Volume 75, Number 7 | July 6 - 12, 2005

Scoopy's Notebook

Doris’s double Dip:
Doris Diether has been appointed chairperson of Community Board 2’s Landmarks Committee by new board chairperson Maria Passannante Derr, replacing Sean Sweeney, and also vice chairperson of the board’s Zoning Committee. Diether says Sweeney told her he at least was glad that it was someone qualified like her who’s taking over. However, we hear David Reck, the Zoning chairperson, was none too thrilled to hear about the board’s longtime “Zoning Maven” returning to the committee from which she was so rudely bounced two years ago and was threatening to “quit” if it happens. Well, Derr confirmed to us that Diether’s appointment is for real, so….

iPod politics:
Abby Wilson, a campaign worker and aide to Councilmember Eva Moskowitz, said they’ve been getting a great response collecting petition signatures in the Village and Chelsea to put Moskowitz on the ballot for the September Manhattan borough president primary. However, there’s been just one problem — everyone’s wearing iPod ear buds making it really hard to get their attention. It’s true, Wilson said — “certainly more than in Stuyvesant Town, Peter Cooper Village or even the Upper West Side!”

An inspiration:
Micah Lasher, a campaign manager for Assemblymember Scott Stringer, tells us that Stringer’s recent report on the community boards was definitely influenced by The Villager’s reporting on Community Board 2 on such issues as the Bob Rinaolo conflict of interest uproar and Borough President C. Virginia Fields’s dubious removals of board members prior to chairperson elections. “You should know, for what it’s worth, that your coverage of this issue really was a major inspiration for the report in the first place,” Lasher told us. If, as some people are saying, Greenwich Village is “the Ohio” of the borough president race, Stringer’s camp is smart to be focusing on the community boards, since the goings-on at C.B. 2 have been a major story down here.

Safety convergence:
On Tues., July 26, Time’s Up!, the bike advocacy group, is planning a “mass safety convergence ride” departing from several locations around the city to meet at Pace University, opposite City Hall. The ride is timed to coincide with a mayoral candidates forum at Pace on the city’s parks. The group New Yorkers For Parks is sponsoring the 7 p.m. debate and has invited the mayor and all the mayoral candidates to participate. Admission is free, but people must register at: http://www.parks1.org/mayoralforum to attend. Time’s Up! will post meeting points for bicyclists on their Web site. They are also looking for volunteers to help organize the event. More information can be found at: http://www.times-up.org/. The safety convergence ride comes in the wake of a recent rash of bicyclists being killed by trucks and amid ongoing complaints of a lack of bicycling infrastructure — i.e., safe bike lanes.

Captivating book:
Micah Garen and Marie-Helene Carleton of Christopher St. are working on a book about their experience during his kidnapping by Islamic militants in Iraq last August. She recently called us to try to track down photographer Robert Stolarik, since they were thinking about using a photo he took of the incredibly heavy media presence outside their building during the hostage crisis.

Purple p.o.’d:
Adam Purple, community gardening legend and bicycling activist from way back, almost came out of his obscurity recently. He was scheduled to speak at the Still We Speak rally before the March Critical Mass ride. But as Purple was approaching the mike, Bill Weinberg of WBAI, “half in jest,” told him not to say anything negative about City Councilmember Margarita Lopez. Purple freaked, jumped on his bike and headed back down to the Lower East Side. “He was ticked off,” Weinberg said. “He’s never forgiven — and I can understand why — Margarita for her deep complicity in the destruction of the Garden of Eden in 1986.” Weinberg said that since Lopez had spoken at the rally the month before, he assumed she’d be there again. “I was afraid it was going to be bad vibes,” he said. “But she wasn’t even there. And now I’m pissed — the week after, I opened up The Villager, and saw Lopez with her arm around Bloomberg, a Republican mayor, about this whole East River redevelopment,” Weinberg groused.

That’s it!
You can push the Greenwich Village Block Associations a bit, but once you start messing with the Village’s historic Bishop’s crook lightposts, watch out! G.V.B.A. Secretary Marilyn Dorato recently wrote to a company called LOGOonline.com “to express our collective annoyance” at large stickers the company has been putting on the throwback poles. “I hope that you will do the responsible thing, remove any stickers that you have placed and stop defacing our neighborhood in this way,” Dorato wrote.

Surgical campaign strategy:
Michael Beys, a candidate for City Council in the Second District, was recently walking around campaigning with two surgeons who treated people from one of the East River helicopter crashes last month. Maybe he just wanted to be on the scene if another disaster struck? Hey, it’s good P.R.

Correction:
An article in last week’s Villager said that the Superior Ink site was being slightly downzoned in the city’s Far West Village rezoning plan. In fact, the site is being upzoned a bit, but a height cap is being imposed.

Doherty finds love: Greenwich Village native Andrew Secunda is the writer and co-executive producer of a new TV series, “Love, Inc.” — starring Shannon Doherty as a dating consultant for lovelorn men, though she can’t find love for herself — on UPN this fall on Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. Secunda attended P.S. 41 and Elizabeth Irwin High School, graduated from the Film School at Ithaca College and formerly wrote for “Late Night With Conan O’Brien.” His mother, Shirley Secunda, is a member of Community Board 2 and his father, Eugene Secunda, is a New York University professor.

park blotter: Chris Martin, Hudson River Park Trust spokesperson, filled us in a little bit more on the park and Gay Pride. Martin said that this year the plan was to close the whole Village section of the park at 11 p.m. after the Gay Pride March, but they closed it an hour earlier after “a large number of individuals began shooting Roman candles into the crowd.” Two years ago, according to Martin, the park’s lawns and gardens were “severely damaged” after Gay Pride and a fight broke out on the Christopher St. Pier, causing “thousands of people to stampede off the pier.” Last year was the first time the piers and lawns were closed off during Gay Pride.

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