Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of Jan. 7, 2019

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.
Jessica Berk, back in October 2017 in front of Harvey Weinstein’s former home on Bank St.

Hello from Atlantic City: Jessica Berk may have given up on us — but, no, we haven’t forgotten about her. She gave us the first report after she left her longtime Christopher St. home a couple of months ago. But we’re here to say that she sounds like she’s happy in Atlantic City, where she has bought a place, thanks to the buyout she and her late mom Ruth got after years of battling their landlord.

Berk said that, before she vacated their coveted penthouse apartment and the Village, she gave a lot of her mother’s stuff to Housing Works on W. 10th St., including numerous sets of tableware. Her mom had tons of things left over from when she was the cabaret singer at the Hotel Earle and her husband ran the club. So, if you recently bought plates at Housing Works, they may well be part of the signature “Christopher St. Vigilante Collection.”

When we spoke to Berk a while back, she said she was enjoying the well-policed boardwalk out in A.C., but that, never fear, she would be back in the Village from time to time, especially whenever she has to do something on her lawsuit against the Sixth Precinct. And, of course, she would be doing a volunteer civilian patrol of the streets to make sure no homeless people are getting too comfortable out there — in the subfreezing weather.

Arthur Schwartz, left, announcing the community lawsuit by the 14th St. Coalition and disabled advocates last year against the full L-train shutdown plan. File photo

Leaked ‘L’ memo: More than a month has passed since Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Jan. 3 that the L train would only need a partial shutdown for repairs, but there still has been no official word on the fate of the so-called alternative service plans from either the Metropolitan Transportation Authority or the city’s Department of Transportation.

Despite that, a draft M.T.A. memo titled “Potential L Tunnel Weekend and Late Night Service Plan With One-Track Closure” published in part by Streetsblog on Jan. 23 could possibly give some insight into what the updated “A.S.P.” might look like.

One of the most notable proposals would be the elimination of the 14th St. “busway” from the plans. In fact, under the plans outlined by the memo, the only new change in bus service on 14th St. would be additional M14 buses on weekends to reduce wait times from 12 to 10 minutes.

However, this should not be seen as a done deal in any way. The M.T.A. later said in a statement to Streetsblog that it still is working on the alternative service plan and slammed Streetsblog as “irresponsible” for publishing “drafts and outdated reports.”

As for the community lawsuit filed against the original alternative service plan, Village attorney Arthur Schwartz said the litigation will continue to move forward following unsuccessful talks with the M.T.A. and D.O.T.

“I made a proposal to drop the case if they would agree to not take any further action until they produced data supporting their proposal and did appropriate consultation with the community,” Schwartz said in an interview shortly after a phone call with representatives from both agencies on Jan. 31. “And they said, ‘No.’ ”

As a result, a court date has been set for Feb. 21 in the ongoing litigation.

Schwartz said he feels it’s necessary to keep the suit active right now or else the busway would be implemented immediately without further community feedback.

When asked about Schwartz’s claims, a D.O.T. representative said, “Modifications to the alternate service plan are underway with the same objectives as before — to provide good transportation alternatives for every affected customer and to reflect the public input we’ve received and will continue to seek before and after the tunnel construction is underway. We are meeting with elected officials and advocates very soon and will have more to share at that time.”

The M.T.A. could not immediately be reached for comment.

Chris Marte pushed Councilmember Margaret Chin to the limit in the primary election in 2017, and now he is training to push himself to the limit in an Ironman Triathlon. File photo

Watch out, ‘Rocky’: Almost a month ago, community activist Christopher Marte, the male State Democratic Committee member from the 65th Assembly District (Lower East Side and tip of Manhattan) decided to start training for the Ironman Triathlon in Lake Placid, which will occur in July.

The triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112 miles of biking and a full 26-mile marathon. Athletes from around the world test their mettle at this popular Ironman, the second oldest in North America.

Swimmers begin stroking across Mirror Lake at  6:30 a.m., followed by a demanding bike ride through the Adirondack Mountains, and ending with a full marathon through mountains and Lake Placid’s downtown that ends at the Olympic speed-skating oval.

Marte registered at the Tony Dapolito Recreation Center, at Varick and Clarkson Sts., a couple of Sundays ago, in order to start using its pool.

Marte can now use any Parks Department facilities, which also offer classes and workout equipment — one of the best New York bargains. Membership is $75 per half year, seniors pay $25 for the year.

This past week and even in the frigid mornings, Marte was in Dapolito’s pool four mornings swimming laps for an hour during the adult lap swim.

He is an avid cyclist and admits that running is the weakest part for him in the triathlon. So, his training includes running three times a week from his Lower East Side home across the Williamsburg Bridge, and back over the Brooklyn Bridge, a 5-mile run.

Good luck with your training, Chris!