August 17th - August 23rd, 2007
WTC Memorial Foundation Changes Name
August 17th: The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation announced last week that it will now be called the "National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center." The change of name will reflect more fully the memorial and museum's commemoration of the September 11th, 2001 attacks as a national tragedy that changed the course of history, according to the Downtown Express.
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum also launched a new logo and a new website to reflect the national scope of the organization's mission. The logo is a creative interpretation of the pools of the memorial itself. The typography has both classic and modern elements to represent the past and the future. The new website, www.national911memorial.org, will expand on the current site, building a global online community of people who are dedicated to helping build the memorial and museum.
As part of a national outreach effort, the memorial and museum will bring a September 11th tribute exhibition to American towns and cities to raise awareness of and funds for its construction at Ground Zero. The public will be invited to sign steel beams to be used in the construction of the memorial and museum. The exhibition is expected to begin in Columbia, South Carolina, on September 10th, 2007.
Diana Taylor Named Hudson River Park Chairperson
August 17th: Diana Taylor, a former state Banking Superintendent and currently a Managing Director of Wolfensohn & Company, was named last week as the new chairperson of the Hudson River Park Trust, reports Newsday. In his announcement of the appointment, Gov. Eliot Spitzer applauded Taylor's "expertise in finance and business management."
The Trust, charged with creating a waterfront esplanade stretching five miles from Chambers Street to West 59th Street has been deliberating recently on the development of an income-producing project at Pier 40. One of the proposals on the table for Pier 40 is a $626 million project detractors have dubbed "Las Vegas on the Hudson," which would include a Cirque du Soleil performance space and a 12-screen movie theater. It has drawn significant opposition from neighborhood residents and will likely be Taylor's first major task.
Created in 1998, the Hudson River Park Trust is a public benefit corporation created as a partnership between New York State and City charged with the design, construction and operation of the five-mile Hudson River Park. The Trust is governed by a thirteen-member board of directors. Five members are appointed by the governor; five members are appointed by the mayor; and three members are appointed by the Manhattan borough president. The chair rotates every two years between a state and city appointee.
Members Named for Panel Studying Traffic-Cutting Plan
August 22nd: Traffic management has been a primary concern in the redevelopment efforts in Lower Manhattan, which may be significantly aided by Mayor Michael Bloomberg's congestion-pricing proposal. A commission, heavy with advocates of congestion pricing, was named this week to study the mayor's contentious traffic-reducing proposal and present a recommendation to state and city lawmakers, reports the New York Times.
Gov. Eliot Spitzer nominated Marc Shaw, a former deputy mayor under Bloomberg, as head of the 17-member commission, which must make its recommendation by January 31st on whether to impose an $8 daily charge on drivers entering Manhattan below 86th Street. The charge for trucks would be $21.
The commission was created by a law passed during a special legislative session in July as a compromise between supporters and opponents of the congestion-pricing plan. The law requires the commission to hold public hearings. It must then issue its recommendation, after which the plan has to be approved by the city council. The state legislature is then required by law to "consider" the plan through March 31st.
The federal Transportation Department said last week that it would give New York $354 million if it proceeded with the mayor's congestion plan. The money would be spent primarily on improving bus service to encourage drivers to use mass transit.
The governor's other appointees were Metropolitan Transportation Authority CEO Elliot Sander and Port Authority Executive Director Anthony Shorris. The mayor's appointees include city transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn and prominent transit advocate Gene Russianoff. Other appointees include, among others, Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, and Andrew Darrell, the New York regional director of Environmental Defense.