Friday, January 09, 2009

A Letter to the Editor of the Newark Star-Ledger

A letter to the editor of the Newark Star-Ledger, published January 6, with an ungenerous headline:

A gripe grows in Brooklyn

In the Dec. 28 profile of New Jersey Nets CEO Brett Yormark ("Nets executive promotes New Jersey while selling Brooklyn," Dec. 28) , Yormark implausibly contends that I "totally sold [him] on the Ratner project," the plan to build an arena complex in Brooklyn.

Rather, New Jersey guy Yormark hired me, a Brooklyn tour guide, in an effort to show his future employer, Nets principal owner Bruce Ratner, that, along with having strong qualifications in the sports marketing business, he'd made a modest effort to understand Brooklyn.

The article claims that Yormark "hired a tour guide for a fairly large sum." Yormark's memory is faulty. The sum was about $100 and we spent less than two hours; he didn't have the time to get out of his vehicle, for example, to see Prospect Park.

At that time, the Atlantic Yards project had not gone through any public evaluation, and I knew relatively little about it. Yormark's certainty that the project would be officially approved helped provoke me into later launching a watchdog blog about it.

-- Norman Oder, Brooklyn

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