Checking in on Washington Square Park Redesign: Phase II —
September is around the corner and while Phase II-A – the entire Eastern end – finally opened a few months ago in early June; the remainder, Phase II-B, the Southwestern Quadrant which includes the Chess Plaza, is still lagging far behind.
While neglecting to provide a reason for the prolonged delay, Parks Department spokesperson Phil Abramson pointedly commented that the construction will be finished “by end of summer” which he clarified “is mid/late September.” The Parks Department web site says Fall 2011.
WSP’s Phase II construction: A story of moving parts and roving completion dates
Washington Square Park Redesign: Phase II originally included the entire Northeast and Southeast side as well as the Southwest Quadrant of the Park including the Chess Plaza, Mounds, Large Dog Run and Perimeter Sidewalks.
These last three areas have been removed from Phase II entirely (moved into Phase III) although, all of Phase II, with these sections included, was initially scheduled to be completed by Fall 2010. That date then moved to December (tho’ I doubted it); next came word of Spring 2011. After this, Phase II was split into two parts with the city’s Parks Department reporting that the Eastern end was scheduled to open “around Memorial Day.” That date was pretty close to being realized — Phase IIA opened June 2nd of this year.
Phase II B was supposed to follow a similar trajectory. In April, it was announced that its completion was scheduled “in June,” to follow close on the heels of the Eastern side. However, as the SW section dragged behind, the date changed to “August 8th,” and now, as you see, the official word is end of September.
As a relatively small section of the park, what could be the hold up? Some days there’s barely any work done and yet two Fridays ago, there was much action with numerous workers and multiple trucks (that was the day the trees were removed). At that time, it seemed like the work could be completed momentarily. Since then, not so much.
Chelsea Now has a great story about artificial turf in this week’s issue. Washington Square Park is scheduled to get artificial turf at the base of the Mounds (now scheduled for Phase III construction), despite … Read more…
Cancelled due to forthcoming storm; will be rescheduled — The Martinez Academy of Arms will present dueling in Washington Square Park on Sunday, August 28th from 5-7 p.m. at the Holley Plaza (west of the … Read more…
Updated 1:15 p.m. — Why are so many trees at Washington Square Park dying? In addition to those perpetually dying around the Washington Square Fountain (8 thus far in 2 years), numerous trees are dying … Read more…
With all the talk about “MillionTreesNYC” in our city, as one blogger wrote, it’s really “OneMillionDeadTrees”. Another p.r. ruse put forth by our Mayor — the plan lacks any built-in initiative to maintain the “million” … Read more…
I’ve previously reported on the young trees dying repeatedly around the Washington Square Fountain, this tree (pictured above) now makes tree #8. Over the last two years, trees have been replaced by the Parks Department … Read more…
Red-tailed Hawk Bobby Perched Atop the Judson Church Cross While… This is neighborhood Red-tailed hawk Bobby, I presume, atop the Judson Church cross. Previously noted as one of his favorite haunts around the park, he … Read more…
I haven’t written about the Washington Square Park Red-tailed hawks of late. Last Thursday (8/11), hours before the New York Times shut down the HawkCam, and in time to be captured on video, Violet and … Read more…
Earlier this year, I wrote about the state of 8th Street off of the Park, once a destination when visiting New York City, a thriving strip of unique movie theaters, stores and book shops. Particularly … Read more…
Updated 4:45 p.m. In mid-May of this year, the new Washington Square Park fountain went under repair for two or so weeks. As part of the Bloomberg Administration’s redesign of the park, the famous fountain, … Read more…
After first saying that pesticide spraying would not occur in Prospect Park because of the Celebrate Brooklyn concerts – something that raised a few eyebrows (either something is urgent, or it is not) – the New York City Department of Health backtracked and said pesticide spraying will occur tonight after midnight in the Park.
Prospect Park is a 585 acre park with a 60 acre lake. There are dragonflies and bats — both natural predators of the mosquito, as well as butterflies, ladybugs, bees — all are killed by the pesticide spraying. In addition, people walking through the park tomorrow morning will be breathing in fresh pesticide spray which has known and detrimental health effects. People will be walking their dogs which are close to the ground and they will breathe in and walk through the harmful pyrethroid pesticide, Anvil 10+10.
A few years ago, I flyered Prospect park-goers with literature about the health effects of the pesticides and a woman stopped to tell me, that, after walking through the park the morning after it had been sprayed, she encountered numerous lady bugs on the ground dying.
This is our eco-system — we are charged with protecting it; not killing it.
You have a greater chance of being hit by lightning than getting the West Nile virus. If someone did get West Nile, typically, they would not know it or might experience a slight cold.
NEW YORK CITY MUST STOP SPRAYING TOXIC PESTICIDES IMMEDIATELY
The City has announced it will spray dangerous pesticides in crowded residential areas in Brooklyn and Queens on Thursday, August 4th, 2011.
The No Spray Coalition is appalled by Mayor Bloomberg’s and the City’s Department of Health decision to renew the mass-spraying — no legitimate reasons given.
We also condemn the New York City government’s advice to residents and visitors that they personally use insect repellants containing DEET on themselves and their children. DEET is especially dangerous for children and should NEVER be used; it is associated with numerous infant deaths. The City knows this; we negotiated an agreement with the City last year that they wouldn’t recommend DEET.
Furthermore, this year’s spray of choice — Anvil 10+10 — is listed in Local Law 37 (2005 update, see page 1, paragraph 4, discussion of table 2) that states that for piperonyl butoxide and MGK-264 contained as synergists in Anvil 10 + 10, that:
both of these chemicals are classified as possible human carcinogens by the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs. Only 94 products contain pyrethrins without other carcinogen ingredients. Therefore, most products containing pyrethrins continue to be prohibited under LL37 even if the reference to the EPA list was updated.
Local Law 37 prohibits the use of pesticides by NYC in public places if it contains PBO and/or MGK-264. Why are they violating their own law?
The No Spray Coalition is also deeply troubled not only by NYC’s reckless spraying of Anvil 10 + 10 to kill mosquitoes, but for the City’s very short notice — around 24 hours, that’s it!
“After years of litigation to stop this reckless spraying of pesticides which has contributed to skyrocketing increases in cancer and asthma, and now the collapse of bee colonies in the New York area, I am outraged that the Bloomberg Administration is renewing its mindless criminal poisoning of the people and environment of our City,” said Howard Brandstein, coordinator of SOS-FOOD, NY State Against Genetic Engineering, and a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit brought seven years ago by the No Spray Coalition and other organizations against Rudolph Giuliani and the New York City government.
That lawsuit ended in April 2007, when NYC signed a settlement agreement acknowledging, among other stipulations, that pesticides: – may remain in the environment beyond their intended purpose – cause adverse health effects – kill mosquitoes’ natural predators (such as dragonflies) – increase mosquitoes’ resistance to the sprays, and – are not presently approved for direct application to waterways.
The Department of Health contravenes that settlement by now stating that there are no significant risks of adverse impact to human health associated with the proper use of this product. “That is simply a lie,” said No Spray Coalition coordinator Mitchel Cohen. In fact, the spraying puts many New York City residents and visitors at grave risk.
“These kind of ignorant and lying politicians and bureaucrats apparently have no problem destroying our health in order to ‘save’ us from the so-called West Nile virus,” Howard Brandstein added. “Clearly, the spraying jeopardizes a thousand times more people than the disease.”
The pesticide the City is spraying — “Anvil 10 + 10” — belongs to a class of adulticides known as pyrethroids, which are endocrine disruptors. They mimic hormones such as estrogen, and may cause breast cancer in women and drastically lower sperm counts in men. Pyrethroids have also been associated with prostate cancer, miscarriages and preterm delivery, asthma, toxicity to many vital organs including the nervous system, liver, kidneys and the gastro-intestinal tract, skin rashes, itching and blisters, and nausea and vomiting.
Anvil contains the cancer-causing chemical piperonyl butoxide, which the Environmental Protection Agency lists as a suspected carcinogen. It also contains Sumithrin — a synthetic toxin, made in the laboratory — as well as benzene-related chemicals (which the label calls “inert ingredients.”)