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Mike BarryEye on the Island

By Mike Barry

Dems’ County Executive Primary Takes Shape

Friday, 28 June 2013 00:00

The early summer is one of the busiest times of the year for Nassau’s political activists because this is when they go door-to-door, obtaining the signatures of their party’s registered voters to secure a ballot spot for its endorsed candidates.

Adam Haber, the Roslyn school board member vying with former Nassau County executive Thomas Suozzi for the Democratic Party’s 2013 county executive nomination, will file at least 2,000 signatures, the minimum needed, with the board of elections in July. In fact, the Haber campaign will likely submit many more signatures than that. Nassau’s Democratic Party, having given Suozzi its official nod at its May convention, will also bring an impressive number of signed petitions on Suozzi’s behalf to the board of elections.


Islanders Fans: Come In And Feel The Draft

Monday, 24 June 2013 19:05

Having made the playoffs this year for the first time since 2007, the New York Islanders secured the 15th pick in the first round of the 2013 National Hockey League (NHL) Draft on Sunday, June 30.

This is a positive development when considering the Islanders were playing so poorly in 2009 that the team qualified for the first overall draft pick. They made a great one four years ago, selecting forward John Tavares. Tavares was the Islanders’ leading scorer during the lockout-shortened 2012-2013 season, with 47 points (28 goals, 19 assists) in only 48 games. He was also a Hart Trophy finalist, an honor given to the NHL’s most valuable player.


Quinn’s Quest: Suburbia To Gracie Mansion

Friday, 14 June 2013 00:00

Lawrence Quinn, a former Glen Cove resident and the father of New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, is an Irish-American man of a certain age. So I can only imagine the look on his face when playwright Eve Ensler read aloud graphic passages of her best-known work, The Vagina Monologues, at his daughter’s 1999 City Council swearing-in ceremony.

When Ensler was finished, Mr. Quinn, who was sitting onstage during Ensler’s performance, looked at his daughter and said, “You couldn’t just have had the Pledge of Allegiance?”


Belmont Stakes 2013: A Sure Bet

Thursday, 06 June 2013 00:00

Garden City and Floral Park are holding their annual Belmont Stakes Festivals on the day before, and the day after, the Saturday, June 8, running of the Belmont Stakes in Elmont.

Garden City’s Seventh Street will closed to traffic, and jammed with pedestrians, on Friday, June 7, between 6 and 10 p.m., for the Garden City Belmont Festival, an evening of live music, food, and family-friendly activities.


Cuomo 2014: As Seen On TV

Thursday, 30 May 2013 00:00

Citizen Action of New York and Working Families Organization sent a direct-mail piece this month to registered Democrats in state Senator Jack Martins’ (R-Mineola) district, asking them to call his office and “tell him to clean up Albany by passing public funding of elections.”

But why should anyone bother? Publicly funded state electioneering is taking place today, something that is self-evident to any New Yorker who has watched television this spring.


Moving Pictures

Thursday, 23 May 2013 15:36

The seven Nassau theaters in the Cablevision-owned Clearview Cinemas chain are being sold to Bow Tie Cinemas, a privately held Connecticut company, in a transaction which is expected to close in the coming months.

The deal, which includes 34 other Clearview Cinema locales in the metropolitan area, will impact Cablevision’s Optimum Rewards cardholders starting next week.


Quietly Vindicated

Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00

There is no quicker way for a county legislator to generate a headline than to accuse the county executive or the county comptroller of not doing his or her job. But what happens when the governmental official who comes under legislative fire is vindicated?

If the accused party is a Republican who is up for re-election this year, such as Comptroller George Maragos, county legislators move on to another target and hope their next round of allegations have merit. After all, if a county governmental agency is doing its job, that’s not news, right?


Authors On The Menu

Friday, 10 May 2013 00:00

President Harry Truman said the only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.

I thought about that observation while reading David Nasaw’s The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy, an amazing and meticulously researched book on President John F. Kennedy’s father. It was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Biography, and Dr. Nasaw, a Roslyn High School graduate, will return to Nassau next week.


Mike Tyson: Coming To A Stage Near You

Thursday, 25 April 2013 00:00

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has successfully introduced to the world the kinder and gentler sides of his personality in films such as The Hangover and Scary Movie 5.

But Comedy Central’s celebrity roast joke writers have longer memories, with one comedian observing that the tattoo on Tyson’s face offered future dates a target to shoot with their pepper spray.


Female Friendship

Friday, 19 April 2013 00:00

Comedian Chris Rock, in an HBO special which aired after 1999’s Columbine High School massacre, observed that the two murderers were supposedly depressed because they had only six friends. “I didn’t have six friends in high school,” Rock said. “I don’t have six friends now.”

Novelist Kristin Hannah has made a name for herself in the world of contemporary women’s fiction by exploring female friendship, with 2009’s Firefly Lane focusing on the lifelong bond between Kate Ryan and Tully Hart. Firefly Lane is the street where they grew up.


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