Friday, September 21, 2012

No Land Grab to cease regular publishing next week: clearinghouse for news was aimed at fighting Atlantic Yards, not watchdogging it: the "switch" has arrived

Eric McClure wrote eloquently yesterday on No Land Grab:
A Farewell to Arms...

Norman Oder's "Morning round-up" is an apropos jumping-off point for us to announce that we will cease publishing NoLandGrab on a daily basis next week.

We are immensely grateful to our loyal readers and occasional contributors for your great support, but the time has come for us to hang up our keyboards. This is the 19,146th post on our current publishing platform, which was launched on January 31st, 2004, and there were a fair number of NoLandGrab posts prior to that. In some instances, a post might have covered as many as a couple dozen individual news items. So we've burned up a lot of bandwidth, and a few editors. It's entirely possible that we've reported on 100,000 stories about Atlantic Yards, and that seems to be about enough.

We launched NoLandGrab as a clearinghouse for news about Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards project. We thought the community (and media) would benefit from having a one-stop shop for what was being reported about the project, as well as a venue for the dissemination of information about the fight against what we believed was, and is, a corrupt abuse of eminent domain, a sinkhole for scarce public dollars, a subversion of democratic process, and an urban-planning disaster — among other abuses.

We also intended NoLandGrab as a means of fighting to stop Atlantic Yards, not watchdogging the project as it took shape. And with tomorrow's ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the Barclays Center, the project — or at least the "switch" — is taking shape. The "bait" — most of the promised jobs and all of the affordable housing — have yet to materialize, and whether they ever will remains to be seen.

As Atlantic Yards Report has expanded from original reportage to covering a good chunk of the news that we do, with the emergence of Atlantic Yards Watch as a nitty-gritty watchdog site, with the regular contributions of Noticing New York, and with the continuing web presence of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, project-watchers won't want for information about Atlantic Yards — though admittedly we do the job with superior wit and irony. Those aforementioned sites should consider that a challenge to which they will surely rise.

We will, however, reserve the right to weigh in when we observe something particularly galling — we're looking at you, Andrea Peyser and Denis Hamill — but we won't be covering the latest news about Barclays Center concert announcements or Bruce Ratner's or Brett Yormark's latest bald-faced lie (unless, of course, it's particularly bald-faced and galling).

Thanks again for reading our work.

Good afternoon, and good luck.

—The Editors
Going forward

I and others relied on NLG to be the complete archive of Atlantic Yards-related news, and I know others relied on NLG for summaries of my often detailed posts.

I can hardly blame McClure, who shouldered most of the work in recent years, for deciding not to become an archive of the flood of Barclays Center-related news.

I will likely do more round-ups in the future, but will not aim to be comprehensive.

Why did I not shut the blog down, I've been asked, when the construction of the Barclays Center began in 2010? Because the blog was not about "stopping" the arena, it's about looking at a complicated, challenging, and ever-changing story, and trying to hold those in power accountable.

Is the blog sustainable? Not in an open-ended way, but I don't have an expiration date, either.

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