Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of Feb. 21, 2019

V.I.D. votes: The elections for district leader were the main attraction at the Village Independent Democrats’ meeting last week. In the race for female district leader, Jen Hoppe squeaked out a win against Elissa Stein by one vote. District Leader Keen Berger had previously announced she would not seek re-election. We hear Berger asked Sharon Woolums to run, too, but that Woolums declined, saying, “I’m a one-issue person. I really just like to get into one issue.”

Interestingly, Berger also spoke at the meeting — against the club’s endorsing her district co-leader Arthur Schwartz for re-election.

As it turned out — at the end of the day, they didn’t. It was a split vote for Schwartz, with 24 V.I.D.’ers voting for him and 24 declining to endorse him, translating into no endorsement. Speaking beforehand, Schwartz had told us he was hoping for his first endorsement from V.I.D. “since 1997.” It was shortly after then that he got mired in a feud with his then-district co-leader Aubrey Lees and eventually left the club, only finally recently rejoining it after more than two decades.

In addition to Berger, no doubt it was mostly veteran club members who put the kibosh on supporting Schwartz, of whom some have said in the past, “Arthur is all about Arthur.” But, more to the point, Schwartz has been going after Assemblymember Deborah Glick — who is a power in V.I.D. — for years now, to the point where he even ran against her a couple of years ago. Then, last year, Schwartz campaigned for Cynthia Nixon on the Working Families Party against Glick in the general election, even though Nixon stressed she actually wanted Glick to win re-election! 

“Keen was saying like I have to earn their trust. Give me a break! Like I have to prove something to V.I.D.,” Schwartz told us. “I don’t think that I would ever ask for their endorsement again. … It’s two less meetings a month,” he said, of not being elected to V.I.D.’s executive committee.

Schwartz said he’ll instead focus on his work with New York Progressive Action Network, the Bernie Sanders-inspired organization, of which he is statewide political director.

However, David Siffert, the club’s new president, sounded a conciliatory tone in a V.I.D. post-election e-mail blast. “Though we did not endorse in the male district leader race, I want to thank Arthur Schwartz for attending the meeting and speaking to us in good faith,” Siffert said. “Though he will not be V.I.D.’s endorsed district leader, he is still a valued member of the club and the community, and I look forward to working with him this year to help make our city and community a better place. I hope he will continue to be an active participant in V.I.D. going forward.”

Phil Mouquinho and Cairo in front of his former restaurant, P.J. Charlton, a few years ago. File photo by Lincoln Anderson

Potential flats fix: Following the much-lamented closing of Tex-Mex favorite Tortilla Flats last October, Phil Mouquinho, who formerly ran P.J. Charlton restaurant, at Charlton and Greenwich Sts., had the idea of inviting the Flats’ owners to reopen in his space. For one, both locations are on the southeast corner, he noted. “They have a Wall St. crowd,” he added at the time of the Flats’ finale.

As for P.J. Charlton, Mouquinho shuttered the Hudson Square eatery because of the construction project that was going on around both sides of the building, then leased it out as an office space for the project. We haven’t heard an update on Mouquinho’s offer.

A design rendering of the towers being constructed at Greenwich and Charlton Sts. that “wrap around” the building that formerly housed P.J. Charlton restaurant on its ground floor.

Electrifying experience: While buying a ticket for a movie at the Regal Union Square theater, you can also switch your home electricity provider from Con Ed to Green Mountain Energy. It’s pretty quick and simple, plus you’ll get a $5 gift card for Regal.

As Kat, who signed us up recently near the theater’s automated ticket machines, explained, most Con Ed electricity is produced using fracked gas and coal. Meanwhile, Green Mountain Energy’s electricity comes from four or five wind farms from around New York State.

The company is the nation’s largest wind-power provider. And they don’t use hydropower from Canada, meaning they’re not complicit in ruining the ecosystem up there with dams. Kat and Co. can also often be found stationed inside the Best Buy store around the corner.

Novo says, “No!” to Ivanka Trump leading the World Bank.

Onion-worthy: After it was floated last month by some financial outlets that Ivanka Trump was “under consideration to lead the World Bank,” Michael Novogratz tweeted out his disbelief. “Is this the Onion?” he scoffed in response to a Business Insider article. “Novo,” who is the board chairperson of Hudson River Park Friends, is a billionaire ex-hedge fund manager now heavily into cryptocurrency. As, it turned out, Ivanka will only “help pick” the new World Bank leader. Phew!

Jerry Delakas — seen a few years ago during his battle to save his newsstand — operated the Astor Place kiosk for more than 30 years, but his nephew Angelos is now helping. File photo by Jefferson Siegel

Newsstand news: Readers have noted they’re not seeing Jerry Delakas at his newsstand at Astor Place and Lafayette St. anymore. That’s because his nephew Angelos Delakas is now manning the kiosk every day. Jerry had not been feeling too well — plus kids had been stealing candy from him. As a result, he was keeping the newsstand’s front gate rolled down and selling lottery tickets from its side door. Angelos now keeps the newsstand’s front gate open once again. He said Jerry will be back in the warmer weather.

Hmm…extra cheese…with mushrooms? Thinking about a late-night pizza run? Just kidding!

CoJo, SJP, pepperoni: Council Speaker Corey Johnson has been “eating crow” this past week for having made notorious homophobe Ruben Diaz, Sr., the chairperson of  a City Council committee, in return for Diaz’s support for Johnson becoming speaker. On a lighter note, not too long ago Johnson had a cute tweet about eating…pizza. “I just walked into my neighborhood pizza place for a slice in my pajamas,” he posted. “The owner says: ‘It’s my lucky night!!’ I said: ‘Huh?’ He says: ‘All the local big wigs tonight are here Corey! Sarah Jessica Parker just came in 20 minutes ago for a slice!’ SJP + CoJo = ???” Well, it definitely equals one pumped-up pizza guy, that’s for sure!

Guest drops in: Famed feminist author Susan Brownmiller recently had a high-flying guest visit her Jane St. penthouse — namely, a red-tailed hawk. The raptor hung out around 10 minutes, its talons wrapped around the rooftop deck’s railing. “Donna Schulman, my niece and a famous birder, thinks he/she was a fledgling from a Bobst/N.Y.U. nest,” Brownmiller told us. You can find Schulman’s avian insights on Facebook. 

The cover image of “John Wilcock: New York Years, 1954-1971,” an online biography in graphic novel style. Page four, about Wilcock’s dream of starting a new paper, has a dig at The Villager, whose contents back then he describes as “mostly bridge club party reports.”

R.I.P., John Wilcock: Soho news source Harry Pincus tipped us off a while back that John Wilcock, the first news editor of the Village Voice, had died. Wilcock passed away last year at age 91 in Ojai, California. Jerry Tallmer, a founding editor of the Voice and its first film and theater critic, wrote a piece about British expat Wilcock that The Villager published posthumously in February 2015, a few months after Tallmer’s death at age 93.

“I used to bump into John at wide intervals through the years, and he always bitterly felt he never got proper credit as one of the founders of The Village Voice,” Tallmer wrote. “He was right. He didn’t. He was a pain in the ass, but an integral piece in this long-ago jigsaw puzzle. … I wish him well.” 

Pot shots: Dana Beal is off the hook. At the end of last year, an agreement was reached under which the “Grandfather of Pot” was ordered to perform 10 hours of community service. That’s all Beal gets after being busted in Northern California two years ago for attempting to drive 22 pounds of marijuana back East.

Beal, 72, had already served two years in prison in Nebraska back in 2010 and ’11 for two similar offenses, though in those cases he was transporting more, around 100 pounds of pot. He suffered a near-fatal heart attack during that stint, so dreaded the prospect of doing more hard time behind bars, fearing he wouldn’t survive.

Anyway, Beal basically told us, since California legalized weed in late 2016, the most anyone is getting for trafficking pot nowadays is a wrist slap.

“People with 200 pounds are getting nothing,” he chuckled. As for his plans for community service, he said, “I’m finding a cure for crystal meth. … I think they should give us back No. 9,” he added, apparently apropos of that. The building at Nine Bleecker St. is currently home to Overthrow Boxing, but it was formerly the headquarters of Beal’s Yippies.

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