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Public Hearing: Those Against Rivertowns Square

Find out what those who are opposed to the project said Thursday.

Nightmare traffic conditions, increased storm water runoff and flooding, a local business killer and detrimental to the Ardsley School District and Village of Dobbs Ferry are among the descriptions used to explain the proposed Rivertowns Square development at a public hearing Thursday, held at the Embassy Community Center in Dobbs Ferry.

Click on our videos to see what those who are opposed to the multi-use development proposed for the former 17.7-acre site Akzo Nobel off the Saw Mill River Parkway in Dobbs Ferry said at the hearing.

Click here to see what those who are for the project said at the hearing, and here for all of our coverage on Rivertowns Square.

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change can be good November 16, 2012 at 05:38 PM
if you build it they will come....
change can be good November 16, 2012 at 07:06 PM
why isnt there an article showing the support for the project?
Concerned Young Person November 16, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Perhaps the title of an article like this should be: Public Hearing: Hear All Sides on Rivertowns Square. Just a thought.
Dina Sciortino November 17, 2012 at 12:51 AM
If you read the text of the this article you would have seen that there is a link to the article titled "Public Hearing: Those For Rivertowns Square" http://rivertowns.patch.com/articles/public-hearing-those-for-rivertowns-square#video-12185551 When you write that article, let me know and I'll post it.
notinthecaseofcellphonesandleafblowers November 17, 2012 at 03:31 AM
DeLorean built it, they didn't come... not so much.
Paddy Steinschneider November 17, 2012 at 01:38 PM
While it is a bit confusing, since the first page of Dina's article shows only the people opposed, she has presented both sides. The second page she has posted, which is accessed by clicking on "here" in her text, provides access to the people who spoke in support. I do think that it would be more balanced if the first page was speaking to the two sides competing with their vision of the Village's future, and then provided the ability to access two other pages; one supporting and one opposing, but I appreciate the effort that she has gone to putting this together. We sometimes forget how much work it is to serve a site like this.
Dr. J. Schlesinger November 17, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Hmm...maybe because the only people supporting the project are those who are already financially invested in it, or are being paid to promote it, and those who drank the "Sundance" Koolaid and imagine some kind of glorious arts center (as opposed to the reality of a standard 8-screen multiplex) but in any case, do not live in the village, and therefore will not be victimized by the traffic mess.
Paddy Steinschneider November 17, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Warning: I have been working to create what is now known as Rivertowns Square since 2003. If you do not want to hear support for the project, do not read this. I have been working with the developer since 2010, but that is simply the continuation of what started seven years earlier. In 2007, I presented the redevelopment of the Akzo campus to approximately 100 people who attended an event for that purpose at the Embassy Center. The new land use regulations were being developed for the Village, with the intention of helping us become a more sustainable community. That is what I do as a vocation and what I do as an avocation. The response at the 2007 meeting, which was open to anyone interested, was all positive. No one expressed any objections, despite my encouraging all opinions and specifically asking people who lived near the site how they felt about the plan. That plan was substantially what is being presented as Rivertowns Square, although it had the supermarket, not Sundance. It also had more residential units with a greater variety of types, with both condos and rental. It should be noted that the 2007 presentation was after the Visioning process had been conducted for the Chauncey Park area. While I was on the Land Use Committee, I recused myself from all work and discussions on that neighborhood because of my involvement with the property owners. All of the accurate facts are in the documents and they support approval of Rivertowns Square project as proposed.
Concerned Young Person November 17, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Its the fact that as a news source you cater towards peoples desired viewpoints. All the information pertinent the issues surrounding Rivertowns Square should all be sourced in one article. You are making it easy for people to ignore all sides of an issue.
good things happening November 17, 2012 at 03:01 PM
i forgot this is more of an Op Ed Fox news situation. Not reporting, just stating opinions as a "reporter." If you read you own "beliefs" section of your profile, it is very clear you do not report the facts. You say it yourself that it is "impossible" and your "beliefs" will be injected into your articles. To me, this is exactly the opposite of good reporting. This is the problem with our media on a grand scale, you would think it would be easier to get the facts on a local level. But as you said... it's "impossible".
Dina Sciortino November 18, 2012 at 10:42 PM
I completely disagree. Unfortunately in 2012 people don't read long articles on the Internet. It is my goal to make sure people are informed, to do that I like to make information as easy to digest as possible. If you threw all of the videos in one article, it's less likely people will take the time to watch them all. If someone isn't going to take the time to read the text to see that there is another article, then they'll probably not read a long article or go through all of the information thrown into one post. I think I'm making it easier for people to follow all aspects of the issue. Agree to disagree. We are NOT a traditional news site. I regularly post information as it comes in, and regularly post one side of a story and then write a separate story with the other side—because we aren't a traditional news site. I always link back to all of the information so people can follow everything. Good things, I have no idea what you are talking about. These are video clips how could I possibly inject my opinion and beliefs into this—I gave you both sides of the argument. I really don't know what more you could want. Maybe I should have stayed up until 5 a.m. on my day off instead of 3 a.m. working on this. I'll do that next time. Let me know when you find the time to complain about something else or give me a call on Monday (914) 269-8671.
George Bailey November 18, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Or maybe there are people who are looking at what the project really has to offer, instead of the nonsense that driving five miles each way to other places is going to make sense in a few years. Listening to people speaking for, who are all Dobbs Ferry people, compared with people speaking against, who are also all at least rivertowns people, the difference seems to be that the people "for" are talking about what the community needs, instead of what they don't want. There are too many misstatements being repeated over and over by the people opposing. It has become a mantra. The plans for the cinema on-line show that it is not a "standard 8-screen multiplex." But repeated over and over often enough, it becomes what people really believe. Same for the traffic, the flooding, and the trees. Look at that area. Look at what they are proposing to do. The proposed plan fixes problems that we have right now. If the Village Board doesn't approve this project, they better be ready to step in and make those improvements themselves. We do need the sidewalks and bike lanes on those streets and a safe crossing of the Parkway to get to the Putnam Trail. We do need to fix the Village's storm water system that is flooding the Saw Mill with the untreated runoff from Walden Woods and Hunters Run. We do need to connect Ogden to Lawrence. And we do need to repair those woods that have been choked by vines and invasive plants. The only question in the end will be who pays for it.
change can be good November 19, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Dina I agree with some of your points but if you are not an OPINION paper then The Patch is a traditional news agency. When you approach us on the fire scene you are treated as press, as you are with the rest of Westchester. With that being said you should never never take anything personally but you should not post as "it comes in" you should verify it first as a precaution. You have presented a support column after I asked was there one and I thank you for that. Again dont take any of this personally
change can be good November 19, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Dr J . I know equal amounts of people who support this as I do.
BPIsYourFriendJustFollowFredosLead November 19, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Take it easy on Dina, Patch has nothing to do with traditional news or journalism. Dina is overworked, underpaid and in a no win situation. This is an ill conceived venture,which is failing miserably. It doesn't help that job titles such as editor are being employed, Hostess is far better. At no time in history is there a greater need for the 4th estate to reappear, with no better place to start than the local level. There is so much potential for a site devoted to local news and politics, none of which AOL has any interest in. This site has no interest in asking tough questions are "reporting" on issues. It is about regurgitating blurbs from other sources and whitewashing issues, with strong bias being paid to the communities from which it is trying to receive advertising revenues from. It's all about mindless, making nice. Patch reminds one much more of red journalism than anything else. As sad as this is, making matters worse is that Ms. Sciortino actually has some old school instincts for actually reporting a story, but alas this is the last place for such instincts or anyone interested in real journalism.
Paddy Steinschneider November 20, 2012 at 02:41 AM
BP makes a good point. Those of us old enough to have been schooled on McLuhan and Toffler should understand what has been happening. There has been a shift in the way the news and reporting work. No where is this more apparent then in the line up of channels on television trying to cover the news almost before it happens. This causes the presentation to have to shift from a supposed unbiased presentation of something that has already happened to paying attention to something that is happening in real time and trying to understand it as in unfolds. There is a great scene on Newsroom when Jeff Daniels is pressured to report that the Congresswoman has died from the shooting in Arizona. The fear of the network is that someone else will report the news first and being first is what it has become all about. Is it more important to be first? Or right? Is it more important to provide useful information? Or to attract attention? This site is part of a new idea, which has not yet been perfected. The opportunity for dialogue is a positive. The problem is when people try to present opinion as fact or, worse, offer legend as reality. For example, there may be things that can be improved on Rivertowns Square, but that won't be achieved by vitriolic hyperbole misrepresenting very real community needs. Rabid obstructionism prevents the meaningful dialogue that can lead to the best solutions.
The Polite Irony November 20, 2012 at 04:45 AM
Paddy, the state of journalism in general is disturbing enough, however this 'yet to be perfected concept' (and let's pray to God that it is never perfected) goes far beyond gentrified, shallow, reporting which does not require anything approaching investigation. Patch is in the business of presenting local businesses and municipalities in positive lights. Myself and others have found that here in these comment boxes, Patch and it's editors or as BP suggests, 'hostesses,' do not want anything to do with investigating local Mayors, case in point Mayor Swiderski and his handling of the deer issue and or Hastings' relationship with BP and their public thanks to them, both while oil still spewed uncapped and most recently while 60 percent of homes were without lights in the village of Hastings. They have no interest in real stories or what is actually going on the Rivertowns and brewing underneath. In short, Patch is a reflection of where we find ourselves. It is a shame.
Paddy Steinschneider November 20, 2012 at 05:13 PM
At 62, I still can't fathom how words are transformed into electronic signals that reorganize themselves after going through the air to match what was sent. The "yet to be perfected" is the idea of instant reporting from the actual place with the people who are doing the reporting identified for whatever association they may have with the story. Rachel Sterne created an amazing web source "Ground Report" that enables people to really know what is really happening in real time. Often the reporting from the field more accurately reflects the facts better than the regurgitated and filtered version that we get on the networks. Personally, with the exception of Rachel Maddox, the only accurate reporting that I have seen about some major issues has been on the fictional television show "Network" or on "South Park". I can imagine that, at some point in the future, we will have learned how not to compromise the value of this form of exchange, as we continue our transformations back to being citizens first and consumers second. Integral to being good citizens is civility. I am sincere when I thank people for expressing their honest opinions, even when they differ from mine. That is how we build consensus to solve real problems. Two things concern me: when people on sites like this bombard or bully people with nonsense, and when people simply post information that they know to be false. I think this medium offers the opportunity for a quicker response to misinformation.

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