Volume 76, Number 3 | June 7 - 13 2006

Scoopy's Notebook

I quit! Saying she’s tired of fighting an “uphill battle to conduct civil board meetings or be able to cover an agenda,” Susan Kramer this week resigned as co-chairperson of the Union Square Community Coalition. The past two years have been particularly difficult, she said. “A black cloud of negativity has been hanging over U.S.C.C. The good, positive work Gail Fox, my co-chairperson, and I and a few others accomplished was despite that atmosphere,” Kramer said. Kramer noted that she and Fox revived U.S.C.C., raised funds for umbrellas to shade the children’s playground, added seating around the Mother and Children statue and picnic tables by the Gandhi statue and sponsored planting days, carnivals and other volunteer opportunities to better the neighborhood. “While we were busy, the naysayers were busy complaining,” sniffed Kramer. “The naysayers like to think they represent the community, but they represent a small group who are narrowly focused and uncompromising.”

I’m not quitting: Connie Fishman, president of the Hudson River Park, denied rumors that she’s looking around for a new job now that a change of administrations looks like it’s in the offing in Albany. “I’m not looking — and nobody’s looking for me,” Fishman said, adding, “Why would I leave? This is the best job in New York City.” She noted that while Governor Pataki will be leaving office, Mayor Bloomberg isn’t, and that she has good relations with “both administrations.” The mayor and governor control five appointments each on the Trust’s 13-member board, which appoints the Trust’s president…. In other Hudson River Park news, the park is now offering Wi-Fi (wireless Internet service) in the Greenwich Village segment between Clarkson and Horatio Sts.

Hope for a Fass recovery: Bob Fass, who has been hosting a radio show in New York City longer than almost anyone, has been in Staten Island General Hospital for the last 10 days with heart problems. Fass was one of the first people to put Bob Dylan on the radio. He has the longest-running radio show on WBAI, and has been on the airwaves in New York for 40 years. Hundreds of East and West Village activists and musicians have been on his show over the decades. Wavy Gravy, the original Woodstock emcee, is on about once a month, and Judith Malina of the Living Theater is another regular guest.

No-mess arrest: We hear that Ron Haworth, supervisor for Sanitation District 2, which is based on Gansevoort Peninsula, will be honored on Thursday for his role in helping break up a potentially serious confrontation at W. Fourth and Gansevoort Sts. last month. According to local resident John Kurtz, who witnessed the event, a bicyclist had been knocked down by a van and the cyclist and driver were squaring off for a fight, the biker with his chain and the driver with a machete. Haworth, who was making his rounds, pulled his car in between them, blocking the van from escaping and radioed police, who arrived and arrested the road-raging, machete-wielding driver. Kurtz said Haworth will receive a bronze medal for heroism from the city.

We’re in bigger trouble now: Robert Lederman of A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists’ Response to Illegal State Tactics) fears street artists and street vendors may be facing a new crackdown based on the fact that the partner of the city’s new Consumer Affairs commissioner, Jonathan Mintz, is lawman John Feinblatt, the city’s coordinator of criminal justice. “Feinblatt is determined to send street artists and vendors to prison,” Lederman accused…. Also, Lederman says he sees right through Councilmember Alan Gerson’s “artist relocation plan,” first reported in last week’s Villager. He says it’s the same plan tried about a decade ago by former Councilmember Kathryn Freed. But Lederman says the street artists are unlikely to relocate to the parking lot at Lispenard St. and Broadway or Pier A, as Gerson has hinted he will soon propose as part of a sweeping new vendor reform initiative.

Love shack? Apparently not: Despite the wildly successful Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, we hear the Parks Department has decided not to go forward with a concession at Stuyvesant Square Park. Neighbors had opposed the plan.

Correction: In a Scoopy item last week about the Downtown Independent Democrats’ political endorsements, “Clinton bombs at D.I.D., too,” we misreported the vote rankings in the state attorney general’s race because of inaccurate information provided by the club. Mark Green finished second, not third, with 10 votes, and Andrew Cuomo came in third, not second, with four votes. Sean Patrick Maloney did get the most votes in the club, 11.

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