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Paterson’s Budget Axe, W’Burg Bridge Beating, Developing Delancey

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Thursday news links

Governor Paterson announces more draconian budget cuts today, to the tune of $2.5 billion.

The wife of a man who was severely beaten on or near the Williamsburg Bridge last month pleaded yesterday for witnesses to come forward. Channel 2 reports:" Mario Vera was taking home a bag of groceries from a church food pantry
when he was attacked by two or three men saying, 'wetback, go home.'" Pablo Guzman visited with Vera's wife in the hospital:

She left her husband's bedside to beg the public for help, but a tidal wave of emotion overcame her. She had started to say, help us. Help us find justice. And the pictures
do not really tell the story. You cannot see in her husband. Mario
Vera's face, the blood clots in his brain from the beating. You do not
see the seizures that are coming more frequently. You cannot see that
since being taken to Beth Israel. He does not recognize his wife and
daughter. "She's gone through a lot — just for a bag of groceries," said Suleika
Cabrera of the Institute for Puerto Rican & Hispanic Elderly. In between the odd construction jobs Mario Vera has found to support
his family, he took a bag of groceries on his bike and made his way
across the Williamsburg Bridge to his home in Brooklyn on Sept. 23,
groceries that he got from the food pantry in this church that is part
of a loose network on the Lower East Side to help immigrants legal and
illegal, like Mario Vera. The network includes the Institute for Puerto
Rican & Hispanic Elderly, run by Cabrera, and also, Vision Urbano
nearby… Scared at first to get help, because of his illegal status, it was two
days before Vera went to Woodhull Hospital, where his family said he
got a CT scan that showed nothing, and was sent home with two Tylenol.
But six days later, Judith Ortiz, a social worker at the Institute, saw
how bad he looked when he came for a flu shot — and a doctor there
from Beth Israel immediately took him to intensive care.

A Wall Street Journal story on the struggling retail sector focuses on a Lower East Side boutique that called it quits over the summer:

I was getting the traffic but not making any money; everyone was
just window shopping," says Erin Whelan, the owner of Clarabella, a
specialty accessories store, at the time on the Lower East Side. To give her business a lift, Whelan organized private events for her
customers, participated in group sample sales and in neighborhood
networking events. She even reduced her stock of designer duds and
began accepting consignment items to lure shoppers with less costly
merchandise. Yet after an initial boost, the strategies "weren't
motivating sales like they had initially," says Whelan, who finally
shut Clarabella down in August.

A Curbed tipster notices "the storefronts at 95 Delancey have been closing without any sign of new occupants." This two story building is the headquarters of controversial landlord Baruch Singer – the tipster speculates he's clearing the way for another big highrise. Curbed cautions: "…be afraid. The LES rezoning (allowing taller buildings on major streets) should make these Delancey sites (like this one here) pretty valuable.

The Times looks at Mike Bloomberg's record on affordable housing. The article acknowledges that he's closing in on a major goal: "building or preserving 165,000 city-financed apartments and houses for low-, moderate- and middle-income families." But the story goes on to say: "those efforts have been overwhelmed by a far larger number — the
200,000 apartments affordable to low-income renters that New York City
has lost over all, because of market forces, during the mayor’s tenure."

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