L I T T L E   I T A L Y
N E I G H B O R S   A S S O C I A T I O N   ( L I N A )

o c t o b e r   b u l l e t i n

Police Meeting Report & Follow Up  |  Hearing on 164-170 Mulberry Street Yard Sale  |  40 Prince Street BSA Hearing  |  Restaurant/Liquor Updates  |  L I N A Website in NY Times  |  Trees Update  |  Library for Soho, NoHo & Little Italy  |  Dangerous Trucks & Traffic Rally Report

october 20th police meeting report
Approximately 100-150 residents, business owners and L I N A members, along with representatives from Kathryn Freed, Sheldon Silver, Martin Connor, St. Patrick's, and Community Board 2 met with Captain Spataro of Fifth Precinct & other police representatives from Manhattan Borough South and the DA's office on October 20th at St. Patrick's Youth Center. The police got an earful about our anger at the violence & deaths at Connecticut Muffin; and what we feel to be inadequate communication, enforcement, and numbers of uniformed police. We were also distressed to learn that when crime statistics go down in our neighborhood, we lose manpower, and have lost quite a bit. This police allocation is very short-sighted, given the number of new cash businesses and visitors here. We almost never see the ONE beat officer assigned to each area of Little Italy, simply because ONE IS NOT ENOUGH. The community wants to promote safety & prevent future tragedies. NBC NY covered the meeting including quotes from Spataro & a business person close to the Connecticut Muffin owners.

Att'n Parents: A school crossing guard testified that she crosses children for many schools at Mott & Kenmare Sts. & is alarmed by increased speeding truck traffic. DOT & the Police need to be pressured by PTA's & schools to resolve this problem. Kathryn E. Freed would like to help. Contact her office at #788-7722.

WHAT WE CAN DO: Kick off a petition campaign to get more beat officers, this Wednesday, October 27 at 8 PM, at the monthly 5th Precinct Meeting. The meeting is at the precinct located at 19 Elizabeth Street (just below Canal Street). We will also set up a meeting with L I N A, businesses & police to improve communication, enforcement, prevention. Let them know we won't go away.

zoning hearing on 164-170 mulberry street, the questionable sale of yard to mayor's favorite restaurant
Join residents at the CB#2 Zoning Committee Hearing on the planned sale, Thursday, November 4, 7 PM., at the Puffin Room, 435 Broome St. The residents & Lillian Tozzi could use our support that night. Part of Lillian Tozzi's Mulberry St. building is being de-constructed to create a fire egress & the yard sold off to her bad restaurant neighbor perhaps because they are a favorite eatery of our Mayor's. Read about it now in the Village Voice this week & send an e-mail letter to the editor. It's fun!! Then send a copy to CB#2, K. Freed, & L I N A. We will send our copies to HPD. Council Member Kathryn Freed is looking into this questionable sale & permanent infliction of noise on the building residents.

Here is the link: http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/9942/lee.shtml

See our press release for more info.

40 prince street variance: hearing at the board of standards and appeals
Re. BSA Cal. No. 57-99-BZ, 40 Prince Street continued Tuesday Nov. 9 at 2 PM., BSA, 40 Rector St. (# 2 or 3 to Rector St., walk west)

Regarding the illegal construction of an ugly (not set-back) & too-high elevator tower on an addition to 40 Prince, a low building next to St. Patrick's Old Cathedral School, before receiving a variance to do so. L I N A attended & helped convince the BSA to continue the hearing on November 9th, 2 PM., BSA, 40 Rector St.

A L I N A showing just might push them to insist the shaft be removed--at least it would send a message that it's no longer anything goes in our nabe. P.S. Article in 10/24/99 Sunday NY Times Real Estate section re: building on buildings - 40 Prince mentioned. More fun. Send the BSA an e-mail message. If you do, use the Cal. Ref. No. listed above. The BSA sends you an e-mail letter back!

Here is the link: http://www.ci.nyc.ny.us/html/bsa/home.html

other business/liquor news
1. 194 Elizabeth St. has applied for a liquor license but is within 500 feet of 3 establishments & will have a 500-ft rule hearing. Since they have no bad history of operation, they will succeed unless Elizabeth St. residents, especially around Prince & Spring Sts. write letters of complaint about neighborhood noise & existing problems & work with other L I N A members to oppose them. DO YOU CARE?? GET READY - THIS WILL HAPPEN SOON.

2. The Rialto & Cafe Habana & Bread & Butter are still producing annoyance to immediate residents, who contacted L I N A. Who will sign up for a campaign for improvement? We recommend at least one face to face with a follow up LINA letter to agencies if nothing changes.

3. Sante Scardillo has negotiated an agreement with the proposed wine/beer applicant & new owner of the former La Cigale on Mott St. They had an license extension to serve beer/wine in their backyard in the original license which is being transferred to them. Not much room to fight, no active building complaints, so we are trying to ensure good behavior.

4. Cafe Gitane applied for a sidewalk cafe & was granted two tables & eight seats, provided they work to fix exhaust & AC complaints from residents. Owner & residents are working together. This is a long-time est., but tables are different from benches. Please give us feedback on its effect as it proceeds. The first license is a revocable & for 1 year. Many other places will be applying in the future. L I N A needs to set a policy based on community wishes for how many more sidewalk cafes we want & where. And we will need to get CB#2 & city council member support.

5. Le Poeme now has a wine/beer license. They notified CB#2 in August 1998, when L I N A was young & just recently proceeded. We will check on the procedure followed, to see if the community should have been notified again after such a delay.

6. Noise: The first Fifth Precinct sound meter unit went out several Friday nights ago. to different bars in the area. Previously, Cpt. Spataro visited the M&R & Vig Bars to inform them of neighbor complaints, and has gotten the Vig to change speaker locations to help the upstairs tenants. We don't know whether there was an improvement yet at the Vig.

trees update
Everything seems on track for the planting this Fall after our successful campaign to save the Mulberry Street trees. We will need to fund raise for tree guards!! Stay tuned.

L I N A website story published
On Sunday, October 17, the New York Times City Section had a piece on our web mistress Joanne Mariner & our wonderful site which she set up & administers.

library for soho, noho and little italy
Council Member Kathryn Freed has news on the Library. This Spring the City Council included funding to build a library at 60 Spring Street in Little Italy, but did not set aside funds to run it. She has asked City Council Speaker Peter Vallone to support the library while working on the November budget modifications. It would help if Library supporters could write to: Speaker Peter Vallone, City Hall, New York, NY, 10007.

dangerous trucks and traffic in lower manhattan
L I N A members participated in a very successful rally sponsored by Trees Not Trucks, Transportation Alternatives, The Tri-State Transportation Campaign and Right-Of-Way & Friends of Hudson Square, gathering at the Puffin Room, 435 Broome St. Council Member Kathryn Freed, State Senator Tom Duane, and Assembly Member Deborah Glick all spoke. Their agenda is great & includes *24 hour zero tolerance enforcement at the Holland Tunnel & Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges; *Passage of Council Member Kathryn Freed's legislation that would limit truck size in NYC to 33 feet. The same limitation is already in place in Wall Street and Mid-Town; *Increased recycling budget and legislation that would require all businesses to recycle; *For the Dept. of Transportation to post signs in accordance to law advising trucks of length, weight and route restrictions.

Don't forget that Manhattan was in the news with the second-most polluted air in the United States.