Senator Squadron Asks For Red Light Camera Suggestions

At recent community meetings, some residents have been calling for more red light cameras at busy intersections on the Lower East Side. The request has made its way to State Senator Daniel Squadron, who is working through Community Board 3 to gather suggestions for new locations.

Rajkumar Forms Campaign Committee For Possible State Senate Run

The Observer reports that Jenifer Rajkumar, who ran against City Council member Margaret Chin in the recent Democratic primary, is gearing up to run for Daniel Squadron’s state Senate seat.

Squadron Loses Public Advocate Election; He’ll Remain in State Senate

Daniel Squadron will be staying in the State Senate, representing Lower Manhattan and sections of Brooklyn.

In Chinatown Appearance, Chin and Squadron Endorse One Another

City Council member Margaret Chin, State Sen. Daniel Squadron rallied with supporters in Sara D. Roosevelt Park.

City Council member Margaret Chin, State Sen. Daniel Squadron rallied with supporters in Sara D. Roosevelt Park.

City Council member Margaret Chin and State Sen. Daniel Squadron came to Sara D. Roosevelt Park yesterday to endorse each other.

Chin, Squadron Raise Money For 2013 Campaigns

Margaret Chin attended a City Hall rally in December.

Candidates for citywide offices were required to file campaign finance disclosure statements this week.  There’s more evidence District 1 City Council member Margaret Chin is gearing up for her re-election bid.

The latest report shows her campaign has collected $97,190 so far from 711 donors. The average contribution was $136.  The biggest check was $2000 from Phillip Lam of Green City Realty.  One other potential candidate, Jenifer Rajkumar, has filed to run in District 1, but she hadn’t previously reported campaign contributions.  Rajkumar is a district leader and Battery Park City resident. District 1 includes most of Lower Manhattan, including the Lower East Side.

Coming up Sunday: Hurricane Resource Fair & Community Conversation

National Guard troops on Grand Street following Hurricane Sandy.

This coming Sunday, State Senator Daniel Squadron is putting together a post-Sandy “Resource Fair & Community Conversation.” He describes it as a “one-stop-shop” for people still in need of assistance after the storm and a good opportunity for those who want to become involved in long term planning for future natural disasters.

Various government agencies will be represented, including: FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the NYC Dept. of Small Business Services,  the New York City Housing Authority, the NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection and the NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development.  Also on hand: officials from Con Ed and Verizon. Other local elected officials are helping to sponsor the forum.

You can RSVP by calling 212-298-5565 or you can register via this web link:  http://tiny.cc/NYAfterSandy.  The event takes place Sunday from 3-6 p.m. at Murry Bergtraum High School, 411 Pearl Street.

 

Community Tours Pier 42; Park Planning Begins This Week

Inside Pier 42.

Standing at the entrance of Pier 42 on Sunday, State Senator Daniel Squadron told local residents and activists, revitalization of the dilapidated space is “no longer just an idea. It’s becoming a reality.”  During the next hour or so, he and Parks Department officials led a rare tour of the old “banana boat pier,” which is destined toone day become a new park and recreational area.

Last year at about this time, Squadron and U.S Senator Chuck Schumer announced they’d persuaded the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. to devote $16 million to the first phase of the large redevelopment project.  Now the Parks Department has brought on a design firm, Mathews Nielsen, to oversee the transformation of one of the last green links in Manhattan’s riverfront.  

Pols: Bring July 4th Fireworks Back to East River

State Sen. Daniel Squadron and other leaders gathered on a Brooklyn pier this afternoon to call for the return of the city's fireworks show to the East River.

Elected leaders from Manhattan and Brooklyn stood on the East River waterfront this afternoon to appeal to department store giant Macy’s to move its annual Independence Day fireworks display away from New Jersey and back within the city’s borders.

Since 2009, when it was relocated westward in honor of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s expedition, Macy’s has staged its July Fourth gala on the Hudson River. Critics say that grants the best views of New York’s celebration to residents of New Jersey, and State Sen. Daniel Squadron, Council Member Stephen Levin and others said Monday it’s time to right that wrong.

“New York’s Fourth of July fireworks should be a citywide celebration. Instead, the millions of New Yorkers who live in Brooklyn, Queens and the East Side of Manhattan are kept out of the party, while we send visitors and business to New Jersey. That simply makes no sense,” said Squadron, who represents Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Funding Approved for Pier 42 and East River Waterfront

A rendering of one proposal for Pier 42 along the East River.

Two major projects along the East River waterfront moved one step closer to reality this morning, when the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation voted officially to fund them.

As we’ve been expecting, the redevelopment of Pier 42 was allotted $14 million, while another $1.9 million was tagged for the completion of the East River Waterfront Park.

Both projects have been championed  by state Sen. Daniel Squadron and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, who announced last fall that they had secured a promise of the funding. Today’s vote made it official and set the stage for the planning process to formally begin; a public meeting is scheduled for next month.

“This funding will be a step toward the world-class waterfront and open space we’ve long fought for, while continuing the revitalization of Lower Manhattan,” Squadron said in a prepared statement after the vote. “By connecting Lower Manhattan’s waterfront parks, it will create a ‘continuous green ribbon’ and move us a big step closer to a Harbor Park – a central park for the center of our city.”

Eldridge Street Block Now Named “University Settlement”

On Eldridge Street - University Settlement celebrated its street naming with a dragon dance. Festivities were moved inside due to cold temperatures. Photo by thelodownny.com

We’ve just returned from the University Settlement, where Councilmember Margaret Chin and State Senator Daniel Squadron were on hand for a festive street naming ceremony.  The block of Eldridge between Delancey and Rivington will now officially be named for University Settlement.

The event included a vigorous dragon dance and music from University Settlement’s Early Childhood Center participants.  Executive Director Michael Zisser thanked Community Board 3 and the City Council for supporting the street naming, especially appropriate as the settlment house celebrates its 125th anniversary this year.  More photos after the jump.

Elected Officials Urge Ben Shaoul To Maintain Cabrini Home, as Re-Sale Appears Imminent

Cabrini Nursing Home, 542 East 5th Street.

Earlier this month, The Lo-Down learned the building housing the Cabrini Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation on East 5th Street recently sold for $25.5 million.  Today, the neighborhood’s elected officials are out with a letter to the new owner, Magnum Real Estate Group, expressing concern about the prospect that the company intends to sell the building yet again.

Council Urges Action on Bus Regulation Proposal

The City Council yesterday approved a resolution urging the U.S. Congress to pass legislation – stalled for many months – to regulate discount interstate bus companies.  Following a series of deadly accidents involving to so-called Chinatown buses, there was a big push to pass “The Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act of 2011.

The proposed law would require buses to have seat belts, stronger windows, crush-resistant roofs, and it would mandate safety inspections for all new companies. Downtown City Councilmember Margaret Chin said, the federal legislation is moving too slowly, adding “These may sound like very basic things, but this is what saves lives.”

$14 Million Allocated for Pier 42 Revitalization

November 2010; Schumer, Squadron and friends at Pier 42.

This was the scene a year ago at Pier 42 — a rally organized by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and State Senator Daniel Squadron to urge the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. (LMDC) to fund the revitalization of the East River Waterfront.  Tomorrow morning you can expect a very similar photo op at the pier, which is now being used as a parking lot. Almost exactly a year after that initial rally/news happening, the politicians will be back on the Lower East Side for a big announcement: the LMDC is poised to allocate $14 million of its remaining 9/11 recovery funds to refurbishing Pier 42.

In a story given exclusively this evening to the Wall Street Journal (full text hidden behind the dreaded paywall), Schumer boasts, “this is the missing link in the dream of having a ribbon park around Lower Manhattan.”   The LMDC, which has about $20 million left to spend, will take up the funding issue on Monday. The $14 million will be enough to demolish a 600 foot shed that sits on Pier 42.  The grand plan of turning the stretch of waterfront into a park is expected to cost about $42 million. Finding the rest of the money will be a tall order at a time in which government at all levels is straining to fund even essential services.

Squadron Holds Community Meeting on Lower East Side Tomorrow Night

State Senator Daniel Squadron is holding an event tomorrow night – a community conversation with residents of the Lower East Side.  It’s a follow-up to his third annual Community Convention, held earlier this year. Squadron will report back on concerns expressed during that initial meeting –  including school overcrowding, pedestrian safety and subway service issues.

Any constituent who wants to express an opinion or just listen to what the senator has to say is invited to attend. The event takes place at the BRC Senior Center, 30 Delancey Street.  Please RSVP to Jordan Levine at 212-298-5565 or jlevine@nysenate.gov.

Squadron, Other Pols Call for Helicopter Ban After Crash

A 40-year-old woman was killed and four others injured in yesterday's East River helicopter crash near 34th Street. Photo courtesy nybuff.org

State Senator Daniel Squadron and other political leaders called for a complete ban on tourist helicopter flights in New York City’s crowded airspace this afternoon, in the wake of yesterday’s fatal crash that killed Australian restaurant owner Sonia Marra, who was celebrating her 40th birthday in the city.

“Yesterday’s tragedy is another clear sign: nonessential helicopters in Manhattan don’t make sense for passengers, pilots, or local residents,” said Squadron. “My colleagues and I have long called for better regulation of helicopters in New York. There are still many questions about yesterday’s flight. The fact that this helicopter was a privately-run tour from a heliport that was not supposed to run tours shows that today’s regulations don’t work. Simply put, nonessential flights in and out of Manhattan pose too great a risk.”