Wednesday, August 18, 2010

blog overload

Oy, too much to blog about today! I spent hours arguing with teabaggers about the "ground zero mosque" - actually a community center 2 blocks away. The baggers have a new approach now - claim that because a Greek Orthodox church that was destroyed when the South Tower of the World Trade center fell on it hasn't been rebuilt yet, it's obviously bigotry against the Greek Orthodox and meanwhile we are allowing TERRORISTS! to build at ground zero! And of course it's really about zoning, money and swaps, that have nothing to do with religion:
The fate of the church, a narrow whitewashed building that was crushed in the attack on the World Trade Center, was supposed to have been settled eight months ago, with a tentative agreement in which the church would swap its land for a grander church building on a larger parcel nearby, with a $20 million subsidy from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. This would have allowed work to begin at the south end of the site.

But the two sides never came to final terms. After months of negotiations, the Port Authority, which is overseeing reconstruction at ground zero, ended its talks with the church on Monday, saying that the church had sought increasingly costly concessions.

Complaints, of course, abound on both sides.

The authority now says that St. Nicholas is free to rebuild the church on its own parcel at 155 Cedar Street, just east of West Street. The authority will, in turn, use eminent domain to get control of the land beneath that parcel so it can move ahead with building foundation walls and a bomb-screening center for trucks, buses and cars entering the area.

“We made an extraordinarily generous offer to resolve this issue and spent eight months trying to finalize that offer, and the church wanted even more on top of that,” said Stephen Sigmund, a spokesman for the Port Authority. “They have now given us no choice but to move on to ensure the site is not delayed. The church continues to have the right to rebuild at their original site, and we will pay fair market value for the underground space beneath that building.”
more from the NYTimes

In happier news 90 years ago today women got the right to vote.

It blows my mind that my grandmother was born before women were full citizens of the United States.
Ninety years ago today, women got the right to vote. Here's the text of the 19th amendment, which was ratified on August 18, 1920, by the Tennessee General Assembly: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." Tennessee was the thirty-sixth state to ratify, giving the amendment the requisite approval of three-fourths of the states; the amendment passed because 24 year-old legislator Harry Burn changed his vote, at the insistence of his elderly mother.

Several people have expressed an interest in the course I am offering this fall on how to write 10-minute plays, based on my article on the subject. Yay.