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Mike BarryEye on the Island

By Mike Barry

Waterfront’s Origins

Friday, 16 October 2009 00:00

Budd Schulberg, who lived in Westhampton Beach, died in August at the age of 95, with almost every obituary rightfully highlighting that Schulberg was the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of On the Waterfront, which was also named 1954s Best Picture.

Filmed in Hoboken, New Jersey in late 1953, On the Waterfront’s origins are at the heart of Fordham University Professor James T. Fisher’s just-published On the Irish Waterfront: The Crusader, the Movie, and the Soul of the Port of New York (Cornell University Press), and Schulberg’s exploits fill many of its pages.

 

Battle for Mineola

Friday, 09 October 2009 00:00

It is hard to imagine an election season maneuver backfiring more than county Legislator Joseph Scannell’s (D-Baldwin) effort to tout the relocation of the Nassau County Police Department’s (NCPD) 1st precinct headquarters.

First announced this spring, Legislator Scannell, who is seeking re-election on Tuesday, Nov. 3, clearly thought October was the right time to remind his constituents that the precinct’s main office was staying in Baldwin, albeit leaving an aging building for a more modern facility. To commemorate the upcoming relocation, the county posted a municipal sign bearing Scannell’s name alongside county executive Thomas Suozzi’s atop the shopping center storefront where the NCPD is headed.

 

Islanders’ New Look

Friday, 02 October 2009 00:00
The New York Islanders are opening their 2009-2010 season this weekend as the team’s owner continues his ardent push for the refurbishment of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and intense development of the area adjoining the Islanders’ home arena.

Those attending the Islanders’ first home game on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. will not only see them play the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins but also get a firsthand look at a revamped roster. The team’s second home game, to be held on Monday, Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. against the Los Angeles Kings, should have a lot of kids in attendance because schools are closed for Columbus Day.

 

White House Request

Friday, 25 September 2009 00:00

The front page headline in last Sunday’s New York Times was a stunner: ‘Obama Requests That Paterson Drop Campaign.’

Governor Paterson is said to be resisting this White House request, the article says. Well, wouldn’t you? No where in the Times story is there any mention of what President Obama might be offering, if anything, to the governor in exchange for his departure from elective office: an ambassador’s job; a cabinet post; a high-paying private-sector gig?

 

The Insult Comic

Friday, 18 September 2009 00:00

Comedienne Lisa Lampanelli has made a name for herself on cable TV’s Comedy Central roasts, where show business figures are subjected to an endless array of insults.

To give you a flavor for her style, Lampanelli offered this gibe about the follicle-challenged KISS band member Gene Simmons when Comedy Central roasted the aging rocker. “Now how did you come up with that hair style, genius? Did you catch Planet of the Apes on cable and say, hmm, now there’s a look?”

 

Mangano on a Mission

Friday, 11 September 2009 00:00

Nassau County’s structural deficit—the difference between its recurring revenues and expenditures—was larger in 2008 than at any time since 2001, according to the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA), the state agency created to oversee the county’s finances.

How did NIFA’s directors reach such a conclusion? Isn’t it the Democrats, under county executive Thomas Suozzi and a county Legislature they completely control, who brought Nassau back from the brink of bankruptcy and ushered in an era of municipal managerial excellence dating back to 2002?

 

Resilient ZIP Codes

Friday, 04 September 2009 00:00

Warren Buffett says he likes to invest in, and acquire, companies which have durable competitive advantages over entities providing comparable products or services.

In fact, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Web site has a letter from the 79-year-old Oracle of Omaha himself, explaining why three Berkshire subsidiaries – one offers auto insurance, another sells jewelry, and the last one annuities contracts sold over the Internet – offer such great deals to consumers. The durable competitive advantages for these businesses are innovative underwriting (auto insurance), economies of scale (jewelry), and low overhead (annuities), Buffett explains.

 

Watson Makes Her Case

Friday, 28 August 2009 00:00

Joy Watson, a former Nassau County assistant district attorney (DA), is the Republican nominee for Nassau DA in November’s election but that might be news to you.

Long Island’s dominant media outlets have seemingly decided that the record of Nassau DA Kathleen Rice, a Democrat, needs no scrutiny, even though she holds the county’s most powerful law enforcement post. Part of the reason for this is that the editorial side of Cablevision-owned Newsday and News 12 Long Island prefers it when Republicans back Democrats, which is what Suffolk’s GOP did in 2005 and again this year when cross-endorsing DA Thomas Spota, a Democrat. One-party rule results in better government, many journalists believe, so long as Democrats are completely running things. Look how well it’s working out in Albany.

 

Albany in August

Friday, 21 August 2009 00:00

The press corps cheered last week as state attorney general (AG) Andrew Cuomo, the son of a former governor, threatened to investigate nepotism in state government.

The case in question was the state Senate’s hiring of Pedro G. Espada, the 35-year-old son of Senate majority leader Pedro Espada Jr. (D-Bronx). Before any formal proceedings were launched by the AG’s office, the younger Espada resigned from his $120,000-a-year post, less than a week after landing on the state’s payroll.

 

House Is Their Home

Friday, 14 August 2009 00:00

President Obama and Senator Schumer got where they are today after winning hard-fought, wildly-expensive Democratic primary contests.

But the two of them have seemingly played a pivotal role in making sure there is no viable Democratic challenger to U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in September 2010’s party primary. The conventional wisdom holds that, if Gillibrand faces only nominal Democratic opposition, she’ll be in a better position to win the general election in November 2010.

 

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