Scoopy, Week of Sept. 17, 2015

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.

House and garden: Councilmember Corey Johnson has remained quiet on the Elizabeth St. Garden debate, not wanting to intervene on an issue in the district of Council colleague Margaret Chin. But, in response to The Villager’s queries, Johnson is now at least saying that he does support building affordable housing at a city-owned site in Hudson Square, which is the alternative plan that has been proposed by Tobi Bergman, chairperson of Community Board 2. A spokesperson this week told us, “Councilmember Johnson supports the Community Board 2 recommendation for construction of affordable housing at the Department of Environmental Protection water-shaft site located at Hudson and Clarkson Sts. He looks forward to working with C.B. 2 in the coming months on a suitable plan for that site.” However, as for whether the affordable housing project slated for the Elizabeth St. garden should now be shifted to this West Side site, saving the Little Italy garden, Johnson, well…would not go there. “The Elizabeth St. site is located within Councilmember Chin’s district and Councilmember Johnson rarely weighs in on issues or land use items in other councilmembers’ districts,” his spokesperson said, adding, “He has the utmost respect for Councilmember Chin.” Actually, the full board of C.B. 2 has not voted on whether to designate the Hudson and Clarkson Sts. site for affordable housing. The board is still on record from years ago supporting a park / playground at the location. Yet, Bergman said, developing housing there “has been discussed in the board’s Executive Committee and informally among many members, and it has strong support as an alternative to the Elizabeth St. Garden site.” Bergman added, “The bottom line for the L.M.D.C funding is that this is an issue for the city administration to resolve with the community, not one to be decided through an L.M.D.C. funding decision. H.P.D. should withdraw the request and work with us on a variety of good affordable housing opportunities instead of taking this action, which can only sour the relationship.” At its scheduled hearing on Thurs., Sept. 17, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation was set to consider an application by the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development for a $6 million grant for the 100-unit senior housing project earmarked for the garden.



Material kids: Don’t cry for me…Kyle and Camille, above. You just won tickets to see Madonna on her Rebel Heart Tour at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night in NYC Community Media’s Madonna tickets contest! Kyle lives in the East Village, and Camille hails from Williamsburg. For the rest of our readers, don’t feel bad that you lost. You can still enter our Ricky Martin concert tickets contest! It’s loca! See our ad in this week’s issue for details.

Here comes the judge…delegate: Say what you want about her boss, Sheldon Silver, and her husband, William Rapfogel, but Judy Rapfogel, the former’s longtime chief of staff, was elected a Democratic judicial delegate last week in the 65th Assembly District, which covers the Lower East Side and Lower Manhattan. Out of nearly 10,000 people who voted, more than 1,000, or about 10 percent, penciled in the oval for Rapfogel. Of the five winners, she came in last. Meanwhile, former Assembly Speaker Silver, of course, is facing federal corruption charges, while hubby William is serving time in the slammer for embezzling funds from the Metropolitan New York Council on Jewish Povery, the charity group he formerly led. A large amount of the stolen cash was found stashed in the bedroom apartment of the Rapfogels’ Grand St. apartment. She has said she didn’t know about the stolen dough. Anyway, she’ll now be helping select our judges.

May the Schwartz (caption) be with you: In last week’s print edition of The Villager, a caption on page 10 under a photo of Arthur Schwartz in the article “Attorney and police don’t see eye to eye in spy cameras case” was a misprint. The caption should have stated that it was Schwartz and that he was handcuffed while in court in July as he was being given his return court date.