Volume 76, Number 48 | April 25 - May1, 2007

Scoopy’s notebook

Taxing tom: Trying to right a wrong, State Senator Tom Duane and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal have introduced legislation in Albany to restore the New York City commuter tax. It was Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, of course, who seven years ago spearheaded the tax’s repeal, thinking it might protect the Democrats from losing a couple of suburban seats. “The reason it went out was because of a stupid, ill-conceived political ploy that no one was asking for and has cost New York City to the tune of billions of dollars since 2000,” Duane said. “We had it for 30 years. They use our infrastructure and public safety services,” he said of suburbanites. Asked if the legislation seriously has any chance of passing the Republican-led State Senate, Duane said, “Absolutely.” Silver did not return calls for comment.

Faux 40? Responding to criticism that its Pier 40 Performing Arts Center plan was too “glitzy Las Vegas,” The Related Companies has completely revamped the design for the $626 million project. Tobi Bergman, president of Pier Park and Playground Association, got a glimpse of the new plans, which feature re-creations of brownstone facades, lower heights and a pseudo-continuation of W. Houston St. onto the pier. “It’s kind of like a faux New York to me,” Bergman said, “like they were trying to create a kitschy little New York street down the middle of the pier.” But the plan still includes all the same uses, such as a Cirque du Soleil theater, four restaurants, a music club and more. “For me, it’s about content, not architecture,” said Bergman, who backs the competing People’s Pier youth sports mecca proposal. Hundreds are expected at a public hearing on the two proposals on Thurs., May 3, at 7 p.m., at P.S. 41, at 116 W. 11th St., auditorium. The hearing is jointly sponsored by Community Board 2, the Hudson River Park Trust and the Hudson River Park Advisory Council.

Gennaro generosity: After more than 80 years, the San Gennaro Festival will go on for yet another year. Without much ado, C.B. 2 recommended approval of a permit for the Little Italy festival, but with the condition festival organizers make their best efforts to ensure that the “last call” for food vendors be made a half hour early, at 10:30 p.m.

Disbarred: C.B. 2 also recommended denial for a liquor license for a rooftop bar at STK on Little W. 12th St. in the Meat Market. When a club representative revealed plans called for 200 people on the roof, there were gasps of “Oh my God!” from the audience…. Ivy Jeanne Brown, a Meat Market resident activist, said there’s also concern mega-clubs now will invade vacant spaces on Gansevoort St., where three places with liquor licenses — Sascha, Rhone and Meet — all recently went out of business.

W’all right: On Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the plan to reinstall “The Wall” public art sculpture at the southwest corner of Broadway and Houston St.

Warhol as art: A life-size bronze statue of Andy Warhol will be installed at Father Fagan Park at Sixth Ave. and Prince St. next month. The work is by Queens artist Jack Dowd, who feels more should have been done to commemorate the recent 20th anniversary of Warhol’s death. “I equate him to Elvis,” Dowd told the Post.

Going to pot: Details about Saturday’s Global Marijuana March had been a bit hazy, but it’s getting clearer. The event will start off in Washington Square Park from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Then the drug-legalization advocates will march across Eighth St. to Tompkins Square Park, where they will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. “Please don’t give the impression that it’s only in Tompkins,” organizer Dana Beal told us. Basically, Beal doesn’t want people going to Tompkins Square early and hanging out and causing any problems, like getting drunk and breaking beer bottles, as happened once in the past. “All it takes to mess up an event of 10,000 people are 200 drunks — save it for afterward, period, no drinking,” Beal said. Forget about beer. Deputy Inspector Dennis De Quatro of the Ninth Precinct said anyone smoking or displaying pot will be arrested, handcuffed and taken to the precinct. “We enforce the law,” De Quatro said. Beal says he’s well aware toking in public is a misdemeanor subject to arrest. “Well, uh, duh — we know that,” he said. “We tell people, ‘Don’t bring pot.’…. The only reason there were four arrests last year, is because people let down their guard about 4 o’clock in City Hall Park and [former Assistant Chief Bruce] Smolka came in and ordered arrests.” Immortal Technique, “a really big rapper,” according to Beal, will perform in Tompkins Square.

Dalton doozy: In the latest ridiculous use of the community-facilities zoning allowance, it seems that the Dalton School is housing four faculty members in four apartments at 159 Bleecker St., a new building on the site of the former Circle in the Square theater. Yet, on Department of Buildings records, it’s stated that these apartments are for student housing for the elite Upper East Side private high school. Faculty housing, however, no longer qualifies for the community-facilities bonus, which allowed this developer to build larger than normal. Needless to say, Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, is outraged — especially since G.V.S.H.P. was warning Buildings that something just like this might happen. A Buildings spokesperson did not return calls by press time.

Legislative best hits: When the City Council voted earlier this month to approve a ban on metal baseball bats for high school-level games, we got a kick out of Councilmember Melinda Katz’s statement in opposition: She said she actually hits more powerfully on her softball team when using a wooden bat. Councilmember James Oddo, a co-sponsor of the bat legislation, quipped the Mets might be able to use Katz as a second baseman…. On Monday, the Council overrode the mayor’s veto on the bat ban, and also overrode his veto on the legislation they passed limiting the number of pedicabs to 325. The mayor had backed a cap of 500 pedicabs.

Birds of a feather: Doris Diether of Community Board 2 met Murray, the new, orange “Sesame Street” big bird when the show was filming on Waverly Pl. over the weekend. Murray posed with his arm around Diether’s shoulder for a photo.


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