|Photo from A Short Story|
Supporters of the stadium point to the drab condition of the once-iconic Fountain of the Planets and claim building atop this long-neglected space will improve the park. But the current state of this historically significant park - under-resourced and ill-maintained for decades - is no rationale for further privatization. Five years ago, the Parks Department unveiled an ambitious plan for the park that included a proposal to fill in the Fountain of the Planets to create a great lawn - a vast, central gathering space which the park sorely lacks - and to daylight the Flushing River to help ameliorate the park's endemic flooding and drainage problems. New Yorkers for Parks calls upon the city to make this part of the park the grand public space it has the potential to be rather than giving up on it and turning it over to private hands.
Hey Holly, why is it ok to privatize other parts of the park? Why is it ok to hand over sections of the park to the USTA and the Wilpons in return for contributions to a park maintenance fund, but not cede another section to MLS for the same thing? In fact, you support the Wilpons not providing any replacement parkland under a bogus 1961 agreement and the USTA's proposal to swap land that the City already owns and the public already uses.
To be clear: regardless of the terms of the deal, the design of the stadium, or any offers of replacement parkland, New Yorkers for Parks cannot support a private stadium in the heart of Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The location is simply wrong, and no modification or mitigation can make up for the loss of this vital open space.
But you can support an additional tennis stadium and a mall?
How about some consistency? Where were New Yorkers 4 Parks and the Fairness Coalition last week during the CB7 meeting?
A much better opinion piece appeared in the Queens Tribune:
Stop The Nonsense
Mayor Mike Bloomberg certainly has a way about him. From the very beginning of the discussions to bring a soccer stadium to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the Mayor has alienated a large segment of Queens residents with his plans to alienate a large segment of Queens parkland.
And with each new announcement, the Mayor’s gung ho approach to get this stadium built continues to appall.
The introduction of Shiekh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan as a potential team owner was bad enough for some people. Then, on Monday, Mr. Mayor seemingly arbitrarily decided that any parkland taken from Flushing Meadows Corona Park could and should be replaced at the vacant Flushing Airport.
No discussions have been held, no negotiations have been made public and it seems as if no one in Queens has been contacted to discuss these plans.
Perhaps Mayor Bloomberg should just announce that process be damned, we’re doing things his way. At least then Queens residents would have an honest idea of what is actually going on.
Isn't that what he always does?