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
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 and we'll review it. Kindly limit your entries to meetings pertaining to or occurring in the Chinatown or Civic Center areas