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Neighbor to Neighbor: Residents, electeds get nowhere in solving Brookville Pk. mess

A meeting was held Sept. 2 at Christ Lutheran Church in Rosedale to present pictorial and auditory evidence to the sponsors of what was advertised as Rosedale’s Family Day, which began well but deteriorated into disaster. The sponsors were state Assemblywoman Michelle Titus (D-Far Rockaway) and City Council candidate Jacques Leandre, neither of whom arrived at the meeting until the material was discussed. It was repeated as each of them arrived.

Titus’ two representatives were there and showed all present pictures that had been taken during the afternoon and into the evening. These pictures showed happy partygoers, no disorder, no evidence of liquor, no display of banners advertising free liquor to ladies and no minimally clothed ladies.

In attendance from the beginning of the meeting was Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton), who also attended the afternoon portion of the party. He said while he was there the group was well-behaved, but he saw many bottles of pink liquid — later proven to be liqueur — on tables. When he asked what it was, those who were asked laughed. He also noticed a tent and banners advertising free drinks for ladies and a banner displaying a minimally dressed female. The Brookville Park manager confirmed he saw them there in the afternoon.

Sanders said among complaints received by his office about the part of the party turning bad was of an erroneous rumor that Sanders paid for the liquor. He was disappointed such a false rumor was started, especially since he is running for re-election.

Unfortunately, during the absence of the sponsors, we heard from the young widow of a gentleman who died in a motorcycle accident. She began a memorial party three years ago to bring his family and friends together. That was before any unpleasantness. She is now distressed that what happened may be seen as part and parcel of a memorial she had planned. All present assured her she had our sympathy. We believe she deserves at least an apology from those who messed things up in the name of Rosedale’s Family Day.

When Leandre and his contingent, and later Titus and her little girl, arrived they both said they were shocked to hear charges their party was the cause of the mess left in Brookville Park. Titus said she had accepted responsibility because her husband had signed for the permit in her name. She said she had already apologized to the Queens parks commissioner. When she heard two men had gone to Brookville Park the morning following the party demanding their money back and shouting, “We’re the community! We paid for this and we want our money back!,” without hesitation she said, “That’s a lie.”

I was the speaker to whom the charge was first addressed, but it was later repeated against Mark Edwards, manager of Brookville Park, and Fred Kress, president of the Queens Coalition for Parks and Green Spaces. All three of us had witnessed the mess during the cleanup by the city Parks Department the Sunday following the party and we and a group of runners were waiting 3 1/2 hours before they could claim the space. They said it looked like “a garbage dump.”

When Edwards mentioned one of the men shown in one of Titus’ representative’s pictures was the man who told him during the cleanup the party had somehow “gotten out of hand” when the number of expected guests escalated from 300 to 1,000, she believed that was also a lie. Edwards again said the $300 deposit would not be returned and that further charges were to be assessed by the city Parks Department.

Titus said, “That sounds like extortion to me.” She and her representatives believe someone else must have brought the booze and made the mess — maybe for political reasons. None is so blind as one who will not see.

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