Wednesday, March 16, 2022

For Our Children's Protection, It's Time to Remove Needle Boxes from St Mary's Park- Guest Post By Carmen Santiago

Greetings All, Excuse the delay in sending this email, on this important matter. After numerous walk-through's of St Mary's Park; several Green Metal Disposal Towers still remain in our Park, and are themselves a safety, environmental, and health hazard. The disposal towers were installed by the prior administration(Mayor Deblasio, Bx Borough Pres Diaz Jr, Parks Dept, and some Unknown nonprofit needle program). I have found three(3) needle towers on the northern part of the park(E149 St & St Anns). I have yet to walk-through on the southern part of the park. We have open needles and orange caps littering our St Mary's Park, where families, children and our pets, gather and play. Even the wildlife is not safe, as they may swallow the orange caps and choke. Our small children may think the orange caps are a toy, put them in their mouth and choke. Our children play barefoot or with sandals, during the warm seasons, and can very easily, get jabbed with a needle. Who's going to picnic in our park, when there's needles and orange caps, all over the place? Why take a chance, with the safety of our children? Remove the green metal needle disposal towers from St. Mary's Park. Needles and orange caps on the grass, in the rocks, around the tree pits, on top of the snow, under the snow, or embedded in the soil. Mind you, all this is medical waste, and the last place it should be, is in our park. Why has Parks Dept created this unsafe condition to exist in our park, in the South Bronx? Why our park, why us? Why are we(The South Bronx), still the dumping ground for all things bad and ugly? Why install needle disposal towers, to invite drug addicts into our park? Our people are ill from drug addiction, homelessness and mental illness, how is all this helping them? It's not. It's one failed band aid program after another. We see the failed results in our streets, in the lost of dignity, hopelessness and despair of our people. The dumping ground for the forgotten. Who's going to keep the residents of the South Bronx safe, from Park's dept? Remove the green metal disposal towers, and keep our park clean. Our 33+ acres St Mary's park is Not a doctor's office, with some makeshift medical waste containers, strewn about. We have addicts shooting up(in partners), fighting, doped out, passed out on benches, the ground, rocks and lurking through the park, looking for cigarette butts, drug paraphernalia, or any coins they can find. Why are we sacrificed to normalize this behavior? There's nothing normal, about living like this, and exposing our children to this lifestyle. It makes us all complicit. The current formula(Mission Statements), of these non profit contracts is not working, and has not worked for decades. We are bleeding out(literally and figuratively). These programs(Mental health, Homelessness/Housing, and Drug addiction), are fragmented and work independent from each other. Why not cauterize these NYC agencies so they work together(share databases and cross share programs), for the complete holistic treatment of the whole human being. We are calling for All the green metal needle disposal towers to be immediately removed from St Mary's Park. It's especially easy now, since St Mary's is undergoing a phase 2 reconstruction project. The current General Contractor, can draft a change order on site, for Park's dept to approve, and said General Contractor can yank and remove the green metal needle disposal towers, and dispose of properly. Why spend millions(tax money), on park reconstruction projects, if people are not safe in their own park? I'll be sending pictures in a few emails, since they don't all fit into this one email. If anyone would like to contact me, to see the green metal needle disposal towers for yourself, up close, don't hesitate to call me at #504/485-8179. It's quite surreal when you see these needle towers, up close. Thank you for working together, in any assistance you can offer in resolving this important matter. I look forward to hearing from you. Carmen Santiago, Longtime South Bronx Resident(CB#1)

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