Planes Trains & Automobiles
With buses regularly crawling along 125th Street at less than 3 miles per hour and the vast majority of residents dependent on public transit, everybody agreed that Harlem’s busiest crosstown corridor deserves better bus service. In theory, at least.
But after a year of workshops, meetings, charrettes and other assorted public input buzzwords, the New York City Department of Transportation pulled the plug on a select bus service plan.
With the exception of a deadly construction accident in March, things have been fairly quiet on the western front of Harlem. Starting nearly a decade ago, Manhattanville became one of the most hotly contested corners of the city, as Columbia University first worked to have the neighborhood rezoned for a new 17-acre campus, approved in 2007, followed by the state leading an eminent domain case on the school’s behalf to repossess the land of two local business owners, which culminated in 2010. (Since then, the city’s focus has shifted south, to another university-led redevelopment.)
All the while, Columbia has gone about the work of creating the most environmentally progressive neighborhood in the entire five boroughs, all from whole cloth.
Last week, the U.S. Green Building Council awarded Columbia’s new campus with LEED ND Platinum, the highest rating in the council’s new-ish neighborhood development program. It is only the fifth project in the state to earn such recognition, and the first to achieve LEED ND Platinum. The designation means that the project has embraced the goals of accessibility, density, design and environmental efficiency, creating a model for future development.
“We like to think of it as a three-legged stool: environment, economy, equity,” Jason Hercules, director of the LEED ND program, told The Observer. “Manhattanville excelled in all three.”
President Barack Obama’s decision to hold last night’s $30,000-a-plate fundraiser in Harlem had the added benefit of getting the neighborhood some exposure while helping to replenish the Democratic National Committee’s warchest, according to State Senator Bill Perkins.
“These people are pretty sophisticated and well-endowed financially but also may not have known of the place called Read More
Both Bill Perkins and Basil Smikle, who are currently running against one another for a state Senate seat in Harlem. will be attending Charlie Rangel’s birthday fundraiser tonight at the Plaza Hotel, both campaigns have confirmed.
This is not a huge surprise. Rangel remains overwhelmingly popular in Central Harlem, where the 30th State Senate district Read More
Basil Smikle, a political consultant trying to upend incumbent Democratic state Senator Bill Perkins in a closely watched primary, said today that he is standing by embattled Congressman Charlie Rangel.
“For me, personally, Charlie is a hero, and I want to be able to support a hero,” Smikle said. “If anyone has any Read More
'To Hell With Everybody Else'
A source from Basil Smikle’s State Senate campaign responded to our post about his race against incumbent Bill Perkins (a proxy fundraising battle, we argued, between the teachers union and charter school advocates) by pointing out that Smikle actually bested Perkins in fundraising this period, despite only being in the race for Read More
State Senator Bill Perkins received the endorsement today of the last two men to run against Mike Bloomberg–Fernando Ferrer and Bill Thompson–in his re-election campaign against Basil Smilke.
And Perkins is running against City Hall as well, in a sense, since he is opposed by many in the charter school movement, Read More
Bill Perkins is facing loud criticism today for his opposition to charter schools, with negative coverage in the New York Post, a television ad slamming him, and loud protesters waving signs directed at him outside 250 Broadway.
He’s up for re-election this year, so it’s Read More
On Brian Lehrer’s radio show this morning, State Senator Bill Perkins gave a grim assessment of David Paterson’s situation:
Normally, I would say let the investigation run its course. However, these are not normal times.
The state is in the midst of a fiscal crisis. A leadership crisis. And there is Read More
I’m waiting for State Senator Bill Perkin’s press conference at 250 Broadway right now, and spotted this sign on State Senator Malcolm Smith’s door, saying the theme of the week is “strength through struggle.”
Wonder how that theme is going over on the second floor of the capitol in Albany right now. Read More