Scoopy’s notebook

Board overboard:

Defying observers who can’t fathom how he could possibly run for two offices simultaneously, Arthur Schwartz says he’s challenging Brad Hoylman for first vice chairperson of Community Board 2. Schwartz said, no, he isn’t dropping out of the Democratic State Committee race to run for board vice chairperson, but is doing both. He said he doesn’t have any desire to be chairperson of the Greenwich Village board someday. However, he said of Hoylman, “Frankly, it’s no secret that Brad’s plan is to be district leader and board chairperson and councilmember,” adding, “without any history of activism in the community.” Schwartz conceded that Hoylman, a past president of Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats, has been active in the gay and lesbian community.

Told that Schwartz is taking him on, Hoylman said he’s running on a “rationality and respect” platform and aims to end the divisiveness on the board. “I respect all the work Arthur’s done over the years — but he is a lightning rod,” Hoylman said. “We need to move beyond these attacks, personal letters being exchanged.” Of course, it was Hoylman who deposed Schwartz as district leader last year with the blessings of State Senator Tom Duane and Council Speaker Chris Quinn, who abandoned Schwartz. Hoylman added he actually attends Executive Committee meetings, whereas Schwartz doesn’t. Assemblymember Deborah Glick, who strongly backed Hoylman for district leader and has been working to torpedo Schwartz’s state committee run, accused Schwartz of running against Hoylman “in an apparent fit of pique.”

Meanwhile, Schwartz says Glick has never forgiven him for helping push through the Hudson River Park Act in 1998, which Glick says she opposed because of her fear of having an authority run the park. “Arthur, in most of his operations, tries to move forward by being divisive,” Glick said. “It’s ironic that he continues to try to get press by linking himself to me.” In related board events, Larry Goldberg, another C.B. 2 member, is outraged over the letter Schwartz recently sent board members encouraging them to back Maria Passannante Derr for board chairperson, in which Schwartz implied Goldberg was unqualified to be appointed to the Hudson River Park Trust’s board of directors. Goldberg fired off his own letter calling Schwartz’s accusations “unfounded and unwarranted…. My ‘record’ and reputation are beyond reproach,” Goldberg wrote.

Also in his letter, Schwartz said he felt David Reck needed another year of seasoning before becoming board chairperson, and that Reck was an ally of Aubrey Lees, when she headed the board, but didn’t speak out when Lees removed Schwartz as head of the Waterfront Committee over the Pier 40 redevelopment imbroglio a few years ago. “I didn’t always agree with Aubrey,” Reck said. “I think Aubrey was right to remove Arthur as chairperson of the Waterfront Committee — and Arthur’s letter is proof of that.”

Ciao, Silvio:

Speaking of the waterfront, one of Giuseppe Cipriani’s former silent partners in his aborted plan for a gigantic Cipriani banquet hall on Pier 57 in the Hudson River Park was reportedly Silvio Berlusconi, the scandal-ridden, right-wing media and financial mogul and former Italian prime minister who just lost a bid for re-election. It was Berlusconi’s defeat that led to Cipriani pulling out of a partnership with the Witkoff Group on the Pier 57 project, according to a source.

Harry who? Steve Kaufman confirmed to us he’s not running in the September primary for the 74th Assembly District — and that he’s probably not ever going to run for anything else, period. “I am no longer in politics. I think 30 years is enough,” the longtime chief of staff to former Assemblymember Steve Sanders said. Kaufman said he plans to get into public interest and advocacy work, likely in the areas of education, civil rights and disabilities. Speaking of disabilities, we wondered if that recent pair of letters in The Villager blasting him for criticizing Assemblymember Syvlia Friedman for locating her office just outside her district so it could be handicapped accessible played a role in Kaufman’s dropping out of the race. “Those letters were absurd,” Kaufman retorted. “The description that Steve Sanders conducted his constituent services out of a coffee shop for 28 years was ridiculous…. I have no idea who Harry Weider is,” Kaufman said of one of the letter writers. “He’s probably a flunky of Sylvia.” (Actually, he’s a well-known advocate for the disabled on Community Board 3.) Asked who he’s endorsing in the race, Kaufman said it’s early but, added, “I think somehow Sylvia will not ask for my help.”

The gorgeous Mosaic: A lot has happened to Jim “Mosaic Man” Power since he took a buyout from developer Ben Shaoul to leave the former Cave artists’ squat on St. Mark’s Pl. a month ago, but he’s still hanging in there. Power spent $400 of the $2,500 right away on a new video camera. However, after a job doing mosaics in the kitchen of a painter’s apartment on 15th St. next to the Daryl Roth Theater — where the painter let him live for a month — he found himself homeless on the street. While Power was inside the E. 14th St. post office, someone stole his sack he’d left outside with the camera, as well as a new $5 cane he’d just started using. Luckily, no one took Jesse Jane, Power’s dog. Two guys later told Power they had seen his camera and could get it back for $20, but it was a con. For now, Power has returned to 120 St. Mark’s Pl., camping out in front every night. He says Shaoul is O.K. with it. Power says he may have a job coming up for Crif Dogs in Hawaii soon and is also thinking of getting a “pedal cab” to raise his profile. And of course there’s still the Mosaic Trail of tile-covered lampposts to complete. “My thing is to finish these light poles,” Power said. “The fact that I even got approval to do this is insane.”


Last week’s article on the effort to landmark the old P.S. 64 incorrectly stated that if the former E. Ninth St. school building is landmarked developer Gregg Singer’s permit to strip off all the building’s window trim would be voided. In fact, since the facade-work permit was issued two years ago — and thus prior to the building’s calendaring last October for a landmark designation hearing — it would still be valid even if the building is landmarked. Assuming the old school gets landmarked and Singer then removes the window trim, the Landmarks Preservation Commission would have no power to force him to put it back, we are told by L.P.C. …. Although Susan Stetzer, district manager of Community Board 3, and Councilmember Rosie Mendez have a friendly relationship it’s not as close as a photo caption in an article on 515 E. Fifth St. in last week’s Villager might lead one to believe; the caption incorrectly identified Stetzer as Mendez…… In the article on the State Liquor Authority hearing in last week’s issue, it was incorrectly reported that there are 28 licensed bars within 45 feet of each other on Bond St. The article should have stated that there are 28 liquor licenses with 500 feet of 45 Bond St.

Stir it up:

Asked if she thought C.B. 2 with its infusion of new members might vote against the Washington Square Park renovation when it comes back to the board for another vote this time, Keen Berger, a new board member, said, could be. “The new members are not pro-city and they’re not pro the old habits of the board,” Berger said. “I would not be surprised if they stirred things up.”

Victory, or travesty?

In a unique occurrence of an arts center’s members electing their own board of directors rather than having them appointed, the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center on Suffolk St. recently voted in its new board. Yet, the two artists groups filling the building, not surprisingly, didn’t see eye to eye on it. Members of Clemente Soto Velez hailed it as a resounding victory. Members of Artists Alliance Inc. slammed it as a “sham.”

Ziggy High Line:

David Bowie will be headlining a music festival under the High Line next May. Bowie will perform in person and will line up both emerging artists and established bands for the concert.

Nothing to yarn at:

A Jane Jacobs-inspired “massive knit-in” is planned for May 23 at 5:30 p.m. in Washington Square Park. The event was inspired by Jacobs’s quote in “The Death and Life of Great American Cities”: “To use parks and squares and public buildings as part of this street fabric; use them to intensify and knit together the fabric’s complexity and multiple use.” For more information, visit www.massiveknit.org. People are being asked to “tie, knit, string together long thin pieces of material, and before leaving [the park], tie the material off to a piece of the park, or another individual’s yarn. By the end of the evening,” the organizers say, “we should have a string of material connecting the park together. We will have connected to the park and to the other individuals as a community.” Sounds a bit like the Borg, but we guess Jacobs might have liked it.