Volume 22, Number 16 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | August 28 - September 3, 2009

Ripped from our headlines:

City Council Race Turns Nasty

By Jere Hester

Sept 2, 1991

The City Council open primary between Kathryn Freed and Margaret Chin got nasty with the brief, surprise entry of Mee Ying Chan into the race. After Chan was beaten up by a homeless person, she claimed that Chin was responsible, but the Manhattan district attorney’s office said it was a common street mugging without political motives. Chin’s campaign manager, Chris Kui, said Chan, who dropped out of the race, was put up to run by Freed -- a charge that Freed denied.

In the same issue, the Express endorsed Freed (under a former publisher and editor-in-chief, Robert Trentlyon). The paper did not criticize Chin and praised her voter registration and advocacy efforts, but said Freed had the superior record of accomplishments. Freed went on to win the primary and general election.

Vendors Come Early

By Glenn Thrush and Matt Hawkins

August 31, 1992

Less than a month after Community Board 1 nixed the proposal to find a Downtown home for disabled veteran vendors, four canopied retail carts rolled right into City Hall Park. The plan was a stepchild of a 1991 agreement between New York State and the Fifth Ave. Association, which made it illegal for disabled vets to sell their wares in parts of Midtown. The city promised to find the 176 vendors a new home, but after a year Gov. Cuomo was fed up that no action was taken, and threatened to send them back Uptown if Mayor Dinkins didn’t act soon. The plan was passed over to the city activists who opposed commercialization of city parkland.

Once the vendors moved in, local business owners didn’t foresee a problem, but C.B. 1 District Manager Paul Goldstein disapproved, and said he had never before seen the city move so fast on an issue. The city planned to place the vendors next to the fountain, which Goldstein resented.

“It’s the worst place in the park to put these guys. It shows a total disregard for the community and our opinions,” he said. Still, the city felt that the vendors had every right to sit peacefully under their tents, and were much more favorable incumbents than the illegal vendors in Battery Park. The city considered moving the plan to other parks as well, but Parks Concessions Director Matt McElroy said, “Before we decide on other locations, we need a few weeks to look at the operation in City Hall Park to iron out any glitches that might develop there.”

The vendors got a slow start, and longed for their places at the center of the action, anticipating they would only be successful on Thursdays and Fridays. Still, they were the lucky few — at the time of the article, only four of the 176 disabled veteran vendors had been allotted a space to sell their wares.

— Prepared by Helaina N. Hovitz

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