The recent Union City Reporter article “Washington Park to get $6.5 M makeover” contains a heaping pile of gobbledy-gook buzzwords that make no sense. And that pile is from the engineer of the $6.5 million project. Phrases like “civil aspects—passive and active components amenities for football and soccer.” say absolutely nothing informative about the changes coming. But such empty phraseology is a good strategy for Mr. Ralph Tango, the project engineer. Because the plan he avoids describing is not pretty. It is a plan to (1) take down over 38 mature sycamore trees and 14 other fully grown trees, (2) eliminate existing lawn areas, (3) obliterate most of the open space in this block of Washington Park. And (4) to replace what’s there with a professional-sized soccer field multi-purposed for baseball and football, all locked up tight behind a fence.
The article isn’t all empty buzzwords, however. It is also rich in out-and-out lies. Mayor Brian Stack avows that “This is going to be the best thing for our kids.” Yet Mayor Stack knows that only children who are on the league teams will play on the field. There are a lot of children in Union City, but only about 150 of them play on the organized baseball teams, judging by the number who showed up for opening day on Saturday April 13. A much smaller number than that can be seen playing football every fall. However, children and their parents have been heavily using the grassy areas that this makeover is going to eliminate. They use it for active play like learning how to pitch and catch and how to kick a soccer ball. These areas about to be swallowed up by the expansion. As Mayor Stack points out, there is “not a lot of room for our kids to play.” And there will be even less for them when this project is finished.
An element of what seems to be fantasy is also present in this article. Readers are asked to believe that 770 trees will be planted in just this one block of the park. Along with 1,100 shrubs and 800 flowers. Imagining how all of this would look actually made me laugh. But what isn’t funny about such ridiculous statements is how stupid those who make them must think we, the public, are.