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July 21, 2009 / Brooklyn news / Park Slope / Meadows of Shame

Update! Parks Dept. will go after the dirty birds!

The Brooklyn Paper
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The Parks Department says it will go after the party-planning company whose unpermitted event drew thousands of people — and massive amounts of litter — to Prospect Park on Sunday.

“In reference to your inquiry, we are looking into our options available to recover any damages,” Parks spokesman Phil Abramson wrote in an e-mail to The Brooklyn Paper hours after the newspaper’s Web site revealed on Monday that a Prospect Heights-based company called MIH Ventures had promoted a huge — and apparently illegal — gathering called “Heatwave” that trashed the once-stately greenspace.

“I’m appalled,” said one park user, who requested anonymity because she is a park volunteer. “I’ve never see it like this. It was a blanket of trash. This was some serious irresponsibility, not your usual weekend of picnic.”

The ninth annual gathering did not have the required permit, said Eugene Patron of the Prospect Park Alliance, making it impossible for park crews to know that such a big event was scheduled.

“It’s enough work just to clean up after all the permitted events!” said Patron.

City rules require a permit for any event that is expected to draw more than 25 people, he said.

“But in this case, there were hundreds,” Patron said. “There are pictures on Twitter!”

Though Patron said that city officials and Parks workers did not know about the event in advance, plenty of people did. MIH Ventures sent out an electronic invitation via Evite days earlier and promised a party that would be “the outdoor event of the summer.”

“For eight years straight, MIH Ventures has hosted the premiere event of the summer, as we bring together patrons, clients, associates, friends and family for a day in the park,” this year’s invitation read. “Last year, we had over 1,000 people bless us with their presence and as we continue to grow, so does the size of the event. This year we expect nothing but more beautiful faces, food, and fun.

“We’re taking over Prospect Park...are you with us!?!” it added.

MIH Ventures did not return calls and e-mails. No one was at the company’s office on Bergen Street in Prospect Heights this week, and a neighbor said that she had not seen company President Jonevan Hornsby in three days, an indication perhaps that he is in hiding.

Readers have been especially keyed in to the sorry state of Prospect Park this summer after a series of stories in The Brooklyn Paper have alerted the public to the ongoing trash problem.

As a result, our Inbox has been filled with complaints about the condition of the park.

“It took about 40 people and two Parks Department dumptrucks about four hours to clean up that mess,” said another park worker. “The thing that burns me about this the most was watching all the little kids streaming into the park [on Monday] as we were cleaning this mess up. About 400 small children are in day camp in that park as we speak, playing and sitting in the aftermath of that garbage, which was infested with rats.”

Worse, said the volunteer was that the party was easily found with a quick Google search.

“This barbecue has been going on for almost 10 years, with apparently no restrictio­ns/require­ments for trash and security?” she asked. “If you log on to Twitter, and do a search on Prospect Park, you can surf through the thousands of young people comments about how the cops watched them drink and smoke pot, and just basically get their party on for hours, and didn’t do anything about it until the park’s closing hour — then they shut the party down.

“I cleaned up hundreds of liquor and beer bottles, and more than two dozen drug baggies — what the hell?”

— with Jacob Kleinman

Updated 5:13 pm, July 9, 2018: Story was updated to add an interesting tidbit from a neighbor of MIH Ventures.
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Reasonable discourse

Wayne-o from park slope says:
MIH, we love u guys. In the case of any fines being levied against MIH, you guys be sure to get the word out where donations can be sent to offset any such fines.
July 21, 2009, 12:37 am
ASK from Brooklyn says:
Has this event been authorized every other year? It seems strange that an event has been allowed to happen, not one, not two, but ten years in a row without permission or preparation by the Parks Department. It is also hard to believe that an event of such magnitude would be able to commence, throughout the duration of the day, without a permit and/or intervention from the authorities. Maybe there is information missing, but this story lacks basic logic.
July 21, 2009, 12:57 am
KevinV from Prospect Heights says:
Just so you know....these are the business you should hold responsible for this:

Btw...this event was held by:
MIH Ventures
http://www.mihventures.com/

And the following companies were sponsors, and should be held accountable too:

Brooklyn Circus - www.thebrooklyncircus.blogspot.com
Pieces Boutique - www.piecesofbklyn.com
KISER - www.kiserny.com
July 21, 2009, 4:05 am
Shawna from Brooklyn says:
There is a alot of information missing from the true story and events that took place on that day. I also heard about the event that took place in prospect park and heard it was a very very nice respectful event that was attended by many passer byers, walkers, runners, and bikers of the community. MIH is very professional company and is highly respected in its community as well through the professional network of various industries for years. What people fail to realize is that something that was nice organized group of people having a picnic in the park took a turn for the worst due to the emergence of virtual communication tools like Twitter. Prospect park is a public park and free to any and everyone to attend. This is what caused the issue discussed:

Many people that were not invited or affiliated with MIH hosted an event in the park and chose to do it on the same date MIH does it, intentionally!! MIH made attempts by warning the people of their behavior and made attempts to shut down their production. However, people continued to proceed as they felt they had no authority to shut them down.

What is unknown is that MIH spent 4 hours in the park after sundown (no lights in park) using car headlights to see trying their best job to clean up the park behind people that they did not have anything to do with as they feared they would be blamed for it. The pictures that have been blogged are 10 times better than what it was originally. Unfortunately, they did not have dump trucks to load the garbage off, thus leaving it in piles so that a dump truck could easily pick up.

The interesting part is that some of the people that came out Monday morning were some of the same people that were seen out there the day of the event eating food. One of the joggers was seen on a video blog saying how it was a very thoughtful and nice event. It seems very hypocritical to me.

Some people just don't have better things to do in life. Instead of reaching out and getting facts, they decide to take one piece of something and make it the whole. People like that make this city a mess. It must make them feel better to point their finger instead of looking at themselves. If they were really concerned I would of reached out to MIH first and find out the facts and then take it from there. They are not bad people, I am sure they would be willing to fix what happen and make sure it never happened again.
July 21, 2009, 4:38 am
Meredith from Park Slope says:
MIH's own invitation indicated they were expecting more than 1k attendees, and were planning on "taking over the park" at an unpermitted and thus illegal event. It was irresponsible, pre-planned and a disgrace. I hope they lose major clients over this debacle. Additionally, Pepsi was listed as a sponsor. I would love to see their official response to this incident.
July 21, 2009, 7:21 am
Chicken Underwear from Park Slope says:
Shawna,

Prospect Park is not "public park and free to any and everyone to attend". Events or any group of people over 25 requires a permit.

"Gatherings of 25 or more people in the Park require a permit from the Special Events Office issued at least 30 days in advance of the outing. This includes barbecues, picnics, sporting events, meetings, and any other outdoor event. ......."

If MIH was a "professional" company they would have had a permit. The process of getting a permit includes making a plan so that this sort of thing does not happen.

This unprofessional behavior should not be rewarded by giving them a permit in the future.

I hope that the Park's Dept monitors MIH's future parties and enforces the laws when they plan an event.
July 21, 2009, 7:43 am
jeff says:
shawna,

Were your children palying in that mess the day after. I bet not.
July 21, 2009, 8:37 am
takeiteasy from brooklyn says:
Do you really think that MIH did not have a permit for a gathering over 25 people or for the music? Give me a break! If no permit was obtained the police would have shut this thing down. This year had a lot more folks than all the years.
I agree that if MIH plans on the continuance of this annual day, new clean-up procedures will have to be implemented. To all the "park lovers" and local residents, I am sure that MIH will address the debris problem going forward.
July 21, 2009, 8:41 am
Rocky from South Brooklyn says:
People who use Prospect Park should treat it like if it was your own backyard. Whatever you bring in, take it out with you. Simple rule. Plan your day that way, and there won't be any problems. The park will be much cleaner and nicer. Don't expect the city to take care of everything. Have some personal responsibility.
July 21, 2009, 9:18 am
Earl from Park Slope says:
I have been going to this bbq for every year since it has begun. It has always been a peaceful gathering of college educated professionals. This year is the "1st" year that this has happened. Everyone agreeded that no one expected it to draw this amount of professionals, but it did and no one was prepared. If they are allowed to have it next year (I hope they do) I think they should have a clean up crew in place. This seems like a witch hunt that is not going to help only hinder. I'm sure that more than half of the people that attended would be willing to do some type of community service if allowed. MIH made a folly just by being unprepared. If no one said it before, I am... I appreciated and love the Brooklyn neighborhood and am willing to help keep it as clean and lovely as it should and always be.
July 21, 2009, 9:46 am
Legal Eagle from Windsor Terrace says:
The city has lots of lawyers on its payroll, and should go after MIH for everything it can. And please, Shawna:

"MIH spent 4 hours in the park after sundown (no lights in park) using car headlights?"

Cars aren't allowed in the park on Sunday nights. And the photo and eyewitness accounts clearly indicate that the trash wasn't left in neat little easy-to-clean-up piles.

Let's hope this is the last MIH event in Prospect Park ever. The total lack of respect for a shared public space is disgusting.
July 21, 2009, 10:17 am
Shawna from Brooklyn says:
@Legal Eagle - That isn't fiction statement that is 120% true statement. So imagine how it looked before the 4hrs spent.

@Jeff-- Why were your children playing in trash? The park is huge. There is a playground on other side of tracks where your kids could of played. Or were you one of the ones digging in the garbage trying to see what you could find of value that somebody lost or left?

@Chciken Underwear - it is free for anyone to enter the park. Do you pay to enter the park? Events are suppose to be permitted and I am sure they had a permit for what they did - if other people outside they do not know decide to walk in park and do their own thing, what can they do?

@Meredith - again another one that does not know the facts and drawing conclusions and making accusations based on information that is not true. I am starting to see how easy it is for the government to control society with TV & newspapers. Meredith I bet you believe that 911 attacks was because Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Because you seen dead people on TV/newspapers and then someone on TV pointed the finger at Saddam - and that the 400% increase in gas, billion of dollars being made had nothing to with anything.

How do you know the evite actually came from MIH? How do you know the evite wasn't edited to read what has been quoted? How do you know the link is actually a real evite link?

Sometimes people see mess and quick to blame anybody that POSSIBLY could of done it - without knowing the facts. NOW that is the problem with society people!!!!!
July 21, 2009, 10:55 am
Earl from Parkslope says:
I did just want to point out there were police officers there. Not in the official sense, but just enjoying the event. Everyone noticed that there was no cleaning crew and wondered how everything was going to get cleaned up after. It was bad oversight, no one is perfect. All you can do is plan better in the future. It's trial and error and New York is a forgiving town and we will do better next time. I wonder if the people that are complaining grew up in Brooklyn or are they from out of town. Get a grip people. It's an unfortunate accident that will "not" be repeated.
July 21, 2009, 11:03 am
parker from PH says:
oh yeah, that evite invitation is a big frame-up job on MIH Ventures (669 Bergen Street #2)

http://www.evite.com/pages/invite/viewInvite.jsp?event=ILSXGOQXXLKRGVQULYIP&inviteId=SVISDIOCBOUGPUMIRWAA&showPreview=false&x=178121929

If you want to see what the park looked like the next morning: http://www.flickr.com/photos/opossumqueen/3739611742/in/set-72157621744992682/
July 21, 2009, 11:07 am
noname from gardens says:
Pathetic. Only the hipsters going to celebrate brooklyn have to follow the rules of the park. Seems like everyone else is ok to have a free for all.
July 21, 2009, 11:15 am
TIM from HARLEM says:
People please understand all of this blame isn't helping seriously. I was there for the last 5 years and they announced repeatedly about being responsible and even handed out hundreds of garbage bags also, cleaned during and after the event.
We all need to know they had a permit, they did was what within their control. These brothers tried to put a great event together for us. Please stop pointing fingers and lend a hand, this is what community does. Remember NOV 4th ?

This is the time to ask for a change in how we treat each other. dueces
July 21, 2009, 11:28 am
noname from gardens says:
tim - please...
I'm part of the prospect park community and don't want to have to clean up your mess. Permit or not it's a disgrace what you people did.
If 1000 of my people went to a harlem park and destroyed it I'm sure we'd be having this conversation in front of news cameras with al sharpton and every elected up there.
July 21, 2009, 11:45 am
Jack from park slope says:
Tim - so what if they "handed out garbage bags" or "announced repeatedly about being responsible." Obviously none of the people there listened or cared.

You all should be ashamed of yourselves. Why the hell should we "lend a hand" to clean up your mess? Stop acting like a child and be responsible for yourself. And what the hell does Obama or election day have to do with any of this? The only connection I can see is that he's black and so were the vast majority of the people who made this mess.

You made a huge mess at an illegal gathering, and now you refuse to act like an adult and take responsibility for it. Pure and simple.
July 21, 2009, 11:57 am
David from Park Slope says:
SHAME ON SHAWNA – SHAME ON MIH!!

Shawna – you social media/blog/PR huckster, spin-meister.

We are not fooled. You have NO LEG TO STAND ON and the fact you try to defend the MESS with silly, hollow arguments shows HOW LITTLE RESPECT YOU HAVE FOR THE COMMUNITY, THE PARK and YOURSELF.

You held an event - you weren't prepared - and you didn't follow up! You site says you were expecting 1k and you've not changed it. Are you cheap, lazy or morally bankrupt or do we have a tri-fecta?

You left the mess and clearly did nothing to rectify the situation. NYC has services for everything - you could have stayed until the situation was corrected. 4 hours is meaningless if the park was still trashed!

Get all those nice people at the event on the phone and get them to show up to clean – or don’t let them leave until they have.

How about some leadership at the event to ask people to clear their trash???? How about some leadership, period.

How about hitting Key Food - a few blocks away - to buy a 100 large garbage bags? You had HOURS to do this – AND FAILED.

Permit or no it's clear that you just didn't care and you left the burden for others to suffer and then clean up.

I don't think you'd do this in your backyard!

Pshaw(na) on YOU!!!! You have NO EXCUSE.

Shame on you!
July 21, 2009, 12:29 pm
BIG V from Park Slope says:
This "party" was a disgrace, and a very loud middle finger to the park and non-MIH crowd who use it. People who try to defend them are trying to escape taking responsibility for their own actions.

First off, this is a party planning COMPANY. It is NO EXCUSE to say that other people who weren't invited came, and the party organizers tried but failed to clean up the mess they themselves caused.

The paper quotes the Prospect Park Alliance saying that MIH DID NOT HAVE A PERMIT. If you know otherwise, prove it. If not.....

"that was nice organized group of people having a picnic in the park took a turn for the worst due to the emergence of virtual communication tools like Twitter." --- That has to be the biggest lie yet. The invite said more than 1,000 people were coming and the group hoped to "TAKE OVER THE PARK." That is not a "nice organized group."

second biggest lie: "trying their best job to clean up the park behind people that they did not have anything to do with"

Your group had over 1,000 people, and you actually expect ANYONE to believe that the mess was made by "people that they did not have anything to do with?" That has to be a joke.

The simple fact of the matter is MIH had a HUGE, ILLLEGAL PARTY WITHOUT A PERMIT. The park got trashed as a result and the group left the trash there like a bunch of freaking 10-year olds would. Take responsibility for your own actions, MIH, and stop trying to blame the harm you caused on other people.

July 21, 2009, 1:10 pm
al pankin from downtown says:
all the parks dept managers should be replaced, if they can't see what is going and and constantly turn a blind eye toward the filty crummy condition of the park they are supposed to be managing it is time to get new managers, ones with two eyes..
July 21, 2009, 1:16 pm
Jeff says:
Shawna,

Trying to blame the victims is a lowlife move and never successful.
July 21, 2009, 1:33 pm
Amy from Park Slope says:
Wow..

Those words, "you people", "my people" says a lot about your thought process (funny enough..you left "noname" - typical).

I live in Park Slope (since birth) and was a "passer-by" on Sunday evening. Lots of garbage left behind as of Monday morning. THAT should be the discussion here! It should not be a finger pointing YOU PEOPLE/MY PEOPLE discussion. It was a huge gathering and it's clearly obvious that it was a peaceful one (as there were no complaints of any lewd behavior, violence, etc., reported to the police precinct).

Please discuss the FACTS! Furthermore, 'what if's' are unacceptable!

The organizers should plan better for garbage disposal in the future. I'm pretty sure they will be fined if they did not have the proper permits for the gathering.

Brooklyn is all-inclusive. We should keep it that way!!

Amy
July 21, 2009, 1:44 pm
finger from BKLYN says:
Every time you point one finger there are 4 more pointing back at you! This is not a blame game, its a "lets not this thing happen again!" game. It doesn't matter what group of people caused it, the fact the the park administrators allowed this to happen is whats wrong. Since when is public drinking allowed, where were the cops at a time like this? Yet as the paper reported in the past you drink on your own stoop and you get fined and arrested! Lets get real this ain't no race thing its a human thing. Lets get our act together people buy replacing the parks dept people in charge whom allow this to happen every weekend and make this park civil again on Monday mornings. Its not just his Monday this is a problem its EVERY Monday this is a prob, just happens that this Monday was one of the worse!
July 21, 2009, 1:59 pm
April from Queens says:
@BV... they did have a permit. We would gladly like to come in and clean up. Sorry it happened. There should have been clean up crews instead of maybe 5 people trying to clean up after a 1000. All we can is learn from it. I agree with Tim. It was a peaceful and beautiful day. All or most are college educated but just dropped the ball. I'm sure they would be happy to come do some type of community service to help clean up this beautiful park. Don't punish everyone for the mistakes of few. I know I personally collected all my belongings and trash and put it in a garbage. Do you want to crucify me also????
July 21, 2009, 2:15 pm
Jimmy from Prospect Heights says:
There's no excuse. No more permits for MIH, no more MIH events in the park. Contact Pepsi, sponsor of the event, and let them know that they just paid MIH to trash a public park.
July 21, 2009, 2:27 pm
Mazz from Prospect Park South says:
College Educated or Not the Trash was Still there by morning! We all must be responsible for ourselves. Putting Trash into bags isn't enough! The park has a population of raccoons that Love trash. All of the Trash should have left the lawn that night! Too much garbage to clean up? Then Don't invite a thousand people! If you had a permit the Sanitation and Parks Departments would have been waiting to clean up at the end of the Event.
Also "Using Car Lights" to clean the trash after the "BBQ" is simply retarded. Car's are Banned from the Park on Weekends, did the NYPD give your car's an escort to the Lawn?
July 21, 2009, 2:46 pm
KevinV from Prospect Heights says:
And nobody is addressing this, but permit or no permit, having alcohol in the park is illegal. And if you look at the Flckr page above, with all the photos of trash piles....its practically ALL empty cases of beer, malt beverages, bottles of booze, etc. How can you expect to keep control of the situation when everyone is trashed on alcohol and drugs!? And don't deny it...a search of Twitter, shows how people are bragging about the good time they are having!!

"Everyone noticed that there was no cleaning crew and wondered how everything was going to get cleaned up after." you say. So what about taking responsibility?!
July 21, 2009, 3:11 pm
Timmy from Rye says:
"David from Park Slope" you are such a "trash goes in the trashcan" conformist fuddy duddy.

It was a brilliant conceptual "free range trash" piece...shared freely with Brooklyn.

Trash has been unilaterally segragated in our society...confined to souless receptacles..deprived of it freedoms.

This sequestration of trash is complete rubbish...a hefty issue for our times...stop the madness!
July 21, 2009, 3:14 pm
Earl from Park Slope says:
@Kevin V- look buddy don't group me in with people that do drugs. Now your assuming "everyone" in the crowd was doing drugs. Are we "all" drug users now?!?!? We are alcoholics and drugey's?!?! .. your crazy!!. We admitted we were wrong and even offered to come clean up. I am accepting responsibility for the many that came out. My friends are also. ... but now your just taking it to a level that it doesn't need to go to. Don't you have a job or something else to do other then assume, ridicule and bash people that are trying to correct the mistake that they made. This is the 9th annual picnic; and this is the first mistake. No one is perfect, but we are willing to rectify the situation like adults!!
July 21, 2009, 3:27 pm
Ed Norton from Bensonhurst says:
C'mon, who's the Rev. Al of trash? Call a news conference at the steps of Borough Hall! Where's the outrage! No Hefty bags, no peace! Fight the power! Call Charles Barron, just using black trash bags is inherently racist ... we have to use some of those white trash ... bags, too!
And I, Ed Norton, am a professional, too! I work for the DEP as an underground specialist!

Seriously, it's been a couple days now and no peep from the "promoters" of this "event"???
July 21, 2009, 3:35 pm
Taryn from Park Slpoe says:
Can someone please flikr/twitter last week's Central Park NY Philhamonic event?!?? Let's not talk about drugs ('empty bags') and alcohol (malt liquor included)........

So, KevinV..you were there? You witnessed "everyone trashed on alcohol and drugs"? I guess that's all those 'imaginary' police officers were on site to break up the massive drug party?!? (pun intended)

Please try again..and include some facts in your next post..
July 21, 2009, 3:58 pm
Joy from Brooklyn says:
I am very disappointed that The Brooklyn Paper decided to write such a one-sided article about this event. The BBQ ended Sunday night and by Monday morning you guys were spewing hate and misinformation at MIH. All w/ the disclaimer that you were unable to get their side of the story by your "squeaky clean online deadline." Excuse me?! It's clear you really didn't care what the truth was and you were totally fine with putting out information without the slightest attempt at checking your facts!

As another poster mentioned, common sense alone would tell you that there is no way the event could have been held for nine years, w/ bigger and bigger crowds forming each year w/o permission. THAT'S COMMON SENSE PEOPLE, COMMON SENSE!!!

This is the FIRST incident of this kind in NINE YEARS. Doesn't your journalist curiosity and integrity IMPLORE YOU to find out what went wrong? If they were the scum that you make them out to be, you would have written this article years ago; you had eight previous opportunities to do so. You didn't because there was never a reason to.

In all its years and w/ all the people that have attended this event over the years, it has always been a peaceful, respectful event. This incident was an obvious mistake and adjustments need to be made. However, while attempting to crush the credibility of MIH, you have -in effect- compromised your own journalistic name with this uninformed "article." And I use that word loosely!
July 21, 2009, 3:59 pm
MomDad from Park Slope says:
The park was left in a disgusting (and dangerous) state due to this event, and there's no disputing that fact. Cars were parked illegally in front of fire hydrants and in bus stops. The entire park was covered in garbage. Motorcycles were illegally entering the park through pedestrian paths. It was insane. Shawna, et al., this is indefensible and shameful and should never happen again.
July 21, 2009, 4:04 pm
Shawna from Brooklyn says:
To the ignorant people putting my name in their blogs. They truly have a problem with comprehension. I am not defending nor saying right or wrong. I am saying that people are taking shots and assassinating character without knowing the facts or whole story. Now if you are someone who trying to crucify a person or people without knowing the facts of the whole story - then you are wrong. Unless you attended the event and seen what took place from beginning to end you have no valid right to comment. How do you know what MIH did to rectify, how do you know that they haven't spoken to the city or police in reference to the trash. It is evident that there was alot of trash and they did not have the resource to clean up at the end but who is to say that they did not arrange for the 40-50 people that showed up to clean that up? Do you know what action they took and currently taken to rectify? NO you don't. Leave your phone number on the blog and maybe they will call you and give you apology personally if thats what your looking for. Unless you are a coward now? I am sure they are reading these comments - if you feel they owe you an apology personally leave a contact.
July 21, 2009, 4:22 pm
April from Queens says:
Well said Shawna.
July 21, 2009, 4:28 pm
Snitch from Prospect Park says:
The responsible party is MIHVentures, which is headed by Jonevan Hornsby at 699 Bergen Street, Brooklyn.

Perhaps the collected waste should be returned to the people responsible for it, in care of the organization that put the event together?

Feel free to deposit your debris at 699 Bergen Street.

See how they feel about it.
July 21, 2009, 4:45 pm
IMAQTNVME from Prospect Heights says:
This was my first time attending this event and it was a very peaceful event. 1st of there was not adequate Garbage Receptacles within the park...there were many people having family BBQ's in the park also that day of all races that came over to the BBQ and many people were looking for Garbage Cans to dispose of their items but the Garbage Cans were full, yes MIH should in the future invest in a cleaning service that can assist in the cleanup but please don't make this a race issues....majority of the people that were at this BBQ were professionals who are from the area but you cannot prevent people from entering a Public Park because they heard about a free event. Please invest in a life and stop spreading Propaganda and Racism.

This definitely made me realize that Ignorance is Still Bliss.
July 21, 2009, 5:03 pm
mothernotmother from Park Slope says:
I'd like to hear from MIH Ventures and not Shawna. In fact, MIH Ventures DOES NOT return calls or respond to emails. The reporter did his due diligence and has yet to hear from MIH Ventures.

Next year, the event should be at Shawna's house.
July 21, 2009, 5:10 pm
In Due Course from Flatbush says:
What do "professionals" have to do with anything? Professional what? Slobs? Partygoers?
This all has to do with garbage and those who put it there. I don't care if they're orange with purple spots. If they are truly "professionals" they know to clean up after themselves.
Those who are responsible, if they truly represent "professionals" of color ... should be ashamed of themselves. But they aren't. They fooled The Man once again, and got the city to clean up after them, like a bunch of toddlers at a day-care after too large a lunch.
July 21, 2009, 5:33 pm
Amy from Park Slope says:
In Due Course:

"They fooled The Man once again.."

I'm confused by your comment.
July 21, 2009, 6:16 pm
Mel from Park Slope says:
There are more prominent issues going on in this world. Maybe if we all could focus the same type of energy to do something positive, everyone would be happeir. It makes no sense to continue bickering about this. It's turning into something far uglier than a trashy park. There is not positivity there. The Park is clean now. Next year MIH should take the steps to prevent this from happening again. Sometimes —— has to happen to learn the lesson. Move forward and be proeductive.
July 21, 2009, 6:20 pm
Mel from Park Slope says:
There are more prominent issues going on in this world. Maybe if we all could focus the same type of energy to do something positive, everyone would be happier. It makes no sense to continue bickering about this. It's turning into something far uglier than a trashy park. There is no positivity there. The Park is clean now. Next year MIH should take the steps to prevent this from happening again. Sometimes —— has to happen to learn the lesson. Move forward and be productive. If you are not focused on solutions then you are just as much part of the problem.
July 21, 2009, 6:22 pm
Rob from Park Slope says:
We give the police the authority to arrest people for drinking a beer or smoking a joint in the park. But MIH can only be fined. Which is the greater crime? Which does more immediate damage to other members of our community?

Give the police the legal means (criminalization of littering on a mass scale) and arrest a few of the party planners. A night at Riker's would be a good example to set for the next group who does something like this.

So long as littering is only publishable by fines, the idea of dumping a ton of crap in front of the organizer's place of work sounds like the right short-term retribution to me.

This type of mass neglect - the "I'm too good to pick up my crap," "Someone else will do that for me," or, worse still, "Whatever?" variety, starts a slippery slope. We can't tolerate this. Any one of the people attending the event could have done the right thing and chosen to clean up the mess themselves, even if it took an hour or two on their own. But no one - NO ONE, chose to do so.

Arrest. A night in jail. A couple weekends picking up track on the Van Wyck. That's the "solution."
July 21, 2009, 7:07 pm
Rob from Park Slope says:
We give the police the authority to arrest people for drinking a beer or smoking a joint in the park. But MIH can only be fined. Which is the greater crime? Which does more immediate damage to other members of our community?

Give the police the legal means (criminalization of littering on a mass scale) and arrest a few of the party planners. A night at Riker's would be a good example to set for the next group who does something like this.

So long as littering is only publishable by fines, the idea of dumping a ton of crap in front of the organizer's place of work sounds like the right short-term retribution to me.

This type of mass neglect - the "I'm too good to pick up my crap," "Someone else will do that for me," or, worse still, "Whatever?" variety, starts a slippery slope. We can't tolerate this. Any one of the people attending the event could have done the right thing and chosen to clean up the mess themselves, even if it took an hour or two on their own. But no one - NO ONE, chose to do so.

Arrest. A night in jail. A couple weekends picking up trash on the Van Wyck. That's the "solution."
July 21, 2009, 7:09 pm
Erika from Bed Stuy says:
I have been to this yearly BBQ for 3 years now and I must say that it is a very positive event for professional and non professional African Americans to meet, network, and just have great time with no threat of violence.

I do not understand the sudden alarm about the trash. WHILE I do not believe that ANYONE should leave trash and not clean up after themselves, I also believe that Nothing was done to prevent this. Yes, I was there for the event and I did see the potential for this problem, but didn't the many cops that were also at the event? This is a big event ANNUALLY, why weren't trashcans provided by the parks department? Many people did take their trash away with them, but for the others, they were left with far lass options than to leave it. If Central Park had little to no trashcans available for a big event wouldn't this problem occur there also?

Do not fault this promotions company at all! If TRASH is the only complain filed, then I would call this a success and just plan better for next year.
July 21, 2009, 7:16 pm
takeiteasy from brooklyn says:
To pull this event off, MIH needed to apply for two permits. Judging from the police response this year and previous years, I would assume that the necessary paperwork was filed. They would have needed a permit from the NYC Parks Dept, not Prospect Park Alliance. In addition, the permit can be applied for online through NYC Parks Dept. website, not Prospect Park Alliance website(if there is one). Only after such permit is obtained, would the local police precinct issue a sound permit for the music. Just last week the city initiated a crackdown on unlawful musical set-up and performances in non-designated area within public parks, so I am inclined to reason that sound permit was obtained.
The event had no incidents to reported by police, so we must commend MIH, attendees, and the police.
Ok, I agree wholeheartedly with those angered by the debris left behind. It was very unfortunate, and a terrible way to leave a public space. That being said, it is certainly a problem that can be easily recitified. I am a supporter, and I agree MIH and attendees dropped the ball on this one. Secondly, I am hearing talk of fines being levied against MIH, if so, I would like to see officials fine all individuals whom commit similar offenses. Certainly, this is a problem every Monday morning during summer.
@Kevin V- u might change your tune when hipsters, members of Prospect Park Alliance, and such are fined for drinking their grigio in the park with their finest picnic foods. Just "takeiteasy", there is plenty of alcohol in the park on weekends.
@Ed Norton- boy or boy does your name fit you, you made more sense on the show. Straight loser, why did you even blog?
@noname- why use a "harlem" park as a reference. There are plenty of blacks that utilize what the Prospect Park has to offer. You probably only know the west side of the park.
@rocky, earl, amy, finger - two thumbs up!!!!
July 21, 2009, 7:37 pm
Rob from Park Slope says:
@Erika -

Your logic is incongruous.

You state that "I also believe that Nothing (sic) was done to prevent this" but that the community should "not fault this promotions company at all". Huh? Wouldn't they have been the ones ultimately responsible for the area of the event getting properly cleaned up? It sounds like trashcans weren't provided because the promotions company didn't have a permit and hence the Parks Department didn't know this whole thing was going to happen.

Also, you state that you while you saw the "potential for this problem", you imply the police officers were somehow equally culpable for the trash not getting dealt with. Again -- Huh??

If you were there, why didn't you take some personal, individual responsibility and accountability and help take care of the trash yourself? Too busy being an elitist snob who is too fabulous to take care of refuse?

Maybe someone will dump a bunch of crap in front MIHVentures while it’s still legal. In the meantime, I hope the police and Kings County DA find a way to press charges. That’s the appropriate response here. Let’s hold people accountable.

Personally, I prefer parks and neighborhoods that are both are free of “threat(s) of violence” AND trash-free. That's "a success."
July 21, 2009, 7:45 pm
Mo from Flatbush says:
To address the issue of the "illegality" of the BBQ: This is still America. There is no way the cops or park rangers would have allowed a group of 1000 people (especially black/brown people) to gather with a DJ sound system set up blasting music without the requisite documentation (i.e. permit). I mean really...don't be silly! Second of all, where exactly do you think MIH got the electrical connections to run that huge sound system? Let me guess...the Parks Dept? In addition, to use amplified sound in the Park, you need a separate permit from the NYPD. I'm guessing that since this was year #9, MIH had that covered too. In addition, you can also obtain a permit to drive vehicles into the park. Given the amount of food & equipment involved, I'm sure the organizers didn't carry it all in by hand. Maybe the Parks Dept rep who commented for the article is engaged in a little CYA.
July 21, 2009, 8 pm
Catherine from Brooklyn says:
@ Rob (and everyone else coming against MIH)

I don't think any of the MIH supporters making comments here will deny that the trash left from the BBQ was wrong. Admittedly it was wrong and whatever comes with that, fine. What's inappropriate are all of the misstatements and vicious (some even racist) statements being made like:

-They had no permit. THEY DID HAVE PERMITS!

-There were drugs and alcohol everywhere. BEING HONEST, ON WHAT PLANET DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU COULD HAVE A GATHERING OF SO MANY AND NOT HAVE SOME WHO ATTEND THAT WOULD TRY AND GET AWAY W/ BRINGING THIS TO THE GATHERING? WHY ARE WE BLAMING THE ****PROMOTERS*** FOR THIS?

Proper blame is fair, but a lot of the comments that have been made are totally unfair, mean-spirited and racist.

To those of you fairly criticizing the trash that was left, point taken, no disagreements here. I'm sure they're going to be penalized for this as they should. And... hopefully they'll learn and over prepare for any possible eventualities that come up in future events.

To the others who are quick to throw stones unfairly and specifically to those who made this a race issue (that's you "noname")... I hope the next time you make an honest mistake someone comes against you with the same fervor, intensity and severity that you've levied against these guys. I hope they show no mercy. Heartless bastards...
July 21, 2009, 8:13 pm
RaceCardistheJoker says:
people defending the promoters are most likely... the promoters. And their friends.

This event was a disgrace.
Never again.
Race has nothing to do with it.
Don't even try to play that card.
July 21, 2009, 8:29 pm
Catherine from Brooklyn says:
@RaceCardistheJoker

I'm not one of the promoters but I did attend the BBQ.

As you have, I have every right to state my thoughts which - btw - are much more weighted than those to are simply reading this article and taking the info as gospel.

Please all - Let common sense be your guide.

Geesh...
July 21, 2009, 8:43 pm
RaceCardistheJoker says:
@catherine from brooklyn

So you attended?
What "weight" does that give your "thoughts"?
Oh, wait, you must be a "professional."
Or are you just another slob with no respect for other people or consideration for your surroundings?
I think I'll go with the latter.

I saw with my own eyes the "BBQ" -- which violated every law and rule of the park -- and I saw the mess you left.

Let me make it easy for you to understand:
Keep your garbage out of the park.
Keep your event out of the park.
You want to be a filthy pig? Do it in your own home.
July 21, 2009, 8:55 pm
Traci from Prospect Heights says:
I attended the bbq and have the past 4 years. It's always a great day of fun with the kids and catching up with friends. By the end of the event, I had accumulated enough garbage for 2 large garbage bags (which I brought with me - same as I do every year). I bagged up everything. However, there was absolutely nowhere to take the garbage bags. If there was a dumpster, I would have gladly placed them in there. They definitely couldn't fit in the sparse (already full) trash cans that were in the vicinity. It was either leave the trash bags behind or drag them out to the nearest sidewalk (which was quite some distance) - only to be forced to leave the trash bags on the sidewalk since there was still no sight of empty trash receptacles. Either way - the trash bags would be left behind - on the grass or the sidewalk. Perhaps some BBQ-goers encountered the same problem as me. I consider myself a very responsible lifelong NYer. However, with no dumpsters or empty trash cans in sight, what would we have people do with their trash...take it home with them? That may sound good - however, that's not a very reasonable or practical expectation. At any other outdoor gathering I've been to in NY, there are either appropriate trash receptacles or people simply leave their trash behind. Very few people (even the most responsible of us) would lug 2 large garbage bags back home with them. Sounds like this problem can be simply cured with metal dumpsters & more trash cans next time.
July 21, 2009, 9:06 pm
James from PLG says:
As someone who attended the BBQ, I agree that something needs to be done about the trash. Picking up my own trash, I noticed there were a lot of people who left their trash and didn't even try to pick it up. I told one of the people who organized this event that they need to work on the trash issue next year.

But to say the group didn't have a permit? That is ridiculous! If they have been allowed to have amplified music in the park for nine years and no one has forced them to stop, whose fault is that? To call for the arrest of the organizers for trash? Let's get serious, guys.

As for having alcohol and drugs, that is something they cannot control. I'll bet you $1000 that people had bottles of wine when they went to see the Philharmonic, just as people had wine bottles when I saw a movie on Pier 54 last week.

Your precious park will survive to see another messy weekend.
July 21, 2009, 9:07 pm
Catherine from Brooklyn says:
@RaceCardistheJoker

Firstly, I didn't leave any trash. Let me make that clear.

Secondly, I have no problems w/ you or others complaining about the trash that was left. I'm not here to defend that. It was wrong.

The weight I have is that I researched my facts before I made any statements. The article that you used to get your info is factually incorrect, therefore the opinions that you all have formed based on this article are inherently flawed. That was the point I was making.

Anyway, as I said earlier, it was a screw up. But none of the posters throwing stones are saints so the righteous indignation is laughable at best but more along the lines of offensive because racism was added to the mix.

You "RaceCardistheJoker" have not made any racist comments however, if you go down the thread and read the comments, racism has been added to the mix... and it was done under the guise of being annoyed about the trash that was left.

To be clear, being annoyed that this happened does not make you racist and the person that left that comment was racist waaaay before he heard about what happened in Prospect park.
July 21, 2009, 9:13 pm
No Trash from DUMBO says:
Honestly, carrying your waste is not a problem unless you are a SLOB!.

People, take a lesson from Burningman. The event is held every year with over 30,000 people attending. There are only port-o-potties, NO TRASH CANS! Yet, somehow, the people who attend the event keep the desert clean afterwards.

So in answer to all the previous posters who attended, HOW HARD IS IT TO TAKE YOUR TRASH WITH YOU? This park is for the public, and unless you feel some sense of entitlement or that you don't care about your neighborhoods, PICK UP YOUR DAMN TRASH! If not, then I will gracefully ask the city NEVER to give a permit for this event.
July 21, 2009, 9:17 pm
Rob from Park Slope says:
@Catherine -

I agree with you that several of the posts to this thread include comments that could be construed as racist. This is not just unproductive to the discussion, it's outright obscene. The comments and people who posted them should be repudiated.

It must also be noted that several of the posters who attended the event felt compelled to characterize it as being predominantly African-American (Erika: "it is a very positive event for professional and non professional African Americans to meet"). While mentioning this point *absolutely does not* excuse the posting of racist comments, I just don't understand the pertinence of the race of the attendees to this discussion. It only obscures the real issue.

The real issue is the condition of the park come yesterday (Monday) morning. My buddy and I ran by that area around 7am yesterday and it was a disaster. The trash was *not* in piles as some have suggested. The area covered in garbage was roughly 1/4 to 1/3 of the entire northern portion of the Long Meadow. While it was especially concentrated around a tree on that small hill near 2nd St or so, the trash was strewn from the west drive to east drive.

Perhaps the promoters did have a permit, as you say. Other attendees who have posted here have stated there was recognition there was a problem. Others have said an attempt was made to clean up late at night but it was in part ineffectual (Shawna: “MIH spent 4 hours in the park after sundown … using car headlights to see trying their best job to clean up the park"). The promoters work on Bergen Street, not far from that part of the park. I've not heard anyone state that any of the promoters came back in the morning to see if the area had been cleaned, or better still, to lend a hand picking up. If they knew when they left that night there was a problem, why not return in the morning to make sure things got taken care of? That’s accountability. That’s responsibility.

I really hope this doesn't turn into a race discussion because race just isn't part of the issue at hand here. Use of alcohol and drugs are also irrelevant, though as previously pointed out, booze is illegal in the park and drugs are illegal generally.

The core discussion should be about responsibility and accountability. While admittedly we probably don't have all the facts at hand, right now there is the very real appearance that one, several, and/or many people at the event dropped the ball in the accountability department. Having seen the results with my own eyes, it’s my view that this was WAY worse than the typical day after July 4 or Labor Day. I assert that this was a crime against the community. I’m not a lawyer, but if there is a component of the criminal code that can be brought to bear here beyond the civil fines, etc, it should be. This was way over the top.
July 21, 2009, 10:54 pm
Gersh the Editor from Park Slope says:
Point of information, The Brooklyn Paper has tried repeatedly — via calls, e-mails and a shoe-leather visit to MIH Ventures' address on Bergen Street — to get the company's side of this story.

Don't blame the messenger. We do not have a dog in this fight (though we do clean up after our dogs).

GERSH KUNTZMAN
Editor
The Brooklyn Paper
July 22, 2009, 12:47 am
KevinV from Prospect Heights says:
@Earl - I never said EVERYONE at the party was doing drugs. I'm sure it was just a small percent (though a very large percent were drinking alcohol).
July 22, 2009, 1:58 am
KevinV from Prospect Heights says:
And by the way....Mayor Bloomberg has specifically told the NYPD not to issue citations to people who have wine in Central Park/Prospect Park. But they'll still cite you for liquor.
July 22, 2009, 2:13 am
Roberto from PS says:
Where are all the politicians and professional rabble-rousers who come out when stories like this come up? On the record with their cadre of yes-people and so on. Bullhorns, too. The so-called promoter has allegedly gone into hiding - that's really "professional" and "upscale" of him ... what a joke. But come this weekend, the slobs will still rule Prospect Park. Watch your step for the hot coals, bones and bottles!
July 22, 2009, 8:32 am
Not Gersh from Prospect Heights says:
That was some party.
More than 1,000 people at a private barbecue left behind mounds of trash in Prospect Park last weekend - angering city officials who are considering legal action.
Parks Department officials want to throw the book at publicity firm MIH Ventures for throwing the Sunday shindig without a permit.
"It was 2 to 3 acres of solid garbage," said dog-walker Bob Ipcar, who spotted the trash strewn on the Long Meadow Monday morning and posted pictures he took at Fidobrooklyn.org. "You could walk across the surface of it."

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/brooklyn/2009/07/22/2009-07-22_city_aims_to_clean_bbq_trash_targets_litterbugs_in_prospect_park.html#ixzz0LzZ7qlLw from a reputable news source:
July 22, 2009, 8:50 am
Catherine from Brooklyn says:
@Gersh the Editor

Great. You couldn't reach them to get their side of the story. So let me ask you this...

How did you confirm that they did not have permits? Because you incorrectly stated this as a fact in your article.

You mentioned (in your article) that this event was held for eight previous years - I'll add that it's pretty much been held the same weekend each year. So the people that you spoke to who said they had no clue it was going on, that didn't sound a bit odd to you, MR. JOURNALIST!!!!!

And where's the balance? You couldn't find anyone to add balance to your story. You sure did find a bunch of unnamed sources to bash the event and its promoters, you couldn't find anyone w/ a differing opinion? I'd find that hard to believe if you said so.
July 22, 2009, 9:23 am
Not Gersh from Prospect Heights says:
I can't believe someone is defending these slobs.
Permit or no permit.
July 22, 2009, 9:25 am
Kimberly from Park Slope says:
I was one of the volunteers who cleaned up the mess. The commenters who say this was no big deal, that a senseless fit is being thrown over just a little garbage, are wrong. Either they weren't there, or they didn't stick around after the party to see the full devastation, or better yet, help clean up.

Ultimately, it took about 40 people, mostly volunteers, about 4 hours to clean up two acres of totally devastated land--we filled up 2 Parks Department dump trucks. Many people were working without gloves, picking up open trash that was crawling with vermin overnight--very dangerous. The Parks Department employees that morning had no idea this event had even occurred, so they didn't know to be prepared. There was maybe a total of 10 full trash bags--the rest was open trash that was simply abandoned. This was not a matter of picking up a little trash left behind--this was a disaster. Hundreds, literally hundreds, of pounds of open trash. That space was entered a park, and left a landfill.

Look at the pictures. We picked up hundreds of liquor and beer bottles. Hundreds. I was there. I know what I saw. There was an enormous amount of illegal alcohol/bottles at this event. Tons of glass bottles = tons of broken glass.

Many young children came to the park Monday morning for day camp and to play soccer. The day camp kids were at the Picnic Area, which was filthy, and the soccer kids couldn't play in their usual spot because it was covered in trash and broken glass. As of Wednesday morning, there is still broken glass and food remains scattered all over the Meadow.

ANY group that would leave the park like this would engender this kind of public response--ANY group. Period.
July 22, 2009, 9:53 am
Muckraker from Red Hook says:
Ghetto Fabulous! I've seen the MIH Ventures website.
Scam artists. Slobs. I've seen the aftermath photos. If there's anything to enforce a stereotype or two or three, it's in those pictures. Would those "fabulous" people who trashed Prospect Park do it in some friend's yard in Sag Harbor or Martha's Vineyard? I doubt it highly. You can take people out of the ghetto ...
July 22, 2009, 12:51 pm
Janice from Park Slope says:
I have to do nothing but laugh at all these cowards who put alias names and make comments about something they know nothing about. This has been a problem with parks in NYC for years. Check Brooklyn paper previous stories. The fact is there was abundant amount of trash - I am sure it wasn't left on purpose. The parks department cleaned it up the next morning - how do you know that was organized or planned? Guess what? It was!!! My mother works in parks department and I told her about this article and she said those people have the event every year and it is cleaned up the same way. Bunch of low lifes on these comments. Clean up your house you pigs. Muckraker? What kind of name is that. Put your real name and a contact if your not a coward. Hilarious!!!
July 22, 2009, 1:23 pm
Harry from Park Slope says:
Catherine from Brooklyn says: 'How did you confirm that they did not have permits? Because you incorrectly stated this as a fact in your article ... And where's the balance? You couldn't find anyone to add balance to your story.'

Don't dodge the issue.
The issue is garbage.
If they *had* a permit: The permit didn't negate those piles of garbage. (Does a driver's license negate responsibility for a traffic violation?)
If the event was held before, the organizers *knew* they needed a serious 'garbage patrol,' and had a duty to manage it.

What "balance" do you want - someone who'll say that there was no garbage problem? or no garbage was visible in their square footage, before the event ended and the piles were apparent?
Or that if a permit existed, any garbage was an illusion?
Or that since they 'tried' to manage the garbage, there was no real problem?
Or that since people had fun, the heaps of garbage didn't matter?
July 22, 2009, 2:28 pm
amused from Brooklyn says:
The comments here over the past two days have been fascinating...

GERSH: Any reporter worth his or her words should be able to verify with the Parks Department and NYPD if MIH had the proper permits in place for this event. If they did, then barring misrepresentation on the part of MIH, this garbage clusterf*ck is owned by the Parks Department. If they did not, then MIH should have the book thrown at them.

SHAWNA: This "college educated professionals" stuff is amusing... Who cares? That makes you better than anyone else? If you leave the place a dump, I don't care if it's a gathering of Mensa.
July 22, 2009, 2:29 pm
amused from Brooklyn says:
Janice? What kind of name is that? How do I know you're not really Patricia? Or John? Or Dominique? List your address and phone number and then you can cast aspersions... Or are you a coward?

Yours Truly,

amused (even more so now)
July 22, 2009, 2:33 pm
Michelle from Prospect Heights says:
I think the posts on here are sad. I was there. Had a wonderful time (and before you riled up folks start, I took my trash with me). The sad part is the way you guys are trying to crucify the guys who threw it. Like, is it really that serious? It's trash. For ONE day some kids couldn't play. But people are acting like they killed your dog or something.

Charges? Jailtime? Over trash? I'm almost in tears (honestly) bc I feel like these guys don't deserve such a crucifixion. They have jobs and lives and possibly children just like you. I agree with whoever said that if folks want an apology then leave your contact info, accept it and move on. But this witch hunt vendetta over a day of trash (along with the inappropriate racial comments) are so sad.
July 22, 2009, 2:34 pm
Logician from Pr Heights says:
Hey, Janice ... a bunch of park VOLUNTEERS - not even MIH staff - cleaned up the bulk of that mess, so that the park would be useable, safe, and broken-glass-free the next day. It was quite a production number.
And it says something that MIH hasn't responded. If you're in the right, you say so, and prove it. Non-response indicates that you were sandbagged by your own bad planning, and-or are looking for a fall guy or an alibi.
July 22, 2009, 2:46 pm
Can we all get along from Harlem says:
I have read all of the post to this article and some of the are outright disturbing. For example calling people slobs, pigs, saying they should be arrested and sent to Riker's Island, racist comments, etc. For the record it actually cost the city money to jail people and furthermore leaving thrash after an event as bad is it is should not be punishable by a trip to Riker's.

I do not have any facts as to whether the event organizers had a permit or not but I would assume that they did. Again there were police officers who did not disperse the crowd. I have personally organized friendly football games with 8-12 people in parks in the past and have been quickly approached by officers and parks department people to disperse.

My group and I personally took our thrash away with us and cleaned up after ourselves. Still, I like to be a leader and should have done more to help and organize the clean-up process as when I first arrived I noticed the lack of resources--thrash bags and thrash cans/bins.

The best post I have seen thus far was those who have volunteered and mentioned knowing others who would volunteer to clean up the park and perform other acts of community service in the park slope area to TRY to make it up to people form that community. Additionally, maybe we can take a collection from those concerned to purchase and additional thrash cans to put in the park to help keep it clean in the future. I do think the best person/group to organize this would be MIH as I am sure they have a lot of supporters who are sorry about the thrash that was left and would like to remedy the situation. "MIH IF YOU SET SOMETHING UP I WILL BE THERE AND I WILL CONTRIBUTE MONEY AS WELL!"
July 22, 2009, 3 pm
Can we all get along? from Harlem says:
I have read all of the post to this article and some of the are outright disturbing. For example calling people slobs, pigs, saying they should be arrested and sent to Riker's Island, racist comments, etc. For the record it actually cost the city money to jail people and furthermore leaving thrash after an event as bad is it is should not be punishable by a trip to Riker's.

I do not have any facts as to whether the event organizers had a permit or not but I would assume that they did. Again there were police officers who did not disperse the crowd. I have personally organized friendly football games with 8-12 people in parks in the past and have been quickly approached by officers and parks department people to disperse.

My group and I personally took our thrash away with us and cleaned up after ourselves. Still, I like to be a leader and should have done more to help and organize the clean-up process as when I first arrived I noticed the lack of resources--thrash bags and thrash cans/bins.

The best post I have seen thus far was those who have volunteered and mentioned knowing others who would volunteer to clean up the park and perform other acts of community service in the park slope area to TRY to make it up to people form that community. Additionally, maybe we can take a collection from those concerned to purchase and additional thrash cans to put in the park to help keep it clean in the future. I do think the best person/group to organize this would be MIH as I am sure they have a lot of supporters who are sorry about the thrash that was left and would like to remedy the situation. "MIH IF YOU SET SOMETHING UP I WILL BE THERE AND I WILL CONTRIBUTE MONEY AS WELL!"

In closing considering many of the event goers were not from the immediate area it would have been impossible for us to see the condition of the park and volunteer although many including myself would have done so with pride.

P.S. please realize that the organizers did do something to try and clean...I mean the "broke the law" by driving cars in the park to try to clean the park in the dark...admittedly they should have done more i.e. show up the next morning but some credit should be given it is difficult to clean up that much of a mess without resources and man-power.
July 22, 2009, 3:04 pm
Logician from Pr Heights says:
Yes, Michelle, trash is serious -- when there's THAT much of it; when so many people think it's OK to toss trash anywhere and treat communal property like garbage; and when organizers use public property for an event, reap the benefits, and dump the problems on everyone else.
It's not just about "for ONE day some kids couldn't play": We don't have a free pass to trash any park for 24 hours or less. It's that the problem existed AT ALL.
July 22, 2009, 3:19 pm
Logician from Pr Heights says:
To "can we all get along?" -- I absolutely agree that some comments here have gotten out of hand.
But I can't give the organizers credit for "do[ing] something to try and clean."
Professional organizers are supposed to be PREPARED for this. When you organize a big, recurring event and expect a huge crowd, you plan ahead. You don't leave it to chance, then fix things in slapdash way, leave the mess behind, and expect credit for "trying," as if you were in pre-K. If MIH is that unprofessional, it shouldn't be in the event-planning business.
July 22, 2009, 3:45 pm
Rob from Park Slope says:
@Michelle -

Per my previous posts... race is not the issue here and any form of racist comments are obscene.

I stand by my comments that if there is a provision in the criminal code to do so, the promoters should be arrested and charges pressed. I was in the park the Monday morning. It was terrible. I'm not even sure the pictures really do justice to just how bad it was. It's almost impossible to believe that any effort was made to clean up, though I can offer no evidence to refute these claims.

I strongly believe this was a crime against the Brooklyn community. For certain, there was some form of negligence here. There is still today broken glass strewn in the lawn throughout that part of the Long Meadow. If a child gets cut this week or next month, who would have the liability?

I understand littering in the park is a big, on-going problem. But this was WAAYYY over the top in terms of the condition of the park the next day. The promoters need to, if possible, be arrested and an example made out of them. This elitism, this "I'm too good to care about the trash" is a pathology we must stop. This pathology of elitism, exemplified by the way the promoters left the park literally trashed, is a cancer in our country and in our Brooklyn community that must be rooted out entirely.

Cry for them if you will, Michelle, but these promoters are criminals (in my view at least), and criminals get arrested and jailed. That’s how we as a society apply negative sanctions. I understand the price of jailing someone, even for a night, is probably well greater than the cost to the Parks Department to do the clean-up, but this is how we teach lessons and express to other members of society what behavior will and will not be tolerated. I really don’t think a $200 fine is going to cut it here.

In the mean time I’d suggest that either this Saturday or next, a group of folks repulsed by these events:

1. Meet at Park Circle (Parkside Ave and PPSW) in the morning (e.g. 10am). Bring trash bags and gloves.
2. We walk, silently, across the park towards Grand Army Plaza, spreading out “Hands Across America” style, creating a line from end to end in the park as we walk north, picking up trash.
3. We regroup near the tree near where the BBQ was centered (not far from Grand Army Plaza), have a moment of reflection, then continue our trash pick up to the Plaza.
4. We dump our trash in available bins at that end of the park.
5. From there we walk to Bergen St and MIH, where we have a silent protest for 20 minutes, after which we have a vocal protest for 5-10 minutes.
July 22, 2009, 3:46 pm
Michelle from Prospect Hghts says:
Rob its clear nothing I can say will change how you feel. You described the promoters as criminals. That's all I needed to hear to know how far gone you are with this.

So go ahead with your vendetta against these young men. Gather up your troops and your armed forces and lets show these guys who they've messed with. Lets take it all the way to the court..hey, maybe even felony charges! That would be great! Then their education would be futile, they'd never be able to get jobs again and they would end up living in Prospect Park, sleeping on the trash the Park Slope residents leave behind every weekend.

That sounds like a great idea. Good luck with your mission .
July 22, 2009, 4:36 pm
Rob from Park Slope says:
@Michelle

It's not my mission to have the promoters arrested. It's up to the DA and police. I don't think there is a provision in the law to warrant criminal prosecution (and hence arrest) for this anyway, but I wish there were.

I'm also not on a vendetta. I've offered an action-oriented, positive way of making a statement. Would you join me at Park Circle and help clean up trash Saturday in the park?

What is driving my anger, and perhaps the anger of others, is what this appears to be emblematic of the epidemic of elitism in American society. As I've asserted in earlier posts, it's a pathology, a cancer. While everyone is out sipping their Martinis and being "fabulous," we've lost a sense of personal responsibility. Perhaps this isn’t what happened here – maybe it really was just a big accident and screw-up. But it just doesn’t look that way. It looks like people wanted all the fun, but none of the responsibility. I think that sucks.

I really wish there was another good way to make the folks at MIH take accountability for their action other than arrest. The best alternative I can come up with is protest. We can't just let this go on like this. How do you suggest that we demonstrate that this won't be tolerated?

Finally, from a PR perspective, MIH is doing themselves no favors. If they'd been out on Monday afternoon with a statement on their website apologizing and communicating what they'd do to remediate, this might well have blown over. That type of contrition would be really helpful right now.
July 22, 2009, 5:51 pm
No Trash from DUMBO says:
Nice to know Brooklyn Pravda is continuing in it's tradition of editing and censoring posts.
July 22, 2009, 8:36 pm
Jane Average from Slope says:
Michelle, I think you're in the wrong movie.
Please stop the self-indulgent drama, i.e., "So go ahead with your vendetta against these young men. Gather up your troops and your armed forces and lets show these guys who they've messed with."
_What_ vendetta? _What_ troops? "Armed forces"? (And "these young men" aren't wayward kids, they're grownup event-producers!)
Get REAL.
Those 'troops' would be doing voluntary s**twork -- picking up trash and putting it in dumpsters. What 'arms' do you see there -- 33-gal. lawn bags?
Trashing property, public or private, _is_ a crime. It's NYC's business to follow up, if warranted ... just as it would if _I_ did that kind of damage, even unintentionally. That means summons, court case, possible fine and make-good on damage. (Sorry, no dungeons or swelling theme music.)
"These young men" are running a very serious business. It means reponsibility for _people_ and _property_. If you screw up badly, you run out of venues, and the business fails. _You_ can get sued if attendees and others are injured or if there's property damage. If you leave things undone, your insurer might bail. And NYC won't volunteer to take the hit for your mistakes.

It's _everybody's_ park, not just this business's, and not just that of those who attended on Sunday.
If you excuse bad behavior by one business, you'll have to excuse it for everyone. And you won't be happy with the result.
July 22, 2009, 10:50 pm
Jane Average from Slope says:
takeiteasy from brooklyn says: '''I agree that if MIH plans on the continuance of this annual day, new clean-up procedures will have to be implemented. To all the "park lovers" and local residents, I am sure that MIH will address the debris problem going forward.''

This isn't a kids' science project. If you run a business, you do those things _first_. Otherwise, you shouldn't be running a mini-street fair or a local pool party, much less a gala weekend event in a major city park.
... But that "debris problem" euphemism is a hoot. It tries to frame it as spontaneous exfoliation -- as if those pesky trees suddenly, inexplicably, began to shed bottles, cans, leftovers, food wrap, cinders, and grills onto a bewildered crowd.
July 22, 2009, 11:30 pm
Ed from South Brooklyn says:
It says right on park permit applications:
"Permittees are responsible for cleaning and restoring the site after the event. The cost of any employee overtime incurred because of a permittee’s failure to clean and/or restore the site following the event will be borne by the permittee." and
"Permittees shall be held liable for any and all damages or injuries to persons or property that may occur or be caused by the use of the permit."

Every group that gets a permit knows this. Either this company didn't get a permit, or didn't bother to read it, or it dropped the ball to an unreal degree.

The Parks Dept does NOT clean extraordinary private messes for free: If you don't bill the permit holder, costs and OT get transferred to taxpayers. If my church picnic or b'day party leaves a mess and triggers OT costs, why should YOU have to pay for it?
July 23, 2009, 2:29 am
Michelle from Prospect Hghts says:
@Rob (and this is my last post). Sorry about the sarcasm as I was probably equally upset at the reaction to this as you are upset to the actual action. Your protest is fine. Its peaceful and a fine way to make your point. Whatever you need to do to feel like you've done your part, go ahead and do it.

My problem is not the protest. It is the lengths that people seem to be willing to go through to make an "example" out of these guys who none of you have ever met. I haven't met them either. However, I do not make assumptions about people when I have not heard their side. And when people are threatening to sue the pants off of you, often times it is not in your best interest to start talking to people posting on blogs or that sort of thing - you know? So don't assume they are being indignant or don't care.

I've read countless posts detailing how they encouraged others to clean, cleaned themselves, even broke park rules to use headlights to clean. But its just not enough for you guys, which is why I use the term "vendetta" b/c outside of picking up trash on the weekends with their bare teeth I don't see what would make you happy.

I hope this whole thing blows over, the MIH deal with whatever rules were broken, the park cracks down on trash from ALL people who use the park, and that we all can move forward with our lives.
July 23, 2009, 12:14 pm
chef from park slop says:
It was long before I beacame a "professional"
that I was taught not to leave behind my garbage ANYWHERE on this green earth!
This is a very simple concept EVEN for a child to follow.
It is reprehensible that "PROFESSIONAL ADULTS" behave this way.
If you take it in, you should take it out.
Someone commented that it was unreasonable to expect people to do this.
OH I HAVE TO CARRY MY GARBAGE OUT OF THE PARK???!!! F-THAT I'll just drop it anywhere!

Where is this world going with that attitude.
The aftermath of this party and it's consequences were no doubt caused by a small percentage of all the people who attended but the illegal BBQ's, Alchohol and glass bottles and the fact that the police did NOTHING to curb these abuses is very disturbing.
I have been told to stop playing FRISBEE on the outfields of the Baseball Diamonds because I wasn't playing baseball. This by three parks employee and their supervisor who came zooming up in a Parks SUV!!
STOP THE ILLEGAL FRISBEE TOSSING!!!!

UNBELIEVABLE!! No Frisbee playing, but Booze, Glass bottles BBQ, 1000 people and a ton of waste left behind.

PRICELESS
July 23, 2009, 12:24 pm
Razor Shines from Flatbush says:
It's because of animals like these that whole sections of the park are fenced off and others are hard to access. They'd be full of tags and garbage in a Brooklyn minute by those "educated" "professionals".
July 23, 2009, 1:27 pm
Bystander from Heights says:
Michelle from Prospect Hghts says: 'I've read countless posts detailing how they encouraged others to clean, cleaned themselves, even broke park rules to use headlights to clean. But its just not enough for you guys ...'

When you run a big annual event, you ASSUME that big crowds = big trash, so you hire people to manage it, clean up, and get the garbage out of there.
In this situation, I'd EXPECT the guys to do the cleaning themselves. If it were me, I'd be out there 'til the cops kicked me out or I fell over; on the phone with Parks; back with a truck, legal or not - anything to keep goodwill and keep my company's name clean.
If bad news hit, I'd make a businesslike apology and pay costs, not make myself unavailable. How could I deny all that garbage? A lot of groups get permits, and we KNOW what the Parks deal is: you clean up the site, or you pay the city's cleanup costs.
... Except that the fact that they were shorthanded indicates that this was an amateur-hour operation, they didn't read the permit, or they didn't have a permit to read.

This also wasn't just extra garbage, it was a phenomenon. I can see why people are so angry - this company just did its event, "tried" to clean, put it behind them, and left the dirty work to city employees and park volunteers.
It's as if a bunch of slacker kids were in charge. And their "mistake" also won't end w/fines or costs. It'll make it tougher for any of us non-VIPs who want to host a park event.
July 23, 2009, 3:05 pm
Jake from Sunset Park says:
This says it all:
http://www.mihventures.com/Statement_from_MIHventures.pdf
July 23, 2009, 7:16 pm
sedvan from park slope says:
Jake, too bad they didn't jump on it 2-3 days earlier, get that message out, and respond to media queries A.S.A.P. Their delay spawned a LOT of bad info and unnecessary polarization [this site alone must have at least 200 comments about that thing] ... people on multi-sides doing the 'racial' thing, some saying that MIH was being crucified, others saying the park was under siege, anger all around. I'd expect MIH to know and do better, especially re their own p.r.
July 23, 2009, 8:25 pm
April from Queens says:
@Rob...I'll drive up from Washington DC personally to help you clean up on Saturday.
Name the time and the exact street block.
July 24, 2009, 12:27 pm
Herbert Holler from Bronx says:
Unfortunately, the real culprits are not MIH, but the parents who raised these litterbugs poorly. You should see the Van Cortlandt Parade Ground on a Sunday night. Every bit of trash you can imagine. Box lunches just left out on the sidewalk. Piles of water bottles. Half eaten apples. Terrible.
July 24, 2009, 12:33 pm
JAMQUEENS from BED-STUY says:
I went to this event and there were countless times when the organizers came to mic and requested picnic goers to PLEASE pick up after themselves b/c it was something they enjoy doing every year and didn't want to jeopardize returning.
Do people really really think that they had such malice as to not caring how they left the park?
this was there 10th YEAR!!!!!
Instead of demonizing the organizers. Why not just insist on a permit if none was requested and along with a clean up crew. All of which I'm sure these young men deemed necessary after the 2500 people who attended.
This event is suppose to bring young professional together along with family and friends. there was no violence at all. and unfortunately some, well many who attended did not deem cleaning a priority.

Lesson learned!
July 24, 2009, 12:51 pm
Calling BS from Prospect Heights says:
If they were so damned "professional" they would have walked down Flatbush Avenue to Key Food and bought the whole garbage bag aisle out.
Lazy, dumb slobs is more like it. Probably used to getting everything from the city anayway, why not a clean park?
Aug. 3, 2009, 6:49 pm

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