State Sen. Daniel Squadron Nabs Public Servant of the Year Award

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Last weekend, State Sen. Daniel Squadron was given the Public Servant of the Year Award by the Little Italy Merchants Association (LIMA) and the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation in recognition of his "compassion, humanity and commitment in serving the citizens of the Little Italy and Chinatown communities." After being presented with the award by LIMA President John Fratta, Squadron joined Chinatown and Little Italy leaders to march in the annual East Meets West Christmas Parade.



Last week, the Department of Education (DOE) announced that the Peck Slip School will add 56 seats in addition to the 180-seat extension that was announced earlier this year. The total number of planned seats for the school is now 712.

"I am so happy that even more children will now have the opportunity to attend a brand-new, state-of-the-art school. I want to thank the DOE for recognizing the desperate need for elementary school seats in Lower Manhattan in this case," said Council Member Margaret Chin.

"By adding 56 seats today, as well as the 180 added last month, DOE is taking a big step toward responding to the needs of Lower Manhattan's ever-growing community," added State Sen. Daniel Squadron.


Council Member Margaret Chin, chair of the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Committee, hosted a joint hearing with Council Member James Van Bramer last week to examine the future of the Seaport Museum.

At the hearing, the programming and financial future of the museum were discussed. Volunteers from the Army Corps of Engineers are currently repairing and helping stabilize the museum's historic ships, and professional librarians are re-archiving its collections. The museum plans to open in January 2012 with an admission price of $5 to encourage visitors. The museum will be open Wednesday through Sunday at the start, but will open seven days a week if the need exists.

"Over the past few years, the Seaport Museum has faced challenges, but we are optimistic about the future success of the museum," Chin said. "I know there is strong community support and interest in seeing the museum succeed."

The South Street Seaport Museum has struggled over the last decade to remain open. In 2009, it earned revenue of only $280,000 on a budget of $5.2 million. The Museum of the City of New York took control of the Seaport Museum in October 2011 and will oversee the management and $3 million budget of the museum.



Last week, Downtown Alliance President Elizabeth Berger testified in front of the City Council's Small Business Committee, which held a hearing on BIDs' roles in promoting commerce during the holiday shopping season. The Downtown Alliance holds an annual holiday shopping campaign, which is now entering its fourth year.

"While the Downtown Alliance promotes Lower Manhattan's restaurateurs and retailers all year long, we take it up several notches during the holidays with a comprehensive drive-to-web advertising campaign that encourages workers, residents and visitors to shop and dine in the district," Berger said. She cited the Alliance's extensive print and outdoor advertising, promotions, direct mailings and the brand-new edition of its Shopping and Dining Guide, all part of the 2011 holiday campaign.

Berger added that the Alliance consistently updates its web-based event calendar and searchable map to reflect holiday offerings and uses various social media platforms, including the Alliance's blog, to promote seasonal events. The Alliance also boasts a holiday-centric webpage,, which features a link to their guide to over 1,300 stores, restaurants, bars, museums, organizations and services, offers from restaurants and retailers, and a list of holiday events in the district. Overall, roughly 30,000 print copies of the guide have been distributed, and thousands of digital copies have been emailed.

The campaign was officially launched in anticipation of Black Friday with a press conference featuring New York City Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz and J

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