The 34th Precinct Community Council meeting offered little news for Hudson Heights residents, which is a good thing. Council president George Espinal and Officer Ernesto Morales presided over the public comment period.
The flow of comments came mostly from residents of Fort George (where the meeting was held), who raised concerns about excessive noise and the need for more "impact" officers walking the streets. One speaker railed against ARKA Lounge on Broadway, which has continued to bring a steady stream of late-night noise to the community. The owner, Rolando Lantigua, was also in the crowd and offered a defense of his efforts to control noise and work with the police. (Mr. Lantigua is the former owner of Hispaniola Restaurant on 181st Street & Cabrini Boulevard, which closed several years ago after Mr. Lantigua was indicted for tax fraud.)
This blogger spoke about the declining situation in the 181st Street entrance to the A train. Since the MTA closed the token booth last year, there are more unsavory characters loitering in the station, urinating in public and sometimes bothering passengers with requests for "swipes." Officer Morales promised to send more officers into the station. He also promised to convey the concerns to Deputy Inspector Andrew Costello, who runs NYPD Transit Precinct 3 (212-281-5303). As promised, officers were patrolling the station during the morning commute on both Thursday and Friday!