Our Lady of Pompeii Kicks Out the Elderly
Greenwich House, has been put on notice that its lease for the occupation of the basement at Our Lady of Pompeii, where lunches have been served to the elderly since 1973, will not be renewed. Greenwich House, which took over the Caring Community’s three Senior Centers at 22 Washington Square North, Our Lady of Pompeii and In- dependence Plaza has been continuing to host a Monday through Friday lunch and activities program for seniors. It has been said that Father Trelotto wants to have the location free to rent to Hollywood production companies. Seniors, to whom the center serves approximately 1400 meals a month, are up in arms over this eviction of the one place many of them think of as their real home and family. Roy Levett, CEO of Greenwich House, expressed his surprise as no prior discussion had taken place about the lease and the rent. One senior who asked to be anonymous said she and three other elderly Italian members of the Greenhouse Senior Center at Our Lady of Pompeii were writing to Pope Francis, who she said seemed to have a heart that would never put a senior out on the street.
— Jim Fouratt
VID Goes Green
A busy meeting of the Village Independent Democrats on Thursday October 9th started with reports by District Leader Keen Berger on state and national political races, along with a report by club president Tony Hoffman on club activities related to this upcoming Election Day. A vote was taken to co-sponsor a forum on fracking called by Assembly member Deborah Glick.
The major presentation was by the College and Community Fellowship, a non-profit group which helps formerly incarcerated women obtain college degrees. College programs for prisoners have been cut back 90% in recent years. The organization’s theater group, The Theater for Social Change presented a moving dramatization of what it was like for women with criminal records to get or hold onto jobs when out of prison. At the end of the presentation the eight or so performers indicated that each one had obtained a college degree of some type in spite of their past criminal convictions.
An endorsement in the race for governor was the next topic and after a long discussion and a preliminary vote, the club endorsed Howie Hawkins and Brian Jones of the Green Party with 12 votes versus 4 for Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul and 7 for no endorsement.
Two proposals, which will appear on the ballot on November 4, were dis- cussed next. There was unanimous endorsement of Proposition 2 which calls for the electronic distribution of proposed bills to members in the legislature prior to voting (rather than printed copies). There was unanimous rejection of Proposition 3 which would finance computers and internet access for schools with 30 year government bonds. The goal was considered admirable and necessary, but the funding mechanism was unacceptable.
A resolution urging Mrs. Green’s Market, which will be opening on Hudson Street and has been accused of unfair labor practices at other branches, to allow work- ers here to organize if they so desire.
A final resolution was passed urging Assembly member Deborah Glick to debate her challenger in the upcoming election. Her opponent is Alexander Meadows, a VID member running on the line of the newly formed Progressive Party.
— Alec Pruchnicki
Alec Pruchnicki is a member of the executive committee of the VID.
“The uptown number one train will be arriving in three minutes” Wow. I am desperately fumbling for my Metrocard – gone – maybe lost – oh now what do I do – I used to bike down to the MTA office to get a new one but not anymore. Oh well, I guess I will just have to pull my courage together and try to fill out the on-line form.
Tiny, the type is tiny and I think they ought to get a guy with very bad eyesight to test these application forms without his reading glasses.
I struggle through it and then, holding my breath, try “send.”
No way Jose – it does not accept it. I search and search and find a tiny error message that I have failed to give the exact minute that I lost my card. Oh, I mean, I cavalierly gave an hour but I failed on the minutes. Oh well, let me try 10 minutes.
No way, it knows I am lying and it will not accept it. We are at an impasse but I know I will never be able to fool this application form – never– and then I remember I put the card in my sweater pocket and leap to retrieve it – ah joy, rapturous joy.
There should be a bureaucratic prison in which those who designed these forms are sentenced to fill out an endless form, for- ever, in tiny type, which is never accepted.
- George Capsis
The First Halloween
“Daddy, Heather’s father makes theatrical masks and wants to use our house for a Halloween parade” — that was my 10-year-old daughter Athena talking about her PS 41 best pal, Heather Lee, in 1974 and it was the very first West Village Halloween parade — ever — created by Ralph Lee, who, with his family, was living in Westbeth.
People came dressed as goblins and witches and threw wide the windows of our 4 story brownstone and leaned out and made Halloween noises and shouts as a band of mostly kids in costume threaded their way from Westbeth through the Village streets — no crowds no police just a few surprised and smiling spectators.
Ralph now does a Halloween spectacular for the cathedral of St. John the Devine – he long ago found the now gargantuan parade much too much for his quiet temperament.
— George Capsis
Learning is Instinctive
All young animals instinctively play to learn and in a New York Times op-ed piece on October 22nd, two Bank Street College educators argue that we should leave that instinct alone and prevent the shadows of third-grade state exams from sullying our very new city experiment in pre-kindergarten learning.
There is, of course, a direct link between traits discovered and tempered in four- year-old play and the development of “persistence, planning and the ability to communicate “ in the adult personality, offer our Bank Street educators.
But how do you teach teachers not to teach, but to observe and foster the instinc- tive learning process?
West View has proposed as part of the new Morton Street intermediary school a learning laboratory to do just that.
(You can find “The Building Blocks of a Good Pre-K” by Shael Polakow-Suransky and Nancy Nager at