Volume 74, Number 12 | July 21 - 27, 2004

Scoopy’s notebook

Fields of (park) dreams: Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields has pledged to allocate $500,000 to the growing pot of funds for the renovation of Washington Sq. Park. Bill Castro, Manhattan borough Parks commissioner, said work on the park should start by next year.

Space saver: Village Democratic District Leader Keen Berger recently moved to 130 Jane St. from her home of many years on Bedford St. Following the death of her husband, Martin, last year and with all but one of her daughters having moved away, Berger said she didn’t need that much space anymore. Plus, she said she felt it was “unethical” to keep living there, considering the city’s housing crunch.

Leary goes Cheney: Following last week’s Villager article on the plague of disruptive film shoots, John Penley says it’s not only the West Village that’s under siege. The East Village activist called Tuesday to report he noticed that on his block of E. Third St. between Avenues A and B a film truck for “Rescue Me” had sheered a big branch off one tree. Penley complained to actor Dennis Leary, who was sitting in a “star chair,” who promptly told him what to do with himself — i.e., what Cheney said. The outraged activist is calling for a moratorium of film shoots on the block. “They love this block because of the church, Most Holy Redeemer, is here,” he groused. “They’re always filming in there.”

Latina law woman: Calling it “an historic day for New York’s Hispanic community and for all New Yorkers,” Governor Pataki praised the recent confirmation by the U.S. Senate of Dora Irizarry, a Republican attorney and former judge from the Lower East Side, to serve as a U.S. District Court judge. Irizarry, whom Pataki called “a true American success story,” will become the first Hispanic American ever to serve as a federal judge in the Eastern District of New York. Bar members had found Irizarry’s temperament unsuited for the bench, but Senator Chuck Schumer, who supported her nomination, said it could have been worse — at least she’s not an archconservative.

V.I.D. reunion: About 40 Village Independent Democrats activists from the 1970s gathered recently at Moonstruck Diner in Chelsea to eat, hug, kiss and reminisce, many not having seen each other in decades. Included in the crowd were Miriam Bockman, once Democratic Party County leader in Manhattan; Judges Stanley Sklar and Diane Lebedeff; and five former V.I.D. presidents: former Councilmember Carol Greitzer, John LoCicero, political adviser to former Mayor Ed Koch; Mary Ann Stecich, Arnie Weiss and Ed Gold. Pulling the gathering together were Yvonne Morrow, until recently an aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver; Rose Aronoff, Mary Jean Chilcote and Weiss. Morrow was collection agent for the dinner and optimistically said any leftover funds would go to charity.

Big benefit: Stop the Dorm/Save Our School, which has changed its name to East Village Community Coalition, is throwing a big-bucks benefit atop the Christadora House, overlooking Tompkins Sq. Park, on July 29. The worthy cause is the Federation of East Village Artists and HOWL! festival. The tickets are $225 for individuals and $375 for couples. Told of the benefit, developer Gregg Singer, owner of the former CHARAS/El Bohio building, said, “Tell them I’ll see them in court. You know how it works — they’re raising money for a lawsuit.” But Michael Rosen of E.V.C.C. said the benefit is mainly for FEVA and that they’re not planning a lawsuit against Singer, but just want to get the old P.S. 64 landmarked. “We are confident the building will be calendared for designation,” Rosen told The Villager. (A little P.S. about the old P.S. 64: Yip Harburg, who wrote “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” went to school there.”)

Full board meetings: Community Board 2 will meet Thurs., July 22, at 6:30 p.m. at N.Y.U.’s Silver Building, 24 Waverly Pl., Room 703 (ID needed to enter building). Community Board 3 will meet at 6:30 p.m., Wed., July 28, at 200 E. Fifth St., JASA/Green Residence.

Treasuring Hamilton: Upon the 200th anniversary of Alexander Hamilton’s death, New York Senators Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer and New Jersey Senators Jon Corzine and Frank Lautenberg introduced a resolution calling on Congress to recognize and honor his life and legacy. Hamilton died at a farmhouse on Jane St. after dueling with Aaron Burr in Weekhawken, N.J. Like smoking today, dueling was illegal then in New York.

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