BY ALINE REYNOLDS
On the morning of the second day of theChinese New Year, community activists andpoliticians weren’t celebrating at a restau-rant or a park. Instead, they were huddledoutside in the cold, announcing a new statelaw intended to streamline the intercity buspick-up and drop-off system in Chinatownand around the city.The bill, if passed, would implement acitywide permit system for private buses thatnow chaotically pick up and unload passen-gers onto city streets. The new requirementwould mean safer conditions for pedestriansand result in fewer ﬁnes for bus drivers,according to its proponents.“Right now, the streets of Chinatown arelike the Wild West,” said NY State SenatorDaniel Squadron at a press conference heldlast Friday at Canal and Allen Streets inChinatown.Buses today, Squadron noted, can stopanywhere, double-park, and aimlessly circlearound city blocks to avoid the cops; whilesidewalks overﬂow with anxious passengerswho often don’t know where they’re beingpicked up.“The fact is,” Squadron said, “we lovehaving low-cost buses. We love the fact thatwe have an industry that’s growing and that’scentered in the Chinatown community. But ithas to grow and thrive in a way that worksfor the community.”“[Permits] would allow the legitimatebus companies to have a process they candepend on and that riders can depend on,”said NYC Councilmember Margaret Chin,who also spoke at the press event.“Both from a customer point of view andthe provider point of view, you want a certainreliability,” echoed Wellington Chen, execu-tive director of the Chinatown Partnership.Bus drivers, he said, would prefer to have adependable way of dropping off passengersthan risk paying ﬁnes.At a Chinese New Year’s celebration inSara D. Roosevelt Park last Thursday, agentleman asked Chen if he knew where abus coming into the city would drop off hisrelative.“I didn’t know, and [the gentleman’s rela-tive] didn’t have a cell phone,” Chen said.The new regulations would also tightenthe reins on bus companies that break traf-ﬁc laws, according to NY State AssemblySpeaker Sheldon Silver. Apart from issuingpermits to the companies and designatingspaces for pick-up and drop-offs, the law, he
Serving Manhattan, Northern New Jersey, Rockland County and Riverdale.Convenient bus pick-up and drop-off available throughout Manhattan.
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Visit 92Y.org/Camps or call 212.415.5573.
verything kidswant... everythingparents need.
• Sports with program partnersincluding Super Soccer Starsand The Baseball Center• Challenge course, zip lines andnature adventures• Swimming, cooking, archery and gymnastics• Studio arts and music• Digital photography and filmmaking• Specialty Camps:Fantastic Gymnastics, Tevah forScience & Nature and Baseball
Chinatown buses couldrequire permits
New Ferry Service
The East River will soon have 24-hour ferryservice, according to a recent NY1 report.The ferries, which are scheduled tobe operating by June, will be run by NY Waterway, a family-owned business that hasthe largest ferry and excursion ﬂeet in NYHarbor, according to its website. The boatswill make stops at several waterfront pointsbetween Long Island City and Brooklyn,including Pier 11 on the Lower East Side.During peak hours, the ferries will arriveat each stop every 20 minutes. Fares, whichwould vary based on the length of a pas-senger’s trip, will range from three dollars tothree-dollars-and-ﬁfty-cents.They will not replace the NY Water Taxiferries, which will continue to make a hand-ful of trips along the East River each day.
Canal Street Vendors
Illegal vendors along Canal Street arebecoming combative toward New YorkPolice Department ofﬁcers trying to catchthem breaking the law.The sellers are more regularly contesting theirarrests, according to Captain Edward Winski,commanding ofﬁcer of the ﬁrst precinct.“They ﬁght with us, and then they run,”he told Downtown community members ata recent First Precinct Community Councilmeeting. Winski said that the increasing aggres-siveness by the vendors is likely an outcomeof heightened crackdown by the NYPD andthe Manhattan District Attorney’s ofﬁce thathas resulted in more arrests, conﬁscationsand jail time.The NYPD has put 1,605 unlawful ven-dors behind bars and took nearly $50,000,24,675 handbags, 8,748 DVDs and 6,619watches, according to Winski.The newly renovated Pussycat Lounge isreportedly reopening next year, accordingto the NY State Liquor Authority. RobertKremer, the owner of the nearly half-centu-ry-old topless lounge on Greenwich Street,informed the S.L.A. about his plans toreopen the bar soon, after repairs to thebuilding’s interior are ﬁnished.New York City shuttered the bar last October,saying the building at 96 Greenwich Street wasunsafe for occupancy. Contractors were hired tostart ﬁxing the building in November.Community Board 1 approved the renewalof the lounge’s liquor license at the FinancialDistrict Committee meeting last Wednesday.Ro Sheffe, chair of the Financial DistrictCommittee, said the bar has been a goodneighbor overall, and has caused very fewdisturbances in the community.
Deutsche Bank trial set to begin next month
The trial of three John Galt constructionemployees accused of neglecting to restorewater supply to the former Deutsche Bankbuilding at 130 Liberty Street will beginnext month, according to reports. It is set forMarch 21 at the Manhattan Supreme Court.Abatement manager Mitchell Alvo, 58,Salvatore DePaola, a foreman, and JeffreyMelofchik, a site safety manager, are chargedwith manslaughter and criminally negligenthomicide, according to reports.Their failure to ﬁx a faulty standpipepurportedly resulted in ﬁreﬁghters RobertBeddia and Joseph Graffagnino trying toextinguish a ﬁre in August 2007. They both
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A schedule of this week’s upcomingCommunity Board 1 committee meet-ings is below. Unless otherwise noted, allcommittee meetings are held at the boardofﬁce, located at 49-51 Chambers St.,room 709 at 6 p.m.
ON WED., FEB. 9:
C.B. 1’s TribecaTransportation and Parking RegulationsSub-Committee will meet at 5 p.m.C.B. 1’s Tribeca Committee and theArts and Entertainment Committee willhold a combined meeting.
ON THURS., FEB. 10:
C.B. 1’sLandmarks Committee will meet.
ON MON., FEB. 14:
C.B. 1’s WTCRedevelopment Committee will meet inthe State Assembly Hearing Room at 250Broadway, 19th Floor.
ON TUES., FEB. 15:
C.B. 1’s Seaport/Civic Center Committee will meet.