Sunday, July 19, 2015

Telling it like it is on Willets Point

Letter to the Editor of the Queens Chronicle:

An apathetic public is a hack politician’s best friend. That cannot be said of a group of concerned citizens who took on former Mayor Bloomberg, the City Council, the City Planning Commission, former Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, the Wilpons of the Mets ballclub and their affiliates Sterling Equities and Related Companies, who are for all practical purposes a cabal trying to usurp a large portion of Flushing Meadows Corona parkland that houses a parking field so private developers can construct a 1.4 million-square-foot shopping mall. The Appellate Division: First Department of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, in a unanimous decision, hit a home run in holding the proposed development was not sanctioned by law.

In heralding the court’s decision, the Queens Chronicle’s July 9 editorial, “A major victory, just outside Citi Field,” pointed out the developers’ claim that the 1961 law that allowed the construction of Shea Stadium also authorized the mega-mall was nonsense, as indeed it was.

Equally nonsensical were the claims by the developers that they could not proceed with the 2008 Willets Point plan without the mega-mall to generate the necessary money. The developers are billionaires, and the claim they needed a mall to make money is the height of absurdity. While accepting the 2008 plan, it is evident they never had any intention to pursue it, but only to use it as a wedge for other purposes.

Not only did Bloomberg, the City Council, the City Planning Commission and Marshall approve this charade, but they rewarded the developers with the property for $1, millions in taxpayer subsidies and the right to forfeit $34 million and walk away from any obligation to construct affordable housing, which was the lynchpin in the 2008 plan to begin with. $34 million dollars for these billionaire developers is tantamount to the tip one gives the youngster who delivers your groceries. Make no mistake once they had a mega mall, they would walk. Equally outrageous was Bloomberg’s saying Willets Point was a blight and had to go, when it was the city that caused the blight, collecting sewer rent when there were no sewers and letting the infrastructure fail.

These officials’ complicity in this sordid municipal episode would cause the infamous Boss Tweed to tip his hat in admiration. Mayor de Blasio has remained silent on the subject. There now exists a good opportunity for him to demonstrate to the public whether there be any real difference between himself and Bloomberg.

Benjamin M. Haber


Anonymous said...

You are 100% correct Benjamin !

Anonymous said...

Did CB7's land use committee, chaired by follow the buck Chuck Apelian have anything to do with approving the absurdity?

Anonymously Grey Gardens said...

It's the same Neo-Fascism and arrogance that led an evil, corrupt, ignorant and predatory succubus like Helen Marshall to spearhead the movement to physically remove and evict a 16-ton statue like 'Triumph of Civic Virtue' from Kew Gardens Plaza (like it was a broken toy soldier, no less), without any and all public review, due process and Community Board 9 approval.

Now, we have the newest predator du jour at the shaky helm of Queens County disparity, Melinda Katz, who is still bent on destroying the statue's fountain base with a laughable and obscene 'planted ruin' that was previously hatched by evil mastermind Helen Marshall herself, ostensibly to beautify the now blighted plaza---that they themselves blighted when they ordered the removal of a statue that a majority rule clearly spoke out against any removal at all---only that the statue be properly cleaned, conserved and preserved (at a cost of only $30,000, instead of the $200,000 taxpayer dollars that finally cleaned it, upon its displacement)!

In fact, no one was ever asked, much less wants, a planted ruin that is the foil for an unwanted, publicly unauthorized memorial to the women of Queens politics. The false female leadership are all a bastion of hyprocrisy, and a cabal of 'Pay-for-Play' sewer rats that have helped Queens County to now resemble the Fourth World of adversity, beggary, obscurity, quiet desperation---and, now a cultural wasteland, since the public, involuntary removal of the only monument of great art that demarcated Kew Gardens from Forest Hills, with an otherwise softness and allegorical purpose, that has now left a gaping void on the generic strip mall of Queens Boulevard!

Let's now take on the same corrupt and dishonest city bureaucracy to ensure that our beloved statue is returned to its home base on Queens Boulevard of nearly 71 years (the way former Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia intended this gift to remain in place throughout the annals of history), with the same speed and efficiency with which it was selfishly and maddeningly evicted--where it is now banished to the obscurity of a Brooklyn graveyard---and we paid for it!

Alas, it's more than understandable and evidently clear why a filthy, corrupt, dishonest, dishonorable, disloyal and contemptible, amateur politician like Helen Marshall would not want any range in her narrow (minded) vision track of Civic Virtue, because she herself (along with Claire Schulman, and now Melinda Katz), continue to breach public trust, ethics and integrity with an unrepentant, unapologetic impunity, that remains like an unhealed scar, long after they have faded away into oblivion.

Let's fight to bring Civic Virtue back with a purposeful vengeance---if only to show these arrogant, corrupt sociopathic, political leadership of epic fail that We, The People matter, and we demand that our public art and tax dollars be represented by a majority rule---and, not by any preconceived, secretive, back room decisions for our own good and welfare.

Queens County is not for sale, Melinda Katz, and neither is our Civic Virtue (our own, as wee as the statue itself, that is), that remains on temporary loan at Green-Wood Cemetery!

Death to Neo-Fascism rule in Queens! Bring back Triumph of Civic Virtue! The people have spoken, and they want their statue back!

Anonymous said...

Bravo, well said.

LibertyBoyNYC said...

That was inspiring! Long live Civic Virtue!

Anonymous said...

Little people and their complaints mean Nothing, lol
The Democratic machine owns the land,the track and the train
Keep complaining and your seat will go to an undocumented loyalist,
White Fright is so funny with no money or voice
Politics baby,its about the vote, you got numbers,didn't think so,Sit zdown and Shut up,were in charge now
And about those white politicians kissing our ass and selling you out,were almost done with them too

Anonymous said...

This ain't over. The courts and high priced white shoe lawyers will get heavily involved. Then the politicians will be paid off and a "fair compromise" will be reached which will screw Queens. Again.

Anonymous said...

I say we start a group to take back Queens from the phony, lying, scandalous, and incompetent politicians! Who is with me?

Anonymous said...

Let start with the NYC Council District 23 seat. Webrin is gone and hopefully we can get a politician who actually will do something for this district. I’ve gotten many flyer in the mail already from the candidates. I don't think these guys have a clue to the REAL ISSUES in our community.

Anonymous said...

Always make it a point to vote against Democrat Machine candidates and in turn flush the Crowley thugs down the toilet where they belong. TONY AVELLA for MAYOR!

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm. Methinks that Richard Iritano is just another pen name used by Liberty Boy, Hellgate Kid, Snake Plisskin, etc.
The pompous and lengthy writing style fits. We suspect that this is an Astoria wind that blows here.

Anonymously Grey Gardens said...

Hmmmm. Methinks that Anonymous is just another nameless, faceless, do nothing, know nothing sleepwalker of irrelevance, who revels in criticizing the REAL and verifiable work of others, as Anonymous himself/herself continues to add zero value to the many posts that he/she trolls, while accomplishing nothing!

Pompous? Lengthy? Go back to your Twitter and Instagram accounts for more of the same mediocrity, Anonymous! And, if you don't have the courage to identify yourself, then you waive your right to shoot off your mouth about the real accomplishments made by all others, when you yourself have NEVER contributed anything to this blog except stern criticism of my elbow grease.

And, that's why, ladies and gentlemen, crooked and corrupt politicians continue to breed and flourish here in Queens County with a vengeance (as Queens itself becomes the new cultural wasteland---where now, there REALLY IS no there, there!), and running the borough like a losing, illegal bookie joint for the past 50 years, no less, where the corruption, graft and systemic failure keeps getting worse by the hour---ironically, as loudest mouth Anonymous sits all the way back in his 'Lay-Z-Boy' recliner while taking cheap jabs at the real people of purpose and function like me, who are trying to improve conditions here---even for those who couldn't care less!

Alas, no good deed goes unpunished!

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with most of Iritano's comments on here, but he's spot on when it comes to Civic Virtue.

And who's the machine candidate in the District 23? Grodenchik or Lynch? They both seem to represent different parts of the machine.

Anonymously Grey Gardens said...

You may not agree with most of what I have to say, Anonymous---but, that doesn't mean that I am wrong.

Despite widespread public opposition over Triumph of Civic Virtue's unwanted eviction throughout 2012 (and laughable, paper tiger support from Peter Vallone, Jr. (to buttress his cradle-to-grave run for Queens BP, where he is now one of Cuomo's accessories of state paid, political worthlessness, along with Floyd Flake, Christine Quinn and only Waldo knows who else!), and even weaker representation from Elizabeth Crowley (who considers lunch and a manicure a stressful day in her vision of public service), the examples of lost democracy keep getting worse by the hour, where public voice, credo and edict are disregarded with impunity---and heaven help anyone who presents a credible challenge, for any pretense of openness, transparency and what the people want (and already paid for), as public art in their own backyard! That's how Neo-Fascism operates: slowly and progressively ordering away our barely noticeable rights and freedoms (and replacing them with fear and paralysis)---until there is no freedom left at all, except a police state of unchallenged obedience (like the Stasi police in East Germany)!

No matter how much challenge and opposition that is presented by a purportedly free and democratic, taxpaying public, the outcome at Borough Hall is always the same (as with every other city and state governed agency in NYS), and it reinforces a dangerous, unlawful, exclusionary process of decision making that completely ignores and abrogates city charter laws and good government practices---which are both missing in action from this administration, like nothing else!

Further, there are other candidates from which to choose than Grodenchik (a political hack with a record that strains all credibility---and he doesn't even live in the district; he lives in Flushing), and Rebecca Lynch (who is likewise a product of the political machine, with no public service record to speak of, except the lofty connections that are wielded by her parents).

And, then there is Celia Dosamantes, a fresh faced, young, ambitious (for the right reasons), self starter with a solid record in the Albany legislature, with commendable service within Queens County and Long Island, that I personally research and verified.

But, why is there such palpable opposition against someone who is young, talented, not jaded and not entrenched in dirty politics? Because she has clean hands---and that kills all of the other candidates, because they simply can't rival a record that is clean and unblemished.

Check out her record and background, then, and don't rely on propaganda, marginal reporting and neon yellow journalism. Judge for yourself. She recently opened up a campaign office, headquartered in Hollis Terrace, on Union Turnpike, at 212th Street.

In the end, isn't it always better to allow new members into the country club, instead of relying on the same, ineffective formula of hopelessly false, fake and failed leadership that continues to maintain a 'Delay, Deny And Hope That You Die' platform?

Sunshine is the best of all cleansing agents---along with new candidates with unblemished records. Otherwise, it's virtually impossible to expect a different result!

Anonymous said...

Benjamin Haber has been on the side of truth and justice from the beginning of this Bloomberg debacle. He was at the meetings , the protest rallies and the hearings in City Hall where they kept us waiting for hours to be heard. This latest letter in the local papers is one of many that have clearly pointed out that we were being sold out by big business for a dollar.
It's refreshing to see that a small group of people can still stand up for a cause and the courts decision validates their views. This is a David vs Goliath story, but will the giant rise up and try again and try to sell their mall?
If it does I'm sure Mr. Haber will be back and give them a fight.

Anonymous said...

Another thread hijacked by Irritating Dick. Unfortunately he is real. Google and you can see how he has made a career of whining that the taxpayers owe him a big payout. This article, the letter, and the editorial are about the park, Richard, not that statue you fap over.

Anonymously Grey Gardens said...

Unfortunately, the real irritant and hijack here is you, 'Anonymous' fool! Once again, this is not about me---it's about every Queens taxpayer whose rights continue to be violated by empowered, public idiots who keep brazenly rejecting public review, city charter laws and our guaranteed Freedom of Speech, rights and freedoms to decide what our tax money should be spent and allocated.

But, since you are yet another sad, anonymous impostor, who wouldn't know how to work together, in order to challenge dishonest and corrupt authority if it bit you below your wallet, then please stop attacking my rights and freedoms to talk truth to power, and finally get something accomplished (instead of sophomoric name calling and mental laziness, as a substitute for any pretense of competence and/or leadership that leads by example), while you cowardly hide under anonymous, dysfunctional cover (with not a single helpful answer, no less), as you continue to do nothing---and know even less!

Apparently, you yourself are part of too many societal deficiencies to name, which, ironically doesn't stop you from attacking the real work and progress of others. Climb back into your empty cave, then, resident troglodyte, until evolution finally prevails upon you!