Monday Bulletin: Poll Workers Needed, School Ventilation Problems, Ashes Come Home; ‘World’s Loneliest Elephant‘

Photo by Alison Zimmerman.

September 7, 2020 Weather: Sunny, with a high of 77 degrees.

Our calendar is full of events you can enjoy from home like streaming opera from the Met.

The state is looking for poll workers. Historically, 55% of poll workers have been over 60 years old, but because older people are vulnerable to Covid-19, they’re hoping more young people sign up this year. Learn more here.

Ninety percent of New York City schools are “ready right now” to reopen, Mayor de Blasio told the The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, but there are some ventilation problem spots. “For instance, a building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side known as the Martin Luther King Jr. Educational Complex, where most classrooms have no windows, was found to have a mechanical ventilation system that ‘has not worked properly for a number of years,’ according to a report from the (teacher’s) union. Located near Lincoln Center, the building houses six high schools…The UFT said a 90-minute walk-through revealed that MLK had ineffective filters ‘drooping and clogged with dirt,’ as well as fans that didn’t bring in outside air.”

Gene Norman, who was responsible for protecting large areas of the Upper West Side from “destruction or defacement by developers” when he was chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission in the 1980’s, died on August 30th at the age of 85, The New York Times reported. Known for his “equanimity, graciousness and acumen as an architect,” Mr. Norman oversaw the landmarking of the “historic districts that encompass parts of the Upper West Side,” as well as the Cyclone roller coaster at Coney Island, 22 Broadway theaters, and St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church on Park Avenue.

“After two decades in a filing cabinet and three next to a parking lot in Baltimore,” the ashes of Dorothy Parker, the 20th-Century (blacklisted) writer, satirist, co-creator of the first issue of The New Yorker, civil rights activist, and long-time Upper West Sider, have come home to New York City, according  to The New Yorker. Parker “co-wrote the screenplay of the 1937 movie “A Star Is Born”… She was a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of writers and enthusiastic drinkers who gathered at the Algonquin Hotel, in midtown Manhattan. Today, Parker is probably most widely known for her bon mots, including the famous couplet “Men seldom make passes / At girls who wear glasses.”

Congratulations to Upper West Sider Michael Bosworth and (former) Upper East Sider David Guggenheim on their August 22nd marriage, announced by The New York Times. Mr. Bosworth, a lawyer, was a former deputy assistant and deputy counsel to President Barack Obama. Mr. Guggenheim is a psychologist. “He moved in with Mr. Bosworth in May 2018, and they now enjoy cooking as a hobby and watching reality TV. ‘We spend a lot of time watching The Real Housewives. I’m not proud, but I love it,’ Mr. Bosworth said.”

In the having-nothing-to-do-with-the-Upper-West-Side category, this headline from The Guardian caught our eye: “‘World’s Loneliest Elephant’ Allowed to Leave Zoo for Better Life.” After losing his partner in 2012, “Kaavan…has battled loneliness as well as poor living conditions” in a Pakistani zoo. Now, he has been deemed well enough to travel and plans are being made to move him to a sanctuary in Cambodia, “where he will find companionship and better conditions. The cause of rescuing Kaavan from the zoo’s dire conditions attracted the attention of animal activists around the world and celebrities, including American singer Cher, who lobbied for his relocation.”

Happy Labor Day!

NEWS | 3 comments | permalink
    1. lynn says:

      “…Martin Luther King Jr. Educational Complex, where most classrooms have no windows, was found to have a mechanical ventilation system that ‘has not worked properly for a number of years…’

      I’m still trying to wrap my head around this. If not for Covid, then the students here would have returned to school on schedule without a proper ventilation system? 😮

      • denton says:

        You don’t really expect public schools to be maintained to the standards of a Class A office building, do you? Of course they could be, and should be, but always expect the worst. After all, in 1988 more than 350 schools still had coal fired boilers, and the last wasn’t removed until 2001.

        • lynn says:

          Thanks for the feedback. I had no idea this was an issue until now. Just did a little reading on school budgets and shocked to read that clean air hasn’t been a priority. 🙁