SUMMARY OF HHOC MEETING JUNE 18, 2001
The meeting took place at 241 Cabrini Boulevard and began at 7:20 p.m. In attendance were the following individuals: Michael Augenblick, Caroline Brown, Marcella Calabi, Howard Dillon, Martha Ellington, Suwineetha Gunasekera, Erica Lindenstraus, Tina Molinari, Peggy Morrissey, Paula O’Gorman, Anne-Marie O'Keeffe, Gus Perry, Sonia Reynoso, Elizabeth Lorris Ritter, Brian Shadood, Helen Sokolsky, Simone Yen Song, Roger Tashjian, Kaarli Tasso and Mike Zamm. The following member buildings had residents present: 66 Overlook Terrace, 255 Cabrini Condominium, 350 Cabrini Owners Corp., 720-730 Fort Washington Avenue Owners Corp., 854 West 181 Corp., Cabrini Terrace Owners Corp., Castle Village Owners Corp., Ft., Tryon Corp., Hudson View Gardens, and Overlook Towers Corp. The following Community Associate Members (CAMs) and related neighborhood groups were represented: Beth Am the People's Temple, Friends of Bennett Park; Hudson Cliffs Theatre Arts Program; Simone Song Properties, Stein-Perry Real Estate, Washington Heights Neighborhood Association, and William B. May Co. The following non-member buildings had residents present: 590 Ft. Washington.
The summary of the May meeting was approved with a revision to the Secretary's note, the intent of which was unclear to some readers. The revision is as follows, with apologies from the Secretary:
[Sect'y's note: There was consensus that we are grateful to our police officers for crime-prevention and for the enforcement of parks regulations that have a real impact on quality of life, and that that's what we need them for. Something I personally took from this discussion was that we can help as individuals by getting a bit of perspective: about what's important, and also about what agencies to address for which topics. It strikes me as a waste of much-needed resources when citizens buttonhole police officers for absurdly petty stuff like "failing" to make a toddler walk his tricycle in the no-bike zone and for things completely outside of their jurisdiction such as the flight patterns of aircraft passing overhead.]
In the roundtable discussion there was networking about plumbing services.
Included in the neighborhood news was the information that the long-awaited opening of the New Leaf Café in Ft. Tryon Park should occur in July. [Note: as of this mailing of this summary in late August, the café has not yet opened.] Upcoming School Board and Community Board meetings were announced, also children’s theater events etc.
There was follow-up to last month’s discussion about a new restaurant on the corner of 181st and Cabrini. Marcella was in contact with Gus who asked the new owner to connect with HHOC which he did by calling Elizabeth. There will in fact be a restaurant at that location. Both the landlord and the leaseholder are committed to avoiding negative effects to the residential street: garbage disposal will take place from the same alley location as the apartment building, and it appears that no additional egress will need to be built. The question of noise remains open. Before further conversations take place, Kaarli Tasso and Paula O’Gorman have volunteered to visit this restaurateur’s other locations to "get a taste" of his work, and to see how he runs his other establishments. (It’s a tough job but somebody’s gotta do it.)
Ongoing frustration over the infrequent and insufficiently thorough cleaning of the 187th Street Step Street between Ft. Washington and Bennett. Tina and Suwineetha agreed to e-mail Marcella a list of points to be made to the District Manager of Community Board 12 Manhattan prior to the next District Services Cabinet Meeting.
There was discussion about 181st street and how to improve the ambiance. This included discussion about two recurring topics: One is youth "hanging out" -- and where is the line between the right to peaceable assembly and disruptive or fear-inducing behavior; the other is cooperative involvement of storeowners in the overall community of the street. HHOC’s most productive action in the past has come from building relationships with and among individuals. To that end, Gus will provide a list of possible new contacts for us to make in the fall.
Roger suggested that now that there are more trees plus tree guards, the look of 187th St. would be improved by flowers within the tree guards. After discussion of who "should" plant and tend the flowers, it was agreed that if HHOC volunteers create the gardens perhaps some of the merchants would be inspired to assist voluntarily in watering. Roger will coordinate the project. An expenditure of up to $100 was approved for supplies.
The security subcommittee agreed to meet in July, in response to some new expressions of interest in a neighborhood patrol. Mike Z. will coordinate.
The status of the subway station paint job was discussed. Mike Z. and Suwineetha will follow up.
Elizabeth reported that in response to a series of letters by HHOC founder Robert J. Oliver to the Port Authority, she and Bob and representatives of the PA took a tour of graffiti on the George Washington Bridge ramps (and of the surrounding area to show the PA that the bridge was being less well maintained than its neighborhood); action has been promised by the PA.
The final details of the upcoming HHOC-sponsored Candidates’ Forum for Candidates for City Council Office were reviewed. The forum is for candidates for the Democratic Primary on September 11, as that is the most hotly contested one. If the general election in November is also closely contested in our district we will hold another forum in the fall. It was agreed that this upcoming election is unusually important due to high turnover in that governing body and that HHOC should be spreading the word to vote in upcoming primary. Elizabeth reminded us that in order to sign ballot petitions you must be a registered member of the candidate’s party; also, you may sign only one petition.
In the context of questions for City Council Candidates: PARKS2001 is an organization dedicated to focus candidates on the severe need for increased funding for New York City’s parks. See enclosure and go to www.parks2001.org.
The Quality of Life Committee is supporting the "roll-your-own blackout" from 7 to 10 p.m. on the solstice, and suggests that people go to the Bennett Park concert that night (recognizing that the concert requires electric power for amplification) and then stay in the park to socialize until 10 p.m.
Tina reported that the effort to upgrade HHOC’s tax-related legal status is proceeding with the generous assistance of a pro bono lawyer. In other HHOC business: we need to hold elections for HHOC officers in the fall.
The next meeting will be held on MONDAY September 24th at 7:15pm, in the offices of Stein-Perry Real Estate (740 West 181st Street). The meeting ended at 9:30 p.m.