Skip to comments.A news vendor is the story as she fights for her stand (Facing eviction for a 3-inch violation)
Posted on 03/08/2012 10:12:27 AM PST by SeekAndFind
The community is rallying behind a longtime Chinatown newsstand operator who the city wants to displace over a technicality. Community Board 3 members, state and city officials and local residents joined together last week to ask the citys Department of Transportation to cease its efforts to boot the newsstand from its current location on the southwest corner of Bowery and Pell St. The newsstands owner, Marilyn Louie, inherited the stand at 18 Bowery from her father in 1982, after the World War II vet passed away. Louie said she was recently told by D.O.T. officials that her stand is a few inches too close to the building it faces.
They came and measured my stand and said it was 3 inches too short for a clear path, Louie told C.B. 3s full board at its Feb. 28 meeting.
She said the citys Department of Consumer Affairs wont issue her a license to operate unless her business is approved by D.O.T.
Louie earlier had appeared at C.B. 3s Transportation Committee meeting where she explained that her clash with city agencies started when officials began measuring her stand as part of a citywide effort to convert all 330 newsstands and replace them with sleek, silver models operated by the contractor Cemusa.
At C.B. 3s full board meeting, attended by about 75 people, many of them supporters of the news vendor, Louie pleaded with the board to help save her newsstand.
Ive run this business for 35 years, she said. Im a single mother and I work there seven days a week. All they have to do is move my stand back 2 feet and it would be perfect. So I need your help. My father fought for this country and I hope you will now fight for me.
C.B. 3 members overwhelmingly pledged their support, and so did representatives of several local politicians who attended the meeting.
Zach Bommer, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, said Silver thought it was ridiculous that the newsstand should be removed over 3 inches. The speaker is fighting against it, Bommer said.
Others offering strong support for the newspaper vendor included state Senator Daniel Squadron, Councilmember Rosie Mendez and Assemblymember Deborah Glick.
Board member Anne Johnson told her fellow board members, We really need to support [Louie] and make the mayor stop this nonsense. Johnson was joined by fellow board member Tom Parker, who said he used to work as a newspaper vendor.
Lets support her unanimously, Parker said. The number of newsstands in New York City has been drastically reduced, and Chinatown needs this newsstand.
Also offering her support was C.B. 3s second vice chairperson, Gigi Li, who said she lived near the stand. Li said after the meeting, Marilyns newsstand should definitely stay. Newsstands are what help to make neighborhoods and she has given back to the neighborhood. Shes running a small business that serves the community.
Several local residents also spoke out strongly in support of the newspaper vendor, among them Arnold Kawano, managing director and general counsel for Harold L. Lee & Sons Insurance Service, at 31 Pell St.
Weve grown to rely on Marilyns newsstand, Kawano said. Its the only stand in Chinatown that sells The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Shes very much part of the community. Instead of going after her, the city should go after the gambling buses that congest the neighborhood and pollute the air, he added. Theyre the real problem not a newsstand operator.
After the meeting Louie said she was gratified by the outpouring of support, but remained uncertain about the outcome.
Im still confused, she said. Nobodys telling me that I will be grandfathered and can still stay there or will I be moved somewhere across the street. Will I still be here 35 years from now?
Meanwhile, in a recent interview, D.O.T. spokeswoman Nicole Garcia quoted the citys Administrative Code. She said Louies current newsstand site does not meet the criteria specified by law. The shelters current clear path is 3 inches less that the required nine-and-a-half-feet distance and the stand is 4 inches too close to the curb.
Cut three inches off the roof overhang.
The law has to have a GRANDFATHER CLAUSE added to it.
Stands that have legally been established prior to this law should be exempt.
Follow the money.
“her clash with city agencies started when officials began measuring her stand as part of a citywide effort to convert all 330 newsstands and replace them with sleek, silver models operated by the contractor Cemusa. “
Somebody has put money in someone’s pocket.
Again the little guy takes the shaft.
She is Fluked.
—Stands that have legally been established prior to this law should be exempt.—
I confess that I only read snippets of the article. I just assumed the law predated her place and they just never bothered to enforce it.
RE: She is Fluked.
Is this the new verb now?
If Judge Bork can be Borked, Marilyn canbe Fluked? :)
Actually the law was passed in the early 90’s. Marilyn’s business was LEGALLY established over 35 years ago.
She should be exempt ( the poor woman is only making $40,000 a year ). Unless of course, you want her to close her business and go on unemployment...
I’m sure that if this was a friend or family member of the board this would be overlooked.
But noooo, we have to complain over this type of bullsh!t. No wonder the country is going to hell in a hand basket!
Hidden in this story is the absurd notion that Bloomberg has invested in 330 sleek new news stands just as the culture is reaching a point where no one reads news print anymore. What a provincial, unsophisticated little nebbish.
RE: Isn’t it great having government look out for the public welfare.
Yep, PUBLIC WELFARE, that’s where Obama wants her to be ...
RE: Gambling Buses
These are buses that actually TRANSPORT people (many of them tourists ) to and from NYC to the casinos in nearby states ( those in Connecticut or New Jersey ).
Of Course. IT'S NYC who would expect anything else? The people who live there however deserve exactly what they get. They vote for some of the most anti-freedom representative in the USSA's Kongress. Bet she voted for 0
“She should be exempt ( the poor woman is only making $40,000 a year ). Unless of course, you want her to close her business and go on unemployment...”
Self-employed people who are put out of business can not get unemployment.
Will she qualify for welfare?
Is this the new verb now?
Tell the DOT to go to hell.
RE: Tell the DOT to go to hell.
Isn’t the DOT a FEDERAL Department under Obama himself?
But I thought, he was for the little folks...(NOT).
How’s that hopey changey working out for you?
RE: One of Bloomberg’s buddies has his eye on that spot.
Why does someone who is worth nearly $20 Billion still need cronies?
That's how he got the $20-billion.
No, she would not qualify for welfare because she made too much money LAST year.
Bet obama has money tied into the sleek new news stands. We need an investigator to get info on that company.
She should just thank her lucky stars that she’s not a suburban kid trying to operate a lemonade stand.
Then the heroic bean counters in government would really crack down!
Don’t these government tools have anything important to do? Maybe it’s time they joined the private sector.
Is there an App for that?
Is there an App for that?
What an incredible life to live, that must a really fun job, it would be a lot better with a larger view though.