Thursday, June 28, 2007

20 year success?

The Department of Parks has been claiming that their offleash privileges has been a 20 year success. This blog has pointed out several flaws in that claim, now here's one more. The following quote is from an article that was published in Time Magazine April 05, 1999 . It mentions a parks department plan to hand out cellphones to volunteers so that they can call the PEP police whenever they saw an unleashed dog in the park.

"I decided that I'm no longer going to remain a victim of my fears. The New York City parks department, which claims dogs do $250,000 worth of damage each year to park lawns in Manhattan, is going to hand out cell phones to volunteers willing to turn in owners of unleashed dogs. Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern told me that he would put me on the list for a phone but that the program hadn't been started yet because he was waiting for a cell-phone company to give him some second-hand ones."

Here's the full article.

Parks department study released

Should I be suprised by the following article?

* * * * * * * * * *
June 27, 2007
Study Criticizes Parks Dept. Management

The quality of the typical New York City park is determined largely by whether it is in a wealthy or poor neighborhood, according to a study to be released by a private nonprofit group today. The report also indicated that despite budget increases in recent years, the Parks Department is not doing enough strategic planning to manage its parkland properly.

“About one of eight parks citywide is not in acceptable condition, and there is a significant correlation between a community district’s share of parks in unacceptable condition and its average income level, ” according to the report by the group, the Citizens Budget Commission.

The study, called “Making the Most of Our Parks, ” is the latest analysis to suggest that city parks have devolved into a multitiered system, with parks operated by nonprofit groups like the Central Park Conservancy and the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation at the top, and parks that are in poor neighborhoods and are run by the Parks Department at the bottom.

“The challenge facing our city in the next century will be to create a park system that can take the successes of parks like Central, Prospect and Bryant and match their managerial prowess with additional public resources to provide a quality park for every neighborhood in New York City, ” the report said.

The Parks Department did not disagree with the group’s main findings yesterday. In a statement, Warner Johnston, the department’s spokesman, said the agency’s performance had been steadily improving.

“As documented in the C. B.C. report, park conditions have improved dramatically across the board, with the greatest improvement in parks in poorer neighborhoods, ” Mr. Johnston said. “We agree that more can be done to develop more sophisticated analytical tools for measuring park use and worker efficiency. ”

The report found that while the Bloomberg administration has increased financing for parks over the past several years, the Parks Department has failed to collect data regarding how many people use its parks and for what activities, at what times particular parks are most crowded, and how much money is required to maintain specific parks.

The information the Parks Department uses to determine which parks need additional resources, some of which comes from periodic park inspections, is “inadequate for effective management, ” the report said.

In contrast, the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation, which runs Bryant Park, keeps data on everything from the number of people who sit on the park’s benches at a certain time of day to the ratio of women to men who use the park.

That information is then used to make decisions about what new programs to offer.

Among the report’s recommendations is for the city to allow the Parks Department to keep a larger share of revenue from concessions generated in city parks. Currently, only Central Park, Bryant Park and a few others are entitled to keep some or all of the funds raised from activities like food sales or field rentals.

The report said creating a new fund from concessions revenue could be used to pay for park improvements and to reduce the cycle of borrowing that has been used to pay for large-scale park overhauls instead of daily maintenance.

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Let's just give them all the parks

The following thread from the "Brooklynian" forums was forwarded to me by a friend. I have to wonder if the dog is actually arthritic or the owner just a lazy, inconsiderate jerk. I think the exchange below speaks for itself. So much for the Parks Enforcement Patrol's ability to control leash law scofflaws. I recommend that anyone concerned about the offleash issue spend a little time reading some of the dog forums, especially the ones in Brooklyn. You will quickly learn that there are some real prizes running around the city parks with their dogs unleashed. (actually, the dogs are usually running around and the owners are standing around drinking lattes, chatting with their friends and completely clueless to their dog's activities)

Dog Park for Prospect Heights?

Author: Slayer
Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:29 pm

Post subject: Dog Park for Prospect Heights?

Is anyone else tired of driving to the dog park in Brooklyn Heights or walking to the always crowded dog parks in Prospect Park? I wrote an email to Assemblymember Jeffries (who is the state assembly member for district 57 which covers prospect heights) over two weeks ago about opening a dialog which would grant us some space for a dog park here in Prospect Heights, and I haven't heard a word from his office.

If anyone else would like to contribute to this cause, you can reach him via email at:

If he doesn't reply to my request to start a communication about this by the middle of July, I will make an appointment to see him in person.

Show your support! Keep our dogs healthy!

Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:00 pm
Post subject: Dog Park for Prospect Heights?

Prospect Park is crowded?

The dogs have the run of the entire long meadow for a few hours every morning! There's Dog Beach at the other end of it! Our dogs already have it incredibly good as far as park access...

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 1:49 am
Post subject: Dog Park for Prospect Heights?

Yeah, but that's in Prospect Park.

I'm on Bergen and no way could I walk my 12 year old arthritic dog all the way to the long meadow and back. He sure would enjoy the grass but he'd collapse by the time we got there. Plus, that meadow has gotten out of control. At least it was a few years ago when I still took Cheech there. He ended up getting kind of freaked out by the sheer number of dogs there so we stopped going.

Not everyone can get to the designated dog runs, I'm in a kind of dead zone where they are all too far away. Even though I'm more CH than PH I think a dog run in PH is a great idea. And before we get someone complaining about dog parks being dangerous and wanting to do away with them all. Think about this. A dog is much happier and calmer when it has regular exercise and playtime. Dogs that are never allowed that freedom (but need it) tend to be more agitated and high strung. Some dogs don't need it as much as other dogs. I know every dog I've had was much better behaved when they were able to run around somewhere and get the "crazies" out.

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 12:05 pm
Post subject: Dog Park for Prospect Heights?

After I moved from PH to CH, I also had to figure out how to get my little dogs to the park, it's now a long hike. Have you looked into one of the little covered wheelie carts that attach to the back of your bicycle? During the week, the park is not crowded at all, especially if you go early, around 6-7am. I feel for you and your 12yr old, but the way things are going here in PH, I feel like the PEOPLE are being run out and dogs matter even less than that. Sorry. Good luck with your quest. Sometimes squeeky wheel gets the grease.

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 3:11 pm
Post subject: Dog Park for Prospect Heights?

Go to Mount Prospect Park - it is doggie friendly 24/7, unofficially of course. But especially in the mornings....

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:10 pm
Post subject: Dog Park for Prospect Heights?

"Go to Mount Prospect Park - it is doggie friendly 24/7, unofficially of course. But especially in the mornings...."

First there were the unofficial morning and evening off leash hours. The off leash contingent won their case in court for the 9am 9pm hours.

Now it's unofficially 24/7 "doggie friendly" off leash hours? Now we are looking at off leash ALL THE TIME? Whatever happened to people-friendly parks?

It may be hard for some to believe, but there are people who are afraid of dogs or just don't want to deal with other people's dogs, and they would like to be able to use the parks too. Why on earth can't dog owners respect that?

Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:00 am
Post subject: Dog Park for Prospect Heights?

oh yes, I know where that is. I didn't know it was called Mt Prospect Park.

Great, thanks! Main Index -> Prospect Heights Forum | Message Boards

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Parks Department "steals" parks from the public


For Immediate Release

For More Information please contact:
Sheelah Feinberg
(212) 838-9410 x302
(917) 626-4276 mobile

New York, NY---Today, the Franchise Concession and Review Committee voted to approve the controversial contract between the City, the Randall’s Island Sports Foundation, and 20 private schools.

“From the outset, we said that the City should not endorse a pay to play policy for parks, which this proposal creates. Public access to public parkland has been an underlying principle since the creation of the first public park in New York City. Today’s vote clearly violates that principle,” said Christian DiPalermo, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Parks.

“We thank Borough President Stringer for voting against this proposal and we thank Council Member Melissa Mark Viverito for speaking out in support of the public. It’s unfortunate that the City Administration and Comptroller Thompson did not see the value of improving this deal for the good of the public,” said DiPalermo.

The Randall’s Island proposal is between the City, 20 private schools, and the Randall’s Island Sports Foundation. In exchange for giving the City $2.85 million dollars a year for the next 20 years to renovate and expand the ball fields, the private school consortium will have exclusive use of some ball fields on Randall’s Island during peak hours, 3-6pm, on weekdays, during the school year.

New Yorkers for Parks believes this vote has set a dangerous precedent of limiting public access to public parks which can affect city parkland from Governor’s Island to local neighborhood parks.

DiPalermo further stated, “We must do everything possible to make sure this type of privatization doesn’t spread throughout our precious park system.”

Thursday, June 14, 2007

NYC Comptroller audits

Since the information is available online, I thought I would list audits of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene from 2001 until now. Next time I'll list state audits of the department, as well as, the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Audit of the Licensing and Monitoring of Summer Day Camps by the New York City Department of Health

Audit Report on the Tracking of Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels by the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program of the New York City Department of Health

Audit Report on the Shelter Conditions and Adoption Efforts of the Center for Animal Care and Control

Audit Report on the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Auxiliary, Inc., of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation

Audit Report on the Inventory Controls of The Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, Over Non-Controlled Drugs and Medical and Surgical Supplies

Audit Report on the North Central Bronx Hospital Auxiliary, Inc., of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation

Audit Report on the Development and Implementation of the West Nile Virus Integrated Data Management System By the Department of Health

Audit Report on the Development and Implementation of The Enhanced Syndromic Surveillance Data Capture System by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Follow-up Audit Report on the Collection Practices and Procedures of the Health and Hospitals Corporation Related Medicaid Managed Care/ Heath Maintenance Organizations

Audit Report on the Development and Implementation of the Electronic Death Registration System By the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Audit Report on the Development and Implementation of the Disease-Tracking System, PRIME, By the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Audit Report on the Enhanced Pest Control Program Of the Department of Health

Audit Report on the Inventory Controls of Kings County Hospital Center, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, Over Noncontrolled Drugs and Medical and Surgical Supplies

Audit on the Effectiveness of the Compliant Inspection Program for Food Establishments by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Follow-up Audit Report on the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Wide Area Network

Audit Report on the Inventory Controls of Bellevue Hospital Center Over Noncontrolled Drugs And Medical and Surgical Supplies

Audit of Early Intervention Payments by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Follow-up Audit Report on the Administration of the Enhanced Pest Control Program by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Audit Report on Cash Accountability and Controls at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Office of Vital Records

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Do you know this woman?

She is known by many people only as the Jack Russell Terrier woman and she has the distinction of being the most obnoxious off-leasher in Prospect Park. She has taken the words "inconsiderate" and "self-centered" to another level. It isn't enough for her to use the 108 acres that are designated as off-leash areas between 9PM and 9AM, she needs her dogs unleashed anywhere she wants and at any time. That includes lifting her dogs over the fences that are designed to protect sensitive habitats, so that they can run around in those areas. In some places she just destroys sections of fence allow her dogs access. To add insult to injury, she has threatened physical harm to anyone who asks her to leash her dogs or tries to take her picture. I know of at least half a dozen people who have complained about her, as well as, most of the staff of the park's landscape management crew.

If you know her name and would like to help keep the park safe from unstable individuals like her, please send an e-mail here.

The local precinct would also be interested in speaking with her. You will remain anonymous.