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The Hangover, p. 20 Volume 82, Number 40 $1.00 West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Hudson Square, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933 March 7 - 13, 2013 Champs pitch towers plan; durst goes to bat for reuse iPhone bar thefts have sent village crime rate soaring BY LINCOLN ANDERSON More than 400 people turned out for a public forum on Pier 40 last Thursday night, to hear presentations on two competing plans for the crumbling structure — including one that would add a pair of 22-story residential towers at the foot of the pier. The standing-room-only crowd packed the ground-fl oor meeting space at the Saatchi & Saatchi building, at Hudson and Houston Sts., just two blocks east of the sprawling but dilapidated 15-acre pier. The Pier 40 Champions plan would make the key Lower West Side site into even more of a sports mecca, expanding upon its existing, generous athletic field space. To fund sorely needed repairs for the aging pier, the proposal would include two high-rise towers located within Hudson River Park, just east of the pier. However — a critical requirement — a legislative change to the Hudson River Park Act of 1998 would be needed to allow housing in the park. The rival plan, by the Durst Organization, is an adaptive reuse of the current pier-shed structure. The pier’s parking operation would be consolidated into less space via parking stackers, while new commercial uses would be added to the pier, including a mix of high-tech offices and retail. Sporting their blue soccer training jackets, as they filed into the meeting, about 20 members of The Zum Schneider FC came to support the Pier 40 Champions plan. “We hold five permits at Pier 40. We’ve been playing there about 10 years,” said Joseph Roubeni, the 150-member soccer club’s director. Asked about the two 22-story towers, Roubeni said, “I think it’s a bit of a tradeoff, but if it could help push the financials at Pier 40, then I’m for it.” “It’s large,” he said of the appeal of Pier 40’s sports facility. “It has among the best fields in the city.” Meanwhile, standing nearby, BY PAUL BUFANO After steadily decreasing for the past eight years, crime is soaring in the Sixth Precinct, which covers Greenwich Village and the West Village. Between January and February, the number of crimes reported to police rose 33 percent, compared to the same period a year ago. According to police, a wave of thefts committed against people at bars and nightclubs is chiefly responsible for the increase. Criminals are stealing cell phones — especially the popular iPhone, because of its marketability and high selling price. There have been 172 reported cases of grand larceny this year to date, compared to 124 last year, an increase of 39 percent. Deputy Inspector Brandon Continued on page 6 Taking homeless fight to N.Y.U.’s door, he camps out Photo by Tequila Minsky Members of the ASA College baseball team turned out in support of the Pier 40 Champions plan. The school’s lacrosse team also uses the West Houston St. pier. Maria Passannante Derr, a former chairperson of Community Board 2, was lobbying people to oppose the Champions plan and asking them to sign a petition. “I got two pages full of signatures, about 50 names,” she said later. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Derr said, “I think it’s impractical to build on the water right now.” BY JEFFERSON SIEGEL John Penley, a photojournalist, Navy veteran and well-known local activist, has witnessed some of the most seminal uprisings in recent East Village history. In 1994 he documented the scene on E. 13th St. as police drove an armored personnel carrier — a.k.a. “the tank” — onto the block to evict squatters. More recently, he helped bring about the “Donut Social” concert of 2008, in what Penley describes as “the last minor Plus, she added, taking away, or “alienating,” parkland to add towers is an issue for her. “We have the issue of park alienation,” she said, “and to alienate parkland in a community where we don’t have enough parks… .” Tobi Bergman, president of P3 Continued on page 14 5 15 C A N A L STREET • N YC 10 013 • C OPYRIG HT © 2013 N YC COMMU NITY M ED IA , LLC riot in the Lower East Side.” After an absence of about a year from the city, Penley is again bringing the fight back home, “home” being a problematic description because he is currently homeless. But Penley, never one to shy away from a fight, sees his predicament as part of the larger issues of homelessness and gentrification. Last Friday Penley took the fight to the front door of Continued on page 2 editoRiAl, letteRS PAGE 10 mileStone FoR mendeZ PAGE 4

The Villager, March 7, 2013

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