Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lawsuit Filed To Stop Mega-Mall In Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

The Bloomberg Administration and the City Council are attempting to hand over 47. 5 acres of Flushing Meadows - Corona Park worth $ 1 billion dollars to The Related Companies and Sterling Equities to build a 1.4 million sq. ft. mall known as Willets Point West. They are attempting to push this through without receiving any approvals or even voting on the massive project.  


A coalition of area residents,  environmental groups, business and home owners, and State Senator Tony Avella filed a lawsuit in New York County Supreme Court on Monday demanding the City halt its illegal handing over of mapped Parkland to build a mega-mall.

The suit also asks the Court to nullify actions taken by the Planning Commission, and approved by the Council in October of last year, to permit construction of parking facilities in Willets Point in lieu of the affordable housing and supportive facilities called for by the 2008 plan. 

The complaint alleges that the project cannot proceed without approval by the State Legislature under the “public trust” doctrine that protects all parkland throughout the State against non-park uses without the consent of the Legislature which was not requested or obtained.

The Bloomberg Administration and the City Council are attempting to hand over 47.5 acres of Flushing Meadows - Corona Park in Queens worth $ 1 billion dollars to The Related Companies and Sterling Equities to build a 1.4 million sq. ft. mall known as Willets Point West.   They are attempting achieve this without receiving any approvals or even voting on the project.  

The complaint also alleges violations of the City’s Zoning Resolution and Charter, and seeks annulment of approvals granted by the City to date for the related Willets Point plan.

In October the City Council approved zoning amendments to the Willet's Point plan,  allowing a multi-phased development and temporary parking on part of the Willets point site.   These amendments however do not permit the building of a massive 1.4-million-square-foot shopping mall much less a massive 1.4 million square foot shopping mall on mapped parkland.

Related Companies and Sterling Equities are attempting to build a 1.4 million square foot mall on 47.5 acres of mapped parkland in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, west of Citi-Field stadium.  This represents the largest public parkland giveaway in recent history. The proposed project would allow the seizing of the public parkland to be used exclusively for non-park purposes without first getting State Alienation approval as is required under the law.  The construction of such a mall on public parkland would be unprecedented. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) 

The Bloomberg administration and the City Council are attempting to bypass land use procedures including the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP),  and  state law which requires State Alienation legislation approval to use parkland for non-park purposes.   Mayor Bloomberg claimed all land use powers of the former Board of Estimate as belonging to him, clearly a violation of ULURP.  

From 1964 to 2006,  30.7 of the 47.5 acres of the site near the northerly end of the Park was occupied by Shea Stadium.  When Shea was demolished and replaced in 2009 by Citi Field at a location slightly east of the Shea site, the project site became a parking field for visitors to Citi Field.  The site has also been used for a variety of public recreational events including foot races, circus performances, an annual wheelchair baseball game, and concerts.

In 2012, Sterling Equities and the Related Companies convinced the Bloomberg administration to allow the massive shopping mall on Park property.

In October Council member Julissa Ferreras attempted to justify and explain why the public parkland was now part of the deal and was given away - the developers and the Mayor wanted it.   

"The mall is something that the developers and the administration believe is necessary to be able to support the build-out of Willets Point,"  she said.  

In 2008 the City Council approved a Willets Point plan to place the intended retail development in the neighboring Willets Point development project along with affordable housing, the Park was never part of the project.

Delivering The Deal.  Big Winners. A beaming Related Companies' Charles  J.  O'Byrne, Queens City Council member Julissa Ferreras,  Jeff Wilpon - New York Mets COO and the executive vice-president of Sterling Equities and son of New York Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon, and Glenn  A. Goldstein - president of Related Retail and registered lobbyist pose on October 8th shortly after the City Council vote. (Photo: William Alatriste /New York City Council) 

“Parks are intended to serve the people, to provide open space, landscaping, opportunities for recreation, playgrounds for children, and escape from the hordes and noise of a busy commercial city," said State Senator Tony Avella, a plaintiff in the suit.   

"The only commercial uses that belong in them are those, such as snack stands, that enhance the park experience.  A shopping center is not one of them.  We have a wonderful law that is supposed to assure all of this, known as the ‘public trust doctrine.’  I’m outraged when the people who are supposed to administer parks for everyone turn them over to private interests without seeking the State Legislature's consent as the public trust doctrine requires.  So, I am very pleased to be a party to this action.” the Senator said.

The contention that the 1961 law exempts this transaction from the public trust doctrine, says John Low-Beer, one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, is wrong. 

“The 1961 law was intended to allow a stadium and uses directly related to a stadium, such as parking, concessions, and other commercial activity typically incidental to a professional sports arena.”

Low-Beer adds that the 1961 law “says nothing about a shopping center.  In fact, the Legislature explicitly prohibited any purely commercial uses other than ones strictly related to the stadium, such as concession stands.  The public trust doctrine requires that any legislative consent be very specific about what it will allow.  If it doesn’t specify a use, then that use is not permitted.”

The suit was filed on behalf of State Senator Tony Avella, The City Club of New York, NYC Park Advocates, a City-wide parks advocacy group that helped to establish “Save Flushing Meadows Park.” 

The plaintiffs include Paul Graziano, Ben Haber, and Alfredo Centola who have prominently opposed a spate of recent proposals for new or enlarged sports venues in the Park, as well as the shopping center.

The efforts of “Save Flushing Meadows Park,” a coalition of many Queens civic groups and individuals helped thwart the proposed professional soccer stadium, though it was unable to stop a half-acre expansion of the Tennis Center.  Several of the plaintiffs have also led opposition to the shopping center.

Other plaintiffs are individuals and businesses falling into several categories including nearby residents, park users, and businesses along Roosevelt Avenue and in Willets Point having special concerns about traffic and business displacement.

The efforts of the “Save Flushing Meadows Park” group were recently bolstered by the City Club which took on the shopping center as a major project after successfully participating in a campaign to defeat a proposed upzoning of the East Midtown area around Grand Central Terminal that would have doubled the permissible bulk in much of the area.  After Council leaders announced in early November that the Council would vote against the plan, Mayor Bloomberg withdrew it.

Michael Gruen, President of the City Club, said that the City Club joined the shopping center fight out of concern that “Flushing Meadows Park has long suffered from neglect in maintenance and from getting eaten away as a recreational park by a voracious assumption that every new idea for a commercial sporting activity should be given a home in this one Park.

The proposed  1.4 million square foot retail and entertainment development was approved by the City Planning Commission on Wednesday.

Fortunately some of the worst, such as a proposed “grand prix” race track around the lake, have been defeated.  But this is a beautiful park and it deserves much better treatment.”

Gruen added that the City Club sees the shopping center project as “perhaps the most egregious example of commercialization of parkland throughout the city.  There are places where the annual cycle of fashion shows and holiday bazaars leave little time for enjoying the open space and landscaping. That it is the worst of a pattern of treating parkland as an asset to be sold off for commercial use caused us to take it on so that we could get the courts to draw a clear line:  commercial uses that do not enhance the recreational experience of parks do not belong in the parks.”

Gruen said that the City Club hopes “clearly to confirm that any alienation of parkland requires legislative action, very specifically stating what uses are to be allowed.  The legislative consent must then be construed narrowly by the courts so that ambiguities in statutory language cannot be exploited, as the developers here are trying to do, to justify other commercial uses that the legislature had no evident intention of condoning.”

The case is filed in the New York County Supreme Court.  John Low-Beer, Lorna Goodman and Meredith Feinman represent the plaintiffs.

The complaint asks the Court to declare that the shopping mall project is illegal and to enjoin further steps toward its construction without compliance with applicable law including the public trust doctrine, and without imposing appropriate zoning regulations on the site.

It also asks the Court to nullify actions taken by the Planning Commission, and approved by the Council in October of last year, to permit construction of parking facilities in Willets Point in lieu of the affordable housing and supportive facilities called for by the 2008 plan.  The complaint asserts that the Commission and Council knew that the changes in the Willets Point plan were needed for no other purpose than to accommodate stadium parking displaced by the intended shopping center, and knew that the shopping center project itself is illegal without approval of the legislature.

They knew that their action would facilitate illegal construction of the shopping mall, the promoters of which had clearly stated their belief that they could proceed with without legislative approval.  The Commission and Council thereby acted illegally, and arbitrarily and capriciously.

The Related Companies and Sterling Equities just got approval to build this mall on the western parking lot of Citi Field.
The proposed mall across from CitiField.

Read More:

New York Post  - February 11, 2014 - By Minsi Chung

New York Daily News -  February 11, 2014 - By Beth Stebner   

Queens  Chronicle -  February 10, 2014  by Peter C. Mastrosimone 

DNAinfo - February 11, 2014 - By Katie Honan

City Limits - By Patrick Arden

Legal questions emerge about Citi Field mall 
City Limits - By Patrick Arden

Friday, February 7, 2014

NYPD Warns Public About Low Flying Airplane Surveying Deer Over Bronx & SI Parks

Bronx/Staten Island

The NYPD issued an alert today involving a small aircraft which is going to be flying over Bronx and Staten Island parks this evening and tomorow. 

On Friday, February 7th and Saturday, February 8th at 6PM an independent contractor will conduct an aerial survey (weather permitting) of the deer population over various parks in the Bronx and Staten Island.  The survey will consist of one (1) single-engine aircraft that will utilize an infrared camera, known as Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR), to measure the temperature difference between the deer and the surrounding environment.  The aircraft will originate from and return to Linden Airport (NJ) and will survey transects of parkland at an altitude of approximately 1,000 feet.

- Geoffrey Croft

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bloomberg's Park Crime Reporting Bill Veto is Overridden By City Council

One of Michael Bloomberg's final acts in office was vetoing a bill that tracks crime in public parks.  His opposition was emblematic of his administration's lack of accountability and his selected use and interest in collecting data.

Evergreen Playground, Brooklyn - July 13, 2012.   A Parks Department worker washes down the basketball court hours after 24-year-old Kevin Daugherty was shot in the eye while playing ball.  On August 3, 2013 - more than a year after being shot - Kevin succumbed to his injuries and died.    (Photo: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates)

Evergreen Playground,  like most playgrounds is less than 1 acre in size. Under the previous crime reporting bill, Mr. Daugherty's death,  just like the shooting itself,  would not have been a statistic as having occurred in a park.

A decade-old law meant to monitor crime in public parks is finally getting fixed, a law that Mayor Bloomberg quietly vetoed in the waning days of his administration. 

Since 2008  the Police were supposed to track crime in all parks one acre or greater but they have not complied.  They claimed they didn't have the "resources" and the "necessary technology.” 

Unfortunately the bill approved today allows the Police Department to delay beginning tracking crime in parks under one acre including in basketball courts,  recreation centers, public pools,  and beaches until 2018. 

The city has been remarkably slow to implement a GPS system to track crime in parks. GPS mapping which is what is ultimately needed has finally begun in some parks as part of the Citywide Street Centerline (CSCL) database -    but this should have been completed many years ago.


By Geoffrey Croft

One of Michael Bloomberg's final acts in office was vetoing a bill that tracks crime in public parks, today the City Council voted to override that veto.

After more than a decade the city is finally slated to get a park crime reporting law do-over which impacts the city's largest land holder the Parks Department, but not if Mayor Bloomberg had his way. 

The Mayor quietly vetoed the bill a few days before the new administration took over.  

The City Council voted unanimously to approve Int 859-A,   Peter Vallone's newly revamped park crime reporting bill at the final Stated meeting on December 19th.

The Mayor vetoed the bill on December 27, four days before the new administration took over. The mayor's press office refused to provide the veto message despite repeated requests. 

The bill approved today includes important improvements to a previous weak law passed in 2005 that omitted more than half the park properties. The bill also removes the language that made compliance of the original 2005 park crime reporting bill, “subject to the availability of resources and the introduction of the necessary technology, ” a stipulation that the NYPD relied on, at least legally,  in order to avoid comply with the law. 

Beginning January 1, 2014, the new bill requires the NYPD to report the data for the thirty largest parks, as determined by acreage;  beginning June 1, 2014, the NYPD would have been required to report data for the one hundred largest parks, beginning January 1, 2015, report data for two hundred largest parks, beginning January 1, 2016, report data for the three hundred largest parks and beginning January 1, 2017, the NYPD  report data for all parks one acre or greater in size.

Unfortunately the new law gives the city another four years to comply with the tracking crime for more than half of the park properties.  But even that was not good enough for the Mayor because the law created an undue "burden" on the City. 

Beginning in January 1, 2018, the NYPD will be required to report data for all public pools, basketball courts, recreation centers, and playgrounds that are not located within parks one acre or greater in size. 

The bill also requires the NYPD to conspicuously post all quarterly reports of major felony crime complaints for parks online via the department’s website within 5 business days of the department’s submission of such reports to the Council.

The exclusion of reporting crime on these park properties was a major point of contention for NYC Park Advocates, Local 983, the union that represents park police, and NY State Senator Tony Avella who introduced legislation over the summer to address these and other deficiencies. 

In his veto message the Mayor absurdly suggested the public would be able to get the information from the individual precincts, ignoring the practically of attempting to compile such information from each of the City's 77 police Precincts.  

The Mayor apparently completely misses the point and purpose of requiring the city track crime in park including not taking responsibility for making sure the proper technology was utilized to create the requested data.   His bizarre rational in vetoing the law is here.

According to the Bloomberg the law would "impose an arbitrary time table for increasing the number of parks falling within the law reporting requirement." 

Logistics aside - three weeks earlier it was widely reported that in a major policy shift Police Commissioner Ray Kelly ordered all police precincts to deny journalists from being able to access the forms which outline the previous week’s felony crime reports. The information details crime reports in every New York City precinct including information on all murder, rape, assault, robbery, burglary or theft of property in the precinct.   


For Bloomberg who has relentlessly promoted a technology-driven administration they were been remarkably slow and resisted utilizing these methods for monitoring crime in parks.   

The use of  GPS  mapping technology which has been available for years has finally begun being implemented in a few select parks as part of the Citywide Street Centerline (CSCL) database.  This should have been completed many years ago. 

The program has not been announced by City Hall yet. 

It is also important to note that this lack mapping also impacts the delivery of Fire Department and EMS services in park related incidents.  

In December the administration finally unveiled an NYPD interactive crime map that enables the public to search and access basic data on felony crime occurrences by location.  

The map was built by the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) using Google products with crime complainant data as reported to the NYPD. Crime statistics by precinct have been available on the Police Department's website since 2003 and are updated weekly.

The public can now bring up maps of  felony crime occurrences by address, zip code, or police precinct anywhere in the city. 

Conspicuously absent however is data from the city's largest land holder, the Parks Department.  

"Care should be taken in interpreting crime counts and rates in the central business districts of each borough as well as parks and beaches (see the statistical and technical notes).

If a complaint report cannot be referenced to an intersection or a specific address it is not mapped.

According to the crime map  initiative, "crimes occurring in parks, beaches or open areas often cannot be mapped, some may be mapped if there is enough information on the report to determine a close cross street and will appear on streets or intersections bordering the area. Some larger parks are bisected by streets and crimes recorded as occurring on those streets will be mapped."

The police often assign a random cross street address which can be miles away from scene of the crime in a park. This also regularly leads to inaccurate reporting as the crime is often listed as having occurred outside of a park.   This is also problematic when attempting to track down real time information from DCPI.  

Previous Bill

Peter Vallone's original bill dubbed,  "What Happens In Parks Stays In Parks,"   by critics contained a number of glaring omissions that continued to jeopardize public safety.  The bill's language changed dramatically after a contentious hearing on November 22, 2013 where Vallone was slammed for introducing a bill that once again severely limited the scope of the reporting by requiring the city to track crime in less than half of park properties.  

The new language required the city to report data for all public pools, basketball courts, recreation centers, and playgrounds that are not located within parks one acre or greater in size. 

Getting the city to finally begin tracking crimes on property in city largest land holder, the Park Department has been tortured journey.

In 2005 the City passed Local Law 114, requiring the Police Department to track and release felony crime data in all parks one acre or greater after three years.  The weak law excluded reporting crimes in the vast majority of playgrounds, as well public pools, basketball courts and recreation centers.
The law also contained language made compliance, “subject to the availability of resources and the introduction of the necessary technology.”   

More than eight years after being passed the NYPD was still only reporting crimes in 30 city parks, plus Central Park which has it own police precinct. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Controversy Swirling Around Newtown Creek Boathouse - Public Funds Going To Build Private Hotel?

The North Brooklyn Boat Club is proposing to build The Greenpoint Boathouse and Environmental Education Center at a new location owned by Broadway Stages in a building which will house a small private "hotel" for company employees.  Broadway Stages president Gina Argento said she plans to split the cost of the entire hotel project, which will include about half a dozen hotel rooms, down the middle with the boathouse. 

Just how much is the boathouse supposed to cost now? Queens Crap points out that the original cost estimate for the project was $ 3 million dollars which left more than half of the settlement 
for other projects.  The City Parks Foundation (CPF) is overseeing $ 7 million dollars from the Newtown Creek Environmental Benefit Project Fund and is getting 10 % of the funds. 

It appears now that all of the funds could be used to build the controversial boathouse.

The project was orignally approved at the site of the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center at 1155 Manhattan Avenue but that deal quietly feel through.   

All projects were supposed to be off the ground by February 18th, 2014, within five years of the MOU, but that is happening.  

The City Parks Foundation has quietly asked for an extension of the deadline for the boathouse.

"It is not fair that this project, which has been drastically altered from its original plans, gets an extension, while other projects which have been ready to go the entire time are told to continue waiting in line indefinitely," said Christina Wilkinson, head of the Newtown Historical Society.

The City's Department of Health and Environmental Protection fought against awarding the funds for the boathouse along Newtown Creek due to heath concerns over kayaking 
on a federal Superfund site. 

Three months later however State officials overruled the concerns of the two agencies responsible for public health and the environment and approved the  $3-million boathouse and education center.   

In April 2010, the NY State DEC selected three organizations to administer Environmental Benefits Projects (EBP):  City Parks Foundation (CPF) received $7 million; New York State Energy, Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) received $2 million; and Hudson River Foundation (HRF) received $1 million.   

- Geoffrey Croft


It's not just the pollution that stinks along Newtown Creek.

Local activists are crying foul over what they say is a plan to use public money to build a boathouse inside a proposed four-story hotel at 51 Ash St. in Greenpoint, on the banks of the Superfund site, according to the New York  Daily News.  

The Greenpoint Boathouse and Environmental Education Center, a volunteer group that sends canoes and kayaks down the waterway dividing Queens and Brooklyn, was awarded $3 million from the state in 2011.

Not Happening.   The project was approved for the site of the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center at 1155 Manhattan Avenue.  Apparently there were even some GWAAP board members who were not aware of the major changes to the project.  

“It’s beyond sketchy,” Geoffrey Croft, executive director of NYC Park Advocates, said of the plan to use public funds to help build a for-profit enterprise, which was selected in 2011 and recently turned up on two local blogs, Curbed and Queens Crap. 

“No money from the city should go for a private hotel.”

The state awarded the money to the nonprofit boathouse in 2011, from a $10 million fine levied against the city for missing a deadline to improve the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. It was supposed to be based at the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center, but the 250-member group couldn’t come to a lease agreement. 

Instead, it took up Broadway Stage’s offer to move into a series of shipping containers along the creek on land owned by the production facilities company.  

The original cost estimate for the Greenpoint Boathouse and Environmental Education Center was $ 3 million dollars which left more than half for other projects. (image: Queens Crap.  http://queenscrap.blogspot.com/2014/01/something-reeks-in-greenpoint-besides.html

Broadway Stages is now seeking zoning approval to build a private hotel on the site that would also include a two-story boathouse and community center.

“There’s absolutely no conflict of interest,” said Dewey Thompson, co-president of the North Brooklyn Boat Club. The club runs the boathouse at the mouth of the creek, near the East River. 

“The grant money is going specifically and only to building the community boathouse facility within the commercial structure,” he said. 

The Greenpoint Boathouse and Environmental Education Center is run by the North Brooklyn Boat Club in Greenpoint. The group came under fire for proposing to use public money to build a boathouse inside of a private hotel.

The North Brooklyn Boat Club in Greenpoint.

State Department of Environmental Conservation officials also said the money will be used for the boathouse, not for the hotel, and said the City Parks Foundation requested an extension for the project completion deadline, which was to expire on Feb. 18. 

But Broadway Stages president Gina Argento told a different story, saying she plans to split the cost of the entire project, which will include about half a dozen hotel rooms, down the middle with the boathouse.

“Nothing is final yet,” said Argento, who has also been identified as an investor in the controversial Knockdown Center event space in Maspeth.    


The Greenpoint Boathouse and Environmental Education Center is run by the North Brooklyn Boat Club in Greenpoint. The group came under fire for proposing to use public money to build a boathouse inside of a private hotel.
The North Brooklyn Boat Club in Greenpoint.   (Photo: Pearl Gabel/New York Daily News)

The City Parks Foundation would not comment. The city and state Health Departments and city Department of Environmental Protection did not return calls and emails.  

Local activists, however, say the plans should be re-evaluated. 

“The project that was approved is not what they are now proposing to do,” said Christina Wilkinson, president of the Newtown Historical Society. 

She also questioned the safety of boating on the polluted creek. 

“It’s ridiculous that a so-called environmental organization is promoting recreation on Newtown Creek,” she said. 

The waterway is one of the most polluted in the country, according to Environmental Protection Agency officials. 

In heavy rains, raw sewage and water ends up in the creek, said Queens College microbiologist Eli Dueker, who has studied the site. That’s in addition to the millions of gallons of oil that would up in the water. 

“There’s definitely an ‘eww’ factor,” said Dueker, though he admitted he understood the appeal of boating on the waterway. But “much of Newtown Creek is actually quite beautiful.”  

Read More:

Critics slam plan they say would use public funds to build boathouse in private hotel
New York Daily News - February 1, 2014 - By Clare Trapasso

Curbed - January 30, 2014, by Jessica Dailey

Queens Crap -  January 30, 2014  

New York Shitty
January 29, 2014

The Brooklyn Paper  -  June 23, 2011-  By Arron Short 

The Brooklyn Paper October 29, 2011 - BY AARON SHORT 

New York Daily News - December 1, 2010 - By Clare Trapasso

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Federal Inaction Causing Delays In Reopening Of Fort Tilden Beach


The federal government cannot say at the time if Fort Tilden Beach will remain closed this summer, two years after Hurricane Sandy hit.  Instead of allocating the proper time and resources to open it the National Park Service has so far relied on volunteer efforts to clean up debris in Fort Tilden Beach part of Gate National Recreation Area. (Photo: Tod Seelie /via gothamist)


It's almost February, and New Yorkers suffering from cabin fever are already dreaming of the day when we can strip down to our trunks and dive into the refreshing bosom of the Atlantic Ocean without fear of frostbite. NYC beaches will reopen on Memorial Day, but due to Hurricane Sandy, the future remains uncertain for the popular beaches at Fort Tilden on the Rockaway Peninsula, according to gothamist.
Although the NYC Parks Department was able to reopen NYC beaches on schedule last summer (seven months after Sandy clobbered the Rockaways), Fort Tilden falls under the auspices of the National Parks Service, which oversees the Gateway National Recreation Area. Unlike the more crowded beaches at Jacob Riis Park just a stone's throw away, the beaches at Fort Tilden have no lifeguards, and its relative seclusion has made Tilden increasingly popular in recent years. But despite volunteer cleanup efforts, federal officials determined that there was too much erosion and debris from the 2012 hurricane to allow the beaches to safely reopen last summer.
It's unclear if summer 2014 will be any different. "We hope so, but it's not ready yet and there's still a lot of work to do," says Daphne Yun, a spokesperson for Gateway National Recreation Area. "The hazardous debris in the sand (metal and broken slabs of concrete from Shore Road) is still in the sand. We had a lot of people volunteer to help last Spring and they were able to clean up all the things that they could. What remains are the bigger things: pieces of metal, broken pieces of concrete from the road."
Asked why, almost a year and a half since the hurricane, there's still so much left to be done, Yun explains, "Gateway is really big. It's 60 miles of coastline—everything was damaged during Sandy, and during the last year our main priority was to open our life guarded beaches, which we did. Secondly, the process of awarding a contract for the cleanup has to go through very specific rules."
Apparently it's a long process! The entity overseeing the cleanup is the Denver Service Center, which is "the central planning, design, and construction management project office for the National Park Service." But according to DSC spokesperson Lindy Allen, the National Park Service is only now "beginning the contracting process for the cleanup of the beach at Fort Tilden." The project is being funded by the Federal Highway Administration.
Yun declined to predict when that contract would be finalized. She also refused to speculate on the odds of Fort Tilden's beaches reopening this summer. But she did stress that reopening the beach "is a priority."
Read More:
gothamist  - January 31, 2014 - By John Del Signore