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The Paper per of o f Record R ec eco orr d for ffo o r Greenwich or G r eenw Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, So S o ho h o , Un U n iio o n Sq S q ua u re, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933

September 27, 2018 • $1.00 Volume 88 • Number 38

Lead is widespread in private buildings, too: Tenants, activists BY SYDNEY PEREIR A

T

he City Council is gearing up for a lead hearing this Thursday amid the ongoing crisis in New York City Housing Authority buildings, where more than 1,100 children have been poisoned with lead since 2012, according to the Daily News. But while

the city has been slammed for allowing lead poisoning in public housing, tenants and advocates are demanding that the city crack down on lead violations in private buildings, as well. “The issue of lead contamination from construction dust LEAD continued on p. 6

Sarah Carroll, new Landmarks chief, aims for a ‘balance’ BY SYDNEY PEREIR A

S

arah Carroll, the former executive director of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, was O.K.’d by the City Council as the agency’s new chairperson on Wednesday. Carroll, a 24-year veteran of the agency who spent much

of her time in its preservation department, will replace former Chairperson Meenakshi Srinivasan, who spent four years helming the commission and announced her resignation in late April. After resounding support from preservationists, arCARROLL continued on p. 12

PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY

Mikhail Bar yshnikov saluted fellow dance great Merce Cunningham at a plaque dedication for Cunningham at Westbeth last Thursday. See Page 3.

Landliners outraged over Verizon outages BY WINNIE MCCROY

O

n Mon., Sept. 17, about 50 Verizon customers from various parts of Manhattan gathered in the basement of Our Lady of Pompeii Church, on Bleecker St., for a town hall to address continuing outages of landline phone service by the

Shared shekere’s rhythms.....p. 10

provider. Service has been affected by manhole explosions, such as the June fire at W. 15th St. and Ninth Ave., as well as inclement weather, construction mistakes and cascading outages in other parts of the city. “I’m here today to be accountable for the customer service you’ve been experi-

encing, but I also want to educate you about our plan,” said Joseph Beasley, Verizon region president of New York City service delivery and field operations. “I don’t like meeting you under these conditions, but we are here to take action.” VERIZON continued on p. 8

‘Elex and the City’: What’s Cyn’s next move?......p. 5 East Siders trash Sanitation parking ‘plan’...... p. 16 www.TheVillager.com


GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS: The Small Business Jobs Survival Act will finally have its day — the question is, will it be “rigged”? The City Council’s Small Business Committee will hold a hearing on the long-stymied bill at City Hall on Mon., Oct. 22, at 1 p.m. Steven Barrison, of the Small Business Congress, said what advocates are hoping for is “an honest, open hearing with the goal of finding a solution to save our small businesses, not a sham and charade hearing orchestrated by REBNY to set up the opportunity after the hearing to water down the bill to take away all the rights of small business owners.” REBNY, of course, is the Real Estate Board of New York, a staunch foe of the bill, though its opposition has mainly been exerted in the background. The Small Business Congress is stressing that the “litmus test” for what kind of hearing to expect is whether all the

“Climbing ever y mountain”...but not running for Community Board 2 chairperson...yet. Erik Coler is putting his aspirations of leading C.B. 2 on ice, for now.

LOOK FOR OUR CIRCULAR IN TODAY’S PAPER!

“legal claims” against the bill — by REBNY and others — are resolved beforehand. So far, the word coming out of Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s office, however, is that this is not something that is normally done, and won’t be done in this case. Under this line of thinking, the S.B.J.S.A.’s legality would ultimately be determined in the courts — assuming the Council approves the bill, after which, as everyone assumes, REBNY would immediately sue. Veteran civil-rights lawyer Norman Siegel told us his experience is that, at least at the state level, a clarifying “memo” is sometimes issued before certain contentious pending legislation. “It makes sense to do it before the hearing,” he said. “It makes no sense to have a hearing if there is an issue with home rule and/or it’s unconstitutional. Why have people waste their time coming to the hearing and have city councilmembers waste their time? It’s a crucial piece of legislation. It’s time has come.” Siegel said, even if issuing this sort of legal opinion is not something the Council usually does, it should do it now. “I think there are more empty stores around the city than ever before,” he lamented. But Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, said it’s not his experience that the Council’s Legal Department issues an opinion on pending Council legislation. “I’m not aware of a time it was done,” he said, though adding, “I can’t definitely say it’s never been done.” Prior to his time at G.V.S.H.P., Berman was chief of staff to Tom Duane when he was a city councilmember. As Berman put it, “I have been, in one way or another, working with the City Council for 25 years.”

Community Board 2 chairperson in November. Erik Coler, for one, says he is not interested in running for the board’s top seat — at least not yet. It turns out he was hiking up the icy slopes of Mt. Baker, in Washington (elevation 10,781 feet), last week and didn’t have a cell connection when we e-mailed him to ask about it. “It’s not as tall as Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,341 feet), but it’s my first glacier, my first experience with climbing on ice,” Coler told us this week. “Had to turn around because the weather was too much. We actually got stuck on the mountain for 21 straight hours in my tent because of the snow, rain and hard winds. … As far as the race goes, I will not be running this year for community board chairperson.” Coler said he thought Dan Miller, if he chose to run, would do a great job as chairperson. But Miller told us he is starting up a new technology and software services business and just doesn’t feel he would be able to give enough attention to leading C.B. 2. “I can always run in a couple of years,” he noted. Meanwhile, one name we are now hearing as a possible contender is Carter Booth, longtime chairperson of one of the board’s two Liquor Licensing Committees. “I think Carter’s going to make an excellent chairperson,” Miller told us. “He attends many committee meetings other than his own. If he’s running the S.L.A. Committee, that’s good experience running the board. Oh, my God, he’s writing 25-page reports each month.” Cormac Flynn, who co-chairs both Liquor Licensing Committees, reportedly also is interested in running for chairperson, but in the view of one board member, “he just doesn’t have the bandwidth to do it.”

BOYS CLUB RALLY: The date for a rally by local politicians and community members to ask the Boys Club to hold off on selling its Harriman Clubhouse, on E. 10th St. and Avenue A, has been changed. It will now be held on Sat., Sept. 29, at noon, not Fri., Sept. 28. Politicians are asking the Boys Club to present statistics on the building’s use to justify whether it should be sold.

ST. JOHN’S PROJECT: The massive St. John’s Partners project at 550 Washington St. has undergone some significant changes. Basically, the southern part of the project — south of Houston St. — will not be done under the previously approved plan, but will now be done under the “as of right” zoning. That basically means, the southern part of the project will apparently be commercial offices, and definitely not residential. We’re told this is because “the luxury housing market is drying up.” More to the point, the only affordable housing that will remain in the entire project will be the senior affordable units that were slated for the section north of Houston St. “On the plus side, the building south of Houston St. will be lower,” a source tells us. “The project still will open up Houston St., we still got funding for Pier 40 and we still got the landmarking of the South Village.” The developer’s representatives will explain the situation at the C.B. 2 550 Washington St. Working Group meeting, chaired by Tobi Bergman, on Mon., Oct. 1, at the Fire Museum, 278 Spring St., third floor, starting at 6:30 p.m.

QB AT THE L.E.S.G.C.: Meanwhile, over on Avenue D, the Lower Eastside Girls Club got a surprise visit last Saturday from former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The audience at the club’s third annual Nike Backpack Giveaway had no idea Kaepernick was the event’s speaker and gave him huge applause, the New York Post’s Page Six reported. Wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “I Know My Rights,” he explained to club members and actress Rosario Dawson that he started kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to draw attention to the Black Lives Matter movement.

VISIT PCRICHARD.COM FOR A STORE NEAREST YOU 2

September 27, 2018

Coler puts run on ice: We’re now hearing some different names being tossed out there for candidates for

TheVillager.com


Merce Cunningham honored with Westbeth plaque

D

ance and arts luminaries gathered at Westbeth Artists’ Housing at noon on Thurs., Sept. 20, to unveil a plaque in the memory of the great choreographer Merce Cunningham. Among the dignitaries at the ceremony, at 55 Bethune St., were legendary dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov; Joan Davidson, president emeritus of the J.M. Kaplan Fund; Carolyn Brown, a dancer and founding member of Merce Cunningham Dance Company; and the author and artist Richard Kostelanetz. Cunningham, who died at age 90 in 2009, was an original tenant of the famed West Village affordable artists’ housing complex. His studio was located on Westbeth’s 11th floor for four decades. The Historic Landmarks Preservation Center’s Cultural Medallions program affi xes enamel plaques to the exterior of buildings throughout New York City to commemorate an individual who has made a significant contribution to the city’s rich and diverse heritage. Pat Jones, chairperson and interim executive director of the Westbeth board of directors, told the crowd, “Westbeth is honored to be a part of the Merce Cunningham legacy. As one of New York’s only affordable live-work spaces for artists and arts nonprofits, we pride ourselves on providing space for creative individuals to flourish. The presence of the Cunningham Studio at Westbeth for over 40 years is both a testament to this vision and the scope of Merce Cunningham’s immense impact on New York and the dance world.” PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY

Lincoln Anderson

Dancer Mikhail Bar yshnikov speaking at the Merce Cunningham plaque dedication.

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TheVillager.com

September 27, 2018

3


Resto burglary

POLICE B L O T T E R

There was a break-in and robbery at the Czech restaurant Doman Na Rohu, at 27½ Morton St., on the morning of Thurs., Sept. 20, when the store was vacant, police said. It was reported that an unknown person entered the restaurant by breaking the lower portion of the front door and then taking a business credit card. The restaurant confirmed with the credit card company that several charges were made on the card on Sept. 20, all between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. These included $217.74 and $44.39 at a Target; $32.27 and $2.27 at a Duane Reade; and $31.55 at a Walgreens. CCTV was available at the restaurant, and the next day, Mamon Abdullah, 34, was arrested for felony burglary.

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September 27, 2018

St. Mark’s swipe COURTESY N.Y.P.D.

A sur veillance camera image of the alleged bike-riding suspect in a mugging on Washington Place.

Jewelry heist A team of robbers hit the Lucky Diamond Corp., at 80 Bowery, on Tues., Sept. 18, at 2:15 p.m., and made off with 123 pieces of jewelry worth $100,000, police said. One of the robbers displayed a gun while the second jumped over the place’s counter and grabbed the jewelry, stuffing it inside a bag. One of the robbers wore a white hardhat. The gunman fired one round through the store’s front glass door, apparently after the employees didn’t open it. The second man then kicked the glass down and they both ran out of the store. The pair fled in a light-colored four-door BMW sedan southbound on Bowery and then went over the Manhattan Bridge toward Brooklyn. Two other men — one wearing a yellow hardhat and the other holding an umbrella — acted as lookouts on the outside of the store during the robbery. One fled on foot southbound on Bowery, and the other fled in a dark-colored four-door Nissan Maxima sedan northbound on Bowery. The four suspects were described as black males. 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.

Mobile mugger Police said that on Sat., Sept. 8, around 3:28 a.m., in front of 18 Washington Place, a man on a bike followed a 22-year-old woman and grabbed her purse from behind. The victim struggled with the individual as he removed her purse and fled westbound on Washington Place.

The purse contained a wallet with credit cards, $200, a cell phone worth $800 and personal property worth $350. E.M.S. medics responded and transported the victim to an area hospital in stable condition. The mugger is described as black, around 40 to 50 years old, with a medium build and bald. He was last seen wearing dark-colored clothing. Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers.

A man entered a restaurant at 119 St. Mark’s Place on Wed., Sept. 5, at 11 a.m., and stole a laptop computer worth $300, police said.

Fancy footwork Inside the DSW shoe store at 40 E. 14th St., there was an attempted shoplifting around 2 p.m. on Thurs., Sept. 20, police said. According to the store, a man removed his sneakers inside the place, put on a new pair of Pumas valued at $69, and then strolled out. The incident was reported by a store employee, and Omar Jackson, 39, was arrested that day for misdemeanor petit larceny. The sneakers were recovered.

Wheels of justice On Mon., Sept. 17, at 2:30 p.m., at the corner of MacDougal and W. Third Sts., a man spotted another guy with his stolen bike, according to police. The bike’s owner had already reported the theft to the First Precinct, according to police. The bikeless man, 36, approached and an argument ensued over the bicycle. The accused thief then swung a metal bike chain at the man, hitting him in the lower left leg. The victim refused medical attention. The same day, Michael Gonzales, 55, was arrested for felony assault. The Trek bicycle, valued at $400, was recovered.

Christopher fight In front of the Fat Cat bar and nightclub at 75 Christopher St., an argument broke out between two people around 1:30 a.m. on Sun., Sept. 23, police said. A young man who was friends with one of the people in the dispute then punched the other person, a 36-year-old man, causing swelling and substantial pain to the right side of the victim’s face. The attacker fled on foot and was followed by the victim as he called 911. The victim flagged down a police car in front of 210 W. 10th St. He refused medical attention by E.M.S. Cyrus Byrd, 21, was arrested that day for misdemeanor assault.

Pet shop perp Police said that on Sun., Sept. 16, at 7:20 p.m., a man entered the Zoomies Pet Shop, at 434 Hudson St., forcing his way in through a rear window. Once inside, he removed about $1,000 and credit cards, before fleeing.

Chase bandit A robber struck at the Chase bank at 305 Bowery, near E. First St., on Thurs., Sept. 20, at 1:50 p.m., police said. Approaching the teller, the robber passed a note demanding money. The teller complied and gave him an undetermined amount of cash, and the suspect fled. The suspect is described as white, age 35 to 40, 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 175 pounds, last seen wearing a brown or tan baseball cap, black sunglasses, a black hooded jacket and carrying a brown paper bag. Police said the same guy struck again on Mon., Sept. 24, around 9 a.m., at a Chase bank at 240B Greenwich St., near Murray St., making off with $5,700. This time he wore a long blond wig, police said.

Gabe Herman and Lincoln Anderson TheVillager.com


Glick awaiting Nixon decision on election BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

DANCE AND FITNESS

W

hat’s next for Cynthia Nixon? It’s been two weeks since Nixon lost the Democratic primary election to Andrew Cuomo, but it’s still not clear whether she’ll remain on the ballot against him for the general election. In short, Nixon holds the Working Families Party ballot line for governor on Nov. 6. If she decides not to run against Cuomo again, there are only four ways she can get off the ballot for that race: by moving out of the state, committing a felony, dying or running for another office. Clearing the way for the last option, Doug Seidman, who was the Working Families Party’s so-called “placeholder” candidate for the 66th Assembly District, has been removed from that ballot line and has been nominated for a Supreme Court justice seat in the Second District. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on Nixon and the W.F.P. to make a decision. Ballots reportedly need to be finalized at least 30 days prior to the election in order to be printed and send to voters oversees and military personnel. Naturally, Deborah Glick, who has represented the Village’s 66th District for nearly 28 years, is watching Nixon’s decision with interest. “All of your questions should be directed to the Working Families Party,” Glick said. “I don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t know what they’re doing. The reports in the press are all over the place.” A call to Bill Lipton, W.F.P. political director, was not returned by press time. “I’m not going to wait until Nov. 1 to put out a mailer,” Glick said. “One would think they have to make a decision soon.” Asked how hard she intends to campaign, given the ambiguity of the situation, the assemblymember said, “I have not made a decision about what I’m doing, and won’t until I hear a bit more about what their plans are.” Glick did not endorse in the CuomoNixon primary, though she backed Kathy Hochul for lieutenant governor and Letitia James for state attorney general. Her home political club, the Village Independent Democrats, endorsed Nixon. Village District Leader Arthur Schwartz was Nixon’s campaign counsel. He said that, for him, the big eyeopener from the primary election was

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C ynthia Nixon speaking at the statewide candidates forum at Greeniwch Village’s P.S. 41 in May.

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how well Jumaane Williams did against Hochul, losing by only a few percentage points. Meanwhile, Nixon got about 34 percent of the vote to 66 percent for Cuomo — almost the same as Zephyr Teachout got against Cuomo four years earlier. “I think the most important number was Jumaane getting 47 percent,” Schwartz said. “Zephyr got 35, Bernie got 42 [in the New York primary versus Hillary Clinton]. “I think that’s more reflective of where the progressives are,” Schwartz said, “when they make an alliance with black and Caribbean voters. Zephyr and Bernie got very little from that community.” Williams’s parents are from Grenada. Hispanics weren’t necessarily a key part of Williams’s base, though, Schwartz said, noting, “Jumaane lost in the Bronx.” “My personal takeaway is draft Jumaane for public advocate,” Schwartz said. “A lot of people are excited.” As for why Nixon didn’t do better in the primary, Schwartz acknowledged that experience was definitely a factor for many voters. The famous “Sex and the City” actress had never before run for elected office.

Write a letter to the editor news@thevillager.com TheVillager.com

September 27, 2018

5


Private buildings have lot of lead problems, too LEAD continued from p. 1

is one that is particularly affecting gentrifying neighborhoods and people of color,” Jodie Leidecker, an organizer at the Cooper Square Committee, said at City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s Manhattan town hall in East Harlem on Mon., Sept. 17. “These folks are facing intense displacement pressure and are also subject to toxic environments in their own buildings when they decide to fight and stay in their homes.” Leidecker added that “aggressive landlords” are well aware of this threat and ignore safe work practices as a part of an effort to push out rent-regulated tenants. The practice, which tenantsrights groups frequently allege is “construction as harassment,” has often left tenants frantically calling 311 in hopes of getting their buildings tested for lead exposure. When Samy Mahfar, of SMA Equities, known as one of the Lower East Side’s bad-acting landlords, bought 210 Rivington St. in 2013, apartments that became vacant were gut-renovated, leading to a buildup of construction dust in the place’s hallways. When the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene conducted tests there, they found lead exposure nearly nine times higher than the federal threshold of 40 micrograms per square foot in some parts of the building’s hallways twice in 2014, according to lead reports. “We were already feeling overwhelmed and without protection from the city,” Seth Wandersman, a tenant in the building, said of the gut renovations of apartments there. “Before that, I was not political at all, and this kind of mobilized me.” The Soudry family of Better Living Properties has since purchased the building previously owned by SMA Equities. An existing city law — Local Law 1 of 2004 — is supposed to prevent lead exposure like that at Wandersman’s building from happening by means of various protective measures, such as use of plastic coverings and frequent cleanup. But advocates say the 2004 law is hardly enforced. “With respect to Local Law 1, the issue has to be some enforcement,” Matthew Chachere, a staff attorney for Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, told Stringer at last week’s town hall. “Plain and simple, if no one gets nailed for not doing this, no one will obey it.” The East Village-based Cooper

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September 27, 2018

PHOTOS COURTESY HOLLY SLAYTON

Holly Slay ton and her daughter in a hallway of their E. 12th St. building, where lead readings have measured above the legal limit.

According to Holly Slay ton, workers sometimes did mop up the toxic dust, but then reused the same contaminated water on the floors, keeping the lead dust circulating in the building’s environment.

Square Committee and tenants associations have formed a coalition, Lead Dust Free NYC, to combat the problem, spurred by the City Council’s upcoming hearing on Thurs., Sept. 27, on nearly two-dozen pieces of legislation and the ongoing crisis in NYCHA housing. “The de Blasio administration needs to do more to protect tenants from lead during renovations,” Brandon Kielbasa, Cooper Square Committee’s organizing director, said in a statement last Wednesday. “Landlords should be held accountable when they don’t preregister before major renovations, as the law clearly requires. We are seeing extremely high levels of contamination through construction dust. The laws that are currently in place, but not enforced, could do a lot to combat this problem.” The agencies to focus on, Chachere said, are the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Department of Health and Department of Buildings. “You could end this if you just sat down with these agencies,” Chachere said. New legislation slated for the City Council’s hearing this week focuses on coordination between agencies, among other lead issues. One proposed law, sponsored by Lower Manhattan City Councilmember Margaret Chin, would require H.P.D. and D.O.H. to alert D.O.B. if a lead paint hazard violation has been found. D.O.B. could then issue a stop-work order in those buildings until the department can ensure that work will be done safely and legally. Lead-exposure in older buildings is a common problem in the city, only worsened by gut renovations by unscrupulous landlords. Tenants in Wandersman’s building and other Mahfar tenants organized, waging legal battles against the landlord. Mahfar is just one of several property owners on the Lower East Side and in the East Village accused of bad practices that ultimately push out rent-regulated tenants. This pattern appears to be exacerbated by a practice called “predatory equity” by the banks and fi nancial institutions that fi nance these building purchases. Last May, Eric Schneiderman, the former New York State attorney general, reached a $225,000 settlement with Mahfar. Some $175,000 of the settlement was for lead remediation in rent-stabiLEAD continued on p. 21 TheVillager.com


Theatre at St. John’s presents

THE LARAMIE PROJECT written by Moisés Kaufman and the members of Tectonic Theater Project A Staged Reading

Twenty years ago, on Oct. 6, 1998, college student, Matthew Shepard was abducted, beaten, and left to die because he was gay. Using the voices of the people of Laramie, Wyoming collected by the Tectonic Theater Project, we tell this story...

October 6 7:00 PM 81 Christopher St.

- in memory of the life that was lost. - to encourage us in the fight before us. - to always remember and learn. - to find hope even in suffering. - to shine light on the truth that all are children of God. A free will offering will be taken to support the ministries of St. John’s that support and give assistance to LGBTQ+ youth and young adults who face homelessness and other challenges.

All events at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 81 Christopher Street

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Landliners lash Verizon VERIZON continued from p. 1

is giving away VIP tickets PRIZE 1 TWO tickets to Taste of the East Village PLUS ONE membership to NY Health & Racquet Club (3 month membership at 62 Cooper Square location) PRIZE 2 TWO tickets to Taste of the East Village PLUS ONE membership to Crunch Gym

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We feature dishes from some of the East Village’s best restaurants and eateries, live music, a DJ, and lots of non-profit organizations. This is the third year of our annual festival, so come celebrate our amazing East Village and Lower East Side community.

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September 27, 2018

Also representing Verizon was Richard Windram, director of state government affairs, along with several others from the company. State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Deborah Glick were on hand, as was a representative of City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, whose district includes the Village and Chelsea. Beasley explained that phone cables in this area are 100 years old and that the copper landline network is in a major decline due to physical reasons. He said that copper wire landlines are couched in a paper that must remain dry, which is covered by a lead sheathing pressurized with air to repel water. When weather or construction mishaps compromise these lines structural integrity — like when a contractor on W. 18th St. drove a pylon straight through the copper mainline — they become unpressurized, water gets in, heats up the copper, and it dissolves the line. To reconnect service, technicians need to access each individual building’s lines — unlike with fiber optics, which can be spliced together at the breaking point. Currently, 2.5 million New York City customers are connected to Fios. Verizon is still attempting to get its remaining 1 million users wired with fiber optics. “The copper network is at the bottom of the infrastructure in New York City,” Beasley said. “And there have been dozens of manhole fires, one significantly that lit everything on fire because of a welding mishap and completely destroyed the network, elements of two manholes and everything in between. The 2,700 customers on fiber-optic networks were almost immediately back up, because it is basically indestructible. But the remaining 500 or so copper-line customers were spread across 1,700 buildings and we had to literally access each individual building to restore it. We still have 25 customers out of service from that June 17 manhole explosion.” But those at the town hall, mostly older residents of Greenwich Village and Chelsea, were mad that the landline they had installed 40 or 50 years ago has of late become unreliable, and furious that they are being forced to continue to pay their bills under threat of collection, and then having to hector Verizon for refunds. “My landline has gone out three times since November 2016. This outage started in March,” said longtime Leroy St. resident Senta Driver. “And they are still sending me bills. They do give me refunds when they restore service, but I’m assuming if I finally give up and switch to another carrier, I won’t get a refund.” Still, Verizon officials said they would continue to restore copper-wire landlines, while replacing them wher-

ever possible with fiber-optic lines. Yet even this process can be complicated, as they explained to one co-op manager who said she’d been trying to switch her building over to Fios for three years. “When it comes to Fios,” Windram said, “it’s not enough to just get permission for your building. It runs through your basements or behind your buildings sequentially, so you need to have every property on your block give us permission to install. If you’re the fifth house on the block, we still need the other four.” Some community members implored local politicians to force holdouts on their blocks to switch to fiber optic. But state Senator Hoylman said government could not force people to let Verizon on their property. Beasley said the average customer was only without service for about 30 hours, and noted that for those on Fios, outages were very short. He also said that when Fios is installed, it comes with an emergency D-cell battery pack that gives the customer 24 hours of call time. Assemblymember Glick told The Villager that Verizon ranked high on her office’s list of constituent complaints, and said she personally had problems with both the lack of skilled technicians on hand to address copper-line problems and the inefficiency of Verizon’s customer service. “Why a tech company doesn’t have the ability for a technician to check other open work orders they could resolve while at a building seems incredibly inefficient, not to mention aggravating,” Glick said. “Even if it takes more than one day, they might be resolving three or four problems. And fiber optic may be the wave of the future, but I also think people are concerned about the cost of bundled services, and maybe they don’t want to put all of their eggs in one basket. Especially when Verizon has had such a poor track record of restoring services, people are nervous about having all their services in the hands of one provider.” When a customer compared Verizon to Spectrum, Windram said it took Spectrum 20 years to install its cable network, while Verizon has only been working on its network for 15 years. They promised the end result would be worth it. “Verizon is here to stay,” Beasley declared. “If poor service feels like we’re walking away from you, it’s not. We want to get you off copper and onto Fios [at the same price]. New York City’s Fios network is the most advanced in the world — more than Singapore or Hong Kong. But building a new network comes with challenges: digging up streets, getting right of access, coming up with agreements on the look it will have in public hallways, building VERIZON continued on p. 15 TheVillager.com


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September 27, 2018

9


Madeleine Yayodele Nelson, African-inspired

OBITUARY BY GABE HERMAN

M

adeleine Yayodele Nelson, a percussionist who fused traditional African influences with African-American music and culture, died Wed., Sept. 5, according to her son Ayodele. A longtime resident of Westbeth Artists Housing, she would have turned 70 on Sept. 16. Nelson founded the musical group Women of the Calabash in 1978. The group would be honored by the National Council for Culture and Art, featured on HBO, and play alongside the likes of the Temptations, Ashford & Simpson and Philip Glass. Nelson played in other groups as well and throughout the world. She performed for several world leaders, including President Barack Obama. Her playing was featured on Paul Simon’s album “The Rhythm of the Saints.” As well as performing, Nelson taught music to thousands of people around the world over the years. And she was a skilled maker of the shekere, an African percussion instrument made by hollowing out a gourd, then wrapping it with beaded netting. A memorial will be held for Nelson on Sun., Sept. 30, at Symphony Space, on Broadway at 95th St., from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event is open to the public, and Madeleine’s son Ayodele said that, so far, he expects about 750 people to attend, based on the huge response he has been getting from people after his mother’s death. He said there will be seven musical performances and that 50 to 60 musicians have requested to attend. For decades, Nelson was involved in a program called Curriculum Arts Project that was run through Symphony Space. Ayodele requested that those attending the memorial wear light, bright colors. “She never wore black,” he said of his mother. He added that he is “essentially organizing her last show” and wants it to be a celebration that reflects her life, because she was always smiling and people were enriched and uplifted just being near her. “I know that she was like a saint. There’s nothing anybody can say that’s bad about her,” Ayodele said. “So I want this to be something that people will remember, because I know they’re going to remember her.” Nelson grew up in Pittsburgh, the second-youngest of six children. Her sister Judith Dilday said Madeleine, simply, was a “wonderful” person. “Everybody loved her,” she said. “She was vibrant, she was happy, she was talented. And she just had a great personality.” With an outpouring of love and sadness from many people after Madeleine’s

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September 27, 2018

PHOTO COURTESY VALERIE GHENT

Madeleine Yayodele Nelson playing a shekere, her signature instrument, at Westbeth.

‘Performance is a constant learning experience.’ Madeleine Yayodele Nelson death, both conveyed directly to the family and on social media, Dilday was asked if she knew the reach of her sister’s effect on people. “I’m sure I don’t know how much of an impact,” she said. “But I know she

has had a tremendous impact on people, especially in New York.” Ayodele said he always had an idea that his mother impacted many people, but didn’t realize just how much. “It was more than I even could imagine,” he said. “And I always knew that she wasn’t just my mother — I had to share her with the world. And now I’m finding out it’s even deeper than I thought.” Ayodele said that since his mother’s death, he has been inundated with phone calls from people from all different walks of life who knew her. He noted that she taught a Sunday shekere class for 41 years, sat on the Council of Elders at Dance Africa, where she also performed since its beginnings in the late 1970s, and taught music at the Fresh Air Fund summer camp. He said he heard there was a memorial for her in Guyana because she would teach there every time she could visit. Nelson had taught at the Fresh Air Fund, which provides free summer camp to low-income New York City children and other year-round programs, for the last seven summers, including this past one, according to Alicia Skovera, the organization’s director of camping and year-round programs. She said Nelson also worked there in year-round programs, through which she positively influenced thousands of lives, including

children and staff. “She was so beloved,” Skovera said. “We have had an outpouring of parents and children reach out to us, just letting us know how upset they are and how much she touched their lives, and staff, too. “What really stands out is that once you’ve met her, that was it,” she said. “She kept up with people, she picked up on energy and could look into your soul, and knew how to make it better and what you needed. And what a wonderful thing to have.” Skovera said the Fresh Air Fund is looking into how to honor Nelson, perhaps by creating a music room in her memory and possibly accepting several of Nelson’s instruments, which Ayodele has offered to the organization. Ayodele said his parents met on the set of the 1974 film “The Education of Sonny Carson,” in which his father was an extra playing drums and his mother was a barber for the film crew. On the set, Nelson saw a man playing a shekere and asked if he could teach her how to play. He said no, but that he would teach her how to make one, and that was her introduction to the instrument. Ayodele said his father, who died about nine years ago, had a company called the Calabash Dancers and Drummers; Madeleine started her own group, Women of the Calabash, because she wanted to separate from the macho male culture that often existed in the music world and for the women to do their own music. “She didn’t want someone telling her what to sing, what to play, what to wear,” Ayodele, 44, told The Villager during an interview while standing near a wall of his mother’s instruments in her Westbeth apartment where he grew up. “She wanted to prove, ‘Not only are we as talented, we can have an impact on the world and inspire women.’ ” Musician Valerie Ghent was a friend and neighbor for decades at the famed affordable artists’ housing complex at 55 Bethune St. She, too, recalled Nelson’s impact on people. “I remember the first time I saw Women of the Calabash at the Westbeth Music Festival — I was spellbound,” she said. “To me, Madeleine was a force for empowerment for all people. “Playing music with Madeleine was a joy! Singing while she was onstage with us, I felt I could do anything,” said Ghent, who played with Madeleine at Joe’s Pub. She recalled her last time with Madeleine, seeing her on Bethune St. where they both played an mbira, an African instrument that Nelson had with her. “With her calm, steady generosity, her unconditional love, every encounter left you uplifted, feeling good,” Ghent said. “I use the present tense here on purpose, because like many people, I feel Madeleine is with us still, and will be in the years to come.” NELSON continued on p. 11 TheVillager.com


musician and a Westbeth resident, dies at 69 NELSON continued from p. 10

Ayodele said his mother actually suffered a heart attack on the Saturday four days before she died, but she didn’t realize this and thought she had the flu. The next day she felt better and was even joking in front of her building. “This is a lady who always had a smile on her face,” Ayodele said. “Even when she was upset, she pushed through everything.” She then went Upstate for a reunion with Women of the Calabash, which was the first time the four women had been together in 10 years. “They spent three days together making music, laughing and joking,” Ayodele said. After returning home on Tuesday, she did a rehearsal, but on Wednesday while walking in Hudson River Park, she collapsed. “She lived her last days the way she lived her whole life, smiling, joking, traveling,” said Ayodele, who is an audio engineer and producer. He credits his sharp ear for pitch and tone with growing up listening to his mother and Women of the Calabash playing in the apartment, and his mother always making corrections when a sound was off. A 2014 interview of Madeleine Nelson by author Terry Stoller is posted on Westbeth’s Web site. In it, she says that,

TheVillager.com

PHOTO BY GABE HERMAN

Some of Madeleine Yayodele Nelson’s shekeres in her Westbeth apar tment.

as much as she gave to others through performing, she also got a lot out of it, too. “For me, performance is a constant learning experience,” Nelson explains

in the interview, “and something that makes me so happy and makes other people happy — which is why I like the stage. I’m a very shy person. “The stage gives me a chance to be

that other Madeleine Yayodele,” she adds. “I get to teach, I get to perform, and I get to make people feel good. It’s win, win, win. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

September 27, 2018

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Allow Me to Introduce Myself

I have been so happy with my decision to open my salon on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. The response has been very overwhelmingly supportive – people stop by to say hello, talk about beauty and about life, take pictures (tourists love this area!) and have gone out of their way to make me feel like part of the community. This has been surprising in the most wonderful of ways. My business is named Lily Lan Chen 84 Salon, and as you might guess I am Chinese . I have encountered racism many times in the past, and was concerned that might be the case here. But this community sees past my ethnicity and sees me for who I am – an artist with a passion for sharing. I am particularly thankful to the LGBT community, which has embraced me with open arms. Thank you for your kindness, for your willingness to help me, and for always making me smile! Even though I am a businesswoman, I am first and foremost an artist. I want to share my insights, my knowledge and my love with the community. I am about purpose before profit. And part of my purpose is to make a meaningful contribution to my community. We have a small salon that feels like a home, and an amazing team of hair stylists who are focused on scalp health and hair regeneration. We not only want to make you look and feel better, we want to contribute to this wonderful community. My team and I will support other business owners in our community - restaurants, coffee shops, shoe store, eye glass store, etc. So please stop by and say hello. With much love and appreciation, Lily

Lily Lan Chen 84 Salon 9 Christoper Street New York, NY 10014 212-242-8484 lilylanchen.com 12

September 27, 2018

Carroll new L.P.C. head CARROLL continued from p. 1

chitects, former L.P.C. Chairpersons Robert Tierney and Sherida Paulsen, and a developer at a Council hearing last Thurs., Sept. 20, her appointment comes as no surprise. Queens Councilmember Karen Koslowitz even told Carroll not to lose sleep over the wait time between committee hearing and the official vote. “I really am happy that someone with your experience at the L.P.C. — someone who started at the ground floor and worked your way up through the years — is being put forward for the position,” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson told Carroll at last week’s hearing. Wednesday’s vote was unanimous. “My experience with Sarah is that she’s been tough but fair,” said Albert Laboz, principal of United American Land, which owns more than 50 buildings in Manhattan. “To my chagrin, she’s not a pushover.” Since 2014, Carroll has been the executive director of the commission, at which she managed agency operations and worked with the chairperson on policy and strategic planning. In touting her successes, she noted she oversaw more than 4,000 designations of various buildings and sites, as well as pushed transparency efforts, including creating a new Web site for the agency and an internal permit-tracking database. “As a native New Yorker, I have a passion for this city,” Carroll told The Villager. “It’s very important to me that we do seek to protect areas and properties that reflect the diversity of this rich city, and having worked at the agency for so long, I’m completely dedicated to its mission and its mandate.” Carroll will lead an agency that has been under fire from preservationists, who have most recently criticized former Chairperson Srinivasan for making decisions some see as developerfriendly. Srinivasan resigned weeks after a contentious public hearing over proposed rule changes to “streamline” the application process, which have since been modified and will be subject of a public hearing on Oct. 16. Srinivasan officially denied that the hearing had anything to do with her resignation, adding that she had planned to leave the post for several months, according to L.P.C. spokesperson Zodet Negrón. Council Speaker Johnson questioned Carroll on an overarching issue the agency faces: balancing the city’s need for development amid a housing crisis with a vacancy rate of 3.6 percent (below the 5 percent threshold considered a housing emergency) and the importance of preserving the city’s architectural and cultural history. Carroll contended that the city’s growth and preservation can often go

PHOTO BY SYDNEY PEREIRA

Sarah Carroll answered questions and spoke about herself at a City Council hearing last Thursday.

hand in hand. “For me, I think that one of the really dynamic things about New York City is that change is constant,” she said. “New York City has always had development. In fact, the Empire State Building replaced the original Waldorf Astoria. “I think the constant change and growth of the city along with preservation goes together to create the sort of dynamic vibrancy of the city,” she added. “Both are equally important and can be balanced together.” Councilmember Margaret Chin asked Carroll to re-evaluate the extension of the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District, noting the neighborhood is “rich with a living history of working families from every corner of the globe.” The district as it stands is completely in the East Village, stretching from E. Second St. to St. Mark’s Place between Avenue A and Third Ave. and bordering the St. Mark’s and Noho Historic Districts. (The East Village formerly used to be known as part of the Lower East Side.) There is currently a push by preservationists to designate a Lower East Side Historic District south of Delancey St. between Essex and Forsyth Sts. Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, is optimistic based on Carroll’s experience and work in preservation. “She clearly has a very strong background in terms of preservation work and is obviously incredibly knowledgeable about the agency and about the work of preservation, which some of her predecessors as chair of the commission were not,” Berman said. “So that is definitely a plus.” For Berman, a priority “right out of the gate” will be the aim to create some kind of historic district along and around Broadway south of Union Square to protect buildings that Berman fears will be at risk of development CARROLL continued on p. 23 TheVillager.com


GRISTEDES SUPERMARKET CEMENTS POSITION AS LOCAL SHOPPING DESTINATION OF CHOICE WITH GRAND RE-OPENING IN GREENWICH VILLAGE Expanded Organic & Locally Grown Produce; Natural Foods; International Cheese; New Cafe Highlight Major Renovations

{New York, NY} – Today, Gristedes’ Supermarkets announced the Grand Re-Opening of their Greenwich Village store, located at 25 University Place. The exciting news continues the company’s goal to be the shopping destination of choice for all New Yorkers.

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John Catsimatidis, Chairman and CEO of Gristedes stated, “We have survived as the largest grocery chain in Manhattan because of our focus on responding to customer demands. Residents of Greenwich Village and the surrounding area now have a renovated store with expanded organic and natural foods, the best international cheeses, and more locally grown produce. We are proud of the vast improvements that have been made and I hope our customers will be also!” In addition to physical improvements to the location and expanding the amount of organic and natural foods, a focus was placed on making the store more spacious so customers can more comfortably shop. The cafe section will allow customers to enjoy the outstanding deli products right on the premises.

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Renee Flores, the Chief Operating Officer of Gristedes said, “The Catsimatidis family and I share a vision where our customers and the communities we serve are our number one priority. We want to be the shopping destination of choice for New Yorkers with a focus on quality groceries; fresh, natural, and organic perishable foods; and outstanding customer service.”

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Gristedes recently enhanced their organic and specialty selections by adding the Best Yet and Greenway private labels to their stores.

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Photos Credit: Jillian Nelson TheVillager.com

September 27, 2018

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ‘Peopleway guinea pigs’

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Call 718-260-2516 or e-mail pbeatrice@cnglocal.com

We cover “The Cube”!

To The Editor: Re “L work already hell, East Side residents tell agency officials” (news article, Sept. 20): Now, in addition to all the flaws we have cited in the city’s plan for the L train shutdown, and despite the sensible alternatives we have promoted, we see that the city is also putting us at risk for grave illness or perhaps even death. Our local politicians say they will “hold them accountable,” but I am not sure what that means, or if anyone has the stomach to do it. It is shocking to hear Byford and Trottenberg claim they will look into the health and safety issues in response to specific complaints. As the “experts” they claim to be, shouldn’t all these dangers have been anticipated and factored into their planning? Doesn’t it give pause that they claim they will first look into it now? They clearly do not know or do not care what they are doing, as they zealously pursue their social agenda to promote Transportation Alternatives’ long-touted 14th St. Peopleway plan at the expense of us all being treated as guinea pigs! It wasn’t until 2016 that former E.P.A. Administrator Christine Todd Whitman admitted they all lied when they told an unsuspecting public that it was safe to go back to their homes around Ground Zero only weeks after 9/11. Has anyone been held accountable for the resulting serious health issues and loss of life? None that I am aware of! The assertion that people exiting subways at Sixth Ave. and 14th St. would need extended sidewalks to make it back to Union Square is just another absurdity. Since when is that a destination spot for hordes of people a day, and who in their right mind would go there if it wasn’t necessary? There are some obvious and safe solutions. First, temporarily relocate vendors off of 14th St. and around the corner onto the avenues. Second, do not expand the sidewalks for an illusory pedestrian demand based on voodoo assumptions. Third, keep four lanes of traffic on 14th St. to allow maximum flexibility for east/west transportation demands; not only for buses but for ambulances, fire trucks, sanitation pickup, deliveries and people needing access to their homes and businesses. Also, cyclists represent a minuscule portion of the commuting public and even less of the electorate. Who among us believes bicycles can replace the work of cars and that our citizenry is able enough to embrace

EVAN FORSCH

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September 27, 2018

them in meaningful numbers? The microscopic minority cannot be allowed to ride roughshod over the vast majority. Simply, 12th and 13th Sts. are too narrow and too congested to accommodate a last-minute homage to Transportation Alternatives by adding bikeways unrelated to the needs of the L train “alternative service plan” for a speculative number of potential users. David R. Marcus Marcus is a member, 14th St. Coalition

Cuomo’s win, in context To The Editor: Governor Andrew Cuomo shouldn’t be proud of his 2018 Democratic Party primary win. Out of 5,621,822 registered active potential Democrats, only 978,138 voted for him, while 512,585 voted for Cynthia Nixon and 4,134,685 who voted for None of the Above by staying home. In reality, when you add up the combined votes of Nixon with those who stayed home by voting for None of the Above, less than 18 percent of registered Democrats supported Cuomo. He had the benefits and perks of eight years being governor, including daily free media coverage. Don’t forget periodic mailings from state agencies and authorities, at taxpayers’ expense, promoting his so-called accomplishments. Virtually every state Democratic Party city, state and federal elected official, district and county leader and local clubhouse, along with most labor unions, endorsed him. This included mailings, phone banks and get-out-the-vote drives. He raised more than $32 million primarily from payto-play and other special-interest groups. Cuomo spent more than $25 million. This included a media buy in the millions. His campaign commercials ran 24/7 on most channels for weeks. His primary opponent Cynthia Nixon raised $2.5 million. Ms. Nixon was vastly outspent and could afford a very limited media buy to get her message out. Larry Penner

LETTERS continued on p. 23

TheVillager.com


Gary Burghoff cements his link with Theatre 80

NOTEBOOK BY LORCAN OT WAY

T

he “Sidewalk of the Stars” at historic Theatre 80, on St. Mark’s Place, will now include another star, and one who is very close to the Theatre 80 family’s heart. Gary Burghoff signed our concrete on the porch of his secluded cabin by a lake in Connecticut. It was both generous of him and typical of the humble, good man who we all recognize clearly in his portrayal of Radar in “M*A*S*H.” He did not want a gathering of folks to compliment him on his career, with film clips and applause, but he liked the idea that his fans could touch his handprints in thanks for the gift of his performances. I remember the days I first met Gary very well. I was 12 and he was 19. He had been cast in “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” before the play was written. It

was to open in the theater my father and I had built. He recalls the audition in the wonderful book he’s written, “Gary Burghoff, To M*A*S*H and Back.” He remembers that a blizzard had knocked out the power in the building; it also might have been that Jules Fisher had designed a lighting grid requiring us to increase our capacity by 300 percent, so we may have had the power off to put in new main lines to the street. Standing onstage with the lights out, freezing, Gary said into the blackness, “Are you sure Sonja Henie started this way?” Sitting in the house was the always impeccably dressed twentysomething producer Arthur Whitelaw. His laugh was the first sign that Gary had gotten the part, which would change his life, and enrich ours. I sat in the back of the house with Dad for the weeks after that and watched as the remarkable team that created that show built “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.” Gary and Riva Rose, Bill and

Landliners lash Verizon VERIZON continued from p. 8

it future-proof to handle storms. If you want to compare copper to fiber optics, look at Lower Manhattan: The manholes there fill up with salt water every day with the tides, and the network has proven almost indestructible.” Although some vowed to never give up their copper landline, most looked forward to getting the reliable fiberoptic network they’d heard so much about. But almost all of those suffering outages were united in one thing: their anger over being billed for a service they didn’t receive, and then having to haggle with customer service reps for a refund. Jeff Franklin angrily demanded that Verizon “either fi x the copper or replace the copper. One or the other; neither is no answer. Get the Fios in to replace these copper lines and get people automatic credit through the billing department.” One woman complained she didn’t even know when her copper landline was out. Beasley said Verizon had no way of knowing, either. Experiencing five outages since March 2, she filed a PCS complaint, and said she got a call from a Verizon regional manager within 48 hours. She also felt she shouldn’t have to call Verizon and “stay on hold for an hour to get my $63 service credit.” Another said that, after paying in advance, she finally canceled service, and found her account in collections due to a $16 fee. TheVillager.com

“I’m no longer a Verizon customer,” she said. “I was for 45 years. My mother was. But ruining my credit over less than $20? I want it taken off.” Beasley promised to take care of this “pretty quickly.” Echoed another woman, “You’re a high-tech company. How are you telling me you’re just getting the ability to figure out how to stop charging people when you know they don’t have service?” Still, Beasley stuck around and took the heat. “It’s not our intent to bill you when you’re out of service,” he assured. “We recently made system upgrades and I know that’s working. I want to be accountable to everyone in here who feels like they’re being screwed. I will make sure no one is paying when they are out of service.” Windram promised that their initial intent was to fi x the copper lines, but admitted it was a short-term fi x. “The long-term plan is to get fiber optics into your home,” he stated. “We designed the network to get rid of these day-to-day issues. It would be irresponsible to build a network that didn’t resolve the issues. In the long run, we think we’ll be better off.” “In the long run, we’ll all be dead,” groused Franklin. “I’ve gone 30 years without a single problem. Now I’ve had five outages in five years.” Nonplussed, one woman sighed and said, “There is just so much difference between what you’re describing, which sounds phenomenally wonderful, and what actually exists.”

PHOTO BY STACIE JOY

From left, Gar y Burghoff, Lorcan and Genie Ot way and Bob Dio at Burghoff’s Connecticut house, when the “M*A*S*H” actor signed a slab of wet concrete and left his handprints in it. The slab was to be added to Theatre 80’s “Sidewalk of Stars” on St. Mark’s Place.

Skip Hinnant, Karen Johnson and Bob Balaban sat on the stage with comic books — flipping through looking for cartoons that they proposed to make up the play. My family watched as members of that cast created wonderful art for so many, beginning with that show which has played around the world. As we recently caught up, Gary recalled how Theatre 80 had a special feeling, beyond the great acoustics and intimate relationship between the actors and audiences. The closeness of the audience was a special part of playing our house for him, though. He recalled looking down into the first rows and seeing Judy Garland, Burt Lancaster, Paul Ford and Richard Rogers. However, a big turn in his life came after seeing Otto Preminger in the audience. It led to his being cast in a film by Otto’s little brother, Ingo, “M*A*S*H.” After he signed the concrete slab, Gary took our whole team out for lunch. The get-together had been arranged by Bob Dio, a friend of Gary’s with whom I am working on the film of my book, “The Girl in the Safe.” Our chief concrete man at 80 St. Mark’s, Con, my wife Genie and the great Lower East Side photographer

Stacie Joy made up the rest of the sidewalk team. During lunch and afterward, Gary talked with us about “M*A*S*H” and his role. Radar was a remarkable role for Gary and for America. He and William Christopher (Father Mulcahy) together provided a foil to the wisecracking leads, a contrast of a gentle humanity to their antiwar message. In today’s deeply divided U.S.A., that humanity and humility is, perhaps, the reason “M*A*S*H” still speaks to so many viewers of all political persuasions. Bob Dio said of the day, “I know Gary Burghoff feels Theatre 80 was and is an extension of his own family because he said it to me. After six years as a struggling actor in New York City, Theatre 80 and the premiere of ‘You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown’ launched him into a wonderful acting career with celebrity status. It’s a wonderful tribute to him that his concrete impression will be forever immortalized on the ‘Walk of Fame’ at Theatre 80.” Our family at Theatre 80 are profoundly happy to be able to bring a bit of Gary back home to St. Mark’s Place, and hope that seeing Gary’s handprints will remind our neighbors of that gentle presence on our stage for years and years to come. September 27, 2018

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E. Siders trash garbage trucks parking ‘plan’ BY SYDNEY PEREIR A

C

ouncilmember Carlina Rivera is outraged after the Department of Sanitation relocated some 21 of its trucks to three East Side residential streets — including two in her district. In a letter to Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia on Monday, Rivera stated, “I am writing to express my disappointment in your decision to park sanitation vehicles along residential side streets in the East Village and Kips Bay neighborhoods of my district. I find the lack of proper notice to residents, small businesses or community boards affected careless.” Rivera demanded that the department “immediately move their vehicles to locations that do not place an undue burden on our vulnerable constituents and momand-pop stores and should engage in a meaningful dialogue with these communities.” The big stink started earlier this month, when the department’s garage lease at 606 W. 30th St. between 11th and 12th Aves. ran out. That Hudson Yards block is now being developed by Douglaston Development and Lalezarian Properties after the City Council approved the Hudson River Park Trust selling air rights to the development, which will include 1,200 apartments, around 25 percent of them affordable. But the garage lease’s expiration has left Sanitation scrambling to find a new spot for the displaced trucks, which service Community Board 6, which covers most of the East Side between 14th and 59th Sts. Since then, the department has been parking trucks in Rivera’s district on E. 10th St. between First and Second Aves. and Mt. Carmel Place at E. 26th St., as well as on York Ave. between E. 59th and E. 60th Sts. in Councilmember Ben Kallos’s District 5. Kallos’s office has so far not received any complaints about the trucks, according to a spokesperson. But in the East Village, Community Board 3 and Rivera have received dozens of complaints.

PHOTO BY AVI BURN

Residents and merchants on E. 10th St. between First and Second Aves. are not happy about the block being used to park Depar tment of Sanitation trucks while the city searches for a new garage.

“I have never had so many complaints on any one issue in the 14 years I have been district manager,” said Susan Stetzer, Board 3’s district manager. “I am hearing that a small eating/drinking business is going out of business. I am hearing it is very stinky.” The community board and Rivera’s office have received complaints about smells, noise, negative impacts on small business, and accessibility to Access-a-Ride for seniors and people with disabilities when garbage trucks block direct access to the streets. “It’s only going to get worse the longer the vehicles are parked there,” Rivera said. “This is a big quality-of-life issue, and we just find it unacceptable.” For Pinks — a four-year-old East Village bar —business has already plummeted. On Sat., Sept. 15, the bar’s sales dropped by 50 percent on a night they expected them to be at the highest since it was after Labor Day and the beginning of peak season for pubs, the owners said. The trucks “are extremely loud,” said

Avi Burn, one of the place’s co-owners. “There’s potential for disease and rodents 10 feet away from where people are living and eating. “It’s just a giant, ridiculous nuisance,” Burn complained, adding that even Sanitation workers are unhappy being displaced and having neighbors and reporters badgering them. The noise, smells and space the trucks take up have impacted the business, and Burn and his co-owner Alex Sassaris fear they won’t last to January if the trucks keep parking outside the bar. “This can’t be a several-month thing,” said Burn. Around 20 employees would lose their jobs if Pinks shutters. But the Sanitation Department says that this is the only option until another garage location is secured. “In short, we’ve been working for years to find garage space, which is the only solution,” said Belinda Mager, the department’s spokesperson. “This is the option of last resort, and what’s needed to be able to provide essential services to the district.”

The three locations were chosen since they are near department facilities where there are offices, toilets, lockers and communications equipment, Mager said. She added that Commissioner Garcia informed councilmembers back in January of the need for parking, and official notification was sent to Rivera, Kallos, Councilmember Keith Powers, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Community Boards 3, 6 and 8 on Aug. 21. Stetzer, however, said the board was not properly informed. At a C.B. 3 Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Committee meeting on Sept. 13, the department didn’t have information on either the number of trucks or exactly where they would be located. Stetzer added that when the board was notified of the department’s item on the meeting’s agenda, the understanding was that trucks would be parked somewhere near Pier 36, at South and Montgommery Sts., where there is already a Sanitation garage, and at 155-157 First Ave., near E. 10th St. Small businesses often rely on visibility of their storefronts to get passersby to stop in. “People cannot see our local business,” said Pallob Sarker, a manager at United Copy & Print on E. 10th St., which has been there for seven years. Plus, he added, when the trucks park and idle, it creates a lot of noise. Next door, an employee at Snowdays ice cream shop said several people have grumbled about the situation. “I do hear a lot of people complaining about it,” said Annie Wang, a part-time employee and Baruch College student. “Definitely — people aren’t happy about this.” A representative from Midboro Management, which manages The New Theatre Building condo at 240 E. 10th St., even dropped off a memo at Snowdays asking neighbors to call 311, Board 3 and submit a complaint to Sanitation. “It’s not really appealing to look at,” Wang added.

Masaryk marks 50/51 Masar yk Towers held its combined 50th and 51st anniversar y celebration earlier this month on the grounds of the 1,100-unit Lower East Side Mitchell-Lama development. A slew of local politicians were on hand to par ticipate in the festivities, including Congressmember Nydia Velazquez, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, state Senator Brian Kavanagh and Councilmember Carlina Rivera. Masar yk recently received millions from the cit y’s Housing Development Corporation to install new, energy-efficient gas boilers and help the complex weather future superstorms, like Sandy. For the first time, the Masar yk Towers flag was hoisted aloft, and a golden anniversar y historic calendar was also given out. There was also a ribbon-cutting for Masar yk’s new computer lab, provided by the Robin Hood Foundation – Blur Ridge Labs, and the day’s events and the development’s histor y were commemorated with a time capsule, as well. In June, the cit y reached a deal to keep the complex affordable, thanks to $45 million by H.D.C., according to The Real Deal.

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September 27, 2018

PHOTO BY AVI BURN

Nydia Velazquez, right, presented a congressional proclamation to Bernice McCallum, Masar yk Towers’ board president. TheVillager.com


Mixing, mingling, and cinema magic 56th New York Film Festival beckons BY RANIA RICHARDSON Does your idea of going to the movies involve lounging in pajamas? Even if you’re accustomed to seeing the latest offerings from the comforts of home, there are plenty of reasons to get off the couch and attend the city’s quintessential cinema event. The 56th New York Film Festival (NYFF) kicks off on Sept. 28 with “The Favourite” by eccentric filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos, starring Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone. The closing night’s fi lm, Oct. 14’s “At Eternity’s Gate” by Julian Schnabel, and centerpiece selection, “Roma” by Alfonso Cuarón, will share the spotlight with new work by the Coen brothers, Barry Jenkins, Claire Denis, Jean-Luc Godard, Jia Zhangke, and more. Presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC; fi lmlinc.org), the NYFF offers a highly curated selection of fi lms and programs that mark the best in world cinema. Over the course of this 17-day event, moviegoers will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a lineup that includes documentaries, shorts, virtual reality, experimental work, revivals, and director discussions. Alice Tully Hall and neighboring Lincoln Center theaters will be a hive of excitement for those catching up with their favorite auteurs and embracing new talent at the must-attend gathering of cineastes who readily share comments and opinions. You can’t get this kind of camaraderie on your sofa, and the big screen viewing experience could not be better. Sharp images in vivid color, in ideal size and ratio, create an optimal environment to appreciate the art. This year’s main slate is comprised of 30 fi lms from 22 countries. Unfortunately, there are no world premiere titles. A selection committee that includes NYFF director Kent Jones and FSLC programmers Dennis Lim and Florence Almozini culled many of the selections from international festivals, from Cannes to Sundance. TheVillager.com

Photo by Yorgos Lanthimos

Emma Stone in NYFF’s opening night selection, “The Favourite.”

Photo by Dominga Sotomayor

“Too Late to Die Young” is Dominga Sotomayor’s semi-biographical film, set in a rural Chilean community in 1990.

Described as “zany,” “The Favourite” continues a streak of quirky dark comedies by Lanthimos, whose “Dogtooth” ushered in a movement known as the “Greek weird wave.” Set in the royal

court of 18th century England among feuding aristocrats, the new Englishlanguage feature focuses on its female characters. “At Eternity’s Gate” continues art-

ist Schnabel’s interest in fi lming the lives of creatives that started with “Basquiat” in 1996. Here, he explores the last days of Vincent van Gogh, with Willem Dafoe playing the painter. “Roma,” a semi-biographical film, chronicles a year in the life of a Mexican upper middle class family in the 1970s, with a focus on the family’s indigenous nanny. Director Cuarón will participate in a conversation to discuss his career, including the erotic road movie, “Y Tu Mamá También” that was a hit at the 2001 NYFF. “Too Late to Die Young” is another semi-biographical fi lm, this time set in a rural Chilean community in 1990. Filmmaker Dominga Sotomayor is one of only four female fi lmmakers in the main slate, along with Tamara Jenkins who follows a middle-aged couple in their attempt to have a child in “Private Life,” Claire Denis with sci-fi “High NYFF continued on p. 19 September 27, 2018

17


Dance on deck Judson at MoMa among the highlights BY ELIZABETH ZIMMER NY CITY CENTER’S FALL FOR DANCE FESTIVAL | Celebrating 15 years of presenting huge buffets of diverse, blue-chip dance at insanely low prices, this showcase offers five bills of four works for two performances each, including commissioned world premieres by Gemma Bond, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Justin Peck, Sonya Tayeh, Caleb Teicher, and Jennifer Weber. Also in the lineup are dances by Lucinda Childs, Frederick Ashton, Rennie Harris, Paul Taylor (whose majestic “Promethean Fire,” on the second program, commemorates his death last month), Pam Tanowitz, Michelle Manzanales, Junior Cervila & Guadalupe Garcia, Marco Goecke, Marianela Boán, and Talley Beatty. Oct. 1-13 at New York City Center (131 W. 55th St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves). For tickets ($15), call 212-5811212 or visit nycitycenter.org. ANNE TERESA DE KEERSMAEKER | Another musical masterwork gets the contemporary dance treatment as this brilliant Belgian choreographer mobilizes 16 members of her troupe, Rosas, to perform to Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. Played live by the baroque ensemble B’Rock, under the baton of French violinist Amandine Beyer, this promises to be one of the most compelling performances of the season. Oct. 1-7 at the Wade Thompson Drill Hall, Thompson Arts Center Park Avenue Armory, (643 Park Ave. at E. 67th St.). For tickets ($45-$95), call 212-933-5812 or visit armoryonpark. org. JUDSON DANCE THEATER: THE WORK IS NEVER DONE | It’s a truism among a certain cohort of baby boomers that “If you can remember the ’60s you weren’t there.” But a group of visual and performing artists, mostly a decade older than the leading-edge boomers, began to hit their stride in the early ’60s, meeting in the basement of Greenwich Village’s Judson Memorial Church in a series of workshops led by pianist Robert Ellis Dunn, who was in turn influenced by the ideas of John Cage and Merce Cunningham. These artists include Yvonne Rainer, the late Trisha Brown, Lucinda Childs, David Gordon, Deborah Hay, Steve Paxton and others, who have, each in their own ways, built remarkable interna-

18

September 27, 2018

Photo by Paul B. Goode

Paul Taylor Dance Company (seen here performing “Black Tuesday”) is part of New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival.

Photo by Anne Van Aerschot

Members of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s troupe rehearse her new piece, “The Six Brandenburg Concertos.”

tional reputations. Some of them, like Simone Forti, actually started their experiments on the West Coast with Anna Halprin in the late ’50s; many went on to form the Grand Union, an improvisational ensemble, in the

1970s. Not only do they remember the ’60s, they’ve built brilliant and thoughtful careers on the work they did then, pioneering diverse genres of performance. The Museum of Modern Art is pre-

senting a major exhibition focusing on their influence that fills several of its second-floor galleries with films, photos, posters, and sculptural objects. (I sat down on what looked like a plain pine bench and was told by a guard to get up; it was a prop for someone’s dance.) The Museum is collaborating with Danspace Project, another historic Downtown arts group, to reproduce the work of Simone Forti in the galleries three times every Tues., Thurs., and Sat. through Jan. 2019. In addition, there are series of performances, live and on film, by these artists. Through Oct. 6, you can see the work of Deborah Hay, and upcoming are programs by David Gordon (Oct. 18-20), Lucinda Childs (Oct. 29-Nov. 4), Steve Paxton (Nov. 19-Dec. 13) and Trisha Brown (Dec. 17-Jan. 16), included with museum admission. For those who can remember, the exhibition is a feast of nostalgia; for younger viewers, it’s a revelation. Through Feb. 3, 2019. For info visit MoMA.org (11 W. 53rd St., btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves.). TheVillager.com


NYFF continued from p. 17

Life,â&#x20AC;? and Alice Rohrwacher with magic-realist â&#x20AC;&#x153;Happy as Lazzaro.â&#x20AC;? Sotomayor and Jenkins are making their NYFF debut, a group that comprises one third of the lineup, including actor Paul Dano, with â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wildlife,â&#x20AC;? starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan struggling in 1960s Montana. To expand the community for the NYFF, â&#x20AC;&#x153;If Beale Street Could Talkâ&#x20AC;? the follow-up fi lm to Barry Jenkinsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Oscarwinning â&#x20AC;&#x153;Moonlight,â&#x20AC;? will open at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem. Adapted from James Baldwinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1974 novel of the same name, the Harlembased tale follows a pregnant woman scrambling to prove that her fiancĂŠ is innocent of a crime he did not commit. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Can we call it the most important fi lm festival in the country?â&#x20AC;? asked independent distributor Ryan Krivoshey, in a statement for this newspaper. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a fair assessment. No other festival accords the same kind of recognition and awareness.â&#x20AC;? The veteran fi lm executiveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s three-year-old outfit, Grasshopper Film, has a noteworthy number of titles in the lineup for a new distribution company: RyĂťsuke Hamaguchiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s enigmatic romance, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Asako I & IIâ&#x20AC;? and Ulrich KĂśhlerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dystopian â&#x20AC;&#x153;In My Room,â&#x20AC;? in the main slate, as well as two documentary features. There will be a retrospective tribute to renowned art-fi lm exhibitor and distributor Dan Talbot, who ran the now-shuttered Lincoln Plaza Cinemas. Heralding one of the most influential figures in the world for foreign and American independent fi lm, the NYFF will screen beloved classics that â&#x20AC;&#x153;carry the DNA of Talbotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sensibilityâ&#x20AC;? according to Jones, such as Rainer Werner Fassbinderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Marriage of Maria Braunâ&#x20AC;? and Louis Malleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;My Dinner with Andre.â&#x20AC;? Talbot died in December at the age of 91. As usual, the NYFF has cherrypicked titles from the most important fi lm festival in the world, Cannes, including the winner of the Palm dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Or, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Shoplifters,â&#x20AC;? about an impoverished family in Tokyo, by Hirokazu Kore-eda. Earlier this year, Netfl ix withdrew its titles from Cannes after the festival imposed a rule that bans fi lms without theatrical distribution from its competitions. The NYFF, which is a non-competitive festival, embraces quality fi lm from all sources, including the powerhouse streaming company. TheVillager.com

(c) 2018 Netemo Sametemo Film Partners Comme Des Cinemas

RyĂťsuke Hamaguchiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s enigmatic romance, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Asako I & II.â&#x20AC;?

Courtesy of Sphinx Productions

Ron Mannâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Carmine Street Guitarsâ&#x20AC;? follows Rick Kelly (left) as he builds new instruments out of discarded timber. At right, Cindy Hulej.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;More and more people are watching movies at home, and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re streaming them,â&#x20AC;? said Jones, in a statement to this publication. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For me and my colleagues, the fi lmmaker always comes fi rst. When we invited â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;13th â&#x20AC;&#x2122; as opening night in 2016, we werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t thinking of it as a Netfl ix title fi rst, but as an Ava DuVernay fi lm. In this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lineup, the same goes for â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Romaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201D; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an Alfonso CuarĂłn fi lm. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Happy as Lazzaroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201D; an Alice Rohrwacher fi lm. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Ballad of Buster Scruggsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a Joel and Ethan Coen fi lm.â&#x20AC;? Netfl ix is supporting fi lmmakers â&#x20AC;&#x153;in their need to make the films they want to make in the way that they want to make them,â&#x20AC;? Jones said, emphasizing that artistry is not compromised, even if the ultimate destination is the small

screen. Parallel to the main slate is a robust program of nonfiction fi lms. Among

the personalities portrayed are Steve Bannon, Roger Ailes, Kurt Waldheim, Bill Cunningham, and Maria Callas. In a local feature, Ron Mannâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Carmine Street Guitarsâ&#x20AC;? follows Rick Kelly as he builds new instruments out of discarded timber from the likes of McSorleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Old Ale House and the Chelsea Hotel. Special events include Orson Wellesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Netfl ix release, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Other Side of the Wind,â&#x20AC;? a newly completed fi lm that had been in limbo for decades. The story follows an aging Hollywood director, played by John Huston, in his attempt to pull off a comeback. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll Love Me When Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m Dead,â&#x20AC;? a companion documentary by Morgan Neville, details the making of â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Other Side of the Windâ&#x20AC;? in an account described as â&#x20AC;&#x153;even more epicâ&#x20AC;? than its subject matter.

212.254.1109 / www.theaterforthenewcity.net / 155 First Ave bet 9th & 10th St.

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September 27, 2018

TheVillager.com


Lead is widespread LEAD continued from p. 6

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lized housing. One of his buildings, 102 Norfolk St., had 2,750 times the federal threshold for lead exposure in stairwells and hallways. Tenants in buildings once owned by Raphael Toledano — the young landlord who lost 15 East Village properties last year to foreclosure by his lenders — have also previously tested positive for lead levels far above the federal threshold. Holly Slayton, a 27-year East Village resident currently living at 514 E. 12th St. — one of Toledano’s former buildings now owned by Madison Realty Capital — had construction dust seeping through deteriorating sealant in her floorboards. Last year, her doctor recommended that she and her now-10-year-old daughter wear dust masks inside their home. Slayton’s building had lead-exposure levels more than four times the federal threshold in November 2017, according to lead reports. “It was horrible,” Slayton said. “There was dust everywhere. No protective coverings, no anything.” Sometimes, the property managers would mop up the dust, she said. But even if they did, the water wasn’t drained and workers would mop the floors with black, sooty water. “We spend a lot of time at home, and I was just constantly cleaning everything,” Slayton said. “When they did mop the hallways, they didn’t even clean the mops.” A Madison Realty spokesperson was unable to immediately respond to a request for comment. Down the block at 325 E. 12th St., Liz Haak, another former Toledano tenant, saw plastic coverings and regular cleanups of dust in the hallways during interior construction work. But last May, an overworked super left Haak’s building vulnerable to lead-filled construction dust. When Haak’s super was away from work for three days, even for legitimate reasons, dust went unmitigated. She and other tenants were concerned, and called 311 in hopes of getting the hallways tested for lead. Sure enough, her building tested for up to 16 times the federal threshold. “I guess the old stereotype is children eating [lead] paint from windowsills,” Haak said. But lead dust in building hallways and stairwells exposes everyone to the toxic substance, she said.

Then, in a second incident, this February, a certain area on each floor of her building was above the threshold again, according to lead reports. Haak said, in that instance, security cameras were being installed on all floors, requiring workers to cut into the walls, and she didn’t see any plastic tenting or dust cleanup being done. “It was very careless work, and not supervised by Silverstone,” she said, referring to the property-management company. “When you walked into the building, there’s just clouds of dust. … I was just furious.” A worker swept up the dust with a broom, but Haak said the dust should have been wetmopped and properly vacuumed with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to comply with the 2004 law. Haak says when she called 311, her experience was the city often would only act more urgently about lead testing when children or pregnant women were in the building. For children 6 years old and under, lead poisoning in the blood can lead to behavior and learning problems, lower IQ and hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems and anemia, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Pregnant women exposed to lead can expose their fetus to lead, as well. In adults, exposure to the poisonous heavy metal can lead to increased blood pressure, decreased kidney function or reproductive problems in men and women. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health warns that some jobs can expose people to lead, including welding, radiator repair, bridge repainting and home remodeling, which could lead to reproductive health effects like infertility, miscarriage and low birth weight. Blood lead levels impact older women, too. Postmenopausal women can have blood lead levels comparable to premenopausal women because lead stored in bones can be released as people age, according to research cited by NIOSH. For old Lower East Side and East Village buildings where gut renovations are common, Wandersman emphasized the longlasting impacts of such work. “Construction noise — that’s going to be over when the construction is done,” he said. “But not this stuff — not lead.” September 27, 2018

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Letters to The Editor LETTERS continued from p. 14

Day the music died To The Editor: Re “A big night for the Night Owl and ’60s Village music scene” (news article, Sept. 13): I am one of the original band members of The Yellow Brick Road, which had the distinction of being the last band to play music at the Night Owl on its last evening before it closed the next day. We were up for the last set of the night somewhere around 1 a.m. This was the summer of 1967. I received a call from the club the next day regarding our scheduled performance that night, and was told that we were not to appear because the club had closed. One of the most notable later “big-name” acts who played there regularly as an unknown, but was omitted from the article, was James Taylor and his band The Flying Machine. My drummer and I, who lived in Flushing, regularly went to the Night Owl on our college breaks and well before we were fortunate enough to be hired to play there. Indeed, in his hit “Fire and Rain,” Taylor wrote a verse with an allusion to the band when it broke up. On my law office wall, I have a framed collage of photos of the band playing at the Night Owl and one with the band name on the awning marquee. I still play

music in the Boston area, now in a country band, but the memories of that summer will stay with me forever. Gordon N. Schultz

Night Owl allstars To The Editor: Re “A big night for the Night Owl and ’60s Village music scene” (news article, Sept. 13): Thanks for covering this exciting night of music and celebration! I must say I was honored to perform on the same stage as my heroes from the Night Owl days. In addition to John and Steve from the Spoons, there was Jake Jacobs and John Townley (The Magicians), Peppy Castro (Blues Magoos), Peter Gallway (The Strangers), Michael Orrell (The Little Flowers) and, of course, The Boss, Joe Marra! So fun! Peter Sando E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words, 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.

New L.P.C. leader CARROLL continued from p. 12

after the recent City Council approval of the Tech Hub, on E. 14th St. between Third and Fourth Aves. Berman’s group recommended to the agency some 190 buildings south of Union Square for designation, but the agency highlighted only seven as potential landmarks. Those include the Roosevelt Building, at 478-482 Broadway, in addition to Nos. 817, 826, 830, 832, 836, and 840 Broadway. “It is easy for commissioners and even advocates to get mired in the details of an individual project and lose sight of the forest for the trees, but avoiding this is one of the most important roles of a chair,” Simeon Bankoff, executive director of TheVillager.com

the Historic Districts Council, said in his testimony. “We believe that, having been eyewitnesses and party to decades of preservation activity, [Carroll] also has a deep appreciation for the benefits and importance of historic preservation principles to the people of New York City and its soul.” Former L.P.C. Chairperson Tierney said, “I can’t think of anyone who would be more qualified.” Shortly after Wednesday’s vote, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said in a statement that she was “thrilled” by Carroll’s appointment. “This is one of the most important offices in city government,” Brewer said, “and I could not be more confident than with Sarah Carroll at the helm.” September 27, 2018

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