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Treat Flushing Meadows with respect

Flushing Meadows Corona Park is the second-most used park in the city municipal park system. It also has the dubious distinction of being the most abused, pillaged and neglected of any major park in the system.

When the Mets and the United States Tennis Association play at home, large areas of grassland become parking lots. One need not speculate what would happen to your car if you parked on grass in any other park in the city. It should therefore come as no surprise that Flushing Meadows is the second most dangerous park in the city ("Flushing Mdws crime No. 2 in city's parks," Flushing Times, April 3).

The fault lies with the majority of Queens elected officials who have never taken this park seriously and look at it as a sports complex. Particular attention should be focused on Borough President Helen Marshall, who has a sordid history when it come to this park. She thought there was nothing wrong with removing over 100 trees and building a grand prix racetrack in the park, supported doubling the size of parkland for the USTA and most recently thought it was a grand idea to build a huge Jets football stadium in the middle of the park.

All this is aided and abetted by the city Parks Department, which lacks the integrity to protect this urban park and caves in to political pressure. Flushing Meadows will always be under siege until it is removed from the city's municipal park system and turned over to a non-political, professional park manager. The time has come to give serious consideration this idea.

Benjamin M. Haber


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