Volume 75,Number 20
October 05 - 11, 2005

A councilmember on a winning streak
If anyone ever doubted the impact a councilmember can have on local issues, events of last week showed just how much one councilmember can achieve through negotiations and through the city’s ULURP process.

Talking Point
Light rail on the bayou; it’s been a long time coming

By Andrei Codrescu
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin’s proposal to build light rail between New Orleans and Baton Rouge is blindingly and obviously right. Light rail should, in fact, connect Houston, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, New Orleans and the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and go north to Jackson, Birmingham, Atlanta and Memphis. At the very least. It’s shocking that it took a catastrophe to make this idea conceivable. It should have happened years ago.

Cindy’s rhetoric just isn’t right: It’s extreme left
By Ed Koch
Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in action in Iraq on April 4, 2004, has become the face of the antiwar movement in the United States. While her grief is understandable, her rhetoric is outrageous.

Righting record on County Committee
By William Stricklin
Two weeks ago The Villager printed a most curious article (“V.R.D.C. looks strong in County Committee elections,” Sept. 7) in which my counterpart at the Village Reform Democratic Club was boasting of their success in this year’s Democratic County Committee elections. I say “curious” because the election had not occurred yet. Now that the votes have been cast and tallied, I welcome the opportunity to respond.

Tailgunner Joe goes down in flames, in black and white
By Jerry Tallmer
In 1954, when it happened, the witness who took the chair would have been thought of as a colored woman — better yet, a colored lady — of a certain age. Only a few years after that, she would instead have to be identified as a black woman, although the colored woman who brought me up would have slapped me across the face if I’d ever referred to anybody, male or female, as black.

Scoopy's Notebook

Police Blotter

Letters to the editor


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

Villager photo by Elisabeth Robert

Joe Gruenberg and Zeny Abbariao, sitting in Gruenberg’s pedicab, in which he chased down the teenager who stole Abbariao’s purse last week.

Developer is asking $70 million for CHARAS
By Lincoln Anderson
The old Public School 64, former CHARAS/El Bohio, on E. Ninth St. has been put up for sale or net lease by developer Gregg Singer, who so far has been stymied by community opposition in his effort to build a megadorm on the site.

Avenue B tenants are evacuated two times
By Sarah Ferguson
For the second time in a week, tenants at 9 Avenue B were temporarily evacuated from their apartments because of cracks caused by excavation work for a new eight-story luxury condominium on the site of the old Gaseteria gas station on E. Houston St.

To catch a purse thief: Try a pedicab, pedestrians and 911
By Albert Amateau
Pedicab operator Joe Gruenberg was pedaling around the West Village with two women from the New York Sports Club on a promotion ride one afternoon last week when he heard the screams of an outraged woman whose handbag had just been snatched by a teenage thief.

Battling artists craft new agreement for building
By Lincoln Anderson
In a unanimous vote, representatives of the feuding artists groups in the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center on Suffolk St. recently decided to bury the hatchet and form a new nonprofit corporation with a new board of directors and management structure to operate the building as an artists’ co-op.

Police keep riding Critical Mass, make 36 arrests
By Jefferson Siegel
Last Friday night, bicyclists participating in the monthly Critical Mass ride met with support from motorists and police. There were no arrests and an organizer felt the evening had been a success.

A P.S. 3 teacher’s contest pitch works like a charm
By Jefferson Siegel
Once a year for several years now, ETA Cuisenaire, a creator and publisher of educational materials, has held a contest. Schoolteachers are asked to tell the company why they believe their class should benefit from a $10,000 prize of tactile educational materials. This year the company received 100 entries from all over the country.

Guilty until proven innocent by DNA
Last Thursday, Barry Gibbs, a former Brooklyn postal worker, was released from jail after the only eyewitness to identify him in a murder case almost 20 years ago recanted his testimony, admitting he had been coerced to falsely testify by former New York Police Department detective Louis Eppolito.

Korean cosmetics store lays foundation on Eighth St.
By Caitlin Eichelberger
Korean doesn’t just mean Hyundai and kimchi anymore. Add cosmetics and skincare products to the list of products from the burgeoning Asian nation.

Critics of Superior Ink project heartened by hearing
By Albert Amateau
West Village preservation advocates last week took their fight against a 195-foot-tall residential tower on the Superior Ink factory site on the Village waterfront to the Board of Standards and Appeals.

Writer planned to convert to Islam, marry interpreter
By Lincoln Anderson
Steven Vincent, the East Village journalist who was murdered in Iraq on Aug. 2, was planning to convert to Islam, marry his female interpreter and take her to England and possibly the United States.

C.B. 3 O.K.’s contextual rezoning for East Side
By Lincoln Anderson
At its full board meeting on Sept. 27, Community Board 3 voted unanimously to approve a rezoning of Alphabet City, as well as a broad area of the Lower East Side south of Houston St. A general downzoning of the area to limit floor-to-area ratio, or F.A.R., for new building projects and impose a height cap on new and community facilities is envisioned, as outlined in a survey of the area by B.F.J. Planning that was commissioned by the East Village Community Coalition.

Hobo punks said to have wandered from their roots
By Daniel Wallace
There were two overdoses last weekend in the bathroom of Odessa Café and Bar on Avenue A just west of Tompkins Square. One incident occurred late Friday night, Sept. 30, and the other at approximately 9:30 p.m. the following evening.

Senior cyclist killed near South St. Seaport; police search for bus
By Daniel Wallace
Police are still searching for the driver of a bus that killed a 65-year-old female cyclist on Water St. on Sept. 16.
Jen Shao, a Chinatown resident, was riding her bike in the far right-hand lane of Water St. at 9:42 am when she was struck and killed by a passing bus near the intersection of Gouverneur Lane.

VILLAGER Arts & Entertainment

Some people see dead people; she talks to James Dean
By Rachel Breitman
When Patricia A. Leone decided to write a memoir from the point of view of the late James Dean, she didn’t go to the library for her research. Instead, she sought answers from the only one who knew the truth about the short life of the iconic rebel: his ghost.

A new role for Jeff Daniels: the macho intellectual
By Rania Richardson
Hailed as one of the best films at this year’s New York Film Festival, “The Squid and the Whale” is a dramatic comedy that revolves around a divorcing couple and their two adolescent sons in 1980s Brooklyn. Writer/director Noah Baumbach, son of former “Village Voice” film critic Georgia Brown and writer Jonathan Baumbach, fictionalizes the true story of his family’s breakdown in an emotionally candid story.

Playwright turns work abroad into thought-provoking hit back home
By Jerry Tallmer
Warren Leight glanced at the front page of that day’s New York Times, where a four-column picture topped Joseph Kahn’s story about Qin Yahong, a 35-year-old steel-mill worker in Henan Province, China, who, after three days and nights of torture by the police, had confessed to a rape and murder he did not commit, crimes for which he was condemned to death.

Koch On Film
By Ed Koch
“Proof” (+) This film is interesting and worth seeing, but it is not a blockbuster.
“El Crimen Perfecto” (-) I expected to like this film after reading several good reviews, e.g., Kevin Thomas wrote in the Los Angeles Times that, “The Spanish have been masters of sly black comedy, and “El Crimen Perfecto” (The Perfect Crime) is a splendid example.”

Fall films focus on relationships gone south
By Noah Fowle
Already making noise on the festival circuit, “Forty Shades of Blue” is a remarkable and harmonious combination of sounds and images that lay at the heart of great filmmaking.  Set in the music mecca of Memphis, Tennessee, the movie, which won the Sundance Grand Jury prize, follows the relationship of an aging blues producer, Alan (Rip Torn), his young girlfriend, Laura (Dina Korzun) and his estranged son, Michael (Darren Burrows).

Sports/ Health

Girls play for love of the game, but scouts watch
By Judith Stiles
When teenagers show up at Pier 40 to play soccer it should be for fun and a love of the sport, where ideally both teams experience a spirited and competitive game. However, these days the subplot of games played by 11th graders often means playing soccer to get into a “good” college and winning an athletic scholarship. Parents often start pushing their children to be better players as young as 10 years old because the high price of college looms large.


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