October 20th - October 24th, 2008
LMCC to Manage Art Studios on Governors Island
The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council was chosen to oversee an artists’ studio and exhibition space on Governors Island. The program that will include a year-round artist residency and weekend events. The New York Times reports the arts programming is expected to begin next spring in 14,000 square feet of space on the ground floor of a building on the island’s north shore. The designation of the council is the latest effort to transform the 172-acre island in New York Harbor into a destination that is an integral part of city life. The selection process for artists has yet to be announced.
Charges Expected Soon for Concrete Testing Company
October 21 – A dozen officers and employees of a concrete testing company are expected to be hit with racketeering and fraud charges soon, according to The New York Times. Sources told the paper the president of Testwell Laboratories Inc. and several senior officials failed to test the strength of concrete at some of the City’s biggest construction sites and falsifying tests at other sites over a period of five years. Testwell conducted concrete testing at the Freedom Tower, among other locations. The Department of Buildings has begun re-testing concrete at buildings under construction.
City Puts â€˜Waterfallsâ€™ Impact at $69 Million
Oct 21: Olafur Eliasson's “Waterfalls,” which were on display along the East River from June 26 to Oct. 13, generated an estimated economic impact of $69 million as reported in the New York Times. The total exceeded the original estimate of $55 million, the Bloomberg administration announced. The falls were commissioned by the Public Art Fund and presented in collaboration with the city.
South Street Seaport Redesign
October 21 – The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) held a three hour hearing on General Growth Properties plan for the South Street Seaport. The commissioners asked only a few questions and then opened the floor to public comment. According to The Downtown Express, nine people spoke in the favor of the plan; 11 people spoke against it. The Commission is expected to approve the plan. Later this fall, General Growth will present its plan to the City’s Public Design Commission.
Increased Fines Sought for Illegal Street Vendors
October 22 – Several elected officials are taking steps to tackle the problem of illegal street vendors in Lower Manhattan. Scores of 9/11 hawkers have been a mainstay at Ground Zero. Downtown Alliance President Elizabeth Berger unveiled a seven point plan and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer announced a three point plan to regulate vending. Both plans call for consistent enforcement; Stringer wants to increase fines and trace repeat offenders; Berger called for the creation of a dedicated Lower Manhattan vending taskforce. The City Council will hold a hearing October 30th on proposals put forth by Councilmember Alan Gerson. He wants to increase the number of vendor licenses and make it harder for vendors to set up shop near construction sites.
Report Finds Top Violator on Parking
Oct 24: A report from the House Transportation Committee cites numerous state and federal agencies as are among the top parking-ticket scofflaws according to the New York Times. “Essentially, all of Lower Manhattan is a free parking lot for government vehicles,” said a report by the committee staff. While it is the responsibility of the driver to pay the fines for federal government cars, the agency that owns the cars cannot always track down who the driver was.