Volume 76, Number 42 | March 14 - 20, 2007

Scoopy’s Notebook

Sour note: Following last week’s court ruling that the Washington Square renovation can proceed, paranoia is spreading among the park’s musicians that the city now intends to clamp down on them. We hear that last Sunday a police officer told a guitarist named Scott playing in the park that he’d gathered too big a crowd and had to stop. Fueling suspicions, park watchers note two police officers — including the one who issued the order — were recently posted in the park, while the usual Park Enforcement Patrol officers aren’t around as much anymore. Not helping to dispel concerns were Parks Department spokespersons Abby Lootens and Jama Adams — the latter, Parks’ deputy press director — who repeatedly told us all questions on the matter must be directed to the Police Department. However, Tim Duffy, Sixth Precinct community affairs officer, said while it’s true two officers were assigned to the park a month ago, it’s only because the precinct’s manpower has risen to a level to allow this. Usually, officers pass through the park or patrol the perimeter, but these two are posted right smack inside. “They’re new to the park, but they’re not new to the precinct,” Duffy said of Officers Aigotti and Durante. “They could be enforcing something that people before didn’t know they should have been enforcing. The people that may have complained may have been getting away with it for a while,” he noted. Duffy said the department has no opinion on the renovation, noting, “Our stance is that, no matter what the design of the park is, we’re going to enforce the regulations — fence, no fence, move the fountain, or not.” Warner Johnston, Parks’ top spokesperson, assured us that PEP officers are still assigned to the park. Any other Parks spokespersons who have anything more to add, please let us know.

Board bid: With the deadline for community board appointments nearing, some are wondering whether at Community Board 2 Bob Rinaolo will be reappointed. Under Borough President Scott Stringer’s predecessor, Virginia Fields, Rinaolo hid a conflict of interest ruling for more than a year, until a series of exposés by The Villager. Stringer cited Rinaolo’s situation in a report he issued during his borough president campaign, and has said that The Villager actually inspired the initiative. “I really consider The Villager to be the father of community board reform,” Stringer recently told us. Rinaolo, a former president of the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, didn’t return a call asking if he reapplied to C.B. 2. But Rick Panson, who himself did not reapply to the board, tells us he believes his fellow C.B. 2 member wants another term. Panson offered that the board was once too dominated by residents, then swung to business owners — maybe a bit too much — under Fields, and now is moving back toward control by the residents under Stringer. Panson feels Rinaolo is a valuable board member who knows the nitty-gritty of restaurant and bar liquor-license applications. Stringer didn’t say whether it’s to be thumbs up or down for Rinaolo — but guaranteed that all appointments will be made by April 1.

Killer acting: Julia Stiles’s kid sister, Jane, will soon be making her TV acting debut on “Law and Order.” She’s taping the segment now in Tribeca for the episode, “Fallout,” in which she plays a young Russian girl caught up in a sex-trafficking ring. Locally, Jane, 16, was known for her aggressive play on Downtown United Soccer Club’s teams, where her nickname fittingly was “Killah.” Said her mom, Judith — our sports writer — “You’re scooping everyone on this, even the Post. She’s a great actor. People were applauding on the set. She does this intense crying scene.”

Bring Mamoun’s! Aron “Yippie Pie Man” Kay — who in his heyday famously pelted Phyllis Schlafly and G. Gordon Liddy with pies — is laid up in Cabrini Hospital on E. 19th St. with painful lymphedema in his legs. In a devastating double-whammy, he also recently suffered a major loss when his beloved sidekick, his mini-dachshund pal, died right in his lap. To cheer him up, he’d love to have some more visitors — especially if they bring him a falafel sandwich from Mamoun’s on MacDougal St.! He’s in Room 1231.

Radio repeat: The Villager has recorded a second show on Tribecaradio.net, which, hopefully, will be posted on our Web site, thevillager.com, by week’s end. Guests are Bill Di Paola, Time’s Up! founder, talking about the new pedicab rules and Critical Mass, and David Reck, of Community Board 2, discussing the hotly contested Department of Sanitation mega-garage plan at Spring and Washington Sts. If the link’s not posted on our site, find it at http://www.tribecaradio.net/blog/categories/communityReport/2007/02/18.html#a246 and click on the really small megaphone in the upper right-hand corner.

Corrections: In our Feb. 28 issue, in our listings section, a photo of an artwork attributed to Kenneth Sean Golden, was not by him, but by Milda Vizbar…. In the same issue, a Scoopy’s item about this weekend’s antiwar teach-in and art show at Judson Church wrongly stated that an anarchist group is among the organizers. Jim Klicker, of the March 19 Peace Actions Coalition, said the coalition, which is nonviolent, was solely initiated by the War Resisters League, but is now independent of W.R.L. For all the events, check March19PeaceActions.org.

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