Justin Krebs's blog

Harlem Debate, Debate Harlem Parks

Submitted by Justin Krebs on October 5, 2005 - 12:39pm.

Harlem's storied Apollo Theater was the stage for the first official Mayoral debate tonight. And what better place to debate how to improve parks services for all our communities than in a neighborhood that truly understands the value of its parks?

First Debate, No Mayor
Ferrer and Ognibene

From Riverside in the West to Thomas Jefferson in the East, Harlem residents have seen what smart investment in parks can accomplish. Riverside Park is now celebrated throughout the City, and capital improvements removed boulders from "Tom Jeff's" decaying soccer lawn and turned it into high-level athletic field in just the past few years.

But how can Harlem residents know that such investments will be properly maintained, given dwindling city funds and a strapped Parks Department? From the north end of Central Park, through Morningside, St. Nicholas, Marcus Garvey & Jackie Robinson, there's plenty of parkland to worry about and talk about.

The Mayor declined to attend the debate in Harlem... but you can find out if his Parks Department has been attending to Harlem's parks. Simply check out the New Yorkers for Parks Report Card on Parks.

A Park Grows in Brooklyn

Submitted by Justin Krebs on September 21, 2005 - 3:39pm.

Coffey Park in Red Hook received an unacceptable score in the New Yorkers for Parks "Report Card on Parks." One of the troubled neighborhood parks, it suffered from conditions that adversely impacted the community.

NPI at Coffey Park

So why did it look like a carnival today, with a podium, flags, bunting and a large lunch for 60?

Because Coffey Park is now beautiful, and the community came together to celebrate the success of "putting a parkie back in the park" through the Neighborhood Parks Initiative (NPI).

Mike & Freddy: Time to Talk Parks

Submitted by Justin Krebs on September 15, 2005 - 11:23am.
Daily News Reports...

New Yorkers agree: with the Primary over, it's time to talk Parks.

The day after the Primary, The Daily News criticized all the Dem candidates for what they hadn't talked about: “Public safety, clean streets, smooth roads, high-quality parks and hospitals made, at best, cameo appearances in the campaign.”

The Republican Mayor, though, has also been quiet on this vital city issue. In the Mayor’s Management Report (MMR) released on Monday, the Mayor congratulated himself on a host of subjects...but was silent on our city's parks and playgrounds?

Why? Because there was not much good to praise. According to the Mayor’s own surveys, only 88% of the city parks received overall acceptable scores. In a city of 1,700 parks properties, that means over 200 parks and playgrounds are failing…and failing to serve 1,000,000 New Yorkers.

Articles from The New York Times and Newsday, as well as the NY4P Report Card on Parks, show that our parks are in need...and now that we have Mayoral candidates, they need to start talking about them.

( filed under: News )

Parks1 Takes Fight for Green Queens to Daily News

Submitted by Justin Krebs on September 12, 2005 - 8:12am.
Daily News Reports...
Yesterday's Daily News ran a debate between Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Parks1 Campaign Manager Justin Krebs about the wisdom of building a new Jets Stadium in Flushing Meadow Corona Park.

While Parks1 is excited by plans to bring the Jets back to their home city, it should not come at the expense of parkland...especially in one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in New York City, where the playing fields and relaxing areas are more important than ever.

The current state of parts of the park -- what the BP referred to as a "stagnant pool of water" -- is not reason to give the park to private development...it's reason to invest public funds into this common trust and making it an asset to our communities.

One suspects the Jets would love to use public land...it sure is cheaper than buying private land...but we have to keep the needs of neighborhoods -- not of a billionaire sports owner -- our first priority.

( filed under: News )

What will the Mayoral Candidates do for your Parks & Playgrounds?

Submitted by Justin Krebs on September 8, 2005 - 2:06pm.
Who will be the mayor for parks?

The future of our parks is in your hands. Before you pull the lever on Primary Day, make sure you know where the candidates stand on parks.

Here is some of what the Mayoral candidates have pledged:

Fernando Ferrer: Proposes letting parks keep the money earned through hot dog stands, restaurants, golf courses and other concessions on parkland ($50 million).

C. Virginia Fields: Pledges to work toward committing 1% of the city budget to parks ($500 million)

Gifford Miller: Proposes to start by rebuilding and maintaining 100 neighborhood parks in greatest need ($35 million)

Anthony Weiner: Recognizes the inequality in the parks system and focus on parks in the outer-boroughs.

Read more of what they have said below, or see their complete visions and the views of candidates for Public Advocate, Borough President and City Council.

Remember to vote Parks on Tuesday, September 13th.

Queens Keeps Focus on Parks Maintenance [UPDATE]

Submitted by Justin Krebs on September 8, 2005 - 12:36pm.

Last week, Parks1 wrote about the The Daily News coverage of East Elmhurt Park in Queens. Council Member Hiram Monserrate is using discretionary funds to invest capital money to rebuild the ballfields and facilities of this park and playground...but wants to make sure the City does its share to maintain the investment.

We are happy to see that this important view was more than a one-hit wonder, as The Queens Chronicle now reports on the Councilman's concerns.

The Councilman, as quoted in the paper, captures the park issue in a nutshell:

“If the mayor had made a larger commitment to funding the park’s general maintenance, this ball field would never have fallen into such disrepair, and we could be here today talking about making additions, not repairs."

Here's to talking about additions, not repairs.

( filed under: News )

THIS is how parks get cleaned?

Submitted by Justin Krebs on August 26, 2005 - 9:59am.
Cleaning Corona Park Fountain
One call from the Mayor = clean park

We spend a lot of time at Parks1 calling for more resources for the Parks Department which doesn't have the City support to maintain all parks across the five boroughs.

But when Mayor Bloomberg wants a park cleaned, it happens within hours.

After Queens BP Helen Marshall announced at a press conference that the site proposed for the new Jets Stadium was just a dirty mess, Bloomberg replied: "If it's filled with garbage there will be somebody there this afternoon."

( filed under: News )

TOUR: Better Parks for The Bronx

Submitted by Justin Krebs on August 23, 2005 - 9:57am.

The Parks1 Parkstorming Tour has reached the Bronx! It is the borough with the most acres of parkland... but try telling that to the residents of Mott Haven.

Design Project

"There isn't one place where you can legally stand and look at the water," said one local resident about waterfront access in her neighborhood.

That's why the design program of New Yorkers for Parks -- the parent organization of Parks1.org -- is attempting to transform a dilapidated parcel into a new waterfront park with a curving path, wetland cove and kayak launch.

As Newsday reports, the vision is strong, and so is the community support. So what could delay this project? What else -- funding.

( filed under: Tour Story )

TOUR: Running for Safer Parks

Submitted by Justin Krebs on August 19, 2005 - 11:36am.
Bill Perkins and Friends

Candidates running for Borough President gathered with another group of runners in Inwood Hill Park, as the campaign for better -- and safer -- parks went all the way to the northern tip of Manhattan.

"Making Parks Safer," an informal discussion hosted by the Inwood Hill Runners and Parks1, was a forum for ideas to reduce crime -- from hiring more Parks Enforcement Patrol officers to installing better lighting to making statistics about crimes in parks publicly accessible.

( filed under: Tour Story )

Schools, Subways, Police & Parks

Submitted by Justin Krebs on August 16, 2005 - 9:24am.
Gifford Miller
Gifford Miller has his priorities. The Speaker of the City Council and candidate for Mayor, profiled in today's paper, announces his four goals for New York City: reducing class size, modernizing the subway, supporting the police and investing more in our neighborhood parks.

What do these have in common? They are all critical to the everyday lives of regular New Yorkers.

( filed under: News )
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