Volume 75, Number 21 | October 12 - 18, 2005

Scoopy’s notebook

Capsouto V.I.P.’s: Downtown luminaries packed Capsouto Frères last Sunday evening for the Tribeca restaurant’s 25th anniversary celebration. Former councilmember-turned-judge Kathryn Freed said hello, and noted she recently got two retro, chrome-edged barstools for her “island” — not in the Caribbean but in her kitchen, in her new Grand St. digs. We chatted a while with Chinatown advocate Paul Lee, who gave us his card which says “management consultant.” “That’s what you call yourself when you’re between jobs,” quipped Lee, who lost his Mott St. gift shop not long after 9/11. Deposed Community Board 1 Chairperson Madelyn Wils greeted us with a somewhat chilly “Oh, hello,” but she and Freed had plenty to say to each other.

Duane gets airtime: In a move Tom Duane assures won’t cause as much tumult as when he moved into the Penn South co-op, the state senator plans to relocate from his one-bedroom apartment to a smaller one with a balcony. “I put my name on a list for it,” Duane said. “I put my name on a list to get a parking spot and had to wait, but I got it. I put my name on a list for a bike rack, and I got one. My name is still on a list to get a storage space — but I’ll probably be dead before I get a storage space.” A few years ago, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development investigated Duane after some Penn South dissidents charged he earned too much to live in the limited-equity co-op. But Duane, who is allowed to pay a surcharge because he earns over the cap, was cleared…. If you don’t live in Penn South or Albany, you can now see Duane on his monthly public-access TV show on Manhattan Network Neighborhood (Channels 34 or 57). Three shows that have aired so far have been about transgender rights, clergy abuse and women’s rights. His program is on this month on Oct. 23 at 4:30 p.m. and Oct. 28 at noon. Although Duane doesn’t have an Ed McMahon-like sidekick, he recently had transgender activist Melissa Sklarz on as a guest. The shows are prerecorded — so no landlords Duane has led protests against can make crank calls to him on the air.

Who are these guys? It seems Park Enforcement Patrol officers aren’t the only ones being accused of heavy-handed behavior. Villager photographer Jeff Siegel tells us he was trying to take photos of a pile of old computers at the electronics recycling event at Union Square last weekend, when a Department of Sanitation police officer told him he couldn’t. The officer said Siegel’s press pass issued by the Police Department made no difference — since it wasn’t from Sanitation. Sorry, we didn’t realize we needed Sanitation press passes, too!

Moving on: Dirk McCall’s last day as chief of staff for City Councilmember Alan Gerson was last Tuesday. He’s moving on to become external affairs director for QSAC (Quality Services for the Autism Community). He said there’s no decision yet on his replacement. He said it’s been great working with Gerson — “I love Alan. He’s a great guy” — and expects Gerson will be calling him constantly over the next few weeks on projects and issues they had been working on together. McCall, who is president of the Stonewall Democrats club, said he’ll continue to be just as political, but now that he won’t have to go to so many late-night meetings he’ll be able to have a life too.

Park performers: Per Francesca Bertolini, Parks Department’s special events coordinator, here is the lowdown on the Fri., Oct. 21, bash to officially open the new Canal St. Park at the west end of Canal St. Following a ribbon cutting at 2 p.m., in the evening from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., there will be musical performances by Laurie Anderson, The Citizens Band, Lezlie Harrison, Jana Haimsohn with Heyna Second Sons and Coster Massamba, Lou Reed and Nellie McKay, plus art/film/video/projections by Minetta Brook (a film of the recent Robert Smithson artwork “Floating Island”), Pooh Kaye, Richard Barrett, Victoria Faust, Eli Obus Nathaniel Lieb and other artists.

Pig ’n’ punks: Jerry the Peddler’s second annual Halloween Pig Roast concert at City Hall Park will feature hardcore faves Leftover Crack, Choking Victim and possibly a special appearance by former Dead Kennedy Jello Biafra. The show is on Halloween evening and is free; roasted pig from Chinatown will be given out to those lucky enough to grab some. Sources say “people will be surprised” at the size of the concert. The real question, though, is will Leftover Crack get the crowd crazy? Last year, a concert the band played in Tompkins Square Park ended with some punks throwing bottles at police, who made one arrest.
C.O. change: Deputy Inspector James McCarthy recently was reassigned from the East Village’s Ninth Precinct, where he had been commanding officer the last two years, to head the Midtown South Precinct. Taking over at the Ninth is Deputy Inspector Dennis DeQuatro, former C.O. at Chelsea’s Tenth Precinct. McCarthy was well liked and approachable. “We really liked him a lot. We’re going to miss him,” said Susan Stetzer, district manager of Community Board 3. “We have met with the new commanding officer. He’s extremely concerned and I think he’s going to be strong.”…. On a quality of life issue that McCarthy grappled with — noise on Avenue B — Stetzer said that by November’s end, 10 “No Honking” signs will be installed along Avenue B, starting at Houston St. and going up. According to Stetzer, the Department of Transportation did a study and found there to be a honking problem, justifying the signage.

As the BAMRA turns: The good news for the Bleecker Area Residents’ and Merchants’ Association is that Charlie Wolf has dropped his claim in Small Claims Court against BAMRA for reimbursement for $5,000 in expenses he says he is owed from when he was the organization’s resident chairperson. The bad news is that Wolf has refiled his complaint in Records Court, feeling it’s the more appropriate court.

As the FEVA turns: Here’s the latest that we’ve gleaned from the Federation of East Village Artists’ listserv (that’s an e-mail list for those of our readers who might not be computer savvy). Some of the FEVA mutineers are still ticked off that Joe Pupello is being offered as the only candidate to be the organization’s paid executive director, plus they don’t like the idea that the executive director will now also be FEVA’s artistic director. Also, although the listserv is restricted to 81 members, it turns out all these weeks’ worth of scathing, no-holds-barred e-mails were being archived publicly on Google. After complaints from some of those who have been leading the “coup,” Deanna Zandt, FEVA’s listserv moderator, announced the archives will be removed from the public domain. And to scathing that FEVA is promoting younger Williamsburg artists over more established East Village/Lower East Side ones, Phil Hartman, FEVA’s founder, responded: “At the very first meeting of FEVA in December 2002, it was decided by consensus that we weren’t defining the East Village geographically, but spiritually. I think that Williamsburg certainly qualifies in that regard.” Well, some local artists are now calling for FEVA to change its name — someone is suggesting “Faux East Village Artists.” Finally, artist James Romberger, although an admitted FEVA renegade, said he was unhappy that three members planted the recent New York Times article raising “doubts” about FEVA and the HOWL! Festival after three years. “Penny [Arcade] and Clayton [Patterson] and David [Leslie] acted unilaterally to break into the board meeting and go to the press, damaging the organization,” Romberger told us. “They had and have no right to claim any more authority than anyone else in HOWL!, period.”

Characters: Speaking of Penny Arcade, Jim “Mosaic Man” Power called us last week, fuming about The Villager’s having referred to her as an “East Village icon” in last week’s article on Arcade’s going public with her hepatitis C treatments. Power wants everyone to know that he is the true East Village icon — and says he will be picketing our office soon to emphasize this. He might as well join up with Chelsea photographer Flo Fox, who warned she was going to picket us in her wheelchair if we didn’t get her a letter so she could apply for a police press pass to photograph the Halloween Parade.

A hike at Pier 40: Stuyvesant High School’s football team practices at the giant new Pier 40 field at W. Houston St. but doesn’t play games there. No, it’s not because of a movable pitcher’s mound — which is the reason Public School Athletic League baseball games can’t be held on the pier’s field — and wrong sport, anyway. It’s because the P.S.A.L. requires there to be locker rooms at fields for games. Chris Martin, the Hudson River Park Trust’s spokesperson, said the Trust is working on getting locker rooms on the pier that would allow the football games.

Corrections: An item in last week’s Scoopy’s Notebook incorrectly stated that Matt “Matty the Horse” Ianniello had died a few months ago. In fact, Ianniello — the reputed boss of the Genovese crime family following the longtime arrest of Vincent “Chin” Gigante — is alive. What did happen is Ianniello was arrested for racketeering. (We knew it was something major, but we got it mixed up.) He’s out on bail now and reportedly under house arrest on Long Island. Our apologies to Matty the Horse — and, please, don’t whack us over it…. A letter in last week’s Villager incorrectly stated that Ed Koch served as New York City mayor for 16 years, when in fact he was mayor for three terms only, or 12 years…. In last week’s editorial, reference was made to the Fine Arts Commission of New York, when the organization’s correct name is the Fine Arts Federation of New York. That editorial, which was on Washington Square Park, and an article, also on the park, both failed to mention that only seven of the Art Commission’s 11 members are appointed by the mayor from a list supplied by the Fine Arts Federation. The Parks Department is telling us that, thus, while the Fine Arts Federation did vote against moving the park’s fountain, the Art Commission’s vote on the same subject is by no means a slamdunk.

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