Sunday, July 5, 2015

How Self-Contradictory Can The Brooklyn Heights Association Be As It Advocates Sale And Shrinkage of The Brooklyn Heights Central Destination Downtown Library?

Three strikes and you're out?

The Brooklyn Heights Association has now taken three solidly self-contradicting positions as it digs in to argue for what's an obviously absurd stance for it to be taking in the first place: its promotion of the sale and shrinkage of the Brooklyn Heights Library, Brooklyn's central destination library in Downtown Brooklyn on Cadman Plaza West at the corner of Tillary and Clinton.

 • First, the BHA now arguing for the shrinkage of a library that it previously advocated be enlarged and which was, in fact, thereupon enlarged and considerably upgraded at appreciable public expense and inconvenience, reopening in the fall of 1993.

. .  Calling for the shrinkage of a library the BHA had previously called for the enlargement of?. .

. . . That's inconsistency Number 1.

 • Then, how is it that when Citizens Defending Libraries (of which I am a co-founder) asked the Brooklyn Heights Association to call for proper funding of New York City libraries so that the Brooklyn Heights, Mid-Manhattan, SIBL and Pacific Branch libraries would not be sold, the BHA refused to call for proper funding, saying such funding was NOT a neighborhood concern?. . . BUT NOW---  The Brooklyn Heights Association is calling for the Brooklyn Heights Library to be sold because (supposedly) the sale and shrinkage would mean that libraries in other neighborhoods would get better funding? . . . Actually, that is such a treacherously false belief about funding as to be patently silly, because there is no guarantee that money would actually go to libraries, this library is being sold off at a huge public loss in a transaction that may net less than zero cash, and selling off libraries to developers as a self-cannibalizing funding program may simply foster more underfunding.

Switching from saying that proper funding of NYC libraries is not a BHA or neighborhood concern to saying that it is an important enough BHA and neighborhood concern so that it's a reason to sell off the Brooklyn Heights Library is inconsistency Number 2.

 • Now you can read on the BHA's website that the BHA is opposing new buildings in Brooklyn Bridge Park because:
Public school overcrowding will be exacerbated by the additional development. PS 8 is already operating at more than 140% capacity and turning away local kindergarteners for this Fall.
Right!  . . . But tearing down and shrinking a library supporting educational pursuits and consequently the school system isn't a similar problem, or an even greater exacerbation of it?

That's inconsistency Number 3! . . .

. . . Three strikes and you are out?

Why then might we theorize the Brooklyn Heights Association wants to be so terrifically, consistently inconsistent when it comes to wanting to see the library sold?
Click to enlarge if you dare- The Library-squashing tower that would benefit Saint Ann's private school and a developer if built, but not the public.
Here is Noticing New York coverage where you can read about two things to which we must unfortunately give connected consideration:
• How at the June 17th Brooklyn Community Board 2 Land Use Committee hearing about selling and shrinking the library the developer refused to say what Saint Ann's school is being paid as a result of the library's sale and shrinkage because,"it's a private transaction". . . He said that even though this private transaction is driving a public one!

• How Saint Ann's-connected people are deciding for the Brooklyn Heights Association that the BHA should promote the sale and shrinkage of the library.
Friday, June 26, 2015, Embarrassment of Past Riches!: Augmentation of NYC Book Space At Two Business Libraries Simultaneously- Only Recently The Brooklyn Heights Association Fought For Larger, Not Smaller Libraries.
Brooklyn Hts Blog: Who do you support?
Who then do we want to trust on this?  Do we want to trust the consistently inconsistent Brooklyn Heights Association?  Or as the Brooklyn Heights Blog asked after the 2014 Brooklyn Heights Association annual meeting: Who do you support, the BHA or Citizens Defending Libraries?

I think it's pretty clear: If the Brooklyn Heights Association wants to truly represent the community and the public interest, as is its responsibility to do, it's time for the Brooklyn Heights Association to contradict itself just one final time, changing its position to oppose the sale and shrinkage of the library, and the BHA should do so now while doing so can still have a beneficial effect on the process. . .

It would be the most consistent thing it could do and the thing most consistent with the public's interest.

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