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Chelsea Now – DHS Ducks Capacity Crowd as CB5 Cuts Shelter Info Session Short

By Alex Ellefson, September 7

BY ALEX ELLEFSON | Plans to discuss the use of an infamous Flatiron hotel as a months-long refuge for homeless single men and women awaiting long-term housing stalled last week when a conference room was unable to accommodate scores of irate residents intent on voicing their objections.

Neighbors packed shoulder-to-shoulder — with a line of people out into the hall — to hear a presentation on the proposed shelter at the Community Board 5 (CB5) Budget, Education & City Services Committee meeting.

Chelsea Now: Protected Buildings Fraudulently Marked For Destruction

By Sean Egan, 1/20/16

BY SEAN EGAN | A set of residential buildings in the middle of W. 38th St. became an unassuming battle site in preserving the character of Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, as well as a telling example of how vigilance and activism can yield results.

The buildings — two of them standing four stories tall and one at three stories — were acquired by an entity controlled by Peter Poon, who bought out the tenants living in the building in order to demolish the complex. Poon hails from Peter F. Poon Architects, known for developing budget hotels — and applied to do just that. His Dec. 2014 application indicates that he planned a 22-floor hotel on the W. 38th St. site. Furthermore, another associated application to the Department of Buildings (DOB) indicated that the current W. 38th St. buildings were single room occupancies (SROs), which they have never been. The contractors (H&O Associates) also claimed that the proposed construction would not increase or decrease the number of residences, nor would it alter their layouts — clearly at odds with the proposed demolition.

Chelsea Now: Night of Notable Firsts for CB4

By Sean Egan, 1/15

BY SEAN EGAN | For many, the new year is a time for change, as well as reflection on the past. Community Board 4 (CB4) is no exception, as their Wed., Jan. 6 full board meeting at Mount Sinai West Hospital (1000 10th Ave., btw. W. 58th & W. 59th Sts.), was not only their first of 2016, but the first to feature recently elected officers enacting their roles — including the new Chair, Delores Rubin.

The meeting’s first portion, however, was devoted to the aforementioned reflection, as those in attendance honored the service and achievements of outgoing Chair, Christine Berthet (who remains a member of CB4). 

Chelsea Now: Paper Ballot, New Blood: CB4 Elects Leadership

By Winnie McCroy, 12/9

A rainy night did not deter residents from gathering at the Fulton Center Auditorium (119 Ninth Ave. at W. 17th St.) for the Dec. 2 full board meeting of Community Board 4 (CB4). 

With many agenda items tabled, withdrawn or sent back to committee, the business portion of the meeting was quickly dispatched. The evening ended with a paper ballot election for new leadership for CB4. The only contested position was First Vice Chair, with Burt Lazarin and Ernest Moderelli vying for the win. Both men gave a short speech about their motivation for running, with Lazarin noting that he’s built upon what he’s learned in 10 years with CB4, saying, “I like listening to the community, expanding on the skills I’ve developed as a negotiator in private business, as a group facilitator and city planner, a flâneur, someone who watches what happens in the city, and uses that info. I think I will enjoy it.”

Moderelli said he was spurred to community activism by growing up in West New York, where “most people were not engaged, participated or concerned. Growing up in this area inspired in me a sense of civil engagement. I moved to the gleaming city, and after six years here, as a member of CB4 I’ve seen the district undergo a lot of changes and challenges. Confronting them requires the participation of people like ourselves.”