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NYPost: Resident Suing to Reclaim Spot in Sunnyside Community Garden

June 21, 2015 NEW YORK POST

She was given the heave-hoe.

A Queens woman tossed from her community garden like a rotten radish is hoping a judge will plant the seeds for her return.

Mary Caulfield, 56, wants a court to reinstate her at Sunnyside Community Garden, where residents of western Queens have been planting flowers and vegetables for more than 40 years.

Caulfield says she doesn’t know why she was suddenly raked right out of the club, claiming in court papers that a fellow gardener “demanded that she return her key” in May 2013 on the orders of club president Peter Coyne.

The banishment came “without any reason or justification,” Caulfield contends in a Manhattan Supreme Court legal filing against the city Transportation and Parks departments, which own and oversee the strip of land along Barnett Avenue near 50th Street.

The garden is adjacent to the larger Sunnyside Gardens Park, a private, 3.5-acre green space for residents of Sunnyside Gardens, a designated city historic district.

The community garden operates on city land and was created when two local men, tired of looking at the trash-filled area, began clearing out and rehabilitating the space. Now there is a waiting list of people eager for a plot of their own to till.

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76 Comments

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GARDEN PARK PROPERTY?

Isn’t the land between the park fence and the sidewalk belong to Sunnyside Park? If so, why is it being called city land if it is before the sidewalk?

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Professor Moriarty

Those steeped in white privilege don’t know it any more than a baby bird knows he is in an egg until he emerges from it. Black faces ignite a conflagration of fear in them, because they grew up learning African American men were the most fearsome people in the world. It often leads to tragedy.

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A.Bundy

i’d sue for racial discrimination! why are all the people that run it and use it all white?

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Anonymous visitor

That is not true! Yes, that a majority of the people are of the white race but we have Asian, Hispanic, Indian, and yes, even African-American in the garden! Get your facts straight before noting things and further more maybe “white people” run the garden because “white people” step up to the plate to run organizations!!! Sounds like you’re the racist!!!!

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Neighbor Lady

Oh, that was awful. You mean people of other colors don’t have what it takes to run something? Oh, dear. Not a good thing to say. Look at what just happened to Donald Trump.

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Neutral Observer

Is that you, Sully? Those serial exclamation points and the unsupressed rage suggest it. “Even” African Americans, are allowed in the garden but none of the people of color “stepped up to the plate.” Was there a call for sharing responsibility or was it a call for laborers to carry out the leader’s plan? It sounds as if you are suggesting they don’t want responsibility. Is that what you mean? Please clear that up for the readers here.

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Sully

No Mary, once again it is NOT me…….I am just Sully, so be careful with your accusations.
Funny how you don’t post your own name here since you seem so sure of yourself. And, once again, You know exactly why you were told to leave the garden, so why pretend you don’t know. The truth is the truth no matter how you try to spin it.

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Sully

Mary,
Once again, I say bring on the truth. I give voice to the word truth in a loud manner, so you don’t miss it, and threats are so vulgar.
Rose Sullivan

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Crazy Janie

A lawsuit is not a threat. It is a legal way to have an impartial judge settle disputes, redress injuries and compensate victims. It is lawful.

Some people might say repeatedly hissing comments to a physically weaker person in a darkening, deserted place is threatening. If you want to call that vulgar, I doubt anyone would argue with you.

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Neutral Observer

Sorry for the typos above. It was a long day yesterday and my eyes were tired.

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Neutral Observer

If Rose Sullivan, Peter Coyne and their supporters have honestly, openly, legally and morally conducted themselves in the manner thir privileged positions of leadership in about 4,000 sq. feet of public peoperty requires, they have nothing to fear. The judge will thank them for their actions. If they haven’t, well, they mightwd be served up a big slice of humble pie.

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Mike Novak

IP Addresses and Mach Numbers are collected with each post.
There is no real anonymity on the web. The slanderers, libelers and liars can be outed by a Freedom of Information Act request.

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wait

Does FOIA apply to this website? I didn’t realize it was a govt agency… thanks for the 411

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Mike Novak

Its disgusting and cowardly for the haters to be allowed to post vile filth and lies here. If you are going to sling mud, at least have the balls to post with your REAL NAME.

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Reader

You agree that people should use their real names when posting insults. Then you post an anonymous insult.

That is funny!

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Neutral Observer

Oh, and an effort to place emphasis with words in full capitals rather than with syntax, rhythm or other verbal techniques. Over-use of capitalization has been called the written equivalent of ranting and raving, which quickly leaches credibility rather than building it. That may or may not be the case here. The judge’s decision should shed some light. As long as all procedures and legalities have been followed, no one has anything to fear, do they? Is there still time to settle our of court? That is usually best for all.

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Neutral Observer

Good try, but no cigar.

Even a quick look reveals a very strong probability that the screeds against the person in question all share the same author using various aliases, whether Anonymous, Anonymous Visitor or Sully.

They all share the same willingness to bear false witness against a neighbor, the same tone of unsupressed rage and the same irregularities of punctuation: lack of initial capitals except in the first word of the post, serial periods in place of either ellipses or standard punctuation and strings of exclamation points.

Authorial fingerprints are on many of the prosecutable posts here. It doesn’t take much to dig up the truth. Electronics have fingerprints, too.

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Sully

No Mary, I’m NOT anonymous visitor, I’m just SULLY ……so gee MARY, you must be thinking of someone who has had “long-term dislike” (in your mind) for you…. I never did a damn thing to you and you know it!!!!! ……so stop your nonsense and give it a rest…..you brought this all on yourself.
Unequivocally,
Rose Sullivan, garden member, long time Phipps resident and proud of it!!!!!

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Neutral Observer

Sorry for this late comment, but it just occurred to me. While the person filing suit for a fair hearing clearly disagrees with your assertions about events two years ago, (The court may be studying that now, who knows?) no one can disagree that the person filing believes that those who locked her out brought this current action upon themselves. The court will hear arguments and decide that, I hope. Suits often turn up strange facts and facets of peoples actions. It is a risk on both sides.

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Dana

“Sully”, do you really expect that I should believe comments authored by “Anonymous” “Anonymous Visitor” and “El Loco”? I’m not a “supporter” of Mary Caufield, I hardly know her. But I do know she is a long time resident of the neighborhood who has worked hard in her own way to help individuals, and it’s a damn shame that hipsters with their cool looking fedoras, nerdy glasses, and time and money to hang out, drink, and play trivia on Tuesday nights have tossed her out, just like you blood suckers are the reason old-timers are being driven out of their apartments. neighborhood. Congratulations on making your own lives better at the expense of the elderly.

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Sully

Once again, newbies or hipsters have nothing to do with the issue…..
and Yes, as you say, you hardly know Mary Caufield……be glad about that Dana, or whatever your name is

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Blank Check

“Anonymous Visitor” and “Sully” sounds just like Rose Sullivan, a member of the garden and a Phipps Resident whose long-term dislike of the woman is widely known.

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Old Lace

What a spring of polluted waters you are! Didn’t you ever hear the old adage, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all?” It’s a nugget of conventional wisdom you might contemplate.

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sully

Dana… obviously you are a supporter of Mary Caufield and of violence…and garbage in the streets of our neighborhood…a few of the posts above did give insight to the root of this issue.. your simply not chosing to read them …and BTW it was “old-timers” who volunteered to clean up Barnett.. with no help from a certain delusional person claiming persecution… before making ridiculous comments “Dana”…get all the facts and please stop promoting violence in our neighborhood.

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New Jerk

I knew a Golden Glove fighter once. Saw him at the Garden on the boulevard. He didn’t get too far in the ring, but he shut mouths all over the neighborhood. He just clenched his right hand. Without saying a word, everyone knew he wouldn’t put up with garbage mouths like these here.

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Dana

It really is a shame the comments in here reflect an ignorance and disregard of Sunnyside’s proud history with fisticuffs. Take yourselves over to the corner of Queens Blvd and 45th Street, outside of Wendy’s, and you’ll see a monument dedicated to fighting and a plaque celebrating a former fighting emporium. No other community in NYC is able to boast of a history with fighting like Sunnyside.

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SouthSideJohnny

Dana, I thought you were in the kitchen, making knuckle sandwiches. Can you get me a beer while you’re in there?

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Dana

I miss the old days on Barnett Avenue, reminded me of my days in Cambodia hunting down members of the People’s Army, scurrying back into the north, the smell of Agent Orange in the air. The old Barnett Ave was a part of the charm of Sunnyside, uprooted by so-called “do-gooders”, looking to push out old timers like Mary. Sully, this comment section has spun out of control because no real information was provided in the article published above, which simply repeats the half story published in the NYP.

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Sully

geeeesh…many of you folks here would rather fill this site with nonsense by making stupid, immature remarks about a serious issue that affects this community …specifically the community garden where many of you come to drop off your compost for recycling or just to walk through the garden and enjoy the peace and quiet and beauty ….the people who are in that garden took it upon themselves to clean up the dump that was Barnett Ave. in order to help make our community cleaner and safer……the beautification of Barnett Ave and the garden as a whole was made possible by many community members who volunteered their time and extreme physical labor in an effort to keep our neighborhood clean and safe……it’s sad to think that one disturbed individual threatens to ruin the beautifully peaceful green space that had long been a dumping ground for industrial and private waste and illegal makeshift dwellings by transients…..it’s sadder still that some of you treat this issue as a joke by making ridiculous statements…..would it still be funny if Barnett Ave reverted back to the unsafe dangerous area that it once was?….

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ravish radish

It’s easier to sit back and post anonymous comments than do hard work to help the community. I am not sure this ‘case’ is a community issue and hope it gets resolved. It may be unrealistic to expect commenters here to be thoughtful and mature. Unemployed comedy writers need to keep up their skills, am I right? Thanks to all who help make our community – offline – better.

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Dana

Word has it that Liz was “the muscle” Mary brought to the garden to settle things the old fashioned and so Liz was tossed from Bliss. All this changed started when Bar 43 turned its location from gay to straight.

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Mikey

Liz will make you a Knuckle Sammy to stay or to-go, just not at Bliss anymore. A frozen margarita however is a different story.

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Case for Judge Judy

This is a case for Judge Judy – The Case of the ‘Rotten Radish’ vs. The Heave- Hoe.’

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Celticparker

Forget about Mary Caulfield – what happened to Liz from the Bliss bar/restaurant 47th. and Greenpoint Ave. ? ? ?

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Dana

Disputes between neighbors in Sunnyside have been resolved with a knuckle sandwich since the beginning of time. These newbies have to learn and adapt to local customs.

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Anonymous visitor

So are you condoning “knuckle sandwich” our differences toward one another?

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El loco

The New Post Coffee Shop used to sell knuckle sandwiches. The last Sunnyside establishment to sell them. Hey Dana can I make one for ya.

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Anonymous Visitor

That must be the stupidest comment of the year Dana. What a moron to suggest violence against another is OK. I’ve lived her for 40 years and a knuckle sandwich was never the way to settle things

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Anonymous

none of this has anything to do with newbies…..Mary Caufield was refused access to the community garden after years of disruptive behavior in various forms….. and finally, for introducing violence to the garden by way of bringing a male friend to the garden to beat up a fellow gardener……

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Anonymous visitor

Police reports were also filed with our local precinct if anyone is interested in knowing the TRUTH! The Post didn’t do a very god job in doing all their research!

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Anonymous visitor

Mary had a male friend of hers come in to the garden to assault another gardener after a dispute they had! If that’s not a good enough reason to have someone removed, then I don’t know what is! She is not a well individual so clearly she won’t tell the reasoning behind it. She must feel justified in her actions! SICK!

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JOReilly

I don’t what happened here, but I do know the story has now been published in two newspapers (one is really a comic book masking as a newspaper) and as news cycles go, this will probably be picked up by other outlets. So why can’t the story be told even if only as allegations? Or can somebody direct me to an alternate news site where information is actually delivered?

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Anonymous

Sorry, but how do you not know what happened?…..did you read the article? ……this women is claiming to have been removed from a community garden for no apparent reason…and is now trying to sue the city…..at taxpayers expense!!!……

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Sunnysider

Slow day at SSP?
Why is this news and why would rest of sunnyside care about what’s happening between old folks who apparently can’t share a tiny piece of dirt they got? Isn’t there anything else for these retired community to do? Christian and whoever else is running this blog, maybe it’s time you open a Bingo and Shuffleboard joint, seriously, get these people busy with other things. And let’s focus on more important things.

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El loco

I’m surprised that no one has answered because that’s exactly what a neighborhood paper is supposed to write about.

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Sunnysider

Neighborhood? It sounds more like a personal issue to me. Should SSP start writing about noise complaints from apartments above and below, or someone stole my folding chair, I know it’s Mrs. Johnson at Apt 42A, how about those? Are those neighborhood issues? Nope, they are personal problems and these things, especially when they concern a piece of land that someone made it into their own backyard and seems like they have the right to kick someone out, has no place in a neighborhood paper.
You sunnyside gardens folks should start your own little local newspaper and deal with your old folks amongst yourselves. I once heard someone put a little fence around the public part of the gardens and claimed it his own, and when the next door did same thing people complained that everyone was botching the gardens with their own little crappy fences.
It sounds like Sunnyside Gardens people need some kind of neighborhood sensitivity workshop or something. All that oxygen is making them quiet nasty.

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AnonSunnyHipster

Yes to Bingo and Shuffleboard! Old people and hipsters alike love these games! In SSGP!

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a concerned resident.....

Many people know the reason why Mary Caufield was asked to leave the community garden and so does she!!!!!

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Anonymous visitor

I know why she was kicked out! Tell the people why you aren’t allowed to be a garden member anymore, Mary!!!!!

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El loco

Sunnyside Gardens has become a blight on the neighborhood. That woman is pretty tough looking. I will also be attending Ramadan Under the El tonight if anyone wants to stop by and talk.

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El loco

She was tossed out because she was stealing other people’s plants and eating them. That’s why.

Reply

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