Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of June 23, 2016

Dodge Landesman speaking at the kickoff for his campaign for Democratic State Committee in the 65th Assembly District. At right is his political ally Yuh-Line Niou, who is running for the district’s Assembly seat. Photo by Sharon Woolums
Dodge Landesman speaking at the kickoff for his campaign for Democratic State Committee in the 65th Assembly District. At right is his political ally Yuh-Line Niou, who is running for the district’s Assembly seat. Photo by Sharon Woolums

State of the State Committee race: A competitive race for Democratic State Committee is shaping up in the 65th Assembly District after John Quinn announced he is not runnning for re-election. Quinn has been busy helping out his wife, Alice Cancel, who, in an April special election, won the district’s Assembly seat left vacant after former Speaker Sheldon Silver was convicted on corruption charges. Now that the Assembly session in Albany has ended for the year, maybe Cancel will learn to drive, Quinn said. “I drive her up. Keep her office tidy,” he said. “She doesn’t drive yet. She will take lessons. She knows not to let her husband teach her to drive. We want to stay married,” he quipped. Anyway, getting back to the race to fill Quinn’s seat, there are currently at least four candidates, including Dodge Landesman, Pedro Cardi, Christopher Marte and Lee Berman, who are running for the low party post, which has no salary. We hear Berman is being supported by District Leader Paul Newell. Landesman — son of Broadway theater producer Rocco Landesman, who was formerly chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts — recently kicked off his campaign with a rooftop fundraiser at his parents’ Gramercy pad, at which he pulled in $10,000. Sharon Woolums, a member of the Village Independent Democrats political club, attended the shindig and said Landesman was great. “Dodge gave a brilliant speech full of passion and caring — hitting all the right notes — and I am totally on board with him,” she said. “The young lady running with him is also a great speaker and has her priorities straight.” Woolums was referring to Yuh-Line Niou, who, like Newell, is running for Assembly in the 65th A.D. in the September Democratic primary. Woolums said she met Dodge’s “illustrious” dad and can vouch that he definitely “is all that.” Cancel will also be running for re-election in that race, which features a crowded field of candidates. Landesman and Niou clearly are hoping that their newfound political relationship will be mutually beneficial, translating into more votes at the polls for each of them.

More St. John’s ULURP! Last week we reported that Community Board 2 would be weighing in on the St. John’s Partners mega-project, across from Pier 40 at W. Houston St., at its full board meeting this Thurs., June 23. However, the board’s Pier 40 / St. John’s Terminal Working Group, at an executive session the previous week, in fact, had decided they wanted more time to craft their resolution. We did not attend that executive session and the board’s online meetings agenda for June has not been modified to reflect that change. Long story short, C.B. 2 has gotten permission from the city to extend its deadline another month, so will vote on its advisory recommendation on the plan at its meeting next month, on July 21. The community board is reviewing the project, which will feature 1,600 apartments, nearly 500 of them permanently affordable, as part of the first leg of the city’s seven-month-long Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, or ULURP. Tobi Bergman, the board’s chairperson explained the reason for the change: “We were trying to complete our resolution in time for the June full board meeting because the return date for our resolution is July 18, three days before our July full board meeting. While we have completed our public hearing process, the working group needs more time to write a comprehensive and responsive resolution. Fortunately, City Planning and the borough president understood the problem and will give full consideration to our resolution if returned a few days late. Between now and the July meeting, the working group will meet a few more times in executive session, always in a public place to be announced on our calendar, and always encouraging the public to come listen. Our current goal will be to complete a draft resolution by July 15 for consideration at our full board meeting on July 21.” The public is free to attend the executive sessions, but cannot participate in the discussions. During the previous month, there were a series of public hearings held by C.B. 2 on the project at which the public could testify.

LA II on view: Fans of LA II, who famously collaborated with Keith Haring back in the 1980s, can see some of his new work — including painted mannequins and paintings — at Art Hamptons this week. LA II is represented by Lawrence Fine Art, which has a gallery in East Hampton, as well as in L.A., as in Los Angeles. “All I can tell you is his contribution to the art of his time is long overdue for reappraisal,” the gallery’s owner, Howard Shapiro, said of the local graffiti legend. “And he was cut out of it because he was a brown-skinned, Spanish-speaking Puerto Rican kid from the Lower East Side who didn’t know how to navigate the system. We are big fans of LA — he’s a humble, sweet guy who didn’t deserve this. In the past couple of years, his work has really come alive. There’s just a vibrancy to his art. It’s like he’s at peace with himself and the world. … We held a show for him three years ago called ‘LA ROC: Not Keith Haring.’ ”