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Transcript of DOWNTOWN EXPRESS, MAY 21, 2105

  • VOLUME 27, NUMBER 25 MAY 21-JUNE 3, 2015



    PG. 3


    PG. 12




    Tiffany Murdaugh has been arrested and charged with three counts including assault in the second degree, a felony

    on Wednesday for an incident on Beekman St. that seriously injured a woman last month, according to the Manhattan District Attorneys office.

    Murdaugh, 34 and a New Jersey resident, was arraigned on charges in criminal court at 100 Centre St., which include reckless endanger-ment in the first degree and leaving the scene of an accident without reporting, according to the D.A.s office.

    Heather Hensl, a 37-year-old mother of two young girls, was walk-

    Continued on page 6


    For at least a decade or two, there hasnt been much rea-son to hope the South Street Seaports New Market Building

    would be preserved, but the city like-ly began hammering the final nails in the buildings coffin last week.

    It was just an iconic view with the Brooklyn Bridge in the back-ground and the dawn light, Seaport artist Naima Rauam, 69, who began her lifes work documenting the area in paintings nearly 50 years ago, said Tuesday. Youd see this miraculous sunrise after the work-ers were done. It sparkled in the evening.

    The 1939 building was the last to be constructed for the Fulton Fish Market and its more modern look was at least one reason the city has never landmarked it. Rauam said the prominent Fulton Fish Market lettering on the building makes a strong visual tie to the history, par-ticularly since smaller lettering on some of the 19th century buildings have faded long ago.

    Plans are to demolish the back cooler area of the building in July or August because the citys Economic Development Corp. has determined it is in danger of collapse.

    Internal E.D.C. emails in April concluded a complete demolition was

    necessary, Crains reported last week. In response to Downtown

    Express questions, Kelly Magee, E.D.C.s spokesperson, did not deny the accuracy of the reports about the emails, or that officials still anticipate demolishing the city-owned building, but she maintains no final decision will be made until after the first phase.

    The demolition of the cooler area is a first step, she wrote in an email, and future work could include full or partial demolition of the Tin and New Market buildings.

    Unlike New Market, the Tin

    Image courtesy of Naima Rauam

    Artist Naimas Rauam 2005 painting, Working through a Snowstorm, Fulton Fish Market shows what she calls the iconic New Market Building.

    Despite cries of foul, Seaport building appears headed for the wrecking ball

    Continued on page 16

  • 2 May 21-June 3, 2015 May 21-June 3, 2015

    STAR & HARD WORKComedian Billy Crystal joked

    about smoking pot and sleeping late (hey, so did at least two presidents) when he was at community college on Long Island several decades ago, but he also got serious at B.M.C.C.s annual gala last week.

    Crystal then got serious saying it was at community college that he got interested in performing, and the rest is history. Paul Shaffer, who until this week was David Lettermans sidekick, introduced Crystal. Shaffer has been a big supporter of the college and was instrumental in bringing Crystal to

    the event, which has attracted the likes of Robert De Niro in the past.

    The glitzy gala which was offering single malt Scotches for those in the know, took in a record $1.1 million for the Borough of Manhattan Community Colleges scholarship fund, which edu-cates many poor immigrants.

    One scholarship awardee who spoke, Ya Rue Zie, was working 12-hour days in a Chinese restau-rant and going to school part-time. She was looking to graduate in about a decade, but when she got a scholarship she was able to go full time, and hopes to be get a business degree and work to be a venture capitalist in the not so dis-tant future.

    Our old reporter friend Al Amateau, now semi-retired, used to say Im sending her my resume.

    MAGEE JOINS E.D.C.Some may see it as poetry. Were

    not sure about that, but we do think its at least noteworthy that Kelly Magee recently became spokes-person for the citys Economic Development Corp., which manag-es the South Street Seaports city-owned properties.

    Magee, was spokesperson to Councilmember Margaret Chin two years ago, when Chin backed the Howard Hughes Corp.-E.D.C. deal to rebuild Pier 17. At the time, Chin did not press the city and Hughes to talk about the firms intent to build a tower at the Seaports New Market Building site a proposal that has dominated Seaport news since the end of 2013.

    E.D.C. kept that part of Hughes plan hidden from the public until the Pier 17 plan was approved, as Downtown Express first reported then.

    At the time, Magee seemed to come down hard on any local crit-ics of the plan. Robert LaValva, who at the time was running the Seaports New Amsterdam market, said Magee berated him after a City Council hearing in which he hinted at the secret part of the deal.

    More recently, Chin has been a much harsher critic of Hughes, leading with Manhattan Beep Gale Brewer the opposition to the Seaport Tower.

    We may get some flack for this but we did notice that perhaps only coincidentally, Chin did not take as hard a line this week at news that E.D.C. was going to start demolish-

    ing the cooler area of New Market Building, which Chin favors land-marking.

    Magee did not respond as to whether she thought her Seaport experience helped her land the E.D.C. gig.

    BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVICThe kids were blown away.That is how Robert Sander, a teacher

    at Stuyvesant High School, described his class recent visit to the 9/11 Museum. Sander teaches a senior elective New York City History and took his class to the muse-um for the first time.

    I thought it was incredibly powerful, said Sander, who also teaches an advanced placement U.S. history course, in a phone interview. He was at Stuyvesant when the Sept. 11 attacks happened and he remembers the F.B.I. being in the lobby, gas masks, kids screaming and the evacuation.

    First, the students went to the reflecting pools of the memorial and then to the museum where they saw artifacts from the day of the attacks. The students also listened to audio of people calling their families before the tower collapsed.

    Afterwards, he asked students to write evaluations and many said it was the most powerful educational experi-ence of their life.

    But how many students are having this experience specifically those who attend schools near where the tragic events took place? It seems to be a mixed bag when it comes to Lower Manhattan public schools visiting the museum for a variety of rea-sons. One educator said that no museum is part of the curriculum. Another said that there is too much material to cover to even get to 9/11 whereas for others it comes at the end of the year.

    More than 17,000 New York City stu-dents have gone to the museum since it opened last May, Anthony Guido, director of communications for the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, wrote in an email.

    There are 1.1 million students in New York City, so less than two percent have visited.

    In September last year, the museum started classrooms workshops and 181 classes have gone, said Guido. This num-ber reflects how many classes have taken the workshops until the end of this March.

    Out of those 181, which he said is around 4,000 students, 40 classes were from Manhattan, but he had no further breakdown of the numbers by neighbor-hoods and there is no way to tell how many were from Lower Manhattan. Out of those students, 1,800 were high schoolers and 1,100 were middle schoolers.

    At the High School of Economics and Finance at 100 Trinity Place, Raj Nanda, an assistant principal, said that it has a ninth grade bridge program that offers students entering the high school to attend a month-long summer session that includes a visit to the museum.

    Nanda also teaches U.S. history for 11th graders and said that since 9/11 comes at the end of the school year in the curriculum, it doesnt make sense time wise to go to the museum. However, Nanda said in a phone interview that he strongly encourages students to visit to the museum since it is so close.

    No classes from Millennium High School at 75 Broad St. have gone as a group to the museum, said Angela Benfield, parent coordinator, in an email.

    Individual students have visited and a few have participated in a museum com-munity service project, but no classes, she said. Millennium High School was found-ed in 2002 with 9/11 recovery money as a way to help revitalize Lower Manhattan and its mascot is the Phoenix, the mythical bird that rises from the ashes.

    Initially, Benfield cited price as a deter-rent it costs $24 for an adult and $15 for those seven to 17.

    The museum is free both the admission and the workshops for New York state schools, kindergarten through 12th grade. Benfield did not know admission was free and later said she would talk to the principal and teachers about organizing a trip.

    The museum said that there has been outreach through the citys Department of Education and their website, and the focus has been on creating a pres-

    ence throughout all five boroughs and beyond the city. There are plans to reach out to Lower Manhattan schools specifically next year.

    Providing a place to educate the students of today, as well as future generations, is both a