Park Committee OKs Consideration of Nine Housing Alternatives

The Committee on Alternatives to Housing of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation met this evening at City Hall to consider which of twelve proposed alternative sources of funding Bay Area Economics(“BAE”), the consultant hired to evaluate such proposals, would be authorized to consider whether to include in its report to the Park’s board of directors. Of the twelve proposals, the Committee voted to authorize BAE to evaluate nine of them. The nine approved are: (1) advertising and sponsorship; (2) creation of a Business Improvement District (“BID”) or Park Improvement District (“PID”); (3) non-residential commercial real estate development; (4) concessions of all types, including food and fine dining; (5) event facilities; (6) fee-based recreational facilities; (7) fund raising and philanthropy; (8) increased parking revenues; and (9) revenues from buildings presently owned and used by Watchtower but to be sold.

The three not approved are: (1) direct City funding (this was objected to by Seth Pinsky, President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation and a mayoral appointee to the Park’s board, as being outside the scope of the Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) governing the search for alternative revenue sources in that it requires diversion of City funds otherwise available for general revenue purposes); (2) reduction of the Park’s operating budget (objected to by Pinsky because it is not a “revenue source” as required by the MOU); and (3) use of a portion of real estate tax revenue generated as a result of the Park’s construction because of rezoning of adjacent or nearby areas, as proposed by State Sen. Daniel Squadron (objected to by Pinsky for the same reason as his objection to direct City funding). The Committee was unanimous in voting not to allow BAE to consider direct City funding or reduction in the Park’s budget, but the proposal concerning use of an increment of real estate tax revenue was supported by John Raskin and Paul Nelson, chiefs of staff for Sen. Squadron and Assembly Member Joan Millman, respectively. However, they were outvoted by the three mayoral appointees.

The proposals sent to BAE by the Committee are not mutually exclusive, and could be used in combination. Some of these proposals–commercial real estate development, concessions, event facilities, fee-based recreational facilities, and increased parking–could, especially if more than one is approved, result in a greater amount of the Park’s footprint being used for revenue generation than would be used by the proposed housing. A BID would have to be approved by merchants in the affected area, and a PID could result in assessments on residential as well as commercial properties, and could also be subject to approval by those affected. A similar proposal for the High Line park in Manhattan was rejected because of local opposition.

BAE is to present a draft of its report by mid February, after which there will be a sixty day period in which comments from the public will be received, as well as another public meeting. At the close of this evening’s meeting, Mr. Nelson noted that there had been complaints about the short notice given to the public. He said that the decision to invite the public had been made “at the last minute”, and that he regretted the lack of earlier notice.

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  • Doug Biviano

    “they were outvoted by the three mayoral appointees.”

    You now have the MPA (Mayor’s Park Authority). Much like the MTA, the MPA will not be accountable to the public or laws that govern NYC Parks.

  • Reggie

    This report makes much of yesterday’s comments, prior to the meeting, seem like just so much hysteria. I thought so at the time and so didn’t bother to comment then.

    I respectfully disagree with Claude (and Pinsky, for that matter). There are two sides to a balance sheet and if we’re looking at alternative funding models, why shouldn’t there be a fresh look at the operating budget? If the park spends less, the revenue target can be adjusted. Not a complete overhaul, mind you, but an independent assessment.

    I have never liked Squadron’s tax incremental financing scheme because it unfairly targets DUMBO, the only nearby neighborhood to be rezoned. I am glad that is not within the scope of services.

    And since I would hate to ever find myself agreeing with Doug Biviano, let me say the vote shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone who looked at how the committee was structured.

  • Claude Scales

    Reggie: I’m not sure what you’re disagreeing with me about. I just reported what Pinsky said; I didn’t mean to imply that I agree with him.

  • william

    If they won’t readjust the budget, they are hiding something. I hope the project gets a responsible audit. The BBPC is taking and spending tax money, and it needs to be investigated. Follow the money.

  • DrewB

    The fact that the budget was never really on the table, shows just how unserious this whole process was. It was a bit of lip service for the community, and now they can say “well we looked at the alternatives, but there was nothing but housing that could fulfill the budget needs.”

    I hope that I’m wrong. I hope that they will take a serious look at these alternatives, particularly the Witness buildings and fee-based recreation, as I think those are likely to provide the most funds. But at the end of the day, the inflated budget is going to make it difficult to produce adequate revenue without some housing. I just hope we can at least avoid these out of scale high-rises.

  • Claude Scales

    william: for what it’s worth, Pinsky said he is chair of the Park’s audit committee, and that he intends to audit expenditures carefully.

  • Reggie

    Sorry Claude, I cannot even find something I can claim I misread.

  • william

    In light of the CityTime corruption scandal now being investigated by the Feds, I don’t have any faith in the honesty or integrity of any Bloomberg appointee at this time. The “Park” finances need to be investigated by someone outside of Bloomberg’s orbit.

    That the BBPC wouldn’t consider revisiting the budget, it just doesn’t seem right.

    How much money is actually in this Park Project since it started – $500 million? It seems like a huge money pit. Where did all of the tax payer money go? Does anyone know?

  • Doug Biviano

    @william’s “money pit” question:

    Complicated and very expensive earthwork and fill breaks the bank every time and this is no secret to architects and “development corps.” Raising elevations over 20 feet over tens of acres costs hundreds of millions.

    Furthermore, the unnatural topography closes in much of the space except for the highest elevations, thereby making it a seemingly poor design element on a waterfront in an urban setting where open space is not only coveted but needed for good health.

    There’s time to kill the planned three story berm running the length of Furman St and replace it with low cost active or revenue generating uses. My wish list includes one little league/softball diamond and one adult baseball diamond.

  • nabeguy

    @Doug, the hills are alive with the sound of…ka-ching. The ACOE wouldn’t build berms in NO for the BP leak but in Bklyn, it seems to make perfect sense….except that the only thing leaking here is public money.

  • Resident

    Aren’t the berms designed for sound attenuation? You know, to help with one of the other oft-repeated complaints, the presence of the BQE. Closing in the space from Furman/BQE is actually the point.

    I don’t really think the sound is that big of a problem, so I wouldn’t be opposed to taking them out, necessarily, but I don’t think it’s a bad idea either. I don’t want softball/baseball fields on the uplands, it separates the rest of the park as much as the berms do, plus there are already plenty of recreational facilities in the plan. I guess we could build some revenue generating facilities, but is that really any different than using “parkland” for housing? I actually like the berms, they provide a hilly perch and, if planned right, might even make for a nice sledding hill (if there’s no risk of sledding into the water!).

    And “hundred’s of millions,” really? The whole budget barely qualifies as “hundreds” ($350M) and that includes demolition, infrastructure, playgrounds, etc. There is no way that building the berms costs hundreds of millions. More expensive than tearing up concrete and planting grass? Yes. But, please, stop with the hyperbole, it dilutes any reasonable discussion.

    @nabeguy: The ACOE actually had a pretty good reason to not build berms after the BP leak, they don’t work! Haven’t you seen reports saying that the berms that were built by Louisiana had negligible impact?

  • william

    Something is amiss if the budget is sacred.

  • bklyn20

    The berms cannot be used for sledding. Renderings I have seen at presentations show fences undulating across the berms as serpentine fun-stoppers. I also tend to believe Biv on the berms, as he is an engineer and is most likely to know their real cost rather than whatever the listed BBPDC cost may be.

    The park’s housing ALREADY takes funds out of the real estate revenue stream — the PILOTS that go into the park do not go into the general fund or whatever it is called, and PILOTS are always lower than regular property taxes. That’s why developers luuuv them! In other projects outisde NYC, town supervisors are very happy to avoid PILOTS for their new buildihg projects.

    Sorry, Seth, but I don’t believe you (Mr. Pinsky) will have a real look at the budget. As a Bloomberg appointee, you must adhere to his loyalty oath or leave. This was/is how his first company, Bloomberg LLC, operated, and still does today. (NYC is his second company, of course.) That’s why the 3 mayoral appointees voted down the NEW incremental real estate tax — they probably never even considered it.

    As for some of the alternatives using more of a “footprint” than the housing, none of them would have the same “un-park” effect as the housing. None of them would continue the bad precedent of using housing to fund parks in our city, which leads to more parks for affluent areas and not for places (East New York et al) that need them more than we do.

  • bkre

    Bklyn20 you are spreading misinformation. The PILOTs are supposed to be set to be equal to what regular taxes would be. This has already been explained by park officials at meetings that I’ve been to several times. Yet you still insist on saying that PILOTs will be lower. The residents at 360 Furman have been paying these PILOT bills for over a year now. Why don’t you ask them if their taxes are any lower than they would be otherwise.

    Also it shows pretty bad judgement on your part to trust Biv on this. He may have been trained as an engineer at some point, but as i understand it he hasn’t actually worked as an engineer for a while now. Also most respected engineers I know would not make those kind of comments unless they knew that actual details of the plans they were criticizing because they know that the specific details of these kinds of plans make a very big difference in determining the cost. Biv has shown time and time again that he is not familiar with the details of these designs at all. Nothing I have ever heard Biv say gives me any confidence in his opinions as an engineer. I gonna trust the people who have actually looked at the construction plans and had construction experts (who are ultimately be responsible for building these things) tell me how much it will cost. thanyouverymuch.

    Finally, reasonable people can disagree, but I would rather have a very small portion of this park be completely private, while having the remaining 90+% be public and free, than to have the whole thing be some quasi public/private environment where i can walk through the whole place but i’d have to pay to actually do anything. The current plan includes basketball courts and soccer fields that are free. I’d hate to lose those and have them replaced by a chelsea piers style development where i’d have to pay to play just so less than an acres of park land is not used to build some housing.

  • Resident

    bklyn20, there’s more than one engineer in the world…some of them even with civil engineering and construction experience (Biv may have similar experience, I’m not sure, I just know he’s not currently working in the field). I don’t understand what purpose BBPDC has in hiding costs within other elements. They are being forced to build in phases, they need to know how much each phase costs. When they say $7M for berms (yes, I looked it up), there’s no reason to doubt them unless you do so just out of spite. Additionally, this is far more in line with my experience than Biv’s bogus “hundreds of millions” figure.

    That is disappointing about the fences on the berms, maybe they could adjust.

    Again, I don’t really care whether the berms are there or not. I just hate the histrionics on this site. Housing won’t kill the park, the people developing the park actually care to make it amazing, just because you don’t agree with every action does not make them unreasonable, and the berms do not cost hundreds of millions. It all just reeks of NIMBYism, and in Biv’s case, it appears just to be another, potentially faux, populist stand to support his never getting off the ground political career.

  • Dudeface

    I think they should tear down either pier two or three. Would be an irreversible reduction in developable acreage at the park, but would preserve the best thing about it in my opinion (the view). Savings on upfront development costs and ongoing maintenance would be sizable given the disproportionate costs of maintaining the pilings. A nasty solution but most apparent to me if people are really this resistant to incorporating housing. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

  • Resident

    Noooo! The basketball courts are what I want the most, even though I’ll probably feel really old by the time the courts are actually completed.

  • bkre

    Also I remember hearing Regina Myer at a presentation a while back say that the majority of the berms would be usable and that only the very top section, which would be built at a very steep slope, would be inaccessible. So again bklyn20, please try to stop passing off your uninformed opinions as facts.

  • Dudeface

    You could always join a pick up game at the courts on Tillary and Jay Street if you don’t mind getting hit by a car on your way home. I think they could keep one of pier two or three and combine the bball and tennis courts on it (no soccer field.. Cadman is enough). Chop! Chop!

  • Resident

    And now you’ve ticked off my wife who is tired of travelling to Randal’s island/riverbank state park/chelsea piers for soccer games. :-)

    I get what you’re saying, but as one who thinks the housing is a small price to pay, I want to see the full park completed in it’s entirety.

  • Doug Biviano

    I never said the berms cost hundreds of millions. I said the massive amount of fill and earthwork needed to raise much of the park tens of feet in elevations, in many cases over 20 feet, is what costs hundreds of millions.

    If you want real answers, you’d have to see the construction bid documents, all the change orders and ultimately all the invoices.

    To be sure, there are not many structures yet this project is supposed to cost $350 million? The park costs almost tripled in cost after the topography went vertical. Open your eyes and you’ll see much of the work in the park is the complicated elevated landscaping. Flat and simple is much less expensive. Ask yourself how much it cost to build the 25 ft mountain on Pier 1? Most of the cost or a small fraction?

    For the record, I was a geotechnical engineer for much of my career (I have also done construction bid take-offs and know how contractors game bids with unit prices when you foresee ever increasing quantities like earthwork, but I digress). Much of what I did was oversee earthwork from residential to commercial to large scale highway and bridges large developments in the tens of acres (you also see berms in developments where you want to keep others out but I digress again). Earthwork is an extremely expensive process. It requires very expensive equipment, highly skilled operators and engineering oversight.

    On the same slide show that you picked up your $7 million line item for Berms are very large and very vague line items for landscaping, site prep, construction management, infrastructure, plazas and walkways that bury much of the earthwork costs within them. The paving is the easy part. It’s all in the prep. You’ll notice all the ball fields and courts within the park are only $12 million. For playgrounds, not even $4 million. Yet the partially completed Pier 6 section with the playground is over $50 million in cost so far. Ask yourself where much of the money went? Earthwork in terms of building elevation and the intricate grading.

  • Resident

    Fine, maybe I was a little loose in my language. But the point remains, “hundreds of millions” is a gross exaggeration. Most of the cost was in preparing the site, not in building the park structures. Demolition, infrastructure, making sure the piers were fit for occupancy after being unused for 30 years, design costs, contractor profit, etc. That’s how you get from $4M in playground equipment to $50M in total cost for pier 6, not from raising the grade. If you look at the latest budget proposal, 56% of the cost is irrespective of what goes on top of the piers. Now, I will grant, this isn’t exactly true, if all the piers were completely flat, there would be a smaller design cost and contractor cost. But this doesn’t deduct from the significant budget considerations in making the site hospitable for any park at all.

    I said it costs money to raise grades and flat land is cheaper, but your wild exaggerations are merely scare tactics. I guess it’s not surprising, coming from a guy who so desperately tried to warn us of the dangers of the pier 6 playground.

    Finally, I guess you don’t agree with this, but I want something better than an open flat space. Would central park be special if it was all sheep meadow and the great lawn? How would bbp be any different than cadman plaza or some of the converted piers in williamsburg, if it were merely grass along the water?. I think pier 1 is amazing. I love the topography, I love the views. I enjoy sitting on the gently sloping lawns soaking up the sun or having a picnic. It’s world class and I’m glad the park developers made it so. Hopefully there will be enough money to ensure the rest of the park lives up to what has already been accomplished.

  • bklyn20

    Sorry, but I saw renderings close up, (not to mention Regina Myer, less close up) and the berms have fences between 1/2 and 2/3 of the way up the berm. No, I don’t have exact measurements, and neither do you.

    Climbing to the top of a hill to sled down is a lot more fun for a kid than backing up against a fence, I think. Please don’t go on about misrepresentation, as this is my opinion The position of the berm fences on the renderings I saw, however, are a fact — I may be estimating the distance, and you are using something you heard, without a precise measurement,to justify your argument.

    Again, when we see accurate figures on the berms, we can decide who is right or wrong on the berm costs. I don’t take the word of people who dissemble about something as basic as The River Cafe’s rent situation — and park construction is more complex than that.

    Regarding PILOTS, sorry, I but I won’t take the word of the BBPDC on the pilot amount, and I do know that in most all cases the PILOTS are lower than real estate taxes. Perhaps if we ever get a real look at the actual cost vs budget of this park, we can also audit the BBP pilot revenue versus property taxes in similar situations.

    In addition, 1,000+ new park residents, if the buildings are all built and sold/rented, will mean 1000+ people burdening our services and infrastructure while putting zilch back into the city’s coffers for schools, police, sanitation, fire…. all those trivial little things. If the 1,000 + residents have 300 children between them, then here come several hundred kids to further overcrowd our public (and private ) schools. 1,000 + people is not a small portion of anything, especially a park.

    Doesn’t that make alternative revenue sources more attractive? If we can put a school into the Witness buildings, that will ameliorate some of the additional population without stressing the schools further. It’s not NIMBY to want a park without housing. It is the sane and best way to get a a park for Brooklyn if not for The World.

  • Reggie

    “Flat and simple is much less expensive.” Flat and simple is also much less interesting.

    “…if the buildings are all built and sold/rented, will mean 1000+ people burdening our services and infrastructure while putting zilch back into the city’s coffers for schools, police, sanitation, fire…. all those trivial little things.”

    But those people will also be paying for the ongoing operation of the park, freeing up money in the general fund for schools, police, sanitation, fire that would otherwise have to go towards maintaining the park.

  • bkre

    Bklyn20 – so by your own admission you will not believe actual provable facts. You can go online and see what anyone’s tax bills are. There is no need for guessing here. Rather than sit back and say “These people are saying something that would be inconvenient for my argument, therefore they must be lying” why don’t you actually put some effort into it. Calling someone a liar is a big deal and I would hope that it’s not something that anyone would do unless they had at least tried to verify it. I would think that you wouldn’t want someone else to publicly call you a liar without first having some pretty good proof of it.

    Here is a quote from the New York State Laws, which explains exactly how the PILOTs will be set. It can be found here:**UDA+&LIST=LAW+&BROWSER=BROWSER+&TOKEN=23404047+&TARGET=VIEW and then do a search for the words :Brooklyn Bridge Park”.

    Because you have shown yourself to be lazy about looking this stuff up, I’ll make it even easier for you. I’ve cut and pasted it here:

    With respect to each underlying parcel which is owned in fee or
    leased pursuant to a ground lease by Brooklyn bridge park development
    corporation and is exempt from real property taxes pursuant to this act
    or otherwise, the residential lease for such underlying parcel shall
    provide for the payment by the tenant under such residential lease of
    annual or other periodic amounts equal to the amount of real property
    taxes that otherwise would be paid or payable with respect to such
    underlying parcel, after giving effect to any real property tax
    abatements and exemptions, if any, which would be applicable thereto, if
    Brooklyn bridge park development corporation was not the owner or lessee
    of the underlying parcel.

    OK? Can you stop spreading lies about the PILOT now?

  • bklyn20

    Enough money to compensate for all of the services? Enough to build more school space? Why not re-examine the budget and see how much less we could spend with a less extravagant, less “Starchitect-y” park.

    While I did not make the “flat and simple” argument, I would argue that gaffes like creating nearly an acre of sandbox in the Pier 6 playground is a spectacularly poor use of resources, especially when coupled with a water park that sits empty for at least 4 months every year. The checkerboard arrangement of wooden boxes in the sand area are unused now — maybe kids older than 12 could use them to practice their long jumps? Better yet, let’s hold canine agility events there in the off season.

  • bkre

    So you’re going to completely ignore the fact that your allegations about how the PILOT is being set has just been proven 100% false and just focus on an idiotic response to previous comment?

    Fine – but let’s be clear. Yes the sand box and the water play area are going to be pretty much vacant from November to March. So what? Here’s a news flash, it’s a freakin park! EVERY PARK IS EMPTY FROM NOVEMBER TO MARCH! Seriously, given your rationale there should be no long meadow in prospect park, there should be no sheeps meadow or great lawn in central park. There should be no playgrounds ever that include water features or sandboxes because there might be a time period where it’s raining or snowing or freezing and it is not getting used.

    I have seen the tens of thousands of kids enjoying the sandbox and water play areas in the summer and I think that the joy that these areas bring to kids for 7 or 8 months a year is more than enough to justify them being vacant for a couple of months a year.

    And now i will refrain from commenting further because you have shown yourself to not have any respect for facts, ignoring those that don’t meet your preexisting narrative and creating new ones out of whole cloth just to support your skewed perspective.

  • bklyn20

    Bkre, you have really proven little about the pilots. You have cited the written law that was made in secret in Albany in Fall 2004 with no public consent, with the exception of a few meetings in Brooklyn Heights homes earlier that year. This park’s track record has a Grand Canyon-sized divide between what’s said by the BBPDC to be happening and what actually occurs. When, and if — BIG if — the pilot revenue is ever audited and compared to other property tax revenue, then perhaps we’ll know what the real situation is. New and interesting facts keep coming out about the finances of Atlantic Yards, another ESDC project that by design of the ESDC’s no-ULURP status, can only be obtained through FOIL requests and the like.

    In Brooklyn Bridge Park, we have already found out so many lies, like; the concessions are not putting money back into the park. Milionaires can buy what they want for the park and it makes no difference what the people surrounding the park think. An historic building can be given over to a cultural instituion known for its work, and said institution will probably keep much of the revenue from the site, rather than returning it into the park. Artists have different freedon-of-speech rules at BBP than at other parks. This obviation of alternative revenue helps the pro-condo contingent support the contention that housing is the only answer.

    Regarding park usage: The water park is unique enough to use that space for only part of the year. I never saw the sandbox checkerboard in heavy use last sumer, and that much space should be able to turn into something else in the colder months.
    Cadman Park has been busy so far this fall and winter, at least after school. Kids are still playing in Pierrepont and Chapin playgrounds. Sadly, though,it doesn’t look they’ll be sledding on the BBP berms anytime soon. Parks aren’t empty in the winter, just parks whose Starchitect coninutes to value form over function.

    This has nothing to do with what is “inconvenient for my argument.” These beliefs are held by many other people who have learned the hard way that a park in present-day Brooklyn is not necessarily a park. If we want to change that, it is our right to try and do so, whether you like it or not.

  • Bkre

    Lies or misinformation in bklyn20’s last post:
    1) the fact that the published law of nystate says that pilots must be equal to actual taxes is not proof to him that pilots will be equal to actual taxes.
    2) the 4 concessions at pier 1 are in fact paying rent tonthe park. I know one of them and they have confirmed this to me. According to someone who testified ay the st francis hearing last month, these concessions are paying around $200,000 anyear. Judi francis created this myth and know you’re spreading it.
    3) the millionaires didn’t “buy” anything. In factbthey donated a beautifull historic carousel that will serve as a source of joy to the children of brooklyn for generations. They also donated $3.5 million to renovate the park around it. How dare they?
    4) the cultural institution is a non profit entity that barely makes enough money to cover it’s expenses. In fact. They don’t make enough to cover their expenses, they need to raise money every year just to break even. As a non profit their finances are public, but instead of doing any research to back up your accustions, you’d rather just spread laws.
    5) park officials have admitted that they made amistake regarding the artist incident. As someone who is wrong on this website all the time, i would think that you’d know what that feels like
    6) i don’t know what “obviation” you’re talking about, bu.t isn’t this wholethread about how the park board approved the investigation of 9 potential alternatives?
    7) you and all the people who agree with you can do whatever you want, except spreading lies and making baaseless accusations that besmirch the reutations of honorable public servants.

  • bklyn20

    I hit enter too soon just now.

    I am tired of this pi@#$%g match. I can read what the law says. I just don’t trust the Development Corp. The last time I checked I am able to think that way. Perhaps you can look something up and show us all that everyone must agree with you, too. It’s not a lie, it’s my opinion,

    When did The RIver Cafe last pay more that $2,333 a month rent for their 2 acres? Judi Francis didn’t make that one up. Any more names you want to throw around (of people who are not paid to support the plan, like all of those you are defending?) Maybe you work for the BBP Development Corp, too?

    Walentas did indeed buy the space for the carousel. I am not debating the merits of the carousel here — I am pointing out that wth enough $$$, public process means nothing here. Many old, beautiful trees were destroyed to fulfill the dreams of a couple of very rich people. Yes, they donated big bucks for the park — IF their carousel was placed exactly where they wanted it. Maybe the next millionaire will want to install a mud-wrestling ring in the park. Maybe someone will want a helicopter pad in return for repairing pilings. Where does it stop, and when do the people who will be USING the park, and whose taxes pay for so much of the park, get to have a say in these decisons?

    I don’t debate the finances of the “cultural institution,” aka St. Ann’s Warehouse. Again, your “research” is irrelevant. The BBPDC could have cast a wider net to find a “cultural institution” that would be good for the park AND create revenue for the park Instead, the fix was in from the begining. By choosing this group, whatever its artistic merits, the BBPDC helped to make housing more necessary and alternate sources of revenue less available. Your complaint about St. Ann’s Warehouse’s difficult financial situation proves my point. After attempting a show of “public process,” the BBPDC chose a group that did the job for them — the job of making housing indispensable in the park, that is.

    Regarding the artists, yes, park officials apologized after their gaffe was publicized. My point, again, is that this park exists in a no-man’s land of nebulous rules. Is it a city park with city park rules about public involvement? Is it a develpment project with only the ESDC/BBPDC rules? Or is it an Operating Entity that is its own private fiefdom?

    Sorry, but your personal insults are not getting to me. My apologies if I offend you and your friends. It seems you cannot allow the existence of opinions other than your own. Go ahead and spread some more “laws.” Most of the debate on this blog is opinionated but civil. In this case, apparently, there is a lot of vitriol in the BBPDC Kool-Aid.