Flip – Flop: Buffalo News, BNMC & Trico

As the Trico story gains more media attention, the contributors and readers of this site welcome unbiased factual reporting of the event.  The Buffalo News’ March 11, 2012 article, “Go Slow on Trico”, accurately encapsulated the community’s fear and trepidation regarding the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus’ lack of cooperation with it’s neighbors, complete disinterest in doing a reuse study, and accelerated demo schedule in the face of not having a plan for the site.

However, it didn’t take very long for the Buffalo News to cave to pressure from the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.  In a March 24, 2012 piece by the News editorial board title, “Sensible Plan for Trico”, the Buffalo News effectively did a 180 degree turn on its previous position.  It’s content was saturated with the double speak, ambiguity, and issue dodging that would lead one to believe that the real author was Matt Enstice, president and executive director of the Medical Campus.

The piece exclaims that the BNMC has put forth a “sensible plan” that should put preservationists’ fears to rest without conveniently making such plans known to the public.  It goes on to say that the partial demolition of the building would be necessary in order to make redevelopment easier.  Never does it mention explicitly why the demolition of a building on the National Register of Historic Places would need to happen.  The ambiguity continues by boldly stating that the BNMC has done their “due diligence” by meeting with the members of the community to explain their plan.  If the Buffalo News had been present at PBN’s community Q and A meeting, held in the Buffalo City Hall Common Council Chambers on Thursday March 24, it would know that no plan was put forth and Mr. Enstice was purposely vague and condescending in his answers.

In keeping with the message of vagueness and ego stroking of the article, it justifies demolition of Trico because the ceilings aren’t high enough for laboratory space.  One question, how does the BNMC know this if a comprehensive reuse study has yet to be done?

The article closes with a bold declaration that the process will be more public down the road and that, again, the BNMC has a plan in place to balance preservation with the needs of the community.  Well considering the process had been anything but public it certainly will not be difficult to improve on nothing.  And as for this plan we keep hearing about whose details are purposefully unclear, one can only hope that the mismanagement and complete lack of respect for the community that surrounds the BNMC approach to Trico is not representative of their overall development plan for the region.

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