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FRIENDS OF THE NORTHSIDE

(Przyjaciele Northside / Amigos de los Nortes)

CALENDAR & NEWS

Calendar:

Our next meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 27th, 2001, at 6:30 p.m., at the People's Firehouse, 113 Berry St., between N. 7th and N. 8th Sts. It will be followed at 7:00 by a meeting with the owners of "The Pod", the bar located next door to Planet Thailand. The meeting will take place on the premises of "The Pod".

For information, call 384 2248 (the office of Neighbors Against Garbage).

News in brief:

NEWSFLASH! As of March 14th, the SLA Commissioners have now disapproved the Sin-e liquor license application.

This follows up on our winning the lawsuit against the SLA, and the 500-foot public hearing which came about as a result of that decision.

You may recall that Judge Paula Omansky 1) vacated the SLA's decision, 2) revoked Sin-e's liquor license, and 3) remanded the decision back to the SLA for full consideration with statutory requirements.

Click on the "About Us" button at left for the Press Release related to this recent decision.

Other News:

More information on the important topic of the two proposed power plants in our area is available at the following URLs:

Stop the Barge - http://www.StoptheBarge.org

Williamsburg Watch - http://www.wburg.com/stop/

You may also be interested in some of the websites on issues related to affordable housing in the area, such as:

Tenant Net - www.tenant.net

Brooklyn Live/Work Coalition - www.brooklynlivework.org

East Williamsburg Artists' Coalition - www.rumpus.net/ewac/

PRESS INFORMATION

There has been ongoing press coverage of the SLA lawsuit, as well as the Northside bar saturation issue and related nightlife issues. Some of the articles are available in text form below.

1. "Manhattan Night Life Creeps South, to Mixed Reviews"

New York Times, Sept. 19, 1999

2. "Gov inks new law limiting spread of bars and clubs"

New York Post, Nov. 27, 1999

3. "Community Board #1 Opposes Licenses on Tap at the SLA"

Greenpoint Gazette, May 17-24, 2000

4. "In Williamsburg, a Club Tests Tolerance for the Hip"

New York Times, July 23, 2000

5. "Thoughts on Sin-e"

Free Williamsburg Magazine (online), August, 2000

6. "North Side seeking to cool new hot spots"

New York Daily News, Aug. 4, 2000

7. "Nightclub under fire"

New York Daily News, Oct. 12, 2000

8. "Court Ruling Brings Happy Hour to Foes of a Music Bar"

New York Times, Jan. 14, 2001

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From the New York Times, September 19, 1999

Manhattan Night Life Creeps South, to Mixed Reviews

by Julian E. Barnes

Michael Kearney slouched in a metal chair in a school gym, surrounded by people angry over his plan to open a restaurant and bar in the Northside area of Williamsburg.

"The neighborhood is getting better, and they want to stop growth," Mr. Kearney said, gesturing to the 70 or so protesters sitting around him at a community meeting last Wednesday. "But they can't stop it. This place is going to be Manhattan."

The residents fear that Mr. Kearney's proposed new place, Gypsy, at 116 North Fifth Street, and Sin- (pronounced shi-NAY), a proposed caf, bar and concert spot at 142-144 North Eighth Street, will create noise, traffic and parking problems.

Bars in the Northside are expanding quickly, opponents say, with 16 already existing within five blocks of the two proposed places. And the two new ones would open on primarily residential streets, they note.

But both sides agree this fight is really about competing visions for Northside. Supporters of the new establishments, many of them younger and newer to the area than their opponents, say the bars are part of the neighborhood's evolution. Their critics say they want to preserve the livability that has enabled Williamsburg to become one of the city's hip addresses.

"We fought so hard to build up the community," said Cathleen Breen, who organized last week's protest against the bars. "We want to keep it a place people can raise a family."

Both proposed establishments have applied for liquor licenses from the State Liquor Authority. Opponents of Sin- have gathered 300 signatures against the license, while Sin-'s owner, Shane Doyle, has collected 571 signatures in support.

Mr. Doyle and Mr. Kearney said that neighbors who expect their places to be filled with young people dancing into the early hours have the wrong idea.

"This is not the sort of place you go to cut loose," Mr. Doyle said.

Mr. Kearney said he wants a restaurant where people can drink and listen to jazz. Mr. Doyle said he envisions a 200-seat concert spot to showcase local and touring musicians. Visitors would pay high prices, perhaps more than $100, to see performers like Elvis Costello in an intimate setting.

Mr. Doyle, who said Sin- would open in November with or without a liquor license, added that the building's five layers of plasterboard and soundboard and one-foot-thick brick walls would contain the sound.

None of that satisfies some of his neighbors. "I moved out here from Manhattan because I wanted the silence," Pio Galvis, a resident, said. "It's a shame to destroy the area."

From the New York Post, November 27, 1999

Gov inks new law limiting spread of bars and clubs

By Fredric U. Dicker

ALBANY - Gov. Pataki signed a new law yesterday designed to crack down on large bars and dance clubs, which can bring mayhem to residential neighborhoods.

The new law requires tighter standards before the State Liquor Authority can issue new "cabaret licenses" for clubs with more than 600 seats and which also feature entertainment.

The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, also expands public and neighborhood input before the SLA grants liquor licenses to any new bar within 500 feet of three or more existing bars and nightclubs.

"New establishments should not be allowed to trash old neighborhoods," said Pataki.

"This bill will ensure that we maintain the beauty of neighborhoods throughout New York, as well as provide community input to new establishments."

State Sen. Roy Goodman (R-Manhattan), who fought for passage of the measure, said the law "will assure that communities are not caught unaware by the granting of beer and wine licenses to establishments in their area.

"It will provide adequate opportunities for comment to the SLA prior to granting of licenses," Goodman continued.

The new law requires the SLA to consider the existing noise levels at the proposed club's location, and whether any increase would be generated, before granting a new license.

The SLA must also consider the effect the proposed club would have on traffic and parking conditions in the area, the history of liquor violations and criminal activity by those involved in the establishment and the number of licensed premises in the vicinity of the proposed club.

The law also requires a 15-day notice to Community Boards before the SLA schedu