Last week, I presented the first of our Belmont Task Force 2007 Statement of Principles relating them to an Indian Nation Casino at Belmont Park rather than a state sponsored VLT Racino. Again, my hope is you will see the fundamental issues of fairness contained in each principle. Kindly allow me to present our second principle:
PRESERVE AND PROTECT RACING AND OUR COMMUNITIES ALIKE II. The neighboring communities support the preservation and fostering of the world class premier thoroughbred racing facilities within their neighborhood. The communities encourage the protection and incorporation of all buildings and landscaped features of historic, architectural or cultural significance into the local communities visioning, economic or historic planning.
As if the earth itself had shook, tremors of fear rippled through the rocky-edged terrain of our nervous system. My wife, Sonia, had gone for her annual mammography with expectations of the usual “we’ll see you next year” routine. Not this time. They wanted to take a second look not only with a mammogram (X rays that photograph the breasts to detect malignancies), but also a sonogram, whose sound waves can detect abnormalities.
Presently, our concerns regarding an Indian Nation casino at Belmont Park are based solely upon conjecture and innuendo. In 2007, the Village established the Belmont Task Force to examine the proposal for a VLT Racino at Belmont Park. The product of their comprehensive study was summarized and memorialized into a ten point document officially titled, “Inc. Village of Floral Park Task Force for Belmont’s Preservation and Improvement: Statement of Principles.” The Statement of Principles was not a declaration of opposition to the proposed state-sponsored VLT plan but rather a proclamation of fairness. These principles enunciated reciprocal and equitable recommendations outlining how neighboring residential communities could coexist with the then proposed VLT operations at Belmont Park. The proposal today is not a state-operated VLT Racino but rather a sovereign Indian Nation casino. Yet, the virtues contained within our Statement of Principles still hold true. Therefore, in an effort to provide reasoned discussion to the debate, over the next several weeks, I will address the casino issue using the 2007 Statement of Principles as my guide. My hope is you will see the fundamental issues of fairness contained in each principle. Consideration must be addressed by any proposed use at Belmont Park.
It’s a warm and humid day; not one that lends itself to writing about economics, which I had no intention of doing until, well, maybe a minute ago. When the muse beckons, one must obediently answer its summons. The elevated mercury of our thermometers does not make the task any breezier. Hot climates and productivity rarely result in wedded bliss, although complaints about the heat are deservingly dismissed with, “Well, what did you expect — it’s summer.” An irrefutable argument if there ever was one. Similarly, complaints about our nation’s reckless spending habits are subject to the same pointed joust: Well, what did you expect —it’s the government. Like the scorpion in the old Aesop fable that must sting even though it means its own demise, our government must spend even when it’s broke and impotent.
It seemed like a normal afternoon at work when suddenly the peace was shattered by shrieks coming from the secretary pool outside my office: “I can’t believe it,” “How could this happen?” and “They’re idiots!” were some of the comments that violently ricocheted about the room like a ball ratcheting up a high score in a pinball machine. The commotion, I soon discovered, resulted from hearing that after an improbably brief 10 hours of deliberation the Casey Anthony jury had reached a verdict of not guilty of capital murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter of a child. In the end, Anthony was convicted of just four misdemeanors of misleading law enforcement.
We have all received fliers at our homes and have all seen full page ads in our local newspapers advocating the development of a casino at Belmont Park. The Shinnecock Nation is identified on each advertisement. We have read reports in Newsday from our county executive, our state senators and other elected representatives, our neighbors in Elmont and the Nassau County Chambers of Commerce; all in seemingly generous support of the many perceived benefits from the casino proposal. What is missing? With all this reporting there has not been discussions of any magnitude with the residents of Floral Park.
It is now 235 years since the United States declared its independence from Great Britain. Judging by the impact of that event, the year 1776, along with the Battle of Hastings in 1066, Columbus’ discovery of America in 1492 and the beginning of the Reformation in 1523, is a year that remains enshrined as one of the most momentous dates in history. It is so because the principles it has inspired have shaped not only a nation but also a world. Oceans of ink have been spilled celebrating July 4th so I don’t intend, even if I could, to expand upon its meaning. What I would like to do is remember those in our armed forces who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the theatre in Libya.
Every summer, the Town of Hempstead’s Summer Concert Series, hosted by the Department of Parks and Recreation, brings talented musicians to perform at the town’s neighborhood parks. Our lineup this year features an exciting range of musical genres, from the smooth sounds of Sinatra and classic rock to the Doo-Wop hits of the 1960s and the sounds of the Caribbean.
Every year, the Floral Park Chamber of Commerce proudly sponsors scholarship awards to local students as part of its community service. The chamber members appreciate the residents who support our businesses and especially wish to encourage the success of our outstanding students. This program recognizes local students for outstanding achievement through an essay contest held at the five local schools.
If there is one thing I hate more than encountering dead ends when I’m driving it’s meeting deadlines when I’m writing. A deadline, like a poltergeist, gnaws its way into the sinews of the soul making those terrible seconds, metronomically ticking away, sound like cannon fire. Then comes that dreaded phone call. It’s the editor. The tone of voice on the other end reminds you of an alarm clock sounding off at 5 in the morning demanding to know what the hell happened to this week’s column??? Well, the last part isn’t quite true. The editor of this paper is unfailingly nice and gracious, but one cannot mistake the urgency of her inquiries — editors, after all, have deadlines too.
Page 30 of 53<< Start < Prev 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Next > End >>