Volume 75, Number 45 | March 29 -April 04 2006

Scoopy's Notebook

Lopez gets the job: We don’t know if it was her show-stopping turn as Guinevere to Mayor Bloomberg’s Sir Hamalot in “Spendalot” at the Inner Circle dinner that made it happen, but former City Councilmember Margarita Lopez has reportedly landed her much-rumored and coveted job in the Bloomberg administration. According to an item by New York Post City Hall reporter David Seifman, Lopez, whom Seifman calls “one of Mayor Bloomberg’s most enthusiastic Democratic supporters,” is about to land a $169,000-a-year job in the administration. According to sources, the item says, the mayor intends to name Lopez to the board of the New York City Housing Authority when JoAnna Aniello retires in a month. Lopez would be the number-three person at NYCHA. The Housing Authority has three board members, who currently include Tino Hernandez, the authority’s chairperson, Earl Andrews, the vice chairperson, and Aniello, whom the city’s Green Book lists as a “member,” as in board member. All three members are appointed by the mayor, who also appoints the chairperson. Nonchairperson members serve five-year terms. Not more than two members of the same political party can be on the authority’s board. Stu Loeser, a Bloomberg spokesperson, said the administation doesn’t comment “one way or the other” on appointments. Lopez didn’t return a call by deadline. City Councilmember Rosie Mendez, Lopez’s successor and political ally, said she hadn’t heard the news or seen the item. “I don’t read the Post,” Mendez said, adding, “If I want any gossip, I’ll go to Scoopy’s Notebook.”

Rosy health: To highlight the need for women to get mammograms, Councilmember Mendez got one herself the other day. She was fine. For several years, though, she went without getting mammograms because she didn’t have health insurance, even though she did find a benign lump when she was 17 that she eventually had removed.

Look out Larry: Arthur Schwartz tells us he’ll definitely be running for Democratic State Committee in the September primary and that his running mate is Lisa Canistracci, owner of Henrietta Hudson, the lesbian bar at Hudson and Morton Sts. They’ll of course be facing the incumbents, Larry Moss and Rachel Lavine. Schwartz also has been tapped by Maria Passannante Derr, Community Board 2 chairperson, to be the board’s representative on the Hudson River Park Advisory Council. Because of the way the position rotates between Community Boards 1, 2 and 4, Schwartz is now the advisory council’s chairperson.

Sylvia’s S.L.A. stips: Sylvia Friedman hit the ground running in the State Assembly, introducing seven pieces of legislation on her first day in Albany. Taking on one of the hottest issues right now, bars and the State Liquor Authority, one or her bills would require the S.L.A. to honor stipulations placed on bars by neighborhood groups and community boards and to revoke liquor licenses of bars that violate the stipulations. Friedman’s bill would require the S.L.A. to consult with the license applicant, neighbors and the community boards regarding stipulations. “This is a step forward in regulating bars that are not good neighbors, who have no consideration for their communities and who are only in this business to make money,” Friedman said…. Paul Nelson, her chief of staff, reports that Friedman will be moving her office soon to the same building at 14th St. and First Ave. where Rosie Mendez’s office is. In fact, Friedman’s office will be right under Mendez’s.

Mostly trailers: Trailers from a movie “Mostly Martha” with Catherine Zeta-Jones, were mostly taking up almost all of Hudson St. the other night when we walked by.

Chelsea dust storm: Chelsea residents say the street-resurfacing work on Eighth Ave. has them
wheezing and they worry it could be a health hazard. The street surface has been removed, leaving just gravel and dust, which is being whipped up into the air by passing cars. Susan Immergut of Penn South reports the dust is so bad that she has stopped going to the New York Sports Club across the avenue for a few days and has been avoiding walking along Eighth Ave. “I know it’s temporary, but why should we have to suffer this dust even for one day when it could easily be remedied by I think spraying water or perhaps detouring traffic?” she asked. “The E.P.A. just came out with a report that New York City has the worst air in the nation. I think at this moment Chelsea must have the worst air in the entire city.”

W.M.D. doublespeak: Chelsea Neighbors United to End the War will present the documentary “Weapons of Mass Deception” by Danny Schechter at the Hudson Guild, 441West 26th Street (between Ninth and 10th Aves.) on Thurs. March 30 at 7 p.m. Schechter will speak about the film and answer questions. The 98-minute film explores the media’s role in helping to rationalize and propagate the Iraq war. Tickets are $5 in advance, $7 at the door. Call 212-726-1385 for reservations or more information.

Danish, anyone? The incendiary Danish Muslim cartoons will be on display during a panel discussion on the worldwide reaction to them on March 29, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., at New York University’s Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, Eisner and Lubin Auditorium, fourth floor. Panelists will include Peter Schwartz, former board of directors chairperson of the Ayn Rand Institute; Charles Mitchell of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education; Andrew Bostom, author of “The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims; and Jonathan Leaf, the former New York Press editor who resigned over his paper’s decision not to publish the Danish cartoons. All non-N.Y.U. attendees must register for the event at nyu.objectivismonline.net.

Quote unquote: Susan Stetzer, district manager of Community Board 3, said she never told The Villager that N.Y.U. “definitely wants it” in reference to the development site at Third Ave. and 10th St. that we first reported on in last week’s issue. She’s right. She only told us that N.Y.U. had been negotiating for the site for a long time without anything being settled. Most would of course naturally assume — as we obviously did — that N.Y.U. “definitely wanted it,” but Stetzer did not say that per se. We apologize for our sloppy journalistic lapse in putting those paraphrased words in her mouth. Also in regard to an article in last week’s issue on the Lower East Side Tenement Museum’s proposal for a Lower East Side Historic District, Stetzer tells us it was the museum’s Margaret Hughes who called her saying there were concerns in the community about the proposal and that Stetzer then advised her to begin her presentation at the C.B. 3 Landmarks Committee meeting by clearly stating that the agenda item had been changed from a request of support to a presentation.

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