Facts on Chinese Cultural Center roof damage- and the court unfair ruling

Letter to Judge Pamela Gates 

Re: Chinese Cultural Center

1. Roof functions:

There are two roofs in Chinese Cultural Center:

a) Flat roof: to protect the building from rain, sun, and all the weather conditions

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b) The decorative roof (skirt roof) to give the building a Chinese Look, and are built 4-7 feet higher than the flat roof.

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2. The way to fixing the leaks: (by its design)

If the intention is to fixed the rain leaks, all the fix can be done by simply fix the flat roof ( per its blue prints). As for the certain areas of the flat roof that is under the decorative roof, the building was designed and constructed to include a 4-7 feet Knee wall supporting the decorative Chinese roof, to allow all repair on the flat roof under the Chinese roof. The Center’s double roof system would never require any fixing of the rain leak on top of the decorative Chinese roof. The leak can be fixed easily by enhance the floor of the flat roof inside the decorative roof attics, or enhance the decorative roof from the behind inside roof of the Chinese roof by entering the 4-7 knee wall from the entrance on top of the flat roof.

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Figure 17: Exemplar photograph of moisture intrusion at the top of a knee wall as observed from the interior of the attic space (alternate view of Figure 10).

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3. The October 13 Action by the Roofer and 668 North LLC is not fixing the leak :

a) Does not make economic sense:

To eliminate over 14,000 sf of the decorative, and hard to find Chinese glazed clay tile, without taking any actions to preserve a single piece, cannot be justified as to fix the leak. Such action is costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, while the correct way to fix the roof, and results forever the loss of its original decorative roof, while the simple fix could be easily accomplished as described above.

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b) To demolish over 14, 000 sf of the decorative and hard to find Chinese Glazed clay tile, in a two hours, by 40 demolishing workers, right before a heavy rain, and left the roof open without any protection from additional two rains from Oct. 13- Oct 27, including demolishing the roof twice before the heavy rains and during the rain, cannot be justified as to fix the leak.

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C) To demolish over 14,000 sf of the roof tile, without even have confirmed the identified the leaking points from any roofer, is not the act of repair the leak, unless is to create a total damage and eliminating the Chinese look, as the roofing contract ( from the roofer)  specified.

(Add the subpoenaed production from southwest roofing company from Jack Wilinchick law firm, presented to Judge Gates during the hearing)

d) The expert identified the leaking points on the flat roof, by the air-condition units was still not fixed by the roofer, shows the intend was never to fix the leak by to create more leak to mislead the court and to justify its actions.

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4. Court should not rely on 668 evidence in deciding its ruling:

a) 668 North failed to present to the court an expert witness, when court asked. John McCurry’s testify should not be counted, and he admitted that he had no plan on fixing the leak, and had no photos to show the leak spot, and personally not taken any leak photos before taking the demolishing on October 13.

b) 668 North has no expert to the court.  Court gave 668 a chance to present an expert witness, but 668 could not find any expert will lie to them.  John McCurry, is the sales manager, a friend of Tedesco, and is the person who created the 14,000sf of roof damage in 2 hours before the rain, he is determined to do everything to lie to the court to justify his action.

John J McCurry Jr

Regional Sales Manager, 

Roofing Southwest

Phone (800) 235-2669   

Mobile (602) 403-6720   
Email johnm@roofingsouthwest.com  

Website www.RoofingSouthwest.com

 c) Court should not use the unjustified afterword evidence ( photos taken by 668 North lawyer on Oct, 23,) to confirm the need for the rain leak.

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668 North failed to present court any evidence of the rain leaks inside the Chinese Decorative roof, and even the roofing company confirmed that they have no photo and documents to confirm any leak before they destroyed the 14,000 sf of the Chinese tile.  However, in the hearing, court allowed Payne ( 668 Lawyer) to present as evidence of the leak) 58 photos that he admits that taken by him on October 23rd, after the rain, inside the attics.  Those photos are not supposed to be admitted by the court, as it was taken 10 days after the damage to the roof, and also the CJ expert re-inspected those spots and clearly told the court and confirmed those are not leaks, and there is an isolated spot of the leak by can be very well the cause of the Oct. 13 damage to the roof.

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Figure 16: Exemplar photograph of moisture intrusion at the top of a knee wall as observed from the interior of the attic space.

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Figure 19: Exemplar photograph of the decorative jade colored ceramic wall caps destroyed during removal.

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Figure 20: Exemplar photograph of the decorative jade colored ceramic wall caps destroyed during removal.

 c) the garage leak video, which judge rely heavily in her ruling is irrelevant to the roof at all:

The garage of the center is much a smaller of the building, and is not in anyway under the roof.  The garage leaking comes from the crakes of the surface roofing, and Judge was misled by the video presented by the 668 North。

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 5. Court failed to rely on the expert report:

Throughout the hearing, there is only one expert – Allen Shelton.  Allen confirmed the following by court failed to use his testimony:

Shelton observed the following during their visual inspection of the Property on Monday, October 15, 2018:

• Defendant 668 North’s methods of clay roof tile removal are unconventional. They damaged large areas of the clay roof tile caps and then returned to remove the pans and debris at a later date. This is not only unconventional, it is not cost effective and exposed the roof underlayment system installed beneath the roof tiles to expected rain and inclement weather. Figure 8 Illustrates the areas where Defendant 668 demolished the cap tiles (orange highlight) and the area where they removed the pan tiles and remaining mortar down to the underlying roof membrane (blue highlight). The dark blue square within the blue highlighted box indicates the area where Defendant 668 cut through the roof membrane installed beneath the clay roof tiles. The black x indicates the single location where Shelton observed evidence of moisture in the attic space potentially attributable to the clay roof tiles.

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Figure 10: Close up view of Defendant 668 North's demolition efforts illustrating the cut-out area of the roofing underlayment left exposed overnight.

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Figure 9: Overview of Defendant 668 North’s Clay Roof Tile demolition down to the roofing underlayment on Monday, October 15, 2018.

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Figure 11: Image of cut out through Built-up roofing installed beneath the clay roof tiles. This is the same section of roofing membrane that Defendant 668 cut out and removed the previous day as illustrated in Figures 3 & 4.

a)     The Chinese roof is a decorative roof, and the roof has at least 100 year life, not as John McCurry said at the end of its life.

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b)  The Center roof leak showed no serious need for the emergency leak both from inside the building to the outside building.  There was clear sign and spot on the flat roof air conditional equipment area of openings, that can be easily covered even by beer cans, to stop the leak, there are man-made holes on the Knee wall that is bigger than head of the man, that should be covered but were left open.  Those are the key areas of the waters inside the building ceilings, and inside the attics under the Chinese roof.

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c)     The garage leak has nothing to do with the Chinese roof or any roof, garage is separate from the building.

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d) The spots inside the Chinese roof, on the steel bar, are the old spots from these material, either before the construction or from the transportation. Those are not rain leak spots at all.

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Figure 22: Overview of the observation hole adjacent to the location where Shelton observed evidence of the one site specific leak at the clay roof tiles.

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Figure 23: Moisture observed on the metal decking floor in the attic space indicating a possible leak from the damaged area of clay roof tiles above.

e)     Roofers since October 13 to when he inspected on Oct 16, and October 27, did nothing to repair any open spots on the flat roof at all, if the intention is to fix the leak.

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6. Judge failed to use the evidence presented by CJ lawyer from the subpoena form the Roofing Company file:

CJ design lawyer presented to the court contract between the southwest roofing and the 668 North LLC.  The contract clearing showed the work was to demolish the roof. The contract even protect the southwest roofing of any legal liabilities from such demolishing the roof.

a) In the contract, no words specify the need to fix the leak. All is about to demolish the roof.

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b)  In the contract, it specified the potential legal liability from the demolishing, and confirmed that southwest roofing company would be spared from such liability.

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The court need to:

  1. review the evidence,

  2. Hire third party expert to review the evidence and the roof,

  3. Pay attention to the facts,

  4. and to stop the lies of the 668 North, and stop the obvious contempt to the court order.

    Attached is the Judge Pamela Gates’s unfair ruling on Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center roof damage.

TRUE NORTH VANDALISM – ILLEGAL ROOF DEMOLITION

CITIZEN VOICE – “Save the Chinese Cultural Center!”

 

News Release      October 16, 2018

For Additional Information          twcy85323@yahoo.com

For Immediate Release

 

TRUE NORTH VANDALISM – ILLEGAL ROOF DEMOLITION

 

Beginning on Saturday, October 13, David Tedesco began wholesale destruction of iconic imperial style tile roofing on the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center.  (Earlier in October, the pretext offered to our community legal representative was that 3 “small leaks” needed immediate attention, and this was agreed to – explicitly only for just that, nothing else.)  Hundreds of square feet as well as roof trim were smashed by the roofers on Saturday and the morning of Monday.

 

This is a clear violation of the Arizona Court of Appeals protection to the site awaiting legal hearing, re-scheduled to be in effect from mid-June.  A Court Order has been issued and served; there should not be further damage under penalty of being in contempt of court.  To the extent that workmen are on site, it will be to clean up and remove damages.  

 

We have retained forensic construction expert by Court Order to examine how much banditry has occurred and in due course both the roofing firm and True North/668/David Tedesco will be liable for the cost of wanton illegality.

 

Community members have been on site and extensive photographic record exists now of this defiance of the law. A preliminary assessment of the situation is that, while the tile roofing is precious, it was not even with some damaged tiles a likely source of leaking.  There are 5 layers of asphalt sealing underneath the tile – essentially none of it needed to be removed.  True North Vandalism is exact.

 

It is a supreme irony that construction fencing is needed to “prevent Chinese vandalism of the site” when, from July of 2017 and by the first City permit sought in autumn last year, this has always been the intention of David Tedesco in any guise by any means.

 

While this is indeed illegal, it is civil and perhaps not criminal violation (until the Court decides), so the City of Phoenix police on site were unable to intervene until the Court Order was served.  We Chinese American citizens can have confidence that the legal/judicial system will discipline and punish evil-doers.

 

In this political season, all Chinese American and other citizens of Phoenix must take heed.  We must remember that the price of liberty is vigilance.

 

M. Cheak Yee,

English Spokesman

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The court has ordered 668 North to stop the demolition

The court has ordered 668 North to stop the demolition:

CLERK OF THE COURT

HONORABLE CHRISTOPHER COURY

L. Stogsdill

Deputy

C J  DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION

JOHN DOUGLAS WILENCHIK

v.

668 NORTH L L C, et al.

GREGORY J GNEPPER

JUDGE GATES

ORDER

    The Court has reviewed and considered Plaintiff/Counterdefendant’s Emergency Application for Order to Show Cause Re: Contempt of Court, filed October 15, 2018.

    THE COURT FINDS that any hearing regarding the allegations of contempt asserted by Plaintiff/Counterdefendant should occur only after (a) Plaintiff/Counterdefendant’s inspector has had an opportunity to review the property, and (b) Defendant has responded.

    THE COURT FURTHER FINDS that it is appropriate to prevent waste from occurring between now and the time of the hearing on Plaintiff/Counterdefendants’ pending Application.  To this end, it is permissible for Defendants/Counterclaimants to take temporary steps to ensure that any roof changes made on October 13, 2018 will not leak in the event additional rain occurs between now and the time of the hearing.  The Court is mindful that weather forecasts do include the possibility of some rain this week.

    Good cause appearing,

    IT IS ORDERED as follows:

    1.    Emergency consideration of this issue, without the benefit of an inspection or a Response, is denied.

    2.    Alan Shelton of Shelton Contracting Group may conduct an inspection of the changes made on October 13, 2018, to the roof of the Chinese Cultural Center.  Additionally, Mr. Shelton may inspect any and all alleged leaks and work conducted to remediate said leaks.

    3.    Mr. Shelton shall prepare a report and provide it to the Court and all parties no later than October 17, 2018 at 8:30 a.m.  The report shall be e-mailed or hand-delivered to the Court and all counsel.

    4.    Defendants/Counterclaimants shall be permitted to file a written Response no later than October 17, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.  The Response shall be e-mailed or hand-delivered to the Court and all counsel.

    5.  IT IS ORDERED that Defendants/Counterclaimants 668 North L.L.C. are directed to personally appear before this court on October 18, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. (time allotted: 15 minutes) to show cause why, if any, why a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction should not be issued enjoining the Defendants/Counterclaimants from the acts specified in Plaintiff/Counterdefendant’s Complaint.

The Honorable Pamela Gates

Maricopa County Superior Court

East Court Building

101 W. Jefferson

9th Floor, Courtroom 912

Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: 602-506-6391

Fax: 602-372-8790

This is a 15-minute return hearing only – no evidence will be taken.  

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff/Counterdefendant shall serve this minute entry, along with the Emergency Application for Order to Show Cause Re: Contempt of Court, no later than 5:00 p.m. on October 16, 2018.

NOTE:  All court proceedings are recorded digitally and not by a court reporter.  Pursuant to Local Rule 2.22, if a party desires a court reporter for any proceeding in which a court reporter is not mandated by Arizona Supreme Court Rule 30, the party must submit a written request to the assigned judicial officer at least ten (10) judicial days in advance of the hearing, and must pay the authorized fee to the Clerk of the Court at least two (2) judicial days before the proceeding.  The fee is $140 for a half-day and $280 for a full day.

WARNING: Failure to appear on the date and time indicated above may result in the court summarily granting the injunctive relief being requested by the Plaintiff/Counterdefendant.

    6.    Between the time of this Order and the issuance of any Orders following the October 18, 2018 hearing on the pending motion, Defendants/Counterclaimants shall be permitted to take remedial, temporary steps to try and make the roof water-tight in its current condition.  The spirit of this Order is focused on preserving the status quo – namely, to avoid having waste occur due to the roof leaking because of any construction that may have occurred on October 13, 2018.  This Order is not intended to permit additional long term repairs/redesign to occur.

    7.    The Preliminary Injunction shall remain in full force and effect, except as stated above.

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Why We Chinese Community Opposes Kate Gallego for Mayor?

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Kate Gallego was the councilwoman of District 8 of Phoenix from 2013 to 2018. She resigned from the City Council in August 2018 to run for the mayor of Phoenix. Prior to 2017, Gallego had been a proud supporter and advocate of the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center which is located in her district. In 2015, Gallego even made a video to promote the Chinese Cultural Center as the 12th fun place to visit in Phoenix and this video was put on the City’s website.

In the summer of 2017, Scottsdale based True North Companies acquired 95 units of the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center (the rest 5 units were owned by a Chinese Restaurant, Szechwan Palace). Despite the fact that it is not the sole owner of the Center (a co-owner to be exact), True North announced that it would remove all Chinese elements from the entire Center to make it a modern office building so that its branch companies can be headquartered. This decision of demolition and ignorance of the other Chinese owner’s rights immediately triggered community-wide protests. Various Chinese organizations have since united and fought vigorously trying to have the iconic Cultural Center saved.

Being the councilwoman of the district where the embattled Chinese Cultural Center is located, and clearly knowing the conflicts of interest, Gallego had repeatedly accepted campaign donations from True North Companies since last year. Records show top five executives and partners of True North had donated more than $75,000 to Gallego in past 15 months. True North had never donated any money to any Phoenix city councilmembers prior to 2017. 

Here are what True North had gotten from the City in return: 

1). The City removed the pro-Chinese Cultural Center video from its website;

2). The City issued True North the permit to remove the roof of the Center. This is the first step to demolish the whole Center. The City’s permit decision ignored the interests and property rights of the other Chinese owner;

3). When True North forcefully kicked a small Chinese business out of the Center by repeatedly cutting off their phone line and power line, the City instructed the Phoenix Police Department to “stay away” and “not to get involved” - Gallego showed us what “Dirty Money” can buy in our City Hall.

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$75,000 corporate money has bought Gallego flipped from a Chinese Cultural Center lover to a Chinese Cultural Center killer. The credibility of our City Hall is in jeopardy. The angry Chinese community has brought the City of Phoenix to court. This lawsuit could potentially cost the City millions of dollars, of tax payer’s money. Our city deserves to have a clean City Hall, we demand each councilmember disclose their source of funding. We demand an investigation on whether there was a collusion with Gallego and True North Companies. Our city deserves to have a clean mayor, we demand Kate Gallego step down from the mayor race.

 

■ by Chinese Community

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QUESTION FOR MAYORAL CANDIDATE KATE GALLEGO

The Chinese American Community throughout metropolitan Phoenix have a question for this Candidate for Mayor of Phoenix who debate today – The Maximum Allowed Cmpaign Contributions at $85,000 from David Tedesco/True North/668 (with associates and wives) Shows Strong Support For You Alone – Why -- For What Promised Favor? (Available campaign finance data is the source.)

Candidate Gallego was City Councilwoman for the district of the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center and Garden when David Tedesco/True North received and renewed City Permits to fence and to destroy the iconic roofline of this iconic landmark for metropolitan Phoenix for the last 20 years.

Candidate Gallego never visited or consulted with the hardworking employees and minority business owners who were being abused and driven out by David Tedesco/True North for months since July 2017, especially in the face of the equal rights of the other condominium owner on site still actively operating as Szechwan Palace Restaurant (where patronage of everyone is of course essential).

Citizen voters and media organizations ought to investigate two related matters on this one question.


First, was there any quid pro quo or promises of future benefit from Candidate Gallego as the next Mayor? Second, how much in scarce funds of the City Budget is now allocated/involved with the legal proceedings that David Tedesco/True North inevitably engendered by their hostile intentions –CV 2017-012173, CA-CV17-0727, CA-CV18-0301 and CV2018-00752 as well as in a Federal action by CV17-00315-DJH. It clearly appeared that the City repeatedly chose to ignore its own zoning stipulations on the property, as well as a public arts program requirement for the site in showing such favoritism.

In this political season, citizens of Phoenix must take heed. We must remember that the price of liberty is vigilance.

M. Cheak Yee,
English Spokesman

RE: Kate Gallego- Tedesco Group/True North interests group caused City bias against Chinese Minority property owner/business owner interests in Chinese Cultural Center and its Public Art program

-An undisclosed 7% donation (up to $75,000) to Kate Gallego, by Tedesco Group/True North companies

- Chinese Cultural Center, another victim of Political donation scandal?

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Facts and Data:

1.     True North Companies LLC is the owner of 668 North LLC, which purchased the 97 out of 102 Units of a Commercial Condo in Chinese Cultural Center in June 9, 2017, that is located in Council woman Gallego’s district.

 

2.     City of Phoenix issued and renewed fence and roof replacement permits to allow 668 North LLC who is only one condo owner to harm the other condo owner’s property rights and his undivided common area interest. These actions by the City led to numerous lawsuits between the two condo owners, (CV 2017-012173, CA-CV17-0727, CA-CV18-0301 and CV2018-00752) and caused a federal lawsuit by AZ Chinese Religious Foundation against City of Phoenix (CV17-00315-DJH).   It is unknown why the City chose not to enforce its own zoning stipulations and public art program requirements in place and enforced on the Chinese Cultural Center since 1997.

 

3.     As the Councilwoman for the Chinese Cultural Center district, Ms. Gallego has been unresponsive to the Phoenix Chinese community’s efforts to save the Chinese Cultural Center and she has not responded to many Chinese Groups request for meeting, with respect to the proposed destruction of the Chinese Cultural Center which has been a Phoenix landmark for 20 years. 

 

4.     A recent discovery into Ms. Gallego’s campaign financing, showed Ms. Gallego has benefited from 668 North LLC and its owner David Tedesco and his various companies during the same time City of Phoenix was making these permit decisions on the Chinese Cultural Center. The total donation she received accounts for more than $75,000, that makes True North/668 North LLC/Tedesco her largest donor for almost  8% of her total Campaign funding.  

 

5.     Did Ms. Gallego have to disclose this information to the City Council or recused herself from voting on any matter regarding the Chinese Cultural Center, for example, the City’s council’s denial of the Petition to Save the Chinese Cultural Center?

 

6.     This recent discovery into Ms. Gallego’s campaign financing also showed that Mr. Tedesco and his officers in 668 North LLC/True North and their spouses, all made maximum contributions to only one candidate without disclosing their relationships to Mr. Tedesco and his companies as those members are all executives indicated on True North Companies’ website.  

 

7.      Ms. Gallego needs to explain why she appears to favor one private property owner over another property owner and why she does not want to hear the concerns of her Chinese American constituents who want to save the Chinese Cultural Center as approved and sanctioned by the City of Phoenix since 1997.

Ms. Gallego is not qualified for City Mayor Position!

She did not show the “integrity and Moral standards” expected to be a public servant of City Councilwoman,  it is very dangerous to give her the power of the Mayor

Ms. Gallego owns City of Phoenix and its residence an full disclosure of her campaign financing from the interests group

Ms. Gallego must Endorse Clean Election Bill

Stop Ms. Gallego from trading Phoenix Public Art Program implementation in Chinese Cultural Center for her gain Campaign Financing from True North Companies LLC is the owner of 668 North LLC and David Tedesco Group

Where will the Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix Go?

-- The tug of war between its two owners in the last one year

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The Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix is a commercial condominium complex that was built in 1997 with great support from the City of Phoenix.  It has always been a project of the Phoenix Public Art program, established by the Phoenix City Council, and has earned a design award from the U.S. Department of Transportation.  Imperial roof tiles on its main buildings and its garden are the most astonishing  and authentic parts in the center.

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The materials making up the roof tiles and installing techniques are the same as those used for the Forbidden City in Beijing. This kind of imperial roof tiles is seldom used outside of China or even on common buildings in China.  The reason that we can luckily see such precious roof tiles in the U.S. is because the architects who were hired to build the center are successors of the Suzhou Xiangshan Carpenters,  a Chinese architectural school that built the Forbidden City and many imperial gardens within last hundreds of years.

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Back to the 1990s, the builder of the center hired over a hundred of skillful architects, engineers and technicians from a Garden Research Institute in China. They spent more than six months making exquisite parts for the center and shipped them from China to Phoenix.  Later, thirty architects and building engineers were granted visas by the US embassy as a special case and came to Phoenix.

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Working with local building contractors, they spent another three months to put the parts together and build the center.  Besides the imperial tiled roof, they built replicas of over ten famous Chinese attractions, which all are related to historical stories or beautiful legends that are well known among Chinese.  The architects and building engineers were best in their fields then, and now have aged or passed away.  The traditional techniques that they used to build the center are vanishing in China as well, due to invasion of modern techniques.  It is almost impossible to build such a set of traditional Chinese garden-style architectures again, even in China.  The authenticity shown from the Chinese garden-style architectures makes this center stand out among all Asian gardens in the U.S.   The Chinese Culture Center in Phoenix is a precious treasure to Phoenix, to Arizona, and to the U.S.

 Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix is a famous landmark!

Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix is a famous landmark!

Since the center was built, as a project of the Phoenix Public Art, its common area was always open to public and accessible to all. Its beauty was admired by local residents and tourists from other states and other countries.  Naturally, the center has bonded the metro Phoenix Chinese-American community, and its Chinese design elements have cultural and religious significance to the community. 

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Good times always go fast.  In July 2017, the Chinese-American community in Phoenix learnt in surprise that True North Companies LLC, by way of 668 North LLC, became a new major owner of the center.  More shockingly, True North Companies LLC plans to remove and replace the tiled roof and strip away Chinese design elements in the garden,  without an agreement from the minor owner of the center, CJ Design the Szechwan Palace Restaurant, who has owned 5 units of the center since 1998.  Both CJ Design the Szechwan Palace Restaurant and True North Companies LLC share and own the parking lot, garden, exterior walls and roofs in the center, which are all recorded as common elements of this commercial condominium complex.

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From then on,  people who love the Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix have tried preserving the center from demolishment by myriad means, such as petitions, protests, appeals to the Phoenix City Council, and litigations.  There are about ten litigations from these preservationists, including one lawsuit against the City of Phoenix for violations of religious land use and discrimination, and another lawsuit against True North Companies LLC from the center's ex-Anchor tenant, Super L Ranch Market, which was forced by True North Companies LLC to evacuate in August, 2017.  Among all the litigations, the lawsuits from the minor owner of the center, who is also the owner of Szechwan Palace Restaurant that is located in the center, succeeded to hit pause in time on the demolishment of the roof tiles and the garden.

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In the past one year, True North Companies LLC refused to discuss with the preservationists for a feasible solution.  In contrast,  True North Companies LLC unilaterally closed off access to the Garden, the roof, hallways, the foyer's, and removed statues in the center, which totally ruined the surrounding environment of Szechwan Palace Restaurant.  

 Citizen petition in the Phoenix City Council meetings for saving the Chinese Cultural Center

Citizen petition in the Phoenix City Council meetings for saving the Chinese Cultural Center

Furthermore, fake information indicating that the center is permanently closed was posted on the internet from time to time. All of these significantly hurt the business of Szechwan Palace Restaurant . It had been one of the most popular Chinese restaurants in the metro Phoenix area with great revenue for almost twenty years, but now it can barely afford to run the business.

  Lots of FAKE information about the Chinese Cultural Center

Lots of FAKE information about the Chinese Cultural Center

Relocating the restaurant to continue its profitable business would be an easy solution to the predicament of the minor owner, which must be True North Companies LLC's wish as well. However, the minor owner is an admirable man who cannot be defeated easily.  He has chosen to work actively with his attorneys, fighting for his legal rights.  

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The preservationists of the center have continuously tried to negotiate with True North Companies LLC.  Meanwhile, they greatly support the minor owner by donations, dining in the restaurant, and talking to the public about his rights.  Eventually, from late 2017, their voices were heard and supported by local media : "Yes, the Chinese Cultural Center's other owner has rights, too ".  On June 18, 2018, a motion filed by True North Companies LLC to dismiss a lawsuit by Szechwan Palace Restaurant was denied by the Court of Appeals.  This court decision was a big relief to the preservationists because it meant that True North Companies LLC would not be able to execute its demolishing plans for months or years. 

About 10 days later after the denial by the Court of Appeals,  True North Companies LLC took an extreme action by holding a special meeting of the Condominium Association without a notification to  CJ Design the Szechwan Palace Restaurant. In the meeting, a termination agreement to get rid of the Condominium Association was unilaterally passed.  Even more appallingly,  an unjustified appraisal to force the sale of Szechwan Palace Restaurant's 5 units to True North Companies LLC, was passed as well.

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Once again, the minor owner chose to fight for his rights and filed one more lawsuit against True North Companies  LLC.

The above is a summary of the protection activities of the Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix for the past one year.  Maybe some of you are interested to find out. If you are willing to contribute generously, it would be greatly appreciated. There are a number of enthusiasts who have generously provided donation matching:  for each $100 donation is received, they will match the same amount donations. The goal is to raise $50,000 to continuously support the minor owner of the Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix.

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Your donations are essential to support the legal battles! 

Note that all landscape pictures were taken at the Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix. Some pictures are from internet. 

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Your Donations Helps Win The Battle for Saving Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center

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JUN 12, 2018 — It’s been nearly a year since we started the movement to save the Chinese Cultural Center, and for each day that it remains is another day of victory.

As this battle endures, it is continuing evidence that David Tedesco and True North Companies are assaulting the heritage and dignity of the Chinese people.

There have been 8 related lawsuits since September 2017.

Szechwan Palace has been instrumental in fighting this battle as it currently has 3 lawsuits.

Your donations to support the legal battles have been life sustaining to this movement. We thank you for your continued support to this cause.

Each day we can fight, is another day we win!

Citizen Voice is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a goal to preserve culture and history. 

Tax-deductible donations can be sent to

Citizen Voice’s PayPal account:  CitizenVoiceAZ@gmail.com

Bill Pay or checks can be sent to

Citizen Voice

3116 S Mill Ave. #188

Tempe AZ 85282

Why Boycott Realty Executives, Passport Health and PumpItUpFunBrands to Save Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center?

(Thanks to the professional work of Lirong Huang, http://azctv.com/).     

True North Companies (www.tnch.com/) of Scottsdale, Arizona is powered by an investment banker named David Tedesco.  In June of 2017 he and his company purchased 97 units at the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center.  Since then he has attempted to drive the Chinese-American businesses out of the Center. 

He bullied Super L Ranch Market, the anchor store, by giving them a thirty day notice to move, almost immediately after the sale closed on the units he purchased.  Recently, he locked Beijing Garden out of their space but not before using some of the most boorish tactics people have ever seen used against a tenant.  His team cut the phone lines four times, cut the internet lines four time, so Beijing Garden could not take credit cards.  He then had his property manager call the electric company to change the service out of Beijing Garden's name and into theirs.  Then a few days later, in the middle of lunch, while kitchen workers were cutting vegetables with sharp knives, women were in the restroom, and people were in the Dining area eating, they ordered the electricity to  be turned off.  Later that night, True North hired a crane service to pluck the exhaust fan off the roof in order to prevent the restaurant from cooking.  THEY DID THIS AT THREE IN THE MORNING!  If that was horrible enough, they then waited until the next afternoon and then called the Phoenix Fire Department falsely reporting that they smelled smoke and that customers were complaining of breathing problems.  There are currently two active police investigations into True North, 668 North Company and the illegal way they treated their tenant, Beijing Garden.  This video exposes the three companies owned by True North that power  their rude and in some cases illegal actions against the Chinese-American businessmen who have called the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center their home for decades.  The three companies we outline in this video, Realty Executive (www.realtyexecutives.com), Passport Health (www.passporthealthusa.com) and Pump It Up - Fun Brands (www.pumpitupparty.com) are the engine behind True North Companies and 668 North.  Without franchise fees and seed money from these three companies, True North could not treat Chinese-Americans with such utter disrespect and discrimination.  In the video, we encourage each viewer to 

#BoycottRealtyExecutives,

#BoycottPassportHealth and

#BoycottPumpItUpFunBrands.  

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 If you believe in justice for all, if you believe in a world free of racial bias and discrimination, if you believe the American dream applies to all...including Asian-Americans, then you'll appreciate this video.  Visit us at www.azctv.com, we'll continue to follow all the news behind the effort to Save the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center.

If you believe in justice for all, if you believe in a world free of racial bias and discrimination, if you believe the American dream applies to all...including Asian-Americans, then you'll appreciate this video.  Visit us at www.azctv.com, we'll continue to follow all the news behind the effort to Save the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center.

Press Release: True North Companies Sanctioned Under Anti-SLAPP Law

PRESS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release

April 24, 2018


True North Companies Sanctioned Under Anti-Slapp Law
Judge Grants Anti-Slapp Motion and Sanctions Investment Banker’s Company  True North Companies for Violating  the Law Known as the “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) Pursuant to A.R.S.§ 12-752”


Phoenix, Arizona— In a groundbreaking ruling, a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge has granted a motion called Anti-Slapp and has sanctioned  the Investment Banker True North.  Additionally, the lawsuit  against Charlie Lai, the owner of Super L Ranch Market, the former anchor store at the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center has been dismissed.  In her ruling, the judge also ordered  True North to pay attorneys fees and costs.

 On September 12, 2017, Mr. Lai went to the Phoenix City Council to speak before them. In his public statements, he chronicled True North’s actions  in dealing with him. He told the City Council not to trust them, and not to trust anything they say.  True North tried to silence the grocer by suing him.  The court ruled that this was a violation of his free speech rights to speak openly at the council meeting.

In her ruling, included below for your reference, the HONORABLE KERSTIN LEMAIRE, one by one points out why each element of Mr. Lai’s testimony before the City Council is protected speech.  She found that True North brought the lawsuit “to deter the defendant from exercising his constitutional right to free speech.”  

“I went to the City Council to warn them about True North, 668 North, and their owner David Tedesco,’ said Charlie Lai.  ‘I’m very grateful that the court opted to protect my free speech rights,” he added.

Attorney Jack Wilenchik represented the supermarket.  After receiving the ruling today, he said:  “It’s very rare to have a judge issue sanctions.  This is a groundbreaking ruling under Arizona’s Anti-Slapp Law.’  He added, ‘Justice has been done for Charlie Lai.”  

(Video of City Council Statement by Charlie Lai)

Mr. Wilenchik and Mr. Laivare available for interview.

For further information:

Thomas Simon
480-758-2863
thomassimon124@gmail.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lz9j6NiuVCE&feature=share

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Press Release: Valley Ho Hotel, Scottsdale Protest to Urge Saving Chinese Cultural Center

For Immediate Release:

Protest at the Valley Ho Hotel in  Scottsdale. Chinese-Americans Will Protest the Visit by True North subsidiary Passport Health to the Valley and Ask the Franchisees To stop Their Owner from Destroying the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center.  

For further information:  
480-758-2863

Scottsdale, AZ:   A protest is planned for Wednesday morning at the Valley Ho Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona, the site of a franchise meeting between Investment Banker David Tedesco  and his franchisees from True North subsidiary Passport Health.   

Passport Health, along with Realty Executives and Pump It Up (Fun Brand) is an investor in the 97 units purchased at the Chinese Cultural Center by Tedesco almost a year ago.   Since then, he’s been trying to systematically destroy the Center and replace it with another regular office building.  He wants to move Passport Health into the Center, along with his other companies, and push the Chinese businesses out. 

The protesters plan to be available to talk with and educate the Passport Health employees on the precious  nature of the Chinese Cultural Center. They do not believe that True North has told them what they are trying to do to the Center, and they hope explaining to the investors and franchisees what is happening to the property will inspire the good hearts of the Paassport Health employees to pressure David Tedesco into stopping the destruction  of the Center, while at the same time protecting the Passport Health brand.

The protest will begin at eight a.m..

WHAT:  Protest to Save the Chinese Cultural Center and to educate visiting Passport Health investors, franchisees and employees.

WHEN:  Wednesday, April 4, 1018, 8 to 10 AM

WHERE:  Valley Ho Hotel, 69th Street and Main Street, Scottsdale, AZ.

For further information:

Chinese United Association of Greater Phoenix
(480) 758-2863
thomassimon124@gmail.com

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Press Release: Szechwan Palace Restaurant Defends Itself Against Motion by David Tedesco and 668 North, LLC. to Increase the Bond

For Immediate Release!!

The Fight to Save the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center Moves to the Superior Court Again this Morning as Szechwan Palace Restaurant Defends Itself Against Motion by David Tedesco and 668 North, LLC. to Increase the Bond In the Case that Has Kept the Investment Banker from Destroying the Center

For Information:  (480) 758-2863
thomassimon124@gmail.com

What:  Court Hearing to Decide Bond Amount 

Where:  Judge Warner-Courtroom 912,
East Court Building, 101 W Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ 

When:  10 AM, Thursday, March 29, 2018

Dateline Phoenix, AZ:  After the Appellate Court in Arizona ruled to STAY construction on the exterior of the Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix last year, Investment Banker David Tedesco, owner of 668 North, Realty Executives, Passport Health and Pump It Up Games (Fun Brands), returns to court this morning to try and get the Maricopa County Superior Court Judge in charge of the case to increase the bond amount paid in the case.  The Szechwan Palace Restaurant has already posted a bond in the tens of thousands of dollars, but Tedesco is asking for as much as $250,000 more.

According to court papers, the investment banker claims he is losing over $40,000 per month as a result of being told by the Arizona Appellate Court to stop all construction to the iconic Chinese roof, the Prayer Garden and the exterior of the building at the Center.  He wants the small business owner of the Szechwan Palace Restaurant to come up with more cash...a lot of cash.

The restaurant owner, Michael Zhao,  is expected to testify, telling the court that to require hundreds of thousands of dollars in more bond money, when the appellate court has already said that he is likely to win this case, will put undue stress and hardship on his company. Jack Wilenchik, the attorney representing Szechwan Palace, Will ask the court to keep the bond at the same amount it currently sits.

The hearing is expected to last about an one and a half hours.

For further information contact Tom Simon, Spokesman Chinese United Association of Greater Phoenix (CUAGP):  (480) 758-2863

thomassimon124@gmail.com

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Fight to Save Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center

The real story of History and Culture in Phoenix, and an investment banker's attempt to Destroy it.

DATELINE, Phoenix, AZ: David Tedesco and his partners bought 97 commercial condominium units at the Chinese Cultural Center, but they have been ignoring other owners’ rights, in a fictitious attempt to eliminate the landmark Chinese Cultural Center by acting like they bought the entire property. This is not true! Here is “The Real Story.”

On Monday, April 16, 2018 a Maricopa County Judge will oversee a jury as it hears an eviction case between Beijing Garden Restaurant and 668 North, LLC, a company owned by Investment Banker David Tedesco of Scottsdale. (Tedesco is also the managing partner of True North Company, Realty Executives, Passport Health and Pump It Up-Fun Brand.) At the root of the case is who has rightful possession of the restaurant property, located in the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center. The restaurant has a 5 year option, which they have exercised…Tedesco is refusing to accept that option.

In the past three weeks, Tedesco and his operatives have tried to forcibly evict the restaurant from the space where they have done business for the past 5 years. They have cut the phone and internet lines (4) times, and in the middle of the lunch hour, while kitchen workers were prepping food with sharp knives, women were using the restroom and patrons were eating in the Dining room, they cut the electrical power and locked the APS box. In the middle of the night, they hoisted a crane to the top of the building and stole the restaurant’s furnace and blower to prevent them from cooking food. Then they called the Phoenix Fire Department and falsely reported that there was smoke filling up the building and that customers were complaining.

Unable to force the restaurant out, they turned food delivery trucks away, attempted to lock the front door with a chain while workers were still inside, and even filed trespassing charges against the restaurant and their agents. None of this produced the results such thuggish behavior expected, so now we wait for court.

This is just the latest chapter of a saga that began last August when members of the community learned that Tedesco who had purchased part of the Chinese Cultural Center intended to destroy the Chinese elements and iconic roof and garden at the Center and replace it with another standard office building. The investment banker’s plan is to evict the Chinese businesses and put his own companies, Realty Executives, Passport Health and Pump It Up-Fun Brand in their place. But the community and the other owner of the property have different ideas.

If you have followed this case at all, you probably know that David Tedesco, True North Company, Realty Executives, Passport Health and Pump It Up-Fun Brand thought they could run roughshod over the Chinese American community.

They were wrong. Over and over again, Tedesco and his band of thugs have lost court battle after court battle (there is currently a STAY as ordered by the Arizona Appellate Court preventing them from tearing down the iconic Chinese roof, the outside Chinese elements at the property, or from altering or destroying the Prayer Garden).

Last week, they asked Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Christopher Whitten to throw the restaurant out, but as has happened so many times before, they were rebuffed. They have made it clear that if they can’t get approval to destroy the Chinese Cultural Center on the merits, they intend to wage continual court battles in order to financially bleed the smaller businesses to economic death. They will not succeed.

Szechwan Palace Restaurant owns the property in the Center where it does business, and they have no intention of seeing the property they bought turned into just another office park. They have property rights under Prop. 207, and they intend to exercise those rights as a property owner. Despite the fact that they own their property and an undivided interest in all the common areas on the property, Tedesco has directed the property management to rekey the doors to the common areas and the roof and they are now refusing to give Szechwan Palace a key, despite their clear right to have one as an owner, not renter, of the property. The restaurant has filed suit against Tedesco and his partners to keep them from tearing down the Center, and they are expected to head back to court this week to have the investment banker told to give up the key to the common areas. STANDBY!

We invite you to support the effort to “Save the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center.” Please visit our web site at: www.PhoenixChineseCulturalCenter.com, call us at 480-758-2863, or email us at: thomassimon124@gmail.com.

Thomas Simon is the Publicist for Chinese United Association of Greater Phoenix, Super L Ranch Market, Szechwan Palace Restaurant.

On the Next part, please find 10 Questions we ask of David Tedesco, of True North Company, Realty Executives, Passport Health and Pump It Up-Fun Brand. These are questions of the heart, questions that must be answered!

Best wishes, and thank you for your support!!

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10 Questions We Ask David Tedesco Managing Partner of True North, 668 North, Realty Executives, Passport Health and Pump It Up (Fun Brand):

1). As the other owner of the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center, don’t you think Szechwan Palace Restaurant, which has been operating there long before you, is also protected by Prop.207?

2). As the other owner of the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center, the Szechwan Palace Restaurant has the equal rights to enjoy and access the common areas of the community. Why do you lock down the Chinese Prayers Garden, without his consent? Don’t you understand that you are not the sole owner there?

3). The other owner, Szechwan Palace restaurant, has non-dividable interests in every piece of the roof tile and every piece of Chinese elements in the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center. Your forceful demolishing and removal of these Chinese elements without the other owner’s agreement show your arrogant and disrespectful attitude toward small business and minority groups. Shouldn’t you be ashamed that you damage your image and reputation

4). Who gave you the authority to block the other owner, Szechwan Palace from accessing and cleaning their exhaust hood, which is a safety issue for an operating restaurant? Where is their property rights?

5). The other Chinese restaurant in Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center, Beijing Garden (BJG), has been a tenant for 6 yrs. They exercised their option to extend their lease seven months ago. If you believe their renewal is invalid, why can’t you get a court eviction order?

6). Without the court eviction order, who gave you the right to repeatedly cut off Beijing Garden’s phone line 4 times in a week? What kind of business image are you depicting?

7). Without the court eviction order, who gave you the right to dismantle the fire exhaust fan of BJG, and bully its employees from restoring it? Don’t you know you have intentionally created a fire hazard environment which puts BJG’s employees and customers lives at risk?

8). Without a court eviction order, who gave you the right to steal BJG’s APS utility account and change it to your name and order a power disconnection to the restaurant? Don’t you understand honesty is the foundation of a business?

9). Do you think the FAKE leases that you used to secure the mortgage loan with Enterprise Bank are beyond the reach and arm of the law?

10). What makes you believe you are above the law?

 

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Press Release: County Judge Orders Investment Banker David Tedesco and his Company 668 North to Refrain from Harassing the Beijing Garden Restaurant

PRESS RELEASE 

After Nearly Four Hours In Open Court Debate A Maricopa County Judge Rules Beijing Garden Restaurant in The Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center Can Stay Where They Are for Now!  Judge also Orders Investment Banker David Tedesco and his Company 668 North to Turn the Electricity Back On, Turn the Phones Back On and to Refrain from Harassing the Restaurant Employees or Customers!  

For Immediate Release
Contact T. Simon: 480-758-2863
thomassimon124@gmail.com


March 13, 2018:  Chinese Americans in Phoenix, Arizona continue their hard fought battle against an investment banker who wants to turn the iconic Chinese Cultural Center and Prayer Garden into just another office building.

On Tuesday afternoon, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Christopher Whitten held an emergency hearing to decide whether to approve the request of 668 North, LLC, part owner of the Cultural Center, to “kick out” Chinese owned business Beijing Garden Restaurant, even though  the restaurant has 5 years left on their lease.  The court said no to the investment banker’s request.

The hearing followed a tumultuous two weeks in which 668 North representatives attempted to drive the small restaurant out of the Cultural Center by cutting their phone lines and internet connection four times, turning the electricity off twice, threatening to have workers and even customers arrested for trespassing, and dismantling the kitchen exhaust and fire emergency systems to prevent the restaurant from cooking.  Despite this harassment, the owner of Beijing Garden Restaurant and his employees pressed on, at times serving loyal customers without the benefit of lights, credit card service or a fully functioning kitchen.

At the hearing, the judge told Christopher Payne the attorney representing 668 North, that he couldn’t believe the things he was hearing, adding “...if they are true, they are not only horrible, they are criminal.”  The judge then warned Mr. Payne that if he is advising his client to do these things “you may be heading across the street” to the criminal division as a defendant.  It should be noted that as the judge chastised Mr. Payne for nearly 15 minuets over what may be criminal conduct by his clients, True North in house attorney Andrew Christensen and property manager Rob Reblin, two police detectives sat in the back of the courtroom.  They were there to observe the proceedings first-hand, since there have been countless calls for service at the Cultural Center this month relating to 668 North’s activities at the Center.

At the end of the hearing, the judge ordered that the electricity should be turned on, the phone service and Internet service turned on, and that orders of protection from harassment be put in place to allow both sides to do business peacefully.  

Attorney for the restaurant  Jack Wilenchik asked the Court to set the case for jury trial next month.  The court agreed and the trial was set for Monday, April 16, 2018.  The court denied 668 North’s request for an injunction, which would have forced the restaurant out of its space, which it has occupied for the past 5 years.

668 North is a division of True North Company, Scottsdale.  True North owns and operates Realty Executives, Passport health, and Pump It Up (Fun Brands).  The companies are owned and operated by David Tedesco of Scottsdale.  

“We are very pleased with today’s ruling,” said Wilenchik.  ‘The judge signaled his disgust with 668 North’s bully tactics.  The judge made it clear that this kind of conduct is not right, it is ‘criminally wrong.”

For further information:  Tom Simon Public Relations 480-758-2863

-- 
Thomas M. Simon

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Press Release: After Losing In Court, Investment Banker David Tedesco Attempts to Self-Help Evict Tenant Beijing Garden Restaurant In Chinese Cultural Center

Press Release For Immediate Release

Simon:  480-758-2863

Press Release: After Losing In Court, Investment Banker David Tedesco Attempts to Self-Help Evict Tenant Beijing Garden Restaurant In Chinese Cultural Center.  Restaurant Vows to Serve Food 24 Hours a Day And Honor the Remaining 5 Years on Lease.

For the third night in a row Chinese Americans have held vigil overnight to prevent investment banker David Tedesco from illegally evicting them from the Beijing Garden Restaurant in the Chinese Cultural Center.  Not able to get what they want from the courts, 668 North Company and their attorneys have turned to rogue criminal acts to try to get what the courts have refused to give them.

In just the past 24 hours, True North has cut the phone wires of the restaurant, blocked their kitchen exhaust fan to prevent them from cooking, threatened to arrest them for trespassing, and attempted to lure them from the property and forcibly lock them out of the building.  

They called the police and tried to have supporters of the effort arrested and they even attempted to have their advisor arrested when he walked to the common area roof to turn the kitchen fan back on.  The police denied their request.  They called the fire department, after they themselves turned the exhaust fan off to the kitchen, and asked the fire department to shut the restaurant down.  Again they were rebuffed.  Finally, last night when the owner of Beijing Garden Restaurant went to the store to purchase supplies, the in-house attorney for True North lured the manager to the property office, saying the fire department wanted to talk with him, while a second employee of Investment Banker David Tedesco, Robert Reblin, ordered the remaining employees out of the restaurant.  They refused.  The police were called and again the restaurant was saved from illegal takeover and eviction.

So the Beijing Garden Restaurant, which has 5 years remaining on their lease, remains on watch for the next illegal attempt to evict them from the property.  Customers and workers at the restaurant will remain inside for as long as it takes for them to receive justice.  The owners of the restaurant thank the Phoenix Police and Fire Department for protecting their rights as law-abiding citizens.  They will remain law-abiding and they call on True North and David Tedesco to obey the law as well and to cease these illegal acts.  If you feel you have a valid claim, Mr. Tedesco, take it to the judge who has repeatedly told you “NO.”

For further Information:  Simon Public Relations

480-758-2863

Thomassimon124@gmail.com

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Super L Ranch Market Motions Court to Sanction True North and David Tedesco for Anti-SLAPP Law Suit

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

When:        Monday-February 12, 2018

Time:         10:30 AM

Where:       Maricopa County     

                   Superior Court

                   101 West Jefferson    

                   Street, 7th Floor

                   Courtroom 711

                   Judge LeMaire

What:        Motion to Dismiss

                 Arguments by Super L. 

                 Ranch Market (Chinese

                 Cultural Center) Attorney 

                 Jack Wilenchik in Anti-

                 SLAPP Case Brought 

                 by True North and David

                 Tedesco

Contact:   480-758-2863   thomassimon124@gmail.com

Phoenix, AZ:  Arguments in a Phoenix courtroom this morning in what is being called an Anti-SLAPP Motion to Dismiss against True North Companies, one of two owners of the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center.  Attorneys for Charlie Lai, the owner of Super L. Ranch Market will ask the court to dismiss a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) filed against him by True North.

 

According to the Lai's Attorney, Jack Wilenchik, the grocer spoke before the Phoenix City Council on September 12, 2017,  in support of a "Citizen Petition" related to preserving the Chinese Cultural Center.  In his speech to the Council, Mr. Lai told them that based on his own experience, True North was not trustworthy or acting in "genuine good faith."  He was trying to tell the Council members not to be deceived by True North or their proposal.  True North sued Mr. Lai for defamation on the basis of six statements he made in his eight minute, eighteen second speech to the Council.  (Speech is available on line at: https://youtu.be/lz9j6NiuVCE)  One of the statements objected to by True North hit too close to home, as Mr. Lai stated, based on his experience with them:  "So from the beginning to the end, and to our last day, they were...they were lying."

 

Pursuant to the Anti-SLAPP law in Arizona, a lawsuit may not be brought to prevent or deter someone from exercising their Constitutional Right to Free Speech before a Governing Body.  In this case, Lai's attorneys maintain that everything their client said was true and the only purpose of True North's Complaint is to intimidate Mr. Lai in connection with another law suit in which the Super L. Ranch Owner has named them in, as well an attempt to quash Mr. Lai's Free Speech rights.

 

In addition to asking the court to dismiss True North's Complaint, Lai's attorneys are asking for reasonable attorneys fees and costs, as well as damages of up to five-thousand dollars.

 

--

 

For further information: Thomas Simon   480-758-2863

 

 

 

                     

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Chinese Cultural Center Exterior Construction Halted by Court. Where Do We Go Now?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


February 6, 2018— The Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center and Garden has been top-of-mind since August 2017,  when people rose up in protest after learning an investment banker from Scottsdale wanted to tear down there iconic building and prayer garden.   To them, it has been a bitter battle between history and culture and big business. Last week, the Arizona Appellate Court, Division One, struck  a blow to 668 North, the investment banker, and handed a major win in the fight to preserve the Chinese Cultural Center to its grassroots supporters. 

The Court ruled “that there is a strong likelihood of success [for the constructions opposition] on the merits,” and so they granted a Stay, preventing 668 North from altering the exterior of the property in any way, while the court reviews the case – – a process which could take up to a year.

You may be wondering, what is this fight all about? The investment banker has continually touted  his position as being one of property rights...his, and his alone. We agree that property rights is at the core of this important debate. But were you aware, there are two owners of the property known as the Chinese Cultural Center? Don’t worry, most people do not know the center is owned by CJ Design the Szechwan Palace Restaurant and 668 North.   Yes, that is correct, the restaurant owns a small part of the center…it is NOT a renter. 

So, the same protections afforded by Prop. 207 to the investment banker belong to the restaurant owner, as well. This is important because when the restaurant purchased their property, they did so with the understanding that they were purchasing a property that was designed and built as a Chinese Cultural Center. They don’t want that to change, and since David Tedesco of 668 North has attempted to run roughshod over them with his piecemeal plan to tear down the roof,  close off the garden, and destroy all the exterior Chinese elements at the center, the minority owner of the property, Szechwan Palace Restaurant, has hauled him off to court. 

In his closing arguments, attorney Atticus Finch, in the 1960 American classic To Kill a Mockingbird, looked straight at the jury and said “In this country, our courts are the great levelers.“   What an apt description of what is happening  in this instance as we strive to save the Chinese Cultural Center. A rich, powerful businessman, David Tedesco, owner of 668 North, attempts to run over and bully a small businessman, who merely wants to run his restaurant, as he has for years...as a Chinese restaurant in a Chinese-themed center.  Left to his own devices, the owner of Szechwan  Palace Restaurant would have lost, so he went to court with his modern day Atticus Finch by his side, Phoenix Attorney Jack Wilenchik.  Wilenchik presented his case before the court, “where all men are created equal,” and he won.  

The court told David Tedesco “NO”,  A word the powerful rarely hear. NO, you can’t tear the iconic Chinese roof down. NO, you can’t destroy the Chinese prayer garden. NO, you can’t rip the Chinese elements from the exterior walls of the building. And NO, your property rights under proposition 207 are not more valuable than the 207 property rights of the Szechwan Palace Restaurant...the little guy. 

So now we stand at a crossroads. We extend to 668 North and David Tedesco an olive branch. We invite you to come to the table of reconciliation and search with us for a resolution. We stand ready to compromise with you. We are prepared to purchase the property from you at a fair and reasonable price. Now that the courts have acted as the “leveler“ it is time for us to seek out a win-win solution that benefits us all.  Mr. Tedesco, if we were in the midst of a chess game, I would say to you, the next move is yours.

Peace! 

Arizona Court of Appeals has stopped the construction at the Chinese cultural center and reversed an order from the lower court

For Immediate Release

480-758-2863


February 1, 2018:   Arizona Court of Appeals has stopped  the construction at the Chinese cultural center and reversed an order from the lower court that would’ve allowed 668 North to tear down the iconic tile roof and Chinese elements at the center.  

 “This is a big relief to the Chinese Americans, stopping big business from destroying culture and history. We now call on 668 N. to sit down with us and work out a win-win solution for all parties. The courts have spoken, they have stopped True North from destroying the center, so it is time for us to work things out,” said Thomas Simon spokesman for the preservationists. “The Court of Appeals granted our request to keep the injunction in place, which the judge was going to lift in December. It will stay in place during the appeal, which can take as long as a year. Today is another proud day in the fight to save the Chinese Cultural Center and the Chinese businesses,” said Attorney Jack Wilinchek.

Another Chinese American Business in the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center Heads to Court to Battle with Investment Banker David Tedesco and 668 North LLC

Another Chinese American Business in the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center Heads to Court to Battle with Investment Banker David Tedesco and 668 North, LLC, Today! The Owner of Beijing Garden Restaurant is asking for a TRO this Morning in Maricopa County Superior Court

For immediate release
Chinese United Association Greater Phoenix
 
Contact for further information:
480-758-2863
thomassimon124@gmail.com
 
Press release       January 31, 018
 
Phoenix, AZ, January 31, 2018: Beijing Garden Restaurant, located in the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center, 44th Street and Van Buren, Phoenix, AZ, will be in Maricopa County Superior Court this morning asking a judge to issue a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) prohibiting 668 North, LLC, from violating lease terms and from evicting them. The restaurant has been a tenant at the CCC since November of 2013, however Beijing Garden claims in its lawsuit that since David Tedesco purchased most of the lots at the Center in June of 2017, he has purposely tried to destroy the restaurant’s business, and is therefore in breach of Beijing Garden’s right to quiet enjoyment of the propererty.
    Despite having a 5-year option to further lease the property through 2021, 688 North is attempting to evict Beijing Garden so that they can move ahead with their ill-advised plan to remove the Chinese Cultural Center iconic roof and destroy the Chinese exterior elements prominently displayed on the building property.  Attorney Jack Wilenchik represents the restaurant, and he intends to ask the judge for a TRO which would keep the investment banker from making it appear to the public that the Center is closed and prevent them from evicting the restaurant until the court has the chance to hear the case.
    Today’s hearing will be at 10:00 AM in Judge Sherry Stephens Courtroom, East Court Building, 101 West Jefferson Street, Suite 712, Phoenix, AZ.
 
For further info.:   (480) 758-2863

Press Release: The “Real” Truth on Chinese Community Effort and Property Rights

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The “Real” Truth on Chinese Community Effort and Property Rights
(Here’s the Money…Where’s True North?)

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Thomas Simon
Phone: 480-758-2863
Email: thomassimon124@gmail.com

 

January 5, 2018–In the last three months, True North has engaged in a public campaign to lead the local community to believe the Chinese Community should stop protesting, since they cannot come up with the funds to purchase, and that proposition 207 only protects the private property rights of investment bankers like them. 

The Chinese community today wants to expose the truth with hard evidence:

1.     Here is the money, where is True North?

We have the money and are ready to show it but True North is not sincere about public claims to meet with us.

True North purchased the property on June 9th, 2017 for 10.5 million, with a 9.6 million mortgage and less than a 900,000 cash investment. 

On August 29, the Chinese United Association of Greater Phoenix (CUAGP) delivered its first Letter of Intent to True North, offered them a 500,000 profit on their 2 month investment, and promised a thirty day cash closing.  This Letter of Intent was never answered by True North.

On September 18, the Chinese United Association delivered its 2nd Letter of Intent to True North, offered them a 2.5 million profit on their 3 month investment, and promised a thirty day cash closing.  This letter was officially turned down by True North.

On October 25, 2017, the Chairman of a publicly listed Chinese Company flew from China to Phoenix and, accompanied by two other Chinese executives, delivered the 3rd Letter of Intent to True North, offering them close to 3 million dollars profit on their four month investment, and an immediate 1 million dollar cash deposit in an escrow account, along with a 30 day cash closing.  (True North was provided the evidence of verified bank letters and bank deposited funds that will be used for its closing, plus a Letter of Intent representing a new higher offer.)  These three executives waited at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Phoenix for 2 days, and True North refused to meet with them. 

Please note, the 3rd Letter of Intent was facilitated by Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio.  After his office contacted Investment Banker David Tedesco, the owner of True North,  and requested a face-to-face meeting between the buyer and seller, the Tedesco made several demands, including the buyer’s verified bank deposits proving net worth.  The buyer produced all the documents per True North’s demands, but continued to sit and wait for the phone to ring at their hotel.  The buyer sent Tedesco a direct email with its Letter of Intent and verified bank deposits showing the available cash to purchase the property.  Despite all this good faith by the Chinese, Mr. Tedesco showed no respect for his special trip to meet with him, and the buyer had to fly back to China in two days without ever hearing anything from True North.

It is a pity that True North covers up these facts, keeping them from the public, his associates, the Arizona Republic and Rose Law group, and whoever is still stating “Where is the money, or show me the money.”   

We want to share all the facts and evidence:  

1.  On Wednesday, October 24, 2017, after waiting most of the day for some word from the investment banker, a representative of the Chinese buyer asked the following of Councilman Sal DiCiccio’s office: “Do you think there will be a meeting today?” Answer, “At this time, I rather doubt it.” In a last ditch effort to “Show the Money” the representative of the buyer said via text: “Can you call them to confirm? …really would like to meet Mr. Tedesco, and he can deposit the 1 million today.” “Will do,” said the councilman’s office. That was the last words heard.  As for the disrespectful manner in which this businessman was treated by True North, one text from the Councilman’s office sums it up: “This is B.S.,” they said. 

The Chinese Community and its media advisor Tom Simon presented to the newspaper reporter Abe Kwok many of these facts during an in-person meeting on October 26th, however, the truth was again ignored, and Kwok’s article on the very next day still asked: “Where is the money?”   Kwok published an opinion letter in which he continued to push the narrative  that the Chinese cannot come up with the money and have not exhibited the good faith to purchase it.   This is unbelievable to all the Chinese community as True North continues to mislead the public?  What is the agenda behind your untruths? 

With these hard facts, the Chinese Community is now asking Rose Law Group and the Arizona Republic to be constructive, not destructive, and, therefore help facilitate the purchase.  We are transparent and happy to share with you the bank verified funds, and the Letter of Intent.

2.      Where is the private property rights for the Chinese owner and Chinese Cultural Center?

Much has been said about property rights as they relate to the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center and the saving of the property, however, no one is mentioning that the Center is a condominium property, and there exist a Chines owner whose property rights is totally forgotten.

The American Constitution protects all citizens, and so far the paper, the lawyers and even the city, have taken the view that the Chinese Cultural Center private property rights only belong to True North, as if he were the sole owner of the property.  HE IS NOT!  The mere fact that True North neglected and violated the property rights of his co-owner, Szechwan Palace Restaurant, resulted in the Investment Banker being hauled into court and the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order against him.  However, this fact is covered by True North’s lawyer, the Arizona Republic and the city. 

What’s more, in the dispute involving whether to destroy or save the Chinese Cultural Center, we have forgotten some very basic principles, like social responsibility and fair and honest dealing with the community.  While one private property owner, Szechwan Palace Restaurant, is totally ignored, even though he clearly has property rights under Prop. 207,  the Chinese Americans are accused of not having good faith, in spite of the fact that the community is volunteering its time and donating their money to save the Center, not just for themselves but for all of Arizona and America.  The drive to Save the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center is above all an honest and sincere effort to protect culture and history.

It is very sad to see that the newspaper has taken statements by the investment banker at face value, without sufficient vetting. Out of concern that the careful reader may not understand the actual situation, we have compiled a response to the articles and misconceptions in the public space by those who would suggest that destroying the Center is somehow their right and a good thing for the community at large.

Please note that as of today, what has been published by the Arizona Republic and Rose Law Group could be nothing further from the truth.  We want to announce to all of the readers that Chinese Americans in Phoenix metro represent a significant percentage of business ownership. Operating many small businesses, including restaurants, hotels, shopping centers and countless other service oriented businesses in the community. The Chinese contribution to the economic engine of Arizona is unquestioned. Despite this, the Arizona Republic, through its “Asian” columnist Abe Kwok, has repeatedly attacked the veracity of the Chinese Americans seeking to purchase the property, chiding them with catchy phrases like “Save the Cultural Center by saying: “Shouldn’t it be one first?”

We hope the above facts provide enough evidence to counter the newspaper’s most recent article, in which its reporter Kwok disrespects the Chinese Community by taunting them to “Show the Money.”   This journalist, who admits he has “no business experience whatsoever,” effectively does the bidding of Investment Banker David Tedesco by stating that the he has rebuffed two earlier offers from the community because “there was no real demonstration of who the prospective buyers are and their proof of funds.” The reality is that neither Mr. Tedesco nor Mr. Kwok have demonstrated the seriousness needed to proceed with a win-win solution to this problem.
True North is using the newspaper and his own lawyer to make a big deal of proposition 207, the property rights law, but we adhere to a higher law. To David Tedesco, True North, Pump It Up and Realty Executives, all Companies owned and controlled by David Tedesco, we remind you of the words of Martin Luther King who passed away decades ago but whose idea of social responsibility and Socially Responsible Investing is fresh on our mind at this writing. He said: “We don’t have to argue with anybody. We don’t have to curse and go around acting bad with our words. We don’t need any bricks and bottles, we don’t need any Molotov cocktails, we just need to go around to these stores, and to these massive industries in our country, and say...Make the first item on your agenda—fair treatment, where God’s children are concerned. Now, if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you.” (Martin Luther King Jr.)

The Chinese Community sincerely hopes that this press release clears up the biased reporting and misunderstanding created by True North.  We are hopeful the Arizona Republic and the Rose Law Group are now equipped with the truth…we have a real buyer, with real money, and would advise Truth North to sit down at the table to deal with the Chinese Community to Save the Chinese Cultural Center and preserve American value and cultural diversity for this community and all future generations.

For further information: 480-758-2863
Thomassimon124@gmail.com

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