The meeting took place at 740 West 181st Street and was called to order at 7:20 p.m. Present were the following residents of member buildings: Michael Augenblick (255 Cabrini Condominium); Howard Dillon (Cabrini Terrace); Tina Molinari (Overlook Towers); Michael Klein, William J. McBurney, and Rosa Naparstek (720-730 Ft. Washington); Elizabeth Lorris Ritter and Marcella Calabi (Castle Village); Suwineetha Gunasekera (66 Overlook); Geri Hopkins and Martha Ellington (Ft. Tryon Corp.). Also present representing Commercial Associate Members were Caroline Brown of William B. May, and Gus Perry of Stein-Perry Real Estate. Also present was Van Stone representing Friends of Fort Tryon Park, with which HHOC is affiliated through mutual membership. Also present were Jerry Gorin of The Report, Nancy Bruning of 250 Cabrini and John Wasiniak of 447 Ft. Washington. The draft October minutes were reviewed and approved.
In the Round Table, a question about engineers came up. There was discussion of the fact that people are swamped with Local Law 11 work and it is hard to find qualified professional assistance. The best source for lists of professionals is the Council of New York Coops. Mike said he would look into a web link with the Council; William offered a copy of the program book from the Council's recent conference, which is full of listings. That booklet is now on file in the HHOC library. Any member wishing access should call Marcella at 928-4798.
Community Events announcements included then-upcoming events (a concert of the Cornerstone Chorale and a District 6 School Board meeting). Elizabeth noted that the police department has a Civilian Ride-Along Program enabling interested residents to take a day or evening tour in a police car, an eye-opening experience that can foster increased appreciation of law enforcement and civilian perspectives for each other. Neighborhood News included reports of pertinent meetings that had already happened: a Community Board joint meeting of Parks/Environment and Safety Committees re: J. Hood Wright Park and Bennett Park; a meeting with Office Gegen re: Bennett Park; honors to outgoing FFTP President Carol Weinstein and to the late Rosa McDowell for their work on our community's behalf.
Van and others reported the good news that the Parks Department is planning to lansdcape the slope area around the volleyball courts, and that the playground in Bennett Park is scheduled to be renovated as well.
The Vest Pocket Park at 187th Street is delayed by turnover at DOT, and because the Frederick Douglas Circle project got precedence. Frieze project is chugging along; $830 in donations collected to date. Work to start in Spring.
Project list items discussed included: Aircraft noise: Elizabeth reported that Community Board 12's correspondence to DEP regarding excessive aircraft noise in our neighborhood, has been forwarded to the FAA. Charlotte Russell will continue to follow-up on this issue.
Rosa is working on a letter about her parking project. Elizabeth reported on the project to increase street lighting where necessary: a group of residents surveyed the area and is compiling a set of recommendations, waiting for pertinent information from the 34th Precinct.
Tina and Suwineetha will add data re: Overlook to expand the scope of the survey. Mike K. pointed out that if lighting is to be added this is an opportunity to get ornamental lampposts, for example around Margaret Corbin circle. He will connect with Roger T. about this, since Roger is working on obtaining such for 187th Street. It was agreed that HHOC would include the dog run flier in the next mailing. Geri raised the topic of increased clutter on the sidewalks and the legalities of newspaper distribution boxes. These are considered "street furniture," under the jurisdiciton of DOT.
Mike Z. reported on his contact with the MTA re lighting at the 190th Street Station. We are hoping that the MTA will match its improvements at the 168th St. station, also address the need for painting and repair of structural beams and removal of lead paint at 190th St.
A related topic is the A Train Schedule. INDIVIDUALS SHOULD WRITE ABOUT THE NEED FOR THESE IMPROVEMENTS to
Assistant Director Government and Community Relations
MTA/New York City Transit
130 Livingston Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201.
There was in-depth discussion of the fact that the Ft. Tryon Park cafe concession is coming up for renewal with the opportunity for new restaurateurs to apply. It was agreed that HHOC would make known Ð to the Parks Department and to potential applicants Ð its vision for the location: we want it to be an appealing lunch and dinner spot that serves as a refresher for park-goers, an attraction for diners who would come to the area just for that, a cultural hub for art displays, live music, poetry readings etc, and an active participant in the cultural and economic life of the neighborhood.
There was discussion of the senior center at J. Hood Wright Park. It was agreed that HHOC would offer a matching grant of up to $200 for card tables and chairs, if those who use the space would match this amount.
Other HHOC Correspondence reported on included: a welcome to the new Precinct Commander, and a letter to DOT and the 33rd Precinct re: the HHParkway ramp closure during construction of the new GWB ramp. The Cornerstone Chorale and Fresh Youth Initiatives both thanked HHOC for recent donations.
The next meeting will be held on Monday January 17th at 7:15pm, venue TBA. The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.