Monday, December 20, 2010

As of Wrong

The NY Daily News editorializes this morning, zoning in on the right of Wal-Mart being allowed to come into East New York-and totally misses the point of one major aspect of the controversy: "Speaker Christine Quinn says the Council will target Walmart at a hearing on Jan. 12 because, well, she and her colleagues just don't like the company's labor record and, in their view, it's a threat to mom-and-pop stores. Does that give the Council grounds to subject Walmart to an official pummeling? No way, no how. Like it or not, the retailer has the right under the zoning law to open an outlet on a tract of land next to the Belt Parkway in East New York."

It than goes on-we kid you not-to compare the Wal-Mart situation to the Ground Zero Mosque: "And to do so free and clear of official harassment. Just like any other properly constituted business, be it Tiffany's or a strip joint, it has the freedom to set up shop where the rules allow. Just like sponsors of another controversial project - the so-called Ground Zero mosque - had the ability to locate downtown without being hauled before a Council committee, let alone one eager to throw punches."

Just as the Daily News has the right to spout mindless nonsense? The primary issue with the Walmonster in East New York devolves from the bait and switch tactics of the developer Related-a duplicitous bunch of gonifs who explicitly told the local council member during negotiations over the approval of the Gateway Mall expansion that the giant retailer was not going to be part of the deal.
Secondly, a giant mall needed city council approval precisely because of the environmental and socio-economic impacts it would have on the community-impacts that will be exacerbated way beyond the original estimations because of the inclusion of Big Wally. So, Newsers, Wal-Mart is only as-of-right now because of its stealth inclusion by Related after the fact.
How this has any relevancy to a mosque at Ground Zero is only understood by the mystics at the Daily News-and the city council is well within its rights, as well as its charter purview, to evaluate what kind of effect the Walmonster will have on New York City. And we can't wait for the show.