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The Mayor’s Corner: January 31, 2014

Casinos A Bad Gamble

The New York Times reports that the recent state wide referendum on the expansion of commercial casino gambling, which authorized as many as seven new full scale casinos, was approved with a 57 percent of yes voters. But it did not pass in Saratoga Springs or in Saratoga County, as Saratoga Springs voted no by 57 percent and Saratoga County voted no by 54 percent.

The Saratoga community, which hosts one of the three racetracks operated by NYRA, in addition to our own Belmont Park as well as Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park, was “thought to be a fait accompli – that the casino designated for the capital region would wind up in Saratoga – is no longer a sure thing, and much of that is because of a coordinated resistance from many residents and business owners.”

The growing grass roots opposition to commercialized casino gambling in Saratoga has been surprising to some, according to The New York Times’ revealing “Upstate, Opposition to a Casino is a Surprise” reported on January 12, 2014.

According to The New York Times, local residents in Saratoga have formed a group, Saratogians Against Vegas-Style Expansion, or SAVE, which have been lobbying local politicians against potential casino developers. Just as what has already been proclaimed by Floral Park concerning Belmont Park, many in Saratoga believe that the community “does not need or want a full-fledged casino.” Such a result, however, does not surprise us here in Floral Park.

In Floral Park, our opposition to the legalization of commercial gambling is even stronger than in Saratoga, with a roughly two to one no vote. A review of the vote on Long Island reveals that our Floral Park community was the only place where the gambling referendum went down to overwhelming defeat. Since Saratoga and Floral Park are both neighboring NYRA thoroughbred racing facilities, the message to Albany is loud and clear. The powers that be need to look to those communities that supported the gambling referendum to host one of the seven commercial casino gambling sites that have been authorized rather than the two places which have already been hosting pari-mutuel thoroughbred racing for well over a century.

It is not a coincidence that both Saratoga and Floral Park strongly defeated the recent referendum expanding commercial casino gambling in New York. Now that the communities

in New York have all spoken on the issue, it is imperative that their wishes be acknowledged and respected by those responsible for selecting potential sites as one of the seven commercial casino gambling locations in New York. Obviously Saratoga Springs and Belmont Park can immediately be scratched from the field of potential casino locations without further delay.

News

Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution.

Dr. Charles Schleien, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, said that although the enterovirus is still active, cases are dwindling on Long Island. According to Schleien, approximately 500 cases have been reported this season of enterovirus, at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, with two to six patients being admitted per day.

The Saint Mary’s High School Alumni Association hosted another successful Don Monti Memorial Golf Classic and Fall Alumni Dinner on Thursday, Sept. 25, despite the cancellation of the golf outing portion of the event due to heavy rain and wind throughout the day. The event, which was the 22nd annual, honored Tom Raleigh of Floral Park, who was this year’s recipient of the Timothy J. Coughlin ’76 Award for Outstanding Contributions to St. Mary’s High School.

The evening portion of the event brought a large turnout of alumni and guests to Plandome Country Club for the dinner reception to support St. Mary’s High School’s many wonderful programs. All the money raised directly benefits current St. Mary’s students.  


Calendar

Next Generation of Spirit Communication

Friday, October 24

FPMHS Athletic Booster Club Fundraiser

Sunday, October 26

Harvest Fair

Saturday, November 1



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