Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Melinda Katz pretends to care about preservation

The following e-mail, which was forwarded to yours truly, is quite something.
Dear all:

An organization, the NYC Landmarks 50 Alliance has been formed to promote commemorations of the 50th Anniversary of NYC’s Landmarks Law in 2015. The goal of the Alliance is to utilize the 50th Anniversary commemoration to stimulate the understanding of the wider public as to how the Landmarks Law helps to preserve and enhance the quality of life for New Yorkers, and visitors alike; and to further the recognition of the general public that the preservation movement is, at its heart, a grassroots cause whose proponents represent the vast diversity that is New York City.

Many organizations throughout the city, including the Offices of the Borough Presidents are planning and scheduling programs to commemorate next year’s 50th Anniversary of New York City’s Landmarks Law, signed by Mayor Robert Wagner on April 19, 1965. In Queens we all share great pride in the nine historic districts, over fifty individual landmarks and many other historical places that enrich our lives.

On behalf of the President of the Borough of Queens, Melinda Katz and in collaboration with the Queens Preservation Council, I invite you and your colleagues, as representatives of preservation, neighborhood and/or history-related organizations to plan and schedule some of your future programs in celebration of this milestone anniversary.

We turn to your knowledge, experience, and expertise in planning programs that will inform and educate the public about historic preservation, architecture, history, and culture in our beloved borough. Program formats can be as varied as your imagination allows – tours, lectures, panel discussions, author talks, exhibits, performances, film screenings, workshops, family programs.

Borough President Melinda Katz would like to meet with all of you on Thursday March 26th @ 4pm here at Borough Hall to plan our activities.


Nayelli Valencia Turrent
Director of Cultural Affairs and Tourism
Office of Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

Why is Melinda Katz, the biggest destroyer of preservation causes in Queens in the last 15 years, hosting this event? Shouldn't Jack Eichenbaum, our borough historian, be leading the effort?

Her biggest preservation feat thus far has been lighting up the NYS Pavilion.


G.M.N said...

Politicians pretending to care....

Anonymous said...

Jack Eichenabum? hahahahahahahahahahah

Anonymous said...

Jack Eichenbaum was chosen for borough historian over the more qualified candidates BECAUSE he is pro development and anti preservation. Naturally, he's now on the board of the Queens Historical Society, which is the organization that should be leading this effort. Who the hell is the Queens Preservation Council? I've never heard of them and I've lived here my entire life.

Anonymous said...

The QPC has nothing to do with Queens. Rather it is a concern based in England and established by the British monarchy in 1948 to preserve historic landmarks and British heritage .

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't Jack Eichenbaum, our borough historian, be leading the effort?


Anonymous said...

Queens Preservation Council used to be the History Advisory Board was something chaired by a series of Queens Borough Historians. It meets monthly but there were years where it met not at all. Mostly QHS attend. No agenda, no minutes, but it has it uses:

Its a bit link a 'Labor Unions' under the Soviets where little was 'labor' and everything was 'soviet.'

georgetheatheist said...

Sound and Light tourist must-sees:

1. The Roman Forum
2. The Temple of Karnak
3. The NYS Pavillion.

Anonymous said...

Why is Melinda Katz, the biggest destroyer of preservation causes in Queens in the last 15 years, hosting this event? Shouldn't Jack Eichenbaum, our borough historian, be leading the effort?

Because everyone else in NYC is doing this so she has to. Of course, it will have that unique Queens twist:

First, there is money for this which gives her a chance to allocate funds to her favored few who can make tedious safe speeches in seminars that completely miss the real issue of the disgraceful state of preservation in Queens.

To look like this is a united effort under the 'umbrella' of Preservation Council, the rest of us will be assigned some space in the lobby where the seminars are happening for an informational table that gives us a chance to hand out literature to Queens College students.

As to Jack....Do you really really want him to lead the effort and make Queens sound like a tour of some zoo (ah look, Peruvians and over there, Taiwan .. no Cantonese!)

Besides remember his nominations for the Amex Partners in Preservation? Not only bizarre (that diving platform), but came in dead last on the list in almost every entry.

Hell Gate Kid said...

The QPC has nothing to do with Queens. Rather it is a concern based in England and established by the British monarchy in 1948 to preserve historic landmarks and British heritage .
See how educational this place is?

I tell you, some of the finest people anywhere can be seen in the 'oddly charming' streets of Crapland.

ron s said...

We love landmarks
We're celebrating
Do something and then tell us what you are doing because we can't and don't care to do anything meaningful in this area.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't that dude Mel Katz have the title "King of Queens Crap" rather than "Queen"? Come on - just look at her, er, him.

Richard Iritano said...

How about preserving, conserving and landmarking the wrongfully evicted 'Triumph Of Civic Virtue from Kew Gardens, on December 15, 2012, Madam President Katz? My colleagues and I (Mary Ann Carey, Jon Torodash and Robert LoScalzo), are waiting for a follow up meeting with Director Nayelli Valencia Torrent, and Director Barry Grodenchik, since our face-to-face meeting took place at Borough Hall last year, on Tuesday, April 8, 2014. Since last April, all of our collective e-mails and telephone calls have not been returned, as our community and public supporters continue to languish, despite vocal, public demands for Civic Virtue to be returned to its pedestal and fountain base (that we've requested to also be repaired for a fully operational fountain and statuary to prevail upon a restored plaza), while ironically, Brooklyn residents continue to enjoy our taxpayer-funded restoration of the statue that is now on temporary loan to Green-Wood Cemetery. This critical issue must be publicly addressed for democracy to rightfully prevail. Therefore, it's upon you to work with the community's wishes by returning this precious marble work of beauty to its rightful, gifted home in Kew Gardens without further delay. We will see you at the meeting on March 26th. Also, how about a common courtesy reply to our e-mails and phone queries? The democratic eyes and ears of Queens County awaits your response with interest!

Anonymous said...

Do something and then tell us what you are doing because we can't and don't care to do anything meaningful in this area.
oh no no no! everything has to be scripted if its going into the media!!! the auditorium must be full even if its from a freshman sociology class. headlines with something in flushing meadow or a fire house.

of course you can to something on your own, hell you can do anything you damn well please ... in front of 8 people. perhaps even a sentence or two in community calendar.

Anonymous said...

Give it a break Rich. We got a lot more serous issues than that here.

Richard Iritano said...

The public plaza that defined Kew Gardens for 71 years with a prominent statue like the 'Triumph of Civic Virtue' (a gift from Mayor Fiorella LaGuardia, in 1941),has been blighted for more than two years, since the statue's publicly unauthorized eviction that was enforced on December 15, 2012. My organization, Civic Virtue Task Force, has been making strenuous appeals to BP Katz and her Director, Nayelli Valencia Turrent since members of my organization met with her, and Director Barry Grodenchik, on April 8, 2014, requesting Civic Virtue's rightful return to Kew Gardens. The statue is presently on temporary loan to Green-Wood Cemetery, despite how Queens taxpayers paid for the statue's repair and cleaning that is now being enjoyed by the residents of Brooklyn. Public outcry on the statue's return to a working fountain base has been unwavering, yet Borough Hall continues to retreat into silence. I appeal to you Madam President, to meet with my organization's members (Mary Ann Carey, Jon Torodash, Robert LoScalzo), in addition to Community Board 9 and its Chair, for due process to prevail upon its subjects for a vote by the Board to return Civic Virtue to its public plaza in Kew Gardens, on Queens Boulevard. Once that is accomplished, we would then like to address the issue of landmark status for this historically relevant statue of epic societal value and relevance. We look forward to meeting you on March 26th.

Anonymous said...

and failing that, how about that committee of concerned citizens sponsoring a competition among 3 dimensional artists for a new work to be put in its place? Maybe we can get an offer of funding to cover costs as well...would hate to see what we get from our local officials (so far it's an empty pedestal and a chain link fence)!

Snake Plissskin said...


The statue was sent here by the city as a dig to the endemic corruption in the borough that dates back to the time of Boss Tweed. The rest of the world has moved on (well except possibly New Jersey) but Queens has remained in the rut of a small clique of third stringers ruling over an apathetic clueless lot that get worked up over nothing, or as in the case of this, something stupid.

The politicians wanted this to fall apart so they could get rid of that stigma that LaGuardia placed at their door step. By shipping it off the albatross is off their back, and now they have the opportunity to make a monument honoring the things that are meaningless to us, but deeply important to them: the leadership of the fine ladies of Queens from the fiction of Queen Catherine, to the fiction of Shulman, Marshall, and that current occupant of that filthy dreary building next door.

Again, get over it. If the people of Queens are so hopeless to do anything about their communities getting ruined they sure the hell ain't going to do anything about this.

We do not need useless distractions.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me borough president Katz....two successive beeps have been responsible for the destruction of the historic RKO Keith's Flushing theatre. Firstly, it was Donald Manes who did not support its landmark status, which led an the abridged designation....covering only the ticket lobby and grand foyer. Secondly it was his accomplice, Claire Shulman who WOULD NOT support the reinstatement of the full interior landmark designation that her boss Manes shot down. Lip service does not equate with performance. If one examines the history of the office of the borough presidency, you can glimpse a sizable list of corrupt beeps. The office has served developers. Not that there is anything wrong with sensible development which is balanced with intelligent historic preservation. Unfortunately, the balance is not there. Preservation has been all talk and no walk! I have served on the boards of 5 preservation organizations....including two terms on the Queens Historical Society...and I can say that the office of beep has done little to support historic preservation, aside from providing some token grant money. Enough said. Prove me wrong.

Jerry Rotondi said...

There may have been a computer glitch. I intended to sign that last here it is....JERRY ROTONDI !

Richard Iritano said...

I'm wholly aware of the history behind Civic Virtue's move to Queens, as ordered by Fiorello LaGuardia (and the intended message that he conveyed to this always corrupt borough), Mr. Anonymous. Get over it? Thank goodness that I don't have you as a member of my organization---where throwing up your hands in the air and giving up is acceptable to you, instead of fighting for the return of a statue that should never have been absurdly moved at our expense in the first place! Maybe you are accustomed to looking the other way, but certainly (and thankfully) not I (and all of my dedicated members of Civic Virtue Task Force), who continue to challenge authority, ill conceived and self-serving decisions, and finally to take a stand for freedom of choice and democracy to reign in over our tone deaf, jaded politicians for the benefit of all Queens residents, to whom they purportedly serve--and whose residents deserve art that has a critical and vital message. Consequently, organization continues to advocate for not only Civic Virtue's essential return to Kew Gardens---but for a unified demand for civic virtue itself to return to Borough Hall, and for the newest generation of leadership (female or otherwise), to lead by honesty and ethics that must always be manifested from within local city government. And that's why it's not only important for the statue's actual return---but for the message that the statue has always conveyed and personified. Give up, you say? What's next on your list of looking the other way, First Amendment rights? A fight to demand Civic Virtue's return, is so much more than merely advocating for the statue's proud and prominent display on Queens Boulevard---it's the message and ethics that embody the art itself. Now, if you can't understand that, Anonymous, well, I don't know what else to say in order to help you to understand basic civics, for the benefit of all humankind. Unless, of course, you approve and condone of taxation without representation!

Richard Iritano said...

Also disturbing (among many Queens disturbances at Borough Hall), is how I haven't been able to properly discern any heroic acts and/or labors of love of Queens County from Helen Marshall (all cake and ribbon cutting ceremonies), Claire Schulman (her favorite word was 'No' when it came to preserving various projects in Queens), and Donald Manes, who left this earthly coil in epic fail and disgrace. What have any of these false, fake and failed leaders ever done for Queens---except making it far worse for their purported subjects to continue living here with dignity, (over a litany of reasons that were already named)? Now, Melinda Katz is up to bat, and after 15 months, the repeated strikes far outnumber the hits. Between the collective defiance, uselessness and mediocrity of all borough presidents and their staff of entrenched cronies (not to mention the entire city council and public advocate positions), why are we, the overburdened taxpayer still paying for patronage jobs that don't even pretend to address the needs of their constituents and communities? In fact, for decades the Daily News has been calling for these wasteful jobs to be abolished. Alas, if these purported leaders were to hold the same posts in private industry, well, they's be bankrupt before the second padded payroll came due!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anonymous. Get over it? Thank goodness that I don't have you as a member of my organization---where throwing up your hands in the air and giving up is acceptable to you,

To my dear Friend "Richie Beef"

You have no idea who I am nor what you are taking about.

No f*n idea.

Your friend,

"Mr Anonynous"

Richard Iritano said...

Mr. Anonymous, please save your B-list drama antics for acting school. It's inappropriate, and not germane to this argument, let alone civil discourse, which I have always maintained, where you have now crossed the line into a predictable online bully tactic that I like to correctly call, 'Attack And Retreat,' and 'Accuse And Evade.' . Not only do I not care who you are, but your terse statement that wrongly suggests that I don't know what I'm talking about is way off base, and I've got the solid membership of more than a few concerned, professional citizens who actually care about Civic Virtue's rightful return to Kew Gardens (where we strenuously continue to challenge authority at Queens Borough Hall, the Public Design Commission and the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services, to name but an exalted few public service agencies who continue to behave like unresponsive tyrants), and it doesn't stop there, nor should it! Because that is what is required for a true and accountable democracy to work properly (and it's finally time for all Queens residents, and their collective voices in unified demand for accountability, transparency and justice to prevail upon corrupt, dishonest, shady, disloyal and elitist politicians, to start actually working for overburdened taxpayers like me, and to also finally start treating their fed up constituents with respect, fairness and dignity, instead of raw sewage). In fact, even if you chose to reveal to Queens Crap what your real name and identity are (instead of choosing a protective cover like 'Anonymous'), it still wouldn't persuade or influence my position with regard to your last, terse, fear mongering and alarmist reply. Because I, along with my organization's mission (Civic Virtue Task Force), is to always challenge ALL publicly elected authority without fear of repercussion, while always talking truth to power, that NEVER attempts to airbrush reality. In the end, you may not like to hear what I have to say---but that doesn't mean that I am wrong, much less to give you license to make condescending, untrue statements that don't serve your personal inner circle and platform. Unless, of course, you yourself are one of those entrenched, tone deaf politicians who continue to blight, destroy and ravage Queens County with a vengeance (as the public be damned again--and still), as well as all abrogated standards in ethics that capriciously led to the destruction of Civic Virtue's public plaza statuary in the first place, not to mention the apparently feared message of the statue's public art work itself that has public servants running for cover (as in to cover their own self serving political asses). The last time I checked, First Amendments rights, along with freedom and democracy were still Constitutional rights that allow all citizens a voice without harassment and/or bully tactics. Based on your last reply, one wonders if Boss Tweed is still reigning over City Hall in purgatory, because what passes for leadership today is at least as false, fake and failed as it was back then---if not far worse, as evidence by your closing reply. No one here likes a bully with an ego. Stay on point, and do it respectfully, please!