Foreshadowing Q-Anon

I read with interest Diane Sare’s spirited defense of Lyndon LaRouche.  I don’t profess to know his history very well but my interest was piqued.  I do well remember the ubiquitous presence of his acolytes in airports during the ‘80s (pre-TSA).  They hung banners with slogans like Feed Jane Fonda to the Whales and Nuke the Gay Whales.  They hung their patter on whatever current event was controversial, in an attempt to draw in the curious.  They struck me as kooks who were part of a cult.

A quick perusal of Wikipedia shows Mr. LaRouche’s history has a bit more to it than Ms. Sare describes. I will leave it to your readers to see for themselves.  It is amusing as ancient history. What is less amusing is the clear foreshadowing of the alt-right Q-Anon conspiracy theories that vex us so today.  There will always be charlatans who prey on those who want to see a big (necessarily secret) reason for everything that happens and who want to be part of that select group that sees the “truths” (e.g. the letter in the same issue on 9/11).

In light of today’s events, the LaRouche movement seems almost quaint.

—Art Steinmetz


Support WestView

A sublime local institution is under threat. We could lose the soul of our neighborhood! 
The greatest local paper in town or maybe anywhere. Once in a while, the New York Times would pick up on a WestView story and run with it. My personal favorites these days are Bob Heide’s reminiscences about Warhol and famous playwrights—juicy, wild and matter-of-fact, all at the same time, just the way the West Village used to be—then there’s the interviews with fascinating West Villagers and comprehensive reports of local goings on—restaurant, book, theater and indie film reviews—there’s a birdwatcher, an architect and city planner, a scientist, a politician and a bunch of writers—to name just a few of the paper’s contributors. The brilliant publisher, George Capsis, is the Prospero who brings us all together in his garden. He’s the mastermind, and he doesn’t stint on good stock, generous formatting and gorgeous color pix. It’s a very handsome tabloid—as is the online version. Beautiful and accessible. Talk about a free press! I’ve written on all kinds of subjects—taken on all kinds of foes—and never was there pushback from above. WestView News is the last of its kind and one of a kind—we don’t want it to go under any more than we want the heart and soul of the West Village, once the beacon of counter-culture, of artists and free thinkers, a neighborhood dedicated to the protection of beauty—to go under. 

Keep the sacred fire alive! Please donate. Thank you.

—Janet Capron


Mysterious Illness

Hi George,

My wife and I live on the corner of Christopher and Bedford. We moved in on March 1st last year and after lockdown commenced my wife worked from home, from our bedroom, for two weeks until she suddenly got very sick on April 2nd with COVID.

She was bed-bound until the end of August and then made some progress in her recovery and went back to work (again, from our bedroom) on November 2nd. Ten days later she relapsed and has been back in bed ever since.

About two weeks ago a friend suggested we look into EMF as a possible cause for the length of the illness and we sourced an expert to come and investigate.

Before he came though, I noticed a cell antenna on top of the lamppost about 10 feet outside our bedroom window. We moved my wife into another bedroom and she immediately began to feel better.

When the guy came to take readings in our bedroom, they were literally off the charts. 5,000 microwatts is considered extremely dangerous but the reading in the bedroom, in the corner closest to the cell antenna, was over 20,000 microwatts.

These cell antenna seem to be on a huge number of lampposts around the village and they must be making (or in our case, keeping) people sick…Wondering if you’ve heard any other stories like this, or would be interested in writing this one?



Bottcher Works to Keep Neighborhood Clean

Letter to the Editor

After every disaster the first order of business is cleaning up before rebuilding. Erik Bottcher, candidate for city council District 3, is at the forefront of this effort responding to small businesses who cannot attract customers when piles of trash cover the sidewalk and residents who take pride in keeping their surroundings clean.

Erik started months ago to help residents clean up corners and planting in tree pits. Now, he has released a comprehensive plan to keep our streets clean and welcoming. From simple interventions like bigger trash cans and trash corrals that remove trash from the sidewalks, to ambitious long-term plans like pneumatic trash tubes, the plan is comprehensive and actionable. Erik was endorsed by the Sanitation Workers Union.

These efforts are critical in a context where many stores are closed and will remain so for years to come. No one is minding the sidewalks and the city will need to step up to keep neighborhoods clean, walkable and welcoming.

CHEKPEDS, the pedestrian advocacy group I co-founded, has focused on improving the safety but also the quality of life for pedestrians. Walking next to mountains of trash during peak commuting hours is not acceptable and it is dangerous. On many streets the sheer size of trash accumulation forces pedestrians to walk in the roadway. Foreign visitors are appalled by this state of affairs.

This is why we are working with the City to pilot TOSS (Trash off the Sidewalk Space) where trash is staged in corrals located in the parking lane. We are delighted that Erik Bottcher is supporting this citywide initiative.

A candidate with deep experience in government who embraces novel ideas, understands the underpinnings of success and can see long term is what we need now.

 —C. Berthet, co-founder


Karen’s Style Applauded

The Karen’s Quirky Style spread in WestView News in January was sensational. Karen, you should really be in movies. I was thinking you should collect all your pictures and make them into a website. It would be great to see the whole collection. You have something that appeals to both men and women. You are like that guy who photographed people on the street for the NYT [Bill Cunningham] but every one of your spreads is different and more interesting than most of the people he could find. While it’s only one person, your pictures are each so different that they are generally more interesting than his.

—Arthur Lambert


Thanks to WestView

Dear George and crew,

I don’t ask for fame. Couldn’t handle the pressure. But what self-proclaimed poet doesn’t delight in some recognition? WestView has allowed me a creative platform to bounce off of. Although it shouldn’t, poetry seems to shout out to a select audience. George keeps his scholarly stash of poetic knowledge under wraps. Suffice it to say, every time I submit a poem I try to forget it must pass muster with the publisher. Sometimes I cringe AFTER I see my accepted poem in the paper. Too wordy, unclear… Yet miraculously some staff members bowed! George is responsible for my stretching my prose wings. With his encouragement, I’ve written a restaurant review and a thrift shop piece. I know WestView News disseminates mainly news! I’m thrilled whenever the powers that be decide one of my “ruminations” fits in. It takes a village to put WestView together. If it didn’t grace the West Village and environs monthly, a vital piece of local color would be silenced. I feel uncomfortable asking people for money for the paper, but on New Year’s I resubscribed for another two years. I’d hate to see this iconic paper—with or without my publications in it—dry up!

­—Roberta Curley

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