Volume 76, Number 24 | November 1 - 7, 2006

Scoopy's Notebook

City Councilmember Christine Quinn's staff wants to set the record straight on the Westbeth Artists Residents Council allegedly being “bought off” by a $7,000 grant Quinn gave them, in return for which - the accusation goes - George Cominskie, WARC's president, publicly stated at a Board 2 meeting that WARC supports the city's Solid Waste Management Plan. Kate Seely-Kirk, Quinn's legislative aide, points out that Quinn also gave $85,000 to the Friends of Hudson River Park, which opposes the S.W.M.P., a.k.a. “Swamp.” Under the plan, part of the Gansevoort Peninsula in the Hudson River Park would be used for a marine transfer station to barge recyclable garbage to Brooklyn. Asked about the new proposal, coming out of the new Coalition to Protect Our Parks, to instead put the M.T.S. at Pier 76 at W. 35th St. (see this week's editorial, Page 16), Seely-Kirk and Maria Alvarado, Quinn's spokesperson, said Gansevoort remains Plan A unless it's impossible to change the Hudson River Park Act legislation to allow putting the facility there. Seely-Kirk and Alvarado wouldn't comment on the new alternative, but added that Quinn's agreement with the Bloomberg administration stipulates they are to search for alternative sites as well as Gansevoort. They added that having the M.T.S. at Gansevoort constitutes “borough equity” in terms of dealing with garbage, and will ultimately reduce overall pollution and trailer-tractors hauling garbage through the streets, since more will be barged. Quinn is getting a lot of “quiet support” from local environmentalists, who are intimidated to speak out at public meetings and who are praising Quinn for “making the hard choice,” they added.

Well, Gregg Singer has stopped chipping off the historic detail work on the old P.S. 64 on E. Ninth St., mainly, because his permit expired, and the city refused to renew it, thank God. But now, we hear, he's filed yet another lawsuit, this time to try to overturn the old building's landmarking. In Singer's twisted scheme, he will argue that because he had the pre-existing permit to scrape the facade, the building never should have been landmarked. We asked City Councilmember Rosie Mendez her thoughts on this latest development - but we had forgotten that she can't comment because she's named in some of Singer's other numerous lawsuits. “You want to me to growl?” she said. “Grrrr! How's that?” Lonnie Soury, Singer's spokesperson, said no further facade work is planned for the moment, and that Singer is also appealing the Board of Standards and Appeals' upholding of the rejection of a building permit for Singer's planned 24-story megadorm on the site…. Also, on Mendez, last week's article on the First Houses incorrectly stated she moved into public housing when she was 11 years old, when, in fact, it was when she was 11 months old.

Lesser of two evils: Downtown Independent Democrats, in its voter guide, is supporting the idea of voting to re-elect Alan Hevesi as state comptroller. “Despite his egregious lapse in ethical judgment, if he should eventually exit, he will then be replaced by another Democrat and not that lightweight, Callaghan,” explained Sean Sweeney, D.I.D.'s president. “We still couldn't endorse Hillary - no endorsement in U.S. Senate race,” he added. _

Scoopy has been seeing a lot dead birds - well, at least three - around the block outside The Villager office lately, and, no, they didn't die at the hands of this kitty. There were two dead sparrows and a handsome bird with a long bill and red band on the back of its neck, we're guessing a woodpecker - all within the space of one week. The Villager staff was concerned - could it be, gulp, bird flu? We'll never know for sure, though. After calling the Centers for Disease Control, State Department of Health and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Scoopy learned there is no warning system for avian flu and that birds are only tested during West Nile virus season or if there is a risk for human contraction of some bird-borne germs. You can't say we didn't try, though.

You dirty rat! No one's denying the union rat outside 165 Christopher St. is publicizing that nonunion work is going on at the storefront there. But some residents are complaining that the small gas-powered generator keeping the rat pumped up with air is really loud and produces noxious fumes, terrible for young children and babies living nearby.

Soft E.U.:
After its long, torturous fight for a beer and wine license, E.U. restaurant on E. Fourth opened last Friday evening. But the general manager there said that after all they've been through, they just wanted to have a “soft opening” and that they'd rather not have too much press coverage or a photographer shooting photos of the place just at this moment, thank you.

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