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The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933

March 9, 2017 • $1.00 Volume 87 • Number 10





What the L? TransAlt vol is accused of not ID’ing self at forum BY DENNIS LYNCH


round 225 people turned out at a recent city-run community workshop at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church to share their thoughts with city transit agencies on how best to solve the socalled “L-pocalypse” coming in 2019. That’s when the city will shut down service of the L train

along 14th St. for 18 months to repair the Sandy-damaged Canarsie Tunnel. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Department of Transportation will use the feedback to inform their plan to deal with the major transit disruption, which they will release this spring. M.T.A. continued on p. 4

Alan Colmes, liberal foil of Fox News, dies at 66; Loved Village BY DENNIS LYNCH


lan Colmes, a liberal radio personality, Fox News television host and Greenwich Villager, died at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center late last month at the age of 66 of a rare form of lymphoma, his wife said on Feb. 23.

Colmes was perhaps best known as the liberal voice across the table from Sean Hannity on their “Hannity & Colmes” show on Fox News, which ran from the cable station’s founding in 1996 until 2008, when Colmes left to focus on his own projects. COLMES continued on p. 10


N.Y.U. students and faculty rallied last Wednesday in suppor t of the university being a sanctuar y campus.

Trump double trouble; N.Y.U. vs. crackdowns BY LINCOLN ANDERSON


ew York University is facing a dire Donald Trump double whammy. On the one hand, many of its foreign Muslim students are feeling unsettled and confused amid the president’s “travel ban” on certain Muslim-majority countries. Meanwhile, undocumented students at N.Y.U. are racked with anxiety over the new

president’s crackdown on immigrants. The two issues blur together into one big — orange-colored — ball of fear and loathing. Trump released his socalled “Muslim Ban Lite” this past Monday, but — save for Iraqi students — it has done little to ease the panic that has gripped N.Y.U. students from the targeted countries ever since the president first issued the ban at the end of January.

Trump’s new order dropped Iraq from the list because, the administration now says, it is an ally in the fight against ISIS and Al-Qaeda, plus adequately vets people traveling to the U.S. At the same time, as Trump has vowed to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, debate also continues to swirl at N.Y.U. about whether it N.Y.U. continued on p. 8

Women make a stand in Wash. Sq. Park............p. 2 Skenazy: Our incarceration rate is crazy ...........p. 5 Sessions to harsh his high?... p. 14



PUSSY GRABS BACK II: Women and girls flooded into Washington Square Park for a massive rally on Wednesday, International Women’s Day. Around the globe, many of the fairer sex chose not to go to work and limit their spending as part of “A Day Without Women,” demonstrating their economic impact. It was the first major event stemming from the Women’s March after Donald Trump’s inauguration. The Donald will never be able to live down his comment, recorded unbeknownst to him, that he thought he could just “grab ’em by the pussy” at will because he was a rich big shot. Nevertheless, on Wednesday, Trump tweeted: “I have tremendous respect for women and the many roles they serve that are vital to the fabric of our society and our economy.” Yeah, right! SERVING MANHATTAN AND THE ENTIRE TRI-STATE AREA




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March 9, 2017

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Children’s Storytelling and Bookmaking at the Georgiou Library This event is free and open to the public. Saturday, March 18 10:30 am – 12:30 pm The Georgiou Library 239 Greene Street 5th Floor

106th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Friday, March 24, 2017 11:30 am - 1:00 pm Washington Place and Greene Street, NYC www.rememberthetrianglefire.org

www.rememberthetrianglefire.org TheVillager.com

Join the Georgiou Library for a special storytime that will explore the life and career of pioneering children’s book author/illustrator Wanda Gág, who wrote and illustrated Millions of Cats. Using inspiration from Wanda’s work, children will cultivate their own storytelling voice in a hands-on activity in which they will craft a book of their own to bring home. This free and public event is for children who are 5-10 years old. There will be a light morning snack available for attendees. An RSVP is required. RSVP by calling 212-998-2400 or by filling out the online form at bit.ly/2meq5O1.

March 9, 2017


What the L? TransAlt vol didn’t ID self Named best weekly newspaper in New York State in 2001, 2004 and 2005 by New York Press Association News Story, First Place, 2015 Editorial Page, First Place, 2015 Editorials, First Place, 2014 News Story, First Place, 2014 Overall Design Excellence, First Place, 2013 Best Column, First Place, 2012 Photographic Excellence, First Place, 2011 Spot News Coverage, First Place, 2010 Coverage of Environment, First Place, 2009











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March 9, 2017

M.T.A. continued from p. 1

At the Feb. 23 meeting at the church, at 328 W. 14th St., the agencies presented some options about how they will get commuters across the East River to 14th St. — the bulk of the line’s riders. They mentioned a ferry across the river and buses over the Williamsburg Bridge as possible mitigation measures in development. A D.O.T. spokesperson said that generally speaking — without discussing what option they favor — the agency’s goal is to “keep as many people underground as possible.” In other words, they want to move as many people back into the subway system from alternate transportation as much as possible to maintain efficiency. One local agreed. Kimon Retzos, cochairperson of the W. 15th St. 100 and 200 Block Association, said the city should look to bus people to other subway stations in the area once they get from Brooklyn to Manhattan, so they can get back underground and be on their way. “You need to get the commuters across the East River,” Retzos said. “But then you need to get them back underground and into the New York City subway system. Taking the bus across Manhattan and using surface transit is not really the best way to go. Most of them don’t [go aboveground] at 14th St.; a lot of them transfer. Why not take them, for example, to W. Fourth St.?” The agencies also floated some options at their disposal for 14th St., including running more buses with faster curbside ticketing and “dramatic treatments” that have been used around the country in similar circumstances. One such dramatic treatment is barring passenger vehicle traffic on 14th St. to make room for buses, which would be the most efficient way to move the 400,000 people who use the L train each day. Fifty thousand of the L train’s 400,000 daily riders — or one-eighth of its daily passengers — use it exclusively to get across town. The debate over an “L-pocalypse” solution has largely become a debate over such a plan since the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives released its “PeopleWay” plan late last year. That plan would bar vehicles, and emphasizes pedestrian flow, biking and aboveground mass transit. So far, however, many neighborhood groups have come out against the plan, though some local residents at past community meetings have expressed support for it. The latter argue that it’s the only viable way to move people across 14th St. at anywhere near the numbers that the L train currently does. Opponents worry that blocking 14th St. to passenger vehicle traffic would force those vehicles onto their side streets, creating further congestion on


Each table at the workshop drew up routes and options on cit y maps.

them. Some folks at the workshop think it’s downright mad to suggest such a plan. “I don’t know if they should be arrested for smoking what they’re smoking, but they shouldn’t be selling it,” said David Hertzberg, a W. 16th St. resident. Hertzberg suggested that the city divert traffic up and down main avenues and to other major crosstown streets, such as 34th St. Other critics of the PeopleWay accused TransAlt of attending the meeting to push their plan, without full disclosure. Bill Borock, president of the Council of Chelsea Block Associations, attended the meeting as a representative of the group’s 14th St. L Train Closing Extended Task Force. The group’s members include the Flatiron Alliance, the Lower Chelsea Alliance (LoCal) and the Union Square Community Coalition. At the meeting, participants broke down into brainstorming groups at separate tables. “We started our session, and there was a man standing behind me,” Borock said. “As we discussed various things, it was obvious he was espousing the Transportation Alternatives position. I asked him if he was a member, and he said, ‘Yes.’ ” Borock took issue with that, because everyone at his table introduced themselves at the beginning of their session. “The D.O.B. and M.T.A. moderators called on him” several times, Borock noted, both before and after the man’s TransAlt affi liation came to light. D.O.T. and M.T.A. have no rules about who can participate in the public workshops and no participants are required to disclose that they belong to any group whatsoever, a D.O.T. spokesperson said. TransAlt’s Brian Zumhagen, the

12,000-member-strong group’s communications director, said that “many people who live near 14th Street” agree with the PeopleWay plan and want to “see the city prioritize buses, biking and walking during this crisis.” Zumhagen also scoffed at the notion that voluntary members of the group should have to identify themselves as such. “People who turn out for meetings of this kind presumably have all types of affiliations — including the people whose opposition you cite,” he said in an e-mail, following the Feb. 23 event. “If someone at a workshop speaks out against the PeopleWay plan, that is legitimate, and it would be unreasonable for us or anyone to demand that those opponents disclose, for example, whether they are members of a given group just because they have raised a concern about on-street parking.” But Borock countered that among the multitude of community-minded circles he moves in, “There is a sense that Transportation Alternatives, which is a lobbying group, is having undue influence” in the public debate that shapes policy, he said. “I have no problem if there’s somebody there with a different position than mine. I mean, that’s the way the world is. But he never identified himself. So I asked.” M.T.A. and D.O.T. will not discuss which options they favor until they complete and release a traffic and impact study this year. An additional East Side Community Workshop will be held Thurs., March 9, from 7 p.m. 10 p.m. at Town & Village Synagogue, 334 E. 14th St., between First and Second Aves.

With reporting by Scott Stiffler TheVillager.com

Crime and ineffective punishment in our prisons RHYMES WITH CRAZY BY LENORE SKENAZY


t’s no secret that America loves to send people to prison. We have 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of its prisoners — which is odd for a “Land of Liberty.” Lately it has become common to attribute our mass incarceration to the war on drugs. The conversation goes like this: “Why don’t we just release the nonviolent drug offenders? That makes so much sense!” And it does. But it will not make that big a dent in the number of people sitting in cells, says John Pfaff, a professor of law at Fordham University and author of the new book, “Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration — and How to Achieve Real Reform.” (Book titles keep getting longer, don’t they?) Surprisingly, people arrested for drug crimes constitute only about 16 percent of the people in prison. Most of the rest are there for violent crimes. So for Pfaff the question is: Should we start releasing the violent criminals, too?

At first blush, this sounds crazy. We need to keep violent offenders off the street! But one point that Pfaff makes is that “violent offender” is a misleading term. It makes it sound as if there is a class of people who are wired wrong and incorrigible. This is wrong on two counts. First of all, some crimes are labeled “violent” that aren’t — like breaking into a house. But beyond that, some people are labeled “violent” who committed their crime only in the context of one particular situation. “You’re in a bad mood, you have a beer, you get in a fight with your friend at the bar and break his jaw,” says Pfaff. “If we’re trying to minimize future harm, some sort of anger-management class might be more effective than prison.”

But prison has become our knee-jerk response to all violence, even though often this isn’t addressing the real problem. Which is? Well, says Pfaff, “Whenever you have young men who are denied upward social mobility and the state doesn’t do a good job of preventing violent crime, these young men will engage in violence against each other. It was as true in 19thcentury czarist Russia as it is in 20thcentury Los Angeles. What is necessary is a change of circumstance.” That might sound like a verse from the “West Side Story” song — “Officer Krupke, you’re really a slob, this boy don’t need a doctor, just a good honest job” — but Pfaff cites a current theory that looks at violence as an epidemic: Person A shoots Person B, B’s friends shoot C, C’s brother shoots D, and so forth. “One study tied 400 shootings back to one initial shooting,“ says Pfaff. If we could just stop that chain at the start, so many lives would be saved — and so many fewer people would wind up in a cage. One method shown to work is a program in Boston called Project Ceasefire. It works like this: The cops determine which gangs are responsible for the majority of the gun violence. “Then they sit down and meet with those people and kind of give them two choices: ‘If you persist in this violence,


we will crack down on you as a group, aggressively,’ ” says Pfaff. But the cops also bring in an array of social workers to help with housing, food, employment, healthcare. “And they say, ‘If you’re willing to put this violence behind you, we will help you build a more stable life.’ It’s called ‘focused deterrence.’ It’s carrot and stick.” A program like this called Cure Violence was introduced in Chicago. “And when the state cut the funding a couple of years ago, that’s exactly when the violence in Chicago began its sharp increase,” Pfaff says. Somehow, one solitary neighborhood managed to keep its funding. And there, says Pfaff, the crime rate continues going down. This doesn’t definitively prove the program works. “But it’s worth a lot more study,” he says. Here in New York State, says Pfaff, our prison population is down 25 percent, and yet our correctional budget keeps going up. The more guards that are on the payroll, the more potential votes for laws that are tough — perhaps excessively — on crime. After all, jobs depend on it. But lives depend on something else: preventing violence, not just punishing it. Putting people behind bars ignores the cost to their families, and to taxpayers. If we want to make our cities safer, locking up violent offenders may not be the key.

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March 9, 2017


POLICE BLOTTER years old, 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, and weighting around 175 pounds. He was last seen wearing a brown waistlength jacket and black jeans. This Wednesday, pursuant to an ongoing investigation, police identified a person of interest wanted for questioning in regard to the incident, Robert Adams, age 41, and provided a photo of him. Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Hotline, at 800-577-TIPS, or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting them to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577. All tips are confidential.

Police say Rober t Adams, above, is a person of interest in a Lower East Side attempted rape.

L.E.S rape attempt Police said that on Fri., March 3, at 12:20 a.m., a stranger followed a woman to her home, in the vicinity of Norfolk and Rivington Sts., where he shoved his way through the door and groped her. He tried to remove her clothing, but the victim resisted and the man fled. The suspect is described as 28 to 34

Bus crush According to police, on Mon., March 6, at 10:52 p.m., a woman, 61, was walking southbound in the crosswalk at Houston St. and Avenue D, when she was struck by an M14D bus that had been traveling southbound before making a right turn to head eastbound on Houston St. The woman’s left leg was trapped under the bus, but was freed by responding Emergency Service Unit officers. The pedestrian was transported to Bellevue Hospital by E.M.S. and was listed in stable condition with a broken leg and some


abrasions. The M.T.A. bus’s operator, Eduard Khanimov, 41, was removed to Beth Israel Hospital for trauma. He was also arrested and charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian.

Ice-pick kicks Police said that on Fri., Feb. 24, at 2:35 p.m., a man was threatened with an ice pick inside a sneaker store at 26 W. 14th St. According to police, the suspect followed a 28-year-old man into Sneaker Pawn USA, and brandished the weapon. “See how easy it is?� the pick perp told the other man. “Tell the other guys I’m going to poke them.� The victim is a security guard at the city’s Human Resources Administration building, at 12 W. 14th St., which the suspect, William Hernandez, 41 was escorted out of earlier in the day. Hernandez was arrested three days later for misdemeanor menacing.

Bar burglary The lounge 49 Grove was burglarized Tues., Jan. 17, at 3 a.m., police said. Two individuals reportedly entered the place, at 49 Grove St., through the back door. One of them works at the bar as a cleaner. Adrian Soto, 22, was arrested Mon., Feb. 27 for felony burglary. The second suspect, Taylor True, 30, is still at large. True is known to hang out at 117th St. between Seventh and St. Nicholas Aves., according to police.

Grabbed her neck According to police, a woman was harassed by her husband in their apartment at 101 W. 12th St. on Tues., Jan. 3, at 8:30 p.m. The 32-year-old victim stated she was arguing with her husband when they got into a physical altercation. When she attempted to walk away, he placed his hands around her neck from behind, she told cops. John Doe, 33, was arrested Thurs., Mar. 2, and charged with harassment, a violation.

Push-in mugger

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Performing Charlie Chaplin's Original Score to the Film

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March 9, 2017

Police are looking for a violent mugger who has been targeting women in the Fifth and Seventh Precincts. According to police, on Fri., Feb. 17, at 12:10 a.m, a woman, 40, was entering her residence, near Henry and Catherine Sts., when the suspect followed her inside and demanded money. When she refused and screamed, the thug punched her in the face repeatedly. The victim gave him $1,485 in cash and he fled. The victim was removed to New York Downtown Hospital for her injuries. In the second incident, police said, on

A sur veillance camera image of the L .E.S. alleged serial push-in mugger..

Sat., Feb. 25, at 10:04 p.m., a 28-yearold woman entered her residence, in the vicinity of Forsyth and Eldridge Sts., when the suspect pushed his way inside the building and grabbed her handbag. He swiped about $50 in cash from the wallet and fled. The suspect struck again on Sun., Feb. 26, at 9:48 p.m., police said. A 45-yearold woman was entering her building, in the vicinity of Essex and Ludlow Sts., when the serial mugger grabbed her behind, put his hand over her mouth and socked her in the face. He demanded money and took roughly $550 from her bag. He fled northbound on Ludlow St., and the victim was removed to Bellevue Hospital by E.M.S. Finally, on Tues., Feb. 28, at 11 p.m., a woman, 44, was entering her building, in the vicinity of Orchard and Broome Sts., when the robber followed her inside, punched her in the face and demanded money. She gave him her wallet with about $400 cash and the attacker fled. The victim refused medical attention. The suspect is described as black, with a medium complexion, around 40, standing around 5 feet 5 inches tall, with a medium build, and last seen wearing a black jacket and a dark knit hat. Anyone with information, is asked to contact Crime Stoppers. (See first Police Blotter item, above.)

Playground punches A 16-year-old youth was waiting for his cousin in Seravalli Playground, at Hudson and Gansevoort Sts., when he was attacked on Mon., Feb. 20 at 7:05 p.m., according to police. The victim told cops he was punched and kicked by his cousin’s boyfriend and another person. The suspects fled and took the teen’s backpack and other property. Police arrested Jon Robolledo, 17, on Fri., Mar. 3. The other suspect is still on the loose.

Tabia Robinson and Lincoln Anderson TheVillager.com

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March 9, 2017


Trump double trouble; N.Y.U. faces crackdowns N.Y.U. continued from p. 1

should become a so-called “sanctuary campus.” The school’s administration claims it’s a vaguely defi ned term, and that N.Y.U. already basically is committed to doing many of things that advocates are asking for. Not satisfied with the administration’s answers, this past Sunday, N.Y.U. alumni staged a march on campus demanding that the school officially declare itself a sanctuary campus. Undergraduates similarly rallied a few days earlier. Another protest is set for this Thursday. As for Trump’s “travel ban,” it has sent shockwaves of fear and confusion through N.Y.U., just as it has done at institutions of higher learning throughout the United States. As one of the nation’s largest private universities, N.Y.U. naturally has students from the six majority-Muslim countries — Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen — that are included in Trump’s temporary ban. The policy is also impacting departments at N.Y.U. dealing with the Middle East — both in terms of which students the school should admit, as well as research trips abroad. The new executive order affecting the Muslim countries is scheduled to take effect March 16. Suspension of visa processing for the six countries would be effective for 90 days, after which point “new procedures” would be enacted. The U.S. would also suspend accepting refugees worldwide for 120 days. Trump’s first executive order was issued without warning at the end of January, sparking outraged protests at airports around the country. Along with Iraq, also dropped from the new order is any reference to prioritizing the acceptance of religious-minority refugees — i.e. Christians — from the now-six countries. A Trump spokesperson said the countries were chosen because they are either state sponsors of terrorism or harbor terrorists. In turn, this Tuesday, the administration dropped its appeal of a federal court’s ruling that had blocked the first travel ban from going into effect.

Grilled at J.F.K. Kiana Karimi was one of three N.Y.U. students detained — in her case, only relatively briefly — while trying to re-enter the country after Trump sprung his first travel ban on Jan. 27. An Iranian native, she has had dual citizenship for about two years and was traveling with her U.S. passport, yet was still held for questioning at J.F.K. She had been returning from visiting a fellow N.Y.U. student at his home in Egypt.


March 9, 2017


N.Y.U. students at a rally last Wednesday called for N.Y.U. formally to declare itself a sanctuar y campus. The administration claims the term is too loosely defined, among other things.

“I know how long it takes to get that document,” she said of her green card. “My parents applied for it when I was 6 in Iran. I got it last year — it took 24 years.” Although the federal airport agents were “going by the passport,” in terms of checking most people, she noted, she was still grilled. Writing for the London Review of Books’ LRB blog, she said, “When I got to the front of the queue, the officer told me the passport number they had in their records matched an old passport I had lost and their records were not updated with my new passport number. Therefore the passport I was traveling on was not valid. He admitted that it could be an error on their side, but I had to go for a secondary evaluation regardless. He handed my passport to another officer who accompanied me into a room packed with travelers who hadn’t been granted entry. … The line of U.S. citizens denied automatic entry were all, without exception, black and brown people who predominantly seemed Muslim.” Under the revised executive order, green-card and visa holders are no longer included in the travel ban. Karimi told The Villager the experience at J.F.K. left her shaken. The previous summer she had whisked through airport security with a simple electronic screening of her passport.

This time, however, she said, “I was asked by U.S. Customs and Border Protection about where I live, who I live with, what my job is. And I don’t know how my responses might affect me. We do not feel safe to travel. “None of my Iranian and Muslim

‘I was asked about where I live...what my job is.’ Kiana Karimi

friends are traveling abroad,” she said, speaking shortly after the first travel ban was issued. “My friends who have a visa and green card are planning to stay here and not leave unless there is an urgent reason. Even among those with citizenship, it doesn’t sound wise to travel, because the minimum we might get is being questioned on the

way back and detained, no matter how briefly, for interrogation.” In that first initial flurry of confusion on Jan. 28, two other N.Y.U. students were detained at the Canadian border before being allowed re-entry into the U.S. One of them was Narges Bayani, a Ph.D. student at N.Y.U.’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. The university is not identifying the third student, and Karimi said she didn’t know who it was, either.

Escape from Iran Karimi is a Ph.D. student in performance studies at the Tisch School of the Arts. “My parents are both leftists,” she said. “My father has been in jail, both under the shah and under Khomeini. My parents did whatever they can so that we can live out of Iran,” she said of herself and a sibling. Karimi is among those strongly calling for N.Y.U. to declare itself a sanctuary campus. “President [Andrew] Hamilton and N.Y.U. say they are offering the equivalent of a sanctuary campus — but they’re not comfortable with the term,” she said. “But for me and other Muslim students this is important. I see PresiN.Y.U. continued on p. 20 TheVillager.com

Lynne Stewart dies at 77


Building Bridges a Christian Muslim Dialogue Sunday, March 26th at 1:30 pm



adical lawyer Lynne Stewart died at her home in Brooklyn Tuesday at age 77 of complications from breast cancer and a number of strokes, according to media reports. Stewart was disbarred and served prison time for passing messages from one of her most famous clients, convicted Egyptian terrorist Sheikh Omar AbdelRahman a.k.a. “The Blind Sheikh,� to his followers in his home country. Stewart was also found guilty of perjury during trial. Rahman was linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and was caught on tape saying he wanted to blow up multiple targets in New York City. Stewart had previously defended other high-profile people, including Black Panther Willie Holder, who hijacked a jet in 1972 to demand the release of Angela Davis, and the Weather Underground’s David Gilbert, who killed two cops and a guard robbing an armored car in 1981. Former East Village activist John Penley, who was friends with Stewart and helped throw benefis for her when she faced trial, called her an inspiration. “She was really a radical attorney,� he said Wednesday. “There aren’t many


Attorney Lynne Stewar t at New York State Supreme Cour t in 1993.

of those in this country, and you either loved her or you hated her for her politics. Of course all of us radicals loved her for her politics. “I feel really bad,� Penley said. “They put her in prison and they let her out because she had terminal cancer. People were hoping she would beat it. “She did represent a number of people for free who were arrested at riots and political protests in the East Village and Lower East Side,� he said. “And she was willing to take cases of controversial clients, when there are very few lawyers in America who would take these kinds of cases. So that’s the only way the system works — you’ve got to have lawyers who are willing to take those cases.�

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March 9, 2017


Alan Colmes, Fox News liberal voice, dies at 66 OBITUARIES COLMES continued from p. 1

The two couldn’t have been more opposite — Hannity a bullish conservative fi rebrand, Colmes a laid-back, joke-cracking moderate liberal. The odd couple regularly vied for top cable ratings during their 12-year run. Colmes was sometimes criticized by liberals for not ratcheting his energy up to Hannity’s level. He was one of the only, if not the only, liberals that regularly appeared on Fox News. Some people thought he should have put up more of a fight, considering his unique position to debate Hannity’s viewpoints on the most prominent conservative media outlet — and still the most-watched cable news network — in the country. But Colmes attempted to defuse and debate with a calmer tone. He described his style in an interview with the Associated Press in 2003 that was recently cited by The New York Times. “People say to me, ‘Why don’t you fight fi re with fi re?’� he said in the interview. “You fight fi re with water, not fi re.� At home, Colmes was just as he was

Alan Colmes.

on TV, his wife told The Villager — easygoing, funny and friendly to all. He “brought that gift� of affability to their marriage, said Jocelyn Elise Crowley, a Rutgers professor and selfdescribed “Type A� personality. “He made me laugh every day of our marriage, that was the best part.

He made people laugh,� Crowley said. “I would always say to everyone that he made my life more fun.� Colmes was born in Brooklyn and grew up on Long Island. He started his radio career as a communications major on Hofstra University’s radio station and soon moved to Greenwich Village following graduation. It was there that the young Colmes further honed his skills in front of a microphone — not as a radio or television host, but as a stand-up comedian (which you can see in some grainy clips on YouTube) at the Comedy Cellar. His radio career would have him hopping from station to station around the Northeast, but he fell in love with the Village and lived there for most of his adult life. When not traveling up to the Fox News studios in Midtown, Colmes tended to hang around his neighborhood, his wife said. “He used to say, ‘If I have to go above 14th St., I’ll get a nosebleed,’� Crowley said. “This was his neighborhood. He worked in Midtown, but he loved being here, he loved being home. “Alan lived in the Village for most of his later life, on 10th St., Mercer St., 12th St., Fourth St. and now where we live on lower Fifth Ave.,� his wife said.

He was known among the staff at his favorite local restaurants, including Volare, at 147 W. Fourth St., and Monte’s, at 97 MacDougal St. He even had a favorite waiter at Cozy Soup ’n’ Burger, at 739 Broadway. Volare co-owner Sal Alaburic said Colmes loved his Italian restaurant’s steaks, especially, and that he was kind and generous, both as a customer and a person. “We loved him for what he was,� Alaburic said. “He was one of the most generous persons I ever met. He had the kindest and gentlest heart. We loved him as a person and we loved him as customer.� Colmes was raised Jewish, the son of Ukrainian immigrants, but married Crowley at an interfaith ceremony at Saint Joseph’s Church, on Sixth Ave. in the Village, where he regularly attended Mass with her. Colmes suffered an extremely aggressive form of lymphoma, which he was diagnosed with only in September. Colmes had asked that, if people wished, to donate to the Dr. Horwitz Research Fund at Sloan Kettering. Donations can be made to: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: Dr. Horwitz Research Fund. Mail to: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, c/o Dr. Steven Horwitz, 1275 York Ave., New York, NY 10065.

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March 9, 2017

1OZZ1ZWTTOb'%' ''# TheVillager.com

Mary Tahmin, 89, actor

WONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T YOU JOIN US?



riends, relatives, fellow actors and admirers gathered Sun., Feb., 12 at Greenwich Village Funeral Home on Bleecker St. to remember actress Mary Tahmin. Tahmin died Jan. 29 at age 89 in her apartment at 12 Fifth Ave. near W. Eighth St. following recovery from a fall and a brief stay in a nursing home. Born Despina Tahmin on Dec. 28, 1927, in the Bronx, she was the eldest of three children of Greek ancestry, although her father was born in Istanbul. Despina is the Greek version of Mary, but, as the story goes, sounded too much like â&#x20AC;&#x153;subpoena,â&#x20AC;? so she went by Mary. Her brother Gus spoke at the memorial, while her brother Jimmy in Venice Beach, California, unable to attend, had visited Mary in recent years at her home and nearby beloved senior day center. Her niece Chris emceed the memorial. Chris, home healthcare aide Kay, and longtime friend Roz Kozlofsky all helped Mary in her last days. Actor Charles Turner, understudy to James Earl Jones, cut a striking figure at the podium recalling Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s career. Turner has done â&#x20AC;&#x153;On Golden Pondâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Trip to Bountiful.â&#x20AC;? He directed Mary with Deborah Pautler in a two-part 2001 short movie, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Switch,â&#x20AC;? set in Chelsea Market and available on the Internet. Laura Marceca, director of the Center on the Square / Greenwich House Senior Center, at 20 Washington Square North, fondly recalled longtime member Tahmin. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She was a truly wonderful, lovely and warm woman who brought a lot of happiness to those around her,â&#x20AC;? Marceca said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She was a very good friend with many members. She will be missed deeply.â&#x20AC;? Harvey Osgood recalled how Mary spoke at the senior center â&#x20AC;&#x153;Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Listenâ&#x20AC;? series from her memoirs about her dalliance with Marlon Brando. The famed actor once drove her on his motorcycle to an audition, and was so obsessed he would lock her in his dressing room during his performances. Fellow actor Paul Rossen expressed concern at the close date of Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s memorial, saying many actors would have come if they had more advance notice. Mary was working diligently in her last years on her memoirs, which included running off from the Bronx without completing high school to join the circus. Blessed with good looks and figure, she acted and danced and had her professional associations with fellow actors like Brando, Maximilian Schell, Peter Falk, Buddy Hackett and Tony Franciosa. Mary spoke Hebrew, Spanish, German, Greek and English. One friend joked he knew what play she was in by what accent she was speaking in. Mary appeared in a film shot in Greece, funded in part by the Greek government, TheVillager.com


Mar y Tahmin in â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Switch.â&#x20AC;? but it was shelved after the junta. She dubbed the voice of Italian actress Anna Magnani in another film. A career highlight was forgoing a promising audition through Jane Wymanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s secretary to help out juggler Francis Brunn, who needed an assistant. She went on to be his assistant for seven years. Brunn died in 2004 at 81. His son, Raphael, spoke at Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s memorial. Brunn was considered royalty in show business and one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finest jugglers. For her onstage role with him, Mary learned some juggling. Brunn performed everywhere, including on the popular â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Ed Sullivan Showâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Perry Como Showâ&#x20AC;? and for President Eisenhower and royalty worldwide. Roz Koslosfsky, 84, was her best friend for 55 years since 1962. They met through Rozâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s childhood friend Anita, who briefly shared Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s apartment at 12 Fifth Ave. Roz visited Mary on the set of the Greece film shoot and in Pennsylvania when Mary did â&#x20AC;&#x153;Two for the Seesaw.â&#x20AC;? Roz loved theater and joked about all the shows she saw through Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;compâ&#x20AC;? tickets and Actorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Equity / SAG connections, some of which Mary was in. Mary took over when Lee Grant got sick and worked with Anne Bancroft in â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Miracle Worker,â&#x20AC;? getting good reviews. Mary lost a replacement role in the show at one point to Suzanne Pleshette. Mary coached Renee Taylor, the mother in the â&#x20AC;&#x2122;90s TV show â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Nanny,â&#x20AC;? in the stage comedy â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bermuda Avenue Triangle.â&#x20AC;? Roz spoke of Mary meeting Elvis Presley and Robert Q. Lewis and Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boyfriend Herb Reed of The Platters. But the love of Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life, Roz said, was Avron, an Israeli. Roz spoke of Dustin Hoffman coming to Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s apartment to do lines. Mary enjoyed teaching belly dancing, making jewelry, coaching actors and directing smaller productions and staged readings. Roz recalled Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gifts as an organizer, negotiator and helper. She played Constanza in â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our Lady of Perpetual Dangerâ&#x20AC;? in 1991; at one location, Mary rescued a collie mix in a trash can and kept it as her dog.

This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s honorees include: Governor David Paterson

Anthony Nicodemo

Ana MarĂ­a Archila & Andrea Batista Schlesinger

Eunic Ortiz Elisa Padilla

Christopher Bram

Leo Preziosi, Jr.

Lisa Cannistraci

Charles Rice-Gonzalez

Staceyann Chin

Manny Rivera

JD Davids

Doug Robinson

AndrĂŠs Duque

Therese Rodriguez

Bryan John Ellicott

Allen Roskoff

Ashley C. Ford

Robyn Streisand

Suzanne Goldberg Oriol R. Gutierrez

Christopher Tepper & Paul Kelterborn

Bishop Zachary Glenn Jones

Jennifer Flynn Walker

Howie Katz

Jillian Weiss

Terrance Knox

Edie Windsor

Donna Lieberman

Mel Wymore

Carmen Neely

Emanuel Xavier >`SaS\bSRPg(

List in formation


Post your congratulations message in the special keepsake issue proďŹ ling the honorees on March 30, 2017 Contact Amanda Tarley For More Information: 718-260-8340 | amanda@gaycitynews.com

gaycitynews.nyc March 9, 2017



support community nEWS!

To The Editor: Re “Call of the wild: Why we protest Canada Goose” (talking point, by Nathan Semmel and Leonardo Anguiano, March 2): The protests are targeting Canada Goose because they are the most popular brand and are the company that is most viably responsible for making dead animal skin “cool” again to wear by brainless zombies who are totally disconnected from the fact that the animals they are wearing were once living, breathing canines. As a longtime New Yorker I remember back in the ’90s when it was unheard of to wear dead animal fur in the city. Jamey Brooks

Someday it will end


CALL 646-452-2475

To The Editor: Re “Call of the wild: Why we protest Canada Goose” (talking point, by Nathan Semmel and Leonardo Anguiano, March 2): I believe many residents in the area will be thankful that this store is gone someday. Not just because the protests will end, but because these murdered animals will no longer be peddled by the awful company Canada Goose. I talk to many people in the neighborhood who agree with the actions being taken. Larry Trepel

North American fur trade is an excellent example of the sustainable and responsible use of renewable natural resources. The protesters also don’t understand that overpopulated coyotes are more vulnerable to disease and parasites like sarcoptic mange, which cause far more suffering than regulated, modern, science-based trapping methods. The synthetics proposed by animal activists are generally made from petroleum, a nonrenewable resource. These ill-informed protests are glaring examples of the arrogance of a spoiled urban culture that has lost contact with the hard-working and knowledgeable people on the land who feed and clothe us. So-called “animal-rights” groups like PETA have degenerated into politically correct hate groups. These protests have much in common with the hateful style and factadverse rhetoric that increasingly dominates our political landscape. Alan Herscovici Herscovici is senior researcher / writer, TruthAboutFur.com

Coats of cruelty To The Editor: Re “Call of the wild: Why we protest Canada Goose” (talking point, by Nathan Semmel and Leonardo Anguiano, March 2): Thank you for writing the truth on why we protest this vile brand of clothing. Canada Goose uses cruelty in every stitch of their coats! Rachel Ejsmont

Fur your information... To The Editor: Re “Fur fight: Activists vow to cook Canada’s Goose” (news article, Feb. 23): Each of us is free to choose whether we wish to wear fur (or down), but the intense and often rowdy protests about Canada Goose are self-serving and hypocritical in a society where most people eat meat, wear leather and use a wide range of animal products every day. Coyotes are highly abundant and their populations must be managed in many regions (to protect calves and lambs), whether we use the fur or not. Several states have issued bounties when fur prices did not offer sufficient incentive for hunters to cull coyote populations. From an ecological perspective, the well-regulated

What will it take? To The Editor: Re “Call of the wild: Why we protest Canada Goose” (talking point, by Nathan Semmel and Leonardo Anguiano, March 2): Wonderfully said and thanks to The Villager for featuring. If Canada Goose would sell the heads of the canines instead of their skin, perhaps some of these residents would finally see the truth and feel differently about having such a horrific, vile shop of horrors on their block. Denise Ross LETTERS continued on p. 23


Trump’s alternate-facts reality. 12

March 9, 2017


‘Tech hub’ part of spreading development virus



o great fanfare, Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced plans for a slick new “tech hub” to be built on E. 14th St. just east of Fourth Ave., on the current site of a P.C. Richard store. Sandwiched between two high-rise New York University dorms, the new building would tower over its neighbors and form the lynchpin of a new “Silicon Alley” the mayor hopes to develop between Union Square and Astor Place. Whatever the virtues of the proposed center in terms of jobs and job training (which the mayor has gleefully touted), there are some daunting downsides to the project that are being swept under the rug. Unaddressed, these issues could accelerate troubling trends in the surrounding neighborhood, and cause the administration to miss a critical opportunity to provide what the mayor claims is his top priority — affordable housing. The P.C. Richard site was zoned several years ago to encourage residential rather than commercial development, and was supposed to be developed at a much more modest scale than the mayor proposes. Additionally, the local community board — Community Board 3 — and elected officials’ number one stated priority for the site was affordable housing. Thus, by seeking to increase the allowable size and height of development, pursue commercial rather than residential construction, and exclude affordable housing, the mayor’s plan flies in the face of prior planning and community wishes for the site. But that’s true of more than just this one site. We’re seeing the same trend of oversized, largely commercial and affordable-housing-free development all along the blocks from the P.C. Richard site down to Astor Place, between Third Ave. and University Place. The examples are numerous. At 110 University Place, a nearly 300-foottall condo tower is replacing Bowlmor Lanes. A 232-foot-tall commercial and residential building is under construction at 809 Broadway, north of 11th St. Plans have just been filed for a 300foot-tall office tower at 827-831 Broadway / 47 E. 12th St. And at 80 E. 11th St. / 799 Broadway, according to press reports, plans are being considered for a “Death Star II” — an office building that would replicate the black-glass office tower at 51 Astor Place, so nicknamed for its “Star Wars”-like aesthetic. This last project could easily match or TheVillager.com

The proposed tech hub on E. 14th St., which would rise between two existing N.Y.U. dorms on the current site of a P.C. Richard store.

exceed the size of these other neighboring ones in the pipeline. Further east we are seeing the same trend. Mayor de Blasio’s campaign donor and political ally David Lichtenstein is developing a large hotel geared toward party-hopping millennials at 112 E. 11th St., across from Webster Hall. (Perhaps coincidentally, Lichtenstein also serves on the board of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, the agency behind the “tech hub” plan for the P.C. Richard site. The tech hub developer, RAL Development, has also been a major donor to the mayor.) This hotel will replace dozens of units of housing, much of it previously affordable. On the southeast corner of Fourth Ave. and 10th St., work has begun on a 12-story tower which has at various times been planned as a hotel and residences. And of course the 12-story Hyatt Hotel was built at Fourth Ave. and 13th St. just a few years ago. That’s a lot of very large development, most of it commercial, in just a dozen or so blocks. And the pace is clearly accelerating, perhaps partly in response to

the mayor’s announcement of the tech hub plan. Moving ahead with construction on that project will only hasten this trend.

The plan flies in the face of community wishes.

This does not have to be the case. If the mayor is going to rezone the P.C. Richard site for larger commercial development and ignore affordable housing needs, he can offset that by helping to protect the scale and largely residential character of the blocks to the south,

and encourage the creation of affordable housing. So far, though, he has resisted doing so. More than two years ago, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation proposed a “contextual” rezoning of the University Place and Broadway corridors to protect the scale of the area, reinforce its residential character, and encourage the inclusion of affordable housing in new developments. The plan has been endorsed by local elected officials, the community board, and an overwhelming majority of residents. But the mayor has adamantly refused to consider it. In 2010, G.V.S.H.P., Councilmember Rosie Mendez, and Community Board 3 got Mayor Bloomberg to rezone the Third and Fourth Ave. corridors. Though not as strict as we would have liked, the rezoning put in place roughly 12-story height limits for new construction, and included an incentive for affordable housing in new residential developments, which some developers have utilized. But the zoning still allowed fairly large commercial developments — as did the prior zoning — and the affordable housing incentives do not apply to these commercial developments. Thus, new hotels — like the one planned on E. 11th St. by the mayor’s campaign donor — will include no affordable housing, even as they displace a considerable amount of it. The mayor could address this by rezoning these blocks to lower the allowable size of new commercial developments, thus making any new construction both more likely to be residential, and likely to include affordable housing. So why would a mayor who has adamantly opposed such changes previously suddenly change his mind? His tech hub can only be built if a zoning change is implemented for the site, and that requires the approval of the City Council. Councilmember Mendez, who represents the areas in question, has been a strong supporter of our proposed University Place / Broadway rezoning, and a strong supporter, in general, of affordable housing and preservation of neighborhood scale and character. Nevertheless, getting the mayor to change course will be no easy task. It will require vocal support from neighborhood residents, our community boards and local politicians. We all must make clear that a tech hub that accelerates overdevelopment and does nothing to address affordable housing in our residential neighborhoods is unacceptable. Otherwise this project will just be the latest domino of oversized, undesirable developments to fall in our neighborhood, from 14th St. all the way to Astor Place. Berman is executive director, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation March 9, 2017


Legal marijuana is facing its first yuuge fight BY PAUL DERIENZO


arijuana, called cannabis by some and pot, weed or grass by most, is in danger yet again in the United States. Beauregard Jefferson Sessions III, the newly confirmed U.S. attorney general, is crusading against cannabis and using his bully pulpit to oppose the popular will expressed by voters in more than half the states, who have legalized medical marijuana or recreational pot for use by adults. “States can pass whatever laws they choose,” Sessions told a crowd of state attorneys general at the National Association of Attorneys General Winter Meeting. “But I’m not sure we’re going to be a better, healthier nation if we have marijuana being sold at every corner grocery store.” The Trump administration is preparing for a crackdown on recreational reefer, according to multiple press reports. Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said that states with legalized marijuana will see “greater enforcement” of federal laws surrounding the plant a move that would contradict Trump’s 2016 campaign promise to honor state marijuana laws. The administration has been connecting cannabis use


A pot advocate marking the annual “420 Day” in Washington Square Park on April 20, 2015. According to lore, the number marks the time — 4:20 p.m. — when a group of 1970s high school students would light up to celebrate the end of the school day right before their band’s practice session.


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March 9, 2017

with the spike in opioid deaths that has swept the nation since the 2008 recession sparked massive job losses throughout the heartland. Opioids are drugs, like heroin and OxyContin, which originate from the opium poppy and are quite effective at relieving pain, may be a little too effective for those susceptible to the drug’s powerful addictive properties. While it may seem that cannabis and heroin have little in common, they do share one major feature: Both are considered Schedule 1 drugs under the federal Controlled Substances Act. That means the feds say there is no acceptable medical use for cannabis and it cannot be sold at pharmacies; and, despite state legalization efforts, the formidable federal police apparatus could crackdown on marijuana growers and dispensaries that have been operating legally throughout the country. The Obama administration had decided to let states decide, but, ironically, under the states’ rights administration of Trump, those days may be coming to an end. A professor at the University of Denver, Sam Kamin teaches courses on marijuana law. He takes issue with Spicer’s comments. “While marijuana has long been derided as a gateway drug,” Kamin said, “growing evidence shows that marijuana can serve as a substitute for or adjunct to the use of opiates to control chronic pain. In short, the opiate crisis might be a reason to expand access to marijuana rather than to contract it.” Cannabis is not particularly addictive and there are no reports in recorded history of anyone ever dying from pot. Despite the drug’s obvious safety, it has been illegal since at least the 1930s when cannabis fell victim to anti-Mexican feelings. The drug was associated with foreigners, and films like “Reefer Madness” propagandized that pot was a deadly threat to young people. In the 1970s another president at odds with millions, hateful and suspicious toward his political enemies and looking for a cheap shot, embraced pot laws as a way of punishing his opponents. Tapes released during the Watergate hearings apparently show President Richard Nixon and his cronies discussing using drug laws as leverage against antiwar protesters. Activist Paul Stanford is founder of the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, which helps sick people get access to medical cannabis. He said the Trump anti-cannabis agenda has sent a “cold shiver down my spine.” “I could face the possibility of a penalty of life in prison without parole if I were convicted of growing marijuana under federal law, although I have a state permit,” he said. But Stanford also emphasized a

paragraph in the Controlled Substances Act which buoys some cannabis activists. The section, titled 21 USC 903, says that federal drug law cannot cause “the exclusion of any State law” that differs from federal drug law. According to Stanford, this provision means that state drug laws can “trump” federal law. The same law also states that there has to be a “positive conflict” between state and federal law for the feds to win jurisdiction. But some legal experts argue that means a state requiring the use of an illegal drug, not just allowing it. Stanford notes that Trump “took both sides of every issue,” and said several times that states should decide the matter. But he said he fears Sessions, who once advocated the death penalty for second-offense marijuana sellers, something Sessions said he no longer believes. As a U.S. attorney in Alabama in the 1980s, Sessions said he thought the Ku Klux Klan “were O.K. until I found out they smoked pot.” Although Sessions later retracted the statement as a “joke,” it’s been noted that case was about an African-American man who was brutally assaulted by whites. Erik Altieri, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, said Sessions is a threat and he could begin blocking ballot initiatives, conduct raids on legal businesses and dismantle the legal cannabis industry that has already been established in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Stanford said he believes the real reason the government wants to stop cannabis is not because it’s a drug and not primarily because of Sessions, but because the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, was the former C.E.O. of oil giant Exxon. Stanford said that cannabis oil, which comes from the plant’s seeds, can be used to replace diesel fuel and could democratize and make the oil business less toxic by replacing petrochemicals. He also noted the byproduct of cannabis oil production is a proteinand-fiber-rich meal that can be used as a healthy food. Stanford added that more people are switching their drug of choice from alcohol to cannabis and that there has been a reduction of domestic violence, as a result. With seven of eight states this past November legalizing cannabis for adults, and polls showing overwhelming support for legalization, the administration may find itself in an even bigger fight than Trump’s attempts to block Muslims, build a wall against Mexican immigrants and deport illegals by the millions. TheVillager.com

Bad chemistry derails daring experiment Thomas Dolby enlivens an otherwise flat ‘Brainwave’ BY SCOTT STIFFLER


airing groundbreaking scientists with equally edgy creative types has been a winning formula for the Rubin Museum of Art’s “Brainwave” program, now in its 10th year and, this time around, dedicated to coming at the theme of “Perception” from a variety of angles. But not every pairing in the series comes up with the requisite chemistry to deliver on its intriguing premise. Sadly, such was the case with March 4’s promised look at “where music and technology intersect.” Wired with a body mic and each given a side of the stage filled with tech toys specific to their fields of expertise, French neuroscientist, academic, and DJ Jacques Lavoisier interviewed musician, producer, and Nokia ringtone co-developer Thomas Dolby. Lavoisier garnered laughs by breaking the ice with a self-deprecating joke about his love of talking about himself “because I am French” — then continued, sans irony, to make good on that statement by cutting off Dolby in mid-anecdote, and cracking a number of crude jokes. “Is your mother hot?” he asked, to a youth brought on stage during the audience participation segment. The fact that the kids’ mom was an old school chum of his made the remark all the more creepy and sad. Later, after showing a short film about a friend who was blinded, then paralyzed, Lavoisier made sure we knew his “Brainwave” speaking fee was waived in lieu of a donation to the man’s recovery fund. Karma wasn’t announced as a guest on the bill at this museum that celebrates the Himalayan region, yet one couldn’t help but feel the universe was at work when Lavoisier’s much-hyped brainwave-meets-music demonstration suffered a software glitch from which it never recovered. The evening had one thing going for it, though: Dolby was the mirror image of his crass counterpart. Humble and candid during a 1980s flashback, the accomplished singer/songwriter recalled an episode of paralyzing anxiety upon seeing the venue (Radio City Music Hall!) for the opening night of his first American tour. Powerful stuff dispensed from a hastily summoned doctor’s hypodermic needle got him through that night — but the numb feeling “of being outside of myself,” he said, was nowhere near as challenging as the “failure was not an option” time when he found himself, after very little rehearsal, tasked with executing a flawless keyboard intro to childhood hero David


Bowie’s set at Live Aid (witnessed by a global audience of one billion). “The stakes are higher if you do it from the inside out,” he added, on the topic of answering audience expectations from a vulnerable place of sincerity found far beneath one’s protective persona. Looking back, he noted that many of his defining successes (music videos, cellphones) came from a natural “attraction to areas where there was no rulebook” or road map. After layering a series of tracks and delivering a sizzling version of his 1984 hit “Hyperactive,” Dolby spoke about teaching a course in the Film and Media Studies program at Johns Hopkins University. Recognizing that the next great advancement in art or technology will likely be the work of his young students rather than himself, Dolby’s peaceful, even happy, acceptance of this notion yielded an inspiring takeaway: Perception may play its part in shaping reality, but it’s a positive interpretation of what we perceive that creates a reality we can live with. Better luck next time: “Brainwave 2017” films, talks, and discussions happen through April at the Rubin Museum of Art (150 W. 17th St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). For reservations and the full schedule of events, visit rubinmuseum. org. Visit thomasdolby.com for artist info.


The cover for “A Map of the Floating Cit y,” Thomas Dolby’s excellent 2011 album.


Thomas Dolby dazzled with his decenc y (but didn’t blind anybody with science) at March 4’s “Brainwave” event. The series continues through April. March 9, 2017


Of pivots and paranoia

A very bad week for America’s solo savior



t seems impossible, but only a week ago, addressing a joint session of Congress, Donald Trump was riding high. Ascending the human scaffold of a Navy Seal widow, the president achieved what one-time Trump critic Van Jones called “One of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics, period.” Suck on that, Gettysburg Address. Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Big Daddy Trump! Done deal. Resistance fi nished. Pivot achieved, right? And yeah, about a dozen so so-called called Trump pivots have re-pivoted in the opposite direction almost immediately over the last year. Sure, pundits who’ve gone Cuckoofor-Previous-Pivot-Puffs have ended up looking like Charlie Brown suckered into trying to kick Lucy’s football just one more time — but not this time, right? Trump read aloud, in public! He didn’t get all sweaty and red, all his clothes stayed on, and he didn’t wet himself. Not one time! Come on! That makes Trump the most Presidenty President in the entire history of right?! Presidenting, right? ?!


March 9, 2017

Pretty good for a Tuesday, huh? Yeah, not so much. Less than 24 hours later, The Washington Post brought Trump’s pivot honeymoon to an abrupt, unconsummated end, breaking the story of the Right Honorable Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions the Third’s somewhat shaky relationship with the truth. It seems as if the gentleman from Alabama might have ever so slightly perjured his li’l ol’ self: At his confi rmation hearing, under oath, he stated he “did not have communications with the Russians,” which turns out to be just the tiniest bit totally untrue. Sessions met with Russian ambassador

Sergey “Fat Tony” Kislyak in September, at the height of the Russian cyber campaign to seat King Donald on the American throne. Who knew when Trump blamed election tampering on “somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds” he meant Kislyak? Thursday morning in Virginia, Trump delivered a speech from the deck of the USS Gerald R. Ford — sporting a fl ight jacket and official ship’s cap, attire which folks who actually served might fi nd slightly offensive. Our own modern-day Demosthenes, Donald Trump, told the assembled sailors, “We’re wearing this, g right? I have no idea how it looks, but I think it looks good. It’s a gr great-looking hat. Just like this is a great-looking grea ship.” He then went on tto tell the press he had “total con confidence” in Sessions and that th there was no reason fo for him to recuse himself. himse That evening, Sessions called a press confere n c e to announce h e would iindeed recu cuse himsel self from any investigations related to the 20 2016 presidential c campaign. O ne might assume One tthis h is meant Sess Sessions and T r ump had d Trump discussed the matter du during the day and strategically stra adjusted their position. One would be wrong. Sessions didn’t consult or warn Trum Trump, which didn’t go over ov well. That’s probab probably why hi Trump had him stand in the Mar-a-La Mar-a-Lago lobby gue and greet guests later that weekend, an act that hum is in no way humiliating. Ju ust ask Mike Tyson Just Tyson. Friday morning T Trump did what the great leaders leade of men what have always done in times of have kin of gicrisis: threw the kind gantic, hissy, toddler tantrum usually accompanied by the words “I do not need a ILLUSTRATION BY MAX BURBANK nap! I do NOT need a NAP!

I AM NOT TIRED!!” Enraged by his staff’s inability to plausibly explain why his entire cabinet appears to be a wholly owned subsidiary of the Russian state, Trump put hapless Chief of Staff Reinhold Richard “Reince” Priebus and aging-frat-boyreanimated-corpse Stephen “Steve” Bannon on double secret probation, excluding them from the weekly golf vacation/pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago. Accompanied only by Ivanka, Jared and the grandkids, and ensconced in familiar, properly gilded surroundings, one might think the leader of the free world would calm down and try to at least appear in control, as he had just berated his staff for failing to do. That is such a cute idea. But alas, no. Instead he woke up extra early Saturday morning, took what was presumably one of many back-up secret phones from one of many unspeakable hiding places and hammered off a series of tweets accusing Barack Obama of having “wires tapped” him during the campaign. Okay, fi rst of all… no, you know what? Screw that. Like his racist birther nonsense, like his impossible assertion that millions of illegal votes were cast in the election, there is literally zero evidence to support this claim, and even trying to explain why it’s blisteringly moronic lends it a dignity that it in no way deserves. Those in his inner circle have tried to cheer him up. He got to sign Travel Ban 2.0, which is mostly the same as Travel Ban Classic, but with a new, improved 10-day period for Customs and the TSA to build up to guessing the degree to which they can abuse people who seem Muslimy. They unwrapped the ultra-secret “Repeal and Replace” with the super-cool defunding Planned Parenthood expansion module. It’s just not working. Trump’s pissed. This was supposed to be a good weekend. Hell, it was supposed to be smooth sailing all the way to the port of dictatorship. Instead he didn’t even get a full chaos-free day, and it can only be the fault of absolutely everyone except himself. Maybe that’s the secret. Maybe he won’t be able to “Make America Great Again” until he fi res every last traitor, disappointment, and choke artist. Maybe this is a job for “He Who Alone Can Save Us.” Alone. That’s how Superman would handle things. Jesus was a solo savior. And compared to Trump? Those guys? So overrated. Losers. Sad. TheVillager.com

Just Do Art



Guest soloist Adele Anthony, in red, at the Greenwich Village Orchestra’s season opener. Their next concer t is March 19.

L to R: Google-worthy creative types Jawid Mojaddedi, Richard Nash, Melanie Dunea and Kevin Young, at the Feb. 27 Poets House fundraiser.


venue. RSVP to this free 21+ event is encouraged, via penparentis.org/calendar.



Fifteen is pretty much the high water mark of sassy and sullen, when it comes to the rough seas of parenting. When it comes to Pen Parentis, however, it’s been smooth sailing for season #15, whose March installment looks at love in all of its intense permutations by booking guests known for writing about matters of the heart (and other body parts). Internationally bestselling romance novelist and erotica writer Jennifer Probst, edgy literary novelist Marcy Dermansky, and poet, fictionist and essayist John Reed will be joined by Pen Parentis’ M. M. De Voe and Christina Chiu for a panel discussion directly following the schmooze session and some readings. In keeping with the Pen Parentis aesthetic, all of the abovementioned have made their mark on the literary world while raising children, and are appearing as a means to inspire other writers living with the challenge of writing one for the ages while dealing with those still navigating their formative years. Bonus activity: At face-

Under the leadership of conductor Barbara Yahr and chorus master Robert Long, the Greenwich Village Orchestra plays Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Soprano Rachel Rosales, mezzo-soprano Jan Wilson, tenor John Tiranno, and baritone Peter Stewart are the soloists, with a guest appearance from the Brooklyn Conservatory Chorale. A reception follows the concert, with a silent auction whose proceeds benefit the Orchestra. Sun., March 19, 3–5 pm at Washington Irving Auditorium (40 Irving Place, at 17th St.). Suggested donation: $20 ($10 for students/seniors). Visit gvo.org or call 212-932-0732.


L to R: Co-hosts M. M. De Voe and Christina Chiu welcome you to the March 14 Pen Parentis Literar y Salon, whose theme is “A spects of Love.”

book.com/groups/280475532369981, join the Pen Parentis Book club. This month’s pick is March panelist Dermansky’s “The Red Car.” The “Aspects of Love” Literary Salon is Tues., March 14, 7–9:30pm, at Andaz Wall Street (75 Wall St., at Water St., second floor; enter through hotel lobby). Light refreshments and wine provided by the

POETS HOUSE EVENTS Although it offers a wide-ranging roster of programming — including social justice initiatives like their Poetic Voices of the Muslim World series — the spine binding Poets House to its public has always been their ever-expanding library, currently stocked with 60,0000 volumes.

If that amount impresses, so too did the sheer number of arts-loving practitioners and patrons who attended Feb. 27’s “cosmic alignment of food, wine, conversation, and poetry” — a none-too-shabby way of saying they had a fundraiser, whose proceeds will keep talks and readings for adults and children at Poets House free or low-cost. Case in point, upcoming offerings include the free Wed., March 22 opening event for “Poetry Since 1912: Books, Issues, & Ephemera from the Poetry Foundation.” At 6pm, Katherine Litwin and Fred Sasaki of the Poetry Foundation guide you on a walking tour of the exhibit, followed by a 7pm talk by Poetry Magazine editor Don Share. On Tues., March 28 at 7pm, “Huddled Masses” is a ticketed event ($10, $7 for students/seniors) that’s a part of the Poetry Coalition’s “Because We Come from Everything: Poetry & Migration” initiative. Award-winning poet and critic Alicia Ostriker will link poetry and America’s “origins as a nation of immigrants and as a beacon of equality, intended to be open and welcoming to all.” Poets House is located at 10 River Terrace (at Murray St.) in Battery Park City. Hours: Tues.–Fri., 11am–7pm and Sat., 11am–6pm. Call 212-431-7920 or visit poetshouse.org.

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

Your Name On My Lips “Sam, a self-taught painter, struggles to get into an art institute; while fighting to hold onto the love of his life, as the materialistic world tugs at her.” Thurs. - Sat. 8:00 PM Sun 3:00 PM Wed. 3/15 8:00 PM Sat. 3/18 3:00 PM TheVillager.com

Ghostlight Now & Then “A time-fluid play that is both historic and contemporary. New Yorkers Becky and Mandy are not immune to the homophobia that has threatened their marriage. Inspired by “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Wizard of Oz,” they search for a pathway back home.

Thurs. - Sat. 8:00 PM Sun 3:00 PM

Imagine “Watch a series of scenes in which Beatles songs come to life, not with music, but as stories, scenes and situations. A cast of 15 actors takes the stage in this performance for anyone who likes the Beatles or simply likes to have a good time.” Thurs. - Sat. 8:00 PM Sat. and Sun. 3:00 PM March 9, 2017


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March 9, 2017


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March 9, 2017


Still not seeing eye to eye on idea of ‘sanctuary’ N.Y.U. continued from p. 8

dent Hamilton hesitant to accept the title ‘sanctuary campus.’ ” Karimi indicated that N.Y.U. is likely fearful of not only having to protect Muslim students, but also undocumented ones — those covered by DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans). The refusal to embrace the “sanctuary campus” term, Karimi said, “tells me that the administration is not interested in accepting that level of support. They don’t want to be responsible.” As for the travel ban, in general, she said, “There is a collective fear within the Iranian community about where this is going.” She noted that many L.G.B.T. Iranians have fled to Turkey in hopes of then traveling on to the U.S. They can’t work or buy property in Turkey, she said, so Trump’s order has left them stranded in limbo.

N.Y.U. advisory After Trump’s fi rst executive order, N.Y.U. President Hamilton sent out an e-mail to students from the affected countries advising them to hold off on foreign travel, and directing them to resources for assistance. He also reportedly included students from Pakistan, since things were in flux and who really knew what Trump would do next? N.Y.U. declined to disclose how many students received that e-mail from Hamilton. He issued a new advisory this week after the revised travel ban was released. However, after the courts blocked the fi rst travel ban, Karimi said some foreign students from the affected countries decided to travel during that window of opportunity, not knowing when it might close again. Nick Mirzoef, a professor of media, culture and communication, said atrisk students had also been advised not to travel domestically. “In effect,” he said, “students are stranded in New York, making it impossible for them to do research, attend conferences, let alone visit family or return home. This is a form of house arrest in all but name.” N.Y.U. denied it had warned students about traveling domestically. In addition, after the November presidential election, the N.Y.U. School of Law’s Immigrant Rights Clinic launched a new program, the N.Y.U. Immigrant Defense Initiative, whose mission is to “ensure free, confidential advice and representation to N.Y.U. staff and faculty at risk of deportation.” Asked about the travel ban after the chaos at the airports on Jan. 28, Alina


March 9, 2017

N.Y.U. students and faculty rallying in suppor t a sanctuar y campus say the universit y is ducking the issue.

Das, a co-coordinator of the clinic, said, “The Muslim ban is unconstitutional and inhumane policy that is having a deep effect on communities that have long been a part of the U.S., and we are very proud to stand behind students and put an end to these policies.” Paula Chakravartty, an N.Y.U. associate professor of media, culture and communication, is part of a group actively pressuring the university to do more to protect threatened students.

Speaking after the fi rst travel ban was issued, Zachary Lockman, an N.Y.U. professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies and of history, said it was causing havoc. “Things are very much up in the air,” he said. “There are a number of applicants [from students hoping to attend N.Y.U.] from Iran. If they can’t get a visa… . There’s a lot of anxiety among the students.”

Sanctuary push

Lockman pointed out the ironies of Trump’s order. “The U.S. has been the biggest outside influence in the Middle East since World War II,” he noted. “In Iraq, we destabilized the whole region and contributed to the civil war in Syria. We played a role in this whole catastrophe. And now to turn around and turn our back on people... .” By contrast, he added, “We destroyed Vietnam and let huge numbers of Vietnamese in. Admittedly, there wasn’t terrorism then. This is slamming the door in the face of people whose lives we have messed up.” He also derided as “arbitrary” the countries on Trump’s ban list. For example, Saudi Arabia — of which 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were citizens — notably was left off of it. “Every administration since 1945 has been very supportive to Saudi Arabia,” Lockman noted. “We sell

“We have an active faculty, student and staff coalition called the Sanctuary Working Group that has been working with affected students and pushing the university to change its position and declare itself a Sanctuary Campus,” Chakravartty said. “Affected students are now in a state of limbo, given the turn of events. Students are worried about everything from funding and housing to status of their studies. “I think the point here,” Chakravartty said, “really is why N.Y.U. is so determined to not sign on to sanctuary status, if, in fact, it claims to be doing ‘everything but.’ “The declaration of sanctuary campus is an expansive gesture and a proactive response — as opposed to responding to crises and executive orders as they emerge.”

Order’s ironies

them arms and buy their oil. Their values are at odds with our country.” In general, he said, “The U.S. has propped up very nasty regimes for a long time.” In Lockman’s view, the ulterior motive of Trump’s travel ban is pretty clear. “I don’t think it has much to do with national security,” he said. “It’s sending a message to his base — it’s whipping up fears and pulling up the drawbridge.” According to Chakravartty and other faculty and students calling for N.Y.U. to offer more protection, dozens of U.S. universities — more than 60, in fact, including Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers and CUNY— have declared themselves sanctuary campuses. N.Y.U., for its part, denies that Columbia, for one, and others of the schools cited are, in fact, sanctuary campuses.

Defining the term Specifically, a university being a sanctuary campus reportedly includes, to the fullest possible extent under the law, not voluntarily sharing information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement a.k.a. ICE, Customs and Border Protection or other federal agencies; not allowing

N.Y.U. continued on p. 23 TheVillager.com


March 9, 2017



March 9, 2017


N.Y.U. says what it will do; Activists want more N.Y.U. continued from p. 20

ICE and other federal agents access to university buildings and property; instructing campus security to refuse to participate in actions by ICE and C.B.P. involving immigration enforcement, and prohibiting campus security from inquiring about or recording anything about students’ immigration status; and “distancing the university’s investments from anti-immigrant measures” by divesting from companies or funds that stand to profit from these measures, such as private prisons. Asked for comment on Trump’s revised travel ban, N.Y.U. spokesperson John Beckman sent the following statement: “Notwithstanding the recent changes to the executive order, the news about the federal government’s plans on immigrants is confounding and confusing. It has frightened many immigrants in the N.Y.U. community, and made all the rest of us concerned for their welfare. “We are committed to doing everything we can within the law to protect our community members. N.Y.U. has announced a number of steps to protect at-risk immigrants in our community: Public Safety officers won’t ask about a student’s immigration status, and won’t share information with law enforcement; we will vigorously defend our students’ privacy rights; we will maintain scholarships for non-U.S. citizens, regardless of changes in immigration policy, and we will not share information about our students’ immigration status with federal officials, other than in the face of a lawful subpoena or similar order. There has also been a special Immi-

the N.Y.U. Law School to help those at risk. “N.Y.U. has not declared itself a sanctuary campus for the same reasons other major universities — Harvard, the University of California, Columbia, Princeton, the University of Chicago, Cornell, to name a few — have not: The term has no clear legal meaning; doing so would confer no greater protection on our community members; and doing so may do harm, because it may provide a degree of reassurance to our at-risk community members that the university cannot uphold. “The bottom line is this: We are committed to doing everything we can within the law to protect our community members. We should not let an issue of terminology overshadow substance, or divide us at a time when we need to be united.” Following Trump’s fi rst travel ban, David Van Zandt, president of The New School, Greenwich Village’s other major university, issued a statement, hearkening back to the university’s roots. Apparently, no New School students were detained during the initial travel ban. “The New School’s extensive international community is among our greatest strengths,” Van Zandt said in the statement. “A variety of cultural, political, ethnic, racial and religious perspectives — and diversity in all its forms — adds immeasurably to the level of our scholarship, creativity and ability to engage effectively with complex global issues. Further, in 1933, The New School founded the University in Exile, a safe haven for international scholars who were facing persecution in fascist Europe. That courageous and bold stance not


grants Defense Initiative launched After last week’s rally at N.Y.U. at for a sanctuar y campus. TheVillager.com

only had a profound influence on U.S. scholarship, it also galvanized the core values that continue to defi ne our university today.

‘Threatens mission’ “The executive order issued by President Trump threatens this educational mission,” Van Zandt said. “The open exchange of ideas — across disciplines, geographic borders and political boundaries — is vital to the continued growth of scholarship and creativity worldwide. We will do ev-

erything within our power to support them.” On Nov. 29, The New School’s board of trustees passed a resolution underscoring the university’s “commitment to creating a safe environment” for its students to pursue their studies, and reaffi rming its identity as an inclusive community that stands for social justice. “We will continue to act consistently with that resolution,” Van Zandt pledged. “We are also working with other colleges and universities to share information and discuss strategies to demonstrate our collective strength.”

Letters to The Editor LETTERS continued from p. 12

Change horses To The Editor: Another New York City carriage horse collapsed on Feb. 21, but it did not come to the attention of the public until almost one week later. Carriage drivers are not required to report accidents. The horse’s owner claims that Max, the horse, was wearing new shoes and tripped — but eyewitnesses said the horse was breathing heavily before he collapsed. An industry vet examined Max, but too much time has passed to do an independent investigation. Horses do not trip on pavement “all the time,” as claimed by the owner. And even if this were true, then this is more reason not to have horses working the pavement of New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio made a campaign promise to end the inhumane horse carriage trade but allowed himself to be overpowered and bullied by the Teamsters and other unions who sought to align themselves with this failing business to show the nation that unions were still viable. They threatened to withdraw support from the mayor and it worked. Now we cannot even get the administration to enforce the street laws governing this business. The term “fake news” had its beginnings with the local media about this business — talking outright lies about good union jobs, extensive oversight of city agencies, the bogus desire for the stable land; the minuscule number of horses who have died in the business; first-class stalls and stables; highly exaggerated financial contribution to the economy; safety a nonissue. The fake news worked. If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it as truth. As it stands now, the administration is not transparent on this issue and will not even deal with those of us who criticize them. Sound familiar to what is happening in Washington, D.C.?

Our recourse? Vote! Make your voice heard in November. Elizabeth Forel Forel is president, Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages

Keller’s gay heyday To The Editor: Re “Barrow neighbors fear ‘Nightmare on Jane II’ in Keller Hotel project” (news article, Feb. 23): The article left out an important part of the building’s history in the L.G.B.T. rights movement: Its ground floor housed the long-running Keller’s bar, which was probably one of the first gay bars ever to cater to African-American gay men — and their admirers. This was following its previous incarnations as a sailor/hustler/gay bar in the ’50s, then a leather bar in the late ’60s and ’70s. I believe it closed around 1998. Jacob R. Clark

Ommm-men for A.B. To The Editor: Your newspaper is awesome! Love your Angry Buddhist column! Very sardonic! Many well-written articles! Great stuff! Bryan Gerard Briggs

E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to news@thevillager. com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 MetroTech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published. March 9, 2017



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


March 9, 2017

phone conversations. The use of a hands-free device does not lower distraction levels. The percentage of vehicle crashes and nearcrashes attributed to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening.

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

haps they’re checking out a house in a new neighborhood or thought they saw someone they knew on the street corner. It can be easy to veer into the direction your eyes are focused, causing an accident. In addition to trying to stay focused on the road, some drivers prefer the help of lane departure warning systems.

Eating Those who haven’t quite mastered walking and

chewing gum at the same time may want to avoid eating while driving. The majority of foods require a person’s hands to be taken off of the wheel and their eyes to be diverted from the road. Reaching in the back seat to share some French fries with the kids is also distracting. Try to eat meals before getting in the car. For those who must snack while en route, take a moment to pull over at

a rest area and spend 10 minutes snacking there before resuming the trip.

Reading 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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March 9, 2017

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March 9, 2017