APPROVED SUMMARY OF HHOC MEETING OCTOBER 20, 2003



The meeting took place at 180 Cabrini Blvd. #89, and got under way at about 7:45p.m. In attendance were the following individuals: Julia Attaway, Michael Augenblick, Marcella Calabi, Mary Kim, Mike Klein, Doreen Mangan, Tina Molinari, Sarah Morgridge, Peggy Morrissey, Elizabeth Lorris Ritter, Sue Turner, and Mike Zamm. The following member buildings had residents present: 66 Overlook Terrace Corp., 120 Bennett Owners Corporation, 255 Cabrini Condominium, 350 Cabrini Owners Corporation, 720-730 Fort Washington Avenue Owners Corp., Cabrini Terrace Owners Corp., Castle Village Owners Corporation, Chittenden House Inc., Hudson View Gardens, and Overlook Towers Corp. The following Community Associate Members (CAMs) and other neighborhood groups were represented: Beth Am The People's Temple, Friends of Bennett Park, Friends of Fort Tryon Park, and Hudson Cliffs Theatre Arts Program. The following elected official had a representative present: Councilman Robert Jackson.
 

CURRENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

VOTE NOVEMBER 4

Read the report appended to the end of this summary for action you can take to resist the MTA’s proposal to cut services by eliminating our subway elevator operators.  Next meeting on this subject is 11/5, 7 p.m., Holyrood Church, 179th & B’way.

There will be a symposium called Scenic Byways in the Urban Landscape focusing on the proposal to make the Henry Hudson Parkway/9A a New York State Scenic Byway.  Friday 11/14, 9-5, at Wave Hill in the Bronx. Free, but advance registration required. For more information see www.henryhudsonparkway.org or call 718-884-5903.

An "Uptown Arts Stroll" is being organized for 11/23. Watch for further announcements or contact the Community Board at 212-568-8500 for info.

The meeting summary from September was agreed to with one small edit.

There was a roundtable discussion about whether buildings are putting together and distributing safety plans and taking other actions for disaster preparedness. In some buildings, specific actions have been taken in response to the structure of the building (e.g. having bottled water at the top of the stairs in buildings that do not have tanks, so water does not have to be lugged upstairs in case of need). The City has written a good emergency preparedness guide which is available. The Public Safety Committee of the Community Board has received a grant for safety training; they will disseminate information resulting from their efforts through HHOC and many other community groups
.
Sarah Morgridge pointed out that it is useful for Councilman Jackson’s office to be able to reach building managers in the neighborhood so as to provide support in the event of unusual circumstances. For example, Jackson’s staff spent hours tracking down managers or residents in different buildings to ascertain who had/did not have water as the water supply was being re-established after the water-main break last month. Please send your building’s contact information to sarah.morgridge@council.nyc.ny.us.

 The Scenic Byway symposium and Uptown Arts Stroll (see above) were announced. Other events [already past by the time this summary is published] included:

Elizabeth reported that the CB12 Health and Environment Committee has passed a resolution concerning the overflowing litter baskets in our neighborhood. It charges the Sanitation Department to: provide pickup daily except Sunday; increase the fines for multiple violations of the rule against disposing of household trash in public litter bins; and engage in outreach to educate citizens about that rule. If passed by the full Board, this resolution finally gives official recognition of that the status quo is unacceptable. [NOTE: the resolution was passed unanimously at the Community Board’s October 28th meeting.]

Julia reported on behalf of Friends of Bennett Park (FoBP). The Harvest Festival was a huge success, attended by at least 400 people (21 pies entered in the pie contest!). Thanks to the neighbors who put it together. Thanks also to the Hudson Heights Mothers Group and P.S./I.S. 187 for publicizing it.

Also, FoBP has been approached by a group of parents who want to pursue the idea of installing a sandbox in Bennett Park. If you are interested in participating in this effort or have pertinent ideas/information, please contact them via FoBP@hhoc.org

In another couple of years, Javits Playground will be up for budget renewal. This will be an opportunity for review and reconsideration of the design and equipment, etc. In order to take full advantage of that opportunity, a new group is forming now, so far unofficially called Friends of Javits Playground. HHOC offered an email contact which Julia accepted on behalf of the group. If you are interested in participating in this effort or have pertinent ideas/information, please join the group via Javits@hhoc.org

Several aspects of subway service were discussed. Mike Z. enlisted more volunteers for data collection concerning the A train. Sarah will pass on concerns about rats in the 190th St. Station to the Councilman’s office. The MTA’s intention to eliminate 22 of the 31 elevator operators in the city ­ which includes the elevators in our neighborhood ­ is being fought by citizen’s groups. Tina agreed to go to the 10/22 meeting and report. [Sect’y’s note: Tina’s report is appended below. Further action is urged, please read report below and volunteer.]

Mike K. brought to our attention the existence of a program called "Graffiti Free NYC." The City has trucks with trailers carrying graffiti-removing solvents on long hoses; the manned trucks will come to remove graffiti from commercial, industrial and residential properties free of charge. All property owners in our neighborhood are urged to make use of this program when needed. Call 212-312-3943 or email info@newyorkbiz.com.

The question came up of what to do about the open manhole on 187th St. and Pinehurst, which has been a hazardous condition since at least the beginning of September. Mike gave Marcella the project’s ConEd ID number, ME03015003, and she agreed to follow up.

There was a discussion about the building project slated to take place on Overlook Terrace behind the Ft. Tryon Jewish Center, interest in the possibility of converting extra space in that building into community amenities, and brainstorming about what role HHOC might take in such a development.

The next meeting will be Monday November 17 at 7:15 p.m., watch announcements for location.

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Report from the 10/22 "ELEVATE THE HEIGHTS" meeting Re Proposed MTA Service Cutback to Eliminate Subway Elevator Operators
submitted by Tina Molinari

At the meeting about the elevator operator cuts, endorsements from community organizations was requested and I put down HHOC. They need help with outreach! The MTA budget meeting (when this issue will be voted on) will occur some time in December. We have to act quickly to get people involved. All the work done so far has been by Marty and Debbie and by word of mouth. They need volunteers for a variety of activities that are being planned. People should contact Marty or Debbie at riseup@elevatetheheights.org or 212-942-6910 or 212-781-5157 to get involved on one of the sub-committees (details below) or to have your email address added to the "listserv.":

Robert Jackson attended the meeting and offered the support and services of his office. He will be speaking at the CB meeting next week regarding this matter. He will inquire about whether the Transportation Committee of the City Council plans on holding oversight hearings on the cuts. Robert and several other people felt that a large-scale demonstration must occur at some point.

Another mechanism for information and letter-writing is www.straphangers.org . There is a complaint link as well as a petition link (for changing the MTA's accounting practices) on their webpage.

Next "Elevate the Heights" meeting:
Wednesday, 11/5, 7pm, Holyrood Church Community Room

Committees
Letter writing Committee: a sample letter sent to Katherine Lapp, Exec Dir of the MTA by Miguel Martinez, Council Member, 10th District was distributed. (Mr. Martinez was in attendance). This committee will develop additional sample letters and are planning a letter writing campaign as well as a "tell your neighbors" campaign. One woman suggested that each person at the meeting get three other people to write a letter and for those three people to turnkey the idea and so on.
Leafleting Committee: Flyers were distributed in Spanish and English with the dates of the campaign that is going on this week in the morning. This committee will work on new and improved flyers and further distribution dates. There was a suggestion to include NO TOKEN BOOTH CUTS on the flyers as well to prevent further token booth cuts being enacted.
Cell Phone Action Committee: It was suggested that people who have unused minutes on their cell phones could host an evening of phonecalls. Those with cell phones and unused minutes would volunteer their phones to those w/o cell phones to make calls about the cuts to elected officials.
Press Committee: They need people with press contacts--please help! There have been blurbs in Manhattan Times, Newsday and a the Daily News. We need more exposure!
 
 



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