Photo by Lesley Sussman
Here comes the judge! Adam Silvera, former president of the co-op board at Village View — the Mitchell-Lama affordable housing complex located between Second and Sixth Sts. and Avenue A and First Ave. — and a former local Democratic district leader, was sworn in Thurs., Dec. 12, as a Civil Court judge in the Second District. The district covers Chinatown, the Lower East Side and East Village. The ceremony was held at 111 Centre St. and presided over by Doris Ling-Cohan, a justice on the New York State Supreme Court, above left with Silvera. Silvera, 40, worked 12 years with the law firm of Paul B. Weitz and Associates, a premier personal injury law firm, served 16 years as district leader and 10 years as Village View board president. In the judicial election, he ran unopposed. His term expires in 2023. The East Village resident has been a fixture in local political circles for nearly two decades. His community activist experience includes organizing groups such as the Save Avenue A Association. The induction ceremony was attended by about 200 people, including Councilmember Rosie Mendez, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, state Senator Daniel Squadron and Congressmember Carolyn Maloney.
Mandela memories: The Villager chatted with David Dinkins after he participated in the ceremony to install a commemorative plaque for Ed Koch outside 2 Fifth Ave. last week. Nelson Mandela was on the former mayor’s mind. “I was mayor when he got out of prison,” Dinkins recalled, taking a break — as The Villager did, too — from chowing down on a tasty sandwich from the buffet lunch in the building’s lobby. “He stayed with us in Gracie Mansion for a week. An amazing man — the greatest figure in the last 100 years. Because of what he and some others, including some very courageous South Africans, achieved, really violent civil war was avoided — it’s why I say, someday there will be peace in the Middle East.”
Westbeth mail meltdown: The holiday spirit turned sour at Westbeth recently when hundreds of residents did not receive mail for two days because the mailroom was closed for painting on Dec. 13 and 14, and mail dropped into the building’s mail chute could not be picked up or retrieved. “The timing could not have been worse,” said writer Kate Walter, a Westbeth resident. “Plus, I thought it was illegal to obstruct the U.S. mail.” According to the Westbeth Twitter feed, one artist resident likely missed a deadline for a grant application because mail could not be picked up. Residents received no advance notice of the shutdown. “This should have been done on a Sunday before a holiday,” Walter added. Walter said she subsequently checked with her attorney, who told her Westbeth’s mail mishegoss was not illegal — but it certainly was badly timed.
Photo by Scoopy
Easy rider: As we were pulling our Citi Bike into the bike dock at E. Fifth St. and Avenue C last Friday evening, who was pulling out one of the bikes to go for a ride but Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh. Yes, he’s an annual member. After we spoke with him for some minutes about the possibly false report that state Senator Daniel Squadron might be tapped for Parks Department commissioner under Bill de Blasio, Kavanagh pedaled off, quipping as he went that he would ask us to split the time overcharge with him if his ride took longer than the permitted 45 minutes. Funny, we always used to bump into Kavanagh on the subway, and now we see him riding a Citi Bike… . Hmm, could the murmurings that Kavanagh might be tapped by de Blasio for Department of Transportation commissioner be true? Nope, Anna Pycior, his communications chief, told us, it’s just a rumor. … Meanwhile, former City Councilmember Alan Gerson tells us he’s raring to run for Squadron’s seat should it open up. “I’m seriously considering the state Senate, if Squadron gets the appointment,” he told us this week. “A lot of people from the East Side and the West Side have been urging me to do this.” Is he hearing something about Squadron? “I just know what I read,” Gerson said. “Of course, I start off with Scoopy, it’s at the top of the list. Once in a while I read the Times and Crain’s.” Jenifer Rajkumar also has expressed interest in Squadron’s seat should it become free.
‘Dwelling’ on it too long? What’s going on at Community Board 3? The board still hasn’t produced a resolution on how to deal with the fallout from its temporary “ban” of the LES Dwellers quality-of-life group. Including this past Tuesday’s full-board meeting, it’s been two months now that the board’s special task force on the issue — composed of Executive Committee members, or the board’s core leadership — has failed to produce a resolution for the full board to vote on. We hear that there were some problems with a draft of the resolution, and that the task force is still plugging away at it, but that it’s expected a resolution will be presented at next month’s full-board meeting. At this week’s full board, outspoken C.B. 3 member Ayo Harrington angrily demanded to be put on the task force, accusing the board’s chairperson, Gigi Li, of having created an insular process. Li said it’s O.K., she could be on the task force — now — but that didn’t change Harrington’s opinion that the board’s decision-making process is too much of a closed ship.