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WANTED WOMAN: Over the past few days, a disgruntled East Villager has been posting anonymous fliers around the neighborhood that portray Susan Stetzer, Community Board 3’s district manager, in a rather unflattering light. The roughly typed fliers claim that Stetzer is “Wanted: For assault on our civil liberties,” and call her both an “unelected meddler” and an “assassin of New York’s creativity.”
Stetzer was notably present at a punk rock concert in Tompkins Square Park a few weeks ago marking the park riot’s 24th anniversary, where she was seen monitoring the event for possible noise violations. (She later told us she did feel that it had been excessively loud.) Needless to say, that didn’t go over too well with the headbangers and moshers. Chris Flash, who organized the concert, told us that he didn’t make the unflattering fliers, but added that he sympathizes with whoever did.
“She has so many enemies that it’s hard to figure out who to point the finger at when something like this happens,” said Flash. “She’s acting beyond the scope of her job, by taking it upon herself to assume the role of ‘quality of life monitor.’ ”
When we asked Stetzer for a response to the signs, she brushed the insults off, saying, “I think that anyone who is so cowardly that he cannot put his name behind what he believes does not deserve my consideration.
“There are ways of working together and constructively resolving issues,” Stetzer added, “and this is not one of those ways.”
RESIGNED…OR OUSTED? Lois Rakoff recently left her post as the chairperson of Community Board 2’s Social Services and Education Committee — but it’s unclear whether she left willingly, or if she was forced out by Board 2 Chairperson David Gruber. When we asked Gruber about the change in committee leadership, he insisted that he played no part in it.
“She wasn’t demoted,” Gruber said. “She resigned.”
He chalked the whole situation up to Rakoff’s busy schedule, saying that her presence on other C.B. 2 committees created an unmanageable workload.
Rakoff didn’t respond to our inquiry about her departure from the Social Services Committee.
In addition, Gruber has combined a number of committees to streamline things and also help ensure that multiple committees don’t meet on the same days. The Sidewalks, Public Facilities & Public Access Committee has been merged with the Street Activities & Film Permits Committee. Also, the Parks Committee and the Waterfront Committee have been combined and will be co-chaired by Arthur Schwartz and Rich Caccappolo. Gruber said this new setup will ease the load on longtime Waterfront Committee Chairperson Schwartz, adding that Schwartz is “going to mentor Rich. … There’s no controversy there,” Gruber assured.
SHE’S MONEY: We always knew Jo Hamilton and Brad Hoylman were tight. Hoylman chaired C.B. 2 for two years, then ceded the post due to the board’s “term limits,” followed by Hamilton for two years, and then Hoylman regained the chairpersonship, before recently launching his campaign for state Senate after Tom Duane announced he wouldn’t seek re-election. The “H and H Team” worked together closely leading Board 2. So it was no surprise to hear that Hamilton is the treasurer of Hoylman’s Senate campaign. We’re told that she is doing the job assiduously, “accounting for every penny.” That could be a challenging task, because Hoylman’s fundraising has been impressive, but we’re sure Hamilton can handle it.
IRON CHEF À LA PARK: The Tompkins Square Greenmarket has a tasty new addition. The first-ever “Iron Chef” cook-off, on Sun., Sept. 9, at 1 p.m. will bring together two area restaurant owners and their locally conscious cooking outlooks for a competition.
The products and ingredients used in the contest, which takes place on the corner of E. Seventh St. and Avenue A, will be from the Greenmarket itself. Additionally, the products used are in a “mystery basket,” so that the chefs will be unable to prepare a dish before the event begins.
At the cook-off, Chef Stephen Hayek of Veselka Bowery and Chef George Kaden of Hearth Restaurant will each have an hour to turn their mystery basket into an impressive dish. The public will be served limited samples once the meal is complete.
The “Iron Chef” panel of judges will decide the winner, and Lela Chapman, the regional coordinator for Lower Manhattan Greenmarket, said the top chef would win a certificate from the Greenmarket offices.
JAMES AID: A group of E. First St. residents are inviting the public to gather on Sat., Sept. 22, to help raise funds for a neighborhood family whose 2-year-old son was recently diagnosed with cancer.
The fundraiser has been dubbed James Day — after James Panitz, the local boy — and will take place in First Park, on the corner of Second Avenue and East Houston St., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be games, prizes and performances, according to organizers, but the goal is to bring in donations that will help ease the burden on the Panitz family, as they struggle to pay their son’s mounting medical bills.
Since this past spring, Panitz has been undergoing intensive chemo and radiation therapy to treat rhabdom yosarcoma, a form of cancer often found in children. The results have been encouraging so far, but there’s a long road ahead — and supporting this East Village family, by attending James Day and donating, would certainly be a great way to start.
TALLMER A LEGENDARY PLAYER: As if theater critic and writer Jerry Tallmer hadn’t gained enough accolades over the past 91 years, he’ll be inducted into the Players Club Hall of Fame on Sun., Sept. 30. The Club, at 16 Gramercy Park South, founded in 1888 by Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth, has quite the list of honorees.
This year — the sixth featuring Hall of Fame elections — will see Tallmer join the ranks alongside 13 new inductees that include Clark Gable and Edward Albee. Not such bad company. And you could say Tallmer’s deserved it — his résumé includes helping to found the Village Voice, inventing his own Off Broadway awards — the Obies — writing about basically everything for dozens of newspapers, and, finally, devoting most of his time of the past decade or so to freelance contributions to The Villager and its sister papers. Tallmer will turn 92 in December, but he sure isn’t slowing down yet.
OCCUPY PENLEY! According to the Associated Press, longtime East Village activist John Penley was one of two protesters arrested outside the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte on Tuesday. The A.P. reported that Penley, a Vietnam-era veteran, and a half dozen other vets had been leading a march of about 200 people, including an Occupy Wall Street contingent, when the arrest occurred. According to the A.P., “Penley, of Asheville, said he and the other former service members wanted to raise awareness of veterans issues and talk to delegates. Some were also protesting the incarceration of a soldier accused of giving classified documents to the anti-secrecy Web site WikiLeaks, Private Bradley Manning, chanting: ‘Free Bradley, arrest Barack.’” Penley was collared after he reportedly tried to cross a barricade police had made with their bicycles.