We Did All That?
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.
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
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
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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Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community
224 East 47th Street, New York City 10017
Fax (212) 751-4941