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Scooby Scoop: Motion for the Doris bench

BENCHMARK MOMENT: Doris Diether, the legendary Community Board 2 “zoning maven” and Jane Jacobs ally, who died at age 92 on Sept. 16, loved to spend time in Washington Square Park, just across the street from her home. Fittingly, some of her friends have come up with the idea of honoring her there with a “Doris bench.”

We hear Lois Rakoff, a fellow C.B. 2 member, came up with the thought and shared it with Sharon Woolums. The bench naming would need to be approved by the Parks Department.

Lois Rakoff does her best Vanna White, showing off the new sign on the hoped-for Doris Diether bench. (Photo by Sharon Woolums)

In the meantime, on a bench across from the Alexander Lyman Holley bust on the park’s west side, where the activist often sat, the pair have placed a makeshift sign with flowers in her memory.

A memorial for Diether will be held in Washington Square on Sat., Oct. 23, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., in the Garibaldi Plaza, just east of the park’s central fountain plaza.

SCREW IT! Speaking of local legends, Richie Gamba, “The Mayor of Spring Street,” had an operation last month, a few days before his 85th birthday, after which he recovered at the VillageCare rehab facility on W. Houston Street.

His friend and Soho neighbor Harry Pincus tells us, “He’s doing fine! He’s a Marine! Richie says, ‘They put screws in my neck, so now I’m screwy.'”

STILL ATTACKING THE VAX: Taking a detour away from local legends for a moment, remember Liz Glass, who ran against state Senator Brad Hoylman in the June 2020 Democratic primary election? Hoylman won handily with 74 percent of the vote to Glass’s 26 percent. Anyway, Glass and her supporters objected to her being called an anti-vaxxer, saying they prefer the moniker “pro-health choice.” However she defines herself, she’s been busy on Instagram posting about the evils of the coronavirus vaccine, government mandates and workers being fired for not abiding by them. Here’s one of her posts that we can actually almost understand…sort of:

ACHTUNG, RAY BABY! Photog Jefferson Siegel passed by Ray’s Candy Store on Avenue A the other day and got the news. He said Ray Alvarez told him that German TV had been in touch with him and maybe would stop by to do a story.

Ray uber alles! (Photo by © Jefferson Siegel)

Also, Ray briefly lost most of his employees because they were students who went back to school — but he has since hired enough people to cover the place.

PARTY IN THE PARK: 

David Barash, on mandolin, helped Elizabeth Ruf Maldonado, right, celebrate her birthday in East River Park in August. (Photo by The Village Sun)
Dante Vessio, the lead singer of the Astoria-based band Holy Vulture, chowed down on dessert at Elizabeth Ruf Maldonado’s birthday party. Was that the shirt of the summer, or what? If you like Royal Blood and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, check out their hit “Call My Name.” (Photo by The Village Sun)
Jimmy Simopoulos a.k.a. Jimmy Sims was in good spirits at Elizabeth Ruf Maldonado’s birthday party. He suffered a stroke about a year ago but he’s on the mend. Having to park his wheelchair downstairs, though, and then drag himself up the steps in his East Village walkup building isn’t easy. An apartment in an elevator building would be a big help. He said he’d also love to get a “Harley trike.” He visited John Penley in Las Vegas a while back. (Photo by The Village Sun)

BLUE APPRECIATION: 

Susan Stetzer, district manager of Community Board 3, received a civilian commendation award from the New York Police Department for helping promote “public safety, quality of life and police-community relations.” She was joined by Councilmember Carlina Rivera and Captain Ralph A. Clement of the Ninth Precinct.

GROOVIN’ GARDEN:

During the summer, Bill DiPaola, director of the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS) on Avenue C, told Scooby Scoop that La Plaza Cultural garden had been hosting a lot more concerts by bands than usual because the police were cracking down on amplified music in Tompkins Square Park. DiPaola heads the E. Ninth Street and Avenue C garden’s events committee. (Photo by The Village Sun)

A DANA BEAL JOINT: 

Aron Kay, the legendary “Yippie Pie Man,” toked on a reefer at a Joints for Jabs event outside Senator Charles Schumer’s home in Brooklyn. Dana Beal organizes the events, at which people can get a free spliff if they show a COVID vaccine card. (Photo by Paul DeRienzo)

4 Comments

  1. Lora Tenenbaum Lora Tenenbaum October 17, 2021

    A dedicated bench would be lovely. Perhaps also name the street where she lived “Doris Diether Way?”

  2. Walter Goodman Walter Goodman October 17, 2021

    Why does anyone think it’s an honor to get a commendation from the NYPD? Or from any imperious authoritarian police force which kills people of race disproportionately, drives cars into demonstrators with impunity, and runs an intelligence bureau that seems impervious to judicial restraint, violating rights of Muslims and activists that don’t agree with its white supremacist views?

    • Carol Yost Yost Carol Yost Yost October 17, 2021

      Now, that’s a Black police officer standing there. Does that say anything to you? I know the police have often gone completely in the wrong direction and been horribly racist, but could this be an effort to turn around?

  3. ------m ------m October 17, 2021

    a bench dedicated to the great doris diether – what a fantastic idea!
    and as lora stated – co-name the street where she lived ‘Doris Diether Way’ — perfect!!!

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