SUMMARY OF HHOC MEETING FEBRUARY 20, 2006
The meeting took place at the Castle Village Community Room, 110 Cabrini Blvd., and got under way at about 7:20 p.m. In attendance were the following individuals: Joaquin Alvarez, Julia Attaway, Michael Augenblick, Caroline Brown, Marcella Calabi, Gail Chern-Thompson, Olivia Cornet, Suwineetha Gunasekera, Elizabeth Lorris Ritter, William J. McBurney, Jr., Michael Meade, Tina Molinari, Helga Smith, Harold Wallin, and Mike Zamm. The following member buildings had residents present: 66 Overlook Terrace Corp., 255 Cabrini Condominium, 350 Cabrini Owners Corporation, 720-730 Fort Washington Avenue Owners Corp., Cabrini Terrace Owners Corp., Castle Village Owners Corporation, and Hudson View Gardens, and Overlook Towers Corp. The following guest buildings, Community Associate Members (CAMs) and other neighborhood groups were represented: Beth Am, the People’s Temple, Century 21 Brown Associates, Friends of Bennett Park, Friends of Fort Tryon Park, Hudson Cliffs Theatre Arts Program, and 96 Arden Street. The following elected official had a representative present: Senator Eric Schneiderman.
The November meeting summary was reviewed with typos corrected.
There was a roundtable discussion about rules and responsibilities pertaining to the installation of air conditioners.
Elizabeth reported that the Department of Youth and Community Development contract previously mentioned was completed, enabling us to provide funds for distribution to worthy local causes on behalf of Councilman Jackson’s office and increasing our own funds to do the same. Marcella asked and it was agreed that reasonable discretionary funds be appropriated as an honorarium to Elizabeth because the paperwork involved had been extremely onerous.
Several topics related to neighborhood security were discussed.
(1) Arrests were made in the case of December muggings.
(2) There was significant follow-up to last meeting’s discussion about a project to have camera surveillance (and signage alerting passers-by) on Cabrini Blvd north of 187th St.
(a) Senator Scheiderman’s office may have funds that Mother Cabrini High School could use to add a camera; Julia will alert the school.
(b) Mike Z will work on a map identifying where cameras already exist and where there are gaps.
(c) Marcella will communicate with Councilman Jackson’s and Sen. Schneiderman’s office as to requesting signage from DOT.
(d) Elizabeth will take next steps at the Community Board. A related issue is the street lighting, which is inadequate in general and for camera surveillance in particular, especially in the summer when the leaves are full. The project will expand in two ways: to ask for more lighting as well as work on the camera and signage situation, and to cover more areas
–Broadway between Nagel and Dyckman mentioned by Joaquin and the 187th St. steps requested by Suwineetha.
Poor conditions in the A train stations were discussed, including the lack of service doors in some stations and bad maintenance. Joaquin will pursue solutions at 200th Street and Julia will research contacts at 190th and 181st St. Elizabeth will refresh this topic with the Community Board.
Marcella revived the idea of a subcommittee to work on improving HHOC’s use of the internet. Joaquin has expertise in this and added himself to the list.
Julia reported that the Javitz Playground Community Alliance has been formed and is actively moving to get repairs done, find funding for activities, and create a new vision for capital improvements at the park.
Elizabeth reported that the Precinct Commanders of both the 33rd and 34th Precinct have been rotated out and replaced. She met with Commander Andrew Capul of the 34th who already knows the neighborhood from past experience and understands the local needs especially in the parks. We have 10 new officers, which is an improvement even though the precinct remains below the full complement. The 34th also has a new Community Affairs Officer, Hadee Pabey, who is replacing officer Tony Trinidad (who was promoted). The community affairs officer’s number continues to be 927-0576.
Tina asked about media reports concerning re-zoning. Elizabeth briefly explained that there currently is a study of the commercial use along the Audubon Avenue corridor for possible re-zoning, as well as of Sherman Creek and the surrounding area. An interagency task force has been convened and meets monthly, with input from the Community Board for possible up-zoning, i.e., changing the area from industrial to a mixture of industrial, commercial and residential uses. For more information call the Community Board, at 212-568-8500.
Marcella brought up two local resources that people should know about:
The Washington Heights Inwood Coalition has many services including a free mediation program to help residents resolve issues they may have (with anyone such as landlords, room-mates, neighbors, merchants or customers, even family). Call 212-781-6722.
People who would like to help out the youth of the neighborhood should consider becoming a mentor through the Police Athletic League. Big brother-sister mentors are needed for all sorts of help, not just athletic coaching. For example, there’s an after-school program serving kids aged 6-13 at the Armory on 168th St. To help out at the Armory PAL center, call Tina Gonzalez at 212-927-0306.
Announcements of then-upcoming events included the Coogan’s 5K Race on March 5 and the Pied Piper Children’s Theater production of "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe."
Donations of $200 each were approved for the local Girl and Boy Scout troops. It was agreed that Elizabeth is not required to get approval each time HHOC renews funding to organizations that we have helped in the past in the same amount.
HHOC published information about the Do-Not-Call Registry in the past which has since been changed. Current information as sent to us by the consumer affairs office of NYState follows: "Consumers may register their telephone number to the National Registry by doing one of the following:
(a) By Telephone: Call 1-888-382-1222 and follow the prompts to register a telephone number. The requirement here is you must be calling from the telephone number to be registered.
(b) By Website: Go to www.donotcall.gov, select To Register A Number, fill in the form with all information requested including email address and email address verification, then hit the Submit button. After hitting the select button you must open an email which will be sent back to you, almost immediately. The email will carry the word Verify and must be opened for the registration process to be completed. This email will give a confirmation that the telephone number is registered."
Julia announced that Mother Cabrini High School is investigating the possibility of opening a Montessori Preschool. Contact her if you are interested, at attawayfamily @ peoplepc.com
Elizabeth reported that the 187th St. glass-enclosed bulletin board is in need of repair; Dave Seroy of Dave Seroy Contracting will provide the installation and HHOC will pay for materials.
Applications are being accepted for positions on Community Board 12, go to manhattanbp.org
The topic of how HHOC handles Community Associate Membership came up and was tabled for discussion at the next meeting.
The next meeting was set for 7:15 p.m. Monday March 20, at Hudson View Gardens.