"Serving West and East Village, Chlesea, SoHo, NoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown and the Lower East Side" SINCE 1933
Volume 74, Number 17 | August 25 -31 , 2004

Inside

Editorial
Protesters and police and trying for peace
With the Republican Convention at its halfway point, the protests surrounding the convention have been part peaceful, part tumultuous.

Editorial Cartoon

Talking Point
N.Y.C. ’04 vs. Chicago ’68: Conventions & contentions
By Jefferson Siegel
It’s an August Sunday in 1968 and I’m flying West on TWA to the Democratic Convention, which is being held in the well-managed city of Chicago. The events of that fateful week represent an interesting contrast to this week’s events because of the personal passions and violent confrontations that altered the political landscape of 1968.

You rang?
Protest of note at W.T.C.

Top cop on the scene

A window on the convention

Scares in the square

Bar street fight

Scoopy’s notebook

Letters to the editor

People


News In Brief

Protest arrests

I want to ride my bicycle


BACK TO SCHOOL, PART 1

Preparatory program helps gifted students aim high
By Deborah Lynn Blumberg
At 9 a.m. on a sunny summer weekday in the West Village many area preteens head to the pool or go bike riding bikes with friends. But inside the Village Community School on W. 10th St. between Greenwich and Washington Sts., a group of 210 11- and 12-year-olds are discussing and debating hate crimes and gun control.

New Pompeii School principal is hands-on, caring and committed
By Melanie Wallis
Since 1926, Our Lady of Pompei Church has been an integral part of the Village community, which the new principal of its attached Catholic school is recently finding out.

Mayor and chancellor call Summer Academy a success
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein on Aug. 18 announced the results of the Summer Success Academy, noting that 51 percent of third grade students who attended 10 or more days earned automatic promotion to the fourth grade by passing required citywide tests, which include the English Language Arts and math exams. 

Future fonts of knowledge

Programming at Spellman Center in a state of flux
By Albert Amateau
The Cardinal Spellman Center, serving East Village residents and Catholic parishes in the neighborhood since 1963, like many nonprofit agencies, is in a period of transition these days, but there is no question that the Head Start preschool program is thriving.

Parent coordinators are called upon to fill many roles
By Elizabeth O’Brien
One of the first things Tracey Arrington did last year when she started working as one of the 1,200 new parent coordinators in New York City public schools was toss her official job description aside.

The real new year starts with school in September
By Wickham Boyle
The real new year starts in September. Just ask anyone who has attended school for the first 20 odd years of their life. January is a weak sister. There is nothing but that damn ball and a hangover as you get older. Especially here in New York, where even non-Jewish citizens celebrate a school holiday on Rosh Hashana, the real deal for the new year is September.

Educated shoppers flock to Downtown discount stores
By Melanie Wallis
With big Downtown department stores promoting back-to-school clothes sales, some parents may find it hard to avoid crowds when shopping for new school gear for their kids.


New York's
Exciting downtown scene

Villager photo by Lorenzo Ciniglio
As marchers passed Macy’s on 34th St., Vice President Cheney and FOX TV drew their wrath.

NEWS

On bikes, by bars, in graveyards and parks, doing the Bush bash
By Lincoln Anderson
“Methinks thou dost protest too much” was definitely not a Shakespearean line heard Downtown this week. From a “Redefeat Bush” sign in an apartment window in Silver Towers and a “Trust no Bush but your own” sign in Babes in Toyland’s store window on Rivington St. to “No to the Bush Agenda” stickers plastered on streets, lampposts, everywhere, the markers of dissent were not hard to miss. On-the-street protesting, however, concentrated at a few major locations.

Pier 57 pens are called ‘Guantanamo on Hudson’
By Albert Amateau
A prominent civil liberties lawyer and a Transportation Workers Union raised questions yesterday about asbestos and diesel oil contamination at Pier 57, the former bus depot at 17th St. serving since last week as the N.Y.P.D.’s holding pens for people arrested in Republican National Convention protests.

Sketches from the RNC: Moe, mayors and more
By Josh Rogers
Moe Fishman limped up Eighth Ave. Monday morning on his way to protest the opening of the Republican National Convention. Fishman, 89, lives near Madison Sq. Garden at Penn South and is one of the surviving Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, the group of idealistic Americans who volunteered to fight fascists in the Spanish Civil War from 1936-1939.

Veteran activists in Chelsea can still see the light
By Albert Amateau
Not to be outdone by the hundreds of demonstrators marching up Eighth Ave. on Monday night toward the 31st St. official site near Madison Sq. Garden for protests at the Republican National Convention, a contingent of Penn South residents stood at the barricade near 26th St. in a flashlight vigil.

Thou doth protest too much. Not! A week of dissent
Among the group at the front was former Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger, head of the American Jewish World Service. “I do international development work now. So I know just how badly America is thought of all over the world,” she noted.

Critical Mass at St. Mark’s, as bikers find sanctuary
By Keith Crandell
Last Friday evening, I was especially proud of being a part of St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, the v
enerable Episcopal monument at Second Ave. and E. 10th St. On Friday evening, the church provided sanctuary for dozens of bicyclists fleeing police in the most tumultuous event of the run-up to the Republican National Convention. Church activists George Diaz and Father Frank Morales, an associate pastor, faced off the city police outside the church after encouraging cyclists to take refuge inside.

The big story: Inside the media machine at the R.N.C.
By David H. Ellis
It was usually the first news I told to college friends calling long distance or to family members wanting to catch up. I’ll admit it, I was excited. I was going to be working at the Republican National Convention as a clerk for a major news organization. But since I live in New York, a predominantly Democratic town, I knew there would be some cynics who would question my motives.

Hell on wheels: Bike riders recount harrowing arrests
By Roslyn Kramer
Helicopters were grinding overhead, but they were drowned out as police and bicyclists mingled at Seventh Ave. near St. Vincent’s Hospital. Occasionally the chant “Let them go” arose from sidewalk observers who were able to figure out what was happening. Depending on your view, the police were either enforcing traffic laws or harassing bicyclists, who in turn were, depending on your view, out for a last-Friday-of-the-month Critical Mass bike ride from Union Sq. or demonstrating against Republican policies about to unfold at Madison Sq. Garden. Police had been blocking bikes unpredictably, creating massive traffic jams. On the other hand, there were indisputably more bikes this Friday night, causing more problems. Police often escorted the Friday night bikers, but not tonight.


Back to School, Part II
A special Villager supplement.

Stretching the traditional classroom’s boundaries
By Judith Stiles
Getting the jitters in anticipation of starting high school is not unusual for most teenagers at this time of year. The first day of freshman year is enough to get those stomach butterflies churning for just about any teen, except 14-year-old Reid Daniels, who is not nervous, but rather delighted to be starting high school at The School of The Future.

City has a plan, but state isn’t sharing the funds
By Albert Amateau
The Bloomberg administration last week filed a plan for New York State to add $5.3 billion annually to operating funds for the city’s public school system and to contribute an additional $6.5 billion annually for the city’s five-year capital program to build new schools and improve existing schools.

Stuart Little was a big help in learning to read
By Jane Flanagan
Thank God for E.B. White. The man’s dead nearly 20 years now, but I will go on being grateful that he lived. White, who was born in 1899, was a writer for the New Yorker and co-author of “The Elements of Style,” a working bible for writers. I’ve long been inspired and delighted by his work. 

Chinatown school’s program translates into success
By Melanie Wallis
St. Joseph’s School, predominantly serving New York’s immigrant population of Chinese and Hispanic decent, has been awarded a $50,000 scholarship fund for their eighth grade students.

Lions and tigers and mega-dorm developers, oh my! East Villagers try to save a historic school buildingParent coordinators are called upon to fill many roles
By Lincoln Anderson
Those immortal lyrics, sung by Judy Garland in “The Wizard of Oz,” were written by Yip Harburg, a graduate of the old Public School 64 by Tompkins Sq. Park. And if the dream that a group of East Villagers is daring to dream comes true, the former school building will be saved for posterity and returned to use an arts and community center.

Anti-idling program is a breath of fresh air for kids
By Deborah Lynn Blumberg
After a successful pilot program in three East Village elementary schools, a new program designed to improve the air quality around public schools will soon expand across New York to include several locations in Harlem and the Bronx.

Learning about creativity at children’s art museum
By Melanie Wallis
Taking up most of the sidewalk in front of 180 Lafayette St is a life-size wooden zebra, guarding the entrance to the otherwise concealed Children’s Museum of the Arts.


ARTS

Rejuvenating the leftie spiel
By Jerry Tallmer
There are at least 250, 000 people reportedly headed this way, from all over, to express an opinion regarding the occupying power that takes over Manhattan for four days starting Monday.

Susannah York plumbs Shakespeare
By Davida Singer
How many films can you name starring smoky voiced, blond British icon, Susannah York? The list is daunting and runs the gamut from “Tom Jones”, “Jane Eyre” and “A Man for All Seasons” to “The Killing of Sister George”, “They Shoot Horses Don’t They” and an award-winning role in Robert Altman’s “Images.” Fresh out of London’s Royal Academy, York first appeared opposite Alec Guinness in “Loss of Innocence” in 1962, and has since had major roles in over 60 films and performed in scores of international theater productions, including “Wings of a Dove,” “A Singular Man,” “A Cheap Bunch of Nice Flowers,” “September Tide,” “Hedda Gabler” and “Man and Superman” with Peter O’Toole.

Building Blocks meet the sky
By John Reed
“Have you been up to the roof garden at the Met? Oh, you should go. So and so and I went just the other night. It’s open late you know. There’s free music. And a bar.”

Koch on Film
By Ed Kock
“The Manchurian Candidate” (-)
For the life of me, I cannot understand why so many critics gave this flick kudos. I found it boring.
“We Don’t Live Here Anymore” (+) Good but not as great as it could have been due to the banal dialogue.

Reestablishing an existence
By Jerry Tallmer
The only thing you could really call action in a quite nice movie called “Almost Peaceful” is when Monsieur Albert, the boss of a small tailoring and garment-making workshop in 1946 Paris, disgustedly drops an ill-made coat out of a third-story window.


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