Forums, Receptions, Art & Pie: You’re Invited

Photo by Timothy Schenck, courtesy of Friends of the High Line Faith Ringgold’s “Groovin High” (1986) is on view through June 2, at W. 18th St. & 10th Ave.
Photo by Timothy Schenck, courtesy of Friends of the High Line
Faith Ringgold’s “Groovin High” (1986) is on view through June 2, at W. 18th St. & 10th Ave.

BY EILEEN STUKANE  |  The monthly full board meeting of Community Board 4 (CB4), held on May 7 at the St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, brought forth important news and event dates from elected officials and other community leaders.

Peter Mullan, Executive Vice President, Friends of the High Line, announced that the vendors are back on the High Line to serve lunches and dinners. High Line Art has installed a billboard by Faith Ringgold on W. 17th St., which can be seen until June 2. Archeo, a new public art installation of sculptures by various artists, will be gracing the High Line until March 2015 (visit thehighline.org for more info).

Mullan took a moment to respond to a resident’s complaint that the W. 23rd St. elevator to the High Line has been out of order since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Contractors are now on the site and working six days a week to have the elevator functioning by the end of June. There are also available elevators available at Gansevoort, W. 16th and 30th Sts.

High Line Events include “Pie In The Sky” — free pie and lemonade along the High Line, Mon., June 9, for the Five Year Anniversary of the park. On Thurs., June 26, free beverages and snacks will be distributed on the High Line in honor of its Green Corps (teens from the community who undertake a six-month horticultural internship with the park). Visit the High Line’s website for details.

City Councilmember Corey Johnson noted that he is a lead sponsor on four pieces of humane animal legislation. The new laws would regulate puppy mills in the city, require spaying and neutering in pet stores, implement mandatory microchipping and would strengthen and clarify the city’s new animal abuse registry. Following a strong request from residents, Johnson was pleased to get a speed bump installed on W. 26th St., btw. Ninth and 10th Aves.

The plans for a new local bus route between the West Village and Columbus Circle are under way. At its southern end, the new M12 will start at Jane St. and Eighth Ave., travel north via Eighth Ave. on a route that involves turns onto West St., 11th Ave. and 12th Ave., and will terminate at its northern end on W. 57th St. and Seventh Ave. The M12 is scheduled to begin operating in September 2014.

A big win for the overcrowded Education District 2 (which includes Chelsea, Greenwich Village and Hell’s Kitchen) is a new public middle school at 75 Morton St., which Johnson hopes will open in Fall 2016.

Events from Johnson’s office include: “Let’s Talk” — a series of forums that will bring together speakers on relevant subjects to engage in discussions around various issues. The first “Let’s Talk” will be held on Thurs., May 29, 6:30-8:30 pm, at the New School Student Center, 55 W. 13th St., 2nd Floor. The evening’s topic, The Empowerment of Women, will delve into issues such as equal pay, healthcare and domestic violence. Women from various organizations (among them The Work And Family Legal Center, Global Women For The Arts and The Mayor’s Office’s New Domestic Violence Initiative) will be speaking. RSVP:  district3@council.nyc.gov

Vision Zero is the city’s action plan for ending traffic deaths and street injuries. Residents can offer their ideas for shaping the plan at Manhattan Vision Zero Pedestrian Safety Workshop, Wed., June 11, 6:30-8:30 pm, at Our Lady of Pompeii, 25 Carmine St., lower level.

City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal is urging her colleagues to vote for the TF Cornerstone project at 606 W. 57th St. Already approved by CB4, the 1,025 unit high-rise apartment building was only given the go-ahead by the NY City Council’s Land Use Committee last month. Rosenthal has won important concessions from the developer: the addition of a public pre-school in 15,000 square feet on the building’s first floor, and an additional 10,000 square feet of moderate-income affordable housing.

Participatory Budgeting, a way for everyone to become involved in how to spend $1 million city dollars of capital money, is going to be the focus of an informational session sponsored by Rosenthal on Thurs., June 12, 6-8 pm, at the West Side YMCA (5 W. 63rd St.). RSVP: district6pb@gmail.com.

For Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Diana Howard announced that there is still time for nonprofit organizations and public schools to apply for the Manhattan Community Grant Program, which provides small discretionary grants (generally from $3,000 to $10,000) for programmatic and operating expenses. The deadline is Fri., June 6 at 6 pm. Information can be found at manhattanbp.nyc.gov, under the heading “Budgets & Grants.”

A reception for the city’s new community board members, (although older members can attend too if they wish), is being hosted by Brewer on Wed., May 28, 6-8 pm, at The American Museum of Natural History, Hall of the Universe  (Central Park West, at W. 79th St.). The Borough President’s office will also be conducting a series of Community Board Workshops in June (dates to be announced).

For New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat, David Baily spoke on how state officials are focusing on pedestrian safety. Senator Espaillat is co-sponsor of a legislation that would reduce speed limits in certain neighborhoods of New York City to 20 miles per hour. Related to this legislation, the State Senate authorized 120 new speed cameras for school zones across New York City as part of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan to end traffic fatalities.

For NY State Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, Eli Szenes-Strauss told everyone that earlier in the day a rally had been held in Albany in support of Gottfried’s “New York Health” legislation to create a universal, single-payer health insurance system in New York. The bill is backed by the SEIU 1199 as well as other powerful labor unions, such as the New York State Nurses Association, The Working Families Party and the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus. Baily also conveyed the fact that Gottfried had held a teach-in for fellow legislators on April 28, to explain the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) and urge them to pass it. Gottfried has been trying to get the bill passed since 2003. It has been passed by the Assembly six times and is sponsored by Daniel Squadron in the Senate.

Erica Overton, for NY State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, was delighted to report a victory for Rosenthal, since for four years she has been working on behalf of constituents who complained about noise and disturbances from the Fairytail Lounge, 500 W. 48th St. She recently wrote to the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) about Fairytail’s workers lacking workers’ compensation insurance, and other legal issues. On May 2, the Fairytail Lounge was closed by the NYPD and the SLA.

With the New York City Department of Finance, Rosenthal is hosting a “SCRIE, DRIE and Homeowners’ Exemption Clinic” for those who currently receive (or are interested in) Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE), Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE), Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE), and Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption (DHE). People who are over 62 or older, disabled, rent-stabilized or rent-controlled, may be eligible for a rent freeze. Coop or condo owners may be eligible for lower taxes or maintenance fees. Wed., May 21, 2-5 pm, District Office of Assemblymember Rosenthal, 230 W. 72nd St., Suite 2F. RSVP: 212-873-6368 or rosenthall@assembly.state.ny.us.

For U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Tricia Shimamura announced that earlier in the day the bill the Congresswoman has been working on since 1997 to establish a Congressional Commission to create a National Women’s History Museum, had passed in the House and was moving on to the Senate. Maloney’s bipartisan legislation with Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, Republican from Tennessee, will create a place to recognize the contributions of women, over 50 percent of the population, to the nation’s history.

Through Congresswoman Maloney’s office, high school students who live in, or attend school in her district are eligible to enter the Congressional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Competition by creating and exhibiting their software app for mobile, tablet, or computer devices. The deadline for entering has been extended to May 31. For information visit maloney.house.gov/house-app-contest.

Full reports from all local elected officials are available on the CB4 website: nyc.gov/mcb4.