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Letter: Nassau Got What It Deserved

On Tuesday, Oct. 24, at a press conference outside the newly opened Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York Islanders owner Charles Wang announced that following the end of his lease at the Nassau Coliseum on July 31, 2015, his team, the Islanders, would be moving to the Barclays Center. This came as little surprise to most Islander fans that figured the teams days in Nassau were numbered after the vote failed last year.

A little background for those who may not be familiar with this seemingly never-ending saga that finally ended. Twenty years ago the Islanders made their first attempt at getting a new or refurbished Coliseum, that attempt obviously failed and here it started. 

Every time the Islanders attempted to get a new arena, instead of being met with what’s the best we can do for the community, it was met with egotistical politicians looking to do what’s best for their party instead of the people they are elected to represent. Focusing on the last two proposals, which were the Lighthouse Project and the referendum vote last summer.

Back in 2003, under then County Executive Tom Suozzi the Lighthouse Project was unveiled.  It would’ve amassed the entire 77-acre property and cost more then $3 billion, but would’ve been entirely financed by Charles Wang and his partner Scott Rechler of RXR. After getting all approvals from Nassau County the project was sent to the Town of Hempstead because of the density of the project the land needed to be rezoned, which is handled by them.

Little did the powers at be know, sending this project to the Town of Hempstead was basically signing its death sentence. For years Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray refused to meet with Charles Wang on this project making up excuse after excuse, one I remember being that she felt it would be a conflict of interest to meet with him because she would eventually have to vote on it. After wasting over two years, Tom Suozzi was able to get the two to be in the same room which got the process moving but it met its demise when the town made Wang a counter offer, which cut the project by three-fourths. Wang and new County Executive Ed Mangano then issued a statement that the project because of the small inflexible zone by the town of Hempstead didn’t make sense economically and that they would have to go back to the drawing board.

Fast forward to last summer, they had the referendum vote which would’ve seen Nassau County borrow $400 million to build a new Nassau Coliseum, a minor league baseball stadium, and an indoor track and field facility. If passed, this proposal would’ve seen Nassau County taxes raised by roughly $15 a person.

As time went on it was clear that the Democrats would find any loophole imaginable to bash this project. That shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing as how Mangano who came up with the idea is a Republican. It wasn’t until after the vote that we found out what measures the Democrats would take to make sure this failed. The day before the vote, the Democrats set up a phone bank targeted at people 55-plus spewing to them misinformation on the project to get them to vote no. Well progress was stalled once again by politicians because it was voted down by a healthy margin.

Now here we are, a little more than a year after that and the Islanders announced that they will be leaving this area for the brighter pastures of Brooklyn, and can you blame them? The politicians here cared more for making sure the other party didn’t get credit for development rather then actually doing what’s best for the residents they are supposed to represent and now they have to deal with the consequences. Nassau made their bed, now they will have to lay in it!  

Scott Clinco, Levittown

News

More than 2,000 Long Islanders enjoyed the festivities at Captree State Park as Assemblyman Joseph Saladino hosted the ninth annual Marine and Outdoor Recreation Expo on Sept. 15.

Attendees learned about sustainable sources of energy as well as ways to protect the planet, especially the island’s marine environment. There were demonstrations in camping, boating, water safety, renewable energy, wildlife and environmental education, fly fishing, arts and crafts, face painting, clowns, touch tanks, ballon animals and plenty of rock and roll.

The founders of the popular Facebook group “Massapequa Moms,” a ‘virtual living room with 6,700 people,’ are leveraging their social media power to create a new discount loyalty card good all over Long Island—including, they hope, in Farmingdale.

With a hugely popular Facebook community, co-founders Dawn Boyle Kostakis and Stephanie Hartman wanted to “figure out a way that we could help the consumer and the business owner at the same time; keeping commerce going, keeping it all local and having the people get a little bang for their buck,” said Kostakis. They wanted to serve more than just Massapequa, too, and the Long Island Loyalty card was born.


Sports

Farmingdale squeaks by Massapequa

The rivalry between the Farmingdale Dalers and the Massapequa Chiefs is a big one. So big that the school districts and the Nassau County Police Department had to take extra precautions to maintain security. Not everyone who wanted to see this game at Masspequa High School were allowed access to the game. In the past, there was some unruly behavior. So, if you were from Farmingdale you parked on the right side of the school and from Massapequa you were on the left. The stands on both side were full and hundreds standing along the fence to watch this game.

The Chiefs would score first in the first quarter with a 9-yard run by Paul Dilena for a touchdown. The Dalers had some problems moving the ball down field until Daler Danny Mckeon intercepted a pass and ran it back into the Chiefs side of the field. This would set up a 6-yard run for a touchdown for Michael Outing who had 19 carries for 84 yards. With the score tied 7-7, Zach Kolodny kicked a 22-yard field goal to put the Dalers up 10-7 shortly before  halftime and the heavy rain that followed.

Town sports shifts to hockey

It’s almost time to hit the ice again.

The Town of Oyster Bay Youth Ice Hockey Program will hold its registration on Monday, Oct. 6 and Wednesday, Oct. 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. on both nights. Registration takes place at the Town of Oyster Bay Ice Skating Center in Bethpage.

“The Youth Ice Hockey Program provides youngsters, ages three to 13, with the opportunity to hone their skating and hockey skills under the guidance of ice hockey coaches,” Councilman Joe Pinto stated. “The highly regarded program has earned it recognition by the NHL, which has partnered with the Town to promote hockey programming and youth enrichment through its ‘Hockey is For Everyone’ initiative.”


Calendar

Junior Varsity Football At Baldwin High School

Saturday, September 27

Girls Varsity Tennis At Malverne High School

Tuesday, September 30

Boys Varsity Volleyball Versus Massapequa High School

Wednesday, October 1



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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