‘A’ for CB4: Albany, Adult Entertainment, Assistance on Agenda | chelseanow.com

‘A’ for CB4: Albany, Adult Entertainment, Assistance on Agenda

BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC | Zoning, bike lanes, and benches — as well as reports about what is going on in Albany and Washington — dominated the proceedings at the full board meeting of Community Board 4 (CB4), held on Wed., May 3 at Hudson Guild (441 W. 26th St., btw. Ninth & 10th Aves,).

State Senator Brad Hoylman gave CB4 an update about what is going on in Albany. Photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic.

ALBANY, ALBANY, ALBANY (AND A LITTLE BIT OF TRUMP) | State Senator Brad Hoylman was back from Albany — complete with suitcase — and made his first stop the board’s meeting, he said. Hoylman noted the state legislature wrapped up the budget — “$163 billion of taxpayer money at work” — that had some “very good things” and some “very bad things.”

“I’ll tell you the worst thing about the budget, and being a senator and Democratic minority, I definitely have the right to say this — they do not give us or the public or the press the opportunity to review the budget,” he said. “I literally was handed a 1,000-page document and given, I don’t know, 10 minutes to read it — maybe 10 minutes.”

One “good thing” to come out of the budget was “New York finally joined the 20th century by raising the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18,” Hoylman said, and people applauded. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the “Raise the Age” bill into law last month.

On other legislative fronts, Hoylman said that the senate, through a procedural motion, killed his legislation called the Child Victims Act — without a vote or any consideration by Republicans or Democrats. Hoylman explained that victims of child sexual abuse have no recourse in New York civil or criminal court if they do not file a claim by the age of 23.

“So it really locks out plaintiffs from bringing cases against their abusers,” said Hoylman, who noted the Child Victims Act would allow someone to raise a claim well beyond the age of 23.

Hoylman also said he is working to use Albany as a leverage point to push back on what’s coming out of Washington. “Donald Trump has not shown us his taxes and as part of that effort in New York, we’re trying to force him to do so with two measures,” he said.

One bill would require all presidential and vice presidential candidates to release their taxes before they can qualify for the ballot. A second measure would be to change New York law to require the state Department of Taxation and Finance to release the taxes of all statewide officeholders, which includes US senators, attorney general, state comptroller, governor, lieutenant governor, and US president, he said. 

JUSTFIX.NYC | Drew Lombardi, community liaison for Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, noted that her office is hosting workshops every Thursday in May, 6–8 p.m., to help people navigate justfix.nyc. “Using data and technology,” the free website says, “we can equip tenants with easy-to-use tools to document their issues,” such as pests, vermin, mold, structural defect, and lack of heat or gas. The workshops will be at Brewer’s northern Manhattan office (431 W. 125th St., btw. Morningside & Amsterdam Aves.). Visit manhattanbp.nyc.gov for more info.

Members of Community Board 4 at their May 3 full board meeting. Photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic.

CB4 ‘OFFICE HOURS’ | District Manager Jesse Bodine said CB4’s “Office Hours” — providing one-on-one consultations for small business owners and those looking to start one — continue.

“This month we assisted with four individuals who were looking for assistance with their small business issues,” he said. The next Office Hours event is Tues., May 30, 4–6 p.m. at CB4’s office (330 W. 42nd St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves., Suite 2601). Visit nyc.gov/mcb4 for more info.

NYC IS ‘WINNING’ | “A big win recently — we were able to get the city reimbursed for all of the costs of security for Trump Tower. [US Representative] Carolyn [Maloney] was big on that,” Jeremy Crimm, Maloney’s rep, said to applause. Between Election Day (Nov. 8, 2016) and Inauguration Day (Jan. 20, 2017), it cost the city $25.7 million for security at Trump Tower, Crimm said. The city received $27 million for that time period, and an additional $40 million post-inauguration. Trump’s wife, Melania, and son, Barron, still reside at the tower at 721 Fifth Ave. (btw. W. 56th & 57th Sts.).

Maloney has fought for the reimbursement since December. “I’m very pleased that this budget agreement ensures that New York City taxpayers will be fully reimbursed for the costs to protect then-President elect Trump and his family and that future costs will be covered as the NYPD and FDNY continue to protect Trump Tower,” she said in a May 1 press release. “This is the right and fair thing to do.”

CB4 member JD Noland (standing) talked about the board’s priority to have affordable housing in the area from 11th to 12th Aves., and expressed concerns that more “gentlemen’s clubs” may be coming to the area. Photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic.

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME? | Does gentlemanly behavior happen at a “gentlemen’s club,” aka an “adult entertainment” venue? Just wondering. Also wondering about such establishments is CB4 member JD Noland but for a very different reason — the board’s stated priority to have affordable residential housing in the area from 11th to 12th Aves. The board’s Business License and Permits Committee was considering an application for NYC West Venture, which will be doing business as Spearmint Rhino Gentleman’s Club at 637 W. 50th St., near 12th Ave.

Noland said he would vote for the application, saying it was a legitimate operation and they have the right to do it. “I would like to point out, however, and I would have to a letter come out of the committee if possible that the proliferation of … entertainment clubs on the West Side is a result of the rezoning that Mayor Giuliani put forward to have 11th and 12th Avenue in the 40s made a zone for gentlemen clubs and hotels. This is contrary to [CB4]’s stated position to try to get it zoned for housing.”

He added, “We may be getting more of these clubs.” A Google search showed one club near 12th Ave. at W. 51st St. and one near 11th Ave. at W. 45th St. Noland wanted the board’s “different view how that area should be developed” in the public record. It was initially slated for new business at the end of the meeting, but Noland reconsidered. The Chelsea Land Use Committee may take up the zoning issue at some point.