Friday, May 12, 2006

"S.I. pols wave red flag at NASCAR proposal" NY Daily News 05/11/06

What happened? During the campaign to save our centralized Macombs Dam and Mullaly Park from being paved over with concrete for the new Yankee Stadium, the Staten Island council members were publicly in favor of building NASCAR and therefore voted against our community and ignored our concerns about traffic, tax subsidies for 5,000 garage spaces that will be used only 81 days a year, pollution in an area with record asthma rates, and the lost of our beloved House-That-Ruth-Built. Are people across our great city now realizing that all of these taxpayer-subsidized mega projects are linked? Bronx's Yankee Stadium of seized public parkland, Brooklyn's Ratner Atlantic Yards condemning whole neighorhoods, and now Staten Island's NASCAR.

S.I. pols wave red flag at NASCAR proposal


Not so fast NASCAR!

All three Staten Island Council members banded yesterday against a plan to build a NASCAR track on a former oil tank farm near the Goethals Bridge.

Their united front could signal a flag of doom for the project, which would require City Council approval. Generally, the rest of the Council heeds the wishes of the affected borough's delegation.

Democrat Michael McMahon announced yesterday that he wouldn't vote for the track and called it "finished."

His two Republican colleagues - James Oddo and Andrew Lanza - also oppose the project.

Meanwhile, Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) sent Mayor Bloomberg a letter urging him to take a closer look at the controversial NASCAR track proposal.

But the project's lobbyist, Guy Molinari, insisted the $500 million plan to build a NASCAR track and a shopping plaza will move forward.

"We want to take our case to the people," said Molinari, Staten Island's Republican kingmaker during long stints as borough president and a congressman.

The site is owned by the International Speedway Corp. with NASCAR and the Related Cos., a development firm headed by Stephen Ross, a friend and former business partner of Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff, who oversees economic development for Bloomberg.

The mayor acknowledged the NASCAR proposal "is obviously a controversial issue on Staten Island," and that it would have serious traffic impact, even if the track is to be used only three weekends a year.

"We should look honestly at what the opportunities and what the costs are of every economic development project," Bloomberg said. "And that's what we've got to focus on."

With Michael Saul

Originally published on May 11, 2006


At 11:52 AM, Blogger Uncle Bob said...

I just wanted to comment on something said in the paragraph above the news story... none of the three Staten Island members of the NYC council were ever in support of a Nascar track in Staten Island. They must have voted the way they did on the new Yankee Stadium for different reasons.

But you have my sympathy, and my apologies for their votes. I think the community surrounding that new stadium would be better off without it.


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