West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Volume 77, Number 14 | September 5 - 11, 2007

Scoopy's Notebook

Political publisher: Rumors are that Elinor Tatum, the publisher and editor in chief of the Amsterdam News who lives in the East Village, has political ambitions. Some are wondering whether she will consider running for office against Councilmember Rosie Mendez in a few years. Tatum, a member of Community Board 3, didn’t deny she’s interested in politics, but said, if she does run, it might not be in 2009. “Who knows?” said Tatum, who is in her mid-30s. “Anything can happen. I’m young — maybe it’s 2024. Who knows?”

Parker’s A ‘perfect addition’: On Tuesday, New York University announced that Gary Parker has been named the university’s new director of government and community affairs. He will be responsible for “continuing to strengthen and develop N.Y.U.’s relationships with state and city officials as well as the local community,” a press release stated. For the last three years, Parker was district manager at Community Board 5, which covers the middle of Manhattan from Union Square up to Central Park S. Prior to that, he was a community relations manager at N.Y.U. and a community liaison for Assemblymember Deborah Glick. Said Alicia Hurley, N.Y.U. associate vice president for government and community affairs, “Gary is a perfect addition to the [N.Y.U.] team that is looking to achieve the ultimate goal of becoming more engaged with our community and neighbors.” Parker started Tues., Sept. 4. He will basically be taking over the jobs of Christine Shakespeare and David Lehmann, both of whom recently left N.Y.U.’s government and community affairs department.

‘Not interested’: One of Parker’s first priorities could be quashing rampant rumors of N.Y.U. acquiring development sites. N.Y.U. spokespersons are denying strong local buzz that says the university is trying to buy two large sites — one in Noho and one in the East Village — to develop new student dormitories. John Beckman said a rumor on Curbed.com that N.Y.U. is interested in buying an open-air parking lot and an adjacent property at Jones and Lafayette Sts. is totally off base. “The item is wrong. We told Curbed as much,” Beckman said. “It is not a site N.Y.U. is involved in.” Similarly, Kelly Devers Franklin denied neighborhood whisperings that N.Y.U. has bought the expansive Mary Help of Christians property at 11th St. and Avenue A. “That is not true. We are not even looking at it,” she said.

To trump a Trump: After The Villager broke the story last month of the Soho Alliance’s getting set to possibly sue Donald Trump and co. over their planned 42-story condo-hotel at Spring and Varick Sts., some wondered why the alliance waited until Trump had already put up four floors to get their act in gear. The answer is simple, said Sean Sweeney, the alliance’s director: They had to file Freedom of Information Law requests with the Department of Buildings and Securities and Exchange Commission to get the information they needed to make their case to try to convince D.O.B. to pull Trump’s building permit. Even after The Villager story came out, Sweeney said they were still waiting for more information that they had FOIL’d. P.S., Andrew Berman, director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, objected to the article referring to G.V.S.H.P. as a “quiet supporter” of the alliance’s effort. While G.V.S.H.P. isn’t a party to what eventually could become a lawsuit — since they don’t get involved in lawsuits — he said they’re hardly quiet in their opposition to the towering condo-hotel.

Take me to the river: The second Brooklyn Bridge Swim is shaping up to be one of the hottest tickets in town — or in the East River, to be more exact — this Saturday. “There are around 200 people who want to swim, but who can’t get in,” said M.I.F.’s Dave Herscher. The race, from East River Park to Brooklyn Bridge Park, is 1 kilometer, just 2/3’s of a mile, but the strong East River currents — not to mention boat traffic — will make it a real challenge. The swimmers must make it in 45 minutes or they’ll be pulled out by boats.

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