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Lower Manhattan's community newspaper.

Transcript of DOWNTOWN EXPRESS, JAN. 23, 2013


    VoLume 25, number 17 JAnuAry 23-februAry 5, 2013

    Once again, $600 million needed to x up South Ferry

    chIn chaLLenGer

    raIses $37K For coUncIL race

    By Josh rogers

    democratic District Leader Jenifer Rajkumar hasnt announced her plans yet to unseat City Councilmember

    Margaret Chin later this year, but she has already raised more than $37,000 for her campaign.

    Rajkumar said last week that she is exploring a possible run, and would wait until a formal announcement before discussing the campaigns issues. She and Chin submitted their fundraising numbers to the city Campaign Finance Board last week.

    Rajkumar said she has been raising money for only two weeks.

    I am very pleased and moved and overwhelmed by the outpour-ing of support right in the begin-ning, she said.

    Rajkumar trails Chin, who has raised almost $97,000 from slight-ly more than 800 donors, but it is not hard for challengers to raise enough money to run a credible campaign. Under the citys gener-ous public fi nance system, dona-tions up to $175 are matched at a 6-to-1 ratio.

    Rajkumar, 30, a Battery Park City resident and an attorney,

    Photo by Metropolitan Transportation Authority

    It may take three years to repair the South Ferry subway station at a cost of $600 million about the same amount spent in 2009 to expand and repair the stop.

    By Terese Loeb kreuzer

    the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is now saying that it will take one to three years to repair Superstorm Sandy damage to the South Ferry subway

    station at the southern end of Manhattan.Right now, its still too early to tell how

    long the repairs will take, said Kevin Ortiz, a spokesperson for the M.T.A. Were still in the process of assessing the damage and deciding what the scope of the project to mitigate the station would entail. He said that the M.T.A. plans to put the project out to bid at some point this year.

    According to Ortiz, the M.T.A. is consid-ering whether to move some infrastructure

    higher and whether to modify the design of the station in order to make it more resistant to damage from future storms. In-house architects and engineers are doing the assessment.

    As a preliminary estimate, the M.T.A. believes that repairs would cost $600 mil-lion, and hopes to recoup this money from the federal government.

    Malcolm Bowman, professor of oceanog-raphy and a distinguished service professor at the Marine Sciences Research Center at Stony Brook University, said that the M.T.A. should not have been surprised at what hap-pened. Bowman has been warning of poten-tial storm surge problems for years.

    At a recent meeting of Community Board

    2s Environmental Committee, he recalled that several years ago he was involved in a documentary for a TV station at the South Ferry subway station while it was being reno-vated and expanded.

    The station wasnt yet finished, he said. It was just a concrete box, and I was down there with a film crew and the chief engineer of the M.T.A. and we were looking up these concrete steps to the blue sky and I said, How far above sea level is that entrance? And he said, 11 feet. I said, That sounds awfully low to me. He said not to worry. Its built to the building code and its safe against the 100-year storm. And I said that

    Continued on page 23

    mets PItch In to saVe LIttLe LeaGUe season


    Continued on page 12Jenifer Rajkumar

  • 2 January 23 - February 5, 2013

    No Authority Bill Bill Thompson told us he will not take

    back authority of the Battery Park City Authority if he is elected mayor this year.

    Battery Park City functions very well right now, its a special community and I dont think the structure needs to be changed, Thompson, who left as chairper-son of the B.P.C.A. last year to run for mayor, said as he was leaving last weeks meeting of Downtown Independent Democrats.

    Both Mike Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani seriously considered taking control of the neighborhood from the governor for $1, as mayors are permitted to do, but apparently decided against because of questions regard-ing the neighborhoods bonds.

    Thompson also called the long delay in reopening the $4.1 million ballfields tragic.

    During his club pitch to D.I.D., he said he chose not to run for reelection as city comptroller four years ago because he thought it would have been wrong in an unstated but obvious dig at opponent Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who backed Bloombergs push to extend term limits on city officials.

    CouNCil tidBitsOne of the frequently listed occupations

    of donors to Councilmember Margaret Chins reelection campaign is house-wife, a term we suppose is either quaint, dated, or sexist depending on your outlook. Catherine McVay Hughes, best known as being the chairperson of Community Board 1, an unpaid position, opted for home-maker instead.

    We were also struck to see seamstress and street vendor on Chins donor list.

    Liz Abzug, who has flirted in the past with running for the seat and who is the daughter of late feminist icon, Bella Abzug, also gave to Chin.

    As for Chins almost certain opponent, Jenifer Rajkumar, weve been curious why she spells her name with only one N.

    She told us that when she was born, her brother Rahul, then 4, wanted his sister to have an American name and he picked Jennifer. Her ever practical mother didnt want too long a name and saw no phonetic reason for two Ns.

    You know, Mother Rajkumar, youre right: the second N is just for show.

    lovely impressioNsWe finally had a chance last weekend to

    catch up with Bill Love, the sweet sounding southern native and former southern Battery Park City resident who moved down to Charlottesville, Va. in 2011 to be closer to his elderly mother.

    Love popped up to New York at the

    end of December and got a few ovations from his former colleagues on Community Board 1, but we did not have a chance to converse then.

    He said he sympathized with his former neighbors who endured the Occupy Wall Street drumming, and on this trip it was nice to see Zuccotti Park open for everyone. There were no barriers.

    He saw the 9/11 Memorial for the first time and found it to be very impressive. After all the turmoil and political fighting, it seems to have come out fairly well.

    Love, the first leader of Lower Manhattan Democrats, said his successor, Robin Forst, is a better schmoozer than I am, and has done well to get people like C.B. 1 chairperson Catherine McVay Hughes more involved.

    Love is still in politics and was elected to be counsel to the Albemarle County Democratic Committee.

    There are a lot of Tea Party Republicans down here in control of everything , he said.

    Had Barack Obama and Joe Biden needed a recount to carry battleground Virginia, they would have probably turned to Love for legal help.

    F-BomBAn appreciative Susan Henshaw Jones

    said her new favorite 4-letter word was FEMA for all the help the federal agency gave to helping reopen the South Street Seaport Museum, which Jones directs.

    Sounds like the agency is finally doing a heckuva job after its much-maligned post-Katrina days under Brownie.

    Jones spoke last week at a jam-packed museum event where there had been 8 feet of water not too long ago. Mayor Bloomberg came armed with a numbing number of sea jokes including praise for Admiral Kate Levin, the citys Cultural Affairs commish, and Commodore Seth Pinsky, who runs the Economic Development Corp.

    puBlishers row?We hear HarperCollins is getting

    close to signing a deal to move into 195 Broadway, according to a source familiar with the discussions. Crains reported the book giant is looking for about 200,000 square feet of space.

    With Cond Nast slated to go to 1 World Trade Center, it may not yet be a publishers clearinghouse out of Midtown, but Lower Manhattan is getting on the map.

    hArold reedWe bid a sad farewell to Harold Reed, a

    gentleman passionate about the arts and the Seaport. Harold was indeed the community activist hes been described as, but we cant recall another one who was more charming and warm than him.

    He was a good friend and source to UnderCover and we wish we had attended more of his fun holiday parties where the famous and not were all treated with grace.

    We never heard him raise his voice to anyone including us even if perhaps we deserved it.

    For better or worse, weve heard many things said about noteworthy people in Lower Manhattan, but in all these years no one ever had an unkind word about Harold. There was none to be said.

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