Friday, May 4, 2007

Missed the ESDC/DDDB Hearing?

Play by play here at the inestimable Atlantic Yards Report (I get the impression that reading Oder is more accurate than attending the hearings in person).

I am still absorbing it all but two things amused me:
On both points noted above, Madden seemed sympathetic to the arguments made by the petitioners, Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB) and 25 other neighborhood and civic groups, peppering an ESDC lawyer with some questions about the planned arena and the parameters of blight. That lawyer, as well a colleague, both made strained argument that a "civic project"--which has a specific definition--involved the "civic pride" of having a professional sports team for which to root.

"Bread and Circuses" you say? Actually its our bread for Ratner's circus. But the idea that a rooting for professional sports team of multimillionaires subsidized by the state, who are often involved in drugs and other crimes, represents 'civic pride' is beyond a stretch of the imagination. There is no 'sportsmanship' or any moral or civic value derived from professional sports these days. It's a mindless timepass, which in fact, provides poor role models for kids to follow. And the Nets, whether owned by Ratner or not, will leave once the stadium becomes 'old' (and that is often within a decade) if they don't again get the government to pay for it. There's a pop warner football team that practices in fort greene, that made it to the playoffs, that's enough 'civic pride' for me and a lot cheaper.

Second was this little tidbit;
He noted that the only affidavit submitted by an expert concerned terrorism, “and that’s not an environmental issue.” He suggested that the petitioners were changing their tune. In their initial papers, he said, they wanted a review of the environmental impact of terrorism. “What we heard to today,” he said, is that they just want what was done in other environmental reviews. “An environmental analysis of a terrorist attack has never been done” in an EIS.Terrorism

Nowhere has ANYONE in the ESDC nor the governer nor forest city displayed the slightest interest in security for the area if the project were to go through. Not one. Not even 'you have a serious concern ' (we do). That they would so blatently try to shirk responsibility for security in this day and age, and hire a gaga, arrogant overprice jerk architect who doesn't understand the slightest thing about security or practicality is beyond incompetence and hubris, its criminal.

There's plenty more to read - the fake blight study, the misuse of public funds...what comes clear, whether or not the ESDC is acting 'ilegally' is that the ESDC is acting immorally. The "new" ESDC doesn't have to defend this project. It doesn't have to defend Ratner. The 'horse hasn't left the barn" ....and Spitzer's 'reform' is empty rhetoric.

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