Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of March 29, 2018

Trader Joe’s soon on Bethune? We hear from a favorite source that Trader Joe’s may be coming to the currently vacant former Mrs. Green’s supermarket space at Hudson and Bethune Sts. We had previously reported that Westside Market was interested in the space, but apparently it didn’t work out.

“There can only be one candidate” running against Andrew Cuomo — and Cynthia Nixon, above, is it, District Leader Arthur Schwartz explained. Photo by Andrew H. Walker

When push comes to gov: As everybody knows by now, Cynthia Nixon has declared that she’s running against Andrew Cuomo for governor, and also that former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s shot at Nixon — calling her an “unqualified lesbian” — completely backfired on her. Quinn subsequently apologized for the comment. We asked Allen Roskoff, president of the Jim Owles Democratic Club, his opinion on Nixon’s candidacy. “The club hasn’t taken a position,” he said. But he added with a big grin, “I think the best thing that’s happened to Nixon is Christina [sic] Quinn!” Meanwhile, Randy Credico says he, too, is throwing his hat into the gubernatorial ring. Credico has run for office a few times before — against Senator Chuck Schumer and Cuomo and also for mayor —  and has generally scored in the low single digits, when not struggling to crack 1 percent. But who knows? Maybe the notoriety surrounding Credico after Roger Stone ID’d him as his alleged “back channel” to WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange in so-called “Russiagate” might boost him a bit this time around. We asked Credico his thoughts on former “Sex and the City” star Nixon being in the race, and he scoffed, “She is not a strong candidate. I expect her to drop out — and support me.” Yeah, right! “She’s a soft-porn TV star,” Credico continued. “Without that show, who would even know who she is? She’s not a dynamic speaker. If she wants change, she should support me.” Credico’s campaign slogan is “The Most Progressive Candidate Since Franklin D. Roosevelt.” For the record, he added that he used to do stand-up comedy with Michael Patrick King, the creator of “Sex and the City.” Meanwhile, Village District Leader Arthur Schwartz recently told us that Stephanie Miner, the former mayor of Syracuse, was eyeing a run for governor, too.  Miner, who was term-limited Upstate, is now living several days each week in the Village while teaching a law course at New York University, according to Schwartz. Clearly, she would be a “qualified” candidate, at least by Quinn’s definition, though she is married to a man. But Roskoff of Jim Owles said his understanding is that Miner is not running. Schwartz confirmed that he believes that’s the case. “I don’t think she’s running,” he told us. “I haven’t spoken to her in a couple of weeks. There has to be [only] one candidate [versus Cuomo] and she knows that. And Cynthia’s doing a good job. She’s raising all the right issues. She’s getting lots of publicity.” Schwartz said, as of a couple of weeks ago, one of Miner’s main doubts about running had been whether or not Nixon would. Schwartz said he was actually with Nixon at her campaign office when she tweeted out her announcement that she was taking on Cuomo. Other Upstate members of the new Bernie Sanders-inspired group that Schwartz is a leader in, New York Progressive Action Network, were also on the phone in a conference call. As for Credico, Schwartz said he told him he shouldn’t be in the race because he could wind up being a spoiler if Nixon loses the primary election by only 2 or 3 percent. In 2014, Credico got 3.6 percent of the votes in the gubernatorial primary versus Cuomo. “I thought I had talked him out of it,” Schwartz said. “He doesn’t have his radio show anymore,” he noted, adding that probably helped boost his numbers in that election. Credico reportedly had a “toxic relationship” with the program director and station manager at WBAI, leading to his getting canned.

L train suit on track: In other news, Schwartz said he will be filing his lawsuit against the city’s L train shutdown plan this Monday. He said the number of potential plaintiffs keeps snowballing. “It’s not just a West Village / Chelsea thing anymore,” he said, noting that the Grand St. Democrats political club were voting Wednesday night on whether to join onto the suit; Lower East Siders are concerned about a squadron of 50 diesel buses that the M.T.A. hopes to have doing loops between the Williamsburg Bridge and local subway hubs and 14th St. in the event of a potential 15-month shutdown of the L’s East River tubes for repairs. “I’m also working with the L Train Coalition in Williamsburg,” he added. Schwartz said he’s still dumbfounded that the M.T.A. and city Department of Transportation didn’t see fit to do an Environmental Impact Statement, or E.I.S., for the massive project. “I have to tell you, I’m shocked,” he said. “Even though they did all this modeling / shmodeling and community outreach meetings, it all could have been done as part of the E.I.S. And they don’t even have to do anything different than what they were going to do [in the end]. But they have to do an E.I.S. and look at the potential impacts.” Schwartz said he discussed his lawsuit with Al Butzel, the lawyer who defeated the despised $2 billion Westway  tunnel-and-landfill project on the Lower West Side in the mid-1980s. “I think it’s a powerful lawsuit,” the Village activist said. “Al Butzel thought it was a legitimate beef.”

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