Author Topic: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds  (Read 60034 times)

Offline Stew

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #75 on: October 02, 2015, 08:10:26 PM »
On the upside...

After my first appearance before the Business Committee in May/June, I asked why there was no information whatever on the Community Board 3 process on liquor license applications.

The Board's web site now includes that information.

I also noted that the Board's web site information on the status of Jackson Heights liquor licenses was five years out of date and suggested that they either kill this info or keep it up to date.

If you look at the Board's site today, it appears that they decided to kill this information instead of maintaining it. That said, it might be helpful if the Board pointed out, and provided a link to, the NY State Liquor Authority page from which one can search for the current status of any Jackson Hieghts establishment.

Stew

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« Last Edit: October 02, 2015, 08:25:22 PM by Stew »

Offline Stew

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #76 on: October 04, 2015, 10:57:11 PM »
There's been good progress on what our Community Board reveals on its website (see above).

Here are some questions about our upcoming meeting with our Community Board, and which we will raise in an e-mail to the Board tomorrow:

Will members identify themselves when they speak?

If not, will they have a name card in front of them?

If the latter, what do they intend to do to accommodate people who attend who are blind or who can't read a distant card?

Will the Board, or the Member in question, tell us who the Community Board Member is who made statements anonymously on this forum about our application before the Board? it is obvious to me that if Daniel Dromm made anonymous posts to Jackson Heights Life on an application to City Council, it would be a disgrace. I want the Member, or if she or he refuses, the Board, to come clean in this, failing which we will walk out of the meeting.

If I'm going to run a business in our neighbourhood, I need to know that our Community Board is democratic, public, accessible and transparent, and I am prepared to take a stand on these issues.

The Board has made changes to its website since my initial appearance and expression of concerns, but there remains a distance to go.

Stew




 
« Last Edit: October 04, 2015, 11:14:06 PM by Stew »

Offline ptbass75

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #77 on: October 05, 2015, 01:05:52 AM »
And if and when said board member identifies themselves the plan is to then...???

Offline Stew

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #78 on: October 06, 2015, 07:05:45 PM »
And if and when said board member identifies themselves the plan is to then...???

Our Community Board, and the anonymous member of JH Life (who, by the way, communicated by pm, acknowledged that there were problems with the Board's web site, and offered to fix the problems, refused, when asked, to identify himself or herself), will have demonstrated that they are committed to being transparent. Sounds like a win for the Board that would increase the confidence of both businesses and residents of our neighbourhood.

I want to be clear that my sense is that a number of the Board members want to see the Board to be more transparent, and the Board has made changes to its web site that, coincidently or not, respond to concerns that I expressed back in May. And yes, our first appearance was in May, our second was in September, and apparently I will be summoned to a third appearance, today being October 6, whenever the full Board gets around to it.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 07:21:33 PM by Stew »

Offline Stew

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #79 on: October 06, 2015, 10:11:14 PM »
Brooklyn Community Board 2's web site is among the many Community Board sites that is rather more informative than ours, not to mention that is looks like it was made post 1985: http://www.nyc.gov/html/bkncb2/html/about/about.shtml

Among other things, the Board says about its responsibility's to its constituents:

"Although unsalaried, the volunteer members are public officials and are regulated as such. Community board members are subject to Chapter 68 of the New York City Charter ("Conflicts of Interest") and the rules of the City's Conflicts of Interest Board. They must also uphold the New York State Public Officers Law, in particular Article 6, the Freedom of Information Law, and Article 7, the Open Meetings Law.
Access City Charter Chapter 68 and related documents
Read the New York State Freedom of Information Law
Read the New York State Public Officers Law"

Leaving aside the Open Meetings Law, which my two meetings before the Board's Business Committee were not, this would seem to mean that a Board that knows that a member has made anonymous posts about a constituent's application before the Board, and the member, must disclose who that member is. Of course, they can always waste taxpayer money by hiring lawyers to fight it, and explain why they are fighting it.

I'm really not looking for a fight with the Board, but to date I am extremely disappointed with its performance and the apparent lack of basic respect by some of its members.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 10:28:02 PM by Stew »

Offline Stew

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #80 on: October 07, 2015, 08:23:30 PM »
Today, I asked our Community Board to identify the Member who anonymously criticized us on Jackson Heights Life for raising some issues about how the Board functions and the state of its web site regarding liquor license applications, and who in the process of making these criticisms flatly refused to identify him or her self.

I also suggested that it might be helpful if this person self-identified, and in essence asked the Board whether it would like to instead turn this into a Freedom of Information issue that would result in legal costs to our community.

Looking forward to our Community Board's response.

I'd be even happier if we didn't first appear before our Community Boatd five months ago, then again last month, and apparently for a third time whenever they choose to summon us, none of these appearances having an apparent purpose.

At my last appearance before our Board, a member pointed out that getting a permit from the Department of Buildings can take a long time. That's true, but based on what I believe is about to happen, it looks like getting a permit from the Department of Buildings is going to be like lightning compared to the process before our Community Board.


Stew

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« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 08:37:05 PM by Stew »

Offline Minimal4me

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #81 on: October 07, 2015, 09:01:57 PM »
It is about time the Queens board shows some transparency about processes. Good luck, Stew. JH desperately needs restauranteurs like you.

Online dssjh

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #82 on: October 07, 2015, 11:14:59 PM »
good luck with this. fighting city hall -- in the figurative sense -- isn't easy. hoping things start moving.

Offline kmjh

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #83 on: October 07, 2015, 11:32:30 PM »
Fingers crossed that things get moving for you in a serious fashion, soon, Stew.
It would be better for the neighborhood and for you if you still weren't waiting to open by the time the T line finished in Manhattan.

Offline CaptainFlannel

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #84 on: October 09, 2015, 05:17:20 PM »
Among the latter are people who apparently think that they have the right to decide whether our restaurant is a good fit for Jackson Heights.


This is so puzzling. It's a restaurant, not a strip club trying to open next door to a elementary school. *The market* will decide if a restaurant is a good fit for the neighborhood.

Offline Ms. Jackson

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #85 on: October 10, 2015, 10:03:02 AM »
Among the latter are people who apparently think that they have the right to decide whether our restaurant is a good fit for Jackson Heights.


This is so puzzling. It's a restaurant, not a strip club trying to open next door to a elementary school. *The market* will decide if a restaurant is a good fit for the neighborhood.

I agree. I wonder why Caffe Bene and Emoji Burger (and perhaps others) seem full steam ahead, but Swim Two Birds and The Queensboro (I assume) are languishing in bureaucracy.

Offline jeanette

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #86 on: October 10, 2015, 10:25:52 AM »
I wonder why Caffe Bene and Emoji Burger (and perhaps others) seem full steam ahead, but Swim Two Birds and The Queensboro (I assume) are languishing in bureaucracy.

perhaps it's the liquor license?

Offline Songodd

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #87 on: October 10, 2015, 03:59:58 PM »
I wonder why Caffe Bene and Emoji Burger (and perhaps others) seem full steam ahead, but Swim Two Birds and The Queensboro (I assume) are languishing in bureaucracy.

perhaps it's the liquor license?


Things are definitely easier when alcohol isn't involved.  The addictive winery is/was having a similar issue.

Offline Stew

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #88 on: October 10, 2015, 08:01:46 PM »
A bit of good news. The asbestos inspection, notwithstanding that the Building Department has had two months to ask for it, happened quickly and is negative for asbestos.

There's a reasonable chance that we'll get a building permit this coming week. At that point, given that almost everything we're doing is cosmetic, the renovation should proceed fairly quickly ... or so I hope.

Thanks to everyone who has signed up on our website for updates on our opening. I'll send an update as soon as the permit gets issued. Lord, I'm looking forward to it :)

Stew
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Offline Stew

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Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #89 on: October 15, 2015, 06:08:52 PM »
This morning, the city approved our plans/building permit. Took about nine weeks, but hey, it's done.

Meeting with our contractor and foreman at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow, work to start this coming week.

Our materials are lined up and we're ready to go.

In some cases, too ready. Like the ~30 custom chairs that I ordered from Artistic Frame that will be ready any day now and that I have nowhere to store :)

Re our liquor license application, I still haven't a clue what our Community Board's schedule is. We first appeared before the Board's Business Committee five months ago (May), then again in September, and apparently we have now to appear before the full Board, but as of today I still have no idea when. If one is trying to create a business in Jackson Heights, what comes to mind is the dark grey storm cloud that followed Joe Btfsplk in Al Capp's Li'l Abner.

But from the city, we have clear skies, and starting tomorrow we're going to make this happen.

Cheers,

Stewart

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« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 06:18:46 PM by Stew »

Jackson Heights Life

Re: Coming Soon: Swim Two Birds
« Reply #89 on: October 15, 2015, 06:08:52 PM »