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Get Your Weed Examined — For Free!

Screen shot 2012-08-02 at 3.49.08 PM

Just when we had Mary Jane on the mind (the other day, as we were leaving Tom and Jerry’s, someone handed us the business card you see here), The Villager has a buzz-worthy story about a pot activist who is offering free examinations of your ganja. The man, Kenny Toglia, says a lot of the weed on the street harbors a cancer-causing fungus, so he uses a $20 microscope, from Radio Shack, to perform inspections at University of the Streets every Thursday at 6 p.m. This isn’t the expert’s first encounter with publicity, either. Mr. Toglia “insists he’s not setting up another marijuana club like the one in 1999 — in the same location — that had 600 members and was raided by police,” the paper reports.

Coca Crystal, a Wild Child Turned ‘Unconventional’ Mother

Coca Crystal from her Facebook pageRalph Ginsburg Coca Crystal

The first thing on Jackie Diamond’s to-do list: “2008 – Publish book.”

“You see I’m behind schedule,” the 64-year-old said of the unfinished work, her chest purring with laughter. “I got busy with cancer.”

Ms. Diamond is better known to students of the underground as Coca Crystal – a secretary, writer, and “Slum Goddess” for The East Village Other who went on to host a cult cable-access television show for nearly two decades.

In 2006, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Since then, she’s had three operations to remove over a third of her lungs, undergone chemotherapy, and become a patient at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan. The last time her cancer returned, her doctor told her it had spread to a part of her lung that was inoperable.

Her to-do list continues: “2010 – Movie based on my life released. Drew Barrymore stars as Coca Crystal.”

“And then the dignitaries and the party,” Ms. Crystal imagined. “And then I’ll live happily ever after. Finally.”

But the real reason she wants to publish her book isn’t the dream of a movie deal – it’s Gus. Read more…

Bust at Campos Plaza Nets Loaded Gun, Drugs and Scales

crimestopDaniel Maurer Campos Plaza.

Narcotics officers arrested nine people inside an apartment in Campos Plaza that contained a loaded 9-millimeter, cocaine, marijuana, shotgun shells and scales.

A police spokesman said that the investigators served the warrant at an apartment at 641 East 13th Street around 5 p.m. on Sunday following a longterm investigation. Three men caught there face charges of criminal possession of a weapon, possession of a controlled substance, and criminally using drug paraphernalia. They are Andrew Hudson, 20, Jose Perez, 21, and Demetrius Blas, 17. The trio all have criminal records, according to a criminal complaint. The others busted in the apartment were released. Read more…

The Day | The Skyline’s New Addition

WTC 1 from Canal and ChrystieMichael Natale

Good morning, East Village.

It’s a sight on the New York City skyline that’s been almost a decade in the making: the appearance of One World Trade Center. The GammaBlog has a collection of construction photos that show the tower poking up through the skyline (to the left of the traffic light in the image above, which was taken by community contributor Michael Natale at Canal and Chrystie Streets). That portion of the downtown skyline has been empty for far too long. By the way, an American flag stands atop the unfinished steel structure.

In neighborhood news, federal authorities say two East Village tattoo parlors were doubling as boutiques for illegal drugs. reports that two Staten Island residents were dealing designer drugs to tattoo parlors Addiction INK and Addiction NYC.  The dealers, Igor Kanchik, 31, and Steve Zhik, 30, were both charged in a federal drug sweep that netted a Washington state-based distributor and nine sellers.

The owner of d.b.a., a bar on First Avenue, was in critical condition Wednesday morning after being hit by a car while cycling on Canal Street. Ray Deter, 53, was taken to Bellevue Hospital, reports DNAinfo. The staff at the bar asks that well-wishers refrain from calling the bar, hospital or Mr. Deter’s home.

Finally, Mark Federman, the principal at East Side Community High School, told a group of locals that school officials closed the Open Road Park on 12th Street because of recent reports of the sale and use of marijuana on park grounds. The Local’s Chelsia Rose Marcius reports that there’s a good chance the park will reopen but with different hours of operation.