Archive for the ‘ArtsWestchester’ Tag

Status of Art Proposals for Bridge Landings is ?

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock.

Sources told me Governor Cuomo’s office reviews each project-related FOIL request with a fine-tooth comb. Yesterday I received an email saying the executive chamber doesn’t maintain records for other state agencies and isn’t the custodian of records I recently requested through the Freedom of Information Law.

Fair enough: I started at the top by mistake.

The letter containing this information was addressed Dear Janie Rosan. REALLY. How difficult is it to correctly retype a six-letter last name spelled out in front of you at the bottom of said request or to highlight and copy the name?

* * * * *

Six silent months passed since ArtsWestchester and the Thruway Authority called for proposals for a permanent mural for an underpass on Rockland County landing of the new bridge’s shared use path and bike racks for the Rockland and Westchester landings.

I want to know why and resubmitted my requests. The email receipt said they were forwarded to the agencies I selected, and the Records Access Officer for each will contact me directly for further processing within up to five business days.

Due to my previous experience sending a FOIL request to the Thruway Authority (one of those I contacted), I’m curious about its response.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2020

On My Mind: New Year, Unanswered Questions

Socks, sneakers and wheels indicate a sign of the path to come/NYS Thruway Authority

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2020!

I’ve been asking about artwork on the new bridge since silence enveloped the projects after a Request For Proposal (RFP) last summer. Deadlines for submitting those proposals, and the deadline for installing one of them, were months ago. The next installation deadline comes in the spring.

Patricia Gallagher Newberry, Society of Professional Journalists national president, said, “Censorship has stalked a horrific path through history. This is another instance. It is heartening to find another way to fight this trend toward silencing public employees, which SPJ has identified as a grave risk to public welfare.”

This situation reminded me of a call I received five years ago during my quest for information about a failed silo on one of the two floating concrete batch plants that had arrived months earlier. Why did the contractor also shut down the batch plant that didn’t mechanically fail unless it, too, would experience the same issue at a later time?

An attorney responded, and then I received a call from one of the governor’s then-special advisor not long after about “tidying up” matters. Someone wanted me to stop asking, I’m sure. It took nearly a full year for someone to tell me “the Thruway Authority doesn’t have that kind of information in its records.”

I’d sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the New York State Thruway Authority, whose public information officer stalled me. One year later I learned my hunch was correct. Back then I asked: Would it have been a matter of time before that same malfunction occurred in the second batch plant although both were prepped, inspected and tested identically?

A project source told me: yes, the second plant would have malfunctioned, which I suspect was why the agency stalled, then refused to provide the documents I sought in the request.

One year after that accident, Governor Cuomo ruled on Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). His office reviewed each project-related FOIL request with a fine-tooth comb, sources told me as the FOIL request hit snags that were more like stone walls.

Never stop asking questions.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2020

Second Outreach Center closes; New Exit 10; SUP Work continues; Toll Relief for Local Residents

What remained of the Tappan Zee Bridge lingered into 2019: its east anchor span was to be demolished, then weather intervened, and then it happened. A new configuration to Thruway Exit 10 eliminated a portion of the loop, where motorists could exit to Clinton Avenue; second and third traffic patterns for the exit were to follow.

Work continued on the westbound span’s path and connecting spur path, the old bridge’s supports were disappearing, and four Peregrine falcon chicks needed names. The west anchor span was removed, local students named the chicks, new webcams showed progress on the landings, and my mom took her first car trip across the new bridge.

Low turnout was reported at July’s toll advisory panel meetings; ArtsWestchester and the Thruway Authority asked artists to propose ideas for a mural and bicycle racks. A broken car on en route to the iconic concert 50 years ago became a “how we met” story for their children and grandchildren.

Come fall, New Yorkers chose a new state license plate (some wanted the design above, which was not one of the five choices), and further changes were made to Exit 10 yet did not relieve traffic. People noticed the I Lift NY left the project site five years after its arrival in Piermont.

A completely reconfigured Exit 10 opened in early October, one scenic overlook was completed the following month, and residents of bridge-bordering counties learned about minimal future toll increases. Although the Nyack Outreach Center closed this month, educational programs continue into spring/summer.

The path, its hours to be determined, is expected to open sometime next year.

It would have been wiser not to leave my hat on the bus: temps were freezing that day! Photo/Gov. Cuomo’s staff

I’ve covered this story since March 2012, when an editor sent me to hear residents’ concerns in Tarrytown. Plans for the project’s anticipated progress — detailed in subsequent meetings — became reality with each turn of the calendar. Freelance reporting is pure joy and sometimes challenging, and this has been both.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2019

Art Alert: ArtsWestchester calls for Proposals

ArtsWestchester and the Thruway Authority are collaborating and seek proposals from professional artists and artist collectives in New York State to create bicycle racks for the new bridge’s landings and a mural for the underpass on the Rockland County landing.

Deadline for bicycle rack proposals is August 18. Projects/commissions must be completed and ready to install by October 22.

Deadline for mural proposals is September 13. Up to five finalists will be notified two weeks later; the winning mural will be installed by April 2020.

Here’s an opportunity to leave your artistic footprint on the bridge project!

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2019

Pieces of TZB Steel will be used in Arts Project

See how nicely I accented winter sunsets? Thought I’d be gone forever when the new bridge opened, didn’t you? Think again!

You have not seen the last of me because there’s another contest about me! It’s been a long time coming, too, after the bridge art show was ages ago.

“Remnant steel salvaged from the retired Tappan Zee Bridge” — that’s ME! — “will be made available to the two winning artists to incorporate into their sculptures.” (This is from a press release earlier in the week.) Which pieces of me will they be?

“These future sculptures will not only enhance the new twin-span crossing but provide residents and visitors opportunities to connect with the history, culture and spirit of the beautiful Hudson Valley,” Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said.

History, culture and spirit of the beautiful Hudson Valley = Tappan Zee Bridge.

Anyway, here’s the plan.

ArtsWestchester, the Thruway Authority and the Arts Council of Rockland seek a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) that invites artists to submit their statements, work samples and a vision statement by January 11, 2019, via https://artswestchester.org/. Artists chosen will then be invited to submit their full proposals for the sculpture in early February.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

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