Schwartz bounces back:
In the first bombshell to drop in the shakeup of Community Board 2 committee chairpersons by Maria Passannante Derr, Arthur Schwartz has been appointed chairperson of a new combined Parks and Waterfront Committee. Last month, Aubrey Lees said she would resign as Parks Committee chairperson at the end of June and Don MacPherson resigned as Waterfront Committee chairperson two months ago. There is life after death, said Schwartz of his reemergence in a key position on the board, after having been deposed by then-board chairperson Lees as Waterfront Committee chairperson two years ago (not to mention his recently being pushed out the door as Democratic district leader by State Senator Tom Duane and Councilmember Chris Quinn). One of the things Im going to do at the first meeting is revisit some of the [Washington Sq. Park] fence issues, and work with [Councilmember] Alan Gerson in doing that, Schwartz said. And overall, try to make the Parks Committee a committee where people feel they can have some input and not do planning outside the earshot of the community. Schwartz also said that at his first meeting hell ask for a full report on the Friends of Hudson River Parks Gansevoort Peninsula lawsuit. Derr, the boards new chairperson, confirmed the appointment and said she is in the process of considering other committee chairperson appointments. The next Parks and Waterfront Committee meeting will be Mon., July 11, 6 p.m., at the C.B. 2 board office at 3 Washington Sq. Village on Bleecker St., east of LaGuardia Pl.
Downtown Independent Democrats overwhelmingly backed Gifford Miller for mayor at D.I.D.s mayoral endorsement meeting on Mon., June 27. We feel that despite current low poll numbers, he will come on strong during the summer once the campaign begins in earnest, and that he has the best chance of defeating Mike Bloomberg in November, said Sean Sweeney, D.I.D. president.
Democracy for America, the organization founded by Howard Dean after his presidential campaign ended last year, has endorsed Norman Siegel for public advocate. I have not seen this type of heartfelt reaction to a candidate since Howard Deans presidential bid, said Heather Alexa Woodfield, director of the local DFA coalition group, Democracy for NYC.
Biding his time:
Pete Gleason dropped by our office the other day to explain why he dropped out of the primary race against Councilmember Alan Gerson. One of the most important, he said, is that Gerson has been very supportive of the Battery Park City CERT or volunteer emergency-preparedness team, of which Gleason, a former firefighter, is co-president. Also Gleason has been actively working for Fernando Ferrers mayoral campaign and District Attorney Robert Morgenthaus reelection bid. Right after losing to Gerson in 2003, Gleason joined D.I.D. He says hes looking forward to running for the Lower Manhattan council seat in 2009, when he expects Julie Menin, the new chairperson of Community Board 1, will also be a candidate.
Notes from NOHO:
Regarding Stuart Waldmans talking point about the perils of not landmarking the Far West Village in last weeks issue, which was illustrated with a photo of the new Adidas store on Broadway and E. Houston St., Harriet Fields, director of the NOHO NY business improvement district, just wanted to let us know: In 1999 when Noho was landmarked, at the time, the Landmarks Preservation Commission did not landmark empty lots. This particular lot at 610 Broadway was a gas station/car wash. It was cut out of the proposed landmark area because it was on the perimeter.
Buds a dud:
Rebecca Moore of L.O.C.O., or the Ludlow-Orchard Community Coalition, reports the group recently rejected a request for a Budweiser commercial to be filmed in Pianos live-music club on Ludlow St., despite the film companys offer of money. Moore noted that L.O.C.O. is not a 501-c-3 nonprofit organization capable of accepting contributions. However, she says the area seems to have recently received a much-needed respite from filming.
Remember the Alamo?
Whats going on with the Astor Pl. Cube, a.k.a., the cube? When the Parks Department removed the 1968 public sculpture on March 8, after it was found to be unstable and no longer spinnable, they said it would be fixed and returned in 60 days. One hundred days have passed. Were the cube conspiracy theorists right all along? Has Parks ditched the cube? Is it all a part of the plan to close Astor Pl. and make the spot a skate-punk free zone for the new reflective-glass Related Companies apartment building? Will it take another mock crucifixion to bring attention to the cubes absence? We dont know, but a Parks spokesperson said theres no update on the cube, but that shell let us know when there is.
Jesus gets off:
Speaking of mock crucifixions, Eric Wallach tells us that for doing his Jesus-on-the-cross performance on an Astor Pl. street light to protest the Iraq war, he was given an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal with three days of community service in Tompkins Square Park. Provided he stays out of trouble and doesnt crucify himself again the incident will be cleared from his record after six months.
Thats Noche, to you:
In last weeks Gay Pride supplement, due to an editing error, a drag queen at the Garden Party was identified as Countess Noch. Her name, thank you, is Countess Noche.
Oops: There was no credit in last weeks Villager on the photo of Reverends Gordon Dragt and Jacqui Lewis of Middle Collegiate Church. The photo was taken by Renee Williams.