The meeting took place in the upstairs room at the Hebrew Tabernacle and got under way at about 7:20 p.m. People attending: Howard Aaron, Joaquin Alvarez, Julia Attaway, Mike Augenblick, Marcella Calabi, Tom Castele, Howard Dillon, Wendy Garcia, Geri Hopkins, Mark Katz, Mary Kim, Susan Day Lewis, William J. McBurney, Jr., Demetri Milius, Tina Molinari, Joe Montagna, Joanne Powell, Elizabeth Ritter, Helen Sokolsky, Van Stone, Ruddy Thompson, Mike Zamm. Buildings represented: 17 Chittenden, 96 Arden, 255 Cabrini, 350 Cabrini, 447 Ft. Washington, 689 Fort Washington, 720/730 Fort Washington Ave, 736 W 187th, Cabrini Terrace, Castle Village, Hudson View Gardens, Overlook Towers. CAMs and guest buildings present: 630 Ft. Washington, Beth Am, the People’s Temple, Friends of Bennett Park, Friends of Ft. Tryon Park, Hudson Cliffs Theater Arts Program, Simone Song Realty, Thompson Development Group. Elected Officials represented: Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer
The Meeting Summary from the September meeting was approved.
Wendy Garcia introduced herself as the representative of Borough President Scott Stringer and
Elizabeth announced a then-upcoming Klezmer Concert.
Susan Day Lewis reported that there is a coalition of artists who are interested in putting murals on the walls alongside the 187th St. Steps, which is a new idea for bringing attention and beautification to the area. Interested parties can contact her at 505-250-6940.
Contributions were approved to the local Boy and Girl Scout Troops, Concerts in the Heights, the Cornerstone Chorale if more than a year has passed since the last one, the Paterno Trivium, and Fresh Youth Initiatives (approved retroactively, grant already processed).
It was discussed that the new R160 trains being deployed on the A line have fewer seats, which is distinctly not an improvement. Mary Kim and Mike will draft a letter to be passed to Elizabeth for sending to the MTA and the Traffic and Transportation Committee of the Community Board.
Van asked if HHOC would support the purchase of a Christmas tree for the Paterno Trivium, with the proviso that it be a live tree destined to be planted in the park. HHOC agreed. (It was later determined that the Friends of the Trivium already had a holiday decoration plan underway, to which HHOC then contributed.)
Julia reported that the Home-Baked Cookie Drive for the Washington Heights Food Pantry would be repeated this year and gave instructions for drop-off at Simone Song Properties.
Marcella passed on information she had received from an HHOC-er not present, about a new email scam to watch for: you get a notice to the effect that there is a warrant out for your arrest due to your failure to show up for jury duty. In your effort to prove that you never received a jury duty notification you end up giving away enough information to enable or assist identity theft. Bottom line: (1) notice your own reaction to the message you get and turn that reaction around: the more shocking or attention-getting the news you receive, the more suspicious you should be; and (2) never give out your social security number (or any bank account or credit card numbers, either) without being positive as to the destination and purpose.
Another offshoot of identity theft occurs when someone obtains enough information to pass as you and opens a new credit line in your name. You may not realize it’s even in existence until you are stuck with the payments. As of November 2006 New York State has instituted a program that you can use to prevent this, called a security freeze. You can prevent any new accounts from being opened by placing such a “freeze” on your name. (You have to remember to unfreeze it if you yourself want to create a new account!) See http://nysconsumer.gov/security_freeze.htm
Prompted by an article in the NY Times stating that the NYC Bar Association now is offering access to professional mediators for such matters as neighborhood or co-op disputes, Marcella reminded those present that such services are already available for free from the Washington Heights Inwood Coalition Mediation Program, at (212) 781-7145 (disclosure: Marcella is one of the pro-bono WHIC mediators).
Mary Kim presented the results of her research into possible meeting spaces for HHOC. It was also discussed that the present location, which we had never used before, was a good one. The goal of this conversation is to get all future meetings for the season scheduled and located in advance.
The next meeting was set for January 15, 2007, location TBA [The Fort Tryon Rehab Center, 801 West 190th St.]
The meeting adjourned at 9:15.