Friday, July 22, 2011

Community Activist Eileen Markey Fights for Her Community Park: Sing for Hope piano was thrown away by city agency, not stolen

Here is my support for a community activist fighting to improve her neighborhood by reminding city official that we the citizens pay their salaries and will not tolerate substandard services, even if we live in the Bronx. Eileen is a member of an organization called Friends of Williamsbridge Oval.

Please do read her letter sent to NYC Parks Commissioners Mr. Aponte and Ms. Martell. It clearly and respectfully explains short comings and outright disappointments in services provided by the NYC Parks Department. Most ridiculous is the recent throwing away of the Sing for Hope piano, by I assume the NYC Department of Sanitation. What’s next? Will the Sanitation or Parks Department start throwing away the kids who play on the piano daily? Were any apologies made for the “black eye” given to the community by reinforcing negative Bronx stereotypes?

Good Luck to Eileen Markey, her organization and all the city sanitation and parks department workers that do the right thing daily. I look forward to hearing all the issues were resolved at the next meeting with Commissioners Aponte and Martell and the Friends of Williambridge Oval.


Eileen Markey

FYI, I sent the email below to Bx Comisssioner Aponte and his deputy on Wednesday.
Hello Commissioner and Ms. Martell,

"We were delighted and looking forward to meeting with the commissioner and elected officials last week and disappointed that the meeting needed to be cancelled. I hope you are feeling better.

When are you available this week? I know the electeds are anxious to reschedule.

In addition to the issue of the bad reputation our neighborhood got in the press when the Parks garbage crew failed to come forward and explain that the Sing for Hope piano was thrown away, not stolen, we have a number of other topics to discuss.
These are namely a.) the basketball courts, b.) the Rec Center, c.) garbage.

When will the courts be finished? Has Conti yet repaired to proper standards?

When will the Rec Center be open? Is that contractor performing up to standard? Why has it been so long since any work was done inside or out? We haven't seen trucks in weeks.

Finally, we need signs throughout the park, but especially in the new playground begging people not to litter. Haranguing them not to litter. Threatening capital punishment for littering? No, really, litter in the new, gorgeous playground is a huge problem. I know signs don't solve everything but they do help a little. There are none now.

Another contributing factor with the litter is that we don't have enough barrels in the new playground and the barrels around the top ring of the Oval have been removed. I realize these are picayune concerns to take to your level, but we've talked to our district manager about them and he's not fixing the problem. On the lack of barrels throughout the park he said the district is assessing where to put them district -wide and says it is an issue of limited resources. For the love of God, Parks can't afford barrels?

Fine, Friends of will pay for some but we need assurances that they won't be removed by the parks department. (And we need to know who a vendor is for wire or oil-drum style barrels).

As to the barrels in the new playground, which I think were provided by Conti as part of their design, Gal said they couldn't be placed inside the play area because that makes them too hard for the garbage crew to get to them. Come on. They hoisted a 500 pound piano covered in stickers that said Sing for Hope into a garbage truck (and then didn't tell anyone about it) they can roll a few barrels a 100 feet. Having barrels inside the playground area, near the benches would be very helpful. When I go to the park in the morning I spend about 45 minutes picking up trash. A lot of it is because people have no respect for their neighborhood, but a lot of the trash is piled right near the benches- where a barrel should be. I teach my kid to put garbage in his pocket if he can't find a barrel, but not everyone does that and it is harder to make a case against littering when barrels are far away.
The ones we have are overflowing by 4 or 5 pm- leaving nowhere for people who visit after work to put garbage. Please, more barrels! Or permission for us to acquire some and promises that they will not be removed.

Looking forward to meeting with you in person. Hopefully this week or next.

Best, Eileen


Anonymous said...

"Were any apologized made...." Now what does that mean?
This is old news. It was covered - in correct English - by Bronx News Network weeks ago.

Boogiedowner said...

Congratulations you found a typo? Next time don't throw away the piano.

I read BNN everyday and enjoy it thoroughly. The story is not just about the throwing away of the piano.


Marc54 said...

Why does this not suprise me! While the city is going to make 10 Billion plus this year from the film industry, the Bronx will only get about 2 Million. The offical tag line for the Bronx in Most Industries, is the GHETTO. When the public officials do show up, they'll just yes you to death, but nothing will change. For proper services you have to live in the Silk Stocking District. The city represenative tossed the piano, then they went looking for who stole it. Just remember this past Winter when they took days to clean the Bronx streets. However Manhatten was very clear. I think the Bronx should have it's own song. I nominate the Elvis Presley song "In The Ghetto" At least maybe they'll pay a little more attention to us.. And yes there may be some typos in this response. However you should worry more about how bad the Bronx gets SCREWED!!!!!!!