TBA Annual Meeting A Great Success
"The entire city would have a collective hangover if this
(Trump) building goes up," Councilman Gifford Miller announced
as opening speaker at the annual Turtle Bay Association (TBA) meeting
held on November 9. "I still believe the law is on our side
and we will ultimately win." He also praised the extraordinary
public space the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Park has become and noted
the sad contrast with the Trump building. He reiterated his standing
offer to support Donald Trump for President if he will shave 45
stories off "that" building.
Eva Moskowitz, newly-elected City Council representative, also
applauded TBA's achievements and pledged her support in the future.
Regarding the Trump building, she said "It's not over 'til
In other comments TBA President Bill Curtis told the audience
that one lawyer had said the battle over the Trump building promised
to be the "land use battle of the century" and noted perhaps
he should have said "the battle of two centuries."
Eli Markenson from John Ravitz's Assembly office registered disgust
that Trump construction workers have caused damage in Dag Hammarskjold
Plaza Park. His office has filed a complaint with the Trump office
and has been assured Trump will pay for the damages.
Markenson also announced a meeting regarding the 931 First Avenue
site (see update p. 4) to be held in mid-December. Those interested
can telephone the TBA office for details (TBA office number is listed
in the banner at the bottom of page 1.) Assemblyman Ravitz's office
is also working with the Department of Traffic to get the redundant
traffic light at 47th Street and First Avenue removed.
Captain John Wallace, executive officer at the 17th Precinct,
noted five crimes areas (burglary, robbery, felonious assault, grand
larceny and grand larceny auto) that have seen decreases in the
last six years. There has been, over the past six years, an increase
in rape. There has been no change in the seventh crime area that
the 17th tracks, which is murder. It would be impossible to show
improvement in that statistic: there have been no murders in the
17th in the past six years. (see story, p. 6.)
He did, however, warn that there has been a recent "spike"
in grand larceny, most notably pickpocketing on buses, and urged
residents to stay alert.
On burglary: the method of entry into apartments during the last
summer was often through open windows from fire escapes. To prevent
burglars from entering through doors, he advised installing a metal
plate over the tumbler keylock so that only the keyhole is seen.
The meeting moved on to business at hand: the election of officers
and directors. Blair Clark, nominating committee chair, presented
the slate, approved by the board, and they were duly elected: president:
Bill Curtis; vice presidents: Millie Margiotta, Dolores Marsh, and
Bruce Silberblatt; secretary: Marie-Louise Handal; treasurer: Francine
Mohink; directors, class of 2001: Jed Abrams, Susan Branagan, Barbara
Connolly, Artie Del Negro, Pauline Evans, Bill Huxley, Richard Irwin,
Patricia McDougald, Carol Rinzler, Bruce Silberblatt, Tina Theodorou.
All of the directors had been serving in the same capacities. There
were no nominations from the floor.
Treasurer Francine Mohink defined the two main TBA sources of
revenue: membership dues and the street fair. Income for 1998, as
of December 31, was $73,399 and expenses were $52,710. The net gain
was held in reserve for 1999 and the future. In 1999 the main expenses
were the newsletter, trees, membership solicitation, and the website.
There was also a $15,000 grant from the Ford Foundation for Dag
Hammarskjold Plaza Park, which is held in a separate fund to be
used exclusively for the park.
Committee chairs then made their reports.
Bruce Silberblatt chronicled land use in Turtle Bay. Trump: It is
not surprising that the Coalition for Responsible Development (CRD)
appeal was lost at the Board of Standards and Appeals. That board
is not a court, but an in-house appeals agency (in-house to the
Department of Buildings, who gave the original flawed permit) and
staffed by mayoral appointees. Although the Trump World Tower is
being billed as 90 stories, it is actually 70 construction floors
(this sleight-of-hand is done by designing higher ceilings). The
undesirable weekend work continues (see story, p. 1.)
The site of the Murray Hill Con Edison plant is in line for development
and could pose six times the problem potential of the Trump building.
(See story, p. 8.)
The good news is the new development at 931 First Avenue, if built
as planned, will be entirely in scale (see update, p. 4).
Barbara Connolly's Special Events Committee has been busy hosting
in 1999: the Valentine party, a June trip to Amish country, the
July street fair, and an October trip to Foxwood Casino. A fifth
event, the toy/gift drive, is planned for December 12 (see story
Pauline Evans, co-chair of the Turtle Bay Business Associates,
is actively seeking new members. They have quarterly meetings at
the Turtle Bay Grill & Lounge.
The Grants Committee committed the following funds in 1999: $2,500
to the Vanderbilt YMCA; $2,000 to the Turtle Bay Tree Fund; $2,000
to the Doe Fund; $2,000 to the United Neighbors of East Midtown,
Inc.; $2,000 to the Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Park; $4,409
to the Turtle Bay Association Tree Program Project.
Parks Committee Chair Marie-Louise Handal, remarked on how gratifying
it is to see both wheelchairs and baby carriages in Dag Hammarskjold
Plaza Park. At MacArthur Playground 300 small children have attended
special events like Theater in the Park (supplied by the Parks Department).
Planting and beautifying continues in Peter Detmold Park.
The Turtle Bay Tree Program, chaired by Bill Huxley, reported
that over the summer we lost three trees because of the drought,
but they have been replaced by the Parks Department. We continue
to maintain the tree beds.
Anne Saxon-Hersh, president of Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
Park, explained that a Friends organization is needed because the
Parks Department does not have the budget to maintain all the parks
in the city. (Only 1/2 of 1% of Parks' budget goes for maintenance.)
Funds are needed to maintain and clean the fountains and the plaza.
In order to provide more park color, hanging baskets on the lampposts
are being investigated.
The Newsletter Committee plans to produce more, mostly four-page,
issues in the year 2000.
TBA now has more than 1,700 member households. They didn't all
attend, but those who did enjoyed the wine and cheese generously
provided after the meeting by Grey Advertising.
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Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community
224 East 47th Street, New York City 10017
Fax (212) 751-4941