Under Cover

Volume 18 • Issue 45 | March 24 – 29, 2006

Green money down the drain

Kermit the Frog famously sang that it wasn’t easy being green but the Muppet may get an argument from Parks Dept. spokesperson Carli Smith who tells UnderCover the planned “comfort” station in Tribeca’s Washington Market Park will have green features.

The million-dollar design should be ready for release in June and Parks hopes to begin building the 900-square-foot, environmentally friendly bathrooms later this year. If the cost estimate holds, $600,000 will come from discretionary money secured by City Councilmember Alan Gerson, and $400,000 from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.

The bill is in the detail

Before Darryl Littlejohn was indicted for the Feb. 25 murder of graduate student Imette St. Guillen, City Councilmembers were lining up to pen a bill calling for paid details at bars and nightclubs. Littlejohn, a bouncer at The Falls bar where St. Guillan was last seen, has a long rap sheet and was on parole when he worked there.

Paid detail allows private businesses to hire off duty police officers to serve as private security.

But for every bill, there are countless ways to write it and councilmembers are eager to see theirs make it to the top of the list. City Councilmember Gerson insists his bill is the pick of the litter. “We’re all doing it independently. We have different nuances,” Gerson said. His bill would allow officers to patrol outside establishments on the sidewalks, keeping an eye on horn honking and noise.

Councilmember David Yassky’s paid detail bill, on the other hand, would allow the officers to work inside the nightspots, Gerson noted. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly does not support paid detail, while the New York Nightlife Association favors it.

It’s that difference that Gerson thinks will win over a skeptical N.Y.P.D. “I think the N.Y.P.D. may be more accepting of our proposal,” he said, adding that he has spoken with Peter Vallone Jr., chairperson of the Council’s Public Safety Committee, and Leroy Comrie, chairperson of the Council’s Consumer Affairs Committee, for input on his bill.

Gawking Gawker

Nick Denton is relocating his Gawker Media blogging company to Crosby St. Now, passersby will have the pleasure of peeping in on Gawker.com at work through a plate-glass window at the street-level storefront, New York magazine reports. Gossip hungry New Yorkers will no longer be relegated to impersonally emailing or instant messaging their daily nuggets of hearsay, now they can just pop their heads in the shop and chat away with the bloggers doing whatever it is that they do in there.

Glick’s picked

Deborah Glick is a fruit, but not just any fruit, she’s a Fruit of Distinction. New York State’s first openly gay member of the state Assembly will be bestowed the Fruit of Distinction Award by the Fresh Fruit Festival at an April 24 ceremony at The Knitting Factory in Tribeca. The Fresh Fruit Festival, an international gay and lesbian arts festival, honors artists and leaders every year at its annual ceremony.

WWW Downtown Express

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