Sunday, October 25, 2009

CNG Watch: Brooklyn Paper covers the latest lawsuit; Courier-Life focuses on Jeffries

Once again, it's quite curious to read coverage of Atlantic Yards in the two main Brooklyn weeklies, the Brooklyn Paper and the Courier-Life, both owned by Rupert Murdoch's Community Newspaper Group.

The Brooklyn Paper, which led with a hard-hitting article on a gingko tree, did publish (on p. 5) an article on the latest suit challenging Atlantic Yards, though that article was dated October 22 and the suit was filed on October 19.

Gersh Kuntzman's Brooklyn Paper article stated:
None of the prior agreements — including two approved general project plans — made the affordable housing conditional on any state or local support. Ratner was required to build the units whether subsidies were available or not.
Actually, the units were never guaranteed; I reported on the new language more than a month ago.

The Brooklyn Paper did get an optimistic quote from ACORN's Bertha Lewis, which inspired scornful skepticism from Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn. (Note that, while DDDB said the project would get "over $1 billion in scarce housing subsidies," it's actually "scarce housing bonds.")

And, as noted, the Brooklyn Paper published an odd editorial on the obligation to build affordable housing, blaming the state but not the developer.

In the Courier-Life

The Courier-Life, not surprisingly, ignored the latest lawsuit, but made a page 2 story the seeming gyrations on Atlantic Yards by Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries--an episode ignored by its sibling Brooklyn Paper.

However, given the newspaper's deadlines, it caught only the initial letter Jeffries co-signed and then his clarification, missing the legislator's public comments on Thursday night.

Adding to the story, the newspaper's Stephen Witt reported:
Some political watchdogs speculate that Jeffries signed onto the letter because of his rumored ambition to succeed Rep. Ed Towns in the 10th Congressional District. A large part of Towns’ district is in the Canarsie/Flatlands area, which both Sampson and Perry partially represent.
I suspect that there were multiple factors, mostly involving collegiality in the legislature, which includes but goes beyond Jeffries' political ambitions.

The Perry explanation

The Courier-Life reported:
Perry, who represents East Flatbush, Canarsie and Brownsville, said he remains mostly supportive with some reservations about the project.

“If we can get this project off the ground it would benefit all of Brooklyn in tough economic times,” said Perry of the letter. “We just want to make sure our expectations abide to it [the CBA] and even go beyond it. We have an obligation to keep their feet to the fire.”

Perry said he does not turn a deaf ear to Atlantic Yards critics, but feels their concerns can be worked out.

“Some people just want to stop the development altogether and I’m not sure that will be in the best interest of Brooklyn,” he said.
No Land Grab's Eric McClure comments: We admire Perry's altruism when it comes to the CBA, since the community he represents is about two-and-a-half miles from the Atlantic Yards footprint at its nearest point. As for working out our concerns, sure, we expect that to happen any day now.

1 comment:

  1. you misspelled weeklies.
    It should have been weaklies....or as my spell check tells me weak lies...

    ReplyDelete