March 19th - March 25th, 2004
Stad Amsterdam Docks at Seaport
Saturday, March 20: The Stad Amsterdam, a Dutch clipper ship, lowered its anchor at the South Street Seaport over the weekend. Equipped with three masts supporting a total of 27 sails, the ship is touted by its crew to be one of the ten tallest clipper ships in the world, reported the New York Times.
Built in the Netherlands, the ship is owned by Randstad, a Dutch staffing company, in partnership with the City of Amsterdam. It was completed in 2000. Its crew, 80 percent of whom are Dutch, have been on hand throughout the week to answer onlookers' questions about the ship as well as about Dutch culture, said the Times.
The Stad Amsterdam, which is scheduled to depart the seaport on Saturday, March 27, will visit a total of seven ports on its U.S tour.
LMDC Weighs Options for Grant Funding
Sunday, March 21: The LMDC is currently reviewing plans for allocation of the $1.164 billion that remains of the total $2.783 billion in federal community development block grants allotted following the events of 9/11. One project under consideration for financing is the proposed railway system that would link Lower Manhattan to Kennedy International Airport and Long Island, reported the New York Times.
According to a recent poll of 646 downtown residents conducted by Pace University, a majority supports the rail link, but 51 percent oppose using the remaining federal grant money to fund its construction, said the Times.
While the LMDC continues to evaluate potential grant recipients, officials hope that a study on the proposed rail links due to be released in May will provide more information on the project cost and design.
Area Developers Vie for Retail Space at New WTC
Monday, March 22: Several developers have already begun lobbying for the contract to manage the retail space at the new World Trade Center. Topping the list of contenders is Related Companies, a developer that controls the retail space at the recently opened Time Warner Center, reported Crain's New York Business.
It has also been speculated that World Financial Center developer Brookfield Properties remains a viable candidate for the contract, having enticed an array of retailers to return to the facility when it reopened after 9/11, noted Crain's.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site, has not determined how much retail space will be available at the site, nor has it announced any details regarding its selection process for a developer.
Eight Lower Manhattan Buildings Nominated for Landmark Status
Sunday, March 21: The Landmarks Preservation Commission is currently reviewing a request to grant landmark status to eight Lower Manhattan federal row houses, according to the New York Times.
The houses -- located at 67, 94, 94½, 96, 486, and 488 Greenwich Street; 57 Sullivan Street; and 2 Oliver Street -- were selected by preservationist Susan Devries, who initiated the building survey in 1995, the Times reported.
According to the Times, the eight buildings are part of a larger list of 13 row houses that were nominated by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation last summer.
Red Cross Continues 9/11 Insurance Aid
Thursday, March 25: As part of its national September 11 Recovery Program, the American Red Cross announced that it is extending its health insurance assistance program for survivors of those who were either hurt or lost their lives on 9/11, said Newsday.
The Red Cross will cover the costs of health insurance premiums for qualifying candidates for up to two years -- extended from the originally proposed 12 months. The program is funded by contributions received by the Red Cross Liberty Disaster Relief Fund since 9/11. Applications will be accepted through December 31, 2004.
For more information on the September 11 Recovery Program, please click here.
Federal 9/11 Commission Convenes
Thursday, March 25: The 10-member national commission investigating the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon convened throughout the week, questioning a host of senior officials about the precautions taken by the United States against terrorism prior to September 11, 2001.
The televised hearings featured examinations of officials from the Bush and Clinton administrations, including Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, former Defense Secretary William Cohen, and former Counterterror Chief Richard Clarke. The week's sessions marked the first time that top presidential cabinet officials from both administrations took the stand, the New York Times reported.
The bipartisan panel, comprised of five Republicans and five Democrats, is expected to produce its final report in July 2004.
Officials, Neighborhood Students Kick of Reconstruction Off Lower East Side Park
Thursday, March 25: City and state officials were joined by students from I.S. 131 to break ground on Hester & Canal Street Field in the Lower East Side's Sara D. Roosevelt Park. The asphalt field will be replaced by synthetic turf, and several other improvements will be made to the neighborhood park.
For more information on the reconstruction project, please click here.