Scoopy, Week of Oct. 24, 2013

Scoopy the cat was The Villager’s office mascot in the paper’s early days. In fact, there were a number of Scoopys over the years.

Trying to scare up an answer: We called Jeanne Fleming, the director of the Village Halloween Parade, to see if it’s on or off for this year. Sandy really socked them last year, hitting right before the annual extravaganza, causing them to lose tens of thousands of dollars. Recently, they resolved to raise $50,000 through Kickstarter, or else the parade might be off for this year. Fleming didn’t return a call, but a rep at the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce assured us when we called this week, “The parade is happening. They’ve raised a lot of money.” Maybe we should try to contact the Village Halloween Parade spirits to get a definite answer?

Another Hudson Square hotel: Hudson Square is getting hipper by the moment. On Canal St. between Renwick and Hudson Sts., just a block from The Villager’s office, the Thompson Hotel group  — we’re told they actually may have changed their name — is developing a 330-room hotel on a site owned by the Ponte family. The hotel has a 99-year ground lease on the property. Meanwhile, just up the block, a pretty large-looking site is under construction, we’re told, by The Related Companies, the city’s biggest developer, for a mixed retail and residential project.

SCOOPYBOY‘The Rifle Remover’: As you should know by now if you read Scoopy’s Notebook, Pete Gleason is running for Manhattan district attorney as a Republican versus D.A. Cy Vance in the Nov. 5 general election. An attorney living in Tribeca and an active member of the Downtown Independent Democrats, Gleason was formerly a firefighter and, before that, a police officer. He recently told us he was part of the police detail guarding the “perimeter” around E. Sixth St. when former President Jimmy Carter came there to work on Mascot Flats, the first Habitat for Humanity project in Manhattan, back in 1984. Gleason then e-mailed us this photo of him from around that time, as he put it, “a visual of what getting guns off the street looks like. … The rifle is a carbine — similar in style to that which was carried by Chuck Connors in the TV show ‘The Rifleman,’ ”Gleason explained. “This firearm was taken off a suspect on the Lower East Side in the vicinity of Hamilton Fish Park. The weapon was unloaded at the scene and was transported along with the suspect to the Seventh Precinct. The stock of the rifle had been cut and an eyebolt along with a bandana was attached. This allowed the suspect to sling the bandana over his shoulder and secret the altered, reduced-length rifle under his overcoat. While the sling allowed easy access for the suspect’s potential use, it made it impossible for the suspect to drop his weapon when ordered to do so. Neither the suspect nor my partner, Police Officer Jay Fagan, were injured when we wrestled the suspect to the ground. The pencil was placed in the ejection port to render the gun safe. This was your average night on the Lower East Side circa 1985.” Was it a stop-and-frisk? we asked him. Negative, he responded. “We were flagged down by a good samaritan who gave a detailed description of the suspect and told us he had a ‘sawed-off shotgun’ under his jacket,” he said. “When we spotted the suspect, a block away, he had an unusual gait and appeared to be holding something against his right torso under his overcoat. When we then approached, he turned and opened his jacket displaying the firearm. Upon seeing this we wrestled him to the ground.” It turned out the man might have been a suspect in a rash of stickup robberies. “The detective took the photo for the file and told me, ‘We got it from here kid,’” Gleason recalled. “My partner and I went back on patrol.” Good work, Pete! Fade to the “Dragnet” theme music… .

CHARAS inertia continues: O.K., so what’s going on already with developer Gregg Singer’s plan to create a university student dormitory at 605 E. Ninth St., the old P.S. 64, a.k.a. most recently CHARAS / El Bohio Cultural and Community Center. (And when we say “most recently,” we’re talking about a dozen years ago, which is how long the building has sat vacant under Singer.) We tried reaching out repeatedly to Singer’s most-recent, high-priced P.R. rep, but got no response. And we called Singer directly, but that didn’t work either. So we called The Cooper Union, which had agreed to be the new dorm’s anchor tenant. But it turns out Cooper’s press department, through retirement and attrition, is basically nonexistent, so our call was referred to Lloyd Kaplan, one of our favorite P.R. spokespersons. We should also mention that we’re hearing that work seems to have stopped at the site — as in, people who live on the block are NOT hearing any construction activity there lately. So, we asked Kaplan, what’s the story? The story is not very clear, it seems. “There’s a contract that Cooper Union would have right of first refusal on something like 194 rooms,” Kaplan said. “They paid less than five figures.” How about the reports that renovations inside the place have ground to a halt? Kaplan checked around and got back to us. “We haven’t heard anything,” he told  us. “Cooper Union has not heard from them,” referring to Singer’s group. “I think, nothing has changed,” Kaplan concluded. “Our answer is: Nothing has changed.” Hmm, very existential… . The last time we saw Chino Garcia, CHARAS’s executive director, in Tompkins Square Park, he said he was also waiting to hear back from Cooper Union. And he said he was also disappointed that Anthony Weiner had been repeatedly exposed as a sext-aholic. (This was before the primary.) “I liked Weiner when he was in Congress,” Garcia said, “but he [messed] up.”

Paparazzi twerkin’ the beat: We asked one of the paparazzi outside the Trump Soho on Wednesday morning who they were all on the lookout for. Well, a bearded Adam Sandler had recently walked out with coffee in a cup (not paper, but porcelain) from the Trump Soho cafe, he noted humorously. And, he added, Miley Cyrus was there, too, following her appearance at a fashion awards event the night before.