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November 26, 2012
Opponents of Atlantic Yards Are Exhausted by a Long, Losing Battle
The New York Times
by N.R. Kleinfield
Eric McClure got to 19,268 blog posts. Enough. It was time, he decided, “to hang up my keyboard.”
Eight years ago, after having sold an advertising business, he joined the convulsive battle over what would fall and what would rise on a plot of land in the heart of Brooklyn, 15 blocks from where he lived. Now he was spent. As the final editor on the nolandgrab.org blog (succeeding his wife), he halted daily posts on Sept. 29, to start sifting for the next chapter in his life.
Neglected home projects summoned his attention. Mr. McClure began refinishing his front door. He painted a bathroom.
He finds he can wake up in the morning without his first thought being Atlantic Yards.
From its initial stirrings in 2003, the huge Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn evolved into something of a reluctant career for a panoply of passionate opponents, not all of them aligned and with uniform priorities, but who saw democracy being trampled in the interest of a developer whose methodology they found offensive. It has been a clenched battle in which eminent domain was used to gobble up homes and transform a neighborhood.
It has gone on and on and on.
NoLandGrab: We thought it would be ironic to resume publishing, albeit briefly (sorry, devotees), to post an article about us ceasing publishing.
Photo: Michael Nagle for The New York Times
I can't say I didn't predict it, the New York Times feature today headlined Opponents of Atlantic Yards Are Exhausted by a Long, Losing Battle. The Times, I wrote last month, would report that opponents were diminished and disempowered.
Which they are--duh. Some have left the neighborhood or left town. Then again, so too have many paid exponents of Atlantic Yards, including Forest City Ratner's two point men (both of whom left under ethical clouds), several state executives, union executives, as well as a criminal lobbyist and a criminal legislator. (Where was the headline "Atlantic Yards Proponents Shamed, Indicted, Convicted"?)
Then again, the (nearly all) unpaid activists--groups organized by Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn and BrooklynSpeaks--also won a big lawsuit, requiring Empire State Development, the state agency overseeing and shepherding Atlantic Yards, to conduct a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), to study the community impact of a project lasting 25 years, not ten years, as long promised.
There's no mention of that lawsuit in this article. Nor, for that matter, recent news that validates the "opposition's" critique of Atlantic Yards: the demise of Community Benefits Agreement signatory BUILD, and the slippery behavior of developer Forest City Ratner in challenging project tax assessments and then withdrawing that challenge.
Nor any connection between the opposition and the Times's belatedly tough coverage of developer Bruce Ratner this past September, describing as "his reputation for promising anything to get a deal, only to renegotiate relentlessly for more favorable terms"?
Posted by eric at November 26, 2012 10:58 AM