Monday, June 4, 2012

North Star and Dirt-Bikers Start Dialogue

Members of the "public safety" committee of the North Star met with two leading Harlem dirt-bikers. Our hope was to begin a relationship with the bikers and start a discussion about safety measures, including discouraging riding on sidewalks and running red lights. See link below.

Letter to Commish Benepe to fix 116th St. Playground

Below is the letter the North Star has submitted to Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe urging him to fix the playground at 116th St. in Morningside Park. We encourage everyone to call 311 about the playground and register your own complaint.


The North Star Neighborhood Association
Harlem, NY

“I would unite with anybody to do right and
 with nobody to do wrong” – Frederick Douglass

June 1, 2012

Dear Commissioner Benepe,

On behalf of the North Star Neighborhood Association, I write to you to urge the Department of Parks and Recreation to fix the flooring in the playground at 116th St in Morningside Park immediately. Over the last year the flooring has rapidly deteriorated. The tiles have separated such that there gaps several inches wide. These gaps are not only a tripping hazard, but children’s feet and ankles are getting caught in them. We fear a child’s serious injury is imminent.

The state of the playground is a cause for much concern in our community. The North Star Neighborhood Association recently collected over 150 signatures petitioning the Parks Department to fix the situation promptly. Many in the community commented on how important this newly constructed playground is to our neighborhood in Harlem. It has been such a wonderful community asset and everyone wants to make sure it is properly maintained and enjoyed safely by all for years to come.

We understand that Parks has been aware of this flooring situation for over a year.  We know that Friends of Morningside Park has been urging Parks to fix this problem, and we support their hard work. We also understand that Parks are in talks with the manufacturer about how much of the cost they will cover. While we sympathize with the city's desire to hold the manufacturer responsible, we see this as an urgent situation that needs to be addressed immediately before a child gets seriously hurt.

We look forward to a swift and satisfactory resolution as the summer season is upon us.

Sincerely yours,

Jonathon Kahn
North Star Neighborhood Association

Cc:            Council Member Inez Dickens
                  Borough Commissioner William Castro, NYC Parks
                  Borough President Scott M. Stringer
                  State Senator Bill Perkins
                  Assemblyman Keith Wright
                  Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell
 Jacquie Connors, President, Friends of Morningside Park
                  Rev. Georgiette Morgan-Thomas, Chair, Community Board 9