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Transcript of DOWNTOWN EXPRESS: 4-20-11

BY ALINE REYNOLDS Residents near Ground Zero fear the worst as they anticipate height-ened congestion when the National September 11th Memorial and Museum opens in September. Approximately 1,500 people an hour are expected to visit the memo-rial, 20 percent of whom are likely to arrive at the site by tour bus, according to New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Silver, along with other local elected ofcials, met with members of Community Boards 1 and 3, the New York City Department of Transportation and the New York Police Department last Friday, April 15, to discuss new parking regulations, enforcement for the tour buses and alternative means of transportation for World Trade Center visitors. The memorial, which is expected to draw ve to seven million people annually, will receive between six and eight busloads of visitors per hour. The resulting trafc congestion and air pol-lution could pose everyday hassles and safety risks for local residents if not properly dealt with, according to New York State Assemblywoman Deborah Downtown Express photo by John BaylesSpring is the season for hoopsDrew Mihalik and Dave Monnat, both seniors at Pace University, took advantage of the weather last Thursday and during a break between classes found their way to the basketball courts at West Thames Park.BY ALINE REYNOLDSSome Downtown young-sters may soon have lengthy bus rides to get to school each day if the city goes ahead with its plan to rezone the area south of 14th St. The School Construction Authority, a branch of the NYC Department of Education, announced last week that it would be funding new school seats based on newly designated sub-districts, rather than districts, for the rst time. This system would divide Lower Manhattan into east and west at Broadway. To the communitys angst, the new plan groups Lower Manhattan West and Tribeca with the Village; and Lower Manhattan East with Chinatown. The Departments new and existing resources for the two Downtown subdis-tricts are projected to be sufcient for the areas seat capacity needs, according to the DOEs latest projections. Liz Bergin, the departments vice president of capital plan management, presented the data to NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silvers School Overcrowding Task Force on Thurs., April 14. The April amendment to the 2010-14 Capital Plan funds 1,301 new seats for Tribeca, the Village and Lower Manhattan West greater than the 725 addi-tional seats needed in these neighborhoods by 2014, according to the DOE. The SCA overprotected the capacity needs of District Two, Bergin explained, because the areas housing sector is not growing as quickly as previously antici-pated. (The Department did not immediately identify where they would secure the additional 225 needed seats in Chinatown and Lower Manhattan East.) Bergin assured that there are enough seats for Downtown youngsters in the pipeline 518 seats, for example, at the Foundling Hospital (P.S. 340), which School rezoning distresses Downtown community Pols: Stop tour bus invasion Continued on page 6 Continued on page 8downtown expressVOLUME 23, NUMBER 49 THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN APRIL 20 - 26, 2011A DECADE OF TRIBECA FILM FESTPGS. 15 - 25Fine Hand Rolled Cigars from the Dominican RepublicWe Hand Roll Cigars At All Events!165 Church St. (bet. Chambers & Reade)(212) 791-7394Red Vintage from The Q CollectionApril 20 - 26, 2011 2downtown expressFREE DOWNTOWNEVENTSSATURDAY, APRI L 30 10 AM 6 PM Rain or ShineFAMI LY FESTI VAL STREET FAI RPresented by American ExpressGreenwich Street (North of Chambers Street)Come join the party in the heart of Tribeca for a fun-lled family-friendly interactive celebration! Its a full day of entertainment and activities. Enjoy food and fun from some of Tribecas world-class restaurants, merchants, and schools. Fly a kite, watch a live performance, get creative with arts and crafts, dance to music, and put a smile on your face its all here in Tribeca. Broadway performances, face painting, family lms, storytelling and so much more!TRI BECA/ESPN SPORTS DAYSponsored by Time Warner CableN. Moore Street (Between Greenwich and West Streets)ATTENTION SPORTS FANS! Kids of all ages can try their hand at a vast array of sports activities, games, and challenges at the 2011 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day. Favorite New York athletes, mascots, and sports personalities will be on-site to engage kids in one-of-a-kind athletic fun. Shoot hoops, perfect your puck skills, or learn how to throw the perfect pitch.... were taking sports to the street in Tribeca! 2011 Tribeca Enterprises LLCDowntown Express photo by John BaylesNurturing a green thumb, one mistake at a timePhyllis Goldberg was tending her tiny plot in Liberty Gardens in Battery Park City last Thursday. Goldberg admits that her thumb might not be the greenest when it comes to some of the other gardeners who use the plots to grow everything from vegetables to owers. But for Goldberg gardening is a hobby and she appreciates the chance to pick up tips from others who use the space.Im basically uprooting a mistake, Goldberg said as she tried to rip out one of old plants. When I put this one in last year, I thought it was a perennial. But when I came out here today, it was dead as a doornail.A Tribeca restaurants petition to enliven its nightlife atmosphere was shot down at a Community Board 1 meeting on Wed., April 13. In an advisory role, C.B. 1s Tribeca Committee voted unanimously to deny the owner of Sazon additional forms of night-time entertainment. Live music is essential to a Puerto Rican restaurant, and will have a make-or-break impact on the business, according to its attorney, Martin Mehler. Live music, however, is prohibited by stipulations in the restaurants state-regu-lated liquor license, according to committee member Jeff Ehrlich. Several nearby residents cringed at the mere thought of the proposals. Amy Sewell, who lives at 99 Reade St., said she is often disturbed at night by rowdy patrons loitering on the street after they leave the restaurant. We know you have intentions of being good neighbors, but it hasnt worked, she said. Even if youre [only] open until 1 or 2 a.m., people stay on the street partying until 3 or 4 a.m. Its a problem. Its horrifying that youre thinking of staying open later, said Lisa Schiller, anoth-er resident of 99 Reade St. who also gets irritated by the noise.The restaurant is already in violation of State law, according to Sewells husband, Charlie Sewell. He said he regularly sees the restaurants windows open after 7 p.m. a breach of the restaurants liquor license and hears loud music streaming from inside. Y ou basically operated a discotheque downstairs on a nightly basis, Sewell said. Sazons owner, J.R. Morales, said in reply that he had hired a D.J. a few nights a week to play oldies music on the bottom oor of the venue. The eaterie, concluded Peter Braus, chair of the Tribeca Committee, would have a bunch of work to do before considering submitting an application with the owners desired changes. I cant see this committee considering any additional dispensation of the restau-rant, said Braus. I dont think wed be acting in the best interest of the neighbor-hood. Aline ReynoldsTribeca locals dash eaterys live music hopeswww.DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.comdowntown expressApril 20 - 26, 2011 3Tribeca Open Artist Studio TourThe annual TriBeCa Open Artist Studio Tour (TOAST) allows residents and interested parties to take a behind-the-scenes look at the work of some of Tribecas most talented artists. Visitors will be take self-guided tours through the artists studios, where they will have the opportunity to speak directly to and purchase pieces from the artists. The four-day event will take place from Fri., April 29 to Mon., May 2, in 36 different locations across Tribeca. Were excited to offer a true glimpse behind the cur-tain that exposes where neighborhood artists create, what inspires them and how they do what they do, said Ruth McLaughlin, treasurer of TOAST and a participating artist. This is a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in an open artistic atmosphere of discussion and enlightenment.Now in its 15th year, the tour is at its largest since its creation, with close to 100 artists participating this season. For information on the event, and to view previews of the participating artists and download a tour map, visit Confronting Islamist propagandaA reformed ex-member of the Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir will speak in Tribeca at an event called The Front Lines of Counter Terrorism: Confronting Islamist Extremist Propaganda. Maajid Nawaz is a former high-ranking member of the global political organization, which seeks to unite all Muslim countries as one Islamic state. After spending four years in prison as an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience, he reversed his ideology and now promotes counter-extrem-ist views. He also seeks to challenge the popular opinion that the West is out to destroy Islam. During his appearance on Thurs., April 28 at the 9/11 Memorial preview site (located at 20 Vesey St.), ut-Tahrir will discuss his experience with the radicalization process and the necessity for free societies to challenge erroneous narratives and promote pluralism. RSVP at to reserve a seat. Otherwise, seats are available at the door on a rst-co