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Wow! We Did All That?

TBA's annual membership meeting was held on November 10, 1998, at Grey Advertising, who, once again, graciously provided the assembly space and refreshments. Each year, this meeting provides our members with a review of the Association's work, its financial position, and our stance on issues which affect and challenge our community.

Also on the agenda is the election of the nominated slate of officers and board members. This year's slate, proposed by Nominating Chairman Blair Clark, was elected by 256 votes, well over the required quorum of ten percent of our members, which number 1,598.

President Bill Curtis, in his introductory comments, noted that plans were afoot to form a coalition to fight the 90-story Trump World Tower. Council Member Gifford Miller, an invited guest, praised the initiative and vowed his support. The Councilman raised the issue of challenging the "plaza bonus," which enables developers to add additional floors to their buildings. The prospect of the Trump megatower has served as a wake-up call for zoning reform since the existing code seems to be helping developers more than the neighborhoods it was designed to protect, he said. The audience was keen to exchange ideas on the Trump project and to find out what, if anything, could be done to cap the building's height.
Officers from the 17th Precinct were on hand to answer questions about safety and quality-of-life issues in Turtle Bay. Although statistics indicate that crime is down, residents and merchants have noticed the absence of beat officers. The Precinct responded that Operation Bravo required that more officers be dispatched to provide UN security, which leaves fewer officers to patrol the rest of the precinct.

Committee Reports
The Parks Committee chaired by Marie-Loiuse Handal had good news: Dag Hammarskjold Park is slated for completion by summer, 1999, and the bus solution - moving the terminus of the M50 and M27 buses to 42nd Street - had proved to be a win-win solution, getting the buses out of the park and relocating the bus layover on a nonresidential street. Also, through the Parks Committee, TBA sponsored several special events in MacArthur Playground and participated in NYC Parks Green-Up Days with volunteers planting flowers in the playground and Peter Detmold Park.

Anne Saxon-Hersh, as President of Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, appealed to TBA members to join her in building a strong community-based organization to look after Dag Hammarskjold Park now that it is nearing completion.

Bill Huxley, who manages the TBA Tree Program, reported the planting of more trees and flowers in the neighborhood, especially on Second Avenue, which was further beautified with TBA's addition of cobblestone-edged treebeds.

The Land-Use Committee, chaired by Bruce Silberblatt, applauded the opening of the newly constructed 48th Street ramp to FDR Drive, which TBA had long advocated to relieve congestion on First Avenue.

The Special Events Committee, chaired by Barbara Connolly, reported an especially successful TBA Fair that raked in more than $18,000, all of which is ploughed back into the community, based on recommendations from the TBA Grants Committee, chaired by Pat McDougald. Other memorable events included "An Evening with Kurt Vonnegut" and an outing to Longwood Gardens. Among the annual festivities were the Volunteers Party, Valentine Party, and Toy and Gift Drive.

The Newsletter Committee, chaired by Anne Saxon-Hersh, published four quarterly issues of the Turtle Bay newsletter during 1998 and, as an added service to the community, launched the Association's Internet website in November through an adhoc committee cochaired by Marty Waxman. The website offers a diversity of information on Turtle Bay and community activities while enhancing TBA's outreach.

The financial report was presented by Francine Mohink. By all accounts, 1998 was a very good year with many solid achievements.

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The Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community organization.

224 East 47th Street, New York City 10017
(212) 751-5465
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