e>Voted New York State's Best Community Newspaper


Volume 75, Number 46
April 12 - 18, 2006


Editorial/ Op-Ed
Doing community news that matters
For the second year in a row The Villager has won the Stuart C. Dorman Award for Editorial Excellence, the top award in the New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.
The honor makes all our hard work over the last year even more gratifying. Although we’re immensely proud that the judges felt The Villager’s news coverage, writing, photography, editorials and editorial page, design and overall quality were deserving, we also know that we have a great advantage over other weekly newspapers in New York City and State — in that our beat is one of the most interesting in the world.

Talking Point
Future of Lower East Side Jewry hangs by a thread
By Juda S. Engelmayer
Growing up on the Lower East Side was, for me, a mixed blessing. Sure, I had the benefit of growing up in the city, but I also grew up in a neighborhood in transition but uncertain of where it was heading. At times, I had to deal with neighborhood taunts and jibes by Uptown and suburban schoolmates. Now it is the turn of my children to grow up here. Despite the trials and tribulations of the neighborhood, the Lower East Side is where I consciously chose to raise them. I love this neighborhood. I am passionate about it and for it. I am committed to its future. What that future looks like, however, remains to be seen.

Notebook
Spring and the great Chinese poets
By Andrei Codrescu
On spring break I, the teacher, headed for the mountains. Most of my students went straight to the beach. That’s a Chinese poem if you read it again. All semester I thought various poetries but lingered longest on the Chinese.

Letters to the editor

Scoopy's Notebook

Editorial Cartoon
By Ira Blutreich

Police blotter

Scene


News In Brief

Reck will challenge Derr, giving C.B. 2 a chairperson race in June

Gerson unveils nightlife security plan

Grandma-mugger suspect

Club takes it off for a good cause

Gang scene

Woof speed, Scottie!


Youth/Sports

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


Villager photo by Jefferson Siegel

At High Line rail lifting, from left, Robert Hammond and Joshua David of Friends of the High Line; Council Speaker Christine Quinn; Senator Hillary Clinton; Mayor Mike Bloomberg; City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden and Congressmember Jerrold Nadler. (The rail was actually lifted by a large backhoe, not shown in photo.)

High Line park achieves liftoff with a rail lifting
By Albert Amateau
A rail lifting rather than the traditional spades-in-the-ground ceremony attracted hundreds of guests to the official beginning on Monday of construction that will transform the High Line into a 1.5-mile elevated park.

Inside

Villager repeats as state’s best weekly paper; wins 16 awards
For the second year in a row — and the third time in the last five years — The Villager has been judged the best weekly newspaper in New York State.

Chinatown rallies for rights for illegal immigrants
By Ronda Kaysen
By 2 o’clock on Monday a large crowd of Chinese restaurant workers, house cleaners, nurses, students, garment workers and fishmongers had gathered at Chatham Square in Chinatown. They stood atop concrete planters and park benches, shielding their eyes from the bright April sun.


East Villagers say nightlife scene is a nightmare
By Ellen Keohane
Too many bars, honking horns, loud drunk people, cat-sized rats and vomit-splattered sidewalks were some of the complaints voiced by East Village residents and business owners at a Community Board 3 meeting on Monday night.

Governor and Silver in bar brawl over S.L.A. unit
By Albert Amateau
The strident protests about noisy bars disrupting the quality of life in the East Village, Soho and West Chelsea have prompted actions in Albany by Governor Pataki and by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s influence in the Legislature.

Residents drink in S.L.A.’s language on gastropub
By Lincoln Anderson
The State Liquor Authority has finally used the O word in relation to the booming bar scene that is choking Avenue B with late-night taxi traffic and causing other quality of life headaches for neighbors. In its decision explaining its denial last month of a liquor license for E.U., a new so-called gastropub on E. Fourth St. near Avenue B, the S.L.A. cited the problem of oversaturation of bars — and also acknowledged that the community has a “unique knowledge” about the conditions in its own neighborhood and how many bars it can accommodate.

Kranepool kicks off what should be amazin’ season
By Jefferson Siegel
Last Saturday may have been rainy, windy and cold. But, at 10 a.m., Greenwich Village time, summer officially began. Several hundred players of the Greenwich Village Little League marched onto the field of J.J. Walker Park on Hudson St. after a ribbon cutting, the first of several events held at the league’s Opening Day Parade.

Chelsea native pours passion for water into museum
By Albert Amateau
A new museum was hatched last month in the West Chelsea gallery district with the formal opening of the New York Museum of Water.

After supporting war, Maloney now calls for pullout
By Chad Smith
Congressmembers Carolyn Maloney and John Murtha held a town hall meeting in Midtown on Monday calling for the redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq, and detailing ways to remedy the financial burdens and damaged political relationships resulting from the war.

Community gardeners now covered by city insurance
By Alex Schmidt
Community gardeners across New York City are celebrating.
On March 23, Parks Department Commissioner Adrian Benepe announced that the city would extend municipal liability protection to community gardens. Previously, these gardens either depended on organizations to cover their private insurance policies or gardeners paid insurance expenses out of pocket.

Threat of charter addition ruffles NEST’s feathers
By Jefferson Siegel
Several hundred children and their parents jammed City Hall plaza last Friday to protest a plan by the city to add a charter school inside their Lower East Side school building.

Arts & Entertainment



For the love of a country — and poet Elizabeth Bishop
By Jerry Tallmer
Five takes from the life (lives) of a woman (two women) who fell in love with Brazil.

The Village’s original, Off-Broadway baby
By Michael Clive
Two cheers for the Roundabout Theatre Company’s promising revival of the “Threepenny Opera” which opens on April 20th at Studio 54. Let’s reserve that final cheer until we’ve had a chance to see how things go. But in the meantime, Downtown theater loyalists will await this Uptown opening with all the proud, proprietary interest of a parent whose child is starring in the school play.

Catching up with playwright David Marshall Grant
By Scott Harrah
Among successful stage and TV actors, David Marshall Grant is a breed apart. After playing the gay character Russell on the 1980s prime-time TV soap “Thirtysomething” and then lawyer Joe Pitt in Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America,” he shifted creative gears and assumed the role of respected playwright.

Koch on Film
By Ed Koch
Basic Instinct 2 (-) I was warned to stay away from this film by every reviewer I read, and after seeing it, I came to the conclusion that those other critics were too kind in their reviews.
Thank You for Smoking (+) I was put off by the title of this film and had no interest in seeing it until several friends recommended it. This underrated movie doesn’t give you any belly laughs but does provide a continuous tide of uninterrupted chuckles, and I am glad that I saw it.

Historic photography club celebrates 90th anniversary
By Aileen Torres
When modern photography first emerged at the turn of the twentieth century, it was considered a practical tool, not a viable art form. But beginning in 1916, three New Yorkers helped garner respect for the medium.



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