MINUTES OF MEETING MARCH 18, 1999

The meeting took place at 180 Cabrini Blvd. #89 and was called to order at 7:30 p.m. 3/18/99. Present were the following residents of member buildings: Martha Ellington of Ft. Tryon Corp.; Michael Zamm of 720-730 Ft. Washington; Michael Augenblick of 255 Cabrini Condominium; Sarah Morgridge of 17 Chittenden; Dawn Plyley and Anne-Marie OāKeeffe 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 Jennifer Metrick and Bella Bankoff of 186 Pinehurst.  Charlotte Russell was present at the beginning of the meeting.

The draft February minutes were reviewed and approved.

Neighborhood News and HHOC action:
A traffic light is in the works to be installed at Bennett and 181st Street.
The Community Board has recommended that the Department of Transportation survey Overlook and Cabrini for possible solutions to traffic hazards on those streets.

Cooganās Salsa, Blues & Shamrocks 5k Run was a success and a lot of fun, but traffic snarls around the route were a gross inconvenience to the community. It is hoped that race will happen again next year but with this kink worked out.

The Community Board will hold a public hearing 3/30 at 7:00 p.m. at P.S./I.S. 187 on the subject of Kismat Restaurants proposal to build a permanent, enclosed cafe, which will extend 8 feet out onto the sidewalk.  The Community Board is to be applauded for moving the venue of this hearing from its office on 169th Street into the affected neighborhood. It was agreed that HHOCs position is in favor of Kismatās proposal.

Singfest is coming up Sunday, March 21st. The expenditure of $100 for a program ad was approved. It was decided that it is in keeping with HHOCās sponsorship of neighborhood events rather than institutions that the contribution be given for this event rather than for the Schools upcoming 100th anniversary celebration.  Simone reported that the 187th Street merchants followed the same logic and bought a two-page spread.

Bennett Park: there will be an Earth Day event with cleanup, planting, and painting. Come to the park Sunday, April 25 starting at 9 a.m. to help out.

Rosie Bliss, our new shop on 187th Street is now open. HHOC wishes the store well; Martha agreed to bring a gift on behalf of HHOC to the new merchant.

School Board elections have been postponed to May 18, with an extension on the petition-filing period to March 25th, so anyone interested in running can still do so. It was agreed that HHOC will mount a three-fold effort to support a strong turnout for the elections:
    1) include a flier about voter registration with the next mailing;
    2) HHOC volunteers will act as sources for voter registration forms;
    3) HHOC will sponsor and host a Candidates Forum, Monday, May 10th, to be co-sponsored by the Manhattan Borough Presidents Office and the Columbia University Office of External Relations. Expenditure of $150-200 was agreed on for simultaneous Spanish translation of the forum. Elizabeth and Sarah are involved in this project.

Airplane Noise: (Note: Wednesday 4/21 is International Noise Awareness Day) Charlotte Russell gave a brief presentation about the fact that airplane traffic from LaGuardia is routed through a relatively narrow corridor directly over this neighborhood, as a result of runway alterations. She reported that the Community Board has formulated a resolution on this matter. She requested HHOCās support for this resolution and letters to other officials asking that plane traffic routes be diffused so no one neighborhood suffers as much as ours does now.  HHOC agreed; Marcella will draft the letters.

A suggestion re: A-train service was forwarded to HHOC via Elizabeth, namely that the A train skip 125th Street. HHOCās position was that this is impossible (the A and the D train run on the same track) and not in keeping with the needs of the neighborhood.

Anne-Marie reported on her work to set up a roundtable discussion of initiatives for improvements in Bennett Park. HHOC had offered to host such a meeting; tentatively set for either 4/18 or 4/28. Marcella agreed to assist in moderating the meeting and Anne-Marie will continue to work on the invitation list.

Human Resources Administration graffiti clean-ups: HRA is focusing on Washington Heights as one of four neighborhoods for graffiti clean-ups. HRA will provide staff and equipment to remove graffiti from residential  and commercial buildings in/near the 181st Street BID.
For more information, write the
 HRA
 180 Water Street
 Room 1420
 NYC 10038
 or call Richard Litman
 Assistant Deputy Administrator at 212-331-3460.

A lengthy discussion was had concerning the vacant lot on Cabrini Blvd.  There is a group of neighborhood residents who are looking to establish a not-for-profit corporation with the intent to purchase the lot and to build a small library and performing arts center with a reading room, art gallery and recital hall. Some felt that the suggestion is impractical. Our guests from 186 Pinehurst expressed concern about the impact of construction on adjacent buildings and about the impact on the immediate neighborhood of such an institutions presence. The first choice use for this lot seemed to be a park of some kind, and there was talk of a neighborhood initiative to buy it for that purpose, if someone would come forward to spearhead such an initiative. The suggestion was made that Hudson View Gardens and Castle Village buy the lot together (there was a member of each of those Boards present at the meeting). In principle the idea of the Hudson Heights Athenaeum was welcomed but the hope was expressed that the group looking to put this idea into practice would look for pre-existing buildings in the neighborhood rather than build from scratch on the vacant lot.

HHOC business:
Member buildings, please submit info for the website.
An expenditure of  $150 was approved for the website host service (cost for one year).

Dues are due.

The next meeting was set for Monday April 19th at 7:30 in the Castle Village Community Room.
NOTE CHANGES IN DAY, TIME, and LOCATION. The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
 

 

 

 


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