Scoopy’s, Week of Feb. 21, 2013

Photo by Scoopy Shaan Khan, left, and Hunter Johansson, a.k.a. HuJo, will be going “on the road” — or in Khan’s case, to be exact, on the rails.

Photo by Scoopy
Shaan Khan, left, and Hunter Johansson, a.k.a. HuJo, will be going “on the road” — or in Khan’s case, to be exact, on the rails.

KHAN MOVES ON: One of the nicest — not to mention, most professional and helpful — guys you’ll find in the local political scene, Shaan Khan last week stepped down from his senior staff position with Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s Office. Khan, who spent nearly eight years working for Stringer, said it was with “a mix of excitement and sorrow” that he’s moving on to join his father as a managing member at RK Capital Partners, a mortgage and investment company. “In this new role, I will have an opportunity to grow a family business while continuing to be involved in the community work I love,” Khan said. “This was not an easy decision to make. This office, the principles we fight for and the communities we serve mean so much to me. It’s been an honor to be part of this team and a privilege to work with all of you.” We caught up with Khan at his farewell party at Amity Hall on W. Third St. last Friday evening. Among the group giving him a send-off was Hunter Johansson, twin brother of actress Scarlett Johansson. Hunter worked as Stringer’s liaison to Community Board 2 — which Khan had been before him — before departing to work on Obama’s 2008 campaign. His sister, ScarJo, of course, is known for being a huge Obama booster. It was, in fact, Scoopy who “outed” Hunter as Scarlett’s twin — at least for C.B. 2 members and our readers. At the time, we offhandedly dubbed him HunJo, but Khan subsequently informed us that he was, in fact, properly known in the Beep’s office as HuJo (rhymes with Cujo). We ran a correction, which Khan — or should we  say, ShaKa? — said he loved. Other things Khan said he loved included The Villager’s editorial four years ago endorsing Stringer for re-election, since Khan said, the piece acknowledged all the community board reforms and other good-government measures that the B.P. had worked to implement in his first term. Khan told us he even clipped out the editorial and kept it — “I’m a Villager fan boy,” he admitted. He also said he valued getting to know and work with C.B. 2 members, especially veterans like the late Ed Gold, who tied him into the “oral history,” as he put it, of the Village’s storied political lore, stretching back to the days when the Village Independent Democrats toppled Carmine De Sapio and Tammany Hall. “To play a small role in that for eight years,” Khan reflected, “it’s an honor. … The Village community is just so great,” he added. “It’s got pols, activists, a great press — not all communities are so lucky.” Before he joins the family business, Khan is taking a solo cross-country train trip. Coincidentally, Johansson is also going cross-country solo, but will be riding a BMW motorcycle; he’s thinking of doing an audio diary of his travels, and plans to rejoin Stringer’s office in May as a senior staffer. The two shared a couple of high-fives as they excitedly discussed their upcoming treks, then shared a final bro hug before HuJo said goodbye.

KOCH’S SCOOPY QUINN ENDORSEMENT: Tuesday’s New York Times had an article about the fact that, three days before he died on Feb. 1, former Mayor Ed Koch reportedly said he “wanted to help” Christine Quinn — as in endorse her for mayor — but didn’t manage to do so. Although Koch endorsed the City Council speaker in 2011, he never made a film clip of his statement and there is no prepared endorsement. No endorsement exists — nowhere! Or so the Times says. Well, the Times writer must not have seen Scoopy’s Notebook two weeks ago, when we spoke with Hizzoner, and he clearly told us he’s backing Quinn. Specifically, we asked Koch what he thought of Mayor Bloomberg’s reportedly courting more glitzy political figures, like Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer or Ed Rendell, to be his successor. As Scoopy reported on Jan. 24: “Koch didn’t have much to say on that one, other than that his support for the City Council speaker is unwavering. ‘You’ll have to ask [Bloomberg] — I’m for Christine,’ he told us.”

CAPSIS SUES N.Y.P.D.! State Committeeman Arthur Schwartz tipped us off that he’s filing a class-action lawsuit this week on behalf of a half-dozen individuals who charge they were roughed up by police, though had committed no crime. Among the plaintiffs is George Capsis, the publisher of WestView newspaper. On May 17, 2012, Capsis got into an altercation with a Sixth Precinct officer after a police van cut him off while the publisher was pedaling in the Bleecker St. bike lane. As Capsis, 84, later told us, he just had had a tough day, and he suddenly found himself slapping the Sixth Precinct officer’s face — as if his hand had a mind all of its own. The officer promptly responded by socking Capsis right back, shattering the octogenarian’s glasses, and leaving him with a large, liver-colored welt under his eye. Another plaintiff in the suit is an East Village woman who came upon a large crowd on the street, with a woman lying in a pool of her own vomit, and started photographing or videoing the scene with her cell phone. Police ordered her to stop and when she didn’t, they slammed her to the ground. The suit’s defendants are the New York Police Department and the individual police officers.

HOT PIER, COOL HEADS (HOPEFULLY): The C.B. 2 forum on Pier 40 will be Thurs., Feb. 28, at the Saatchi & Saatchi Building, 375 Hudson St., ground floor, starting at 6:30 p.m. It will be, according to the board’s Web site, “A discussion of various and diverse concepts and proposals for the development and funding of Pier 40.” As David Gruber, C.B. 2 chairperson, explained, “Right now, people are thinking about a lot of different concepts. People are looking at ideas and they’re being discussed.” The forum’s intent is for folks to keep an open mind and try to brainstorm at this point, he said. But what about the hot-button issue of residential housing on the waterfront? “I’m not against housing. I’m not for housing,” Gruber told us. “I’m not against anything. I’m not for anything. … I don’t have a dog in this race.” As for who will be attending, Gruber said he’s expecting Assemblymember Deborah Glick, state Senator Brad Hoylman, possibly state Senator Dan Squadron and representatives for Pier 40 Champions and Douglas Durst, as well as the Hudson River Park Trust.

GANGSTA GARMENT: We bumped into Lorcan Otway, the impresario of Theatre 80 St. Mark’s, at the recent Theater for the New City mortgage-burning. But we didn’t even recognize him at first, since he’s now rocking a new semi-Hassidic look. He told us that the Museum of the American Gangster, which he also runs, is honored to be getting Vincent “Chin” Gigante’s famed bathrobe that “The Oddfather” used to traipse around in on the Village’s streets while mumbling incoherently. As the Genovese crime family boss later admitted, the robe routine was an elaborate ruse to to avoid prosecution. Rita Gigante will present the garment and then read from her new autobiography, “The Godfather’s Daughter.” “It’s one of the iconic images of organized crime in New York,” Otway noted.

FRIEDMAN MEMORIAL: We hear from politico-about-town Alan Flacks that Sylvia Friedman’s memorial service will be Sun., March 3, at 2 p.m at the Friends Meeting House on 15th St. and Rutherford Place (between Second and Third Aves). Friedman, a longtime East Side political leader, died Feb. 3 at age 74.

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