Board Meeting Minutes– March 16, 2014

La Plaza Cultural de Armando Perez
Board Meeting Minutes– March 16, 2014


Board Members present: William LoSasso, Pedro Diez, Frances Anderson, Marga Snyder, Peter Brackenbury
Absent: Ross Martin and Michael Hinds
Other Members present: Matt Arnold; Sylvester Schneider; Aylin Major
Minutes taken by: Frances Anderson

Meeting began at  3:10pm. 

Regularize Board Mtg Schedule – First Sunday of the Month 3-5pm @ Garden unless weather requires indoor space. Next meeting April 6th @ 3pm.

Committee Reports  

Membership Committee:  $400-500 to have the locks changed.  (Approved last month- changeover time in September 2014) Bill will talk to Jon re: getting keys made on current locks for spring/summer distribution so the current locks will be operational until Sept 2014.  Sept 2014 new locks will be in place and new keys given to members who have fulfilled their work requirements.

Landscape Committee: Clean ups needed: Water barrels in the Greenhouse, boards next to greenhouse.  Ross/John Wagner need to decide what to do with the wood.  Use work day 3/23 to get this done?

Compost Committee:  Sunday March 23rd  at 2pm is LES Ecology Ctr workshop @ La Plaza.  Lots of participants – can we give them extra stuff to do? (like clean out the greenhouse! Clean the perimeter!  Plant xmas trees!  Whack off ivy! – post to membership as an early season clean up day.)

Performance Committee: see events below

Plot Committee:  Rita will be sending out email re: restarting your plot and which plots are open

Parents Committee: if no one interested in chairing, we will deactivate the committee

Website Committee:  website seems more stable, when we get Paypal account worked out (Bill is wrangling with them) we can be open for donations and paying dues/event fees online.

Grant Applications and Funding – 4 applied: ConEd Settlement fund for trees ($7,000) looks promising, will be espalier fence – grows more horizontal/intertwined;  Citizens Committee :Nature Walk ($3000); Partnership for Parks Community: Community work day/workshop and barbecue $5000; Citizens Committee: Compost Grant ($600)

Treasurer’s Report  – $7,509.74 balance; Bills outstanding: $240 to Exterminator (Terminate Control); John W has been paid for carpentry work; Ross expense reimbursement still outstanding (how much?)  LAP’s 2013 taxes have been filed.

Major projects update 

New grape arbor – Landscape committee needs to meet.  Marga, Peter, Ross, Jon will meet ASAP and bring final plans to the 4/6/14 board meeting.

Billboard Art and Mural –  Mosaic Mural (done at cost with donated materials) still under consideration for the wall on the side of Sunburnt Cow.  Concern over status of the SBC building.  Will it be torn down? Bill is trying to get answer from company that just bought the building.

Events at La Plaza

Artist in Residence – Carolyn Ratcliff (ART LOISAIDA) has written grant app to a city agency to sponsor 2 artists to do sculptures in community gardens (La Plaza and Campos).  Grant $ will fund the artist and LAP is being asked to donate the space for the artist to work.  Time frame is July-October during which artist makes sculpture out of wood in La Plaza.  Finished sculpture will be temporarily in La Plaza for “inaugural event” then sculpture goes to Theater for the New City and other venues.

QUESTIONS – Carolyn needs to submit written proposal to board which addresses following questions: where in the garden the artist will be working, size of proposed project, exact needs of equipment for construction: e.g. materials, power tools?  LAP will need to have the discretion to set limits on time/days that work happens.  La Plaza name cannot be on the grant application. Details on the inaugural event – how many people, liquor license, fee for use?

Sylvester Schneider and Aylin Major of Zum Schneider Restaurant presented proposal for a FIFA (World Cup) final party – July 13th 2014 – 11am – 7pm.  Game is at 3pm. They have been unsuccessful in securing other outdoor locations: e.g. street closing on Ave C or 7th Street, Tompkins.  Parks do not give sound permits on Sundays.  Sound permit, alcohol posing problems with other locations.  Goal is for this to be a community enhancing event, modest entrance fee ($12-$15) with beer/wine and snacks for sale.  Large screen LED TV positioned on tarmac with portable fence to keep plot area off limits.  Event highlights combine Zum Schneider’s youth soccer leagues, LES Girls Club and multi-cultural musical programming.  Will have 4 security personnel: 1 @ entrance, 1 @exit.  Was suggested (by Board Member) to approach 9th St. Block Association to use 9th Street as well as La Plaza so there can be kids soccer on the street and placing of porta-potties on sidewalk instead of inside the garden.  Aiming for 500 person capacity.  Fee is $2,000 plus steward.  Board will review proposal and give decision by 4/6/14 (Next meeting).  Board voted on 3/23/14 (6 in favor, 1 opposed) to send out email to membership to get input from members by 3/31/14 on this idea before Board makes a final decision.

Hosting LUNGS Food Bag pick-up – Food CSA partnered with local NY state farm where CSA members pay week by week ($10/week).  The entire season lasts 6 months. LAP will host for September: 4 Saturdays (or Sundays) 11am – 2pm, Set up and breakdown included.  Needs :Table set-up.  Unanimously APPROVED.  No usage fee.

Wagner (NYU) Service Day – 30 ppl donate labor on a weekend.  Ross will give update on dates/work.

Beatrice of Brix proposed Rosé Tasting event – Friday May 16, 5-8pm, using tent to host Brix’s annual rosé-tasting festival.  50-75 ppl.  No amplified sound or chairs, 4-6 tables.  Charges only for the glass.  Snacks, free, raffle.  No exclusive use of garden.  Sells bottles of wines at a discount to participants.  Questions/Conditions from Board that will be communicated to Beatrice by William LoSasso: Can you do plastic wine glass?  (glass breakage a concern) Fee would be $400  (no steward). Garden must be spotlessly clean afterwards. Event must be open to any walk-ins.

May 17th – $1500 wedding reception?  Sheila needs to give us details. Big events like that need to be approved.

Notes from Board to Sheila – Events where there is selling of alcohol must have a higher base rental fee ($150-$300/hour)

Is Simin doing Persian New Year event in the garden this year? March 19?  Yes – event happened on 3/19/2014

Planning for Season Start – tools and equipment shopping list for Ross:  gloves and clippers, seeds, seedling planters, potting soil, contractor bags,

Old Business – see above

New Business – LOISAIDA fest taking place Memorial Day weekend.  LAP usually participates in some way.  Bill will get planners to give more specs on what they might like to do and bring proposal to Board.

Archive project – compiling archive photo history of La Plaza – Marga heading that up.

Meeting adjourned at 5:15pm. 


Chickens at La Plaza

At the November General Membership meeting, the members present voted to approve installation of a chicken coop, and 2 chickens, at La Plaza Cultural.  The topic of discussion was advertised in the preceding e-News.  The Board members who were present at the meeting (a majority – Bill, Pedro, Marga, Ross) also voted to approve.  Below is some basic information regarding the chickens.


Longtime members Beatriz and Darrin Arremony have traded in their old plot in the plots area for an area on the hill near the compost drop-off area to house 2 chickens.  This was done to allow for greater public accessibility to the coop for viewing and to minimize foot traffic in the plots area.

The coop will eventually host 2 chickens (no roosters).

The chickens should arrive sometime in the early Spring.

A coop has been built, and just needs to be raised a bit to make cleaning under it easier.


Beatriz and Darrin will take primary responsibility for their care and upkeep, including all associated costs.

They will also oversee them being allowed to roam the garden occasionally, but only when the gates are closed and no one is around.  They will not be allowed into the plots area.

Anyone who is interested in participating can do so.  Once I the chickens arrive, Beatriz and Darrin will reach out to the LPC community.  A committee will be formed if needed.


There will be NO roosters at LPC!

We do not anticipate any noise issues associated with the chickens.

Cats and rats?

We do not anticipate any problem with cats or rats as long as the coop is cleaned and maintained regularly, nor do we anticipate any problems with smells.

Other NYC locations with chickens

Beatriz will speak with other gardens that keep chickens to inquire about best practices regarding their upkeep.

What if it doesn’t work out?

If, for whatever reason, problems arise with the chickens that cannot be resolved, they will be removed.

Contact Beatriz at:

Annual Zoroastrian Fire jumping event, Chahar-shanbeh-soori

Come join the greater NYC community for a celebration of the Persian New Year Celebration…

Loosely translated as Wednesday Light, from the word sur which means light in Persian,[2] or more plausibly, consider sur to be a variant of sorkh (red) and take it to refer either to the fire itself or to the ruddiness (sorkhi), meaning good health or ripeness, supposedly obtained by jumping over it,[2] is an ancient Iranian festival dating back to at least 1700 BCE of the early Zoroastrian era.[3] Also called the Festival of Fire, it is a prelude to Nowruz, which marks the arrival of spring. The words Chahar Shanbeh mean Wednesday and Suri means red. Bonfires are lit to “keep the sun alive” until early morning.[4] The celebration usually starts in the evening, with people making bonfires in the streets and jumping over them singing “zardi-ye man az toh, sorkhi-ye toh az man”. The literal translation is, my yellow is yours, your red is mine. This is a purification rite.[5] Loosely translated, this means you want the fire to take your pallor, sickness, and problems and in turn give you redness, warmth, and energy. There are Zoroastrian religious significance attached to Chahārshanbeh Suri and it serves as a cultural festival for Iranian peoples: Persian Jews, Persian Muslims, Assyrians native to Iran, Persian Armenians, Kurds, and Persian Zoroastrians.


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