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YOUR WEEKLY COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL’S KITCHEN

CB4 Drills Down on Bus Terminal Expansion BY EILEEN STUKANE The sprawling entity that is the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PA) has slowed the forward march of its planned expansion of its bus terminal in Hell’s Kitchen to form a PA working group with representatives of New York and New Jersey, and enlist community involveBUS TERMINAL continued on p. 4

City: Divvy Some Affordable Housing to Homeless BY DENNIS LYNCH Mayor Bill de Blasio announced earlier this month that the city plans to require housing developers to set aside half of all apartments originally reserved for low-income neighborhood residents (under the 421-a Affordable Housing Program) for homeless individuals instead. HOUSING continued on p. 6

CURRENT EVENTS, SHAKESPEARE-STYLE

A thuggish strong man rules, in The Bridge Production Group’s version of “Richard III.” See page 17.

Photo by Zach Williams

Sign of a whole new time: A participant in the Nov. 12 demonstration that went from Union Square to Trump Tower.

PROTESTERS VETTING PRESIDENT-ELECT OPPOSE HIS DANGEROUS EXTREMISM BY JACKSON CHEN The roar of thousands protesting Republican President-elect Donald Trump filled Fifth Ave. on the afternoon of Sat., Nov. 12, as throngs of demonstrators headed north from Greenwich Village toward his high-rise home in Trump Tower (725 Fifth Ave. at 56th St.). “Show me what democracy looks like!” the crowd that spanned blocks chanted. “This is what democracy looks like!” Many in the crowd found out about the protest on Facebook, where they were instructed to meet at Union Square at noon. Demonstrators began their march at around 2 p.m., moving up Fifth Ave. until they were impeded by barricades set up by the New York Police Department, closing off the avenue at 56th St. just shy of the soon-to-be president’s Manhattan home. As the crowd pressed up against the barriers, many raised their middle fingers and booed the 58-story tower. “Whose streets?” the protestors shouted in unison. “Our streets!”

© CHELSEA NOW 2016 | NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

While the protest remained peaceful, with only murmurs in the crowd about charging the barricades, there were 13 arrests for disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental administration during a variety of protests from Friday to Sunday, the NYPD said. “We reject the president-elect!” the masses yelled. Protesters stayed long after the sun set on Nov. 12, many of them promising they would stand against Trump’s win every day of his expected presidency. Some voiced the hope that the sheer massiveness of the protests that have followed Election Day would help affect change — with some of that optimism decidedly wishful thinking. “I’m hoping maybe the Electoral College will decide not to go with the votes of their states,” Susan Boynton, a Columbia University professor, said at the protest. “If there are enough demonstrations like this, they’ll maybe think about doing that.” PROTEST continued on p. 2 VOLUME 08, ISSUE 46 | NOVEMBER 17 - 23, 2016


Photo by Donna Aceto

Demonstrators pressed up against the barricades set up around Trump Tower on Nov. 12.

Photo by Zach Williams

Throngs of demonstrators begin to leave Union Square.

Trump Tower Becomes Base For Determined Demonstrators PROTEST continued from p. 1

Boynton and Rachel Lidov, with whom she marched, said they heard about the protest through social media and wanted to exercise their rights of free speech and protest.

“For one thing, it’s protecting our First Amendment rights,� Lidov said. “And it’s bringing unity to the movement against him; the many, many groups who are organizing against him.� For John Rubinstein, who explained he came out to protest to ensure a better

place for his kids to grow up, his wish is that Trump not be allowed to take office. More realistically, he added that Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s choice for the vacant Supreme Court seat, should be approved by the Senate in this month’s lame duck session of Congress

and that those unhappy with the outcome of the election must mobilize to defend the rights of immigrants, people of color, women, and the LGBT community. “Racist, sexist, anti-gay!� the crowd PROTEST continued on p. 13

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November 17 - 23, 2016

   

   

Photo by Donna Aceto

Many demonstrators were fierce in their commitment to oppose Trump going forward. .com


Upgraded M23 Bus Still Riding A Learning Curve BY DENNIS LYNCH The M23 Select Bus Service (SBS) debuted on 23rd St. last week, so we took a crosstown ride on the new service that transit officials claim will be faster, more reliable, and more convenient for commuters. The SBS is different than a regular bus service in a few ways, but its streamlined ticketing and boarding process is most visible to customers. Riders purchase a ticket with money or a MetroCard from machines at each bus stop, much like MetroCard vending machines at subway stations. That makes boarding faster so long as riders know to use the machines. The MTA and city Department of Transportation stationed employees at each M23 stop to help walk people through the ticketing process (as witnessed by Chelsea Now on Fri., Nov. 11). One or two riders at each stop would get on the bus ready to dip their MetroCards, which sometimes held us up briefly. Regular M23 rider Carlos D. said he believes SBS will make his ride across town faster, but was concerned that many riders were “not at all in tune” with the ticket-buying process, which could slow down the bus or leave would-be riders at the curb. “Many, frankly, don’t speak English, and it’s a little disorientating for them. The MTA should do a little better job of educating the public, whether that’s putting up signs or something,” said Carlos. “Even for English speakers it’s confusing. On more than one occasion, I’ve had to help people through that process. But we’ll see. It hasn’t been a week. Let’s wait and see what happens in the next few weeks; I think it will be a success.” It wouldn’t take much to best the old, infamously slow M23. The Straphangers Campaign has twice awarded it the undesirable “Pokey Award” for slowest local bus route in the entire city. The M23 was usually stopped or stuck in traffic for 90% of its trip and it spent 25% of its crosstown trip just picking up passengers, according to the MTA and city DOT. The MTA would not say how long the average trip on the old M23 took and said that one trip on the M23 SBS was not enough to calculate its running time. Our trip on the M23 SBS from the westernmost stop, Chelsea Piers, across town 16 stops to its easternmost stop at Ave. C and E. 20th St. took about a half hour. A trip from First Ave. to Sixth Ave., or five stops, took .com

Courtesy MTA

The new SBS route is identical to the old M23 route, sans stops at Madison Square Park and Lexington Ave.

15 minutes. The M23 SBS uses the curbside “bus only” lane on 23rd St. that’s in effect 24/7, except for a stretch between Seventh and Eighth Aves., but traffic still slowed us down. The rules of the “bus only” lane are somewhat loose. Vehicles are permitted to enter the bus lane 200 feet before they take a turn off the street or before a driveway they will turn into. Since a Manhattan block is roughly 875 feet long, cars turning are allowed in the bus lane for almost a quarter of the way down the block on either side. Drivers can also stop in a bus lane to pick up or drop off passengers, and charter buses are allowed to travel in the bus lane at any time. Only delivery trucks are barred from stopping to

make a delivery or pick up when the bus only lane is in effect, although a Nov. 7 Patch.com article noted that doesn’t necessarily stop them from doing so. M23 continued on p. 15

Photo by Scott Stiffler

SBS service includes information hubs that tell you when the next bus will arrive at your stop.

How a child learns to learn will impact his or her life forever.

City and Country School Keeping the progress in progressive education. Two-Year-Olds – 8th Grade Photo by Dennis Lynch

Regular M23 rider Carlos D. said the MTA should do more to help people learn the SBS ticketing system, but was confident the new system would work out for the better.

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‘Hear Us,’ The Community Said, BUS TERMINAL continued from p. 1

ment in the project. The determination by members of Community Board 4 (CB4), along with local and state elected officials, has reshaped what began as a contentious conflict. Chelsea Now sat down with Betty Mackintosh, who is heading up CB4’s PA Working Group, and Christine Berthet, co-chair, CB4 Transportation Planning Committee, to gain an understanding of the current status of the PA terminal expansion, and to learn what the future may hold. To recap, the Hell’s Kitchen community was rocked back on its heels this past spring when the PA announced the planned expansion of its bus terminal, now located between Eighth and Ninth Aves., from W. 40th to W. 42nd Sts. Without seeking input from elected officials or CB4, the PA proposed using eminent domain — the process by which the government takes control of private property for public works — to seize blocks of buildings, which would upend lives and destroy neighborhoods. CB4 mobilized into a force that included local and state elected officials. They held a Town Hall meeting attended by the PA, which then withdrew its initially released designs and presented a new competition for architectural ideas. Only one of the five winners of the PA’s next design competition included eminent domain in its concept, but the community was still not invited to participate in the process. The cost would be anywhere from $3 billion to $15 billion. Community leaders and elected officials boycotted a September meeting to review the five competition winners, citing continued lack of community involvement on the PA’s part. That’s when change happened. With representatives from each state, the PA New York/New Jersey Working Group was formed by the PA following the boycott. The eight New York members of the PA’s NY/NJ Working Group are: US Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, NY State Senator Brad Hoylman, NY State Assemblymembers Richard Gottfried and Linda Rosenthal, City Councilmember Corey Johnson, Community Board 5 Chair Vikki Barbero, and CB4 Chair Delores Rubin. Those five winning designs are now being used for the information they provide, but none of them are likely to be built as presented.

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Image by Patty Gouris, courtesy CB4 Hell’s Kitchen Working Group

Hell’s Kitchen South (area outlined in red) is being assessed by CB4 in order to identify land owned by the PA, community facilities, affordable housing, and historic properties to highlight what’s at stake regarding PA’s bus terminal expansion.

Fast forward to the present and our sit-down with CB4’s Mackintosh and Berthet. (Chelsea Now emailed the PA’s Government and Community Relations representative, Michael Lavery, to request an interview; a press representative replied, stating Lavery was not available to speak on the topic of the PA’s Working Group and the planned bus expansion.)

WHAT’S AT STAKE

According to the PA’s website, on any given weekday 220,000 passengers pass through the PA bus terminal, during 7,000 bus movements. By 2040 the number of passengers is estimated to increase by 35-51%, to about 337,000 passengers each weekday. The West Side bus terminal, built 65 years ago, will not be able to handle this increased capacity. It can barely manage the hundreds of thousands of people it has passing through today, and an increasing number of buses are overflowing onto the streets, parked in lines along the curbs of Hell’s Kitchen. As Betty Mackintosh stated, “The CB4 district, which is larger than our study area, has the third worst pollution in

the city according to the New York City Department of Health.” All agree that something has to be done to deal with the increased population density, a greater number of daily commuters and buses, and more travelers using more long-distance buses. “The congestion in this neighborhood is double what the average is in the city,” Berthet said. The fact that representatives of New Jersey will now sit at the same table with representatives of New York to resolve the two states’ transportation problems together is a major breakthrough. Busrelated facilities could be in NJ as well as NY; the staging of buses that travel into the city could be resolved together. It has also become clear that what’s at stake is greater than the expansion of one bus terminal. The PA released its own Trans-Hudson Commuting Capacity Study in September and noted that the demand placed on the PA bus terminal could be reduced by the implementation of other transportation initiatives. Among these initiatives are the Gateway Program that would increase track, tunnel, bridge, and station capacity — eventually creating four

mainline tracks between Newark, NJ and Penn Station, NY, with a new two-track Hudson River tunnel. Expanded TransHudson Ferry Services and a Number 7 subway line extension to Secaucus, NJ are also under consideration. “The study depicts a system where the bus terminal is just one piece,” Berthet noted. “The system goes into the Lincoln Tunnel, all the way to 495, where the buses are lining up and coming in. If you are going to double the size of the bus terminal, if you don’t double the size of the Lincoln Tunnel, what are you going to do? The whole system needs to be scaled up at the same time. From the community’s standpoint, it’s very important where the terminal is — but then from a transportation point of view, let’s not build an enormous terminal if the structure is not scaled appropriately. The PA is starting to understand that it needs to think as a system. I think this is a very big step in the right direction.”

CB4’S FOCUS ON THE NEIGHBORHOOD The PA owns the bus terminal’s land, .com


And Port Authority Paused To Listen

Image courtesy Port Authority/Archilier Architecture Consortium

One of five designs recently put on hold by the Port Authority, this honeycomb wave plan would have used eminent domain to seize property on the north side of W. 40th St., west of Ninth Ave.

Chelsea Now file photo by Yannic Rack

On weekdays, 220,000 people pass through Port Authority’s bus terminal. By 2040 there will be a 35–51% increase in daily passengers.

but it also owns other plots of land on the West Side. The CB4 PA Working Group is busy mapping out the community and locating the PA’s properties by doing a city planning-type review. Mackintosh’s city planning experience has helped move the mapping along. “We’re also going to have some maps showing issues and problems we have, vehicular traffic, bus traffic, buses lining the curbside in the community district,” Berthet added. “We’re systematically studying the area .com

so that we understand what we’re doing when someone says, ‘Why not put a PA building or garage in this or that location?’ ” The maps and graphics will cover from Eighth Ave. over to 12th Ave., from W. 42nd to W. 33rd Sts. “We will describe what the land uses are there. There’s a lot of PA property there. We’re going to show the residential areas, the affordable housing,” Mackintosh noted. “I think this bus terminal is one of the

largest in the world in terms of people,” Mackintosh continued. “So you’re trying to put one of the biggest things in the world into the smallest footprint,” commented Berthet. “That’s where you have to think outside the box.” There will be more community meetings (see below) to keep up the flow of information to residents and business owners, to sustain awareness and alertness, and to maintain a relationship between the community and the PA. This type of project, Berthet noted, “is going to be long, very expensive, very complicated, and you never quite know whether the right solution is going to emerge because politics become involved.” Overall, Mackintosh and Berthet are optimistic. “I think the effort that we put forth in the spring was very effective,” Mackintosh said, adding, “The unification of our elected officials with CB4 was extraordinary. There wasn’t anyone marching to a different drummer. That’s pretty amazing, and then the fact that the PA shifted to a different process — it’s pretty miraculous.” Said Berthet, “I agree, and that the electeds of New York and New Jersey are

in the same room, that’s really unusual. Getting everybody in one room talking about a solution for both sides, to me, is very exciting and very big.”

IMPORTANT DATES FOR AWARENESS OF PA PLANS West Side Tenants’ Conference: Sat., Nov. 19, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. at Fordham University School of Law (150 W. 62nd St., btw. Columbus & Amsterdam Aves.). A panel discussion will focus on the PA’s bus terminal expansion and CB4’s PA Working Group will present a preview of a slide show that will be more formally presented at a town halltype meeting in December. Hell’s Kitchen Community Meeting: Tues., Dec. 6, 6:30 p.m., at Metro Baptist Church (410 W. 40th St., btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.). CB4’s PA Working Group will present a slide show of the community and its issues, and discuss how to integrate community needs with the PA’s plans for an expanded bus terminal. People will be encouraged to express their priorities in small groups and by marking posters on the walls. November 17 - 23, 2016

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CB4: New Homeless Housing Requirement Seems ‘Hasty’

Photos by Sean Egan

Developers at 515 W. 28th St. set aside 38 421-a affordable units for community preference, half of which would go to homeless individuals from the CB4 area, under the city’s new plan.

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Members of Community Board 4 (CB4), where developers have set aside 370 units for local preference, oppose the plan. The board recently said in a letter to the city that it does not factor in the long-term needs of the formerly homeless and takes away housing from those locals who need it to stay in their neighborhoods.

The 421-a program provides developers massive tax breaks to incorporate so-called affordable housing into their developments, and half of those must be set aside for people living within the surrounding community. Now 185 of those will be reserved for individuals and families from the community who are currently residing in emergency shelters, according to a spokeswoman for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). Many locals eligible for community preference housing have waited years on lists to be considered for apartments in those buildings, and now they’ll be bumped down for homeless referrals, said CB4 Chair Delores Rubin. “It can displace those who would have counted on having this housing. You also have to think of these managers — they have a process in place for determining how people who come in through the lottery can pay for this apartment, but there is no process in place to handle these individuals,” Rubin said. Many people are already interviewing with developers for the available 421-a units in CB4, and the board believes it would be unfair to take any units away from those currently available. The plan seems “hasty” and there was no community engagement in the development process, which has made it a hard pill to swallow for locals, Rubin added. HOUSING continued on p. 23

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Developers, such as DHA Capital at 535 W. 43rd St., get tax breaks to create affordable units through the 421-a program, half of which must go to those from the neighborhood that need affordable homes. .com


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New Designs for Chelsea Waterside Park Unveiled

Images courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.

The “water maze” area for older kids will include higher streams of water, and more challenging obstacles.

BY SEAN EGAN The push for the redesign of Chelsea Waterside Playground took another step forward on Thurs., Nov 10, at Community Board 4’s Waterfront, Parks & Environment Committee meeting. That’s where the Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT; the entity in charge of the park) pre-

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sented their new plans for the area, including a complete redesign of the space, as well as detailed renderings of the new play areas for the children — which, the designers hope, will offer unique play opportunities that emphasize the imagination. “Everything’s built around this concept of imaginary play,”

The uniquely designed “pipefish tower” centerpiece is a piece of play equipment designed to encourage imaginative play.

explained Friends of Hudson River Park Playground Committee member Greg Wasserman, who said it was “really important that water and sand were front and center here,” and also noted that the designs address issues of visibility and shade that the community had brought to HRPT’s attention earlier in the year. On hand to present the designs was Scott Streeb of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc., the firm hired to undertake the redesign. As presented in bubble diagrams, the park will have two new water and sand play areas: one for toddlers/ young kids with less intense jets, and one for older children. Eschewing traditional play equipment, these areas will feature different concrete structures (like stairs) for kids to run around and climb on. Amongst these structures are large, repurposed sculpted animal heads — originally from a W. 39th St. slaughterhouse, saved from a Landmarks Preservation Commission warehouse — which will be transformed into spray fountains. Furthermore, Streeb noted that there will be benches and “deep sight lines” so parents can better watch their children, as well as new plantings to compliment the existing trees to aid in shade. “If the parents are comfortable, kids will stay,” Streeb commented. The centerpiece of the remodeled park is the so-called “pipefish tower,” a large, spiraling wooden play structure designed by Denmarkbased firm Monstrum to resemble the titular animal. Calling it a “fantastic and unique piece of play equip-

ment,” Streeb noted that the pipefish would offer “a range of play and risks” including climbing, sliding, and balancing. The tower’s location would serve as a sizable buffer zone between play areas dedicated to the young kids and the older ones. “We also want to have more quiet moments, where kids can be off on their own,” noted Streeb, expressing hope that the design of the park would encourage kids to play “off the beaten path,” and to return to the park frequently. The Committee was vocal in their support for the new designs, opting to pen a letter to the full board of CB4, commending the work done thus far in realizing the renovated space. Currently, fundraising efforts for the project have amassed a little under its approximately $2 million budget. According to the HRPT reps, they hope to finish fundraising soon, and start construction in the fall of 2017, for a spring 2018 opening. Visit hudsonriverpark.org/playgrounds for more info.

Courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

The toddlers’ water area, pictured here, includes animal head statues (from a former W. 39th St. slaughterhouse) repurposed as water fountains for play. .com


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10:03 AM


POLICE BLOTTER ATTEMPTED MANSAUGHTER: Another subway shoving A 54-year-old man was pushed onto the train tracks and into the path of an oncoming 2 train on the morning of Sun., Nov. 13. At about 7:30am, at the W. 18th St. and Seventh Ave. subway station, the man was drunkenly shoved down onto the rails by a 25-year-old New Jersey man. That man, Aaron Clary, was a friend of the victim, and had been drinking with him and a third, unidentified party all Saturday evening into the morning. Though Clary fled home to Jersey following the accident, he was arrested after surrendering himself to the Manhattan Transit Squad later in the day, according to New York Daily News. At his arraignment on Mon., Nov. 15, Clary was charged with attempted manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and assault. This is the latest in a recent spat of similar incidents, including just last week, when we reported that Melanie LiverpoolTurner, a mentally ill Queens woman, was being charged with second-degree murder after intentionally pushing a stranger to her death in front of a 1 train. In this

case, however, the man is expected to make a full recovery — thankfully, he was removed from under the train, only reportedly suffering from lacerations to his foot and hand, and a bruise on the head.

CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE: Pot of scold Three unfortunate Irishmen definitely came up short when looking for some of that oft-cited luck in the early morning hours of Fri., Nov. 11. That’s when the trio of tourists — ages 34, 37, and 39 — drew the attention of an officer who observed them on the sidewalk of the 300 block of W. 21st St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.), drinking alcoholic beverages out in the open at 4:55am. However, it was the “controlled substance” they were reportedly using as well — in addition to the additional quantity of narcotics found on them on upon further inspection — that really landed them in hot water. Their eyes presumably were not smiling when they were arrested and loaded into the proverbial paddy wagon.

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PETIT LARCENY: Ricky’s with the good hair curlers At around 10:30am on Thurs., Nov. 10, an unidentified man entered a Ricky’s (267 W. 23rd St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.), took two BaByliss hair curlers (estimated value, $400) from the shelf, and somehow hid them under his coat. According to the 27-year-old employee who reported the theft, the suspect then proceeded to walk past all of the store’s points of purchase, and leave the establishment. Video evidence of the incident, showing the suspect — who, in the strangest twist of all, was described as bald in the police report — is available.

PETIT LARCENY: Jail…just right On Sat., Nov. 12, a 30-year-old woman was greeted with a situation more familiar to families of bears, when she entered her W. 43rd St apartment at 1:30am, and discovered a strange man, lying down and sleeping on her bed — Goldilocks-style. Startled, she immediately ran down to the lobby of the building to alert the doorman to the situation, who

THE 13th PRECINCT Located at 230 E. 21st St. (btw. Second & Third Aves.). Deputy Inspector: Brendan Timoney. Call 212-477-7411. Community Affairs: 212-477-7427. Crime Prevention: 212-477-7427. Domestic Violence: 212-477-3863. Youth Officer: 212477-7411. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-477-4380. Detective Squad: 212-477-7444. The Community Council meets on the third Tues. of the month, 6:30pm, at the 13th Precinct.

accompanied her back up to her room, where the man remained passed out on her bed. The two tried to wake, then move, the individual, all to no avail. It was at this point that the woman noticed that her passport was not on her coffee table where she remembered putting it, and, when checking her purse, discovered that $300 in cash was missing. She and the doorman took it upon themselves to investigate, and recovered the money from the slumbering suspect’s pants pocket; the passport was later discovered elsewhere in her purse. Eventually, the authorities showed up, and arrested the 23-year-old New Jersey man.

—SEAN EGAN

CASH FOR GUNS $100 cash will be given (no questions asked) for each handgun, assault weapon or sawed-off shotgun, up to a maximum payment of $300. Guns are accepted at any Police Precinct, PSA or Transit District.

THE 10th PRECINCT Located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Commander: Capt. Paul Lanot. Main number: 212-741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-741-8226. Crime Prevention: 212-741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-741-8216. Youth Officer: 212-741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-9243377. Detective Squad: 212-7418245. The Community Council meets on the last Wed. of the month, 7pm, at the 10th Precinct or other locations to be announced.

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Top driver disTracTions Using mobile phones

Leading the list of the top distractions behind the wheel are mobile phones. Phones now do more than just place calls, and drivers often cannot pull away from their phones, even when driving. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, studies have shown that driving performance is lowered and the level of distraction is higher for drivers who are heavily engaged in cell

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Many people will admit to daydreaming behind the wheel or looking at a person or object outside of the car for too long. Per-

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Glancing at an advertisement, updating a Facebook status or reading a book are all activities that should be avoided when driving. Even pouring over a traffic map or consulting the digital display of a GPS system can be distracting.

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Talking Point

The Day After Plan BY REV. CATHY TOWLE As a spiritual person, I do not recall a moment in history where so many of us have had to take the bitter pill of defeat and broke our teeth on it so squarely. I know that many people are struggling to make sense of the surprise of this election, and what it potentially means in reality for this country. In this important moment, we have a choice. We are all in pain, but it’s what we do next that counts. Let’s not waste another moment in vilifying or pointing the finger. Let’s use that anger to move on and heal this thing. We are shocked, but we cannot really address something until we allow ourselves to see that extent of the darkness that surrounds it. We have seen that pain today and I

for one stand with it and intend to heal it. You might ask how we do this. It is going to take great presence of mind. It is calling on us to take a wild ride, to step into chaos. If we can step into this moment, feel the darkness of all the emotions, and ground ourselves, then we will have the courage to listen to our fellow countrymen and women who voted their fears. In the present moment there is no fear. There is no agenda. It is just now. It is the breath. Stand still and feel it. Let it calm you. There is wisdom in this moment. The freedom of the present will allow us to pivot, to hit the ground running. Letting go of shame and blame, we can harness our anger and dread and get to work. Let’s listen deeply

to those who chose the chaotic course, and find out how we can move away from hatred into love. Let’s be awake and present enough together — to feel the pain of acknowledging it, and let that inspire us to take the high road. Because for us, that’s all there is. Let our love for this country inspire us to heal the divide. I’m in. Are you? Rev. Cathy Towle is a writer, speaker, psychic medium, and shaman. She teaches eco-spirituality and sustainable ethics, and works privately with clients in Brooklyn. As an interfaith minister, she is on the executive council of the NGO Committee for Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns - NY at the UN. Visit cathytowle.com.

Talking Point

A Stain on Our Democracy BY PAUL SCHINDLER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF GAY CITY NEWS As Election Night’s slowly unfolding nightmare began to move into higher gear, my friend Analisa in Chicago posted on Facebook, “Are men really that afraid of women?” And it suddenly hit me. Over the past several years — indeed, through eight years of the right wing’s fanatical hatred of President Barack Obama and then in repeated instances of young black men dying capriciously, or worse, at the hands of law enforcement — white America has been schooled in just how little it appreciates the lived experiences of African Americans in our midst. And now, I wonder: Have I ever understood what it means to be a woman in our society? Parts of the country thought to be hostile to our current president because of their discomfort with the idea of a black man leading America proved even more hostile to a leadership claim by a woman, despite her dazzling command of policy, her tirelessness and refusal to step back from a challenge, and her commitment to issues of fairness so critical in the lives of everyday Americans. Misogyny — whether on the part of

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men who fear their patriarchal privilege is slipping away, or even in some women who have internalized the cultural norms that once ruled a very different society than what many of us hope we are living in — is one word we have to take away from this election. The other word is demagoguery, and that one is perhaps even more frightening. Donald Trump bullied his way to the White House. It has become virtual cant to rehearse the many ways he did so, but to avoid repeating the list risks a forgetting… a forgetting that could normalize a man who brings an aberrant range of ethical values to the most powerful position in the world. He slurred Mexican immigrants as “rapists,” and then impugned the professional impartiality of a sitting federal judge because his parents came to the US from Mexico. He has stigmatized Muslim Americans, going so far as to wage an ugly Twitter war with the valiant parents of a young Muslim American military hero who died so his fellow soldiers would live. He questioned the valor, as well, of John McCain, who spent seven years in a prisoner-of-war camp. “I like the people who weren’t captured,” said the

reality TV star, who described his battle to avoid STDs as a young man as “scary, like Vietnam.” He imitated a disabled reporter to the approving roar of a campaign crowd. In his so-called outreach to African Americans, he regularly described their neighborhoods as “hell,” and their advances in society as virtually non-existent. He insults women’s appearances routinely and was caught on tape talking about his celebrity giving him license to sexually assault unsuspecting women — describing his carte blanche in terms eerily echoed by numerous women who have accused him of just such behavior. In a debate against Hillary Clinton, he threatened to unleash a special prosecutor on her so that she would be locked up. And, when faced by polls (wrongly, it turns out) suggesting he would lose, he claimed the whole business was “rigged” — especially in places like Philadelphia, Chicago, and St. Louis (notice any pattern here?) — and refused to say whether he would accept an adverse verdict from the voters. All of these examples are textbook bullying and demagoguery, and the final several in the list betray a hostility to democratic norms and an affinity

Photo by Donna Aceto

Greenwich Village, New York City, Nov. 9, 2016.

with authoritarian impulses that should chill any sound-thinking American. We cannot normalize Donald Trump because we cannot normalize authoritarian demagoguery. In a riveting essay on Vox, Ezra Klein recalled that when Ben Franklin left Independence Hall at the end of the 1787 Constitutional Convention, a local woman in Philadelphia eagerly asked him whether the nation was to have “a republic or a monarchy.” DEMOCRACY continued on p. 23 .com


Photo by Zach Williams

Protesters walked through the Flatiron District, in their march up Fifth Ave.

Photo by Donna Aceto

Despite their anger, demonstrators also expressed idealism about the nation’s ability to contain what they fear could be the worst from a Trump presidency. PROTEST continued from p. 2

chanted. “Donald Trump, go away!” The sea of white signs communicated messages that ranged from the satirical (“Pussy Grabs Back”) to the simple (“Not My President”). Many in the crowd offered messages of unity against “hate and bigotry.” Throughout the march, Emily KohlMattingley handed out safety pins — a symbol of opposition and unity derived from the aftermath of Brexit, when those

opposed to the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union donned them to show support for immigrants who might feel threatened by the wave of nationalism sweeping Britain. “It’s to show a sign of solidarity so that if somebody is unsure when they’re riding a subway or in a public place, to know that they have somebody that supports them,” Kohl-Mattingley said, adding she had handed out more than 50 so far. “Not my president!” the protestors belted out. Like others, Kohl-Mattingley

said that the protest gave voice to those crushed by Election Night results that gave Democrat Hillary Clinton a lead of more than 1.15 million (as Chelsea Now went to press) in the popular vote, but Trump an Electoral College edge of 290-232, with Michigan not yet officially called. “I’m out here because I do not support Donald Trump or what he stands for,” she said. “I think he is set out to undo all that Obama has done and all the progress we’ve made in the last eight years.” Anti-Trump protests have swept

dozens of American cities — including Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles — over the past week, with many more planned in the coming days. “I want to let the world know that New York City and that America is not all racist,” said José Salas, who was protesting with his family and friends. “We welcome immigrants, refugees, we accept the gay community, the transgender community, and we’re just good people. Donald Trump is the incarnation of evil, sadly, but we must let our voices be heard.”

Photo by Donna Aceto

Photo by Donna Aceto

The crowd included many stunned that an alleged sexual predator won the presidential election.

Filmmaker and activist Michael Moore, here filming with his phone, was among Saturday’s demonstrators.

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Violating those laws earn drivers a $115-150 fine. There are bus lane enforcement cameras in place and the NYPD is responsible for enforcing the bus lane restrictions, although officers were only giving out warnings when we took our

crosstown trip to allow drivers to adjust. M23 riders should also know that the MTA has eliminated two former M23 stops, so the bus will no longer stop near Madison Square Park between Broadway and Madison Ave. and at the intersection of Lexington Ave. because they were too close to other stops.

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Power Plays Through a Slaughterhouse Prism Bridge Production Group’s bloody ‘Richard III’ has bite

Courtesy The Bridge Production Group

L to R, foreground: Max Hunter and Maggie Hollinbeck.

BY TRAV S.D. Step by step, a thuggish strong man takes the people around him by surprise and seizes a country through a ruthless campaign of evil and revenge. No, I’m not talking about the latest news headlines, although I could be. I am referring of course to the plot of Shakespeare’s “Richard III” — now being presented in a “bold and bloody” manner at the 4th Street Theatre through Nov. 27. This is the inaugural full-scale production of The Bridge Production Group (not to be confused with the Bridge Theatre Company, which was founded in 2004). The new company announces in their mission statement that they are “committed to dismantling and exploiting an audience’s expectations of mun.com

dane theatre.” While it is by no means a given that New York audiences expect theatre to be mundane, there is nothing timid about the company’s ambition. Not only does Artistic Director Max Hunter direct the current production, but he plays Richard as well. Associate Artistic Director Jacob Owen plays both Clarence and Buckingham. “We call ourselves Bridge,” said Hunter, “because that is what we are trying to do: close the gaps between modern audiences and works from other times and with other settings. We evaluate a classical play as if it is a new work of theatre and take it off its pedestal; warp it in a way that works with modern expectations of storytelling.” While this is the company’s first full

production, prior to it they did one workshop that interpolated scenes from “Romeo and Juliet” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” “We were looking at Gowanus Loft, and encountered the artist Carlton Scott Sturgill, who was doing an installation piece,” Hunter continued. “We wound up collaborating with him and staged parts of these two plays in a giant greenhouse. We reimagined the balcony scene from ‘Romeo and Juliet’ without a balcony and investigated what would happen if we put them in the same space, in close proximity to the audience. We got to look at it from a new perspective.” According to Hunter, the earlier workshop was largely about sexuality and sensuality, but that’s not necessarily

what audiences at “Richard III” will see. “It isn’t a blanket process. We take different approaches case by case. We ask ourselves, ‘What are the thematic elements?’ And we use them to develop a vocabulary, which will inform design choices and so forth in an interesting way.” In the case of “Richard III,” that means spilled blood — and lots of it. The built world of the current production is reminiscent of an industrial freezer, or the kill room in “Dexter.” There’s a tiled floor and meat hooks hanging from the ceiling. Ten rotating clear plastic panels allow the actors to seal off the room as though it were being fumigated (which BRIDGE continued on p. 21 November 17 - 23, 2016

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Just Do Art

Photo by Bill Delano

Hang in there, baby, SOLOCOM’s coming: Lucy Shelby’s “Pretty Hurts” plays the comedy fest on Nov. 18.

Photo by Patrick Waldo

Courtesy Washington Square Music Festival

The PS 11 “Mural Man” is one of the stops along Save Chelsea’s Nov. 20 West Chelsea Street Art and Graffiti Tour.

Pianists David Oei and Hélène Jeanney will perform at Nov. 19’s free concert, co-sponsored by the Washington Square Music Festival.

BY SCOTT STIFFLER

WEST CHELSEA STREET ART AND GRAFFITI TOUR

From officially commissioned works created over the course of a week, to small squiggled designs that crop up overnight and at odds with the law, West Chelsea walls are full of words and images that have woven themselves into the fabric of the

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neighborhood. But how did they get there, and why? This walking tour is led by licensed NYC tour guide and Save Chelsea Co-President Patrick Waldo, who will draw on his own “brief but memorable stint in the illegal world of street art.” The 90-minute stroll points out numerous examples of graffiti, street art, and legal public art (a prime example of which is the “Mural Man” who towers over PS 11’s playground, created by Brazilian twin superstars OSGEMEOS).

Along the way, Waldo will discuss techniques and terminology while pointing out notable work from ’80s icon Kenny Scharf, mysterious French street artist Invader, as some up-and-coming local artists. Sun., Nov. 20, 2–3:30pm. Cut-off time for sign-up is 8pm Sat., Nov. 19 ($20; reservations required, comfortable shoes recommended), visit the event sponsor, neighborhood preservation group Save Chelsea, at savechelseany.org.

SOLOCOM COMEDY FESTIVAL

Figuring out how many times one can go into 3.25 spaces in two locations over a four-day period is not the kind of math problem you were likely to have encountered in school — but it has solid real-life applications when it comes to SOLOCOM, the anJUST DO ART continued on p. 19 .com


JUST DO ART continued from p. 18

nual multi-venue comedy festival at which 123 solo shows will have their world premieres. Presented by The Peoples Improv Theater and Chelsea-based producer Peter Michael Marino, this year’s fest offers up storytelling, stand-up, music, dance, drag, puppetry, magic, multi-media, improv, cabaret, and clowning — and that’s just for starters. Topics include gender dysphoria, dementia, sex shop work, plastic surgery, on-stage cooking demonstrations — and that, as well, is just for starters. Some shows that caught our eye, through title, concept, or the performer’s proven comedic chops: Matt Cox channels the late, beloved PBS painter Bob Ross, in “Happy Little Trees: A Bobyssy.” SOLOCOM stalwart and reliably randy boylesque entertainer/ sex educator Lucas Brooks is back once again, with “Exit Through the D*ck Shop,” a gadget-filled romp through one of his many former lives (specifically, as a “professional dildo peddler”). Lucy Shelby’s “Pretty Hurts” won’t judge you for showing up with a slight buzz — all the better to hear about her “addiction to validation and perfection.” Polly Esther beams in from Canada, with the Star Trek-themed “Dammit, Jim! I’m a Comedienne, Not a Doctor.” Further proving that America has yet to close its borders completely, “Harmon Leon’s Big Fat Racist Show” comes to us on the heels of its run at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe. Thurs., Nov. 17–Sun., Nov. 20, at The People’s Improv Theater (The PIT; 123 E. 24th St., btw. Park & Lexington Aves.) and The PIT LOFT (154 W. 29th St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). For tickets ($5-10), visit thepit-nyc.com/solocom.

“ORCHESTRAL TREASURES” CONCERT

This free night of music is presentd by the Washington Square Music Festival (which sponsors a standout summertime outdoor concert series) and REACH-NYC “Concerts for Peace.” Lutz Rath conducts the Festival Chamber Orchestra. Selections include Gioachino Rossini’s overture to “The Italian Girl in Algiers,” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550,” and Carl Czerny’s “Piano Concerto in C major for four hands.” That work, which features virtuoso pianists David Oei and Hélène Jeanney, is described by composer Douglas Townsend as “an interesting example of the late classical piano concerto combined with the emerging bravura piano technique of the mid-19th century.” Free. Sat., Nov. 19, 8pm at the

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Courtesy ARChive of Contemporary Music

Secret Santas looking to score food for the soul, rejoice: ARChive of Contemporary Music’s holiday sale happens Dec. 3-18.

Manhattan Seventh-day Adventist Church (232 W. 11th St., just west of Seventh Ave.). For info, call 212-252-3621 or visit washingtonsquaremusicfestival.org. Also visit reach-nyc.com.

THE ARChive OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC HOLIDAY RECORD & CD SALE

The beginning of next month marks the start of the most wonderful time of the year — when lovers of LPs, groovy givers of global music, and Secret Santas of all stripes can sleigh (okay, slay) their appointed tasks at this one-stop shopping opportunity. Day in and day out, the busy elves at the ARChive of Contemporary Music nonprofit library and research center labor to collect and preserve information on the popular music of all cultures and races throughout the world from 1950 to the present. Having amassed 3 million sound recordings so far, ARC’s noble Noah’s Arc mission inevitably wracks up duplicate copies from record companies and collectors — hence this holiday sale, one of two annual events where the general public has the run of the place. Up for grabs this December are over 30,000 items for those on your “Nice” list, whose letters to the North Pole include any or all of the following: pop, rock, jazz, blues, classical, and world music recordings; videos and DVDs; music books and magazines; picture discs; original vintage ’60s psychedelic posters from the Grande Ballroom in Detroit; and rare Fillmore East programs. Formats? They’ve got 78s, LPs, 45s, and CDs (new and out-of-print CDs start at $3; classical LPs start at $1!). Become a member and score an invite to the Dec. 1 Cocktail Party — a merry and bright point on your social calendar that lets you schmooze with

Photo by Donna Mejia

L to R, the “Victoria Woodhull” cast: Juliette Monaco, Adam Reilly, Elena Kritter, Henrick Sawczak and Chaz McCormack.

fellow music lovers while chowing on donated slices from Two Boots Pizza and enjoying quality libations from City Winery. Dec. 3–18, daily, 11am–6pm. At the ARChive of Contemporary Music ground floor office at 54 White St. (3 blocks south of Canal St., btw. Broadway & Church St.). Call 212-2266967 or visit arcmusic.org.

“VICTORIA WOODHULL”

The glass ceiling hovering over women with the White House in sight was waiting to be shattered long before Hillary Clinton. “Victoria Woodhull” is Claude Solnik’s play about the first presidential bid by a woman, circa 1872 — nearly a half-century before the 19th Amendment granted American women the right to cast a vote. Donna Mejia directs Theater for the New City’s in-house group, the Textile Co., in a production whose chronicling of strength, determination and disappointment takes on an even greater poignancy, given the results of last week’s election. Although Woodhull (who ran on the Equal

Rights Party ticket) didn’t realize her ambition to reach the highest office in the land, history enshrines her as a crusading magazine publisher, the first woman to own a Wall Street brokerage, and one of the first women to testify before a congressional committee. “She was courageous,” says Solnik, whose nuanced biography covers Woodhull’s high-water marks along with some less distinguished chapters (insider trading, obscenity charges, an uneasy working relationship with other suffragettes). Still, Solnik reminds us, “When other leaders focused on the vote and the vote only,” the Homer, OH native who spent much of her life in New York City “also fought for better wages and education for women.” Through Dec. 4: Fri.–Sat. at 8pm & Sun. at 3pm (except for Nov. 24 & 25). At Theater for the New City (155 First. Ave., btw. E. Ninth & E. 10th Sts.). For tickets ($18, $15 for students/seniors), visit theaterforthenewcity.net or call 212-254-1109. Also visit textilecompanytheater.com.

Theater for the New City • 155 1st Avenue at E. 10th St. Reservations & Info (212) 254-1109 For more info, please visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net

Bread and Puppet Theater’s

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Courtesy The Bridge Production Group

The cast of “Richard III.”

Courtesy The Bridge Production Group

Clear plastic panels keep the free-flowing hemoglobin from heaping itself onto nearby audience members.

BRIDGE continued from p. 17

is good, since it also helps protect the audience from all the blood spatter). “Contemporary audiences are constantly saturated with images of violence,” explained Hunter. “They’ve seen people get shot in movies a thousand times. What we do is not a film; it’s not a reading. It’s something happening in real time in front of us. It’s a dialogue

between Shakespeare’s time and ours.” Hunter’s playful pastiche technique throws in elements of Quentin Tarantino (I do believe I heard a couple of F-bombs dropped on the night I attended) and Baz Luhrmann (the murder of the Princes in the Tower is staged as a dance number, to the tune of “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)” — Dead or Alive’s 1985 techno-pop classic). Along with the “Saw”-like visuals and the original

Shakespeare dialogue, pared and rearranged a little, it does indeed lend a populist edge to the proceedings. As for his company’s future, they are considering work by such playwrights as Molière and Chekhov. “We want to do plays that deserve to be produced and to be seen,” said Hunter. “We want to do productions that make you say, “I didn’t expect to like that as much’ — but you do!”

Through Nov. 27: Tues.–Sat. at 8pm & Sun. at 3pm. Additional show on Mon., Nov. 21 at 8pm. No performances on Wed./Thurs., Nov. 23/24. Final performances Fri., Nov. 25 & Sat., Nov. 26 at 7pm and Sun., Nov. 27 at 3pm. At the 4th Street Theatre (83 E. Fourth St., btw. Bowery & Second Ave.). For tickets ($30 reserved seating, $18 general), visit bridgeproductiongroup.org.

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THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER

Publisher

Jennifer Goodstein

Editor Scott Stiffler

Editorial Assistant Sean Egan

Art Director Michael Shirey

Graphic Designer Cristina Alcine

Contributors

Lincoln Anderson Stephanie Buhmann Jackson Chen Sean Egan Bill Egbert Dennis Lynch Dusica Sue Malesevic Winnie McCroy Puma Perl Paul Schindler Trav S.D. Eileen Stukane Zach Williams

Advertising Amanda Tarley

Account Executives Gayle Greenberg Jim Steele Julio Tumbaco

Published by

NYC Community Media, LLC

One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Phone: (212) 229-1890 Fax: (212) 229-2790 www.chelseanow.com scott@chelseanow.com © 2016 NYC Community Media, LLC Member of the New York Press Association

Chelsea Now is published weekly by NYC Community Media

LLC, One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. (212) 229-1890. Annual subscription by mail in Manhattan and Brooklyn $75. The entire contents of newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2016 NYC Community Media LLC, Postmaster: Send address changes to Chelsea Now, One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR: The Publisher shall

not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.

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Photo by Sean Egan

Moinian Group has set aside 119 units for community preference at 605 W. 42nd St. — the most at any building in CB4’s area (in all, there are 370 across the district).

HOUSING continued from p. 6

The board said in its letter that any units set aside for homeless families and individuals should not come from the community preference pool and that social services for those individuals and subsidies for developers be integrated into future housing projects from the start. Members of the board worried that the formerly homeless referred for housing won’t have access to the services they need, but HPD contends this won’t be an issue, because the city will pre-screen individuals to ensure they are not eligible for on-site supportive services and meet income requirements for the affordable units. Additionally, those considered for the preferential housing would be employed, and former residents of the community who had recently lost their homes, HPD Commissioner Vicki Been told the New York Times earlier this month. Any homeless family or indi-

DEMOCRACY continued from p. 12

To which Franklin replied, “A republic. If you can keep it.” There is no hyperbole in quoting this wisest of American Founders at this moment in history. All of us in the LGBT community should be mindful of how much our cause has been set back this week — not only by Republican control of the presidency and the Congress,

vidual who currently lives in a shelter in the district is also eligible for the housing. In many cases the “working poor” prospective tenants are not much different than the locals who already qualify for 421-a housing under existing community preference guidelines, a spokesperson for the agency said. Those people who qualify under the new rules will be eligible for a number of rental subsidy programs to help them get on their feet, including subsidies through Section 8, Living In Communities (LINC) 1-6, CITYFEPS, or the Special Exit and Prevention Supplement (SEPS) program, some of which are already accepted by landlords in 421-a buildings. Some of those subsidies expire — LINC for example lasts for five years — which the community board said was problematic. “Providing homeless tenants with short-term subsidies limits the possibility for long-term success,” read the letter from the board to the city. Rubin added that there was concern

but also by the consequent control of the federal judiciary and the rule-making authority of federal agencies. It has been the courts and the Obama administration’s aggressive efforts to advance equality through myriad regulatory means that have proved so decisive for us in the past eight years. For now — and in the case of the courts, for perhaps many years to come — that

among board members that these tenants would only be “hidden away” for a few years before they would again be put at risk of becoming homeless. HPD said each program has different eligibility rules and there was no way to speculate on how long it would take for subsidies to expire. The city committed to providing 15,000 new supportive housing units under Mayor de Blasio and so far have provided 4,500, according to HPD. The homeless population has grown from 51,000 to 60,000 so far during Mayor de Blasio’s time in office. That, coupled with the often fierce opposition among locals to the city’ strategy of renting out rooms in hotels to homeless individuals and converting some hotels into homeless shelters, have made him the target of fierce criticism. De Blasio, however, said in January that the homeless problem has been growing for years and criticized his predecessors for not paying it any attention.

tipping of the scales of justice on our behalf is lost to us. But what the LGBT community has lost is but a fraction of what this nation has lost. Over the next four years, the very idea of the American experiment is at stake, as is the stability of the world, which relies on the US, for all its sometimes-egregious sins on the world stage, to take some measure of responsibility for contributing to a more fair

global system. Donald Trump enters the presidency laughably unprepared; his worldview is unformed and often internally inconsistent, and his political friends in this process are among the most odious reactionary forces in America. We have no principled choice but to be prepared to stand firm in resistance and remain true to the nation we all want to call home. November 17 - 23, 2016

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24

November 17 - 23, 2016

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Chelsea Now  

November 17, 2016

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