Minutes for HNA Meeting

November 14, 2004



Committee reports

Neighbor-to-neighbor: Dennis committed to setting up a neighborhood get-together at The Fountain in January.

Business: The Business Directory is coming along

Other news: Amy Biancolli article in the TU talked about the joys of the neighborhood

Safety: Diane was able to get a stop sign on Sycamore and Helderberg


People we may invite to speak at future meetings:

Helen DeFosses, David Soares, school budget folks, university heights people,


Charter Schools

Also, people expressed their dismay at the onslaught of charter schools in the city. Three are now open, 2 more are approved, and two more are in the pipeline. Craig and others noted that the residents of the city have no control over whether they come or not; they are approved by the SUNY board of trustees or the Regents. Also, people were angered by the ads that were put out by the Brighter Choice charter schools that bad-mouthed the public schools in the city as “failing,” when the truth is that many are doing very well and every one of them has improved . . .


Concern for the Crime Victims and Sexual Assault Center

Deb Schramek spoke about the proposal by county government to get rid of the agency she works for, the Albany County Crime Victims and Sexual Violence Center. People are leaving the agency because of the rumors it will be eliminated by the county. There were 17 employees; now there are 9. It has been targeted before, but the outcry from the public has protected it, and the hope that protests will save the agency again. HNA voted to write a letter from the neighborhood group supporting the agency and the important work it does for those who are victims of any kind of violent attack.


Plans for next meeting

At the next meeting, we’re going to plan for the upcoming year. We’re all looking forward to the garage sale, the plant swap, the picnic. We are also going to vote on the slate of candidates, so nominate people for the offices: (chair, vice chair, recording secretary, membership chair, communications chair, and treasurer)



The wine shop on New Scotland was robbed at knifepoint recently, as was Trustco bank. A man who is mentally ill has been flashing women at St. Rose. People were reminded not to leave anything in plain site in your cars and to lock them at night because kids will go in and clean out the change or steal the CD player.


Work is starting on a crime victims memorial in Academy Park across from City Hall. It’s being spearheaded by a woman whose daughter was murdered. She is using part of the trust fund to fund the memorial. Deb will keep us posted.


Library News

Craig heard from John Cirrin, the media director for the city’s libraries, saying that the library wanted input from the neighborhood association. He had come to the neighborhood in the spring with library director Jeffrey Cannell and and HNA folks told him that they wanted to keep their local library. They were looking at building a branch at the former gas station on New Scotland that had closed. HNA voted to send a letter reiterating its interest at having a branch library in the school, or if not there, in the neighborhood at a location that people can get to on foot.


Dennis Gaffney, Secretary