All posts by Jeremy

James Cavanaugh Resigns from the Battery Park City Authority

Battery Park City Authority President to Step Down

James Cavanaugh Resigns from the Battery Park City Authority
James Cavanaugh Resigns from the Battery Park City Authority

James Cavanaugh, President and CEO of the Battery Park City Authority has resigned from the public entity, according to an emailed statement.

Citing the changes in the Battery Park City Authorities focus from buildings to people in the community, Cavanaugh also alluded to an attractive State offered early retirement option as one of his reasons for resignation.

He will officially leave his post in October and his successor has yet to be named. Sources speculate that the current Chief Operating Officer Gayle M. Horwitz would be a prime candidate for the President role.

William Thompson, current Battery Park City Authority chairman who himself was recently appointed by Governor Paterson, will be responsible for nominating the next President of the authority.

Cavanaugh joined the Battery Park City Authority in 2004 as its Chief Operating Officer and was named President in 2005. Prior to overseeing the public corporation he had served as a Supervisor for the Town of Eastchester in Westchester County, New York.

9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center Site

Trees Grow at the World Trade Center Site

9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center Site
Illustration of the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site. (Credit:

New life has been planted giving way to the birth of the 9/11 Memorial Center at the Ground Zero site over the weekend.

A welcomed change and a stark contrast to the hulking metallic structures we have grown accustomed to in our area.

The first trees have been planted after being transported from a New Jersey nursery. At least a dozen oak trees had been slated to be planted before the 9th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Nearly 400 trees will be planted when the entire Memorial Plaza is completed. The trees are expected to be fully grown at 80 feet and will tower over a planned rooftop garden. The trees will be planted around the perimeters of the original footprints of the Twin Towers.

NJ Nursery where the memorial trees were cultivated
NJ Nursery where the memorial trees were cultivated (Credit:
Larry Silverstein, World Trade Center, Port Authority New York and New Jersey

Port Authority Holds Special World Trade Center Meeting

Larry Silverstein, World Trade Center, Port Authority New York and New Jersey
Larry Silverstein, Developer of World Trade Center

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, owners of the World Trade Center Site will be holding a special meeting today to vote on the funding required for two towers being developed by Larry Silverstein.

The vote that takes place today will solidify tentative deals announced between the Port Authority and Larry Silverstein in recent weeks.

The financing terms call for $1 billion dollars help from the Port Authority to develop a 64-story tower at the World Trade Center site. The Port Authority will also provide $600 million in backup funds for another 71-story tower, contingent on Silverstein being able to raise $200 million in cash as well as tenants for the building.

These two buildings are being constructed in tandem with 1 World Trade Center which was previously known as the Freedom Tower.

Sheldon Silver Park51

Sheldon Silver: The Mosque Should Move

Sheldon Silver Park51
Sheldon Silver weighs in on the Park51 debate.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is calling for the relocation of the controversial Park51 mosque.

Silver, who agrees that the Constitution protects the rights of the developers who want to build the community center and mosque, also feels they should be as interested in compassion for 9/11 victim families

“They should find a suitable place that won’t cause the same controversy,” Silver stated at a press conference with Gov. Paterson.

The Governor also offered his help in relocating the Park51 development. Discussions between the developers and the Governor have not materialized.

Silver’s call for reconsideration came right before the Governor was set to speak with Archbishop Timothy Dolan to discuss Park51 and how to facilitate moving the controversial development.

Park51 and the Cordoba Initiative have stated clearly their resolve in staying at 45-51 Park Place, and show no signs of relocating their community center. Daisy Kahn, one of the founders and wife of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, had stated that the relocation matter was “a bigger fight.”

Governor's Island

2010 Summer Attendance at Governor’s Island Breaks Records

Governor's Island
Governor's Island marks record summer attendance for the 2010 season

Governor’s Island marked record attendance for its summer events this year.

275,000 people visited the former Coast Guard facility this year so far. The season has 8-weeks left and has surpassed 2009’s attendance so far, according to the New York Daily News.

Governor Bloomberg made a statement over the weekend promising the city’s commitment to extended free resources on the island, “We’re committed to building on the momentum we’ve generated on the island by continuing to expand the programming and creating one of the world’s great waterfront parks.”

The island which only 800 yards off The Battery, has seen its popularity increase with a series of summer concerts and free events on the island. Free ferry service is available from the South Street Seaport and Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Some other free events still available for the next eight weeks are free bike rides, kayaking, public art and concerts.

To find out more about how to visit Governor’s Island, visit the official website here.

Battery Park City residents suffer from party boat noise

Nightlife Law in Effect on Land: But not on Water.

Battery Park City residents suffer from party boat noise
Battery Park City residents suffer from summer party boat noise.

Governor Paterson signed into a law a new bill that would enable the State Liquor Authority to crack down on noisy bars, clubs and nightlife operators who violate noise laws.

With the growth of bars and nightlife in the Financial District in the past few years caused an increase of noise complaints over crowds spilling out of bars in residential areas.

According to State Senator Daniel Squadron, “The new law, allows the SLA to revoke a liquor license from a nightlife operator for which police have referred six or more noise or disorder incidents to the SLA within a 60-day period, establishing a clear standard for determining when an establishment has become subject to repeated police attention.”

“For too long, our communities have been kept up at all hours of the night by operators who fail to control noise and unrly crowds.”

For residents of Battery Park City, there are very seldom occurrences where we would be disrupted by noise from unruly bar crowds — however, party boats on the water is another issue.

It is not clear if the bill stipulates and includes remedies for noise complaints stemming from party boats on the Hudson River.

Residents of Battery Park City are not strangers to noise complaints from waterways. Recently, Goldman Sachs announced an initiative to remedy the noise pollution emanating from commuter ferries at the NY Waterways Ferry terminal.

During the summer months, it is not uncommon for residents with apartments facing the Hudson River to hear the noise emanating from party boats. Which often sail on Friday-Sunday nights.

Bottom line: it is not enough to consider the needs of residents who live in close proximity of noisy bars on land — but should also expand to party spots on water.

Do you agree?

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at World Trade Center

Ground Zero Church Loses Ground To Mosque Attention

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at World Trade Center
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church destroyed on 9/11

With all the political and media attention turned to what has been dubbed the “Ground Zero Mosque,” The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has accused officials on ignoring the reconstruction efforts of the church decimated during the September 11 attacks.

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was a small building located within a parking lot area at the World Trade Center site. During the collapse of the Twin Towers, debris fell directly on the church destroying the entire structure. The congregation has been working with community groups to rebuild the demolished church.

The Port Authority and archdiocese have been in active negotiations until last year, and talks have not continued since.

“We have people that are saying, why isn’t our church being rebuilt and why is there.. such a concern for people of the mosque” according to Father Alex Karloutsos, to “Unfortunately, [the Port Authority] have just been silent — dead silent actually. They simply forgot about the church.”

According to the same article, “The archdiocese and Port Authority offer sharply conflicting accounts of where things went wrong. The Port Authority has previously claimed the church was making additional demands — like wanting the $20 million up front and wanting to review plans for the surrounding area. They say the church can still proceed on its own if it wishes.”

The church still reserves the rite to rebuild the church upon the property where the original church has stood. Representatives of the church have claimed the Port Authority has not sought to meet with church officials and has backpeddled on rebuilding the church.

As the church has not attracted the national media attention that Park51 has — it may be an upward battle to see the rebuilding of St. Nicholas back at the World Trade Center site.

Dangerous intersection at Albany and West Street

Crosswalk Countdowns To Be Installed On West Side Highway

Dangerous intersection at Albany and West Street
Albany and West Street has been a fatal intersection in our area.

We don’t have to wait for New Years Eve to see countdown clocks in Manhattan.

After several studies on pedestrian safety within the five boroughs, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) and Mayor Bloomberg have announced plans to install crosswalk countdown clocks at all major New York City intersections.

Added with our 1.2 Million dollar infusion of crosswalk guards in our area, multiple bridges and now the countdown clocks — theoretically we might be the safest crossing area in all of Manhattan.

According to Mayor Bloomberg, “we’ve made historic gains in reducing traffic fatalities, and this year we are seeing pedestrian fatalities decline again. But we still see too many families devastated by traffic accidents. [The] countdown signals across the city, will make streets even safer, especially for the pedestrians who, year in and year out, account for the majority of New York’s traffic fatalities.”

Battery Park City is certainly not immune to traffic fatalities. Last year 26-year-old Marilyn Feng of 200 Rector Place was hit and killed by a drunk driver while crossing the West Side Highway at Albany Street.  A notoriously dangerous six lane intersection. Before that incident, our area recorded 1-2 pedestrian injuries at year.

In response to the study, countdown clocks will be installed at every intersection crossing West street in our area.

Other interesting findings include:

Some of the key findings in the report include:

1. Pedestrian fatalities in 2009 were down nearly 20 percent from 2001.
2. In the event of a crash, pedestrians are 10 times more likely to die than a motor vehicle occupant.
3. Pedestrians accounted for 52 percent of traffic fatalities from 2005-2009.
4. Driver inattention was cited in 36 percent of crashes resulting in pedestrians killed or seriously injured.
5. Driver failure to yield was cited in 27 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes.
6. Pedestrian-vehicle crashes involving unsafe speeds are twice as deadly as other crashes.
7. Serious pedestrian crashes are about two-thirds deadlier on major street corridors than on smaller local streets.
8. Most New Yorkers do not know the city’s standard speed limit is 30 m.p.h.
9. Male drivers are involved in 80 percent of crashes that kill or seriously injure pedestrians.
10. Private vehicles – not taxis, trucks or buses – are involved in 79 percent of crashes that kill or seriously injure pedestrians.
11. Manhattan has four times as many pedestrians killed or severely injured per mile of street compared to the other four boroughs.
12. Pedestrians killed in Manhattan lived in other boroughs or outside New York City 43 percent of the time.

How do you feel about the study and new countdown clocks?

Man Paddleboards from Florida to Battery Park City!

Tom Jones paddles into Battery Park City (Credit: New York Daily News)

Tom Jones wanted to do something to raise ocean awareness.
(No, not sing “She’s a Lady,” that’s a whole other Tom Jones)

Tom Jones of Huntington, California wanted to take a 1,500 mile trip along the Atlantic Ocean from Key West, Florida to Battery Park City, New York to raise ocean pollution awareness.

“Going out in the ocean and doing this campaign was a way for me to see how bad the situation was out there, Every day I was in the ocean I would see plastic bottles, food wrappers, all type of trash. It’s incredible given the volume of the ocean,” said Jones to the New York Daily News.

During his journey, Jones encountered sharks, horse flies and an unfortunate circumstance with an alligator after hitting the animal’s leg with his paddleboard.

A crew drove along the coast with Jones, and another colleague floated along with him to pass him food and water.

Jones traveled in 15 miles stretches a day and finally landed in Battery Park City after 90 days of paddleboard travel.

According to his approach to the narrow waterways of New York City, “Coming into New York City, where the waterways are tighter, the plastic is so dense,” he said. “There’s plastic forks, 5-gallon plastic buckets, bags, cups, all of that.”

Welcome to New York buddy!

Battery Park City Bed Bugs registered

Bedbugs Registered in Battery Park City

Battery Park City Bed Bugs registered
Battery Park City bed bugs registered

Once the vernacular of a sweet children’s lullabye has in recent times now illicits nightmares when uttered.


Recent reports have been put out saying how transient these critters can be and often times transmitted through shared on airplane seats or worse yet, movie theater seats.

Battery Park City has been thankfully quiet in light of the vermin tragedies afflicting our city, including rats and other unsavory critters —
That is until I found the Bedbug Registry.

Granted, our bedbug population is remote compared to our other Manhattan neighborhood counterparts — we are not completely immune.
According to the Bedbug Registry, a site dedicated in recording instances of bedbugs throughout the city, there were four instances in the last couple years:

1. Submitted by “Anonymous” on 06/18/2010
225 Rector Place
“Apartment in upper floors, bed bugs found in bottom corner of box spring in only bedroom. Experienced only 2 nights of evidanced bug bites. Brought in exterminators.”

2. Submitted by “tribecamom” on 04/03/2009
325 North End Avenue
“I found bedbugs in my apartment, the landlord send the exterminator one time, but the treatment didn’t work. We still have found bed bugs in the apartment, we wake up with bites, we can’t sleep properly. My 4 years old daughter has big bites too. I live here from one year and I pay $ 4650,00 monthly. I think to deserve something more…. than bed bugs.”

The following instances were over a year ago, and from registered guests who reported seeing bugs within their homes.

3. Submitted by “Embassy Suites Hotel New York” on 01/13/2008
Woke up with bites Dec. 24th, didn’t think anything of it. Drove home to Maryland, began getting bites at night at home. Spotted two bugs in the bed, exterminator confirmed bedbugs. $650 extermination cost, plus $250 more in new pillows, mattress covers, etc. Still have not returned to bedroom, as entire room is coated in pesticide. Very traumatic experience. Reported incident to hotel, which has offered to reimburse us. They must have found bugs in the room or luggage storage area.

There has been speculation on the web that reporting bedbugs on the registry can be used as a method to break apartment rental leases. Considering that half of all reported bed bug reports in our area comes from people who don’t actually live in our neighborhood — this is a positive thing!

Do you worry about bed bugs?