Holiday lights used to decorate Dyckman Street each holiday as early as the 1960s. (Credit: Evelyn Strobel-Ruggiero)
UPPER MANHATTAN — Three commercial strips of Inwood and Washington Heights will not be lit up for the holidays for the second year in a row, after the non-profit charged with decorating the streets came up short on funds — again.
Nurys De Oleo, executive director for Northern Manhattan Coalition for Economic Development (NMCED), said that between state and city funding cuts and a lack of contributions from local businesses, there was no way for the group to come up with the money this year to light the commercial corridors of West 207th Street, Dyckman Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, from 184th to 193rd streets.
"It’s a difficult situation, they’ve cut our funding and it’s impossible," she said in Spanish. "In the past we’ve also asked business owners for donations and some will give $50, $100 or $25, whatever they can, but it’s not enough, it’s expensive to put up the lights."
Doctors rallied in protest of planned cuts at Harlem Hospital in October. (DNAInfo/Jeff Mays)
By Jon Schuppe
HARLEM — In an attempt to quell rumors of Harlem Hospital's demise, community leaders are holding what they call an "emergency town hall" meeting Saturday morning to discuss the future of the troubled facility.
Harlem Hospital is not closing, organizers say. But it is, like all of the city's public hospitals, in serious financial straits and facing service cuts. The point of Saturday's forum, they say, is to set out the facts and rally the public to fight against further reductions.
The news is grim. Earlier this year, the city's Health and Hospitals Corporation announced a massive restructuring to close a $1.3 million budget deficit across its entire hospital system. The cuts include layoffs, combining services and ending affiliation contracts with medical schools.
UPPER MANHATTAN — The commercial corridors of Inwood and Washington Heights could be devoid of cheer this season as the business group responsible for hanging holiday lights is short on cash.
Officials with the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Economic Development's business outreach center said they won't have enough money to hang the lights, which usually run along 207th and Dyckman streets along with St. Nicholas Avenue, this year unless they can raise funds somehow.
"The economic situation in the US and especially New York City have effected us and the service we give to community," said Luis Ducasse, project director for the center.
Ducasse said he will know by week's end if the group will be able to raise the money needed to light one commercial corridor, which typically costs from $7,000 to $10,000.
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Community Board 12 approved plans to renovate Orville & Wilbur Playground in Washington Heights, a plan that will allow residents to use benches and game tables outside of the child-only area of the playground.
Since the plan's initial presentation in September, the board worked with the Parks Department to find a compromise between residents who said tables only attract drug users and late night parties and others who said those problems have been blown out of proportion.
The new resolution aims to resolve the conflict by relocating the tables to a fence on the northern perimeter of the playground that borders the New York City Housing Authority senior housing development, Bethune Gardens.
Washington Heights resident Aury Garcia received a full scholarship to attend Columbia University as one of its Dyckman Institute Scholars. (DNAinfo/Carla Zanoni)
UPPER MANHATTAN — Members of Community Board 12 celebrated the Upper Manhattan recipients of a scholarship program that helps Inwood and Washington Heights students attend Columbia University.
Aury Garcia, an 18-year-old first year student at Columbia who grew up on 184h Street in Washington Heights, said the Dyckman Institute Scholarship has enabled her "childhood dream" to attend the school.
INWOOD — Inwood’s real estate value shot up more than 15 percent this year, bucking a downward trend felt in tony Manhattan neighborhoods such as SoHo and Greenwich Village, and the rest of the country.
Inwood housing showed the largest jump in Manhattan home values this year with median home prices coming in at a $427,000, an increase of 15.1 percent, according to Crain's.
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — At the height of the real estate boom, a 60-foot high sheet of bedrock was jackhammered away to make room for a 23-story luxury condominium development in Hudson Heights to be called "One Bennett Park."
But more than two years later, all that remains at 33-55 Overlook Terrace is a hole in the ground, a lawsuit, and a displaced congregation from the local Jewish center.
The Broadway Housing Communities (BHC) announced that it would go forward with a $70 million plan to build a 13-story building on West 155th Street and St. Nicholas Place on the border of Washington Heights and Harlem.
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Hopeful security guards, secretaries, childcare providers, maintenance workers and retail clerks flooded Washington Heights Thursday for a chance to meet with potential employers at the neighborhood's first annual job fair.
Many said they knew they were not alone in looking for work, but were shocked to see a seemingly endless line that snaked around the block-long theater that stands between Broadway and Wadsworth Avenue, between West 175 and West 176th streets.
Read more about the job fair and applicants at DNAinfo.com.