THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | Volume 17 • Issue 42 | March 11 — 17, 2005

Inside
Letter from the editor
A wise backpedal at Community Board 1
Phew.
The leaders of Community Board 1 agreed Wednesday night to suspend their effort to impose a new “code of conduct” on members – a proposal that would have clearly, and unwisely, limited board members’ speech. It looks like board leaders have returned to their senses and are ready to get back to the good work that many Downtowners have come to expect and appreciate.

Letters to the editor

Under Cover

Police Blotter


Downtown notebook
How did I ever learn to like fencing?
By Michele Herman
When our younger son was eight and had a head full of Robin Hood and Lancelot, he asked for fencing lessons for Christmas. We said, are you sure, hoping he wasn’t. We had managed to avoid kids’ organized sports until then and were in no hurry to sign away our weekends for swashbuckling school.

The Penny Post
Voice mail hell
By Andrei Codrescu
Credit is the devil. This hardly needs explaining to anyone who’s been in voice-mail hell with zombies from credit card companies, or gnashed their teeth to a fine powder seeing the rate increases on the monthly electrical, gas, water and telephone bills. The robo-managers who run these blood-sucking businesses are hidden behind deep firewalls of zombies roped inside cages in foreign countries.

Youth
Youth Ballet finds new BPC home
The New American Youth Ballet, founded by Elizabeth Fernandez (pictured at right) and Bonnie Fernandez, makes classical ballet accessible to all by offering lessons and performing opportunities by donation.

Jumping out of birthday party whirlwind
By Aileen Torres
“Children for Children” began with a very simple idea. It was sparked by an ordinary ritual – children’s birthday parties. Silda Wall found herself busy organizing birthday parties for her three young daughters, the eldest of whom was then six-years-old.

C.B. 1 backs away from contentious rule change
By Ronda Kaysen
Community Board 1’s Executive Committee effectively killed a Code of Conduct resolution it proposed last month that would have curbed board members’ speech, bringing the contentious issue to a close.

Board likes East River plan changes
By Ronda Kaysen
After half a century of floating plans for the East River waterfront, it looks like the Bloomberg Administration may have finally sunk anchor with Community Board 1. The Department of City Planning unveiled detailed plans to redevelop the waterfront at a Monday night C.B. 1 meeting, to the delight of many board members.

Downtown Express photo by Robert Stolarik

View to a market
A nut vendor’s look at the Orchard St. bargain market bustle last Sunday.


Sister Deborah adapts to a changing Lower East Side
By Zachary Roy
When Sister Deborah Lopez arrived at St. Joseph’s School four years ago to become the new principal, many residents of school’s Chinatown neighborhood probably thought she was a newcomer. After all, the last time she had lived there, it was not even called Chinatown.

Inside Downtown Express

Parent campaign at P.S. 89 offends I.S. 89
By Ronda Kaysen
Talk about precocious: it seems that Battery Park City’s six-year-olds have taken to peaceful protestations. The pins that you might have seen recently affixed to the backpacks of Downtown first graders have nothing to do with Sponge Bob or Pokemon. They are instead being stamped out and tacked onto the tots by a few B.P.C. parents.

Chinatown center helps people get mental health help
By Nancy Reardon
An elderly Chinese man recently told Tracy Luo about some problems he was having at home. He had come to America for freedom, but since Sept. 11, he has not felt safe in his Chinatown neighborhood. He said he was afraid to ride the subway and buses and has been fighting with his wife for no reason.

Ideas for Pier 40 include aquarium, marina to education
By Albert Amateau
The Hudson River Park Trust this week presented a 26-page marketing study on permanent development possibilities for the 14-acre Pier 40 at Houston St. to the Community Board 2 waterfront committee and concluded an aquarium, marina or educational facility among the more feasible options.

Mayor expected to sign compromise for Park Row
By Ronda Kaysen
Downtown residents and business owners will be able to weigh in on the effects of long-term street closures in their neighborhood under legislation passed unanimously by the City Council on Wednesday.

Cube disappearance

Senate leaders Downtown


Arts Downtown

Chafing political sensibilities
By Michael White
New York theatergoers are no strangers to the plays of David Mamet. The award-winning playwright, screenwriter, director, essayist, novelist and poet has had his works showcased all over the world since his play “Glengarry Glen Ross” won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984. Mamet’s cutting, staccato signature language has altered the theatrical idiom, and his writings have continually thrown down the gauntlet on contemporary social mores.

Absorbing six-hours of viewing
By Leonard Quart
Marco Tulio Giordana’s “The Best of Youth” is a welcome new Italian film in the tradition of richly-textured, family epics like Visconti’s “Rocco and His Brothers.” It’s accessible and warm, and skillfully intersects its family drama with brief glimpses of almost four decades of contemporary Italian history. It also gives us, without turning into a tourist guide, a glance at a range of striking Italian locations—from the cities of Turin, Rome and Florence, to the volcanic island of Stromboli in the South and the Tuscan countryside in the North.

Sports

Cougars tested, but notch two more wins
By Zachary Roy
Midway through the second quarter of their game last Thursday, the I.S. 89 Cougars found themselves in unfamiliar territory — they were losing. But guard Grits Gittens 25-point performance lifted them past Greenwich Village Middle School (G.V.M.S.) 65-45, which, on the heels of their 62-38 win at Baruch two days earlier, extended the Cougars’ record to 12-1.


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