Volume 78 - Number 27 / December 3 - 9, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Scoopy's Notebook

Meet the ‘cyber dumper’:
Just who exactly is running the dumpchristinequinn.blogspot.com Web site? That’s what its inspiration, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, sure wanted to know after the mysterious, hard-hitting page suddenly surfaced in cyberspace three months ago. “She has complained to everyone but me about it,” said the blogger, Rosemary Kuropat, a longtime Hudson Square resident and co-owner of the Soho-based slover [and] company design-branding firm. “Yeah, I did come out of nowhere,” Kuropat said. “I sent everyone links to it. I made sure it was noticed.” The main motivation for the site has been Quinn’s refusal, in Kuropat’s view, to adequately assist the community in its battle against the three-district Department of Sanitation garage recently approved for Spring St.’s west end. “She has failed to represent the community; she’s so busy being the speaker,” Kuropat said. The blog-based activist bashed the Bloomberg administration’s commitment letter that accompanied the City Council’s vote approving the project. The letter said the city would try to look for alternative sites for the garbage trucks of one of the three Sanitation districts — District 5 — during the next six months, and would do some other things, like plant trees around the edge of the gargantuan, new, 12-story-tall Spring St. megagarage to spiff it up a bit. “The trees are part of the city’s ‘Million Tree’ program,” Kuropat scoffed. “Nothing in there wouldn’t have happened anyway,” she said of the letter. Kuropat lived for 25 years at 80 Varick St., a large, converted, former commercial building across from the Holland Tunnel entrance, and currently dwells at the smaller but swankier new 304 Spring St. at the corner of Renwick St. She slammed the Spring St. garage project for what she branded as its exorbitant cost — nearly $500 million. “Why is it that much? Because they had to buy $239 million of air rights from UPS,” she fumed. She still thinks two of the three Sanitation Districts planned for Spring St. should have been housed at the now-infamous Block 675 in Chelsea, which formerly was designated for the project. “The mayor’s thinking about his legacy,” she explained. “He’s thinking about Hudson Yards. They moved it out of there to make room for his grand vision of himself. It is such Robert Moses craziness and it makes me wish Jane Jacobs was still alive.” Kuropat didn’t want to speak ill of the local Sanitation Steering Committee, the ad-hoc community group that has led the effort against the megagarage. But she said she saw the need to take things to the next level, feeling the committee has pulled its punches, afraid to rile the political powers that be. “I can speak truth to power in a way that the committee members, who are trying to work within the system, cannot,” she stated. “[State Senator Tom] Duane, Quinn…everyone is afraid of Bloomberg.” In reality, Kuropat doesn’t really come out of nowhere at all. She was chief of staff of economic development under former Mayor Dinkins, and did economic development in the Koch administration and state government for 10 years. On the subject of dumping, there’s a dumpgerson.org blog out there, too, but Kuropat said she’s not going after Councilmember Alan Gerson. “I think there maybe is one, but I’m not involved,” she said. She said some of the garage project’s opponents, angered over Gerson’s abstaining during the vote on the Spring St. megagarage, hatched the idea of emulating her site. But Kuropat said she’s doing her anti-Quinn blog because she lives in Quinn’s district and the megagarage is also in Quinn’s district, so Gerson isn’t her concern. Might Pete Gleason, who is running for Gerson’s seat, be behind the anti-Gerson blog? After all, Gleason did snatch Julie Menin’s domain names before she even knew what was happening. But Gleason denied he’s involved in dumpgerson.org, which he noted he’d seen but which didn’t impress him much. We agree — the site needs some work. “I don’t endorse something where people can post anonymously,” Gleason said. “I’m not behind it, I don’t condone it.” Then, in a surprise, Gleason added, “Julie Menin is absolutely in this race. … She wants me to engage Alan Gerson in a spirited debate and then she’ll walk in with clean hands. I have no intention of engaging Alan Gerson in a donnybrook. His record speaks for itself — the hole in the ground, talk of school kids being bused to Brooklyn… .” Menin dropped out of the running after term limits were overturned in October, allowing Gerson to run for re-election. But Gleason claimed he has seen “indications” making him suspect Menin is still in the race. Hmm…maybe she’s behind the “Dump Gerson” blog? Probably not. (For more megagarage action, see Kuropat’s letter on Page 10, in which she calls out Chelsea’s Bob Trentlylon.)

The wheel story:
Our item in Scoopy’s Notebook about a future when every one of Manhattan’s avenues will sport a protected bike lane was a little bit too optimistic. Ian Dutton clarifies that when he told us “all the avenues” will get protected bike lanes, he didn’t literally mean “all the avenues.” The Community Board 2 Traffic and Transportation Committee vice chairperson explained in an e-mail: “The meaning I intended was that on those avenues that currently have bike lanes or are to have bike lanes added in the future, those lanes could over time be converted to Ninth Ave.-style protected lanes. I didn’t mean to imply that all Manhattan’s avenues would have such bike lanes — though my personal opinion is that would be a reasonable goal!” Dutton also provided clarification on what the “outreach” effort to local merchants along the new protected Eighth Ave. bike lane will be all about: “The outreach that we are planning is specifically to businesses with delivery riders, to make sure that they are aware of rules regarding cycling in the city, and our expectations that all bicyclists operate safely and courteously,” he said.

Donut case cracks up:
Civil rights attorney Marty Stolar informed us that on Tuesday morning he reached a “compromise” with the Manhattan district attorney on the Police Department’s “donut-assault case” against Leftover Crack’s lead singer, Scott Sturgeon. In a wild evening on Fri., Sept. 5, Sturgeon and some of his bandmates played a concert in a designated, penned-in area near the Ninth Police Precinct on E. Fifth St. Frustrated that cops were making him keep down the volume on his anti-police anthems, Sturgeon irately flung a box of donuts in the officers’ direction. By the time the evening was over, Sturgeon and four other punks had been arrested, with one of them being tased briefly in the chest after throwing chairs at police in Tompkins Square Park. The key to Stolar’s defense was a videotape that showed the singer first “tossing his donuts,” as it were, then being handcuffed and put in a police car in the park. Even the assistant district attorney realized she had no case. After viewing the tape, according to Stolar, the A.D.A. said incredulously, “Is there anything more?” At the charge that Sturgeon’s singing “Kill the police” was an “obscenity” and thus harassment, the judge barely raised an eyebrow, Stolar said. So, instead of getting penalized with two days of community service, the pastry-pitching punk rocker will get one day of community service and an A.C.D., or adjournment in contemplation of dismissal; that is, if he isn’t arrested in the next six months, the charges — harassment, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest — will be dismissed and the case sealed. Stolar said Sturgeon’s community service will be next Wednesday, probably “cleaning one of the piers near the South St. Seaport.” Asked why he didn’t try to get Sturgeon off with zero community service, Stolar said he took a “compromise” because he couldn’t guarantee the result. Sturgeon will be doing a combination of vacationing and touring during the next six months, so that should keep him out of trouble, Stolar said. Bill Cashman, the East Village crust-core band’s manager, said at the start of their last tour their record label sent them a little gift: a box of donuts.

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