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    BY JOHN BAYLES

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg has longbeen a proponent of tougher gun con-

    trol laws. In the wake of the shootingspree in Tucson, Arizona on January 8,the mayor has amplified his positionand is now directing his advocacy, andanger, at Washington.

    On Monday Martin Luther KingIII, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Meninoand others, including a slew of fam-ily members who lost loved ones inthe Columbine shooting of 1999, theVirgina Tech shooting of 2007, aswell as the Tucson tragedy, joinedBloomberg at City Hall. Their purposewas to announce a national campaign

    to try and convince Congress to taketwo common sense steps towardsolving a broken background check

    system.Part one of the campaign urgesCongress to ensure that all names ofpeople prohibited from buying gunsare in the background check system.The second part of the campaign seeksto close what some consider loopholesin gun control law, specifically the factcertain gun purchases, such as thoseoccurring online or at gun shows,do not currently require backgroundchecks.

    The time has clearly come to finallyfulfill the intent of the common sense

    gun law passed after the 1968 assas-sinations of Martin Luther King, Jr.and Bobby Kennedy, by creating a

    loophole-free background check sys-tem for the sale of firearms, saidMayor Bloomberg.

    Both Mayor Bloomberg and MayorMenino have been the leading voicesbehind the group Mayors Against IllegalGuns. The group has swelled from 15mayors when it was formed in 2006to 550 mayors today. It has launcheda new website, www.fixgunchecks.org,where the public can sign a petition infavor of the campaign.

    Downtown Express photo by J.B. Nicholas

    Mayor Bloomberg was joined by Martin Luther King III on Monday to announce a new campaign to push Congressto pass tougher gun control laws.

    BY ALINE REYNOLDS

    Affordable housing andother protections avail-able to low-income tenantsDowntown and citywidemight disappear, if the staterent regulation law expiresin June.

    State Assemblymembers

    representing four of thefive boroughs held a hear-ing at 250 Broadway lastThursday, where several cityhousing advocacy groupsand tenants testified aboutthe importance of renew-ing the Emergency TenantProtection Act, which

    applies to all buildings builtin New York City before1974. They are also lobby-ing for passage of the omni-bus bill, which would makethe E.T.P.A. effective in allcity buildings.

    Brooklyn AssemblyMember and Housing

    Committee Chair VitoLopez, who led the hearing,said there is a major battlegoing on between landlordsseeking to deregulate therents in their buildings, andtenants who are being driv-en out of their homes due toescalating rents.

    BY LESLEY SUSSMAN

    A long and bitter 43-yearstalemate over future devel-opment of a 7-acre par-cel of land at the foot ofthe Williamsburg Bridgecame to a successful con-

    clusion this Monday whenCommunity Board 3s LandUse, Zoning, Public andPrivate Housing Committeevoted almost unanimouslyto approve a set of generalguidelines that would pavethe way for action on thelong-dormant Seward ParkUrban Renewal Area, orSPURA.

    The historic 20-to-1 vote

    marked the end of two yearsof contentious debate overdetails of the general guide-lines by members of thecommittee. The approval ofthe guidelines signaled tothe Bloomberg administra-

    tion that area residents andstakeholders have finallyreached some kind of con-sensus and are now readyto get down to details aboutthe sites development.

    Tuesday night, the mea-sure went before C.B. 3sfull board at its monthlymeeting, which was expect-ed to second the commit-tees vote, giving the boards

    Memo to Albany:

    Renew and reformrent regulations

    In historic vote,C.B. 3 O.K.s SPURAredevelop guidelinesMayor pressures Congress

    for tougher gun control

    Continued onpage 16

    Continued onpage 20Continued onpage 16

    downtown express VOLUME 23, NUMBER 37 THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN JANUARY 26 - FEBRUARY 1, 2011

    YOGIS

    OF INDIA

    AND NEPAL,

    P. 27

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    January 26 - February 1, 20112 downtown express

    Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

    A place to listen and ponderA man sat last Sunday at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City.

    The buildings third floor currently houses the exhibit Voices of Liberty, which

    features audio recordings from Holocaust survivors, refugees and others who

    have fled to the shores of the United States. Visit www.mjhnyc.org to learnmore about the exhibit.

    M1-5 Lounge52 Walker Street Between Church and Broadway New York, NY 10013

    Pittsburgh SteelersVs. Green Bay PackersSunday Feb 6th 2011

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    downtown express January 26 - February 1, 2011 3

    PHONY 9/11 COINS

    U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and U.S.Representative Jerrold Nadler are callingon the Federal Trade Commission to imme-diately shut down the National CollectorsMint, which is selling fake September 11commemorative coins.

    The company, which has a history offraud, is offering a new 10th anniversary9/11 coin that they falsely claim has beenauthorized by the government and made

    with silver from the ashes at Ground Zero.National Collectors Mint has no shame.By deceiving consumers into buying theseworthless 9/11 commemorative coins, thiscompany is preying on the memories of thattragic day, generating millions in profits, anddiverting potential funds to finance the 9/11Memorial at Ground Zero, said Schumer ina statement.

    In July 2010, Schumer and Nadler passeda law to create an official 9/11 medal thatwould raise funds for the National 9/11Memorial and Museum at Ground Zero.Under a matching program, $10 would be

    donated to the memorial for each coin sold.Every dollar spent on the phony coins,the politicians say, is two dollars that could

    have gone toward the memorial.We must act now and act with force

    to make it crystal clear that we will nottolerate 9/11 scams, and will prosecuteswindlers to the fullest extent of the law,said Nadler.

    P.E.P. OKAYS GREEN MOVE

    TO 26 BROADWAY

    The Panel for Educational Policy decid-ed to grant the vacant classroom space

    on the first two floors of 26 Broadwayto the Richard R. Green School, a highschool currently located on the UpperEast Side.

    The vote, held last Wednesday, was unan-imously in favor of Richard R. Greeneas opposed to a second Millennium HighSchool, which Downtown parents were lob-bying for.

    Councilmember Margaret Chin, who wasbacking the parents in their wish for a newMillennium to be sited at 26 Broadway,said the vote denies access to 400 publicschool students to the top-notch education

    Millennium is known for. The high schoolsselective program, she said, is in high demandamong the Downtown community.

    The main campus, at 75 Broadway, hasbeen forced to accept more students thanit can handle for years, she said, and hasworked hard to raise funds to be able toexpand.

    The D.O.E. has repeatedly underes-timated the influx of families into LowerManhattan and has failed to provide ade-quate space to serve Downtown students.

    State Senator Daniel Squadron wasequally disappointed by the outcome of the

    P.E.P. vote.Its disappointing, he said, that theD.O.E. decided against allowing Millenniumto expand into 26 Broadway, when therewere options that would have allowed a solu-tion for both schools.

    Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver calledthe decision a slap in the face to LowerManhattan families.

    My School Overcrowding Task Force,he said, helped convince the D.O.E. to leasethat space with the understanding that itwould be used to serve Downtown families.I will continue to press the D.O.E to open

    new classroom space in Lower Manhattanand I will continue to fight for MillenniumHigh School.

    DOWNTOWNDIGESTNEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . .1-9, 12-21

    EDITORIAL PAGES . 10-11

    YOUTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

    ARTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23-27

    CLASSIFIEDS. . . . . . . . . . . 26

    C.B. 1

    MEETINGSC.B.1s meeting schedule for February

    was not updated in time for this publica-

    tion.

    SENDYOUR

    Letter

    to the [email protected]

    145 SIXTH AVENUE, NYC, NY 10013

    PLEASEINCLUDEYOURPHONENUMBER

    FORCONFIRMATIONPURPOSESONLY

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    January 26 - February 1, 20114 downtown express

    Blow your Mind

    Police arrested two men in the early hours of Thurs.,Jan. 20 and charged them with running a 24-hour cocaineand marijuana business catering to New York Universitystudents, patrons of East Village and Lower East Side barsand Tribeca residents.

    The arrests were the result of a three-month NYPDinvestigation and sting operation that was uncovered when acourt employee told police he found business cards offeringcocaine and marijuana for sale that were tucked in the pagesof The Village Voice in a box in front of an N.Y.U. dorm onThird Ave. at E. 10th St.

    The drug pushing cards had also been shoved under theapartment doors of Independence Plaza in Tribeca, accord-ing to the complaint.

    The defendants, Thomas Zenon, 49 and Miguel Guzman,43 were arraigned on Fri., Jan. 21, and were being held inlieu of $1 million bond or $750,000 cash bail, according tothe office of Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan.

    Undercover police had made 12 buys from Zenon andGuzman between October 19 and Jan. 20, including two$1,110 buys of more than a half ounce of cocaine, accordingto the complaint. Both suspects had previously served time forfederal drug convictions, according to sourc