THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN — Volume 18 • Issue 42 | March 3 - 9, 2006

Editorial
Working to make community boards better
Some politicians don’t follow through on their campaign promises. But Scott Stringer, the new Manhattan borough president, is diving right into community board reform, one of his main campaign platforms. He shows every intention of improving this institution, which hasn’t seen significant change in 50 years.

The Penny Post
Activist’s work rose with the flood
By Andrei Codrescu
Andrea Garland was in Crawford, Tex., demonstrating against the war in Iraq when the storm came. As news of the catastrophe engulfing her hometown reached her, she drafted some Vietnam vets who were willing to come to New Orleans to help. The vets were protesting the new war along Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier who died in Iraq. Vietnam had been a lesson that America was quickly forgetting, and now here was an American city being abandoned by the U.S. government in its darkest hour. The war had come home.

Talking Point
Don’t rush the rebuilding of Church St.
By David Stanke
At a recent Community Board 1 meeting, a Battery Park City board member mused about the prospective age of his grandchildren when the World Trade Center is finally completed. Through his extended soliloquy to the Bloomberg administration, I realized that the rush at the W.T.C. has become a dogma, accepted without full consideration of the implications. The real issue is the start date, not the completion date. The focus should be to bring a steady stream of the best possible facilities into service, not simply to get it done and claim victory.


Letters to the editor

Under Cover

Police Blotter

Downtown Express photo by Jefferson Siegel
Two shivers are better than one
If anything can make the long, Sunday-night wait for the M15 bus on Water St. go quicker, it may be a little body warmth.

Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert

Tina Kreitlow, director of the Chinatown YMCA’s new center at Bowery and E. Houston St., on the new facility’s opening day.


Let the games begin: Chinatown Y opens on Bowery
By Janel Bladow
The Bowery is bouncing with basketballs. With a new YMCA at the corner of East Houston St., the neighborhood once full of flophouses is now alive with all sorts of fun activities.

News
UPDATE:
Beekman school was always in doubt, Klein says
By Ronda Kaysen
The $44 million promised for a new school on Beekman St. has been spent on other projects and funding for the school was always conditional on money from Albany, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein said Tuesday.

E.P.A. skips Council hearing to discuss cleanup plan
By Ronda Kaysen
A City Council hearing on the post-9/11 cleanup of Lower Manhattan lasted well over three hours and included testimony from everyone from city commissioners to elected officials to local residents. The only voice notably absent was the agency at the center of the discussions — the Environmental Protection Agency.


INSIDE

A Maiden move for Downtown’s longtime jeweler
By Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke
“I am worried about the ghost of William Barthman, I don’t know what he’ll do about the move,” said Renee Rosales-Kopel, the manager of William Barthman’s corporate gift gallery and wife of general manager Joel Kopel. “I don’t know which Barthman the ghost is, maybe it’s the first William Barthman,” Rosales-Kopel said, pointing to the framed portraits hanging above the showroom.

Lower East Side commander focuses on rowdy bars
By Albert Amateau
At the age of 44, Captain Frank Dwyer has spent 23 years as a New York City police officer, the past four months of those as commanding officer of the Seventh Precinct in the densely populated Lower East Side.

C.B.G.B. owner says Essex building doesn’t rock
By Lincoln Anderson
“This ain’t no Mudd Club, or C.B.G.B.,” David Byrne sang. Hilly Kristal, owner of C.B.G.B., feels the same way about a property the city recently offered him for a new home for the legendary punk music club.

L.E.S. tower readies to rise after fight
By Alex Schmidt
A mountain of dirt and broken concrete grows at the intersection of Houston and Ludlow Sts. As ground is overturned and the earth probed, pile drivers prepare the lot at 188 Ludlow St. for a 23-story tower on the Lower East Side. It’s a change that one longtime resident, Clayton Patterson, calls “the most dramatic in the whole neighborhood.”

Sanitation still talking trash on Gansevoort
By Albert Amateau
At the age of 44, Captain Frank Dwyer has spent 23 years as a New York City police officer, the past four months of those as commanding officer of the Seventh Precinct in the densely populated Lower East Side.


Downtown Arts & Entertainment

Entertaining thoughts of the late Joe Orton
By Jerry Tallmer
The O boys, Osborne and Orton. Between them, they smashed up British drama, and put it back together again.
John Osborne kicked in the door — entered, in anger — in 1956. Joe Orton exited, laughing — being murdered by an envious lover was the biggest joke of all — in 1967.

In film version of ‘Freedomland,’ a lost opportunity
By Leonard Quart
Bronx-born Richard Price is one of our best urban novelists and a skilled scriptwriter as well (he was nominated for an Oscar for “The Color of Money”). He writes muscular, metaphoric prose and has a keen ear for smart, raw colloquial talk, and a sharp eye for urban settings, from seedy bars to chaotic municipal hospitals.

A bookie’s guide to the best foreign film
By Rania Richardson
Downtown Manhattan is the hub for international cinema, so it’s no surprise to see all five of the Oscar-nominated foreign language films make their debut here. The Palestinian, South African, French, German, and Italian films are all admirable and worth seeing on the big screen, but which one will win the Academy Award this Sunday night? Correctly guessing the Best Foreign Film could be a crucial factor in scoring that office pool money on Monday.

Searching for love by the dashboard light
By Aileen Torres
“American Purgatorio,” John Haskell’s debut novel, is a tale about a man named Jack on a mission to find his missing wife, Anne. When she disappears suddenly from a gas station in New Jersey, Jack has no clue as to why his wife vanishes, and at first he’s angry with her for being so cruel as to leave him — if that is actually the case (he’s not really sure). But that anger dissipates as he becomes consumed with desire to find the woman he loves.

Rising musician announces Battery Park residency
By Steven Snyder
Reflecting on the unlikely adventure that has not only brought her notoriety as a rising musician, but has also sent her journeying across the country from Florida to New York City, Jen Elliott said she was originally afraid to chase her dream.
So it chased her instead.

Speaking out before her time
By Chad Smith
If historical movies have a tendency to paint with broad strokes, attempting to make complex and many-sided facts digestible for general audiences, then the new movie “Sophie Scholl: The Last Days” about the anti-Nazi martyr, defies this logic. The movie paints with strokes that are fine and meticulous. Color for color, detail for terrifying detail.


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