Here is a Metro article, commentary from a local activist, and an email action call...

by amy zimmer / metro new york
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JAN 12, 2006
MANHATTAN — Imagine a water park with a Manhattan zip code, complete with wave pools, water slides and an indoor surfing complex.

That’s what the city has in store for the northern tip of Randall’s Island, and its $168 million plan passed an important hurdle Wednesday when the Franchise and Concession Review Committee voted 4-to-2 to go ahead with the project.
The theme park, originally proposed in 1999, was designed to occupy 12 acres and include only warm-weather recreation at a cost of $25 to $45 million. But plans have since ballooned to cover 26-acres with year-round water activities.
The lack of public input on the new plans has drawn ire from some critics, including the two dissenting voters, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and the city’s comptroller, William Thompson.
According a Stringer spokesman, the borough president’s vote was not to oppose the project, per se.
“He voted ‘no’ today because he shares the concerns of people in surrounding neighborhoods over access, affordability, traffic, and the overall size and scope of the park,” Eric Pugatch said. “[Stringer] believes we must address those valid concerns and build consensus before moving forward.”
The vote will allow the city to begin negotiations with the New York-based Aquatic Development Group, something the comptroller was trying to stop. Valerie Budzik, Thompson’s first deputy general counsel, called the city’s process “flawed and inconsistent with well-established principles of public bidding.”
The Parks Department’s next step for the project is to schedule a public hearing.
“Ideally, we’d like a groundbreaking before the summer of 2006,” said spokeswoman Dana Rubenstein. The city hopes to open the park by Memorial Day 2007. It will be paid for by a private developer under a 35-year lease with the city.

EMAIL and thank Comptroller Thompson and Manhattan Boro Prez Stringer for their NO votes, and tell them we want :

1 Local waterfront access for ALL communities arund Randall's Island
2 Fulfillment of committments for the Harlem River Rail Yards for South Bronx bridge to Randall's Island
3 South Bronx Greenway into Randall's Island portion completed
4 Creation of park on Parlem River in South Bronx
5 Creation of Environmental Education center on East River at abandomned city property at 134th Street
6 Beautification of exisiting waste transfer facilitgies adjacent to Randall's Island and redcution on permit capacity

Carmen L. Martinez

Based on reports from The Wonkster of at’s-island-dreamland/

Here is another example of an unfortunate project in the wrong place without it seems sufficient community empowerment to significantly ameliorate the horrendous ramifications of yet another example of alienated Park land. The slippery slope of supposedly beneficial projects that require forsaking open space and parkland continues to grow, if the proposed Yankee Stadium plan wasn’t enough. In this csae there isn’t a neighborhood of residents on the site to organize. This has been a predictable outcome of isolating Randall’s Island. There are agreements in which the NYSDOT which leases the Harlem River Rail Yards in the South, South Bronx, are to ensure that the leasee, the Galesi Group, are supposed to implement the NYC Greenway Plan and construct a brduge to Randall’s Island. Needless to say, it hasn’t happened, yet. In addition, the East Harlem Pedestrian/Bike Bridge is closed much of the year, further isolating the increasingly privated Randall’s Island from a local constituency, notwithstanding the periodically bused in students that are often touted as evidence of community involvement. These and other factors have spurred the South Bronx Greenway initiative of a wide variety of stakehilders to access randall’s Island by way of the exisitng Amtrak Viaduct, a project that could be easily implemented if the Mayor’s team would make it a priority. We would much rather see a committment to greater accessibility to this precious greenspace for people of color and poor communites adjacent to Randall’s Island, and all New Yorkers, than the Icahn Stadium, the parkinglot for Cirque d’ Soleil, the closed off tip of Ward’s Island in the summer and the other privitatzation schemes that prohibit community access and are continuing to degrade the natural environment of a still beautiful natural retreat. , PLEASE HELP STOP THE PRIVITATZATION OF RANDALL’S ISLAND!!!
and let me add that there are numerous local priorities for waterfront access and green space on the Harlem and east Rivers that would allow NYers to really ply the rivers and experience the shore and the natural life with minimal investment. We welcome communications to identify and partner with appropriate city agencies like NYCEDC and others to achieve equity in the South Bronx and reap a great return on our taxpayer investments in imporved education, reduced crime and greater sustainable economic development.