FLASHBACK: Lunch control, bindery woes in spring of ’72

BY GABE HERMAN | Page One of The Villager on March 30, 1972, featured an article on Community School District 2 suing the Board of Education to gain control of the district’s school lunch and breakfast programs. School Board 2 unanimously endorsed the $2.6 million suit and wanted that sum added to the city’s budget.

The director of the District Food Program, Dr. Alan Cohen, said that if District 2 could budget and run its own program, it would lower costs and provide better food for more children.

District 2 was the first in the city with a hot breakfast program. At the time, the district included 22,000 elementary and junior high students, and included P.S. 41, P.S. 3 and I.S. 70.

Kids playing in Washington Square Park in 1972 (File photo)

In the same issue, South Village residents were in a battle over a noisy bookbindery at 180 Varick St., between King and Charlton Sts.

A two-year fight against Printers Bindery Inc. was being waged by 17 small homeowners, the Charlton-King Vandam Historic District Association and the Association of Village Homeowners.

Fayette Dunn, with dogwoods, wished Villagers would keep their backyards and the streets tidy. (File photo)

The group was taking their case to State Supreme Court. They claimed the noise was a “public nuisance,” causing emotional strain, loss of sleep, financial loss and decrease in property use.

The Printers Bindery said that residential tenant discomfort was not unusual in a manufacturing district, and that shutting down the plant would hurt the public interest by causing financial loss and unemployment.

City agencies had not been helpful to tenants. The Bureau of Noise Abatement’s Department of Air Resources wrote the bindery a letter requesting it limit its noise, but did not follow up when the company didn’t comply. And the head of the Department of Environmental Protection did not answer tenants’ requests for help.

Charlton St. resident Frieda Bradlow, who lived opposite the bindery, said locals had adjusted to living with truck traffic, but that noise from the company’s machines continued until midnight and sometimes on weekends.

“We are fighting for our existence as residents of New York City,” she said.

The Villager issue also included several photos commemorating the first days of spring. Children were shown playing in Washington Square Park. And Mrs. Fayette Dunn of W. 10th St. was shown carrying a large collection of dogwood flowers after returning from a shopping trip.

When asked about the good weather, Dunn told The Villager, “It’s just lovely. I think this year we should all make an effort to keep our backyards clean. You know, some people just throw things out into their yards and it just looks terrible. We should also try to keep our streets cleaner.”

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