Volume 76, Number 52 | May 23 -29, 2007

Scoopy’s notebook

Bite the bullet: We hear Phil Mouquinho is thinking of challenging Brad Hoylman for Community Board 2 chairperson. The election will be held at C.B. 2’s June full-board meeting. Right now, though, board members are gearing up for this Thursday’s meeting at which an ad-hoc Nominating Committee will produce a favored slate of candidates for board officers, including chairperson. In general, it’s an arcane process that we’ve never understood too well. But Sean Sweeney, a C.B. 2 member, charged that adding a new level of intrigue, Mouquinho supporters on the board have tried to rig the nominating process for candidates by means of “bullet balloting” — under which they only filled in four names, leaving three of seven slots blank, thus helping ensure that their chosen candidates make the slate. Sweeney doesn’t quite remember who taught him this crafty technique, either Arty Strickler, the board’s late district manager, or former Councilmember Kathryn Freed, Sweeney’s ex. Regardless, whatever slate the Nominating Committee produces, candidates can still be nominated from the floor on the night of the election.

That’s my boy: The dailies all reported how Adrian Benepe, the city’s Parks commissioner, bravely ran after and caught a mugger in Riverside Park on the Upper West Side last week to get a tourist’s purse back. We asked Adrian’s father, Barry, of Jane St., if his son was always so fearless. “Always,” Barry said. “A few years ago, he witnessed a mugging, chased the mugger and restrained him until the police came to arrest the perp. He gets it from a courageous mother who survived the Warsaw shelling and German labor camp internments, spending her life pursuing peace and justice.”

Friend of Franz: Word has it that at last Wednesday’s Hudson River Park Trust Advisory Council meeting, Bob Trentlyon was passing around a petition asking for members’ signatures in support of former State Senator Franz Leichter being named chairperson of the Trust’s board of directors. Two people in the room reportedly declined to sign. Douglas Durst is out of the running for Trust chairperson after having withdrawn his name. According to a source, Durst didn’t really want the position that much. Some people are now pushing Michael Del Guidice for the job. In the 1980s, Del Guidice was a member of the West Side Task Force, which originated plans for the riverfront park.

Towering debate: As the argument about “the East Village’s tallest building” rages on, David Kramer, principal of the Hudson Companies, is blasting back at Andrew Berman, director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, for a barb Berman hurled at Hudson’s E. 12th St. dorm project in Scoopy’s Notebook last week. “Our building is not a ‘250-foot monstrosity,’ it’s a 242-foot jewel,” Kramer retorted of the dorm, which Hudson is building for New York University. But Berman reiterated that The Related Companies’ glass “squiggle tower” on Astor Pl. is definitely not taller than the 12th St. dorm, despite recent claims by Kramer and N.Y.U. Senior Vice President Lynne Brown. “Even if it were not true that being west of Fourth Ave. and the Bowery means that the Astor Pl. tower is not in the East Village — I was recently reminded that the Astor Pl. tower needed a variance, because the site was located in the Noho M1-5 zone — the Department of Buildings lists the height of the Sculpture for Living as 269 feet, while it lists the height of the Hudson/N.Y.U. megadorm as 284 feet,” said Berman. So there.

Deathly visit: A source reports that a State Liquor Authority inspector made a surprise visit on Saturday night two weekends ago to check noise levels in an apartment over the embattled Death & Co. bar on E. Sixth St. A representative of nearby Anshe Meseritz synagogue came along to see how the investigation went. According to our source, the real noise was the constant slamming of the bar’s door, which reportedly was thunderous and rattled the apartment.

Good Samaritan: Our thanks to Joy Grossman of Eighth St., who bumped into Herman Gerson at Eighth St. and Sixth Ave. on Monday afternoon as he was trying to deliver a letter to the editor to The Villager. Apparently Gerson, 95, had gotten our address wrong and asked Grossman if she knew where our office was. Doing a good deed, Grossman later brought the letter down to us herself.

Peppery situation: A Jane Streeter tells us that the owner of a brownstone on the street, in order to keep dogs away from his property, is sprinkling red pepper powder all over his stoop and the sidewalk in front. Our source fears the powder may injure dogs by getting in their paws or create a hazard for humans with respiratory problems who inhale it, “which is quite possible when the wind is blowing,” she noted. “A child with asthma could be made seriously ill, and, of course, the house is on the direct route to the playground on the river,” she added.

Demo almost done: The Parks Department tells us the renovated Father Demo Square at Bleecker St. and Sixth Ave. will be open within a month.

Correction: The photo in last week’s issue of a wedding in Tompkins Square Park was taken by Glenn Serrano.

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