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 of 255 Cabrini Condominium; Peggy Morrissey, Roger Tashjian, and Howard Dillon of Cabrini Terrace; Anne-Marie O'Keeffe of Hudson View Gardens; Tina Molinari of Overlook Towers; Michael Zamm and Rosa Naparstek of 720-730 Ft. Washington; Elizabeth Lorris Ritter and Marcella Calabi of Castle Village; Suwineetha Gunasekera of 66 Overlook; Julia Attaway of 350 Cabrini; Alicia Lukachko of Chittenden House. Also present were Commercial Associate members Caroline Brown of William B. May and Susan Wolf of Stein-Perry Real Estate. Also present were Van Stone of Friends of Fort Tryon Park, and Kim Klenk of State Senator Schneiderman's Office.
The draft September minutes were reviewed and approved with minor typographical corrections and a correction to the attendance.
In the Round Table, the subject of unacceptable behavior in the school yard by adults on weekends. It was suggested to approaching people directly (but politely!), and also to follow up with the school.
Community Events announcements included: a new T'ia cute;ai Chi Chíuan course to be held in Ft. Tryon Park on Saturday mornings starting in November. If interested, call 927-8724. Announcements of other events (which will have passed by the publication of the minutes) included: a party honoring Carol Weinstein as she steps down from the Friend's Presidency -- HHOC honors her work and wishes her the best; the unveiling of a bench plaque in Ft. Tryon Park to honor long-time Friends member, Rosa McDowell, who died this past summer; the last Friends of Ft. Tryon Park cleanup of the year.
Neighborhood News included an update on the 187th Street steps: more than a dozen management trainees from Bloomingdales worked to clean up, paint and otherwise improve the steps and also also Bennett Park and the volley ball courts at the entrance of Ft. Tryon Park. This was coordinated by Elizabeth through Fresh Youth Initiatives. The super at 620 Ft. Wash also helped out by supplying water. Thanks to the 187th Street merchants (Kismat, Bleu, Café Santiago, Frankís and Fivo's) who all contributed to the workersí lunches. Chase Manhattan has agreed to put anti pigeon barbed wire and to power wash the graffiti from its side of the steps. DOT is working to repair the lights. Van Stone is cleaning up pigeon feed and bread; after 3 days of daily cleaning there was nothing left on the steps. A homeless man who had been living on the steps apparently has been domiciled.
There was more good press coverage of Washington Heights in the NYTimes city section, the Daily News, and the NY Observer. Highlights of coverage included reportage on the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, a grass-roots coalition of parents and educators led by our own District 6 School Board member Robert Jackson, which is suing New York State over allocation of State funds for public education in New York City. For more information on this landmark case, call CFE's Jessica Garcia at (212) 867-8455 x218, or check out their website: www.CFEquity.org
We have a new 34th Precinct Commander, Inspector Terrence Monahan; Elizabeth will draft a letter of welcome/outreach.
Friends of Ft. Tryon Park and HHOC have exchanged associate memberships, ensuring a better level of communication between the two groups in the future. HHOC has made an e-mail link available to Friends: . FFTP@hhoc.org
Project list items discussed included:
Newsletter: how to make this happen was reviewed.
Support Bruce Renfroe's decorated elevator (and others): Marcella agreed to draft a letter to the Station Manager and Julia agreed to make up a flyer (calling for individuals letters) to post on neighborhood bulletin boards.
Security Task Force: Geri repeated that the northern buildings donít seem to be interested in the idea of a shared security force. It was agreed to work up a written statement of the concept and that eventually interest might develop.
A new project came into being re: street lighting. Several areas were identified as needing more and/or higher intensity lighting might be called for (also: break-resistant, and designed in a manner consistent with the presence of street trees). It was agreed that a group of HHOCers would investigate and develop a proposal to the pertinent municipal agencies.
Rosa spoke of her intention to start looking into parking and parking enforcement issues. It certainly seems as though parking is getting harder and enforcement is getting pickier. Anyone with information about this issue should call her at 740-9378.
Howard brought up complaints about squealing buses and honking cabs at the top of Ft. Washington Avenue. Mike Zamm provided MTA contact info.
Elizabeth reported that more than $1,000 has been raised for the 187th St. frieze. It was agreed that HHOCers present would ask their Boards for donations; that Julia and Peggy were willing to help with asking the merchants; that Elizabeth would check with Tom and Lauren as to where things stood; that we would keep in mind the need to repaint the wall with a uniform color and other such details. Van told of a wax based top-coat exists that makes walls graffitti-resistant.
Van reported on the project to develop a dog run in Ft. Tryon Park. The Parks Department is committed; volunteers and donations are needed. See the flier accompanying these minutes or e-mail dogrun@*nospam*hhoc.org
Kim Klenk spoke on Senator Schneiderman's behalf reminding us of his willingness to hear our concerns. She also provided information regarding the upcoming Census. For more information on volunteering for Census 2000, call her at (718) 549-4541.
It was agreed to give Cornerstone Chorale $100 to support this seasonís 3-concert series. The first performance will be Handelís Messiah, on Sunday December 5th, at 3pm, at the Cornerstone Center, 178 Bennett Ave. @ 189th Street (Tickets $10; call 212-567-8948 for more info.)
Anne-Marie reported that the Parks Department Defense Fund has made available a $12,000 grant for a community garden in Bennett Park, and protective plantings around its perimeters to protect from erosion. For more info, call the Bennett Park Initiatives hot-line: (212) 330-8682. email firstname.lastname@example.org
There was a discussion about HHOC's meeting places. It was agreed that members need to help find alternative venues because meeting in different spots helps keep the group from focusing too exclusively on one section of our catchment area.
The next meeting will be held on Monday November 15th at 7:15pm, venue TBA. The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.