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Mike BarryEye on the Island

By Mike Barry

Roslyn Theater

Friday, 27 May 2011 00:00

The town of North Hempstead already owns the site which houses the Harbor Links catering facility in Port Washington so why does the town board want to expand its reception hall portfolio to include the land where The Royalton Mansion sits in Roslyn Heights?

North Hempstead’s elected officials likely have little appetite for acquiring the 10-acre Roslyn Country Club (RCC) parcel upon which the 1920s-era mansion is situated at 33 Club Drive, Roslyn Heights. Town board members are hungry, however, for the votes residing in the 668 Roslyn Heights homes nearest the RCC. That will become evident at a Tuesday, May 31, 7:30 p.m. public hearing being held at 220 Plandome Road, Manhasset, to consider the town’s potential condemnation of the RCC.


Amtrak’s Debacle

Friday, 20 May 2011 00:00

Days into the LIRR’s latest crisis, with trains being canceled and relentless news reports about widespread delays, the LIRR did an extraordinary thing. They placed a leaflet on the seat of every train, inviting commuters to fill out the LIRR’s Customer Satisfaction Survey later this month. The thought bubble over my head read: Oh, no, you didn’t.


Forgotten Players

Friday, 13 May 2011 00:00

First-time author Douglas Gladstone can rightfully take some credit for getting Major League Baseball (MLB) and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) to act last month on a matter they’d generally ignored for years.

At issue was the plight of athletes who played less than four years on a MLB roster between 1947 and 1979. This group was, through a provision in MLB’s 1980 collective bargaining agreement, denied post-career financial benefits, such as health care coverage and pension payments, that have since 1980 been extended to MLB players who spend as little as one day in the major leagues.


Belmont’s Boost

Friday, 06 May 2011 00:00

The first Saturday in May is an important one for thoroughbred horse racing fans; that’s when the Kentucky Derby is run every year.

The first of the Triple Crown races, the Saturday, May 7, Derby features the top three-year-old horses in the country vying against one another. Most of them will then compete in Maryland’s Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 21, before traveling to Elmont on Saturday, June 11 for the Belmont Stakes.

Belmont Park began its spring season on Friday, April 29, and the horses will be running there until Sunday, July 17, when the action moves to Saratoga, New York.


Mineola Maneuvers

Friday, 29 April 2011 11:27

The Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA), only weeks after the Mangano administration dropped its lawsuit against them, is now being sued in federal court by the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), which represents thousands of the county’s unionized government employees.

The CSEA is asking a federal judge to overturn the NIFA board’s decision last month to freeze the wages of the county’s CSEA-represented employees at their current levels, a sensible step NIFA took amid the county’s ongoing financial difficulties and soon after NIFA’s six directors unanimously declared a ‘control period’ over the county’s 2011 budget.


Coliseum’s Future

Friday, 22 April 2011 00:00

County Executive Edward Mangano made news last week by suggesting a public referendum may determine whether Nassau residents invest $400 million for the construction of a new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, a county-owned facility.

“For too long, Nassau Coliseum and the property that surrounds it has laid to waste rather than generate revenue for the county that can help hold the line on property taxes,” the county executive stated. “The aging Coliseum is no longer competitive with other sports complexes and conference centers around the region and nation. Long Island’s only professional sports team, the New York Islanders, have threatened to leave Nassau County in three years if a new Coliseum is not built.”


Bus System Reprieve

Friday, 15 April 2011 00:00

Remember reading and hearing about how the Republican-controlled New York State Senate allocated $8.6 million toward the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Long Island Bus (LIB) system, thereby averting significant LIB service reductions this summer?

No, I didn’t think so, and you’re not to blame. The editorial boards at Newsday and The New York Times operate in a parallel universe where Republican office holders are cartoon characters, working 24/7 to protect the interests of millionaires while punishing widows and orphans. So these same editorial writers are unable to portray accurately this fact: three of Nassau’s GOP state Senators intervened late last month on behalf of LIB’s riders, saving the Long Islanders who use the system from draconian service cuts through year-end 2011.


Hofstra’s History

Friday, 08 April 2011 00:00
Scholars with an expertise on what the world looked like in the 1930s are traveling to Hofstra University starting on Thursday, April 7, and many are staying through Saturday, April 9 for a three-day conference being billed as 1935: The Reality and the Promise.

The 1935-1936 school year was Hofstra’s first so 1935 holds special meaning for the Hempstead institution, which has expanded dramatically over the past 75 years from a regional school to one with a national profile.


Levy’s Departure

Friday, 01 April 2011 07:30

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, who only last year switched political parties to run for governor, announced last week he would not seek another four-year term in his current post. This stunning development has numerous repercussions, many of which won’t be known for months.

The incumbent county executive’s exit makes the 2011 general election for Suffolk County’s top job a toss-up as the Republicans scramble to find a successor to Levy, and prospective Democratic candidates for county executive, such as Babylon town supervisor Steve Bellone, instantly lose their long-shot status. Despite his ill-fated bid for governor in 2010, Steve Levy was heavily favored to win re-election to the office he’d first won in 2003 as a Democrat.


Lucci’s Life

Friday, 25 March 2011 00:00

Susan Lucci’s All My Life (It Books) is being released on Tuesday, March 29, and the legendary daytime TV star will promote her autobiography with an appearance on Wednesday, March 30, at 7 p.m. at Huntington’s Book Revue.

Lucci, a Garden City High School alumna who returned to her hometown after graduating from Marymount College in Tarrytown, NY and marrying Helmut Huber, a one-time executive chef at the Garden City Hotel, had this to say about their move back to Long Island after residing in Forest Hills, Queens.


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Mike Barry, a corporate communications consultant, has worked in government and journalism. Email: