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Volume 74, Number 26 | Octuber 27 - November 03 , 2004

Inside

Editorial
The Villager’s
endorsements
Although Downtown Manhattan often sees hotly contested primary elections, this year in the general election there are no competitive races. While our incumbent representatives have mostly done a good job, we are always eager to see viable challengers take on sitting politicians. This causes a vigorous airing of views on the issues and forces candidates to stake out positions. That being the case, here are The Villager’s endorsements for Nov. 2.

Editorial Cartoon

Talking Point
Beyond journalism: A community gumshoe on Morton St.
By Judith Seigel
Nancy Reardon’s article, “Neighbors disagree whether building is a problem” (Villager, Oct. 6) about our protests against operations at 66 Morton St., including the recent “Self Spa,” made me think “That girl goofed.” She ignored our most important points in favor of statements by “officials” that don’t apply. (And yes, I will prove that.)

The flu vaccine mess: How
many of us will end up dying?
By Keith Crandell
A great many Americans will die this winter as a result of the mammoth, preventable failure in our flu vaccine sourcing. Of this there can be no question. The question is how many? And who? And what’s to be done?

Revolutions of bike wheels are the real revolution
By Michele Herman
In my recurring suburban nightmare, it’s morning and I’m determined to ride my bike to work. But I have trouble getting dressed because my closet is filled with clothes I’ve never laid eyes on. The hour grows late. My leg bones grow rubbery. When I finally throw open the garage door, I can’t seem to find my bike. As usual, I end up taking the car, the vehicle of least resistance.

Rubicube: Red is everywhere
By Andrei Codrescu
By the time you are reading this, the American republic may have chosen its future and there is nothing either I or you can do about it. As I write this, the world is awash in red. The Boston Red Sox are fighting the red birds of St. Louis. The map of the U.S. is more than half red. A red alert is possible. And remember that “wearing red is like wearing nothing,” in the immortal words of Victor H. Cruz. All this red is the legacy of the communists. When we destroyed them they left behind a puddle of red that’s slowly spreading through us.

Scoopy's notebook

Letters to the editor


Scene

Juliette Kessler, 10, sold toys and games in Washington Market Park Saturday to support John Kerry’s presidential campaign.
News In Brief

Lopez and Lawyers Guild call for information on ‘Guantanamo’

Parade to scare up a crowd on 6th

Guild receives challenge grant

Memorial to the 1,239 dead in action

Sign of respect for immigrants

Author sees shades of 1984 in 2004

New Board 3 policy on documents


Police Blotter


Tribute

More than a waiter, Louie gave Joe Jr. its flavor
By Ed Gold
Louie looked at me sternly as I sat in the booth. I hadn’t spoken, but he did: “B.L.T. down. Whole wheat. Mayo. A decaf.” Then turning to my friend, Ron, a frequent booth-sharer: “Small Greek. No cucumbers. No peppers. Extra grape leaves. Diet Pepsi.”



Sports

Home-school kids get out for a workout, or two, or three
By Jill Stern
About four years ago, when my oldest child was about to go into kindergarten, I toyed with the idea of home-schooling. I always admired and glorified the brave families who bucked the system. I came up with a zillion reasons why I shouldn’t and/or couldn’t go that route. One of those reasons was the lack of sports education. Ultimately, I registered my kids in public school. I have always fantasized about an alternative lifestyle, but I haven’t quite gotten there.

Villager photo by Elisabeth Robert

Mayor Bloomberg announced the city’s funding of the Union Sq. N. renovation project on Monday, as Councilmember Margarita Lopez and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe stood nearby.

Mayor pledges $8 million for Union Sq. N. renovation

By Albert Amateau
Mayor Michael Bloomberg came to Union Sq. Park on Monday to announce the city’s funding of $8 million toward the $14 million reconstruction of the north end and the north plaza of the park.


NEWS
City: Permit is critical for mass ride
By Lincoln Anderson
In an effort to rein in the freewheeling, monthly Critical Mass bike ride, the Bloomberg administration on Monday filed a lawsuit in federal court, asking a judge for an injunction against this Friday’s Halloween-theme sortie on the grounds that the event does not have a permit.

By Sascha Brodsky
Although he is facing a popular incumbent in Jerrold Nadler in next week’s congressional election, political newcomer Peter Hort said he is hopeful about his chances.

INSIDE THE VILLAGER

Two years later, Leibovitz repairs slow developing

By Nancy Reardon

Repair work has started in three landmarked buildings in the West Village that have been the focus of protests and lobbying efforts by neighbors and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation for two years.

V.I.D. heads for key battleground state Ohio to work for John Kerry
Hoping to help make a difference in the election turnout in the critical so-called bellwether state of Ohio, 21 members of the Village Independent Democrats political club will head to the Buckeye State on Friday and remain there until Election Day, Tuesday.

Reeling in the years, ex-Marine takes a look back
By Albert Amateau
Although he’s not as steady on his pins as he used to be (this was the first year that he missed the annual Striped Bass Blue Fish Derby in Martha’s Vineyard) Jerry Jansen, ex-Marine, union stalwart and neighborhood activist, still goes up and down five flights of stairs to and from the Greenwich Village apartment that he’s been calling home for more than 50 years.

After recognition by New School, adjuncts merge with N.Y.U. union
By Lincoln Anderson
Fast on the heels of the National Labor Relation Board’s certification of New School University’s new adjuncts union, the new union has combined with New York University’s two-year-old adjuncts union.

With fewer boxes and pickups, going postal less often
By Hemmy So
The National Postal Mail Handlers Union Local 300 has started a grassroots campaign to restore full postal service to certain areas in Manhattan, including areas below 14th St. and north of the Financial District, after a series of recent postal service cuts.

Halloween Parade founder still up to his devilish ways
By Roslyn Kramer
Witches and warlocks will prance up Sixth Ave. Oct 31 in the Greenwich Village Holloween Parade, but as entertaining as the annual event is, one critical element has been missing since 1985: its creator, Ralph Lee.


ARTS
McCarthy era lessons more relevant than ever
By Jerry Tallmer
THE CHAIRMAN: [J. Parnell Thomas, R-N.J.]: Any real American would be proud to answer the question, “Are you, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?” — any REAL American!

Ibsen’s Eternal, Flawed Pre-Feminist
By CHRISTOPHER BYRNE
Sometimes even the bleakest drama can be a joyful experience. That’s certainly the case with the production of “Hedda Gabler” now at New York Theatre Workshop. The production is graphic and emotionally raw, but so courageous and consistent in its design, direction and acting choices that it makes Ibsen’s classic play seem like a contemporary indictment of our heartless, self-obsessed culture.

Mother/daughter team up with a book to embolden women
By Wickham Boyle
First there was the real thing. Then there was Vagina Monologues and now, thank heavens there is “Vaginas: An Owners Manuel.” This new book published last week by Avalon and written in a clear, concise and funny fashion by Dr. Carol Livoti and her writer-daughter Elizabeth Topp is a great companion to anyone who either possesses the real thing or has an interest in it.

An Abortionist’s Tale
By David Noh
Mike Leigh comes up with his finest film yet in this story set in post-Word War II London. Vera (Imelda Staunton) is a housemaid with a loving blue-collar husband (Philip Davis), and two grown children, mousily shy Ethel (Alex Kelly) and breezily confident Sid (Daniel Mays), a tailor.

Koch on Film
“Friday Night Lights” (+)
Not close to a really good flick; nevertheless, it is interesting and entertaining.
Based on a true story and book by H.G. Bissinger, the film is about the Permian High School football team in Odessa, Texas. This little town had little going for it, and for many of its residents, seeing the Panthers win the state championship was an obsession.
Hero (-) This is an exquisite picture. Probably no other film that I have seen rivals its use of color. The sets are of the Forbidden City, which I have walked through, bordered by Tiananmen Square. The story is a myth going back to the time when China was divided into seven kingdoms, one of which was the kingdom of Qin. The Qin king (Chen Dao Ming) sought to unite the warring states into one mighty land. As a result, he was the constant target of efforts to assassinate him.


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