Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Learn the importance of parkland

Dear Editor (Queens Chronicle):

Madison Square Garden, AEG Live and Founders Entertainment, extremely wealthy entertainment giants, are seeking to use Flushing Meadows Corona Park for paid-for-admission music festivals this summer. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz has launched a pre-emptive strike against such use and she is correct.

For too long the NYC Parks Department has been complicit with myopic politicians and wealthy special interests in dumping all sorts of intrusions that do not belong in an urban park like FMCP. It is the most abused park in our municipal park system and that abuse must stop. The Parks Department fails to understand FMCP is important for many Queens residents who do not have summer homes or rear yards in which to relax during summer months. The park is wall-to-wall people during the summer months. Large paid-for-admission events are nothing less than an unwarranted commercialization of public park property which must never be permitted, and particularly as to those with political connections. There are many nonpark facilities in this city that would be available to these entertainment giants.

That Mitchell J. Silver, the NYC Parks commissioner, said he would explore a new rule to approve live large scale multi-day events in the park is unacceptable. It should immediately be rejected with no ifs, ands or buts. Mr. Silver’s attempts to compare this proposal to a charitable AIDS walk in a park or to concerts in other parks that are over in a few hours, free to all persons who which to attend, is political nonsense. There is a difference between such short, free concerts and those events that last for days, that people must pay to attend and given the inadequate parking in the park, will result in mass parking on park grass throughout the park. Public park users will for all practical purposes be denied use of their park so billionaire entertainment owners can make more money and the little people who use and need the park be damned.

Over 100 hears ago Frederick Law Olmstead, the genius who created Central and Prospect parks in this city and important parks elsewhere, said:

“The survival of our park system requires the exclusion from management of real estate dealers and politicians and that the first duty of our park trustees is to hand down from one generation to the next the treasure of scenery which the city placed in their care.”

If Mr. Silver is not familiar with the above or if he is uncaring about its meaning, it would suggest he has no place as an urban parks commissioner. If Mayor de Blaisio is likewise unfamiliar or uncaring about its meaning and fails to prevent Mr. Silver, his parks commissioner, from further desecration of FMCP, he should be aware it will be an issue he will have to confront should he seek re-election.

Benjamin M. Haber


Anonymous said...

What did you expect from a'progressive' Parks Commissioner?

Anonymous said...

Katz is in for an epic battle.
MSG, Clear Channel and the Dolans will keep coming back like tiger mosquito's. And once they get in will take over the park like they did every other theater, venue, shed, shell and billboard in the country. This locking everybody else out (and competition) out in the process.
This was once called "Monopoly" and illegal.
The payola, IA contracts & promises are always so high nobody reads or even discusses the boiler plate.
Katz must hire expert lawyers who know these waters, investigators and fight this greed and corruption at all costs.

If allowed this will turn out like those tennis people.
If anything offer them ONLY the New York State pavilion lease in exchange for 90 million dollars to restore it and use the vacant old amusement area on the other side of the LIE for parking. These thugs paid far more restoring the Jones Beach Theater (now called Nikon so all can pretend) and will pay it.

Hey, Come to think of it perhaps this parks commissioner visions building himself a new job running $28 $40 a car parking lots and "hospitality tents" for the big spenders lots like they did in Jones beach. Anythings possible with this sneaky "back room" underhanded bullshit.

JQ LLC said...

The pernicious influence of corporate event planners and producers and over priced farmer and "foodie" market shit on all our parks have become a plague.

Interestingly, all these jackals are so hard up to plunder the parks that they overlook the fact, or do know but don't care, how decrepit it is. Is the raison detre for the decades of neglect, that it can be privatized for it to finally get essential improvements? Kind of like the model the Blaz is pitching, make that already pitched for renovations at NYCHA housing.

Even more interesting is the reason that Katz is against this is that it will compete with her own concert series named after herself and will be denied the chance to perform herself.

Anonymous said...

"essential improvements"

Typical liberal bullshit talk for "progress"
As in what ? Bike lanes, glass boxes, yuppie shit and fancy office space for all the park dept lazy sons & son in-laws that don't want to work hard ?

Nothing wrong with the park it aside that nasty looking USTA monstrosity's. What left of this PUBLIC park just needs some restoration work. Then secure it and keep the bums out by enforcing laws already on the books.
It can be as beautiful as it was in 1964 without changes
Bringing in a dirty corporation to stage private hipshit fleecing operations is WORSE then selling it.

Anonymous said...

The Forest Hills Jewish voters do not want more noise in FMCP wafting over into their "bucholic" nabe.
They support Kat's re-election.
She will bend over to their wishes, as she has to her many developer pals.
Isn't tat what a political slut gets paid for?

Anonymous said...

If these events are so important, hold them in Central Park. Don't crowd the 7Train or Port Wash. LIRR...What is the draw from residents from Flushing, Corona or
Elmhurst for these events. Our elected city officials should block this along with Ms. Katz..