Volume 76, Number 20 | October 4 - 10, 2006

Scoopy’s Notebook

Square deal? Jonathan Greenberg said he and his three co-plaintiffs in one of the lawsuits against the Washington Square Park renovation plan would file their papers against the city’s appeal on Oct. 4. Meanwhile, Greenberg said, he was outraged — but not surprised — to see in the city’s appeal papers that the city is now referring to the Gerson-Quinn agreement as merely a “purported agreement.” Of course, Councilmember Alan Gerson was wrong to have never gotten the agreement — which specified, among other things, the amount the fountain plaza could be reduced — signed, Greenberg reiterated; the plans the Parks Department put out to bid exceed this amount. To illustrate Parks’ hypocrisy, Greenberg forwarded to us an audio clip of Bill Castro, Manhattan borough Parks commissioner, speaking at a board meeting last year and saying that the Gerson-Quinn agreement was a good thing. In addition, Parks recently issued a 2-inch-thick environmental impact assessment for the renovation. But, according to Arthur Schwartz, chairperson of Community Board 2’s Parks and Waterfront Committee, Parks doesn’t think an environmental impact statement — which could take up to a year to complete — is needed. Schwartz, though, at least wanted some time to have the E.I.A. discussed at a C.B. 2 meeting, but Parks told him they don’t want to wait. Carli Smith, a Parks spokesperson, said she couldn’t comment on why Parks does or doesn’t want to do an E.I.S. since the department doesn’t discuss matters concerning pending litigation. However, a source from the Emergency Coalition to Save Washington Square Park, or ECO, another group that filed legislation against the renovation, noted that any project more than 10 acres in size requires an E.I.S.; while Parks is claiming the park is 9.7 acres, under the original land lease — which includes the sidewalks outside the park — the park is 10 acres, the source said.

Come back to the casbah: Back in August, we reported that Le Souk on Avenue B had been closed by the State Liquor Authority for violations. But it’s been back open for more than a month now. “The community board tried to make us loose our license,” said Sam Jacob, one of the co-owners, standing outside the place last Saturday night. “It was just a mistake, paperwork.” Jacob said Le Souk was closed only a few days, including one weekend, from Aug. 12-16. He said they never received the S.L.A.’s violations in the mail, so the authority made a “default judgment” to close them. He said their hearing is coming up soon. He didn’t want to say what the violations were, but it appears at least one of them may have been for underage drinking. As a crowd of people lined the sidewalk waiting to get in, Jacob denied lower Avenue B and the surrounding streets have become a congested party scene as a result of the new nightspots. Nearby, on Third St., a police officer in a white shirt, a supervising officer, was acting as a traffic cop, making sure the steady stream of cars turning onto Avenue B kept moving.

Schwartz-and-Glick: Assemblymember Deborah Glick has had it up to here with Arthur Schwartz. She blasted the recent Scoopy item in which Schwartz claimed he knew he had to raise a lot of money for his state committee race because Glick had allegedly put out warnings saying she was going to fundraise to the max for Larry Moss. “Schwartz constantly tries to link himself to me,” Glick fumed — in response to which Schwartz laughed.

Smell them dogs: A resident of the building that Bleecker Park wraps around called to complain about a new gourmet hot dog cart concession in the park. The mere idea of commercializing the park irritates her — but the hot dog odor when the wind blows into her apartment is driving her to distraction.

Putting it all together: Jim “Mosaic Man” Power wants us to know that within the last month he has left the city three times, only to return three times, and that he’s turning 59 on Saturday. He initially left us a phone message saying he was furious with The Villager for having “aided and abetted FEVA [the Federation of East Village Artists],” the sponsor of the HOWL! Festival, which was cancelled this year, to Power’s glee. “I will be visiting the front of your office to bring attention to the fact that you slant the news!” he warned. Still recovering from a recent brutal beating, during which he was punched and kicked more than 30 times outside 120 St. Mark’s Pl., he’s still on pain medication and recently discovered another broken rib. When we spoke with him on Monday, he said, on second thought, he won’t picket us. “I love your paper,” he said. “You are a cornerstone of this community. I get mad and I say a lot of things — don’t get me wrong.” He’s excited about a new mosaic project he’s doing on the front of Theater for the New City on First Ave.

Corrections: Lillian Milgram Schapiro died at age 104 on Sept. 6, not Aug. 6, as we incorrectly reported in her obituary…. Jonathan Tasini e-mailed us to note that the recent Scoopy item about him spending only $1.50 for each vote he got in his primary against Hillary Clinton applies to the 118,000 voters who supported him, and that there were more than 700,000 votes cast in the race.

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