The meeting took place at 110 Cabrini Blvd. and got under way at about 7:30p.m. In attendance were the following individuals: Michael Augenblick, Nancy Bruning, Marcella Calabi, Gwen Kingsberry-Villanueva, Nora Jupiter, Doreen Mangan, William J. McBurney, Jr., Joe Montagna, Sarah Morgridge, Gus Perry, 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, 720-730 Fort Washington Avenue Owners Corp., Castle Village Owners Corporation, and Chittenden House Inc. The following Community Associate Members (CAMs), guest buildings, and other neighborhood groups were represented: 250 Cabrini, 620 Ft. Washington, Beth Am The People's Temple, Friends of Ft. Tryon Park, Friends of the Steps, Hudson Cliffs Theatre Arts Program, Simone Song Properties, and Stein-Perry Real Estate. The following elected official had a representative present: Councilman Robert Jackson.
The meeting summary from November was agreed to with edits
There was a roundtable discussion about private security companies with various leads and suggestions being made to Doreen for her building.
Follow-up on previous topics, and short subjects included:
- no action on position paper re parking/related QoL issues or relationship with developer. The Vote Smart presentation was not available at a workable time.
- a reminder about the sign-posting campaign concerning good-neighbor behaviors suggested last spring. We want to keep this idea alive until the manpower materializes; meanwhile, brainstorming has generated multiple good slogans, workable ideas for collaborating with local schools and the Parks Department, and much good humor.
There were announcements about events in the neighborhood, including:
- Uptown Arts Stroll is already being planned for next year. Joe and Gus, whose offices were hosts last time, reported good crowds and were glad to participate. A then-upcoming planning meeting for next year’s event was announced. It being a collaborative effort of the Community Board and the Manhattan Times; call 212-568-8500 for more info, or to get involved.
- Pied Piper Children’s Theater, next production Winnie the Pooh, at Inwood’s Holy Trinity Church (20 Cumming Street, near B’way); Feb 21, 22, 28 & 29. 212-544-2976 for more info.
- Walking tour of Swindler’s Cove area sponsored by the New York Restoration Project, 1/31 10-12, call 304-0929.
- Then-upcoming party at the Highbridge Tower to celebrate its 155th birthday.
- Meeting of Community Board 12’s Traffic and Transportation Committee, Tuesday 1/20 at 7 pm re traffic on 181st Street, at the Gregorio Luperon school, 181st Street between Amsterdam and Audubon Avenues.
Marcella reported that HHOC received a letter from a neighbor proposing that a statue of a unicorn be erected in Margaret Corbin Circle. Idea noted.
- Concerts, concerts, concerts! Holy Trinity Church has acquired a new grand piano and is instituting a concert series, the MOSA series at Our Savior’s Atonement Church is ongoing, and the Concerts in the Heights (CITH) series at Collegiate Church continues to present great concerts as well. Our area of town is home to world-class musicians who play concerts here as a way to give back in their local neighborhood and to perform intimate chamber music repertoire that they love. Therefore events are just around the corner and have a small-town informality, but are at a level of international excellence. For upcoming programs, call 212-923-5757 for MOSA, 212-567-1177 for Holy Trinity, or 212-568-4014 for Concerts in the Heights.
Nora and Nancy presented an update on the group working to improve the 187th Street Steps. To participate/contribute, contact Friends of the Steps at 187Steps@hhoc.org or call HHOC.
Friends of Ft. Tryon Park needs volunteers, especially anyone willing to be a co-leader of Beautification Days, when the organization does hands-on improvements such as cleanup and planting. The system is already set up, training and materials are provided. For more info, e-mail FriendsofFTP@aol.com.
HHOC business: It is time for 2004 dues. It was agreed to maintain the rate at $1.25/unit annually. Also, the application for 501(c)(3) status finally has been submitted to the IRS. If approved, it will mean that HHOC will not be required to pay sales taxes, can accept tax-deductible contributions, and act as a conduit for smaller organizations such as Friends of the Steps. There was discussion about changing the meeting day from Monday to later in the week in response to a few requests over the last several months. Because of the difficulty of finding a better solution to the scheduling problems, and the negative impact of an inconsistent meeting schedule, it was agreed to stick with Mondays.
On a lighter note, Elizabeth reported that "HHOC" happens to be the acronym for several other organizations nationwide including the Homeless Housing Outreach Corp. and our favorite so far the Hispanic Harley Owners Club.
Mike Z. reported that his A-train service survey had generated data on 189 trips mostly during commuter hours. He is analyzing the data and will report. (Thanks a lot, Mike!) So far he has learned of numerous specific complaints but surprisingly good results in terms of average waiting- and travel-time. This survey will be useful not only for current data but also as a benchmark for future comparisons.
Elizabeth reported that there will be an all-day planning workshop on January 31st to get public input for development of Sherman Creek, the waterfront area of Inwood northeast of the Harlem River Drive northern terminus. Although development of this parcel has been the subject of discussion and speculation for many years, it recently has been the subject of serious study by the Borough President’s Office, the Mayor’s Office, the New York Restoration Project, and the Audubon Partnership for Economic Development. The City’s Planning Commission heads up and interagency taskforce to look at up-zoning this area from industrial to mixed-use residential/commercial. This could result in profound changes, adding housing, businesses, commercial resources, recreational facilities, possible links to the Bronx, etc. There is no concrete plan at the moment, nor is there a specific source of funding; development would likely be accomplished through private investment, government funding and tax incentives. The all-day planning session will be held at PS/IS 176 (4862 Broadway, near 204th Street). To register, fax 212-618-8933 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike A. reported on the fact that it’s possible for citizens/buildings to "adopt" a street-corner garbage basket for the sake of improving sanitation in the neighborhood. You get special green bags and you agree to empty the basket into a bag when it’s 3/4ths full. You can leave the bag next to the basket, which is an exception to the usual rule about what’s allowed in and near these baskets. Mike said it has worked well with the basket adopted by his building, though getting additional bags when needed can be a hassle. Kudos also to Hilltop for "adopting" the basket on the SW corner of 187th & Ft. Washington Ave.: that corner is looking a lot cleaner these days.
Sarah reported at length on inequities in the school-funding system as proposed by the Mayor under the terms of the current Capital Plan. HHOC agreed to work on spreading the word and encouraging citizen response. The remainder of the notes from this portion of the meeting can be found in the "special announcement box" at the head of this summary.
The next meeting was set for Monday February 23 at 7:15 p.m., Castle Village