Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Times covers up Parks Dept's Heritage Field debacle

From A Walk in the Park:

The blogosphere lit up on Friday after the New York Times published an embarrassing front page above the fold story on the replacement parks as part of the building of the New Yankee Stadium. Apparently the 'Newspaper of Record' couldn't find a single person who had anything negative to say about anything. The problem is they did.

First, Field Of Schemes's Neil deMause weighed in and then Atlantic Yards Report's Norman Oder. That in turn prompted a response from one of the contributors and editor of this news site, Geoffrey Croft, to respond.

The city's vile rhetoric was not exclusive to the Times. Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe continues the administration's, "Who Are You Going To Believe, Me Or Your Lying Eyes?" campaign in comments to WNYC where he insults the South Bronx community, who for the rest of their lives, will be impacted by the actions of Mr. Benepe's boss and state legislators. The Bloomberg administration apparently thinks its not enough to cause irreparable harm but also to continue to insult the poorest community in the country.

The Yankees Win. The Yankees Win. - Geoffrey Croft

From a letter sent to Atlantic Yards Report by the author of A Walk in the Park:

The Yankee Stadium controversy has not gone down the memory hole, as the Times would have its readers believe. No, the Times has instead chosen to ignore this issue as they have done since Day One. Unfortunately for Times readers the editors never felt this was a story so is was ignored. During the Stadium and parkland approval process a Times editor famously said of the community not being aware of the impending project and initially not mobilizing opposition more quickly and strongly, "they should have known."

For Bronx residents - and for the taxpayers at large - it's not enough they will have to forever endure the impacts of this irresponsible project, apparently they will now have to continue to suffer the indignity of irresponsible coverage in the "Newspaper of Record."

According to the New York Times, everything is swell in Yankee replacement park land. I'm happy the Times reporter thought the fields looked nice, and her reporting discovered people playing on them on the first day they were open felt the same. With the enormous taxpayer funds used to build them and the delay is this really a story, much less a front-page story? Obviously not.

They chose not to report on a story that impacts some of the poorest people in the country. This is shameful, irresponsible, but unfortunately not surprising.

For the truth, read the Broken Promises report.


Anonymous said...

Ok, you hate the Times. Got it. Remind us again-- since your article did not-- exactly what are the issues the poorest people in the country are now facing with regards to this beautiful new park? You missed that part.

Queens Crapper said...

That's why I included links. Either you are too lazy or too stupid to click on them and educate yourself or you enjoy being a troll.

Just a sample of what you would have found if you bothered to look:

"The new fields are open to local kids, but only when not under maintenance or being used by teams that buy permits."

Many kids grew up without their neighborhood park just when they could have most used it even though they were supposed to have had it years ago.

The plan calls for replacing large linear parks that provided active recreation with smaller park features spread out in many areas and over wider distances – up to 1.4 miles away – some on top of parking garages.

More than half of the replacement parkland the City is relying on to meet its obligation has existed as mapped parkland that the public has used for decades.

Former park amenities such as a heavily used natural turf ballfield and an asphalt ballfield are not being replaced with similar active recreation facilities. In the case of the asphalt ballfield, the City has simply refused to acknowledge its recreational use.

Parkland acreage previously used for active recreation is being replaced, in part, by a concrete pedestrian walkway. Some of the replacement acreage is also passive park acreage from other projects that were either promised under other park plans or previously unrelated to the stadium project.

The replacement plan substitutes parkland that was free and open to the public with a significantly larger pay-to-play tennis concession – in a flood zone.

The replacement parkland plan also carries significant environmental and public health impacts. The project destroyed 70% of the community's mature trees, and aims to convert much of the previous parkland's natural features such as grass into artificial and impervious surfaces. The health benefits provided from the previous natural park features were numerous and critical to the well-being and safety of a community that suffers from the highest asthma rates in the country. As noted in the project's environmental impact statement (EIS), the health benefits from the replacement trees alone won't be realized for decades, if ever.