Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Calling out the tweeders on soccer plan

Letter to the Editor (Times Ledger):

Pols care more about real estate interests than parkland

Major League Soccer has once again demonstrated its lack of transparency and legitimacy in what was supposed to be a public hearing, but was in fact rigged in an attempt to make it appear there was minimal opposition by ensuring that those opposing were kept out of the main auditorium and relegated to a basement area (“MLS pitches Queens stadium,” Dec. 6-12).

MLS is involved with private, for-profit businesses and couldn't care less about the issue involving usurpation of public parkland. While disagreeing, one can understand MLS, since its pursuit of money is paramount to the public interest. What one cannot understand and should not tolerate is the Queens elected officials who for years have evidenced their ignorance concerning the importance of parks in a congested urban society and have consistently participated in dumping on Flushing Meadows Corona Park with all sorts of illegitimate structures that do not belong in it.

A case in point is Borough President Helen Marshall, who thought it was a good idea to build a grand prix racetrack around Meadow Lake and a huge New York Jets football stadium in the middle of the park. Her anti-Flushing Meadows activities are so egregious as to qualify her as the park’s Public Enemy No. 1. Not any better are state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) and state Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights), supporters of MLS and who think it is good for the economy.

If it is economy we are talking about, why settle for pennies? How about a 50-story luxury apartment building or a Macy’s? They are hereby challenged to state publicly whether they would support a stadium or other private business interests in Central, Bronx or Prospect parks for so-called economic reasons. One should not hold his or her breath waiting for an answer.

Term limits will rid us of Marshall but not Peralta and Moya, whose support for MLS makes it clear their rhetoric about caring for the poor and the middle class is empty and speaks more of an affinity with the rich and the privileged. Recognition that urban parks are a resource that cannot be replaced should be an important election issue, and one seeking public office who does not support that should not be elected and those already in office should be denied re-election.

The public must be alert to politicians’ attempts to beguile them with justification for their failure to protect the park by claiming Flushing Meadows is different from other parks. This snake oil must be rejected because there is nothing in the City Charter that designated the park as “different.” This is a phony claim manufactured by Donald Manes, a former discredited borough president who wanted to turn the park into another Meadowlands sports complex, presumably to be named after himself.

This charade had been followed year after year by intellectually bankrupt politicians more interested in real estate moguls and private business interests than the poor and middle-class users of the park.

It is to be noted that Donovan Finn, a SUNY Stony Brook professor of urban policy and environmental design, was correct to point out that there is no such thing as parkland in disrepair since it should be repaired and made usable as parkland. He was also correct to point out that replacing Flushing Meadows land with decrepit land elsewhere and not even contiguous to the park is unacceptable.

There is other non-Flushing Meadows land elsewhere available for a stadium, but why should that interest wealthy soccer club owners who would rather have free public parkland than pay for property in the open market?

Unless the public wakes up and demands the end to the continual desecration to this park, Manes’ dream may become a reality and bring an end to a much-needed and -used park so vital to our community.

Benjamin Haber


Jerry Rotondi said...

If Peter Vallone Jr. gets to be borough president,
there will be a price tag on every "underutilized" piece of land left in Queens, including public parks!

Who do you think the Vallones lobby for ?

Real estate DEVELOPERS, that's who!

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it Donald Manes that once said,
"Queens has nothing but land, and I intend to develop every bit of it"?

Well, here you go...the "Manes Manifesto" is still in full swing!


Anonymous said...

MLS could go and buy Willets Point land and compensate the business owners at fair market rates LOL!

King Ning said...

Want to know what the problem is? It's the "D" which identifies the reptile representing the communities. This city is the epitome of the "one party state" because the ignorant and freeloading voters keep electing these bums. Don't complain when you are the cause.

Anonymous said...

Two tennis (the older one's still there) stadiums, one baseball stadium and a new soccer stadium...ALL in one of the MOST CONGESTED vehicular traffic interchanges in the city?

Are you TOTALLY DAFT, man?

The MLS trolls are posting early today!

Put it in Brooklyn!
Marty Markowitz wants it, so let him have it!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of our future boro president Vallone - check out how Elmezzi came in and classified western Queens as a slum so they can seduce all the waterfront projects with their Plan 136 and make them touts for development .... that will displace them while daddy is an ... ah .... lobbyist.

Add to this Willets Point, Barclay Center, NYU in the Village, Columbia in upper Manhattan and anyone with deep pockets and Flushing Meadows.

Study this. Then come up with a plan to short circuit them all.

Anonymous said...

New York is Democrat country. One party, now and forever, right? No competition. No new blood. No new ideas. No debate. No challenges. No change. Now and forever. Wake up, or stop complaining.

Anonymous said...

New York is Democrat country. One party, now and forever, right? No competition. No new blood. No new ideas. No debate. No challenges. No change. Now and forever. Wake up, or stop complaining.

to what - the Repubicans? the Greens? Occupy WS?

Anonymous said...

read your Constitution : CHECKS AND BALANCES GOVERNMENT will solve many of our tyranny problems.

Anonymous said...

If the Republicans/Working Families Party/Greens ruled this city I don't think there would be any improvement. It's exactly as you said: a one-party system has no incentive to challenge the status quo. As long as voters continue to vote down party-lines instead of making informed decisions, the city has not a chance in hell of turning around. We all know of great people in our communities that are not involved in politics. It's time to bring in new blood and put pressure on The Powers That Be by encouraging our outstanding neighborhood leaders to set their sights higher for the good of the community.

Anonymous said...


Maybe we need an out and out Communist mayor, to put things in the hands of the proletariat.


The DEMS ("Ds") don't run NYC....the real estate industry does!

Both Republicans (if there are any left) and the Democrats are merely their $2 dollar whores.

Who do you think supports both parties with campaign contributions?

Democracy is only an I-max 3D illusion.

We are all just fiddlers on a slipery rooftop...trying to scratch out a decent tune...without breaking our necks!

Anonymous said...

Previous poster:

the problem of bringing in new blood is the politicians will then spread ice cream money to the current corps of second stringers to trip up the reformers.

Remember that the reformers will clean house and there are a lot of dead wood around the hacks that would get tossed overboard.

Taming them is the problem.

Anonymous said...

Previous poster.

The remedy is to vote out ALL incumbents.

Stagnant waters breed corruption.
A swift moving stream runs clear.

CLEAR OUT the cobwebs from government by changing pols regularly!

Would you wear the same undergarments for 3 days running?

Anonymous said...

Make sure that the reformers who replace the olde tymers get rotated out of THEIR jobs.

TERM LIMITS FOR EVERY POL, no matter how small!

ALL that this complainer ever does, is complain.
offer us a viable SOLUTION or two beyond words!

Matt said...

I am curious about the uniformity of the negative sentiment towards there being a soccer stadium in Flushing Meadow Park. While the details of the deal should be heavily scrutinized by members of the community and pols alike, I can't think of a single more appropriate place for a soccer stadium than Flushing Meadow. Putting the centerpiece of our contribution to the "world's sport" in the most diverse part of our country's most diverse city seems like a no brainer.

Obviously, adequate replacement of parkland is paramount, as well as structuring a deal in which 1. MLS uses no public funds for construction and 2. MLS has real and enforced stewardship responsibilities for the park. The idea of MLS taking care of the park (or at least a portion), running youth and development leagues, etc., sounds great to me. Especially considering this sport is already a huge part of the culture of our immigrant communities that often reside close to the park. Public transport is an issue, but the infrastructure for it is already in place. It will simply be a matter of adding additional subway and rail service.

The original post, as well as all of these comments, do not even attempt to explore any positives, of which there are many. Not the least is the creation of something the entire borough can coalesce around and that is accessible and supportable by Queens residents of all classes and cultures.

Anonymous said...

Hey Matt! How's the trolling going? Here's a buck. Go buy a clue!!!

Anonymous said...

I wonder what Claire did for Matt to have him come here and laud the stadium proposal. What a schmuck (with a capital ASS)!!!

Anonymous said...

Professional soccer is not popular enough in this city to justify taking public land. It does not, as you say, cross cultures and classes. Yes, every weekend you see groups of recent immigrants play scrimmages but do you really think they would pay $20+ for a ticket? They already root for other international teams and have no pride in American sports, anyway.

Even the Mets cannot keep New Yorkers in the seats! We'd end up with a worthless stadium and once you take that parkland it will never return. Why FMCP? Why not pursue land elsewhere? How about Central Park?

Anonymous said...

Yep...Matt, the troll...goes to the mat for his employers.
How thin your cover is Matthew!