A bit of a battle is expected at next week's Community Board 3 monthly meeting over the proposed restoration of so-called "cabaret units." Those are specialized teams the NYPD assigned to deal with problems at clubs and bars. Most of the units have been phased out in the past year, to the chagrin of many business owners.
The community boards are finalizing a list of budget priorities for the next year – things they would like to see the city fund. In at least two committee meetings this past month, board members spoke in favor of bringing back the cabaret units. Accoding to CB3 District Manager Susan Stetzer, a lot of bar and restaurant owners developed relationships with the officers in the "cabaret units," and therefore felt comfortable calling them for help. Since the elimination of the units, that element of trust is gone, leaving some nightclub operators reluctant to involve the NYPD.
"Mothers & Fathers in Arms," the new organization hoping to find solutions to the upsurge in youth violence will be holding another meeting tomorrow night. In an effort to reach out to different segments of the community, the meetings are rotating among several locations. Hamilton-Madison House, 50 Madison Street, will host tomorrow night's planning session. Members of the group are planning a series of activities, including a basketball tournament, to keep kids off the streets and focused on something positive.
Shortly after the last meeting on Ocrober 9th, there was a shooting on East 6th Street, right in front of a Community Center. A lot of people in attendance felt it was another indication that the violence in the neighborhood needs to be confronted head-on. At a community meeting last night, NYPD Captain Tom Hogan acknowledged the shooting took place. He said the victim has "not been cooperative."
Tomorrow evening's meeting takes place at 6:15pm at Hamilton-Madison House. Representatives from most of the neighborhood's elected officials and several organizations, including Good Old Lower East Side and the East Side Tabernacle Church will take part.
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The Community Board 3 committee that evaluates liquor license applications is certainly accustomed to confrontation. As residents grow increasingly agitated about the proliferation of restaurants and bars in the neighborhood, these meetings have become pretty tense. Last night's session was especially contentious. Eater and EV Grieve have the play by play. We're going to take a closer look at the most dramatic debate of the night, the saga over Le Souk. It was a revealing snapshot of the nightlife tug of war (pitting bars and residents against each other) that has been raging downtown for the better part of a decade.
Le Souk, at the corner of Avenue B and 4th Street, was shut down by the State Liquor Authority (SLA) earlier this year. Incessant noise complaints from neighbors, as well as numerous overcrowding citations were the reasons given. But then a judge overturned the SLA's ruling. So Le Souk was allowed to reopen in August, temporarily, while the appeals process plays out. When a final court opinion is at hand, the SLA is not required to come back to the community board. Last night was CB3's last chance to weigh in on a renewal.
Don West-7th Precinct Commnity Council President, Captain Barry-Commanding Officer 7th Precinct, Deputy Inspector DeQuatro-Commanding Officer 9th Precinct, Police Officer Gallagher-9th Precinct, Police Officer Demlar-9th Precinct, Detective Madden 7th Precinct Detective Squad
We were on hand for last week's 7th Precinct Community Council meeting as Captain Nancy Barry reported that overall crime (within the 7th Precinct) is down 36% in the last 28 days. There have been 28 less major crimes than last year, robberies are down 72% (5 this year vs. 22 last year), grand larceny is down 20% (24 this year vs. 30 last year) and burglaries and felony assaults are also down. Captain Barry mentioned some crime prevention techniques for car break-ins, and encouraged people not to leave their GPS systems and personal property out overnight in vehicles. Speaking about preventing robberies, she suggested that people not leave pocket books and personal property unattended.
9th Precinct Commanding Officer DeQuatro was also present as Captain Barry gave awards to Police Officer Thomas Gallagher and Police Officer Christopher Delmar (both from the 9th Precinct). The two officers collaborated with Detective Kevin Madden from the 7th Precinct Detective Squad to solve a fatal stabbing case that took place on September 12th. The victim, Glenn Wright, (whom The Lo-Down reported about earlier here), turned out to have been mistakenly identified as a target by a gang looking for revenge in the Baruch Housing Developments.
CWA Local 1180 announces a half million dollar anti-Bloomberg ad campaign. That's more than Bill Thompson himself has spent on TV advertising.