Saturday, May 28, 2011
See video below:
On May 26th at 6pm residents of Chatham Towers, Chatham Green, along with the Civic Center Residents Coalition (which includes Southbridge Towers and Chinatown Businesses) hosted a garden party to say "Thank you" to all who played a part in moving the terror trials out of Chinatown. Approximately a hundred people shared sandwiches, lo mein, fried rice, cheese and crackers, along with mini cupcakes. The food and drink was either homemade or donated from local businesses such as Everest Diner, Hampton Deli, Luna Pizza and Everything Frosted.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver arrived at around 6:45pm to receive an award from the residents and CCRC for his part in moving the trials. Jeanie Chin of Chatham Towers said " We'd like to present this award to Speaker Silver and his staff who have helped us tremendously on many many issues after 9/11, for example the restoration of bus service on Park Row, he was instrumental, along with Judy Rapfogel, in stopping the funding of the Chatham Square reconstruction which would have been devastating for our community, and so many other issues that I can be here all day talking about, but his support was so critical in moving the trials."
Sheldon Silver brought community leaders, and elected officials together, in the midst of the terror trial fervor, to hear Commissioner Kelly personally outline, in excruciating detail, what security measures would be necessary to accommodate Kalid Sheikh Mohommed's trials on Worth Street less than 100' from Chatham Towers condominiums and Columbus Park.
The speaker accepted the award and said "It's nice to have a celebration once in a while. I want to thank you for coming out, for standing up when things are wrong. The extraordinary costs involved in having the trials in this community, and the almost lockdown condition is simply too high a price for us to pay as residents as businesses and just as citizens. I just want to thank you for all of your collective voices. It just shows you that sometimes you can beat city hall, but this was greater, you're beating the White House. So keep that in mind when somebody says 'its time to show your opposition, to show you really care about something, its important that you come out and show it. Thank you again."
Community Board 1 Marc Ameruso was also an award recipient for making the link between his neighborhood of Tribeca and Chinatown back in November of 2009 before the terror trials were even reported in national media. Jeanie Chin referred to Marc Ameruso as "Paul Revere" because he posted fliers and reached out to as many neighbors as he could working well into the dead of night. Jeanie went on to explain that it was Marc, along with CB1 member and community activist John Fratta, also an award recipient, who helped to "shepard us through the community board process (of CB1)".
Marc Ameruso had these comments in receiving his recognition "I am happy to just be a part of this, to light the spark, get some people down to the meetings. It just snowballed after that. I knew we were going to win when I saw you guys chasing Jerry Nadler's Chief of Staff down the hallway (at one of the hearings) and he was running away from you guys.
and I knew at that point that we were going to win. Despite what some of the public officials were saying, and we had to change their minds, we have to be wary that this can happen again, and that ideology can get in the way again...... and of course Chuck Schumer took credit for everything, but that doesn't matter, the trials are not going to be here, and it had to do with all you guys. thank you very much"
Chinese American journalist Ti Hua Chang was the first to break the story of the local residents in Chinatown taking a stand against the terror trials in their neighborhood, and continued to report almost weekly on the progress of the community's fight. While other news channels focused on the national debate, never using the word "Chinatown" or "Chinese" in their reporting Ti Hua gave a face to the men, women and children who would suffer the every day risks to having the trials in their neighborhood.
The residents showed their appreciation with an award, and Chang had this to say "It's odd to get this award because I was just doing my job, reporters should be a balance to the government and a voice of the people, especially to those who have no voice, and Chinatown doesn't have a voice. but I am happy to say that I see more and more younger Asian Americans are willing to cover the issues without being viewed as 'only the Chinatown reporter' . With that I can say the community stood up, and I congratulate the unsung people, with Jeanie and Jan and Triple and Marc who did not switch his position on the community board, he started out and stayed on his position, those are the people whom I respect, Paul Lee who told me about this, these are the people I respect because you guys are honest, and that's what its about being a reporter. A good reporter should be honest. all I did was my job , thank you!"
Patricia Tsai, assistant to the President of 100 year old Lin Sing Association, a community "anchor" and support network of many family clan associations, accepted an award on behalf of Lin Sing. Defining the community was important to Patricia, here is what she said,
"Chinatown has a transient yet permanent immigrant population. Transient in that once immigrants achieve a degree of financial prosperity, there is a pattern of out-migration. Permanent in that the immigrant population does not thereby disappear but is then immediately replenished by another wave of newcomers from abroad. All the more reason for long time residents, who have the comparative advantage of being better informed on local issues and more adept at navigating the complex web of government bureaucracy, elected officiails, and community boards, to continue the fine tradition of social activism and community advocacy. The Lin Sing Association wishes to express our profound gratitude and appreciation to Chatham Towers and Chatham Green residents for your vision and courage in spearheading and relentlessly persisting in the protest movement against holding terror trials in Lower Manhattan. Your efforts have paid off and you deserve to celebrate tonight! We will continue to work closely with you in the future on other worthy causes to ensure that our community’s voice is heard and its rights and interests protected. Thank you."
Another person in the media, Editor and co-publisher of the Tribeca Trib Carl Glassman received an award for his part in covering the residents of Chatham Towers.
"Its' rare to get appreciation from the people you cover, often times you get the opposite, so this means a great deal to me. It really does, all I can say is thank you very much, and congratulations on everything." said Glassman.
Jeanie Chin then acknowledged Sing Tao Newspaper, the largest Chinese language press in America, with an award received by Editor Lotus Chau. As Lotus motioned for reporter and colleague Jacky Wong to approach the dais ( he didn't out of shyness), Jeanie Chin explained that "For those of you who don't know, Jacky who is being shy now, is usually the one who asks the bold questions at community board meetings and hearings and demands answers, and Lotus is the Editor for Sing Tao Daily and she does the same thing. they have been fantastic in covering this issue over and over again, right from the very start, so thank you very much Lotus." Lotus responded "As a community newspaper we have an obligation for our reporters to report on issues that are important in our community, so we have to work together, thank you very much."
Former Councilmember Alan Gerson was unable to attend, but was an award recipient as well.
Gerson had encouraged the community, while many elected officials said otherwise, to keep up the fight. He was unwavering in his stance against the terror trials.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
About forty property owners patiently waited outside 250 Broadway today to testify against the formation of a Chinatown Business Improvement District. Today was the last chance for the public to testify in person if they supported or opposed the Chinatown BID's formation.
As the last few Chinatown Partnership Local Development employees passed through the metal detectors to go upstairs to the 16th floor hearing room, the remaining people on line, were told the hearing was closed. The video of what happened is posted here.
The security for 250 Broadway explains that the hearing is closed for the rest of the day, and a representative for the City Council explains in the video clip that a "list" of speakers is already determined and that if the property owners who showed up to speak are not on that list, then "you messed up". The Sargent at Arms for the City Council informed the property owners who wished to testify that he was told directly by the Chairman of the Finance committee that "those people who are scheduled to testify are being allowed up, if you are scheduled to testify...." "There is no list" said Jan Lee, property owner, "There IS a list, I told the finance chairman 'are you taking testimony?' he said 'only the people who are scheduled to testify'" Explained the Sargent at Arms. "So this was preset with the committee lawyers..... You guys didn't get on that list, then you guys messed up."
This is no way to treat Chinatown property owners who took time to come to what they thought would be an open and democratic process. The Chairman of the Finance committee sent a clear message that the Committee, its legal advisors and Councilmember Chin have taken "preset" lists of people to testify and closed out the rest of the opposition.
To support this bias towards BIDs is to support a failed and dysfunctional system of pay to play politics at its utter worst.
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund FOIL requests missing data of The Chinatown Partnership LDC
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund has used the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to obtain missing information pertaining to The Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation, on behalf of Chinatown property owners and small businesses. The Chinatown Partnership is the entity that has been trying to morph into a Business Improvement District for Chinatown.
A Copy of the FOIL Request is below, which can be downloaded and/or printed:
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Unfortunately there exist many obstacles for property owners and businesses who do not wish to be in a Chinatown Business Improvement District.
There is a deadline for the objection forms to be filed which is
June 25th 2011.
Under city law those wishing to object to the formation of a Business Improvement District must first obtain an official form at the City Clerk's office. Then property owners must get the signature notorized and then provide a copy of the deed for EACH property they own.
Although only property owner's forms are counted in the official vote, businesses are also welcome to object as this makes a clear statement to the City Council that indeed Chinatown businesses do not want a BID in their neighborhood.
If 51% or more of the properties in the BID district object to the BID, it will not happen.
Previous to this posting there is no convenient way for property and business owners to obtain the only official objection form recognized by the City Clerk of New York.
Well, with the help of volunteers we've gotten the proper form and made it available for anyone wishing to object to the Chinatown BID can PRINT OR DOWNLOAD (down arrow) either the English or Chinese form BELOW by clicking the button to the far right below the form
NOTE: THE CHINESE VERSION IS FOR REFERENCE ONLY!!!!
Only the ENGLISH VERSION may be submitted to the City Clerk's office.
This is the form translated in to Chinese, which also didn't exist until volunteers in the community took it upon themselves to do.
THIS IS FOR REFERENCE ONLY !!! Only the ENGLISH version of this will be accepted by the City Clerk !!!! DO NOT SEND IN THE CHINESE VERSION - ONLY THE ENGLISH ONE IS ACCEPTED.
for more information Jan Lee: 917-710-7503
Stephen Cheung (Chinese and English language) 718- 961-1272
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
CHINATOWN BID STEERING COMMITTEE
On behalf of
THE CITY COLNCIL
NOTICE OF A PUBLIC HEARING
The City Council, by resolution adopted on May 11,2011, set May 26,2011 as the date, 10:00 a.m. as the time, and the City Council Hearing Room, 16th Floor, 250 Broadway, New York, New York 10007, as the place for a public hearing (the "Public Hearing") to hear all persons interested in the proposed legislation which would establish the Chinatown Business Improvement District (the "District") in the Borough of Manhattan. The District shall be established in accordance with a district plan (the "District Plan") on file at the Office of the City Clerk.
The City Council has authorized the Chinatown BID Steering Committee to mail, on its behalfl this notice of the Public Hearing containing the information required by Section 25-406(c) of the Administrative Code of the City of New york and summarizing the resolution adopted.
The District Plan provides that the proposed District shall include properties in an area generally bounded by Broome Street to the north, Broadway to the west, Allen Street to the east, and Madison and Worth Streets to the south. Services in the District shall include, but not be limited to sanitation, holiday decorations, marketing, transportation management
and parking, advocacy, administration ofthe District and additional services required for the enjoyment and protection of the public and the promotion and enhancement of the District (hereinafter "services").
Pursuant to the District Plan, capital improvements (hereinafter "lmprovements") may include, but shall not be limited to: streetscape improvements;
sidewalk amenities such as lighting and street furniture; trees and plantings; open space enhancements and traffic calming improvements; and new trash receptacles. The Improvements shall be implemented on an as-needed basis.
During the existence of the BID, the maximum cost of the lmprovements, if any, shall not exceed $6,500,000. The District shall be managed by the chinatown District Management Association, Inc.
To defray the cost of Services and Improvements provided in the District, all real property in the District shall be assessed in proportion to the benefit such property receives from the Services and Improvements. Each property shall be assessed at a rate, determined annually by the Chinatown District Management Association, Inc., to yield an amount
sufftcient to meet the District's annual budget. The annual budget for the District's first year of operation is $1,300,000.
Those properties within the District which are devoted in whole or in part to retail, commercial or professional use, or mixed used with commercial and residential components shall constitute Class A properties and shall be assessed in accordance with the following formula:
Rate l: 0.5 xBudget-(TotalAssessmentsofClassB andC+Total$200&$5.000Assessments)
Total Class A, D, E, (0.5*F) & M Linear Front Feet (FF) Rate2: 0.5 xBudeet-(Total Assessments of ClassB andC +Total $200 & g5.000Assessments) Total Class A, D, E, (0.5*F) & M Assessed Value (AV)
Individual Assessment: (Rate I x Individual Property FF) + (Rate 2 x Individual Property AV)
For Class A property, there shall be a minimum assessment of $200 per annum. In addition, there shall be a maximum
assessment calculated as follows:
Maximum Assessment: Current Year Assessment Budget x $5.000
FY 2011 Assessment Budset For the first contract year, Rate I shall not exceed $15 per individual property linear front foot, and Rate 2 shall not exceed 0.0015 per each dollar ofindividual property assessed value.
Those properties within the District devoted in whole to residential uses shall constitute Class B properties and shallbe assessed at one dollar ($1.00) per tax lot per year.
Govemment and not-for-profit properties within the District devoted entirely to public or not-for-profit use shall constitute class C property and be exempt from District assessment. Govemment or not-for-profit owned property devoted in part to commercial or for-profit uses shall constitute class A property and the portion ofthe property devoted
to commercial/for-profit uses shall be assessed in the same manner as those properties listed in class A.
All vacant properties within the District, without structure or any commercial use, shall constitute Class D properties and shall be assessed at the Class A rate until such time as they receive a temporary certificate of
All properties within the District. used as parking lots shall constitute Class E properties and shall be assessed in the same manner as the Class A property.
All properties devoted in whole or in part to retail, commercial or professional use, or mixed-used with commercial and residential components, and located on one tax lot and within two business improvement districts, shall constitute class F properties and shall be assessed at 50-percent ofthe class A property rate.
All properties within the District devoted in part to commercial use and in part to residential condo or coop use shall constitute Class M propefty. The proportion ofthe property devoted to residential use shall be assessed at one dollar ($1.00) per annum. The proportion of the property, as determined by the Finance Department, devoted to commercial
use shall be assessed at the same rate as the Class A property.
The amount, exclusive ofdebt service, assessed and levied in any given year against benefited real properly within the District may not exceed twenty percent (20%) of the total general City taxes levied in such year against such properties.
Copies of the resolution adopted by the City Council, which include a copy of the District Plan, are available for public inspection from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Monday through Friday at the Office of the City Clerk located at 141 Worth Street, New York, New York 10013. In addition, copies of the resolution are available free of charge to the public at the Office of the City Clerk.
Any owner of real property, deemed benefited and therefore within the District, objecting to the District Plan, must file an objection at the Office of the Cif Clerk, on forms made available by the City Clerk, within thirty (30) days of the close of the Public Hearing concerning the establishment of the proposed District. If owners of at least fifty-one percent
(5 1%) of the assessed value of benefited real property situated within the boundaries of the District proposed for establishment, as shown on the latest completed ass€ssnieiit roli of the Ci6r, or at least fifty-one percent (5104) of the owners of benefited real property within the area included in the District proposed for establishment file objections with
the City Clerk, the District shall not be established.
Friday, May 13, 2011
As a courtesy to local businesses The Civic Center Residents Coalition is circulating this detailed description of the bill introduced into the City Council by Council Member Margaret Chin.
To our knowledge at this time this detailed information is not translated into Chinese and Spanish.
A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring the cleaning of liquid on a sidewalk, flagging or curbstone generated by trash placed curbside for collection and allowing the use of a hose to conduct such cleaning during times otherwise proscribed by such code.
Be it enacted by the Council as follows:
Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 16-118 of the administrative code of the city of New York is
amended by adding a new paragraph c to read as follows:
(c)(1) Every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or person in charge of any food or beverage service
establishment shall properly clean any liquid found on any sidewalk, flagging or curbstone resulting from the placement of garbage bags or waste receptacles for collection at or near any such location by any such person.
Where collection of waste for any such establishment is scheduled to occur during such establishment’s regular The New York City Council Page 1 of 4 Printed on 5/13/2011
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Where collection of waste for any such establishment is scheduled to occur during such establishment’s regular hours of operation, the owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or person in charge of such establishment shall properly clean any such liquid within one hour of waste collection. Where collection of waste for any such establishment is not scheduled to occur during such establishment’s regular hours of operation, the following
cleaning requirements shall apply: (i) where such collection is scheduled to occur before midnight, the owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or person in charge of such establishment shall properly clean any such liquid on the next day of business by the later of 7:00 a.m. or two hours before the time at which such establishment reopens for business; (ii) where such collection is scheduled to occur after midnight, the owner, lessee, tenant, occupant
or person in charge of such establishment shall properly clean any such liquid by the later of 7:00 a.m. on the day that collection is scheduled to occur or two hours before the time at which such establishment reopens for business on such day. If the food or beverage service establishment is not open for business on such day, the cleaning requirements of subparagraph i of this paragraph shall apply.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “food or beverage service establishment” shall mean any
establishment that serves food or beverages that is required to be permitted pursuant to articles 85, 87, 88, or 89 of the New York city health code or any beverage service establishment required to be licensed pursuant to section 100 of the New York state alcoholic beverage control law that sells beverages for on-premises consumption.
§ 2. Subdivision 9 of section 16-118 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended, subdivisions 10 and 11 of such section are renumbered as subdivisions 11 and 12, respectively, and as renumbered, subdivision 11 is amended, and a new subdivision 10 is added to read as follows:
9. Except for any violation of paragraph c of subdivision two of this section, any violation of
subparagraph one of paragraph b or paragraph c of subdivision seven of this section by a person using or operating a motor vehicle, [or ]any violation of subparagraph two of paragraph b of subdivision seven of this section, or any violation of paragraph d of subdivision seven of this section, any person violating the provisions of this section shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than fifty dollars nor more than two hundred fifty The New York City Council Page 2 of 4 Printed on 5/13/2011
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of this section shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than fifty dollars nor more than two hundred fifty dollars, except that for a second violation of subdivision one, three, four, or six of this section within any twelve-month period, such person shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than two hundred fifty dollars nor more than three hundred fifty dollars and for a third or subsequent violation of subdivision one, three, four or six of this section within any twelve-month period such person shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less
than three hundred fifty dollars nor more than four hundred fifty dollars.
10. Any person who violates paragraph c of subdivision 2 of this section shall be liable for a civil
penalty of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, except that for a second violation of such subdivision within any twelve-month period, such person shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than five hundred nor more than six hundred dollars and for a third or subsequent violation of such subdivision within any twelve-month period such person shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than seven hundred dollars nor more than nine hundred dollars.
 11 . In the instance where the notice of violation, appearance ticket or summons is issued for
breach of the provisions of this section and sets forth thereon civil penalties only, such process shall be returnable to the environmental control board, which shall have the power to impose the civil penalties hereinabove provided in [subdivision]subdivisions nine and ten of this section.
§ 3. Section 24-332 of title 24 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended to read as follows:
§ 24-332 Use of water through hose. [It] Except for the purposes of cleaning liquids by an owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or person in charge of a food or beverage service establishment as provided in paragraph c of subdivision 2 of section 16-118 of this code, it shall be unlawful for any person to wash any street, sidewalk, areaway, steps, building or other place in the city by means of a hose or piping, or to use water through a hose or sprinkler for watering lawns or gardens, or to operate any outside shower where the water runs upon a street, sidewalk, or other public place between the first day of November and the last day of March
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§ 4. This local law shall take effect immediately.
JJH - LS 1511