A year’s worth of opinions from our Editorial Board

The Brooklyn Paper
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It was a busy year for our award-winning editorial board, which didn’t shy away from a single fight. Here are some excerpts from the top battles of 2008:

The new Prez

“Obama is the candidate whose message of hope can cut through the partisan morass, bring our nation together and begin to restore America’s damaged credibility overseas. The time has come for a president who appeals to our idealism, not our partisanship.

“Paper backs Obama,” Feb. 2

Fossella scandal

“The revelation that Fossella was having a secret affair with [Laura] Fay … suggests that there will be much, much more to this scandal, which will turn Fossella from a congressman into a punching bag. We suggest that Fossella avoid the drawn-out bloodletting and quit right now.”

“Vito must step aside,” May 10

Term limits

“It is morally wrong for current officeholders to circumvent the clearly stated wishes of their constituents — especially when they would gain a direct personal benefit by doing so.”

“No to term-limit change,” Sept. 11

“The debate over term limits reminds us anew why it is so important to investigate, review, question and generally be a burr in the saddle of our elected officials and non-public newsmakers. The reason? Put bluntly, they quite often lie.”

“Distrust but verify,” Oct. 23

“Councilman David Yassky has earned the wrath of his constituents support[ing] the mayor’s power grab — and that anger is deserved. He tossed his integrity in a City Hall garbage can and voted with the mayor.”

“Yassky’s integrity terminated,” Oct. 30

House of D

“It almost sounded like a joke... If Yassky thinks a jail is a [good] place for a new middle school, he needs to re-educate himself on the true needs of his constituen­ts.”

“No to jailhouse school,” Jan. 12

Gowanus Canal

“The federal government says it would be satisfied if the Gowanus Canal could make it up to the level of being a spawning ground for fish. That ruling was fine for lower aquatic life, but it basically sold us all down the river.”

“Adrift on the Canal,” March 8

Red Hook

“The jury remains out on Ikea, but turning Red Hook into Brooklyn’s big box zone would be a step in the wrong direction.

“Don’t kill Red Hook,” June 21

Coney Island

“Mayor Bloomberg wasted $11 million in taxpayer money this week to buy a single acre of land in Coney Island. This week’s one-acre land purchase and the scheme to rezone the area as ‘park’ isn’t about ‘saving’ Coney Island — it’s about putting nine acres of prime Boardwalk-front land under mayoral control, wresting it away from a private developer whom this mayor simply does not like.”

“Bloomy’s Coney baloney,” Oct. 16

Bridge ‘Park’

“Brooklyn could have had a simple public park at this site years ago — at a greatly reduced cost — if the ESDC, then run by the oily Charles Gargano, had not muscled in and subverted the process so that his well-connected friends could control a grandiose, Battery Park City–style open space.”

‘Park’ costs are warning, May 31

“This week’s admission by Brooklyn Bridge Park planners that their much-ballyhooed plaza and skating rink under the Brooklyn Bridge would be delayed by five years — five years! — should not be greeted with the typical shrug. It should be greeted with outrage.”

“Been there, delayed that,” Aug. 14

Atlantic Yards

“To the list of the many wrong things that Bruce Ratner has done to steamroll public opposition to his Atlantic Yards mega-project, we can now add his donation last month to a political committee controlled by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Our state lawmakers have been lied to, manipulated and lobbied by Ratner’s machine. Now they’ve been paid off for their fine work.”

“Ratner’s naked ploy,” Feb. 16

“On Thursday in front of Borough Hall, Bruce Ratner sponsored a rally to celebrate ‘the progress of Atlantic Yards.’ Those at the rally — many of whom were bussed in — said they support Ratner, but it’s hard to take such tributes seriously given that Ratner paid for the stage on Thursday — and that union workers are required to attend such mass rallies under their organizati­ons’ rules. This rally is not a spontaneous show of democracy, American-style. It’s democracy as they practice it in North Korea, where lackeys are paid to show up and sing paeans to the Great Leader on command.”

“Ratner’s false choice,” June 7

“The state must take back the development rights over the rail yards and put them out for bid. Doing so would not only cleanse state officials of the Original Sin of Atlantic Yards (namely selling Ratner the air rights for $100 million less than their appraised value), but it would also set right Bruce Ratner’s very wrong project.”

Take back the rail yards!” March 29

The Beep

“Markowitz does not need a staff of 74 to do what he does. He could do it with himself, a couple of staffers and a bullhorn — and save the public millions every year.”

“Trim Marty’s fat,” Nov. 13

Judges parking

‘Take a step back and consider the kind of danger they’re being asked to endure,’ ” said Councilman Fidler in defense of the judges. ‘Danger’? Walking two blocks from their new free parking lot instead of a half-block from their old free parking lot? With all due respect to Councilman Fidler, no judge is ‘being asked to endure’ anything. These judges sought these elective offices themselves. We suggest that if the judges are afraid to walk the streets of their city, they should consider a new line of work. [And] they have another viable choice: they can ride the subway or bus with the rest of us.

“Judges out of order,” March 22

Updated 5:10 pm, July 9, 2018
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