Friday, March 31, 2006

Emergency Preparedness Info

Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 16:32:49 -0500
From: Manhattan CB4
Subject: Emergency Preparedness Info

The Housing Committee of
Manhattan Community Board 8 Presents:

Emergency Preparedness
What Your Household Needs to Know & Do Now!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Hunter College School of Social Work
129 East 79th Street6:30 pm

Opening remarks by Borough President Scott Stringer.

Call Community Board 8 at 212-758-4340 for more information.

This message was sent from Manhattan CB4. It was sent from: Manhattan Community Board No. 4,
330 W. 42nd St. 26th flr., New York, NY 10036. You can modify/update your subscription via the link below.

Blacks Turn to Internet Highway, and Digital Divide Starts to Close

Blacks Turn to Internet Highway, and Digital Divide Starts to Close
Published: March 31, 2006

African-Americans are steadily gaining access to and ease with the Internet, signaling a remarkable closing of the "digital divide" that many experts had worried would be a crippling disadvantage in achieving success.

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Erik S. Lesser The New York Times

Jazmyn Johnson, 9, recently helped
her mother, Barbara, use their
high-speed DSL Internet connection
at their home in Duluth, Ga.

Robert Spencer for The New York Times

Marlon Orozco, left, a mentor at a Boston
program that introduces computer
technology to young people with
limited access to it.

Civil rights leaders, educators and national policy makers warned for years that the Internet was bypassing blacks and some Hispanics as whites and Asian-Americans were rapidly increasing their use of it.

But the falling price of laptops, more computers in public schools and libraries and the newest generation of cellphones and hand-held devices that connect to the Internet have all contributed to closing the divide, Internet experts say.

Another powerful influence in attracting blacks and other minorities to the Internet has been the explosive evolution of the Internet itself, once mostly a tool used by researchers, which has become a cultural crossroad of work, play and social interaction.

Studies and mounting anecdotal evidence now suggest that blacks, even some of those at the lower end of the economic scale, are making significant gains. As a result, organizations that serve African-Americans, as well as companies seeking their business, are increasingly turning to the Internet to reach out to them.

"What digital divide?" Magic Johnson, the basketball legend, asked rhetorically in an interview about his new Internet campaign deal with the Ford Motor Company's Lincoln Mercury division to use the Internet to promote cars to black prospective buyers.

The sharpest growth in Internet access and use is among young people. But blacks and other members of minorities of various ages are also merging onto the digital information highway as never before.

According to a Pew national survey of people 18 and older, completed in February, 74 percent of whites go online, 61 percent of African-Americans do and 80 percent of English-speaking Hispanic-Americans report using the Internet. The survey did not look at non-English-speaking Hispanics, who some experts believe are not gaining access to the Internet in large numbers.

In a similar Pew survey in 1998, just 42 percent of white American adults said they used the Internet while only 23 percent of African-American adults did so. Forty percent of English-speaking Hispanic-Americans said they used the Internet.

Despite the dissolving gap, some groups like the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, which introduces digital technologies to young people, say the digital divide is still vast in more subtle ways. Instant messaging and downloading music is one thing, said Marlon Orozco, program manager at the network's Boston clubhouse, but he would like to see black and Hispanic teenagers use the Internet in more challenging ways, like building virtual communities or promoting their businesses.

Vicky Rideout, vice president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, which has studied Internet use by race, ethnicity and age, cautioned that a new dimension of the digital divide might be opening because groups that were newer to the Internet tended to use less-advanced hardware and had slower connection speeds.

"The type and meaningful quality of access is, in some ways, a more challenging divide that remains," Ms. Rideout said. "This has an impact on things like homework."

In addition, Internet access solely at institutions can put students at a disadvantage. Schools and other institutions seldom operate round the clock, seven days a week, which is especially an issue for students, said Andy Carvin, coordinator for the Digital Divide Network, an international group that seeks to close the gap.

But not everyone agrees that minorities tend toward less-advanced use of the Internet. Pippa Norris, a lecturer on comparative politics at Harvard who has written extensively about the digital divide, said members of minorities had been shown to use the Internet to search for jobs and to connect to a wide variety of educational opportunities.

"The simple assumption that the Internet is a luxury is being disputed by this group," Ms. Norris said.

The divide was considered so dire a decade ago that scholars, philanthropists and even President Bill Clinton in his 1996 State of the Union address fretted over just what the gap would mean in lost educational and employment opportunities for young people who were not wired.

In an effort to help erase the divide, the federal government has provided low-cost connections for schools, libraries, hospitals and health clinics, allocated money to expand in-home access to computers and the Internet for low-income families and given tax incentives to companies donating computer and technical training and for sponsoring community learning centers.

As a result of such efforts, "most kids, almost all kids, have a place in which they can go online and have gone online," said Ms. Rideout of the Kaiser foundation.

Jason Jordan of Boston is one of the young people closing the divide. Jason, 17, who is black, is getting a used computer from an older brother. He said he had wanted a computer for years, since "I heard about a lot that I was missing."

Jason said he had access to the Internet at school, where he is pursuing a general equivalency diploma, but looked forward to having his own computer and Web access at his home in the Dorchester section of Boston. "I can work in my own place and don't have to worry about the time I'm online," he said.

Like Jason, almost 9 out of 10 of the 21 million Americans ages 12 to 17 use the Internet, according to a report issued in July by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Of them, 87 percent of white teenagers say they use the Internet, while 77 percent of black teenagers and 89 percent of Hispanic teenagers say they have access to it, the report said.

The gap in access among young Americans is less pronounced than among their parents' generation, said Susannah Fox, associate director of the Pew project. "Age continues to be a strong predictor for Internet use," Ms. Fox said.

While, overall Internet use among blacks still significantly trails use among whites, the shrinking divide is most vividly reflected in the online experience of people like Billy and Barbara Johnson. Less than two years ago, the Johnsons, who are black, plugged into the Internet in their upscale suburban home near Atlanta for the first time. Mrs. Johnson, a 52-year-old mother of four and homemaker, said she felt she had little choice because her school-age children needed to use the Internet for research.

And then there is e-mail. "No one really wants to take the time anymore to pick up the phone and keep in touch," lamented Mrs. Johnson, who said that so much of the communications with her children's school was done through e-mail correspondence. "I felt like I was pretty much forced into it."

Even so, Mrs. Johnson said her husband, an assistant coach for the Atlanta Falcons, still chided her when she neglected to check her e-mail at least every day.

Ms. Norris and other experts on Internet use see progress on the horizon. They note that the declining cost of laptop and other computers, and efforts, like those in Philadelphia, to provide low-cost wireless Internet access, are likely to increase online access for groups that have been slow to connect.

Philanthropic efforts have also helped to give more people Internet access. For example, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded $250 million since 1997 for American public libraries to create Internet access for the public. Martha Choe, the foundation's director of global libraries, said some 47,000 computers had been bought for 11,000 libraries. Today, Ms. Choe said, most libraries in the United States have public Internet access.

Education levels remain a major indicator of who is among the 137 million Americans using the Internet and who is not, said Ms. Fox.

There is also a strong correlation, experts say, between household income and Internet access.

With so many more members of minorities online, some Web sites are trying to capitalize on their new access. For example, the New York/New Jersey region of the State of the African American Male, a national initiative to improve conditions for black men, is encouraging men to use digital equipment to "empower themselves" to better their lives. The site, which includes studies, public policy reports and other information about issues related to black men, promotes using digital cameras, mobile phones and iPods, but mainly computers, to organize through the Internet, said Walter Fields, vice president for government relations for the Community Service Society, an antipoverty organization, and a coordinator of the black-male initiative. Users are encouraged to submit articles, write blogs and upload pertinent photographs and video clips.

"What we're doing is playing against the popular notion of a digital divide," Mr. Fields said. "I always felt that it was a misnomer."

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Columbia Spectator

CB7 Hears Concerns on Zoning
Residents Worry That Proposal Would Put Strain on Local Infrastructure
By Kate RuskinSpectator Staff Writer
March 30, 2006

In a town hall meeting that packed a synagogue at West End Avenue and W. 100th Street with hundreds of people, CB7�s West 96th-110th Street Planning Task Force heard testimonies from concerned citizens for their upcoming resolution about rezoning the area.

The task force has scheduled its decision on what types of zoning to suggest in a resolution for its April 11 meeting, and it held last night�s meeting to receive feedback and hear suggestions from community members. At the last meeting, suggestions by the City Planning Commission, which worked closely with the task force for several months to collect data about the composition of the neighborhood, angered many local residents.

�We found that [their proposal] to be very disingenuous,� said Miki Fiegel, president of the group West Siders for Responsible Development, after the meeting in March. �But I think they got the message when they looked into the crowd and saw 150 people wearing 7-A, 8-A stickers.�

The commission suggested upzoning Broadway to 9-X, which allows approximately five more stories than 8-A zoning, the type that is overwhelmingly supported by the crowd. At the meeting last night, hundreds of local residents sported bright green tags that said �8-A, 7-A.�

Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer attended the meeting, eliciting much applause from the crowd with an enthusiastic declaration of his support for their fight to rezone the area.

�I do believe that skylines change and development should occur in this city because that�s how they grow, but I believe it should occur with the cooperation of the community,� he said.

More than a dozen community members gave two-minute testimonials. Issues raised included many complaints that have been mentioned in previous forums, such as the strain that an influx of new residents will place on public services like transportation and schools.

The audience frequently interrupted speakers with applause as they listed grievances, offered potential solutions, and made enthusiastic calls to action, which ranged from blocking bulldozers to requesting a temporary moratorium on all development in the area.

If the community board approves the decision made by the task force, the resolution will then proceed through the borough president�s office and be subject to a public hearing with the City Planning Commission. The resolution is ultimately voted on by the City Council after public review by the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.

If an environmental impact statement must be filed, the process will take at least seven months, according to a representative from city councilmember Inez Dickens�s office. Dickens is meeting with the City Planning Commission to discuss how they can avoid an EIS procedure, which could shorten the process to as little as two months.

Barnard Seniors Nab Swanky Singles and Suites

Columbia Spectator
Housing 2006

Barnard Seniors Nab Swanky Singles and Suites
By Tess Brustein
March 30, 2006

Students chose the cream of the residential crop on Wednesday in Barnard�s senior housing selection, but lesser singles and many suites still remain available for suite and general selection.

Sulzberger Tower singles and 110th Street studios were all scooped up within the first two hours of selection. Rising seniors also picked up all of the suites in 620 and Cathedral Gardens. Suites that are still available for Friday�s suite selection include more than half of 600 most of 616 and 110th, and about 30 suites in Plimpton.

For general selection, which takes place on Friday, April 7, Hewitt singles are still wide open, along with 14 singles and 12 doubles in Elliott, one single and all doubles in Cathedral Gardens, and the full spread of Sulzberger Tower doubles.

While the 110th studios and 620 suites were expected to go fast, demand for Cathedral Gardens was uncertain until today. Students raised questions about the safety of the neighborhood and the building�s distance from campus as recently as Monday�s SGA meeting. But despite the concerns, every single suite in Cathedral Gardens was claimed today by senior groups.

�We were really trying to make it senior housing, and it took,� said Jeri Henry, Barnard�s housing and residential life operations manager. �People ended up picking it, so we�re delighted.�

Residents Approve Price Hike - Morningside Gardens Votes to Triple Value of Co-Ops

Columbia Spectator

Residents Approve Price Hike
Morningside Gardens Votes to Triple Value of Co-Ops

By Lauren Hovel Spectator Staff Writer
March 30, 2006

A two-bedroom Manhattan apartment worth $159,000 on Sunday is now worth $480,000, after residents of Morningside Gardens voted this week to allow their co-ops to sell for triple the previous prices, giving tenants the ability to make enormous profits.

These profits come with a price, however, as the vote, taken on Monday and tallied over the next few days, marks the end of Morningside Gardens� tradition of affordable housing, and with it, some residents say, its history of diversity.

Each of the 1,000 units in Morningside Gardens, located between W. 123rd and LaSalle streets and between Broadway and Amsterdam, was given one vote. The first proposition on the ballot, which enabled the tripling of prices, passed with 584 votes, well over the 51 percent needed to win. A second proposition that would have allowed for just a 60 percent price increase received 114 votes. 70 votes were cast against both measures.

�Morningside Gardens is a great place�there is a wonderful mix of ages, ethnicities, incomes. It is one of the few places still affordable for middle-income people,� said Olga Hughes, a tenant who voted for the lesser price increase. She added that the results could indicate a change in the character of the co-op community.

For residents like Hughes, the price increase will change a heterogeneous complex into a more homogenous�and wealthier�group. But according to other occupants, the price increase was a necessity to pay for badly-needed building repairs. It will also generate funds to allow residents to accrue the same equity and make the same profits as their Manhattan neighbors.

�It�s the first sensible thing that�s happened here in about 20 years. I�m really amazed not just that it passed but how at how few voted against it,� said Marty Lieberman, a tenant who voted for the price increase. �Morningside will have the ability and the money to keep itself in top shape.�

Paul Naprstek, who supported the 60 percent increase called for by the second proposition, said, �It�s really hard to sell people on the idea of making less money. We had to convince people there were certain benefits that made giving up the concrete benefits worthwhile.�

�Obviously I�m disappointed, but I don�t want to be bitter. We had a lot of odds against us, but I think we fought a good fight, and I�m proud of that,� he said.

The debate over whether to change the prices resulted in months of tension among residents, and a tenant who wished to remain anonymous said she fears the divisions may take some time to heal. �It�s been so ugly, so nasty. It has really torn the place up,� said the tenant, who voted against both propositions. �But it�s really a clear mandate, the community has spoken, and I accept the voice of the majority�

Morningside Gardens units will now be sold at 80 percent of the market rate, and sellers will be subject to a 15 percent flip tax so that the complex obtains some of the profit.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

N.Y. Leads Boom in Hispanic Business

N.Y. Leads Boom in Hispanic Business

March 22, 2006

Adam Nichols

Hispanic-owned businesses are opening three times faster than the national average -- and New York's Latino entrepreneurs are leading the way, government figures show.

U.S. Census Bureau statistics show Hispanics owned 1.6 million American businesses in 2002, 31 percent more than in 1997.

The census also showed New York's Hispanic entrepreneurs were opening for business nearly twice as fast -- showing a 57 percent increase.

The outsized success among Hispanics is being attributed to a huge surge in the Latino community over recent years.

"The Hispanic consumer market is exploding," said Michael Barrera, president of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "A lot of Hispanic businesses are going to benefit from that."

Among high-growth areas for Latino entrepreneurs was the Bronx, the county with the fourth-largest number of Hispanic companies in the country. Queens was fifth.

Experts estimate that Hispanic consumers spend $700 billion a year. That is expected to rise to $1 trillion by the end of the decade.

Bronx businessman Frank Garcia said, "Hispanic businesses are serving Latino customers, [who] ... are very loyal customers. That community is expanding very quickly, and that is why businesses serving them are growing so rapidly."

Garcia, 36, who is also president of the New York Statewide Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, is seeing his own 10-year-old office supply company, Millennium Remanufactured Toners, grow quickly.

"My business has grown from $1 million in sales to $6-7 million by the end of this year," he said. "I'm employing 15 people."

The Census Bureau's figures, based on administrative records and a survey of 2.4 million companies, showed the vast majority of Hispanic businesses are one-person enterprises.

Many were in the construction or service industries, although Garcia said Bronx entrepreneurs show imagination.

"We have a new kind of business owner, people who are graduating high school and opening untypical businesses like record labels," he said.

"New Hispanic businesses are growing, they're employing a large portion of the population and paying a lot of taxes.

"Hopefully, we'll start getting more recognition from federal and local government, and start seeing some of those taxes come back to us."

Source: Copyright (c) 2006, Daily News, New York

CB4M and CB5M Land Use & Zoning Committee Meeting 3 April 2006

From: "Community Board Five"
To: "Community Board Five"
Subject: CB4M and CB5M Land Use & Zoning Committee Meeting
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 10:27:25 -0500

Joint Community Board Four
Community Board Five
Land Use & Zoning Committee Meeting

To be held on Monday, April 3, 6:30p.m. Prompt
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
899 Tenth Avenue, 6th Floor, Rm. 630T
(Between 58th and 59th Streets)

Followed by
Community Board Five
Land Use & Zoning Committee Meeting also at
John Jay College, 6th Floor, Rm. 610T 7:00p.m.

Application submitted by SJP Residential Properties, Fifth Street Holdings, LLC and Jujamcyn Theaters LLC for certification by the City Planning Commission pursuant to Section 81-744(a), Transfer of development rights from listed theaters, of the Zoning Resolution to allow the transfer of 29,104 square-feet of floor area from Martin Beck Theater (302 West 45th Street) to 750 Eighth Avenue in connection with a proposed 38-story mixed use building.

Manhattan Community Board Five
450 Seventh Avenue, Suite 2109
New York, NY 10123
P: 212.465.0907
F: 212.465.1628

Check out our new website:

ULI New York District Council Program "Eminent Domain - The Kelo Backlash - Impacts to NYC Development" - Register Now!

Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 16:33:49 EST
Subject: Fwd: ULI New York District Council Program "Eminent Domain - The Kelo Backlas...

Forwarded Message
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 13:14:33 -0500 (EST)
From: "ULI New York"
Subject: ULI New York District Council Program "Eminent Domain - The Kelo Backlash - Impacts to NYC Development" - Register Now!

ULI New York Event
Eminent Domain
The Kelo Backlash �
Impacts to NYC Development
April 26, 2006

Continental Breakfast/
7:30 AM � 8:00 AM
8:00 AM � 10:00 AM

The University Club
One West 54th St.
(just west of Fifth Avenue)

Registration is available on-line, fax or may be handled by phone.

FAX: (800) 248-4585
CALL: (800) 321-5011

The Supreme Court�s July 2005 Kelo vs. The City of New London decision essentially upheld a city�s right to use its powers of eminent domain to take private property for economic development reasons. The backlash generated by this decision has been strong, swift and at times emotional. Property-rights advocates have led an outcry to stop �eminent domain abuses� and legislation has been discussed at the State level, and in Congress. In November 2005, the House of Representatives approved a bill by James Sensenbrenner (R � Wisconsin), that would penalize government agencies for using eminent domain for private economic development projects by cutting federal economic development funds for two years. The bill awaits the Senate action now.

Please join us as the Panelists discuss:
- What exactly was the Kelo case about, and what are the impacts of the Supreme Court�s action;
- How does the pending federal legislation impact development in New York City and impede the City�s efforts to develop affordable housing;
- How has and is eminent domain used in New York City;
- What role does eminent domain have in developing urban landscapes.

Leonard A. Zax
Latham & Watkins

John K. McIlwain
Senior Resident Fellow
ULI - the Urban Land Institute

Lewis Wiener
Sutherland Asbill Brennan

Lisa Bova-Hiatt
City of New York Law Dept.

Dana Berliner
Attorney for Kelo
Institute for Justice

Shaun Donovan
NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development

Julia Vitullo-Martin
Senior Fellow
The Manhattan Institute

Jay Kriegel
Advisor to the City of New York
Abernathy MacGregor Group

ULI New York
712 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1400 - New York, NY 10019
phone: 212-841-9253 - fax: 212-245-7336

Many Thanks To Our District Council Corporate Sponsors!

Chicago Title Insurance Co.
Ernst &Young Real Estate Group
GMAC Commercial Mortgage
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
Kirkland & Ellis
Moody�s Investors Service
O�Connor Capital Partners
Shorenstein Properties LLC
The Athena Group, LLC
The Durst Organization

Advance Realty Group
Apollo Real Estate Advisors
Blackacre Capital Management, LLC
CB Richard Ellis
Charles J. McBride & Assoc.
Colony Capital, LLC
Forest City Ratner
Gramercy Capital Corp.
Holliday Fenoglio Fowler
ING Clarion Partners
iStar Financial
JP Morgan Real Estate Group
Kimco Realty Corp.
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC
Liberty Title Agency
Lehman Brothers
Massey Knakal
Merrill Lynch & Company
Morgan Stanley
Performance Public Relations
Proskauer Rose
The Clarett Group
The Gale Company
The Prescott Group, LLC
Tishman Speyer Properties
Trammell Crow Co.
Troutman Sanders LLP
Vornado Realty Trust
Wachovia Bank, NA

Bank of America
Benenson Capital Partners, LLC
Cooper, Robertson & Partners

Advocate (continued)
Cushman & Wakefield
Gale International
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
J. H. Cohn, LLP
Lawrence Ruben Company, Inc.
Newmark Knight Frank
Rose Associates, Inc.
The Marketing Directors
The Related Companies
The Weitzman Group
W&M Properties

Albanese Organization
Allgemeine Hypothekenbank Rheinboden
Archstone-Smith Trust
Art Assets, LLC
Avalon Group
Bear Stearns
Blackstone Real Estate Advisors
Castagna Realty
Citigroup Property Investors
Clifford Chance US LLP
Colliers ABR, Inc.
Eastdil Realty Company, LLC
Emigrant Savings Bank
Equinox Partners
First American Title Insurance
Flack & Kurtz, Inc.
Fremont Realty Capital
Greenberg Traurig
Herrick, Feinstein LLP
Jones Lang Lasalle
JPI Companies
KeyBank Real Estate Capital
Langan Engineering & Env. Services
Perkins Eastman Architects
Reckson Associates Realty Corp.
RFR Realty
Rockwood Capital Partners
Silverstein Property Inc.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
The Tuckerman Group
Wall Street Realty Capital, Inc.
Washington Square Partners
Westdeutsche ImmobilienBank

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Visitor Information

Special Exhibits

The Art and Illustrations of Daniel Urrabieta Vierge (1851�1904)

The Hispanic Society of AmericaNew YorkFebruary 16, 2006�April 25, 2006

Although largely forgotten today, Daniel Urrabieta Vierge had attained a distinguished position at the time of his death in 1904, with critics praising the elegance, immediacy, and realism of his work. This exhibition of almost fifty works offers a rare opportunity to reappraise this talented figure.

The Arts of Latin America 1492�1820

The Philadelphia Museum of ArtSeptember 16, 2006�December 31, 2006

A �blockbuster� exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, produced in collaboration with The Hispanic Society of America, to open Fall 2006. Included will be paintings, sculpture, furniture, metalwork, lacquer, ceramics, and other media from all corners of the New World beginning with the European discoveries of 1492 and subsequent and running until the end of the colonial period in the 1820s. The Executive Director and curators of the Society have played an active role in the development of this highly important exhibition.

The Spanish Civil War
The Hispanic Society of America New YorkSeptember 29, 2006�October 29, 2006

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, the Hispanic Society will exhibit materials related to personalities and events of the war and its repercussions in the Americas. The exhibition will form part of the international symposium, �Before and After the Spanish Civil War: The American Response�, organized by the Department of Spanish and Lusobrazilian Studies of the Graduate Center, CUNY, with sponsorship from the Instituto Cervantes and the support of the Hispanic Society. The conference will take place at the Instituto Cervantes and the Graduate Center, 28-29 September 2006.

Works by Joaqu�n Sorolla from the Hispanic Society and Sorolla Family Collections
Fundaci�n CaixaGalicia A Coru�a, Spain Beginning Fall, 2006

An unprecedented collaboration between The Hispanic Society of America and the Pons-Sorolla family of Madrid, this presentation brings together a large group of paintings by the Spanish painter, Joaqu�n Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1923), many of them seldom seen on public exhibition in Spain. The exhibition will take place in the headquarters galleries of the stunning new CaixaGalicia building, destined to be recognized as one of the most important contemporary structures in Europe.

Spanish Old Master Drawings: From the Renaissance to Goya

Museo Nacional del PradoMadrid, Spain Fall, 2006

The Hispanic Society, in collaboration with a benefactor of the Society, is preparing an exhibition of approximately 90 Spanish Old Master Drawings from the late Renaissance to the era of Francisco Goya (from 1580 to about 1820). The selection includes both works in the collections of the Hispanic Society and a stunning group of drawings from a private collection that are promised gifts to the Society. Among the artists represented are Jusepe de Ribera; Alonso Cano; Antonio del Castillo; Bartolom� Murillo; Francisco de Herrera the Elder; Francisco de Herrera the Younger; Francisco Rizi; Claudio Coello; the Renaissance artists Pablo de C�spedes, Luis de Vargas, and Blas del Prado; Francisco Bayeu and other members of Goya�s generation; and of course, twelve works by Goya himself. Many of the drawings are unpublished and will be shown for the first time.

Gallery Talks

Convergence and Diversity: Art of The Hispanic World

In celebration of one hundred years advancing the knowledge and appreciation of Hispanic art and culture, the Museum Department of The Hispanic Society of America has prepared a special series of mini-exhibitions, �Convergence and Diversity: Art of the Hispanic World,� which will take place throughout 2006 in the main patio of the Museum, highlighting objects from the collection. The exhibitions have been selected, in part, to illustrate the contributions of the Society�s founder, Archer Milton Huntington, to Hispanic studies in America. The objects have also been chosen for their rarity, artistic beauty, and historical interest.

Note: Gallery talks will be given on each object by Museum Department curators, generally on the first or second Saturday of each month; dates will be confirmed or announced in monthly mailings and on-line.

Exhibition: The Art and Illustrations of Daniel Urrabieta Vierge (1851�1904)Although largely forgotten today, Daniel Urrabieta Vierge (1851�1904) attained a distinguished position during his lifetime, with critics praising the elegance, immediacy, and realism of his drawings. Drawing on the Hispanic Society�s exceptional collection, this exhibition of almost fifty gouaches, watercolors, and prints offers a rare opportunity to reappraise this talented figure.

Ceramic Baptismal Font in Mud�jar StyleToledo, Spain, ca. 1400 tin-glazed earthenware with green glaze [E503]

The ceramic baptismal font in the Society�s collection represents one of few known examples of its type. The font reflects a crucial moment in Spain�s history when Muslim and Christian artisans worked together peacefully creating a hybrid style of their own. The gallery talk will focus on this hybrid style and how the Church continued to be an important patron of the arts during the later Middle Ages in Spain.


Joaqu�n Sorolla y Bastida and Teodoro Andreu
Four Pictures from the Banus Family Collectionca. 1900-1920oil on canvas [LA2180, LA2181, LA2182, LA2183]

The Banus family, descended from the family of Antonio Garc�a, Sorolla�s father-in-law, has recently brought an intriguing group of pictures to the Society.

Silver Candlesticks mark of Mexico City, 1789-90 Gift of Mrs. Michael Gavin, 1960 [R3548-51] Latin American Colonial Silver offers one of the most splendid branches of the Hispanic arts of design, in part because silver was so plentiful in the American colonies. In Mexico and Lima, where supply met great demand fueled by the vast wealth of the ruling elite, silversmiths created luxurious objects for both secular and ecclesiastical use.

Jet Statuette of Saint James and selected Jet Amulets Galicia, Spain mid-sixteenth century [D800]

Jet, a fossilized carbon mineral related to coal (hence the term, �jet black�), is found in Asturias in northern Spain. During the middle ages, pilgrims to the shrine of Saint James in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, began to associate images in this mineral with the shrine. The exhibition investigates an unusual art form and one of the most important devotional phenomena in Europe.

Sebasti�n Mu�oz (Spanish, 1654-1690) Mar�a Luisa, Queen of Spain, Lying in State1689-90 oil on canvas [A64]

Among the most important public events in Madrid were the lying-in-state and funerals of the monarchs and their queens, followed in cities throughout the Hispanic world by exequies, or public commemorations. This painting commemorates the death of Mar�a Luisa (Marie Louise) de Orl�ans, the French princess who was the first wife of Charles II, King of Spain. Said to have died of food poisoning in 1689 at the age of 26, the young queen left many mourning admirers.


Belt Buckle Spanish, Visigothic Period, 6th century A.D.bronze, silver, garnets, and enamels [LR2124]

The Visigoths, the westernmost of the Germanic tribes who invaded Europe in the last centuries of the Roman Empire, dominated southwestern France and Spain from 395 to 711. This stunning object shows multiple influences linking Visigothic arts with works from Byzantium in the East to northern Europe. The gallery talk will also focus on the conservation of the piece and the archaeological information gathered from it.


Nasrid Door and Mud�jar Door Spanish, Granada, 14th century, and Seville, 15th centurycedar and poplar wood, respectively; both polychromed and gilded[D70 and D71]
Indicative of the extraordinary crafts of the architects and decorators of the late Middle Ages, both in Muslim and Christian Spain, these doors also tell the story of the eventual reconquest of the Iberian peninsula by Christian rulers, and the willingness of those rulers to embrace the Islamic arts of the conquered territories.


Over the past several years, the Society has been acquiring numerous works of art from Latin America in the viceregal period � that is, the era from the encounters of 1492 and following years to the coming of independence in the 1820s. This mini-exhibition will focus on a small number of recently acquired works and is intended as a complement to the Society�s collaboration in the large exhibition of Latin American viceregal art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Become a Friend Calendar Publications Catalogue The Collections Contact Information Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies Home LibraryMuseum Prints and Photographs Site Map The Society Timeline Visitor Information

Copyright � 2003-2005 The Hispanic Society of America. All rights reserved.

Benefits for Friends of the Hispanic Societyof America include:
� Invitations to openings and social events
� Discounts on publications, museum reproductions and gifts
� Special events outside of the Society
� Newsletter

To become a Friend of the Hispanic Society of America, please contact our Friends Coordinator.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Black Professionals Host Free Career Conference for Teens, This Saturday, Apr 1

From: PatJonesNY
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 16:16:32 EST
Subject: Fwd: Black Professionals Host Free Career Conference for Teens, This Saturday...

Forwarded Message
From: "The KIP Business Report"
Subject: Black Professionals Host Free Career Conference for Teens, This Saturday, Apr 1
To: patjonesny
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 16:14:23 -0500 (EST)


"With the proper nurturing and guidance,

there are no limits to what our young people can achieve."

Dear Friend:

If there�s someone in your life who you care much about between ages 14-18 , then make sure they come to the NO LIMITS CAREER DAY on Saturday, April 1 from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at the Thurgood Marshall Academy in Harlem (200-214 West 135th Street @ Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd).

For the fourth year, it�s my honor to co-chair this wonderful event.

NO LIMITS is sponsored by the Urban Network, a coalition of the metro area�s leading Black professional organizations.

At NO LIMITS, students from all over the tri-state area will have an opportunity to meet successful Black professionals--attorneys, accountants, engineers, bankers, entrepreneurs, etc.--who will share with them practical, real-world advice about how they made it and how these students can too.

Workshops include:
How to Pay for College (with Other People�s Money)

The HBCU Experience: Attending an Historically Black College or University

Making the Transition from High School to College

Confessions of an A Student: How to Improve Your Grades in 30 Days or Less

Plus, much more!

888 Special guest speaker: Power 105 Radio's Ed Lover 777

This one-of-a-kind event is designed to inform, inspire and motivate today�s young people to rise to their potential.

Admission to NO LIMITS is absolutely free and includes breakfast and lunch. Parents are strongly encouraged to attend.

For more information and to register, please visit or call 1-866-206-9068 X5378. Space is limited, so register today!

Best regards,

Cynthia Franklin Editor,

The KIP Business Report Co-Chair,

The Urban Network's No Limits Career Day

P.S. Be sure to register today! NO LIMITS attracts a sold-out crowd.
c/o KIP Communications 1001 Ave of the Americas, Fl 12, NYC 10018 866.206.9068 X5378

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Community benefit agreements become costly as Bloomberg endorses concept

From: PatJonesNY
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 15:48:42 EST
Subject: From Crain's

Developers' deal-making escalates

Community benefit agreements become costly as Bloomberg endorses concept
By Erik Engquist
Published on March 27, 2006

Two years ago, to win backing for a proposed East Side retail complex, a developer agreed to bankroll a $2 million park rehabilitation. This past winter, a builder coughed up $5 million in goodies to smooth the way for a controversial new mall in the Bronx. Last week, the Yankees, seeking support for a new stadium, announced a community benefits agreement that could cost an astonishing $50 million.

Unheard of in New York City just a few years ago, community benefits agreements, or CBAs, are fast becoming standard components of large developments. They're also getting more expensive as each one builds on its predecessors. Critics say they are corrupting the city's process for approving new development projects. Some observers are calling for restrictions on side deals.

"It's just the Wild West," says Julia Vitullo-Martin, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank. "Anybody who wants something comes forward and demands it from the developer."

Most CBAs involve builders pledging to create open space; use union labor; set hiring quotas for women, minorities and local residents; and buy from local businesses. In exchange, community groups and elected officials help the project get approved.

A 2000 CBA for the Staples Arena in Los Angeles spawned a wave of similar agreements across the country. Now, they are gaining momentum in New York with the backing of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He praised the CBA for The Related Cos.' Bronx Gateway Center mall as a "sweeping [agreement] that will go a long way toward meeting the community's needs." He also cheered the CBA for the Brooklyn Atlantic Yards project.

Previous mayors, notably Rudy Giuliani and Ed Koch, fought such deals, saying they distorted the public review process by buying off would-be opponents.

"For a long time, the city had a bright-line rule about not doing it," says attorney Jesse Masyr. In 1999, a client of his secured the crucial support of then-Councilman Philip Reed for its East River Plaza retail project by promising $2 million for nearby Jefferson Park. "When Giuliani found out about it, he went nuts," Mr. Masyr recalls.

Similarly, during the 1980s construction boom, an epidemic of what were then called "extractions" from developers drew the ire of Mayor Ed Koch. He commissioned a report that branded them unregulated taxes that threatened the integrity of government.

Wide-ranging demands in the Bronx
Critics include lawyers who question whether CBAs are enforceable, because they don't specify a benefit to the developer. In a legal contract, both parties provide something.

Meanwhile, the CBA free-for-all continues. Bronx groups wanted The Related Cos. to build affordable housing and a waterfront park, give $500,000 annually to a scholarship fund, pay the salary of an engineer hired by the activists, and endow an office and staff for them to monitor the proposed Gateway mall in return for their support.

Related rejected those terms, and many groups refused to sign the agreement. But promises to hire Bronx contractors and suppliers, pay half of warehouse store membership fees for 1,000 Bronx families, lease an office to Community Board 1, open a day-care center and require Gateway tenants to accept food stamps satisfied Bronx City Council members. The project was approved.

"There are a lot of social goals being played out," says Raymond Levin, of counsel at Mr. Masyr's firm, Wachtel & Masyr. He says developers see CBAs as a cost of doing business.

Some developers endorse the concept. Forest City Ratner Cos. Executive Vice President James Stuckey calls the CBA Forest City signed for its Atlantic Yards project "a vehicle for positive change," noting provisions for subsidized housing, job training and hiring of minority and women businesses.

He acknowledges that the deal won crucial political support for the project from the groups who signed it. One of those groups, Build, will be hired to run programs promised by the CBA.
"They're saying they support the development. I would, too, if he gave me $15 million," Ms. Vitullo-Martin says drily.

Liberal groups want CBAs to be required by law for projects involving public subsidies or rezoning. "Baseline mandates for prevailing wages and local hiring would help community groups negotiate for affordable housing, child-care centers, new parks and other benefits," says Adrianne Shropshire, a fellow at the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy.

The calls for regulation may ultimately force the mayor's hand. Even proponents fear the agreements are running amok. Ms. Shropshire warns that CBAs could become public relations tools for developers rather than boons for communities.

'Big Love': Real Polygamists Look at HBO Polygamists and Find Sex

George Frey for The New York Times
From left, Mary Batchelor, Doris, and Anne Wilde watching an episode of the HBO series "Big Love

March 28, 2006

'Big Love': Real Polygamists Look at HBO Polygamists and Find Sex

SALT LAKE CITY � Yuck, she said. A sex scene. And right at the beginning of the show, her friend chimed in.

"Big Love," HBO's new take on a fictional polygamous family in the suburbs of this city, was on the television. The Viagra-popping Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton) was thrashing in bed with Margene (Ginnifer Goodwin), the youngest of his three wives. The five women watching the show � covering their eyes during the sex scenes, chiding the competitive wives, urging Bill to take control � were critics with special credentials: a current or past polygamous marriage.
And despite the show's flaws, these women called "Big Love" a cultural benchmark, one with the potential to cast a warmer light on their lives.

"It's a more realistic view of a polygamous family that lives out in society than people have known," said Anne Wilde, a widow who was part of a multiple family for 33 years. "It can be seen as a viable alternative lifestyle between consenting adults."

"Big Love," which had its premiere on March 12, has certainly made a noisy splash. Some television critics find it an intriguing twist on suburban family angst. The Mormon Church contends that the show glamorizes a practice it renounced in 1890. Vicky Prunty, the head of the leading anti-polygamy group here and herself a former polygamist, dismisses it as a Hollywood fantasy for men. The first "Big Love" episode was watched by 4.6 million people (following "The Sopranos," which drew 9.5 million), according to Nielsen Media Research. A week later, the number for "Big Love" was down to 3.4 million after "The Sopranos" attracted 9.2. million.

For the women gathered in a hotel room here at the request of The New York Times to talk about the intersection of their lives and popular culture, more is at stake than good ratings. "This is a glimpse of a family that is mainstream," Mary Batchelor, a 37-year-old mother of seven and director of "Principle Voices," a leading polygamy advocacy group, said of the Henricksons. "There are hundreds of these families. It shows an aspect of polygamy nobody ever sees. Before, you saw families in crisis." She referred to media images of men being carted off to jail for beating women or children or marrying child brides.

"This is making all of America say 'Why is there a law against polygamy?' " said a 55-year-old woman who wanted to be known only as Doris, because she feared repercussions at her new job after years of staying at home with her 14 children in suburban West Jordan. "This guy is just trying to support his family, and the family is just trying to make it."

While the women said "Big Love" had too much skin and not enough religion or humor for their taste, they agreed that it portrayed the Henricksons like any other American family, especially in an era of mixed marriages of all sorts, gay partnerships, single parents and serial monogamy.
In addition to Doris, Ms. Batchelor and Ms. Wilde, the women watching "Big Love" on this night included Linda, a 53-year-old widow and mother of four who said she lived for 30 years "in a plural situation" with 12 other wives; and another Mary, 52, who has been married for 10 years, has five children and whose sister-wife ("my best friend") lives up the street in a town called Bluffdale. She is an artist and high school teacher.

They did have some worries. "My concern is that this will stereotype and cause more prejudice from the mainstream Latter-day Saints Church," Mary said of the "Big Love" family. "People who are not Mormons will say, 'They are kind of normal,' but people in Mormondom will say, 'They are as disgusting as we thought' because of the sexual content." Like the characters in "Big Love," who talk about keeping their families below the horizon, these women were careful about providing private details. Ms. Wilde, for instance, declined to say how many sister-wives were in her family.

The personal and the political sometimes converge, though. Ms. Batchelor is a second wife who became an only wife after the departure of the first wife � that being Ms. Prunty, the co-director of Tapestry Against Polygamy. That nonprofit group's trustees and directors include formerly polygamous wives and family members, and its advisory board consists of legal and social-work professionals. Their main focus is to help people leaving polygamous families and to educate the public.

"Big Love" skims the surface of the intense dynamics in plural families, Ms. Prunty said. Their isolation, secrecy and complicated logistics make them breeding grounds for forced marriage, under-age brides and abusive men, she said. The writers of the series have said that those issues will be addressed.

"In reality, there's not a woman out there who's going to share a man without religion being a factor," Ms. Prunty said. "That's what's missing in the show. This seems like some male fantasy, some alternative marriage that is Hollywood."

While each episode, after discussions between HBO and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, includes a disclaimer that the Mormons long ago renounced polygamy, thousands of polygamists who call themselves Mormon fundamentalists say they are following the church's original teachings on marriage, called "the principle." Some live in religious communities, others live independently.

C. Michael Quinn, a historian and former professor at Brigham Young University, said his research shows that the devotion of fundamentalist Mormon teenage girls to polygamy helps keep the practice alive. Dr. Quinn, the author of several scholarly books on Mormons, said the girls from polygamous families cannot imagine another life. The boys, he said, cite the difficulties in supporting a big family but find wives among the girls in their community.

"They believe polygamy was a commandment from God to the Mormon founder, Joseph Smith Jr., in the 1830's," explained Dr. Quinn, himself an excommunicated Mormon from a Mormon family that goes back seven generations. He estimates that one-third to one-half of about 30,000 to 50,000 Mormon fundamentalists are also polygamists; Tapestry Against Polygamy estimates that there may be as many as 100,000.

The fictional Henricksons are portrayed as independent fundamentalists. Middle-class and attractive, their three households include seven children in total and discreetly share a backyard. Bill is hustling to open his second home-improvement store. The show's darkest element is a creepy father-in-law, Roman (Harry Dean Stanton), the patriarch of a polygamous clan, who wants a bigger cut of Bill's business profits.

The women gathered to watch the show liked that a distinction was made between such groups and more modern, independent polygamists. They laughed at Roman but admitted he represented a certain reality. "There's diversity," Ms. Wilde said. But Linda added, "Please, we don't believe in forced marriage or child brides."

They also liked the cool and collected first wife, Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn); disliked the second wife, Nicki (Chlo� Sevigny), a secret shopaholic and Roman's daughter; and empathized with the efforts of the newest wife, Margene, to fit in. Bill, they said, was mismanaging his time and not standing up to the women, who seem to fight constantly for his attention. In the show's second episode, Nicki and Barb are upset about the short robe that Margene wears to breakfast with the whole family and spar about the need for the women to stick to "the schedule" for visits from the Viagra-enhanced Bill.

"Viagra is not part of our culture," Linda said. "Our men don't need Viagra." She added that sister-wives would not put pressure on a man sexually.

Later in the show, when a friend asks Bill if he is thinking of "adding a fourth" wife, Bill demurs, saying that he has his hands full. "They're the path you've chosen; walk it with decency," the friend comments.

"That's a good line," Linda said, as the other women murmured their assent.

The creators of "Big Love," Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer (who along with the actor Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman are the executive producers of the series), said in a telephone interview that they were hearing all the criticisms and compliments. The show was conceived as a prism through which to look at the "struggle for the common good over the individual good" that exists in any family, Mr. Olsen said. He and Mr. Scheffer are partners in real life.

"The pro-polygamists think it's too dark," Mr. Olsen said. "The anti-polygamists don't think it's dark enough. I think we've split the baby down the middle." The men said they spent almost three years researching the show, talking to experts and reading everything from sociological tracts to official Mormon records.

Mr. Scheffer said future episodes would explore some of the darker aspects of polygamy, like the abuses of patriarchy. There are already hints in the early episodes: Roman has at least one teenage bride.

Back in the Salt Lake City hotel room, where a light snow mixed with rain fell outside, Ms. Batchelor worried aloud about Bill and his wives. "I think they're a family in transition," she said. "I hope they're going to make it."

Avian Flu Video

March 28, 2006

Video: Facts About Bird Flu Science reporter Denise Grady answers frequently asked questions about the bird flu virus and the growing concerns about a pandemic. Special Section: Avian Flu

Monday, March 27, 2006

NY ill prepared for climate events

The documentary The Great Warming was screened this week at the Zigfield.
It had news about the reponse to climate predictions of volitile weather and sea patterns. London has responded by building a retractable sea wall to keep high sea surges from going up the Thames.

The Hudson River has no such protection. Our subways and all of the tunnels would flood in a high sea surge.

And Boston doesn't have protection and Washington, DC doesn't.
We might ask at this juncture what our representatives found more important to address.

film clip of the Thames Barrier at work.

More resources: New York Climate Rescue

Look for the Great Warming this spring on PBS.

Harlem Little League/Pinnacle Group

Carmen Perez wrote to Reysmont :

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Harlem Little League <>
Date: Mar 27, 2006 4:20 PM
Subject: Harlem Little League/Pinnacle Group
To: CPerez

March 27, 2006

Elinor R. Tatum
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
New York Amsterdam News
2340 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
New York, NY 10027
Re: Pinnacle Group

Dear Ms. Tatum:

First, we want to thank you and the New York Amsterdam News for your support of Harlem Little League through sponsorship of "The Renaissance." We welcome you back this season and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.

We are writing to correct an erroneous statement in the March 23-March 29, 2006 edition of your paper. In the article entitled "Harlem tenants and Assemblyman Wright rally to end real estate giant's 'predatory practices,'" by Talise D. Moorer, it was reported that "Pinnacle supports community groups and programs like Harlem Little League�." We strongly object to the use of Harlem Little League's good name by Pinnacle Group in this way. The fact of the matter is that the Pinnacle Group contacted us on March 15, 2006 with an offer to donate money. After hearing of the controversy surrounding this group, Harlem Little League declined the donation.

Each year Harlem Little Leaguers say the Little League Pledge in which they promise to "play fair." We have a long history of refusing donations from anyone or any group that we suspect might act, or be perceived to act, in ways that are not reflective of our values. We take no money from tobacco companies or liquor manufacturers, or others who may be perceived to be harmful to our children or community. While we make no statement on the validity of the claims against Pinnacle, we very much resent the use of our name as a means to curry favor in the community in the midst of controversy. We also understand that Pinnacle representatives have misstated their support for Harlem Little League in Community Board meetings.

We would very much like a retraction of the statement in your paper and a public acknowledgement of the facts about Pinnacle and Harlem Little League. We work too hard to have our name sullied in this manner.

Many thanks,
Dwight and Iris Raiford
Founders, Harlem Little League

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Carmen L. Perez
District Liaison
NYS Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright
163 West 125th Street, Suite 911
New York, NY 10027
212-866-5809 Tel.
212-864-1368 Fax
Amsterdam News

Harlem tenants and Assemblyman Wright rally downtown to end real estate giant�s �predatory practices�

Amsterdam News Staff

�Hey hey, ho ho, Pinnacle Group has got to go!� was the blaring chant of angry
protestors recently gathered outside West 34th Street and Penn Plaza in Manhattan,
headquarters of the real estate giant accused of abusive business practices which
frequently result in the displacement of thousands of longtime Harlem residents.

In response to an outcry from constituents, community organizations and leaders in
greater Harlem and Northern Manhattan, Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright (D-Harlem)
held the rally downtown to send a message that unfair tactics and the harassment
and unnecessary evictions of tenants located uptown would not be tolerated.

Among the many tenants groups joining Wright were Mirabal Sisters Cultural &
Community Center, Inc., The Harlem Tenant�s Council, Buyers and Renters United to
Save Harlem (BRUSH), the Coalition to Preserve Community, and representatives of
City Council and the New York State Senate.

�We have been in a long-term battle against gentrification practices and slum lords in
Harlem, and we are well acquainted with Baruch Singer, the notorious slumlord of the
Dunbar Houses and five other buildings who reportedly sold his properties to the
Pinnacle Group,� said Wright. He added, �In the last few years we have seen a
population and development growth never before seen in Harlem. Unfortunately,
some of the growth has been at the expense of our current residents, who at the
hands of a select number of questionable developers are being pushed out of the
neighborhoods they helped form. That is unacceptable and intolerable and must
ceases and desist.�

Activists, including former Council Member Bill Perkins, claim that the Pinnacle
Group is a front and vanguard of devious efforts to allow landlords to hide their
interests while the larger company gobbles up the housing stock for luxury condos,
driving up prices beyond the reach of current tenants.

Activists also agree that this type of practice in Harlem can conceivably be the
dangerous prototype for break out groups elsewhere who will work to displace
tenants, particularly in the remaining boroughs.

Activists claim that over the last decade the Pinnacle Group has purchased many
buildings and hundreds of units within Manhattan, �many of which have already been
converted to luxury housing and others remaining empty, possible evidence of
warehousing for profit.�

Representatives of the Pinnacle Group declined an interview with the AmNews but
released a written statement defending their business dealings, stating, �We
challenge anyone to find one Pinnacle-owned property that is not safer, cleaner and
better off than it was before we took over management or ownership of the building!�
Pinnacle Group is a third generation family business that owns and manages
primarily rent-regulated housing in New York City.

�It is unfortunate that there are a number of baseless and simply erroneous charges
circulating among tenants, public officials and within the community,� writes Robert
Barletta, spokesperson for the Pinnacle Group. �Today�s protest is no different. We
have offered to meet with today�s protest leaders on numerous occasions to discuss
any issues they may have, but it seems they are motivated more by their own selfish
agenda than finding out the truth.�

According to the statement, since its founding in the 1950�s �the Pinnacle Group
strives to provide residents of its buildings with high-quality, safe housing, and is
committed to accomplishing that objective by making capital and other improvements
to its buildings, upgrading building services and demonstrating respect for its

Along with building improvements (including the installation of new doors, interior and
exterior lighting, roof alarms, security surveillance cameras and more) Pinnacle says
they are committed to tenants by being responsive to concerns and are receptive to
tenant suggestions for improvement.

Pinnacle supports community groups and programs like the Harlem Little League and
the Uth Turn organization for �at-risk� youth.

Pinnacle says their employees �comprise a diverse and dedicated group that work
together to provide residents of Pinnacle buildings with the services that all residents

Hispanic Society Board Endorses Plan to Leave Washington Heights for Downtown

Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 03:32:38 EST
Subject: FYI: Hispanic Society Museum Poised to Leave Uptown for Downtown

In case you missed this article in the New York Times last Thursday:
Hispanic Society Board Endorses Plan to Leave Washington Heights for Downtown

March 23, 2006

Hispanic Society Board Endorses Plan to Leave Washington Heights for Downtown

The Hispanic Society of America, home to one of the largest collections of Hispanic cultural material outside Spain, has decided to move downtown from Washington Heights to draw more visitors and acquire the space it needs to display its art and artifacts.

Since its founding in 1904, the society has been on Audubon Terrace, a stately row of Beaux-Arts buildings near Broadway at 155th Street. Its board has been looking at real estate and development proposals in Battery Park, Chelsea and Midtown, but has no fixed area in mind, said the chairman, George B. Moore.

"We would prefer to build rather than have to remake an existing building, given the specific needs for displaying our diverse collection," said Mr. Moore, a vice president at Merrill Lynch. "But you've also got to be realistic. Land is expensive."

Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times

The central gallery of the Hispanic Society
of America, which is proceeding with
plans to move from its historic home on
Audubon Terrace.

Mr. Moore said that a proposal to move ahead with relocation plans received unanimous support from trustees at a meeting last month at the Prado Museum in Madrid. The two institutions have a close association.

The acceleration of plans was reported this week in The Art Newspaper.

Mr. Moore said that Bernardino Le�n, the Spanish secretary of state for foreign affairs, had indicated that the Spanish government might pledge a large sum to help the society move, but that any gift would have to be approved by Parliament.

With about a million objects, the Hispanic Society's collection addresses nearly every aspect of culture in Spain, Portugal, the Philippines and Latin America.

Highlights include paintings by Goya, Vel�zquez, El Greco, Zurbar�n, Ribera and Murillo, as well as one of the world's top collections of lusterware produced in the style of Moorish Spain. It also has more than 175,000 photographs and over 300,000 rare books, maps and illuminated manuscripts dating as far back as the 11th century.

Yet the society has always had a low profile in Manhattan and attracted relatively few visitors, although admission is free. Mitchell Codding, the director, said it drew about 20,000 visitors a year, about half of them in school groups.

"Part of the problem for us is our location here at 155th Street and Broadway," said Mr. Codding, standing in the main gallery room on a midweek day around noon. Not a visitor was in sight. "We are too far off the beaten museum or tourist track."

The Audubon Terrace complex was built just after the turn of the 20th century by Archer M. Huntington (1870-1955), a railroad magnate's son who wanted to create a cultural oasis for Hamilton Heights and Washington Heights. (The block is named for John James Audubon, the painter and naturalist, whose farm included the site.)

Originally it also included the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Numismatic Society, the American Geographical Society and what was then called the Museum of the American Indian-Heye Foundation.

Of those, only the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Hispanic Society remain, joined by Boriuca College.

The society was initially conceived as a library, but Huntington added steadily to the collection until it embraced art and artifacts that traverse all of Hispanic culture.
"This place was never meant to house anything like the number or variety of objects that we have," Mr. Codding said. He pointed to an assortment of 16th-century alabaster tomb sculptures from Cu�llar, Spain, that are stored in pieces on the floor and along the walls of an alcove. "When properly installed, they rise over 30 feet," he said.

The public display areas lack climate control, there are no elevators and storage is inadequate, he added. Museum offices are below ground, where 28 full-time and 8 part-time employees work in small, poorly lighted rooms. Boxes of books and papers line the corridors and walls. "We can't go on like this," Mr. Codding said.

"When the building was built a century ago, there was already little space for staff: there was Huntington's office, and one for the librarian, and that was it," he said. "Huntington kept expanding the collection, but no attention was paid to areas for storage and administration."

Trustees had mulled the possibility of expanding on the current site, but found that it was not feasible. "We can't go down as we are on bedrock, and we can't go up as this is a city landmark building," Mr. Codding said. "So the only realistic option is for us to relocate."

The society owns and occupies three buildings at Audubon Terrace. Mr. Codding said that the society would probably sell the buildings and some land it owns nearby to help finance a relocation. Audubon Terrace as a whole was designated a historic district in 1979 by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, which means that no changes can be made to the facades without the commission's permission.

Mr. Moore said that the society might need to raise as much as $300 million, citing the costs of buying land and constructing a building and a need to double the museum's endowment of about $65 million, which covers most of the society's annual $3 million operating budget.

In addition to the Spanish government, the society will appeal to individuals and foundations in Spain, the United States and Latin America for donations, Mr. Moore said. The society enjoys a far higher profile in Spain, even attracting Spain's royal heir, Felipe de Borb�n, the Prince of Asturias, who visited in 2004.

Speaking in New York that year at the society's Centennial Gala, at the Metropolitan Club, the prince praised the "variety" and "quality" of the society's collection, adding that a visit to the museum was "a must for any visitor to this city with any interest in our art."

The society is working with a museum consultant on a strategic plan to assess its requirements for any new building. The study is expected to be completed in June.

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Friday, March 24, 2006

Katrina Help (petition from NAACP)

The NAACP has a petition to tell the president & Congress to help victims of Katrina.

More information, including voter rights in the area, at

Please pass this message on!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

N.Y., Calif. Air Is Dirtiest, EPA Says

[ I just got this from Marc Bremmer from NY Climate Rescue ... and I added the Mayor's contact info. Please pass this on. - Mary ]

Well, it�s official, that rattling in your lungs is not just because you forgot to take a run this week or to do your breathing exercises. It�s because we�re breathing the worst air in the nation (See article below). Air quality has gotten steadily worse under Bloomberg and he has not done enough to deal with it. I think it�s time to reprise that letter I wrote last year: Let�s all send him one.

the mayor's e-mail page is at
You can write / FAX him at:
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007
PHONE 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside NYC)

FAX (212) 788-2460

N.Y., Calif. Air Is Dirtiest, EPA Says Great Warming!

2 hours, 46 minutes ago - AP

LOS ANGELES - New Yorkers and Californians breathe the dirtiest air in the nation and face higher cancer risks than the rest of the nation, according to the latest data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

New Yorkers' risk of developing cancer from air toxins is estimated to be 68 residents per million. In California, the risk is 66 residents per million.

The national average is 41.5 per million, according to the report, which was released in February and based on emissions of 177 chemicals in 1999, the most recent data available.

Oregon, Washington, D.C., and New Jersey had the third, fourth and fifth worst air in the nation, respectively, the EPA said. Rural residents of Wyoming, South Dakota and Montana breathed the cleanest air.

The EPA assessment evaluated toxins including heavy metals, such as lead; volatile chemicals, such as benzene; combustion byproducts, such as acrolein; and solvents, including perchloroethylene and methylene chloride.

Benezene alone contributed a quarter of the individual cancer risk identified in this assessment, the primary source of it being vehicles, according to the study.

The National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) is a screening tool that estimates cancer and other health risks from exposure to air toxins. It provides a snapshot of air quality and the risks if 1999 emissions levels remained unchanged. It does not reflect reductions in air toxins that may have occurred since 1999.

Marc Brammer

Executive Director

New York Climate Rescue

e-mail : mbrammer 'at'
Columbia Spectator

Neuroscience Research Proposed for M�Ville
By Erin Durkin Spectator Staff Writer
March 21, 2006

University President Lee Bollinger announced Monday that a major component of Columbia�s proposed Manhattanville campus would be the Jerome L. Greene Science Center, a $200 million center housing the University�s Mind, Brain and Behavior Initiative.

The official announcement is the latest indication of how Columbia plans to use the 18-acre area it is seeking to develop. The University had previously indicated that about a third of the space would be dedicated to science labs. A new research building slated to be built on the north side of 125th Street in the first phase of development, spanning the first 10 years of construction, is a potential home for the center, which Bollinger said in a University-wide e-mail would be �the world�s preeminent center for education and research in the neurosciences.� Other plans for the site include a new building for the School of the Arts, a public magnet school, and various administrative offices.

Standing by Bollinger�s side at the announcement were Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-Harlem), who represents the proposed expansion area. While the expansion plan has generated considerable opposition from many local residents and business owners, both men have generally been supportive of the plan.

Describing Columbia as �one of the City�s great educational institutions and partners,� Bloomberg said that �the establishment of The Jerome L. Greene Science Center solidifies our city�s place on the forefront of leading scientific research and ensures Columbia�s position as a national leader in the study of neurological and behavioral sciences.�

Skip image

Michael Bloomberg, Dawn Greene,
and Lee Bollinger attend a press
conference announcing Greene�s
$200 million donation toward the
creation of a building named for
her late husband.

This is the second time Bloomberg has appeared with Bollinger at an expansion-related event; in October, he participated in the announcement of a public magnet school for math and science slated to be built on the new campus.

Rangel also voiced strong support. �The Greenes� tremendous support of Columbia and other prominent New York institutions has greatly benefited our education, culture, and healthcare,� he said at the announcement . �The Jerome L. Greene Science Center will expand Columbia�s capacity for innovation and will carry New York into a new age of discovery and leadership in science and medicine. The Center promises to achieve breakthroughs that will benefit the City, the nation, and the world, and I am proud to support it.�

While referring indirectly to disagreements between Columbia and the community, he praised Columbia�s outreach efforts. �I am pleased that Columbia is working to gain the support of the community and will work together to gain the necessary approvals so we can begin work on this important project for Harlem and New York,� he said.

Community Board 9 Chairman Jordi Reyes-Montblanc also expressed support for the center, though he said it was not tied to his position on the expansion project as a whole. �Personally I think it�s great that such research with its promised benefits to humanity will take place in our District. The matter of the expansion and discussions and negotiations that may ensue are not directly connected to this project,� he wrote in an e-mail.

Bollinger said that placing the Mind, Brain and Behavior Center in Manhattanville would serve as a link between the Morningside Heights campus and the Medical Center campus in Washington Heights.

�We have this uptown campus and this downtown campus, and yet we don�t find ways to have them interact,� he said. �With everything I do, I want undergraduates involved. This gives our undergraduates ways to work with our uptown campus as well.�

Bollinger also portrayed the center as a way to reach out to the community. �The Center also would be situated close to the new public secondary school specializing in science, math, and engineering that Columbia is working with the city to establish, which would allow for new knowledge to be imparted to the school�s teachers and students,� he said in the broadcast e-mail.

Additionally, Bollinger said that the center, which will be led by neurobiologist Thomas Jessell and Nobel laureates Richard Axel and Eric Kandel, would �establish an educational outreach facility and clinical programs with a focus on childhood developmental disorders and diseases of the aging brain.� University officials explained that the University was considering providing some outpatient care in the new facility.