Thursday, January 19, 2006

"Yankee Plan Destroys Parks" OpEd in Norwood News

The following is a reprint of the Letter to the Editor in the Norwood News dated January 12-25, 2006:

Yankee Plan Destroys Parks

At some point, Yankee management decided that the cheapest and easiest way to fix up their stadium was to build a new one on the site of 2 community parks: Macomb's Dam & John Mullaly in the Highbridge community of the south Bronx. Their objective is to raise more revenue. The highly negative effects this project would have on the host community played little, if any, role in their calculations. Elected officials and the media, however, who are expected to put the needs of communities first, to protect democratic principles, and who decry public apathy, blatantly discarded their obligations in a shameful parade of pandering to the "Billionaires' Club”!

First in line to genuflect to Yankee management was the Bloomberg Administration. They signed on as advocates of the project which means that all city agencies and their employees have to support not a public works project, but one that will ultimately augment revenue for a private conglomerate! As the project goes in front of the Department of City Planning, it features the spectacle of city employees judging a project backed by their city employers! Who will put their job on the line? Should city planners be placed in such a position? Needless to say, the community's right to a fair and impartial hearing is severely if not fatally compromised.

Forgetting that community parks are vital to children, the elderly and the disabled, especially in a neighborhood where few can afford to go elsewhere, state legislators in an ostentatious display of obsequious behavior, casually and with no dissent, voted to give the parks to the Yankees.

They must have suspected that the community would object and solved this complication by what amounts to a secret vote. There was no meaningful outreach, the impending vote was not announced, and no testimony from the community was taken!

Even though the community won the vote of Bronx Community Board 4, the next parade marcher, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, also manifested obeisance.

Aware of the extreme opposition of the community to the project, Carrión locked the doors to a public hearing on Dec. 12 and kept approximately 150 community residents on the street in sub-freezing temperatures, thus preventing people from exercising their right of free speech in an open meeting.

Absolutely shocking is the final marcher in the parade of pandering: the major television and print news media (Gary Axelbank's BronxTalk, the Bronx News, a couple of local papers and AM-NY excepted). They have imposed a virtual blackout on reporting community opposition. They have hardly reported -never mind condemned- the massive violation of democratic rights that the Highbridge community has endured.

These events are a clarion call to all community organizations in all five boroughs to obliterate their self-imposed borough and community boundaries and to unite so that such a flagrant violation of democratic principles and community rights which is taking place in the south Bronx, never happens again there or anywhere else in the city. All communities must realize that precedents which will affect them are being set: if the Yankees takes the Highbridge community parks, their community park will be next to fall to private developers; if the politicians and the media permit democratic rights to be trampled in Highbridge, their rights will be pulverized in the future. All communities must realize that their member of the City Council will vote on the project.

This is our city, it belongs to the hardworking citizens who obey the law and pay the taxes. We cannot allow our lives, our communities to be torn asunder and destroyed for the revenue benefit of billionaires who are increasingly turning the city into a playground for their own benefit. We cannot allow politicians to violate democratic rights and have the media help them to get away with it. We and only we, the concerned citizens of New York City, can stop this dangerous trend, reaffirm democratic rights and restore respect for communities all over New York City. Save Our Parks (SaveBronxParks@yahoogroups.com) asks all NYC communities to condemn the new Yankee Stadium proposal and to stand with us in the City Council!

John Rozankowski, Ph.D.

The writer is a North Fordham resident and member of Save Our Parks and The Ravens: Friends of Poe Park.

4 Comments:

At 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, and what of the "democratic rights" of those who support the project? Proof of this: this a website that is created to promote an opposition (scratch that: HOLY opposition) to a specific plan. Certainly, you're not going to give "equal time" to those who disagree with you because that defeats the very purpose of the blog.

This is the big problem with SOCIALISTS and COLLECTIVISTS who think they are more sanctified than everyone else. Who is this "We" you're talking about? You get on that pedastal and rant about the rights of the disposessed, the poor, the sick, etc.. You don't want to admit that each person is an individual. All these other classifications aren't always permanent. You don't speak for me but only for yourselves and the group of people who surround you. Getting together to petition the gov't on a particular issue doesn't make it a "collective right" but just getting together to petition the gov't on an issue. There is no true definition of what that is but you certainly think there is.

 
At 6:24 PM, Blogger Save Our Parks! said...

Those who support the project are welcome to organize, start their own blog, contact their elected representatives, stand in the cold and rain to get petitions signed, etc, etc.

We don´t need to give "equal time" to anybody. That is a dead concept that applied to the tv corporations as guardians of the airwaves. This is a blog.

And this blog does publish opposing views (see other comments on other posts) but only when they aren´t filled with lies or insults. Your comment just barely makes the grade.

As far as your last paragraph, we have no idea what you are talking about. Why must you drag politics into this? You may be interested to learn that we have representatives from across the spectrum in our organization. And that all we want to do is protect our homes, parks, and community from the encroachment of a megastadium.

But thank you for your comment!

 
At 7:59 PM, Anonymous ALEXANDER HAMILTON said...

johnny boy your wrong, we coined the phrase" alienation of our public parkland to private developers to pay per use facilities " in 2002 when we started fighting alone vs. gouliani phoney gangster golf course at ferry point park. this rotten policy was perfected even worse under benepe,with carrions blessing, as we warned years ago would spread like a cancer in all our parks. vancortland,mullay,macoombs,randalls is, and were it started ferry point.unless speaker quinn can be on our side you can kiss our free parks goodbye. the FERRY POINT PARK WEST COALITION.

 
At 12:08 AM, Anonymous the infamous LESLIE LOWE said...

may god bless the ferry point coal. they had the balls to stand up alone and fight this alienation of our parkland years ago. this will come to haunt rudy & judy. & mikee money bags & benepe.

 

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