MINUTES OF MEETING OCTOBER 21, 1998

The meeting took place at 110 Cabrini Blvd. and was called to order at 7:25 p.m. Present were the following residents of member buildings: Julia Attaway of 350 Cabrini, Constance Cooper of 100 Overlook Terrace. Martha Ellington and Sally Nalle of Ft. Tryon Corp., Michael Zamm of 720-730 Ft. Washington, Michael Augenblick of 255 Cabrini Condominium, and Elizabeth Lorris Ritter, Erica Lindenstraus, Thomas Navin, Ann Hartley, and Marcella Calabi of Castle Village. Also present were associate business members Gus Perry of Stein-Perry Real Estate, Simone Yen Song of Simone Song Real Estate, and Caroline Brown of Wm. B. May Company.

The June minutes were approved with minor editorial revisions.

HHOC business:
Elizabeth reported that since the last meeting, HHOC gave $300 to the Ft. Tryon Park jazz/early music concerts, $200 to the West 181st Street Beautification Project (of which $100 went to the Little Red Lighthouse Festival) and $135 to Fresh Youth Initiatives. We have about $1,100 in our checking account. Notices of dues in arrears have gone out.

Neighborhood News:
Flyer circulated for TAP center  #9, located at 4111 Broadway @ 173rd Street (inside Broadway Temple), which offers classes for GED and ESL, as well as computing classes and other job training skills for clients who meet income requirements. The program is funded by NYC Department of Employment. For more information, call the center at 927-7055.

The recent Law and Order filming was generally a positive experience. Crews left the areas they used cleaner than they found them, dealt diplomatically with residents concerns, and patronized local businesses. The NYPD‚s relaxed enforcement of alternate-side regulations eased the parking congestion caused by film trucks, and was a great example of successful coordination of local forces.
 
By coincidence, the Community Board is voting on a resolution to provide systematically for suspension of alternate-side parking on street where film crews are taking up spaces.
Apparently a film with Meryl Streep is due to be filmed in the neighborhood in the near future.

Watch for an upcoming feature on this neighborhood in the NY Times Real Estate Section. Both Gus and Simone urged The Times to look into this area; both gave of their time to show Maggie Garb, a freelance reporter, around; Marcella and Elizabeth were among the residents interviewed.

FedEx is considering the possibility of placing a drop box locally.

The community bulletin boards (at 187th Street & Ft. Washington Ave.) are under construction.
The building across from PS 187 is being renovated to contain 8 rental units, mostly studios and 1-bedrooms, and is scheduled for completion in early 1999. The ugly window bars were lamented.
Stein-Perry‚s new website is up at  http://www.steinperry.com   www.steinperry.com.

It was noted that 181st Street and environs are clearly showing new commercial energy. The several new Russian gastronomy shops are very open to suggestions and deserve attention.
Fairway runs a bus to our neighborhood for groups. Call the store at 234-3883 if interested.

DOT has improved the signage and reflectors on the traffic island at the intersection of the HH Híway off-ramp and Riverside Drive. This was something for which HHOC had expressed the need.

Problem-solving how-to‚s:
Marcella brought up the still-not-completed project of writing a flier summarizing precinct‚s advice to HHOC about how to work with the police on solving problems.  HHOC is compiling more and more information that could, ultimately, turn into a more comprehensive brochure about creative complaining, i.e. about how to participate in improving quality-of-life issues in the neighborhood.
Connie will contribute to the flier by writing a summary of what she has learned in the course of her initiatives in noise control: re ice cream trucks, talking directly to the drivers turned out to be effective as the summer progressed; re car alarms, it is a summonsable offense for a car alarm to go off when the car has not been touched. If you actually witness a car alarm being set off by the wind or a passing vehicle, you can report this to the precinct; the police may issue a summons. In particular, if you get to notice that the alarm in a particular car parked regularly on your street tends to be too sensitive, you can report this pattern. (You can also leave a note on the windshield alerting the owner to the alarms excessive sensitivity as well as to the law;  the owner may not be aware of either.)

Elizabeth mentioned that complaints/compliments about local issues should be copied to:
 
 Maria Rivera
 District Manager
 Community Board 12
 711 West 168th Street
 New York, NY 10032.

Ms. Rivera communicates community concerns to the heads of various agencies during monthly district services cabinet meeting.

HHOC Folders:   It was agreed that information about problem-solving could be included in the HHOC folders, together with the HHOC mission statement and any other easily compiled information of value to new neighbors. Julia agreed to compile a brief summary of school choices, to include as well. It was agreed not to wait any longer for the commercial associate membership logjam to break-up (them waiting for the folders to sign up, us waiting for them to sign up for the folders), but that we could include a list of all 187th Street merchants (from the back of the Hudson River Merchants flier).

Task force re security north of PS 187: The task force observed the park over the summer on a regular basis and noted that the police came more often than earlier had been the case. Unfortunately, not enough buildings yet are willing to share private security service. Julia‚s building should be approached on this.

187th Street:
The application to the Borough Presidents office for a Vest Pocket Park was not funded. However, Parks Commissioner Henry Stern has slated the site for improvement under the Green Streets Initiative.
There was a discussion of additional initiatives to further beautify the street: addressing design issues, looking into the possibility of period lampposts, and lining both sides of the street with trees. The process of requesting trees from the city, which is a long one, has been begun. The possibility of having a local artist paint a mural on the large blank wall on the south side is also being investigated.
Simone expressed her concern about the Hudson River Merchants Association‚s long-term survival.  Marcella reminded her that the HRMA was adamant in wanting to find its own way during its early growth period, and noted that there has made no response to her last communication. The best HHOC can do is to provide support if asked, and to look ahead to future initiatives if this one is unsuccessful.

New Topic: Thomas Navin presented preliminary plans for an athenaeum, a private library and arts complex, being proposed for the vacant site on Cabrini Blvd. just north of Hudson View Gardens. A not-for-profit organization is in formation to pursue this idea. His presentation was meant to introduce the idea HHOC as part of brainstorming on a wider scale.

The next meeting was set for MONDAY NOVEMBER 16th at 7:15 sharp in the Castle Village Community Room,  110 Cabrini Blvd.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
 
 

 


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