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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

Driving rain and cold temperatures could not keep Long Islanders from coming out to support the first annual DogFest Walk ‘n Roll, a fundraiser for Canine Companions for Independence. Held for the first time at Marjorie Post Park in nearby Massapequa, dogs of all breeds and sizes came with their humans with one goal in mind; to raise funds for CCI.

 

Event organizer Yvonne Dagger, past president and now board member, discussed the importance of the event. 

It’s been more than 50 years since the Farmingdale High School class of 1964 roamed the halls of their beloved high school, but that doesn’t mean that the memories have faded. The class—the first to graduate from Farmingdale High—came together on Saturday, October 18 at the Marriott in Islandia to celebrate all of the good times past and make new memories as a class.  


Sports

3rd Grade Division

The Giants and Jets met for the 2nd time this season, with the Giants again getting the victory over the Jets.  Jalen Gordon scored late into the 1st half for the Giants, which turned out to be the only points in the half.  The Giants shut the Jets down for both halves, keeping the offense off the board.  The Jets strong point this weekend was the defense, with Kyle June and Jake Kuller picking up the weekly William June Foundation awards.  In what is turning into a rough offensive season for the Jets, these awards continue to remind the boys of the perseverance and determination of the award’s namesake and his “never say quit” attitude.

 

—Submitted by Paul Caputo


William Merola, a member of the Farmingdale School District’s wrestling program, was recently selected to attend the third annual U.S. Marine Corps Summer Leadership and

Character Development program, which is limited to 150 sophomores and juniors throughout the nation.

 

Over the summer, from July 20-26, Merola attended the third annual Marine Corps recruiting command summer leadership and character academy at the USMC base in Quantico. 

 

The SLCDA (Summer Leadership and Character Development Program) educates high school leaders about Marine Corps Officer Programs by participating in classroom academics, ethics training, accelerated college prep, physical fitness training, a field exercise, a community service component and a field trip to Washington, D.C.


Calendar

Networking Event - October 29

Halloween Parade - October 31

Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair - November 2


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com