Scores of people hoping to testify about Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project never got their three-minutes of fame, despite signing up before Wednesday’s hearing even got under way at 4:30 pm.
The scheduled four-hour public hearing was expanded to seven, but about 300 people who signed up did not get a chance to speak.
“Only 100 people spoke, less than 20 percent! It’s not fair,” said Timothy Logan, chair of the New York City chapter of the Sierra Club.
Those who did not get time at the microphone were invited to submit their speeches in writing or attend a second hearing on Sept. 12.
“I’ll send in my piece,” said Steve Sullivan, a project opponent who got on line at 4:30 and left, frustrated, at 10:30. “I would’ve really loved to speak.”
At one point in the waning hours, members of the overflow crowd started yelling out, “I’ve been here since 3!”
Evangelina Porter, a project supporter from Crown Heights, was one of the unlucky ones who showed up early, but left empty-throated.
“I have to get up early to go to my job,” she said. “I can’t wait around here all night.”
Many project opponents complained that the hearing should not have taken place in the summer, when many people are on vacation. But plenty of people crowded the 880-seat Klitgord Auditorium on Jay Street to make their feelings known.
Officials with the Empire State Development Corporation refused to allow people in the auditorium until someone from inside left, leaving hundreds of people waiting in line as the hearing went on.
“I have to get inside,” said Elaine McNeil, a self-described “Ratner girl,” who supports the project. After several hours, she did.
©2006 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.