Web readers ask: What WAS that pro-arena editorial?

Gehry or not, Brooklyn needs this arena
Ellerbe Becket

Readers of The Brooklyn Paper were overwhelmingly dismayed — actually, stronger words are required — by last week’s editorial supporting Bruce Ratner’s now-Frank Gehry–less basketball arena plan (“Just do it,” editorial, June 12). In fact, we got more comments than we’ve ever received on an editorial. Here’s a fair synopsis.

“It’s really disheartening to acknowledge the radical shift of opinion of The Brooklyn Paper about Atlantic Yards after it was purchased by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Ratner has an abysmal record in Brooklyn for building truly dysfunctional eyesores such as the Atlantic Mall and the Metrotech.”

Matteo, Prospect Park

“Gehry or not, Brooklyn doesn’t need this arena. The economic development in this part of Brooklyn was just fine before the city and Ratner became involved. This is a land and power grab, not an opportunity for economic development. Please, spare us Brooklyn Paper’s editorial crying. Crying for the corrupt and powerful is no way to live.”

Charles, Park Slope

“Brooklyn has muddled along without a major league sports franchise for decades. It will do fine with or without Ratner’s pick-pocketing. Good riddance to the abuse of process, lack of transparency, and back-room deals by those who don’t make the borough their home.”

Freddy, Park Slope

“Wishing that a basketball arena will be an engine for economic development doesn’t make it so. The city’s Independent Budget Office reported two weeks ago that the arena would be a net fiscal loser. In other words, it would cost the taxpayers more than it would generate in economic activity.”

Eric McClure, Park Slope

“Ugh, Gersh, what did Rupert put in your water? ‘It would be foolhardy to walk away from both the economic development opportunity…’ Huh? Things are definitely topsy-turvy when The Brooklyn Paper shills for the Forest City Hangar and the New York Times condemns it.”

Brokeland, Downtown

“Even the Post thinks the new design is a piece of s—t, so perhaps The Paper is autonomous — tasteless, but autonomous.”

Rupert friend, Sydney

“Think about how far The Brooklyn Paper has fallen since five years ago when it was up for a Pulitzer for its Atlantic Yards coverage. Then, a new editor [Gersh Kuntzman] ordered up no long investigative articles, only “happy news,” or at least only snarky news.”Paul, Park Slope

“I’m pretty sure The Brooklyn Paper used to be against eminent domain. Not anymore!”

Tony, the Block

“WTF is going on in this paper? Did aliens suck out the editor’s brains or something?”

Chuck, Boerum Hill

“Just build it already. I’m out of work, my husband is out of work and most of our friends in the building industry are out of work. Isn’t it time to move beyond legal ideals and onto putting food on the table by creating jobs? I’m glad the Gehry design is gone. It didn’t fit in Brooklyn. As for The Brooklyn Paper — it’s representing Brooklyn from my perspective, although I’m just a working person, not a professional critic/editor as most of you seem to be. I think some of you folks need to grow up and get jobs.”JK, Park Slope

“Brooklyn doesn’t need this arena! I am a resident of Brooklyn. I do not want the arena. I feel the arena does not belong in Brooklyn. ‘The Brooklyn Paper’ does not represent Brooklyn well by taking this stand.”

Spidy, Bay Ridge

“Hey, JK, The Brooklyn Paper represents Rupert Murdoch! And your attitude is just what they’re counting on, which is kind of suspicious, come to think of it. All of us have jobs. I’m sorry you’re having trouble, but if you think putting your kids and grandkids into debt so Bruce Ratner can break another promise to you is smart, well, you’re not a banker, stock broker, or state senator, are you?”Paul, Park Slope

“Actually, I work in the construction business and have spent years helping to refurbish the homes that are part of Brooklyn’s ‘gentrification.’ It just cracks me up that the same yuppie/hipsters who had no problem coming into Brooklyn and buying out the elderly and poor now have a problem with Ratner doing the same thing, just on a larger scale. No one complained when, one by one, lifelong residents were displaced. But let a corporation come in and do it, let’s all start boo-hooing.”JK, Park Slope

“JK, the gentrifiers used private money, not public funds, to buy out locals, and they didn’t use the threat of eminent domain either. I just hope someone is taking names so the public at large knows who to tar and feather later.”

Freddy, Park Slope

“Some of you need to get some perspective. They are not putting Indian Point over there! It’s your tax dollars in the new Met and Yankees stadiums, too. It’s your tax dollars on some level at just about every construction site. I get that you see the community benefit package as a sham. But I don’t recall reading that Ratner broke into someone’s house and stole the milk money from under the mattress.”

Judah, Bedford-Stuyvesant

“The Paper says that the arena will ‘energize the area around it.’ So tell me how Yankee Stadium energizes 161st Street? How does Citi Field energize Willets Point? You get a big crowd that jams the surrounding streets and floods the subway. They go inside the arena to spend their money and then they leave, creating another traffic jam. If you’re lucky, really really lucky, some of them stay around to drink in a couple of sports bars.”

Lex, Park Slope

“I don’t see how The Paper could advocate for building this arena by saying it’s ‘in the right place at the right time,’ while comparing Brooklyn’s lack of a sports franchise to the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens. Have you been following the recently built stadiums in the Bronx and Queens? One is noticeably empty because of its overpriced seating, and the other is named after one of the only banks that is still asking for bailouts from the government. Why not write an editorial about an alternative plan, the Unity Plan. Here’s the link: www.unityplan.org.”

Peter, Fort Greene

“Whoa! Brooklyn does not need, or deserve, the proposed arena, an architectural slap in the face. This concept is ugly beyond belief. If built, it would sting the eyes until demolished. Shame on you, Brooklyn Paper, for endorsing this crap. If an arena must be built, let’s hold out for a better design. What’s your hurry?”

Bill Harris, Boerum Hill

“The Atlantic Yards scheme has been the latest adventure in bait and switch that has characterized Ratner’s treatment of Brooklyn. How many remember that Metrotech was supposed to be a research and development park for the biotech industry? But Ratner changed it into a suburban office park complete with useless “open space.” A billion-dollar industry went to Boston, thanks to Bruce Ratner. The solution is simple: Don’t let him build anything here ever again!”Paul, Park Slope

“I cannot believe that The Paper has called for going ahead on the Atlantic Yards project merely because of the reduced price tag! To simply see it as a cheaper alternative without Frank Gehry is missing the point. The point is whether the new architect has address the same urban design impact that was arduously and publicly debated with Gehry’s design.”Christopher Chew,
Park Slope