Thursday, October 11, 2012

Accountability questions: if signage in oculus was on all night, shouldn't someone explain? Also, first meeting next Tuesday of Atlantic Yards Quality of Life Committee

Today's storyline, it seems, concerns the promotion of upcoming boxing at the Barclays Center or the return of Barbra Streisand to Brooklyn, where tonight she plays the first of two shows at the arena. The Times goes back to her old neighborhood and finds continuity, change, and, of course, price:
“She’s one of our first big stars and she’s going to be in one of our first big forums,” [resident] Mr. [Dave] Johnson said. “It’s something else for us to be proud of.”

But questions of accountability persist, even as the first meeting approaches of the one body set up to ventilate those questions publicly.

Accountability: signage on all night?

Yesterday I tried to follow up on an incident report filed on Atlantic Yards Watch, in which a resident of nearby Pacific Street between Flatbush and Fourth Avenues indicated that the bright signage in the Barclays Center oculus was on all night earlier this week, rather than turned off between 1-5 am as promised

Even following the announced plan is apparently burdensome. "I do think this screen needs be offline more than this," the resident commented. "The light is terrible and quality of life in my apartment
building has diminished."

(Remember, the state had to override numerous zoning rules, including regarding signage, to approve Atlantic Yards, given the proximity to residences. The current signage plan, confining the signage to the wraparound oculus, was intended to limit its impact.)

I wanted to confirm whether this report was accurate and, if so, whether there was an explanation, so I contacted Derek Lynch, the new Manager of Government and Community Relations at Empire State Development.

Lynch responded by passing on my query to Terence Kelly, the arena's Community Affairs Manager. I queried Kelly directly, as well. No answer yet.

Quality of Life  committee meeting


Such issues surely will be ventilated at the first meeting of the Atlantic Yards Quality of Life Committee (QoLC), coming next week:
Tuesday, October 16, 6:30 pm
Community Room. Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street
This committee, an outgrowth of and apparently replacement for the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet led by the Brooklyn Borough President's Office and Council Member Letitia James, includes participation by representatives from community groups representing areas close to Barclays Center operations.

(The District Service Cabinet, held during business hours to accommodate the representatives of multiple public agencies and officials, did not allow for public participation.)

This committee will also feature participation by elected officials (or their representatives), Empire State Development, and Forest City Ratner.

In order to keep the meeting size manageable, participation in the committee is by invitation only. While the invitation was sent to a range of community stakeholders, it's unclear who will participate.

The meeting is open to the public. It's unclear how often the committee will meet.

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