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CB3 Joins Newsstand’s Fight to Stay at 18 Bowery

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Newsstand located at 18 Bowery.

Last night, Community Board 3’s transportation committee gave Marilyn Louie some much-needed support in her ongoing and all-of-a-sudden highly publicized fight with City Hall.  As you might have heard, Louie ran afoul of two NYC agencies after they required her to replace her newsstand at 18 Bowery and then concluded that it was three inches too big for the sidewalk.

CB3 and staff in City Councilmember Margaret Chin’s office have been trying to help Louie for many months. Two stories in the New York Post this week may have helped city officials focus more clearly on Louie’s dilemma. As the stories recounted, she’s been a fixture on the sidewalk in front of 18 Bowery (near Pell Street) for 35 years. Most years, she earns no more than $40,000.

The trouble started when the Department of Consumer Affairs ordered Louie to replace her old shed with a new version supplied by Cemusa, a contractor that sells advertising on the sides of its newsstands.  Then the Department of Transportation got involved, concluding that the new model was three inches too close to the adjacent building. The city offered Louie a few alternate locations, all of which she believed would have hurt her business.

Last night, the CB3 panel drafted a resolution urging the city agencies to reconsider.   CB3 District Manager Susan Stetzer has asked city officials why it is not possible to “grandfather” Louie’s newsstand, since she has been at the same location for decades.   Up until now, they have argued, cryptically,  that this is not a case in which “grandfathering” applies. It remains to be seen whether they’ll budge after receiving the community board resolution.

For the moment, they continue to insist Louie must move from 18 Bowery by the end of this month.

 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Marilyn’s father was a veteran, and after wwII veterans were given
    newspaper stands, isn’t a shame that this tradition as not carried
    on for this generation. People come from different nations and open
    newstands and they are not veterans, what’s happening here.
    She is just trying to make a living.

  2. “…the Department of Consumer Affairs ordered Louie to replace her old shed with a new version supplied by Cemusa, a contractor that sells advertising on the sides of its newsstands…” 
    Just wondering why the city “required” one particular contractor?

  3. DOT is inspecting all current newstands–the agency reports this is out of complicance by 3 inches and therefore a replacement newsstand cannot be placed there.

Comments are closed.

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