Puerto Rico's Teenage Gangs
Caribbean Island Com bats juvenile delinquency. In some
cases the young offender sicr not
in school because of lack of par-
W est Side Story's' Problem entalco rn or because of school
crowding, but inother cases be-
cause they had been expelled.
-By TIOMAS TURNER cases (38.5 per cent) concerned Educational authorities must
serious crimes: murder and vol- act to alleviate this situation, she
WANT To Live in America," untary homicide, involuntary said, but she went on to charac-
Manhattan - dwelling Puerto homicide, rape, armed robbery, terize San Juan's juvenile delin-
Rians sing in Broadway's West breaking and entering, theft and quency situation as "not grave.
Side Story." And in real life, half automobile theft. Since these statements last fall,
a million Puerto Ricans h'c come ahowever, juvenile crime has con-
to this country. CRIME as a whole increased tinned to increase. Each week the
But the traffic is two-way, and only 16 per cent for the period, newspapers have carried new stor-
ones who return have transplanted the newspaper El Mundo pointed ies of gang activity.
"to booming Puerto Rico one of out in a front-page article in No- In November, for example. The
west-side New Tork's biggest vember, and at present growth Cossacks and Nomads engaged in
headaches: teenage gangs and in- rates, juvenile offenses in the seri- a "rumble ," or fight with switch
creasing juvenile crime. ous crime group will "eventually blades, stones, clubs, and at least
- Walls in every section of San compare with similar crimes com- one revolver. Over 100 youths were
Juan, the island's capital, bear mitted by adults." reported involved.
evidence of the gangs' existence. Police Superintendent Ramon The next week, six Nomads were
They've used stores, residences, Torres Braschi, quoted in the same apprehended outside the juvenile
schools and even churches to mark article, attributed the mushroom- home, trying to free three of their
off their "territories" with their ing delinquency rate to "a sick- comrades with a hacksaw,
signatures in paint. ness largely produced by the de- And in December, the leader of"
The Lions, The Viceroys, The terioration of our cultural values." a gang called The Volares was
Nomads, The Diggers, The Cos- He said he was rather "preoc- shot and killed by a policeman,
sacks, The Daltons and so on. cupied" than "alarmed" by the whom he had attacked with a
problem, since organizations such knife.
THIS widespread painting is re- asethe Children's Commission and
cent, according to San Juan the Police Athletic League were IN BETWEEN such spectacular
residents, having developed in the doing such good work in the area. outbreaks, dozens of lesser in-
last year or so. And the startling Only the next set of police sta- cidents occurred, including at one
upswing in juvenile crime as a tistics will provide an adequate point three stonings of police in
whole has occurred in the same basis for substantiating or refut- one week.
period, ing the superintendent's cautious Measures taken to fight the
In fiscal 1956-57, police inter- optimism. But there are certainly under-age crime wave have in- Ga
vened in 3,292 cases involving mi- factors involved in juvenile de- eluded expansion of the police
nors (under 18 years old). In 1957- linquency other than those im- force, legislation enabling youths
58, the total rocketed to 8,167. mediately reparable by youth to be tried as adults for certain
Better than a third of these work, crimes, and a nine o'clock curfew
For example, the head of the for youths 14 years old or young-
Thomas Turner, a resident Family Relations Division of the er.
of Puerto Rico, describes the Children's Court in San Juan, re- Whether or not these measures
, ports that most of those brought will be sufficient to check Puerto
transplanting of New York s before the court are 13-15 years Rico's rising juvenile delinquency
juvenile delinquency problem old, and three-fourths of these is as yet uncertain. Whatever the
to that small southern island. do not attend school. outcome of the battle, it is cer-
Turner is acting editor of The tain that the island Common-
Michigan Daily. SHE POINTED out that this is wealth is undergoing real Amer-
both a cause and an effect of ican-style growing pains.
Greenwich V illage in Its Heyday:Y(
The Improper Bohemians
ags mark-off territories
THE IMPROPER BOHEMIANS: But it was "enjoyed" more than and also for unlucky people who
A Recreation of Greenwich Vil- "suffered." Rents were cheap; didn't, this is the grand essential
lage in Its Heyday. By Allen they drank tea-yes, tea-and ate book.
Churchill. Dutton. $5. modestly and danced in the Mad Frost used to argue, and
Hatter, Crumperie, Samovar, Black Robert
OKING over the distinguished Parrot, Mouse Trap, Pollywooge. no doubt still does, that the Vil-
company occupying the plat- And no one had inhibitions. lage did not produce, it was sterile.
form at National Institute of Arts In later years it got rougher; Perhaps it was just a period of
and Letters ceremonies year there would be the Village mayor- incubation. In the pages of this
ago, Malcolm Cowley noticed that ess who danced nude, and the book you do not find Frost, Faulk-
ney tinerepsnt ofGreenwic pitiable end of Maxwell Boden- ner, Hemingway, Wolfe, even
eVillage heim. Fitzgerald,
Vige whChurchill estimates the Village's
It is with this pc'.uasive oh- CHURCHILL describes the per- "two main contributions to Ameri-
servation that Churchill ends hi. sonal idiosyncracies, the wild can culture are to be found in the
exciting book. But to begin the parties, the love affairs, the quar- masses and in the Provincetown
name-throwing which is an amaz- rels, the accomplishments and the Players." Perhaps he might have
ing part of his account, he goes failures of a horde of creative and added the Anderson-Heap Little
back to 1910, the start of the two near-creative men and women. Review which among other things
decades of the Village's heyday. They wrote and painted, they kept on printing Joyce's "Ulys-
Mrs. Edward Dodge, who became lived and loved, they drank, danced ses" almost as fast as the post
the friend of the Stems in Flor- and made merry madly. For people office burned it up.
ence and today's Mabel Dodge who knew the glamorous Village -W. G. Rogers
-Luhan, lived at 23 Fifth Ave.
Among those she entertained
were Carl Van Vechten, Jo David-
son, Lincoln Steffens, Walter
Lippman, Hutchins Hapgood, Max
Eastman, Frank Harris, Margaret
Sanger, Harry Kemp, Alan Seeger,
Amy Lowell, Emma Goldman and
*Big Bill Haywood. I !TRG
EAST MEETS WEST in an airy dacron dress, sash
tied with obi bow . . . the bib front daintily tucked.
A DECADE or so later, the people
who lived on this "Left Bank
of the United States" as Churchill
rightly calls it included Sherwood
Anderson, Willa Cather, Theodore
Dreiser, Reginald Marsh, John
,Sloan, William Glackens, George
'Luks, Carl Ruggles and Edgard
Varese, who lives there still.
John Reed, Mabel Dodge, Edna
St. Vincent Millay, Eugene O'Neill
and Maxwell Bodenheim were the
denizens whose lives are told in
fullest detail here, and who en-
joyed or suffered crucial years in
their careers in the shadow of
Washington Arch and the neigh-
borhood of Washington Square.
W. G. Rogers is art editor
for The Associated Press.
514 E. Williams N03-7125
217 South Main
is4 I 'I IL