Volume 74, Number 37 | January 19 -25, 2005

Scoopy’s notebook

Not our problem: Former Mayor Ed Koch, a big supporter of the Iraq war, now says the troops should be brought home. “We accomplished what we needed to do, on the basis that we destroyed Saddam Hussein and his army,” Koch said. Hizzoner said if countries like France and Germany offer to contribute troops to help with Iraq’s recovery, only then should the U.S. keep troops there. Otherwise, he said, we should pull out within 60 days after the upcoming Iraqi elections. And if Iraq devolves into a civil war, then neighbors like Saudi Arabia should get involved in quelling the problem, Koch said.

Diether’s dilemma: We hear Doris Diether is sweating about whether she’ll be reappointed to Greenwich Village’s Community Board 2 come April. Board 2 was known for having many veteran members, but their numbers have dwindled in recent years due to a combination of attrition and some members not being reappointed. Diether was first appointed to the board in 1964 and with the passing of Tony Dapolito in 2003 may be the city’s longest serving community board member. “I think I may be now,” Diether said. “It’s either me or Ed Gold…. They’ve been dumping a lot of long-standing members of the board. They say they’re looking for new blood,” she added of Board 2’s leadership. “What they’re really looking for is people who aren’t controversial. They’re not controversial, because they don’t know the background.” Personally, we think “institutional knowledge” is important on the boards — that having members who remember the important issues and civic battles of the past can help provide a perspective on those of the present.

Green Pier 40: Just for the record, Tobi Bergman said the arrangement at Pier 40 between Pier Park and Playground Association and C&K — which formerly held the master lease to run parking and other commercial uses on the W. Houston St. pier — ended when C&K left the pier at the start of 2004. As a result of a 1997 legal settlement, C&K paid P3, a Greenwich Village youth sports advocacy organization, $5,000 a month, or $60,000 a year, part of which paid Bergman’s salary as P3’s president, and also provided P3 space on Pier 40. The settlement was only active as long as C&K operated the pier. Bergman, who told The Villager last week that he was stepping down as P3 president, said he had been thinking about it for a year and that his primary goal was always to see that the Pier 40 sports field, ready to open any day now, was completed. Chris Martin, a spokesperson for the Hudson River Park Trust, said P3 remains at the pier as a month-to-month tenant of the Trust.

A lock for leader: Tom Schuler is running to succeed Tim Gay as Chelsea Democratic district leader. In December, Gay announced that, after almost 14 years as leader, he planned to step down at the end of this month. Schuler, 43, a 13-year Chelsea resident who lives in London Terrace, is a virtual lock for the post, since he’s the only candidate running out of the Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, which holds its election Thursday. Next Thursday, the Democratic County Committee — most of whose seats for the area are held by C.R.D.C. — makes its selection. Schuler was formerly chief of staff for State Senator Eric Schneiderman and Tom Duane when Duane was a city councilmember and was also a staffer for former State Senator Franz Leichter. For the last four and a half years, he’s been head of government and community relations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Schuler, who like Gay is gay, said a priority of his will be to keep the state and national party from steering to the right. “They will invoke God and argue that we cannot win if we don’t change,” Schuler said. “I do not subscribe to this theory and believe we must fight to preserve a liberal tradition within the Democratic Party.”

(Bitter)sweet defeat: Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy made a friendly wager before last Sunday’s playoff game between the Steelers and Jets, with each promising to provide the other with some tasty foodstuffs from their respective city if their team lost. Among the items Bloomberg sent Murphy — as a result of those missed Gang Green field goals, darn it! — was a tray of Italian cookies from Veniero’s pastry shop on First Ave. and 11th St. If the Jets won, Bloomberg stood to receive a case of Iron City beer in its “new one-of-a-kind aluminum bottle.” Although we wish the Jets won, we think we’d take the Veniero’s over metallic brews any day.

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