Scoopy’s Notebook


Park progress:

The eastern part of Washington Square Park — part of Phase II of the park’s major renovation — looks like it’s finally close to being opened. But it appears park lovers will have to wait just a bit longer. Philip Abramson, a Parks Department spokesperson, said, “We don’t have a firm date yet, but the eastern side (Phase II) remains on target for [opening] this spring season — most likely late May or early June.” And what about the chess tables area in the park’s southwestern corner and “the mounds” nearby, neither of which look nearly as far along? Abramson said those sections are also in Phase II. Some might be a bit skeptical, though, that those areas will also open in a few months, but we’ll see.

Fare ye well, good luck:

With community board appointments due to be announced in April, three members of Community Board 2 have not applied for reappointment. Ian Dutton, vice chairperson of the board’s Traffic and Transportation Committee, told us he has reasons both private and related to the board for why he didn’t reapply. One of them, no doubt, is his busy schedule as a commercial plane pilot. Being an airman, he noted at last week’s C.B. 2 meeting, has given him the opportunity to see how well pop-up cafes function in forward-thinking cities all over the world. After the meeting, with the pop-up proposals mostly having gone “pop,” thanks to his fellow board members’, well…lack of forward thinking, perhaps…he seemed fed up with the whole thing. C.B. 2 used to be a leader, a progressive board, but no more, he lamented. Elizabeth Gilmore, who has been on Board 2 close to a decade, also didn’t reapply. She told us she would have left earlier, but felt the board needed her presence as it was going through some rocky times a few years ago. Finally, James Solomon, former co-chairperson of the Chinatown Working Group, also is leaving Board 2. His big brother, John, sadly died last year of leukemia at age 47, and James wants to help carry on John’s work in public disaster preparedness, in which John was a true leader. A screenwriter, James Solomon’s new film, “The Conspirator,” directed by Robert Redford, is slated to open in April. There’s a special preview screening of the Abraham Lincoln-assassination flick this weekend for John’s family members and friends.

‘Hacktivists’ confab:

A Rally for Information Freedom, in support of Bradley Manning and Wikileaks’ Julian Assange and the “hacktivist” group Anonymous, will be held on City Hall’s steps on Thurs., April 7, starting at 3 p.m. The brainchild of East Village activist John Penley, the event will feature about a dozen speakers, including writer Barrett Brown, Penley, Jennifer Blowdryer and Jim Fouratt.

Housing hearing:

A citywide hearing on safety in New York City Housing Authority developments will be held on Thurs., April 7, at 6 p.m. at the Rutgers Houses Community Center, 200 Madison St.

Credit where it’s due:

A photo that ran in our article on 390 E. Eighth St. two weeks ago should have been credited to Rachel Ohm.