Monday, June 13, 2011

EDC Plays Charades

Last week WPU came out in force to an EDC farce hearing on an environmental assessment that has as much validity as all of the state ed tests that proved beyond a reason doubt that our NYC school system was in the middle of some kind of Bloomberg educational miracle. In other words, the EDC EA isn't worth the paper it's printed on, and if our legal watchdogs in the state weren't so busy picking low hanging fruit-or prototypical villains from Wall Street-the EDC consultants over at AKRF would be answering subpoenas.

Instead we are given a charade that has been inappropriately sponsored by SDOT, whose commissioner doesn't need instructions to know where to find the bathroom down at EDC headquarters on William Street. Here's WPU's Mike Gerrard's response to the Flushing Times last week: "Michael Gerrard, a lawyer for Willets Point United, a group of Willets Point property owners and business owners, said Tuesday the organization planned to present arguments at the hearing. “We believe that the environmental assessment completely misrepresents the impact that the ramps would have and we’re going to urge the state and federal transportation departments to prepare an independent environmental impact statement,” Gerrard said."

EDC for its part remains confident that its political muscle can overcome any absence of technical accuracy and credibility: "The city remains confident despite the efforts of opponents to block one of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s largest economic development initiatives. “Recently, we overcame several procedural hurdles allowing us to proceed on this overwhelmingly supported and job-creating project,” an EDC spokeswoman said in a statement. “The city remains committed to Willets Point becoming a center of economic growth and the site of substantial environmental cleanup.”

This destroy the village in order to save it mentality demonstrates that there is nothing more dangerous in this town than a bureaucrat with an eminent domain gun. Willets Point is going to be "cleaned up" so that it can eventually thoroughly clog local roads and highways with traffic. Makes sense, doesn't it?

But in order to first do this, it has to fudge all of the numbers and find a willing muñeca who will cover up the, well, coverup. SDOT Commissioner McDonald cheerily assumes the role of See No Evil and Hear No Evil. But it is Mike Bloomberg and the city that bears ultimate responsibility for this outrage-keeping the tradition alive of speaking out of both sides of the mouth when it comes to carbon footprint reduction.

Now, it the city had planned to turn Willets Point into a park or recreation center. We got carried away with the thought. If it went in that direction than the mayor couldn't do what he has done best for the past ten years-turn over economic development to his real estate cronies-happily screwing small businesses every step of the way.