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Committee gone wild:
The Democratic State Committee is generally expected to support the governor as the state’s top Democratic elected official, but it sounds like things have gone too far — to the point where committee members are being denied the chance to vote on vitally important issues like hydrofracking and the “millionaire’s tax.” Rachel Lavine, the Village’s Democratic State Committee woman, filled us in on the sorry state of affairs. Basically, this time around, the state committee sent out meeting notices so late that it’s now arguing it’s too late to have a vote on Lavine’s resolution banning hydrofracking. “The current chairperson, Jay Jacobs, has played very fast and loose with the rules,” Lavine noted disapprovingly. Plus, she said, it just so happens that Jacobs has land on the New York/Pennsylvania border that he’s leasing out to a gas company for drilling, which he didn’t disclose to committee members. “He has a lot of day camps and this is one he’s leasing out,” she noted. As for the millionaire’s tax, which Governor Andrew Cuomo is intent on letting expire, Jacobs again is twiddling his thumbs — this time with the help, Lavine tells us, of Charlie King, the committee’s executive director. Jacobs and King have decided to exclude discussion of the millionaire’s tax from the agenda of next week’s key meeting, she said. Lavine said she’ll work hard with the committee’s Reform Caucus and Rural Caucus, plus the Young Democrats, to try to finally bring these issues to the floor for a vote.
Ear Inn anticipation:
What was expected to be just a few days’ renovation job at the Ear Inn on Spring St. wound up stretching into a full two weeks. Martin Sheridan, the historic Hudson Square watering hole’s owner, tells us his regulars are “angry” and clamoring for the place to reopen. “They say, ‘Why didn’t you put on the Web site that it was closed?!’ ” he said. Anyway, the Ear Inn faithful’s fervent prayers will soon be answered. Sheridan said the bar should be back doing business again by this Thursday and the kitchen by the following Monday. Initially, he had just wanted to put in some new tiles in the kitchen and bathroom. But when the kitchen floor was pulled up, some cracked beams — some of them 150 to 200 years old — were revealed. Workers “sistered” these suspect supports by putting new wooden beams alongside them. Wooden-peg construction was used in sections, adhering to the historic methods with which the landmarked building was constructed. The interior structure can’t be changed, since the building is an interior as well as exterior designated New York City landmark. Sheridan’s nephew Liam, who specializes in these type of delicate building renovations, is heading the job and his other nephew Gary, who tends bar at the Ear, has also been rolling up his sleeves and helping with the work, as are other staffers. The place is now structurally “stronger than ever,” the tavern owner assured. In the end, the job’s price tag comes to about $100,000, Sheridan said. That’s a lot of Guinnesses! … In other Hudson Square happenings, we asked Sheridan if he’d heard anything about the former Don Hill’s club space across the street, on the corner of Greenwich and Spring Sts. Sheridan’s good friend Hill died this March, and the landlords, the Pontes, recently repossessed the property. Sheridan said local scuttlebutt has always been that the Pontes want to build a hotel there — as if, at this point, the neighborhood really needed another one!
(Re-)mark your calendar!
The victory celebration for St. Mark’s Bookshop will not take place on Tues., Nov. 29, as reported last week, but will be held on Thurs., Dec. 1, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the bookstore, at the southeast corner of Third Ave. and Ninth St. Members of the Cooper Square Committee, which led the community effort to get landlord The Cooper Union to reduce the store’s rent, will lead a discussion about the committee’s 52-year history of activism on behalf of local tenants and small businesses. Frances Goldin, a founder of the Cooper Square Committee, said that that discussion will be relatively brief. Store owners Bob Contant and Terry McCoy will be on hand to enjoy the festivities. There will be wine, crackers, cheese and fruit.
Reporter Lesley Sussman will soon be adding another credit to his name. A flurry of reports on Web sites, including the Hollywood Reporter, recently came out with the news that George Tillman Jr. has been hired to direct the Miles Davis movie based on “Dark Magus: The Jekyll and Hyde Life of Miles Davis,” the book Sussman wrote on the jazz great with Miles’s son Gregory Davis. So far, though, only Gregory Davis is getting mentions in the media, which is well and fine with Les. “My name is on the cover of the book as co-writer, but I don’t mind Gregory getting all the credit because it’s more important that readers know Miles’ son is the source,” Sussman told us. As for how he ended up writing the tome, Sussman said, “I don’t particularly care for jazz. I’m an old ’60s folkie. I prefer acoustic guitar and lyrics to some horn. I knocked on my next-door neighbor’s door to complain about someone playing the horn late at night, and she told me it was her boyfriend, who happened to be Miles Davis’s oldest son. I said, ‘Ask him if he wants to write a book about his father’ and the rest is history.”