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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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The City is sooooo full of s*it and I have the pictures to prove it. Since it was impossible to maintain the garden due to the renovation, there was an overgrowth. Said overgrowth could have easily been cut back. There were many perennials, bulbs and flowering shrubs that were not affected, including the trees.
Thanks anyway.

Posted on: 2009/11/19 2:46
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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BTW? The method by which you can push the odds in your favor in these kinds of votes is simple. It is not guaranteed but it can be effective. First of all submit one choice that is in your "lobbys" favor. The choice should be obvious and clear to your constituents. "Vote for this Plan"! (Lets call it Plan D for our purposes).To help tilt the odds in your favor you then submit several alternative plans, let's say 3 other plans (for our purposes). The 3 other plans should be similar but not exact. Each of them should have some little thing that will appeal to people in various ways. (For instance, a bacci court in this plan, a putting green in this plan etc etc. The ultimate effect is to "dilute" the votes of your opposition. People, the non "organized" ones, will innocently vote for a plan that they truly find appealling. Thus you have these other votes split amongst several similar choices and the lone "fixed" plan winning out by a nose. In this recent case the majority won by a hair but they weren't taking any chances. The wool has been removed.



Design A: 96 votes (14.8% of the total)

Design B: 141 votes (21.7% of the total)

Design C: 83 votes (12.8% of the total)

Design D: 329 votes (50.7% of the total)

Posted on: 2009/11/19 2:06
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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So the update is, while the city and the park plans called for maintaining the gardens around the gazebo, apparently the wildly overgrown barberry fundamentally suffocated the shrubs and plants behind it, leaving almost no surviving plants. So the city ripped out the dead shrubs, the barberry and the few other barely surviving shrubs.

The city plans to replant other shrubs in the place, but not encourage volunteer community gardens at this time.

This is one of the several reasons why I along with many other neighbors and the city do not favor community gardens in public parks. People get excited about them when they first start the project, but interest dissipates, people move, etc. and they are not maintained.

Parkman's success and dedication are very unique.

Posted on: 2009/11/19 1:52
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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Quote:

jennymayla wrote:
Quote:

tern wrote:
... instead we now have pathetic Van Vorst style swings that won't be fun for anyone over 3 years old).

Robin.


Dude. HARSH!

I want a rich boyfriend. If we're making lists and whatnot.

TIA.


Good swings are a lot like rich boyfriends. If you want them, it's best to search across the river.

Posted on: 2009/11/18 20:40
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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Quote:

4bailey wrote:
Quote:

tern wrote:
...* Lawns designated as dog free so I don't have to sit in their stinking piss.

Is it confirmed that there definitely won?t be any pet-free lawns?... Do you know something I don?t?...

Quote:

NON / Iwitness wrote:
Let it never be said that narcissism isn't alive and well. Shocking as it may be, this is not all about any one person or one interest group, and plenty of people will not be getting their own personal park....

My? how touchy everyone is to a legitimate subjective question based on opinion? As always, NON, the character assassination masked as a reply is very entertaining!



You're so vain. I bet you think this park is about you, don't you? Don't you?



Posted on: 2009/11/18 20:02
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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4bailey wrote:
Quote:

tern wrote:
...* Lawns designated as dog free so I don't have to sit in their stinking piss.

Is it confirmed that there definitely won?t be any pet-free lawns?... Do you know something I don?t?...

Quote:

NON / Iwitness wrote:
Let it never be said that narcissism isn't alive and well. Shocking as it may be, this is not all about any one person or one interest group, and plenty of people will not be getting their own personal park....

My? how touchy everyone is to a legitimate subjective question based on opinion? As always, NON, the character assassination masked as a reply is very entertaining!


If the me-and-my-dogs-are-the-center-of-the-universe shoe fits...


Posted on: 2009/11/18 19:10
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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tern wrote:
...* Lawns designated as dog free so I don't have to sit in their stinking piss.

Is it confirmed that there definitely won?t be any pet-free lawns?... Do you know something I don?t?...

Quote:

NON / Iwitness wrote:
Let it never be said that narcissism isn't alive and well. Shocking as it may be, this is not all about any one person or one interest group, and plenty of people will not be getting their own personal park....

My? how touchy everyone is to a legitimate subjective question based on opinion? As always, NON, the character assassination masked as a reply is very entertaining!

Posted on: 2009/11/18 18:54
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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If you want to play sports, Lincoln Park is actually pretty nice, you guys should check it out sometime, lot's of tennis courts, cricket, soccer, basketball.
As for Hamilton Park - A park that size is too small for sports activity. I'm looking forward to the new and improved park and I'm grateful that we have so many good parks in our city. And that's all I'm gonna say about it.


Posted on: 2009/11/18 18:31
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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tern wrote:
... instead we now have pathetic Van Vorst style swings that won't be fun for anyone over 3 years old).

Robin.


Dude. HARSH!

I want a rich boyfriend. If we're making lists and whatnot.

TIA.

Posted on: 2009/11/18 17:24
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Let it never be said that narcissism isn't alive and well. Shocking as it may be, this is not all about any one person or one interest group, and plenty of people will not be getting their own personal park.

I recall SamS wanting a bocce ball court. Others advocated for a putting green. Much discussion went into making one if not both tennis courts into a multi-use court. Vigilante and that other guy nattered on incessantly about how the basketball court is the root of all evil, crime, and litter, and should be removed. And Vig probably would love to see a memorial statue to the fabled decapitated dachshund (R.I.P.). 2DogDoll articulated her horror at the destruction of the gardens around the gazebo. Plenty of people who don't give a sh!t about dogs will probably feel the space devoted to the dog runs is wasted space.

Welcome to the City.

Posted on: 2009/11/18 17:15
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> what other groups / interests do you think aren?t
> getting ?the park we exactly want?

I wanted:

* A larger children's play area with more exciting equipment (retain the wonderful great big swings, instead we now have pathetic Van Vorst style swings that won't be fun for anyone over 3 years old).

* One of the tennis courts made into a soccer / cricket field.

* Lawns designated as dog free so I don't have to sit in their stinking piss.


My point is not to harp on about my own selfish version of an ideal park, but to illustrate that of course Sam is correct, nobody gets exactly what they want.

Robin.

Posted on: 2009/11/18 17:08
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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Quote:

SamS wrote:
...The park renovation is nearly complete, we should be happy.

Interestingly, when we started this process four years ago I cautioned that everyone should be sensitive to the fact that all of our interests in this process are going to be brushed up against and none of us will get the park we exactly want. But most people will get some of what they want....

When I do the math, the combined actual dog-run area is close to 30% smaller than the original survey target.

I?m legitimately curious? Aside from those who want a safe, legal space to throw a ball for their dogs, what other groups / interests do you think aren?t getting ?the park we exactly want? in the final implementation?...

Posted on: 2009/11/18 16:41
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Gantt chart?! Who was I kidding? For all the backslapping over community involvement here, it seems pretty clear that none of you actually have a clue what is going on with this project if you can't answer my simple questions.

Or maybe I just need some coffee.

Posted on: 2009/11/18 15:36
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When asked about the size of the fountain the city advised the fountain in VVP was the metric used, and spending more on a bigger fountain wasn't going to happen since the NJDEP required the city to install the retention basins Aaaaand there was added expense associated with dealing with the capping process.

That's the answer we got.

However, looking at that post card picture you have to bear in mind that that's an up close shot. So the size may be similar to what we have. Also the gazebo in the park at the time was much smaller than the we have now. So the proportions may be distorted.

The park renovation is nearly complete, we should be happy.

Interestingly, when we started this process four years ago I cautioned that everyone should be sensitive to the fact that all of our interests in this process are going to be brushed up against and none of us will get the park we exactly want. But most people will get some of what they want.

The key here is the HPNA got community input. We didn't haphazardly go into the park and do what only a few people wanted to do, nor did we unilaterally decide what the plan for the park renovation should look like and then represent to the city that was the plan the community wanted. By building consensus the city was more motivated to respond and actually get the renovation moving. While not everyone likes everything about the park, it's an improvement at many levels.


Although I disagree with your analysis of the Postcard, my intention was not to stir up trouble, just provide information and share a cool old picture. Personally, I don't care how big the fountain is.

I agree that most people, including myself, will not be 100 percent happy, but I'd settle on 90. From what I've seen the HPNA does try to take any concerns into consideration. So thanks.

Posted on: 2009/11/18 14:52
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Iwitness wrote:

On a completely different (but ironic) topic, isn't the fountain everybody here is whining about supposed to be an approximation of some historic fountain that Minnie found a picture of, and insisted on being incorporated into the project?


Here's a postcard I found of HP. Fountain seems like it's twice as big as they new one. I only saw the new one from a distance and may be wrong.

http://picasaweb.google.com/BrendanWe ... andom#5405174247917214626


If you look at the circular fence around the fountain you'll see it's foreshortened into an ellipse, and the standing adults at left are at the end of the ellipse. Geometrically this means the adults can be no less than (depending on the focal length) at the same distance from the camera as the fountain, likely closer. With that as a given, the fountain looks at least 10'-12' high to me.

Posted on: 2009/11/17 21:48
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This whole thread reads like a parable advocating dictatorships.

Trees? Check.
Grass? Presumably.
Better lighting? Right on.

Sounds like a very fine park to me. So, are we looking at completion by Christmas or more like Easter?

Is there a Gantt chart around indicating progress?

Posted on: 2009/11/17 21:27
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Contrary to what was implied about me, I am not a "hater" either. I too am happy to volunteer to help restore the gazebo garden when the time comes.

Thank you Sam. I look forward to hearing the City's response..

Posted on: 2009/11/17 21:26
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This issue regarding the gardens around the gazebo will be raised with the city.

A response and suggested recovery will be shared with all.

Posted on: 2009/11/17 21:10
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I read 2dogdoll's post about the gazebo garden being torn out, but I was hoping that I misunderstood. I just drove by the park, and I see that the beautiful bushes and flowering plants have been taken away. Why was that garden removed? I am not a hater, but I do feel upset about this. Although I am a plant killer, I will volunteer my husband to help plant some new stuff there. It was so beautiful, and maybe with some volunteer gardeners it can be nice again.

Posted on: 2009/11/17 21:05
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When asked about the size of the fountain the city advised the fountain in VVP was the metric used, and spending more on a bigger fountain wasn't going to happen since the NJDEP required the city to install the retention basins Aaaaand there was added expense associated with dealing with the capping process.

That's the answer we got.

However, looking at that post card picture you have to bear in mind that that's an up close shot. So the size may be similar to what we have. Also the gazebo in the park at the time was much smaller than the we have now. So the proportions may be distorted.

The park renovation is nearly complete, we should be happy.

Interestingly, when we started this process four years ago I cautioned that everyone should be sensitive to the fact that all of our interests in this process are going to be brushed up against and none of us will get the park we exactly want. But most people will get some of what they want.

The key here is the HPNA got community input. We didn't haphazardly go into the park and do what only a few people wanted to do, nor did we unilaterally decide what the plan for the park renovation should look like and then represent to the city that was the plan the community wanted. By building consensus the city was more motivated to respond and actually get the renovation moving. While not everyone likes everything about the park, it's an improvement at many levels.


Quote:

PBW wrote:
Quote:

Iwitness wrote:

On a completely different (but ironic) topic, isn't the fountain everybody here is whining about supposed to be an approximation of some historic fountain that Minnie found a picture of, and insisted on being incorporated into the project?


Here's a postcard I found of HP. Fountain seems like it's twice as big as they new one. I only saw the new one from a distance and may be wrong.

http://picasaweb.google.com/BrendanWe ... andom#5405174247917214626

Posted on: 2009/11/17 21:04
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Iwitness wrote:

On a completely different (but ironic) topic, isn't the fountain everybody here is whining about supposed to be an approximation of some historic fountain that Minnie found a picture of, and insisted on being incorporated into the project?


Here's a postcard I found of HP. Fountain seems like it's twice as big as they new one. I only saw the new one from a distance and may be wrong.

http://picasaweb.google.com/BrendanWe ... andom#5405174247917214626

Posted on: 2009/11/17 20:40
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Funny you should point that spelling error out. This morning that spelling error actually dawned on me while I was walking my dog. I find my spelling mistakes sort of funny, modestly embarrassing and yet intriguing. Of course I know how to spell vile, but what causes one to make such a mistake like that, is what intrigues me.

I genuinely regret you're not happy with the results of the park. There were a lot of people excited about the spoke design and the new look of the pathways.

However, it does strike a nerve with me when neighbors ridicule, overly criticize one another and unduly cast blame.

It was not my doing that the gardens around the gazebo were taken down and I didn't even notice they were gone until it was posted here. I would have preferred they stayed in tact. So I'm not happy they're gone and I didn't win anything. The HPNA did just last week dash off a host of concerns to the city regarding different components of the park renovation. We're not perfect and for whatever reason things slip buy. Bear in mind, this has been a long painful process, in total about 4 years of work.

I'm not going to address each of your numbered points because I'm too lazy. But when introducing a guest to any meeting I think it's appropriate to be gracious. Of course I have to admit I don't dislike developers, in fact I actually like developers. They build and produce something in exchange for consideration. Of course I'm aware that developers try to push the envelope with their projects, and some are more egregious than others in the process. Still some like the Silvermans seem to me to have made more of a commitment to the community and it warrants paying them more compliments. For example their involvement with Padua House.

But let's not forget, the Silvermans have no involvement in the park renovation at all. Naturally, I would think they would want the park to be as nice as possible.

Of course if you want to hear me speak effusively about a developer you should hear me go on about George Vallone. I've repeatedly said I think he's the exemplar and sets the standard for what all developers should aspire to be.

PS. I'm always charmed by a woman who calls me Sammy. ;)

Posted on: 2009/11/17 19:53
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2DogDoll wrote:
Iwitness:

1. Take it easy with that ?facepalm? thing lest you knock yourself out. I never said that you don?t need political influence to get things done, I simply said that I have none and I have no intention of doing what needs to be done to get any.

I have to confess that I did get a birthday card, two months early, from Mr. Fulop, but, let me assure you, I didn?t take it as a mark of personal political influence.

2. I was not involved with Minni?s project. But, in her defense, she did more to try to beautify the park with her Friends of Hamilton Park group in the few short months of its existence than the HPNA did in years.

This my last post on the subject, although I will continue to read. Do your worst.


I think you're confusing the Friends of Hamilton Park, which existed for at least a couple of years, with the "Waterfront Gardening Association" or whatever faction splinter group Minnie formed in Newport when her mutual-misfit-love affair with Sonia Maldonado ended, and which lasted a couple of months. I remember the FoHP planting flowers, but I also remember them installing really ugly fencing around those plantings, and i distinctly remember those plantings not being watered and the plants dying out, on at least a few occasions. Ugly fencing + dead plants = awesomeness.

I dig your theory, though, that because plants were removed from a specific area around the gazebo, there is absolutely no possibility that there will be new plants to replace the old ones. I don't mean to discount the sentimental value of a garden planted in somebody's memory (i honestly don't), but just because those flowers are gone now, in mid-construction, does not mean that they will not be replaced with something, potentially something beautiful.

You talk a lot about gamesmnship, and you're psyched to throw down absolutes about value judgments over aesthetics in order to score public points, but I think the larger issue is that the project isn't finished, and until it is, we won't know what exactly to complain about.

On that note, I'm sure there will be plenty to complain about when it's done, and since you're determined to find things to complain about, why not hold off until the time is right and really lay a number on 'em, instead of running the risk of being proven wrong? Or is the trigger finger just too darned itchy?

On a completely different (but ironic) topic, isn't the fountain everybody here is whining about supposed to be an approximation of some historic fountain that Minnie found a picture of, and insisted on being incorporated into the project?

Posted on: 2009/11/17 19:48
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Brewster:
2. Are you also saying that because people volunteer their time they are above criticism and should not be held accountable for the results of their actions? Does that apply to ?praise? as well, or is that only limited to ?criticism.?

3. If the HPNA regularly reviewed the progress of the park as per information posted on the HPNA blog site, why didn?t they know about the planned removal. If, according to the HPNA Bylaws, the HPNA is the designated spokesmen for the residents of the community, why put the onus on me to contact the city leadership?


While I appreciate the feeling of having put your time in (I'm about there myself), I don't think that's carte blanc to blame HPNA's board for lack of omniscience. There's a big difference between holding a group accountable for something they DID, vs. something they did not do or missed. Not only might they not have been told even if they had asked directly, but not everyone sees the park every day (I don't). I believe what was suggested was not that you contact the city but that you contact the HPNA if you see something awry.

BTW, I believe most of those plantings were less than 11 years old, and were planted by Alan & Cynthia after they bought a house on the park at that time.

Posted on: 2009/11/17 19:06
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Game, Set and Match 2DogDoll.

Posted on: 2009/11/17 18:35
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Iwitness:

1. Take it easy with that ?facepalm? thing lest you knock yourself out. I never said that you don?t need political influence to get things done, I simply said that I have none and I have no intention of doing what needs to be done to get any.

I have to confess that I did get a birthday card, two months early, from Mr. Fulop, but, let me assure you, I didn?t take it as a mark of personal political influence.

2. I was not involved with Minni?s project. But, in her defense, she did more to try to beautify the park with her Friends of Hamilton Park group in the few short months of its existence than the HPNA did in years.

This my last post on the subject, although I will continue to read. Do your worst.

Posted on: 2009/11/17 18:19
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Brewster:

1. I was very much involved in the HPNA, years ago, and am very proud of what I was able to accomplish. I left the association when my community activism started having a negative impact on my family. So, I know what is involved. Been there. Done that. Got the tattoo. I continued to participate in the HPNA, as did my family, for many years afterwards, as supportive members. As a member, and as a person who truly loves Hamilton Park, I PARTICIPATED IN THE RENOVATION PROCESS FROM ITS START UNTIL NOW. Are you saying that handing out flyers, attending major meetings, and promoting the association at every opportunity have no value? If that is so, I will no longer waste my time.

2. Are you also saying that because people volunteer their time they are above criticism and should not be held accountable for the results of their actions? Does that apply to ?praise? as well, or is that only limited to ?criticism.?

3. If the HPNA regularly reviewed the progress of the park as per information posted on the HPNA blog site, why didn?t they know about the planned removal. If, according to the HPNA Bylaws, the HPNA is the designated spokesmen for the residents of the community, why put the onus on me to contact the city leadership?

Posted on: 2009/11/17 18:16
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Sammy, Sammy, Sammy:

1. Let me share with you one of life?s little secrets: It is very difficult to get embarrassed when you?re over 50.

2. My ego is not hurt because my ego was not involved.

3. I love interacting with my neighbors, their children and their dogs and happily do so on a daily basis. I simply questioned the actions of the HPNA in relation to this specific activity. Are you now saying that every single person who lives in the Hamilton Park neighborhood is a member of the HPNA and that I?ve insulted them all? I don?t think so.

4. Contrary to your truly inane statement about the gardens in the bunkers, the only garden I cared about was the beautiful, loving tribute planted around the gazebo in memory of Joe Wheeler. Joe was a wonderful person, an HPNA president and community activist extraordinaire. He loved Hamilton Park and planted the trees around the gazebo. Members of the community planted the rest. Decades old plantings are now gone because of a ?mistake? and everybody is just supposed to roll over and say ?Oh, well. Never mind.? And when the issue is raised, the person is a ?hate? monger. Divert attention from the issue by smearing the questioner. Classic.

5. The HPNA is, by its very nature, a political entity, interacting with other political entities up the food chain. I don?t need to name names. Those of us who?ve lived here for a while, know exactly who I am referring to.

6. Let?s discuss the developers since there are so few in the Hamilton Park area (NOT). Savvy developers learned a long time ago that the best way to get a community organization off their backs is to throw them a bone. Donate to their causes. Make tiny (but hard fought) concessions to their demands. Speak before their groups and let them think they are important. It?s a great and highly successful strategy which is both wonderful marketing and extraordinary PR for the developer. The Silvermans? are master players and while I don?t agree with everything they do, I have great respect their gamesmanship. (This is not flattery. It is fact.)
Since you insist on names, I still remember one of the meetings you hosted Sam. Your introduction of Mr. Silverman was so effusive I actually thought I was about to meet the first developer saint. Want something more current? How about the recent Exeter Property/HPNA block party at McWilliams. I didn?t see any other businesses co-sponsoring the event, or mentioned on the yellow announcement card, and there are three in the immediate vicinity: Basic, National Cleaners and the Newport Pharmacy. This is all about power and control.

7. All I asked was whether a renovation oversight mechanism was put in place on the part of the HPNA . Your vitriolic response clearly means I hit a nerve. Enough said.

8. I don?t know who you could possibly be talking about in your ?hate? tirade and I don?t really care. Hate is a monumental waste of time and emotion and not part of my emotional makeup. I do have to say that the ego issue and self-esteem part of your diatribe does sound a bit like you?re projecting.

9. We clearly have different standards of beauty. I don?t like yards of slippery concrete and grey gazebo walls you clearly do. The plants are gone. You win. Feel better?

10. Finally, Sam dear, the adjective you used to describe my ?accusation? is spelled ?v-i-l-e.?

Posted on: 2009/11/17 18:12
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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Althea wrote:
Just to add to what Parkman said. The architects were pretty clear going into this that normally they just design a park with no input from the community. What you get is what you get.

To HPNA's credit they set an amazing example as to why the City would WANT to reach out to community groups as active participants. This was an incredible process and one which the HPNA pulled off flawlessly in my eyes. They addressed each concern as it rose with concern and intelligent response; all the while working in harmony with the various City divisions to press for the needs of the community first.

Seriously, bravo!

I understand the concerns people have. I understand that there is anxiety over certain aspects of the construction. However, given the constant updates on the particulars of the park and its progress by the HPNA, there is little doubt in my mind as to this being one of the most engaged and finest of neighborhood associations in the whole City.

I love my own community and wouldn't think of living anywhere else, but the children in my neighborhood play in the street. You are certainly valid in expressing your concerns; I only wish my community had those concerns. I think those living in the Hamilton Park area are extremely lucky.

The mayor and his administration do care for the downtown area and do care about the future of the park. Your council person fought very hard along with the HPNA to make sure the voice of the community drove this renovation. Again, I wish my community were so lucky and I look forward to enjoying the park once it is complete.

So bravo HPNA, I look forward to the spring when despite sour grapes we will all be enjoying a new park that was worth waiting for.


I think Fulop cares a lot but he is one man. I know one neighbor asked the Mayor face to face about the renovation before it began and the Mayor showed no interest in the project. The quote was "I don't know anything about that" before walking away. What kind of Mayor doesn't talk to his constituents about concerns? He could have said "call my office" and talk to so and so but instead he blew off the resident. His disdain for Downtown JC is obvious.

Posted on: 2009/11/17 18:11
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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Garyg wrote:.

Additionally jennymayla, how did you get "head bitch" into your profile? Is that solely the product of frequent posting? Cause I think it's funny either way.


It's a (dubious) honor bestowed upon me by the webmaster. I consider it a title well-earned.



Posted on: 2009/11/17 17:23
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