Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of Nov. 24, 2016

State Senator Brad Hoylman with his daughter, Sylvia, outside P.S. 41 on W. 11th St., before voting on Election Day. Photo by Scoopy
State Senator Brad Hoylman with his daughter, Silvia, outside P.S. 41 on W. 11th St., before voting on Election Day. Photo by Scoopy
Rabbi Stephen Roberts with his “walk cards” outside P.S. 41. He was smiling, though the other side of his election flier showed a scowling Brad Hoylman sandwiched between photos of Donald Trump and former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. But Hoylman definitely had the last laugh: Roberts only got 4 percent of the vote. Roberts said he spent all Election Day outside of the Greenwich Village School since it’s the biggest polling site in the entire state Senate District. Photo by Scoopy

Rabbi didn’t have a prayer: Nov. 8 was a heartbreaker and nightmare come true for most Downtowners, but at least progressives could enjoy Brad Hoylman’s resounding re-election win in the 27th state Senate District. The incumbent beat challenger Rabbi Stephen Roberts, who ran as an independent, with nearly 96 percent of the vote, “and the most raw votes of any senator in the state,” Hoylman noted in a Facebook post. He slammed Roberts for spending more than $50,000 in what he called “a negative campaign” against him. Indeed, on Election Day, we saw Roberts campaigning on the corner of Sixth Ave. and W. 11th St. near the P.S. 41 poll site and handing out his “walk cards” to voters. He said he had personally handed out about 30,000 of them during the whole campaign. They showed photos of Donald Trump, fallen Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — and also a scowling Hoylman! Apparently, Roberts’s efforts to paint Hoylman as corrupt and part of the problem in Albany didn’t fly with voters. At any rate, the earnest rabbi said he really enjoyed campaigning, and that he’s now going to focus on trying to change the rules, so that independents don’t need to get an unfairly high number of valid signatures of voters in the district, 3,000, in order to get on the ballot for state Senate. Those running for the major-party lines have a big advantage, only having to collect 1,000 valid signatures.

Yuh-Line Niou.
Yuh-Line Niou.

You Niou it! Also romping on Election Day was Yuh-Line Niou, winning 76 percent of the vote in Lower Manhattan’s 65th Assembly District, formerly represented by Silver. She’ll take over in January from Alice Cancel, who has briefly held the seat since beating Niou in a special election back in April. While Hillary Clinton didn’t make history on Nov. 8, Niou did, becoming the first Asian-American to represent Chinatown or any part of Manhattan in the New York State Legislature. Niou has been getting lots of good press about her victory, even scoring an interview in style mag Vogue.

Cude, Cude vibrations: As expected, Terri Cude won election to chairperson of Community Board 2 last Thursday night, sweeping all 36 votes of board members present. That wasn’t exactly a shocker, since she was the only candidate running. A Soho activist in the audience wondered to us why the members even had to fill out paper ballots, and didn’t just do a show of

Terri Cude.
Terri Cude.

hands. We don’t know…maybe it was so someone didn’t charge, “The election was rigged!” (That’s a popular expression nowadays, or at least it was… .) Tobi Bergman, the outgoing chairperson, pointedly said it’s better for the board to have contested elections… . But, c’mon, it’s not good for anyone’s ego to be destroyed by Cude in an election!

Last Friday and Saturday, the newly redubbed “Alamo Plaza” — everyone still calls it Astor Place — was transformed, sort of, into a scene from the Seven Kingdoms from “Game of Thrones” for a DVD promo for the popular series. Photo by Tequila Minsky
Last Friday and Saturday, the newly redubbed “Alamo Plaza” — everyone still calls it Astor Place — was transformed, sort of, into a scene from the Seven Kingdoms from “Game of Thrones” for a DVD promo for the popular series. Photo by Tequila Minsky

‘Thrones’ rules plaza: Just one day after the ribbon was finally cut on the completed Astor Place / Cooper Square renovation — complete with the restored “Cube” sculpture — the new plaza was promptly invaded by a two-day “Game of Thrones” promo last Friday and Saturday. Some medieval-ish huts were hastily thrown up, “The Cube” was eerily illuminated with red spotlights and the show’s fans would be doing something with “V.R.,” we were told by some security guys there Thursday night. It was all to promote the show’s sixth-season DVD release. Not surprisingly, the blogosphere blew up indignantly that the plaza had been so quickly commercialized. However, William Kelley, the executive director of the Village Alliance business improvement district, said the outrage is a bit overblown. “The space has been open for about six months, and in those roughly 180 days, the plaza has had three major events totaling seven days, all free and open to the public,” he said. “The events — NYCxDESIGN, the ‘Astor Alive!’ festival and the ‘Game of Thrones’ activation — were all different in nature, but generally allow people to participate in some way. I think this HBO event is more noticeable because of its timing, coming right on the heels of the city’s ‘Cube’ installation and ribbon-cutting ceremony — which, frankly, should have happened months ago. I have no way to anticipate how many events will be there over a year’s time, but we are committed to working with the city to ensure that any events programmed are suitable for the neighborhood, limit amplified sound and inconvenience area stakeholders as little as possible.” Anyway, onward!… Next up will be the rededication of seven of “Mosaic Man” Jim Power’s restored street lampposts on Tues., Nov. 29, at 9:30 a.m. (The event had earlier been scheduled for 11:30 a.m., but the time was changed.) There will be speakers, including Power, poet Bob Holman and documentarian Clayton Patterson, among others. After the unveiling, the “Mosaic Man” will provide a personal guided tour of his work, explaining the stories and design behind each pole.

Runnin’ on empty (pipeline): Village activist Jean-Louis Bourgeois called us from Standing Rock the other day to report that everyone is looking forward to the benefit concert Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt will be hosting out there on Sun., Nov. 27, for the Dakota Access Pipeline resisters. It’s free for the Standing Rock Sioux community and all “Water Protectors.” All gross proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the tribe in their efforts to halt the pipeline and prepare the camps for winter. In a statement, Browne said, “Just as we give thanks for our good fortune and the bounty of our lives as Americans, let us thank the Native people who are gathered here at Standing Rock to protect the natural world and defend our place in it.” Added Raitt, “This movement is growing by the day with solidarity actions happening around the country, yet the media isn’t covering it nearly enough. Our hope is that this concert will help bring more awareness and media attention to the issues being raised at Standing Rock, and to put pressure on the Obama administration to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline until protection of sacred sites is ensured.” One of Bourgeois’s allies added that the feds have agreed to hold talks with the Native American activists before issuing any permits, which could seriously delay the project. In some tragic news, on Tuesday it was reported a protester from New York may lose her arm after being hit with a concussion grenade.

WBAI woes: So what exactly is going on with WBAI, New York’s legendary left-wing radio station? Paul DeRienzo, who has been involved with the iconic station over the years, and knows it’s byzantine politics and feuding factions, gave us the update: “I guess a formal motion is being made to begin the dissolution of the Pacifica Network and the potential spinoff of WBAI to another entity in New York,” he said. “Probably sell the signal and transfer the call letters to a local nonprofit. KPFA in Berkley will go its own way and no longer help WBAI. New bylaws will be proposed, eliminating Pacifica’s democracy experiment, allowing the handoff of the network to a small coterie who could efficiently manage the dissolution.” As for who will get WBAI’s signal, DiRienzo said, “I’ve heard that either The Nation or ‘Democracy Now!’ will get the new frequency.” So Amy Goodman would get the signal — but what about Gary Null? we asked, of BAI’s two biggest stars. “That seems to be the issue,” DiRienzo said.