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September 11, Downtown Express

September 11, Downtown Express

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Published by: COMMUNITYMEDIA on Sep 11, 2009
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12/21/2012

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Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert
With a little trepidation, kindergarten students waited outside Tweed Courthouse Wednesday for the first day ofclass ever for Spruce Street School and P.S./I.S. 276.
BY ALBERT AMATEAU
Calvin Gibson had ananniversary of sorts on July24 — not a celebrationexactly — but it marked anevent that could have beenhis last.It was a year since adisturbed resident of thebuilding on E. Seventh St.where he has lived for 16years shot him six times.“It was my good fortunenot to die,” he told twovisitors last week. He oftenlaughs when he talks aboutthe near-fatal incident: “Idon’t know why, I guess it’sbecause I’m past it. And totell the truth, I must havesome selective amnesiabecause I know a lot of thecircumstances only becausepeople told me — policeand neighbors,” he said.After a month in BellevueHospital undergoing moreoperations than he likesto remember and fivemonths at Coler-Goldwaterhospital on RooseveltIsland learning to get backon his feet, Gibson, 52,still uses crutches to getup and down to and fromhis fourth-floor apartmentbetween Avenues C and D.Another grim reminderof that terrible Thursdaymorning last year isa 9-millimeter bulletfragment lodged in his
 Slowly healing aftera shooting, glad to be alive
BY JULIE SHAPIRO
As Assembly Speaker SheldonSilver watched the first kindergartenersarrive at the two new schools in TweedCourthouse Wednesday morning, hethought up an analogy that made himsmile.“It’s almost like we’re giving birth tothis school,” Silver said. “And it almosttook as long.”Silver started pushing forkindergarten classes in TweedCourthouse late last year when itbecame clear that the planned 2010opening of Lower Manhattan’s twonew schools would not come soonenough to relieve overcrowding at P.S.89 and P.S. 234. In response to pressurefrom Silver, parents and others, the citydecided to start the two new schools,P.S./I.S. 276 and the Spruce StreetSchool, with just kindergarten classesthis fall in Tweed Courthouse.After months of planning for the newkindergarten seats and some confusionover the zoning, Tweed opened itsdoors Sept. 9 to a flood of parentsand children. Sporting Hello Kittybackpacks and superhero lunchboxes,new clothes and freshly painted nails,the kindergarteners ranged fromeuphoric to terrified as they lined upwith their classmates in City Hall Parkand said goodbye to their parents.Matt McGowan was one of manyparents in the crowd sending their first-born child off to kindergarten.
They’re open! Spruce & 276 beginwith 1st day fears and smiles
Continued on
 page 9 
Continued on
 page 5 
d
nt
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express 
®
 VOLUME 22, NUMBER 18 THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN
SEPTEMBER 11 - 17, 2009
BACKTOSCHOOL,PP. 22-28
Election is Tuesday
Registered Democrats are eligible to vote Tues., Sept.15 in the primary for city offices including mayor, citycomptroller, public advocate, Manhattan district attorneyand city councilmember. To find your polling site, call866-VOTE-NYC or visit vote.nyc.ny.us.Candidates in the citywide races must get at least40 percent of the vote to win. If no candidate receives40 percent, there will be a runoff between the top twovote getters. In the City Council races, whoever getsthe most votes win.This week, we have prepared a chart of LowerManhattan’s District 1 City Council candidates withinformation about who they are and their positions on afew issues. (pp. 18-19)The Democratic nominee will face Republican IreneHorvath in the November general election, althoughmost observers consider a primary victory to betantamount to winning the seat since Lower Manhattanis overwhelmingly Democratic.For more information on the candidates in the First,Second and Third Districts, visit downtownexpress.com toread our previous articles on the candidates and to watchour debates between the First and Third District hopefuls.
 
September 11 - 17, 2009
2
downtown express 
 T
URNING
 
 A
 
CORNER
July 4, 2004 may be a day that will live in infamy in World Trade Center rebuilding history but it also representsthe pride and honor of Hauppauge, Long Island.On Independence Day five years ago, officials unveileda 20-ton ceremonial cornerstone where the FreedomTower was supposed to be built. Then-Gov.
George Pataki
 led the ceremony along with his New Jersey counterpart,
James McGreevey
, Mayor
Mike Bloomberg
, W.T.C.developer
Larry Silverstein
and Port Authority leaders.President
George W. Bush
was due to arrive in the citythe next month to be nominated for reelection and therewas speculation at the time of the ceremony’s ties to theRepublican National Convention. But Freedom Towerconstruction did not really begin then and the towerwas later redesigned for security reasons. In 2006, thecornerstone was in the way of the new design and it hadto hauled back to Hauppauge to be stored by InnovativeStone, which built it.
Karen Pearse
, the Innovative C.E.O., tells UnderCoverthat at first she thought she’d be storing the stone until2012 when the tower had been expected to be complete,but she says the Port Authority later told the firm that theymay not ever want it back. Pearse decided to use the firm’sfront lawn to display the stone in a memorial garden, whichwill be unveiled this Friday, Sept. 11.The cornerstone was often mocked as a symbol of falserebuilding promises, but to Pearse it represents the unifiedspirit immediately after 9/11 and “absolute reverence forthe people who were lost.” It’s not “all about negativity andpolitics,” she added. Pearse was amazed how easy it wasto get three dozen or so Long Island businesses to donateservices and materials for the garden and ceremony.She said it’s possible island native
Billy Joel
will performat the 8 a.m. public unveiling although the singer had notconfirmed by press time. For those who can’t make theceremony, she said a nighttime drive by the stone at 130Motor Parkway is worth a trip because of all of the lights.“It’s a real showstopper,” Pearse said.Pataki and Bloomberg declined her invitations, butGov.
David Paterson
is sending a representative to theceremony.
D
ON
 T
 
 VOTE
 
FOR
 
 YOURSELF
If you ever get endorsed by Councilmember
JessicaLappin
, you can count on her to fight for every vote. Lappincame to Tribeca last week to endorse her colleague,
AlanGerson
, and she also met another candidate in the race,
Arthur Gregory
. Gregory happened by because he wasplaying with his daughter in Washington Market Park.Gregory thinks he and Gerson are the best two candidatesin the race and when Lappin saw how friendly the twoopponents were getting along, she reminded Gregory thatno one would ever know what Gregory did “in the privacyof the voting booth.” Gregory assured her he was a solidGregory vote. 
 V
IDEO
 
DUSTUP
A video clip beginning to circulate on YouTube showsDemocratic District Leader
David Reck
— a big supporterof Councilmember Alan Gerson — ripping down campaignposters belonging to Gerson challenger
Pete Gleason
. Recksays he took them down because they were illegal.A Gleason volunteer used his cell phone to captureReck tearing down the signs. In the 27-second video, Reckrealizes he’s being taped and strides angrily over to theGleason volunteer and shouts insults about Gleason.Reck said Wednesday that he had not seen the video(curious UnderCover readers can go to YouTube.com andsearch “David Reck” to find the clip). Reck said campaignsigns are not allowed to be on lampposts. He is particularlyangry at Gleason because Gleason subpoenaed him duringa legal battle earlier this summer over Gerson’s petitionsignatures.Gleason said candidates throughout the city put flyerson lampposts. He did not deny that it was illegal, but hesaid Reck does not work for the city and should not beenforcing the law.
C
 AMPAIGN
 
PROMISES
Speaking of the Council race, this week we asked eachof the candidates a hypothetical question that could becomevery real for the winner.Among the councilmember’s duties will berecommending community board members, and many of those board members have been strong advocates for aCouncil candidate. What we asked is: Should the futurecouncilmember decide not to reappoint someone whosupported a different candidate, would the councilmemberdisclose the reason?As long as the un-reappointed community board memberwas okay with the reason being disclosed, all five candidatessaid yes, they would make the reason public. Don’t worry,we’ll hold them to their word.
NEWS
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-19 
EDITORIAL PAGES
. . . . . . . . . . 20-21
BACK TO SCHOOL 
. . . . . . . . . . 22-28 
 YOUTH
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 
 ARTS
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
 30-34 Listings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 
CLASSIFIEDS
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 
C.B. 1
M
EETINGS
The upcoming week’s schedule of CommunityBoard 1 committee meetings is below. Unlessotherwise noted, all committee meetings are heldat the board office, located at 49-51 Chambers St.,room 709 at 6 p.m.
ON THURS., SEPT. 10:
The LandmarksCommittee will meet.
ON MON., SEPT. 14:
The WTC RedevelopmentCommittee will meet at 250 Broadway, in the AssemblyHearing Room, on the 19th floor, at 6 p.m.
ON TUES., SEPT. 15:
The Youth and EducationCommittee will meet at 250 Broadway, in the AssemblyHearing Room, on the 19th floor, at 6 p.m.
ON THURS., SEPT. 17:
The Quality of LifeCommittee will meet.
Read the Archives
 www 
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DOWNTOWNEXPRESS
.
com
U
NDER
 
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over
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downtown express 
September 11 - 17, 2009
3
A Dutch treat for Downtown
A symbol of Dutch-American friendship,this pavilion in front of the Staten IslandFerry Terminal, top right, opened briefly Wednesday for a ceremony in honor of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’sdiscovery of New York. The $2.3 million,5,000-square-foot New Amsterdam Pleinand Pavilion won’t be done until nextspring, but royalty and officials from theNetherlands dedicated their gift this weekin the midst of other anniversary festivities.Designed by Dutch architect Ben vanBerkel, the undulating pavilion will have afood and information and the adjacent plein(that’s Dutch for “plaza”) will have tablesand chairs, landscaping and a carved stonemap of New Amsterdam. For Wednesday’sdedication, Mayor Michael Bloomberg,First Lady Michelle Paige Paterson, BatteryConservancy President Warrie Price andother city officials stood alongside Dutchvisitors the Prince of Orange and PrincessMáxima (bottom right photo), CabinetMinister Frans Timmermans and UnderSecretary of State Judith A. McHale. Afterthe ceremony, the completed portion of the pavilion was open to the public for therest of the afternoon. Visitors also got agood look at a replica of the historic Half Moon vessel, below, which will be thefeatured ship of the Harbor Day festivitiesDowntown this Sunday from 10 a.m.to noon. The Dutch royals will also beparticipating in the event.Though it was a national holiday,Governors Island was hard at work thisLabor Day weekend. For the three-daystretch from Friday to Sunday, a record-setting 25,000 people visited the island.The island’s big crowds were not justnoticed on the island – at one point onSunday afternoon, there were close to 1,000people waiting outside the Battery MaritimeBuilding to take the free ferry.“We’re thrilled that Governors Islandhas become such a wonderful resource forLower Manhattan and for other peoplein the region,” Leslie Koch, president of the Governors Island Preservation andEducation Corporation, told DowntownExpress. “We’re pleased that people areenjoying such a broad array of activities onthe island.”Last weekend, visitors to the islandwitnessed the NYC Pro Swim, the island’sfirst professional open water swimcompetition; the second annual 4headsArt Fair opened on Saturday with over150 artists and galleries; and on Sunday,the island hosted the Run to Remember, afundraiser run/walk in honor of the victimsof 9/11.The art festival will continue everyweekend until Sept. 27 The major festivities,however, will begin this weekend. As partof the NY400 festival in celebration of Henry Hudson’s voyage to America, thenext two weekends will host the “NewIsland Festival.” Stocked with hundredsof Dutch performing artists, visual art, andD.J. sets, the festival will continue for thenext two weekends.Harbor Day, the culmination of NY400week, will also take place this weekend.The Prince of Orange and Princess Maximawill be present at the opening ceremony inBattery Park Sunday, where they will lead abicycle tour. From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. thatday, the Holland on the Hudson flotilla willsail, featuring a replica of Hudson’s ownHalf Moon, “Flying Dutchman” sailboats,and other vessels. Visitors can watch theflotilla and a sailing race on video screensin Battery Park, which will host the awardsceremony for the winners of the sailboatrace. Throughout the day, NY400 bikeswill be available for free rental.For the duration of the festival, GovernorsIsland will offer ferry service at night, forthe first time since it opened to the public.Ferries are free, and will be available for thenext two weeks from Thursday to Saturdayuntil midnight to accommodate the NewIsland Festival events. Ferries will run every20 minutes at night. Despite the heavy trafficto the island last weekend, Koch added thatthe ferries are prepared for increased usage,and said that lines were moving quickly.
Midnight ferries coming as crowds swarm Governors Isle

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