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Showing posts from June, 2021

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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park infographics: what's built/what's coming/what's missing, who's responsible, + project FAQ/timeline (pinned post)

Public financing for elections, a mismatch between candidates and (funds/personnel for) journalism, and one possible solution

So, we just had a (yet unresolved) primary election with a lot of candidates for Mayor/Borough President/City Council/etc., many who persevered though, after a certain point, they were clearly not serious contenders.  It's not easy to run for office, so in one sense they deserve kudos---- and the mayoral candidates, for example, had to develop sophisticated policy platforms. Then again, some candidates may be running not to win, but, depending on the office, to position themselves for a run at a later date, or to get a job in a new administration.  And the public spent nearly $110 million on it. As Daily News columnist Harry Siegel  put it , the "generous public matching funds [made] each campaign its own little patronage operation." Was it worth it? This is two months worth of police overtime in the City. Spending on the institutions of representative democracy - elected representative and their staff, election infrastructure, matching funds - remains one the best and m

From the latest Construction Update: (unspecified) increase of truck activity at southeast block; 6 am weekday work on that block still not announced

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning yesterday, June 28, was circulated yesterday at 4:15 pm (late) by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners. There's only one announced change from the previous Update : at the B12/B13 site (615 Dean St. & 595 Dean St.), work on the concrete superstructure for the plaza, cellar, and subcellar levels of the two towers will generate "an increase in truck activity." The estimated number of trucks (20? 50? more?) was not specified. After-hours work continues Regarding after-hours work at B4 (18 Sixth Ave.), the Construction Update accurately lists weekday work 5 am to 10 pm and Saturday work 9 am to 5 pm . It also lists potential Sunday work 9 am to 5 pm, but there's no after-hours variance yet. Regarding after-hours work at B15 (662 Pacific St.), the document accurately cites weekday work 6 am to 10 pm and Saturday  9 am t

From Bklyner: another 17-story building proposed for the Atlantic Avenue corridor, this time in Community Board 3

The march of proposed development along Atlantic Avenue east of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park continues. I have an article in Bklyner today headlined Another 17-Story Building Proposed for Atlantic Avenue, Near Franklin Ave. Shuttle, This Time in CB 3 . There's lots interesting there, including the confounding possibility--at least as disclosed in the Environmental Assessment Statement prepared by the developer--that the "affordable housing" will go to higher-earning households than the market-rate apartments

A telling advertorial aimed at six-figure earners: "Ever thought about applying to an affordable housing lottery? You probably already qualify"

There's something telling about the rhetoric here regarding "affordable housing," which I think applies to other middle-income "affordable" buildings, such as some in Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, similarly accepting middle-income households earning up to 165% of Area Median Income (AMI), which means up to $157,575 for two people. Ever thought about applying to an affordable housing lottery? You probably already qualify  was the headline on a sponsored post (aka advertorial) by developer TF Cornerstone on Brick Underground 6/11/21, regarding a new development in Long Island City. From the text: Affordable housing lottery programs have expanded to cover a wide range of low- through middle-income household needs, providing an incredible opportunity for savvy renters to lock-in long-term savings. 5203 Center Blvd. is the latest luxury rental development on the Long Island City waterfront with a significant mixed-income affordable housing component that promises 534

Tsais' Social Justice Fund offering $2.5M in loans to Brooklyn small businesses owned by BIPOC; remember, the Atlantic Yards CBA once promised small business loans

The next initiative from the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation's Social Justice Fund--founded by the owner of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center operating company--was announced yesterday, heralded by a prominent New York Daily News article, published online as Clara Wu Tsai’s EXCELerate is a ‘win-win-win-win’ for Brooklyn and Black business  and with a slightly different headline in print, as shown below. The foundation stated  Loans Announced to Help Brooklyn’s BIPOC Business Owners and Support Equitable Economic Momentum in Brooklyn , announcing: ‘Rapid Recovery’ loans up to $15,000 will aid those who were able to stay open through the pandemic with expenses like equipment, renovations and rent & lease assistance, all at no interest. ‘Restart’ loans will provide Brooklyn businesses with loans from $15,000 to $100,000 at 2% interest. Qualifying businesses have closed temporarily or have significantly reduced operating hours and have significant challenges to reopening or norma

Next Quality of Life Meeting July 13, on Zoom; ESD welcomes questions and agenda items

On June 23, Empire State Development circulated a reminder: the next Atlantic Yards Project Quality of Life Meeting, where neighbors can learn updates and pose queries to the state authority and the project developers, will be held on Tuesday, July 13, at 6 pm. They are sticking with virtual conferencing via Zoom.  Link is at .  Dial In: 646-558-8656. Passcode: 985 1163 0645#. Meeting ID: 985 1163 0645.     Project-related questions and suggested agenda items may be sent to  I will have a preview closer to the date, but would note that, on the ESD page devoted to past meetings, as shown in the screenshot, we're still waiting for the meeting notes from the May 11 meeting. My coverage of that previous meeting is here ; there wasn't a lot of news.

At Barclays Center plaza, a DoorDash Nets experience yesterday for locals--while the elevator to transit hub remains on the fritz

Hey, remember the ambiguous plan, disclosed to community members by Barclays Center community relations staff earlier this month, of a "MID TO LATE JUNE PARTNER PLAZA ACTIVATION," lasting from approximately 11 am to 7 pm? I wrote that it was presumably a commercial takeover of the privately controlled, publicly accessible space, the Resorts World Casino NYC plaza, in concert with the Nets' playoff run--or, perhaps, a commemoration of the season. Well, the playoff run is over, and yesterday at 11:27 the Barclays Center announced the DoorDash Nets experience, offering games, merch, and--unmentioned--$15 gift cards. Publicly accessible open space used for private purposes, of course, because it's privately controlled — Norman Oder (@AYReport) June 23, 2021 That said, as the tweeted photo shows, as well as my photos below, the event took up a fraction of the plaza, mostly under the oculus, and when I got there shortly after 5 pm, it was relati

First round of voting shows Adams with significant lead in mayoral race; Council races complicated; Hudson leads Hollingsworth in 35th, though ranked choice voting could revise results

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams opened up a significant if not definitive lead in initial election results in the Democratic mayoral primary, gaining nearly 32% of first-choice votes, to 22.22% for former MSNBC pundit Maya Wiley and 19.48% for former city Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. The latter two seemed to gain from the imploding campaigns of nonprofit executive Dianne Morales and city Comptroller Scott Stringer poorly. More clarity will surface when ranked choices are reshuffled and absentee ballots--which have a week to arrive--are counted, but Adams seemed confident.  (The Democratic winner will face Republican Curtis Sliwa, so the primary is typically tantamount to election.) “Social media does not pick a candidate,” Adams said , not unwisely, in a seeming critique of the Andrew Yang bandwagon. “People on Social Security pick a candidate.” (Less wisely, and more ominously, his campaign denied entry to the election watch party to two reporters--Ross Barkan and Da

On the Brooklyn Borough President race, a mix of endorsements (but not from Adams?), and campaign platforms mostly distracting from actual job duties

This post will be updated, but first a little last-minute drama. Unbeknownst to both myself and Eric a press release was mistakenly sent out by a staffer on my campaign saying that there was an endorsement. That staffer was wrong and was immediately reprimanded. Our campaign regrets that this error happened. (2/2) — Robert Cornegy for BK BP (@rc4bk) June 22, 2021 At one Brooklyn BP candidates' forum, when asked if they welcomed Adams's endorsement @JoAnneSimonBK52 was the only one (I think) not to raise a hand. She said Adams had already (essentially?) endorsed, tho no one specified who — Norman Oder (@AYReport) June 22, 2021 So maybe Adams has a preference, at least. And at least one pro-business political action committee sees them as a team: Brooklyn Eagle print (example here: ) has steadily published sponsored section from PAC A Better NY for All featuring Adams/Cornegy/Surrogates Judge Paul so seems like an alliance htt

Though mayoral campaign discourse has focused on crime or even the politics of RCV, too little has been said about housing, rent, and land use

The closing days of the mayoral race have departed farther from the issues, with the topline discussion yesterday whether candidates Kathryn Garcia and Andrew Yang teaming up to encourage ranked-choice voting constituted, as supporters of Eric Adams suggested, voter suppression, and Adams asserting , when asked if he's not claiming a stolen election, “Yes I do, I assure voters that no one is going to steal the election from me.”  Thanks especially to the New York Post, the mayoral race has focused on crime, with ex-cop Brooklyn Borough President Adams promoted as the best candidate to tackle crime while managing the police. (Also on the moderate side are former city Sanitation Commissioner Garcia and tech entrepreneur Yang, while former mayoral aide and MSNBC commentator Maya Wiley would like to redeploy $1 billion from the police budget.) Tuesday's tabs, NYC Primary Election Day edition — Azi (@Azi) June 22, 2021 Is the focus legitimate? FAIR Medi

Ranked Choice Voting, flawed candidates, un-ventilated priorities, and the mayor's race

Yes, it's an interesting time, as the Democratic primary votes approaches tomorrow. Are people voting policy, personality, ethnic/gender representation, politicking style, or strategy? One friend asked me, "If I don't like X candidate, do I rank them fifth, or not at all?"  Not at all is the answer--but you have to rank one of the other four front-runners, likely all three, to have a meaningful vote, even if that means holding your nose and choosing the "least bad" candidate.  Because all have their flaws and no one has a big idea on the par of Bill de Blasio's universal pre-K. Also, so many issues (land use, post-COVID recovery, transportation) haven't been sufficiently ventilated, with the tabloid-driven focus on crime and policing. What a tale of (at least) two cities on the front pages just ahead of the election here — Harry Siegel (@harrysiegel) June 21, 2021 Errol Louis, NY1 anchor and typically a Daily News column

As Nets lose in OT to Bucks, capping disappointing but landmark season, an unpublicized watch party on Barclays Center plaza (plus video of KD shot & tight fit on Dean St.)

In a seventh-game thriller last night at Barclays Center, the visiting Milwaukee Bucks beat the injury-hamped Brooklyn Nets in overtime last night, the first away victory for either team in the second-round Eastern Conference series. It marked both (explicable) underachievement for the Nets and new acclaim for superstar Kevin Durant--plus some new purchase on borough/city fandom. On the plaza While the Bucks held official watch parties on the plaza of the not-quite-downtown Fiserv Forum, the Brooklyn Nets made no such announcement , though--somewhat to my surprise--the game was being broadcast when I arrived at the Resorts World Casino NYC Plaza during the fourth quarter.  Perhaps 150 people were watching, and hawkers of both t-shirts and nutcrackers were unmolested. Why no announcement? Were they fearful of too big a crowd? So the original Bruce Ratner promise that the scoreboard would be visible to passers-by from the plaza was bogus, given layers of advertising in front of it. Ho

As Nets, Bucks play decisive final game of series, a reassessment in New Jersey re Nets fandom

NY Daily News June 18 As the Brooklyn Nets prepare to play the Milwaukee Bucks in the deciding seventh game of their second-round playoff series, as The Ringer's Dan Devine wrote , "The Biggest Showdown of the NBA Playoffs Is Set": Two days after [the Nets' Kevin] Durant played the game of his life to push Milwaukee to the brink of elimination, Khris Middleton played the game of his to fuel a 104-89 win and make sure the Bucks had some company on the razor’s edge.  Now, with Kyrie Irving out and James Harden only at partial capacity, there's a showdown, and the winner has a good shot at going all the way. NY Post June 18 Devine's conclusion: If the Nets are in a bind and need to short-circuit Milwaukee’s offense, might Nash take a page out of Nate McMillan’s book in the East’s other second-round series and try intentionally fouling Giannis (just 45.7 percent from the stripe in this series, but 6-for-10 on Thursday)? And, perhaps most importantly: Can Milwaukee