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CB 1 takes swing at bubble plan

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CB 1 appears to have won the match, 30 - Love. In other words, the board unanimously shot down the proposal again - more than a decade after initially rejecting the idea."Take your bubble and take your proposal and get out of Dodge," resident Evridiki Poumpourdis told the city Department of Parks and Recreation at a tumultuous board meeting Tuesday at Astoria World Manor. She was among the roughly 50 Astorians who had strong words for Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, who said enclosing 11 of Astoria Parks' 14 courts with a temporary bubble during the winter would generate money for the city and allow local residents to play tennis year-round. "Parks does believe that this is a good proposal," Lewandowski told the board. The community disagreed. A half dozen residents took the microphone to denounce the bubble, which would go up for 26 weeks from October to April, turning the courts into a temporary tennis club that requires no membership but charges hourly fees. It will hurt the beauty of the park, critics said, knocking down trees and lowering property values. The fans who inflate them will be noisy and the crowds they draw will congest the area with more cars, they said. "This is simply a bad idea for the residents of western Queens," state Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) said in a statement read by a representative. "I'm opposed to the tennis bubbles," added City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria). Astorians had the same complaints in 1992 when CB 1 rejected a similar Parks Department proposal. "I see this no different than 10 years ago," said Board Chairman Vincio Donato The two supporters who spoke in favor of the proposal - Lewandowski and a manager from NYTennis.net, a private tennis firm that wanted to lease and run the bubble courts for the Parks Department - said the critics had it all wrong. "The proposal does not incorporate the removal of any trees from the park," Lewandowski said. NYTennis.net General Manager Madahar Sunil said the fans would be buried near the Triborough Bridge and be quieter than an air conditioner. "The noise will not even travel to the street," said Sunil, whose company runs winter clubs on city courts in Fresh Meadows and the Bronx.After the meeting, Lewandowski said it was unclear if the proposal would move forward. She said she would have to first discuss it with city Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "We certainly heard the concerns of the community," Lewandowski said. Reach reporter Matthew Monks at news@timesledger.com or 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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