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About DDDB
Our coalition consists of 21 community organizations and there are 51 community organizations formally aligned in opposition to the Ratner plan.

DDDB is a volunteer-run organization. We have over 5,000 subscribers to our email newsletter, and 7,000 petition signers. Over 800 volunteers have registered with DDDB to form our various teams, task-forces and committees and we have over 150 block captains. We have a 20 person volunteer legal team of local lawyers supplementing our retained attorneys.

We are funded entirely by individual donations from the community at large and through various fundraising events we and supporters have organized.

We have the financial support of well over 3,500 individual donors.

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"Why should people get to see plans? This isn't a public project."
Bruce Ratner in Crain's Nov. 8, 2009

Forest City Ratner's Lobbyist Bruce Bender Is Leaving. Why? "Simply Time to Go"

As NoLandGrab puts it: "The bridge-shtupping, scene-stealing surprise star of Battle for Brooklyn is movin' on..."

They're talking about Bruce Bender leaving Forest City Ratner. The only reason for his departure is given in Liz Benjamin's scoop, which is that it is simply "time to go." Which isn't much of a reason.

We admit we don't know the reason for Bender's departure. All we do know is that February 14th begins a federal corruption trial involving Ratner's Ridge Hill project in Yonkers in which Bruce Bender is the unnamed and unindicted co-conspirator in a case where the briber and the bribee were indicted while the beneficiary of the bribe, Bruce Bender's firm, wasn't.

We don't know, we're just sayin'. We're also askin': wouldn't it be cool if just one of the daily newspapers attempted to find out what, if anything besides simply "time to go," is going on here:

Forest City Departures, New Firm In Offing
Liz Benjamin. Capital Tonight

A reader called to report two departures from the Brooklyn-based developer, Forest City Ratner, whose name has become synonymous with the Atlantic Yards project: Bruce Bender and Scott Cantone are striking out on their own to create a new political consulting firm.

Apparently, there's no ill will involved here. The duo felt that after a decade with Forest City, it was simply "time to go." They'll be doing a little of everything – consulting, lobbying etc. – and focus largely on NYC, although there might be some forays up to Albany, too. This enterprise is so new, it doesn't even have a name yet.

Prior to joining Ratner, Cantone served as former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani's director of legislative affairs. Bender was a longtime aide to former NYC Council speaker Peter Vallone Sr.

Bender got some unwanted press recently when he was caught on the federal wiretap negotiating for state funds for a non-Ratner project with former Sen. Carl Kruger, who lost his seat after pleading guilty to federal corruption charges.

More coverage:

Report: Bender, Cantone leave Forest City for new consulting firm; could pending Ridge Hill corruption trial be the spur?
Atlantic Yards Report


Capital Tonight's Liz Benjamin had a scoop today about the departure of two key Forest City Ratner executives, but didn't connect the dots to a pending federal corruption trial that likely will mention--and perhaps involve--one of those executives.

[I've queried Forest City for confirmation. This would mean that four of five key executives listed as lobbyists in 2006 are gone.]
...

There may be no overt "ill will," but why would these top executives leave Forest City before their achievement--the arena--comes to fruition? Why would they leave Brooklyn's most powerful developer?
...

The Kruger case must have been embarrassing for Bender--he was caught on wiretap not only cajoling (with foul language) Kruger for money to rebuild the Carlton Avenue Bridge (and then agreeing "I don't mind fucking the bridge"), he sought support for his wife's charitable project, the Lakeside Center in Prospect Park.

That must have raised a few eyebrows at Forest City offices, but that case is done. However, on February 14, the federal corruption trial involving Forest City's Ridge Hill retail/residential project in Yonkers begins.

Atlantic Yards Report, Executive departures from Forest City pile up: four of five listed as key lobbyists in 2006 are gone

Sure, CEO Bruce Ratner's still around, as is Senior VP Jane Marshall, and Executive VP MaryAnne Gilmartin surely has stepped up to run Atlantic Yards, but it's remarkable how four of Forest City Ratner's key executives working on the project have left, and under not-always-clear circumstances.
...

Jim Stuckey, the company's Atlantic Yards point man, left abruptly in June 2007 "to pursue new challenges." Last year, the New York Post reported that the departure, as with a more recent one from NYU was spurred by allegations of sexual harassment. Stuckey and NYU have since been sued regarding such allegations.

In March 2011, FCR president and Chief Operating Officer Joanne Minieri left for her own consulting venture, and was not replaced. Was she nudged out in an effort to save on personnel costs?

Now we've learned that government relations officials Bruce Bender and Scott Cantone are apparently leaving to start their own consulting venture. Though a source asserted it was simply "time to go," that seems odd, given that they'd presumably want to celebrate the opening of the Barclays Center later this year. I suspect that the upcoming Ridge Hill corruption trial, in which Bender is likely to be mentioned, might have been the spur.

True News, Media Black Out Shake Up At Forest City Ratner Surrounded in Kruger Corruption




Posted: 2.08.12
DDDB.net en español.
Battle for Brooklyn
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Unity 4 Community Meeting, June 15th at 388 Atlantic Avenue

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Eminent Domain Case
Goldstein et al v. ESDC
[All case files]

November 24, 2009
Court of Appeals
Ruling

[See ownership map]

EIS Lawsuit

DDDB et al v ESDC et al
Click for a summary of the lawsuit seeking to annul the review and approval the Atlantic Yards project.

Appeal briefs are here.

2/26/09
Appellate Divsion
Rules for ESDC
What would Atlantic Yards Look like?...
Photo Simulations
Before and After views from around the project footprint revealing the massive scale of the proposed luxury apartment and sports complex.

Click for
Screening Schedule
of
Isabel Hill's
"Atlantic Yards" documentary
Brooklyn Matters


Read a review
-----------------------
Atlantic Yards
would be
Instant
Gentrification
Click image to see why:


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