I am opposed to any type of casino, coliseum, or sports complex being built at Belmont Park and to express my views about what should be done with at least some of the open space there, I would like to see a major portion of the development turned into senior housing.
The north end of the property, in the area of the Floral Park-Bellerose School District would be a perfect location, acting as a buffer between the beleaguered residents of the West End of Floral Park and the other situations at the track, posing absolutely no threat to the school, the neighborhood, or to traffic congestion.
This past week, I had the rare opportunity to provide testimony to the members of the Long Island Development Council at one of two recently scheduled forums. Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz is prominently quoted in his group’s press release concerning their meetings that the “public participation process is crucial to our success!” It was therefore quite ironic and disappointing that Hofstra President Rabinowitz, who is co-chairman of the group, which held the meeting at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, did not even bother to attend the meeting held just down the street from Hofstra. When given the opportunity to present as Floral Park’s representative, I told the panelists that Floral Park has been a hosting community of Belmont Park, our 430-acre neighboring state-owned property, since Belmont Park’s opening Day in 1905. The panelists learned that Belmont Park is adjacent to one of our elementary schools as well as our junior and senior high school campus, with over a mile of peaceful residential neighborhoods separated by a fence. They learned how Floral Park proudly accepts the responsibility as a hosting community along with its associated burdens for over a century.
A regular meeting of the board of trustees was held on Nov.1, at 8 p.m. Prior to the start of the board meeting, Mayor Tweedy asked for a moment of silence in memory of Phyliss Kelleher, mother of Fire Chief John Kelleher and ex-Fire Chief Kevin Kelleher, brothers who have nobly served the Village of Floral Park and sons of an equally civic-minded mother, Phyliss Kelleher.
Mayor Tweedy announced that before the start of the public hearing and board meeting, there was very important and enjoyable business to attend to. Community Service Awards were presented to four most deserving young ladies and gentlemen.
When newsmakers release a report late on a Friday afternoon, chances are it’s usually not something that puts them in the best light. Stories released in the classic “Friday afternoon dump,” as the cynical strategy is called, are purposely intended to be a one-day story published over the weekend. Such may well be the case of the Long Island Economic Council’s release on late Friday Oct. 14 of its proposal it subtitles “Nassau Hub Transformative Project,” but which could be subtitled “Dump into Belmont Park All Pet Projects.”
The Floral Park Memorial High School Parents Athletic Booster Club held its annual golf outing on Oct. 20. It was a successful fundraiser and a wonderful event! We would like to thank the Golf Committee and all those who volunteered to contribute to the day’s success.
Halloween, it plays to our most primal fears: The living dead, ghosts and goblins, blood suckers and monsters and an entire repertoire of creatures, not all supernatural, designed to strike terror in the human heart. Cinema has brought another dimension to this holiday and I thought it would be in the spirit of its dark, festive atmosphere to explore a few of the horror flicks that made my heart skip a beat. Now I should be clear that I am more of a dilettante in the world of the macabre than a connoisseur of the art form.
A regular meeting of the board of trustees was held on Oct. 18, at 8 p.m.
Prior to the regular meeting, Mayor Tweedy announced that NYCOM Public Service Recognition Certificates were being presented to six employees who have reached milestones in their careers. Mayor Tweedy said our village is a product of the efforts they make every day and that we would not be a full-service village were it not for these exemplary employees.
Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz is being called upon by the Floral Park Task Force on the Development and Preservation of Belmont Park to immediately recuse himself from the Long Island Economic Development Council and to cease any further involvement with the group, especially concerning the potential location of a casino or moving the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum from its present 77-acre site, which is adjacent to Hofstra’s 220-acre campus, to Belmont Park, which is owned by the State of New York. The Long Island Economic Development Council, which is co-chaired by Hofstra’s president, was launched this past July by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, as one of 10 regional planning groups competing for $1 billion in state funding earmarked for local projects they determine to be part of their regional strategy. The Floral Park Task Force was formed as a result of the State of New York’s taking over control of Belmont Park from NYRA in 2008, and as a hosting neighboring community, Floral Park has been very concerned about the various plans that have been discussed concerning the future of Belmont Park.
So what are we to make of this “Occupy Wall Street” movement? Is it “much ado about nothing” or does its global momentum signify something important? One hears echoes of the counter-cultural movement of the ’60s. Back then it wasn’t the money changers on Wall Street per se, but the establishment and the parents who were responsible for everything that was wrong with the world. Bromides such as “Don’t trust anyone over 30” passed for folk wisdom; but today’s protesters have plenty of graying and balding “Baby Boomers” in their ranks who are caught up in reliving the days of yore.
The 10th and final principle relates to oversight and transparency. This principle speaks to more than just a measure of trust; this is a requirement that must be memorialized into law. The State of New York, its governor and elected state representatives, has a moral obligation to fairly and equitably represent the interests of all New Yorkers. Our 2007 Statement of Principles speaks to the fundamental issues of fairness. The analysis of this 10th principle articulates the apparently deliberate yet inequitable treatment the surrounding communities of Belmont Park are subject to when compared with other — state owned; NYRA operated — thoroughbred racing facilities.
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