SUMMARY OF HHOC MEETING MAY 20, 2002
The meeting took place at 143 Bennett Avenue and was called to order at 7:25 p.m.
In attendance were the following individuals: Michael Augenblick, Julia Attaway, Nancy Bruning, Marcella Calabi, Howard Dillon, Martha Ellington, Suwineetha Gunasekera, Eric Haber, Geri and Tom Hopkins, Det. Billy Hughes, Juana Kennedy, Michael Klein, Sarah Morgridge, Peggy Morrissey, Mark Potts, Elizabeth Lorris Ritter, Tina Molinari, Thomas Navin, Perry Payne, David Purdy, Helen Sokolsky, Silvea Thomas, Lynn Torgerson and Thomas Wolf. The following member buildings had residents present: 66 Overlook Terrace Corp., 255 Cabrini Condominium, 350 Cabrini Owners Corp., 359 Fort Washington Owners Corporation, 371 Fort Washington Owners Corporation, 720-730 Fort Washington Avenue Owners Corp., 736 West 186th Street Owners Corp., Bennett Avenue Owners Corp., Cabrini Terrace Owners Corp., Castle Village Owners Corp., Chittenden House, Inc., Fort Tryon Corp., and Overlook Towers Corp. The following Community Associate Members (CAMs) were represented: Beth Am, the Peopleís Temple, Friends of Bennett Park, Friends of Fort Tryon Park, Hudson Cliffs Theatre Arts Program, Stein-Perry Real Estate, Washington Heights Neighborhood Association. Also represented were: 250 Cabrini, The 34th Police Precinct, Fresh Youth Initiatives, and Councilman Robert Jackson.
The meeting summary from April was approved.
Detective Hughes spoke about the presence of a new Commander at the 34th Precinct, reported that new internal logging procedures are in place that should improve the precinctís follow-up on matters brought to their attention by citizens.
There was much follow-up discussion on last monthís topic about developing safer alternatives for the skateboarders at the intersection of 187th and Cabrini. There is also skateboarding going on at the 187th St. steps; what seems like danger to us looks like thrills to them. Sarah M. and other volunteers will be working with Jane Schachat of the Parks Department on this matter. Numerous members of the community are developing relationships with the skateboarding kids, which will help keep the channels of communication productive. It appears that there is more than one group of kids and they may need help, themselves, to get along with each other.
Lynn T. and Tom N. gave an update about new plantings, etc., at the Trivium itself (the pocket park at that same intersection). There was praise and congratulations for the installation of the new fencing. A fundraiser for the Trivium will be held on 9/24 at the New Leaf Cafe; watch for further announcements. Participants brainstormed ideas for the fundraiser. The topic of the Trivium of course has some overlap with the skateboard topic. Some of the skateboarders are getting involved in helping with the new plantings at the Trivium, evidence that they are eager to achieve and maintain a better reputation and relationship with the neighborhood. Tom made it clear that from the start his vision was for the Trivium to serve all constituents of the neighborhood, safely.
There was discussion about the educational approach to helping the kids make smart choices. Nancy offered the idea of showing a documentary film about skateboarding, possibly with input from or the presence of a skateboarding star.
Eric H. informed us about the employment program for city youth administered by Fresh Youth Initiatives. FYI also has a plan to paint a mural on the walls along the sides of the 187th Street steps and there was brainstorming about that. There was much discussion of how to involve the local kids in this project. Please encourage any teens you know, aged 12-18, to call Fresh Youth Initiatives, at 212-781-1113.
In the Round Table, 736 West 186th was looking for information about gardening services and got several leads.
Sarah M. reported on behalf of Councilman Jacksonís office that it is no longer legal to park behind 689 Ft. Washington. Whereas in the past, tickets received there could be successfully contested, that is no longer the case; donít try it.
Julia announced that on June 13th at 6:30 p.m. there will be a sing-along of patriotic songs (for Flag Day) in Bennett Park. Also, there is now a collective pre-school story time, for a half-hour every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. in Bennett Park. Fifteen parents/caregiver each volunteering half-hour have signed up, which is enough for a weekly program through the summer. To get involved or take advantage of the story time, just go to the park at that time.
Announcements/Misc Reports & Follow-up: Elizabeth reported that:
The topic of overflowing trash baskets was touched on yet again with some new ideas which will be picked up at the next meeting.
- the 33rd and 34th precincts now have magnetic wrenches to open and close fire hydrants. This should help to alleviate the ater loss from open hydrants during the summer months, especially problematic during the current drought. The FDNY will be making the wrenches available to all precincts city-wide.
- the Fund for the City of NY is issuing hand-held computers to assist in reporting quality-of-life issues and monitoring their resolution by City agnecies. There will be a training seminar on May 30th at the CB12 offices.
- the letters to the Dept. of Transportation and to Commander Aponte of the 34th Precinct called for by last monthís action list did go out.
- The NYS Legislative Task Force on New Americans recently released a report, "A Nation of Immigrants," which she shared.
The next meeting will be held on Monday June 17th at the J. Hood Wright Park Community Center. The meeting ended at about 9:15 p.m.