OCR Interpretation


The villager. (New York [N.Y.]) 1933-current, March 12, 1987, Image 1

Image and text provided by Jefferson Market Library

Persistent link: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn83030608/1987-03-12/ed-1/seq-1/


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STACK 3 GVi:: s ' ^ Theater, Feld Ballet Shines on Some Numbers, but the Appeal Of Some ptherslis Dim - ' V m DORIS DIETHER REVIEW PAGE FIVE Panel Discussion ., On Artists and the Lejps Scattered in Every Direction The Feld Ballet. I^^AR ^ T STORY PAGE FOUR Sunny (and Legal) Day in the Park BY MICHAEL TOMASKY Washington Square Park showed many signs of life last weekend, as hundreds of peo­ ple celebrated the first warm-weather week­ end of the year, enjoying the park’s singular social environment. Parentsytook their children to the play­ grounds; elderly men spent time at the pe- tanque courts; clowns and comedians drew dozt$oi of folks to their performanoes in Ibe park's center fountain area; musicians strummed guitars; and tourists ambled through, slowly taking it all in, many appear­ ing to be unused to seeing this kind of activity wherever it is they call home. But there was one element missing from an ordinary sunny day in Washington Square Park on this Saturday. And it wasn’t an ab­ sence you’d find many people complaining about. Throughout a good chunk of Saturday afternoon, drug dealing was not in evidence. A walk around the park’s edges and comers, which a month ago would have elicited quite a few offers of various substances, produced none last Saturday. “Maybe,” said one woman who frequents the park, “they really mean it this time.” “They*’ are the police, and their presence in the park since Commissioner Benjamin Ward’s press conference two. weeks ago at which he vowed to eradicate the drug trade from Washington Square Park once and for all, has been heavily increased. There were cops on foot, in cars and on horseback in every section of the park. Obviously, it was effective. “We’re chasing them out,” one officer said, “and we want to keep it that way.” And perhaps, many people believe, this ^ ’ 1 1 •* / ' \ ' a time it will stick. Last weekend served as a good yardstick by which to measure the ef­ fectiveness of the new police commitment, because several area residents concerned about the park had expressed the fear two weeks ago, after Ward’s announcement, that warm weather would bring the dealers back. They were fearful that crowds of young peo­ ple, students and tourists would prove too tempting a market for the dealers to stay away (after all, whatever else one thinks Last weekend's spring-like weather brought hundreds of people to Washington Square Park. Music of many different styles could be heard throughout the park, from the tribal drums, left, to the bluegrass banjo on the right. (Villager/Rosenstock Photos) about the park's businessmen, tiieir entre- want to use the park legally. Residents are preneurial acumen cannot be questioned). doing their bit as well. A few days before, on But it didn’t happen last weekend. Only one Fifth Ave. just above the park, one man ap- weekend, to be sure, but could it be taken as a proached another on the sidewalk. After a hopeful portent of better things to come? W moments of muffled, inaudible conversa- Here, opinions differed. One man was hope-, tion, the second man puUed back, pointed an ful; his companion smiled wearily and said, imperiousJndex finger in the other’s face and “Look two months from now. Then you'll know.” Time will tell, but given the current police activity, the future bodes well for people who sell your drugs somewhere else I” The conversation deteriorated into profane language, but the point was made. The alleged seller continued up Fifth Ave. Results of Recycling Program Are Encouraging So Far BY MIKE TOMASKY The City's pilot curb-side recycling pro­ gram in Greenwich Village may have taken a while to get started, but now, some three months after the Department of Sanitation fi­ nally began implementing the program, the results are encouraging, according to an offi­ cial from the agency’s Office of Itecycling. The every-Tnursday curbside nick-up, which the City took over last November after a labor dispute had delayed the start from July, has been successful so far in meeting expected tonnage of recyclable newspapers, says Laura Denman, who administers the program. Results from the last three weel^ show the program is bringing in about 11 to 12 tons of bundled recyclable newspaper per week, she*says, up from the average seven tons picked up in November. The recent fig­ ures represent about 16 percent of the total available recyclable material her depart­ ment projects is available in the West Village pilot area. “I’m very happy with the figures,” Den­ man says. “The way the tonnage has grown is a good indication that the program is going to be a success.” Denman believes the growth in amounts of collected tonnage of newspapers came as a result of promotion initiatives undertaken by Office of Recycling officials. She says the of­ fice had contacted local groups, as well as building owners and superintendents in an ef­ fort to increase participation. “The response to the mailings and the public education pro­ gram has been really good,\ she says. We’ve gotten especiaUy good response from build­ ing supers, and this has helped us make a lot of progress in the larger apartment build­ ings.” Denman says that while the current partic­ ipation percentage of 16 percent is good, she hopes that by this November, when the City will have been operating the program one year, the participation rate will be 30 percent. “That’s what we projected we'd have after a year. I think, from what’s happened so far, that it’s going to get to that rate, as public awareness increases.” Should participation not reach the 30 per­ cent level by November, Denman says, an “evaluation” will be made at that time as to whether or not the program will be continued in the West Village pilot area. “If it hasn't reached the projected level, we'll try to see why it hasn’t and what the problem is. If it’s correctable, then we’ll correct it and con­ tinue along with it.” If not, she says, then a decision may be made to terminate the pro­ gram in the Village and initiate it in another area. The West Village pilot area is one of five in which the recycling program is pres­ ently underway, Denman indicated, though, that she feels certain the projected levd would be met. “We’ve been very pleased so fan I think the indication is that the program will work. The people in the Village have really shown en­ thusiasm for it.” The pilot curb-side program is the first step in the Department of Sanitation’s long-range plan to implement recycling programs throughout the city. Denman says similar projects would be starting soon in the Bronx, and, in succeeding months, Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn. The ViUage program was originally intended to start last July, but a labor dispute between the City and the Uni­ formed Sanitationmen’s Association, the union that represents the refuse collection workers, prevented the City from initiating the pickups. Volunteers of the Village Green Recycling Team, which had pioneered '’e program in the Village, instead operate program, from the original starting dat til the City finally began the collection.

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