The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933
June 16, 2016 • $1.00 Volume 86 • Number 24
Critics blast landmark bill as ‘anti-preservation’; Say ‘loophole’ offers little hope BY YANNIC RACK
contentious bill that will put deadlines on the city’s preservation agency to designate landmarks within two years was passed by the City Council last week. There was heavy opposition from preservationists and even initial disapproval from the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission itself — but the measure might be moot due
to a loophole, according to its chief critics. The legislation, Intro 775A, mandates that L.P.C. vote within one year to designate proposed individual landmarks, and take no longer than two years to vote on proposed historic districts — limits that the bill’s opponents charge could lead to the loss of countless potential landmarks. LandMARKS continued on p. 12
Hoylman pushes Albany to pass child sex-abuse reform, but Senate stalls By Michael Ossorguine
he Omnibus Child Victims Act, or Senate Bill S6367, is the latest effort from state Democrats to reform the statute of limitations on victims of child sexual abuse. The bill, though still in committee, has momentum in the Senate as victims are stepping forward
and Senate Democrats are arguing against entrenched opposition. State Senator Brad Hoylman introduced the Senate version of the bill with several co-sponsors, including Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the leader of the Democratic Conference. Abuse continued on p. 14
Photo by Tequila Minsky
Thousands of points of light: Monday night’s vigil stretched along Christopher St. from Waverly Place to Seventh Ave. South.
‘We shall overcome’: Vigils draw thousands to Village BY PAUL SCHINDLER n two vigils in the West Village on Sunday evening, one crowd numbering in the thousands, another in the hundreds voiced shock, grief, and anger over the murder of 50 patrons of an Orlando, Florida, gay bar in the early morning hours of the same day. Speaker after speaker emphasized that the violence cannot be isolated from a climate of anti-L.G.B.T. hatred that continues to persist across the nation, but also pledged to continue building community to respond to hostility and bigotry where it exists.
At the same time, both crowds rejected the notion that hate is an appropriate response to the violence and specifically called out efforts to pit the L.G.B.T. community against the Muslim community over a tragedy in which the shooter, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, is reported to have phoned 911 just prior to the massacre and pledged his allegiance to ISIS. Ken Kidd, a member of Queer Nation New York, took the lead in organizing a rally outside the Stonewall Inn that drew several thousand people. “We come together because this is a community that will
never be silent again,” he said. “I ask every person to think of someone you knew who was killed because of anti-L.G.B.T. hatred. Think of a time when you felt unsafe in your own community. And I want every single one of you to think not of what anyone else, not of what I, but of what you can do to change that.” Kidd said the L.G.B.T. community should draw strength from the 49 patrons of the Pulse nightclub who were killed. “We must go forward in love,” he said. Mirna Haidar, a representaViGILS continued on p. 5
Graffiti artist tags Haring group in lawsuit������ p. 16 Remembering Ramrod rampage of 1980.........p. 21 Here comes the sun energy...p. 18
noia that I have to ‘plant’ questions,” Glick added, “it is insulting to people who paid attention to the candidates forum that was held earlier last month where these issues were discussed. I am proud of my record and categorically reject his impugning of my integrity.” Ouch! Could Schwartz possibly have a comeback to Glick’s stinging rebuttal? No doubt, yes, as this race between longtime rivals may well make Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump look like a Tupperware party. According to pro-Glick source, it’s likely Schwartz will get the endorsement of The New York Times and Daily News since the papers will charge that Glick was “too loyal” to Silver.
Swats Schwartz: We unfortunately got Deborah Glick’s response after our deadline for our recent Scoopy’s item about Arthur Schwartz reacting to being tripled-teamed at Stonewall Democrats’ endorsement vote for the 66th Assembly District primary by a trio of club members challenging him to support variations on no outside income for legislators. To recap, District Leader Schwartz told us it wasn’t fair, since he has four kids and an elderly mother, to ask him to forgo his legal practice. He additionally charged that the Stonewall questioners grilling him were “plants,” as in supporters of Assemblymember Glick. Schwartz continued that most politicians who have been caught in corruption scandals have simply been, well, corrupt — and that it didn’t involve their outside jobs. However, in the case of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — which is why this is a big issue in this year’s races — it was precisely Silver’s shady use of his outside law practice that allowed
him to scam $5 million for himself in two schemes over the years, according to prosecutors. At any rate, here is Glick’s response to Schwartz’s lengthy defense in Scoopy’s: “I wasn’t surprised to see my opponent defend maintaining outside income for legislators,” she said. “The threshold issue is that the job requires an incredible amount of time, and constituents deserve a full-time legislator. Like the majority of my colleagues who have no outside income, it’s hard for us to understand how anyone can manage to do two jobs. The second issue ignored by my opponent, is the inherent conflict of interests that develop based on making laws that affect either your clients or your own business. Finally, he dismisses the fact that so many of those who ran afoul of ethics laws were attorneys. The underlying issue was that they used their positions to attract clients and their business because they were legislators. My opponent goes to great pains to catalogue all the reasons he needs the money,” Glick continued. “Although we haven’t had a raise in 18 years, it seems irrelevant for someone who just sold his townhouse for more than $20 million, and purchased a new home for less than $10 million. Even with paying taxes on that substantial gain, it would seem that my opponent’s ability to invest $9 million would generate sufficient income that he could comfortably manage his family obligations and forgo his outside income for the limited years he professes he would serve. As for his para-
Niou’s view: Meanwhile, Yuh-Line Niou, who is running in the September Democratic primary on the other side of town in the East Side’s 65th Assembly District, said she also supports a cap on outside income for legislators. “But they have to make that possible,” she said, echoing a position previously pitched by Glick — namely, that legislators need a raise. Niou is soldiering on valiantly with her campaign, though her knee injury from an Uber car accident earlier this year is clearly paining her. “They had to cut me out of the car,” she said. She’s waiting until after the primary to get surgery on her knee. But she’s doesn’t seem to be slowing down any, and even penned a talking point in this week’s issue on payday loans. See Page 19.
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June 16, 2016
BY YANNIC RACK judge found a construction company guilty of manslaughter on Friday in the death of a 22-year-old construction worker who was crushed in a trench collapse while working in the Meatpacking District last year. State Supreme Court Judge Kirke Bartley also found Harco Construction guilty of criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment in the April 2015 death of Carlos Moncayo, an undocumented immigrant from Ecuador who was living in Queens. Moncayo worked for excavation subcontractor Sky Materials Corp., which is also facing trial. Workers’ rights activists particularly heralded this week’s verdict because it marks the first instance of a general contractor being held responsible for a worker’s death at a construction site. “We think it is a historic decision, in particular because it holds a general contractor criminally responsible,” said Nadia Marin-Molina, associate director of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health. “In this case it’s a corporation, and they obviously were not able to shift the blame to the subcontractor or anyone else,” she added. Cy Vance, the Manhattan district attorney, echoed the sentiment in a statement after the verdict was announced. “Carlos Moncayo’s death at a Manhattan construction site may have been foreseeable and preventable, but his family can be assured that it will not be in vain,” said Vance, whose office has been working to use criminal prosecutions to stem construction deaths in New York City. “Today’s guilty verdict should signal to the construction industry that managing a project from afar does not insulate a corporation or general contractor from criminal liability. “Just as a supervisor can be held accountable for a safety lapse resulting in a fatality at a factory,” Vance said, “construction companies are responsible for the safety of the individuals that work on their projects, regardless of union or immigration status.” On April 6 of last year, Moncayo was working at 9-19 Ninth
Photos courtesy Manhattan District Attorney’s Office
Carlos Moncayo, 22, was working inside the trench on April 6, 2015, when the unsecured walls collapsed, bur ying him underneath.
Ave., where Aurora Capital Associates and William Gottlieb Real Estate are developing the former site of Keith McNally’s French bistro Pastis into a Restoration Hardware home-furnishings store. The worker died when an unsecured 13-foot-deep trench caved in, burying him under a mound of debris. City and state regulations mandate that any excavations deeper than 5 feet be fortified by either shoring them up with barriers or sloping the trench walls outward. All defendants in the case — which also include Sky Materials foreman Wilmer Cueva and Harco supervisor Alfonso Prestia — are accused of ignoring multiple warnings about unsafe and illegal conditions at the site. The managers allegedly failed to react to multiple red flags during the excavation, where the trenches had lacked the necessary security precautions for months, according to e-mail records from an inspection service cited by prosecutors. On the morning of the accident, an inspector noticed a 7-foot-deep trench that was unprotected, and subsequently alerted both Prestia and Cueva that no workers should be allowed inside the pit, according to prosecutors. An hour later, the same inspector witnessed four workers inside the unfortified trench, which was now 13 feet deep.
An overhead view of the site, top, and a picture from inside the trench, above, show the conditions on the day of the accident.
According to the statement, the inspector again reported the situation to both managers, but this time Cueva flat-out refused to halt the work. Prestia eventually did tell the workers to leave the trench, according to prosecutors, but they didn’t understand his instructions, which were given in English. When Prestia allegedly repeated the orders in Spanish about 20 minutes later, it came too late for Moncayo, who only moments later was buried under a mountain of dirt. Harco’s lawyers contended at trial that Sky was responsible for Moncayo’s death and that the company couldn’t control the details of the subcontractor’s work, according to Newsday. A lawyer representing Harco did not immediately return a call for comment. Representatives for developers Aurora and Gottlieb also didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time. After Friday’s verdict, Mon-
cayo’s mother, sister and brother-in-law, who were present during most of the trial, broke down crying in the courtroom, according to DNAinfo. Harco is scheduled to be sentenced July 13, and MarinMolina said the sentence would hopefully include a hefty fine and result in lost business for the company — and ultimately send a message to the whole construction industry. “Unfortunately, we can’t put a corporation in jail yet,” she said. “But right now we think there are monetary penalties and the corporation stands to lose contracts if it has a criminal conviction. “[It sends a message] that they can’t get away with it,” she added. “Most of the time, these companies say, ‘Oh it’s so sad, it was just an accident, nothing could have been done.’ But in this case, someone was there and it was so clear that the company knew and didn’t do anything. They should be paying attention.” TheVillager.com
Vigils for Orlando draw thousands to the Village Vigils continued from p. 1
tive of the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity, told the Stonewall crowd that she has faced discrimination in the U.S. as a Muslim refugee and as a gender-nonconforming woman, but urged everyone to avoid allowing the L.G.B.T. community to be pit against Muslim Americans because of the Orlando massacre. At that point, a heckler started screaming, “It is a Muslim issue” over and over again. The crowd turned on the heckler, shouting, “No hate. No hate.” Michael Pruslow, who came down to the West Village from his home in Washington Heights to attend the vigil, voiced discomfort with the focus on the word “hate.” “It’s not about hate,” he told Gay City News, The Villager’s sister paper. “Yelling that is just the same thing as what happened. We need more love. We need to love each other.” Explaining, “I was just a mess this morning,” Pruslow said of the Stonewall gathering, “We need to be here. People are so quick to chastise each other, even within the gay community… . There is a way to fight without violence.” As Pruslow spoke to this reporter, the crowd replaced its “No hate” chant with “More love, more love.” Despite the conciliatory words emphasized throughout the Stonewall event, which began with the crowd singing “We Shall Overcome,” several speakers pointed to persistent lingering homophobia in the U.S. that must be confronted. “This massacre did not happen in a vacuum,” said Ann Northrop, a longtime activist who is co-host with Gay City News contributor Andy Humm of “Gay USA,” television’s weekly L.G.B.T. news hour. She noted an early morning tweet from Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, since deleted, that read, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” Northrop concluded, “We must triumph over this hate.” Tom Duane, the former state senator and city councilmember, told the crowd, “Now Marco Rubio cares about us. Now Bush cares about us. Where the hell were they during the Republican primaries that were spewing all that hate?” Kevin Graves, a DJ and activist, framed the alternatives the nation faces in responding to Orlando. “Make no mistake,” he said. “This country is at a crossroads with two alternatives. One is the path of hate and fear. The other is one of love and kindness. Choose the path of love. And action.” But for many in the crowd, the immediate need was for solace. Michael Bruno, an Upper West Side resident, explained, “I really didn’t know what to do. This is the only place I knew to come to get away from all the media reports. I heard there was going to be a TheVillager.com
Photo by Tequila Minsky
Live and let live: Why is it so hard to do? A man at Sunday’s vigil outside the Stonewall Inn.
Photo by Donna Aceto
Reverend Donna Schaper of Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square South told Sunday’s gathering, “ We reject any divisions based on faith.”
crowd.” Gemma Blanks, who lives in Forest Hills, Queens, said, “Hearing about it online, I needed to immerse myself with my community, my family. There is an obligation to be here to offer my condolences to the families of those people killed.” Blanks, in a mixture of weariness and determination, added, “We’re fighting today. It never ends. We really shouldn’t have to be fighting so hard. But we are.” Several blocks away, on the steps of Judson Memorial Church across the street from Washington Square Park, a group of interfaith leaders led a more somber vigil that emphasized the dangers of Orlando polarizing Americans with a false choice between the L.G.B.T. and Muslim communities. “We reject any divisions based on faith,” Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah told a crowd of several hundred. She noted the poignant intersection of Shavuoth, the Jewish festival celebrating God giving the Jewish people the Torah; Ramadan, the Islamic commemoration of the first revelation of the Quran to the prophet Muhammad; and L.G.B.T. Pride Month. As Judson’s Reverend Donna Schaper offered a prayer to the “God of many names” and spoke of the incomprehensibility of the violence in Orlando, a heckler passing by yelled out, “I’ll tell you what the problem is. It’s radical Islam, and they should all be arrested immediately.” Faisal Alam, the chairperson of the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity, told the crowd, “There are no
words for me to share my feelings as a queer Muslim.” Then saying, “I can go on and on about how Islam condemns violence,” he noted that a white man heading to the Pride celebration in West Hollywood — identified as James Wesley Howel of Indiana — was arrested in Santa Monica after police found possible explosives, assault rifles and ammunition in his car. The type of assault rifle used in the Orlando attack, he said, was the same one used in the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in Connecticut. “The religious right, the political right will use this as a wedge,” Alam warned. “We must stand against Islamophobia.” Sadya Abjani, who is also a member of the Muslim Alliance, said her first “selfish thought” when she heard the news this morning was, “Don’t let the shooter’s name be Muslim.” Reverend Chloe Breyer, executive director of the Interfaith Center of New York, told the crowd, “Islamophobia is not the answer to homopbia.” Saying she “felt broken” when she heard news about Orlando that morning, Reverend Vanessa Brown, senior pastor of the Rivers of Living Water, an L.G.B.T. congregation, said, “There is a religious and political agenda that produces a climate of hate. We know that.” Brown ended by saying, “We are crushed down, but this is my word for anyone who can hear me, we are not destroyed.” The Judson vigil ended just like the Stonewall gathering began, with the singing of “We Shall Overcome.”
June 16, 2016
Taking aim at guns after gay nightclub massacre BY DUNCAN OSBORNE hat was billed as a vigil for the people murdered by a gunman in an Orlando nightclub quickly became a rally in support of gun control legislation as elected officials, the head of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence and even a trauma surgeon called for tougher federal laws to control such weapons. “We passed gun control laws in this state,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo early in the June 13 event, which drew thousands, filling Christopher St. from Waverly Place to Seventh Ave. with the crowd spilling onto Grove St. “We are saying to our federal government, ‘We know it can be done.’ ” In 2013, New York passed the SAFE Act, which bans assault weapons and strictly limits other weapons’ features and more tightly regulates their sale. While N.Y.A.G.V. describes the law as “one of the strongest gun laws in the country,” it has had some implementation problems. Referring to assault weapons, Cuomo continued, “This is an American curse, it is not an international curse.” The crowd was already primed to talk about the issue. Before the rally began, the crowd was chanting, “What do we want? Gun control. When do we want it? Now.” Cuomo was initially heckled by a man in the crowd, though his complaints were inaudible. The heckler was quickly shouted down by other audience members. Leah Gunn Barrett, N.Y.A.G.V.’s executive director, told the crowd that the Orlando gunman had been interviewed by the F.B.I. twice, but was still able to buy a gun in Florida. “We need to restrain this legal means of terrorism,” she said. The gunman, Omar Mateen, killed 49 people in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando early in the morning on Sun., June 12. He injured another 53 people. Police killed Mateen after storming the club in an effort to rescue people who were being held inside. The victims were overwhelmingly Latino and young and included many gay, lesbian and transgender patrons. The murders sparked vigils across the country, including a June 12 gathering that was held outside the Stonewall Inn. That earlier event drew about a 1,000 people to the bar. The 1969 riots that started following a police raid of Stonewall are seen as marking the start of the modern L.G.B.T. rights movement. New York City’s L.G.B.T. community often regularly meets at the site during momentous events. Dr. Sheldon Teperman, who heads the trauma surgery unit at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, described the wounds caused by assault weapons, saying they “explode organs and sever limbs.” He said that the high ratio of deaths to injuries was typical of such guns. “We need to take that seminal piece of legislation, the SAFE Act, and spread it across this nation,” Teperman said at the vigil, which was organized by the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City,
June 16, 2016
Photos by Tequila Minsky
“ We know it can be done,” Governor Andrew Cuomo, speaking at Monday night’s vigil, said of enforcing tighter gun-control laws.
A sign targeted the twisted love that much of our nation feels for firearms.
an L.G.B.T. political group. Even speakers who made comments that were closer to what is typically heard at a vigil joined the gun control chorus. City
Councilmember Rosie Mendez, an openly lesbian politician who represents the East Village, discussed Mateen’s motivation in the deaths, which has been described
as a hate crime, yet took note of Mateen’s weapon. “He killed 50, but he attacked us all,” she said. “He attacked us because of who we are and because of who we love… . If a ban existed, I am sure this would not be called what it is being called, the greatest mass murder in U.S. history.” Mayor Bill de Blasio, who spoke last, sought to assure the crowd. “When thousands of people come together, it is a renunciation of hate,” he said. “We say to Latino New Yorkers, we stand with you and we will protect you, we say to L.G.B.T. New Yorkers, we stand with you and we will protect you, we say to Muslim New Yorkers, we stand with you and we will protect you.” The mayor brought Chirlane McCray, his wife, and Police Commissioner William Bratton with him. When Bratton spoke, the heckling and booing was so loud that his comments could not be heard. The crowd was growing impatient toward the end of the roughly two-hour event, so when McCray began to speak, audience members began to yell, “Say their names!” referring to the victims. In a moving closing, the rally ended with people stepping to the podium and reading aloud the names of the 49 victims as people in the crowd held small lights or their cell-phone flashlights in the air. After each name, the crowd responded with “presente” (pres-en-tay). At a vigil, it means he or she is here. The event’s only amusing moment came when Nick Jonas, a performer who has teased his gay male fans with innuendo suggesting he is gay, stepped to the podium and a large portion of the crowd began to chant, “Say you’re gay. Say you’re gay.” TheVillager.com
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June 16, 2016
Mark Carson, 32, who was unarmed, was shot to death by Elliot Morales on W. Eighth St. in May 2013.
40 years for gay slay Elliot Morales, convicted in March of seconddegree murder as a hate crime in the May 2013 close-range shooting of Mark Carson, a gay man, in the West Village, has been sentenced to 40 years to life in prison. In imposing the sentence on June 14, Judge A. Kirke Bartley of Manhattan Supreme Court said a “chilling video” statement Morales made to police after his arrest betrayed “an evil nature,” like “a character out of a Steven King novel — in short, a monster.” Shannon Lucey, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case, asked for the maximum sentence for Morales, saying that Carson was “executed for being a proud openly gay man.” In a statement after the sentencing, Cy Vance, Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, said, “Any life lost to gun violence is a tragedy for our city. But homophobic, hate-fueled incidents like this one are particularly unconscionable. As we mourn the lives lost in Orlando, we remain committed to doing everything we can to combat and prevent crimes against L.G.B.T. New Yorkers. We must never allow violence and hate to undermine the progress we have made as a city, a state and a nation.” At trial, witnesses testified that Morales, 36, encountered Carson, 32, and his friend, Danny Robinson, outside the $1 pizza place on Sixth Ave. near W. Eighth St. As the men argued, with Morales using anti-gay slurs, they moved north and then onto Eighth St. where Morales first displayed a gun and then fired a single shot, striking Carson in the head and killing him. Morales fled east on Eighth St. and was caught by Henry Huot, a uniformed police officer, moments after the shooting. When he was captured, Morales made statements that police recorded in which he admitted killing Carson. In testifying, Morales, who represented himself, with the assistance of a legal advisor, Adam
June 16, 2016
Freedman, claimed he believed Carson was armed and about to shoot him. He also said that he was drunk, and in cross-examining Robinson elicited testimony that he and Carson had also been drinking. The jury returned a verdict roughly one day after being sent to deliberate. Contrasting Morales’ preparedness in the courtroom with the impression he left in his videotaped statement — where he said of Carson, “I fucking shot him dead. Diagnosis dead doctor.” — Bartley said, “You remain as much an enigma to me as the first day you walked into this court.” The judge also said, “I can’t say I’m surprised that you refuse to accept responsibility for what you’ve done.” In addressing the court, Morales, who indicated he would appeal his conviction, said it was “beyond my comprehension” how he could be convicted of a hate crime against a gay man since he himself claims to be bisexual. Robinson testified at trial that Morales called him and Carson “faggot” among other “angry slurs.” In addition to the conviction on second-degree murder as a hate crime, Morales was found guilty on five counts of criminal possession of a weapon, one count of menacing Officer Huot, who arrested him, and one count of menacing a gay bartender at a West Village restaurant prior to shooting Carson. He must serve a 15-year sentence consecutively on one of the weapon possession charges, so he would not be eligible for parole until he had served the 25-year minimum for murder plus sixsevenths of the 15-year weapon conviction sentence. After the sentence had been handed down and Bartley was prepared to adjourn the case, Morales attempted to speak again. The judge, standing up, said, “You will not have the last word here,” and walked out of the courtroom. Outside the courtroom, Florine Bumpars, Carson’s aunt, asked what she would say to Morales if she had the chance, responded, “I have nothing to say to him. He got what he deserved.”
’95 rape conviction Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr., on Monday announced the conviction of Joseph Giardala, 46, for raping a 25-year-old woman in the West Village in January 1995. The conviction follows a DNA “cold case hit” in which Giardala’s DNA profile was matched to a “John Doe” profile indicted by the Manhattan D.A.’s Office in 2003. Giardala was found guilty on all counts, including rape, sexual abuse and robbery in the first degrees, among other charges. He is expected to be sentenced on Aug. 3. “Had New York City not tackled its own rapekit backlog more than a decade ago, Joseph Giardala may never have faced justice for this brutal attack,” Vance said. “Convictions like this underscore the necessity of testing backlogged rape kits, and the power of DNA evidence to solve crimes across state lines. “Just as a DNA profile uploaded in Florida to the national DNA databank helped solve this case, the hundreds of DNA profiles uploaded
thus far under our initiative are linking to crimes committed in states around the country. I hope that this conviction provides a sense of closure to this survivor, who took the stand with such bravery more than two decades after her assault, and that our ongoing efforts to test rape kits across the country provide hope to the many survivors nationwide who are still waiting for their cases to be solved.” According to evidence presented in court, shortly after midnight on Jan. 23, 1995, Giardala attacked the young woman as she walked home from a movie theater in Chelsea. He robbed her at knifepoint before forcing her into the vestibule of a nearby building in the West Village, and raping her. The victim immediately went to St. Vincent’s Hospital following the attack, where the elements of a sexual assault evidence kit, or “rape kit,” were collected. In 2002, a DNA profile developed from the victim’s rape kit as part of New York City’s Rape Kit Backlog Project was uploaded to the F.B.I.’s Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, but did not immediately match a preexisting DNA profile. The D.A. presented the criminal case to a New York Supreme Court Grand Jury in 2003, obtaining a “John Doe” indictment listing the perpetrator by his DNA profile. In early 2015, following an unrelated matter, Giardala’s DNA profile was entered into CODIS in Florida, and matched the DNA profile listed on the West Village “John Doe” indictment.
Cup runneth over An officer said he observed a man in possession of an open container of alcohol in public view in front of 84 Grove St. on Sat., June 11, at 2:35 a.m. After stopping him, the officer found the man was in possession of a gravity knife and that he has multiple convictions. Miquel Chavis, 36, was arrested for felony criminal possession of a weapon.
Senior snatcher A woman allegedly had the contents of her purse stolen at the all-night diner Coppelia, at 207 W. 14th St., early Sunday morning, police said. On June 12 at around 12:30 a.m. a 26-year-old woman said she had her purse next to her when a man removed her wallet from inside of it. Kevin Bell, 69, was arrested for felony grand larceny.
Meatpack glass whack Catch nightclub at 21 Ninth Ave. got a little rowdy early Thursday morning. A man, 39, told police that on June 9 around 2:30 a.m., another man struck him in the head with a glass, causing a laceration to his forehead. E.M.S. medics responded but the victim refused medical attention. Police arrested Daniel Yakubov, 31, for felony assault.
Paul Schindler, Lincoln Anderson and Emily Siegel TheVillager.com
A night without color
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Re-Elect To Congress
Jerrold Nadler-10th CD Carolyn Maloney-12th CD Do you have a housing issue? Come to VIDâ€™s FREE tenants clinic. June Schedule Wednesday, June 8, 15 & 22 6:00 PM Located at 26 Perry Street-Lower Level 212-741-2994 www.villageindependentdemocrats.org
Photo by Bob Krasner
Sunday evening, the Empire State Building shut off its lights and went black. @EmpireStateBldg t weeted out the message, â€œIn sympathy for the victims of last nightâ€™s attack in Orlando, we will remain dark tonight.â€? In contrast, One World Trade Center took a different approach, lighting up its antenna in stationar y Gay Pride rainbow colors. TheVillager.com
June 16, 2016
Again, returning to Stonewall for solace and
Photos by Tequila Minsky and Lincoln Anderson
Christopher St. and the Stonewall Inn were the scene of the 1969 uprising that led to the gay rights movement. And after the Orlando tragedy, it was where people gathered to mourn and also find reassurance and strength. With speeches, memorials and vigils, L .G.B.T. leaders, local politicians, advocates and citizens said the progress that has been won cannot be taken away. Speaking at Monday’s vigil, Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City is “ever y day” a model of tolerance and inclusivit y. A s the mayor spoke, a man in the crowd held aloft a small, mirrored disco ball in homage to the Pulse victims. Two young lesbian friends from Miami who recently moved here and were in the crowd said the tragic shooting really scared them. One, noting she was at a Connecticut gay club during the Orlando massacre, said she was concerned now about attending New York’s upcoming Pride March — the world’s largest Pride parade. They noted having earlier seen police sharpshooters on building rooftops during the vigil. It was reassuring, in a way, they said, but at the time chilling that it was even needed.
June 16, 2016
strength; Vowing that love will conquer hate
June 16, 2016
Opponents blast Council’s new landmarks bill
Photo by Jackson Chen
Councilmembers Rosie Mendez and Corey Johnson, at left and right in foreground, led the protesters in calling for the Cit y Council to vote ‘no’ on Intro 775-A , which imposes tight deadlines for landmarking — one year for proposed buildings and two years for historic districts. At one point during the rally, Mayor Bill de Blasio — increasingly seen as being too friendly to developers — walked up the steps past the protesters on his way into City Hall. A s they flashed their signs at the mayor and pleaded with him to oppose the bill, he just shrugged and kept on walking into Cit y Hall. The Council went on to approve the bill by 38 votes to 10. LanDMARKS continued from p. 1
“We’re deeply disappointed. This is really an anti-preservation, pro-demolition measure,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. The measure has faced heavy opposition since it was introduced last year and was even slammed by L.P.C. Chairperson Meenakshi Srinivasan at a marathon six-hour hearing last September. Last-minute changes to the text were made two weeks ago to make the legislation more palatable to preservationists, before the Council passed it overwhelmingly on Wednesday. But Berman and other preservation leaders say that the legislation might have no real teeth at all, since L.P.C. has the power to de-calendar and then recalendar any properties it is considering for designation, which would essentially allow the commission to restart the dreaded deadline clock at any point. “The L.P.C. believes they can sidestep the provisions of the bill and ensure that buildings aren’t removed from the calendar,” Berman said. “If they get to
June 16, 2016
the 364th day and they still need more time in order to consider it…they can essentially restart the one-year clock. “It shouldn’t come to that,” Berman said, “and it shouldn’t require the public to be vigilant about these impending deadlines. But the commission has told us quite clearly that they believe that they can do that, and that would be a way of avoiding the drop-dead deadline that this bill imposes.” A Landmarks spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment on the loophole by press time, though tacitly endorsed the amended bill after the vote. “We appreciate that the City Council has made changes to the legislation based on our testimony and suggestions,” Damaris Olivo said in a statement. “We believe the legislation as drafted will provide the flexibility necessary for the commission to fulfill its mandate.” The bill, introduced last year, originally included a five-year moratorium on landmark consideration for any proposed properties that weren’t landmarked within the new deadlines. As a concession to the bill’s oppo-
nents, that part of the bill was later removed, and the deadline for designating individual landmarks can now also be extended for another year, albeit only with the permission of the building’s owner. In many cases, however, owners have a strong incentive to keep their properties from being landmarked, which imposes strict guidelines for any alterations. Arguing for the bill, its sponsors — Land Use Committee Chairperson David Greenfield and Landmarks Subcommittee Chairperson Peter Koo — said it would just speed up L.P.C.’s designation process and avoid a pileup of backlogged properties. “Put simply, 775-A is a simple, sensible good-government reform,” Greenfield said. “The bill gives L.P.C. plenty of time to consider a landmark. It simply provides a dose of transparency to the landmarks process.” A City Hall staffer familiar with the issue said on Wednesday that Greenfield had always been aware of the L.P.C. loophole. The staffer added that, in the councilmember’s view, the legislation’s intent — to make the landmark-
ing process more transparent — would still be achieved, even if L.P.C. chooses to take action by delaying a final vote on any given property or district. He added that the bill’s sponsors don’t think it will ever go that far anyway. “We don’t expect this will ever come up,” the staffer said. But Berman said the preservation advocates opposed to the bill, in fact, suggested it be changed to allow the commission to vote for such a delay directly, rather than through a loophole — a proposal that he said was shot down by Greenfield and his fellow sponsors. “We all proposed that instead of making it this ridiculous thing, why not just write the law so that after one year the commission has to vote ‘yes,’ ‘no’ or to continue to consider?” Berman said. “Now they have to take this convoluted action of de-calendaring and re-calendaring. But they refused.” Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council and another chief critic of the measure, LanDMARKS continued on p. 13 TheVillager.com
as ‘anti-preservation’ LANDMARKS continued from p. 12
said preservation groups only discovered the loophole earlier this week — though the City Hall source claimed the issue was familiar to all involved from the start. “This was told to us through Council sources earlier this week, before the Land Use Committee meeting on Tuesday, and we confirmed it with sources at the L.P.C.,” Bankoff said. He added that he thinks the bill’s sponsors’ refusal to consider amending the legislation belies the idea that it will make the landmarking process more transparent.
‘Most landmarked buildings would not have made these deadlines.’ Andrew Berman “I think [the loophole] speaks to the fact that this was unnecessary legislation,” the preservationist said. “Mr. Greenfield refused to consider the amendment we were pushing earlier this week,” which would have given L.P.C. the chance to vote to keep considering a property after the deadline. “That would have actually brought transparency and accountability,” Bankoff said. A spokesperson for Councilmember Corey Johnson, whose district includes Greenwich Village, said the councilmember was aware of the loophole, but that the councilmembers opposed to the bill were still unsatisfied with it. “They didn’t feel like [the loophole alone] would offer adequate protection,” said Johnson aide David Moss. “There are certain administrative issues when the L.P.C. moves to just decalendar and re-calendar right away.” At the initial six-hour public hearing on the bill last fall, L.P.C. Chairperson Srinivasan admitted that while the landmarks process could be optimized, the commission itself was best equipped to make any changes to it. “We believe the proposals are unworkable and would undermine the Landmarks Law,” she told the councilmembers last year. “We support the underlying goals, but we believe they are best addressed internally.” The councilmembers opposing the measure — which the Council passed by 38 votes to 10 —continued to criti-
cize the imposition of what they called “arbitrary” deadlines this week, since many iconic landmarks took years, and sometimes decades, to be designated. In fact, L.P.C. only this year dealt with a 95-buildings backlog that included some properties that had languished on its calendar since the original Landmarks Law, which established the commission in 1965. Councilmember Rosie Mendez, whose district includes the East Village, was unsatisfied with the bill, even with the changes. “I know we need timelines — and 20 years is too long,” she said. “But for me, one year is just not enough, even with an option to extend it for another year. I feel like we should be getting this right the first time.” Mendez and Johnson joined protesters on the steps of City Hall on Monday to oppose the measure. Before casting his vote against Intro 775-A on Wednesday, Johnson listed the historic districts in his area, which include the Greenwich Village Historic District. “While I believe that this bill is wellintentioned, I do think that it has some serious flaws that need to be addressed,” he stated on the Council floor. “Nearly all of those historic districts were not voted on within two years. It took longer because not all historic districts are created equal… . Some take enormous amounts of time to do the research on, so that Landmarks can make an informed decision.” Mendez also said that, in addition to opposing the deadlines, she felt the whole process was fraught. “My objections are based on two counts,” she said. “One, deficiencies in the bill, I would have liked to see more time. My other concern is about process. There was a hearing on this back in September. Changes to the bill were made since then, [but] the public has not had the chance to comment on the [revised] bill.” Berman said that, despite the loophole, the legislation was still bad news for historic preservation because it would likely require significant effort from preservation groups to actually get the L.P.C. to use the loophole. “Even with that option,” he said, “the passage makes it worse, not better, because it will require extraordinary vigilance.” Added Bankoff, “It’s hard enough to get the L.P.C. to consider a specific building or neighborhood.” The preservationists also note that, had the bill’s deadlines previously been in effect, many of the city’s most beloved buildings — like Grand Central Terminal or even Rockefeller Center — could now be history. “More than half of the buildings that were landmarked over the past 50 years would not have made these deadlines,” Berman said.
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June 16, 2016
Hoylman pushes Albany to pass Child Victims Act ABUSE continued from p. 1
The proposed act amends the Criminal Procedure Law and the Civil Practice Law to eliminate the statute of limitations, and offers a one-year “civil window” during which civil suits that were previously barred could be filed. Versions of the Child Victims Act have won significant bipartisan support in the Assembly, but the Senate’s G.O.P. majority has so far kept the act from coming to the floor for a floor vote. “I have spoken to several Republican colleagues that say they support the general concept of the bill,” Hoylman said, adding he hopes to bring it to the floor before the end of this year’s legislative session on Thurs., June 16. An attempt to attach the bill to human trafficking legislation as an amendment was foiled by the G.O.P. majority in May. Time to pass the measure in June as a stand-alone bill is running out. If not voted on by the end of Thursday, it will take a special session to pass the act before the Legislature reconvenes in 2017. “We have three more days in the legislative session,” Hoylman said last Friday. “That’s when most work is done, particularly on controversial bills such as the Child Victims Act. The governor is working very closely on it, and expressed his support for the concept of opening the doors to people who have been denied justice.” The full text of the bill reads that filing charges for instances of sexual abuse “may be commenced at any time.” Currently, a five-year window after which a lawsuit cannot be filed begins when the victim turns 18, though the limitation varies between offenses that occurred at private or public institutions. However, the average age for victims of child abuse to come forward is 42, making it unlikely, under current law, that a significant amount of victims will have their day in court. In California, legislation creating a “revival period” resulted in the conviction of about 300 sex offenders. As of now, New York is one of only four states that have a statute of limitations on childhood sex abuse suits. Hoylman first took up this campaign for reform in part because a survivor from Greenwich Village stepped forward, he said. The fear of abuse rears its head often across New York City. Recently, Our Lady of Pompeii School on Carmine St. put a teacher on administrative leave after being informed by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office that there were allegations of abuse at the school. The school did not immediately provide comment on the allegations. Despite the Democrats’ efforts, the bill faces opposition from “vested interests,” Hoylman said, who are a seasoned force against reform of the statute of limitations. According to Hoylman, the opposition includes the New York Catholic Archdio-
June 16, 2016
State Senator Brad Hoylman, center, holding banner, and other advocates marched across the Brooklyn Bridge earlier this month in suppor t of a bill to lift the statute of limitations on child sex-abuse lawsuits.
cese and religious school groups. Dennis Poust, a spokesperson for the New York State Catholic Conference, responded to claims that the Catholic Church opposes the law.
The average age victims come forward is 42.
“We support prospective extension of the civil statute of limitations, as well as the removal of criminal statutes of limitations,” Poust said. “We support the elimination of New York’s outrageous ‘notice of claims’ provisions, which protect public schools and other public entities from lawsuits.” At public institutions, a victim must write a notice of intent to sue within 90 days of the original offense. No such restriction exists for those wishing to sue private institutions. Under the proposed Child Victims Act, private and public institutions will be treated the same way, with no “notice of claims” limitation. Opponents charge that fraudulent claims could be filed as a result of the
“revival period” for old cases that did not go to court. However, according to an op-ed in the Daily News by Hoylman and Stewart-Cousins, “not a single false claim for child sexual abuse has been reported as a result of these laws in other states.” In addition, Catholic dioceses argue that an influx of legal fees resulting from the one-year “civil window” would bankrupt the Catholic Church. Supporters of S6367 say there is no evidence of this ever happening. But Paust countered, “There have been numerous bankruptcies of Catholic dioceses following statute-of-limitations window legislation, including the Diocese of San Diego, the Diocese of Wilmington [Delaware], and, currently, the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis.” Yet Soho actor Neal Huff, who played survivor Phil Saviano in the Oscar-winning movie “Spotlight,” said survivors are looking for vindication and closure above all. “Victims aren’t looking to make a big payday,” he said. Huff noted that Saviano ended up winning a mere $400 in his case against a Massachusetts priest who molested him at age 11. Ironically, the Daily News also reported that the filings of the state Catholic Conference show about $2.1 million spent on lobbying firms from 2007 to
2015, all with intent to block reform of sex-offense laws. Michael Polenberg, vice president for government affairs at Safe Horizon, said that on top of the emotional baggage of childhood abuse, the experience could set up survivors for future problems in their lives. “These bad experiences refer to drug use, but they include crime, and they can include homelessness,” Polenberg said, citing a 2015 study published by the Journal of the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. On June 5, advocates marched on the Brooklyn Bridge in support of the Child Victims Act. Despite rainy weather, more that 200 people marched over the span. Notable faces at the demonstration were Assemblymember Markey, Senator Hoylman and 20 representatives of the international hip-hop group Zulu Nation, whose former director, Afrika Bambaataa, is now being accused of molesting 13-year-old boys. Numerous survivors spoke passionately at the rally, calling for the passage of the Child Victims Act as soon as possible. Until the statute of limitations is eliminated from New York’s legal code, older survivors are barred from justice, and cannot press charges against their abusers. If Thursday ends without a vote on the Child Victims Act, momentum for the bill could be lost, Hoylman stressed. TheVillager.com
Resolution readied on supersized St. John’s plan By Lincoln Anderson s part of its role in the ULURP review process for the St. John’s Partners development, Community Board 2 has held a series of hearings over the past month on the mega-project planned for the Lower West Side waterfront. C.B. 2 will weigh in with its resolution on the project at its full-board meeting on Thurs., June 23, at the Scholastic Building, 557 Broadway, auditorium, starting at 6:30 p.m. At the hearings, stakeholders have clearly staked out their positions. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and its many supporters say the development, with 1,600 residential units — with nearly 500 of them affordable — is far too large. Plus, they stress, it would put added development pressure on the unlandmarked portion of the South Village. G.V.S.H.P. also is demanding a commitment from the Hudson River Park Trust that, after this project, no more air rights be transferred from Pier 40, at W. Houston St., into Community Board 2 sites along the waterfront. The St. John’s Partners project includes a commitment to buy 200,000 square feet of air rights from Pier 40 for $100 million. That money, in turn, would be directed back into repairs of the ailing pier, under an amendment to the Hudson River Park Act that allows such air rights transfers, which was passed a few years ago. The St. John’s Center plan is strongly supported by local youth
Photos by Lincoln Anderson
leagues that heavily use the pier — including the Greenwich Village Little League and Downtown United Soccer Club — plus the Village Community Boathouse, which offers free boating for all ages in traditional Whitehall rowboats at Pier 40. As one youth league parent said, “This is our Central Park.” But many other Villagers are simply aghast at the project’s size and anticipated impacts and feel it’s far too big a tradeoff “just to save the kids’ ball fields.” One opponent evoked the spirit of Jane Jacobs, saying the legendary urban planner and community activist surely would have slammed the project.
June 16, 2016
LA II sues Haring group to prevent being erased By Tina Benitez-Eves
hen Angel Ortiz was 13 years old, a young Keith Haring came over to his apartment on the Lower East Side, sat at the Ortiz family’s kitchen table and asked his mother if her son could travel the world with him and make art. Ortiz’s mom obliged, and the art career of Ortiz, known as LA II, began. Haring, who dropped out of the School of Visual Arts around this time to paint on the streets, liked the teen’s calligraphy-like graffiti tagging and the two began to work together. At times, Haring’s friend Andy Warhol would pull the young LA II out of school so he could work on some pieces. LA II is known for his infill squiggles — including of his own monikers, LA II and LA ROC — with which he ornately filled out the spaces in many of Haring’s works. Today, Ortiz still holds a deep love and respect for Haring, according to sources close to him. Nevertheless, he moved forward with filing a lawsuit against the Keith Haring Foundation in December 2015. The foundation, created shortly before Haring died of AIDS in 1990, reportedly started removing any signs of Ortiz’s collaboration with Haring. The Keith Haring Foundation did not respond to The Villager’s request for an interview. “It’s like the O.J. Simpson trial of art,” said one source close to LA II, requesting anonymity. “This is a story about factual evidence with photo, video and art documentation about something happening in history — specifically art history — and denying that it happened.” Howard Shapiro, owner of Lawrence Fine Art Gallery, which has represented LA II for the past four years, told The Villager that there’s no doubt about LA’s contribution to the art world and his influence on Haring’s work during this time. “He’s a seminal figure of the art scene of this period,” he said of LA II. “[Recognition of] his career and contribution is long overdue.” This isn’t the first time the
June 16, 2016
Keith Haring Foundation has been in court. In 2014, the foundation was involved in a $40 million lawsuit, after a request by nine artists to authenticate their 111 Haring pieces was denied and their pieces were deemed forgeries. The complaint, filed by one of the art owners, Elizabeth Bilinski, claimed the foundation was preventing the individuals from selling or exhibiting the pieces in order to increase its profit. The federal judge later dismissed the case in March 2015. However, this current case is different, according to sources close to LA II, because it’s not a matter of verifying whether Ortiz collaborated with Haring. Their travels, art and collaborations were documented throughout the 1980s, including in two books, one published by the Whitney Museum of American Art and another authored by Jeffrey Deitch attributing collaborations to Haring and LA II, in addition to works solely by LA II. LA II, who still works out of his studio in the East Village, is often compared to Haring by people who aren’t familiar with the Lower East Sider native’s background and influence on Haring’s work in the 1980s, according to sources. “I think the biggest thing that people don’t know is the amount of influence that he had on Keith Haring,” said the first LA II source. “I think people just look at LA II’s work in general and go, ‘Oh, this is like Keith’s work…some pop artist trying to make a quick buck.’ “For someone to do what they love, doing it for decades at a time, never stopping and then a foundation who he influenced turns around and says nothing happened, we’re taking you out of the story, is absolutely ridiculous and no artist should be a victim to anything that happens like that,” he said. “This has and will be his work, his career for the rest of his life. “In actuality, it’s not someone taking away [the foundation’s] limelight. It’s just someone saying, ‘Hey, I deserve to be recognized for the work I’ve been doing for the past 50 years.” There is speculation that LA II and the foundation are close to settling the lawsuit.
Keith Haring, right, and LA II back when they collaborated on ar t works. Some of LA II’s “LA ROC” infill tags and other flourishes can be seen in the work behind them.
Photo by Lincoln Anderson
A work by LA II that was on sale at the Ar t on Paper show at Pier 36 on the Lower East Side this past March. TheVillager.com
DROWSY DRIVING CAN BE AS DANGEROUS AS DRIVING IMPAIRED The public is well educated about the dangers of driving while impaired by medication, alcohol or illegal drugs. But drivers may not be aware that driving while tired can be just as dangerous. Driving when tired can be a fatal mistake. Just as alcohol or drugs can slow down reaction time, impair judgment and increase the risk of accident, so, too, can being tired behind the wheel. Drowsy driving is reportedly what caused the fatal crash in June 2014 between a limousine and a Walmart truck that ended the life of comic
James McNair and seriously injured fellow comedian Tracy Morgan. The driver, Kevin Roper, was going 20 miles over the speed limit and was almost at his drive time limit, according to preliminary reports by the National Transportation Safety Board. According to the U.S. National Highway Trafﬁc Safety Administration, about 100,000 car crashes in the United States each year occur as the result of an overly tired driver. Various studies demonstrate that drivers who have remained awake for 18 hours prior to driving
mimic the driving performance of intoxicated motorists. In fact, drowsy driving can be confused with driving with a high blood alcohol content. Sleepiness can arise relatively quickly, and according to Thomas Balkin, PhD, director of the behavioral biology program at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and a leading expert on sleep and fatigue, it’s difﬁcult for drivers to assess just how sleepy they are. “Sleepiness affects the part of the brain responsible for judgment and self-awareness,”
he says. “When you’ve reached the stage where you are ﬁghting sleep, the effect of any method of reviving yourself can be very short-lived.” Furthermore, people do not have to be in a deep sleep to actually be asleep behind the wheel. Micro-sleeps occur when certain brain cells temporarily shut down for a few seconds. A person is not completely asleep but in a sort of fog as if they are asleep. When sleepiness sets in, the best course of action is to pull off the road. Opening the window, turning on the radio
or blasting cold air is, at best, only a temporary solution. If driving with passengers and feelings of sleepiness appear, hand the keys over to a passenger and have them take over driving, if possible. Otherwise, a short nap and a cup of coffee can be used in combination to increase alertness. It’s also a good idea to avoid beginning a long road trip in mid-afternoon around the hours of two or three o’clock. While alertness generally dips in the evening hours, due to the circadian rhythm, alertness also dips in the late after-
noon, prompting drowsiness. A 2010 study by the American Automobile Association Foundation for Trafﬁc Safety found that as many drivers reported falling asleep at the wheel in the afternoon hours as reported falling asleep late at night. Driving in a warm, quiet car also may spur drowsiness, as would driving after a heavy meal. Driving tired is just as dangerous as other impaired driving. Slow reaction times and unawareness of surroundings can contribute to accidents that are otherwise avoidable..
June 16, 2016
Coalition works to let the sun (energy) shine in By Michael Ossorguine coalition of organizations, both nonprofit and for profit, is seeking to transform power generation in the East Village and Lower East Side by creating cooperative solar energy agreements that will incentivize installers to build solar energy systems at competitive prices. The campaign, Solarize LES, is led by WiFi-NY, LES Ready! and Solar One. The initiative is committed to catching the East Village up with the rest of New York City in terms of solar panels. In 2015, there were only five solarpowered installations in the East Village area and just one south of Houston St. on the Lower East Side — all for residential properties — while boroughs such as Staten Island had thousands of solar setups. Solarize LES is working with New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to change this situation. As a subset of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s statewide NY-Sun initiative to bring solar energy to New York, Solarize LES conducts community outreach projects and connects potential clients with contractors. “Over the past several years, solar has become quite affordable and competitive,” Max Joel, NYSERDA program manager, said. “For an individual solar customer, they can get the best competitive pricing by talking to multiple solar installers, getting different offers, and doing their homework. What happens with a Solarize campaign is that a lot of that work is done upfront by the organization that’s leading the Solarize campaign,” Joel explained. With a $5,000 grant from NYSun, Solarize LES is conducting free physical and economic viability assessments, while also lobbying the city to embrace unified permitting processes. In addition, Solarize LES is attracting NYSERDA-approved contractors, who can do large-scale solar installations. This, in turn, cuts down on the costs and time for Fire Department permitting, Fire Department and electrical inspections, and other “soft costs” that have hindered solar development in the past. The goal is to pass the installers’ savings on to customers in the form of lower pricing. The first Solarize campaign began in Portland, Oregon. According to Paul Garrin, owner of WiFi-NY and a member of the Solarize LES executive board, “Solar installers are reluctant if not nonresponsive to small projects.” “A lot of solar installations are geared toward suburban houses — individual homes,” Garrin said. “It’s a lot easier to deal with one decision
June 16, 2016
Members of LES Ready! — a coalition focused on emergenc y preparedness and resilienc y formed after Superstorm Sandy — at the launch of Solarize LES last month in La Plaza Cultural, at E. Ninth St. and Avenue C. Among those pictured are, back row, from right, Paul Garrin, head of WiFi-NY, and Steve Herrick, executive director of the Cooper Square Committee; second row, far left, Chris Neidl, director of Solar One; third from left, activist Ayo Harrington; and third from right, Damaris Reyes, executive director of Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES); front row, third from right, District Leader Carlina Rivera.
maker — a homeowner, for example — and a single system: one family consuming or benefiting from the electric credits.” Garrin explained how he and his colleagues intend to overcome this obstacle: “By aggregating many projects in a concentrated area, they can get a better economy of scale for everybody.” According to Garrin, Solarize LES is “customizing the campaign” to adapt to the Downtown environment. In short, the initiative is creating investment opportunities where prevetted solar companies can bargain with interested businesses and landowners to formulate sensible plans for these “bundled” solar projects. These cooperative deals are structured around a concept known as “net metering,” Garrin noted, which was established by the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act in 1978. The act requires utility companies, such as Con Ed, to provide “electrical credits” to solar-installation owners for the value of energy they do not consume, but rather add to the company’s grid. Solarize LES coordinates power purchasing agreements, or P.P.A.’s, for applicants to their program, giving participants many ways to disburse the energy credits, plus determine who will make the initial investment in the solar array. Christopher Neidl, director of Solar
One, has been testing various P.P.A.’s to suit various scenarios. “If a co-op [board] is in a position to buy [a solar installation] directly, which some of them would be, we want to present them with the option, and help them pursue that option,” Neidl said. “If they’re not in a position to do that, and it’s better to have a third party that owns [the solar installation] and operates it, then they can go that route. The key is giving them both avenues depending on what the circumstances are.” To aid with funding, NYSERDA has made significant financial aid available for past projects. As Joel explained, “Any solar installation in New York generally will receive funding through the NY-Sun initiative that NYSERDA runs.” Granted on a per-watt basis, the financial support is another way NYSERDA is promoting the proliferation of solar energy in New York by giving incentives to customers directly. With NYSERDA’s backing, Solarize LES is lobbying the City Council to ease bureaucratic red tape of the Department of Buildings and Fire Department. Efforts to relax zoning rules on solar installations, and allow for quick and sweeping permitting procedures — the aforementioned unified permitting processes — would greatly speed up approvals and draw more contractors into the solar busi-
ness in the East Village and on the Lower East Side, advocates say. Carlina Rivera, for one, who is a legislative aide to Councilmember Rosie Mendez, has pledged her support to help streamline permits. “I want you to know that as a district leader, as someone who currently works for a councilwoman, that I will try my very best to support whatever that process needs to look like,” Rivera said at the Solarize LES launch event on May 5. Another proposed innovation, aimed at working around Fire Department restrictions on rooftop construction, is the canopy design for solar installations. Solarize LES hopes to create installations raised 9 feet in the air, allowing free movement underneath for firefighters and others. Garrin believes the increased construction costs would be outweighed by the additional electricity generated by the greater surface area of the panels, which could cover the entire roof, creating more credits for the owner. Solar projects are advertised as long-term money savers, and are a proven, energy-efficient way of reducing carbon emissions. The directors of Solarize LES are eagerly accepting applications for free economic and physical evaluations for groups interested in going green. The application can be viewed at http://solarizeles. org. TheVillager.com
It’s time to shut the back door for payday lenders
TALKING POINT BY YUH-LINE NIOU
ith the relentlessness of an addict, elements of America’s financial services industry continue to try to find new ways to trap more and more families in a cycle of debt, dooming dreams of financial security for millions. The latest effort coming out of Albany is the deceptively named Community Financial Services Access and Modernization Act, a back-door effort to bring the scourge of payday loans and all of their problems to New York. This legislation, Assembly Bill #A09634, is co-sponsored by the current assemblymember of the 65th District where I live, Alice Cancel, among others, and must be rejected by our state legislators — the quicker, the better. This is not a view I hold based on theoretical concerns. It is based on my experience witnessing the ruthlessness of these predatory lenders and the devastation this cycle of debt can cause. Early in my career, while working for an anti-poverty group in Washington State, we saw the rapid, cancer-like growth of the payday lending industry as they moved into the state and quickly began extracting massive amounts of money from communities that could least afford it. Targeting low-income communities of color, military families and Native American tribes, payday lenders set up shop with the promise of offering easy short-terms loans to people needing funds for emergencies and unforeseen circumstances. However, the short duration of these loans is a lie from the start; what the lenders want and expect is that when people are unable to repay within the normal two-week-or-less window of the loan, they will roll over the debt into a “new” loan again and again, with interest payments growing exponentially and with virtually no chance of effectively eliminating the debt. In the brief time period of 10 years during which these lenders were operating in Washington State without effective regulations, the industry grew as fast as the debt they were issuing. Operating outside of the usury laws that govern banks and most other financial institutions, payday lenders metastasized into a massive, unending drain on low-income communities across the state. Seeing the devastation of this predaTheVillager.com
tory lending, my organization worked to bring payday lenders under a commonsense regulatory structure that would allow them to fulfill their stated need of short-term loans for emergencies, without trapping more and more people in the downward spiral of a debt trap from which they could never emerge. Working with advocates from working families, military families and low-income families, faith leaders, labor, Native Americans, credit unions, civil rights and social justice groups, we began countering the campaign cash and high-powered lobbyists of the payday lenders with our own grassroots outreach that exposed the reality of this industry to lawmakers.
Targeting the most vulnerable. Above all, we had to refute the many lies of the payday lenders: that these are designed to be short-terms loans for emergencies (they’re not); that they are helping the “unbanked” access credit (completely false — borrowers had to have a bank account to get the loans in the first place); that they needed to charge the interest rates they did because these are high-risk loans (another lie — many credit unions and banks provide the same services for non-usurious rates). In the end, amazingly, we won, putting in place a strongly pro-consumer regulatory structure that strictly limited the number of loans that could be issued to any one individual and requiring the option of affordable payment plans if the debt could not be settled in one large repayment. This legislation became something of a national model, and not surprisingly, with the ability to trap people in debt curtailed, the industry shrank as quickly as it had grown. We do not have payday lending in New York because our state had the wisdom to ban this product years ago, and now President Obama is looking at national regulations to rein in this abusive industry. With all that we now know about debt, poverty and the ruthlessness of payday lenders, New York would be unwise to go against our own progressive history and the national tide by allowing check cashers to recreate the payday loan market here.
Niou is a candidate for Assembly in the 65th District and former chief of staff for Queens Assemblymember Ron Kim
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De Blasio and Cuomo do P.R. Day Parade in style
Photos by Milo Hess
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio don’t always see eye to eye. But at Sunday’s Puer to Rican Day Parade they at least both rocked crisp white guayabera shir ts.
Letters to the Editor Buck stops with Bill To The Editor: Re “Betraying its mandate, L.P.C. hikes Gansevoort St. heights” (news article, June 9): It’s obvious that the members on this commission have no interest in landmarks or preservation. To quote a radio host, they are prime examples of political appointees who have been “wined, dined and pocket-lined” by the real estate industry with full approval of Bill de Blasio. This is one of many reasons that he should
be a one-term mayor. Mike Conway
City going out of control To The Editor: Re “Betraying its mandate, L.P.C. hikes Gansevoort St. heights” (news article, June 9): It is laughable that Jared Epstein, the devel-
oper’s rep, thinks he knows anything about the historic Gansevoort Market area. He is about to demolish a landmarked street. For what? An Armani store? Also once again we see the omnipresent lobbyist Jim Capalino exerting his muscle. People have said Jim is friends with de Blasio. Is that where his magic comes from? Is this a way to run our great city? Help! Help! Elaine Young Young is co-founder, Save Gansevoort
Balancing bars vs. residents To The Editor: Re “What was he drinking? Cuomo bill could allow bars to be near schools” (news article, June 9): It is really disappointing that the local community boards didn’t inform the community about this protest. I would have worked hard to get some residential members of the Bleecker Area Merchants’ and Residents’ Association to come to City Hall. It’s hard to keep a balance between residents and liquor establishments already. We have had our fair share of bars in our Bleecker St. area come to us. In reality, bars are not all bad. Yet it only takes one bad bar to make it miserable for everyone. We have faced more than our share of bar ownLETTERS continued on p. 31
June 16, 2016
Photo by Lincoln Anderson
At Monday night’s Sheridan Square vigil for the Orlando mass-shooting victims, the crowd of thousands held up their cell-phone flashlights as one as the names of the 49 dead were read aloud.
Memories of the Ramrod and faith-based terrorism
TALKING POINT By Tim Gay
e could have died in a spray of Uzi bullets. I was running late, but Glen Martin was already there drinking a beer. Glen called from a pay phone as I was leaving my apartment. He was yelling with sirens in the background. “Thank God, you’re still home… . Don’t come down here… . They shot up the place with a machine gun… . Bullets came through the door and windows… . There’s blood everywhere… . I saw Jörg bleeding on the sidewalk… . I think they killed him… . I don’t know how many more… .” Glen and I were 25. We were meeting at the Ramrod at midnight to begin his 26th birthday celebration. Three men died and six more were injured when the son of a preacher went on a rampage with an Uzi and automatic handguns in front of the Ramrod on the West Side Highway. It was Wed., Nov. 19, 1980, a week before Thanksgiving. I ran down anyway. The police had blocked off the area. A number of gay men gathered on Christopher St. Rumors were that more men were shot on West St. We had no idea how many gunmen there were. Maybe it was a mafia payoff TheVillager.com
revenge? Could one of the teenage thugs from Carmine St. had gotten a gun and was proving his manhood? It turned out the killer was the son of a Christian preacher, a married father with two kids, a man with a history of drug and alcohol addiction. Ronald Crumpley also claimed his thoughts were being haunted by homosexual ghosts. Reverend Crumpley had counseled his homophobic son a couple of days earlier that maybe he “had a homosexual problem himself.” So the son stole his dad’s car, drove through the night to Virginia, robbed a gun store, returned to New York with the two semiautomatic pistols, a .357 magnum revolver and the Uzi. If he had known how to fire semiautomatic assault weapons, Ronald Crumpley could have killed 100 or more men. I’m 61 now, and 36 years later, the violence continues. This time it’s 49 dead, plus dozens more victims seriously injured. This time, though, the nation and the world is in shock. In 1980, the Ramrod shooting was barely mentioned in the local news sections of the daily papers. Orlando is a travesty that might have been avoided with serious gun restrictions. But the root cause is not immigration, F.B.I. checks, ISIL cells or the Muslim faith. It is more universal. This violence is fueled by faith-based homophobia. As more is revealed, Omar Mateen was leading two lives. One was as a religious married father who took his son to
prayer services. The other was as a single man — gay, bisexual, questioning? — who over the years traveled more than 100 miles to enjoy our hard-fought rights to dance and commune freely. Ronald Crumpley and Omar Mateen were both closet cases whose internal homophobia caused them to kill those who lived freely. What made my husband and me cry was the reading of the names — most were in their 20s and 30s, young women and men, Latinos, Latinas, African
In 1980, the killer was the son of a Christian preacher. American, Asian, white, multiracial, gay, who may have been straight, bi, gay, transgender, fluid, whatever. Yet we are moved and given hope. Up here in the Catskill Mountains, more than 100 people gathered Sunday night at the corner of Wall and Front Sts. in uptown Kingston, with flowers and candles for the Orlando victims and survivors. And on Monday, the L.G.B.T.Q. Center here in Ulster County opened its doors and windows as more than 250 people gathered inside and on the side-
walk to remember those we had never met. Among the tributes was a sing-along to a song by Holly Near, one of the first openly lesbian performers in the ’70s. Beginning with one singer, we all joined in with, “We are a gentle, angry people, singing, singing for our lives… .” My husband, Bob Gibbons, was at Stonewall the day after, June 29, 1969. We were both helping those with AIDS before it was named. And although we didn’t know it, we were both with hundreds of other gay men and lesbians for a memorial at the Ramrod on Thurs., Nov. 20, 1980. I looked up the names of those who died on Nov. 19, 1980. They were young and barely legal — Vernon Koenig, age 24; Rene Malute, age 23; and Jörg Wenz, age 21. Glen and I knew Jörg. He was a 6-foot6-inch sinewy blond German, with size 13 boots. Jörg worked at the Ramrod as the door guard, admitting men wearing proper leather and jeans gear, and keeping watch for the fag bashers. Jörg’s photo was on the boarded Ramrod door the night we left the flowers. Thirty-six years later, the roses we left for the Orlando victims and survivors were also placed for Jörg — and Vernon and Rene too.
Gay was the Democratic district leader in Chelsea from 1992 to 2005. Tim and his husband, Bob Gibbons, live in the Catskill Forest somewhere west of Woodstock and Mombaccus Mountain. June 16, 2016
Chico is the man for youth in Legends project By Michael Ossorguine
ntonio “Chico” Garcia, the famed Lower East Side graffiti artist, is back visiting his home turf with a mission to educate and inspire local youth through the legacy of Puerto Rican leaders of the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. Chico, who relocated to Tampa several years ago, was contacted by Eric Diaz, the director of Vision Urbana Inc., a nonprofit after-school program focused on keeping youth on a positive path. Diaz’s pitch: a weekly arts and culture class — the Legends of L.E.S. Project — at which community leaders speak with local teenagers about the role models of their own youth who diffused Puerto Rican culture into the community, New York City and even the United States as a whole. Chico didn’t hesitate to say “yes.” “I want these kids to have a role model, and continue my legacy as an artist,” the graffiti legend said. “When Eric asked me to come down, I said, ‘Well, that’s a great project. I want to jump on it.’” “When he came back, it was almost a mob. You know: Pied Piper,” Diaz said. Along with Chico, Diaz teaches volunteers about iconic Lower East Side
Photo by Michael Ossorguine
Graffiti ar tist Antonio Garcia a.k.a. Chico, third from left, and Eric Diaz, director of Vision Urbana, at rear right, working with teenagers in the Legends of L .E.S. Project.
figures, such as Tato Laviera, who attended the National Poets Dinner by invitation of former President Jimmy
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Carter, and coined the term “Spanglish” in his poetic verse; or Mary Spink, the woman responsible for many of the neighborhood’s affordable housing projects. Chico, on the other hand, is the guiding hand and inspiration for the kids, helping them create canvasses for the revered figures that will be on display at the Sixth Street Community Center, at 638 E. Sixth St., among other venues. Chico’s goal is to encourage kids to use their own imagination in relating the legacies of these legends to everyday life in the Lower East Side. For last week’s session, Chico suggested two ideas: drawing the Campos Plaza public-housing development or a visual representation of the word “Spanglish.” Campos Plaza, on E. 13th St. between Avenues B and C, is named for Pedro Albizu Campos, a key political leader of the Puerto Rican independence movement against the colonial powers of Spain and later the U.S. After the kids come up with the concept for the piece, Chico will take it home and refine it, using graffiti and airbrush. The canvases will be small and portable, so that they can make the rounds of local venues. In fact, Chico is still sore about losing what he considered to be “his wall,” at Sixth St. and Avenue C, after RNC gave it to a New Jersey-based graffiti crew to decorate a few years ago. This long stretch of wall is where Chico had originally planned to depict his L.E.S. Legends. He feels RNC took it away from him because he was “too
political,” having done a mural there endorsing Barack Obama over John McCain. Despite that setback, Chico’s murals adorn countless gates and walls in the East Village and Lower East Side, and according to Diaz, most commissioned graffiti art in that neighborhood is attributed to the artist, who is now in his early 50s. With so much experience, Chico can churn out a vibrant “masterpiece” in only a few hours, as he did in the evening twilight on Sun., June 5, in a mural dedicated to Muhammad Ali, who he called a friend and role model. “Art is just a gift — it’s something I can’t control sometimes,” Chico said. Sixty percent of Hispanics on the Lower East Side identify as Puerto Rican, according to Vision Urbana. Learning about their rich history in the neighborhood is essential to growing up as an “AmeRican,” Diaz said. “We want to give our young people an understanding of the cultural history of men and women who were amazing, brilliant people, to inspire them to say they can be amazing and brilliant, as well,” he said. Vision Urbana uses donated space, plus grants from organizations, such as the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, to coordinate their banner projects. In return, Vision Urbana engages the 160 children it services by posting volunteer opportunities with organizations that provide them funding and space. For the Legends of L.E.S. Project, New Life, a local youth outreach program that also targets teens who are at risk for drug use and crime, donated a classroom at 66 Clinton St. TheVillager.com
River To River delivers
Annual fest highlights Lower Manhattan arts BY SEAN EGAN
t’s time once again — the 15th time, in fact — for New Yorkers to take in boundary-pushing creative work against the backdrop of Downtown’s waterfront. Run by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), June 16–26’s River To River Festival presents free music, art, theater, and dance in unique venues (as well as outdoor spaces) below Chambers St. This year’s highlights include: Jillian Peña’s Foucault-inspired dance piece “Panopticon;” “M is Black Enough,” a Poets House-sponsored evening of music and spoken word; and Saya Woolfalk’s festival-spanning, multidisciplinary work “ChimaTEK: ChimaCloud Control Center.” Earlier this week, we spoke with some of the artists whose work is amongst the most promising to be presented during the fest. Read on about these events, and visit rivertorivernyc. com for the full schedule.
MUSIC: OLGA BELL’S “KRAI” This live performance of Olga Bell’s critically acclaimed 2014 album “Krai” was actually supposed to be one of the highlights of last year’s festival, but wound up getting cancelled due to inclement weather. While currently on tour in Europe to promote her new record, “Tempo,” Bell is making the time to return to River To River, for a belated rain date. “It’s difficult to perform this record, to really take it on an extenTheVillager.com
PHOTO BY DARIAL SNEED
Choreographer Emmanuelle Huynh’s “Cribles/Wild Governors,” from 2015. Among this year’s outdoor performances: Eiko Otake’s “A Body on Governors Island,” on June 19.
sive tour or anything, because to play it the way that it was written requires six people singing and six people playing instruments,” Bell said. “So every performance of ‘Krai’ is really special, and it’s sort of an honor to have the resources to put it on.” Described by Bell as “a smorgasbord of folk styles from across Russia” that’s then “presented alongside electronic and pop structures,” the song cycle
will be brought to life by musicians — including guitarist Rafiq Bhatia, and Aaron Arntz (who toured with the bands Grizzly Bear and Beirut). In addition, the June 22 performance’s venue of the plaza at 28 Liberty holds a special significance to Bell. “I’m excited to play the piece outdoors; I’ve never done that before. A lot of ‘Krai’ is sort of a love song to the natural world, of these nine
regions in Russia, so that will be cool,” she commented, describing how she explored those places via Google Maps and researched their folk traditions in preparation for the album. “And the fact that the concert is free and open to the public is awesome, because there’s literally no barrier to entry.”
R2R continued on p. 24 June 16, 2016
PHOTO BY MARIA BARANOVA
A view from a previous production of “GO FORTH,” Kaneza Schaal’s performance piece inspired by the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
PHOTO BY NOAH KALINA
Brooklyn-based musician Olga Bell brings her acclaimed 2014 song cycle “Krai” to life on June 22.
R2R continued from p. 23
THEATER: KANEZA SCHAAL’S “GO FORTH” Another pre-existing work being built upon in its River To River iteration is “GO FORTH,” Kaneza Schaal’s performance piece, inspired by the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which functions as a translation of seven of the text’s chapters (June 18, 19 & 25). “The piece grew out of my thinking about mourning rituals and how we make space for the presence of the absent in our lives,” explained Schaal, who began this line of thinking after suffering the loss of her father and considering the “ritualized grieving process” she experienced. By all accounts, the resulting meditation on loss, grief, and rituals has been as affecting as it is hard to classify. “We’re trying to pull on as many different languages of performance as we can,” Schaal noted, adding that the production features elements as disparate as dance and 16mm film. “There is text, and movement, and we worked with designer/fine artist Christopher Myers.” The result of this collaboration with Myers — a photo exhibit inspired by
June 16, 2016
tomb paintings the pair saw in Egypt — is a new addition for River To River. Like Bell, Schaal has nothing but praise for the LMCC and the fest, noting that the wide net it casts and its accessibility helps bring in audience members that may not otherwise attend. “I set out for the piece in my own process of losing a loved one, and it was very gratifying to have audience members find that work useful for them individually,” Schaal said. “I hope that audience members get to consider how we individually and collectively process death.”
DANCE: EPHRAT ASHERIE’S “RIFF THIS, RIFF THAT”
Dancer/choreographer Ephrat Asherie collaborates with her brother Ehud at this year’s River To River Fest.
One exciting premiere is the result of a collaboration a lifetime in the making: Ephrat Asherie’s dance piece “Riff this, Riff that” (June 20 & 21), which is the result of working with her brother Ehud, a jazz pianist. While Asherie is known primarily as a hip-hop, house, and break-dancer, this new work — featuring an ensemble of six dancers and a quartet of musicians — focuses on jazz. “I’ve been looking at the authentic jazz dance roots of these dances,” she said, noting the similarities between the “buoyancy and joyfulness and exu-
berance” of music and dance of the 1920s/30s/40s, and her modern day style. “That is really at the root of all of these contemporary, street, and club styles that I do.” The piece features newly arranged jazz standards, and highlights the talents of individual dancers. “You get to see how all of those elements and each of those voices kind of can play off each other in a more formalized, choreographed vignette,” Asherie noted, while ensuring that — fitting for its focus —
PHOTO COURTESY THE ARTIST
there will be a “precise balance between choreography and improvisation” in the work. Ultimately, the piece functions as a lesson about New York, with Asherie hoping that the connections drawn between past and present highlight the city’s progressive history regarding dance, community, and connection. “I feel very strongly like this kind of piece is something that represents very much ‘Only in New York.’ Like, ‘Oh yes, this is what this place is about.’ ” TheVillager.com
All-in for photojournalism at The Half King Chelsea gastro-pub has food for thought on the menu BY NORMAN BORDEN
efore West Chelsea became an art district dense with over 300 galleries, and even longer before an elevated public park would once again transform the neighborhood’s relationship with tourism and foot traffic, The Half King bar and restaurant opened on a deserted stretch of W. 23rd St. — which now happens to be less than 100 feet from an entrance to the High Line. When it was established in July of 2000, the three co-owners — journalists Scott Anderson and Sebastian Junger and filmmaker Nanette Burstein — had envisioned Half King as a neighborhood place where members of the publishing and film industries could meet and talk shop. By the fall, weekly non-fiction readings on topics of interest to the co-owners had been added to the menu, along with a rotating schedule of photography exhibitions. “Sebastian and I had done a lot of war reporting,” Anderson recalled, “and we’d both worked with some pretty amazing photojournalists over the years… I recognized there was a limited number of outlets where they could show their work.” So Half King became “one of few venues where straight-ahead photojournalism can be displayed,” he said, noting that the forum they provide “allows the photographer to show their work largely among their peers, and is a great opportunity for photojournalists to get together and see what others are doing.”
Writer and editor Anna Van Lenten and James Price (an editor at Getty Reportage) were hired as co-curators in 2010 to make the photography series more consistent. As a result, Half King is operating on a “strict schedule now,” Van Lenten said, with new shows every seven or eight weeks. “We’ve standardized the frame sizes (32 x 23 inches) and operate like a gallery/salon, even though we don’t look like one.” That’s for sure — the 11 photographs in each show are displayed along the walls of a separate dining room that seats 50, and is closed off from the bar and other diners. “The openings are meant to be super focused discussions around the story or book launch, very casual and intimate,” Van Lenten explained. “We turn off the lights and do a slide show that lasts from 45 to 90 minutes and encourage the audience to ask questions. We show narrative photography. They’ve spent years immersed in stories they bring to us; they’re quite intense, and know their subject top to bottom.” In her ongoing search for future exhibitors, Van Lenten asks other photographers to recommend people they like. She also pays attention to award shows, Facebook and Instagram, and she subscribes to lots of newsletters. In any case, “The bar is high. The work has to be beautiful and visually distinctive; the story has to be compelling either because the photographer took an alternative approach or had an interesting
PHOTO COURTESY THE HALF KING
L to R: Half King founders Sebastian Junger, Nanette Burstein and Scott Anderson.
PHOTO © ADRIANA ZEHBRAUSKAS
HALF KING continued on p. 26
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“The family of Adán Abraján de la Cruz.”
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June 16, 2016
HALF KING continued from p. 25
evolution; and the photographer has to speak English well enough to give a talk on opening night.” One excellent example of Van Lenten’s credo is the current exhibition: “Family Matters,” by Mexico City-based photographer Adriana Zehbrauskas. It’s a bittersweet story that began when 43 male students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College in Guerrero, Mexico disappeared on September 26, 2014, taken by the police and then handed over to a narcotics gang. The photographer had been working on assignment with one of the families and had asked for photos of their missing brother. There were none — all they had were cellphone photos that could be accidentally deleted or lost if the phone was changed. Since nobody printed pictures, she realized these families could suffer another loss — the memories of their missing loved ones. Zehbrauskas decided to start a personal project where she would take family portraits for free and hand out the prints on the spot. Shooting “Family Matters” called for driving eight hours back and forth from Mexico City to Huehuetonoc, Guerrero, going through dangerous narcotics gang-controlled territory. Having worked in the area for 10 years as a freelance documentary photographer, she said, “You have to stay alert for kidnappings and shootings.” In the town, Zehbrauskas set up a table by the church where family members could meet her for their free pictures and people could clearly see what she was doing — taking portraits with her iPhone and using a small Canon printer to produce the photo on the spot. “I’ve taken lots of photos,” Zehbrauskas said. “Eighty portraits on my first trip in 2016, and I also give my subjects large prints on my return trip from Mexico City. I’m paying my expenses with a Getty Images Instagram grant I was awarded in September 2015 to document underrepresented communities. I upload this work on Instagram and also publish on the New Yorker Magazine’s live feed.” At the exhibit’s opening on May 24, it was standing room only as Zehbrauskas showed about 40 images in a fascinating hour-long slide presentation. Her comments added a greater understanding and deeper
June 16, 2016
PHOTO © ADRIANA ZEHBRAUSKAS
“Don Gerardo and La Rubia.”
appreciation of the project and its challenges. Her talk also demonstrated the unique opportunity that photojournalists from around the world have to show and discuss their work. In my view, many of the 11 images in the exhibition can be considered to be in the realm of fine art photography. One outstanding example on view now is “Don Gerardo and La Rubia.” I see this photo as an intimate portrait of a man and his friend, a horse — the composition, lighting, and the print are all beautiful, as are the subjects themselves. Also impressive was the portrait of “The family of Adán Abraján de la Cruz.” Adán was one of the 43 missing students. This photograph was taken after the First Communion of Adán’s eight-year-old son, Angel, in Tixtla, Guerrero. You not only see the sadness in this photograph, but also feel it. Angel’s mournful, wistful look is haunting, reinforced by his mother and Adán’s parents standing with him.
Another photograph, the faceless portrait of 19-year-old Xalpa, is a powerful reminder of the students’ disappearance on the night of September 26. Xalpa was one of the survivors and understandably didn’t want his face shown. You can only imagine what he saw and the pain he feels now. Sadly, there are many more stories of missing people in Mexico, and Zehbrauskas hopes her continuing work on “Family Matters” will help keep the families of the victims from feeling abandoned. With stories like these, The Half King Photography Series has more than fulfilled the co-owners’ original intent. As for the future, Anderson said that changes in the neighborhood (most notably, rent increases) have made it “increasingly difficult for a small business to operate. We’ve had a good run. Our lease is up for renewal in 2019, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens.” In the meantime,
PHOTO © ADRIANA ZEHBRAUSKAS
there are burgers, beer, and plenty of food for thought at The Half King. Adriana Zehbrauskas’ “Family Matters” is on view through July 17 at The Half King (505 W. 23rd St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Hours: M–F, 11am–4pm; Sat. & Sun., 9am–4pm. Visit thehalfking. com and halfkingphoto.com or call 212462-4300. Twitter: #hkphotoseries.
Just Do Art BY SCOTT STIFFLER
DOCUMENTARY: ‘THE DESTRUCTION OF MEMORY” Lower East Side-based filmmaker Tim Slade brings his most recent work to neighborhood venue Anthology Film Archives, prior to a screening at the British Museum that will be followed by worldwide release — a local-to-global distribution tactic that’s appropriate, given his film’s focus on the global catastrophe resulting from a century’s worth of war waged against numerous individual cultures. Based on Robert Bevan’s 2006 book of the same name, “The Destruction of Memory” looks at the agents and instruments of cultural destruction, as well as those who have dedicated their lives to protecting, salvaging, and rebuilding in response to the loss of art, architecture, and literature — and, by extension, identity. Interviewees such as the Director-General of UNESCO and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court discuss the current situation in places like Syria and Iraq, while linking past decisions that have, Slade notes, “allowed the issue to remain hidden in the shadows for so many years.” Sophie Okonedo (Tony-nominated for her current role on Broadway, as Elizabeth Proctor in “The Crucible”) narrates. Director/Producer Slade will open the house to questions immediately following the screening. Tues., June 21, 6:30pm, at Anthology Film Archives (32 Second Ave., at Second St.). Visit nycdestructionofmemory.eventbrite.com for tickets ($17.50 general, $13 for students). Visit destructionofmemoryfilm.com for more info.
PHOTO BY DEREK WIESEHAHN, COURTESY VAST PRODUCTIONS USA
Ferhadija Mosque in Banja Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina, during its rebuilding — from “The Destruction of Memory.”
ARChive OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC’S SIZZLIN’ SUMMER SALE While we were busy heralding the advent of the CD, mourning the loss of vinyl, praising the iPod, and debating the right to download our favorite tunes, the ARChive of Contemporary Music’s mission remained the same: amass the world’s largest collection of popular music, for use by artists and scholars. Two times a year, the general public benefits from the bounty of their pack rat mentality, at a sale that’s as carefully curated as the three million sound recordings in ARC’s permanent collection. The highlight of this summer event: 65,000 recently donated 45s. The other 30,000-or-so items include pop, jazz, country, dance, rock, world, and Broadway music. There are hundreds of CDs for $1–$5 each; cassettes and Classical LPs, 2 for $1; plus music books of all kinds, 7″ singles, VHS & DVD videos, TheVillager.com
PHOTO BY FRANCOIS RIHOUAY, COURTESY VAST PRODUCTIONS USA
A reconstructed mausoleum in Timbuktu, Mali — from “The Destruction of Memory.”
and 60s psychedelic posters. The good news: All proceeds go to support the ARChive’s nonprofit music library and research center work. The bad news: You’ve missed the spirited June 9 membersonly cocktail party and early shopping soirée. But don’t fret. Join ARC’s merry little band while you’re flipping through their bins, and you’ll score an invite to their second sale of the year, come December. Daily, 11am–6pm, through Sun., June 26, at ARChive of Contemporary Music (54 White St., btw. Broadway & Church St.). Visit arcmusic.org or call 212-226-6967.
PHOTO COURTESY ARC
ARChive of Contemporary Music opens its doors to the public through June 26, for a sizzlin’ summer sale. June 16, 2016
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Letters to the Editor Continued from p. 20
ers coming in to our community and saying that they want to open a restaurant, only to find out that they have no experience as a restaurant owner or manager. They do have experience as bar owners and we know that they won’t wait a minute to crank up music and hand out the bar snacks. If our government wishes to weaken one of the safeguards of a community, then they need to balance it elsewhere. Raymond Cline
Why worship Weiss? To The Editor: Re “Where are our leaders? ” (letter, by Bunny Gabel, June 2): Ted Weiss may have been a very nice person but he was among the least effective representatives in the House during his 16-year tenure there. According to C-SPAN, over that extended time, he sponsored 30 bills: Four passed and 26 did not. His passed bills were truly significant, including support for democracy in Zambia; support of congressional high school art; opposition to human rights violations in Mauritania; and support of the 100th anniversary of moviemaking. It took Mr. Weiss 16 years to build this list of accomplishments. Wow! Upon his death in 1992, James Dao wrote in The New York Times: “Once he voted against legislation to increase penalties for child pornography... . The final House vote was 400 to 1 for the measure.” Weiss was a gadfly whose effectiveness in Congress caused our district to miss out on millions in federal dollars. After all, if our representatives in Congress do not bring federal money to New York, who will?
ally support it. A citizen legislature has family farmers, hardware store owners, accountants and lawyers, entrepreneurs and other small business owners, people who have saved all their lives and have dividend-producing investments. In other words, people who know how things work in the real world, from which Glick has been shielded for nearly a quarter century. She wants everyone in Albany to “be like her,” a professional lifetime politician, and she makes it sound so simple. For my money, this is the worst possible situation you can have in an elected position: someone who relies on that salary and will do anything to protect staying in the job, including turning a blind eye to the illegal behavior of colleagues, which is the real, one and only issue in this campaign. Past behavior matters, and in every way indicates future commitment to change. Transparency and disclosure are the keys. So is having the courage to prevent your colleagues from stealing or from making secret sexual harassment settlements, and to let the community in on a massive pending air rights transfer law before it is written and goes to the governor. Glick did not step up when it mattered most. And now, in so many words, she accuses a well-known pro-gay community member of homophobia? That’s just dirty, low and cheap. Would that she had aimed that tough side at her colleagues while they were stealing from New York State taxpayers. It was time for a change years ago. Schwartz, and perhaps other candidates, ought to be expected to be equally effective and tenacious on core Village issues, such as L.G.B.T. equality and housing. Those are a given. It’s time to give someone else a shot at “the everything else.” Patrick Shields
Sticks it to Glick To The Editor: Re “Schwartz stonewalled” (Scoopy’s Notebook, June 2): Deborah Glick’s position on outside income, an impossible ideal, is just silly, and quite frankly, antidemocratic. It’s so utterly simplistic, it’s hard to fathom that she can actu-
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June 16, 2016
Â˘ANNOUNCEMENTS Â˘REAL ESTATE NOTICES
Letitia James Warns Consumers About Classified Ads Toll numbers may be a direct line to trouble. Classified ads are intended to help people by facilitating communication and advertising available services; however, some of the hotlines & service numbers in classifieds actually hurt the people who rely on them by cheating them of their hard-earned dollars. â€œMost newspapers print a disclaimer in their classified ad section to warn readers about numbers that are a direct line to trouble. Any number starting with 900, 540, 595 or 871 charges a fee beyond a local call. In some instances, ads initially advertise calls to a local number, but then direct callers to a second number starting with one of the paid exchanges. â€œConsumers must also question the legitimacy of vague classifieds because they too could be a scam. Before responding to an ad, consumers should verify the source of all information & always be wary about sending money or signing a contract with an unknown party.â€? Office of the Public Advocate
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June 16, 2016
Knicks bounce down to the Village for skills clinic
sports By Joey Zannino
n June 7, the New York Knicks came down to William F. Passannante Ball Field, at East Houston St. and Sixth Ave., to run a clinic for the Greenwich Village Youth Council’s spring basketball league. The league debuted this spring and G.V.Y.C. has given new life to the park by working with the Parks Department to restore the court and by working with TrueBounce to secure a donation of brand-new backboards. The league is free for 200 middle-school boys and girls from the community and is supported by many community partners. The Knicks ran a two-hour clinic that focused on skills and conditioning as much as discipline and character and delivered a positive message to the young people about hard work and dedication. Former Knick player and All-Star Vin Baker was on hand to offer coaching tips, along with Troy Bowers, the team’s fan and player development manager, who played pro ball in Europe, plus a team of Knicks staff, who all rotated skills stations and ran competitions for the youth. The event ended with giveaways from the Knicks, as well as refreshments donated by local restaurants. It is because of the support of the community that Greenwich Village Youth Council is able to continue to offer these programs and events to young people, who would normally not be able to afford such opportunities, free of charge. This summer,
Photos by James Kwitny
Two boys squared off during drills.
G.V.Y.C.’s free W. Fourth St. summer basketball league returns to “The Cage” for eight weeks with more than 400 boys and girls ages 13 to 17. Visit http://www.gvyc.net to find out how you can get involved.
Zannino is director, Greenwich Village Youth Council
It threatened to rain all afternoon, but that didn’t stop these young ballers from coming out to improve their skills with the Knicks.
Knicks staff, including Troy Bowers, left, with Vin Baker, second from right, and G.V.Y.C. Executive Director John Pettinato, far right.
June 16, 2016
Boys and girls doing squats at the conditioning station – good for keeping a low defensive posture. TheVillager.com
End of the road for ELRO and ‘Bash Brothers’
By Michael Ossorguine arrison Rottman and Blas Lee — who made their mark as youths in the Greenwich Village Little League — led Eleanor Roosevelt High School to its first Public School Athletic Association AA Division baseball championship on Monday at Yankee Stadium. But their Cinderella run through the playoffs ended in a tough 3-2 defeat against Bayside High School. “Although we weren’t able to finish off the season with a win, it was an unbelievable experience being able to upset so many teams and exceed expectations,” Rottman said. “And actually getting to play in Yankee Stadium in front of the whole school is something that we’ll all remember forever.” “It’s like entering the cathedral of all of baseball,” Lee added. Bayside was quick to take the lead, knocking in a run in each of the first three innings. Then things got interesting, as Eleanor Roosevelt a.k.a. ELRO scored once each in the third and fifth inning. But the Huskies couldn’t muster anything more in the
final two frames, and they ended up losing by just one run. Rottman scored the Upper East Side team’s first run, and Lee had an RBI, ending their fantastic season with more great statistics. Both were involved in a key double play for ELRO, with Rottman at shortstop and Lee at first base. The boys topped their in-season batting averages in the playoffs, with both notching an excellent .467 according to PSAL stats. As bittersweet as a loss in the championship game is, both talented teenagers are extremely proud of their team, which went 12-4 in the regular season. In the fall, Rottman will be heading to Gettysburg College, and Lee to Stony Brook University, and both hope to play ball on the college level. The two say playing in G.V.L.L. and at Pier 40 — the league’s Hudson River Park stomping ground — helped them grow as players and make countless friends over the years. However, this year, culminating in the championship game, was really something special for the young athletes. “I can honestly say that this baseball season was the most fun and exciting I’ve ever been a part of,” Rottman said.
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Blas Lee, left, Harrison Rottman and the Eleanor Roosevelt Huskies had a great PSAL AA playoff run but were narrowly edged out in the championship game by Bayside.
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