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The weekly newspaper serving Lower Manhattan


  • downtown express



    WALL ST., PG. 2

    BY ALINE REYNOLDS Pristine white walls splashed with

    photographs of playful children now make up the 4,500-square-foot remod-eled space at the future site of the proposed Islamic community center known as Park51.

    The art exhibit, entitled NYChildren, features a series of 169 photographs of fi rst-generation or immigrant youths ages 12 and under that now live in New York City. The youngest child is a 34-day-old toddler from Ethiopia, who is shown sleeping peacefully on her parents bed in their New York home.

    The exhibit has been showcased

    at a dozen other locations domesti-cally and in Denmark, according to the photographer, Danny Goldfi eld, who has 24 children left to photograph to complete his project. When fi nished, there will be one child from every country in the world. The inspira-tion behind Goldfi elds project was Rana Sodhi, brother of Balbir Sodhi, a Sikh in Arizona who was shot and killed in front of his family-owned gas station four days after 9/11. Sodhis death was one of the fi rst post-9/11 hate-crime murders in the country, Goldfi eld noted.

    It was Sodhi brothers innovative and good-hearted spirit that inspired

    Goldfi eld to take on the daunting proj-ect, the photographer said in a speech he made at the exhibits opening at 45-51 Park Place on Wednesday, Sept. 26. Goldfi eld described Balbir as a gen-erous individual who gave away candy to customers and their families and, hours before he was murdered, emp-tied his pockets at a local fundraising drive for 9/11 victims families.

    Goldfi eld admired Balbirs brother, Rana, who despite his loss, had a desire to open his heart to others.

    He had this simple prescription of making the world better by meet-

    Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

    Running in a heros footstepsOn Sunday, Sept. 25, over 30,000 runners took part in the annual Tunnel to Towers Race in honor of Stephen Siller, the fallen fi refi ghter who ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel in full-gear on 9/11 to get to the World Trade Center site. Turn to page 16.

    BY ALINE REYNOLDSAfter a highly conten-

    tious debate among com-munity members, the City Council unanimously voted in favor of the Chinatown Business Improvement District at its meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Mayor Michael Bloombergs signed the legislation on Tuesday night.

    More than three-quarters of the B.I.D.s fi rst-year budget, which totals $1.3 million, will be allocated to supplemental sanitation services, while the remain-ing funds will fi nance holi-day lighting, maintenance of street lampposts and furni-ture and other area services. Assessment fees range from $1 for condominium owners

    to up to $5,000 for large property owners, the major-ity of whom will pay $700 annually. Approximately three-quarters of the dis-tricts 2,300 property lots will owe $1,000 or less per year.

    With respect to trash, the Council advised the future B.I.D. to increase garbage collection prior to 8 a.m. based on concerns raised by local business and property owners. The B.I.D. will enhance and retain business in Chinatown by supplying very signifi cant sanitation services within the B.I.D.s boundary, said Council Speaker Christine Quinn at a Sept. 21 press conference announcing the City Council vote.

    Chinatown B.I.D. opponents vow to keep fi ghting

    Photo exhibit at future site of Park51 showcases children of the world

    Continued on page 15

    Continued on page 12

    OH, THE HORROR!Frightening prospects for Downtown Halloween happenings. See page 23.

  • September 28 - October 4, 20112 downtown express

    Occupy Wall St. gets sprayed with attentionFor the last 11 days protestors have been camping out in

    Zuccotti Park, decrying the role of big business in politics and how, in the groups opinion, a wealthy few have used their power to infl uence government.

    That was the message behind the 99 percent march on Saturday, Sept. 24. The marchs moniker referred to the notion that the wealthiest one percent of Americans, via cor-porate interests, have exerted their control over the remain-ing 99 percent of Americans.

    The media had largely ignored the occupation until Saturday. As the protestors marched along Broadway to Union Square in the afternoon, they veered west one block to University Street. When the protestors began to block traffi c the NYPD stepped in and the result was a mass arrest of dozens of marchers. In total over 80 arrests were made on Saturday.

    At the corner of Broadway and 12th Street, a group of pro-testors corralled behind a NYPD barricade received a shot of pepper spray to their faces. The NYPD has acknowledged the use of pepper spray to control the crowd but would not comment on the specifi cs of the incident.

    As the police began arresting the marchers and lining them up along side of a building on 12th Street and 5th Avenue, crowds gathered to gawk and voice their support for the marchers. Due to the high number of arrests, in addition to the regular NYPD vans, the police used an MTA bus to carry the arrested marchers to the First Precinct. The offi cers loaded the arrested protestors onto the vehicle two-at-a-time, and the crowd chanted, Shame on the MTA, as the bus pulled away.

    As of Tuesday the protestors were still occupying the park.

    - John Bayles

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    Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess Downtown Express photo by John Bayles

  • downtown express September 28 - October 4, 2011 3


    A full house can be expected next Tuesday, Oct. 4, at P.S. 234 when the citys Department of Education will seek pub-lic input on a major new rezoning plan for Lower Manhattan public schools.

    The proposal was released last week by the D.O.E. and is most notable for its inclusion of a new zone for the school at Peck Slip, which is projected to open in 2015. Another major alteration to the existing zoning is the division of Tribeca. The plan basically cuts the neighborhood in half, with residents living above North Moore Street being required to send their kids to P.S. 3 in Greenwich Village instead of the neighborhood school, P.S. 234.

    Other changes include residents of Gateway Plaza in Battery Park City being rezoned for P.S. 276 instead of their current assigned school, P.S. 89.

    The districts Community Education Council must approve the plan prior to its adoption. The Oct. 4 public hearing begins at 6:30 p.m. in P.S. 234s auditorium.


    The debate over constructing a 12-foot by 14-foot Sukkah at Duane Park in Tribeca came to an end this week when Community Board 1 Chair Julie Menin stepped in and identi-

    fi ed an alternative site.Rabbi Zalman Paris of the Chabad of Tribeca/SoHo

    appeared before the C.B. 1 Tribeca Committee earlier this month with his proposal to construct the primitive hut, meant to commemorate the 40 years that the Jews spent trek-king through the desert during their exodus from slavery in Egypt. The Jewish holiday, Sukkot, lasts seven days.

    Menin reached out to Jaffe Real Estate, who owns a vacant lot at 70 Warren Street. She brokered a deal with Rabbi Paris, the Church Street School for Music and Art (the neighboring property) and the Friends of Duane Park that will allow the Sukkah to operate for the full seven days between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.


    As Park51 eagerly awaits gaining offi cial nonprofi t status from the Internal Revenue Service, Chairman El Gamal Sharifand the organizations other board of directors are already selecting members for its advisory board. Were already in business [as a nonprofi t], and we have the power to conduct business as a charity in New York State [granted] by the state attorney general, said Park51 Spokesperson Larry Kopp.

    So far, they have secured fi rm commitments from a for-mer U.S. ambassador, a prominent Imam, a rabbi, a celebrity and a publishing mogul, according to Kopp. The 15 or 20

    advisors, whose names will be publicly announced in the coming weeks, will help formulate Park51s mission and programming.

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    NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1-9, 12-21

    EDITORIAL PAGES . . . . . . . . . . 10-11

    YOUTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

    ARTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 - 27

    CLASSIFIEDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

    C.B. 1MEETINGSA schedule of this weeks upcoming Community

    Board 1 committee meetings is below. Unless other-wise noted, all committee meeti