trashed daily, Dehart Park, a once beautiful oasis,

Here are few snaps I took just this morning of what was once a lovely neighborhood park.

I've been discussing with neighbors how best to approach having this abhorrent basketball court demolished.

This is what happens when you make a feature destined to get overrun by out of town-ers, who don't care about the town or it's facilities.  My wife and I used to enjoy going over to Burnett Ave. for a peaceful afternoon walk at the park, and watch the kids play on the monkey bars or folks walking their dogs.  Now all you hear is party music blasting from the court, while having to step around the discarded plastic bottles and fast food cartons. 

I called DPW about the garbage they leave behind, and a bunch of cans were placed RIGHT ON THE COURT. But they still can't be bothered to even toss their garbage away.

I will never understand who thought this basketball court was something the town needed, or wanted for that matter.    It's gotten truly depressing and disheartening, what's happened here... 


You're preaching to the choir..the day I learned that this was coming I predicted the end of the park as we've known it.   

I saw they just put up the tennis court net this week; who wants to take a bet on how soon the net will be torn down and/or carted off by the mob that takes over the park every day now?   

The township committee should be ashamed by what they've done; they've basically turned the park over to the Irvington/Union/Newark basket-baller crowd, who come and blast their music and trash the park on a daily basis.  

I'm not exaggerating - every committee member who voted for this monstrosity should stop by, any weekday afternoon, to see what this neighborhood has to endure now daily.


Wow! I don't even frequent this park anymore, it's within walking distance and I can't remember the last time I actually walked there, am now forced to do a drive-by to see if it's messy and overcrowded. I don't even check anymore. Hoping they put the Hockey Rink back minus the b-ball courts


apser said:

You're preaching to the choir..the day I learned that this was coming I predicted the end of the park as we've known it.   

I saw they just put up the tennis court net this week; who wants to take a bet on how soon the net will be torn down and/or carted off by the mob that takes over the park every day now?   

The township committee should be ashamed by what they've done; they've basically turned the park over to the Irvington/Union/Newark basket-baller crowd, who come and blast their music and trash the park on a daily basis.  

I'm not exaggerating - every committee member who voted for this monstrosity should stop by, any weekday afternoon, to see what this neighborhood has to endure now daily.

 Agreed, what can be done? 


Tall_Mocha said:

 Agreed, what can be done? 

 A notice from the town, posted in the park..... If litter and noise continue, basketball stuff will be removed.

Then, if no response, take it out.


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

Tall_Mocha said:

 Agreed, what can be done? 

 A notice from the town, posted in the park..... If litter and noise continue, basketball stuff will be removed.

Then, if no response, take it out.

 Before someone had the presence of mind to lock up the tennis court, a large group of roller skating enthusiasts had moved in, and taken it over - they actually setup a DJ table and were partying every weekend until 11:30 PM! 

It was days before Maplewood PD finally took some action, and padlocked the tennis court.   


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

 A notice from the town, posted in the park..... If litter and noise continue, basketball stuff will be removed.

Then, if no response, take it out.

 Sounds like a plan.


juvserr said: 


 Before someone had the presence of mind to lock up the tennis court, a large group of roller skating enthusiasts had moved in, and taken it over - they actually setup a DJ table and were partying every weekend until 11:30 PM! 

It was days before Maplewood PD finally took some action, and padlocked the tennis court.   

Thanks for the heads up. I was planning on trying out the court at Dehart tomorrow. The courts at Baird here in SO are packed, these days, with all manner of strangers and foreigners ( as an elderly relative, by marriage, was known to have said, long ago).

Will MPD give out the key? I’m an out of towner. Is the net even still up?


dickf3 said:

Thanks for the heads up. I was planning on trying out the court at Dehart tomorrow. The courts at Baird here in SO are packed, these days, with all manner of strangers and foreigners ( as an elderly relative, by marriage, was known to have said, long ago).

Will MPD give out the key? I’m an out of towner. Is the net even still up?

 They may be taking reservations.  Call the Maplewood Recreation Department and ask.


dickf3 said:

Thanks for the heads up. I was planning on trying out the court at Dehart tomorrow. The courts at Baird here in SO are packed, these days, with all manner of strangers and foreigners ( as an elderly relative, by marriage, was known to have said, long ago).

Will MPD give out the key? I’m an out of towner. Is the net even still up?

The tennis court in Dehart is open since they net was setup


Yeah, new thread- still racist.

For those of you interested in stepping into the enlightened future, here's the deal- confront your bias, consider your tone, examine the world/environment you live in- then make your point. Here's where you fall down and reduce your concern to racist dog-whistles- "out of towners", "the mob", "Irvington/Union/Newark basket-baller crowd".

Everything you're saying about trash, noise, and inconvenience is a real and viable grievance. If this is your park you should be concerned about it being clean, safe, and welcoming to all who want to enjoy it. You should petition the town to devise a solution. All of that can be discussed and debated without pejoratives.

Is that possible, or do you really need the distinction to make your point? Is the trash worse because presumably, the hands that dropped it are Black or brown? Is Black folks' noise noisier? Is that the issue? Does all of this become just that much more egregious because it involves Black people?  Do you really hate basketball that much or is it the people who show up to play basketball that scare you?

You do understand that you're not fooling anybody- we all know the code. There are those who hear the call- agree with the sentiment, and respond in a similar fashion. Then there are the others who although they're "uncomfortable" with the tone, choose to respond as if it's not there- yes, ignoring racist dog-whistling is in fact part of the problem as well. By ignoring it you condone it and normalize the usage.

I drove by your park this afternoon. It was quiet and peaceful. Sixteen guys playing half-court games, no music, no incredible amounts of trash, kids on the swings, babies in strollers. Looked pretty Maplewoody to me. 


Does the court have lighting that could be shut off at a certain hour to reduce likelihood of later events?  Wouldn't help with the trash of course.  


Red_Barchetta said:

Does the court have lighting that could be shut off at a certain hour to reduce likelihood of later events?  Wouldn't help with the trash of course.  

There are no lights at the basketball court.  


flimbro said:

Yeah, new thread- still racist.

 Indeed ... 

I walk my dog at DeHart several times a week. 

  • The park had trash before the basketball courts. 
  • The "out of towners" trope is racist and xenophobic.
  • I see kids walking to the courts smiling, perhaps bc they have a place to play close to home
  • Yesterday I saw Villagers softball parents congregating without masks
  • I'm just as likely to see trash lining the spectator area today as at the basketball courts. I certainly do after Maplewood soccer practice & games

IMO never a "beautiful oasis". Not a reason to trash it but just one persons perspective.


Would nearby residents to DeHart Park be willing to organize, grab a trash bag and a grabber and pick up the debris on  a regular basis?  This approach worked well years ago when we had a similar problem at Maplecrest Park.  The effort gave us a much cleaner park while building community among local residents.


Good, positive approach.


"Good, positive approach."

i.e., very joan_crystal


flimbro said:

Yeah, new thread- still racist.

For those of you interested in stepping into the enlightened future, here's the deal- confront your bias, consider your tone, examine the world/environment you live in- then make your point. Here's where you fall down and reduce your concern to racist dog-whistles- "out of towners", "the mob", "Irvington/Union/Newark basket-baller crowd".

Everything you're saying about trash, noise, and inconvenience is a real and viable grievance. If this is your park you should be concerned about it being clean, safe, and welcoming to all who want to enjoy it. You should petition the town to devise a solution. All of that can be discussed and debated without pejoratives.

Is that possible, or do you really need the distinction to make your point? Is the trash worse because presumably, the hands that dropped it are Black or brown? Is Black folks' noise noisier? Is that the issue? Does all of this become just that much more egregious because it involves Black people?  Do you really hate basketball that much or is it the people who show up to play basketball that scare you?

You do understand that you're not fooling anybody- we all know the code. There are those who hear the call- agree with the sentiment, and respond in a similar fashion. Then there are the others who although they're "uncomfortable" with the tone, choose to respond as if it's not there- yes, ignoring racist dog-whistling is in fact part of the problem as well. By ignoring it you condone it and normalize the usage.

I drove by your park this afternoon. It was quiet and peaceful. Sixteen guys playing half-court games, no music, no incredible amounts of trash, kids on the swings, babies in strollers. Looked pretty Maplewoody to me. 

 I'm actually ashamed of myself for not calling this out when I first read it. I thought it was very racist myself and didn't want to get into a mud fight over it. But the out of towners part especially caught my eye. Shame on the OP and shame on me. 


ml1 said:

flimbro said:

Yeah, new thread- still racist.

For those of you interested in stepping into the enlightened future, here's the deal- confront your bias, consider your tone, examine the world/environment you live in- then make your point. Here's where you fall down and reduce your concern to racist dog-whistles- "out of towners", "the mob", "Irvington/Union/Newark basket-baller crowd".

Everything you're saying about trash, noise, and inconvenience is a real and viable grievance. If this is your park you should be concerned about it being clean, safe, and welcoming to all who want to enjoy it. You should petition the town to devise a solution. All of that can be discussed and debated without pejoratives.

Is that possible, or do you really need the distinction to make your point? Is the trash worse because presumably, the hands that dropped it are Black or brown? Is Black folks' noise noisier? Is that the issue? Does all of this become just that much more egregious because it involves Black people?  Do you really hate basketball that much or is it the people who show up to play basketball that scare you?

You do understand that you're not fooling anybody- we all know the code. There are those who hear the call- agree with the sentiment, and respond in a similar fashion. Then there are the others who although they're "uncomfortable" with the tone, choose to respond as if it's not there- yes, ignoring racist dog-whistling is in fact part of the problem as well. By ignoring it you condone it and normalize the usage.

I drove by your park this afternoon. It was quiet and peaceful. Sixteen guys playing half-court games, no music, no incredible amounts of trash, kids on the swings, babies in strollers. Looked pretty Maplewoody to me. 

 I'm actually ashamed of myself for not calling this out when I first read it. I thought it was very racist myself and didn't want to get into a mud fight over it. But the out of towners part especially caught my eye. Shame on the OP and shame on me. 

 ditto


It's the same as the last thread about DeHart Park and the bball court.

"mob"  "out-of-town"  "blast their music"  "Irvington/Union/Newark basketballer-crowd"

Nice.


Has anyone actually contemplated talking to the ball players about picking after themselves?  I'm sure they are enjoying the nice, new facilities and would prefer to keep playing on (relatively) debris-free courts.

On a different, but related note, the Maplecrest tennis courts look atrocious (overgrown, cracked, in complete disrepair).  Does the town just not care about maintaining these?  
 


and as far as the taunts of racism go, spare me.   my family are first generation immigrants  from latin america, who endured more racism upon moving to this country than most people can imagine, up to and including many instances of police brutality, so Save it.

If I have a problem with people coming into my town, where I pay ridiculous taxes for the privilege to live, it's because I expect them to show some courtesy and respect, which shockingly doesn't include blasting music until midnight and tossing garbage all over the place. 

Trust me, for the first few weeks when  the courts were open, it was a CIRCUS.  As I stated previously, the park as I've known it for the last 20 years was a serene area, where everybody could partake in peace.  That's what's been destroyed.   Believe me, I live a block from the park. You can pass by randomly and think 'what's the big deal?' But when you're here 24/7 nights and weekends,  you see the times when the park is jam packed, and  there are a hundred people on the court,  yelling and screaming, and there's nowhere to escape the noise.

I have no problem with anyone visiting our town, that is until they begin acting like they own the place.


juvserr said:

and as far as the taunts of racism go, spare me.   my family are first generation immigrants  from latin america, who endured more racism upon moving to this country than most people can imagine, up to and including many instances of police brutality, so Save it.

If I have a problem with people coming into my town, where I pay ridiculous taxes for the privilege to live, it's because I expect them to show some courtesy and respect, which shockingly doesn't include blasting music until midnight and tossing garbage all over the place. 

Trust me, for the first few weeks when  the courts were open, it was a CIRCUS.  As I stated previously, the park as I've known it for the last 20 years was a serene area, where everybody could partake in peace.  That's what's been destroyed.   Believe me, I live a block from the park. You can pass by randomly and think 'what's the big deal?' But when you're here 24/7 nights and weekends,  you see the times when the park is jam packed, and  there are a hundred people on the court,  yelling and screaming, and there's nowhere to escape the noise.

I have no problem with anyone visiting our town, that is until they begin acting like they own the place.

It wasn’t a taunt it was a statement of fact based on what you posted.


And for the record, I don’t care where you’re from, if you employ racist tactics to make your point, and I see it I’m going to say something about it- period. And I’m going to charge others to do the same. You can count on it.

If you want to live in a town where you’re not susceptible to institutionalized racism (as a first generation immigrant family) then don’t use the language or the mechanisms of racism or white supremacy to make your points. When you adopt and use racist talking points/tropes, you’re supporting and maintaining the same culture that caused those problems for your family and law enforcement.

Trust me, it’s a losing proposition and that’s a friendly bit of advice from a Black man whose family has been here since the 18th century.

You can say everything you need to say about the condition of that park and potential fixes without racial innuendo.

Give it a shot. 


I'm not saying these courts will get to this level (see vid), but I enjoy seeing the competition and people doing something healthy. In my experience of walking my dog by the park, riding my bike by with my young children riding as well, I've never had a bad experience, I'm glad they are being used, positively.  The space was also being used positively periodically as a rink for soccer but much more so now and now by more people - this is a good thing. Like I said before, Maplecrest is neglected and in disrepair - it's deplorable.  We should use and maintain our public spaces for the good of our youth, adults and communi(ties - regardless of borders) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-cj0tsk7LI


juvserr said:

and as far as the taunts of racism go, spare me.   my family are first generation immigrants  from latin america, who endured more racism upon moving to this country than most people can imagine, up to and including many instances of police brutality, so Save it.

If I have a problem with people coming into my town, where I pay ridiculous taxes for the privilege to live, it's because I expect them to show some courtesy and respect, which shockingly doesn't include blasting music until midnight and tossing garbage all over the place. 

Trust me, for the first few weeks when  the courts were open, it was a CIRCUS.  As I stated previously, the park as I've known it for the last 20 years was a serene area, where everybody could partake in peace.  That's what's been destroyed.   Believe me, I live a block from the park. You can pass by randomly and think 'what's the big deal?' But when you're here 24/7 nights and weekends,  you see the times when the park is jam packed, and  there are a hundred people on the court,  yelling and screaming, and there's nowhere to escape the noise.

I have no problem with anyone visiting our town, that is until they begin acting like they own the place.

 Very well said and I totally agree. Everything isn't about race and we have a right to want our parks to be respected.  I actually agree with another poster who suggested asking the players to clean up after themselves as it would be greatly appreciated,  and it goes for everyone. The soccer, baseball players, and the children on the playground


Tall_Mocha said:

juvserr said:

and as far as the taunts of racism go, spare me.   my family are first generation immigrants  from latin america, who endured more racism upon moving to this country than most people can imagine, up to and including many instances of police brutality, so Save it.

If I have a problem with people coming into my town, where I pay ridiculous taxes for the privilege to live, it's because I expect them to show some courtesy and respect, which shockingly doesn't include blasting music until midnight and tossing garbage all over the place. 

Trust me, for the first few weeks when  the courts were open, it was a CIRCUS.  As I stated previously, the park as I've known it for the last 20 years was a serene area, where everybody could partake in peace.  That's what's been destroyed.   Believe me, I live a block from the park. You can pass by randomly and think 'what's the big deal?' But when you're here 24/7 nights and weekends,  you see the times when the park is jam packed, and  there are a hundred people on the court,  yelling and screaming, and there's nowhere to escape the noise.

I have no problem with anyone visiting our town, that is until they begin acting like they own the place.

 Very well said and I totally agree. Everything isn't about race and we have a right to want our parks to be respected.  I actually agree with another poster who suggested asking the players to clean up after themselves as it would be greatly appreciated,  and it goes for everyone. The soccer, baseball players, and the children on the playground

 No everything isn't about race- but the introduction to this particular problem on this particular thread certainly was and that's why I pointed it out. I did the same on the other thread started by another poster also contributing here.

No one is disagreeing with your right to want a clean park. I'm drawing attention to and disagreeing with the methodology used to introduce, define, and describe the problem.  I think that's stated pretty clearly.

The truth is that none of you know where the people playing basketball are from- any more than you know where random tennis, baseball, or soccer players live. The OP decided to describe them as 'out of towners' to position them as interlopers, trouble-makers, or simply 'others'- people that didn't belong in 'your' town, enjoying 'your' park. (How the town or the park became yours is a mystery for another day)

Take a look around you, look at your neighbors, your coworkers- hell, look at your mayor. You're not living anywhere where you can identify 'out of towners' based on the color of their skin. That perspective and attitude are done- no longer tolerated, so get with the program.

Devise a plan to keep your park clean and keep race out of it.  Good luck.


juvserr said:

 Before someone had the presence of mind to lock up the tennis court, a large group of roller skating enthusiasts had moved in, and taken it over - they actually setup a DJ table and were partying every weekend until 11:30 PM! 

It was days before Maplewood PD finally took some action, and padlocked the tennis court.   

I grew up in a house adjacent to the park where the senior center is now, and spent most of my childhood there. I remember that at twilight a police car would come into the park to make sure everyone had gone home. If anyone did hang out there after dark they were quiet, because someone living nearby would call the police department to dispatch another car. Maybe this can be instituted again?


If Maplewood used any Green Acres funding for the park, then it can't be restricted to use only by town residents. In other words, the out-of-towners' tax money may have paid for it, too. 


flimbro said:

 No everything isn't about race- but the introduction to this particular problem on this particular thread certainly was and that's why I pointed it out. I did the same on the other thread started by another poster also contributing here.

No one is disagreeing with your right to want a clean park. I'm drawing attention to and disagreeing with the methodology used to introduce, define, and describe the problem.  I think that's stated pretty clearly.

The truth is that none of you know where the people playing basketball are from- any more than you know where random tennis, baseball, or soccer players live. The OP decided to describe them as 'out of towners' to position them as interlopers, trouble-makers, or simply 'others'- people that didn't belong in 'your' town, enjoying 'your' park. (How the town or the park became yours is a mystery for another day)

Take a look around you, look at your neighbors, your coworkers- hell, look at your mayor. You're not living anywhere where you can identify 'out of towners' based on the color of their skin. That perspective and attitude are done- no longer tolerated, so get with the program.

Devise a plan to keep your park clean and keep race out of it.  Good luck.

 The first thread, the original poster mentioned he struck up a conversation and found out where they were from. As a person who has lived in Maplewood for well over ten years, it's safe to say we def can spot the "out of towners" quite quickly, and it's due to their lack of respect for our properties. And when in doubt all u have to do is ask, and I'd say about 100 percent of the time their answer is always from out of town, so spare me. Out of town doesn't mean black and or minorities. It simply means not from here



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