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Volume 79, Number 8 | July 29 - August 4, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933


Scoopy's Notebook

Return of the Slacktivist: Spread the word around — the boy’s back in town. L.E.S. Slacktivist leader John Penley (above) is back in the neighborhood, and was even serving as a bartender at last Thursday night’s “The Iron Heel” fundraiser. “He said it was the best time he’s had since before he left for Erie, Pa., several months ago,” Elizabeth Ruf Maldonado, creator of the upcoming dance-operetta, told us. Penley told us that he and Jerry The Peddler are “doing publicity work” for a new band that includes former members of Living Color and P-Funk. He said he couldn’t say exactly what kind of publicity work it is.
Can’t say no to Stonewall: Williamson Henderson has done it again. Last Thursday, Community Board 2 overwhelmingly gave its approval for the Stonewall Veterans’ Association’s street fair on Sept. 26 on Greenwich Ave. Things had been looking doubtful for S.V.A. after Henderson, for three months, repeatedly failed to provide the information that Evan Lederman, the board’s Street Activities Committee chairperson, had been requesting. Lederman contacted Henderson last week and told him it was now or never, and Henderson finally e-mailed him the info at the last moment. In the end, the board voted 49 to 1 in support of the street fair, with the only no vote being Anne Hearn, a Washington Square Village tenant leader. Lederman said, ultimately, S.V.A. does have the required “nexus with the community,” in that it provides speakers about the Stonewall riots and gay rights; holds discussion panels; hosts a Web site; does youth outreach in the L.G.B.T. community; and holds meetings at the L.G.B.T. Center on W. 13th St. “They claim to have hundreds — if not thousands — of members,” Lederman noted of S.V.A., though adding, “It’s a controversial group.” Henderson never did tell Lederman exactly where the thousands of dollars from the street fair go, other than, in general terms, such as to keep their swanky blue Cadillac in good condition. “Legally, we can’t ask to see their books,” Lederman explained. “At the end of the day, he’s not testifying under oath.” Later, Lederman added that he’d gotten phone calls from “several” local politicians, who cajoled him that the board should O.K. S.V.A.’s street fair. Asked to name the pols, he replied, “I’d rather not say,” and denied he felt pressured by them. Lederman said the real issue is that the city itself doesn’t require any accounting of where money raised at street fairs goes. “I think there’s an abundance of fraud and misuse of public streets,” he said. As for the lingering accusations that Henderson himself wasn’t even at the Stonewall riots of 1969, Lederman said, “His organization stands for a cause — whether he was actually there, to me, it’s irrelevant.” Meanwhile, Henderson at last revealed why there’s no record of him having been at Stonewall during what he calls “the rebellion” or of having been treated at St. Vincent’s Hospital for alleged injuries he suffered during the famous gay uprising against police. “They don’t know what name I was under,” he told us. “If they knew that, they’d know a lot more. ... No one would have given out their name, unless they were naive.” Asked if his pseudonym was something like Joey, Jimmy or Johnny, Henderson said no, it was much more interesting than that.


Family affair: After seven years diligently writing away, Michael Rosen has published a book on his family called “What Else But Home: Seven Boys and an American Journey Between the Projects and the Penthouse.” Under the Public Affairs imprint, the book tells the story of how Rosen, a founding member of the East Village Community Coalition, took in a group of local youths and helped raise them in his penthouse apartment at the Christodora House and put them through college. It’s on sale at St. Mark’s Bookshop and all the local Barnes & Noble bookstores. On Aug. 13, Rosen will be giving a reading at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, which will be introduced by former Councilmember Margarita Lopez. He’ll also be doing a reading at the National Arts Club, which will be intro’d by Councilmember Rosie Mendez. He’ll soon be embarking on a national book tour, speaking at 30 independent bookstores. … Speaking of Rosen, he tells us something may be cooking next door to him at the old P.S. 64. A group of men in dark suits were recently seen exiting the old school and getting into a black S.U.V., while tons of bricks and debris have recently been removed from the place. The latest we’d heard, plans were to rent the existing building out as some sort of university dorm.


Gimme shelter — from the shelter: Conditions are again deteriorating around the Third St. Men’s Shelter off the Bowery, we’re told. Composer Philip Glass’s apartment on the corner of Second Ave. was recently burglarized, with someone breaking a window with a metal bar, but only stealing a cell phone. Muggings, car break-ins and drugs reportedly are rampant around the shelter. Elinor Tatum, publisher of the Amsterdam News and a member of Community Board 3 who lives on the block, said she recently went to an open house around the corner at the Marble Collegiate Cemetery and was shocked to see all the 40-ounce beer and vodka bottles littering the graveyard, which she is sure were tossed out of the shelter’s windows. “I don’t want to see it going back to the way it was in the late ’80s,” Tatum told us. We hear the shelter is holding a meeting for the community this Thursday at 6 p.m. at Kenton Hall, 333 Bowery, between Second and Third Sts.

 

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