Monday, April 15, 2013
Flushing Meadows development conspiracy continues
Exactly one month ago today, this blog published a post entitled, "How phony park groups, the press and elected officials are conspiring to develop FMCP". It generated a bit of buzz within the activist community, but the media coverage of the Flushing Meadows issues unfortunately has not changed. In fact, it has only gotten worse. We can now add Claire Trapasso, reporter for the Daily News, to the list. Here's what she wrote about FMCP this past week:
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall came out in support on Friday of the $500 million proposed expansion in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park — provided the USTA make some significant concessions. The plan must still be approved by the City Council.
The USTA, which holds the U.S. Open in the park every year, has come under fire from community advocates who have accused it of being a “bad neighbor” and seeking to use 0.68 additional acres of parkland in its expansion — without being required by the city to replace it elsewhere.
Notice how there's absolutely no mention of the fact that the USTA does not need to take additional parkland in order to build what they want to build. Also, real park activists have called for disapproval of the project, not approval if the USTA replaces parkland.
Holly Leicht, executive director of New Yorkers for Parks, called Marshall’s conditions “a good step forward.”
“It’s an important precedent” that privatized land be replaced, she said. “Otherwise, it becomes too easy to privatize public parkland. We have so little parkland.”
But she said she would like Marshall to take it further and require the USTA to make annual contributions toward the upkeep of the park.
There's Holly Leicht promoting the privatization of parkland again, when she is supposed to be protecting it from development. Another "park defender" who fails to mention that the USTA doesn't need the land, but if they want it, it's ok, so long as they replace it and throw a little money around. This is unacceptable and dangerous.
Not quoted are NYC Park Advocates and the Save Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Coalition. I can only assume that was deliberate.
What's also been left out of all this coverage is that the Parks Department is the one that said the USTA should not be required to replace the parkland. It actually wasn't the USTA!
Dana Rubinstein of Capital New York also did a piss-poor job of covering the USTA issue again this month.
We know that we get the representation we deserve. Do we also get the press coverage we deserve? Or is something else going on here?
Kudos to the Times Ledger and the Queens Courier for at least publishing Op-Eds by Bob Harris and Geoffrey Croft that are critical of Flushing Meadows development even though all the local papers save for the Queens Chronicle seem to think that the projects in the park are just peachy.