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Michael Miller

Viewpoint

By Michael Miller
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Super County Smackdown

1. As of the day this will be published, there are 174 days until Election Day. It will take a very, very smart campaign for Nassau County Republicans to even look like they have any chance of unseating County Executive Suozzi or almost any other Democrat this fall.…

2. There is no government or political party body actively dedicated to meaningfully raising standards of behavior in our local affairs.…

 

3. Mr. Charles Wang, who now publicly expresses regret in purchasing the Islanders, sounds like a man getting ready to sell the team to Anaheim, Azusa or Cucamonga if he doesn’t get his Lighthouse Project at what’s left of Mitchel Field. That’ll show us.…

4. Los Angeles County, California, is showing off a detailed aerial map that identifies 1,100 municipal buildings and the location of all existing photovoltaic (solar) panels. They’re trying to reduce the need for on-site assessments of solar potential and help make the county a national model for solar power. You can play with the map at http://lacounty.solarmap.org…

5. I hate bullies. How do you feel about them?…

6. One of the region’s noted experts in real estate law, Adolph Koeppel of Great Neck, passed away in March. As an Assistant County Attorney in the mid-1960s, he directed a landmark eminent domain case which led to Nassau County’s purchase of a large portion of the old Port Washington sandpits, just off the harbor. The county dedicated some 170 acres of this land as a major future park in 1967, though it was never developed. It was one of the parks transferred to the town of North Hempstead, retroactive approval for which is pending before state legislators. This is the first most residents of the town are hearing about this, though residents of the harbor communities have read about it in these newspapers and discussed its possible uses and development at public meetings. The shroud over this major acquisition is just one of the mysteries of the entire park transfer affair, and it is very disturbing.…

7. County valuation of that portion of the sandpits in 1963: $2.3 million. In 2009: $54.8 million. Real value: Priceless, because nothing like it will ever be available again.…

8. The official summary attached to the state legislation to retroactively legalize the dismantling of the county park system states that the bill “simply transfers the ownership and operation” of the parks to “allow for a streamlined and more efficient government service for the people of North Hempstead.” That’s it. Two sentences. More than one million residents of Nassau’s other two towns and two cities are “simply” not an official consideration.…

9. Upstate Monroe County finally completed a search for a permanent community college president last week, ending a very controversial two-year process that sometimes became heated and ugly. Democrats accused Republicans of going around the screening process in what many saw as an attempt to install candidates with much closer ties to county leaders than to higher education. With Nassau Community College still in the midst of its search for a new campus leader, it’s a good time for everyone to remember that NCC has managed to remain above the partisan fray over its 50-year history. It is essential that any choice for NCC president be someone who will put the interests of the college and its students first.…

10. Edward Durell Stone, the architect of Lincoln Center, designed a $51.6 million NCC campus at Mitchel Field, approved by the county legislature in 1964 but never built. It bore a striking resemblance to the main campus of the University at Albany, also designed by Stone during the same period, including symmetrical quadrants surrounding a long, rectangular academic area, and a 225-foot cylindrical water tower.…

11. With any major space left in this county, you can’t start with the housing and the offices and the plazas. You start with the transportation system, while there is still any room to maneuver and parts of the abandoned railroad and trolley rights-of-way still exist.

Michael Miller is a freelance writer, designer and strategic consultant who has worked in state and local government. Email: millercolumn@optimum.net