MINUTES OF MEETING FEBRUARY 22, 1999


The meeting took place at 110 Cabrini Blvd. and was called to order at 8:00 p.m. 2/22/99. Present were the following residents of member buildings: Geri Hopkins of Ft. Tryon Corp.; Michael Zamm of 720-730 Ft. Washington; Michael Augenblick of 255 Cabrini Condominium; Julia Attaway of 350 Cabrini; Suwineetha Gunasekera of 66 Overlook; Helen Sokolsky, Margaret Morrissey and Roger Tashjian of Cabrini Terrace; Connie Cooper of 100 Overlook; Anne-Marie O’Keeffe of Hudson View Gardens; Henry Stern of 360 Cabrini; Erica Lindenstraus, Bill Day, Elizabeth Lorris Ritter and Marcella Calabi of Castle Village. Also present were Commercial Associate members William Ryder of Hilltop Pharmacy, Caroline Brown of William B. May and Simone Yen Song of Simone Song Real Estate. Also present were Van Stone of Community Action Core and Richard Lissemore representing Singfest.
The draft January minutes were reviewed and approved.

Roundtable: the question was raised as to what to do when residents habitually prop fire doors open. Public education re: fire safety may be the answer, also the fact that buildings are liable to fines when inspectors discover this condition; if the co-op knows who is responsible for the fine it can be passed on to the responsible party. The importance of homeowners’ insurance also was mentioned. Castle Village is working towards requiring such insurance as a Board policy and under the terms of the Proprietary Lease.

Merchant outreach:
In written and verbal reports, the Merchant Liaison Sub-Committee recommended that outreach efforts should be in a one-on-one format. HHOC will continue to make every effort to include business news items in the minutes or other forms of publicity. All agreed on the potential usefulness of ongoing dialog.
Connie made the suggestion that residents should not only buy local, but also give a word of support to our hardworking merchants.
Some people feel Associated Market is providing better service and is more willing to accommodate ordering requests than was the previous ownership but that it is hard to find the right person to talk to; Van will ask the market to put in a suggestion box.

News:
Singfest is coming up, an evening of entertainment by some of the many performers in and around our neighborhood, to benefit Mother Cabrini High School. Richard Lissemore talked up the event, thanked us for last years support, and requested that a flier be included in the next mailing. He noted that this year the event would honor Councilman Stanley Michels for his many years of service.

Volleyball and pingpong will start again soon at the 190th Street Subway entrance community area.

School Board elections are May 6. HHOC will be sponsoring a candidates forum in April. This year the election is particularly important because the Board will have to hire a new school district superintendent. Candidates need to have their petitions signed. HHOC urges people to support this process -- but keep in mind than an individual may sign only one petition.

According to the NYTimes (2/22/99, PB3), Henry Stern, Commissioner of Parks, has offered street trees for the asking to any homeowner/owner-occupied building next fall. If your building wants a tree on its street, contact the parks department at 212-360-TREE (360-8733).

Update on the rock slide on Bennett Avenue: the Community Board is working with NYC Housing & Preservation Development and Parks Dept to ensure that drilling does not effect the structural integrity of adjacent apartment houses. [Presidents addition per 2/23 CB12 mtg: contractors are removing rock to the street, and then hauling material away. The increased detritus in the street is NOT the result of another slide. NYCTA says subway entrance is safe; HDP says buildings are all safe; Bennett should re-open in March.

Quality of Life Issues and HHOC projects on those topics:
Connie is working on a report about how to deal with the noise pollution of excessive honking.
Anne-Marie gave out a list of phone numbers to use in pursuing quality of life issues in and around Bennett Park;
the same resources are useful throughout the neighborhood.

A memo from Suwineetha referencing three problems was addressed:
(1) neglect of sidewalk and yard by 620-630 Ft. Washington, which Van will pass on to the superintendent;
(2) neglect of cleaning and snow/ice removal on the 187th street steps, which Elizabeth will bring to the attention of the Community Board (complaints on this should be made to the Department of Transportation, just as though the steps were a street)
(3) noise from 55 Overlook, complaints about which should go to the departments listed on Anne-Marie's bulletin.

Van also reported that the owner and superintendent of 620-630 Ft. Washington have agreed to look after the north face of the 187th Street Steps. The bank and supermarket seem to be doing a good job on the south fact. Efforts to promote further cleanup will continue.

In an effort to promote cooperation between the neighborhood and the police, Geri will draft a letter reaching out to the new Commander of the Precinct.

A letter to HHOC regarding car vandalism was presented by Elizabeth though the writer wished to remain anonymous. The group’s conclusion was four-fold: that Geri’s letter to Captain Romero should underscore the need for more patrols; that the HHOC Task Force on Security will stay on top of this topic; that Elizabeth will keep the need for patrolling in the eye of the Community Board and other concerned organizations; and that if the individual who wrote the letter is being personally targeted then that is a special problem for the polices attention.

Anne-Marie distributed copies of a Daily News article about less seating on the new a-train subway cars.

Elizabeth asked about top issues to bring to the attention of the Community Board, in response to a survey. Subway/bus service (transportation in general) was one response. Others included police patrols, youth programs/recreation, law enforcement specifically in Bennett Park, and local business development.
Elizabeth reported that Senator Schneiderman's office has already taken an in-depth tour of the neighborhood and is looking into issues re service on the M4.
More about Bennett Park: HHOC is on record in support of a mini-station in the park.

Van queried the group as to what people would like to see on 187th Street if a commercial opening comes up; the consensus seemed to be that there is still a market for another restaurant.

Good news re police and community response to a crime: When a handbag was stolen from a storefront in the 187th Street strip recently, several good things happened: bystanders chased the perpetrators; the victim deliberately screamed and was successful in getting neighbors to pay attention and call 911; police responded in minutes; the thieves were caught and all the goods recovered. People do help, the police did respond, and it works! Marcella agreed to draft a letter of thanks to the police precinct(s) that responded so quickly. In the discussion that followed on the above story, it was agreed that individuals can have a positive effect and two further suggestions were made: just staring at youthful mischief-makers can make a big difference; and watch out for kids using the roofs as access points from building to building.

HHOC business: member buildings, please submit info for the website. [Secretary's addition: those of you who have internet access, check out http://www.cooperator.com  . Our buildings ought to have similar listings. Also note that the Co-op and Condo Expo is coming up 3/25.]

It was agreed that the proposed structure on the site of the vacant lot north of Hudson View Gardens will be discussed at the next meeting.

The next meeting was set for THURSDAY MARCH 18th at 7:30 sharp
at the home of Marcella Calabi, 180 Cabrini Blvd., apt. #89. NOTE CHANGES IN DAY, TIME, and LOCATION.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.


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