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Ruling Encourages, Frustrates Atlantic Yards Factions

In something of a split decision, a judge gave each side in the Atlantic Yards saga something to be happy about yesterday: She ruled that she could not stand in the way of a state agency's approval to raze a handful of buildings (either five or six, depending on whom you ask) that the developer claims are near collapse (point: Bruce Ratner and co.), but she also said that an environmental lawyer who's now worked for both the state agency and Forest City Ratner during the process should be fired (point: community groups like Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn). While the OK on the demolition seems like a bigger deal, opponents feel they can use their win as a wedge to further claims that the whole ordeal has been shadier than the Gowanus Canal ... used to be.

Norman Oder, whose ongoing critique of the Brooklyn brouhaha is now challenging Caro's The Power Broker in length, works up a typically exhaustive look at the latest wrinkle in the case over at TimesRatnerReport, complete with a press coverage roundup (see second subhead). We link the Daily News headline here as well?for managing to use the same verb for both sides.
· Judge won't block demolitions, disqualifies ESDC lawyer who worked for Ratner [TimesRatnerReport]
· Ratner aide, key buildings get heave-ho [NYDN]
· 3-D Ratner Plans in a 2-D Prospect Heights [Curbed]

UPDATE: DDDB spokesman Daniel Goldstein chimes in on the lawyer ruling: "What the plaintiffs [read: DDDB and friends] accomplished yesterday was of much greater interest to society as a whole and the state as a whole ... Plaintiffs blew the whistle on the kind of conflict that too many people in this state consider business as usual, but so many in the public can spot with ease. And this judge was positive that there was an unacceptable conflict. ... It was a fairly enlightened decision."