November 7th - November 11th, 2011
Teachers Advocates Chant Schooling Demands On DOE Doorstep
Nov 7 - A couple hundred activists belonging to a group called "Occupy the DOE" -- including many teachers, DOE employees, public school students and their parents -- spent Monday night on the steps of the Department of Education headquarters in Lower Manhattan to shout demands for improving the schools, reports NY1. Other also took place in the protest. The meeting was an open mic event of sorts, where people stood up and spoke about various issues they have with the education system. Among the issues raised were budget cuts, charter schools, privatization of schools and extra-curricular activities. Demonstrators said they hope to have many more similar meetings, using the culture and tactics of Occupy Wall Street but focusing on education issues and that they are already planning their next DOE occupation.
Readying a Destination at New New York City Summit
Nov 7 - With every passing week, 1 World Trade Center can be seen from more and more places around New York and New Jersey, which means that more and more places can be seen from 1 World Trade Center. Which means that its time to start thinking about who will operate the observation deck starting in summer 2014, writes the New York Times. The deck is to occupy 85,000 square feet on the 100th, 101st and 102nd floors of the tower. The uppermost floor slab will be 1,268 feet above ground level; slightly higher than the aerie atop the Empire State Building (1,250 feet). At the Tower Formerly Known as Freedom, the observation deck will have its own underground lobby on the west side of the building, and five high-speed elevators that will shoot visitors to the deck at 2,000 feet a minute (about a 40-second trip to the 102nd floor). The Durst Organization and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, co-developers under the name Tower 1 Joint Venture L.L.C., have begun to cast their net for a likely operator. In their request for statements of qualification, they said that about five million visitors a year are expected at the World Trade Center site and that they were open to creative ideas for the observation deck.
New PA Head Crucial to Securing 4 WTC Construction Financing
Nov 8 - As the new Port Authority executive director, Patrick Foye made pushing through financing to complete construction at 4 World Trade Center his first priority, the New York Post reported, and that was instrumental in getting the deal done last week. Silverstein Properties and the Port Authority had been working for the better part of a year to issuing tax-exempt Liberty Bonds to fund the construction work. When the two organizations finally came to an agreement with previous investors and Fidelity Investments to issue $1.23 billion of bonds, Foye helped ensure Governor Andrew Cuomo would sign off on the funding immediately, overriding the 10-day review period he would otherwise have.
7 WTC Reaches Capacity; Artists to Vacate by 2012
Nov 9 - For years, real estate developer Larry Silverstein has allowed artists to paint, draw and photograph on the 48th floor of 7 World Trade Center free of charge a tradition dating back the Lower Manhattan Cultural Councils artists-in-residence program in the former twin towers. But, according to the Downtown Express, the time has come for the artists to vacate their beloved studio space due to the recent acquisition by global investment firm M.S.C.I., which signed a 20-year lease in September for floors 47 to 49 of 7 W.T.C. With the M.S.C.I. lease, Silversteins state-of-the-art tower has reached full occupancy. The six artists that have set up shop in the makeshift studio can remain there until the new year, when M.S.C.I. will begin laying out its offices.
City Releases Revised School Rezoning Plan for District 2
Nov 9 - The Department of Education released a sweeping new rezoning proposal for Downtown's schools Tuesday night, scrapping an unpopular plan to send TriBeCa children up to Greenwich Village and moving them instead to schools in Chinatown and near City Hall, reports DNAinfo.com. The most controversial aspect of the DOE's far-reaching plan will likely be the changes in lower Manhattan, including sending TriBeCa children living east of West Broadway and north of Murray Street to Chinatown's P.S. 1. Those children previously attended TriBeCa's P.S. 234 and the Spruce Street School near City Hall, but those schools are too overcrowded to continue accommodating so many children, said a DOE portfolio planner. The District 2 Community Education Council, the group of parents that must approve school zoning proposals, will hold public hearings over the next month and plans to vote on the proposals Dec. 14.
New to City, Statue Seeks Resting Place Downtown
Nov 10 - One of the guest stars in the Veterans Day Parade on Friday is a 5,000-pound statue that just arrived in New York and still needs a permanent home, reports the New York Times. The statue, a 16-foot-tall bronze of a Special Forces soldier on horseback -- titled De Oppresso Liber, a motto of the Army Special Forces -- may wind up in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan once the protesters camped there depart. But for now, it is bound for a temporary spot in a building a block from the World Trade Center site. The statue will be hauled to Battery Park City to be dedicated on Nov. 11 by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Lt. Gen. John Mulholland in the Winter Garden. From there, it will go to a lobby of 1 World Financial Center, a building owned by Brookfield Office Properties, the company that owns Zuccotti Park. Brookfield had considered placing the statue in the park, before the Occupy Wall Street crowd descended on that plaza in mid-September. But that idea would have required approval by city officials.