Thursday, February 02, 2006

1/31/6, Metro NY: "Residents balk at Yanks’ latest pitch"

Residents balk at Yanks’ latest pitch

by patrick arden / metro new york
JAN 31, 2006

WESTCHESTER SQUARE — Before a friendly audience at a chamber of commerce luncheon yesterday, New York Yankees president Randy Levine made his best case for building a new baseball stadium and parking garages in 22 acres of parkland opposite the House That Ruth Built.

The plan has met with fierce resistance from many residents, though the city has vowed to spend $130 million on replacement parks. When some objected to the scattered parcels swapped for Mullaly and McCombs Dam parks, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion laid out a plan for a central park augmented by a separate riverfront parcel with tennis courts beside the Major Deegan Expressway.

“This is the borough president’s new park,” said Levine, pointing to a sketch on a flat-screen television. “I want everyone to see, with their own eyes, the truth.”

The majority of the new parkland would be contiguous, he said, and “all parking is underground, for the most part,” so the new rooftop parks would be at street level.

“All new facilities,” Levine bragged. “A $130 million investment in the parks in the Bronx that everyone acknowledges would not have taken place without the new Yankee Stadium being built.”

Opponents still question the quality of these parks.

“This area has a high asthma rate — 2.5 times the city average — and they’re putting tennis courts next to the Major Deegan,” said Geoffrey Croft, president of New York City Park Advocates. “They’re taking natural parkland in the poorest Congressional district in the nation. It’s environmental racism.”

“I don’t worry about the community criticism — I welcome it,” said Levine, who complained that much of that criticism was coming from “professional protesters whose job is to protest.”

Community benefits

Levine said the $800 million stadium would be financed by the Yankees, calling it “the largest private investment in the history of the Bronx.” Not counting the cost of the parkland it will sit on, more than $200 million in government funding will also be required.

He said that was an investment in the community. “This project will create thousands of construction jobs and at least one thousand new jobs at the stadium,” Levine said. “Hear me, jobs will go to Bronx residents. Hear me, during construction we intend to use Bronx contractors, we intend to buy Bronx and we intend to interact during and after construction with Bronx businesses. Hear me, we intend to work with the communities of the Bronx.”

He vowed to enter into a binding community benefits agreement to provide services to the area.

“If there’s a community benefits agreement with the Yankees, it will be the borough president’s agreement,” said Community Board 4 member Pasquale Canale. “The community doesn’t want the stadium — they’d rather have the parks. I told the borough president that the board voted against the Yankees stadium, and he said it didn’t matter. He sold us out.”


At 8:43 AM, Blogger Save Our Parks! said...

Calling us "professional protesters" takes the cake: the reason we couldn't protest the meeting where the Yankees announced the revised plan (it hasn't been revised; it is the same snake oil) was because we had to work. At the jobs that put food on our tables.

At 11:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yo adolpho your just a puppet controlled by stienbrenner. and if you think someday youll be mayor keep dont represent the people of this city. you aint half the man freddy is. and there are plenty of skeletons waiting to surface for you and gouliani at ferry point park !!

At 12:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

levine is following in the footsteps of another gouliani depy. mayor r. washington who created the scandal of the phoney gangster golf course at ferry point park. where taxpayers were secrectly fleeced out of 7 mil.$ & counting as mafia gangsters make tax free millions see daily news 8-14-05 golf mess suites mob to a tee. all with the blessing of carrion & provenzano.


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