Volume 20, Number 32 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | December 21 - 27, 2007

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Under Cover

Morgie’s running
The New York Post and Times have been obsessing the last week over whether or not District Attorney Robert Morgenthau plans to run for reelection, but UnderCover could have and should have saved them the trouble. Even Tuesday, Morgenthau, 88, told courtroom journalists he has not made a definite decision to run in 2009. He was much more certain though on Dec. 6 when we asked him about it at his holiday party for prosecutors, D.A. staff and others.

“Of course,” Morgenthau said of a reelection bid. “It’s too soon to retire.”

Julie Nadel, who has helped run Morgenthau’s recent campaigns, said he will have a fundraiser Jan. 10 at the Westwood Gallery in Soho. She said he is still in good health and the only health problem he has had was when he got scraped up after falling off his bicycle on Martha’s Vineyard last year. That’s the kind of health “problem” that helps you defend possible criticism about your age.

Final bell for Hovitz
After 12 years as chairperson of the C.B. 1 Youth and Education Committee, Paul Hovitz is stepping down.

“My family responsibilities and my private ones make it impossible for me to stay on as chair,” said Hovitz, who will remain a C.B. 1 member.

Julie Menin, C.B. 1 chairperson, presented a plaque to Hovitz at the board’s holiday party.

“When I joined the community board, Paul was the first person to say hello to me and the first person to sit next to me,” Menin said. “He’s always been a welcoming voice and a friend over the years.”

Rebecca Skinner, currently the committee co-chairperson, will take Hovitz’s place, and Ann DeFalco will replace Skinner as co-chair.

From Gerson to L.M.D.C.
In other job switching news, Sayar Lonial of Councilmember Alan Gerson’s office is moving on to become the head of planning at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

Menin called Lonial “the perfect person for the job” and said she looks forward to working with him in his new capacity.

Gerson is looking forward to something else. When Gerson heard about Lonial’s new job, “I could hardly wait to get him on the witness stand at a City Council Hearing,” he told C.B. 1.

A few years ago, Gerson led a march on the L.M.D.C. and delivered a list of spending demands. Now he’ll have a friendly drop-off in case he plans to repeat the maneuver.

Bad news, good news
As Bob Townley, the executive director of Manhattan Youth, was crossing the street on Tuesday with his dog, a cab hit his shoe and threw him up into the air, he told UnderCover. Townley landed hard but was not seriously injured. He was particularly grateful that Lola, his dog, was unscathed.

On the brighter side, Tuesday was a landmark day for the construction of Townley’s community center at 200 Chambers St.: Water filled the pool for the first time.

Patron of the arts
As if the Millennium High School gym needed another strike against it, it looks like the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation wants to focus upcoming education grants on arts programs, Menin told C.B. 1 Tuesday.

The cap of $250,000 per school already dampened hopes that Millennium and other schools would be able to swing a gym, but this announcement made the possibility still less likely. The L.M.D.C. grant criteria are not final, Menin said, and she promised to give the community plenty of notice when the R.F.P. is announced.

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