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Re: Edie Stone, Director of NYC Greenthumb Speaks - anexpression of delight

  • Subject: [cg] Re: Edie Stone, Director of NYC Greenthumb Speaks - anexpression of delight
  • From: adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 12:12:28 -0400

 Again, this is Adam Honigman talking as an individual community gardener who has been doing this since the early 1970's.
 
I am delighted that Ms. Stone has divested herself of part ownership of Lily's Bar. When I gave my e-mail address to her for inclusion in Lily's mailing list last spring when I visited her garden in Red Hook, I wondered how she would balance her responsibilites as director of  Green Thumb with  her Red Hook community board membership and real estate ventures. We New Yorkers multi-task, but sometimes there are only so many hours in the day, and the fabric rubs thin. 
 
 
Alas, In the years since Rudy Giuliani created the atmosphere that made Jane Weissman, former director of Manhattan Greenthumb, resign, the level of professionalism at this agency has declined, percipitously.
 
As previously stated, our mailings from Green Thumb usually arrive late - but an e-mail saying, "We're sorry to inform you that your NOSC insurance has been discontinued, but Green Thumb gardens are covered under the city. Please be careful and follow best public space safety practices - more on your insurance once we have cleared this with the NYC Comptroller, etc." would have been reassuring and of a level of professionalism of workers on the public teat, with medical benefits. 
 
This is a slow burn that has come to a head. The professionalism of Green Thumb has declined precipitously since the days when Jane Weissman ran the show. Understanding how the garden preservation issue overshadowed everything else in the program, so it was 
"Chicken Little" time, filled with crises for a year. However,  we're in a "normal" period now, since the NY State's Attorney General's Settlement. So not being notified in a timely way about community garden insurance does not reach the minimal level of competence expected of a NYC agency, even when it is funded by Federal dollars. 
 
This lack of communication on the garden insurance issue on behalf of Green Thumb is akin to what we used to all the ,  "mushroom treatment," i.e., keep 'em in the dark and feed them alot of manure."
 
Our community gardens are not entitlement programs - they are living, green opportunities for service to serve our communities.  We maintain safety in our city leased properties and should expect to be informed about our insurance in a timely manner,as federal, state and NYC taxpayers, NYC  partners in the management of many acres of public land scattered thoughout NYC. 
 
Simple e-mails - speak to us, so we don't have to hear it on the grapevine, please. 
 
Best wishes, 
Adam Honigman
Speaking as an individual community gardener
 
 
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: StoneEdie
To: Adam36055; williamhohauser@earthlink.net; jjackson@nyrp.org; tjbrandt@treebranch.com; susan@greenthumbnyc.org; stoneedieedie@parks.nyc.gov; plantlot@rcn.com; Plantlot; pgovernale@ny4p.org; nymagnolia@mindspring.com; nseverance@audubon.org.; nicole@greenthumbnyc.edu; manhattanbotanical.garden@verizon.net; m_leger@earthlink.net; kchura@nyhs.org; JonC@LaPlacaCohen.com; joncrow@earthlink.net; Joanne.Morse@tpl.org; gwenne.hayes-stewart@mobot.org; susan.fields@parks.nyc.gov; ellenkirby@bbg.org; edie.stone@parks.com; bfeldt@verizon.net; commissioner@parks.nyc.gov; cybergardens@treebranch.com; community_garden@mallorn.com
Sent: Sun, 23 Oct 2005 20:57:38 -0400
Subject: Re: Edie Stone, Director of NYC Greenthumb Speaks....Finally. 


I would like to state for the record that I have no ownership interest in Lily's bar, as stated by Mr. Honigman. I also do not send out email updates about this or anything else on a regular basis. I am as concerned as you all must be by the delay in information sharing that has taken place around the issue of insurance, but it has taken some time for the City to negotiate any sort of possible solution that works for gardeners. The work is being done at the level of the Comptroller's office and the City Legal Department so GreenThumb has only been able to gently prod but cannot control the timetable of the resolution of this issue. It is more important for me to provide accurate information than to respond quickly. If GreenThumb had sent out a mass mailing stating that the insurance policy was no longer in effect with no information as to the meaning and potential liabilities caused by the situation I think it would have been more unsettling and uninformative than for the gardeners to hear about the sitution from NOSC, the insurance provider. Nevertheless, I appologize for the confusion and hope that a clear, informative mailing can be sent out soon. 
 
-----Original Message----- 
From: Adam36055 
To: StoneEdie; williamhohauser@earthlink.net; jjackson@nyrp.org; tjbrandt@treebranch.com; susan@greenthumbnyc.org; stoneedieedie@parks.nyc.gov; plantlot@rcn.com; Plantlot; pgovernale@ny4p.org; nymagnolia@mindspring.com; nseverance@audubon.org.; nicole@greenthumbnyc.edu; manhattanbotanical.garden@verizon.net; m_leger@earthlink.net; kchura@nyhs.org; JonC@LaPlacaCohen.com; joncrow@earthlink.net; Joanne.Morse@tpl.org; gwenne.hayes-stewart@mobot.org; susan.fields@parks.nyc.gov; ellenkirby@bbg.org; edie.stone@parks.com; bfeldt@verizon.net; commissioner@parks.nyc.gov; cybergardens@treebranch.com; community_garden@mallorn.com 
Sent: Thu, 13 Oct 2005 12:36:26 AM Eastern Daylight Time 
Subject: Edie Stone, Director of NYC Greenthumb Speaks....Finally. 
 
 This is Adam Honigman speaking as an individual community gardener. 
 
 I must say that I am delighted that the NYC Community Gardening fraternity has finally been informed by Ms. Stone, Director of Green Thumb, about our new insurance status. 
 
 However, the period between when Ms. Stone knew about NOSC's discontinuation of our insurance, in July/August of this year, and mid-October, when she finally decided to let us all know, albeit with some prodding from concerned and vocal community gardeners, is extremely troubling. 
 
Again, this observation is by me, as an individual community gardener. 
 
 NYC's community gardeners are out there, keeping our community gardens clean, safe and welcoming, shovelling snow, hauling garbage, running events, doing alot of stuff that makes our gardens and Green Thumb look good. 
 
 The very least I would like, as an individual gardner would like is for the Green Thumb, the community gardening organization that I'm involved with to, pretty please, disseminate information on a key issue like insurance to its gardeners, in a timely matter. 
 
 I don't like hearing about an adult matter like public space liability insurance the way teenagers used to learn about sex - via the grapevine. 
 
 To not have received timely information on our community garden liability insurance seems, on the face of it, to be awfully negligent on the part of Greenthumb. Of course, I'm speaking as an individual here. Others may be less concerned.... 
 
 As an individual, I like making Green Thumb look good - they gave me a plaque and all, (see, http://www.clintoncommunitygarden.org ) and I am a longtime supporter of NYC Parks Gardens because I believe that under Parks our gardens will always be accessible to the communities we serve - not private garden clubs functioning under the community garden label. 
 
 However, timely communication on key safety information, like liability insurance coverage, is essential. 
 
 As an individual, I got more timely events information from Lily's Bar, in Red Hook, Brooklyn, ( an establishment that Ms. Stone has or had an ownership interest ) than I do, or the Green Thumb garden that I'm associated with got, on its liability insurance. 
 
A matter of priorities, methinks. 
 
 Again, speaking as an individual gardener, it seems that community gardening organizations, like Gateway Greening in St, Louis, or Seattle's P-Patch, have managed to do a better job, especially in organizing and keeping gardeners informed of issues essential to them, than we have managed to do here in NYC. And Gateway Greening and Seattle P-Patch Publications manage to reach me, via snail mail, faster and in a more timely fashion than those from Green Thumb. 
 
 I know that we involved in community gardening in NYC can do better - and perhaps in the future, will. 
 I know that Ms. Stone and NYC Parks Green Thumb has worked very hard for NYC's community gardens and gardeners - this gardener, again, speaking as an individual, just believes that this city's gardeners deserve a bit more transparency in governance and communication, from a community gardening organization funded by our federal tax dollars, via federal block grants, please. 
 
Happy Thursday, 
Adam Honigman, 
speaking as an individual, 
Volunteer, Clinton Community Garden 



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