The life of a tree tends to be longer than a human’s. Perhaps that is why ceremonial tree plantings are common when it comes to commemorating the lives lost.
On Monday, Community Board 1 hosted a tree-planting ceremony in Battery Park, where a pin oak tree was planted near Castle Clinton. It is the first of numerous trees that will line a bike path connecting the city’s west and east sides. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler, NYC Comptroller John Liu, Councilmember Margaret Chin, NYS Sen. Daniel Squadron and C.B. l Chair Julie Menin all got their hands dirty as they put shovels in the ground.
While the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., is winding down, it still has some money left to award. Local elected officials, including U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer and State senator Daniel Squadron, have urged the LMDC to use some of the money to refurbish Pier 42, at the end of Montgomery Street. While the city has plans to build a park and recreational area on the pier, there’s no money budgeted for the project.
Today, Squadron praised the LMDC for awarding the community grants. But, in a statement, he added, he would continue to “fight for the redevelopment funds necessary to compete the East River Waterfront park, including the redevelopment of Pier 42.”
As Hurricane Irene approached the Tri-State area last weekend, Tenant Association members at Smith Houses diligently knocked on neighbors’ doors and advised them to leave.
As a result, T.A. President Aixa Torres and an approximately 50-member volunteer group managed to evacuate almost 90 percent of the public housing development’s 1,920 residents — cause for a special honorary ceremony held by local elected officials on Wed., Aug. 31.
The politicians granted the volunteers individual certificates for their good deeds and sang their praises.
“The fact that this wasn’t a tragedy at Smith Houses isn’t only because the weather had turned and it got lucky. This wasn’t a tragedy at Smith Houses because you did the work to ensure it wasn’t a tragedy,” said N.Y.S. Sen. Daniel Squadron. “Congratulations for a job done extraordinarily well.”
After 10 years, the Cortlandt Street subway station fully reopened Tuesday and southbound service on the N and R lines in Lower Manhattan has launched again.
The station, which is located across the street from the World Trade Center, was closed for one year after the September 11th attacks and shut again in August 2005 as part of construction of the $1.4 billion Fulton Street Transit hub.
"This week the world's eyes are on Lower Manhattan. We are opening the station within 10 years of the anniversary of the event. We have taken an appropriate moment, nationally and internationally to remember that horrible day," said Manhattan-Brooklyn Senator Daniel Squadron.
Crossing under the BQE across Hamilton Avenue on Clinton Street is the best way for school children and residents of Red Hook and Carroll Gardens to pass between the two neighborhoods.
The usual (safer) route, the Hamilton Avenue Pedestrian Bridge, which crosses over the highway, is closed for repairs. It will not re-open until at least the end of October.
A recent meeting held by State Senator Daniel Squadron, and attended by community groups and representatives of the 76 Precinct and other elected officials, called on the State DOT to increase safety for residents and children who now have to cross the notoriously dangerous Hamilton Avenue.
As Hurricane Irene was storming up the coast toward New York on Thursday night, Aixa Torres, 59, of the Smith Houses on the lower East Side, got a shocking phone call from a housing authority manager in Manhattan.
"Aixa, we're going to have to evacuate everybody in your buildings," the manager told her.
This was hours before Mayor Bloomberg had issued an evacuation order.
The manager was alerting Torres because she is president of the Smith Houses tenants association and the agency needed her help.
More than 4,300 residents live in Smith Houses, a complex of 12 high-rise buildings along the East River.
Having lived in that project since she was 6, Torres knows most residents by name.
Senator Daniel Squadron, Councilmember Margaret Chin and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver went door-to-door to shelters and residents’ homes, alerting them of the evacuation order, encouraging them to leave and arranging transportation for them. Downtown Alliance rerouted its Downtown Connection buses to shuttle people to and from the schools. Other residents stayed in hotels...
Improvements need to be made, Sen. Squadron echoed, so that evacuations are more streamlined in the event of another emergency — particularly in overcoming language and transportation barriers.
“The mayor and local volunteers who took a leadership role deserve great credit for being repsonsive and aggressive in the hours leading up to the storm,” said Squadron. “But we also saw the plan has weaknesses that must be addressed in case we ever have an issue like this again.”
NY1 VIDEO: State Senator Daniel Squadron, who represents Downtown Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., and Congressman Michael Grimm, whose district includes part of Brooklyn and all of Staten Island, talked with Inside City Hall’s Errol Louis about how residents in their areas dealt with the storm.
Earlier this month, the mayor agreed to a deal with two state legislators that is supposed to resolve one of the most contentious issues surrounding the long-awaited, painstakingly planned Brooklyn Bridge Park: The development of luxury condos inside the park, which the mayor wants in order to guarantee a source of recurring revenue to pay for the park’s maintenance in the future, and which the two lawmakers (and a vocal coalition of park activists) oppose.
State Sen. Daniel Squadron said that while the "city has been aggressive and responsive last night and today," he was concerned that several thousand of the residents may have to ride the storm out. The ordered shutdown of elevators in the buildings, which are up to 10 to 13 floors tall, was making the evacuation more difficult.
A follow-up on the continuing tensions between the Forsyth Street produce vendors and the NYPD. Last month, the vendors and the Urban Justice Center staged a protest under the Manhattan Bridge, complaining that the police and other city agencies were going on a ticket-writing frenzy in an effort to scare them away.
Yesterday, representatives of many of those agencies, as well as State Senator Daniel Squadron, City Councilmember Margaret Chin and staff from the offices of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Borough President Scott Stringer got together to discuss the situation.
New information this afternoon concerning the closure of the Bialystoker Nursing Home on East Broadway. First, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, City Councilmember Margaret Chin and State Senator Daniel Squadron have sent a letter to the state health commissioner.
“The question to monitor is whether we’ve gone far enough,” echoed State Senator Daniel Squadron, a strong advocate for minimizing the number of tour buses that frequent Lower Manhattan.
Squadron is pushing for other transportation measures to be implemented, such as a dispatch system that would inform bus companies of area parking availability ahead of time, so that bus drivers would be ensured a spot before coming into the neighborhood. The Senator would also like to see a “satellite” parking system in place that would direct the buses to Harrison, New Jersey and other dedicated parking spaces outside of Lower Manhattan after dropping off passengers at the memorial. The hope, he said, is that out-of-towners would patronize Downtown businesses and visit other attractions in the area besides the memorial before heading home.
State Senator Daniel Squadron and City Councilwoman Margaret Chin urged the Department of Transportation to improve safety on Delancey Street today in the wake of last week’s deadly accident that killed a 52-year-old cyclist. As the Lo-Down reports, the thoroughfare had a reputation for danger prior to the most recent tragedy. Earlier this month, The Local reported that a significant number of the city’s dangerous intersections are on the Lower East Side — of those, most are on Delancey Street.
In the wake of last week's fatal cycling accident on Delancey Street, State Senator Daniel Squadron and City Council member Margaret Chin released a statement today urging the the DOT to address the safety nightmare for pedestrians and cyclists that Delancey has become. "Each tragedy is a clarion call that we need more pedestrian safety improvements now," Squadron says. Noting that the perilous conditions on Delancey cannot remain so, Chin calls the number of accidents along the thoroughfare "unacceptable."