Friday, November 2, 2012

Bloomberg Asks Runners In Now Controversial Marathon To Donate To Hurricane Relief: Will Similar Request Be Made Concerning Nets Game?

Mayor at this afternoon's press conference where he said marathon runners should donate to hurricane relief efforts
(Added 5:34 PM: Note Breaking news addendum about marathon cancellation at the bottom of this post.)

At his mayoral press conference this afternoon on the measures being taken to put New York City back on its feet after superstorm Hurricane Sandy Mayor Bloomberg addressed the controversial decision to go ahead with the city’s annual marathon, as scheduled, starting Sunday morning.

At his mayoral press conference yesterday Bloomberg linked discussion of proceeding with the marathon with plans for the scheduling of the Nets inaugural basketball game at the so-called “Barclays” Center.  That opening game, which was postponed, is now being held the Saturday night before the marathon.  Bloomberg had originally wanted the opening Knicks vs. Nets game to be held Wednesday night, even without working mass transit and even though it was hard on the heals of Monday’s storm.

At this afternoon’s conference Bloomberg told everyone that the marathoners participating on Sunday morning were being asked to contribute $26.20 each toward hurricane relief, apparently as a measure to make proceeding with the marathon more acceptable despite the fact that, inevitably, some public resources will have to be diverted into the marathon while the city, particularly Staten Island where the marathon starts, is still dealing with significant storm recovery efforts on multiple fronts.  (The amount of $26.20 was chosen to represent the 26.2 mile length of the Marathon.  The mayor says he hopes some marathoners will contribute more.)

The city will also be diverting appreciable resources in support of Saturday night’s basketball game.  Will the Nets and "Barclays" arena owners (Bruce Ratner and Mikhail Prokhorov) similarly be asked to make special donations toward hurricane relief to offset likely public irritation about public resources being diverted to their enterprise while hurricane relief is still so importantly underway?  Maybe.  The thing is that the diversion of public resources into the Nets and the “Barclays” Center is already way beyond outrageous and that is why Noticing New York publicly urged that Barbra Streisand write a check for $700,000.00 to the public (or whatever part of that amount her conscience dictated) as reparation for the vast amount of public subsidy that can be attributed as the public cost of her two concerts performed at the “Barclays” arena.  See: Friday, October 19, 2012, Political Thoughts In Her Email Aside, Streisand Owes Response To Community Letter Asking “Why Play Barclays?” Plus Maybe A $700,000 Check!

The "Barclays" Center advertising oculus showing Barbra Streisand, one of the singers who has not answered an open letter from the community questioning why she was performing at the Ratner/Prokhorov arena 
If the Nets and “Barclays” owners write a check will the amount begin to cover the subsidy poured into the arena?

Also at this afternoon’s press conference the mayor itemized a credited list of contributions toward hurricane relief from firms like Goldman Sachs and real estate firms upon whom Bloomberg has gone out of his way to confer benefit.  The list was like a commercial for those firms.  Will the donations be in any way equal to the public cost of benefits Bloomberg has conferred on such firms during his tenure as mayor?

I doubt it.

Addendum, at 5:34 PM:  Note the following breaking news: The marathon has just been cancelled (shortly after this post went up) by the Bloomberg administration.  In terms of the equivalencies in play that puts a lot of extra pressure on the administration to postpone or cancel the Saturday night basketball game as well.  Right now people are saying about the marathon that a sports event cannot take precedence over the recovery efforts. 

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