Saturday, October 30, 2004

Democracy Plaza at Rockefeller Plaza

In a message dated 10/30/2004 3:51:28 AM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

Subject: Democracy Plaza at Rockefeller Plaza

This is an exhibit not to be missed especially by young people. It's interesting, fun, educational way to introduce the electoral process. The Scholastic's Democracy for Kids tent is a must visit if you don't have the time for the entire exhibit. Log on to
for a full schedule of events.

The exhibit closes on November 5 and is open to the public daily 11:00am - 7:00pm.

October 20, 2004

Democracy Reigns on the Plaza
If you work at 30 Rock, you may have noticed "Democracy Plaza" in Rockefeller Center when you arrived at work this morning. Today at 11 a.m. marks the official opening of the "Plaza," which will include the unveiling of one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence.

"Democracy Plaza" is a superb exhibition of historical artifacts, photo and video displays, and themed elements that speak to America's unique tradition of citizenship, democracy and electoral politics. It will also be used as the backdrop for many NBC News platforms leading up to and through Election Day.

This timely display is free to the public and runs from Wednesday, October 20 through Friday, November 5, open daily from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. This is an experience you won't want to miss.

For additional tri-state activities and programs, click here.

Friday, October 29, 2004

CB9M Manhattanville Rezoning Task Force


· Promote the establishment of a special purpose zoning district in Manhattanville (1) that will guide the real estate market to create a balance of a variety of uses including production/light manufacturing/storage/warehousing, retail, affordable housing, and community facilities while ensuring that the district assets, architecture, and character of Manhattanville are maintained;

· Serve as the umbrella organization for the Community Board, City agencies, local residents and community-based organizations directly and indirectly affected by any rezoning in Manhattanville;

· Develop and negotiate community benefit agreement(s) with relevant developers in Manhattanville for the benefit of Community Board 9 residents, businesses, and property owners;

· Coordinate the access to and use of financial, technical assistance, consultants and pro-bono resources and assets available for the purposes of achieving the above-stated goals;

· Liaise with elected officials and City, State and Federal government agencies, as may be required, for the purposes of achieving the above-stated goals.

(1) Manhattanville is bounded by LaSalle Street to the south and 135th Street to the north; Hudson River to the west and St. Nicholas Terrace to the east

CB9M - 197-a Plan (full text & attachments)

For the convenience of the citizens of CB9M
Click here: PICCED: Manhattan-CB9

Community Planning Manhattan-CB9
Manhattan Community Board 9 197-a Plan

Since early 2003, PICCED has been working closely with Community Board 9's 197-a planning committee to craft a comprehensive set of recommendations to guide the future development of three neighborhoods in northern Manhattan: Morningside Heights, Manhattanville, and Hamilton Heights. The draft recommendations cover issues around affordable housing, economic development, traffic, transportation, land use, and zoning. PICCED held public forums in each of the neighborhoods to present the recommendations and solicit feedback from the community at large. After revising the recommendations based on this public review, PICCED submitted the plan to the Community Board and it was unanimously approved. PICCED is now in the process of submitting the plan to the city planning commission.

The Community Board 9 197-a Plan documents are in Adobe Acrobat format

Section Description
Cover Page


Table of Contents

Introduction and Executive Summary

Existing Conditions


Illustrations pages 75-80

Illustrations pages 81-87

Illustrations pages 88-93


Appendices Cover Page

Appendix 1 Introduction

Appendix 1-B Community Feedback

Appendix A Population Characteristics

Appendix B Land Use & Zoning

Appendix C Urban Design, Open Space & Historic Preservation

Appendix D Transportation & Transit

Appendix E Economic Development

Appendix F Environmental Protection & Sustainability

Appendix G Housing

Appendix G-2 Community Board 9 Manhattan Housing Distribution Policy

Appendix G-3 Existing Affordable Housing Programs

Appendix H-cover Community Facilities

Appendix H-1 Educational Facilities

NYMTC Opens New Office on Nov. 18th

Subject: Information on NYMTC
Date: 10/29/2004 7:36:29 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: SBaileymcc
To: Reysmont

NYMTC Opens New Offices on Nov 18th
by Gerry Bogacz

The Grand Opening of NYMTC's new offices on the 22nd floor at 199 Water Street in Lower Manhattan will take place on November 18th. NYMTC's principals have been invited to participate in the Grand Opening ceremony, scheduled to begin at 11:30 am. During the ceremony, NYMTC's new conference center will be dedicated to the memories of Ignatius Adanga, Charles Lesperance and See Wong Shum, the staff members killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Additionally, NYMTC will announce its September 11th Memorial Program for Regional Transportation Planning, intended to be a living memorial to our three colleagues. The Memorial Program will set aside funding for publicly solicited transportation planning activities throughout the region, as well as assisting students in transportation planning and computer-related studies. NYMTC's offices will be open to the public from 11 am to 4 pm on November 18th. A meeting of the Program, Finance and Administration Committee will follow the ceremony at 1:15 pm.

Colleen Brathwaite

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) provides a collaborative planning forum to address transportation-related issues from a regional perspective and plans and makes decisions on the use of federal transportation funds. The NYMTC region includes New York City, Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley. It encompasses an area of 2,440 square miles and a population of 11.3 million, approximately 65% of New York State's population. To respond to local needs, NYMTC is comprised of three Transportation Coordinating Committees (TCC): New York City TCC, Mid-Hudson South TCC and Nassau/Suffolk TCC. These committees recommend sub-regional transportation priorities and provide opportunities for the private sector, general public, local government and interested stakeholders to become involved in the planning process on a more local level.

NYC Calendar week of 11/01/2004 - 11/05/2004

Subject: RE:Council Calendar
Date: 10/29/2004 4:03:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Reply To:
Sent from the Internet (Details)

New York Council Calendar for the week of 11/01/2004 to 11/05/2004:
DATE: Tuesday, November 02, 2004
COMMITTEE: , Chairperson(s):
Council Chambers - City Hall


DATE: Wednesday, November 03, 2004
COMMITTEE: Zoning & Franchises, Chairperson(s):Tony Avella
TIME: 9:30 AM LOCATION: Committee Room - City Hall
DETAILS: See Land Use Calendar Available Thursday, October 28, 2004, Room 5 City Hall

COMMITTEE: Education, Chairperson(s):Eva S. Moskowitz
TIME: 10:00 AM LOCATION: Council Chambers - City Hall

Oversight - Becoming a Teacher - Reforming Human Resources

COMMITTEE: DEFERRED* Landmarks, Public Siting & Maritime Uses, Chairperson(s):Simcha Felder
TIME: 11:00 AM LOCATION: Committee Room - City Hall
DETAILS: See Land Use Calendar Available Thursday October 28, 2004, Room 5 City Hall

COMMITTEE: Planning, Dispositions & Concessions, Chairperson(s):Miguel Martinez
TIME: 1:00 PM LOCATION: Committee Room - City Hall
DETAILS: See Land Use Calendar Available Thursday October 28, 2004, Room 5 City Hall

DATE: Thursday, November 04, 2004
COMMITTEE: Land Use, Chairperson(s):Melinda R. Katz
TIME: 10:00 AM LOCATION: Committee Room - City Hall
DETAILS: All items reported out of the subcommittees

COMMITTEE: Transportation, Chairperson(s):John C. Liu
TIME: 10:00 AM LOCATION: Council Chambers - City Hall

Oversight - The status of the announced transfer of New York City's subsidized private bus lines to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

COMMITTEE: Environmental Protection, Chairperson(s):James F. Gennaro
TIME: 1:00 PM LOCATION: Council Chambers - City Hall

Oversight - Status of the City's brownfields program

COMMITTEE: Waterfronts, Chairperson(s):David Yassky
TIME: 1:00 PM LOCATION: Committee Room - City Hall

Oversight - Enforcing Illegal Discharges into New York's Waterways

DATE: Friday, November 05, 2004
COMMITTEE: Technology in Government, Chairperson(s):Gale A. Brewer
TIME: 10:00 AM LOCATION: Committee Room - City Hall

Int. 378 - By Council Members Brewer, Clarke, Fidler, Gennaro, Gentile, Gerson, Koppell, Liu, Lopez, Nelson, Quinn, Sanders, Sears, Weprin and Jackson - A Local Law - to amend the New York City Charter, in relation to the energy efficient use of City office equipment.

*Selected Commitees are not listed.
This is an automated mailer, so please confirm these dates by checking the Hearings and Meetings Calendar on our website, for the schedule may change at the last minute. Thank you.
The Webmaster of the New York City Council

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Riverside Park Drinking Fountains

Here is an interesting exchange with Parks Commissioner and a community resident that I want to share with the CB9M community - JRM

From: "Miriam Duhan"
To: "Adrian Benepe"
Cc: , "Riverside Park Fund" , "Teresa Elwert"
Subject: Riverside Park drinking fountains
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 21:48:31 -0400
Message-ID: <002001c4bafd$e5a451a0$0ffe6c42@tkjdell>

Mr. Benepe:
Now that I'm the patron saint of Riverside Drive drinking fountains, I'm
noticing the ones that don't work. There's one on the promenade at 109th
Street that doesn't work. It's only one block away from a children's
playground at 110th Street which has no water. Of course all the fountains
are now turned off for the winter, but could it go on your list for spring?
Miriam Duhan
Board Member, 104th Street Block Association

-----Original Message-----
From: Miriam Duhan []
Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2004 8:02 PM
To: Adrian Benepe
Cc:; Riverside Park Fund; Teresa Elwert
Subject: RE: Riverside Park drinking fountains

Dear Mr. Benepe
I returned home last night after a few weeks away and went for a run before
I even read my email. I was delighted to drink from both the fountain in
Sakura Park and the fountain at 119th Street. I was also glad to see that
the leak at the fountain in Sakura Park had been repaired. Thank you also
for your email. It's a pleasure to see our park so well cared for. I only
regret that it took me so long to bring the problem to your attention. I'll
be more prompt next time.
Miriam Duhan

-----Original Message-----
From: Adrian Benepe []
Sent: Friday, September 03, 2004 1:46 PM
Subject: Riverside Park drinking fountains

Dear Mrs. Duhan:

Thank you for your email regarding the Riverside Park drinking

As a regular runner in Riverside Park, I share your sentiment and have
asked our staff to address this matter immediately. As you may have
noticed, the drinking fountain in Sakura Park has been repaired. We
began work on the one at 119th street earlier this month. We're moving
it slightly to avoid the likelihood that it will again be damaged.
Incidentally, we just repaired a broken fountain at 86th Street.

We appreciate your bringing this to our attention, and look forward to
our continued partnership with the 104th Street Block Association.


Adrian Benepe

Riverside Park Drinking Fountains

Here is an interesting exchange with Parks Commissioner and a community resident that I want to share with the CB9M community - JRM

From: "Miriam Duhan"
To: "Adrian Benepe"
Cc: , "Riverside Park Fund" ,
"Teresa Elwert"
Subject: Riverside Park drinking fountains
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 21:48:31 -0400
Message-ID: <002001c4bafd$e5a451a0$0ffe6c42@tkjdell>

Mr. Benepe:
Now that I'm the patron saint of Riverside Drive drinking fountains, I'm
noticing the ones that don't work. There's one on the promenade at 109th
Street that doesn't work. It's only one block away from a children's
playground at 110th Street which has no water. Of course all the fountains
are now turned off for the winter, but could it go on your list for spring?
Miriam Duhan
Board Member, 104th Street Block Association

-----Original Message-----
From: Miriam Duhan []
Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2004 8:02 PM
To: Adrian Benepe
Cc:; Riverside Park Fund; Teresa Elwert
Subject: RE: Riverside Park drinking fountains

Dear Mr. Benepe
I returned home last night after a few weeks away and went for a run before
I even read my email. I was delighted to drink from both the fountain in
Sakura Park and the fountain at 119th Street. I was also glad to see that
the leak at the fountain in Sakura Park had been repaired. Thank you also
for your email. It's a pleasure to see our park so well cared for. I only
regret that it took me so long to bring the problem to your attention. I'll
be more prompt next time.
Miriam Duhan

-----Original Message-----
From: Adrian Benepe []
Sent: Friday, September 03, 2004 1:46 PM
Subject: Riverside Park drinking fountains

Dear Mrs. Duhan:

Thank you for your email regarding the Riverside Park drinking

As a regular runner in Riverside Park, I share your sentiment and have
asked our staff to address this matter immediately. As you may have
noticed, the drinking fountain in Sakura Park has been repaired. We
began work on the one at 119th street earlier this month. We're moving
it slightly to avoid the likelihood that it will again be damaged.
Incidentally, we just repaired a broken fountain at 86th Street.

We appreciate your bringing this to our attention, and look forward to
our continued partnership with the 104th Street Block Association.


Adrian Benepe

Monday, October 25, 2004

Eco-Metropolis 2004: Toward a Green, Just, Sustainable Greater NYC

Eco-Metropolis 2004: Toward a Green, Just, Sustainable Greater NYC
A co-production of: NY Open Center Continuing Education & Public Programs,
The Graduate Center, CUNY & Bioneers Conference

Where: CUNY Graduate Center, 365 5th Ave, at 34th St
When: November 12th – 14th, 2004

Come discover and celebrate our city and region's wildly creative and diverse eco-activist communities from up the Hudson, to the South Bronx, to Harlem, down to the Lower East Side, from Greenpoint to Sunset Park, from the Gowanus Canal and Newton Creek, to Jamaica Bay and the Meadowlands; from environmental justice, water, air, food and bicycle activists to visionary "green" architects, designers, urban planners, entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, engineers, educators and labor leaders.

The ideas, initiatives and energy to make our city and region greener, cleaner, saner, fairer, freer and more joyous are here now. Come help make it happen!

Friday, November 12th, 7pm

Plenary Celebration:
Talks by Anna Lappé and others tba, Native American music, the explosive Middle Eastern percussion of Raquy Danziger, poets including the Bowery Poetry Club's Bob Holman, and more.

$10 (or free with full conference ticket)
Saturday and Sunday, November 13th and 14th, 10:30am to 5pm

- Workshops and Panels with leading figures from across the spectrum of the NY eco universe
- Mixer/Networking party-Saturday at 5pm.
- Extraordinary talks from renowned eco-legends from Bioneers 04 on tape delay

Cost: Entire Event: $50 (or $75-eco-hero rate; your extra dollars support scholarships)

Single Day: $25

For complete, regularly updated schedule information and presenter biographies, see

our website:

Forum This Monday 25Oct04

Subject: Forum This Monday
Date: 10/25/2004 12:31:04 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Reply To:

From: Henry J. Stern
Sent: Friday, October 22, 2004 3:50 PM
Subject: Forum This Monday

You are cordially invited to hear four experts on mass transit

Diana Fortuna, president, Citizens Budget Commission

Judith Kleinbaum, deputy executive director, MTA

Eliot (Lee) Sander, former commissioner, NYC Dept of Transportation;
director, NYU Rudin Center for Transportation; senior vice president, DMJM + Harris

Harris Schectman, former general manager, NYC Transit;
director of transit planning, Sam Schwartz, LLC

in a forum on Transportation

moderated by Henry Stern

This Monday Evening, October 25, 2004

In co-operation with New York Civic, the Museum of the City of New York is sponsoring a series of public forums this fall on urgent problems facing New York City. Henry J. Stern, president of New York Civic and former Parks & Recreation commissioner, will moderate the programs. Panelists will speak, question each other, and then discussion will go to the floor. People who attend will have the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers. The programs will begin at 6:30 and end by 8:00 p.m.


One of the city's less tractable problems, various modes of transportation - railroads, subways, buses, ferries, trucks, taxis, passenger cars and bicycles - will be considered, as well as their impact on congestion, air pollution, and passenger, rider and pedestrian safety.

Our speakers are:

Diana Fortuna is president of the Citizens Budget Commission, a nonpartisan group founded in 1932 that conducts studies and periodically publishes reports on local, state and regional issues. She served on the staff of the White House Domestic Policy Council and as assistant to the administrator of the United States Health Care Financing Administration in Washington, DC. At New York State’s Office of Federal Affairs, she analyzed federal issues for the state. Prior to that, she spent nine years in the City of New York’s Office of Management and Budget, rising to become deputy director.

Linda Kleinbaum has served for 15 years at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. She is currently the deputy executive director for administration and is responsible for capital program budgets and management, construction oversight, real estate, procurement, facilities operation, enterprise information technologies group and the policy division. Prior to assuming this position, Linda served as MTA’s director of policy. Prior to the MTA, Linda held senior positions in New York City government, including chief of staff to the first deputy mayor of the City of New York, director of contracts for the mayor’s office of operations and director of management support for the New York City Fire Department’s Bureau of Fire Prevention.

Eliot (Lee) Sander, commissioner of transportation for two years in the Giuliani administration, now directs the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service. Sander is also a senior vice president at DMJM Harris, a leading architectural, planning and engineering firm. He is the former chairman of the Transportation Research Board's committee on large U.S. cities and serves as a senior advisor to National Association of City Transportation Officials He is a commissioner on the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission

Harris M. Schechtman is the director of transit planning for Sam Schwartz LLC. He focuses on innovative solutions for more efficient operation and customer satisfaction in the transit and toll industries. Mr. Schechtman’s 35 years of creative public sector leadership have transformed the region’s transportation landscape by sculpting capital projects into innovative improvements, and service concepts into successful operating realities. As a general manager of New York City Transit, he ran all bus operations in Manhattan, reshaped the route network in all five boroughs, pioneered the zone express concept from which today’s limited-stop services grew, and crafted the construction programs for new depots to support bus operations. Then as vice president of operations at MTA Bridges and Tunnels, he led the team that field-implemented and operated E-Z Pass as a customer-attractive, highly efficient, congestion-eliminating system, attributes that helped it grow into the world’s largest electronic toll system.

The Moderator:

Henry J. Stern, whose park name is StarQuest, founded New York Civic in 2002. He writes regularly on public affairs, and sends his columns to over 10,000 subscribers. Before entering the blogosphere, StarQuest was for fifteen years (a post-Moses record) commissioner of Parks & Recreation, by appointment of Mayor Koch (1983 - 1990) and Mayor Giuliani (1994 - 2002). He is on the boards of the Hudson River Park Trust, Historic House Trust, Battery Conservancy, Trees New York and the Carl Schurz Park Association. Between his terms as Parks commissioner, he was president of Citizens Union, the good government organization, whose board chair at the time was the late Robert F. Wagner, Jr.

In an earlier life, he was elected councilmember at large from Manhattan as the Liberal Party candidate in 1973 and re-elected in 1977. Before that, he was first deputy commissioner of consumer affairs for Commissioner Bess Myerson, and executive director of the Parks Department when Thomas Hoving was commissioner. He also worked for Deputy Mayor Timothy W. Costello, Manhattan Borough Presidents Edward R. Dudley and Constance Baker Motley, and State Supreme Court Justice Matthew M. Levy.

6:30 p.m.

Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue (between 103rd and 104th Streets)

How to get there (by mass transit):
By subway: 6 local train to 103rd Street, 2 and 3 trains to 110th Street
By bus: 1, 2, 3 and 4 buses northbound on Madison Avenue to 104th Street

Let us know:
Call 212.564.4441 or e-mail

Because we are sponsors, the forum will be free for NY Civic subscribers. There will be a charge for the general public, but you and your guest(s) will be admitted without charge.

Change your subscription

Bronx jeer for tale of 2 boathouses

Courtesy of Savona Bailey McClain

New York Daily News -

Bronx jeer for tale of 2 boathouses
June 17, 2004

Bette Midler was proudly pulling up weeds yesterday from flower beds in the children's garden of New York City's newest waterfront park and boathouse.

You can view the entire article at for reading the New York Daily News

Bronx jeer for tale of 2 boathouses

Celeb-backed boathouse sits ready to be towed to fancy site.

Bette Midler (center) discusses glittering new uptown park and boathouse with Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez (r.).

Bette Midler was proudly pulling up weeds yesterday from flower beds in the children's garden of New York City's newest waterfront park and boathouse.The narrow 5-acre strip of greenery, dubbed Swindler Cove Park, is tucked along the banks of the Harlem River at the end of Dyckman St. in northern Manhattan.

Tonight, Midler will officially inaugurate the park and the Peter Jay Sharp boathouse at astar-studded $500-a-plate reception and picnic, where Gov. Pataki will be the guest ofhonor.

But a few hundred feet away, on the Bronx side of the river at Roberto Clemente State Park, is the heartbreaking story of another community trying to bring the sport of rowing back to our town.

That story doesn't have big-name movie stars or celebrities to champion it, so politicians like Pataki don't seem to give a damn.

The Bronx story revolves around a group called the Empire State Rowing Association. Founded by former undergraduate rowers at Fordham and NYU in 1985, it has been running rowing programs for South Bronx kids since 1986 at Clemente Park. It's also the official practice club for students from those schools and Manhattan College.

During all that time, the Bronx group has been forced to store its boats in four beat-up old tractor-trailer containers at the northern edge of Clemente Park.

As soon as it was founded, the group petitioned the state for money for a new boathouse. State bureaucrats kept promising help, and in 1998, Parks Commissioner Bernadette Castro finally awarded it $87,000 as seed money for the community boathouse project.

The club, run by volunteers, managed to raise $30,000 to hire its own architect and design a no-frills boathouse. Total projected cost of the Bronx project is a mere $350,000.

In contrast, Swindler Cove Park cost $10 million, much of it in state funds.

Midler and the environmental group she runs, the New York Restoration Project, designed and created that park on the site of what was once a hideous illegal dump behind Public School 5.

A few years ago, the actress-singer persuaded state and city officials to finance the park and allow her group to manage it. She then got celebrity friends like Paul Newman, Yoko Ono and Sarah Jessica Parker, as well as a few foundations, to toss in an additional $4.5 million to build a gleaming new boathouse and pier alongside the park.

"We made a wish list of what we wanted and what we thought the community wanted," Midler told me yesterday when I caught up with her by chance at the park. "We want to bring back rowing to New York."

But once Midler's restoration group approached the state with plans for its boathouse, the Bronx group claims, state parks officials told the Empire State Rowing Association the Clemente Park boathouse project was being shelved.

Wendy Bishop, spokeswoman for the state Parks Department, denied yesterday that the Bronx project has been canceled. "There are still plans underway to put a boathouse at Roberto Clemente," Bishop said.

"They've been telling us thatsince 1985 and nothing gets done," said one club member. "They just keep stringing us along."

Darrell Penn has a 10-year-old daughter who attends rowing classes at Clemente Park every Saturday. He doesn't begrudge anyone the multimillion-dollar boathouse Midler has secured on the Manhattan side of the river.

But he says it's "frustrating that our organization has not been able to get help for our boathouse."

Tonight, while Grucci fireworks light up the sky and Pataki parties with the stars, the blue-collar rowers across the river who have waited 20 years for a mere $350,000 community boathouse will wonder why he keeps neglecting them.

Originally published on June 17, 2004

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Subject: Creative Time presents Jenny Holzer: For New York City
Date: 10/22/2004 10:24:21 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Ruth
Reply To:
To: Reysmont

This should be terrific.

----- Original Message -----
From: Creative Time
To: Ruth
Sent: Friday, October 22, 2004 1:45 PM
Subject: Creative Time presents Jenny Holzer: For New York City

Jenny Holzer returns to New York City to launch her first public art project here in over a decade. The project consists of her first xenon projections in the United States, and an inventive and spectacular display of her Truisms flying high in the New York City sky.AIRPLANE BANNERSA squadron of airplanes will fly along the Hudson River pulling banners emblazoned with text including Truisms and a quote from Abraham Lincoln.

1:00 - 3:30 P.M.

Planes fly from Verrazano Bridge up the Hudson River to the George Washington Bridge, looping from Battery Park City. Best viewing along the Hudson waterfront from New York and New Jersey. Dates and times are approximate and subject to change. Call 212 206 6674x2 for up to the minute information.

Jenny Holzer's xenon projections have suprised audiences from Paris to Buenos Aires to Berlin. On five evenings, from 8 p.m. until midnight, the words of important poets will scroll over landmark New York City sites, enveloping them with beauty and power.

The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street.

Bethesda Fountain. Enter @ 72nd Street and walk to the middle of Central Park.

515 Greenwich Street, corner of Spring Street, West Soho.

The Cooper Union. Intersection of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue.

Photo: Charlie Samuels. For New York City: Jenny Holzer © 2004, Courtesy Artists Rights Society, NY.

If you would like to help us support this important project,
visit our website. Use this link if the form does not work

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Friday, October 22, 2004

New York City Housing & Neighborhood Information

Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 13:59:31 -0400

From: "Center Real Estate Urban Policy CREUP"
To: "Center Real Estate Urban Policy CREUP"
Subject: New York City Housing & Neighborhood Information System--FreeTraining!!

Dear Manhattan Community Boards,

We would like to invite you to a training session for NYCHANIS at New York University. NYCHANIS is an online database with access to over 1,3000 separate variables on housing and neighborhoods in New York City.

We will have two identical training sessions at the following times and locations:

Monday, October 25, 2004 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
LOCATION - NYU Computer Lab, 75 Third Avenue, Level C-3

Friday, October 29, 2004 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
LOCATION - NYU Computer Lab, 194 Mercer Street, Room 304

Please RSVP by October 22, 2004. Space is limited, so please respond at your earliest convenience.Additionally, we have a NYCHANIS training manual available on the website at:

You may also view the user guide by logging onto NYCHANIS and clicking the link in the upper-right corner. Alternatively, if you would like me to send you a print copy of this manual, please send me your contact information.Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I can be reached via email at

Best regards,

Caroline Bhalla
NYCHANIS Project Director

Tomorrow's hearing with the referees in the CFE case has been cancelled

Subject: Tomorrow's Hearing Cancelled
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 17:23:45 -0400
Message-ID: <
From: "Jessica Garcia"
To: Undisclosed-recipients

Tomorrow's hearing with the referees in the CFE case has been cancelled. The next hearing will take place on November 1 when parties are expected to make closing arguments. The location has not yet been announced.

Thank you.

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Jessica C. Garcia
Director of Outreach and Youth Programs
Campaign for Fiscal Equity, Inc., 6 E. 43rd Street, NY NY 10017

Tel: (212) 867-8455 ext. 212 Fax: (212) 867-8460

Stay on top of the CFE litigation. Attend a hearing of the Special Masters. The updated schedule can be found at

Landmarks Heraing Report

From: "Women's City Club"
Subject: Landmarks Hearing Report
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 09:42:49 -0400

Our thanks to everyone who came to the oversight hearing at 250
Broadway on Wednesday. Our apologies to those who had to wait in
the cafeteria or the downstairs lobby and to everyone who was
prepared to give testimony. It was an extraordinary turn-out and
certainly showed the Council members what a large constituency
there is for landmark issues, and how many of us feel that there
are serious problems with procedures being followed at the LPC.

We consider this hearing the first step in a longer process, and
will keep you informed as we move on. Please keep copies of your
undelivered testimony for future use!

For those who could not attend, or were not in a position to
hear, this is a brief report. We include former LPC Commissioner
Tony Tung's excellent testimony.

Laura Ludwig and Annette Rosen, Co-Chairs,
Women's City Club Arts and Landmarks Committee


Testimony before the Committee on Landmarks
of the New York City Council

20 October 2004

Honorable Members of the Council,

My name is Anthony M. Tung and I live at 36 Cooper Square in
Manhattan. I am a former member of the New York City Landmarks
Preservation Commission (serving as a Commissioner from 1978 to
1988), and author of Preserving the World's Great Cities-a study of
conservation practice in 18 cities across the globe.

The report before you today sponsored by the Women's City Club: "The
Landmarks Preservation Commission: Issues of Concern" is a
thoughtful and measured document-an indicator of serious failures in
the performance of that agency.

I have four brief comments relative to this matter:
1. Of all the groups in the city, the authors of this report, the
grass-roots citizen preservationists, are the people who monitor the
commission's work most thoroughly: attending every public meeting
and checking the built results in the field in regard to thousands
of applications every year. No other constituency knows the work of
the commission as well.

2. None of the "Issues of Concern" listed in their document are
new-these are long-standing problems, some growing worse in recent
years, and to which neither the commission nor the mayor's office
has responded.

3. Some of this behavior-including backdoor negotiations with
developers and property owners; failure to schedule revised
Certificate of Appropriateness applications for public review;
capricious exercise of standards in regard to designations; an
inadequate hearing room sound system so that the public cannot
listen to the commission's discussions-demonstrates an
institutionalized lack of transparency and fairness in the public
process and an attitude of contempt in the agency's interaction with
citizen groups.

4. Given the deaf ear of the commission and the mayor's office, the
only people capable of correcting such misconduct are you, this
committee. Which I thank for holding this hearing. And which I hope
will now schedule further hearings to insure that the Landmarks
Commission remedies these abuses.

Saving the landmarks and historic districts of our city requires the
support of involved residents to monitor the 23,000 properties which
constitute the heritage of New York. Without these people, we can't
know whether historic preservation is achieved on the ground, in
reality, out in the cityscape. We are blind without their
well-informed eyes.

Today, these citizen-stewards are being barred in numerous improper
ways from a process which the Council in its wisdom designed to be
open and participatory. Please help them regain the fair legal
access you intended.


Lore Crogham reported in the Daily News (October 21,2004) :"Author
Tom Wolfe wants New Yorkers to know the city Landmarks Preservation
Commission is a bunch of spineless bureacrats--and he held a press
conference yesterday to say so. Then he went in to tell the City
Council....The hearing--held by the council's landmarks
subcommittee--drew an overflow crowd of angry preservationists.
About 50 were allowed to stay in the hearing room at 250 Broadway.

The rest were sent to a nearby cafeteria to wait. When Councilwoman
Margarita Lopez (D-Manhattan) arrived, 100 people were already in
the building lobby, waiting to be allowed upstairs. 'Obviously, the
number of people who are here indicates there is a problem with
landmarking,' she said." Former Landmarks Preservation Commission
Chairperson Beverly Moss Spatt spoke eloquently of the LPC she had
known, "the openness, collegiality and space for public dialogue,
both consensus and dissent, which is positive in a democracy."
She discussed the now defunct Survey Department that she had created
to identify potential landmarks throughout the city.

Former Commissioner Anthony M. Tung, author of "Preserving the
World's Great Cities," testified that he saw "an attitude of contempt" in
the LPC's refusal to calendar hearings on designations that had huge
public support. Mr. Tung supported the position paper produced by
the Women's City Club and urged the Councilmembers to give it their
attention. Michael Henry Adams, author of "Harlem, Lost and Found"
contrasted the unwillingness of the LPC to consider endangered
buildings in Harlem with the policies in other jurisdictions, and
introduced speakers from other landmarks commissions, William Young
of Boston, Jonathan Farnham of Philadelphia, and Steve McQuillan of
Cleveland who had travelled to attend the hearing.

The Historic Districts Council made a plea for more funding for the LPC
as well as suggesting administrative reforms. Numerous people who had
signed in were not called to speak. The Hearing ended with the
committee promising a second hearing so that everyone would have a
chance to speak. As well as the Chairman, Councilmember Simcha
Felder, Councilmembers Perkins, Koppell, Sears, Baron, Lopez, Quinn,
Oddo, Comrie, Palma, Avella and Brewer attended.

Columbia Spectator - CB9 Passes Alternate Plans for W. Harlem

Click here: Columbia Spectator - CB9 Passes Alternate Plans for W. Harlem


CB9 Passes Alternate Plans for W. Harlem
By Matthew Carhart
Spectator Senior Staff Writer

October 22, 2004

After months of debate and planning, Community Board 9 unanimously passed a resolution last night endorsing an alternative to Columbia's expansion plans.

The report, known as the 197-A plan, was designed in consultation with the Brooklyn-based Pratt Institute over the past year. It will be presented to New York City Department of City Planning, which will consider it when deciding how to rezone Manhattanville, the area into which Columbia wants to expand.

The vote passed 32-0 without any abstentions among Community Board members at yesterday's monthly meeting. The chair also took an unofficial vote of other residents present at the meeting, who voted 26-0 in favor of the resolution.

The 40-page resolution was designed to "improve the quality of life for area residents, to preserve historical building patterns and neighborhood scale, to encourage the creation and development of job-intensive businesses to benefit local residents, and to allow for population growth in a manner that promotes diversity of incomes without displacement of existing CB9 residents."

The unanimous vote echoes CB9's unanimous vote against the potential use of eminent domain in West Harlem last month.

The University released its own blueprint for expansion this March.

A few attendees at the meeting spoke in support of the resolution. Tom Kappner, a member of the Coalition to Preserve Community, said, "Because I see a lot of Columbia students here, this is not an anti-Columbia plan ... but it will not endorse a campus apart from [the community]."

Tom DeMott, another member of the CPC, seconded Kappner's support. "It was a democratically done plan, the likes of which is rarely seen in New York," he said.

But DeMott expressed caution, telling other meeting attendees that the fight is not over.

"Once we get this thing through [the Community Board], there will be a million ways to slice it and dice it."

Other items were also on the meeting agenda. The 26th Precinct's deputy inspector informed meeting attendees that two young men, 16 and 18 years old, were arrested on Wednesday in Morningside Park following eight or nine burglaries in the park in the last month. The young men have confessed to all of the burglaries. The police presented a picture of one of the suspects because the suspect had received a court summons for having sex in Morningside Park.

Meeting attendees also went through the laborious process of choosing members for the Nominating Committee, which will nominate candidates for the officers that will serve on the board next year.

New York State Assemblyman Danny O'Donnell reminded the audience that he will be on the ballot in two weeks, though he said he has not seen his opponent.

The meeting had a health-related theme: blood screening was offered to all attendees, a local doctor discussed asthma treatment, and a representative from New York City's Health Department said that people between the ages of 2 and 64 should plan on abstaining from flu shots unless they suffer from serious medical conditions.
CB9 Passes Alternate Plans for W. Harlem

Thursday, October 21, 2004

NYC Inclusionary Zoning New Report

Courtesy of Patricia Jones
Forwarded Message:
Subj: New Report Recommends Inclusionary Zoning in NYC
Date: 10/21/2004 1:44:20 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)

Pratt Institute Center for Community and
Environmental Development (PICCED)
October 20, 2004

The Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development (PICCED) and PolicyLink released the report, “Increasing Housing Opportunity in New York City: The Case for Inclusionary Zoning” (, yesterday.

The report, which analyzes the housing needs, development opportunities and market conditions in New York City, concludes that inclusionary zoning—requiring developers to set aside affordable units in new housing developments—could create more than 15,000 units to address the city’s housing crisis.

The Bloomberg Administration’s plan to rezone more than two dozen neighborhoods across New York City misses a historic opportunity to ease the city’s desperate shortage of affordable housing, according to the report. It estimates that if the Administration’s redevelopment plans move forward unchanged, only 8% of the 40,000 to 80,000 new housing units created through these rezonings will be affordable for the majority of city residents.

“Increasing Housing Opportunity in New York City” details how zoning changes proposed for New York City will lead to huge increases in land values that can be leveraged to create mixed income developments. By adding affordable housing units into new developments, inclusionary zoning would:

• Produce affordable housing for a diverse labor force;
• Foster mixed-income communities;
• Insure affordability in tight housing markets; and
• Stretch scarce public dollars by leveraging market-rate construction.

Ultimately, the report concludes that inclusionary zoning can help shape a future for New York City where a wide range of New Yorkers not only have affordable housing, but a chance to benefit from the city’s growth and prosperity.

You can view the full report and supplementary financial analyses at: or contact PICCED ( to receive a printed copy.

You can learn more about community organizing efforts to make inclusionary zoning a reality in New York City at


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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Will City Foot the Bill For Olympic Overruns?

Will City Foot the Bill For Olympic Overruns?

by Blair Golson

Standing before a crowd of high-school students that had been nicely
primed—the students leaped to their feet as they watched gymnasts Paul
and Morgan Hamm execute simultaneous back-flips—the last thing Mayor
Bloomberg expected was a razzing.

By half the auditorium.

Nevertheless, for a good 20 seconds at A. Philip Randolph High School in
Harlem on Oct. 19, the boos resounded equally with the cheers, while Mr.
Bloomberg maintained a half-embarrassed smile until the din subsided.

The Mayor was sharing the stage that day with some three dozen American
Olympians and Paralympians, who had descended en masse upon the high
school to receive a hero’s welcome in honor of their achievements at the
Summer Games in Athens. The event also served as a pep rally for bringing
the 2012 Summer Olympics to New York. And although it’s anyone’s guess
why Mr. Bloomberg proved to be so unpopular among many of the students,
it was hard not to see the jeers as a referendum on his campaign to bring the
Olympics to the city.

After all, some critics are questioning the Mayor’s assurances that the
games will be privately financed, and that the city’s taxpayers will be
completely insulated from billions of dollars in cost overruns which may
stem from the Games. Brian Hatch, a former deputy mayor of Salt Lake City
who oversaw part of that city’s buildup for the 2002 Winter Games and who
has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of building an Olympic stadium
on the West Side, dismisses the notion that taxpayers won’t get stuck with

"The Games are awarded to a city, and the city is going to be ultimately
responsible for the costs," he said.

Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff, the founder of the New York’s Olympic bid,
strenuously argues the opposite.

"Under no circumstances," he said, "is the city or state on the hook," with
the exception of a $250 million contingency fund approved by the State
Legislature in 2001.

Mr. Doctoroff’s comments notwithstanding, the city’s bid committee,
NYC2012, has refused The Observer’s repeated requests to verify Mr.
Doctoroff’s claims by examining a draft of the contract which the city will
sign with the International Olympic Committee in July, should New York be
awarded the Games. A Mayoral spokesperson said the document couldn’t be
released because it has not been finalized.

"The City Council should be able to let lawyers look at this to make sure
it’s airtight," said Mr. Hatch. "Are there hidden costs? How will the City
Council know for sure unless they let lawyers look at it?"

There is reason to doubt the administration’s claims about taxpayer
insulation from cost overruns. Before the I.O.C. awarded the 2002 Games to
Salt Lake City, and the 2010 Winter Games to Vancouver, Canada, each city
had to sign contracts spelling out that the "responsibility for the
organization and staging of the Games … shall be entirely assumed, jointly
and severally, by the City and the [local organizing committee]." Moreover,
those liabilities were so large that the cities couldn’t take them on by
themselves, and both Utah and British Columbia had to step in and pledge
their own state and provincial coffers against the potential overruns.

Mr. Doctoroff maintains that that won’t be the case with New York’s bid.
Rather than the public being on the hook for overruns, he said, that
responsibility will fall to the Organizing Committee of the Games (OCOG), a
private entity that the city will create if it gets the Games.

"The OCOG is undertaking to fulfill the requirements with respect to the
[potential cost overruns]," Mr. Doctoroff said. "There are certain things
the city will do—pick up the trash, clean the streets—but there is no
financial commitment by the city for the Olympic Games."

There is no way to verify that claim, however, without seeing a copy of the
2012 Host City Contract. And what’s more, Mr. Bloomberg plans to commit to
this contract long before the I.O.C. makes it final decision in July. On
Nov. 15, when the city will submit its formal bid application to the
I.O.C., the Mayor must sign his name to an "undertaking" document, in which
he pledges to sign the Host City Contact "without reserve or amendment"
should the city win the competition for the 2012 Games. In other words, the
city will be effectively locked into the Host City Contract, which might be
tantamount to accepting financial liabilities stemming from the Games.

NYC2012 has budgeted the Olympics at $3.7 billion. About $1 billion would
go toward capital costs—the construction of some venues. The remaining $2.7
billion would go toward operating costs—the actual running of the games.
Most of that money will be secured by TV rights, tickets and corporate
sponsorships. Mr. Doctoroff said he and NYC2012 have done "remarkably
detailed" budgeting for each aspect of the two-week event. Each budgeted
venue has a contingency in its construction budget, and the overall budget
includes a $200 million general-purpose contingency—in addition to the $250
million contingency from the State Legislature.

Mr. Doctoroff contrasted New York’s plan for financing the games with that
of Athens, whose government is heavily in debt as a result of
infrastructure improvements made for the Games.

"It’s comparing a completely different model," he said. "The government ran
the Games. The government made all sorts of decisions to add additional
costs on. So they were responsible, and they picked up the costs."

Other Costs

Although it might seem that New York’s $3.7 billion budget is propped up by
sound revenue streams and relatively solid contingencies and public
guarantees, the $3.7 billion is not the whole story. That figure does not
include several billion dollars worth of capital projects that Mr.
Doctoroff calls essential to the games, but which don’t appear in the
budget because, he says, they are worthwhile and would be pursued even if
New York doesn’t win the Games.

These projects include the $1.4 billion Olympic stadium, the $1.6 billion
Olympic village and the $600 million International Broadcast Center, among

Although cities vying for the Olympic Games have long been using that logic
to push for infrastructure improvements that have otherwise proved
impossible to get off the ground, the tactic has no shortage of critics.
Mr. Hatch, the former Salt Lake City deputy mayor, called Mr. Doctoroff’s
logic disingenuous. If the stadium, the village and the broadcast centers
are necessary to the Games, he argues, then it is irrelevant that the city
thinks they’re good ideas on their own. The city is counting on the private
sector to pay the lion’s share of each of those three projects, but if
private funding sources don’t materialize, Mr. Hatch argues, the city will
have no choice but to spend public moneys on the projects.

"They’re either necessary for the Games or they’re not," Mr. Hatch said.
"You can’t claim that they’re necessary to get them going, but then claim
that they don’t factor into the cost of the games once they’re started."

At the post-event press conference at Rudolph High, both Mr. Bloomberg and
Mr. Doctoroff acknowledged the city is counting on private investment for
each of those three massive projects, as well as many other smaller facilities.

So, the question remains.

"Who is going to be left holding the bag if private developers don’t step
up to build these projects?" asked Mr. Hatch.

You may reach Blair Golson via email at:

Monday, October 18, 2004

Letter from CPC to WEACT in response to its 8/10 letter to Lee Bollinger

Subject: Letter from CPC to WEACT in response to its 8/10 letter to Lee Bollinger
Date: 10/18/2004 11:33:13 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: BFrappy24
To: BFrappy24

United for an Open and Strong Community
POST OFFICE BOX 50 - Manhattanville Station
365 West 125th Street
NEW York City, New York 10027
Coalition to Preserve Community Steering Committee

Peggy Shepard
Executive Director - WEACT

Cecil Corbin-Mark
Director - WEACT

Oct. 12, 2004
Dear Ms. Shepard and Mr. Corbin-Mark,

This letter is in response to your August 20th letter to Columbia President Lee Bollinger in which you invite the university to join with other "stakeholders" and "key organizations" in a "convening effort" for a planning process on development in West Harlem. You offered Mr. Bollinger your services in this regard, stating that "WE ACT is prepared to provide leadership toward this end."

Your letter stated that the university expansion plan in West Harlem is progressing "without a broad based community planning process". This analysis presented by WE ACT undermines the intense effort behind a remarkably broad based planning process at Community Board 9 - the development of the 197-A Plan - over the past two years.

Under Section 197-A of the New York City Charter, community boards are charged with the legal mandate to sponsor plans for the "development, growth and improvement" of their neighborhoods with respect to land use and zoning. Furthermore, all 197-A plans have to undergo an extensive public review process before being finalized, a process that entails approval by the City Planning Commission and subsequent adoption by the City Council. Indeed, this is the process that is currently being undertaken by Community Board 9 through its 197-A Plan. The planning debate about Columbia's announced expansion plans as well as other matters related to land use has occurred at the board and at numerous public meetings throughout West Harlem. We have a strong 197-A document because of community participation and there is no need to create a substitute for it now.

You stated in your letter that you were a participant on Columbia University's self- appointed Community Advisory Committee (CAC). At the time of its formation, the CPC widely circulated its message that this committee be opened up. We demanded the inclusion of excluded members of the community - especially tenant rights advocates, community employment advocates, and those with a history of battling gentrification and large scale development. The CAC did not hold a single public meeting with the community, nor did we hear of any public statements from WEACT supporting the call to open up CAC to those who had been so obviously excluded from participation.

CB 9 on the other hand, aside from its normal business, regularly holds public sessions related to the University's expansion plan. Its committees meet monthly and afford the community an ongoing and consistent opportunity to address zoning issues (the Manhattanville Task Force), waterfront and economic development (the Harlem Piers committee), housing and land use (the Housing committee), and board 9 development issues of all kinds (the 197A Committee). It is through this planning process that a true broad-based community has had an opportunity to voice its vision for community development and give input as recognized stakeholders. The success of this process is evident in the large turnout of local residents and small business owners from throughout Community District 9 - both in these committee meetings as well as the public sessions of the CB 9 monthly meetings. The sharp and challenging discourse which has taken place between community members and representatives from Columbia, City Planning, the Economic Development Corp, HPD, and elected officials is a testament to the liveliness and the broad range of perspectives inside our West Harlem community.

We find it extremely disappointing that those few members of the CAC whom you referred to as having taken issue at the outset with Columbia's lack of transparency in the formation of the CAC (and its inadequate commitment of resources to produce an independent and accountable process) failed to voice their misgivings to the community earlier.

Your accurate criticism that "Columbia has replicated the folly of many developers of presenting 'mature' plans and then seeking community input" is unfortunately absent in CAC's final report. Nor is it expressed on WEACT's website, in your newspaper, or in any publicly released statements by WEACT.

It is clear to our coalition that there is no need for the creation of some alternative planning charette. The 197-A process has created a strong and vibrant plan which defends our community and has a sensible plan for development. We urge you to focus your efforts on supporting that process, not inventing another one. We request that you withdraw your offer to President Bollinger to take a leadership role in the "convening effort" you describe in your letter.

Columbia's duplicity, misinformation and half-truths about its Manhattanville expansion have gradually been exposed. It has failed to be honest about virtually every aspect of the plan - from the massive scale of the buildings to its current design which requires the leveling of all but one building north of 125th street, from its failure to outline the central role of biotech in its proposed research center (one that will operate beyond the initially announced level one and level two categories up to level three) to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fines it has already received, from its willingness to consider using eminent domain to get rid of businesses to the fact that it commenced discussions with New York City Department of Housing and Preservation (HPD) with regard to relocating tenants in city owned building without the knowledge of the tenants.

CPC believes WEACT could perform an invaluable service to the community by hosting educational forums and workshops on bio-technology that link social constructs of race and class to environmental racism, important factors to weigh when such facilities are placed in or near residential enclaves predominantly occupied by people of color. An in- depth examination of EPA oversight of Columbia and its recent history with that federal regulatory agency is another topic worthy of your exploration. CPC does not share your "appreciation" of the need for Columbia to expand deeper into West Harlem.

You pointed out in your letter to President Bollinger that the "additional space (Columbia seeks) amounts to a footprint greater than the rebuilding of the World Trade Center". We echo the refrain of many residents, "when is there enough space for Columbia?" Will it be when we are priced out of our homes, the inevitable result of primary and secondary displacement; when local businesses have fled and manufacturing jobs has been lost forever because of continual harassment and the threat of eminent domain; when an ethnically diverse and low to moderate income neighborhood disappears to make way for a gentrified and homogenized upscale residential enclave with Columbia occupying center stage? We do not view this as progress. CPC and WEACT may have a fundamentally different viewpoint on Columbia's expansion: We see this as a multi-billion dollar corporate expansion by a private institution reaping millions in government research grants and real estate tax exemptions.

Your characterization of local residents as experiencing "paranoia" after leaving Columbia's outreach meetings demeans their genuine skepticism and their intelligent historical assessment that the present course embarked upon by Columbia makes it virtually impossible for the communities of Harlem and Washington Heights to become as you suggested "organically linked and dialectically intertwined" with the university.

CPC is in complete agreement that the ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Process) must be postponed. But we find your call for Columbia to "invest in appropriate and substantive civic engagement" under the leadership of WEACT to "develop and resource a broad based planning process" to be contrary to the community process so many in the community have invested such effort to complete. Again, Section 197-A of the New York City Charter provides a planning process for this to occur within Community Board 9. The negotiation and drafting of a Community Benefits Agreement with Columbia University must be interrelated to and go hand-in hand with the drafting of the CB9 197-A plan.

It is a matter of public record that WEACT has received a number of grants in conjunction with Columbia University over the years. It has handed out awards to Columbia administrators at its annual dinners, held many of its forums on university grounds, and done joint research projects with Columbia. WEACT must be sensitive to the fact that there is already a legitimate perception of conflict of interest in terms of its relation to Columbia. This expansion plan by Columbia is the most significant development issue in West Harlem in many decades. It is essential that the community board process which includes both the 197-A plan and the Community Benefits Agreement be completely free of any appearance of conflict of interest or undue influence. This must be true of those parties taking leadership roles in the process and in matters of funding.

We are sure, that you, like we, want to participate in an open and unified process in which every group and individual seeks to benefit the larger community. All of us can and must work together within the framework of Community Board 9's planning process, one that can result in a workable and enforceable blueprint for development in West Harlem which has integrity and independence. Any development that occurs should be based on mutual respect, transparency and a commitment to protect the unique character of our neighborhood by all concerned parties.

Contact us by email at or call Tom DeMott (212 666-6426) Nellie Bailey (212 316-2240) Cynthia Doty (212749-4085). Thank you.


Tom DeMott Nellie Bailey Cynthia Doty
For the Coalition to Preserve Community Steering Committee

CC: City Planning, Rangel, Fields, Paterson, Schneiderman, Farrell, Wright, Espaillat, Perkins, Jackson, O'Donnell, Martinez, Reyes-Montblanc, Jones, Doctoroff, Poindexter, Schiffman, Bollinger.

125th Street / River to River Overview

125th Street/River-to-River

Overview Advisory Committee Presentations Upcoming Events Contact Us

In response to recent and anticipated development activity in Harlem, the Department of City Planning has initiated the 125th Street/River-to-River Study to generate a development framework for the entire 125th Street corridor between the Harlem and Hudson Rivers. 125th Street, alternatively known as Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, boasts a unique character and many distinct assets upon which to build. It offers a multitude of cultural, religious and institutional resources, many of which have historic importance for the Harlem community. It is well-served by public transportation, providing both local and regional service. And the recent reactivation of the Hudson and Harlem River waterfronts highlights the corridor's potential for additional amenities. This is a pivotal time for leveraging the public and private investments and initiatives to continue the rejuvenation of Harlem's "Main Street”.

The study's Advisory Committee — a diverse group of over 100 individuals representing elected officials, developers, local civic groups and cultural institutions, and community boards 9,10 and 11 — met initially in December 2003. In response to the broad range of concerns expressed by participants about the future of 125th Street, Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff formed the 125th Street/River-to-River Interagency Working Group. In addition to City Planning (DCP), the team consists of representatives from the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), and several other city agencies including the Departments of Cultural Affairs, Transportation, Small Business Services, and Housing Preservation and Development. The team will work together with the Advisory Committee to identify solutions for issues raised during the planning process.

Because public outreach and involvement are critical to the study, a series of meetings with the Advisory Committee and the general public has begun and will continue during the course of the study. The objective is to have a meaningful dialogue with the people who will be most affected by the changes and opportunities ahead for 125th Street, its development, transportation, culture, environment, urban design and waterfront. On April 28th, 2004, our second Advisory Committee meeting, that dialogue began. Ultimately, the planning process will generate a comprehensive development framework for 125th Street.

Advisory Committee Presentations: Summaries of the presentations and the committee’s comments at the three meetings held to date.

Upcoming Events: Find out what’s happening next in the study.

Contact Us: Please use our form to send us your thoughts or questions about 125th Street.

CPC Upcoming Meeting Schedule 10/17/04

Subject: Re: Coaltion to Presrve Community:Batch 1, UPCOMING SCHEDULE
Date: 10/18/2004 2:31:05 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: BFrappy24
To: BFrappy24,

To CPC members and others who are interested: SUNDAY, 10/17/04

Upcoming meeting schedule:

(1) The 197A Committee meeting is Monday, Oct. 18 at 6:30PM at Community Board 9, 565 West 125th St. We encourage you to attend and participate.

(2) Monthly meeting of CB 9 - a vote on the 197A plan is scheduled for board 9 members, come out and support the plan, Thusday, Oct. 21, at 6:30PM at Community Board 9, 565 West 125th St.

(3) The Zoning Task Force meeting is Monday, Oct. 25. Columbia has promised to answer questions which have been on the table for months. At 6:30PM at Community Board 9, 565 West 125th St

(4) NEXT MEETING OF THE COALTION TO PRESERVE COMMUNITY, ST. MARY'S CHURCH, 521 West 126 th street, in the church at 6:30PM. (more info to follow later)

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Eminent Domain Watch

For those of you who are concerned about Eminent Domain and the Columbia University Expansion, I've found the Eminent Domain Watch Blog, a great site that is full of pertinent information:

Eminent Domain Watch

Eminent Domain Watch

Friday, October 15, 2004

NY City Council to Hold Oversight Hearing on LPC

From CarolynCK for the Blog


It will be held on Wednesday,October 20, at 3 p.m. in the 14th floor Hearing Room of 250 Broadway, across from City Hall.

TO: The Landmark Preservation Community of New York City

FROM: The Women's City Club of New York (Arts and Landmarks

PARTICIPATING GROUPS: Defenders of the Historic Upper East
Side, Hamilton Heights–West Harlem Community Preservation
Organization, Historic Districts Council, Landmark West!,
Morningside Heights Historic District Committee, and the
Society for the Architecture of the City.

The City Council Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting
and Maritime Uses plans to hold an oversight hearing on the
administrative functioning of the Landmarks Preservation
Commission. Concerns which have been identified by the
community are:

* Increasing LPC funding—the need for more staff

* Designation—the need for more action

* Regulation—are our landmarks really protected?

* Public input— public notice and listening to the people

Public testimony is invited and very necessary. This is an
opportunity to express the specific concerns you may have
about the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Please consider
giving testimony, submitting a written statement, or just
attending the hearing to demonstrate your interest. A crowd
in the hearing room will tell the City Council that the
Landmarks Preservation Commission is important to all New

Once the hearing date and time is confirmed, we will be back
in touch. Please help by letting us know if you plan to
testify or attend the hearing by replying to this e-mail or
calling the Women’s City Club of New York.


Laura Ludwig & Annette Rosen, Co-Chairs, Arts and Landmarks
Committee of the Women’s City Club of New York
33 W. 60th Street, New York, NY 10023

Leave a phone message at 212-353-8070 x11 or


FROM: The Arts and Landmarks Committee of the Women's City
Club of New York. Laura Ludwig and Annette Rosen,
Co-Chairs. 33 West 60th Street, New York NY 10023. Phone:
212-353-8070. E-mail to

PARTICIPATING GROUPS: Defenders of the Historic Upper East
Side, Hamilton Heights–West Harlem Community Preservation
Organization, Historic Districts Council, Landmark West,
Morningside Heights Historic District Committee, Society
for the Architecture of the City, Women's City Club of New York

Our purpose is to make positive and constructive suggestions
as we seek to improve the procedures followed by the
Landmarks Preservation Commission. It is our goal is to
support the LPC and to improve its interaction with the
individuals and communities affected by its decision-making
process. Preservation groups would like to work in
partnership with the LPC but some have found it difficult in
recent years.

1. Choice of Chairman and Commissioners.

As Commissioners must be confirmed through action of the
City Council, we hope that the Council will confirm only
those who are conversant and in sympathy with preservation

We believe there should be an opportunity for public input
on appointments and would like to work in partnership with
the Rules, Privileges and Elections Committee of the Council
so as to ensure a comprehensive, detailed interview for each
Commissioner being considered.

2. Staffing and Funding.

While the work load of the LPC has increased, the staff and
funding have been cut. The LPC is short of staff in all
departments. The Preservation Department needs more staff
to conduct thorough investigations of the growing number of
applications it receives, and make more site visits. The
Research Department needs more staff to conduct surveys to
identify buildings worthy of designation and to produce
designation reports in a timely manner, and to perform
community outreach, as it once did. More violation officers
are needed to enforce the landmarks law. As the number of
landmarked properties continues to grow, and the amount of
investment in restoration and renovation of those properties
continues to increase, the agency's resources must be
expanded to meet the increased workload.

3. Public Participation in the LPC Process.

The process by which the LPC determines whether or not to
hold a designation hearing is a mystery. We would like the
designation process of the LPC to become more transparent,
as transparency is the cornerstone of good government.

When reviewing Certificate of Appropriateness applications,
the LPC sees the applicant as a partner or client and
therefore gives less consideration to the views of owners of
neighboring properties and the views of community groups.
In some cases, negotiations with applicants seem to have
reached a very advanced stage before the public hearing,
without input from the public. The LPC does not seem to
consider itself accountable to communities.

Certificates of Appropriateness items that received a public
hearing, but were not approved, are often brought back in
radically altered form, to be reviewed not at a public
hearing, but at a public meeting, where public testimony is
not taken and little public notice is provided. The LPC's
criteria for scheduling items for a public meeting versus a
public hearing are obscure, especially in cases where the
application has changed substantially (e.g., a new design, a
different architect. Examples: 322 Hicks Street,
Allen-Stevenson School.)

A vast and growing majority of applications to alter
landmarks are approved at staff level under the rules. We
believe that concerned neighbors and the public should have
access to information about existing and pending staff level
permits. Certificate of Appropriateness decisions are
already being made available on line through the Center for
New York City Law. The technology is there, and the
available materials should be expanded.

Plans and materials pertaining to applications scheduled for
public hearings are made available for review by interested
member of the public, on the Friday prior to the Tuesday
public hearings, and this is very helpful; however, the
materials are often incomplete. The public is not allowed
to speak to staff members who are directly knowledgeable
about the applications and can answer questions.

A better sound system needs to be installed in the hearing
room to enable the public to hear the applicants'
presentations and the commissioners' discussion. The
existing sound system is defective and is not always fully

Members of the public offering testimony should be allowed
to use illustration boards and audio-visual presentations to
make their points.

The LPC must honor the meeting schedules and procedures of
Community Boards so that their reports on Certificate of
Appropriateness applications can be received and considered
by the commissioners at public hearing prior to a vote.

4. City and State Owned Landmarked Properties

We would like to see more openness in the review of
alterations to landmarks owned by the City, the State, and
public authorities. Applications for reports on such
properties should be available to the public before the
Commission takes action.

In all cases, alterations to City, State, and Authority
owned properties which would require a Certificate of
Appropriateness if privately owned should come to public
hearing. There must be prior public notice, and notice to
affected Community Boards. We believe the Charter requires
notice to Community Boards under Section 2800 (e).

We are also concerned that there is a failure to note
deteriorating conditions in City and State owned historic
properties, and in properties controlled by authorities such
as the MTA and the School Construction Authority. The LPC
could play an advisory role here.

5. How the LPC Operates in Relationship to Other City Agencies.

There is a need for improved coordination between the LPC
and other agencies such as the City Planning Commission, the
Department of Transportation, the Board of Standards and
Appeals, the Department of Buildings. Agency rules should
be reviewed to identify and attempt to resolve interagency

6. Lack of Consistent Standards and Criteria.

The LPC no longer seems to be adhering to widely recognized
standards of preservation practice such as the preservation
of the original fabric and structure of buildings under

It can be unclear what criteria are being used when the LPC
makes its determinations. In some cases, there appears to
be a lack of consistent and rational policy from
neighborhood to neighborhood.


FROM: The Arts and Landmarks Committee of the Women's City
Club of New York. Laura Ludwig and Annette Rosen,
Co-Chairs. 33 West 60th Street, New York NY 10023. Phone:
212-353-8070. E-mail to

* What is an oversight hearing?

It is a hearing held by a standing committee of the City
Council to gather information about the performance of a
city agency. The Charter empowers the Council to "review on
a regular and continuous basis the activities of the
agencies of the city, including their service goals and
performance and management efficiency" and to "investigate
any matters within its jurisdiction relating to…the
effectuation of the purposes or provisions of this charter
or any laws relating to the city" (City Charter, §29. Power
of investigation and oversight). In other words, a
committee holding an oversight hearing can receive testimony
from anyone about an agency's record of providing service to
the public, or about the agency's effectiveness in terms of
bringing about the results the agency was created to produce.

* What is the purpose of the Landmarks Law?

To preserve the historic, cultural and architectural
heritage of the city. The City Administrative Code §25-301
states: "The Council finds that many improvements, as herein
defined, and landscape features, as herein defined, having a
special character or a special historical or aesthetic
interest or value and many improvements representing the
finest architectural products of distinct periods in the
history of the city have been uprooted, notwithstanding the
feasibility of preserving and continuing the use of such
improvements and landscape features, and without adequate
consideration of the irreplaceable loss to the people of the
city of the aesthetic, cultural and historic values
represented by such improvements and landscape features. In
addition, distinct areas may be similarly uprooted or may
have their distinctiveness destroyed, although the
preservation thereof may be both feasible and desirable. It
is the sense of the Council that the standing of this city
as a world wide tourist center and world capital of
business, culture and government cannot be maintained or
enhanced by disregarding the historic and architectural
heritage of the city and by countenancing the destruction of
such cultural assets."

* What City Council committee oversees the Landmarks
Preservation Commission?

The Committee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses,
a subcommittee of the Land Use Committee. The Land Use
Committee is chaired by Councilmember Melinda R. Katz of
Queens. The Landmarks Subcommittee is chaired by
Councilmember Simcha Felder of Brooklyn. Members of the
subcommittee are Councilmembers Charles Barron of Brooklyn,
Leroy G. Comrie, Jr. of Queens, G. Oliver Koppel of the
Bronx, Bill Perkins of Manhattan. Other members of the
council sit in on committee hearings that are of interest to
them. Feel free to call oversight hearings to the attention
of your own councilmember. For more information:

* Who supports a City Council oversight hearing about the
Landmarks Preservation Commission?

An ad hoc committee of preservationists concerned about the
future of the Landmarks n Preservation Commission has been
meeting under the aegis of the Women's City Club of New York
since early 2004. The group is co-chaired by Laura Ludwig
and Annette Rosen, who are also co-chairs of the Women's
City Club Arts and Landmarks Committee. Other participating
groups include Defenders of the Historic Upper East Side,
Hamilton Heights West Harlem Community Preservation
Organization, the Historic Districts Council, Landmark West,
the Morningside Heights Historic District Committee, and the
Society for the Architecture of the City. All of us have
extensive experience of working or trying to work with the
Landmarks Preservation Commission. Together we drafted a
list of issues needing to be addressed—most of which have
already been raised with LPC commissioners and staff without
result—and considered the probable causes of these problems.

Most of us think that the Landmarks Preservation
Commission is severely under-staffed, which hinders it in
carrying out functions important to the community. Probably
the most frequent complaint is the failure to designate
landmarks that need protection in a timely manner.
Questions were also raised about some other LPC policy
directions as outlined in the attached position paper. We
sought the advice of the City Council Land Use Committee,
and determined that a full discussion of the issues at an
oversight hearing could lead to a better understanding, and
potentially to a reconsideration of budget allocations.
Many preservationists would like their elected officials to
be fully briefed about problems at the Landmarks
Preservation Commission. Additional preservation
organizations expect to give testimony at an oversight hearing.

* What is the procedure for testifying at a Council hearing?

If speaking in person, come to City Hall. You will have to
pass through security and may be asked to show
identification. The guards at the door can direct you to
the hearing, probably in the Council Chambers on the second
floor, although sometimes hearings are moved to 250
Broadway. Fill in a speaker's slip, and you will be called
to the podium. It is strongly recommended but not necessary
to bring a written statement, and speaking time is usually
limited to three minutes. The Council will be glad if you
bring extra copies of your statement so that each member can
review it. If you are not free to attend during the day,
you can still participate by submitting written testimony.