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Queens Chronicle

Save our park

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Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013 10:30 am

Dear Editor:

Queens Chronicle Asst. Managing/Online Editor Joseph Orovic's article — actually expose would be a more accurate description — about an Abu Dhabi oil multibillionaire prince who would appear to be Mayor Bloomberg’ s choice for a Major Soccer League stadium, where else but in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, represents excellent journalism (“UAE’s Sheikh Monsour to be FMCP’s MLS king,” May 2).

Equally worthy of applause is the Chronicle’s editorial condemnation of not just giving away parkland, but giving it to someone whose wealth is directly related to a repressive government whose policies “are not ones that most Americans would find tolerable” (“No park giveaway to an oil billionaire for soccer,” May 2).

With apologies to William Shakespeare, the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but at the feet of the current occupant of the office of mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg. In the almost 12 years he has held the office, he not only never lifted a finger to reverse the neglect inflicted on FMCP, the second-most used park in our municipal park system (primarily by the less privileged), but has actively participated in giving up FMCP land, a nonrenewable resource, to private interests.

The expansion of the United States Tennis Association complex in the park; on the horizon a 1.4 million-square-foot shopping mall on the Citi Field parking lots, which were built on FMCP land; and a Major League Soccer stadium capable of seating up to 35,000 people are all part of Bloomberg’s romance with the wealthy and indifference to the little people. He fails to understand parks are the lifeblood of an urban society, or if he does understand, he is contemptuous of the people who need and use the park.

I believe if Frederick Law Olmstead, the genius who created Central and Prospect parks in this city and important parks elsewhere, was still alive, he would not break bread with Bloomberg, and justifiably so.

Benjamin M. Haber

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