St. Mark's Bookshop Secures Lease Reduction

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? According to NY1, organizers of Occupy Wall Street have set up a military tent to create a safe space for female protestors sleeping in the movement's home base in Zuccotti Park. The safety of female protestors was recently called into question after two confirmed cases of sexual abuse in the camp, one of which occurred on Saturday, Oct. 29. The tent will reportedly sleep 30 women and will include bunk beds and a 24/7 staff will also secure the shelter.

? Political Action Table, a group of activists reportedly unaffiliated with OWS, say they collected over 2,000 signatures in Zuccotti Park in favor of extending the millionaire's tax beyond its current expiration date of Dec. 31. The group delivered the petition to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's New York City office on Third Avenue on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 3:30 p.m.

? Local politicians came out in full force last week to support the city and Mayor Michael Bloomberg's decision to remove the barricades on Wall and Broad streets. "The city's decision to give back sidewalk space to the community was the right call for Lower Manhattan residents, workers and especially small businesses that have seen receipts decline since barricades were installed," noted Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. In a letter to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway dated Oct. 13, Council Member Margaret Chin, along with Rep. Jerrold Nadler, State Sen. Daniel Squadron and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, asked for a reassessment of the barricades after receiving numerous complaints from residents on Wall and Broad streets. Recently, Chin's office accompanied representatives from City Hall on a tour of Wall Street to highlight the sidewalk congestion and access problems the abundance of barricades has caused.

? Now entering its eighth official week, OWS has finally secured 24-hour bathrooms. According to a release distributed by Nadler, Silver, Squadron and Chin, OWS has obtained three portable bathrooms to be installed on a loading dock connected to 52 Broadway, which will be watched 24 hours a day by a security guard.



Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer was joined by the president of The Cooper Union, Jamshed Bharucha, and the co-owners of St. Mark's Bookshop, Bob Contant and Terry McCoy, to announce that The Cooper Union and St. Mark's Bookshop have reached an agreement that will help keep the 31 Third Ave. store in business.

Instead of paying $20,000 per month, The Cooper Union has agreed to reduce the store's rent by $2,500 per month for one year and forgive $7,500 of a prior loan it made to the bookstore. St. Mark's has agreed that, working with Cooper Union students, the relief will allow it to come up with a viable business plan not dependent on further subsidies.

Contant and McCoy said, "We are sincerely appreciative of the rent concessions Cooper Union has granted us. Our bookstore and Cooper Union are both vital to the intellectual life of our community and we look forward to working together in ways that will benefit us both. We especially want to thank Borough President Scott Stringer for his invaluable efforts in negotiating this agreement."

"The best way to ensure the longevity of St. Mark's Bookshop is for the thousands of people who signed petitions to buy more of its books," added Bharucha.

St. Mark's Bookshop is a commercial subtenant of The Cooper Union, which leases retail space in the Third Avenue building.



Last week, State Sen. Daniel Squadron and Assembly Member Joan Millman heralded the City Council committee passage of a "home rule message" to allow New York State to move forward with legislation that authorizes residential parking permits in the city.

Squadron and Millman sponsored the legislation, which would address increasingly prohibitive parking for residents while easing traffic congestion, pedestrian hazards and air and noise pollution and protecting small businesses.

"A permit system is long overdue in neighborhoods where residents spend hours circling for parking near their homes," said Squadron. "This legislation empowers communities that want parking permits while protecting small businesses, reducing congestion and helping fund our subways and buses. It's a win for communities, a win for quality of life and a win for New York. Thank you to Speaker Quinn, Chair Foster, and Council Member Levin for moving this forward. Now, the state must pass this bill and give communities real choice."

This legislation gives communities the choice to allow residential parking permits (RPP) on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis. The bill contains the following stipulations: 1) On streets with RPP, at least 20 percent of spots would be open for non-permit parking, 2) the permits would directly fund the upgrading and improvement of NYC subways and buses, providing much-needed revenue for New York's transit system 3) RPP would not be allowed on commercial streets-spaces with meters and other restrictions could not be affected by RPP-and 4) public hearings would be required before implementation of RPP in a neighborhood.

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