January 6 - 12, 2011
KOCH GETS HIS DUE — AT LEAST FROM CUOMO:
We were surprised that The New York Times’s “GovernorCuomo” lead editorial on Friday didn’t mention either
or his New York Uprising group. That is, since theeditorial was all about the need for reform in state govern-ment, and about half of the editorial was a discussion of thespeciﬁc reforms being pushed by Koch and Uprising — yetnot a single mention of Hizzoner or his group in the piece.The editorial even mentioned the reform pledge that Kochhas gotten a majority of both houses to sign. But Koch didn’ttake it personally. “That’s O.K. I’m a very modest person,” hetold us on Monday. “I’m not the only one who’s been for this,”he said of the reforms he’s backing: independent redistrict-ing, ethics reform and a GAAP balanced budget. “As longas the reforms take place, I’ll be happy,” Koch continued.“And my name doesn’t have to be mentioned — my friendsknow what I’ve done.” Well, in his State of the State addresson Wednesday afternoon, Governor
, forone, did see ﬁt to publicly acknowledge Koch. Cuomo, whoinvited Koch up to Albany to be in the audience, said, duringhis remarks, “We’re going to listen to Ed Koch’s warnings,”adding that Koch has been “going all around the state,”campaigning for reform. “Congratulations, Mr. Mayor,” thegovernor told the longtime Villager, thanking him for hiswork. In his speech, Cuomo said Albany will absolutely haveethics reform — to disclose where legislators’ income iscoming from — and he also mentioned “independent redis-tricting.” But he didn’t speciﬁcally refer to GAAP — we’repretty sure we didn’t hear it as we were watching the stream-ing live video of his speech. In a novel twist, Cuomo let theleaders of the Assembly and state Senate give remarks, aswell. Facing a strong governor, for a change, unlike the pasttwo, Assembly Speaker
made it clear he’sall for cooperating. “We can work together. We
worktogether,” Silver stressed. Silver vowed Albany’s ethics willbe “strengthened,” and that the redistricting process willbe “reformed,” without getting into speciﬁcs. Interestingto note, he also said government must strive to make thestate “more affordable” for people. Will those words comeback to haunt the speaker if he decides to come out pub-licly against affordable housing in the latest redevelopmentplan for the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area? Silver alsotouched on the hot environmental issue of gas hydrofrack-ing, stating, “Hydrofracturing must not threaten the healthof our citizens.” In another new touch, Cuomo used visualaids, one of which showed little headshots of him, Silverand Senate Majority Leader
with captain’s hatson and commanding their own “passing ships in the night”during the budget process, as “special interest” attack jetsﬁred missiles at the S.S. Cuomo. A shot right then from thestreaming video showed Skelos laughing, but Silver appar-ently didn’t ﬁnd it too funny.
’S AN ADMISSION ON SPURA:
In ourarticle on the fraught issue of the Seward Park UrbanRenewal Area in last week’s issue,
, the founderof SHARE, had some pretty tough words for Silver, sayingthe speaker better support the emerging consensus plan forredeveloping the long-stagnant Lower East Side site — orelse! “If Sheldon Silver does manage to sink this, there willbe political ramiﬁcations,” the article quoted Leitner saying,as well as, “He’s not elected for life. He’s not king for life,”insinuating there could potentially be an election challenge.Leitner subsequently contacted us to say that, while hethought our article was “spot on,” he wanted to “clarify”what he said. In an e-mail, Leitner said, “One thing I wouldlike to clarify...is that my comments on Speaker Silver shouldhave been couched with my admission that I have voted forhim in every election that I’ve lived on the LES (almost 10years). So my strident attitude, which I admit sounded alittle harsh, is coming from someone who is one of his sup-porters.”
DIARY’S DAYS ARE NUMBERED:
Philip Van Aver
’s journal has frequently come in handy in elucidating local newsstories, as witnessed by his journal entry in this week’s lettersto the editor, on Page 10, in which he describes being the vic-tim of a random pit bull attack a few years ago. But Van Averconfessed to us that he plans to end the diary at the end of thisyear. “I started it in 1981,” he said. “Thirty years — I’m gettingolder all the time.” The journal has doubled as a scrapbook,featuring stickers and other notable collectibles from aroundthe East Village. At various times, he said, he’s shown particu-lar passages of interest to the likes of housing activist
and theater great
. Van Aver, who is anartist, said, “I’ve always wanted to do some kind of literarywork, but it’s such a bitch getting published.”
ROSIE BATTLES THE BUGS:
will be sponsoring two upcoming CommunityBed Bug Forums on how to prevent and combat infesta-tions by the dreaded, blood-hungry bugs. The ﬁrst will beon Tues., Jan. 18, starting at 6 p.m., at Health ProfessionsHigh School, 345 E. 15th St. (between First and SecondAves.), in the auditorium; the hearing will be co-sponsoredby Community Boards 2, 3, 5 and 6. The second hearing,co-sponsored by the New York City Housing Authority, willbe Wed., Jan. 19, starting at 6:30 p.m., at P.S. 188, 442 EastHouston St. (between Avenue D and the F.D.R. Drive). Formore information, contact
at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 212-677-1077.
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