The meeting was called to order at 7:20 p.m. 1/19/99 at 110 Cabrini Blvd.. Present were the following residents of member buildings: Martha Ellington and Geri Hopkins of Ft. Tryon Corp.; Sarah Morgridge of Chittenden House; Michael Klein and Michael Zamm of 720-730 Ft. Washington; Michael Augenblick of 255 Cabrini Condominium; Julia Attaway of 350 Cabrini; Margaret Morrissey and Roger Tashjian of Cabrini Terrace; Suwineetha Gunasekera of 66 Overlook; Connie Cooper of 100 Overlook; Adria Quiones of Nagle Apartments; Julie Gillis of Pinehurst Owners; Dawn Plyley and Anne-Marie O'Keeffe of Hudson View Gardens; Bill Day, Elizabeth Lorris Ritter and Marcella Calabi of Castle Village. Also present were Commercial Associate members Caroline Brown of William B. May and Simone Yen Song of Simone Song Properties. Also present was Kimberly Pondoff representing NYS Senator Eric Schneiderman.
The draft December minutes were reviewed and approved with minor typographical corrections; the additions made to draft November minutes were read and approved.
HHOC Folder, 187th Street Task Force, and Outreach to Merchants: The 187th Street merchants were invited to attend this meeting but did not. Nonetheless progress and the following decisions were made. An information sheet about Commercial Associate Membership (CAM) and how to make use of the folders was distributed to participants and will be sent to all merchants in another mailing. Since the folder project did not get off the ground in 1998, CAMs who paid dues in 1998 will be credited for 1999 membership. Benefits include being listed on the HHOC website and in selected HHOC mailings. HHOC representatives volunteered to go to the current CAMs on an individual basis to obtain a flyer for inclusion in the folders. Alternatively, for an additional $50, the CAM simply may give the HHOC rep the necessary information for the flyer and Julia A. will create the flyer for the merchant. (The information sheet will be updated to note these additions.) Also, Julia distributed a draft concerning local schools for inclusion in the flyers and invited editorial comments. Caroline will ask the Cloisters for inclusions as well. The Task Force was reconstituted (comprising Roger, Julia, Geri, Simone, Peggy, Martha and Helen) and will meet separately.
Outreach to and by Sen. Schneiderman: HHOC was privileged to have Sen. Schneidermanās representative Kimberly Pondoff in attendance so early in the Senator's term. Elizabeth was preparing to give his staff a tour of the neighborhood a few days after our meeting, and this was an opportunity for HHOC to propose topics for the Senator's attention. The poor quality (and deterioration) of bus and subway service to northern Manhattan was at the top of the list. Others included: the state subsidized insurance breaks that foster car alarms; subsidy of parks; subsidy of arts organizations; both the amount and the inequitable distribution of resources for schools; the paucity of banks in this area; co-op tax legislation.
RoundTable: Mike A. distributed information on how to test your computers for Y2K preparedness.
HHOC website: Mike A. again requested member buildings
to provide information for inclusion in the website. A form was handed
out to help organize the information but submissions need not be consistent
in content or form. It is, however, vitally important that the Board of
any member building posted on the site be happy with the posting, so please
check the material with them. Both Mike and Elizabeth have received e-mail
via the website, so we know that the website is being hit. Also, the website
has a community calendar and multiple links to other pertinent sites
Elizabeth reported that the Columbia University Office of Community Affairs is taking on the project of publishing a community information directory. They have invited HHOC to merge the directory that Geri and others spent months updating with their database. The fruits of this concerted effort will be a directory published in hardcopy by Columbia, uploaded to their website, with a link to ours (and vice versa).
Fire Safety: Contrary to instinct, in fire-proof high-rise apartment buildings such as most if not all of our member buildings, the safest thing to do when there is a fire in another apartment is to stay inside. Following on the recent fatal apartment house fire, our Community Board 12 held a public hearing on concerning fire safety and made available to the public literature and videos on this topic. Castle Villageās managing agent Goodstein, for example, distributed such a flyer to all residents. Marcella commented that the flyer had important and useful information that was new to her and her family. HHOC strongly recommends that each building call Community Board 12 (568-8500) to obtain this flyer for distribution.
Traffic and Pedestrian Safety: Sarah's draft letter re: Overlook Terrace
was sent by Elizabeth to the Commissioner of DOT, and received a prompt
preliminary [ weíll get back to you type] response.
Residents of buildings north of 186th St. complained that Castle Village +/or Garage Management Corp. failed adequately to clear away snow and ice between the garage walkway and the street, and on Alex Rose Place, and that people were seen falling. Elizabeth will ensure that the appropriate parties are informed.
Noise Control and related quality of life projects: Connie distributed a memo detailing her recent efforts in this regard. She invited others to network with her, both on specific projects and learning tactics to increase effectiveness. She will bring more copies of her memo to the next meeting where the topic will be taken up again. Suwineetha distributed a memo listing quality-of-life issues affecting her building particularly; this topic also was tabled until next meeting when we will attempt to create an action plan.
P.S./I.S. 187ās Kindergarten Playground: Elizabeth reported that a lawsuit has been filed against the school seeking to require the school to open the small, fence enclosed, little kids playground for public access during the after school afternoon hours, and that HHOC has been invited to a case conference. After some discussion HHOC's position was developed as follows;
(1) Independent of legal or abstract arguments pro or con, the most important issue is a practical one: ensuring that the playground would be reliably supervised during extended hours and locked up at a reasonable late afternoon or early evening time, so that the equipment remains in good condition and the playground is usable by the schoolchildren next morning without cleanup. With a solution to this, public access would be an enhancement to the neighborhood; without it public access would be a bad idea.
2) The best and probably the only way to reach a workable long-term resolution of the matter is by cooperation and consensus among the interested parties; a good working relationship between the school and the neighborhood is even more important than this particular issue. HHOC would be happy to play whatever role it can in helping to brainstorm towards effective solutions and to build consensus.
Bennett Park: Anne-Marie has made progress towards creating a Bennett Park Coalition in pursuit of a new vision for the park. She and Mike K. have independently been in contact with the park's Manager Jane Schacat and Warden Pat Young among others, and will coordinate their work. Mike reported that there will be stepped-up enforcement introduced in the park, also that the center lawn will be reseeded and surrounded by a permanent low fence, to be managed similarly to Central Parkās Great Lawn.
Other Neighborhood News:
Welcome to our new 34th Precinct Commander, Inspector Jose Cordero. Departing Inspector Romero left last week to accept a position as Chief of Police in Lawrence, MA.
Progress continues to be made on the Athenaeum, with the seller of the land remaining patient so far, while support builds from various sources, most notably our local public libraries.
SPECIAL NOTE: It is time for SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES to come forward. If you are not interested or able to give to the community in this manner, please think about nudging competent acquaintances to consider it. HHOC will address the possibility of a candidates forum at the next meeting.
The next meeting was set for MONDAY FEBRUARY 22nd at 8:00 sharp in the Castle Village Community Room, 110 Cabrini Blvd. NOTE: MONDAY not Tuesday, and 8:00 not 7:15.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:05 p.m.