Volume 76, Number 44 | March 28 - April 3, 2007

Scoopy’s Notebook

Chairman of the boards: Once again, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has come in under the wire with his appointments to Manhattan’s 12 community boards. Last year, he made the April 1 deadline — something his predecessor, C. Virginia Fields, never managed to pull off. This year, Stringer finished with time to spare, finalizing his appointments almost a week early, sending out lists of the new boards on Monday.

On Community Board 2, covering Greenwich Village and its environs, Stringer pulled the trigger and didn’t reappoint Bob Rinaolo. Rinaolo, a former chairperson of the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce who formerly owned The Garage restaurant on Seventh Ave. S., was considered the board’s expert on bar and restaurant issues. However, working against his reappointment was the fact that he had been previously caught concealing from the board for a year and a half an advisory opinion by the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board, clearly indicating he should step down as chairperson of the C.B. 2 Business Committee, which reviews liquor licenses for bars and restaurants.

In fact, Rinaolo, when he chaired the committee, had sought to torpedo the liquor license application of a former business partner with whom he had been in a legal battle. Fields, for the most part, let things slide. After winning election in November 2005, Stringer at least allowed Rinaolo to finish out his two-year term, which ended this April.

Some other familiar names are new Stringer appointments to Community Board 2, including David Gruber, president of the Carmine St. Block Association; Zella Jones, head of the Noho Neighborhood Association and a leading activist on State Liquor Authority reform; Ian Dutton, a goth commercial pilot living in Soho and public member of C.B. 2 specializing in bicycle and transportation issues; Lois Rakoff, a member of Bleecker Street Area Merchants and Residents Association; and Arthur Kriemelman, president of the Soho Alliance. In all, Stringer put on 10 new C.B. 2 members — one-fifth of the total board.

On Board 3, covering the East Side, the B.P.’s new appointees include Noah Yago, new president of Village Reform Democratic Club, while Councilmember Alan Gerson appointed John Leo of the Chinatown Partnership. From the looks of it, Stringer is continuing to reverse Fields’s buildup of business members on the boards, and is swinging the pendulum back to the residents. We’ll have a more complete report and analysis next week on the appointments.

Hizzoner accepts honor: Our own inimitable art critic, Jerry Tallmer, files the following report on Monday night’s Film Preservation awards ceremony at Anthology Film Archives:

He was taller than Clooney, somewhat older than Clooney, and had considerably less hair on the top of his head than Clooney — in fact, none at all — but for all that, nobody in the room objected when Edward I. Koch was called to the microphone to accept a Film Preservation award for the George Clooney who had directed the brilliant “Good Night, and Good Luck” but was at this moment somewhere down South shooting a movie called “Leatherheads.”

The gala event, this past Monday night at Water’s Edge, was the 16th annual Film Preservation Honors of the Anthology Film Archives, a non-mainstream cinematic force that Jonas Mekas and Robert Haller keep alive — very much alive — in an ancient onetime jail at Second Ave. and Second St.

“I never before stood in for a movie star,” the former mayor declared. And then — after a word or two of high praise of Clooney’s film about Edward R. Murrow, and of Joseph McCarthy nemesis Murrow himself, “who most of you in this room are too young to remember” — the weekly movie reviewer for The Villager cheerfully proceeded to lay bare his professional secrets.

“I never make comment on the direction,” Ed Koch said, “because I don’t know anything about directing. I just say I like the movie or I didn’t like it, and I don’t go into the why.”

The room burst into laughter and applause, which was only topped when another honoree, Bruce Goldstein, the Film Forum programmer who has done as much as any human being alive to save and show old films (see Page 31), recalled the time years ago that Ed Koch, introducing a Film Forum screening of “The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three,” had told the audience: “They say I resemble the mayor in this movie. The only difference is the guy in the movie’s a schmuck.”

Other honors Monday night went to Cinirec preservationist Simon Lund, Monaco Digital Film Laboratories, film scholar Annette Michelson, and — the Siegfried Kracauer Award, presented by Mekas himself, topped by his trademark stovepipe black hat — actress and critic Amy Taubin.

Quality-of-life forum: Councilmember Rosie Mendez, along with Community Boards 3, 5 and 6 — which together cover the Lower East Side, East Village, Union Square, Gramercy, Flatiron and East Side up to Midtown East — will be sponsoring a quality-of-life forum on Thurs., March 29, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Manhattan Day and Night High School, at 240 Second Ave. at 15th St.

State and city representatives will be on hand to discuss solutions to bar and restaurant issues, the new Noise Code, rules on construction and after-hours work and police enforcement and community relations. For more information, contact Mendez’s office at 212-677-1077.


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