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May 28, 2009

As public hearing approaches tomorrow, questions of benefits and blight; will Bruce Ratner testify?

Atlantic Yards Report

Though NY Daily News columnist Errol Louis claims "that Forest City - the single most knowledgeable source of changes to the project - wasn't even asked to testify" at tomorrow's invitation-only hearing, Norman Oder is reporting that "CEO Bruce Ratner has been invited, but, at least as of yesterday, had not confirmed participation."

NoLandGrab: Note that "Forest City Ratner Corporation" is on the list to testify from the official "Media Advisory." We're not saying that Louis's Forest City Ratner source is lying, only that he or she is being a little dramatic.

Another question: will there be any witnesses from the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA)? If so, maybe they'll be asked about their financial dependence on Forest City Ratner.

Remember, Delia Hunley-Adossa, chair of the CBA executive committee (and a City Council candidate), won't say who supports her dubious environmental organization, Brooklyn Endeavor Experience.

The national organization ACORN never announced that it was bailed out--with a $1 million loan and $500,000 in grants--by Forest City Ratner, which has relied on ACORN's New York affiliate to supply crucial political support for the project. Can New York ACORN criticize the diminished plans for affordable housing? Unlikely.

Remember, experts on CBAs have criticized this agreement for unenforceability if Forest City Ratner sells the project--not unlike the apparent switch in architects--and because signatories are not supposed to accept money from developers.

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Campaign for Community-Based Planning, Comment on Atlantic Yards!

The Community-Based Planning Task Force will join City and State agencies, environmentalists, planners, and other community members and advocates to give testimony at a public hearing on Atlantic Yards on Friday, held by State Senators Bill Perkins and Velmanette Montgomery. Oral testimony on Friday is invite-only, but the public may submit testimony via email.

Posted by lumi at May 28, 2009 7:16 AM