Volume 77 / Number 52 - May 28 - June 3, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Chelsea Career change: We hear Chelsea Career and Technical Education High School, at 131 Sixth Ave. — which, despite the name, is in Soho, not Chelsea — may soon be getting an additional, more rigorous school. A onetime elementary school, the building is currently packed to the gills with three technical academies emphasizing college preparation, focusing on computer technology and programming. However, formerly known as Chelsea Vocational High School, it’s plagued by low attendance rates, and the Department of Education recently gave the school an F on its overall annual progress report grade. The failing mark means the school could be on the chancellor’s list for possible closing. However, Scoopy recently learned that while closing won’t happen in the near future, talk has turned to the school’s transformation with the addition of a second school that will require students to pass an entrance test. A source at Tweed, D.O.E.’s headquarters, who is intimately involved in school closings and openings, said the entrance test won’t be as difficult as Stuyvesant, for example, but might be more along the lines of LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts — a test that the school would be in control of and able to modify as it sees fit. The source indicated that the new school’s arrival was imminent. Scoopy’s tip came as welcome news to some Soho residents. “Anything is an improvement,” said Sean Sweeney, director of the Soho Alliance, citing sporadic problems linked to the school in recent years. “The criminal acts have been going on for years,” he said. Calls to D.O.E. and its Empowerment Program, which compiles the school grade cards, were not returned by press time. … Also on the subject of Tweed, we hear from public school teachers we know that “everyone who works at Tweed is good-looking.” We haven’t researched this ourselves, but that’s the word on the street — plus, the source was a pretty handsome guy.
Chuck, do something!!! Meg Black, who was an aide to former State Senator Franz Leichter — a co-author, of course, of the 1998 Hudson River Park Act — is calling on Chuck Schumer to read the riot act to Hillary Clinton. Black said Clinton’s bizarre R.F.K. assassination comments justifying her staying in the race to the bitter end “put me over the edge.” On Saturday, Black wrote Schumer an open letter demanding he convince his Senate colleague drop out of the Democratic presidential primary and admit defeat to Barack Obama. “As a resident of N.Y.C. and a staunch supporter of the Democratic Party, I am appalled at the rhetoric and tactics used by your colleague Senator Clinton in this campaign,” Black e-mailed Schumer. “As [you are] the senior U.S. senator from the state of New York, I am asking that you assume a leadership position and immediately demand that Senator Clinton withdraw her candidacy from this race and [that you] announce your support for Senator Obama. Not on June 3, not on June 4, not on June 5. Now.” As of Tuesday, Black had received no response from Schumer.
A crook vs. crooks: In a move that should increase safety, a street light of antique design will be installed at Barrow St. between Seventh Ave. and Bedford St. at the end of this year, in response to an illumination study performed by the Department of Transportation. “I think it’s an example of how the community needs to inform the city of trouble spots, whether it be poor lighting or other safety issues,” said Brad Hoylman, Community Board 2 chairperson. Local residents and the Sixth Precinct Community Council raised concerns about the Barrow St. location and two others after a rash of assaults and purse snatchings. In January, three men attacked TV news political reporter Jay DeDapper on Barrow St. near the corner of Bedford St., punching him and knocking him to the ground, where they kicked his head and demanded money. Local block association activist Kathy Donaldson was concerned about the situation and said that the Barrow St. stretch always needed more light, but that only a fashionable lamppost would do. She led the effort to get a historic replica bishop’s crook lamppost, since, as she noted, “We had already replaced all of our lights with old-fashioned bishop’s crooks.” D.O.T. agreed to purchase the more expensive light pole. The bishop’s crook light first appeared in New York City in 1892 and is now being reinstated in newly erected posts, seen prominently along Sixth Ave. in the West Village, and as far north as 23rd St.