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Parks & Public Spaces

Application from Whereabouts.com for “The SciShow Google Cube,” a special event in Madison Square Park from Friday, October 31 to Sunday, November 2, 2014

WHEREAS, Whereabouts.com (the "Applicant") has submitted a permit application to hold "The SciShow Google Cube," a special event in Madison Square Park; and

WHEREAS, The event will be a science-based event which encourages pedestrians to interact with a 10"X10" plexiglass cube filled with large colorful balls; and

WHEREAS, When pedestrians touch the cube the large colorful balls will move in ways invoking theories of science; and

WHEREAS, The setup for this event will be from October 28 through October 30, 2014 and breakdown will be on November 3, 2014; and

WHEREAS, There will be no amplified sound at this event; and

WHEREAS, The event is sponsored by Google but there will be no signage; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant did not submit the CB5 Questionnaire and associated documentation in a timely manner; and

WHEREAS, The event application was submitted to Community Board Five without sufficient time to allow for a public hearing prior to the event; and

WHEREAS, Applicant was requested to appear before Community Board Five to present their application for review, yet failed to attend; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five takes its role in the review of applications for special events in our parks seriously and substantively reviews the applications in order to provide input to the Parks Department; and

WHEREAS, Because of the insufficient window of time caused by the rules of the Parks Department, as well as the failure by the Applicant to participate in this review process, Community Board Five and the public in general were denied the opportunity to learn about this event, ask questions, and provide input, resulting in an automatic denial pursuant to Community Board Five policy; and

WHEREAS, Despite the fact that the event was to occur before Community Board Five had the ability to weigh in, Community Board Five recognizes the importance of continuing to establish a public record of our concerns and objections when it comes to the use of public space for commercial events; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application from Whereabouts.com for "The SciShow Google Cube," a special event in Madison Square Park from Friday, October 31 to Sunday, November 2, 2014,  for lack of proper public review; and be it further

RESOLVED, Community Board Five urges the New York City Parks Department to revise its rules to extend the 21-day minimum required for public notice of the commercial use of public space, to at least 30 days, to allow for proper public review.

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