Saturday, September 06, 2008


Gathering After the Donut Social Turns Violent with 4 Arrests in Tompkins Square Park ...

After the "Donut Social" concert and protest at the corner of 5th st. and 1st Avenue this evening some of those who had attended the social journeyed to Tompkins Square Park with "Leftover Crack "lead singer Scott Sturgeon to continue the music with a more intimate acoustic version of the donut concert . No permit was necessary for this sort of gathering and singing .
For some reason--we did hear that the arrest may have had something to do with Sturgeon having hurled donuts at the cops earlier at the Donut Social--police broke-up the gathering and arrested Sturgeon at 8:45 pm . Members of the gathering attempted to prevent the police cruiser carrying Sturgeon from leaving the park. The mini-riot that ensued resulted in 3 more individuals being arrested .
We will soon have the full story here at NMNL of what happened Friday afternoon and evening beginning with Mr. Penley's and Mr. Wade's day in federal court , the " Donut Social" itself and all that followed in TSP as well as during the return to the 9th precinct on 5th street to ptotest the arrests . .

Friday, September 05, 2008


Amy , Back From Summering in Mississippi

Thursday, September 04, 2008


People are Lunching in the Middle of Broadway These Days ..

It's not the great wide-way anymore . Below 42nd Street , Broadway is now a narrow-way . In the middle of Broadway now people sun themselves , read , nibble and sip treats as they inhale lungs-full of an extra strong dose of freshly created diesel and gasoline engine exhaust produced by a whole parking lot ( continuous traffic jam) full of idling engines just 15 feet distant . Was there an environmental impact study made for this new , re-designed " pedestrian friendly" Broadway ?
Below 42nd st. Broadway is now 2 traffic lanes mostly full of standing , idling vehicles shared with a pedestian mall and a bike lane marked out in a shade of green . We saw 6 bicycles during the 45 minutes that we observed this new creation , 2 used the bike lane and 4 bicycles used the 2 traffic lanes with the standing , idling vehicles .
At the uptown end of this traffic engineering and urban planning wonder stood a guard tower . A site reminding us of nothing so much as an up-state prison yard . Is this new "pedestrian friendly" Broadway so unsafe as to actually require continuous police surveilance from a looming guard tower ?
Up Broadway a ways , at 44th Street , it appeared that at least some drivers had wised-up to the choke-point at 42nd street and the "parking lot" full of idling engines waiting below it . As can be seen above these drivers were creating a little "traffic turbulence" of their own by turning off to the east .
Just which voting bloc was this redesigned Broadway meant to please ?


No 70 dB Sound Level Limit Here ...

Today at 3 pm the NFL Kick-Off Concert will begin in Columbus Circle . With residential buildings directly across the street from the stage the sound will be turned -up for the party and there will be no 70 dB sound level limit at 20 ft or for that matter 100 ft. to protect all those residential ears . We know this because the sound equipment in place would make no sense if such limits were applied and enforced .

We stood across the street from a wall of bass speakers , pictured immediately below , during a sound test yesterday afternoon and felt the exceptionally crisp , planar and powerful bass sound waves shake our clothes pounding our chest with a clean hard thud with each beat . This was really hard and pure bass something that most of the time at concerts is never achieved . The middle and high frequencies were strong and clear providing highly intelligible voice and instrumentals . The sound level here was well above 70 dB at this distance of perhaps 100 ft .

From the location pictured above the bass was still clear and un-muddled with the high and middle frequencies highly intelligible . From our experience designing and building sound systems , at this location the sound level we judged was still well beyond 70 dB.
We walked into the park perhaps a distance of 500 yards ; though the bass was now noticeably muddled and less distinct the middle and high freqencies were still strong and voice was also still highly intelligible . We could not judge reliably what the sound level was at this location .
If the city and NYPD are going to apply standards with the intent to limit activities and behaviour then standards and limits should be applied equaly to all . Mr. Penley and Mr. Wade are back in federal court today attempting to force the city of New York and NYPD to apply their standards and limitations fairly without prejudice allowing them a reasonable and fair sound level limit for their permit for Friday night .
Mr. Penley and Mr. Wade will appear in federal court tomorrow morning at 11:30 am to argue their case . They will appear before judge Rakoff in room 6B of the federal building at 500 Pearl Street in downtown Manhattan .

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


The "Donut Social" is On for Friday Night , 5 September at 6pm to 8pm at the Corner of 1st Avenue and 5th Street...

The above page is from the Handbook of Noise Control , edited by Cyril M. Harris ,Ph.D.

The unexceptional intersection of 1st Ave. and 5th St. pictured above , just half a block from the headquarters of NYPD's 9th precinct will be the site of a concert and protest this comming Friday night . There will be speakers and reportedly 2 bands , "The Crack Steady 7" and "DeathMold" .
There were some difficulties encountered in obtaining the sound permit for this event . Mr. Penley and Mr. Wade , the events organizers , had to threaten the City of New York and NYPD with intervention by a federal judge and a court order .
At this time there is one unresolved issue remaining , that being the maximum sound level . The NYPD is attempting to enforce a 70 decbel sound level at 100 feet with the permit .From the chart above it can seen that this is just about the same as the sound of a vacuum cleaner at 10 feet .According to Mr. Penley this level is routinely exceeded with out any action or comment by the NYPD at numerous Tompkins Square Park concerts promoted by others throughout the year . Mr. Penley and Mr. Wade feel that they are being unfairly restricted to an unreasonably low sound level by the current permit . We have included a chart from one of the noise control handbooks in our engineering library here at NMNL listing the sound levels of common devices , activities and situations .
For more extensive and continuously up-dated information concerning the "Donut Social"you can go to the Donut Social MySpace page :

Monday, September 01, 2008


In the Streets 4 Years Ago During the RNC ...

Above and 10 below . The largest Criticalmass bicycle ride ever occured on the Friday night before the RNC .The ride led to many arrests with most of them occuring on 2nd Avenue between 12th and 9th streets .
Above : Early criticalmass arrests on 7th avenue .

This failed attempt to drape a protest banner across the front of the Plaza Hotel was the first protest action of the convention .
The bomb squad searches an un-attended bag on the north side of Union Square Park on 17th street .

Loan Shark Bob wearing his signature inverted flag harangues a crowd in Union Square Park .

Revolutionary posturing in Union Square Park .

Souvenir sales in Union Square Park .

On 31 August the War Resistors League attempted to make an un-permitted march to Madison Square Garden. Most of them were arrested above but a few minutes after the begining of their march .

The infamous orange netting used to corral protestors on 16th street .

Special high powered directed sound machine on a Hummer chassis on 16th street . Used for crowd control as well as being useful as a highly directional and highly intelligable audio loud-speaker , the round disc on the top of the vehicle radiates two high-power ultrasonic sound beams which are caused to converge at a selected distance and at this convergence heterodyne producing a very intense and local audible sound . This sound can be painful . As far as we know this device was not used at the RNC .
On 31 August there were many marches attempted without permits . This day was known as A31 ,the day of anarchy . Many people were arrested this day . In fact more people were arrested on this day than any other .
One of the largest arrests ( the 12 pictures above )occured on 16th street between Union Square Park and Irving place in the late afternoon and early evening of A31 .

On the last night of the RNC people gathered with candles in Union Square Park for a vigil . After the vigil there was an un-permitted march up 8th avenue towards Madison Square Garden . The march was stopped short of its goal by members of NYPD . Shortly , president Bush would leave Madison Square Garden , the RNC would be over and the many members of NYPD present would soon disband .
The city's highest ranking uniform officer Chief of Department Esposito ( three pictures up on the right ) was in attendence where NYPD stopped the progress of the march .
For today's RNC click here :

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