July 14th - July 20th, 2012
Construction Worker Hurt at 3 World Trade Center
July 13 - A construction accident at the World Trade Center site sent one worker to the hospital on Friday, July 13th, officials said. DNAinfo.com and other news outlets reported that at 1:54 p.m., FDNY received word of the accident at the incomplete 3 WTC and EMTs were dispatched to Church Street and Cortlandt Street. One construction worker was taken to Bellevue Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, the FDNY said. The worker was an ironworker with Falcon Steel Company who was helping prepare a load of steel at ground level, according to Tishman Construction spokesman John Gallagher. He was injured when a beam rolled over him as he was rigging it to be lifted, Gallagher said. There was no word on what caused the accident. A spokesman for the building landlord, Silverstein Properties, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. This marks the seventh construction accident at the WTC site in four months.
Fire Causes Smoke and Panic at the South Street Seaport
July 14 - A fire at the South Street Seaport sent plumes of black smoke billowing over Lower Manhattan on Saturday afternoon, obscuring the Brooklyn Bridge and causing hundreds of people to flee the crowded shopping pavilion at Pier 17, reported the New York Times. The three-alarm fire began shortly before 4 p.m. and was concentrated around the pier, according to the police and fire officials. It seemed to be under control by 5 p.m. and there were no immediate reports of injuries, the officials said. Pier 17 was converted into a vast shopping pavilion in 1985 and was largely constructed out of wood. The pier was crowded with shoppers when the fire began. Dozens of police officers and firefighters quickly arrived at the scene, both by land and water. James Long, a Fire Department spokesman, said that 33 units and 140 firefighters responded to a call at 3:52 p.m. reporting a fire at Pier 17. It took about two hours to bring the fire fully under control, he said. The department used water hoses stretched from trucks, and department vessels streaming water from the East River to fight the flames. Faulty wiring underneath a pier is believed to have caused a smoky fire.
Pressure Rises on Con Ed and Union to End Dispute
July 15 - With summer heat bearing down on New York City, the pressure is rising on Con Edison and its biggest union to resolve a contract dispute that has left 8,000 utility workers locked out of their jobs for more than two weeks, according to the New York Times. Representatives of the two sides met again on Saturday at a hotel near La Guardia Airport but failed to reach an agreement on the changes in pension and health care benefits that the company is demanding. Despite increasing pressure from elected officials to end the lockout before the summer heat causes a major power failure or one of the replacement workers is seriously injured, neither side has budged. Since July 1, about 5,000 managers and some retired workers have been keeping the electrical grid operating and making repairs when equipment breaks, the utility has said. So far, the union has balked at the companys proposal to offer a different pension plan to any new hires. Con Ed also wants to increase the share of health insurance costs that the workers shoulder to 24 percent, from 17 percent, over four years. It has offered to raise wages by 10 percent over the course of the next four-year contract. Union officials have also called for an intervention by state utility regulators. The Public Service Commission has responded by giving Con Ed until Tuesday to respond to a petition from the union that asked regulators to investigate the quality of service Con Ed is providing during the lockout, and how much it is charging for it. The union argued that Con Ed would bill its customers for union labor when it was not being provided.
Ferry Riders Across the East River Top 1 Million
July 16 - More than one million passengers have ridden ferries across the East River since the service was launched just over one year ago, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday. According to the Associated Press, that is more than double in initial projection of 409,000 riders, Bloomberg said as he and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn rode the ferry from North Williamsburg in Brooklyn to Pier 11 in lower Manhattan to mark the milestone. They said the city will conduct a passenger survey on board the ferry, online and via telephone in order to improve service further. The service was launched June 13, 2011 as a three-year pilot program. Boats sail from several Brooklyn and Queens locations to East 34th Street and Pier 11 in Manhattan. There is also weekend service to Governors Island in the summer. The one-way fare is $4, and an unlimited monthly pass costs $140.
Bike-Sharing, Promised for Late July, Is Delayed
July 16 - Since the spring, New Yorkers were told to save the date, or at least the month, reported the New York Times. By late July, city officials said, a long-awaited bike-share program would arrive, adding a new public travel alternative to the city streets. But with only two weeks remaining to accomplish that goal, the city acknowledged on Monday that the program, Citi Bike, would not begin as scheduled. Seth Solomonow, a spokesman for the Transportation Department, confirmed the program would not begin in July. Last week, officials at the DOT would not say whether the program would begin on time. But the Citi Bike Twitter feed tipped the city's hand on July 9, declaring: Look for the launch in August. Now, with an uncertain start date and little explanation being given, community leaders, program partners and eager riders find themselves with more questions than answers. Where are the bikes? When will the dock stations be installed? And can it all fall into place while the quiet streets and accommodating weather of summer remain? The program, which is expected to include 10,000 bicycles by next summer, will allow members who pay an annual fee of $95 to shuttle between stations for up to 45 minutes without an additional charge. A map of proposed station locations, in neighborhoods across Lower Manhattan, Midtown, northern Brooklyn, and a small area in Queens, wasunveiled in May.
WTC Greenwich Street Section to Reopen, Bring New Life
July 17 - Thanks to the World Trade Center, Greenwich Street is seeing a big development boom downtown, reported the New York Times and other news sources. Once a main thoroughfare connecting Greenwich Village and Lower Manhattan, the street was severed with the construction of the old WTC superblock, and real estate on the southern section has not fared as well as the addresses to the north. Property owners like Jack Resnick and Sons are rechristening their buildings to take advantage of a repositioning of Greenwich Street, which is poised to become a main thoroughfare running through the WTC site when a long-closed stretch finally reopens next year. The company renamed its 14-story office tower last week, giving it the new name 255 Greenwich Street. The building had been known as 75 Park Place since it opened in 1987. With the reconnecting of the street and the opening of the WTC -- all of the towers will have Greenwich Street addresses -- developers are taking advantage of the streets resurgence.Some of the projects in the works include at least three hotels, abundant retail space inside the WTC, and a new office building all on Greenwich, plus a handful of other hotels on the surrounding blocks.
Federal Government Agrees to Occupy Six Floors at New Trade Tower
July 18 - The federal government announced on Wednesday that it would become the third tenant of 1 World Trade Center, reported the New York Times. As a result, more than half of the space inside the fast-rising tower has now been leased. The government will occupy six levels of the new 104-story building, floors 50 to 55. The initial lease starts in 2015 and will last 20 years, said Renee Miscione, a spokeswoman for the General Services Administration, which acts as the governments real estate broker and signed the lease. It is not yet known which agencies will occupy the space, though Jordan Barowitz, a spokesman for the Durst Organization, which manages the building, said it would not house law enforcement agencies and might house the G.S.A. itself. Possible tenants include government agencies with leases in the New York area that are expiring. The announcement adds extra symbolic resonance to the tower. Before the Sept. 11 attacks, the federal government was a major presence at the WTC site, occupying almost all of 6 WTC, an 8-story building, and 7 WTC, a 47-story building. One WTC now stands atop the site of the former 6 WTC, which was demolished after being heavily damaged in the attacks. The building is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013 or the start of 2014. Barowitz said Durst had been in talks with potential tenants from the financial services, advertising, legal and technology industries to lease the rest of the tower.
Van Slams Fence at Historic Downtown Church
July 19 - A van jumped the curb and hit the grounds of a historic church Thursday, reported NY1. A spokesperson with Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan said the driver accidentally stepped on the gas, hitting a parked vehicle. The van ended up knocking down a 20-foot section of fence surrounding the St. Paul's Chapel graveyard. The spokesperson said the driver was working for a business across the street and is not affiliated with the church.