Meeting Minutes – 5/26/15

Minutes of the Civic Association meeting of May 26, 2015.

The meeting was brought to order by Bill Stanton, president, at 7:40 p.m. The reading of the April minutes was waived and they were accepted as distributed.

Members were asked to pay their dues for 2015 if they have not already done so. You may use our new e-mail address and send your dues via Paypal; or you may bring $20 to the next meeting. Dues and donations may be sent to Civic Association, P.O. Box 117, Bronx NY 10464.

The guest speaker for the meeting was Amy Lipson, principal of P.S. 175 for 10 years. She explained that the Common Core curriculum has been in place for four years, with the teachers implementing ideas and structures, and the students have been doing very well. The teachers presented the Core to parents, and not one opposed it and only four opted out of testing. The teachers are doing extremely well. In every area in which the school is evaluated, it was determined that the school was doing well, on a par with the Woodlawn and Riverdale schools, and has a very strong PTA. New walls are being installed on the second floor so that classes are now separated. The school now has a library, and Senator Klein has donated $15,000 to assist with purchasing books. Also implemented was a character education program to keep the kids positively engaged with community affairs. Each grade has worked with different organizations to assist others in need. The school is operating at 50% at or above grade level, which is higher than it once was. The students are well prepared for specialized high schools. Because there is not enough room for Universal Pre-K, it will be held at St. Mary’s. The Board of Education wishes to move all children into the building (from the portable classrooms) and there is not sufficient space for another class.

The tow truck owners are complaining that the 45th precinct has been going to them looking for violations, and the original offer to have the community paint a mural was withdrawn. Apparently people have been calling in traffic infractions.

Two arrests were made when two Island youths became involved in a fight where a brick was thrown through a window. Other issues involve inappropriate behavior on beaches in front of people’s houses along King Avenue. This is a quality of life issue; Bill Stanton, president advised that we do not confront people directly but asked that we call 311 or him.

Zoning: Some are concerned about affordable or senior housing plans put forth by the mayor, and we have written a letter to the mayor’s office to address this issue. The new rules would allow no parking requirement for these buildings, and this would cause us a hardship.

The potholes have been getting fixed, particularly the one at the entrance to I-95 from Shore Road. Graffiti has been removed with the support of the 45th precinct. Next time we would like to have the kids involved as well. The former Worm Bar at 663 City Island Avenue is on a lot that is partly city owned. We have submitted a proposal to have a non profit organization purchase the private section in order to create an attractive area with public access to the water.

A new water main will be installed at the end of 2016, and then new sewers and storm drains will be installed on the northeast side of the island to prevent flooding. The June issue of the Island Current has details and drawings.

City Island Avenue at the corner of Schofield Street across from the car lots will now be a parking lot for Scavello’s on the Island and work is being done now in the parking lot next to the Lido.

A question was asked about the benefit concert for the Hart Island Project in August but this is not a Civic-sponsored event and no information was made available.

Questions were raised about some street-end beaches that are fenced off at the end, even though many are publicly owned; however, residents have installed locked gates or fences. The city allows this because it protects the beaches and does not require the presence of lifeguards and bathrooms. Gates are locked because people from off the island often come to use the beaches and leave garbage behind. Each block has a different way of handling the issue, and some have complained that keys should be but are not available to home owners. This needs to be addressed.

The meeting was adjourned  at 8:35 pm.

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