Volume 73, Number 48 | March 31 - April 6, 2004

Scoopy's Notebook

Peace activist in violent collision: Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark was hit by a car just a half block from his home when he was crossing Fifth Ave. and 12th St. on Feb. 28 and suffered serious injuries to his right foot and ankle, as well as a fracture of his forehead and nose. He was operated on at St. Vincent’s emergency room and is now recuperating at his Village apartment, where he’s lived since 1969, with his wife, Georgia. Clark, 76, A.G. during the Johnson administration, said he had been on his way to the Union Sq. Greenmarket on a Saturday, as is his habit, to buy a loaf of farm bread and some apples, when he was clipped by the car turning onto Fifth and flipped over its right fender. He had been planning to go to Haiti the next day with a delegation — including K.K. Kean, sister of former Governor Thomas Kean, the 9/11 Commission chairperson — in support of President Aristide. “I think it’s just another U.S. regime change,” Clark said of Aristide’s toppling. “He was Haiti’s duly elected president and had support.” Clark, former director of Amnesty International and founder of the International Action Center, said he’s still working on President Bush’s impeachment for “war of aggression and assassination” and on his legal cases, which include the Waco Branch Davidians lawsuit. He hopes to be in a walking cast by April 9.

Attention Kmart shoppers — hold it in: The restrooms at the Kmart near Astor Pl. have been closed three weeks and people want them back open, complained Victoria Stewart of E. Ninth St. Stewart said she was told by a sales associate the restrooms need to be remodeled, but that it costs too much money, so she should use the facilities at Starbucks or McDonald’s. Stewart plans to start a letter-writing campaign to Kmart’s president, Julian Day, whose address, she was happy to supply, is Kmart Corp., 3100 West Big Beaver Road, Troy, Mich., 48084. Money? Remodeling? Could this all be connected to Martha Stewart somehow? No, store manager Vince Conti said; the decision to close the restrooms was for the safety of shoppers and staff. Despite a guard posted nearby, Conti said, there had been drug use and trafficking in the bathrooms — one customer was found passed out in the john with a needle in his arm — as well as prostitution. He added there were problems with graffiti and people carving their names in the stalls, hence the aforementioned need for “remodeling.” Conti said there’s no plan to reopen the restrooms anytime soon, so the three-story, 93,000-sq.-ft. store will be without them.

Oh, for sure: Sean Sweeney, director of the Soho Alliance, has proposed that Vesuvio Park at Thompson and Spring Sts. be renamed in honor of Tony Dapolito, the “Mayor of Greenwich Village,” who died last year. The park was renamed Vesuvio a few years ago after Dapolito’s Soho bakery. (Parks Department policy is that parks and playgrounds can’t be named for living persons.) Dapolito was also known as “Mr. Parks” and “Mr. Playgrounds” for having created so many of them over the years in the Village. “What a great idea!” Aubrey Lees, Board 2’s Parks Committee chairperson, said in an e-mail back to Sweeney that he forwarded to us. Lees added she’ll try to get the matter taken up at the committee’s April 7 meeting.

One Dean IOU: At Howard Dean’s recent event at New School University announcing his new grassroots organization, he gave a special acknowledgement to State Senators Tom Duane and Eric Schneiderman for their support, and said his new Democracy for America group will repay the favor if they ever need it.

Lost his appetite: Jane St. author Warren Allen Smith tells us he was recently shopping in the Associated supermarket on W. 14th St., when he found himself following a man who was complaining about the store, saying he hated the place. “I like it,” Smith said he volunteered, “particularly its prices.” Then the older man blamed the store in the same breath as he attacked Bush. “I said, ‘Was it something you ate?’ ” Smith recounted. “He waved his hands in the air, took his six small cans of tuna, and walked out. Then I got to thinking because of photographs I’d seen, hey, this is Tobias Schneebaum, the gay guy who wrote ‘Keep the River on the Right’ about having lived with cannibals down in Peru, who lives in Westbeth. ‘Excuse me, sir, but aren’t you the author who is interested in anthropology?’ I asked, catching up to him outside. ‘I am, but I’m not interested in. . .’ and he waved me off again. Then I remembered my asking back at the checkout counter, ‘Was it something you ate?’ ”

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