Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of Dec. 1, 2016

Piece of the rock: Our man in Standing Rock, Jean-Louis Bourgeois, gave us the update on the increasingly tense and dangerous situation as the Sioux and water protectors continue to face off with law enforcement over the Dakota Access Pipeline. We didn’t know if the concert last Sunday, headlined by Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt, would even happen after the violent clash the previous weekend, that left a Bronx woman with a shattered forearm after she was hit by a concussion grenade. “The concert took place last night and it was superb,” Bourgeois reported. However, as for the battle the previous week, the Village activist said he chose to pass on that one. “I tried to be heroic back in 1968 at Columbia — I was terrified back then,” he reminisced of the student uprising that was met by head-cracking cops. Bourgeois’s companion out on the reservation, Anthony VanDonk, a local Lenape from Brooklyn, was in the thick of it on Nov. 20. “There was tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets, pepper spray, concussion grenades,” he told us. “My friend and I were on the bridge and we were tear-gassed. Hundreds of people were treated for hypothermia and for being pepper-sprayed and tear-gassed.” State and county police have told the protesters to clear out by Dec. 5. “The word is that nobody’s going to leave,” Bourgeois said. So what’s going to happen? “Nobody knows,” he said.

Marte joins the par-taay: Well, it looks like City Councilmember Margaret Chin could have at least one challenger in next year’s election. Christopher Marte, a young activist who grew up on the Lower East Side, has filed to create a campaign committee. In September, he ran in a three-way race for Democratic State Committee on the Lower East Side, but was edged out by Lee Berman. Marte (pronounced “mar-taay”) is a committed supporter of the Elizabeth St. Garden. If you don’t believe us, check out our article in this week’s issue about how the garden volunteers buttonholed Mayor Bill de Blasio outside The Cooper Union to hand-deliver an invitation to him to visit the Little Italy green space and see how special it is and why everyone wants to save it. That is…except for Chin. She’s the primary proponent for doing the garden in, pushing a plan to replace it with affordable housing. Community Board 2 has repeatedly urged Chin to accept an alternative site they have identified for the affordable housing. Her refusal to  bend on this issue — after having rubbed voters in the north end of her district the wrong way on the N.Y.U. expansion plan and Soho business improvement district — may well see more candidates pop up. Oh yeah, Marte is the guy in the article’s photo holding the garden’s banner along with Terri Cude, the new chairperson of Community Board 2.

Word from Westminster: Our article last week about Donald Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner’s Westminster Management kicking off its new “Westminster Cares” volunteer effort stated some Kushner tenants who attended said they could not talk about building issues with staff. However, a Westminster rep contacted us, saying: “We had more than 20 Westminster staff members at the event who were available to, and did, discuss issues with tenants.”

Trump done it? Sharp-eyed reader Wayne Smith wanted to know why a caption in last week’s issue said “GAG” stands for “Gays Against Gays.” “A Trump front group?” Smith wondered. Yes, probably, it is. … But, no, in this case, actually just an embarrassing typo. It’s an acronym for Gays Against Guns. Must have been those darned Russian hackers!

Foul! Our article last week about Niketown incorrectly stated it opened Nov. 1. It opened Nov. 18.

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