Volume 80, Number 7 | September 23 - 29, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Williamson Henderson called us Tuesday to crow about the fact that the Stonewall Veterans Association’s street fair will be happening — despite Community Board 2’s best efforts last year to put the kibosh on the annual affair. The street fair will take place this Saturday on Greenwich Ave. between Seventh and Sixth Aves. Henderson said he intends to go to C.B. 2’s full board meeting next month and “read them the riot act” for daring to try to cancel S.V.A.’s big moneymaker. Furthermore, he said, he intends to sue and will be demanding “the minutes” from C.B. 2’s full board meeting last year at which the community board voted to recommend that the city deny approval for the fair — though the administration dissed C.B. 2 and approved the event anyway. Henderson is still fuming that the board had the gall to imply that S.V.A. is not a legit organization with genuine roots in the community. “Someone is going to get sued,” he vowed. “They’re going to have to appear before a judge in Civil Court.” Although Henderson wasn’t at the meeting in question, he said he’s sure things were said that can be used in court against the board. “We will get to the bottom of it,” he declared. He said they just might single out Brad Hoylman in their lawsuit, since Henderson said he’d heard Hoylman led the charge against S.V.A. Hoylman said dismissively that Henderson is all about getting “publicity.” … On another S.V.A. note, we heard Jeremiah Newtown, a member of the group’s executive board, was forced by New York University security officers to vacate his office recently, after the university abruptly canned him. The timing is odd as Newton is riding high on a new film about Candy Darling, the Andy Warhol superstar, on which he is a producer.
Doing the honors?
The Friends of LaGuardia Place will be holding their annual Fiorello Gala on Oct. 12, and have announced this year’s gala recipients of the LaGuardia Medallion: Andrew Berman, the executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, is being honored for “his outstanding efforts to protect the South Village and his dedication to the preservation of our historic neighborhoods”; and Village resident Connie Masullo is being recognized as a “lifelong activist, for her commitment and many contributions to our Village community.” In an effort at reconciliation, or at least a salute to Monty Python, perhaps the Friends board of directors can prevail on their fellow board member Alicia Hurley, N.Y.U.’s vice president of government affairs and community engagement, to present the medallion to Berman.
Koch vs. Silver:
Former Mayor Ed Koch is continuing to forge on with his New York Uprising effort to “throw the bums out” and clean up Albany. Hizzoner said a “two-thirds majority in the Senate” have signed on to his group’s pledge, while a majority have done so in the Assembly. Candidates for office have made a strong showing in signing the pledge, too, Koch said, noting, “It’s even higher for those who are running in November.” In short, the initiative is snowballing, prompting Koch to say, “We are far ahead of what we were thinking was achievable back in March.” However, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is a notable holdout, the major one, in the former mayor’s view. “Shelly Silver and I go back a long time,” Koch said. “He’s helped me in elections. He is, nevertheless, because he refuses to sign, the chief enemy of reform. And I’m sure he doesn’t understand why I am doing this, because he thought we were friends — which we still are.” The pledge asks the politicians and candidates to support independent redistricting, a balanced “GAAP” budget amendment and an expansion of ethics reform. Koch said Silver’s main reason for not signing is redistricting. “He wants to assure the election of his members,” he said. “I think there should be a fair and level playing field.” Silver has brushed off Koch’s initiative by pointedly remarking, “I respect the elderly.” In May, when we asked about Koch’s New York Uprising during a sit-down interview we had with Silver, his chief of staff, Judy Rapfogel, commented that Koch would “be happy to hear his name was brought up here.” Yet, the pledge’s popularity with pols speaks for itself. We asked Silver again this week whether he would sign Koch’s pledge, and he sent us the following statement: “When I met with Ed Koch in the spring, I expressed to him the Assembly’s commitment to continuing to reform state government. I pointed out to him that the Assembly has already voted to apply Generally Accepted Accounting Principals (GAAP) to the state budget and, as we did last session, I remain committed to once again passing comprehensive ethics and campaign finance reform. In addition, the Assembly is exploring ways to improve redistricting while making sure that we protect the rights of minority voters.”
Ed and Ed:
While we had Koch on the line, we asked him if he had anything to say about Ed Gold, his former colleague in the early days of Village Independent Democrats, who died Sept. 9 at age 84. Gold helped Koch launch his political career in the early 1960’s when the future mayor unseated legendary Tammany chief Carmine DeSapio as Greenwich Village district leader. But Koch later kicked Gold out of his “Koch Klatch” lunch group after Gold, in a 2004 article in The Villager, branded Koch a “neo-con” for supporting George W. Bush’s re-election. Koch’s voice was noticeably absent in our obituary on Gold last week. We tried again this week to get Koch’s thoughts on his old V.I.D. ally, and he finally did say something: “He should rest in peace.” Borough President Scott Stringer, who appoints community board members, had a little more to say about Gold, a long-serving member of Community Board 2. “Ed Gold was a true reformer,” the B.P. said in a statement. “From his early days in the fight to oust Tammany Hall to his regular op-ed’s in The Villager, he spoke with passion and fought for what he believed in. As one of the original appointees to Community Board 2, he carried 40-plus years of experience with him and helped inspire new generations of advocates. In recent years Ed’s wisdom and experiences helped shape my initiative to reform and empower community boards. Ed’s passing is a great loss, but his spirit will live on in the reforms that he fought so hard for.”