Volume 74, Number 36 | January 12 - 18, 2005
Barkeep keeps helping: East Village watering hole Sophies on E. Fifth St. hasnt seen Shane OSullivan for six months. Thats because the popular bartender, whos worked at Sophies for 15 years, has been in Phuket, Thailand, where he spends time every year. While there on vacation, OSullivan suffered through the recent tsunami disaster and has stayed to help out his friends there. He called Sophies recently to check in and tell everyone hes O.K., but his spirits werent too high. The bar doesnt have any contact information for OSullivan, and he told them that finding a working phone has been difficult.
What a trip(pi): He turned a long-shot candidate into a frontrunner in Howard Dean. Now, cutting-edge campaign manager Joe Trippi is taking on another dark horse, as general consultant for Brian Ellners Manhattan borough president race. Trippi said Ellner will bring a new and open approach to the office, as opposed to established candidates top-down way of doing business. The Dean campaign revolutionized the use of the Internet for fundraising, but Trippi said the Web wont be as important in the low-turnout Manhattan race. Trippi lives in Maryland, but said hell be in the area several times a week for his gig in Secaucus, N.J., as an MSNBC analyst. It was Trippis old pal P.R. guru Ethan Geto who hooked him up with Ellner. Trippi, in turn, had put Geto in touch with Dean with Geto, of course, becoming Deans New York State campaign manager. As for his former bosss quest to be Democratic National Committee chairperson, Trippi said he thinks Dean is too ideological. I think Dean would make a great U.S. senator, but I think there are better candidates for party chair, he said. Its hard for someone as ideological as he is to hold everything together. Trippi said hell be putting out a press release in 24 to 48 hours announcing who he supports for the post. Of course, Dean forced Trippi out of his campaign by hiring a second campaign manager. Trippi said he wasnt technically fired, but that from experience he knew two campaign managers cant steer the same ship
. So was it Deans Iowa yelp that did his campaign in? No, no, no, Trippi said. We were done way before that that was the finishing blow.
Excuses, excuses: We hear The Villagers recent report on the Conflicts of Interest Boards advisory opinion on Bob Rinaolos chairing of Community Board 2s Business Committee and his subsequent resignation as committee chairperson has created quite a buzz among board members. One board member privately said he is aghast that Jim Smith, the boards chairperson, has granted Rinaolo a three-month leave to go to Florida. Four unexcused absences in a year constitute grounds for removal from the board. However, Smith stressed to The Villager that Rinaolos absences are excused. Unexcused is the key word, Smith wrote in an e-mail. It has been my policy (and the policy of all my predecessors that Ive known) to mark members excused when there is reason for the member to be away and he so advises me or the office. The reason may be health or family responsibilities or other personal concerns. Without such considerations by me and other board chairpersons over the years there would have been moves to sever such past and present luminaries as Keith Crandell, the late Tony Dapolito, Ed Gold, Arthur Schwartz, the revered Verna Small and many, many others
. Whatever absences [of Rinaolos] occur will be excused absences, Smith said. Asked specifically why Rinaolo was being excused, Smith said, I dont discuss members personal business in the press, not in public, nor at board meetings and not even in private unless the other party is the one with the personal business and he or she wants to discuss it with me. Suffice it to say, I may excuse a member for what I consider good cause. Rinaolo previously told The Villager his reason for going to Florida, but requested it remain off the record. He did not return calls at his Garage restaurant or his home on Monday and Tuesday asking him to state publicly the reason for his three-month hiatus
. Smith says the decision for Rinaolo to step down as Business Committee chairperson was taken on Dec. 10 and recorded by e-mail. However, when The Villager spoke to Rinaolo on Dec. 17, he didnt give the impression he was officially stepping down only stating the following Monday, Dec. 20, that he had done so. He can be a bit slow at opening his e-mail, noted Smith
. Meanwhile, Brad Hoylman, the only board member who could conceivably challenge Rinaolo in his planned bid for chairperson of the board, which is heavily pro-Rinaolo, said: Im sure the board will be fully briefed as to the details of this matter but I havent heard anything yet.
. At orientations for new community board members, Borough President C. Virginia Fields office advises that members shouldnt chair committees in their industry; for instance in an example Rinaolo himself noted was given at a recent orientation architects shouldnt chair zoning committees. Asked about David Reck, an architect, chairing C.B. 2s zoning committee, Smith said Reck doesnt really work as an architect anymore and that his income is mainly rent from his Hudson Sq. building. As a result, Smith said, its not likely Reck would have potential clients coming before the board. The Villager finally tracked down Reck who hadnt responded to phone calls at District Attorney Robert Morgenthaus campaign bash at the Ear Inn on Spring St. Tuesday evening. I have no comment for The Villager, he said
. Asked his take on the conflict mishegoss, District Leader Arthur Schwartz noted it was he who originally suggested Rinaolo seek appointment to Board 2. I liked how he revived the Chamber of Commerce when he was its chairperson. There was good energy there, said Schwartz, noting that as a local attorney hes a Chamber member
. Sean Sweeney, president of Downtown Independent Democrats and a Board 2 member, also at the Morgy soiree, was more blunt about The Villagers recent exposé. They were trying to hide it, he said.
One ringy dingy: Rocio Sanz of Community Board 2 and Tio Pepe restaurant on W. Fourth St. is doing fundraising for Borough President Fields mayoral campaign.
More trouble in BAMRAlot: Lois Rakoff, former district leader candidate and current resident co-chairperson of Bleecker Area Residents and Merchants Association, who was also you guessed it at the Morgenthau party, said Charlie Wolf is suing BAMRA to collect $5,000 to $6,000 from the expense account he ran up as her predecessor. BAMRA only agreed to pay him $2,900 of the sum, she said. Rakoff said The Post had called her for comment earlier that day but she blew them off, wanting to give us the scoop. I dont know how they found out about it but you come first, she told The Villager. Youre us.
Gettin loco: We hear the Lower East Side Squatter Homesteader Archives Project show closing party at Sixth St. Community Center was packed and that Gringo Loco was burning up the turntables. Crowd favorites that got everyone dancing were two antiwar tunes Moby and Public Enemys Make Love, Fk War and Green Days American Idiot. We hear Father Frank Morales told Loco hes got to D.J. sometime soon at an event at St. Marks Church in the Bowery.
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