Pollster to Hookers: Whom do you trust?

The Brooklyn Paper
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A game of telephone is going on in Red Hook.

A coalition of waterfront businesses, labor interests and community groups are going fishing, AT&T style, for local opinions on the city’s plan to transform the waterfront into a maritime-themed tourist attraction, TheStoop has learned.

“This young guy called and asked me if I oppose or support the city’s plan on a scale of one to 10,” said one Columbia Heights Waterfront District resident. “Then, he asked if I trusted the city’s Economic Development Corporation [which is managing the project].”

Another resident said he was asked how he’d feel if longshoremen who now work at the port lost their jobs.

The opinion poll is just one part of a larger campaign against the city’s plans to replace the container port that now exists on the piers with a hotel, a tourist-friendly Brooklyn Brewery plant and pub, artists’ studios and other maritime attractions, including a smaller working port.

A Columbia Street resident who was called last week said the pollster asked him if he trusted the port operator that now controls the piers — American Stevedoring — as well as just about every other figure involved with the city’s waterfront plan.

He remembered the pollster asking him to rate his trust of Borough President Markowitz, Councilman David Yassky (D-Brooklyn Heights), Gov. Eliot Spitzer and even the Brooklyn Brewery.

Yassky, who said he was not aware of the telephone poll, told The Stoop that the coalition’s phone survey was a new tactic in an old battle over the fate of the industrial piers.

“Workers and other folks like me [are trying] to keep the container port on the waterfront,” Yassky said.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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