Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Senator-elect Adams calls for look at AY terrorism threat

Less than two days before an expected vote on the Atlantic Yards plan by the Public Authorities Control Board (PACB), Eric Adams, the State Senator-elect for the 20th District and a retired New York Police Department captain, said the project isn’t ready for public approval.

“I’m very concerned about the terrorism aspect,” Adams, co-Founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, said last night. “I’d hate for us to rush right through it.” (Indeed, NY1 reported later that the project has been stalled.)

While the adjacent transit hub was targeted for a terrorist attack in 1997, the Empire State Development Corporation says a terrorism/security review isn't required under the state environmental review, though the city police department has examined the project.

Adams has previously expressed a mix of concerns about Atlantic Yards.

Don’t get too hopeful?

Adams spoke at a meeting organized by the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council (PHNDC), along with Hakeem Jeffries, Assemblymember-elect for the 57th District and City Council Member Letitia James.

About 80 people attended, asking a range of questions, with a few touching on Atlantic Yards. None among the diverse group seemed to welcome a project that would, if not double the neighborhood population (as one speaker said), increase it enormously and burden traffic and transit.

“I don’t want to get your hopes up,” Adams cautioned, pointing out that incoming Governor Eliot Spitzer, whose administration would consider the project if the PACB stalls it, supports Atlantic Yards. Jeffries reiterated concerns he’d expressed in a December 8 letter to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who controls one of the three votes on the PACB, which must vote unanimously.

Spitzer stall?

James said she’d spoken to Spitzer’s transition team and gave a hint that Spitzer might be influencing Silver, a fellow Democrat, and currently the only Democrat with a controlling vote on the PACB. (The other two officials who control votes are departing Governor George Pataki and Senate Majority leader Joseph Bruno, both Republicans.)

“He supports the project, but he shares our concern,” James said of Spitzer. “He’d like an opportunity to review it.”

Adding a reference to Spitzer’s campaign slogan, “Day One, everything changes,” James declared, “If it’s kicked over, I’m hopeful it will change on Day One.”

Atlantic Center overbuild?

The officials were asked about apparent plans by Forest City Ratner to build three towers over the Atlantic Center mall, utilizing existing development rights, which would compound the environmental impact of the Atlantic Yards plan across the street. They said they didn't know about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment