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  • The National Herald A wEEKLy GREEK AMERICAN PuBLICATION

    February 19-25, 2011

    www.thenationalherald.com VOL. 14, ISSUE 697 $1.50

    c v

    Bringing the news to generations of Greek Americans

    O C V ΓΡΑΦΕΙ ΤΗΝ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΑ ΤΟΥ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΣΜΟΥ

    ΑΠΟ ΤΟ 1915

    By Constantine S. Sirigos TNH Staff Writer

    NEW YORK – Triggering a de- bate within the Community whether it signified a political defeat for Greek Americans or was the inevitable next step in the face of powerful and seem-

    ingly unaccountable govern- ment agencies, the Greek Ortho- dox Archdiocese of America and the Church of St. Nicholas filed a suit in Federal Court in Man- hattan on February 14 against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Lower Man- hattan Development Corpora- tion (LMDC) and the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) over delays in the re- building of the only house of worship destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The complaint also names PA Exec- utive Director Chris Ward and PA Chief of Capitol Planning David Tweedy as defendants. The complaint hits hard from the start, accusing the PA of reneging on a binding agree- ment and declaring, “This case arises out of the arrogance, bad faith, and fraudulent conduct of the Port Authority, as agent for all of the Agencies, in prevent- ing St. Nicholas from rebuilding its church at Ground Zero after it was crushed by a falling tower in the attack on the World Trade Center ... while the Port Author- ity has claimed publicly that it is in discussions with the Church to foster the rebuilding effort, in fact, in March 2009 it sum- marily disavowed a longstand- ing agreement between the Agencies and the Church to re- build St. Nicholas at 130 Liberty Street ... since that time the Port Authority has rebuffed all efforts by the Church to work with it regarding the rebuilding.”

    The legal document details a sequence of events that illus- trates claims of the Archdiocese and the Parish to have co-oper- ated with the PA every step of the way, including agreeing “to reduce the bulk and height of the new church building from that which previously had been agreed to by the agencies.” It also describes tactics used by the PA the Church alleges were in- tended to trick the Church into actions the PA has attempted to portray as constituting a rejec- tion of its “final offer” which rendered void their previously agreed to deal. The complaints

    For subscription:

    718.784.5255 subscriptions@thenationalherald.com

    Showdown at Ground Zero: St. Nicholas Brings Suit Against Port Authority

    By Steve Frangos

    Since their arrival in North America, Greeks have influ- enced popular music and dance. All one has to do is name a mu- sical or dance genre; tap-dance, opera, Tin Pan Alley, ballroom, big band, jazz, avante garde, folk, blues, R&B, swing, tango, rock and roll, New Age, and even country to find a Greek everyone agrees is a quintessen- tial performer in that genre. Nick Gravenites is among those Greek-Americans who have for- ever changed the popular music of North America. Gravenites accomplished this as a singer, composer, rhythm guitarist, record producer, and in typical Greek fashion, a musical go-be- tween. In the tight fraternity of Greeks who have become in- spired Blues musicians there is, aside from Gravenites, Alexis Korner, Johnny Otis (Veliotis,) his son Shuggie Otis, and Nick Tremulis. It is not in terms of

    Nick Gravenites, Bluesman

    By Constantine S. Sirigos TNH Staff Writer

    NEW YORK – E.S. (Steve) Savas has scaled the heights of the worlds of business, academia and government in the United States. He worked for IBM, New York City’s Mayor John Lindsay and President Ronald Reagan and has taught management and public policy at Columbia University’s School of Business and at Baruch College, where he is a Presidential Scholar. The author of 15 books and more than 130 articles, the media has dubbed him the Father of Pri- vatization, a movement at the heart of reform efforts in Amer- ica and elsewhere around the world, yet he makes it clear that his Greek roots and family are at the heart of who he is. He as- pired to be a nuclear physicist in his youth and has excelled in many other areas. Almost a cen-

    tury after the liberation of southern Greece and the birth of the Greek state, the Greeks who lived in Skopos, a small town near Constantinople, were still mired in the misery of Turk- ish rule. Savas’s father John was born in 1897, the year of a failed Greek revolt on the island of Crete. In between his birth and WWI the Greeks feared for their lives and sought to escape. He would have been a sopho- more in High School when the Balkan Wars broke out in 1912, and while school had become impossible long before, his bi- ography indicates he would have excelled there. John was part of a group of migrant farm workers, but they were not pick- ers of olives or wheat gatherers but a team of expert cheesemak- ers who travelled to Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and as far as Romania.

    Savas’ mother, Helen, one of seven daughters, managed to go to school until 4th grade but with a Turkish knife literally at her throat, her family had to leave. In 1916 her father was told Turkish forces were going to make a sweep of the area and he prepared his family to leave. Gold coins were sewn into the lining of their coats, reminiscent of a scene from Elia Kazan’s movie Amerika Amerika. The Turks came next day, and de- manded money. When Savas’ grandfather denied having any, one of them took knife to his mother’s throat and barked: “Give us your money or we’ll slit their throats one by one starting with this one.” The Turks slashed the coats and his mother told him how there were little piles of gold coins at the feet of the seven girls. She came to U.S. in 1922. His father came earlier. He arrived in America on Christ- mas Day 1913 on the S.S.

    Steve Savas: Father of Privatization - Greek Reform Godfather?

    NEW YORK - Even in the wake of the election of Barack Obama, it’s still unusual in American politics for people with names that are difficult to pronounce to rise to the top. It’s even more rare for one of them to have one that is tougher to say than a Greek name. The po- litical and media worlds are learning a new name this week: Reince Priebus was elected the new Chairman of the Republi- can National Committee on Feb- ruary 11 at a watershed mo- ment in the history of the Grand Old Party. Born to parents of

    Greek and German descent and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the man described as “low-key” will lead the GOP’s charge to oust President Obama in 2012 and add control of the U.S. Sen- ate to their recent conquest of the House of Representatives. Priebus is battle-tested for the wars against the Democrats from wars within his own party.

    According to Politico.com, Priebus helped lead Michael Steele’s successful 2009 cam- paign for RNC Chairman. He was in charge of Steele’s tran- sition and became General

    Counsel of the RNC. Then, amidst RNC difficulties, the diminutive Priebus had a falling out with the man he helped lift to power. According to the New York Times, “Other party leaders persuaded him to run for Chair- man and try to turn around the committee.” Priebus’s mother, Dimitra, said in an interview with Politico that her son started volunteering for Republican causes when he was 10 years old by putting signs in people’s yards. His father, Roula, was

    GOP’s New Greek Head: Reince Priebus

    Reince Priebus was elected the new Chairman of the Republican National Committee on February 11. It was an unlikely success for the son of a Greek-German family that began with humble roots.

    EXAMINER.COM

    Ambassador Kounalakis’ Road from Sacramento

    PHILADELPHIA - Noted Greek scholar Edmund Keeley was feted at the 75th annual Jubilee dinner dance of the Hellenic University Club of Philadelphia, attended by nearly 150 people, on the occasion of his 83rd birthday. Following a signing of his book on the renowned Greek poet C.P. Cavafy, Keeley was given the Paideia award and then read poetry to the crowd from several of his favorite Greek poets, and a birthday cake was brought out to his table. A long-time professor at Princeton, he is a noted expert on Cavafy and has written a number of books celebrating Hellenism and holds an Hon- orary Doctorate from the Uni- versity of Athens. Keeley marked the occasion by taking a cue from one of his favorite writers about Greece, Patrick Leigh Fer- mor, who wrote a book called A Time of Gifts, saying that he’s felt that way about Greece since he was eight years old and his father was assigned an Ameri- can Consul in Thessaloniki.

    Hellenic Club Honors Greek Poetry’s Keeley

    By Constantine S. Sirigos TNH Staff Writer

    NEW YORK – When Elizabeth Hatzis of the Sokrates School, which is affiliated with the Church of Sts. Constantine and Helen in Cambridge, Mass., re- ceived the plaque that declared her The National Herald’s Edu- cator of the Year 2010, she de- clared the award belongs to all the Community’s teachers. She also acknowledged the parents of the children, who she called her allies, and thanked Antonis H. Diamataris, the Publisher and Editor of The National Herald and Ethnikos Kirix for the honor. The Consul General of Cyprus, Koula Sophianou, and Greek Consul Evangelos Kyriakopoulos were present, representing what they said was their govern- ments’ support for Greek edu- cation in America.

    Hatzis, deeply moved, thanked Diamataris and the TNH staff, especially Religion

    editor and New England corre- spondent Theodore Kalmoukos, who was unable to attend due to illness. Holding back tears, she said, “