Letter to the Editor (Queens Chronicle):
I do not understand what has happened in the “city so nice they named it twice.” We used to be a city of people who stood up for what was what and made no bones about it. When did that change?
Now here in Queens we have our elected “representatives” (I use the term lightly) selling out the very people they swore to represent. There are three large projects undergoing public review, which would significantly sacrifice acreage of parkland within Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Yet several elected officials are on board with the developers. They are in effect speaking for the developers instead of their constituents.
They tell us that the theft being perpetrated upon all of us is exactly what we need and want. They speak of “public-private partnerships.” They speak of the wretched conditions of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, yet they do not speak of their incompetence, inability or unwillingness to fund the very same park. They tell local business owners that these projects are a good deal. They do not tell the local merchants that there will be no increase in business. Every stadium has its own restaurants that cater to all types of clients and this one will be no different. These stadiums are built as cities unto themselves, complete with pro shops, restaurants, fast food joints and vending machines.
They also do not tell these merchants that the added traffic, without added roads and parking, will only force a crackdown on parking, possibly eliminating valued parking in front of their establishments. Think about it, Northern Boulevard already has no parking westbound for the morning rush hour, and no parking eastbound for the evening rush. What is going to happen on all the other streets when the roads become blocked!
Julissa Ferreras represents the district that will be impacted the most. Most of her constituents use the park on a daily basis during the summer. They play soccer and cricket and have picnics, festivals and a myriad of other events in this park. Yet, she is leading the charge to take the parkland away. Borough president candidates Barry Grodenchik, Melinda Katz, Leroy Comrie and Jose Peralta have all remained silent on this issue. They want the seat of borough president, yet remain silent while the borough gets robbed. This is not acceptable!
Are we to stand by and allow our park to be taken from us? Are we to stand by and allow our “representatives” to represent businesses instead of us? Has it become OK to accept whatever it is they give us because they do it with a smile and a nod? They only feign care and concern when we get upset. Just because they speak to us in a calm manner in the pretense of being civil does not mean they are being civil.
Enough already. The time is now. Stand up, New York. This is our park! There is no deal to be made — our families, our children have rights to this park. Not USTA, not MLS, not Mr. Wilpon and Sterling and Related Companies! This is our land.
I urge you to call your representatives, and tell them “No, to the land theft at Flushing Meadows Corona Park!”
Malba Gardens Civic Association
Coalition to Save Flushing Meadows Corona Park