By Andrea Peirce
A meeting this week at Community Board 7 included a debate over a liquor license and a proposal by one community member to start a book fair.
The meeting opened with remarks from New York State Senator Brad Holyman and included numerous one-minute updates from community members and elected officials.
Holyman briefed the group on recently approved legislation of relevance to the Upper West Side, such as an initiative to make all Albany legislators full time employees, and approval of $200 million in additional funding for HIV/AIDS – including funding for a New York City AIDS memorial. He also noted that the Governor Andrew Cuomo signed two of his proposed bills into law. One requires that domestic violence reports be translated into English in a timely fashion, and the other enables nurse practitioners to test for tuberculosis, which has been on the rise.
There will be a Tuesday January 12 DOT meeting regarding Amsterdam Avenue that’s expected to go to vote in February, said Chair Elizabeth Caputo.
Notable among the community and elected official presenters were mention of:
- A give-away of carbon monoxide and smoke alarms, including free installation, at a December 3rd event at Council Member Helen Rosenthal’s office from 10 AM to noon.
- Invitation to small business owners and entrepreneurs to participate in the December 10 Red Tape Commission’s Manhattan hearing at Manhattan’s Civic Hall from 8:30 AM to 10:00.
- Invitation by Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell’s office to holiday event and toy drive to benefit children and teens in the community. The December 21st event at 245 West 104th Street will run from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM.
- Representatives of the New York Society of Ethical Culture invited the community to a 2016 New Year’s Eve Celebration featuring prizes, music, fireworks viewing from the rooftop. Ticket sale proceeds will benefit the organization’s Supportive Televisiting Program designed to help children maintain connections to an incarcerated parent.
- UWS resident Gary Shapiro proposed to launch a book fair celebrating local authors. The idea met with enthusiastic applause. “No other neighborhood has as many authors,” he said in pitching an event he envisions as family-oriented and able to “showcase what’s best about the UWS.” He explained he’d gotten the idea from his previous neighborhood’s book stall, which featured “everything from electrician manuals next to theory next to literature.”
The board discussed and voted on applications for various business licenses and Landmarks Preservation Commission applications.
Tensions ran a bit high upon discussion of the disapproval of an application for a two-year-liquor license on behalf of the Riverside Hotel at 80 Riverside Drive. Business & Consumer Issues Committee Co-Chairperson Michele Parker noted that the application had already been discussed at two charged community meetings, and that local opposition to the proposal was strong. Three neighborhood residents spoke on behalf of multiple local residents in attendance.
Among the numerous other business and preservation applications discussed included consent to operation enclosed cafes, modifications to a penthouse construction, replacement of a restaurant’s windows with aluminum French doors, and the addition of a rear yard addition.
“If you live, work, eat, drink, or play in our district,” added Chairwoman Elizabeth Caputo, please get involved and consider applying for a position on the Community Board. Applications are due January 29th.
You can watch the whole meeting on YouTube.