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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 6, No. 24  June 14, 2020   

"Mr. Floyd's murder was not an isolated incident. It's a continuum of cases and situations that have been going on for decades and decades and decades. These are just chapters in a book. And the title of the book is 'continuing injustice and inequality in America.'"
      -  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo 
WEATHER INFORMATION: For current weather information, click here.

COVID-19 CASES IN NEW YORK CITY: As of June 14 at 2:27 p.m.
1,310,996 tested * 206,606 confirmed cases * 22,103 deaths
Go to for breaking news and for updated information on facility closures related to COVID-19  
MASTHEAD PHOTO: A small sailboat on the Hudson River on June 9, 2020 - the day after New York City began to "reopen" after months of inactivity and sheltering in place. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2020)  

Terese Loeb Kreuzer, editor
The first two weeks of June have been tumultuous. Images of past and present collided as my attention wandered from reports of federal police in riot gear firing tear gas and rubber bullets on peaceful demonstrators in Washington, D.C.'s Lafayette Park to accounts of D-Day on the beaches of Normandy. The demonstrators were attacked to clear the way for President Trump to walk from the White House to historic St. John's Church for a photo holding a Bible.

How disorienting that the "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances," guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, should have been flouted during the very days of early June when 76 years ago  the largest seaborne invasion in history landed in Normandy,  attempting to defeat Hitler's fascist regime. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on D-Day - June 6, 1944. On the first day alone of the invasion around 10,000 Allied soldiers died.

For what? So that peaceful protesters could be dispersed for Trump's photo op? So that federal officials could attempt to take over the District of Columbia's police department? So that President Trump could say that he was considering deploying the U.S. military to states that couldn't rein in civil unrest? So that Trump could muse on the necessity of "dominating" the protesters and putting them in jail?

Fortunately, several top members of the U.S. military spoke bluntly about these developments. James Mattis, a retired Marine general who served for awhile as secretary of defense under Trump, was the first of them to condemn what he was witnessing. "When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution," he said. "Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstances to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens."

I was grateful to him and to other generals who also registered their dismay. I was grateful for their bravery.

And I was grateful to the men who traveled in darkness to the beaches of Normandy where so many of them died hoping to end Nazi tyranny and to preserve the free world.

General Dwight David Eisenhower, later President of the United States, was the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe and the man responsible for ordering the invasion to begin. He knew that thousands of people would die because of that order. He knew that for many of the men in his command the night of June 5, 1944 would be the last night of their lives.

I imagine that he slept very little that night. I imagine that he prayed. We do know that he wrote two letters that night. One was addressed to the "Soliders, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!" and was delivered on June 6. "You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months," he wrote. "The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you."

The other letter, written in a bold hand with words added and crossed out, was to be released in case of defeat. "My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available," he wrote. "The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attends to the attempt, it is mine alone."

That letter was never sent but it speaks to me still. Eisenhower wasn't in love with power or with war. He saw them as something to be used judiciously for legal and moral purposes. He was not a bully.

"War is a grim, cruel business, a business justified only as a means of sustaining the forces of good against those of evil," he said on one occasion. And on another, when addressing the graduating cadets of West Point on June 3, 1947, "War is mankind's most tragic and stupid folly; to seek or advise its deliberate provocation is a black crime against all men. Though you follow the trade of the warrior, you do so in the spirit of Washington -- not of Genghis Khan. For Americans, only threat to our way of life justifies resort to conflict."

Eisenhower probably never thought that the threat to the American way of life might come from within.
Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Downtown Post NYC's website ( is updated daily. That's the place to check  for urgent messages, breaking news and reminders of interesting events in and around Lower Manhattan. So be sure to look at the website every day, especially if you want to know about breaking news.

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Governor Andrew Cuomo signing an Executive Order,  the 'New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative,' requiring local police agencies, including the NYPD, to develop a plan that reinvents and modernizes police strategies and programs in their community based on community input. Joining the Governor for the bill signing were Rev. Al Sharpton, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Leader Carl Heastie, Valerie Bell, the mother of Sean Bell; Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner; and Hazel N. Dukes, the President of the NAACP New York State Conference.
(Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)
The Covid-19 pandemic and sheltering at home have had the peculiar effect of erasing the distinctions between days and weeks. When was George Floyd killed in Minneapolis? Do you remember? It was May 25 - less than three weeks ago. So much has happened since then. There's no need to recount the details of the nationwide and international protests that George Floyd's murder precipitated. They were on TV screens and in newspapers and magazines. They flooded the Internet.

On May 25, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his daily press briefings was focusing on the coronavirus. By May 29, he had something else to talk about. Of Mr. Floyd's murder he said that it was "not an isolated incident. It's a continuum of cases and situations that have been going on for decades and decades and decades. These are just chapters in a book. And the title of the book is 'continuing injustice and inequality in America.'"

Then Cuomo named names of black people who had been injured or killed by police for minor infractions or for no infraction at all starting with Rodney King in Los Angeles in 1991 and ending with George Floyd in Minneapolis.

In the days that followed, Cuomo talked about turning outrage into substantive reforms and not allowing the violence and looting that accompanied some of the protests to obscure what he called on June 1 "the righteousness of the message."

On June 5, Cuomo first referred to something that he called the "Say Their Name Reform Agenda." He said it had four cornerstones - transparency of prior disciplinary records of a police officer, banning chokeholds, cracking down on false race-based 911 reports, which he said, should be classified as hate crimes, and designating the New York State Attorney General as an independent prosecutor for matters relating to civilian deaths caused by the police.

Just one week later, on June 12, Cuomo signed the "Say Their Name Reform Agenda" into law. In the intervening week between his first mention of what he wanted to do, he had
Valerie Bell, the mother of Sean Bell, who was killed by the NYPD at the age of 23 and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
worked with the New York State Senate and Assembly to get the law framed and passed. Among the people on the dais with him as he signed the law were Valerie Bell, the mother of Sean Bell, who was killed on Nov. 25, 2006 at the age 23 a day before his wedding, and Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner who was put in a chokehold on July 17, 2014 when he was arrested on suspicion of selling single cigarettes from packs without tax stamps.

In addition that day, Cuomo signed an executive order, the "New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative" addressing what he said was "systemic discrimination and injustice in this nation." Cuomo said there was no quick fix and that what was required was systemic reform of police departments based on community input. "Each police agency's reform plan must address policies, procedures, practices and deployment, including, but not limited to use of force," Cuomo said.
The executive order required that each of the 500 police forces in New York State adopt a plan by April 1, 2021. The plans would be required to be a collaboration between community stakeholders and the police, with an opportunity for public comment. After these comments had been considered, the plan would have to go to the local legislative body, which would be required to approve the plan by law or by resolution. The penalty for not coming through with an approved plan by the deadline would be a withdrawal of state funding.
Cuomo said that this overhaul needed to be done expeditiously because there has been
a demonstrable "loss of community confidence in our local police agencies - a reality that has been fueled by our country's history of police-involved deaths of black and brown people." But, he also said, "Our law enforcement officers are essential to ensuring public safety - they literally put themselves in harm's way every day to protect us. This emergency regulation will help rebuild that confidence and restore trust between police and the communities they serve by requiring localities to develop a new plan for policing in the community based on fact-finding and meaningful community input."

There was another reason to fast-track the overhaul. Cuomo signed the executive order calling for it on June 12. By the end of that day, there was another name to add to the list of black men killed by the police for minor infractions. Rayshard Brooks, who fell asleep in a car parked in the drive-through lane of a Wendy's in Atlanta, Ga. was awakened by the police, interrogated and shot to death when the police tried to handcuff him and he struggled. He was 27 years old.

 - Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Gov. Andrew Cuomo describing some of the issues that police departments and communities should consider as they formulate a plan for police reform.

Battery Park City residents came to a meeting of the First Precinct Community Council to ask about how the NYPD was dealing with a gang of kids that has been vandalizing and terrorizing their neighborhood. March 30, 2017 (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Note from the editor: At my request, Anthony Notaro, president of the 1st Precinct Community Council, commented on the police reform initiatives that New York State has just enacted. The 1st Precinct Community Council usually meets on the last Thursday of the month at the precinct office, 13 Ericsson Place. The meetings start at 6:30 p.m and are an opportunity for members of the community to hear directly from the police about crime statistics in the precinct and issues they are confronting. The police are also there to listen to issues and problems that members of the community wish to raise with them.
The 1st Precinct serves an area that consists of a square mile on the southernmost tip of Manhattan. For more information about the 1st Precinct Community Council, click here.

To the editor:

I find that there is repeated focus on "building trust." In the end, that is what everyone wants, a respectful, trusted relationship between our police and our communities. Clearly, there are some officers that must be dealt with and processes implemented to ensure that there is vigilance in constant monitoring of performance.

In all institutions, change and growth is important for progress. Taking this opportunity, from the recent events, presents us with a time to review and re-design how we want this relationship to move forward. The relationship we have with our police and what we expect from them must be examined. It has been positive for many, devastating for some and ignored too long by many. But we should realize, with the backdrop of the pandemic, how all our first responders stood to protect us.

This is the time to build a stronger relationship with police across our country. It will benefit them and all of us.

Anthony Notaro
President of the 1st Precinct Community Council

Disaster Loans & Grants 
Unemployment Assistance - available for W2 and Schedule C clients
Mandated additional sick pay and associated tax credit
Paycheck Protection Program;  Extended tax loss carry-backs

Downtown bulletin board
The Downtown Connection bus has gone back to its original schedule before Warren Street construction necessitated a route change.  (Photo: ©Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Battery Park City blood drive No. 2: A blood drive earlier in June was so successful that another one has been scheduled. Date: June 25. Place: 6 River Terrace (between North End Avenue and River Terrace). Time: Noon to  6 p.m.

Please make an appointment by clicking here!
For questions about eligibility, call (800) 688-0900 or click here.

At the blood drive, donor temperatures will be taken. Don't donate if you have a fever or other symptoms of Covid-19 such as a cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Donors must wear a face covering and practice social distancing. Bring a photo ID, your donor ID card or know your donor ID number. Eat well and drink plenty of fluids before donating.

Connection bus route change: Three stops on the Downtown Connection bus's route were reinstated as of June 8. As formerly (before Warren Street construction began), the bus is stopping at Warren and Greenwich Streets and at Warren and Church Streets on its east-bound route. West-bound on its way into Battery Park City, the bus stops at North End Avenue and Chambers Street. The Connection bus is run by the Downtown Alliance. It makes 36 stops between the South Street Seaport and Broadway near City Hall. Daily service begins at 10 a.m. and ends with a final run at 7:30 p.m. On average (depending on traffic) buses run at 10-minute intervals during the week and at 15-minute intervals on weekends. All buses are ADA accessible. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, vehicle capacities have been reduced by 50 percent and all passengers are required to wear face masks in order to board. For real-time bus tracking and arrival times, download the NextBus app (iPhone | Android).

Financial assistance for summer utility bills: The New York State Public Service Commission has approved New York City's request to keep vulnerable low-income New Yorkers safe in their homes by providing financial assistance with their summer utility bills. Customers already in Con Ed's low-income program will automatically be enrolled and will be notified by Con Ed. For information on how to qualify for the financial assistance program, click here or call (800) 75 coned to inquire. 
How to report police abuse: If you witness police abuse in person or see footage on social media, you can file a complaint with the City's Civilian Complaint Review Board at or (800) 341-CCRB.

New York State Attorney General James, who is conducting an investigation of the George Floyd protests, asks that any information, including visuals, be shared with her office as they proceed with that investigation. Email:
Dental offices can open: On May 31, 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York dentists could reopen statewide beginning on June 1. Dentists' offices are subject to state guidance on best practices for safety and social distancing.
Register to vote: June 23, 2020 is the date for the New York State primary election.
In order to vote for a candidate in the primary election, you must be registered to the political party for whose candidate you wish to vote. People who are registered as Independents can't vote in the primary election. Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order to ensure New Yorkers can vote by absentee ballot in the June 23rd elections. Click here to find your poll site and/or to register to vote by mail.   Click here to register to vote.
For answers to frequently asked questions, click here.
Voting by mail in New York State: To apply for an absentee ballot, click on the link below and type in your name, address and date of birth. Check the "temporary illness" box to indicate that the coronavirus is the reason you're applying.
The early voting period begins on June 13 and ends on June 21.

Summer day camps statewide can open on June 29th. New York State has decided that the Covid-19 pandemic makes sleepaway camps too risky to open this summer.

Small graduations permitted: On June 7, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that outdoor, socially distanced graduations of up to 150 people  will be allowed beginning June 26th, subject to any outbreaks or significant changes in the metrics.

New York State loan program for small businesses: New York State has launched a $100+ million loan program for small businesses. The loan program will focus on supporting small businesses that were less likely to receive federal loans, especially women and minority-owned businesses, and very small businesses with 20 or fewer employees. For more information, click here

Health insurance in New York State: You can still enroll for health insurance on the New York health plan marketplace. If you lost your job or health coverage, or are uninsured, you can enroll in a plan today at You may also qualify for health care coverage from Medicaid or Child Health Plus through the marketplace.

United States Census 2020 is hiring: The 2020 U.S. Census will require a massive effort to document everyone in the country. The U.S. government is hiring census workers with a promise of "great pay, flexible hours, weekly pay and paid training." The jobs include census taker, recruiting assistant, office clerk, and supervisory staff. Applications can be made online at For more information, call 855-JOB-2020.

Dine Around Downtown, Cooking at Home edition: The Downtown Alliance has created a "Cooking at Home" edition of its popular food festival, Dine Around Downtown. Rocco DiSpirito, celebrity chef and cookbook author, is acting as host to three Lower Manhattan chefs as they demonstrate easy-to-replicate dishes from their restaurants. The series debuted on June 11 with Delmonico's executive chef, Billy Oliva, in the kitchen.  
It continues on June 25 when Michele Iuliano, co-owner and chef of Gnoccheria at 100 Broad St. will show participants how to make fresh hand-rolled gnocchi with three sauces: pesto, sorrentina and quatro formaggi. Finally, on July 9, Einat Admony, chef and co-owner of Taïm at 75 Maiden Lane, will call on her upbringing in Israel as she makes eggplant sabich salad and cauliflower shwarma. All of these events start at 4 p.m.
The series is free to join via Zoom but registration is required and limited. If they wish, participants can donate to a fund of the restaurants' choice, which will support their staff and/or local food supply charities. Pre-register here:  
Classic Harbor Line Plans to Restart Harbor Cruises: Classic Harbor Line plans to have two of its ships, the yacht Manhattan II and the schooner Adirondack, back in New York Harbor beginning on June 20. All passengers and crew will be required to wear masks. Social distancing will be strictly observed with bookings at 50 percent of normal capacity. The ships will be sanitized between cruises. No food or beverages will be served. The cruises offered will range in length from one to two hours. All tickets can be rescheduled or converted to credit up until 24 hours in advance for any reason. For more information or to make reservations, click here. For 20% off the ticket price, use the online promo code UPandRUNNING. (Valid until July 31st)  
The gaff-rigged schooner, Adirondack, framed by the sails of the South Street Seaport Museum's 1885 schooner Pioneer. Both ships were sailing past Governors Island.  
(Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2009)  
Most of the Downtown Post NYC bulletin board listings are now on the Downtown Post NYC website. To see the bulletin board listings, click here.


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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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