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July 24, 2009 / Brooklyn news / Park Slope / Meadows of Shame

Parks Dept. accepts apology from trash party group

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The Parks Department says it is no longer pursuing repayment from an event planning company whose illegal party last Sunday in Prospect Park left the historic greensward covered in trash — thanks to an apology issued by the company late last week.

The city initially had said it would seek reimbursement for the enormous clean-up effort it undertook on July 20, when dozens of paid workers and volunteers put the park back into its normally clean condition hours after the end of the MIH Ventures’ unpermitted “Heatwave” barbecue brought thousands of revelers to the park.

“Moving forward, Parks and the Prospect Park Alliance looks forward to working with [MIH Ventures] when they organize a volunteer clean-up of Prospect Park this fall,” said the spokesman, Phil Abramson. “We will also ensure that they fully comply with our rules and regulations when considering any future events at Prospect Park or any other park. In consideration of their sincere apology and their initiative in hosting a clean-up effort, no further actions will be taken.”

Abramson was referring to the statement issued by MIH Ventures on July 23, which claimed that the company was all set to clean up the mess it made, but the Parks Department got there first.

“Attendance at the event was much greater than anticipated, overwhelming our clean-up efforts,” read the statement from the Bergen Street-based event promotion company, breaking a three-day silence. “Our efforts to restore the park to its original condition extended late into the evening, but after exhausting our supplies, we decided to continue the clean-up the next day.

“When we returned with the necessary supplies and man power, the park had been cleaned,” the statement claimed.

Earlier in the week, after The Brooklyn Paper broke the story about the mounds and mounds of garbage that filled the park’s Long Meadow, the Parks Department said it would seek damages from MIH Ventures for the unpermitted event.

The statement was clearly an attempt to deflect that effort.

“We deeply regret that volunteers and park staff ultimately shouldered the responsibility of cleaning up after our event,” it said. “MIH Ventures sincerely apologizes to the community for the condition of the Park on Monday morning. We are currently working with Prospect Park to ensure that the park remains a clean and enjoyable place for all, as we too are members of the Brooklyn community who use and appreciate Prospect Park.

“To show our support for Prospect Park and our respect for the community, MIH Ventures, in conjunction with Prospect Park, is organizing a volunteer clean-up effort to take place early this fall.”

MIH Ventures worked out the agreement with Prospect Park Administrator Tupper Thomas.

“Tupper was very happy to actually speak to the organizers and work this out,” said Eugene Patron, a spokesman for the Prospect Park Alliance.

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Reader Feedback

Jay from Brooklyn says:
This is not good... Unless MIH and its leaders are made to suffer financially and politically, other organizations will be emboldened to pull similar stunts knowing that a well-crafted press release apology will be all it takes to make it all better.

MIH's slick apology be damned, just like you can't scream fire in a crowded building and then claim that you didn't realize people might be trampled, you can't litter the the Internet with intentions of taking over the Prospect Park and then claim you didn't realize people would actually show up and trash the place.

Except that they did just that. And got away with it.

MIH 1, Everyone Else 0

:(
July 24, 2009, 1:36 pm
Rocky from South Brooklyn says:
You mean if I bring 500 of my best buddies, set up grills and speakers, and leave acres and acres of trash around, I can take over Prospect Park for a day ... then after being caught in the act promise to do a "clean-up" event in the near future?
The city Parks Department and the Prospect Park Alliance got scammed big-time. LOL.
July 24, 2009, 2:03 pm
Gina from Flatbush says:
Well I for one am glad they at least offered to do something. I mean a fine isnt helping the park per se but getting folks out to clean the park, including themselves, and show appreciation is what is most important.

The park is a public space and shoudl be cared for and again at least tehya re doign that....fining them doesn't do that much - especially if its a small fine for what dumping - they are giving time and energy to clean and working with the Park Dept, so it seems.

I am not happy with what happened but happy we are getting them to do something that is worthwhile.
July 24, 2009, 2:46 pm
Daze from Crown Heights says:
LOL LOL Rocky if you had 500 friends you wouldn't be spending your time talking tough on messageboard. You might be out living your life! You cyber tough guys are pathetic
July 24, 2009, 2:53 pm
Malik from Crown Heights says:
I'm going to issue an online apology to the IRS for not paying my taxes -- then we're cool, right?
July 24, 2009, 2:54 pm
IRS from USA says:
Yeah Malik we cool...just dont expect any SS when u get old or any medical when you get sick or any trians or buses whe you go to your off the book job... But otherwiase we cool...
July 24, 2009, 3:27 pm
BusinessGuy from Park Slope says:
I'm amazed that MIH didn't get on top of this and issue a statement days before.
It was REALLY bad business judgment to let the issue fester, or be unaware of how it was impacting the community, letting people float accusations and rumors, etcetera.
July 24, 2009, 3:58 pm
BusinessGuy from Park Slope says:
Daze from Crown Heights says: "Rocky if you had 500 friends you wouldn't be spending your time talking tough on messageboard. You might be out living your life! "

Daze, I hope that "living your life" involves cleaning up your own mess. Otherwise, no one will have any space to live IN.
July 24, 2009, 4:05 pm
J from Brooklyn says:
I'm just loving this unbiasedly written article... lol

Gersh... you should win a Pulitzer!!!

LMAO
July 24, 2009, 4:22 pm
William from Slope says:
Prospect Park Administrator Tupper Thomas "was very happy to actually speak to the organizers and work this out.”

oh, wow -- MIH finally decided to actually speak to someone.
i am SO impressed.
July 24, 2009, 4:58 pm
Kimberly from Park Slope says:
No one from MIHventures showed up Monday morning to help with the clean up. Not one person.

A late apology that makes dubious clean up claims is all it takes to escape the consequences of such an egregious offense. Wow.

I'm going to have to rethink whether or not I will continue to volunteer to clean the park, because this decision is a green light for things to get even worse.
July 24, 2009, 6:19 pm
takeiteasy from brooklyn says:
MIH offers an apology and throws its support behind a fall clean-up, and you guys want financial compensation. For what? Look they messed up big-time, admitted it, and in the end are supporting something that will bring all walks of life together. In 9 years, this is the first year any complaint has been leveled against MIH. I repeat, the first. I think, the community should accept the apology, and come together for the fall clean-up. Clearly, raking those autumn leaves is a tedious job and Parks Department and the Prospect Park Alliance could use a hand.

Yes, it was a terrible ending to an otherwise peaceful event. I for one, agree with the notion of allowing MIH to redeem itself. A lot of good will come out of this decision, please don't be blinded by rage. If those you oppose such a decision were really interested in a monetary settlement, you guys should support MIH to making a donation to Prospect Park Alliance. I am sure the P.P.A could put such monies to better use than the city.
July 24, 2009, 7:18 pm
realitycheck from slope says:
takeiteasy said -" If those you oppose such a decision were really interested in a monetary settlement, you guys should support MIH to making a donation to Prospect Park Alliance."

Hello?
How about *MIH* makes that donation?
A lot of us have consistently been volunteering, donating, etc to the park and Alliance - any way we could help.
Some volunteers had to clean up *after* MIH.
MIH avoided the cost of paying for its own cleaners, and the normal right-in-the-rules penalty for not cleaning (paying Parks' costs).
Instead of confronting a heavy-duty summer mess, it gets to run a 'volunteer fall cleanup.'
MIH also isn't a scout troop or a little social thing - it's a *business.*

But you want *us* -- private-individuals/volunteers -- to donate (again) to the Alliance ... because we're angry w/MIH's way of doing business?

Give me a break!
July 25, 2009, 12:33 am
Vegasclub from Vegas says:
Follow me on http://www.twitter.com/VegasClub

THanks.
July 25, 2009, 10:27 am
BOB from PARK SLOPE says:
When they returned the park had already been cleaned? Seriously? When was this Tuesday? Wednesday?

I hope the City and Parks Dept. has been put on notice to enforce the park rules for this event next year. A gathering of this size should be compelled to obtain a permit and post the necessary bonds like any other group. And not only should this group organize a clean-up in the Fall, but they should make a substantial contribution to the Alliance to support their efforts to maintain and enhance this wonderful place.

Why is it so difficult to pick-up after yourself? Amazing...
July 25, 2009, 3:06 pm
Roger from PS says:
Agee, Bob. Why didn't this firm make a donation to the park or Alliance to begin with, as goodwill?
The current solution doesn't match the problem. These folks' negligence cost public money, volunteer & employee time, and created a divisive stink.
And they're gonna "remedy" it just by doing some p.r. for a fall cleanup, and inviting the PUBLIC to clean the park?
July 25, 2009, 4:16 pm
jb from PH says:
so, when American Express or Visa or Budweiser next "take over the park" (MIH's words) and leave behind acres of trash for others to clean up, the only thing Parks will ask for is that they "promise" to promote a clean-up event in the future? How about requiring a bond, maybe? How about requiring dumpsters on the park drive or outside the park and asking people to cart their crap out?

I read a lot of very early posts from people who ended up cleaning that mess, and not a SINGLE ONE of them mention anything about the promoters' representatives show up to help. I'm calling BS on that part of their "apology" press release. And I'm betting sometime in November when NO MIHVentures-promoted clean-up event takes place, I'll be posting "I Told You So" in a brooklyn papers story about them not following through on their promise.

Hey, put up or shut up: we can safely assume the park will be a mess the afternoon of and day after Labor Day. How about MIH schedules their clean-up for that day and starts "promoting" it now??
July 25, 2009, 6:14 pm
West of Bergen from Sunset Park says:
Email the park's public information officer:
epatron@prospectpark.org
and try and find out what the real deal is.
I wonder if Gersh Himself is trying to ferret out the correct information. Someone's zoomin' someone on this one. And it stinks as high as last Monday's garbage piles.
July 25, 2009, 9:28 pm
Bklyn from South Brooklyn says:
This is really crazy. Do the parks let all 'offenders' skip out like this, or does the rules exemption apply only to commercial entities that screw up in a big way?
I don't know what kind of promotion business is this, that they'd respond so late, then not offer to kick in some buck$ to smooth things over.
I, too, love (!?) the fact that their penalty will consist of encouraging volunteers to clean the park. Gee, thanks. As if volunteers didn't clean up after MIH last Sunday, out of necessity.
July 26, 2009, 1:18 am
Stephen from Prospect Heights says:
The Trash is still there. Much has been cleaned but there is a TON still in the woods and in plain sight. I dont care who is getting sued by whom. JUST CLEAN IT UP, so the everyone else can still enjoy the park.

PLEASE.
July 26, 2009, 4:33 pm
Milli from Prospect Park says:
I am aghast at the fact that MIH is allowed to get off the hook without as much as an apology. I find this unnacceptable. Anyone helping with the cleaning up should be shocked. The Parks Department has proven to be a paper tiger when it comes to enforce their own rules. Beware of what will happen from now on with the many "party organizers" - in reality, drug and booze peddlers - that infest public places with their "events". The signal is send that they will have free rein to continue with their activities and abuses. Shame on the Parks Department, shame on these "event organizers". They stink more than the piles of trash they leave after their trashy "events".
July 26, 2009, 7:24 pm
Ellen from Prospect Heights says:
Oh, great - the PARKS DEPARTMENT won't even stand up for the park! I guess if my friends and I wreck the park, we won't have to pay for damages ... we can just publicize an event telling other people how to fix the park.
July 27, 2009, 2:07 am
BK from Windsor Terrace says:
It is a punch in the face to the men & woman who pick up after such slobs. PARK WORKERS>> I tip my cap to you. THANK YOU for trying doing a great job.
July 27, 2009, 12:54 pm
ellen from ps says:
Yes - thank you, park employees!
Trashing the park = disrespecting those workers.
July 27, 2009, 5:14 pm
Shawn from Crown Heights says:
Make MIH supply a bunch of garbage cans, instead of the stupid idea of putting a single dumpster in the Nethermead. The problem areas are the Long Meadow and the BBQ areas close to the bandshell. We need more garbage cans, not dumpsters. And from now on, anybody like MIH should not be allowed to get away this. It's a double standard that discriminates against responsible dog owners.
Aug. 3, 2009, 9:09 pm
JB from PS says:
Hey guess what, it's September now and I'm still waiting for the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT from MIH Ventures about when this promised fall clean-up event is going to take place.
Sept. 6, 2009, 11:29 am
winston Smith from Park Slope says:
Yea, it is 2010 and NO BIG ANNOUNCEMENT from MIH. Come on Brooklyn Paper, do some journalism. Do some follow up. How are they, did they pay?
Jan. 5, 2010, 5:27 am

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