In today's Daily News, two opinion columnists, Errol Louis and Michael
Daly, express their opinions about Friday's "Atlantic
Yards Stall" Times article, but leave out...facts, understanding
and honesty [Louis's column,
It's understandable that reporters can get things wrong when they buy Bruce Ratner's
talking points wholesale and their own paper doesn't report on the economic problems
facing Ratner's megaproject. It's amusing to observe the two columnists follow
up Bruce Ratner's attempt, in that Times article, to blame project opponents
for Ratner's financial woes, considering, amongst other things, that Bruce
Ratner once famously said, "I have never, ever seen a project get
less protest than this."
You know how Bruce Ratner could have avoided the mess he finds himself in now? A few suggestions: He could have proposed a project that was feasible from day one in scale, density, and cost. He could have refrained from overstating his job and housing promises. He could have admitted, when the project was facing approval by the Empire State Development Corporation and the Public Authorities Control Board, that the bonding he wanted for his "affordable" units was not available. He could have avoided the abuse of eminent domain by just proposing a project over the rail yards. He could have budged an inch on demands by project opponents and critics.
What's the best way he could have avoided the mess he is in? He could have consulted with the community and gone through a democratic process.
But he didn't do any of this. The blame is fully in the Forest City Ratner basket.
Columnists like Errol Louis could have helped avoid this mess by scrutinizing the developer's statements and promises, rather than cheerleading the project and mindlessly attacking anyone who even raised questions about it.
Norman Oder dissects the Louis and Daly columns in his Atlantic Yards Report column, "Daily News columnists Louis, Daly lament AY setbacks, blame NIMBYs, avoid facts."