Volume 76, Number 26 | November 15 - 21, 2006

Scoopy’s Notebook

Throw the book: The Bush administration was so outraged at the idea of radical attorney Lynne Stewart being let off easy for aiding terrorists that, in a rarely seen legal maneuver, it is appealing the sentence. The government had asked for Stewart to get 30 years, but she got just 28 months. As a result, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District is appealing the sentence meted out to Stewart by U.S. District Court Judge John G. Koetl. Pat Levasseur, head of Stewart’s defense committee, confirmed they were notified of the appeal at last month’s end. The way it works is that the U.S. attorney has asked the Justice Department’s solicitor general to authorize an appeal of the sentence. If it’s granted, the sentencing judge — Koetl — would be asked to reconsider the sentence and encouraged to slap Stewart with more time behind bars. (Usually, the sentencing is kicked back to the sentencing judge, unless that judge refuses, Levasseur said.) The appeal must be authorized within 30 days of the previous judgment having been submitted into the docket; so a decision should be made by Nov. 26. “We expected this,” Levasseur said, though adding, “We haven’t heard if they’ve been authorized to appeal yet.” In addition to Stewart, the government is appealing the sentences of her two co-defendants, Ahmed Abdel Sattar and Mohamed Yousry. The A.G. had asked for life in prison for Sattar and 20 years for Yousry — but Koetl gave them 24 years and 20 months, respectively. The government infrequently appeals sentences since it threatens the separation of powers of the executive and judicial branches. For her part, Stewart is also appealing her conviction to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which could take at least a year, according to Levasseur. (Thanks to Lorcan Otway for his tip on this one.)

A Bush on the block: W. Ninth St. historian LindaAnn Loschiavo tells us W. Ninth St. is feeling a lot safer these days with First Twin Barbara Bush living on the block. “I do like seeing the Secret Service on W. Ninth when I return home late from the gym,” she tells us. Historian that she is, Loschiavo notes that Bush’s building was once home to such figures as Starr Faithful, a Roaring 20s good-time girl whose corpse washed up on a Long Island beach in a death that rattled the rich and powerful; and the poet Marianne Moore. Both first twin daughters have been spotted enjoying the nearby Village Restaurant, we’re told.

Hardcore violence: A source tells us Jimmy Gestapo, lead singer of legendary hardcore band Murphy’s Law, was recently in a fight at the Double Down Saloon on Avenue A. Gestapo’s face was totally covered in blood, our source reports.

Liz Smith dishes: The Villager’s Mary Reinholz recently interviewed the Post’s Liz Smith, the Grande Dame of Dish, via e-mail before her headlining speech to the Newswomen’s Club at the National Arts Club. Liz Smith presiding over a group of distinguished newswomen? “Yes, there is irony in addressing serious journalists when one is not a serious journalist,” Smith told Reinholz, comparing herself to some 39 award winners in print, wire services, broadcasting and online media, including two reporters for The New York Times. “I have become more of a philosopher, an observer, an explainer as real scoops are difficult to come by what with everybody blogging and the Internet rumor gaining precedence,” Smith confided. “But I believe even serious newspersons give me credit for being fair-minded and not malicious and for correcting my own mistakes and giving credit,” she said.

Thrill of the race: Perhaps inspired by Joe Lieberman’s running as an independent, Sylvia Friedman decided she would campaign, after all, on the Working Families Party line after losing to Brian Kavanagh in the Democratic primary. Although she had previously secured the W.F. ballot line, after finally conceding a close primary to Kavanagh, she was initially undecided about whether she’d mount an active campaign. But, apparently, she made up her mind. One Gramercy resident reports having received a “robocall” from Freidman before the general election seeking his vote. Unlike Lieberman, though, Friedman couldn’t quite pull it off. Kavanagh got 75 percent of the vote to her 13 percent. But she did have the satisfaction of beating Republican Frank Scala, who got 12 percent.

A legend to forget: We hear the 2 Fifth Ave. board has scheduled a meeting with the Mayor’s Office to “make sure that nothing like ‘I Am Legend’ ever occurs in Washington Square Park again.” The new Will Smith movie with its three weeks of filming, featuring explosions, piles of bombed-out cars and noxious fumes, eclipsed, albeit briefly, the Washington Square Park renovation in terms of local angst.

Acting up with Koch: A few weeks ago, East Village activist John Penley threw his inaugural Leftist Singles Party — the first of an ongoing series, he hopes — at Mama’s bar on Avenue B. The occasion was that the bar had bought a photo of Penley’s of former Mayor Ed Koch in a confrontation with Act Up taken right after Koch was mayor. The photo ran on the front page of the New York Post with the headline “Gay Rage.” Koch and his bodyguard — apparently he still had a city-issued bodyguard — had been returning from a movie and came upon an Act Up protest on University Pl.; Koch brashly strode through the throng. The Act Up members angrily started shouting at Koch and pointing their fingers within inches of his face. Asked his thoughts about this confrontation and Act Up in general, Koch told us, “I have no recollection of the Act Up incident. Yes, the organization did criticize me, I thought unjustly. I admire their successes in getting anti-AIDS drugs made more available and cheaper. I think my administration was very helpful in supporting the needs of AIDS sufferers. But I understand the frustration and their focusing their attention on city, state and federal governments and demanding more.”

Correction: In a correction last week, we noted that the woman in the photo with Dr. David Ores in our Oct. 25 article on “Dr. Dave” of Clinton St., was not his girlfriend, but neglected to say who she is: She’s a friend, Julie St. Arnaud.

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