The meeting took place at 180 Cabrini Blvd. #89 and was called to order at 7:15 p.m. 2/23/98. Present were the following residents of member buildings: Michael Klein and Melanie Taylor of 720-730 Ft. Washington; Peggy Morrissey and Helen Sokolsky of Cabrini Terrace; Michael Augenblick of 255 Cabrini Condominium; Elizabeth Lorris Ritter, Erica Lindenstraus and Marcella Calabi of Castle Village, Constance Cooper of 100 Overlook Terrace; Adria Quiñones of Nagle Apartments; and Julie Gillis of Pinehurst Owners Corp. Also present were Caroline Brown of Wm. B. May Company and four representatives of the 34th Precinct: Lt. James Melendez and Officers Maria DeJesus and Sal Maniscalco, and Felix Pineda.
The bulk of the meeting was taken up by dialog with representatives of the 34th Precinct. We learned a great deal about how the police are working to solve such issues as drag racing, behavior problems in the parks, and so on. The most important benefit of this dialog was clarification of how we as individuals and as an organization can work most effectively with the Precinct to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood. HHOC will work to pass along what we learned to other residents in the neighborhood.
As an organization, we can put our support behind improvements or changes in the neighborhood that would solve problems logistically, and increase our influence in these matters by networking with other local groups. An example: if there were bathroom facilities in Dyckman Park, this would solve some of the behavior problems that go on in that area. Speed bumps on Dyckman might also deter drag racing, as this has been a feeder street for the racers as they approach the highway.
As individuals we can help solve any specific problems of which we become aware by using the reporting mechanisms most effectively.
The most important part of working effectively with the precinct is to understand the realities and to stay proactive and positive about the work that needs to be done. This means understanding that:
- For emergencies: 911
- For follow-up or information about patterns of problems, call the: Community Policing Officer (regular hours) 927-0701 or -0702
Another example: some of us have a view of areas where dealers gather and can see activity at the start. That should prompt an immediate call to the station house. Another example: some of us get to know the patterns of undesirable activities. "Such and such tends to happen on Tuesdays" is an important tip that should be called in to the Community Policing Officer.
- Emergencies come first.
- Many problems such as dealers gathering in a particular place, drag racing, etc require a manifold and repeated response. Donít give up working with the precinct on them.
- The police need as much information as we can give them about problems like these, and best of all is information about patterns or a call about something beginning to develop. For example, some of us can hear indications before the drag racing that it is likely to get under way soon, and that is the time to call, even using 911 for the fastest response to this life-threatening situation.
At the same time, the police need to be working on the problems, not answering the phones. Fifty phone calls about one problem do not help. One individual helping to identify patterns can really help turn a situation around. If you want to organize your neighbors to solve a problem, donít urge them all to call individually. Do gather as much information as possible and pass it on efficiently.
The minutes of the January meeting were approved.
Re: website: Michael A. reported that HHOC.org is available as a domain name.
Re: North Fork Bank: the letter has been sent.
Re: HHOC Officers: the Directors reported on their appointments of the following officerships: Elizabeth Lorris Ritter, President; Michael Augenblick, Treasurer; Marcella Calabi, Secretary; Julie Gillis, Martha Ellington and Helen Sokolsky, Vice Presidents.
Re: potential new café on 187th St.: Marcellaís letter to the landlord seems to have had some impact, and the negotiations are progressing. The landlord no longer is actively pursuing another chicken place, which would not meet community need and would be unlikely to prosper.
Re: Cloisters Outreach Event: Fliers were ready for distribution, and volunteers organized to manage the event.
Re: Interest in HHOC: There was a discussion about how to help some individuals from Inwood co-ops who are contemplating establishing a similar organization. It was agreed to add them to our mailing list and to invite them to meetings. HHOC also received a letter from a person regarding real estate opportunities in the Hudson Heights community; we will refer her to the three local real estate agencies.
The next meeting was set for March 30, same time and place. The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.