Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of May 3, 2018

An annual pro-Israel rave of sorts in Washington Square Park saw New York University students dancing and wrapping themselves in Israeli flags, while protesters came out and flew Palestinian flags. Beyond the competing flag action, an anti-Israel activist ripped a microphone out of the hand of a woman who was singing, and someone also set something on fire. (See this week’s Police Blotter.) Topping it off, these guys from Upstate, the Neturei Karta Jews United Against Zionism, above, also showed up to decry the very existence of Israel. Ultra-Orthodox, they don’t think a Jewish state should be established until the Messiah’s return, and that Jews should “accept their faith in exile and act as moral and spiritual paragons.” Photos by Tequila Minsky

S.B.J.S.A. hearing: We hear from City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s office that the Council will finally hold a hearing on the Small Business Jobs Survival Act “in a couple of months — soon.” Villager writer Sharon Woolums, who has been a specialist on the S.B.J.S.A. issue, is urging that the City Council resolve — at least to its own satisfaction — the always-vague accusations by the powers that be that the bill is “not legal.” It would not make sense to hold a hearing and then spend all the time debating the bill’s legality. Excellent point!

Ravi report: Embattled immigrant-rights activist Ravi Ragbir has to report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement on May 11, but he doesn’t expect to be deported then. The New Sanctuary Coalition leader noted he still has two legal cases going. One of them, seeking to overturn his original conviction from nearly two decades ago for wire fraud, is due back in court on May 4, and they don’t expect a decision that day, Ragbir told us. The other one, a First Amendment case charging that he and other immigrant leaders are being targeted for deportation by ICE because they are speaking out publicly, has not even been scheduled for a hearing yet.

‘Rashomon’ redux: Yet another riddle has emerged in the “Rashomon” involving Tom Connor’s removal from the Community Board 2 State Liquor Authority Committee. Lois Rakoff, who is a member of the committee, refused to comment on the actual meeting at which Connor claims Bob Ely, the committee’s co-chairperson, “harassed” him after Connor asked to revisit a previous committee decision on the members’ club Zero Bond. (Again, The Villager felt an audiotape of their exchange didn’t show any harassment, though perhaps a slightly raised voice on Ely’s part. A video clip also did not show anything particularly extreme to have transpired.) Rakoff did say she thinks the committee is well run, but she added a new twist when she said of Connor’s claim that he collapsed from anxiety while walking home after the meeting: “I told him to go one way on the sidewalk, and he went the other way. It was slushy that night.” Rakoff said she, Dr. Shirley Smith and Connor always walk home together after meetings. … As for Connor, he said he still hasn’t been put back on the committee. Terri Cude, the board’s chairperson, said it’s important first that they “clear the air” and have a meeting. She has invited Connor to meet with her, Ely and Carter Booth, Ely’s co-chairperson on the S.L.A. Committee. Connor is refusing to meet (though Cude said he initially agreed to, then declined) because he wants an ally there with him, like Smith — not surprisingly, he didn’t mention Rakoff! — otherwise, he said, it would be “three against one.” But Cude told us he has nothing to worry about. “I’m neutral,” she assured. She also said that C.B. 2 definitely has more than two gay men. Connor stressed he meant he was the only gay guy on the S.L.A. Committee, not the whole board, when he said something along those lines to The Villager a few weeks ago. For the record, Rakoff told us she really liked The Villager’s article on the whole Connor / Ely / Cude affair, “C.B. 2 alcohol problem: Committee in ‘bar brawl,’” a few weeks ago — so much so, she keeps rereading it! Kathy Slawinski, a good friend of Connor, said of the piece, “He liked 80 percent of it.” However, it doesn’t sound like Cude liked it very much. She objected to the article’s saying Connor was “booted” off of the committee. He was merely reassigned to another one that he was even better suited for, she explained. Oh well, can’t please ’em all!

False alarm: A self-described “politically astute activist” called to tell us he was investigating suing over the fact that Manhattan’s community boards held votes throughout the month of April, yet Borough President Gale Brewer missed the April 1 deadline to make reappointments and new appointments. In other words, half of the board members were in limbo, not having been reappointed. (Board members serve two-year terms, with half the members of each 50-member board up for reappointment each year.) “I will demand that all actions for the month of April be null and void,” he declared. C.B. 2 Chairperson Cude told us the appointments, indeed, are “supposed to be April 1, but the borough president said they would be May 1. We’re waiting…patiently.” However, right as we were going to press, the “astute activist” told us that, under the Public Officers Law, the community board members “are good until replaced” — or until reappointed, we would assume, though perhaps he would like to replace most of them!

What’s cooking? Lower East Side documentarian Clayton Patterson recently got a visit from Anthony Bourdain, the globe-trotting celebrity chef and TV show host. It apparently may have been for a segment he is doing on is old stomping ground. “He wanted to look at photos in my archives,” Patterson told us. “He grew up in the city…hanging out at CBGB, drinking on the Lower East Side. You know.”

Whoa! Silver Spurs, a mainstay in the Village for 40 years, closed on LaGuardia Place at the end of March. Eater reporter that business was down, and that two years ago, it stopped staying open 24 hours. We’re sure former City Councilmember Alan Gerson is taking it hard since this was one of his go-to spots. Another longstanding Silver Spurs location, at Broadway and Ninth St., closed at Broadway and Ninth St., five years ago.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *