Volume 74, Number 50 |
April 20 - 26, 2005


Editorial
Community Board 2 removals are troubling
Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields’s failure to reappoint two hard-working, well-respected members of Community Board 2 is misguided, in our opinion, and seems to have been influenced by internal power politics on the Greenwich Village board. An election for a new chairperson is in the offing, and it seems certain board members and perhaps others associated with the board are using their clout with the borough president to remove others from the board who may be supporting a candidate on the other side or, perhaps, someone against whom they may have a personal grudge.

Don’t lose momentum on Washington Sq. plan

Talking Point
Good marks for committee on Middle East mishegoss
By Ed Gold
Last fall my friend in New Hampshire threatened to stop sending contributions to Columbia after reading newspaper reports of rampant anti-Semitism on campus. I told him to cool it until we could examine the report of a special university grievance committee that was investigating the accusations.

Letters to the editor

Notebook
On the road: Romania (feeling beat)
By Andrei Codrescu
Romanian roads were created by Evil Knievel to give the average person the experience of imminent death. Trucks hurl themselves at you head on while deep holes rattle your bones. The jalopy you’re in is a Dacia, a tin can built by communists in the 1980s to give the proletariat a semblance of mobility. Dacias still clutter the roads, unable to pass the suicidally fast new cars belonging to the nouveau riches. You pass abandoned industrial towns where the miserable unemployed loll next to their flapping rags drying in the polluted air.

Scoopy's Notebook

Scene

Police Blotter

Youth Sports

No mercy in Majors B; The Villager comes in in relief
By Judith Stiles
The mercy rule in Little League baseball was instituted for two reasons, to mercifully end the game if one team is being clobbered by 10 runs and also to limit each game to the time allocated on the field so the next game can begin promptly, according to Arthur Perez, who manages the Minnesota Twins in the Majors B Division of Greenwich Village Little League.

G.V. Mariners sink Sox in seesaw Minors game

Blazers get payback against Yorkville for playoffs
By Rob Silverstein
The Greenwich Village Blazers evened their record at 1-1 with an exciting come from behind 12-11 victory over the Yorkville Dodgers in Division A of the Bronx and Manhattan Senior Girls Softball League. Division A consists of the four strongest teams of 13-to-16 year-old girls. The victory was particularly satisfying for Greenwich Village because Yorkville eliminated them in last year’s playoffs.

"Serving West and East Village, Chelsea, SoHo, NoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown and the Lower East Side"

NEWS

Battery funds will power housing effort
By Josh Rogers
The city’s mayor and comptroller said Tuesday they would stop breaking the 16-year-old promise to use money from Battery Park City to build affordable housing.

B.P. candidates come marching in to the V.I.D.
By Ed Gold
The Manhattan borough president can have a much greater impact on city policy with energetic and creative leadership, and the number one issue that needs attention is housing for nonmillionaires.

Villager photos by Elisabeth Robert

From left, Arthur Stoliar, Albert Bennett and Carol Feinman were among those voicing their disapproval of The Related Companies’ 23-story project on the Village waterfront at last week’s zoning meeting.

Gwathmey design not superior, neighbors say at zoning hearing
By Albert Amateau
The Community Board 2 Zoning Committee unanimously voted against a proposed variance last week that would allow the Related Companies to replace the old Superior Ink factory on the Greenwich Village waterfront with a 23-story residential tower designed by Charles Gwathmey.


Inside
Street artists and vendors aren’t sold on new bill
By Amanda Kludt
A new law may pass that would radically change the way food, goods, art, newspapers and books are sold on the streets of New York. Or it very well may not.

Astor Pl. plan avoids roadblock, clears task force
By Albert Amateau 
The Astor Pl. Task Force, which has been considering the city’s plan to reconfigure traffic at Cooper Park and to close Astor Pl. to auto traffic, voted narrowly on April 4 to support the plan with some major qualifications.

City wins round in court on closing holes in porn law
By Albert Amateau
In a decision that raised some hope among Village and Chelsea neighborhood activists, with a few skeptics among them, an appeals court on April 12 reaffirmed the city’s right to close the loopholes in zoning that regulates how and where porn shops and topless bars may operate.

He has designs on the square, and is showing them
By Divya Watal
Many Village residents agree that Washington Sq. Park needs renovation, but few agree on how it should be renovated. That’s where George Vellonakis comes in.

Not fare, says bike taxi owner forced to sell fleet
By Aman Singh
The owner of The Hub Station, gaunt and dressed in rough overalls rolled above the ankle and sporting a mangled mane of hair, stared anxiously at the quickly forming traffic jam on Broome St. leading to the Holland Tunnel. He wishes he could do something to stop what he feels is the public’s space from being dominated by motor vehicles. He wishes he could spread his pedicabs to all the boroughs of the city.

The big white lie: A window onto spring-cleaning
By Wilson
Forget about apartment makeovers on “Queer Eye” and “Trading Spaces” when “spring-cleaning” this year. The most honest reflections of American interior design are on “Cops” or “Animal Precinct.”

City pays some R.N.C. protesters held overly long
By Jefferson Siegel
Late last week, the city agreed to settle contempt proceedings brought as a result of the lengthy detentions many arrested protesters were forced to endure during the Republican National Convention. The settlement covered 108 people, described in the stipulation of settlement as having been “held over 24 hours on the ground that they had been detained in excess of a reasonable time.”

Junger on his new book, Iraq and the peace movement
By Lincoln Anderson
For the past year, “Perfect Storm” author Sebastian Junger has been hard at work on a new book. This, his third one, is taking a new look at the Boston stranglings of the early 1970s. A co-owner of the Half King bar in Chelsea and, until recently, a Lower East Sider, Junger, 43, grew up in Massachusetts and always had a curiosity about the stranglings — and whether the real perpetrator for all the murders was, in fact, caught, as authorities claim. He’s not certain he’s got all the answers, though his book will definitely throw a new wrinkle — which he doesn’t want to make public yet — into the case.

Leon Golub is memorialized at Cooper’s Great Hall
By Aman Singh
A tribute to the late political painter Leon Golub was held last Sunday in Cooper Union’s Great Hall. The historic hall was filled with a large crowd for the tribute, which was “a love fest for Leon,” in the words of Cooper Union’s David Reynolds, a friend who assisted Golub in his studio. A political activist in the early 1980s, Golub was a resident of Lower Manhattan, where he lived with his wife, Nancy Spero. He died Aug. 8, 2004, at age 82.

No kitchen? No problem for W. 10th St. restaurant
By Kayleen Schaefer
Tanti Baci’s Flower Room, with its twinkling lights outside and cozy tables topped with white linens and red roses inside, is the sort of restaurant where marriage proposals take place and anniversaries are celebrated. It is not the type of place where one would expect his or her food to arrive at the front door in a paper bag, like a Tuesday night delivery of pad thai.


Arts
Documentary on brutalized wife of Stalin
By Jerry Tallmer
She was 16, he was 39.
That’s not so unusual, but the 39-year-old in this case was the a rough-hewn Georgian from Tiflis named Iosif Vissanonovich Dzhugashvili, back from four years exile in Siberia just in time for the Revolution – though on the great dangerous day itself, November 7, 1917 (old calendar), he was, they say, nowhere to be found.

Koch On Film
By Ed Koch
“Oldboy” (-)
Every week I comb the movie pages looking for a film that sounds interesting or one in which a quirky actor like Johnny Depp is starring. Recently, I have had little success in finding one.

“The Funnies” – not just for kids anymore
By Aileen Torres
When comic strips are featured just as prominently as Faberge eggs, it’s a clue that strips aren’t just for kids anymore. Not that they ever were.

The Sopranos with superpowers
By Aileen Torres
Comic strip writer Fred Van Lente is not interested in churning out the same old superhero schlock. Not that he doesn’t respect his elders—he admires Jack Kirby, the creator of such characters as The X-Men, the Incredible Hulk and Captain America—but Van Lente just doesn’t see the battle between good and evil as strictly Manichean.

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