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To the editor:

Perfectly timed for the winter holiday season, EDC and co-sponsors sent to this board a prettily packaged cluster bomb of 22 complex proposals. To their surprise, this board swept aside much other business, both personal and civic, to render its study.

At the end of this hurry-up process the board and the community did not like what it saw. Much as Downtown Brooklyn needs renewal we also don’t want to be worse off than we are right now. In the end, that now looks dubious.

We had hoped for some solid planning to emerge from this DEIS. Instead we were deceived by the pretty wrapping — it turned out that everything about this proposal, from the bite-sized city investment to the half-baked traffic and transit forecasts, would leave all of us shortchanged. Where was the quality vision for the nation’s fourth-largest city? Not in this telephone book-sized snow job.

Last week the CB2 members were invited to a game of Russian roulette presented in the form of a dinner. The entire menu was whole, underdone turkey and the unappetizing and only choice for us was this: eat the whole thing — feet, feathers and all — or go hungry. Some of us would like to have had more of a choice than this, maybe a wing or a drumstick. As it happened, most of us preferred to pass up dinner.

Unsatisfied — but hardly divided — we now pass the Downtown Plan to Borough President Marty Markowitz for scrutiny. Marty, we invite you to look across the river to Lower Manhattan where this administration is spreading out a cordon bleu banquet while we in Downtown Brooklyn are treated to … fast food. We admire you for standing up for Brooklyn past and present. You are a friend to all of us in this great borough. Now the tough choices fall on you. We know you will add to your laurels by becoming the champion of a great Brooklyn of the future, one that our children and their children will be proud to call home.

Oh, just one final thought: let’s do the birth control planning now, not after the baby is born.

—William Harris, CB2 member

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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