Volume 78 - Number 43 / April 01 -07, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Scoopy's Notebook

Koch gets ’stoned: Following up on the reports on his new tombstone Uptown, we asked former Mayor Ed Koch about his choice of Daniel Pearl’s last words for part of the inscription — “My father is a Jew, my mother is a Jew, and I am a Jew,” which Pearl uttered before Islamic fanatics decapitated him. Did Koch intend it as an “in your face” dis to the terrorists? “It has nothing to do with defiance,” Hizzoner told us. “I believe that statement of his was so moving that it would become a prayer in the Jewish religion. I would hope they would say it every Saturday morning.” Koch said Pearl’s father sent him a note of thanks. Asked whether he thought the young Wall Street Journal reporter was made to utter those words or did so freely, Koch responded, “It doesn’t make any difference whether they forced him to say it, or he wanted to say it himself before his death.” We’ll never really know — and it doesn’t really matter anyway, Koch said.
Car-lovin’ commies! The Reds are riled, and they’re not taking it anymore — and they think bridge tolls are the enemy of the proletariat. On March 25, Dan Margolis, chairperson of the New York State Communist Party, fired off an e-mail blast from their W. 23rd St. headquarters in Chelsea, decrying the M.T.A.’s plan to raise subway and bus fares. “The vote by the M.T.A. is nothing more than a scare tactic,” declared Margolis. “The M.T.A. is cynically attempting to manipulate public opinion to push Albany to enact the Ravitch Plan, which would also raise fares by a smaller amount and impose new tolls on drivers. Why should working people pay more to commute into Manhattan? They’re not driving in for fun or because they like to drive — there just isn’t enough public transit in many of the outer boroughs, Long Island and Westchester. ... The M.T.A. itself should be radically altered,” Margolis’s diatribe continued. “Look at its board: Its voting members are mainly a bunch of big developers and Wall Street financiers — Instead, it should represent New York by including labor, as well as organizations of the racially and nationally oppressed, and people involved in the fights for better education, healthcare, really affordable housing and against foreclosures.”
Lost in the mail: The Soho branch post office is one of three in Manhattan slated to close as part of new cutbacks initiated by the U.S. Postal Service. The branch, located on Prince St. between Greene and Mercer Sts., joins one in Columbus Circle and another in Washington Heights that will shutter by the summer due to the economic downturn. “This is part of this drastic cutback that’s occurring in the Postal Service,” said Chuck Zlatkin, a postal employee, adding that the U.S.P.S.’s practice of pre-funding future retirees’ health benefits has contributed to the shortfall. “To me it’s penny-wise and pound-foolish by the Postal Service,” he said. “What’s the fallout [from the eliminations] locally and economically?” Although the Soho Alliance recently ran a story in its newsletter about problematic conditions at the Prince St. branch, Sean Sweeney, the neighborhood organization’s director, still considers it an unfair loss for the community. “We don’t have a police station, we don’t have a fire station, we don’t have a house of worship, we don’t have a school,” Sweeney said, noting that tourists, nearby businesses and the many residents who work out of their lofts will suffer because of the closing. “There’s a lot of commerce here, and it’s unconscionable for the Postal Service to do this.” The U.S.P.S. did not return a request for comment by press time.

All aboard: Once again, Borough President Scott Stringer released his community board appointments before the April deadline. In Community Board 2, there were three new members appointed: Sasha Greene, Alison Greenberg and Maury Schott. The first two are Stringer appointees and the last was recommended by Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Greene lives in Greenwich Village and is director of Retiree Social Services for the United Federation of Teachers; she served on Lower Manhattan’s Community Board 1 in the 1980s, focusing on senior issues and school issues. Greenberg lives in the West Village near the Meatpacking District; she is a self-employed lawyer running her own firm. Schott is a human resources/systems specialist who resides in the Far West Village; he volunteers at SAGE, the L.G.B.T. Center, Broadway Cares and Gay Men’s Health Crisis. On Community Board 3, the four new members are Flora Ferng and Arial Palitz, appointed by Stringer, Allen Strouse, recommended by Councilmember Rosie Mendez, and Kam Chi Li, recommended by Councilmember Alan Gerson. Ferng works for Asian Americans for Equality, and has a child at P.S. 184. Palitz, a small business owner and lifelong New Yorker, is involved with the Lower Eastside Girls Club. Strouse is an environmental activist who works for the United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1500, on food policy. Li is a policy analyst for the Neighborhood Family Services Coalition, volunteers at the New York Asian Women’s Center, and is interested in preservation of affordable housing and preservation of Chinatown.

‘Mosaic’ on the mend: In a street artist ego eruption, Jim “Mosaic Man” Power called us a few weeks ago to complain that we were giving too much ink to legendary graffiti muralist Antonio “Chico” Garcia before his departure for Tampa. But now Power — whose iconic tile-and-bead-encrusted light poles dot the East Village — really has something to complain about. Monday morning, he fell in the shower in his Bushwick, Brooklyn, apartment and broke his wrist and his shoulder in two places. He’ll be in the hospital three days. Meanwhile, his trusty canine companion, Jesse Jane, who never leaves his side, is staying with Lower East Side documentarian Clayton Patterson. Activist Suzannah B. Troy made sure Jesse Jane was cared for, taking her for a walk in the Tompkins Square Park dog run, even dropping her off at a local pet store for a bath and grooming. Clearly, Jesse Jane will be O.K.; Power, however, needs help, and is calling on people to contribute to a fund to help him. Asked where people should send donations, he said, “I don’t know yet — the fund will be set up next week.” Once he’s healed, he said, he’s looking forward to doing a big mosaic project planned in “The Banks” skateboarding area under the Brooklyn Bridge this summer. Also, he told us, The New York Times, at some point, is going to run a major spread in its Thursday Home section on his interior custom mosaic work. And he’s still busy gobbling up domain names; he now owns OfficialWhiteHouse.com — sorry, Barack — and also, get this, YouthTube.com. Genius.


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