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The 800-year-old docu- ment credited with birthing democracy has been in town for two months, but not very many people have come to see it.
The Magna Carta is arguably one of the most important documents in Western civilization, and the Fraunces Tavern Museum is marketing its display in New York as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for New Yorkers and tourists alike.
\u201cIt\u2019s the foundation of everything,\u201d said Norman Liss, an honorary chairper- son of the exhibit. \u201cIt\u2019s the \ufb01rst document referring to individual freedom.\u201d
England in 1215, the Magna Carta marked the \ufb01rst time a king agreed to limits on his power and acknowledged the rights of his noblemen. America\u2019s Founding Fathers were inspired by the Magna Carta and included many of its provisions in the Bill of Rights.
But beyond school groups and private evening receptions, the exhibit has only attracted about 2,800 visitors since opening on Sept. 15.
\u201cThose of us that have seen it have been a little disappointed,\u201d said Roger Byrom, chairperson of Community Board 1\u2019s Landmarks
With a new city coun- cilmember strongly commit- ted to affordable housing set to take of\ufb01 ce in January, housing advocates are feel- ing renewed hope that the long-dormant Seward Park Urban Renewal Area will be developed.
dozen former renewal-area residents \u2014 gathered at Suffolk and Delancey Sts., hard by the Williamsburg Bridge approach ramp, last Sunday afternoon.
Against the backdrop of an orange banner that read, \u201c2000 People Lost Their Homes November 1967,\u201d they marked the 42nd anni- versary of when blocks of
Mild interest in the
changed the world\u2019
With Chin in,
at renewal area
Already-tight security measures will only get tighter when \ufb01ve accused 9/11 terrorists go on trial in Lower Manhattan.
The federal government announced last week that the likely death penalty trial would take place in Downtown\u2019s federal court, just blocks from the World Trade Center site. The Police Dept. has not \ufb01 nalized security plans, but press reports predict more street closures for
Many local residents and workers said the trials would be an unwelcome intrusion upon a community that has not yet recovered from 9/11, and the terrorists should be brought to justice elsewhere.
\u201cIt\u2019s just sheer lunacy,\u201d said Danny Chen, who lives in Chatham Green. \u201cThe elected of\ufb01 cials seem to have for- gotten that we haven\u2019t yet resolved the
issue of just normal day-to-day after 9/11, and now they\u2019re throwing this at us\u2026. It\u2019s hubris, it\u2019s bravado, and it doesn\u2019t serve any practical purpose.\u201d
Chen is a member of the Civic Center Residents Coalition, a group that was named to remind people that the Civic Center does in fact have resi- dents, not just courts and of\ufb01ces. Chen cited the post-9/11 Park Row closure,
EDITORIAL PAGES. . . . . . . . . . . .14-15 YOUTH. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 ARTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19-22 CLASSIFIEDS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
The upcoming week\u2019s schedule of Community Board 1 committee meetings is below. Unless otherwise noted, all committee meetings are held at the board of\ufb01ce, located at 49-51 Chambers St., room 709 at 6 p.m.
Board Information Session on Helicopters will take place at 4:30 p.m. The Quality of Life Committee will meet at 6 p.m.
ing will take place at Dance New Amsterdam, 280 Broadway entrance on Chambers St. between Broadway and Elk Sts., Theater, at 6:00 p.m.
Rather than sliding through mud on the Battery Park City ball\ufb01elds, neighborhood residents and visitors will soon be able to glide over some ice.
The new 17,000-square foot ice rink on the ball- \ufb01elds is scheduled to open Nov. 27, the day after Thanksgiving, B.P.C. Authority President Jim Cavanaugh told UnderCover this week. As soon as the Downtown Soccer League \ufb01nishes its last game of the season this Sunday, the rink\u2019s builders will begin working round the clock to get it ready, Cavanaugh said \u2014 though he added that no noisy work would take place at night, while resi- dents are trying to sleep.
The rink will be more than twice the size of the one at South Street Seaport last year and will include a skating path that winds around the ball\ufb01elds.
Speaking of the Seaport, there\u2019s a lot going on right now \u2014 and a lot not going on. For one thing, the ice rink is not coming back this year (it was too expensive). For another, the exhibit showing owner General Growth Properties\u2019 now-defunct grand plans for the Seaport is open only by appointment and may not last past the end of the year.
Also on hold is the Seaport Semester program that debuted earlier this year, offering a slew of classes for all ages in vacant retail space owned by G.G.P.L i n c o l n
the program was successful and nearly all the classes saw high enrollment (except for a meditation workshop for adults). But Palsgrove said G.G.P. rented all of the vacant spaces it had been holding for Seaport Semester, so there\u2019s no room for classes. G.G.P. is likely under extra pressure to raise revenue after declaring bankruptcy in April, and the classes were seen as a community giveback for the major development plan that\u2019s no longer happening.
\u201cIt\u2019s a bit of wait and see,\u201d Palsgrove said of Seaport Semester. Popular classes like Downtown Babies could return in the spring or summer, he said.
Meanwhile, a regular visitor to G.G.P.\u2019s @Seaport space, Dog Run Repertory Theater Company, has signed a full-time deal for a space on the second floor of the Pier 17 mall, Palsgrove said. The theater company, founded by Jeff Cohen, has not announced its first show, but will likely put on standup comedy
The three-story addition the Down Town Association wants to put atop its private club at 60 Pine St. inched closer to approval last week with the advisory support of Community Board 1\u2019s Landmarks Committee.
The board\u2019s only real complaint was that the asso- ciation of about 700 wealthy businesspeople wouldn\u2019t spring for real copper on some pieces of the addition\u2019s facade. Instead, the association plans to use a painted metal called Terne II, which would be a solid green color to approximate copper\u2019s patina.
\u201cIt\u2019s not that I don\u2019t like copper,\u201d replied club presi- dent Mark Altherr. \u201cIt\u2019s the expense. Copper is enor- mously expensive.\u201d
Among the eye-catching signs on Church St. begging for customers, the banner \ufb01 lling the window of Paradise Fashions shoe store stands out: \u201cLandlord Has No Mercy,\u201d the sign reads, \u201cNot For Sep 11 Nor For Recession.\u201d It then advertises a closeout 50-percent-off sale in bright red letters.
Owner David Solemon said by phone that he\u2019s been at 185 Church St. since 1991, and his business is down by half since 9/11 while his rent has gone up. He\u2019s still in negotiations with his landlord for a rent reduction (so maybe the banner isn\u2019t the most diplomatic move) but he isn\u2019t optimistic that the store will be able to stay open.
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Councilmember Alan Gerson may soon share something in common with one of his biggest political heroes, Ed Koch. Gerson, like Koch, has inspired a Downtown political club faction to splinter.
Members and critics of Downtown Independent Democrats are forming a new, as-yet-unnamed club and their \ufb01rst meeting will be Nov. 30. Bill Love, one of the new group\u2019s leaders, said he expects to have at least two dozen members to start, many of whom are D.I.D. members upset over the club\u2019s \u201ccontentious endorsement meeting\u201d last June.
The large, loud and tense meeting even included an unsubstantiated assault accusa- tion. When the dust settled, the club endorsed Pete Gleason, and Gerson was weakened. The club\u2019s in\ufb02 uence on the election is disput- ed, but regardless, Gerson ended up losing his reelection bid and Democrat Margaret Chin will take his seat in January.
Aside from Gerson, the other cen- ter of the dispute is the years-long clash between D.I.D. president Sean Sweeney and Democratic District Leader David Reck, one of the new club\u2019s driving forces. The pair were once allies, but their disagreements have cut across Community Board 2, where both are members, and D.I.D., where last year Sweeney survived a challenge to his leadership supported by Reck.
\u201cThis is the irony \u2014 I made David Reck district leader,\u201d Sweeney said. \u201cNo good deed goes unpunished.\u201d By his account, which was not disputed or con\ufb01rmed by Reck, he got Reck named district leader when the
Reck refused to answer most questions regarding his club, D.I.D. and Sweeney, but in a brief interview he repeatedly said \u201cwe\u2019re starting a club that will represent the com- munity.\u201d
Sweeney said the new club\u2019s shelf life will be about two years, when he predicts that Reck and another probable charter member, District Leader Linda Belfer, will lose their
Belfer and Sweeney also had disputes in this last election, but she was still surprised that Sweeney was already announcing a cam- paign against her.
\u201cIt\u2019s a threat, it\u2019s nasty and there\u2019s no reason to do it,\u201d she said. \u201cTo say that two years in advance \u2014 that\u2019s the stupidest thing in the world.\u201d
She said she\u2019s planning to join the new club but won\u2019t make a \ufb01 nal decision until it forms. She has decided to leave D.I.D., though. \u201cI don\u2019t like all of the in\ufb01 ghting,\u201d she said.
District leaders help select judicial candi- dates but they have limited powers beyond that. They are important in club politics since their membership gives a club auto-
Sweeney thinks the defections will \u201cstrengthen\u201d D.I.D. because they will end the last two years of acrimony.
She thinks her club could still be strong since Lower Manhattan has a growing popu- lation and D.I.D. covers an unusually large area in parts of two Assembly districts. Four district leaders in a club is unheard of Nadel added, and D.I.D. will still have two without Reck and Belfer.
Nadel has often been on opposite sides of Reck, but nevertheless, she thinks Sweeney is wrong about the reelection chances of Reck at least, since he is an effective cam- paign volunteer.
\u201cReck goes out and does something,\u201d Nadel said. \u201cBeating him would be dif\ufb01cult. He actually gets out and works.\u201d
Love said it is important, but not cru- cial that Reck and Belfer remain as district leaders.
\u201cAs long as David and Linda stay active and do the work that they\u2019ve been doing, we\u2019ll be \ufb01ne,\u201d he said.
He hopes the new club is \u201cmore colle- gial,\u201d and he thinks there\u2019s room for more membership in the C.B. 1 neighborhoods south of Canal St. as well as the Village and
Lower East Side in C.B. 2 and 3. He said the club name will be one topic discussed at the \ufb01rst meeting and he thinks it will include \u201cLower Manhattan.\u201d
A few people interviewed for this arti- cle brought up the creation of the Village Reform Democratic Club in 1983, a year after members were upset that Village Independent Democrats had backed Mario Cuomo for governor over Mayor Koch, a longtime V.I.D. member.
Adam Silvera, a Sweeney ally and D.I.D. leader, said the comparison falls short in an important way.
\u201cEd Koch was still a powerful sitting mayor, and Alan Gerson is a lame-duck city councilmember with growing campaign debt,\u201d Silvera said. As for the new club, he said, \u201cI do wish them luck \u2014 just not too much luck.\u201d
Gerson did not return calls for this article and does not appear to have taken an active role in starting the new club.
Koch, who supported Gerson in this and previous campaigns, was reluctant to delve back into Downtown political wars, but did write in an email to Downtown Express:
\u201cI have not kept up with the club politics either at VRDC or VID and prefer not to comment other than to... wish Alan Gerson all success.\u201d
Grilled Sword\ufb01sh (served in a white wine sauce with capers)
Broiled Atlantic Salmon (served in a citrus sauce)
14 oz. Black Angus Steak (served in a brandy mushroom sauce)
Baby Rack of New Zealand Lamb (served in a red wine sauce)
Sean Sweeney, president of Downtown Independent Democrats, said this week he will not run for re-election next year and that it has nothing to do with the move by David Reck and Bill Love to form a rival political club.
Sweeney, who has been the club\u2019s presi- dent about \ufb01ve years, said he wanted to remain D.I.D.\u2019s leader for this year\u2019s First City Council District endorsement, and that
he promised last year not to run for re- election. He \u201cguaranteed\u201d he\u2019d stick to his pledge.
Several sources said the two people most likely to run for club leader next year are Adam Silvera, who stepped down as district leader a few months ago, and Jeanne Wilcke, who ran Pete Gleason\u2019s primary challenge against Councilmember Alan Gerson and Margaret Chin, who won the race.
H1N1 and seasonal \ufb02u vaccines will be available by walk-in only at several locations over the next two weeks.
On Sat., Nov. 21, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sun., Nov. 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. vac- cinations will be given up in Harlem at P.S. 92 at 22 W. 134 St., but in two weeks vaccina- tions will be given much further Downtown at the N.Y.C. Lab Middle School at 333 W. 17 St. on Saturday, Dec. 5, and Sun., Dec. 6 at the same times as in Harlem.
Additionally, this Friday, Nov. 20, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., vaccinations will be given at the Downtown Health Center at 150 Essex St.
Priority will be given to children 4 to 24 years old, pregnant women, people with health problems such as diabetes or asthma between the ages of 25 and 64, people who care for children younger than 6 months old, and health care and emergency medical workers.
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