Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mystery Grows As Department Of Health Prohibits Swimming In Rockaway Beach

Park Enforcement Patrol officers attempted to keep the public out of the water today in Rockaway Beach. Sources say the ocean will be closed to bathers tomorrow as well.   (Photos: NYC Park Advocates) Click  on images to enlarge. 


By Geoffrey Croft

Visitors to Rockaway Beach in Queens were prevented by the City from swimming today NYC Park Advocates has learned.

The Department of Health mysteriously shut down access to the water.

Lifeguards were pulled off the beach from 116th - 59th Street on Saturday and red flags were put up leaving tens of thousand of beach goers without access to the water on this warm day.

Parks Enforcement Patrol officers spent the day telling people to get out of the water  beginning at noon.

"Everyone is confused," said a Parks Enforcement Patrol officer on the scene.

"The public is upset and they are not telling us anything.  Off the record we are being told its because of construction -  they wanted it shut down. Something about a pipe."

Adding to the mystery, according to the Department of Health's website, "if a beach is closed to bathers,  or if there are advisories due to wet weather conditions or increased pollution levels,  up-to-date information" is supposed to be available on their website or by calling 311.

A Pipe Runs Through it.

No closures were listed today at Rockaway Beach.  The agency's website had the status of  the beach and water as open to the public.

Reached late this afternoon, a Department of Health spokesperson explained that the Army Corp of Engineers was moving equipment up and down the beach which presented a risk to the public.

However no such equipment could be seen.

"Why is the pubic being prevented from using the water but the beach is not shut down," replied an officer at the scene when told of the City's explanation.

"There is no equipment being moved, that's complete BS. This makes no sense.  If there was heavy equipment being moved up and down wouldn't the beach be closed. There is something else going on here that they are not telling us.  And now I was just told the same thing is happening tomorrow as well."

An empty lifeguard chair.

Angry residents planning on cooling off in the water sounded off. 

"People are still going in the water but there are no lifeguards and only a few officers," said Nelle Nazario, who lives across the street on 106th Street and was visiting the beach with her two-year-old grand daughter.

"Its dangerous for children and families," she continued. 

"There are no signs telling us that this is supposed to be closed. If someone drowns are the officers capable. There is a liability. " 

Peter Malcomson lives on Shorefront Parkway and 107th Street across the street from the beach was there with his two daughters.     

"How can the city not have lifeguards, why aren't they on duty" Mr. Malcomson said. 

"The beach and swimming should be open. They are not telling us anything."

Swimming and bathing permitted
Beach Sample Results for Enterococci Bacteria Count
(week ending)
30-Day Geometric Mean
Limit per EPA: 35
Single Day Results
Limit per EPA: 104

The Department of website states the beach and water are open to the public.

Comptroller Signs-Off On $40M ‘Central Park 5’ Settlement

"There is no amount of money that will restore our youth. We lost all those years" -  Kevin Richardson, victim.

Three of newly flush ‘Central Park 5’ say they’ll keep on working
Three of the men wrongly convicted in the horrific 1989 Central Park jogger attack spoke at an emotional press conference Friday on the steps of City Hall. After spending a combined 41¼ years in prison the five were exonerated in 2002 when rapist Matias Reyes, confessed to the crime and DNA evidence backed up his claim.   (Photo: AP) 

“In my judgement this settlement is a prudent and equitable solution for all parties to the lawsuit and closes a very difficult chapter in our city’s history,”  City Comptroller Scott Stringer said in approving the settlement.  

Mayor Michael Bloomberg disgracefully fought to get the lawsuits dismissed. 

“Bloomberg and Raymond Kelly did everything in their power to keep this case under wraps,” Michael W. Warren, one of the lawyers for the men, said of the former mayor and the former police commissioner.

Last week Donald Trump wrote a racist rant for the NY Daily News calling the settlement "a disgrace" but later took to twitter to criticize the paper for making fun of his hair and directed readers to a tasteless NY Post editorial instead.

Trump famously bought an ad in the Daily News days after the Central Park attack and called for the restoration of the state's death penalty. 

Patricia Meili, a 28-year-old an investment banker at the time, was ambushed, raped and nearly beaten to death while jogging in Central Park along a dark stretch of road near E. 103rd between the East and West Drives.  The heinous attack on the evening of April 19, 1989 and subsequent media frenzy surrounding the arrest of the "wilding" teens became one of New York's most sensational crimes.  Ms. Meili subsequently became known as the Central Park Jogger.    

 - Geoffrey Croft


Kevin Richardson speaks at Friday's news conference.  The three thanked supporters and shared some of the anger and pain of being falsely convicted.   “You all tried to dehumanize us as human beings,” Mr. Richardson said, his voice cracking as he fought back tears, and supporters rubbed his shoulders.  “But we’re still here, we’re strong,” he continued. “Nobody gave us a chance, except the people who believed in us. People called us animals — wolf pack.”  (Photo: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times)

Saying it “closes a very difficult chapter in our city’s history,” Comptroller Scott Stringer signed off on a $40.75 million settlement Thursday with five black and Hispanic men wrongfully convicted in the notorious 1989 rape of a Central Park jogger, according to the New York Post.
The settlement with the so-called “Central Park Five”also requires approval by Manhattan federal Judge Deborah Batts, but that is expected to be a formality.
“In my judgment, this settlement is a prudent and equitable solution for all parties to the lawsuit and closes a very difficult chapter in our city’s history,” Stringer said in a statement.
A Dark Time.

The expected agreement will resolve a $250 million civil-rights lawsuit the men filed in 2003, charging they were wrongly convicted and imprisoned in the notorious case.
Jonathan Moore, a lawyer for the men, called the settlement “substantial” but added “it can’t compensate for the injustice these young men and their families had to deal with in 1989 — and have had to live with ever since.”
The five men were found guilty at trial — and did between six and 13 years in prison — but their convictions were tossed in 2002 after a career criminal confessed to the attack.
Their suit alleged that cops forced false confessions through threats and beatings, and that key DNA evidence, which would have cleared them, was deliberately ignored.
Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Kharey Wise were all convicted of the beating and rape of the investment banker near the park’s Reservoir.
They are expected to appear together at a City Hall press conference at 11 am Friday to address the media.
Mayor Bill de Blasio had vowed to settle the case after taking office this year and put an end to a lurid chapter in New York history in which a “wolf pack” of “wilding” youths were said to have attacked 28-year-old Trisha Meili as she took her evening jog through the park.
In 2002, a judge granted a motion to vacate the 13-year-old convictions after a serial rapist who was already in jail said he committed the crime, a confession backed up by DNA evidence.
The Wall Street Journal, however, last week reported that two doctors who treated Meili said in recent interviews that some of her wounds were not consistent with Matias Reyes’ account of the attack.
The revelation casts doubt on the claim that Reyes was the only attacker.
The “Central Park Five,” now in their late 30s to early 40s, were 14 to 16 when arrested.
De Blasio’s desire to settle the case was in stark contrast to the Bloomberg administration’s opposition to a deal.

April 21, 1989 front page of the New York Daily News.
Front page - NY Daily News, April 21, 1989. The incident became one of New York's most sensational crimes as alleged details of the case, including the "confessions" and subsequent arrests of the five innocent youths were made public.

Read More:
NYC finalizes $40M settlement with ‘Central Park 5’
New York Post - June 26, 2014 - By Rich Calder 

New York Daily News - June 26, 2014 - By Michael J. Feeney, Daniel Beekman, Corinne Lestch    

New York Daily News - June 27, 2014 - By Corinne Lestch    

Wall Street Journal - June 20, 2014 - By Sean Gardiner 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lincoln Terrace Park Stabbing Spree Leaves One Dead, Two Injuried

Lincoln Terrace Park has been the location of a number of violent incidents over the years including several murders and sexual assaults including an infamous gang rape in 2002 when a woman was attacked by five men in a bathroom that had been left open by the parks department.


By Geoffrey Croft

An 18-year-old was killed and two other males were injured after being stabbed at a Brooklyn park Monday night according to the police.  

The triple stabbing occurred around 11: 30pm inside of the Lincoln Terrace Park basketball courts near Buffalo and East New York Avenues within the confines of the 77th Precinct. 

Police responded to a 911 call of a person stabbed in the Crown Heights park.

Upon arrival, officers observed three victims with stab wounds: 18 year-old Josias Masson sustained a stab wound to his chest and was transported to Kings County Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased. 

17 year-old  Maurice Burke sustained a stab wound to the arm. Kahliq Johnson, 21, sustained a stab wound to the leg. Both victims are listed in stable condition at Kings County hospital. 

There are no arrests at this time. The investigation is ongoing.

Identity of the deceased is pending family notification.

The case is currently under investigation with the Brooklyn North Homicide Squad and the 77th Pct. Detective Squad.  Any information that can lead to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for these shootings, please contact the 77th Precinct Detective Squad at 718-735-0662 or the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS. A reward of up to $2,000 is offered for anonymous information that can lead to the arrest and indictment of a violent felon.

Read/View More:

Brooklyn park brawl turns deadly as 18-year-old gets stabbed
Josias Masson was fatally stabbed in the chest, while Kahliq Johnson, 20, and Maurice Burke, 17, were rushed to Kings County Hospital after being stabbed in the leg and arm in Lincoln Terrace Park in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Monday night. BY ROCCO PARASCANDOLA  NEW YORK DAILY NEWS June 25, 2014,

WPIX - June 24, 2014 - By Christopher Brito

WABC - June 24, 2014

WNBC -  June 24,  2014

DNAinfo - September 11, 2013 - By Sonja Sharp  

A Walk In The Park - May 13, 2013   

Bronx Man Shot Multiple Times At Lincoln Terrace Park In Brooklyn
A Walk In The Park - December 13, 2012

Woman Raped In Lincoln Terrace Park At Gunpoint
A Walk In The Park - June 2, 2012 

58-Year-old Homeless Man Killed In Lincoln Terrace Park
A Walk In The Park - October 25, 2010 

Woman in Brooklyn Park Is Raped by 5 Attackers
New York Times - December 1, 2002 - By Lydia Polgreen

Monday, June 23, 2014

Second Teen Dies In Starlight Park - Bronx River Drowning

Embedded image permalink
Divers search for missing teens on Friday in the Bronx River near Starlight Park. 

Erickson Villa, 13, and his cousin Wellington Gavin, 13, jumped in the Bronx River at Starlight Park around 3:10 p.m.  Wellington was pulled from the water after a 15-minute search, while Erickson Villa was found about an hour later. 

The section of the river and the park where the teenagers chose to swim is posted with warning signs against swimming and boating.


A second teen injured after jumping in the Bronx River last week has died, days after trying to save his cousin, heartbroken loved ones said, according to the New York Daily News.

Wellington Gavin, 13, who had been on a respirator since the Friday afternoon plunge, died Sunday afternoon, said the boy’s pastor, Rev. Joel Bauza. "At 3:20 [p.m.] Wellington Gavin passed away on his own. There was no need to stop the machines. His heart stopped on its own," said Bauza, who was flanked by Wellington’s distraught mother and his two sisters.

 Wellington’s cousin, Erickson Villa, 13, jumped off the pier near E. 172nd St. about 3:10 p.m. Friday to cool off after dismissal from Herman Ridder Intermediate School. Erickson knew how to swim but was having trouble, so Wellington jumped in to save him, Bauza told the News.   

They were quickly sucked away by the currents as horrified pals looked on. Wellington was pulled from the water by emergency responders after about 15 minutes and was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital in critical condition. He was later transferred to the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore hours later and remained in critical condition until he died, officials said.

Erickson wasn’t found by divers for an hour. He was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital but could not be saved. Grief-stricken family members were huddled at Wellington’s bedside for hours on Sunday and decided to take him off life support when he was unresponsive, Bauza said. But they never had to make the heartbreaking choice since Wellington’s heart stopped by itself, the pastor said.   

Cash-strapped family members are now making arrangements for a final viewing of the teens before both bodies are sent to the Dominican Republic for burial, Bauza said. "They're hurt,” the pastor said of both families. “The pain of losing their child is something that's unheard of. Something hard.”  

Read More:

New York Daily News - June 22, 2014  - By Barry Paddock, Caitlin Nolin, Ryan Sit, Mark Morales 

Wellington Gavin, Second Teen Pulled From Bronx River, Dies
WCBS -  June 22, 2014

Wall Street Journal - June 22, 2014 By Yoni Bashan 

Starlight Park Tragedy As Teen Drowns - Second in Critical Condition
A Walk In the Park - June 21, 2014

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Starlight Park Tragedy As Teen Drowns - Second in Critical Condition

Erickson Villa, 13, and his cousin Wellington Gavin, 13, jumped in the Bronx River at Starlight Park around 3:10 p.m. Another teenager ran up into Starlight Park and told a park worker who called 911 when they didn't surface. Wellington was pulled from the water after a 15-minute search, while Erickson Villa was found about an hour later. 

The section of the river and the park where the teenagers chose to swim is posted with warning signs against swimming and boating.


A 13-year-old boy drowned and his cousin was clinging to life Friday after a whimsical jump into the Bronx River turned tragic, authorities said, according to the NY Daily News. 

Erickson Villa and his cousin, both students at the nearby Herman Ridder Intermediate School, were hanging out with pals on a dock in Starlight Park near E. 172nd St. when they leapt into the river about 3:10 p.m., officials said. 

The water is shallow around the dock, but it deepens quickly, cops said. Neither boy could swim. Park workers called 911 when the boys didn’t surface. Emergency responders pulled one cousin out after a 15-minute search and rushed him to St. Barnabas Hospital in critical condition. 

Villa was pulled from the water about an hour later, at 4:25 p.m., officials said. His shirtless body appeared limp as he also was rushed to St. Barnabas.    

“It was some young kids, enjoying the weather, going for a swim,” said Deputy Fire Chief Anthony Montera, who helped supervise the rescue effort. 

Villa’s neighbors on Southern Blvd., where the teen lived for two years, were stunned by his death. 

“It’s a sad loss,” said Manuel Soto. “Hopefully this won’t happen to any other children in the neighborhood.”    

Read More:

New York Daily New - June 20, 2014 - By Barry Paddock, Joey Scarborough , Thomas Tracy, Sabrina Caserta, Christian Zhang  

NY Post  - June 20, 2014 -  By Aaron Feis, Kathryn Cusma and Philip Messing 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Man Dies After Jumping off Of Coney Island's Steeplechase Pier

A 29-year-old drowned after jumping off of Coney Island's Steeplechase Pier early this morning near W. 16th St. and Surf Ave. shortly after 2:30 a.m. His unconscious body was found by an FDNY diver 14 blocks away at W. 30th St. and Surf Ave. 

Diving off of Steeplechase Pier in Coney Island had been common place until in 2011 when NYC Park Advocates raised awareness about the dangers after a 14 - year-old boy was injured that June.  The city eventually cracked down on  the illegal diving after the issue received publicity.
(Photo: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) File Photo - July 2011

The famed pier made headlines in 1992, when Staten Island brothers John and Virgil Brown jumped off and broke their necks and became paralyzed.  The brothers sued the city and won more than $100 million - lowered to $25 million on appeal - in one of the largest settlements in the history of the Parks Department.


A man jumped off a Brooklyn pier and died a short time after emergency responders fished him out of the water, cops said. 

The 29-year-old man jumped into the water around 2:30 a.m. near Surf Avenue and West 16th Street early Thursday, according to authorities. 

The FDNY Marine Unit responded and was able to fetch him out of the water. He was transported in critical condition to Coney Island Hospital but later died, cops said

Read More:

NY Post - June 19, 2014 - By Natasha Velez  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Hero Parks Worker Succumbs To Fire As Deadly Brooklyn Blaze Claims Second Victim


By Geoffrey Croft

A beloved Parks employee who leapt from a second floor window to escape a deadly fire in Brooklyn last week has died NYC Park Advocates has learned.

James Anthony Frye, 47, passed away last night in Brookdale Hospital where he had been in a medical induced coma since June 2nd. The blaze also claimed the life of a 59-year-old woman who was buried this week.

The deadly fire happened just after 3 a.m. at NYCHA's Unity Houses at 390 Georgia Avenue in East New York.

James had braved the fire and helped rescue 4 grandchildren in the flame and smoke-filled apartment. After helping to get them out he went back in a second time to try and save the 59-year-old woman but it was too late.

He was forced to leap from a second floor window to escape.  

No word yet on what caused the fire.

James's mother Betty Heyward said this week that she was not surprised he went in to help rescue them. 

"That's the kind of person he is, he would give you the shirt off his back."

She said he had been staying with a family friend in the building for only two days while his apartment was renovated when the deadly accident occurred.

James worked for the Parks Department as a City Seasonal Aid providing security throughout Brooklyn at different facilities including Bushwick Inlet Park where he was also assigned. 

"He was a down-to-earth loving person who would help anyone in need," said Park Enforcement Patrol Captain Tanya Prince who worked with him for the last 4 years.

Captain Prince said for the past two years James worked year-round including helping to secure the beaches and boardwalk in Coney Island during Hurricane Sandy recovery work.  

"We are deeply saddened his death,"  said Joe Puleo,  president of Local 983 which represents the workers. 

"He will be missed. Mr. Frye was a hero, and he deserves recognition from the city."

According to Mr. Puleo,  James worked for Parks Department as a seasonal worker for over ten years.

"NYC Parks is saddened by  the passing of Seasonal Officer James Anthony Frye, who had worked for the agency in various assignments since 2005 as a member of the Parks Enforcement Patrol staff," the Parks Department said in a statement.

"Mr. Frye’s death on Thursday, June 12, following his brave rescue of several others in a fire in his Brooklyn home, resulted from his trying to rescue another person trapped in the blaze and suffering grievous injuries as he then tried to flee. His bravery was reflected in the words of his co-workers, who called Mr. Frye a gentle giant who was always committed to his job. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Frye family and with those whose lives he touched while working for Parks."

Betty Frye, a mother of three said she lost her only daughter years ago due to a heart condition. 

James had shown signs of improvement at the beginning of the week his mother and colleagues said.  He was moving his arms and legs and was partially breathing on his own,  but things took a turn for the worse the last few days.  

On Monday when reached by phone Betty said the incident was "devastating" and a "shock" and that the family was hoping and praying.

"We are just waiting for him to wake up. He's my baby boy." 

Read More:

New York Daily News - June 2, 2014 - By Tina Morre  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Six Teen Girls Wanted For Brutal Attack Of 16-Year-Old In Bronx Playground


Six girls are wanted for questioning in a brutal attack that left a 16-year-old hospitalized, authorities said Saturday, according to the New York Daily News.

The victim and her friend, also 16, were leaving a basketball court at Campanaro Playground on Eastchester Road near East Gun Hill Road in Williamsbridge at 6 p.m. May 31 when a a group of girls attacked them for no apparent reason, punching them several times in the face. 

The two victims suffered black eyes, bloody noses and cuts and scrapes to their faces and bodies, cops said. One of the victims needed medical care at Jacobi Hospital, officials said. 

Cops identified the six teens as Lauren London, Infinity Hammonds, Joy Starr, Samoi Emm, Celene Miller and Fanny Lexus. They are wanted for questioning in the attack, although it is unclear what role, if any, they played in the fisticuffs, police said.

 Anyone with information regarding the attack is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.   

Read More:

New York Daily News -  June 8, 2014 -  By Thomas Tracy   

Scissors-Wielding Teen Girls Arrested for Muggings In Fort Tryon Park Playground


Two 15-year-old girls threatened to stab people with scissors if they didn't hand over their cell phones and wallets in a Washington Heights park, police said according to DNAinfo.

The teen muggers were part of a group of four youths who police said pulled scissors on a man near the Fort Tryon Park playground just after 2 p.m. June 2. 

The victim, 47, was in the park when he was approached by the teens and two young men, police said. One of the men eyed the victim's iPhone, telling him "Nice phone" before demanding he give it up, police said.  

That's when one of the girls drew a large pair of scissors and threatened to stab the man, who picked up a stick to try to defend himself, according to police. When a passerby intervened, the group scattered.  Minutes later, the group confronted a 24-year-old woman sitting on a park bench. 

One of the teen girls placed her in a choke hold while the thieves rummaged through her purse and stole her makeup, keys and a wallet with $450 inside, police said.  

Officers from the 34th Precinct spotted the youth committing the second crime and cuffed the teen girls, though the males escaped, police said.  The girls are suspected of threatening other people with scissors the previous Monday morning, May 26, police said. 

Three other victims said they were mugged by teen girls in the 33rd and 34th Precincts, according to police. An investigation is ongoing.  The girls, whose names are being withheld by DNAinfo New York because of their age, were charged with first-degree robbery, police said. 

Attempts to reach their lawyers were unsuccessful. 

Read More:

Scissors-Wielding Teen Girls Arrested for Muggings in Uptown Park
DNAinfo - By Nigel Chiwaya on June 7, 2014

Friday, June 6, 2014

Plan To Cut Into Historic Ridgewood Reservoir Has Activists Fuming - Fears This Will Lead To Development

Flood Hazzard?  The New York State DEC has classified the Ridgewood Reservoir's three basins as a "Class C" High Hazard Dam, critics disagree.  (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) click on images to enlarge

The decommissioned Ridgewood Reservoir in Highland Park is a natural oasis on the Queens-Brooklyn border. Local activists are worried that a state-mandated plan to dig out culverts in the reservoir will destroy the natural beauty of the area. Park and State officials say it is necessary to prevent flooding, activists disagree. 

For years the community fought against Mayor Bloomberg's $50 million PlaNYC proposal to clear out 20 acres of one of the basins for ballfields and develop the area for active recreation. 

Community residents instead wanted the unique area as let along as a natural oasis.

Mayor Bloomberg finally got the message and cut funding for the project.

Critics of the culvert plan say the $ 6 million dollars would be much better spent clearing out the invasive species and providing facilities for educational programing and for security personnel.

Community members and envirmentailists have long advocated for the repurposing two of the existing gate house buildings located on the basin's perimeter for use as an environmental center and a Parks Enforcement Patrol/Ranger facility.  

These funds could play a vital role in the future success of a newly reclaimed natural area! 

 - Geoffrey Croft

Invasive species strangle heathy trees and dramically reduce bio-divercity. 


Local activists are fuming over a city plan to cut culverts into the historic Ridgewood Reservoir in order to stave off the threat of future flooding. They say the $6 million plan — currently awaiting state environmental approvals — is unnecessary and wasteful of money, according to the New York Daily News.  

“It would have to rain 24 hours a day for months to reach capacity,” said Geoffrey Croft of New York City Park Advocates. 

Critics also worry the project will disturb the ecosystems in the defunct reservoir. 

“Construction will destroy the natural habitats within the basins, not to mention that it is also a colossal waste of taxpayer money,” said local civic activist Christina Wilkinson said. 

“Furthermore, if this weather event actually were to occur, allowing the basins to drain into a small catch basin on Vermont Place would be pointless as the sewer system would already be overflowing.” 

The reservoir, located on the Brooklyn-Queens border, was built in 1858 and supplied water to Brooklyn until 1959. 

But the Parks Department said it will face fines by the state if the work is not done, since the reservoir is considered a flooding hazard. 

The only other solution that would satisfy the state — which would involve extensive tree removal and ongoing maintenance — is more costly and intrusive, parks officials said.

The reservoir, located on the Brooklyn-Queens border, was built in 1858. It supplied water to Brooklyn until 1959.

Former Mayor Bloomberg announced 10 years ago that the site would be transferred from the city Department of Environmental Protection to the Parks Department as parkland.


The long abandoned gate houses along the reservoir basin's perimeter could be repurposed and used as an environmental center and a permanent station for Parks Enforcement Patrol officers and park rangers.

The Bloomberg Administration originally pegged the reservoir and surrounding Highland Park for renovations. But the $50 million proposal to clear out 20 acres for ballfields and develop the area for recreation died for lack of funds.   

A Tale Of Two Reservoirs? The community had also requested the fences in the redesign match the historical ones but Park Department officials said that could not be done for safety reasons.  The fence around the Central Park reservoir (left) however used the exact same design as in Ridgewood (right). (Save Ridgewood Reservoir) 

The city did complete a smaller project to repair pathways and lighting around the reservoir, and make the areas more handicapped accessible. Agency officials said the flood prevention project would not change the condition of the reservoir or reduce public access. 

But concerned citizens worried that the culverts could pave the way for future development. 

“It is my firm belief that (the Parks Department) crying crocodile tears when they say that they’d rather not breach the basins but are being forced to by the DEC,” said Rob Jett, who founded the Save the Ridgewood Reservoir website.

He and others worry that the city will revive old plans to clear parts of the reservoir to build the ballfields.   

Familiar bluet at the Ridgewood Reservoir. (Photo: Steve Nanz)

 Interpretive Sign.

Read More:

Parks Officials Say State Wants Ridgewood Reservoir Basins to Be Safer
NY 1 - July 10, 2014 - By Agnes Chung