January 13 - 19, 2011
STOP THE MADNESS:
Led by local activist Y
, a group of about 40 people gathered at Union Squarein the frigid cold Tuesday evening for a vigil after the horrifyingshooting in Tucson on Sat., Jan. 8. They called for restrictionson high-capacity ammunition clips and also for greater vigilanceby caregivers, so that mentally ill individuals that also are dan-gerous don’t have access to weapons, and especially not suchhigh-powered ones.
, deputy executive directorof New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, spoke in support of Congressmember
’s bill, which she plannedto introduce this week, to ban clips with more than 10 bullets.Saturday’s deranged shooter,
, had a clip with30 bullets — which was “hanging out 12 inches,” noted antigunactivist
— and there was another bullet loaded,as well, allowing him to shoot 31 times in a minute. DistrictLeader
spoke to the need for better mental healthservices to assure that mentally ill, potentially violent individu-als don’t “fall through the cracks.”
, a youthadvocate and member of Community Board 6, said that, tohim, it was most tragic that Christina Green, a 9-year-old girlwho had come to meet Congressmember
at her constituents event, was among the fatalities. “This littlegirl was so excited about getting into politics,” Landesmansaid. “We’re not speaking out against the Tea Party,” he added,“we’re speaking out against the heated rhetoric.” Kurland saidit was natural to want to respond to hate with hate, but she saidthat impulse must be resisted, after which they held a momentof silence. Other speakers included Councilmember
, president of Downtown IndependentDemocrats; and
of Queer Rising. … On a sidenote, this “candlelight vigil” had no candles. Kurland said whenshe applied for the permit, she was informed that the ParksDepartment has banned burning candles in the parks at suchevents. So, instead, Tuesday’s vigilers used purple, pink, greenor orange glow sticks. We asked Parks if the department really issnufﬁng out candlelight vigils. Spokesperson
replied, “The concern about using actual candles stems fromsafety hazards involving dripping wax and open ﬂames, to per-manent damages that can result from candles, including burntbench slats and char marks on statues. I wouldn’t characterizeit as a new policy, but it’s something we’ve been advising eventorganizers during the past few years — to employ other lightingdevices, such as glow sticks.”
M.T.A.-SIGNS HOSTAGE CRISIS:
told uslast week that his Billy’s Antiques and Props tent is at its11th hour. He was doing a brisk business in old subwaysigns at his tent on E. Houston St. and Bowery until theMetropolitan Transportation Authority ﬁled a claim onmore than 100 signs and had the police seize them lastyear. The M.T.A. said that 19 of the signs were deﬁnitelystolen — but the agency claimed all of them. Billy said hebought them all from a contractor that the agency hiredto dispose of them. The criminal case was dismissed lastyear because prosecutors said they couldn’t prepare thecases within the legal deadline — but the M.T.A. still hasthe signs. Under state law, dismissal of criminal chargesdoesn’t automatically entitle a defendant to get propertyback unless the district attorney grants a waiver. The ofﬁceof D.A.
Cy Vance Jr.
has declined to sign off, saying thatownership of the signs is still unclear. “I’ve tried to contactthe D.A. because they won’t even give me back the 95 signsthat the M.T.A. has said are not stolen,” Billy said. “Theyclaimed only 19 were stolen.” His only recourse is to ﬁle anArticle 78 civil suit charging the agency with oversteppingits authority. But the cost of the lawsuit could exceed thevalue of the signs. Criminal Court Judge
wassympathetic in her decision last week denying a motionto return the signs. She said the state Legislature ought tochange the law. Requiring a civil action is “a measure thatplaces a substantial ﬁnancial burden on [Leroy] and contra-venes the due process rights the courts and the Legislaturehave sought to protect,” Mella said.
Bikers pedaling in the SixthPrecinct — between 14th and Houston Sts., west of Broadway— better keep on their toes. Sixth Precinct police are issuingwarnings to bicycle riders to obey the rules, such as the onesthat say, except for riders under the age of 12 on bikes withwheels less than 26 inches in diameter, cyclists must ride onthe street, in the direction of vehicular trafﬁc, and not on side-walks. Yielding to pedestrians is also the rule. Cyclists mustalso obey all trafﬁc signals, pavement markings and must usemarked bicycle lanes or bike paths when available.
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Photo by Scoopy
At Tuesday night’s “candlelight” vigil in Union Square,people held their glow sticks during a moment ofsilence.