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August 23, 2006

Forum v. Hearing

The Empire State Development Corporation is being noticeably cagey about the distinction between a "public hearing" and a "community forum." Just yesterday, ESDC spokesperson Jessica Copen responded to a straightforward inquiry about hearing logistics from CBN co-chair Therese Urban by referring her questions to a Freedom of Information request.

And now, the ESDC is demanding a correction from the Brooklyn Papers for its report that today's hearing is the "State’s only Atlantic Yards public hearing."

Brooklyn Papers editor Gersh Kuntzman said, "They originally wouldn't tell us what a 'community forum' is, so clearly we construed them differently. Now they have told us that everything said at the forum will be on the record. So a correction is forthcoming."

It's not clear why the distinction is so important to the ESDC — perhaps it has something to do with the fact that, by law, the public comment period must be held open for 30 days after a public hearing. If the September 12th event was a "hearing," and not a "forum," then Forest City Ratner and the ESDC would not be able to stick to their schedule.

Posted by lumi at August 23, 2006 1:48 PM