Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Community Board # 3 votes tonight on whether Chinatown should have a Business Improvement District

Community Board # 3 Manhattan
Voting tonight on the proposed Chinatown Business Improvement District
SPEAK OUT - sign in before 6:30 pm
meeting at :
Full Board Meeting - Tuesday, December 21 at 6:30pm
PS 20 - 166 Essex Street, (E Houston & Stanton Sts)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

PRESS CONFERENCE - Former Chinatown Partnership LDC employees speak out against a Chinatown Business Improvement District

we received this press advisory today from Chinese Staff and Workers:

What: Press Conference

Who: Chinese Staff & Workers' Association

When: Monday, December 20, 2010 at 2pm

Where: Chinese Staff & Workers' Association (55 Chrystie Street b/t Canal & Hester)

Why: On Monday, cleaning workers of the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation (CPLDC), who is pushing the BID in Chinatown, will speak out against the BID and also against the management and gross misuse of public funds by CPLDC.

If the Chinatown “Business Improvement District” BID is successful, it will clean the Chinese people out of Chinatown.

“We all want a cleaner, healthier environment for our community, but not at the expense of displacing people who work and live here. We are in an economic crisis now. The City is already forcing us to pay higher fees and taxes. Now they want us to pay for services the City should be taking care of! They don’t care about small businesses here. They don’t care about working people here. They won’t be satisfied until all the Chinese are gone,” said Xiu Yun Guo, resident and worker in Chinatown.

“I was fired after working at CPLDC for two years, because I did not give a red envelope to the management. Only those who bribed the management got to keep their jobs. My co-workers couldn’t take any time off to take care of their family. They pushed out those who were older. And the management doesn’t do anything all day except goof around. Are these the kind of people who can really improve Chinatown?!”
said Mr. Sun a former cleaning worker at CPLDC.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Long Time Chinatown Resident Cathy Glasson on why a Chinatown BID won't help with filth

Long time activist and resident Cathy Glasson has been fighting the City of New York for twenty years. She knows more about health codes, building codes, statutes than most people in City government. She's able to quote chapter and verse to NYPD, and city agencies when they give her the run-around. She testified against a Chinatown BID, and explained that a BID simply won't be able to tackle the quagmire that is NYC's bureacracy.

DNAinfo.com reports on charges of RACISM by Soho residents - re: BID

Click below to hear Lora Tanenbaum, former chair of the Econ. Dev. Land Use committee of Community Board 2 - testifying on why she does not approve of the proposed Chinatown BID map because she feels it includes parts of traditional SoHo.

BUT is she guilty of RACISM? you decide.

Michael Salzhauer - one of the Chinatown Partnership's chief supporters, said "It's silly to the point of racist, - cleaning benefits everybody." quote from : DNAinfo.com reported on the RACISM charge by Chinatown BID supporters

Parks have no business being in the CHINATOWN Business Improvement District

Chinatown resident and small business owner Shane Yamane testified at Community Board #2's Economic Development and Land Use Committee and asked Chinatown Partnership LDC to remove Columbus Park from the proposed Chinatown BID - they did not respond.

"The Park is new, the sidewalks are clean, it has no business being in a BID" said Yamane.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

CLICK HERE to hear a pocast : City Council finally has DOT Commissioner Sadik Khan in the hotseat


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

CLICK BELOW to hear the PODCAST provided by WNYC
Originally aired 11:30 am Dec. 8th 2010

WNYC has the INCORRECT recording on their website.

Eric Enquist of Crainsnewyork.com is a political reporter for Crain's New York. At the end of this piece he diminishes (quite irresponsibly) my comment about bill # A11672, as a "red herring". Although Mr. Enquist is entitled to his opinion, keep in mind that HE's not going to be paying MY rapidly escalating BID fees attached permanently to my property tax assessment with no way out.

After calling The Comptroller's office Monday Dec. 6th, I learned that John Liu is not going to comment on #A11672 with regard to how it relates to prevailing wages (which his office sets for NYC Government workers) and Business Improvement Districts - not because the bill makes no mention of BIDs, but because it simply hasn't been look at it that context. To diminish this bill in any way is foolish because even without the bill making it into law, the unions are already scrutinizing wage practices of BID contractors which puts a whole new spin on how everyone is going to pick up the trash from now on.

Daniel Massey of Crainsnewyork.com reports the story THIS WAY:

"In a new wrinkle to a larger legislative dispute that has festered for months, building-service powerhouse 32BJ SEIU has filed a complaint with New York City Comptroller John Liu alleging that the Union Square Partnership business improvement district is covered by existing prevailing wage law and has been underpaying workers by more than $14 an hour.

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

Senator Daniel Squadron's town hall hearing on the LES - Click here to hear audio podcast EXCERPTS

Senator Daniel Squadron hosted a town hall event to hear first hand from residents from Chinatown and the Lower East Side on November 30th. There were many issues raised, too numerous to list here, but we've attempted to provide you with an audio podcast excerpt of some specific complaints raised about Chinatown pedestrian safety issues.

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

On November 10th 2010 Phillip Grossman, an attorney representing the Coalition Against the Chinatown B.I.D. sent a letter to the Lower Manhattan Development Committee alerting them to what amounts to be a "Grossly wasteful expenditure of your $5,400,000.00 Clean Streets program-grant", by the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corp. The Coalition's complaint is based on an analysis of the "Partnership's" 990 forms which are required for non-profits to file with the IRS. CPLDC's 990 form 2006 2007 2008 that The Coalition Against the Chinatown BID obtained through a "Freedom of information Law (FOIL)" request, since the Chinatown Partnership does NOT post their 990's on their own website, is a serious point of contention for years by business and property owners in Chinatown.

The letter reads as follows:

November 10, 2010

Lower Manhattan Development, Corp.
One Liberty Plaza
New York, NY 10006

ATTN: David EMIL, President

Re: Grossly wasteful expenditure of your $5,400,000.00 Clean Streets program grant to CHINATOWN PARTNERSHIP LOCAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

Dear Mr. David Emil:

I represent various local property owners and the groups known as the coalition of Business And property owners, and The Coalition Against The CHINATOWN B.I.D., in connection with this complaint to your agency. The local property owners whom I represent, and whom are affiliated with the above-mentioned groups, have been adversely affected by the gross waste of the $5,400,000.00 clean streets program grant to the CHINATOWN PARTNERSHTP LOCAL DEVELOPMENT CORP.

In support of our complaint of grossly wasteful expenditures, I enclose our "ANALYSIS OF CHINATOWN PARTNERSHIP LOCAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION CLEAN STREETS EXPENDITURES under AGREEMENT #: M07-571* For PERIOD FROM January 01, 2006 to June 30,2009, with supporting schedule and documentation. Our analysis is limited to the period from January 01, 2005 to June 30, 2009, because financial statements for the period
after June 30 , 2009, are not yet available from the CHINATOWN PARTNERSHIP LOCAL DEVELOPMENT CORP.

The basis of our complaint, is that based on the above described analysis of financials for the period from January 01, 2006 to June 30, 2OO9 in which the CHINATOWN PARTNERSHIP LOCAL DEVELOPMENT CORP. expended $2,025,352.00 of your agency's clean streets program grant, it appears that only $633,608.00 was actually expended on street cleaning and maintenance, which is only 31.3.percent of the total funds expended for the period.

Furthermore, under: the 8/I/2008 addendum to the contract between the CHINATOWN PARTNERSHIP LOCAL DEVELOPMENT CORP. and the street cleaning sub-contractor BLOCK BY BLOCK (copy attached, ) the parties to the contract agreed that the sub-contractor BLOCK BY BLOCK, would be reimbursed for it's street cleaning management personnel, and which reimbursement in fact did occur. See copies attached of BLOCK BY BLOCK invoices.

Page 2 of 2

Therefore, in view of the fact that the street cleaning sub-contractor Block By Block was managing Chinatown street cleaning crew, it is astounding and amazing that, the "CHINATOWN PARTNERSHIP LOCAL DEVELOPMENT CORP. expended $583,266.00* on management personnel, out of total expenditures of $2,025,352, for the period from January 01,2006 to, June 30, 2oo9, or 28 percent of the total fund expended for the period.

Furthermore local property owners, and. store owners, have been damaged by the gross waste of your agency's street cleaning grant by the CHINATOWN PARTNERSHIP LOCAL DEVELOPMENT CORP., in fact they have not derived the full benefit of your agency’s street cleaning grant, as only 31.3 percent of the grant was actually expended on street cleaning and maintenance.

Therefore, we respectfully request that your agency investigate, what appears to be, a gross waste of the clean streets grant money by the CHINATOWN LOCAL DEVELOPMENT CORP., and we also respectfully request that you seek recoupment, of what appears to be,
grossly wasted grant money.

Philip J. Grossman

Lower Manhattan Development Corp., One Liberty Plaza, 20th Floor,
York, NY 10006, ATTN: Avi Schick, chairman Board of Directors

*The Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corp. at one time had a staff of four, and currently has a staff of only two. The Executive Director's salary for several years has been over $100,000.00 annually. The cleaners hired by Block by Block number only ten people.

Click here to hear an Audio Podcast of David Eng speaking about a Chinatown Business Improvement District

"They want to TAX us INTO prosperity - it doesn't work that way, it never has, it never will" - David Eng

Third generation business and property owner David Eng spoke at Community Board 3's public session to share his thoughts on the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corp.'s proposal for a Business Improvement District for Chinatown

Click here to hear an audio podcast of local resident Geoff Lee speaking about a proposal for a Business Improvement District in Chinatown

Lifelong resident and small business owner Geoff Lee speaks at Community Board 3's public session at P.S. 20 on the lower East side. The Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corp. presented a proposal for the formation of a Business Improvement District (BID) for Chinatown, which they have been trying to gain support for over the last five years.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Click here to hear an Audio Podcast of The Coalition Against the Chinatown B.I.D. at CB3 11/23/10


The yellow marks on this map indicate clearly that the historic core of Chinatown has a united front against the formation of a Business Improvement District.

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.

"The Coalition Against the Chinatown BID" provides the list of businesses and property owners submitted to the Community Board by writing them at info@nochinatownbid.org.
Materials produced by the famous Rubenstein Public Relations firm state that The Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corp. has 97% of their returned survey forms are in favor of a Chinatown BID.

The Coalition Against The BID, meanwhile, submitted a map clearly showing the core of Chinatown is solidly united against the idea of a BID for Chinatown.

Comm. Board 3 Full Board 11/23/10 hears community critiques of Chinatown Partnership - B.I.D. proposal

CLICK HERE to hear an audio podcast of lower east side native, tour guide and activist Rob Hollander regarding the proposal of a Chinatown BID. Hollander feels the CPLDC has "done an end run past the Chinatown Working Group".

On November 23rd 2010 Community Board 3 heard a presentation by the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corp.. The presentation was meant to highlight the reasons why Chinatown needs a Business Improvement District (BID) and why "The Partnership" (CPLDC's BID Steering Committee) should ultimately be responsible for the formation of a BID.

The public session had several speakers voicing their opinions about why Chinatown should not have a BID.

The CPLDC's presentation was not followed a vote. The next presentation by the CPLDC will be before the Economic Development Committees of both Community Boards 2 (Dec. 9th) and 3 (in a month from now). The CB3 economic development committee will then vote on whether the BID issue will go forward to the full Community Board for a final vote whether or not to endorse the Chinatown BID. In 2002 Community Board 3 voted to DENY approval for a Chinatown BID, with many of the same BID supporters of 2002 on The Chinatown Partnership LDC such as Bill Lam of Longines Property development and Asian Americans For Equality. The reasons for denying a BID were "deception and obfuscation".

Monday, November 15, 2010

Seniors, children and disabled menaced for a decade at local Chinatown "Park"

Click photo to enlarge
A cyclist uses the bronze plaque of the Lin Ze Xu statue. The cobblestone planter was designed and installed by D.O.T.
The cement which was used to smooth over the cobble stone, was put there by vandals in the middle of the night - dressed as construction workers. Smoothing over the cobblestone was done in order for skateboarders to use the planter as a ramp to skate on.
This exemplifies a level of disrespect that is so profound it is beyond words.
click photo to enlarge
A Cyclist using a bronze plaque placed in front of the bronze statue of Commissioner Lin ZeXu - a hero to millions of Chinese. Not only is this disrespectful, this cyclists is oblivious to the danger he poses to pedestrians trying to simply cross the park.
click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge
click photo to enlarge

"In 1961, a local law named this island within Chatham Square in recognition of the contributions of Lt. Kimlau and the veterans post. That year, the post erected this memorial, designed by architect Poy G. Lee (1900-1968). Standing at the head of Oliver Street, it is reminiscent of a triumphal arch. The memorial stands eighteen feet nine inches in height and is sixteen feet wide. Inscribed on the memorial is a dedication in both English and Chinese: “In Memory of the Americans of Chinese Ancestry who lost their Lives in Defense of Freedom and Democracy.”

click link below to see VIDEOs
Chatham Green Private property, Foley Square, Chinatown Banks - VIDEO
"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.

NYC from KHYBER on Vimeo.

UPDATE: Community Board 3 has seen the photos in this posting, and are speaking with NYPD, and the Department of Transportation, and The Parks Dept. Community Board 3 will have this issue on their agenda to be heard in January - CCRC will keep you posted.

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.

This is an unpublished Letter to the Editor of The New Yorker magazine, written in response to their February 15, 2010 article written by Jane Mayer, "The Trial," that supported holding the 9/11 Terror Trials in the “courthouse at Foley Square."

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.

N. Linday

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

CAPZ , Culture , Affordability, Preservation and zoning Committee meeting of June 2nd 2010

Click Here to hear the CAPZ - Culture, Affordability, Preservation and Zoning Committee Meeting of June 17th 2010

At the June 17th CAPZ meeting of the Chinatown Working Group there was extensive discussion about the notification of property owners by the Chinatown Working Group . Ultimately it was decided by the CAPZ Committee that the Chinatown Working Group will NOT be notifying property owners of intended zoning changes, or plans to individual buildings.
Jan Lee

Click Here To Hear the PodCast of The Chinatown Working Group Full Board meeting of Oct 4th 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

A Full transcript of the 1st governance committee meeting of the Chinatown Working Group is available by clicking this posting title.

click here to hear the podcast of : The Chinatown Working Group - Governance committee meeting of November 8 2010

Please click the title of this post to hear a podcast of the Chinatown Working Group - Governance Committee Meeting of November 8 2010, held at 137 Henry Street. Chair : Danny Chen

Click here for a PODCAST of: The Chinatown Working Group - GOVERNANCE committee meeting of Oct 27th 2010 PODCAST

Please click the title of this post to hear a podcast of the Governance committee of the Chinatown Working Group, October 27th 2010 Meeting, held at CB1 - Chambers Street location.

Full Chinatown Working Group Meeting of Nov. 1 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 janccrc@gmail.com 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

City Will Crack Down on Scofflaw Cyclists 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

CBS News Reports :NYC To Start Recording Accidents Between Bikes, Pedestrians

click this link for the full story:

NYC To Start Recording Accidents Between Bikes, Pedestrians 

The Department of Transportation can't fudge the numbers any longer thanks to the hard work of Nancy Gruskin and Jack Brown . For possibly decades now the Dept. of Transportation has relied on faulty data when reporting on the the number of accidents between bicycles and pedestrians in NYC.  It's no wonder then that bike lane and cycling advocacy groups used this faulty data, without bothering to check its legitimacy,  to further their agenda regardless of impacts to small business and resident opposition.  It's dangerous when our City government relies on dubious data, it's even more dangerous when non-profit groups use that data to install permanent changes to our City streets.

Now that actual recording of bicycle on pedestrian accidents will be kept, at least while the pressure is on, seniors, children and the disabled community can begin to see hope in reclaiming their sidewalks, crosswalks and streets from ill-informed transient zealots.

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Pedestrians hit and injured by bicycle riders – it’s a statistic that no one kept. However, after CBS 2 exposed the gap in record-keeping, New York City is moving to fill in the blanks.
In a city where pedestrians and bike riders are clashing, some advocates say something is missing in the debate – reliable injury data.
“Hard data on incidents between bicyclists and pedestrians, it’s a real missing link,” Nancy Gruskin, of the Gruskin Family Foundation, said.
Gruskin learned that the hard way after her husband, Stuart, was fatally injured by a reckless bike rider last year in Midtown.
As CBS 2 revealed in our “Bike Bedlam” reports, New York City hasn’t been collecting data on the number of pedestrians injured by bike riders.
After CBS 2 helped Gruskin get a meeting with NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, however, some progress has been made.
DOT told Gruskin the state has agreed to use motor vehicle accident forms to finally document accidents between bike riders and pedestrians.
It’s a victory for Gruskin and her bike safety foundation, but one that won’t come immediately.
The data collection won’t begin until next April, and the numbers won’t be crunched for months after that, even as the city moves forward with plans to build miles of additional dedicated bike lanes.
“I think they have an agenda, and they’re gonna push that agenda through,” Lois Carswell, of Seniors for Safety, said.
On Thursdays, the critics will call for the city to rip up the controversial bike lane on Prospect Park West. This being New York City, though, there will be a counter-protest by bike lane supporters, as the debate spins on and on.
“I’m very happy with the results of DOT’s work here,” one resident said.
While the city and state work to start collecting the injury data, bike safety advocates are working with hospitals to document the problem using emergency room reports.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NY State DMV Changing MV-104 reports to include bike on pedestrian incidents

We just heard this great news from pedestrian safety advocate Nancy Gruskin.

Hi Everyone:

Great News!  CBS-TV's Tony Aiello will be reporting on TODAY'S  news at 5:30pm (Wed. Oct. 20th)  that the State DMV will be changing their MV-104 reports as of April 2011 to include the data collection of bike on pedestrian incidents.  This change came as a direct result of the "Bike Bedlam" series where we were able to prove that there were no accurate stats of bike on pedestrian stats in New York City.  This represents a major step forward for pedestrian safety and the goals of the Foundation!!  We are still trying to work on short-term data collection as the results won't be public for at least 2 years, but this is wonderful news for the long term...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Entrepreneurship alive and well in Chinatown - Everything Frosted Bakery

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 jasmineOver 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.
Whitehouse Executive Chef  Bill Yosses and John Wu

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.

Everything Frosted is a full service bakery providing wedding cakes, birthday cakes, mini cheesecakes, cupcakes, mousse, and even tiramisu and banana pudding. John's desserts are based on traditional French techniques.105 Mosco St New York, NY 10013-4322 (212) 227-9828

Monday, October 4, 2010

Film presentation - Gentrification - Lower East Side and Harlem - Museum of the City of New York - hosting

NOTE: This image is NOT affiliated with the Museum of the City of New York, or this program.

Tuesday, October 5, 6:30 PM

In Danger of Extinction: Gentrification in East Harlem and on the Lower East Side
Residents of these two diverse, vibrant neighborhoods have long dealt with the pressures of gentrification and have struggled for affordability.  Their story is told in two recent documentaries.  

Join the filmmakers for a screening and discussion of The Lower East Side: An Endangered Placeby Robert Weber and Whose Barrio? by Ed Morales and Laura Rivera, with opening remarks by The Honorable Melissa Mark-Viverito, New York City Council, District 8.

Co-sponsored by the office of the New York City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito and East Harlem Preservation.  This program is presented as part of the ongoing series The Urban Forum: New York Neighborhoods, Preservation and Development

Special consideration when you mention The Civic Center Residents Coalition
thanks to the Museum of the City of NY and Tom Reynolds.

Reservations required: 917-492-3395 or programs@mcny.org
$6 Museum members; $8 seniors and students; $12 non-members
$6 when you mention the Civic Center Residents Coalition NYC

Museum of the City of New York

1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street
New York, NY  10029

Monday, August 30, 2010

Nancy Gruskin and family start a foundation dedicated to NYC pedestrian safety

The mission of the Stuart C. Gruskin Family Foundation is to effect positive change in the lives of individuals in urban areas by creating safer roadways and infrastructures for pedestrians.
This foundation was established on April 22, 2010 in memory of Stuart C. Gruskin who was struck and tragically killed by a bicycle deliveryman going the wrong way on a one-way street in New York City on April 28, 2009.
Stuart C. Gruskin was a loving husband and father who worked tirelessly on behalf of his family, friends and community
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. 
We, as a family, decided to honor his memory and his love of New York City by helping to ensure
the safety and lives of millions.
The Foundation is committed to the advancement of pedestrian safety utilizing avenues including:
  • Advocacy for innovative legislation; Support for public awareness campaigns;
  • Work with elected officials to ensure the enforcement of laws and regulations;
  • Financial support to victims of pedestrian and cycling accidents, as identified by the Foundation’s Directors;
  • Collaboration with like-minded organizations, public institutions and government agencies.
  • Please note we do not accept unsolicited requests for funding.

NYC Dept. of Transportation used faulty data to make their case for more bike lanes

Veteran CBS news reporter Tony Aiello revealed that the NYC D.O.T. has for years based their decisions on traffic patterns, bike lanes, and cycling policies on faulty injury statistics. Cult-like bike zombie followers of Sadik-Con were forced to acknowledge the D.O.T.'s faulty stats..
Here is what veteran reporter Tony Aiello (a real journalist, not a blogger with a fake name) reported on Aug 27th 2010

DOT Apologizes For Reporting False Bike Accident Info

August 27, 2010 6:15 PM
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 10:  Bicycle commuters make their way across the Brooklyn Bridge November 10, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 10: Bicycle commuters make their way across the Brooklyn Bridge November 10, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK (CBS 2) – A pedestrian safety advocate is outraged after New York City released inaccurate information about pedestrian injuries caused by bike riders.
The anger came in response to last week’s “Bike Bedlam” series on CBS 2, reports Tony Aiello.
When she lost her husband, Nancy Gruskin gained a mission.
“I’m not here to say, ‘take the bikes of the road,’ not here to say biking isn’t great,” Gruskin said.
Her mission is a foundation dedicated to safe streets in the city. Last year, Gruskin’s husband, Stuart, suffered a fatal head injury when a bicycle rider plowed into him.
Two days after CBS 2 featured Gruskin in the “Bike Bedlam” reports, the city Department of Transportation releases statistics claiming pedestrian injuries in crashes with cyclists plummeted 62 percent since 2001.
Now, though, the DOT is backpedaling, admitting the numbers it released were wrong.
It turns out those numbers have nothing to do with bike vs. pedestrian accidents – they’re from motor vehicle accidents in which bikers and pedestrians were also injured.
When bikes hit pedestrians, no agency collects the incident reports or analyzes them.
Gruskin said she knew that, but the DOT apparently did not.
“It’s an outrage, because it’s all about pedestrian safety, and how can you ensure pedestrian safety if you can’t ensure accurate numbers?” Gruskin said.
On Friday, the DOT told CBS 2 they “regret this error and any confusion it may have caused.”
The city is seeking to improve data collection to be as responsive as possible to all traffic safety issues.
When Gruskin wrote the mayor last year to ask for help with bicycle safety, DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan replied with a form letter – it was addressed to Gruskin’s dead husband, Stuart.
“How much more could you be kicked in the stomach?” Gruskin said. “That’s exactly how I felt when I opened the letter from the Department of Transportation.”
Gruskin wrote again this week, and hopes her letter is treated with more respect this time.
Gruskin wants to meet with the DOT commissioner to discuss ways the city could collect accurate statistics on bicycle vs. pedestrian accidents.