Volume 77 / Number 43 | March 26 - April 1, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Scoopy's Notebook

“We’re gonna catch him”: “America’s Most Wanted” will air a TV segment this weekend on James Gonzalez, 42, who is still on the loose after stabbing cashier Tina Negron, 24, to death inside the Avenue A Key Food supermarket on Feb. 29. Jon Leiberman, the show’s New York City correspondent, told us they’ll be filming in the East Village on Tuesday and Wednesday and that the segment will air Saturday at 9 p.m. on Fox 5. “It got to a point where police had run out of leads locally,” Leiberman said. The suspect may still be in the area, but “A.M.W.” decided it was time to give the case national exposure, he said. “We’re going to catch him Saturday night, and give a little bit of justice to the victim’s family and the second victim, who survived.” Leiberman said bookkeeper Rosheda Andradas, 27, the second victim, is out of the hospital and doing physical therapy. “He’s a dangerous guy,” the correspondent stressed of Gonzalez. “He did time back in ’98, a two-year jail stint for assault on his mother. He broke her wrist or hand. … The bottom line is he got lucky that day [by getting away last month], and he’s continued to be lucky. But hopefully his luck’s about to run out.” If the segment does work and Gonzalez is caught, there’s a good chance it will happen within a day of the telecast; Leiberman said 25 percent of “on-air captures” occur in the first 24 hours after a segment airs. In 21 years on the air, to date “A.M.W.” has caught 985 fugitives. … In related news, on Thursday morning at 10 a.m., the Lower Eastside Girls Club will hold a press conference outside the Key Food at Avenue A and Fourth St. to announce Silence Is Violence, a new antiviolence coalition. Negron’s older brother Ben Valentine will be there and will read a poem his sister wrote shortly before her death. Valentine will also appear in the “America’s Most Wanted” segment.

Glick on the mound: Assemblymember Deborah Glick will throw out the first pitch at the Greenwich Village Little League’s Opening Day on Sat., April 5, at Pier 40 at W. Houston St. “Deborah says she’s been working on her slider,” said Rich Caccappolo, G.V.L.L. president. Also, special guest will be Mr. Met, the Amazin’s baseball-headed mascot. We hear Mr. Met demanded his own locker room, with extra space for his extra-large “head,” plus M & M’s, as part of the contract. Man, this guy’s more of a prima donna than A-Rod! Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. and end by 11 a.m.
Holy move! After an eventful five-year run, Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop-Shopping Gospel Choir will soon no longer be artists in residence at St. Mark’s Church on Second Ave. at E. 10th St. The anticonsumerism prophet and his acolytes have found a new home at the High Line Ballroom in Chelsea. The good reverend, a.k.a. Bill Talen, said St. Mark’s has been moving to improve its less-than-stellar acoustics, but not fast enough. “I’m a preacher and I like to have the words of my message clear,” he said, adding the subpar sound was also detracting from his choir’s singing. Negotiations between the parties recently broke down, and so April 6 will see Billy’s last performance at St. Mark’s. But they’ll be getting off on the right foot, so to speak, by paying homage to Angelo Fontana, of A. Fontana Shoe Repair Shop. The iconic cobbler, who had a shoe store in the East Village for 40 years, recently closed his E. 10th St. shop across the street from the church, in the face of a stratospheric rent increase. Fontana, of course, will be at the show. “The theme will be how to keep the independent stores independent,” Billy said of his St. Mark’s finale, “and an update on development of anti-chain-store legislation. Also, we don’t call it a show,” he added. “We call it fabulous worship.” We asked if at one point during the, um, fabulous worship the audience members would all take off their shoes in a salute to Fontana — to which Billy responded, now they will. “Hmm, I’m going to mention that to Savitri,” he said of his wife and manager. “You can secretly take credit for 300 or 400 people putting their shoes in the air,” he told us. Billy assured that his holy rollers will return to “various venues” in the East Village, a neighborhood that’s been so integral to his own life.

The sun king: Well, at long last, we’ve discovered the identity of the mad tanner of Washington Square Park. No matter the season, our photo interns invariably come upon this chap sitting in the park on his collapsible beach chair with his trademark silver tanning reflector. Walking past Arturos’ on Houston St. the other night, we noticed pasted in the window a clipping from The Villager with a photo showing the tanner in action. It turns out his name is Monte, according to the restaurant’s manager, and he’s an Arturo’s regular. “He’s the brownest guy in the Village,” the manager told us, “tans all through winter and summer.”

A red herring: Art D’Lugoff gave us the heads up that he’ll be helping out the two young partners who’ll be opening Le Poisson Rouge, a new performance and cabaret venue, on Bleecker St. in the space where D’Lugoff once operated the legendary Village Gate. Everything is going well, he said, except, because of conditions the operators agreed to, Le Poisson Rouge isn’t going to have a cabaret license to allow patron dancing, which really ticks off D’Lugoff. “I see dancing as a First Amendment right,” he said.

Zoning mega-moaning: Chinatown activists planned to raise a hue and cry at Community Board 3’s full board meeting on Tuesday night, in protest of the Lower East Side/East Village rezoning plan. Josephine Lee, an organizer with Chinese Staff & Workers, said that they fear the rezoning will push all the new high-rise development into Chinatown, which has been excluded from the planning. The new group is called the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side, and they’ll be at least 100 strong at the meeting, Lee said. She said a typical oversized project is an 18-story hotel now being built at 93 Bowery at Hester St. by William Su, owner of the Grand Harmony dim sum palace on Mott St. Lee noted the developer has a lawsuit pending against him for skimming his restaurant waiters’ tips. “He’s using sweat-earned money,” she charged.

Internet rumble: In a foreshadowing of what could be a no-holds-barred Council District 1 race, Pete Gleason and Julie Menin are still going at it after Gleason’s recent stealth acquisition of her Internet domain names. Gleason expects an arbitrator should have a final and binding decision within two weeks on whether he or Menin is the rightful owner of juliemenin.com, juliemenin.org and juliemenin.net. Menin, likewise, said “a tribunal” is handling it. “He wrote to my attorney and he made it clear he wouldn’t give the names back,” Menin said of Gleason, whom she blasted as having a “complete and utter lack of integrity.” Gleason, for his part, says Menin should have been swifter and known to buy her own domain names before he did.

Pie Man pitches in: The Yippie-J.D.O.-WBAI-Lynne Stewart-etc. feud plot thickens — and what it means is anyone’s guess. Last week, we somehow found ourselves in the middle of a conference call with A.J. Weberman and Aron “Yippie Pie Man” Kay. Apparently looking for backup, Weberman, a leading Jewish Defense Organization member, asserted that Kay was a J.D.O.’er to the hilt. Kay countered that he wasn’t, vehemently denying any J.D.O. affiliation. The conversation, for some reason, then turned to the best way to cure Nazis of their racist ideology and hatred. Kay suggested that they be forced to sing “Hava Nagilah,” but only after first being waterboarded to disorient them and soften them up. Meanwhile, we hear Dana Beal, who runs Yippie H.Q. at 9 Bleecker St., is considering some protective measures after the recent burglary of the flat-screen monitor and, most important of all, his highly educational Ibogaine triptych, which were in the Yippie Cafe’s window. Basically, as we understand it, Beal would like to install a surveillance camera — but only one that would film someone trying to break into the window. Unfortunately, such a selective surveillance camera might not yet exist. And so, the Yippie dilemma/ J.D.O. soul-searching goes on.

Correction: Last week’s article on the planned Hudson Square Department of Sanitation megagarage misidentified the developer formerly interested in the Spring and Washington Sts. site as Richard Brodsky. The developer’s name is Dan Brodsky. For the record, Richard Brodsky is the Westchester assemblymember who is currently battling congestion pricing on behalf of his wealthy suburban constituents.

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