The Forgotten 5th: Five Stories, One Island: Miracle Baby, Fresh Kills Sneak Peek, MTA weighs Rail, 7 Train to NJ!?, Baby Joseph dies
Teddy Atlas Foundation helping Miracle Baby
These stories rarely make front-page news, but while Lindsay Lohan is being perp-walked and Kim Kardashian is doing a cakewalk, Teddy Atlas’s foundation is helping to keep a baby alive. Give thanks this year for that, or better still, help Teddy work that kid’s corner by buying a ticket to the Atlas foundation fund-raiser.
“We also are helping out a family with a beautiful 21-month-old girl who got shot in the eye in September in gangbanger crossfire as she sat in her stroller in the Arlington Terrace Apartments,” says Atlas. “It’s a miracle Samyah Bailey lived, but she lost her left eye.
“We have a surgeon named Dr. Irene Gladstein volunteering to perform the surgery free if we pay for a prosthetic eye. That doctor to me is a pure woman of medicine, caring about a child more than money. She’s an undisputed champion. Our foundation is paying for the prosthetic eye with money from other champions like the Daily News readers who come to our dinners, or mail donations, every year. Because of your generosity, Samyah Bailey will have a life with the beautiful restored face she was born with.” Leave it to an ex-pug and a doc with a heart of gold to reinvent “an eye for an eye.”
MTA weighs Staten Island Rail
New York City Transit has unveiled a short list of three public transit alternatives for the North Shore rail line right-of-way, roughly paralleling the Kill Van Kull waterway. One of the three options is light rail transit, vocally supported by numerous political officials within New York’s “forgotten borough.” Staten Island is not served by the city’s subway network, though MTA NYCT does provide Staten Island Railway service along the borough’s eastern shore, which links with Staten Island ferry service to and from Manhattan. MTA NYCT culled from longer list of seven options and now is considering a $589 million light rail transit line between St. George and Arlington, with trains continuing to West Shore Plaza along South Avenue, in mixed traffic with road vehicles. Two other options involve buses: a $357 million dedicated bus transit way, with eight stops between St. George and Arlington; and a #37 million package to improve existing North Shore bus service, including a new transit center.
7 Train to New Jersey; What about Staten?
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city is considering extending the route of the No. 7 subway line into New Jersey, and the economics of the proposal “seem to make some sense.” But a Staten Island transit honcho hit at Bloomberg for leaving the borough out of his grand vision for regional transit. “I applaud the mayor for his vision of connecting part of the region to the transit system,” said Metropolitan Transportation Authority board member Allen Cappelli, a Livingston resident. “I’d hoped that his vision would include Staten Island and its 500,000 residents.” Cappelli, a Livingston resident, said City Hall should widen its scope. He said Bloomberg should put his muscle behind the proposal to build a West Shore light rail line that would cross the Bayonne Bridge and connect to the New Jersey light rail system, the PATH train and the city subway system beyond. “We ought to be talking about connecting Staten Island too,” he said. “That’s regional interconnectivity. It’s fine to give lip service to the world’s greatest parking lot - the Staten Island Expressway - but words are not good enough.”
From dump to paragon of ecology: A first peek
As befits what used to be the world’s largest landfill, the future Freshkills Park on Staten Island may represent the planet’s greatest act of ecological atonement. The 2,200-acre site, which the Department of Parks and Recreation calls a “reminder of wastefulness, excess and environmental neglect,” will, as it evolves into a park over the next 25 years, feature every environmentally correct practice known to landscape architecture. The park will be vast — nearly three times the size of Central Park — but it will eventually be divided into five main areas. The first area to be developed is in the 240-acre North Park, which will consist of 21 acres and include walking paths with views of wetlands in the middle distance, a bird observation tower, a tree nursery and a seed farm. Budget cuts have, for now, shelved capital funding for the 425 acres of South Park, but design plans for the first 20 acres there are under way. The garbage mounds beneath North and South Parks were capped in the 1990s; this fall workers will finish capping the mound that will eventually become East Park. Capping of the final mound — the future West Park — will be finished in 2018. Collection of methane gas from the four mounds will continue for 30 years after capping.
Baby Joseph dies
Baby Joseph, the Canadian boy who became the face of an international end-of-life debate, died September 27th, about four months before his second birthday, according to a family spokesman. Joseph Maraachli was brought to the United States in March by New Dorp-based Priests for Life to receive a tracheotomy that his family hoped would extended his life. Brother Paul O’Donnell of St. Paul, Minn., the family’s spokesman and spiritual adviser, said Joseph’s father, Moe, told him the baby died at home surrounded by his family. He said it was likely that the child died of complications related to his disease but that the cause of death has yet to be announced.