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Skateboarding Feature At Windmuller Park “Off The Table” After Petition

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Dec. 14, 2015 By Christian Murray

When Woodside resident Gennaro Massaro heard the Parks Department was considering installing a skateboard area in Windmuller Park, he took swift action.

Massaro, a Berkeley Towers resident who lives across the street from the park, said he started an old fashioned paper petition and that he has collected 300 signatures to date.

“I hear bang, bang, bang and have to close my windows,” said Massaro, who lives on the fourth floor and is vice president of the co-op board. He said that the skateboarders continuously jump on and off the park’s bandstand and in doing so have wrecked it.

A new skateboarding feature for the park was proposed last summer as part of a $500,000 upgrade to the park, with money allocated by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. Massaro said he found out about the potential feature by chance at the end of last month, after his neighbor was informed of the plan by a Parks Department worker.

When asked about the redesign this week, Van Bramer said the skateboarding feature was by no means a done deal.

“It was in the proposal stage,” he said.

The skateboard area was being considered as a means to reduce the likelihood that the band shell and other upgrades would not get degraded.

“I spoke to folks in the Berkeley Towers and some of the board members and said that there were enough people concerned about it that it is off the table,” he said.

Van Bramer said that he will be holding a community meeting in January where people can take a fresh look at what upgrades people would like.

Woodside teenager Sam, who was skateboarding today, admitted that skateboarding is noisy. However, he said the basketball players make plenty of noise especially when they dribble the ball up and down the court.

“There are a lot of skateboarders who live around here,” Sam said, in disappointment in hearing what might have been. “It would have made a great addition.”

Massaro is looking forward to having his say in terms of how the funds should be spent.

“I think we should have more things for the senior citizens,” he said. “What about shuffleboard or Bocce or even a horseshoe pit.”

Skate boarder at Windmuller Park

A video posted by QueensPost (@queenspost) on Dec 14, 2015 at 1:12pm PST

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33 Comments

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John Hughes & Desirée Clancy, Park Plaza residents/registered voters

Hey Baby Boomers, your generation gap is showing! Has it been that long since you remembered what it felt like to be younger? I’m sure your elders at the time were annoyed by and couldn’t understand the appeal of learning the latest “crazy” dance moves in time for the sock hop (or whatever it was that floated your boat), just as much as they did for their elders and so on. But one thing that has and always will remain the same, is the quest for fun. So instead of being that grumpy guy who is annoyed with everything, why not try seeing if compromises can be made? We all happen to live on a street surrounded by parks and playgrounds. It’s only natural that concessions be made that would prove mutually beneficial to all parties. People have jobs that specialize in planning/rendering these things. Maybe a bocce ball court or something could also have been accommodated? So long shuffleboard. But I guess we’ll never know. I guess the old saying is true, youth is wasted on the young. Should this referendum come up again, maybe everyone wouldn’t be so quick to shoot it down. I would love to see kids out in the park rather than stuck indoors glued to a video game. Until I can play you in a game of horse shoes in our park, I think I’ll sit back and enjoy a double feature of Blackboard Jungle then Rebel Without A Cause. You’re more than welcome if you bring the popcorn!

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Berkeley Towers !!! resident

If we all could only use a bit more common sense! So the kids that frequent and skateboard at Winmuller are OK either way. They will just continue to skate on and around the bandshell where it is less safe and probably continue to cause damage to the structure instead of having a dedicated safer area to do so.

The great majority of adults and seniors visiting the park just want to have a bench to sit on or take walk around the loop.

Give the seniors what they want! Give the boys and girls of the Berkeleys, Woodside Gardens, Sunny Hill, etc.
The skateboard area at Windmuller Park!

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skills man

Genarro always has something to complain about when it comes to the kids in the area. This park is packed and 99% of the people are young and nice kids that aren’t doing any harm- shooting hoops and hanging around. Thank goodness they have this park to be active and safe. I bring my young kids and the older ones are very respectful. Sure its a little noisy but its a huge park and where else can they go to let loose if not a park. Can’t be any louder than those polka music nights — I don’t hear the kids complaining to JVB about the seniors who get that all summer long????

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Diane W.

I grew up in that park and I am now 56 years old. The old people are grumpy and crotchity and can’t remember what it’s like to be a kid. And I’m sure they made just as much noise running the streets with their soapbox derby cars. Which are nothing more than the grandfather to the skate board. So lighten up and let them have their skate park. think young and fun.. life is too short!

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Gennaro Massaro

Dear Diane, As I stated before there is no other activity in the park that emits a sudden load jolting noise like a skateboard landing on pavement. It is a sound that you can never get used to especially when you are asleep and have to get up for work. It seems these kids have no set times to perform their stunts. They should go in front of their homes where they live and do this at that time of the night. Yes I played in parks and made noise but it was the noise of basketball, soccer, softball, baseball and many other activities. We never tried to crash out bikes into exercise equipment or tear out landscape ties to perform jumps. These types of activities belong away for residences as they are provided in the skateboard areas of Astoria and Flushing Meadow Park, deeply embedded in the park and nowhere near where people live. We are entitled to some peace and quiet after midnight.

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Qnsgrl

Along with the elderly, what about young children and babies that play nearby? I would be worried with the skateboard park being situated right next to them, which I believe is where it would be set up. And also, when other kids from other neighborhoods (some of them not so great) hear about the park, that will bring some more undesirables into the neighborhood. I think we have enough already.

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A couple thoughts

I am also a Berkeley Towers resident and wouldn’t mind the skateboard feature. Young people need fun activities in the neighborhood and it’s not noisier than any other normal kids’ play in the park. However, it seems that many elderly residents are worried about being run over or injured by skateboarders.

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Victor

he said. “What about shuffleboard or Bocce or even a horseshoe pit.”
How ridiculous!!! Let’s put in some payphone booths…

300 signatures for Bocce, shuffleboard or even a horseshoe pit?
Is this a real story?

Windmuller already is a skateboard park.
I walked by on the weekend and there were several railroad ties set up.
Looked like the kids were having a grand old time.

Cudos to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer for the idea.

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Gennaro Massaro

Don’t worry Victor, if and when they ever build the feature I’m going in front of Jimmy’s home and banging a skateboard on the pavement all day from 9 am until 11pm. I’ve retired so I can do it. I want to see his reaction when he can’t live peaceably in his home. The kids should be out of the park at 9pm. The problem is with enforcement by both the park enforcement police and the 108th precinct.

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Gennaro Massaro

And if they build it every skateboarder within miles will come and they will never leave the park. They have no respect for the time restrictions. Skateboarders are a breed of people who think that nothing applies to them. They can do what they want no matter how it effects other people. Maybe if they showed some respect for the park and the people using it there wouldn’t be so much opposition from the community on this subject.

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Malcolm Lightner

I’m sorry to say, but you are a complete idiot with not even a shred of common sense.

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Roxy

What’s being done to control skateboarding on the sidewalks of Sunnyside? Several times, I’ve narrowly escaped being knocked down. One day, I came home to find several kids who didn’t even live in my building using the raised entrance as a launching pad. When I chased them away, they cursed me out with filthy language.

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X con

Thee you have it… build a skate park and rid of skating in the street and public property. That simple.

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Berkeley Tower Resident

Many Berkeley Tower residents are for the skateboard park. Ask any mother of young boys. The building is getting younger residents with children and the park should reflect those changes. Gennaro Massaro was in the lobby of the BT yelling at and bullying people who disagreed with him. He often has his dog barking in the lobby and running free. He is no one to be respected or listen to.

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Gennaro Massaro

My dog never runs free in the halls or in the lobby. He is always on a leash and is well behaved. I can’t say the same for some children in these buildings. They run free, jump on everything, handle everything and are never instructed to respect the property of others. The little darlings are always allowed to do as they want. Maybe they should be taught some respect for others. They are in for a rude awakening one day as they will have to understand that life isn’t all about them. As for bullying people, no one was forced to sign the petition and it was just in three buildings. We still haven’t asked the people who live in Sunny Hill or 39th Avenue apartments what the sound of the skateboards crashing to the ground sounds like to them. The skateboarders are very disrespectful and just go around jumping on and ruining things. it’s time for them to realize they have a responsibility to maintaining the park and not destroying hundreds of thousands of dollars of landscaping just to jump around on skateboards. At least I can sign my name and not hide behind an anonymous moniker.

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Skateboard Kid

So basically you have a case of NIMBY, right? They wanted to build a legit skate park so kids won’t have to destroy or ruin “hundreds of thousands of dollars of landscaping just to jump around on skateboards.” What is w/ people like you? You totally contradict yourself when you say, “they will have to understand that life isn’t all about them.” But, do you realize life isn’t about you and how you want things? Why should you only have the final word on how things should be?

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Gennaro Massaro

Skateboard Kid, it’s not a case of NIMBY. The sound of skateboards crashing to the ground can be very startling if you are not expecting it. There is no other sound like it in the park. No other activity causes the same sound. We can live with everything else. It’s not even the skateboards, it’s the sudden crash of the stupid jumps they do. The sound wakes people up especially when it’s done at 1am or later. As for the children who I was referring to it had nothing to do with the skateboarders. It is a reference to some children who live in Berkeley and who will never taught to respect other people.

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Skateboard Kid

Mr. Massaro, I highly doubt if the proposed skate park, you helped “kill” (for lack of a better word), would even be open at 1am. If it’s in an NYC Park it most likely will close at dusk, 9 or 10pm, and I’m positive these a lot of these kids will respect that. Also, above and beyond all the other noises you might possibly hear (horns on Skillman Ave. firetrucks from from Engine 325/H&L 163 on 51st) a few skateboards might startle you? Also, Mindmuller doesn’t look all that close to BT. This is a link showing directions from BT to the park, https://goo.gl/TwaB1k. I honestly cannot believe your argument at all. To me, in my opinion, this seems like a case of NIMBY.

In a majority of your posts you make no valid arguments, but you do make assumptions about peoples’ respect level or lack thereof and one cheap threat:

-“Maybe they should be taught some respect for others”
-“The skateboarders are very disrespectful and just go around jumping on and ruining things.”
-“I bet your one of those parents who doesn’t teach their children to respect the property of others.”
-“who will never taught to respect other people.”
-“if and when they ever build the feature I’m going in front of Jimmy’s home and banging a skateboard on the pavement all day from 9 am until 11pm.”

Lakshya Patrekar

expect it, because the sounds have been there for a decade now.

Anonymous visitor

@Skateboard Kid, nice post. 1) Good grammar, 2) good spelling 3) not hostile 4) no threats…. 5) you keep your cool when confronted with insanity and insults. All the legitimate concerns are removed with a proper area. Noise, containing the skateboarders, use of other areas, mixing of ages. They were against the soccer players in Torsney at one point. Not sure what became of that….

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Anonymous visitor

Stop lying. You leave your dog in the lobby alone and you and Karen walk the dog through the front door, disrespecting the staff. Ask any of us. Be honest.

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Gennaro Massaro

There might be ten or twenty who don’t oppose the skateboard park. There are over 300 who do. I guess we can see who telling the truth here. maybe you should sign you name but I bet your one of those parents who doesn’t teach their children to respect the property of others.

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Teddy kontopoulos

All we want is a skatepark within in the woodside neighborhood I go to this park everyday and it always live with skateboard and bmx and the people across the street are old of course they are going to complain about the noise

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irish lassy

watch out for any meetings JVB has he says one thing people vote and everything is turned around his way —

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Anonymous

I have been a local skateboarder at Windmuller Park for a few years now, and here’s my take on it.

So FIRST of all, many of us skaters are just people that live close to that park because of how conveniently close it is. And just like every park, there will be noises of children laughing and screaming, handball and tennis players hitting the walls, and especially basketball players dribbling. The skateboarders aren’t the only people there making noise. So if you live right across the street from it, obviously you should expect the noise.

SECOND of all, going back to how conveniently close it is, most of us skaters are mostly just teenagers and young adults. So obviously, not everyone of us can afford to travel to skateparks as far as Astoria, L.E.S, Williamsburg or Flushing Meadow Park every weekend, or rather everyday,

Last but not least, if the skatepark was actually built, we would NOT NEED to take out anymore of those wooden logs, or be doing any further damage to the bandshell stage.

All of us local skateboarders were excited about having that “skateboarding feature” built at the park as soon as we heard about the proposal in the Summer of 2014. We were strongly supporting that to happen. Some of us have even sent letters and emails to Councilman Van Bramer and apparently it’s still ignored to this day. We are absolutely disappointed in the proposal being a no deal just because of noise complaint from across the street.

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Anonymous visitor

Start a petition. I am sure that you can get more than 300 signatures in the park on one Saturday afternoon.

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Anonymous visitor

Can’t Afford a metro card ?you can travel all over the city for less than 3$ give me a break

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Gennaro Massaro

It’s the noise of the landings when the skateboarders decide to do these ridiculous jumps. There is no other sound like it. Every other activity can be tolerated. You should do it in your living room and see how you parents like it.

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MamaLuke

I see senior citizens skyping on there kindles all day with there fam or looking at birds in trees, they don’t know how to play no Bocce.

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Matt

I prefer the noise of the skateboarders to the silence of kids causing problems elsewhere. As a 52nd street resident facing the park it’s not music to my ears. but, it is by no means something that inconveniences or ruins my enjoyment of the neighborhood.

While I wouldn’t support construction of a full-on skate park. I certainly would support building some small/beginner obstacles in the dirt northeast of the track. A rail, a 3ft quarter pipe, a small table top jump… The noise would be equal the the park fixtures (stage) would stop being destroyed.

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