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Earlier this week, we posted a story on a neighborhood coalition's campaign for more control over Pier 36, at the end of Montgomery Street. Basketball City has signed a 20-30 year lease for a section of the pier. The coalition has been independently negotiating with the company for assurances that it felt were missing from "stipulations" worked out with Community Board 3 several years ago. At a recent CB3 committee meeting, the coalition presented the terms of a tentative "Community Benefits Agreement."

Today we received an email from CB3's Anne Johnson, who emphasized she was speaking for herself, not on behalf of the board. As a participant in the original deliberations and a current member of the parks committee, she felt there were some omissions in our story. 

As we pointed out, the fight for Pier 36 goes back years. In the early 90's State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver successfully sued the city, which wanted to use the pier for parking and storage. As a result, the city agreed to set aside this section of the waterfront for a community recreation facility. In her email message, Anne wrote,  "if Basketball City had not agreed to take the space over 15 years ago, we would be stuck with a 450 car parking lot and a service station for the entire fleet of NY City cars."

In our story, we reported on the serious reservations members of the committee expressed about the creation of an "advisory board" to enforce the proposed agreement.  Anne said, in her email: "since when is an ad hoc community group able to set itself up as an "advisory" body to a company, not for profit, or any other organization.  It is the purview of that company, organization, etc. to set up it's own advisory body if it wants one."  This is a point she made during the meeting, which we did not include in our original report.

"Bruce Radler has a great track record from when he was in business on the West Side," Anne said. "We did a lot of research on this.  He is being very amenable to the community.  Why this so-called ad hoc committee seems to want to interfere with an already good deal is beyond me.  Also, why these so-called not for profits want to spend their meager resources on something that doesn't need fixing, while there is so much other work they could do, is beyond me."

The fight for Pier 36 is a long, complicated and controversial story. We always do our best to present all sides of community issues. We might differ on what's fair and accurate — but we have a sincere desire to "get it right." That's obviously a subjective thing, and it's clearly not possible to include everything said in the course of a marathon community board meeting. This is why we think of our stories as the beginning of a conversation – not the end. So keep the feedback/comments coming!

You can read the full Basketball City story, with excerpts from Anne's email, here. And again, Anne was speaking for herself — not Community Board 3.

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