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April 17, 2010

AY Report: Call for Friedman to Rehear, Amoral Sports Fans, Local Coverage Missing From Papers, Did Something Happen Near "Atlantic Yards?"

Atlantic Yards Report

BrooklynSpeaks, citing delayed Development Agreement (and bad KPMG data), also asks Justice Friedman to rehear case challenging 2009 ESDC approval

There's another call for judicial scrutiny of that pesky Atlantic Yards Development Agreement, which gives 25 years to build the project (rather than the ten years officially announced), not released until after an oral argument in January in the case challenging the Empire State Development Corporation's (ESDC) approval of the 2009 Modified General Project Plan (MGPP).

Just as Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn and 19 allies earlier this month asked Supreme Court Justice Marcy Friedman to reopen the case she dismissed March 10, so too have the members of BrooklynSpeaks and area residents who posed a lawsuit that was combined with the DDDB case.

"Now that the agreement is available," said Jo Anne Simon, Democratic Leader of the 52nd Assembly District, "it’s clear that ESDC’s approval of the Atlantic Yards’ Modified General Project Plan was illegal. The ESDC didn’t require the developer to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) even though the agency was willing to agree to allow construction to extend well beyond the 10 year period that had been evaluated in the 2006 EIS."

Lessons for Brooklyn: sports fans can easily overlook a taxpayer-funded stadium and a star's questionable behavior

Two articles in the past week point to the tendency of sports fans to overlook anything--including a taxpayer bailout and a star's borderline criminal behavior--as long as the experience is impressive and the team wins.

That's consistent with the observation that most Nets fans won't care how a new arena came about, just that it exists, and houses a better team.

(For example, here's a comment on NetsDaily about prospective owner Mikhail Prokhorov: "All I care about is his Basketball leadership as owner. Like every other politician in the US, who cares what they say or think. For me, this is all about the NETS!")

What newspapers don't say: what they are no longer covering

Gene Roberts, the retired executive editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer and managing editor of the New York Times, recently told journalists gathered at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York for the annual George Polk Award that cutbacks in journalism deserve much more attention in the press itself.

Interestingly enough, his signal example, the Baltimore Sun, which serves a metro area of two million people, has seen its staff cut from 347 to 133 in seven years.

And in Brooklyn?

Direct comparisons to Brooklyn (nearly 2.6 million people) are impossible, but consider that there are a handful of reporters assigned by the city's three dailies to their Brooklyn bureaus for metro news, and obviously a passel of staffers who cover beats (from schools to development to food) that ultimately include Brooklyn.

The bottom line, I believe, confirms Brooklyn College professor Paul Moses's observation about Brooklyn's place in the local mediascape: Nowhere in the country do so many people get so little local coverageL.

So, did that shooting of a parole officer really happen "near Atlantic Yards"?

From a Brooklyn Daily Eagle article headlined Parole Officer Expected to Recover After Downtown Brooklyn Shooting:

SCHERMERHORN STREET (AP) — A parole officer is recovering from a bullet wound after an ex-convict shot him in the shoulder at a Downtown Brooklyn office Thursday.

The officer, 49-year-old Samuel Salters, was taken to Bellevue Hospital on Friday and is expected to recover. The shooting occurred around 7 p.m. Thursday at the state Division of Parole reporting office on Schermerhorn Street near Atlantic Yards.

(Emphasis added)

...

The shooting occurred as close or closer to the following well-established places:

  • Long Island University
  • Junior's Restaurant
  • The Brooklyn Hospital Center
  • Fort Greene Park
  • Williamsburgh Savings Bank (aka One Hanson)
  • Atlantic Terminal Mall

Posted by steve at April 17, 2010 8:32 AM