As you read this, you see we have changed the name to The Village View, to avoid controversy with other publications, and to reflect the fact that we talk about all of Greenwich Village and nearby areas, not just the West Village. We think this February issue again is a great example of community-based, effective journalism.
You may also have seen by now our first issue published in December as New Westview News, then our second issue published in January as New Westview. We think our first two issues were great examples of community-based journalism—and they were gorgeous to look at, and all without George Capsis’ WestView News even being published (since November).
Then, the “December-January” issue of WestView News hit the street around January 21. The screaming headlines yelled “Schwartz Attempting to Steal WestView News from Capsis,” written by a National Herald author. In it and other pieces in that issue, Capsis claims that I attempted to “alienate my writers and steal my paper,” and attack “9/11 Tiles for America Memorial Bus” by including a Letter to the Editor in the January issue. Neither are true.
This monthly was created by former staff and contributors to WestView News, who were disappointed that the effective community voice which George Capsis had created over the years had been muted, and that things were getting worse and not better. That staff came to me and asked if I could take over WestView News. My response was that it would be cleaner and easier to just start a new paper, and I promised to help and to help raise some money to start production. I also insisted that the staff function as a collective group, no boss at the top (including me).
There have been numerous articles in the Village Sun and other media on this subject, and WestView News can publish what it publishes, and we wish them well. Readers can decide what they like for themselves.
Local papers are so, so, so important. Think about the George Santos mess. A local paper in Nassau County, the North Shore Leader, actually uncovered some of Santos’ lies well before the election. No one listened to them until the Times picked up the trail after Santos won. Local press can be a powerful tool in a democratic society.
A semi-final note. Brad Hoylman-Sigal (I believe that he and his husband have modified their names) is Chair of the State Senate Judiciary Committee. Brad withstood tremendous pressure from Governor Hochul and led that Committee in its rejection of Hector LaSalle, a very conservative judge who Governor Hochul nominated for Chief Judge of the State Court of Appeals. Brad, who still represents the northwest Village, deserves all of our congratulations. Having three branches of government in our state is so important. Imperial Governorships seem to be gone. Thanks Brad! (And feel free to write about it in next month’s Village View.)
One Final Note: I have a weekly radio show on WBAI, which you can hear every Wednesday at 5 pm at 99.5 FM or at wbai.org. Its called Advocating for Justice. If you can’t listen at 5 you can find it at wbai.org and look in the show archive.