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Catching Up on Chatham Square, City Hall Newbies, MTA’s Grand St. Facelift

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Friday news links

The Lo-Down had the story first – two weeks ago. Now The Downtown Express has gotten around to reporting that the Chatham Square reconstruction project has been delayed for two years.

The
city cannot rip up Chatham Square now because work on the Brooklyn
Bridge is about to begin, and having both projects going at once would
create traffic problems, Luis Sanchez, D.O.T.’s Lower Manhattan borough
commissioner, told Community Board 3’s Transportation Committee Sept.
9, according to attendees. Three people
who attended the public meeting gave similar accounts of Sanchez’s
comments, but a D.O.T. spokesperson refused to confirm or deny the
two-year figure after the meeting.

The Daily News says "City Council newbies… signaled Thursday that City Hall is in for some boat-rocking over the next four years:"

Seven of the newcomers (including CD1's Margaret Chin) who won Democratic nominations in last week's
primary, stood on the steps of City Hall to endorse Bill de Blasio for
public advocate. The talk soon turned to whether they will be more of a voice of opposition to Mayor Bloomberg."I
think these folks are going to be change agents and are going to change
the power ballance in the building in favor of change," de Blasio said,
surrounded by smiling and nodding almost-elected Councilmembers. The
seven, and four other new nominees, are expected to be among at least
13 new councilmembers who will join the Council in January… The newcomers begged off commenting on whether they would support the
reelection of Christine Quinn as speaker. Most, however, ran as fierce
critics of the extension of term limits – which Quinn helped engineer
-, crowded schools, lack of affordable housing, mounting taxes, fees
and tolls.

Newly elected District Leader Paul Newell got a congratulatory phone call recently from Judy Rapfogel, Shelly Silver's chief of staff. Newell ran against Silver in last year's Democratic Primary and, as a campaign operative in the just completed City Council race, he was highly critical of the Speaker. The Downtown Express reports:

We had a very cordial conversation,” Newell said. “She
congratulated me and said she and the speaker are looking forward to
working with me, and I said the same. We wished each other a Shana
Tova,” the greeting for the Jewish New Year. Newell
said he still has concerns about some of Silver’s positions, but the
speaker has also “done a lot of good things,” Newell said, “and I’m
happy to work with him on those." As for whether the past will be an obstacle to that work, “We shall see,” Newell said.

The MTA is planning to renovate parts of the Grand Street B/D Station.

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