Volume 73, Number 33 | December 17 - 23, 2003

Scoopy’s notebook

Lopez on prez race: Why wasn’t Councilmember Margarita Lopez among the over 20 City Councilmembers who endorsed Howard Dean for president last week at an event on W. 23rd St.? Lopez told The Villager she agrees with Dean’s positions on national issues, such as a woman’s right to choose, gay and lesbian rights and “peace over war as the first solution,” but needs to hear more. “I know Dean is progressive,” she told The Villager. “But I don’t know his position on issues of low-income, people of color, AIDS/H.I.V. or affordable housing. We are still feeling the devastating effects of Ronald Reagan’s cutting 54 percent of the budget of HUD [Department of Housing and Urban Development].” Asked about Rep. Dennis Kucinich, the other progressive Democratic candidate, Lopez asked, “Who?” then said she thought he was “not a realistic contender.” She’s not saying who she’ll endorse, but one thing, for sure, it won’t be Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who Lopez blasted for supporting continued Navy bombing and firing-range practice on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. She said this could be a big issue in the Latino community. “I don’ think it’s in the radars of people yet, but it will be,” she assured, fittingly using a military analogy.

Designing guy: The designer of the installation proposed for Bob Bolles’ “Tree of Life” sculpture if it is returned to the triangle park at Broome and Watt Sts., and which was printed in last week’s Villager, is Isaac Zal Sprachman, who is with the Firebrand company in Williamsburg.

Teen spirit: We hear some people were not too happy to hear at last week’s presentation by George Vellonakis of his proposed redesign of Washington Sq. Park that the Washington Sq. Music Festival’s venue would be changed to a mobile soundstage that could be positioned near the Washington Sq. Arch or at other locations in the park. In an e-mail to The Villager, one concerned resident recalled of the elevated Teen Plaza, the park’s current music venue: “It was designed as a performance space not only for the Music Festival but any other group or individual who wished to use it. On its floor is a beautiful circular mosaic construction created by Village children. I remember the day it was installed. The children paraded from their workshop (Children’s Alliance or Greenwich House) led by Tony Dapolito. [Former Councilmember] Carol Greitzer was there also. It seems to me important to save this floor, as well as to have a plan for performances.”

Top honor: Elsie Cardia, the owner at Beatrice Inn, is being honored by the Italian government next Tuesday as a Commendatore, which is higher than a knighthood. It will take place at the Italian consulate in Midtown. Cardia is prominent in the Italian community and very active in Italian affairs, culturally and otherwise.

BAMRA battle: Lois Rakoff, who recently ran for female Democratic district leader out of Village Reform Democratic Club, is running again, this time for resident co-chairperson of Bleecker Area Merchants’ and Residents’ Association, challenging Charles Wolf, BAMRA’s current co-chairperson. Both were recently nominated from the floor at a BAMRA meeting. Rakoff charges Wolf won’t give her the club’s mailing list, which is preventing her from lobbying members for votes. Wolf said they don’t want to do this because last time Rakoff lobbied so intensely it sent the executive committee into a tizzy. But, as one veteran Village political hand notes, it’s customary in elections for all candidates to have access to mailing lists. No date has been set for the election but it’s likely take place in February.

Left my heart on Canal: Michael Oliva, who was campaign manager for winner Shlomo Hagler in the recent Civil Court race, is Dick Gephardt’s New York City fundraiser. We were disappointed, though, we couldn’t get into the Tony Bennett fundraiser for Gephardt last week at the Canal Room, but we know it wasn’t Oliva’s fault.

Mystery man: Some may have been wondering, Who is Cyril who interviewed Andrei Codrescu in last week’s Villager? “He’s a mysterious Internet entity — never identified himself,” Codrescu tells us.

Correction: In last week’s article on Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Pride at Work was a sponsor of the rally against H&M in Soho, not of Kucinich’s speech at the L.G.B.T. Center.


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