A letter from Alfredo Centola, President of the Malba Gardens Civic Association:
This quote from The New York Daily News dated November 27, 2012 “Garber
told The Associated Press the league hopes to build a stadium on a
10-acre site in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and expects to have an
expansion team play there starting in 2016”.
So we as residents and taxpayers of Queens County are to accept
another land grab from us to a major corporation. 10 acres of Parkland
is about to be stolen from us and we are to accept it?
“MLS Commissioner Don Garber said Monday the league is “at the finish line” in talks with the city to acquire land in soccer-crazed Queens for a stadium to house the league’s 20th team.”
Ok, so as a “soccer crazed Queens resident” I am offended! THE
CITY, is to take taxpayer parkland and “Acquire” the land in order to
hand it over to a for profit corporation? From what I know of “soccer
crazed Queens Residents” we like to go to the park and PLAY soccer on
the weekends. We like to enjoy OUR Parkland for ourselves, our
families, our children. We do not want to pay a minimum of let us say
for arguments sake, $80 – $150, to watch others play. While I am certain
many of us would love to take in a game with the family, and most of us
would do so from time to time. I question the legitimacy of taking
taxpayer land away from the taxpayer and giving it to a for profit
Where is the Queens Borough President on this? Why has she not
spoken out against this? If this were in Manhattan and we were talking
about taking away 10 acres from Central Park in order to build yet
another stadium, what would their Borough President be doing? What would
our Mayor, a Manhattan resident, be doing? Would they be in favor of
such a land grab? I for one doubt it. Aside from our current lame duck
Borough President, where are all the announced candidates that are
coming out of the woodwork for the position? Why haven’t any of them
come forward and denounce this deal? Why are they allowing this deal to
go on? Where is Senator Peralta whose district encompasses the
community most negatively affected by this land grab? As a matter of
fact, Senator Peralta should be out there screaming and yelling. Most
Hispanics, my in-laws, my friends included, from the surrounding Jackson
Heights-Corona community flood the parks during the summer months.
They play soccer, picnic, hold festivals, parties and again PLAY SOCCER,
on the land targeted to be stolen.
Where is Senator Avella on this deal? He was quoted in The
Capital as saying “You can’t just say,’oh, that sounds like a great
idea.” What exactly does he mean by that? Does it mean the deal can go
on but needs to be tweeked? I hope not. Why hasn’t he come out against
this? Is he going to do so as soon he officially declares his candidacy?
On that note, is Councilman Peter Vallone also waiting for his official
announcement before he denounces this theft? After all many Astoria
residents also utilize Flushing meadows park when participating in
Where are Melinda Katz and Leroy Comry on this issue? It is a big issue f
or us Queens voters!
Then we have Barry Grodenchick, who is the “Deputy Queens Borough
President”. Mr. Grodenchick already has “Queens Borough President” in
his title; only thing he wants removed is the Deputy part. My question
is: Why has he remained silent on this Land Grab? As the Deputy to the
Queens Borough President, as well as a declared candidate, shouldn’t he
be speaking out on this? What is his position?
Now please understand, I am not only targeting Democrats. It’s
just that as of right now, no Republican has thrown their hat into the
As a lifelong resident of Queens, I am calling on all the
candidates to make their position public on this issue immediately! I
am calling on the current Borough President to make her position on this
issue public immediately as well!
My position, if you want to know is: This deal is a theft, plain
and simple. The people of Queens are being robbed of 10 acres of park
land. Don’t tell us about the fields you are going to build for us in
the surrounding communities in the future. If you take 10 acres, we
want ten acres, and we want to know exactly where and what we are
getting in return!
Is the MLS going to allow all that currently use the TEN ACRES to
continue using the new stadium during the warm weather months? Will
the taxpayers be able to hold their “pick-up” games on the new fields
within the stadium? If so, will there now be a fee?
Better yet, leave our land alone! Do what every legitimate
business has done in America since its inception: Find a location, make
sure it meets all requirements and codes. Then buy the property and
build your stadium.
America, land of opportunity! Just not on the taxpayers’ backs!
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Steve Behar to succeed Senator Avella?
It is widely rumored incumbent Senator Tony Avella will be throwing his hat in the ring for Borough President. Should Avella become the next Beep, a special election will be held where community advocate Steve Behar will have a chance to take his place in Albany.
Behar, a progressive reformer who ran unsuccessfully for City Council and State Assembly, has been quietly building a coalition of community and civic leaders, which are already expressing encouragement.
Alfredo Centola, President of the Malba Gardens Civic Association agrees Behar would be the right choice for the district. “Steve would be phenomenally excellent and he would take into account all the needs of the community and he would listen to all the different parts of the community and work with everyone” said Centola. “He’s straightforward and he’s genuine, which is rare.”
Democratic District Leader Martha Flores Vazquez also expressed support. “Steve appears to be a gentleman with an open mind; his law experience may benefit the community in the state legislature.”
In what will be a hotly contested race pitting Avella against other campaign heavyweights like City Councilman Peter Vallone and Leroy Comrie, Lobbyist Melinda Katz, and Senator Jose Peralta, despite the strong opposition Avella is said to be mulling a chance to stand out from the crowd to gain a foothold in boro-wide politics for another shot at Mayor in 2017.
in the meantime, Behar, a member of Community Board 11, has been busy honing his campaign skills delivering victory after victory for the Democratic Party. Recently he served as field director for Nassau County Legislator Carrie Solages, campaign manager for Senator-elect James Sanders, as well as spearheading the legal team for Congresswoman-elect Grace Meng.
Should the pieces fall into place, a special election will likely take place in February to fill the vacancy. The County organization will have the choice to endorse Behar in the special or risk losing his large base (who will likely stay home in protest) and give rise to Senator Halloran – a frightening prospect for the Democratic County organization considering Republican Senator Frank Padavan represented the district for over 30 years.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
NE Queens mobilizes with major rescue effort
Photo by Christina Santucci
By Joe Anuta
|Once again the Dwarf Giraffe league in Whitestone showed what a true community group is all about.|
Stephen Wilson spent part of the week driving clothing collected by his son’s Boy Scout troop down to the storm-ravaged neighborhoods of Queens, like Breezy Point, much of the Rockaways and Broad Channel.
The College Point resident has a large 12-by-6-foot enclosed trailer that proved handy, but after arriving with the goods, he realized people needed more than warm clothing.
“It was devastation everywhere. It was people wandering around wondering what to do,” he said. “They were looking for cleaning products, shovels, dry food, paper towels and blankets.”
“It started out slow Sunday morning, and after I believe church was done, people just started pouring in,” Wilson said. “The amount of items donated was unbelievable.”
It soon became clear that even Wilson’s trailer would be woefully inadequate.
On a whim, he called his stepfather, an NYPD mechanic, and asked if the shop had any extra vehicles to help.
Soon, a 20-foot box truck arrived at the Dwarf Giraffe gym, at 149-50 15th Road.
It was filled as well.
Wilson and others drove the items down to the Aqueduct Racino, where the Red Cross was sorting and staging items for delivery, and also to the Breezy Point Volunteer Fire Department, which was grateful for the items, which included $1,000 worth of medical supplies donated by an area Wallgreens.