Scoopy’s Notebook, Feb. 18, 2016


Doris loves Bob: One of the great mysteries of Scoopy’s Notebook has finally been solved. Bob Gormley, district manager of Community Board 2, used to tell us that, for a few years running, every Feb. 14 he would get a card, always unsigned, wishing him a happy Valentine’s Day. There were no leads to go by, and — as you know, if you’ve ever seen him sing on the mic at the end of board meetings — the man is a stud…so the mystery endured. Gormley recently told us he finally was able to figure it out by the handwriting. It was, in fact, none other than veteran board member Doris Diether.

Greenthumbs-up! Congrats to Bill LoSasso of Community Board 3, who, earlier this month became director of the city Parks and Recreation Department’s GreenThumb program. “I’m excited to get to work with gardeners across the city,” he told us. Previously, he worked at the Port Authority, where he was manager of planning and project development, working on various economic development projects. Closer to home, LoSasso also served as executive director of La Plaza Cultural community garden, at E. Ninth St. and Avenue B, until “retiring” last fall. He played a key role in securing the Gardens Rising project, and its funding, for the East Village and Lower East Side’s green oases.

All-American Dante: Local tipster par excellence Gary Shapiro tells us that he recently spotted Dante de Blasio, the mayor’s son, at the Strand Book Store browsing in the Americana section. Shapiro also reports that both Film Forum and Anthology Film Archives have raised their ticket prices.

Farris memorial: Steve Cannon and David Hammons are planning a memorial for poet John Farris at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, on Fri., April 29, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. His friend, fellow Lower East Side poet Cannon, said, “The date is set. The music, food, etc. is unknown.”

Getting notice: L.E.S. Dweller activist Diem Boyd tells us her hard-hitting talking point on Mayor Bill de Blasio in The Villager back in December (“De Blasio’s L.E.S. / Chinatown tale of two cities”) definitely has gotten some notice. Her column took the mayor to task for his failure to rezone Chinatown and much of the Lower East Side to protect it from overdevelopment. Her piece concludes, “This all begs the question, Mayor de Blasio — are you a true beacon of the new left, like Sanders and Warren, or just another right-leaning centrist, bought by big real estate interests, cloaked in progressive rhetoric?” Soon after her talking point came out, a Washington Post reporter jumped on the story and did a walk-around through the neighborhood with Boyd, and is now reportedly doing the same with disgruntled activists in other parts of the city who also feel the mayor has “sold them out.”

Lights! Camera! Menin! As recently reported by one of our sister papers, Downtown Express, Julie Menin has taken over as head of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, which issues permits for location shoots across the city and also works with Broadway and Off Broadway theaters. “Julie has shown time and again that she is a highly effective leader who has the skills and passion to get the job done for New Yorkers,” the mayor said in a statement. Most recently, Menin spent two years as commissioner of the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs, where she launched projects including promoting the paid-sick-leave law, and the Small Business Relief Package, an initiative to reduce fines on businesses. She was chairperson of Community Board 1 from 2005 to 2012, helping lead Lower Manhattan’s rebuilding after 9/11, before leaving to run unsuccessfully for borough president in 2013. “I am honored to take on this new role within the de Blasio administration,” Menin said. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to drive economic growth with this new and expanded portfolio — from film to music, TV to advertising — and as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, I look forward to supporting the 130,000 New Yorkers who are employed through this industry and to strengthening the city’s engagement with the media and entertainment sector.”

Correction: Bill Weinberg reports that his column last week, “Berber New Year in an E. Village Ukrainian church,” incorrectly stated that the Kabylia provisional government was demanding autonomy under Algeria’s constitution. In fact, they have taken the decision to move toward independence from Algeria.