Holiday rounds

[media-credit name="Photo by Milo Hess " align="aligncenter" width="600"][/media-credit]

Ah...the true meaning of Santacon.

‘Operation…(burp)….Santacon’!
After he gave his report on year-to-date crime stats for the Sixth Precinct at last Thursday’s Community Board 2 meeting, Deputy Inspector Brandon del Pozo asked if there were any questions. C.B. 2 District Manager Bob Gormley had a good one: Did the precinct do anything special in how it policed Santacon on Sat., Dec. 10? Yes, del Pozo said, in fact, there were an additional 40 police officers on duty in the Greenwich Village precinct to keep an eye on the tsunami of alcoholic St. Nicks. Del Pozo handled one of the suds-soaked Santas personally, mano-a-mano — or is it mano-a-Santo? “I chased one Santa three blocks and tackled him,” the D.I. said. “He just took a garbage can and threw it into the street. … Barring that, we had no serious Santa-related crimes,” he reassured the board, some of whom were chuckling anyway. The can-tossing Claus was cuffed and charged with disorderly conduct. “He was subsequently released with a summons with adequate time to complete preparations for Christmas,” del Pozo said. Most of the officers in “Operation Santacon” (we have no idea if it was actually called that — but, hey, why not?) were posted along strips popular with the beer-guzzling, red-suited set, like Bleecker and MacDougal Sts. and Sixth and Seventh Aves. How about the Meatpacking District? Gormley queried. Nope, del Pozo said, “They have a tight rein on their Santas in the Meatpacking District.” Probably the booze is too expensive there for them, someone quipped. Oh, poor drunken Santas.

Trust disruption:
Locked-out art handlers from Sotheby’s auction house briefly disrupted the Hudson River Park Trust’s board of directors meeting earlier this month. It turns out that Diana Taylor, the Trust’s chairperson and Mayor Mike’s main squeeze, sits on Sotheby’s board of directors. The protesting Teamsters demanded that Taylor intercede with Sotheby’s C.E.O. Bill Ruprecht to end the labor dispute, but Taylor pronounced, “If he accedes to any of your demands, I will resign from the board” of Sotheby’s. The New York Observer reports, “Now a group calling themselves Teamsters Joint Council 16 are demanding that Ms. Taylor resign from her chairperson position at the Hudson River Park Trust unless she apologizes for her comments…or else be ousted by Governor Andrew Cuomo.” No disrespect to the Teamsters — but, yeah, umm, good luck with that.

‘It’s all good…’:
On Monday, Mayor Bloomberg dubbed Cornell University the winner of the city’s search for a “genius school” to develop a 2 million-square-foot tech campus on Roosevelt Island. Some mistakenly thought that this must have been a crushing blow to New York University. However, N.Y.U. actually wasn’t involved in that competition — though is hoping to win another tech project in the city. The mayor has repeatedly said he could choose more than one winner in the Applied Sciences NYC initiative. In a statement, Lynne Brown, N.Y.U. senior vice president, said, “We are very pleased that the city and the Cornell/Technion-Israel Institute of Technology partnership have come to agreement on establishing an applied sciences institute on Roosevelt Island. This is an important development for the city’s economic future, and we congratulate everyone who has been involved with the process. N.Y.U. and its partners are enthusiastically continuing our talks with the city on establishing a new applied sciences institute in Brooklyn. We believe our Center for Urban Science and Progress will have a transformative impact on the tech sector in Brooklyn, and — along with Cornell’s new institute — make New York a world leader in innovation and technology.”

Franco’s ‘hours’ in class:
TMZ and the New York Post are reporting that a former N.Y.U. professor is suing the school, charging he was canned for giving James Franco a “D” for blowing off class. Jose Angel Santana said he gave the “127 Hours” actor the “poor” grade because, well, he spent barely any hours in class — missing 12 of his 14 “Directing the Actor II” classes while pursuing a master’s in fine arts. “The school has bent over backwards to create a Franco-friendly environment, that’s for sure,” Santana told the Post. “The university has done everything in its power to curry favor with James Franco.” However, the actor told an entertainment Web site last year, “I did the work. I did well in everything else.” Indeed, Santana told TMZ that Franco was a good student — that is, when he actually attended class: “When he was in my classes he was a model student,” Santana stated. N.Y.U. spokesperson John Beckman said the axed professor is just seeking to hype himself at Franco’s expense. “While we have not seen the lawsuit papers yet, the claims we have seen in the media are ridiculous nonsense, and their utter baselessness will emerge in due course through the legal process,” Beckman told us. “Beyond that, it is regrettable and disappointing to see a faculty member — former or otherwise — discuss any student’s grade for the purpose of his or her personal publicity.”

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