Monday, July 23, 2007

Forgotten NY fed up

Your webmaster could care less if no other Maspethian other than those in the Juniper Park Civic Association supports saving this church (which isn't the case). It can be argued that the majority of Americans opposed 1964's Civil Rights Act, and there's no question that the majority of baseball owners wanted nothing to do with Jackie Robinson. This church should be saved as part of a public park and it should be landmarked. It is more than Maspeth's legacy, it is New York City's.

FED UP: More Developer Outrages in Maspeth

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why the need for the racist remarks, especially in a piece about saving a church, which like all religious institutions teaches people to love and respect one another, as opposed to bearing malice towards others just on account of their race.
Predjudism is really a tool of politicians. By getting people to blame an ethnic group for all their woes they get people to forget that the ones who are really to blame are they, the politicians.
Don't buy into this scheme of theirs. If you want to lash out at somebody go over to Borough Hall.

Anonymous said...

Folks, I will say this over and over again.

This is not the fault of the developers or the poltiicians. They are doing exactly the things that the system permits them. The developers want to make money (if you want charity, go to the Red Cross) and the politicians need money to get elected.

Don't like it? Then change the way politicians get elected and the way they interface with lobby groups. There is abundent literaure and a tremedous number of good proposals to change the sytem.

The fault is the inability to connect these ideas with the public whose focus is on American Idol and Paris Hilton.

Taxpayer said...

The only error I see in the analysis is the belief that the Commissar and Quinn look at this part of Maspeth in terms of party registration.

They don't. They look at all neighborhoods in terms of class.

Throw cocktail parties and you're a friend of this miserable pair (though they'll betray you and each other for one more buck).

Drink beer, throw barbecues, and eat at McDonald's, and this pair will set out to crush you every way it can.

If crushing the "Little People" includes joining with a rapist to gang-rape a neighborhood, then Gallagher's in and the beer drinkers get raped.

Keep fighting these perverts.

Anonymous said...

This would never happen in Manhattan. I believe that when you look at the sorry record of Queens leadership, there is a real failure all the way down the line.

Newspapers that want us to think that their ongoing love fest with polticans (particularly if they are democratic and local) is 'news.'

Poltical leadership that assumes we are not bright enough to form our own conclusions, but believes in their spin (i e brown outs are the fault of Con Ed fault rather than overdevelopment), or unsophistcated and we never talk to anyone who lives in another community to compare notes (to talk to a Manhattan resident and hear about their community boards is an eye opener for a Queens resident), or we are fearful of getting cut off from their distribution of public moneys (read our taxes.)

And my favorite target for disdain, the preservation community in Queens that is either only interested in their immediate community (I got mine, now you get yours sucker. Big picture? What big picture?), parrot what the polticians tell them so they can become little straw bosses (and can become our 'official' spokemen burying loose cannon grassroot types) or failing to bring home the bacon to Queens as they curry favor with the Manhattan set and turn a blind eye to the raw deal we are getting.

Anonymous said...

Everythng you say is true, but the really sad part is how Manhattan continues to ignore Queens as they feast on our share of the pie. Queens is 40% of NYC, and until 40% of all preservation funding goes into our borough, we should withhold our support of any organization that does not meet that criterion.

I also believe that landmarks law is biased, not fulfilling the original promise, should be stuck from the books, and replaced by legislation that insures preservation no matter the racial, ethnic, or income level of the neighborhood.

That is clearly not the case today and perhaps the root cause of most of the problems posted by others above.

Queens Crapper said...

First poster: where do you see racist remarks in the piece?

Anonymous said...

"It can be argued that the majority of Americans opposed 1964's Civil Rights Act, and there's no question that the majority of baseball owners wanted nothing to do with Jackie Robinson."

Isn't this a racist remark, or am I reading it wrong?

Anonymous said...

First - this does happen in Manhattan. Take a look at what is happening with St. Brigid's right now in the East Village.
Second - From reading this piece, I now have a question as to whether the majority of Maspeth residents who live near the site want the park. This article makes it seem like they do not. Has anyone ran a non-biased poll of residents adjacent to the site to see what they want? I have seen comments on other blogs of Maspeth residents who think a park may not be such a good idea because it may serve as a hang out for undesirables.
Whether or not the majority truly want a park, I find the writer of this piece audacious to compare this cause to the Civil Rights movement and to Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier. Please do not demean such grand achievements in advancing American society with whether or not to build houses on an undeveloped property. Those who favor development are not racist bigots like the people that opposed civil rights and supported segregation.

Queens Crapper said...

You are reading this all wrong. Read the entire article and then you will see.

Christina Wilkinson said...

"I have seen comments on other blogs of Maspeth residents who think a park may not be such a good idea because it may serve as a hang out for undesirables."

Oh, I see. You are reading Juniper Park Patriots, a site run by Dennis Gallagher and his cronies. We held a public meeting at the Clinton Diner across the street from the church, and invited all neighboring property owners. They unanimously said they supported a park at the site. They also attend our rallies in great numbers. Many of them don't have computers, so I doubt they are blogging on the Patriots' site.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who believes what they read on JPP is pretty dumb.

Anonymous said...

The park would be locked at night, and the buildings would serve as a museum. So how would it be detrimental to surrounding properties in the neighborhood?

Anonymous said...

Was the church a hangout for undesirables? No. So why would a park be any different? Both were open to the community.

Anonymous said...

Kevin's point is that sometimes what the majority of people want is not the right thing. History proves that. He also made it clear that the majority of people in this case are NOT opposed to landmarking this property, just a few pain in the asses who hate Queens or love developer money.

Anonymous said...

I read the full article, on Forgotten NY, and still can't see how the remark about Robinson and Rights fits in to the point being made, but will take your word for it that they're okay. Reading was never one of my strong points, especially when it comes to articles full of facts. Fictional novels are more my thing, describing ideal worlds with limited or manageable corruption.

Anonymous said...

A meeting at the Clinton Diner is not concrete evidence of widespread community support. Why doesn't someone actually poll the residents within one square mile of the site? If 90% say they want a park, the poll results may help your cause and give you some actual evidence to support the idea. Also, it is nice to say that the city should spend the money to buy the property, make it a park and maintain it, but it would be better if you provided a reasonable plan with details to get it done. Where would the money come from? If from the 2030 Plan, which specific projects would you cut in order to fund this project? I personally think a museum is a bad idea - it would be too costly to maintain and, let's be real, hardly anyone would travel to this site to see a church museum. But a community center may work. Again, a study of the surrounding area that shows a demand for such a facility, and a detailed plan to fund it, would greatly help the preservation cause.

Anonymous said...

I just don't understand.

What moron or morons would want cheap overdeveloped housing versus open space, particulary when that open space has a tremendous amount of history.

I know the underhanded, crooked, rapist politician position is, because his pockets are getting lined by the developers and their sponsors.

I know Pinky's Puppets who are brainwashed favor the cheap housing that continues to burden our services.............because they are dopes and follow their master.

BUT....anyone else that believes this important piece of history and open green space should go down the tubes has to be a moron, no other logical explanation, simply a moron!

Taxpayer said...

Anonymous said:
"Why doesn't someone actually poll the residents within one square mile of the site? If 90% say they want a park, the poll results may help your cause and give you some actual evidence to support the idea."

Why 90%? Here, we act on 50%+ support.

The person who proposed a 90% requirement is either a moron or a dupe of the rapist.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should try a different strategy other than yelling "moron" and "rapist." All that strategy has gotten is a lost lawsuit and animosity, and it is leading down the path of a demolished church and a big industrial storage facility on the site. As a person who handles and negotiates high-level business deals for a living, I can tell you that having strong research to support your positions, setting forth reasonable, realistic solutions for all parties, and understanding the valid concerns of those you are negotiating with works much better than acting righteous, issuing demands and shoving your opinions down other people's throats.

Christina Wilkinson said...

With all due respect to the anonymous professional, the research has been done and submitted to the mayor. The ball is in his court. He can either win the game or fault.

As far as a big industrial use for the site, the people who live in the community said they would prefer a high performance (low polluting) industrial use over more housing, if plan A could not be brought to fruition. The developer has suggested that he got several offers from industrial interests. So why didn't he take them? Why sit on a piece of property that is causing you problems when you can sell it to someone who can build as of right? Maybe because there are already lots of empty warehouses in the vicinity and no one in their right mind will pay $10 million to build one here from scratch.

The very fact that the lawsuit was brought is what has kept the church standing. I wouldn't call that a loss.

As for the reasonable, realistic solution, it has already been offered - the land swap - and this takes into account the needs of ALL parties, including the city, the developer and the community. The people who we need to sit down with in order to make this happen are acting deaf and dumb, so a little screaming is warranted. Pols would rather listen to the ring of cash registers than to pleas from their constituents.

Christina Wilkinson said...

Research submitted to NYC:

Cultural resources survey
Archaeological survey
Environmental survey
Historical records
Info about possible burial ground

In addition:
Handsigned petitions from people living within 3 blocks of the church
An online petition containing the names of more than 1,000 supporters
Letters from elected officials, including Dennis Gallagher
Letters from historical and architectural societies

Our land swap proposal in detail.

Anonymous said...

Christina- now we are getting somewhere. Most likely, the developer isn't selling now because if it gets the zoning change, the property will be worth more than it does now as an industrial zone. Your research is fine, but I think your weakness is not understanding the point of view of the city. What will be a major factor in the city's decision to take the property and maintain it as a park? Funding. Budgeting. For example, if you can show a study that a park will lead to increased property values, and thus increased assesments in the adjacent area, such increases in taxes paid to the city would make the project more palatable. Historical and archaeological studies are fine, but they really won't sway the decision much at the city level. A land swap may be a good tool to get this done, but it doesn't address all of the city's concerns.
The second major factor in your favor would be strong community demand for a park. I don't know what your petition says, but signing a petition is easy. A third-party, unbiased survey with detailed questions to obtain community opinion would carry more weight. Would all these residents be so in favor of the park if it will directly lead to them paying higher taxes? I don't know, but if so and the demand is that strong, it should be evidenced in a professional, concrete way.
I am not against the preservationists on this issue; I am trying to offer an opinion from a person with success in negotiating deals on how you may be able to do a better job on getting your result. I believe that the tone taken by those fighting this cause has led to some misdirection and has been more harmful than productive.

Anonymous said...

"What will be a major factor in the city's decision to take the property and maintain it as a park? Funding. Budgeting."

Maybe the mayor should have thought of that before he decided to promise to create a park within 10 minutes walking distance of every city resident. He should explain why the people in this neighborhood are the only ones who will not have a park as promised.

Christina Wilkinson said...

"For example, if you can show a study that a park will lead to increased property values, and thus increased assessments in the adjacent area, such increases in taxes paid to the city would make the project more palatable."

This was done already. The park as the center of a revitalized community. The plan calls for the re-opening of the Maspeth LIRR station and the re-opening of storefronts in the vicinity of the park. All three will improve property values, and add more tax money to city coffers. The mayor doesn't want to hear about it because he doesn't care about this community, which is why he is now "open" to the idea of Cross Harbor again after saying he was opposed to it to win re-election.

"Would all these residents be so in favor of the park if it will directly lead to them paying higher taxes?"

The city has billions of dollars in surplus. There is no excuse to raise taxes to fund the conversion of this property into a park, especially if a land swap is used. Will we pay higher taxes because the city decided to turn a rusty railroad trestle into a hundred million dollar park? We have the money to do that.

The mayor says we need trees; he had the opportunity to save 185 of them. He failed at doing so and should explain why.

Christina Wilkinson said...

Oh, and we have a 501(c)3 open already and are accepting donations for the acquisition and upkeep of this property, to answer your other question.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the mayor can just donate his money to your 501 anonymously and dig himself out of his self-dug hole on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Please - it is not the fault of the people trying to save this property. It is the fault of the city who favors the rights of developers over the rights of its citizens. Rarely is the right thing done in these situations, only the greedy thing.

Queens Crapper said...

Actually, I have to disagree with the "professional" who is posting here. The newspapers have reported that Councilman Dennis Gallagher is standing in the way of having this property saved. When the civic org. approached the mayor's office, and asked Tony Avella to follow up on it, he was told that the city didn't want to get involved because the "local councilman is against it". Why a city agency would refuse to listen to a community advocacy group because of the selfish actions of a political asshole is beyond me.

Hopefully he'll go away real soon and his district will elect someone who actually cares about the area rather than about lining his/her pockets with foreign developer money. And hopefully it won't be too late to save the church by then.

Anonymous said...

Re-opening the LIRR would significantly add to the scale and cost of this project, and require the involvement of the MTA. Maybe federal money from the congestion pricing plan could be used for it, but of course the Queens complainers are against that too.
The city currently has a surplus, but it has long-term projected deficits that the Mayor, wisely, is planning for. You can naively sit there and demand the city fund this project without a plan for the source of funding, and you can petulantly whine that the Mayor doesn't care about the community, but that will not get you anywhere. The Mayor is a smart businessman who is acting as a prudent administrator. Many people are happy with the progress in city planning made under this mayor, in all boroughs. The city is willing to develop the High Line because it is part of a massive development of an unused and under-utilized part of the city that is bringing in billions of dollars of private investment. It is a smart move.
I am all for persistence, but my point is that in this situation, intelligent, reasonable proposals that actually take the concerns of all parties into account (which have been lacking thus far) will get you much farther than taking righteous stands and making divisive claims against the Mayor.

Anonymous said...

The problem here is not the lack of a plan but rather the fact that the city is failing to meet the needs of its taxpaying constituents and doing the bidding of a corrupt councilman rather than looking out for the best interests of this NYC neighborhood. There is absolutely no reason for why the administration can't even sit down with the parties involved. A land swap is a perfect solution for all parties unless the mayor has a problem actually keeping his promises. That's something this "expert" fails to address. Why is THIS community left out of the plan? This is the question that requires answering. Until there is a satisfactory answer, I say keep the heat on all involved.

Anonymous said...

This professional sounds like Matt Gorton, who uses the talking points of Mayor Bloomberg as his mantra.

The next rally will probably be at his house.

Anonymous said...

Actually, reopening the LIRR would not add to the cost of this project much at all. The stops along that line are platformless. All the train would have to do is stop for 20 seconds to let people on and off.

Julie said...

Yeah why doesn't the city at least meet with these people, then they could work on the solution together?

Anonymous said...

These are taxpayers, they should have access to city hall. No excuses.

Anonymous said...

Rallies and namecalling are what happens when your government doesn't allow you appropriate redress of grievances.

Anonymous said...

Since when do constituents have to come up with a plan to make their government happy rather than the other way around? What the hell kind of city do we live in?

Anonymous said...

" I think your weakness is not understanding the point of view of the city. "

The point of view of the city should be the point of view of its constituents (not the politicians, not the developers, nor what is good for the interests of someone who might move into new development)

End of discussion.

Astoria said...

One thing Matt Gorton never realized is that he works for the people. Last year in Astoria during the blackout he thought he was the mayor himself and above everyone else. We don't work for him.

When the Mayor leaves office Gorton must answer to the people for his misinformation during the Astoria blackout and his inaction, broken promises and lies on St. Saviour's.

Defending Bloomberg by putting the bottom line before our quality of life, heritage, history and health is typical of the Bloomberg rhetoric and his choirboy Gorton.

Gorton, the robotic Queens Community Assistance representative, surely needs a personality implant after he waits on line for a heart.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Gorton, did you know he was also up Gallagher's ass. He was seen in his office several times most likely plotting against St. Savior's.

I wouldn't be surprised if he was vying for Gallagher's seat or a position at some lobby firm.

At this point we must all remember Gorton's conduct regarding St. Savior's.

Anonymous said...

Christina,

What is the name of the 501?

Where can we send our donations?

Anonymous said...

How far is this place from Maurice Park?

Christina Wilkinson said...

The 501 is called Newtown Historical Society, the address is PO Box 790275, Middle Village, NY 11379.

Maurice Park is about 20 minutes away on foot.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea who Matt Gorton is.
Spending city funds (taxpayer money) prudently and maintaining good budgets is acting in the best interests of constituents. Throwing millions of dollars of city funds at projects whenever a civic group yells is not necessarily acting in the best interests of the residents of this city.
Remember, under existing laws in this free country, a private citizen or developer purchased the property, owns it, and can demolish what is there and build on it as long as the owner complies with applicable codes and regulations. We are not asking the city to redress a (legal) wrongdoing, but to step in, spend a lot of money, and provide an outcome above and beyond enforcing existing laws. In order to do that, we should be negotiating professionally and setting forth the relevant facts and arguments to persuade the city to our point of view. We all would like the same end, but I believe that more productive means can and should be used to achieve this end.

Doomberg said...

The right to breathe clean air is also a necessity. The people who live around St. Saviour's do not have that luxury. Chopping down 180 trees does nothing to improve the air quality.

Anonymous said...

This is a purely ironic suggestion:

Convince our "elected" officials to back the creation of a park on the site of St. Saviour's by offering to name the new park "PARKSIDE" in "honor" of that "famous" slick lobbying firm !


Wadda ya think !

P.S. and it is to feature a 'hanging tree"..... whereupon any future despoilers of Maspeth are to be hung by their pink manhood until pronounced blue !

Anonymous said...

"Spending city funds (taxpayer money) prudently and maintaining good budgets is acting in the best interests of constituents. Throwing millions of dollars of city funds at projects whenever a civic group yells is not necessarily acting in the best interests of the residents of this city."

Thats right. If you let people taste power they may even think its their right to exercise it. Not a penny!

Now we have millions for Team Gioia to improve scenic Vernon Blvd and plant tress so the developers can sell buildings.

Ah, the aroma of money! other peoples money! taxpayers money!

Don't worry! The money of people who live around St Saviours is being used to its highest and finest use - good God fear not! Its not wasted on them!