2peopleeatingncove copy.jpg ©simko
Feb. 18, 2009

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Terese Loeb Kreuzer
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Robert Simko

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Today's Weather:  High: 41°. Low: 38°. Rain.

Questions about manganese breach at 130 Liberty St.
Two breaches, not one - and delay in reporting


130 Liberty St. (Photo: Robert Simko)

Yesterday afternoon (Feb. 17), the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation sent out an e-mail reporting excessive levels of manganese last week in the air around 130 Liberty St.

"We're grateful for the e-update," said Catherine McVay Hughes, who chairs Community Board 1's World Trade Center Redevelopment Committee, "but there's a lot of information we don't know, and we can't get clarification by going to the air monitoring on the LMDC Web site. The latest report on metals was posted on Feb. 8. Today is Feb. 18th."

The LMDC stated in its e-mail release that the agency was notified late Monday night, Feb. 16,  about the manganese problem and "immediately notified the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). After an initial investigation, followed by discussions with the EPA and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, it was determined that the readings were potentially the result of a combination of 130 Liberty St. basement welding operations, 130 Cedar St. work activities, local truck traffic and Port Authority work."

Basement welding work stopped yesterday in order for the contractor to develop additional emissions controls, which must be approved by the site's regulators. However, before the welding work stopped, the workmen had completed activities associated with the excessive levels of manganese, the LMDC stated, "so this work stoppage should not adversely impact the schedule. The EPA has stated that work not associated with the exceedances can resume."

Although the LMDC release didn't say so, it turns out there were two times last week when manganese exceeded permissible levels. One occurred on Feb. 9 and the other on Feb. 10, according to Mike Murphy, a spokesman for the LMDC.

"The community was never in danger with this," Mr. Murphy said. "It was a small, small breach. I think it was about 40 nannograms above the allowed limit, which is very, very small."

That accounts for one breach - but there were two, and there was also a delay in reporting. The LMDC Web site states that it takes three days for a lab to analyze air samples for manganese and create a report. By that calculation, the LMDC should have received that report on Thursday, Feb. 12 and/or Friday, Feb. 13 - not late on Monday, Feb. 16.

"We are looking into the reason for the slight delay....and hope to ensure that no delays occur in the future," Mr. Murphy said via e-mail when questioned about the delay.

 "The data would be much more useful if it were provided in a more timely fashion," said Ms. Hughes. "Why wasn't the data about the date and extent of the exceedance posted online and why wasn't the data included in the e-update?"

Inhaled manganese enters systemic circulation directly and has been widely studied. According to a report released by the Canadian government in March 2008, "Of the many symptoms examined, measures of fine motor control, particularly of the fingers, hands and wrists, as well as tremor, have been most consistently affected by manganese exposure. Although most studies have made use of occupationally exposed populations, two key studies have shown an association between blood manganese levels and neurofunction in adults and children in the general population. In addition, a recent study has shown an elevated prevalence of parkinsonian symptoms in populations living in the vicinity of a large manganese industry."

According to the report, children and the elderly are most likely to be adversely affected by manganese inhalation.

"People who live in the community should be able to go online and find out what's happening in their community," Ms. Hughes commented.

The LMDC has promised to update their Web site today, but as of 2 p.m., this had not happened.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

For the Health Canada report on manganese toxicity, click here.

For the LMDC Web site with air monitoring information, click here.

SeJaMeh Restaurant ad
Community Board 1 meeting tomorrow
Quality of Life Committee

Community Board 1's Quality of Life Committee meets tomorrow night, Feb. 19. The agenda includes:

1) Update on construction projects in Lower Manhattan by Robin Forst, Director of Community and Government Relations, LMCCC
2) Presentation by Dr. Cynthia Maurer, Exec. Director of Visiting Neighbors, which supports seniors to help them remain independent - Resolution
3) Discussion about the practice of ticketing residents in the Financial District for loading and unloading cars in No Standing or No Loading zones - Tentative
4) Discussion of Committee Goals and Accomplishments for 2008 Annual Report

PLACE: Community Board 1 office,  49-51 Chambers St., Room 709
TIME: 6 p.m.
All are welcome to attend. Bring photo ID to enter the building.

Letter to the editor
An interesting neighborhood

Panda on Trinity

Lower Manhattan people. (Photo: Robert Simko)

To the editor:
(Re Letter to the editor, Broadsheet DAILY, Feb. 17. The editor commented on things to like or love about the neighborhood): Not to mention the people (and pets) in Battery Park City! Especially wonderful neighbors on my floor and building. The elevator ride is always an interesting journey. - Sarah Smedley
Calendar of events
Feb. 18-19

Wednesday, Feb. 18

Undercurrents & Exchange at the Winter Garden, World Financial Center
Undercurrents & Exchange is a month-long engagement with the employees and visitors of the World Financial Center. During February, artists will present a new dance every workday during the lunch hour, unearthing the hidden, interpersonal undercurrents of our daily routines. Each short dance will be a world unto itself but also accumulate meaning over the course of the month as the performances reveal the often veiled, but perpetually possible connections within the transitional spaces of the Winter Garden. Coupled with the performances are four displays located throughout the WFC that further explore hidden and improbable pairings. By Zach Morris and Tom Pearson, also featuring choreography by Marissa Nielsen-Pincus and Tara O'Con. Through Feb. 27. Free. 1 p.m.-1:10 p.m. Winter Garden. 212-945-5050. www.worldfinancialcenter.com

Animation Celebration, Part 1 at the Museum of the American Indian
Short, animated films by Native directors in the United States and Canada. Through March 1. Free. 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. (and 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays). Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, One Bowling Green. 212-514-3716. www.americanindian.si.edu

The Lost Soul of Spain: Music and Dance of the Sephardic Jews at the Museum of Jewish Heritage
Featuring Hebrew and Ladino songs from Morocco, Andalusia, Bosnia and Israel, this event is a preview of the concert that will be performed for the King of Morocco at the upcoming 2009 International Sacred Music of Fez. Meet the artists following the performance. $25, $20, $15. 7 p.m. Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, 36 Battery Place. 646-437-4337. www.mjhnyc.com

'Fire Throws' at 3LD Art & Technology Center
A new movement-based, multi-media theater work loosely adapted from Sophocles' "Antigone." A contemporary Antigone challenges her past, re-examining her own story of sacrifice through the kaleidoscopic frenzy of a fever dream. Through video, live music and a physically charged staging, "Fire Throws" explodes this classic Greek text into a cutting-edge meditation on desire, drive and what's at stake in breaking the rules. $15. 8 p.m. 3LD Art & Technology Center, 80 Greenwich St. www.3LDnyc.org

Film: 'Yo, Presidente' at 92YTribeca
An unapologetic and unflinching view at Argentine politics featuring interviews with all the presidents since the country's return to democracy in 1983 including Raúl Alfonsín, Carlos Menem and Fernando de la Rúa. Discussion to follow. Directors: Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat. 2006. 120 min. $12. 7:30 p.m. 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson St. 212-601-1000. www.92YTribeca.org/film

Children's Story Time at the African Burial Ground
Program for small children with a selection of picture books that explore issues related to the history of the Burial Ground. Geared toward families with children, preschoolers and beginning readers. Free. 10 a.m. African Burial Ground, 290 Broadway. 212-668-2251. www.nps.gov/afbg

Storytelling Program at the African Burial Ground
Participants will hear tales from the African Diaspora while exploring different expressive genres such as folktales, monologues, call and response and narratives. Free. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. African Burial Ground, 290 Broadway. 212-668-2251. www.nps.gov/afbg

Portrait Painting Workshop at the African Burial Ground
Participants will learn how to paint portraits in the artist's style. Free. 1 p.m. African Burial Ground, 290 Broadway. 212-668-2251. www.nps.gov/afbg

man in wagner park

Wagner Park   (Photo: Robert Simko)

Thursday, Feb. 19
Quartet San Francisco at Trinity Church
Jeremy Cohen, violin; Joel Cohen, cello; Kayo Miki, violin; Keith Lawrence, viola. Performing works by Brubeck, McCartney, Cohen, Hagen, and others. $2 suggested donation. 1 p.m. Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street. 212-602-0706. www.trinitywallstreet.org

Film: 'Wallmapu: Our Territory, Our Story' at the Museum of the American Indian
A visual presentation and discussion examines from within the contemporary concerns and traditions of the Mapuche of Chile. Selections from the award-winning documentary "Wallmapu" and other films will be followed by a discussion with "Wallmapu" filmmaker Jeanette Paillán (Mapuche), and Luis Carcamo-Huechante (Mapuche), Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University, with Gabriela Rangel, Director of Visual Arts, Americas Society. Free. 6 p.m. National Museum of the American Indian, One Bowling Green. 212-514-3716. www.americanindian.si.edu

Highlights in Jazz at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center
In this 36th anniversary celebration, featured musicians include Dick Hyman, Joe Wilder, David Ostwald's Gully Low Jazz Band with Wycliffe Gordon, Anat Cohen, Jon-Erik Kellso and Kevin Dorn. $35. 8 p.m. Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers St. 212-220-1460. www.tribecapac.org

Memory Book Workshop at the African Burial Ground
Participants will create their own hand-crafted book filled with special memories. 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. African Burial Ground, 290 Broadway. 212-668-2251. www.nps.gov/afbg

Writing Workshop at the African Burial Ground
Participants will weave personal imagery with stories and current events. Attendees are asked to bring small objects around which to build their memory stories. Free. 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. African Burial Ground, 290 Broadway. 212-668-2251. www.nps.gov/afbg

Film: 'Made in L.A.' at 92YTribeca
This Emmy-award winning documentary follows the story of three Latina immigrants working in Los Angeles garment sweatshops on a three-year odyssey to win basic labor protections from a mega-trendy clothing retailer. Compelling and humorous, "Made in L.A." is a story about the power of unity and the courage it takes to find your voice. Panel discussion with filmmakers Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar to follow the screening. Co-presented by Chicken & Egg Pictures and Working Films. Directors: Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar. 2007. 70 min. In English and Spanish with bilingual subtitles. $12. 8 p.m. 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson St. 212-601-1000. www.92YTribeca.org/film

Downtown bulletin board
School information; Ballroom dancing; Bone marrow donors needed

··· School information sessions for parents of incoming kindergarten students

As a follow-up to a recent Open House at the Tweed Courthouse where two kindergarten programs will be housed in the fall, Assemblyman Sheldon Silver's office has set up additional information sessions for Downtown parents whose children will start school in September.

During these sessions, parents will be able to meet with the principals of the two schools (PS 276 and the Spruce Street School) and Department of Education staff who can answer questions about the schools and the application process.
The sessions are scheduled as follows:

Wednesday, Feb. 25 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Tweed Courthouse, 52 Chambers St.
Thursday, Feb. 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Manhattan Youth Community Center, 120 Warren St.
In addition, Speaker Silver's staff is available to answer questions about the new schools.  Call 212-312-1420 or e-mail silver@assembly.state.ny.us for additional information.

··· Ballroom dance class (for beginners)

Led by 'Doctor Dance' and sponsored by Mosaic Manhattan Church. Thursdays, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Feb. 19 through April 23 in the PS 89 cafeteria. $195 per couple. To register or ask questions call Gregg at 646-335-3342 or gregg@mosaicmanhattan.com

···Bone marrow donors needed

JasminaFive-year-old Jasmina Anema was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of leukemia on Jan. 20, 2009 and has been hospitalized since then, hoping for a bone marrow donation that could save her life. Jasmina is African-American and was adopted. Her doctor explained that finding a perfect bone marrow donor would be extremely difficult because African-Americans have more diverse HLA (human leukocyte antigen) types. Jasmina has no full siblings, and because she was adopted, there is no information about her extended birth family.

People from ages 18 to 55 can be bone marrow donors. Registration as a potential donor entails swabbing the inside of your cheeks and sending the sample to a lab to be tissue typed. Once you are processed, your information is stored anonymously until your 61st birthday, unless you ask to be removed. Most of the time, the actual procedure for donating bone marrow is similar to donating blood. Around one-quarter of bone marrow donations entail withdrawing marrow from the donor's hip using a special syringe. This is an out-patient procedure done with local or general anesthesia.

On March 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., PS 41 at 116 W. 11th St. will hold a bone marrow registration event with information about bone marrow donation and assistance in sending in a cheek swab sample.

For more information about Jasmina and about how to become a bone marrow donor, go to http://oneforjasmina.com/

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