September 24th - September 30th, 2004
City Launches Emergency Public Communication System
Friday, September 24: The Bloomberg administration announced the launch of New York City's first Emergency Alert System, which will allow the mayor to provide emergency information to the public by connecting to area cable, television, and radio stations, the New York Times reported.
The $1 million program, which was modeled after the federal system, will allow the mayor to connect to four AM radio stations -- WABC, WCBS, WFAN, and WINS -- to provide up to two minutes of emergency information to the public, the paper said. Once broadcast on the four channels, other radio stations and television networks have agreed to rebroadcast the information immediately, the Times added.
Bloomberg, who was credited in the Times for driving the program, can access the system using specially designed phones located in his car and at City Hall, as well as communicate with the system by telephone.
"No matter what precautions we take there is always a chance of something happening, whether it's terrorism or a natural disaster or crime or whatever, where we have to get a message out," Bloomberg said during a news conference, according to the Times.
As part of its efforts to increase communications to the public during emergencies such as the blackout and 9/11, the city has also established six locations in three boroughs where officials will be able to conduct instant news conferences that will be relayed to electronic news media outlets, the paper added.
Pataki Nominates New Port Authority Director
Friday, September 24: Gov. George E. Pataki nominated New York State Office of General Services Commissioner Kenneth J. Ringler, Jr. as the new director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New York Times reported.
Ringler, whose nomination still requires the approval of the Port Authority's board in October, would succeed current executive director Joseph J. Seymour, who is retiring from the post, the paper said.
Since the Port Authority is a multi-state organization, the executive director and vice chairman are customarily appointed by the governor of New York. The chairman and executive director's deputy are traditionally selected by the governor of New Jersey, the Times added.
The Splendor of Florence Comes to Lower Manhattan
Monday, September 27: Splendor of Florence -- an eleven-day festival of cultural, educational, culinary, and musical events honoring Florentine artists and artisans -- kicked off in Lower Manhattan on September 30, offering New Yorkers the chance to watch acclaimed Italian craftsmen practice their talents on wood, crystal, marble, and gold; listen to world-renowned musicians perform, view historic works of art, and sample authentic Florentine cuisine. For complete coverage, please click here.
Teardrop Park Opens
Thursday, September 30: The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) opened Teardrop Park, downtown's newest public space, the New York Times reported. The $17 million park, which was funded by the BPCA, is located in the center of a block bordered by River Terrace, North End Avenue, and Murray and Warren Streets, the paper added.
Created by a team of designers, artists, and engineers, Teardrop Park earned its name from its unique shape. The park's north end is wider, offering visitors an expansive, multi-level lawn space to enjoy the sunlight, while its narrower south end is filled with play areas, the Times said.
With the help of the design team, the BPCA planted a total of 65,910 forms of flora throughout the 1.9-acre site and installed a 27-foot-tall rock wall from which water flows from 10 hidden spouts. The wall was designed to double as a host to ice sculptural forms that will grow as the tricking water freezes during the winter, the Times noted.
The BPCA's Teardrop Park joins a host of other parks initiatives taking place downtown, including the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation's funding of 13 parks throughout Lower Manhattan.
Construction Worker Dies During 7 WTC Construction
Thursday, September 30: A construction worker died after falling down an elevator shaft from the 21st floor of 7 World Trade Center, the New York Times reported. The incident was the first death reported during reconstruction efforts at Ground Zero since September 11, 2001, the paper added.
According to a spokesperson for Tishman Construction, the lead firm overseeing the building of 7 WTC, the worker was an employee of Prince Carpentry, a Long Island-based subcontractor working at the site, the Times said.
Scheduled to be completed by November 2005, 7 WTC will be the first WTC building to be completely rebuilt since September 11, 2001. Once constructed, the tower will stand 99 feet taller than the original, which was built in 1984 and stood 642 feet -- or 47 stories -- tall, the Times added.