Friday, July 24, 2009

Updates re Wednesday's meeting: the evasion of public responsibility, the orchestrated disruption, and more

I've updated and reorganized somewhat my post yesterday about the three-hour Atlantic Yards informational meeting held by Community Boards 2, 6, and 8.

Most importantly, a look back shows clearly how the public, which is supposed to comment next Wednesday and Thursday at the official public hearing, is not provided with essential information and will not get it during the comment period that ends at the end of August.

Notably, we weren't told--and won't be told--the total amount of subsidies required. We were told that the Empire State Development Corporation "constantly" updates its cost-benefit analysis--actually just an analysis of new revenue, without accounting for full costs--but that the analysis was not included in the 2009 Modified General Project Plan (GPP) issued last month.

We were told that new numbers may be provided to the ESDC board when it votes to approve the project in September. Whether or not that analysis emerges, if it updates the previous analysis, it will assume that the project will be built within a ten-year timetable (which is, of course, very unlikely).

No site plan or arena renderings will emerge before the project is approved.

New video

Included are several new videos, including one (below) that indicates clearly that one disruption, in which a group of men chanted "Go Home," was orchestrated, as they were not present in the room earlier but were escorted in by a man in an orange shirt.



Other new videos show ESDC Senior Counsel Steve Matlin defending the project timetable and the lack of a cost-benefit analysis, as well as describing the ESDC's (non)-response to the Independent Budget Office report on the Atlantic Yards arena and the question of why Forest City Ratner was allowed to market naming rights.

(Videos shot by Jonathan Barkey; edited by Norman Oder.)

More information

Among the notable additions: Forest City Ratner VP MaryAnne Gilmartin's unwillingness to reveal the names of any other architects on the project (though surely they are working on it).

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