Thursday, January 04, 2007


UP FRONT News December 24, 2006
Published by Tom Weiss
Editorial Advisor: Willard Whittingham
“The paper that can’t be bought and can’t be sold.”


People who don’t express gratitude for help offered at their request are merely are at least rude. People to respond to offered help with negativism, hostility and abuse, are, aside from being rude, just bad.

I first met Alfredo Feliciano last summer during a save-the-urban-gardens street concert tour of the Lower East Side by the activist political preacher Rev. Billy. Feliciano stood in the “Children’s Magical Garden” on Stanton and Norfolk Street and plaintively and quite convincingly spoke to the group about saving the Garden from a developer who planned to use the space for housing. Since I am almost innately distrustful of real estate developers and very pro-garden I spoke at some length privately with Mr. Feliciano after Rev. Billy and the crowd left. Feliciano told me that the Garden, which had been started years ago and maintained by his late wife Carmen, was being threatened by a developer named Serge Hoyda. Mr. Feliciano said that he had no address or telephone number for Mr. Hoyda. Offering support, I suggested thart he consider contacting in particular Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, a powerful elected official who has shown himself to be less tied to the real estate lobby than many of his political colleagues, no matter how “liberal.” I asked Mr. Feliciano if he was acquainted with the nearby Ludlow Orchard Community Organization (LOCO) or its founder, the very effective and dedicated community activist and musician Rebecca Moore. He said he had never heard of either LOCO or Ms. Moore. I gave him the LOCO website address and told him I’d be in touch with Mr. Stringer and Ms.Ms. Moore about him and the Garden. I kept my promise and since that time, Ms. Moore and I have been among those who, aside from other save-the-Garden efforts, have testified in support at Community board #3 hearings.

And from Feliciano - who likes to use the nickname “Indio” (not to be in any way confused with the well known activist “Indio”, a Staten Islander and homeless rights activist and publisher of “Street News”) - there has been nothing but negativism, rudeness, and recently an explicit threat against me just out of the earshot of Ms. Moore at a recent Lower East Side Town Hall meeting chaired by Mr. Stringer. Feliciano, while never following up with Mr. Stringer, has quite apparently in some fashion followed up with Ms. Moore. At the Town Hall, when I noted to Ms. Moore, seated next to the never-look-me-in the-eyes Feliciano, that for some reason he never says hello despite all my help to him, the suddenly animated “Indio” jumped out of his seat and ordered me to stay away from what he described as his garden. I replied firmly that I will go anywhere I want to. A few moments later, after I had separated myself from him and Ms. Moore, he came over to me and asked me to “step outside.” I refused. A few moments later, her made the same offer for me to a friend of mine, only this time making an explicit threat of violence, not suited for quotation in this family newspaper. That is known under the law as criminal harass- ment and has been treated as such.

Alfredo, whose Garden was hardly ever open during hot sunny summer weekdays and week- ends (although I did see rodents in the Garden behind the locked fence with no sign announcing hours of operation), as far as I am able to tell, has no real interest in saving the Garden. Why would he consistently ignore and then disrespect someone trying to help him? Possibly money and politics. Considering the realities of capitalism on the Lower East Side, The Children’s Garden has considerable cash value, a factor which can be a factor in any “protest.”

Alfredo Feliciano is directly connected to one of the governments that operates on the Lower East Side. That government, which uses political and religious infiltration as some of its tactics, is a creation of in particular Frank Morales, a squatter who is also the Assistant Pastor of St. Mark’s in-the-Bowery Church and a self-appointed leader of the so-called “9/11 Truth” group based at the church.

The fact that “9/11 Truth”, under the dictatorial, non-elected rule of Morales and a junta led by cultist Les Jamieson, is helping to bring the pseudo-left politics of the megalomaniac Lyndon LaRouche to NYC, is being reported primarily in this newspaper, although stories are appearing elsewhere in the media. The intimidations I’ve experienced there at the hands of Morales, Jamieson et. al are not at all unlike the Feliciano style. Indeed, a couple of weeks ago one of Morales’ friends at “9/11 Truth” responded to my support of another “9/11 Truth” participant’s call for democratization by lunging at me with an invitation to “step outside.”

Minister Morales, while preaching Jesus’ Word, is the subject of reports that he has run a drug ring out of the squats and that squatters who wouldn’t go along have found themselves evicted. The flute player at St. Mark’s services is the ill-mannered Feliciano. To be sure, things are changing politically at St. Mark’s. I happen to be a member of that church, having been admitted many months ago at a vespers service by Senior Minister Julio Torres. Fr. Torres, however, apparently did not act on my complaints against Morales and a major complaint by several people
about the December 4, 2005 guest speaker appearance of the violent criminal Geoffrey Blank.

a “9/11 Truth” meeting, an event that almost exploded into Blank-caused violence against me. And so, not too long after I sent some e-mails to Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and to Mark Sisk, the Bishop of the New York Diocese, Fr. Torres resigned involuntarily. As for the St. Mark’s future of the intimidator wannabes Frank Morales and Alfredo Feliciano, we’ll see.

As for the Children’s Magical Garden, I agree with Rebecca Moore that it should be saved, even from a developer who throws out the euphemism known as “affordable housing.” I also believe that, regardless of Alfredo Feliciano’s melodramatic invocation of his late wife’s name, the Garden’s chances of survival are being willfully endangered by his behavior and probably by his associations.
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