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October 15, 2007

Opponents Of Brooklyn Arena Raise Security Issues

Want Governor Spitzer To Address Terror Risk

AP, via WCBSTV.com

Opponents of Brooklyn's planned NBA arena said Sunday that Gov. Eliot Spitzer should address security concerns connected to the project, citing the decision by officials in Newark, N.J. to close streets abutting a new arena there.

Daniel Goldstein, a spokesman for the group Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, said the terror risk for the planned Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn "is potentially far greater than that faced by the Newark arena."

"The time for a review of the impacts of a terrorist threat against Atlantic Yards and a state hearing on the issue is now," Goldstein said.

He said Spitzer's homeland security czar, Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Michael Balboni, should testify at such a hearing on Atlantic Yards terrorism security issues. On Sunday, state officials said Balboni would be happy to meet with the community to go over security concerns. ...
Bruce Bender, executive vice president with the developer, Forest City Ratner, said the project had always paid attention to security issues.

"From the start, Forest City Ratner has worked very closely with security experts on Atlantic Yards, and the top police, fire and security experts in the City have reviewed and approved our comprehensive plan. Anyone who has any experience in security knows that you do not discuss sensitive security matters in public for very obvious reasons," he said.


The AP article also ran in various forms in:
NY Daily News, Atlantic Yards complex foes urge state to consider terror risk
The NY Sun, Brooklyn NBA Arena's Foes Point To Security Problems
MetroNY, Foes of Brooklyn arena raise security issue (front page story) Newsday, Brooklyn arena foes want review of terrorism risk
Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn posted a response on its web site, "FCR: Don't Worry, Be Happy."

Pardon us if we don't trust Forest City Ratner's "don't worry be happy" game plan, which completely fails to disclose any security measures for the glass-walled arena, surrounded by glass-walled towers, over the 3rd largest transportation hub in the city, abutting the busiest traffic intersection in Brooklyn at Atlantic and Flatbush, at a location that was the site of a thwarted terrorist attack in 1997.

We're not asking for state secrets, we're asking for the issue to be reviewed within the Environmental Impact Statement, only keeping confidential that which must be confidential -- and clearly measures like street closings are simply not confidential. So don't buy Bender's disingenous, "Anyone who has any experience in security knows that you do not discuss sensitive security matters in public for very obvious reasons." Oh really?

Despite Newark's police decision, two weeks before opening that city's new Prudential Center arena, to shut down two streets during arena events there and despite that city's police chief saying, "You can't construct an arena and put it right against a street in a post 9/11 world," they (Ratner and the ESDC) expect the public to just take their word for it, that we'll be safe, and the security measures won't radically disrupt the surrounding major streets for 230 arena events per year?

Posted by lumi at October 15, 2007 11:12 AM