The meeting took place at 110 Cabrini Blvd. and got under way at about 7:30p.m. In attendance were the following individuals: Jennifer Arroyo, Julia Attaway, Michael Augenblick, Marcella Calabi, Miledeys DeLeon, Ana Hernandez, Geri and Tom Hopkins, Charles Lawrence, Alexandria Lee, Erica Lindenstraus, Doreen Mangan, Courtney P. Mitchell, Elizabeth Lorris Ritter, Olga Tello and Sue Turner. The following member buildings had residents present: 66 Overlook Terrace Corp., 120 Bennett Owners Corporation, 255 Cabrini Condominium, 350 Cabrini Owners Corporation, Castle Village Owners Corp., Chittenden House Inc., and Ft. Tryon Corp. The following Community Associate Members (CAMs), guest buildings and other neighborhood groups were represented: 640/660 Fort Washington Avenue, Fort Washington Video and Stein-Perry Real Estate. The following elected official had a representative present: Senator Eric Schneiderman.
The meeting summary from February was accepted.
In roundtable discussion, a question came up and references were exchanged concerning tree guards.
- Olga announced the recent formation of a Tenants Association at 640-660 Ft. Washington Ave.; Courtney was introduced as liaison between this group and HHOC. Olga and associates are also organizing a community meeting with elected officials and other influential guests to be held in May.
- Friends of Ft. Tryon Park’s spring cleanups are this coming weekend and Earth Day 4/25; a $100 contribution was authorized.
- Followup re A-train service: Mike Z. left word that he is scheduling a meeting with the MTA to discuss the data he has collected.
Coogan’s 5K race, run on March 7th, was a grand event, though it totally snarled traffic in the neighborhood for hours, and resulted in the arrest of a frustrated motorist. The event has grown in the last several years to include over two thousand runners, including elite runners in advance of the pack, with dozens of live bands lining the race route along Fort Washington Avenue, as well as several heats of children’s competitions at the conclusion of the adult 5k race. While the event is a success for runners and spectators alike, more care must be taken to planning the road closure and managing the resulting traffic. A six-point plan was proposed to 34th Precinct Deputy Inspector Kehoe, who has assured both the Community Board District Manager and HHOC that the five suggestions which do not not require additional NYPD staffing will be implemented. While he agreed with, and will recommend, the sixth, he cannot guarantee he will receive the additional two officers required.
- Elizabeth reported that the letters concerning traffic and parking congestion agreed to last meeting were sent out. Three concrete ideas had been identified at the meeting and were proposed to the appropriate agencies with the appropriate copies.
Elizabeth gave an account of a Community Board 12 District Services Cabinet meeting earlier this week in which Deputy Inspector Kehoe reported on crime. While certain crime statistics are up this year as compared to last year -- most notably a 9% increase in auto grand larceny -- crime over a 3-year period is stable. This year's increase is due in part to unusually low rates last year, as well as more aggressive enforcement efforts in this year-to-date. DI Kehoe also reported increased enforcement of moving violations (running "stop" signs; talking on cellphone while driving, etc.) at the corner of 183rd St. & Pinehurst Ave., due to that intersections designation as an "accident prone location." (There were three accidents reported there in February.) He also noted that the Coogan's 5k race "went well other than a few mis-haps at the northern end... hopefully next year we’ll be able to rectify" that. He also noted that there should be an auxiliary officer posted at the corner of 181st & Cabrini Blvd., because otherwise "people will be trapped." At the same meeting, the District's Sanitation supervisor reported that the 500 citywide layoffs at DSNY have been reinstated, along with the addition of 132 new staff. He also summarized new recycling regulations that go into effect April 1st. (Weekly pick-ups; glass jars/bottles and plastic jugs are again recyclable, along with metal/foil, and all manner of paper.) Please rinse and separate trash.
Millie and Ana announced that they are new leaseholders of the Ft. Tryon Video store, and are making significant changes: moving the video rental business to the lower level of the store and creating an ice cream parlor at the street level with home-made ice cream, gelato and sorbet, soft drinks, coffee, soft pretzels, etc. There will be seating as well as takeout of cones and packed pints. Look for a Grand Opening around May 1st . The video selection will also be upgraded. The group was enthusiastic in its support of these entrepreneurs.
On the topic of 187th Street merchants, concern was expressed over the loss of Josefina’s, which served local families and elderly who will find it difficult to go elsewhere. Rumor has it that Grace’s may expand and fill the beauty parlor niche; participants agreed to stop in at Grace and let her know that reasonably priced family-style services are still needed on the block.
Another local commercial enterprise that has come to our attention: one of our neighbors boldly has entered the business of wine importing, introducing new wines into this country from her native region in the south of France. Watch for the website (in development) www.frenchwinelady.com; ask for the wines that are already available under her label at Cabrini Wines and Liquors, where they can be obtained for a fraction of the downtown price. A then-upcoming wine tasting at Hispaniola was also announced.
Other announcements included:
a blood drive 4/25, a Girl Scouts dance 3/27, and ongoing progress in organizing this spring’s Uptown Arts Stroll. This year’s Arts Stroll will include even more venues, and will be over a weekend (June 12 & 13th), rather than just a Sunday. There will be a kick-off gala reception at Highbridge Park on June 9th, and other fine- and performing-arts events in the community during the week preceding the Arts Stroll.
Marcella brought up the subject of the OpSail Parade of Tall Ships. The last parade was advertised to bring the ships as far north as the GWBridge before turning, but the crowds that waiting by the Little Red Lighthouse were disappointed because the ships turned well south of there. It is not too early to be writing to the OpSail 2008 organizers about this if we want to register our hopes that this does not happen again.
Jennifer reported on Senator Schneiderman’s behalf about his efforts to achieve gun control legislation, and asked constituents to call the Senate offices and lobby for Gun Manufactoring Code of Conduct and Civil Liability Bill S5730 to get out of committee and be put to a vote. She also reported on the Senator’s opposition to the Major’s 3rd grade retention policy and firing of Educational Policy Panel members.
A question was raised about P.S./I.S.187’s catchment area being made smaller, so some buildings that formerly sent their children to this school are apparently no longer eligible. The suggested response is to call the District Office at 917-521-3700 or the school itself at 212-927-8218, especially next week’s registration is going on [was, at the time of this meeting] so this information is [was] likely to be more readily available than usual. [It subsequently was found out that the catchment area was restored.]
The next meeting was set for 7:15pm on Monday April 26, 2004, location TBA.