Dogged voter: Wendy Schwartz of Jane St. e-mailed Tuesday to complain that she was prevented from voting in the primary at a Village polling site because of what she was told was a new rule against bringing dogs into polling places. I offered to pick up my dog, as Ive done in the past when I voted, but was still turned away, said Schwartz. There was no voter beside myself in the polling place. A woman offered to take my dog outside, but my policy is not to leave her with a stranger under any circumstances. However, John Ravitz, executive director of the Board of Elections, said theres no rule banning dogs from polling places. You can bring a dog in, he said, adding that, if he was provided the address of the polling site, he would call immediately and set the inspector straight. We put Schwartz in touch with Ravitz and assume the dog ban was lifted.
Freed watch: People keep spreading the rumor that Kathryn Freed is planning to move into Councilmember Margarita Lopezs East Side District 2 so she can run for Council in 2005 when Lopez is term-limited out of office. Thats totally wrong, said Freed, adding, Its nobodys business if I move or dont move. Besides, the former councilmember said, shes happy being a judge: Why would I take a pay cut and a prestige cut? But she said she can understand the focus on whether she might leave Independence Plaza North, a Mitchell-Lama development in Tribeca threatened by a landlord buyout. If I do leave I.P.N. when people are leaving, its a problem for the tenants association not me, she said. Itll look bad, because Im a high-profile personality.
On the mend: Kelly Craig, the partner of Village Democratic District Leader Arthur Schwartz, underwent six hours of heart valve repair surgery on Feb. 24. Shes doing well at Mt. Sinai Hospital and they both hoped shed be home in time to vote for John Kerry in Tuesdays primary. Schwartz has been staying at the hospital with her since the surgery.
On air: On his Wednesday night WCBS radio show, Cousin Brucie, the subject of last weeks Villager cover story, gave a special shout out to the newspaper.
Abbie lives! A recent caller to the nationally broadcast Sunday night Coast to Coast A.M. radio show with Art Bell, announced that a group of Lower East Siders plan to nonviolently shut down the Republican National Convention this summer. Identifying himself as Abbie Jr. from the Lower East Side and an old friend of Abbie Hoffmans, the caller said the protesters are a coalition of antiwar and anti-drug-war groups so concerned about the threat to civil liberties under Bush that theyve been left no choice but to shut down the R.N.C. I hope you do Abbies spirit justice, Bell told the caller.
V.I.P. vibe: Nells, the W. 14th St. nightclub, is expanding onto the second floor where it will be a membership-only, upscale nightclub. As Community Board 2 recommended approval for the liquor license earlier this month, there were a few quips about how there will now only be upscale shootings at the place, which has had some violent incidents in the past. Renowned detective/actor Bo Dietel will provide security.
Movin on up: Anna Sawaryn of the Coalition to Save the East Village currently has eight of her pinhole photos on display in the White Room at the Soho House in the Meat Market. She may have an opening at the swanky private-membership hotel. Everyones excited about this opening because no one can get in their otherwise, said Sawaryn. Someone tells me Prince Andrew stays there. Maybe one of my pictures will end up at Buckingham Palace.
Loanshark ripped off: Judge Douglas Eton of the Southern District of New York on Feb. 20 sharply reduced the amount of the award to Robert Loanshark Bob Marion in Marions wrongful confinement case against Bellevue Hospital and the city. A jury had awarded the East Village homeless man $1 million in November for the incident five years ago, but Eton subsequently reduced it to $180,000. Bill Brooks, Marions attorney, said he has to contact his client to figure out if they will accept the reduction.