Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Welcome to the Parks bureaucracy

Daily News columnist Denis Hamill followed up with Dorothy Lewandowski about Queens park conditions and of course she gave a myriad of excuses as to why our parks look the way they do. Which led Hamill to conclude with:

Seems like help is on the way.

Until you request an area code 718 Queens number to put in the newspaper so Little League execs and coaches can call to volunteer.

Then a Parks spokesperson tells you to have them call 311, so that your request to help the department can be screened by the Big Brother of the Mayor's Office and then ground through the bureaucracy while the outfield grass grows another 6 inches.

This is a runaround and not helpful.

Therein lies the problem.

Save Ridgewood Reservoir comments:

This begs the question, If there aren't enough workers to take care of the existing [ball] parks, why destroy the unique habitats at Ridgewood Reservoir to create another one?


Anonymous said...

The main reason the parks are so dirty is that the vast majority of park employees are absolutely worthless. We'd be better off firing the lot and going down to Roosevelt avenue and hiring the guys standing on the corner. They'd give you an honest days work.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. I cannot comment on the competency of the employees, but as an active user of parks, beaches and gardens, I have seen too many people think that they are lord and lady bountiful and that the municipal employees are their personal maids and manservants.

If you can carry it in with you, you can carry it out with you. If the sign says, "Don't step on the grass," obey it. We need lawns, not cement.

Don't leap into the flower beds-- the annuals and the bulbs don't plant themselves and won't necessarily grow back. Keep your children under control and out of deadly riptides, poison ivy and other natural hazards.

We are entering a new era of tightened belts and we need to call on our common sense, good judgement and respect for others to weather the upcoming storm.

Anonymous said...

Tell that to those here temporarily who don't care how they trash the parks.

Honest Joe's Buddy said...

I donen no whatcha beetchen abou.

De park it is fine.

En my coontri we git a feeld wi dirt. No problm.

besbal, escocca, no problm.

Anonymous said...

Is it my imagination or does she look like she's hailing a cab?

Anonymous said...

Oh, I feel sooo good. A political hack has made a promise.

Such much for hard hitting street wise journalism.

A freakin joke.

Erik Baard said...

There are many legitimate criticisms to be made of Parks, but Commissioner Lewandowski is no "political hack." She worked her way up over decades from her start as a park ranger, as has Commissioner Benepe.

I am absolutely opposed to taking away wild spaces for artificial turf, or even a "natural" lawn. And some work from Parks gets terribly delayed -- yes, including work undertaken with help from Commissioner Lewandowski. Things get gummed up in large organizations and inter-agency coordination.

That said, however, she's done amazing work creating the NYC Water Trail, supporting local park volunteer groups, and following through on her commitments.

Anonymous said...

"Amazing Work"

Now that is an Amazing Statement.

That boy will go far in Queens.

Anonymous said...

This is Queens not Manhattan. The mayor and his cronies don't give a damn about us except come election time.

Anonymous said...

Good God, Eric, have you no self respect with this pandering to the developers and pols?

Ever walk in Flushing Meadows?

Woody Pecker said...

Welcome to the Queens Parks tour. Please put on your official NYC "I Love New York" blindfolds (paid for by our current mayor) and do NOT remove them until told to do so. Thank you for coming and do not ask any questions!!!

Erik Baard said...

"Amazing work" -- there was no NYC Water Trail, and now there is a vibrant one, growing each summer. I stand by my statement.

As for pandering to developers and pols, I don't. Commissioner Lewandowski isn't a politician, first of all. As for actual politicians and developers, some things they do I like, some things I don't. I just tend to speak out on what I like and work to guide what I don't like toward what I do.

Anonymous said...

On 6/12 2009 PlanNYC planted 19 trees across the PS159 playground ballfield in Bayside Queens at 205th St. and 33rd Ave. Instead of the kids in the community being able to play baseball, roller hockey, etc, the 19 asphalt holes will now accommodate the turds for the dogwalkers.

There was a recent writeup in the Queens Trib and one school age kid was quoted "they are ruining my park." The parks department should hire this kid as he has more common sense than our officials.

While it is important to plant trees in our neighborhood, doesn't it seem ridiculous for the city to plant them in the middle of ballfields?

The senior facility and the toddler facility are always fenced and padlocked. There are no swings, drinking fountains and, due to the strange placement of the new trees, no future ballplaying.

Who are the playground facists holding the keys to this facility? Shouldn't neighborhood kids be able to access their parks? Taxpayers are funding 195 playgrounds-to-park conversions at the cost of $3 million per playground by 2010.