APPROVED SUMMARY OF HHOC MEETING: March 12, 2007


CON EDISON IS ATTEMPTING TO OBTAIN APPROVAL FOR A PROJECT THAT WOULD CAUSE MASSIVE DISRUPTION FROM YONKERS TO INWOOD
We need to respond immediately, both individually and institutionally;
see details below.

The meeting took place at the Hebrew Tabernacle and got under way at about 7:20 p.m. People attending: Joaquin Alvarez, Julia Attaway, Marcella Calabi, Jean Caswell, Gail Chern-Thompson, Wendy Garcia, Julie Gillis, Mark Katz, Mary Kim, Mike Klein, Rita McKee, Joe Montagna, Sarah Morgridge, Peggy Morrissey, Elizabeth Ritter, Helen Sokolsky, William Spink and Steve Wolgast. Buildings represented: 255 Cabrini Condominium, 350 Cabrini, 447 Ft. Washington, 720-730 Fort Washington Ave, 96 Arden, Cabrini Terrace, Castle Village, Chittenden House Inc, Ft. Tryon Corp., Hudson View Gardens, Overlook Towers, Pinehurst Owners Corp. Guest buildings, neighborhood organizations and businesses present: 16 Chittenden, 630 Ft. Washington, Beth Am, The People’s Temple, Ft. Tryon Park Trust, Simone Song Properties. Elected Officials represented: Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, NYC Councilman Robert Jackson.

The Meeting Summary from the January meeting was approved with changes.

Followup on Coogan’s 5K race: from all accounts, community impact went extremely well this year. The streets were cleaned up well and quickly, traffic management went smoothly, and people were well informed in advance. HHOC’s contribution of ads in the Manhattan Times alerting people to the street closures seem to have helped. The Transit Department even put signs at the bus stops so people didn’t wait for buses that weren’t coming. Kudos to all who have helped this event work better and better each year, including HHOC’s own Elizabeth Ritter.

Wendy Garcia on behalf of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer

NOTE NOTE NOTE: Con Edison is applying to the Public Services Commission for approval for its plans to run a new transmission line from Yonkers, where it would run down Riverdale Avenue, into Manhattan, where it would run down Broadway from 220th to Academy. This would entail digging up the street, closing it off in sections for 2-3 months at a time over the course of at least a year. That in turn would cause massive disruptions to residential traffic, commercial traffic and the operation of businesses, and local quality of life. In addition there would be risk to the phone lines that already run under Broadway. The Borough President’s Office is working with the Community Board and a coalition of other elected officials and offices to propose an alternate route. However, in spite of that coalition, it’s not at all a given that the Public Services Commission will require Con Edison to rework its plans taking these concerns into consideration. It is imperative that people get on board with this issue and speak out. There was discussion of ways that HHOC can help get the word out, and things that Wendy’s office can do to collect letters and signatures: postcards, tear-outs in the local papers, online signatures, etc. Watch the local papers for more on this, and if you want to write a letter right away, write to ______ 

Elizabeth provided follow-up news about the RFP for a new concession at the Dyckman Marina noted at the last meeting: The Parks Department is planning to release an RFP for development of the entire marina, which would include a restaurant. The draft RFP has not yet been sent to the Community Board, which usually has a few weeks to review it before the RFP goes out to the public for potential commercial interests to respond. It will be at least the end of April before that happens, so anything being bandied about as to who’s interested in doing what at that location is pure speculation at this point.

Materials for the Arts is an organization that collects unwanted household items and makes them available to arts programs at schools and other institutions. They have Co-op Clean Outs, where they provide collection bins making it easy for residents to drop off their donations. HHOC urges member buildings to consider this; smaller co-ops near each other could collaborate. For more information go to www.mfta.org or call 718-729-3001.  Items most in demand include art supplies, small appliances, phones, fax machines, lighting, computers 4 years old or less, printers, scanners, cameras, sound systems, dvd players and vcrs, sewing machines, drafting tables. For other items, consider www.freecycle.org.  Also, www.perscholas.org in the Bronx, 718-617-6228, will recondition older computers and get them to schools.

Elizabeth reported that on behalf of HHOC she had written to the Parks Department in support of the New Leaf Café’s application to renew its concession at Ft. Tryon Park. They invested a great deal of capital in improvements and return an unusually high percentage of their gross income to the Parks Department in addition to funneling any profits back into the City’s parks and open spaces through their parent organization, NY Restoration Project. There was general consensus that the restaurant has found its niche successfully and is a great enhancement to the neighborhood. This led to a discussion of other restaurants in the neighborhood with kudos to the new management at Bleu and to Next Door as well as general appreciation of the increase in the number of options we have throughout Hudson Heights.

Announcements included several then-upcoming concerts, including the Concerts in the Heights series and the recent addition to the neighborhood, Sundays at the Lounge (Hudson View Gardens). [Marcella, I meant to mention MOSA, Music at Our Savior’s Atonement, another wonderful monthly series in the neighborhood, but forgot. Can we just add them in here…?]

The question of how to find a single comprehensive listing of all local events came up. Several websites have bulletin boards, such as www.washington-heights.us and www.artistsunite-ny.org. Julia suggested that we add another enclosed bulletin board at 187th St that would contain a giant month-at-a-glance white board. It was agreed that HHOC will gladly contribute any information we obtain to someone developing a one-stop listing but will not try to maintain a comprehensive calendar ourselves.

Several local problems to solve came up:

The next meeting date was set for April 23 at the Hebrew Tabernacle. The meeting adjourned at 9:15.





 


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