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The New York Times reports NYC's retail vacancy rate is at its highest point since the early 90's. One in 10 retail spaces in Soho are vacant or about to be vacant. The City Council is looking at legislation to help struggling merchants. The Small Business Recovery Act would give store owners the option of 10-year leases, renewals and the right to mediation if they cannot reach an agreement. The Bloomberg administration opposes the proposal, saying it's unenforceable. But the Times story says  there's a growing sense the city must do something to help: "a survey of 937 Hispanic small business owners conducted by the U.S.A.
Latin Chamber of Commerce between November 2008 and January 2009 found
that most of them said they would not stay in the city because their
rents had become so high."

New York Daily News columnist Bill Hammond says it's time to throw the bums out – he's urging New Yorkers to step forward to challenge members of the dysfunctional New York Senate.

The herring festival recently hosted by Russ & Daughters makes the New Yorker's Talk of the Town column.

Another account of last night's CB3 SLA committee meeting from Rebecca Marx of the Village Voice.

Bagel Gate: Something's not quite right with those bagels "American Girl" doll Rebecca Rubin has stashed in her lunch box.

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