Volume 79, Number 12 | Aug. 26 - Sept. 1, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

2Scoopy's Notebook

Pier pressure: Yetta Kurland has been taking her campaign for the Council District 3 seat to the streets — and to the piers and the dog runs, too, but it hasn’t always been easy. She said she recently tried to hand out her political literature on the Charles St. Pier in Hudson River Park but was told by an officer that she couldn’t because the pier is operated by “a conservancy.” Actually, the pier and park are run by an authority, the Hudson River Park Trust, but we have heard before that political leafleting isn’t allowed there. … Things went better on Kurland’s “District Dog Crawl,” during which she made the rounds of neighborhood dog runs, and vowed to fight for more of them and also for passage of animal welfare legislation. Kurland — who is strongly angling for the animal lovers’ vote — brought along her two adopted Italian greyhounds, Sal and Luca, and she and her workers handed out dog bandannas with “Yelp for Yetta” printed on them. 

And the (Web) hits keep coming: The Council District 3 debate that The Villager held on Aug. 13 continues to get wider and wider attention. In addition to the more than 225 people who attended the actual debate between Kurland, Christine Quinn and Maria Passannante-Derr, thousands more read our full report on the debate in our Aug. 19 print edition. Plus, as of Tuesday, 8,000 people had viewed the video of the full, 90-minute-long debate posted on our Web site at www.thevillager.com, while 4,700 had read the article online . ... This week, Quinn told us that there were two people she had “barred” from the debate: her father and her partner, Kim Catullo. “I was afraid my father would be uncontrollable — ‘You’re not being nice to my daughter!’” she confessed to us.

21Villager photo by Scoopy

An-ti-ci-payuh-tion! Life on the East Village streets is hard for a homeless pooch, but hot dogs from Ray’s Candy Store on Avenue A make it a little easier. This was Jesse Jane’s third furter of the day from Ray on Saturday, above. Dogs like Ray, for obvious reasons. “Once I had five dogs lined up here [at the counter] all eating ice cream — there were no people in the store, just dogs,” Ray recalled.

Movin’ on up? Three local Vietnam War-era veterans will camp out next to the Christodora House at Ninth St. and Avenue B Friday evening starting at 8 p.m. to highlight the plight of the homeless, namely themselves. “We’re going to ask Michael Rosen to adopt us — me, Jim Power and Biker Billy,” L.E.S. Slacktivist leader John Penley explained. Penley said he hasn’t actually read Rosen’s new book, “What Else but Home: Seven Boys and an American Journey Between the Projects and the Penthouse,” in which Rosen recounts the story of how he and his wife opened their home to a group of local youths. “I heard reports. People said it’s not bad,” Penley said of the book. “We’d like to move into the penthouse, too — if he wants three new sons... . We’re not all that young!” Penley added that the camp-out concept is being well received: “A lot of people expressed gratitude that somebody’s doing something that’s a little radical this summer,” he said. We bumped into Power, a.k.a. the East Village’s “Mosaic Man,” and his canine sidekick, Jesse Jane, on Saturday night and Power said he wasn’t sure he would join in, because he “can’t afford to get arrested again.” But Power was also shaken up over being beaten up the night before while he was sleeping on the street; as has reportedly been an ongoing problem all summer, a roving band of young toughs has been perpetrating attacks on the homeless sleeping around Tompkins Square Park. Power said someone who is known in the park basically sicced the kids on him. One of his wrists was in an ace bandage and the other arm had a bunch of fresh, bright-red cuts. “Jim’s pretty traumatized after he got beat up,” Penley said, though assuring Power will be there Friday night to do a planned Obama mosaic light pole. ... As for the violence, in general, we felt that the vibe on Avenue A seemed a bit hostile on Saturday night. And then the next morning, we opened the newspaper to read that Eric “Taz” Pagan, a bouncer at Forbidden City lounge and a local resident, had been shot outside the place, just a few blocks from where we had been standing only moments earlier, another senseless murder by gun.

Gerson’s hard sell: After years and years in the making, some new sidewalk vendor rules backed by Councilmember Alan Gerson are finally nearing the point where they might actually be implemented someday soon. The Police Department has already signed off on one proposal, known as “The Protrusion Bill,” Gerson reported this week. This regulation would change the way sidewalk widths are measured — for example, in Soho, the measurement would be from the edge of any “bubble-glass” coverings or metal plates outside buildings to the curb. In spots without such special plates or sidewalk structures, the measurement would be as it always has been, from the building wall to the curb. This new rule “would eliminate virtually all of the vending on those narrow sidewalks in Soho,” such as Spring and Prince Sts., Gerson said, later downgrading that slightly to say that “major parts” of these streets would be off limits to vendors. Vendors on West Broadway, where the pavement is wider, would be less affected. Yet another Gerson-backed regulation — still in need of Police Department approval — calls for signage and lightly colored curb markings that would show where vendors could legally operate. Finally, a third proposal by the Lower Manhattan councilmember is the so-called “20/20 Law,” under which there would be 20 linear feet of space for vending along a sidewalk, followed by 20 feet of open space and so on.



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