Volume 80, Number 15 | September 9 - 15, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Wrath of an ACORN scorned:
When we spoke to Reshma Saujani a few weeks ago, she acknowledged that no elected officials were supporting her primary bid next Tuesday to unseat nine-term Congressmember Carolyn Maloney. Since then, however, one local pol has come forward to back the political newcomer’s candidacy — Arthur Schwartz, the Village’s Democratic state committeeman. Schwartz issued a flier this past week endorsing Saujani, and declaring, “She is the real thing.” Schwartz, who bucked the New York political establishment two years ago by backing Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the presidential primary, claimed Saujani is energizing young voters in Obama-like fashion. However, he doesn’t hide the fact that he’s still furious that Maloney voted for the Defund ACORN Act in Congress last year after undercover right-wing videotapes cast the group in an unfavorable light. Schwartz is the embattled grassroots activist organization’s general counsel. He said Maloney, when she was considering running against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand two years ago, begged for ACORN’s endorsement, but when the group threw its support behind Gillibrand, Maloney then promptly voted for the act, which pulled ACORN’s federal funding. Was Maloney just being “Vindictive?” Schwartz asked. (Cynics might say the same of Schwartz’s backing Maloney’s opponent.) His flier doesn’t mention if Saujani actually has any position on ACORN.
Another egg-cellent option?
Last week, we opined that Lou George’s jumbo-sized ostrich eggs on sale at the Union Square Greenmarket might be a safer alternative than hen eggs, at least temporarily, following the massive salmonella recall. We stopped by George’s table recently and — we somehow must have missed them the first time around — he was also selling bright-blue emu eggs. The size and shape of mini-footballs, they have a little stronger taste than the ostrich eggs, and the yolk is orange, George said.
He eventually nailed his Chuck Schumer impression while on the campaign trail, but comic Randy Credico was unable to get on the Democratic primary ballot against the state’s senior senator. It turns out it was Schumer who nailed Credico, by challenging his ballot petitions. Credico needed 15,000 valid signatures, but after the challenge, was left with only 13,350. As a result, Schumer won’t face a primary. But Credico — who was a leading activist against the Rockefeller Drug Laws — says he’ll definitely be running in the general election come November. “There are only three people running against Schumer,” he told us. “I am in good shape. I am on two ballot lines — Libertarian and Anti-Prohibition parties.” The Anti-Prohibition Party’s candidate for governor is Kristin Davis, the madam who provided high-priced hookers for former Governor Eliot Spitzer, a.k.a. “Client No. 9.” The party, whose symbol is a large green marijuana leaf, supports legalizing prostitution and pot.
After hearing how there have been numerous glitches in phase two of the Washington Square Park renovation project, we checked around a bit more and now appreciate the full extent of the problems. For starters, it seems the Parks Department ordered the wrong color Canadian granite, “Molten Black,” for lining the pathways and plaza areas; so it all had to be returned and the right color, “Caledonian,” ordered. In addition, we’re told that the contractor installing the granite has put a lien on the job, and is not working until he’s repaid for the cost of the order screw-up, which he had to foot. In another goof-up being pinned on Parks, the circular granite, low retaining wall around the chess plaza in the park’s southwest corner has to be shifted about 6 feet north, because if completed as it is now, it would run right into a beautiful 150-year-old London Planetree! We hear that Parks’ plans for the job mistakenly showed a “light post” instead of the humongous tree at that spot. But it’s even worse that that: The entire path that connects the chess plaza to the Lyman Holley monument circle — and which has been lined with the granite retaining walls — also has to be shifted. In addition, we hear the wrong type of children’s swings (not safety compliant) nearly got installed as part of the playground’s renovation. A fundamental part of the problem is reportedly that the computer (CAD) drawings Parks provided for the project were completely out of whack — the layers didn’t line up properly — so it all had to be redrawn by hand. All of this has added up to delays. The project is now on track for December completion — though, from the sound of it, that may be wishful thinking.
Jim and Jesse Jane:
Jim Power, the East Village’s “Mosaic Man,” tells us he recently spent a couple of days in Harlem Hospital after his leg swelled up scarily from spending too much time kneeling while doing mosaic work for a new restaurant on Madison Ave. It’s a wonderful hospital, as good as the V.A., he said. He’s O.K. now, and looking forward to other jobs he has lined up, like for the new Crif Dogs in Williamsburg, at Driggs Ave. and N. Eighth St. In some positive news, he said his canine sidekick, Jesse Jane, is now registered as an official service dog, which should end their being hassled by police on the subway. “She’s got a little red jacket on, little ID,” Power said proudly, speaking on Tuesday. “The cops were hounding me for six months — there’s a possibility of a civil rights suit. It’s a great day! She deserves it,” he gushed of Jane’s new official status. Power added he’s looking forward to moving into an apartment he’s got lined up in the new supportive-housing project being built at Pitt and Houston Sts., which he’s told will open in November.