Developer David Kramer of the Hudson has been busy at the Brooklyn Heights Library, which we understand he still does not own, yesterday, today and possibly tomorrow, cutting down trees in Truth Park and another in front of the library: In all five trees, although 3/4th of one Honey Locust in Truth Park still stands and another is a trunk that could regrow if allowed to.
We hope that the library and Truth Park remain city-owned and that the pay-to-play investigations by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara will finally bring to a close the plan to plunder this public asset.
The developer's tree removers showed up with a permit to cut down one tree, but were going after five (at least five so far). Today their target was the two most magnificent Honey Locusts in Truth Park. Apparently, without showing any paperwork to back it up the developer's guys talked the police department into assuming that the property is now privately owned, not city owned, which is our understanding and which nobody is actually truly contradicting us on.
A checks of property records via ACRIS (see below) shows that the property remains city-owned, unacquired by the developer,
The Borough President's Office is looking into what to do next. (Many of us called and/or visited the Borough President's Office. Feel free (assuming de Blasio is a lost cause in this pay-to-play environment) to also call Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Tish James.
One of the police officers first on the scene who mistakenly thought that "the library" was being put back, didn't know it was being shrunk substantially, pushed more underground, apparently had misgivings about what he heard when seeing the library destroyed and apparently, at the station house, attempted to better inform himself about the situation, or was lectured to by somebody who gave him misinformation. Returning to the scene he was talking about understanding that the new library would be smaller because it was a "library of the future" and that it was all happening because it was a generational thing with digitally oriented younger people not wanting big libraries with books libraries of the sorts that were revered by prior generations.
So he was fed the pish-tosh PR the library hands out to justify pay-to-play, crony capitalism real estate boondoggle real estate deal hand-outs, and our law enforcement officer happily swallowed it hook, line and sinker (although we do thank him for at least trying to do some due diligence).
His due diligence apparently feel far short of looking at any of the following:
Articles About Library Privacy and Surveillance In LibrariesWe have video. Lots of photos. We even have a time-lapse video of today's destruction. We will be putting up more.
Articles About Libraries and Net Neutrality
Here is the YouTube video of the Truth Park tree destruction on February 22nd with the men working for the developer telling the police that property is now privately owned, not owned bythe city, even though the developer has never yet acquired the property from the city. (Click through to YouTube for best viewing- fast forward if the experience is too painful and you want to shorten it.)
Here is a time lapse video (click through to YouTube for best viewing).
• The Architects Newspaper: Tree removal at Brooklyn Heights library begins, paving way for 36-story tower, by Audrey Wachs and Zach Edelson, February 23, 2017.