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August 30, 2008

Atlantic Yards Report : Zimbalist, Plus Daniel Ratner and the Legion of Doom

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The Atlantic Yards Report gives further reason to doubt Andrew Zimbalist, author of the deeply-flawed report, Estimated Fiscal Impact of the Atlantic Yards Project on the New York City and New York State Treasuries (commissioned by Forest City Ratner).

There is also an additional look back at some absurdity from the DEIS Hearings of two years ago.

In 2006, as well, Zimbalist's ($73K) testimony was disallowed in court

Zimbalist's testimony got bounced from a 2006 case where he was hired by the city of Anaheim.

A 1/26/06 article in the Los Angeles Times explained that Zimbalist would not be allowed to testify, according to the trial judge. The newspaper reported: *In analyzing the effect of the Angels' name change, Zimbalist calculated the city had foregone $138.5 million by signing a long-term lease with the team rather than demolishing the stadium, selling the land and reaping taxes from property development.

But that analysis does not offer "the proper measure of damages" in a breach-of-contract case, Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter Polos ruled. If the Angels have broken their lease by adding "Los Angeles" to their name and dropping "Anaheim" from use, he said, the damages should reflect the value of the actual benefits lost by the city.*

Zimbalist's Seattle bill was $61,296

Zimbalist's bill for services rendered to Seattle are recounted. The mony was poorly spent as his testimony was discounted in court.

Last month, I reported, based on press accounts in Seattle, that expert witness Andrew Zimbalist cost the city of Seattle $17,753 in its effort to hold the new owners of the Seattle SuperSonics to their local lease.

Actually, as the Post-Intelligencer reported yesterday, the total was $61,296, including $59,540 on time spent preparing his report and his 50 minutes of testimony, with the rest going to plus travel expenses.

The point here is that Zimbalist's report advocating for Atlantic Yards deserved some close public scrutiny.

From the DEIS hearing: "Daniel Ratner" and the Legion of Doom

The testimony of an "eccentric fellow named William Stanford, Jr." is reviewed as part of a revisit of 2006's DEIS hearing on Atlantic Yards

Stanford often sounded like a nut, calling his antagonist "Daniel Ratner" (a combo of Bruce Ratner and Daniel Goldstein?), threatening to attack with pro wrestling moves, and charging the aforementioned Ratner with drug smuggling.

But he also made some earthy good sense, questioning the scheduling of a forum on Primary Day with "Are you stuck on stupid?"

...

MR. WILLIAM STANFORD: Thank you for holding this forum. By holding this forum you just gave me a better reason to give Daniel Ratner a flying full nelson off the top rope courtesy of the Legion of Doom.

Posted by steve at August 30, 2008 9:30 AM