Friday, August 25, 2006

Barron V. Towns on A. Yards

Incumbent Representative Ed Towns has an interesting take on "Atlantic Yards." It's one we've not really heard before. In a nutshell he is saying that Prospect Heights and Downtown Brooklyn are "dead" like Downtown Cleveland (an ironic comparison) and Washington, DC once were. That's odd: his co-supporters of the project say the area has gentrified and that's the reason for the project. While NY State and Ratner say the area is "blighted" and this is why the project is needed. But for Rep. Towns its all about the arena. And he, like many others who favor an arena but a downsized project don't seem to understand that the enormous cost of the arena is the cause of the over the top scale of the project. In other words: if you want an arena, you only get it with a mammoth project.

His challenger in the 12th District is Councilman Charles Barron an outspoken opponent of "Atlantic Yards." Roger Green, the third candidate in the race and key project supporter, apparently did not sit for an interview on the issue.

Here we go:

Towns, Barron speak on Yards
The Brooklyn Papers
Two candidates for the 10th congressional district stopped by the offices of The Brooklyn Papers this week. Here is what they said about Atlantic Yards.

Rep. Ed Towns: If it is this project, or no project, I’d go with it. I watched what happened with the downtown area of Cleveland, with the arena there. The downtown area was dead. The Washington, DC, area — they bought an arena, and now there are all these stores and restaurants as a result of the arena. Baltimore, as well. A lot of economic opportunities present themselves when you have an arena and you bring in people. I think that having the Nets and the arena in Brooklyn is a good thing. I support that. I do think the project should be downsized.

City Councilman Charles Barron (D–Canarsie): It’s environmentally disastrous for us, meaning the pollution, the congestion. The affordable housing is nonsense. Maybe 20 percent is low-income, but 50 percent is luxury, so it’s instant gentrification. There’s not enough open space, not enough schools, firehouses, to go with this new community. This project makes no sense for the community and 100 percent sense for the developer.

Apologies for sounding like a broken record, but please remember this blog's bottom lines:

The question should always very clearly be stated as "Do you support THIS proposal as it CURRENTLY stands?"

Not "Do you support affordable housing?" or "Do you support FCR?" or "Do you support development of Atlantic Yards?"

Candidates can't equivocate on this question. There is no "on the other hand."

You either support the project described in the DEIS and the process, or you don't.

There are no do-overs folks, and the only possible relief is in the courts if this thing goes through.


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