Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Department of Parks working with the mob?

Here's an interesting article from the "New York Daily News" regarding contracts awarded to a company with mob ties. Had the comptroller's office not discovered this "arrangement", would the parks department still be working with the mob?

-Mob ties sink city golf course contract-

From the article:

"This situation never would have happened if the Parks Department had followed the law and sent us the agreement for registration prior to its implementation," he said.

In addition to this "minor" oversight, the Department of Parks and Recreation is currently being sued by the US Department of Justice as they appear to have violated Title VII by engaging in a pattern or practice of unlawful discrimination:

-Jury Trial Demanded in discrimination case-

And now we have the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation willing to compromise the health and safety of the general public to appease a special interest group that represents a tiny percentage of New York City's population. Shouldn't journalists be looking in to this questionable behavior, as well?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Public Hearing Notice

Click for full text (PDF file Acrobat Reader required)

Crime Statistics in Parks

Since I began this blog I've written on several occasions about claims that unleashed dogs reduce crimes. Tupper Thomas (Prospect Park administrator) has stated repeatedly that one of the benefits of the unleashed dogs policy was reduced crime. Well, I feel vidicated as "New Yorkers For Parks" just released NYPD statistics on park crime. From their website:

"In December 2005, NY4P helped to pass legislation that requires the city to report on crime in public parks."

Prior to that date the New York Police Department DID NOT KEEP PARK CRIME STATISTICS (except for Central Park, which has its own precinct). Does this make Tupper Thomas a liar? In my book it does, but what the media should really be asking is "Why is giving special privileges to a small interest group important enough to lie about?" Regarding the statistics for Prospect Park; for major felony crime complaints, April 1 – September 30, 2006, Prospect Park is the second most dangerous park with 25. Flushing Meadow Park is first with 35 and Riverside Park is third with 9.

Read the articles and see the statistics at "New Yorkers For Parks"

Monday, January 22, 2007

Parks Department Hearing

Here's an excerpt from "AMNY":

"Parks to hold public hearing on leash laws

January 22, 2007, 11:42 AM EST

The Parks Department will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to its dog leash laws Feb. 22, kicking off the final phase of a long-running debate over where and when the city's 1.4 million pups may run off-leash.

Anti-off-leash groups say untethered dogs are a threat to other park users while pro-dog groups say socialized, well-exercised dogs are less aggressive.

After several barking matches between dog proponents and foes, the Board of Health voted unanimously on Dec. 5 to amend the health code, allowing off-leash hours in parks that do not have dog runs.

Previously it had stated dogs must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet at all times.

Now Parks will begin its process of deciding whether to formally amend its laws on the books, and will accept comment from city residents before it makes a decision.

"The proposed amendment will simply ensure that Parks rules and regulations mesh neatly with the rules and requirements of other state and local agencies regarding dogs," a notice from Parks officials stated.

The Parks hearing will be held Feb. 22 at the Chelsea Recreation Center located at 430 West 25th Street at 1 p.m.

Those in attendance will have three minutes before a panel of Parks Department officials to present arguments either for or against rule changes that would cement designated off-leash hours.

Written statements can be mailed to the following address and must be received by 5 p.m. Feb. 22 to be considered:

New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
Office of General Counsel – Alessandro G. Olivieri
830 Fifth Avenue, Room 313,
NY, NY 10021."