Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Greed & Incompetence Cancels First Game At Queensboro Oval Softball Field

 "Maybe the new administration will do more to protect the interests of the 'little guys' from the ever  continuing encroachment of business interests.  All we want to do is play softball after work on a summer night. Is that too much to ask?" 



Red Clay Mud - Left Field.   Tennis Consession Once Again Overstays Its Welcome.  The Queensboro Oval softball field under the 59th Street Bridge at York Avenue is a mess this afternoon. A ball field permit was issued for this evening but the tennis concession is still there.  In 2012 the community was informed that the Parks Department had granted the city's most expensive tennis concession on public parkland year-round use in a behind close door deal. The deal displaced park users in a community that has the least amount of park and open space in the entire city. (Photo: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) click on images to enlarge.

Manhattan

By Geoffrey Croft

Ball field permit holders who use the popular ball field under the 59th Street bridge have been once again been shut out.

Players checking on the field for the opening game this evening were surprised to find out it was still a construction sight. 

Permit holder Bradley Cohen was forced to cancel tonight's game after seeing the "utter mess."

"This is further abuse to the time of our already short season.  We now have ten playing dates (vs. 11)," Mr. Cohen wrote to his players. 

Sutton East Tennis Club began taking down the tennis bubble on Friday - more than two months after the beginning of the baseball season.  

The privatization of the ball field had been an ongoing issue under the free-wheeling business first Bloomberg administration.

 "Maybe the new administration will do more to protect the interests of the 'little guys' from the ever continuing encroachment of business interests,  said Bradley Cohen, who received the permits.  

"All we want to do is play softball after work on a summer night. Is that too much to ask?"  



Home plate.   Upscale Tennis Land grab Rears Its Ugly Head Again.  The Queensboro Oval softball field is the only publicly accessible lit, non-asphalt field available for miles.


The city is allowing the private courts to operate a 38 week season ending June 7, plus several more weeks needed to build and take down the facility.  

In 2012 irate ball field users and Community Board 8 members were blindsided when they found out Sutton Place Tennis Club, run by Tony Scolnick was granted an additional six weeks to run his private tennis concession club in yet another behind closed-door deal orchestrated by the Parks Department's revenue division. 

Betsy Smith,  then head of revenue and marketing for the Parks Department and Mayor Bloomberg family friend,  and Manhattan Parks Commissioner William Castro were the point people.

According to Ms. Smith, the reason for the extension was because the concessioner made a "substantial investment" to convert the bubble to year-around.  (without first checking with the community) 

Castro publicly stated on several occasions in 2010 that the city would listen to the community in making its determination.

For years ballplayers have bitterly complained that the city was allowing the fields to deteriorate. They also said dedicated maintenance mitigation funds from a nearby building were not allocated there.

Many asked where the money was.

For over 40 years, The Queensboro Oval Field, located along York Avenue under the 59th Street Bridge in Manhattan, has been a home to baseball, softball, soccer, football, schools, leagues, families, joggers, and children learning to ride bikes and pick-up recreation activities in a beloved public park. It has been and continues to be a vital resource for countless people. It is the only publicly accessible lit, non-asphalt field available for miles. Even though this community has the least amount of park and open space in the entire city.

Mayor Bloomberg and Betsy Smith displaced children and the community by taking away this park.  

 Workers remove the white tennis lines today.


 What A mess.

Home Plate

A Walk In The Park 



Police Release Additional Photos Of Central Park Muggers


Manhattan




The NYPD released additional photos the suspects wanted in the June 5th Central Park mugging of a 28-year-old.




The New York City Police Department is seeking the public's assistance in locating two male suspects wanted in connection with a Robbery that occurred within the confines of the Central Park Precinct.  The details are as follows:

On Friday, June 5, 2015 at approximately 2200 hours, a 28 year-old male was walking inside of Central Park in the vicinity of Cross Drive and East Drive when two unknown males approached him from behind and pushed him over a railing onto the ground.  The suspects then began to punch the victim and hold him down while removing approximately $30 cash before fleeing.  The victim sustained injuries to his face and hands as a result of this incident. 






























Police released video of the suspects wanted in the June 5th attack in Central Park. The grainy black and while footage shows one of the suspects jogging out of Central Park to join his accomplice who is nervously looking around. They then begin to head north along 5th Avenue.   


The suspects are described as being two black males in their late teens or early twenties.

A video of the suspects meeting up after fleeing the park is attached.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.


The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Read More:


A Walk In The Park - June 8, 2015  - By  Geoffrey Croft

Central Park: Suspect Wanted In Several Robberies Caught
A Walk In The Park - June 7, 2015 - Geoffrey Croft

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Cyclone Riders Forced To Climb Down After Mid-Ride Breakdown - Again



For the second time this season Cyclone roller coaster riders were forced to climb down the steep wooden tracks to safety because the ride got struck stranding terrified passengers.    The iconic ride suffered another embarrassing episode on opening day, March 29 when the Cyclone also got stuck. The Parks Department concession has been in operation since 1927  and is the second oldest wooden roller coaster in America. (Photo: Alejandro Bachmann)

Brooklyn

Coney Island’s Cyclone screeched to a halt mid-ride Saturday for the second time this season, forcing riders to once again climb down the famed clackety coaster, according to the New York Post. 
Michael Osborn, 36, and his girlfriend, Jessica Laux, 34, were in one of the Cyclone’s rear cars when it stopped in its tracks around 2 p.m.
“The car stopped. We heard a sudden click and a brake and the car just stopped – that’s it,” said Osborn.
“Luckily, it stopped before the big drop. … We were mildly concerned, sure,” he said. “That [the walk off the Cyclone] was worse than the stop. The ladder – the rungs aren’t too stable.”
The ride was expected to be reopened later Saturday.
Luna Park in Coney Island, which manages the ride, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Cyclone also got stuck on March 29 during its season-opening public run as it climbed up a 60-degree incline to its first big drop.
More than 12 riders were left suspended dozens of feet off the ground for about 10 minutes, until they were forced to walk hand-in-hand with rescuers down the steep slope of the track to safety.
Read More:
New York Post - June 13, 2015 - By Ben Feuerherd, Khristina Narizhnaya and Yaron Steinbuch

Friday, June 12, 2015

Police ID Lead In Brutal Forest Park Tree Limb Killing



The NYPD are looking for Zoltan Forai, 44, aka Stephen Forai for questioning in connection with the brutal killing of Diego Piedrahita, 23,  who was found bludgeoned inside Forest Park yesterday.

Queens

By Geoffrey Croft

On June 10, 2015 at 1526 hours, police responded to a report of an aided male in the vicinity of Park Lane South and Woodhaven Boulevard, within the confines of the 102 Precinct.  Upon arrival, officers discovered a 23 year-old male unconscious and unresponsive with trauma to his head.  EMS responded to the location and pronounced the male deceased at the scene.  The Medical Examiner's Office will determine the cause of death. The investigation is ongoing.

The New York City Police Department is asking the public's assistance in locating  the whereabouts of an individual wanted for questioning in connection to the above homicide within the confines of the 102 Precinct.

Details are as follows:

Zoltan Forai, 44, aka Stephen Forai.  Male, 44 years-old, approximately 5’7”, approximately 170lbs., with brown eyes, brown hair and a beard. This individual possibly frequents the Band shell Area in Forest Park and Victory Field area.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.


Diego Piedrahita, 23,  was found bludgeoned to death by a tree limb inside Forest Park yesterday. Police are looking for Zoltan Forai, 44, aka Stephen Forai for questioning in connection with the brutal killing.


Read More:

Tree Limb Used As Weapon In Queens Park Death
A Walk In The Park - June 11,  2015 - By Geoffrey Croft


NYPD seeking suspect in death of man beaten with tree branch in Queens park
New York Daily News - June 12, 2015 - By Molly Crane-Newman,  Ryan Sit , Barry Paddock