Neighborhood Chatter

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Quinn Asks Con Edison to Get Back on Track City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn released a letter last Wednesday to Con Edison asking the electric company to immediately resume negotiations with Local 1-2's union workers and end their dispute, which caused a lockout during the week's extreme heat. In the letter, Quinn criticizes the company's priorities, which she feels should be New Yorkers and their safety. "Let me be clear: Your actions do not have my support," wrote Quinn. "Con Edison's decision to unilaterally impose a lockout during a heat wave, after 30 years of no job disruptions, was an escalation of management/labor tensions to an unprecedented degree, placing many New Yorkers' lives in danger." Downtown Alliance Honored for Its Tracking System The Downtown Alliance was honored with the Business Improvement District (BID) Innovation Award last week by Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steel and Small Business Services Commissioner Robert E. Walsh. The Alliance was one of 17 organizations and individuals who were awarded as a part of the annual Neighborhood Achievement Awards. The award was presented to the Alliance for its handheld infrastructure tracking system, which it released in 2009. The system is an electronic survey method that produces maps and readily provides data about Lower Manhattan's streetscape. "The Downtown Alliance handheld infrastructure tracking system has streamlined our infrastructure maintenance and enhanced our survey data, resulting in a lower overall cost of maintaining Lower Manhattan's distinctive streetscape," said Joe Timpone, senior vice president of operations, in a statement. Since 2002, the Neighborhood Achievement Awards have honored organizations that work to better New York City communities while fostering economic opportunity. Downtown Day Camps Put On Their Crazy Hats Downtown Day Camps held their 21st annual Crazy Hat Day last week at the P.S. 234 schoolyard at 292 Greenwich St. in Tribeca. Since the camp's start in 1992, campers get to use their imagination and create funky, interesting headgear on this day. They wear their creations all day for anyone to come observe. Manhattan Youth Downtown Day Camps, which includes junior and senior divisions, is directed by Dr. Russ Schulman and serves children from K to 8th grade throughout the summer. South Street Seaport Fire Put Out A fire that broke out at the South Street Seaport on Saturday was caused by faulty electrical wiring, reported the Huffington Post. The fire started under Pier 17 and grew to engulf about 100 square feet, but was tamed in under two hours. Pictures of the blaze show onlookers photographing and gawking at immense clouds of black smoke over Lower Manhattan. The fire could have been building under the dock for some time, according to the New York Times. Fire Department spokesman Jim Long called the fire an averted disaster in the tourist-heavy area-no one was hurt and no shops were damaged. The pier was open again to activity Saturday evening, including the planned Seaport Music festival. Fire marshals began looking into any possible structural damage on Sunday, reported the Huffington Post. Parts of the pier will remain closed for some time as stability in the area is assessed.

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