From the Queens Tribune:
State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) and Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) were instrumental in getting the funding appropriated to the LLC.
Stavisky alluded to F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, which alludes to the "small foul" Flushing River and the adjacent "valley of ashes" - or Willets Point to the rest of us.
"We have the opportunity to clean the contamination and create a sustainable community with residential, commercial, recreational and entertainment complexes," Sen. Stavisky said. "I hope when someone writes about the area again, it will not be as a valley of ashes, but as a Phoenix, the bird that rises from the ashes to begin life again."
Claire Shulman, President of the Flushing Willets Point Corona Local Development Corporation, welcomed the added funds.
First of all, it's an LDC, not an LLC. And an illegally formed LDC under investigation at that. Toby quoting Fitzgerald? Makes me want to gag. Seriously, why don't these reporters connect the dots and explain that Toby's pushing for Claire to get taxpayer money in order to pay Evan? This isn't about cleaning up the Flushing River. It's about cleaning out the treasury and benefiting from 'honest graft'.
Here's someone from the NY Times that seems to understand:
Redevelopment can look easy on paper, but there are always neighborhood concerns, even in a place like Willets Point, a 62-acre industrial shanty town of body shops and scrap yards near Shea Stadium in Queens. The administration viewed it as an area ripe for economic development if the 225 existing businesses could be cleared.
But such ambitions had flummoxed city planners for decades.
No less a builder than Robert Moses had been unable to make room in the area for the 1964 World’s Fair.
Mr. Doctoroff was determined to do better. In 2006 he enlisted the help of Claire Shulman, who had been Queens borough president and had long thought the area had potential as a business, retail and transit hub. She enlisted local business leaders who supported the idea: Queens people fighting to re-envision Queens.
In reality, though, the organization, the Flushing-Willets Point Local Development Corporation, received half its money from the city. And about half the group’s money was spent doing something not allowed under state law: lobbying city officials. The City Council adopted the Bloomberg plan last fall, citing Mrs. Shulman’s efforts.
The group’s lobbying, has led to an investigation by the attorney general’s office. City officials have said they never authorized Mrs. Shulman’s lobbying, which she has disputed.