The meeting took place at 110 Cabrini Boulevard and began at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were the following individuals: Howard Aaron, Julia Attaway, Michael Augenblick, Marcella Calabi, Kathryn Engelhardt, Cynthia Fung, Suwineetha Gunasekera, Erica Lindenstraus, Taina Matos-Alayo, William J. McBurney, Jr., Kathe McFarlane, Peggy Morrissey, Rosa Naparstek, Anne-Marie O'Keeffe, Peter Perez, Sonia Reynoso, Roger Tashjian, and Mike Zamm. The following member buildings had residents present: 66 Overlook Terrace Corp., 255 Cabrini Condominium, 350 Cabrini Owners Corp., 359 Fort Washington Owners Corp., 720-730 Fort Washington Avenue Owners Corp., 854 West 181 Corp., 875 West 181st Street Owners Corp., Cabrini Terrace Owners Corp., Castle Village Owners Corp., Chittenden House Inc. and Hudson View Gardens. The following Community Associate Members (CAMs) and related neighborhood groups were represented: Friends of Bennett Park; Friends of Fort Tryon Park; Hudson Cliffs Theatre Arts Program; Quality of Life Committee, and Washington Heights Neighborhood Assn.
The March meeting summary was reviewed and accepted.
There was discussion of the City Council Candidates' Forum that HHOC is planning to host. It was agreed to hold it in early June if the principal candidates are known by then. The format was discussed, to be completed next meeting. Candidates will be given topics in advance to address in their prepared statements. Drafting those questions was begun.
One of the topics to query the candidates about is parkland/Parks Dept. budget. There was discussion about Parks 2001 which is "A citywide campaign to restore, reform and revitalize parks and recreation services in New York City" (flier enclosed with mailing). Marcella agreed to contact this organization for help with a parks-related question.
Another topic that came up in this context is the likelihood of electrical power shortages this upcoming summer. This became a roundtable discussion about action that we could be recommending to our coop and condo Boards. An HHOC member building is installing energy-efficient lighting fixtures, with expenses reimbursed by the New York State Energy Research & Development Association (518-862-1090, www.NYSERDA.org) in cooperation with ConEd. The deadline for application for this program is in June. The member building expects a 33% savings on its energy costs with no loss of luminosity.
Additional recommendations to Boards are that they (1) look into alternative generators such as small gas-turbine generators, or industrial batteries, for emergency hallway lighting (2) send out suggestions for preparedness to the residents, reminding people not only of the importance of energy conservation in advance of a shortage but also of such matters as the fact that handheld phones rely on electricity (and therefore shouldn't be the only type to have), that candles need constant surveillance, etc. (3) compile lists of residents with special needs such as medicine requiring refrigeration, and assist (possibly with the help of ConEd) in preparing for such needs.
It was agreed that HHOC will follow up with ConEd: what have they done to improve the response to (as distinct from the prevention of) blackouts. The practical impact of the last blackout on the population (and the impact on their public relations) could have been mitigated if ConEd had, for example, distributed drinking water and helped out with special needs, etc. We will look into inviting a representative to an HHOC meeting.
Other discussion included brainstorming about tree care on the cliffside below Chittenden.
Julia agreed to draft a letter to the 34th Precinct Commander asking for an update about the scooter cop position between Bennett and Fort Tryon Parks promised for this spring.
Sec's note: There was no report on this at the meeting, but HHOC was present at the Quality of Life meeting with the MTA, re: conditions in our subway stations.
The next meeting will be held on MONDAY May 21st at 7:15pm, at Simone Song Properties, 241 Cabrini Blvd. The meeting ended at 9:30 p.m.