odeon, Tribeca Grill, and Walker’s.
Tickets, priced at $45 in advance and $55 on the day of the event, get you six tastes and two pours on the Beer & Cider Tour, and are on sale now at www.tasteoftribeca.com.
Battery Park City Parks
A lunch time program for passersby on their lunch break to play chess. Actually, not just chess…Blitz chess! Blitz chess is a form of speed chess played on a clock where each opponent gets five minutes. It is fast, furious and fun. Rockefeller Park House. FREE
Community Board 1’s Youth & Education Committee
Community Board 1 – Conference Room 1 Centre Street, Room 2202A-North
2) Update on elevators at 26 Broadway and 81 New Street
Visionary Women: How Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall, and Alice Waters Changed Our World
Visionary Women is the story of four renegades – Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall and Alice Waters – who found their voice in the early 1960s and profoundly shaped today’s world. 39 Battery Place.
Pen Parentis May Salon
Pen Parentis at Westfield World Trade Center Oculus
Tenth anniversary season grand finale featuring the talents of bestselling New York Times author Domenica Ruta, National Book Critics Circle finalist and American Book Award winning author Rahna Reiko Rizzuto and Marina Budhos, author of several critically-acclaimed and award-winning novels, including one that won a Chicago Library’s Best of the Best Award. http://www.penparentis.org/calendar/ FREE
Run Silent, Run Deep
BPCA Awards Underwater Contract to Firm That Promises Peace and Quiet
The Battery Park City Authority is continuing a decade-long project to shore up the underwater columns that support the Esplanade, but has found a way to do it without keeping residents up at night.
At the April 23 meeting of the BPCA’s board, Gwen Dawson, the Authority’s vice president of real property, explained, “the esplanade of Battery Park City rests on a relieving platform which is supported by 3100 total concrete piles. We initiated a program in 2007 to perform certain remediation steps on these piles, to wrap them in fiberglass, to make sure that their lives could be extended — we are told up to an additional 30 to 50 years.”
ARLENE ROSE KALFUS MEMORIAL
WEDNESDAY, MAY 22ND, 2019
2:00 PM TO 4:30 PM
On May 22, the Battery Park City Seniors group will host a memorial service for Arlene Kalfus, who died tragically on April 4, when she was struck by a bus on South End Avenue.
Ms. Kalfus, a long-time resident of Gateway Plaza, was a longtime contributor to Battery Park City Seniors, whose loss is acutely felt, both because of her many volunteer activities and her dry sense of humor.
The service will be held in the Battery Park City Authority’s community room, located within 200 Rector Place.
(Please use the entrance on the west side of the building, facing West Thames Park.)
Anyone planning to attend is asked to R.S.V.P. to Philomena Pinto at JPinto8925@aol.com.
Do Not Pass Go
Amazon Opens High-Tech Retail Outlet in Brookfield Place, But Will Accept Low-Tech Form of Payment
New York politicians still smarting over Amazon’s decision to cancel plans for a corporate headquarters in Long Island City can console themselves that the online retail giant has at least opened a 1,300-square-foot bricks-and-mortar store in Lower Manhattan.
On Tuesday, Amazon debuted the first East Coast location of its Go chain, on the upper level of Battery Park City’s Brookfield Place. The experimental retail brand amounts to a revolutionary reimagining of the traditional storefront, by eliminating cash, cashiers, and even automated checkout kiosks.
The Price of Affordability
BPCA Hires Consultants to Advise on Measures to Control Housing Costs
The Battery Park City Authority is allocating more than half a million dollars to pay a team of consultants to advise it on measures designed to preserve affordability within the community.
At the March 26 meeting of the Authority’s board, BPCA president Benjamin Jones explained, “I’m requesting an increase of $589,000 to our fiscal year operating budget to enable us to continue our efforts with regards to analyzing and addressing lease term and lease reset concerns and to also help us in taking advantage of opportunities related to preserving, and increasing affordability, and also enhancing sustainability and resiliency in this neighborhood.”
The Wheel Deal
Manhattan Youth is partnering with Tribeca Clayworks to offer summer ceramics sessions from 6:30 to 9:00 pm, four nights each week (plus weekend afternoons), starting May 23 and running through August 5.
Classes will cover Hand-Building and Surface (for all levels) on Mondays, plus Pottery Wheel and HandBuilding (intermediate level) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Additionally, registered students may work on their own during open studio times offered on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays evenings, plus Saturday and Sunday after- noons (from noon through 4:00 pm).
The program is priced at $320, plus a $45 fee to cover the cost of firing.
For more info or to register, email Susan Kay: Susan@manhattanyouth.org
Lower Manhattan Experiences Chain Reaction as Two Esteemed (and Non-Corporate) Booksellers Plan Local Outposts
Local connoisseurs of independent bookstores have reason to celebrate: Two highly regarded operators will be coming to Lower Manhattan soon. The first is McNally Jackson, which has confirmed that its much-delayed plan to open in the South Street Seaport will finally be realized this year.
Also coming to Downtown is the much-admired Shakespeare & Companyindependent bookstore, which already has locations on the Upper East and Upper West sides.
Red Light, Green Light…
City Moves Ahead with Traffic Signal for Rector Place and South End Avenue, Ten Months After Approval
At the April 23 meeting of Community Board 1(CB1), Tammy Meltzer, chair of that panel’s Battery Park City Committee, announced that, “the City Department of Transportation [DOT] let us know this week that a traffic light will be installed at Rector Place and South End Avenue,” adding that, “it is due to be installed by the end of June.” She also noted, “we’ve worked long and hard with BPCA and City DOT to get a plan done and in place.”
She continued, “we had a death on South End Avenue this month.”
Today in History
1027 – Robert II, the Vrome, names son Henry I, king of France
1607 – First permanent English settlement in the New World, Jamestown, Virginia
1610 – Assassination of Henri IV of France, bringing Louis XIII to the throne
1643 – Louis XIV becomes King of France aged four
1702 – England and Netherlands declare war on France and Spain
1702 – Swedish troops under King Charles XII occupy Warsaw
1796 – First smallpox inoculation administered, by Edward Jenner
1804 – Lewis and Clark set out from St Louis for Pacific Coast
1842 – Illustrated London News; the world’s first illustrated weekly newspaper, begins publication
1853 – Gail Borden patents her process for condensed milk. Condensed milk is cow’s milk from which water has been removed. Raw milk is clarified and standardised, and is then heated to 85-90°C for several seconds. This heating process destroys some microorganisms, decreases fat separation and inhibits oxidation. Some water is evaporated from the milk and sugar is added until a 9:11 ratio of sugar to (evaporated) milk is reached. The sugar extends the shelf life of sweetened condensed milk. That’s a lot of sugar!
1861 – The Canellas meteorite, an 859-gram chondrite-type meteorite, strikes the earth near Barcelona, Spain.
1878 – Vaseline is first sold (registered trademark for petroleum jelly)
1896 – Lowest US temperature in May recorded (-10°F /-23°C at Climax, Colorado)
1908 – First passenger flight in an airplane
1932 – “We Want Beer!” parade in NYC . Jimmy Walker, then the Mayor of New York City, organized a daylong “Beer for Taxation” parade later known as the “We Want Beer” Business leaders, international figures, and society matrons parade down Fifth Avenue advocating repeal of prohibition.
1955 – Warsaw Pact is signed by the Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania
1961 – Bus with first group of Freedom Riders bombed and burned in Alabama
1961 – Stirling Moss wins the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix
1973 – Skylab launched, 1st Space Station
1986 – Institute for War Documents publishes Anne Frank’s complete diary
2012 – Stanford University scientists develop prototype bionic eye
1686 – Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, Prussia, inventor of thermometer
1725 – Ludovico Manin, last Doge of Venice (d. 1802)
1923 – Diane Arbus, [Nemerov], NYC, photographer (Vogue/Harper’s Bazaar)
1936 – Bobby Darin, [Walden Waldo Cassotto], Bronx, singer (Mack the Knife)
1946 – Robert Jarvik, surgeon/inventor (Jarvik 7 artificial heart)
1952 – David Byrne, Dumbarton Scotland, rock guitarist/singer (Talking Heads-Burning Down the House)
1610 – Henry IV, 1st Bourbon King of France (1572, 89-1610), murdered at 56
1643 – Louis XIII, King of France (1610-43), dies at 41
1878 – Ookubo Toshimichi, Japanese statesman, samurai, and one of the three great nobles who led the Meiji Restoration (b. 1830)
1918 – James Gordon Bennett, Jr., American newspaper publisher (b. 1841)
1919 – Henry John Heinz, founder of the H. J. Heinz Company, dies at 74
1940 – Emma Goldman, anarchist/feminist/author (Living My Life)
1993 – William Randolph Hearst, newspaper magnate, dies at 85
1998 – Frank Sinatra, American singer and actor, dies at 82
This information was culled from various internet sources, including Wikipedia, the New York Times and other special interest sites.
EYES TO THE SKY
May 13 – 26, 2019
Corvus the Crow eyes Virgo’s jewel star, Spica
At nightfall, Corvus the Crow, wings outstretched, glides in the sky above the cityscape to the south.
Latin for crow, or raven, Corvus’ four main stars form a diamond that is easily seen as a soaring bird, kite or sail.
In Greek mythology, the Crow, Apollo’s sacred bird, got into trouble that resulted in the god catapulting the offender and his companions into the sky.
Last evening, the waxing gibbous moon appeared above and to the right of Corvus.
Tonight, Corvus is directly below the moon. To read more…
Newsstand Nixed (Again)
Owner of Tribeca Kiosk Is Told Twice That Once Is Just about Enough
Community Board 1 (CB1) is urging the City’s Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to reject an application by a Tribeca newsstand operator to open a second kiosk one block away from his current location.
The applicant, Abdur Patwary, first came before CB1 in 2010, with a request to open a newsstand at thenorthwest corner of Murray and Greenwich Streets. CB1 supported this application, and it was eventually approved.
But in December, 2016, Mr. Patwary came back before the panel, asking for support in his request to open another newsstand one block to the north, at the southwest corner of Warren and Greenwich Streets.
Meadow Manager Moves On
Governors Island Overseer Departs as Community Leaders Grapple with Future Development Prospects
Michael Samuelian, the chief of the Trust for Governors Island, the non-profit organization that administers the 172-acre park situated some 800 yards off the tip of Lower Manhattan, will be stepping down in June. His tenure, which began in 2016, will end shortly after the Island reopens for the season, on May 1.
Mr. Samuelian presided over a renaissance on Governors Island, with each year during his term setting new records for attendance, with expanded hours and a longer season.
In the season that begins next week, Governors Island will also launch a new ferry, Governors I. The 132 foot-long, 40 foot-wide vessel was built specifically to serve the Island, and can carry up to 400 passengers per trip, which will increase capacity by 1,000 visitors per hour.
From Prison Shoal to Mussel Beach
Long Overlooked Pier Becomes ‘Porch’ Overlooking East River Waterfront
Downtown’s list of great public spaces has increased by one, with the opening on April 19 of a new “Eco-Park” at Pier 35, on the East River shoreline, in the Two Bridges neighborhood. The 28,000-square-foot facility includes lawns, dunes, and a sloped concrete “urban beach,” designed to replicate the natural breeding habitat of mussels. To read more...
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades Respectable Employment
Lost and Found 212-912-1106
PART TIME SALES POSITION
High commission. B to B sales
We sell donor signage to non-profits,
extremely nice clientele.
Our office is located in FIDI.
Call me at 646-729-7142. Barry Silverberg, Principal
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
Cass Gilbert and the Evolution of the New York Skyscraper
by John Simko
Curating an Artifact of the Unthinkable
Local Resident Oversaw Move of Holocaust Freight Car to Lower Manhattan
In nearly 40 years of involvement in logistics, almost all of it in the field of fine art transportation, participating in this move was professionally the most significant, and personally the most emotional, project I have ever undertaken.
The rail car is on loan from the Auschwitz Museum in Poland, to an exhibition services company in Spain, which is co-sponsoring the new exhibition, “Auschwitz: Not Long Ago, Not Far Away,” with the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
All of these would be evocative and moving enough without a direct connection to the history recalled by this exhibition. But for me, this subject is not academic or theoretical. It is personal. My grandfather, born Yusel Kaganovich (which was anglicized to Joseph Cohen), set out from Vilnius, Lithuania, in 1914, coming ashore at Ellis Island as a boy of 15. To read more…
Not So Alone
in Trinity Churchyard
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