Highlights (and there were many) included attorney Ethan Goodman emphasizing that "our project does not affect any publicly accessible open space that is parkland. We are developing only HERE [points to PowerPoint slide depicting a large parking lot filled with automobiles] and HERE [points to next slide, depicting quonset huts with automotive businesses on 126th Street at Willets Point]. Our project doesn't take away any fields, grass, etc.
And, we're going to remove 100 YEARS' WORTH of contamination at Willets Point."
A key theme of the evening was alleged contamination, with the attorneys emphasizing that Willets Point had been used as an ash dump, with some ash piles having been "90 feet high". (So what?) Attorney Jesse Masyr said "it's beyond any doubt that the area is severely contaminated" – so contaminated that "no one can live there under the present conditions" and "it would be illegal to let anyone live there under the present conditions". To which the sole resident, Joe Ardizzone, came to the microphone and replied: "I'm 80 years old, and I've lived there ever since I was born, with no problem. How bad is it really, then?"
When the attorneys closed their PowerPont with a slide summarizing all of the projects' supporters (mostly housing/developer/chamber of commerce groups), Ardizzone added that a large number of groups also oppose the project – and cited the Queens Civic Congress's vote to oppose and its representation of 100+ civics.
By and large, the audience saw through the attorneys' double-talk. The Queens Housing Coalition trying to put lipstick on this pig, in support of fantasy housing in 2028, was pathetic. They should be ashamed of themselves.
City Council Member Julissa Ferreras did not attend. Probably because it was held nowhere near her district. Why is it that a meeting regarding housing built in Corona/Flushing was not held in either community?