August 13th - August 19th, 2004
Students Hit the Streets for Chinatown Cleanup Event
Sunday, August 15: As part of the ongoing Chinatown Beautification Campaign, more than 100 high school and college student volunteers lent a hand cleaning the streets of Chinatown on August 15.
Despite the rainy weekend weather, teams of volunteers spruced up designated areas of the neighborhood -- including the Bowery and East Broadway, as well as Mott, Pell, Doyer, Grand, Elizabeth, Hester, and Broome Streets -- with tools provided by the New York City Department of Transportation and the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA).
"It was a great day…we had a huge turnout of volunteers and everyone had a great time. And they all had ideas for improving the cleaning process the next time we all meet again in Chinatown," said Richard Mui, project director of the Chinatown Youth Initiative (CYI).
Both the CCBA and CYI launched the Chinatown Beautification Campaign and hold several events throughout the year.
Mayor, Governor Announce 9/11 Commemoration Plans
Monday, August 16: Following the tradition that has been set for observance of the 9/11 anniversary, a commemorative ceremony honoring the lives lost that day will be held at the World Trade Center site on the morning of September 11, 2004, the mayor and governor announced. Parents and grandparents will play a central role, taking turns reading from the list of names that includes the children and grandchildren they survive. For compete coverage, please click here.
City Launches Tourism Campaign for Upcoming GOP Convention, Includes List of Downtown Hotspots
Tuesday, August 17: As part of New York City's preparations for the Republican National Convention, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, NYC & Company Chairman Jonathan Tisch, and NYC & Company President Cristyne Nicholas announced a new tourism program created to welcome visitors to the city during the 2004 Republican National Convention.
During the convention, visitors will be invited to participate in events held throughout the city at hotels, restaurants, retailers, cultural organizations, and attractions -- many of which, such as Chinatown's "End of Summer" Cultural Day Festival and the "Trace Your Geneology" Seminar at Ellis Island, are located downtown.
For more information about the city's new tourism campaign -- including Summer Restaurant Week participants, special offers, tax-free week shopping, a schedule and locations of permitted gatherings, suggested itineraries, and tour guides -- please visit the NYC & Company website.
Pace Downtown Index Reveals Stronger Downtown Economy
Thursday, August 19: The Pace Downtown Index (PDI) -- the first comprehensive economic indicator for Lower Manhattan -- shows a continuing upward trend for the downtown economy.
The PDI is determined by tracking economic progress as a weighted average of four variables, two representing activities in the financial markets and two representing the commercial real estate market and the city's overall economy. The selected variables are the S&P 500 Index, the Federal Funds Rate, the total commercial real estate inventory in Lower Manhattan, and the Gross Lower Manhattan Product.
The PDI released today registers at 93.38 for July, an increase of 0.11 percent from last month and 1.06 percent higher than July 2003.
Pace University's Center for Downtown New York (CDNY), with assistance from the Mayor's Office and the Alliance for Downtown New York, developed the PDI. On the third Thursday of each month, Pace announces the latest PDI along with a full report on www.pace.edu/paceindex.
City Officials Propose Plan for Rockaway-Lower Manhattan Ferry Service
Thursday, August 19: New York City officials have included a $15 million provision for the purchase of three new ferries in a federal transit bill currently under review by the president. The 400-seat ferries requested by the city would be used to bring a commuter ferry service between the Rockaways and Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, Newsday reported.
If passed, the city-operated ferry service between Riis Landing in the Rockaways, the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and Pier 11 at Lower Manhattan's South Street Seaport could begin in 18 months, the paper added.
In order for the proposed ferry service to receive approval, President George W. Bush must sign the bill and Mayor Michael Bloomberg must agree to fund 20 percent of the $18.75 million -- or $3.75 million -- needed to purchase the new ferries, Newsday said.
Prosecutors Strike Deal with Staten Island Ferry Captain, Dismiss Charges
Thursday, August 19: The former Staten Island ferry captain who was in command of the ferryboat Andrew J. Barberi when it collided with a pier last October struck a deal with prosecutors that dismisses him of all charges, the Associated Press and New York Times reported.
Captain Michael Ganas, who was charged with lying to Coast Guard officials investigating the crash that claimed the lives of 11 people and injured dozens more, agreed to testify in the federal prosecution of ferry officials -- including Patrick Ryan, the New York City director of ferry operations -- and perform 200 hours of community service in exchange for the dismissal of the charge filed against him, the AP reported. Ganas's license will also be revoked for three years, after which he can reapply, the Times added.
Ferry pilot Richard Smith, who was steering the boat when it crashed, already pled guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter after admitting to taking medications that caused him to lose consciousness while piloting the boat. Ryan is also charged with manslaughter by prosecutors who claim that he failed to follow mandatory safety practices, the AP said.