Community Board # 3 Manhattan
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Community Board # 3 Manhattan
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
New York City Council’s Transportation Committee held a meeting today on the impact of bicycles and bike lanes in the city. Committee chair James Vacca told the packed room that when it came to bikes, he knew passions were high. “Believe it or not,” he said, “few issues today prompt more heated discussion than bike policy in New York City.”
And it showed: there was a long wait in line to clear security, and the City Council hearing room’s overflow room had to be used. More than 70 speakers signed up to voice their opinions about bikes and bike lanes, but the hot seat belonged to City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who was grilled by council members for almost two hours. (Click the TITLE of this blog posting to hear her statement, as well as the extensive—nearly two hour—question and answer session)
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
WNYC - Brian Lehrer covers the debate over A Chinatown Business Improvement District - click here to hear the AUDIO Podcast of the program
The union says it bases its argument on interviews with workers and a copy of the BID's contract with the city, which it obtained via a Freedom of Information Law request. It has requested contracts of BIDs across the city to evaluate whether they too might be in violation of the prevailing wage law.
In the complaint, the union alleges workers employed by BID subcontractor Atlantic Maintenance Corp. are paid as little as $7.41 per hour. The hourly prevailing wage for office cleaners in the city is $21.80, plus $8.36 in benefits; for security officers, it's $11.75, plus $4.46 in benefits.
“Well-funded BIDs have no financial reason for cutting costs on the backs of working New Yorkers,” said a 32BJ spokeswoman. “And some may be violating the law that prohibits tax dollars from being used to finance poverty-like jobs.”
Dan Biederman, chairman of the BID Association, an umbrella group representing the city's 64 BIDs, said the complaint is the latest in a series of “ongoing lobbying efforts” by 32BJ surrounding a prevailing wage bill under consideration in Albany that would end exemptions for public utilities.
A spokesman for the Union Square Partnership said in a statement that the BID's sanitation workers are represented by Amalgamated Industrial and Toy and Novelty Workers Local 223 and that a new contract went into effect July 1. “Atlantic Maintenance negotiated a comprehensive, fair and mutually agreed upon compensation package through a collective bargaining process that includes wages ranging from $8 to $14 per hour, paid vacation, and health coverage,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Liu had no comment."
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Click here to hear Phil Grossman -Coalition Against the Chinatown B.I.D. re: complaint filed with LMDC against Chinatown Partnership LDC
Click here to hear an Audio Podcast of David Eng speaking about a Chinatown Business Improvement District
Click here to hear an audio podcast of local resident Geoff Lee speaking about a proposal for a Business Improvement District in Chinatown
Sunday, November 28, 2010
On November 23, 2010 at P.S. 20 on the Lower East Side, The Coalition Against the Chinatown Business Improvement District (BID) presented to Community Board #3 over a hundred names of businesses and property owners (primarily in the historic Mott Street "core" of Chinatown) who have signed on against a Chinatown Business Improvement District and read a letter to the Board asking them to deny approval of a Chinatown BID.
Comm. Board 3 Full Board 11/23/10 hears community critiques of Chinatown Partnership - B.I.D. proposal
Monday, November 15, 2010
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"Chinatown Banks" as it is known to skateboarders and cyclists (Chatham Square - its official name) continues to be a favorite for bikers and skateboarders, some who travel from outer boroughs just to skate or bicycle on the gently sloping "ramps" stupidly designed and installed by The City Of New York.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Terrorist Kalid Sheik Mohammed will not be tried in The U.S. - Chinatown Residents Stand Firm Against the Trials EVER happening here.
The term "courthouse on Foley Square" in Jane Mayer’s article (“The Trial,” February 15th) is a dangerous misnomer that encapsulates the blindness Attorney General Eric Holder has shown in choosing lower Manhattan as the location for the trials of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed—the self-proclaimed planner of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001—and four co-conspirators.
“Colonnaded federal courthouse” is not a description of the courthouse in which the terror trials would be held, and “flanking the square" does not describe its location.
The accurate term is "Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Federal Courthouse.”
The accurate description is “the tallest federal courthouse in the United States.”
The accurate location is “across the street from New York's historic Chinatown.”
With an official address of 500 Pearl Street, the physical location of the Moynihan Courthouse can be difficult to visualize for those not familiar with the area. The Justice Department’s own web site, http://www.nysd.uscourtsgov/, only adds to the confusion by providing a link named “Manhattan Foley Square Courthouse” to bring up the web page for the Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Federal Courthouse.
To complicate matters further, the entrance of the Moynihan Courthouse is on Worth Street, placing it across the street from one of the most heavily used public parks in New York City that functions as the heart of historic Chinatown, and only yards from the front door of a residential co-operative with 240 families that would be put under severe military lockdown if the decision to go forward with the terror trials is not changed.
Why does this matter? "Courthouse on Foley Square" and “colonnaded federal courthouse flanking the square” immediately bring up visions of the institutional area highlighted in the popular TV series, Law & Order. Everyone knows that Foley Square is totally non-residential. And they are correct.
But the terror trials will NOT BE HELD in the “courthouse on Foley Square.” The Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse in Foley Square has been closed for renovation since 2007.
The terror trials will be held in the “Moynihan Courthouse,” located across the street from the heart of historic Chinatown.
The terror trials will not cordon off the court district. The terror trials will cut the heart out of New York's historic Chinatown.
Political ideologues identify us as suffering from a case of “nimby (not in my back yard).” We suffer from “oimby” (only in my back yard). Since 2001 we are the only post 9/11 community in Manhattan still suffering from the “chokehold” of massive street shutdowns, security checkpoints, rerouting of traffic and bus routes, invasive government permit parking abuse requiring an NYPD internal affairs crackdown, takeaway of parks that were returned only after lawsuits, bomb sniffing dogs on our street corner and clanging barricades under our windows.
We are the only residential community now faced with having our neighborhood imprisoned behind a “hard” and “soft” security zone—basically a war zone—for three, four, even five years. Here are a few of the intensive security measures presented by Police Commissioner Kelly last week. Our streets and air space would be patrolled for years by:
ATLAS, Hercules, Special Operations, Armored Assault, Office of Emergency Management, surge and other armed, specialized security teams
2000 metal barricades completely restricting vehicles and pedestrians from Chatham Square to Broadway on Worth
License plate readers for the entire soft zone,
Surveillance towers with 24/7 video of all citizen
Additional vehicle check points with DELTA barriers
Helicopters “aerial surveillance”
For pedestrians inside the soft zone:
Random pat downs of anyone at any time (we assume this would include mourners/hearse/coffins of the three funeral homes across from the courthouse)
Random bag searches of anyone at any time (including backpacks of children attending after school programs across the street or playing in the one of the busiest playgrounds in Manhattan)
I.D check of anyone at any time
Radiation and bio-terrorism detection surveillance
Pop up check points for all three - pat down, ID check and bag search at different locations
Many signs to instruct GOVERNMENT workers where to enter the zone according to occupation and building of employment
Sharp shooters both Federal and NYPD located on government buildings and residential buildings throughout the two zones
Bomb sniffing dogs
"Conspicuous NYPD presence at all times"
It is an unbearable insult that we—the people who did not bow to terrorism and chose to stay after 9/11—are now being accused of NOT BEING TOUGH enough to “show the world” the U.S. terror trials can be held here safely.
How can “justice for all” be served when the true cost of the terror trials will be borne by a targeted group of American citizens: the tens of thousands of innocent residents and hundreds of small business and property owners located in Lower Manhattan, not only in Chinatown, but in the Seaport area, Tribeca and Battery Park City, as well?
President Obama repeatedly referred to his experience as a community organizer when he was running for the presidency. We appeal to him now to show us that this was not a campaign ploy—but a genuine commitment to the citizens of our country that they will be involved in planning the future of their own communities.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Click Here to hear the Podcast of the CAPZ - Culture, Affordability, Preservation and Zoning Committee of the Chinatown working Group, June 2nd 2010
Click Here to hear the CAPZ - Culture, Affordability, Preservation and Zoning Committee Meeting of June 17th 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
click here to view / download a copy of the transcript of Chinatown Working Group governance committee meeting of Oct. 27th 2010
click here to hear the podcast of : The Chinatown Working Group - Governance committee meeting of November 8 2010
Click here for a PODCAST of: The Chinatown Working Group - GOVERNANCE committee meeting of Oct 27th 2010 PODCAST
PODCASTS of Chinatown and Civic Center events and meetings are now available on this blog...
It's important to attend community meetings, precinct meetings, and community board meetings but we all have lives that must lead as community volunteers and we find it impossible to be at every meeting. It's for this reason that wish to make these podcasts of public meetings available to as many people as possible.
We feel that these podcasts should not be substitutes for actually attending meetings, because after all your voice counts, even if you are an individual resident with no group affiliation whatsoever. Think of podcasts as a way to catch up on issues, hear viewpoints, and prompt yourself for the next meeting.
If you have a digital mp3 recording (on a CD or flash drive) of a meeting you wish to share with the public, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll review it. Kindly limit your entries to meetings pertaining to or occurring in the Chinatown or Civic Center areas
Friday, October 22, 2010
NY TIMES reports - NYPD will crack down on scofflaw cyclists - a victory for CCRC, Coalition Against Rogue Riding and Nancy Gruskin
Published: October 21, 2010
The New York Police Department plans to step up enforcement of bicycle safety in parts of the city that have seen a disproportionately higher rate of collisions involving bicyclists, city officials said Thursday.The initiative, which would be aimed at common cycling infractions like running red lights or riding on the sidewalk, comes after numerous complaints about two-wheeled scofflaws and recent protests against new bicycle lanes added to streets in Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan.“We’ve installed 250 miles of lane over the last four years and thousands of new bike racks,” Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner, said at a news conference. “We have been friendly to cyclists. Now it’s time for cyclists to be friendlier to the city.”Ms. Sadik-Khan, a cyclist herself, has led the Bloomberg administration’s efforts to siphon off city road space from automobiles in favor of pedestrians and bicyclists, an effort that officials say creates a more balanced use of the city’s streets. Critics charge that City Hall has placed a stigma on car ownership and unilaterally removed traffic lanes for the use of a small minority of residents.The result has been that bicycling, once a niche, even antiauthoritarian, mode of transport, has entered the New York mainstream, and cyclists and pedestrians alike are trying to adjust.The city has issued 26,000 moving violations against cyclists so far this year, still a fraction of the 800,000 violations issued against motor vehicles, said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman. But on the Upper East Side, Mr. Browne said, the most frequent complaints heard from residents had to do with bicyclists.“You are having more incidents where pedestrians are getting seriously injured, or close calls, even if it’s in a bike lane,” Mr. Browne said. “It is probably increasing because bicycle use is increasing. I would think that’s part of it.”Running red lights is one of the more frequent problems, Mr. Browne said, and police officials acknowledge it can be difficult to enforce these rules.“It’s not always easy to do,” said Raymond W. Kelly, the police commissioner, who joined Ms. Sadik-Khan to announce the initiative. “Bicyclists move along at a very good clip. Particularly when a police officer is by himself or herself, it’s difficult to do.”The announcement came hours after a morning of dueling demonstrations along Prospect Park West in Brooklyn, where there has been a neighborhood uproar about that boulevard’s newly installed bicycle lane. Some of the aggrieved believe the lane has created more congestion, while supporters say it has calmed traffic and made the street safer. Supporters outnumbered the opponents roughly three to one.Ms. Sadik-Khan said the city had found that the lane cut down on speeding cars. The commissioner was asked by a reporter about protest signs that warned New Yorkers, “Don’t be conned by Sadik-Khan.”“Lot of marketing talent there in Prospect Park,” Ms. Sadik-Khan said.Opponents of the bike lane, however, argue that their quality of life has suffered. “Things have come to a critical pass,” said Lois Carswell, one of the protest organizers. City officials, she said, “have already declared it a success” before any formal review could be completed.
J. David Goodman contributed reporting.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
click this link for the full story:
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Terri Lu and JohnWu are among the new generation of Chinese American entrepreneurs who have, despite being able to locate elsewhere in the City, decided to plant themselves firmly in Chinatown with their new bakery Everything Frosted. "I grew up here, my mom works around the corner, I went to school here, I feel very comfortable here."says Terri.
John has a similar relationship to the area "When I first came to Chinatown I lived on Bayard St. , then I moved around, but always in this area. Most of my life has been spent here in Chinatown."
"Being close to home was actually important to us because of the amount of hours we knew we'd be investing" said Terri. Chinatown, only minutes from where they live, was the best of both worlds in terms of being close to their community, and finding inspiration from native ingredients. Both partners knew early on in their careers that they would be bringing their talents back to the neighborhood they loved as kids.
Terri's background as a professional event planner for a midtown business laid some of the groundwork for Everything Frosted. "At my last job we had a primarily Jewish clientèle, we did a lot of Bar Mitzvahs and weddings, and some corporate events as well. After my career with that company I was inspired to do events for the Asian community because there are so many more traditions that I wanted to explore. Even though I know a lot about my own culture, I found that there was more to learn about what the Chinese community wants in an event." said Terri.
John's career began in a Chinese bakery. It was there that he thought to explore the larger repertoire of baking, after exposure to the various flavors native to the Chinese culture.
He wanted to eventually bring his knowledge and experience back to the Chinese community to see what they would think about combining his newfound techniques with traditional and familiar ingredients such as red bean, green tea, and jasmine. Over a decade later, and apprenticeships with two French masters, he has achieved his goal.
Looking back John recalls one of his teachers who spoke only French. "It was very challenging, but I picked up enough French from him, at least what he needed to teach me. I learned a lot from him. He tried so hard to teach me, that I put my entire heart into it. Within a short time he left that restaurant and called me to join him at a new place. That is how I met Bill, (the Whitehouse Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses.) The two chefs were friends, and I started working for Bill at Joseph. (Joseph Gurrera, owner of Citarella)" said John. Yosses who joined the Whitehouse in 2006 worked shoulder to shoulder with John prior to landing his prestigious position at the Whitehouse.
John continued "I like Asian desserts and I love tea. What I learned from Bill is that I have to create my own flavors.
"I like to use Asian ingredients and come out with things people have never tried."
"You don't see a lot of bakeries with black sesame frosting. Over the summer we had a lychee frosting that was very popular."
John introduced jasmin, lychee, black sesame and red bean to many of his non-Asian customers who are often on a lunch break. 90% of the flavor combinations of cupcakes, which are appetizingly displayed at eye level, can be adapted to wedding or birthday cakes, jasmin cake with green tea frosting for example.
In the nine months since they have opened Terri and John's "hidden gem" of a business has reached beyond their professional Asian clientèle. With recent press and very active word of mouth advertising they are enjoying a comfortable level of success in their first year in Chinatown.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
The Stuart C. Gruskin Family Foundation“Developing Safety Awareness for Pedestrians in Urban Areas” (click here)
He was a very successful Senior Vice-President of Valuation Research in New York City whose principled and honest approach to people were in an integral part of his work ethic. He was a member of Temple Emanuel in Westfield, NJ and was committed to humanitarian causes including caring for the homeless.
the safety and lives of millions.