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THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | Volume 16 • Issue 38| February 20 - 26, 2004

John Kerry for president
This year’s compressed Democratic primary schedule appears to have produced a clear winning presidential nominee earlier than most years. Part of the plan was to allow large states like New York, California and Ohio to be part of Super Tuesday and play a meaningful role in selecting the Democrat to run in November. The plan did not figure on Sen. John Kerry’s impressive primary sweep, which has put his nomination in the something approaching inevitable category, pending of course a serious misstep or some other implosion in the Kerry candidacy.

The Penny Post
Nikola Tesla’s brain
By Andrei Codrescu
Nikola Tesla was a genius inventor who designed the first alternate current motor, discovered X-rays, and pioneered wireless communication, making radio, television and the Internet possible. He was also convinced of the existence of life on other planets and planned to use the earth’s magnetic field to communicate with the aliens who often spoke to him. He also claimed to have invented a Death Ray that “could split the earth in half like an apple,” but he never produced any evidence.

Taking Point
Who did it? Who is Christ is the better question
By Gregg Farah
Christian pastors aren’t often invited to Hollywood screenings. But if you’ve been following news coverage of Mel Gibson’s new film “The Passion Of The Christ,” you know that pastors and other clergy have been given special previews. In January I was invited to the Chicago area for just such a screening, given by Mel Gibson himself. You could say it was the longest trip I had ever taken for a movie.

Second Thougths
By Richmond Jones

Downtown Local

Grand reopening

Member search

Pace extension

Aspiring gardeners

C.B. 1 meetings

Police Blotter

Morgy to run again

Imitating Rove

New community center opens

Picture Story
Hanging out in Chinatown
Rightside up or upside down as singer Dave Matthews might say, children seemed to enjoy the midwinter break last Wednesday in Chinatown’s Columbus Park.


The sleep-deprived generation?
By Dr. Amy Glaser
My sixteen-year-old does not finish his homework until 11:30 at night. At least that’s what he tells me. I wouldn’t know. I’m asleep.
No doubt you’ve noticed that as your child moves into puberty her sleep patterns are shifting: she is staying up later and getting up later. Both psychosocial influences and changes in bio-regulatory patterns contribute to what scientists call a phase delay, that is a tendency for later times for both going to sleep and awakening.

Children's Activities


Working with keepers on the waterfront
By Judith Stiles
In the morning, physical therapist Jack Stefanowski works with newborns, small infants diagnosed with “delayed development.” But in the afternoon, Coach Stefanowski dons his goalie gloves and can be found demonstrating how to catch and punch a soccer ball, ironically a size five ball, which is about the same size as some of his patients. The daily transition from gentle to vigorous movement is no problem for Stefanowski.

Cougar break
The I.S. 89 Cougars will soon get back to playing basketball after a brief break from their schedule. The last girls I.S. 89 Cougars match that was planned for Thursday Feb. 12, against Baruch was cancelled due to the opposition schools hosting of a Valentines dance. There will be no games the following week due to school vacation.

A few of the 5,201 submissions that were considered for the World Trade Center memorial and which were released online on Thursday (

5,201 memorial ideas released —Selected plan criticized by L.M.D.C. member
By Josh Rogers
An Egyptian proposed a gigantic question mark at a Twin Tower footprint to symbolize questions like “who did that?” Someone from Jordan said he used to be a religious fundamentalist and he submitted a World Trade Center memorial design because he wanted to warn that fundamentalism kills “indiscriminately and on a massive scale.” Artist Tom Otterness, whose distinctive style can be seen in places like Battery Park City and the 14th St. subway station, proposed a giant sculpture over the area where the towers once stood.

Construction concerns at the W.T.C.
By Elizabeth O’Brien
As residents asked the government for more time and information before construction begins on the World Trade Center site, the business community urged that rebuilding start immediately to hasten Lower Manhattan’s economic recovery.

I.P.N. tenant leader sees progress in landlord talks
By Albert Amateau
Negotiations between the Independence Plaza North Tenants Association and Laurence Gluck, the new owner of I.P.N. who intends to take the Tribeca complex out of the Mitchell-Lama program at the end of June, show signs of progress, according to Neil Fabricant, tenant association president.

Ferrer works on stump speech at Downtown club
By Lincoln Anderson
Fernando Ferrer had just started his talk at the Village Independent Democrats’ meeting Feb. 12 and had been describing what he’s been up to the last two years, before launching into an attack on President Bush. He was a little rusty, though, his voice lacking the necessary oomph for a political club meeting.

Aiming to be the ‘First Sister’ from Downtown
By Ed Gold
She’d love to be First Sister.
Peggy Kerry leaves her office at the U.N. and heads back to Greenwich Village, back to her modest apartment on Barrow St., to feed her 5-year-old daughter, Iris. Her younger brother, John, is on a political roll, on the verge of capturing the Democratic Party’s nomination for the U.S. presidency.

Smuggled in as a teen, immigrant tells his story
By David Jonathan Epstein
Meng Dong remembered four years ago when as a 16-year-old he sat on the corner of a bed he shared with four strangers and peeled a banana. It was the second week in a row he had eaten bananas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He used to love the taste. But now, as he choked down one more bite, he wondered why he crossed four countries to get to America.

Tribeca Film Festival gears up 1800 volunteers are sought
By Danielle Stein
Looking at the handful of employees occupying a sliver of hardwood-floored space on North Moore Street, you’d think you were observing the daily workings of a small temp agency or a start-up public relations firm. You’d never guess what the sparse group is really up to: putting together one of the largest film festivals in the world.

Pioneer of American avant-garde film soldiers on
By Aileen Torres
Lithuanian born Jonas Mekas is widely considered to be the godfather of American avant-garde cinema. Born in 1922, Mekas immigrated to New York in his 20’s, settling first in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and later on Orchard Street on the Lower East Side.

The early draft of genius
By Jerry Tallmer
Now hear this.
It is the morning after. Blanche and Stanley are groggily awakened from their bed of passion by a telephone that rings seven or eight times. Stanley staggers up, listens, grunts: “Yeah? Good.” Blanche asks: “What was it?” and Stanley Kowalski says: “I have a girl, a daughter.” His shoulders are full of lacerations, fingernail scratches.

Koch on film
By Ed Koch
Girl With A Pearl Earring’ (+) This beautiful film, based on the novel by Tracy Chevalier, is filled with tableaus that enchant the eye. It takes place in 1665, and the audience is transported to that period as the characters walk the cobblestone streets of Delft Holland amidst the unique Dutch buildings which still exist today. ‘The Return’ (+) This Russian film with English subtitles contains beautiful and occasionally breathtaking pastel-colored scenes.

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