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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

 

While Island Trees School District officials plan to reexamine a proposal to develop senior housing on 11.3 acres of property currently used to house the Stephen E. Karopczyc and Geneva N. Gallow schools, district officials have so far been unwilling to identify the developer. 

 

The plan to sell the Farmedge property was first conceived in 2010, when BOCES dropped its lease on the Gallow school. The school district issued a request for proposals. After reviewing its options, the Island Trees Board of Education selected and presented to the

public a proposal to develop 160 to 247 housing units for seniors over 55.After public outcry against the project, the district said it would go back to the drawing board, re-opening discussions and engaging a wide range of stakeholders. However, despite requests from the public and the press, the district has steadfastly declined to identify the developer of the initial proposal—which may yet end up being the winning bid. 

 

After announcing his resignation from the Levittown School District last January, Superintendent Dr. James Grossane has accepted a new job as Superintendent of the Smithtown Central School District. 

 

“I look forward to the new challenges awaiting me in the Smithtown Central School District,” Grossane said. “I wish the Levittown Public Schools and its students, parents and staff all the best as they continue to move forward to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”


Sports

The Farmingdale State College baseball team earned an 8-2 victory over the College of Staten Island in a recent non-conference home game.

 

In the bottom of the second, left fielder Richard Sullivan of Farmingdale broke broke the scoreless tie on a two out RBI single. Senior third baseman Sal Sanquini of Levittown would go on to hit an RBI single through the left side to increase the lead 2-0. Sanquini was 2-for-4 at the plate with a game-high of 3 RBIs.

The Island Trees varsity softball team had an amazing 8-3 win in extra innings on April 2nd against a previously unbeaten Clarke team to improve their league record to 2-0.  Ashley Melendez opened up the scoring with a solo homerun to lead off the 4th inning. 

 

Although the team relinquished the lead in the 4th and 5thinnings, they did not let the negative turn of events get the best of them.   Down one with three outs left, Sam Scharff led off the top of the 7th with an amazing bunt for a hit.  Christie Ciaramitaro and Kelly Cembrale both reached on errors to keep the inning and team’s hopes alive.  Morgan Petry roped an RBI single up the middle to score courtesy runner, Kim Ahrens with the tying run.   


Calendar

Bellmore FD Fundraiser - April 25

Earth Day Cleanup - April 26

Bowling For Scholars - April 26


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