Neighborhood Chatter

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DOWNTOWN ALLIANCE HOLDS LOVE STORY CONTEST
Did you meet your soulmate by chance along the promenade of Battery Park City? On the Wall Street trading floor? During your lunch hour in City Hall Park?

Whatever your Lower Manhattan love story is, the Downtown Alliance wants to hear it. In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, the Alliance is running a contest asking citizens to submit their tales of love in 500 words or less for the chance to win a dinner for two at Wall & Water restaurant, a one-night weekend stay at the Andaz Wall Street hotel and a $250 gift certificate from Greenwich Jewelers.

The panel of judges who will pick the best story include Toni Hinterstoisser, general manager of Andaz Wall Street; Melissa Andreev, president of the FiDi Association and manager of La Maison du Chocolat; Christina Gambale, owner of Greenwich Jewelers; and Sara Cancellaro, general manager of Flowers of the World. While the contest ends Feb. 8, the winner will be announced on Valentine’s Day.

For those interested in participating, please send your entries to ContactUs@DowntownNY.com (subject line: Lower Manhattan Love Story) or to The Downtown Alliance, Att.: Lower Manhattan Love Story, 120 Broadway, Ste. 3340, NY, NY, 10271. All entries must be received by midnight Feb. 8.


HEARING FOR SOLDIER CONNECTED TO DANNY CHEN’S DEATH
Specialist Ryan J. Offutt, who, among seven other soldiers, has received charges in connection with the death of Chinatown native Private Danny Chen, underwent a preliminary hearing in Afghanistan on Sunday, Jan. 15. Offutt’s charges reportedly include maltreatment, assault, involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide. While details from the hearing weren’t readily available, the Chen family and their supporters have asked that all hearings in connection with Chen’s death take place in the United States for more transparency.

CITYWIDE
COMPROMISE SEAL LIVING WAGE BILL
After over a year of debate, it seems a living wage bill is closed to being inked in the City Council. On Friday, Jan. 13, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced a compromise on the legislation in the form of a new bill. While her bill, set to be introduced next month, will require companies receiving over $1 million in city subsidies to pay their employees at least $10 an hour with benefits or $11.25 an hour without benefits, it will not make the same requirement of tenants of development projects.

“The requirement that tenants in subsidized projects pay more when the city has no financial connection with them is a provision that I believe would have cost us future retail jobs. Placing this requirement on businesses that don’t receive a direct benefit is simply unfair,” said Quinn in her remarks before the City Council.

Despite this compromise, several elected officials and stakeholders in this process seemed pleased with the outcome.
“I am pleased that an agreement has been reached among all stakeholders on a living wage bill for New York City,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. “More than 15 cities across the country have passed similar laws, and I am proud that New York will be joining that list.”

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union President Stuart Appelbaum added, “Our campaign was called Living Wage NYC for a reason, and we have achieved a key goal: a new policy framework that say all workers on subsidized development projects, including retail employees, should be paid a living wage…We have highlighted the importance of a higher-wage economy that will reduce inequality and rebuild the middle class.”

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