Scoopy’s, week of March 5, 2015 | East Villager & Lower East Sider

Scoopy’s, week of March 5, 2015

Julie Menin, at rear left, got into the mix at Chinese Lunar New Year festivities at S.D.R. Park as a nearby lion dancer readied to make a play for a head of lucky lettuce. Joining her in the fun were, from left, Councilmember Margaret Chin, State Senator Dan Squadron and former City Comptroller John Liu.  Photo by Milo Hess

Julie Menin, at rear left, got into the mix at Chinese Lunar New Year festivities at S.D.R. Park as a nearby lion dancer readied to make a play for a head of lucky lettuce. Joining her in the fun were, from left, Councilmember Margaret Chin, State Senator Dan Squadron and former City Comptroller John Liu. Photo by Milo Hess

Consumed with Consumer Affairs: Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Julie Menin recently sat down with the editors of NYC Community Media to update us on everything she has been doing over the past year at her new post. Of course, she’s still best known to Downtowners for her former work ably chairing Community Board 1 for a number of years. Among other things, she said, Mayor Bill de Blasio has made good on his pledge to reduce fines on small businesses — the mayor having stressed that such fines shouldn’t be used as revenue generators for the city. In short, these fines will be cut by $5 million over all in this fiscal year, she said. Also, in the past, very simple signage violations would result in fines, but now D.C.A. is giving merchants 30 days to fix them, she said, calling this “a sea change.” Menin has also been working hard on a campaign to get the message out to low-income families that they can apply to get cash through the Earned Income Tax Credit. D.C.A. also has an Office of Fiscal Empowerment, where anyone with debt can walk in and get advice, and the agency will even do your taxes for free. What we really wanted to know, though, was will Menin run for Sheldon Silver’s 65th Assembly District seat if the former speaker is forced to resign. (She lives just outside the district, but obviously could easily move a couple of blocks if she was interested in running.) But Menin, with a wave of her hands in the air and shaking her head, refused to discuss it, and only said she is totally focused on her job at D.C.A. right now. Offering his two cents, one local Lower Manhattan politico dismissively told us, “Julie doesn’t want to go to Albany.”

‘Minting’ new officers? Well, Michael Julian’s efforts to retrain the N.Y.P.D. apparently didn’t go over so well, the New York Post recently reported. After the outrage over Eric Garner’s death due to the arresting officer’s use of a banned chokehold, Commissioner Bill Bratton brought the former Ninth Precinct commanding officer out of retirement to become deputy commissioner of training. But, as the Post reported, some of Julian’s ideas — for cops to pop breath mints when they feel the urge to curse, or to use a shpritz of baby oil to separate protesters who link arms — just didn’t fly. Julian has been reassigned as deputy chief of personnel. 

The Whitney wants you! Thanks to Chelsea’s West 400 Block Association for the tip that the Whitney Museum of American Art is looking to hire locally for its magnificent new Downtown museum. On Mon., March 9, the Whitney will hold a “Community Open House / Community Jobs Fair,” for the new art mecca, which is set to open to the public on May 1. According to Jane Carey, the Whitney’s new community affairs manager, the idea is to reach out to the local area and fill dozens of “front-of-the-house positions.” These include visitor service assistants, guards, retail staff, stock associates and member service staff. The event will take place at the museum’s new Meatpacking District building, at 99 Gansevoort St., from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Whitney’s hiring managers will be present, and prospective applicants can learn about the new museum, meet the staff, ask questions, share their résumés and apply for open positions. A complete listing of postings with more jobs — such as archives manager, coordinator of youth programs, exhibitions assistant, theater manager and Web developer — is available on the Whitney’s Web site at whitney.org/About/JobPostings . RSVPs are required for the open house. Anyone interested can RSVP at the link,  whitneyedu.wufoo.com/forms/community-open-house/, or by e-mailing community@whitney.org or calling 646-666-5522.

Wiccans just can’t win: Try as they might, local pagans simply haven’t been able to cast a spell on Community Board 2. Once again, the Greenwich Village / Lower West Side board has recommended denying the wiccans and warlocks’ application for a Witchfest street fair on Astor Place. There were no publicly professed pagans present at last month’s C.B. 2 full-board vote, when the street fair was nixed. (And we didn’t feel any particularly otherworldly vibrations, either…but, hey, you never know.) As Maria Passannante-Derr, chairperson of the board’s Sidewalks and Street Activities Committee, explained, the board has nothing against druids and necromancers or their ilk, it’s just that there are too many street fairs already each year on Astor Place — five, more than any other street in C.B. 2 — while only two sponsors of these fairs might even have what the board calls an “indigenous connection” to the area. In previous years, Derr noted, the board has denied not only Witchfest, but also street-fair applications for Astor Place by the Village Crosstown Trolley and Pride on Astor “as they have never demonstrated an indigenous presence within the C.B. 2 community.” That said, Derr added, the board is still looking for help from the city’s Street Activity Permit Office, the Borough President’s Office and other community boards “to establish guidelines for a more thorough vetting of street fairs” — because, well, C.B. 2 has way too many and could use a “spell” from them.