It is a volatile time for NY Islanders fans. We as fans have been asked a lot, and then left for dead by both the Town of Hempstead and the Lighthouse Project. The Town of Hempstead has a lot to answer for in the poor communication and handling of this large project and to working with developers at the start of this process. The Lighthouse Project has a lot to answer for in a “date of certainty” that both Nick Giglia and I both reported that could never be met almost a year ago. Then a self-implosion within, and then going dark, running seemingly adrift since that time.
As some seem to pull the melodramatic button in a moments notice, including the esteemed Chris Botta who had a great evenhanded piece suddenly veered to this piece of panic & assumption , erroneously implying that he actually forecast something that other bloggers had already taken the lead on almost 12 hours before on Twitter and hours before in blog. Come on now. Time to read around a bit, don’t you think?
As I alluded on Twitter and as I pointed to long before that the Town of Hempstead is having a press conference this morning on what seems to be the next step (for them that is).
It is not a vote no. It is calling out Charles Wang for not paying the developer FP Clark, who stopped the environmental report. Now, we have bashed both the ToH and FP Clark over 6 months ago for failing to inform the Lighthouse Project of a payment discrepancy. However this is far different. After that, one would think the LHP, had they been serious about finishing this part of things would do their due diligence.
They did not, and there is no excuse.
In fact, it is made many, including, reportedly those around Scott Rechler’s group say that there is no long financing from the Lighthouse Project. That it is dead in the water, and has been since the lights went dark.
There is also the contradiction of meetings, meetings that did happen behind the scenes. That is reportedly where the schism lies. That Charles will not go below 10% reduction to something many people believe he can go far more to still be economically viable. The Town of Hempstead, reportedly, might want a 30-35% reduction of size.
Yet these two stubborn elements can not find a middleground? I would love to blame the Town of Hempstead here (and holy god there is so much to slam them for last year), but it is the Lighthouse who went dark and is doing the misinforming over the very fact they had meetings or even communication.
Very questionable actions that must have me scrutinize motives.
Kate Murray spoke to NEWS 12 and NEWSDAY last week telegraphing this next move that will be announced. One of whom likely leaked to the Islanders causing the rush to put Charles Wang in front of the camera on Saturday in an attempt to save some face. Instead he dug a hole deeper.
But it was the LI Herald that broke the news embargo yesterday with this report of what precisely they will announce today at 11am.
Here is NEWS 12, also pushing forward with their piece. Notice the NEWS12 piece has precise talking points from the ToH, most interestingly.
This does not mean the lights go dark. This does not mean bloggers and fans run around like chickens without a head.
It means we now see where everyone stands.
It means that the Town of Hempstead is pushing forward with their version of the reduction of size and scope
This I do not agree with because it is likely the 30-35% (or more) reduction that they have been pushing. I feel if they really wanted to have things done with the project, they’d at least come to a 25%. For that, they are playing a hard line they better show some flexibility on IF Charles Wang and the Lighthouse Project swallow some hubris and start acting like a development group, and begins a negotiation process.
The problem is….I don’t think that will happen. I think that the Lighthouse Project have been waiting for an excuse to extricate themselves from this with as much saved face as possible. And the rest will be finger pointing by both sides and their advocates thereafter.
It is a sad state of affairs.
I will point to one place now that responsibility now lies. The new County Executive. This is where Mangano now MUST step in and find a common ground. We have heard empty words of Project support, including a ridiculous article on how Ed Mangano has Project supporters around him. A source cites: “Mangano really wants to get this moving”
Well, now it’s time Ed.
The County Executive must now step in…as long as the Lighthouse Project doesn’t further implode and use this as an escape hatch trying to blame the ToH…which is very possible here.
The new SMG revised lease and the China training camp PR story might be just what Charles Wang wants to walk away with, removing himself trying to put blame on the town. Many have cited he has clearly backed away from the Lighthouse Project since the media blackout, using that to blanket it. If so, then there is a ton of blame here to go on them as well.
Mangano, if he is serious on getting things moving must step in and really tack both sides down. Press on the Lighthouse Project’s true commitment. Press on the Town of Hempstead to make sure they are flexible to some sort of negotiation.
Is this the end game, where everything washes away in anger and blame? All it does is leave Islanders fans high and dry.
Or is this where, when all goes bleak, some sense of responsibility, propriety, honesty and problem-solving step in to get these two sides together. ToH thinks that their plans has them heroes here. They are no heroes. They are an extremely flawed group who sees things through muddle small-town lenses. Lighthouse Project seems to keep playing the victim, which they are not. They have now made themselves the victim by being obstinate and in denial.
Lots to blame. Lots of emotion. Where are the solutions to this mess?
POST PRESS CONFERENCE NOTES:
Town of Hempstead is voting on retaining FP Clark to do a zoning review. There is a 150k cap on this cost. The desire is to create a scaled down development of the area.
Kate Murray does not want NY Islanders to leave, and does not believe they will. Plans will include refurbished arena.
Newsday: If Wang doesn’t want to do it, they report it will be opened for other developers, who might be interested.
Wang called Kate Murray and was very “pleasant” on the phone about an hour before conference. Looks forward to seeing the plan.
Per Kate Murray, this plan will incorporate many of the things in Charles Wang’s vision
Source: Charles Wang still has not called new Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano. Mangano’s group has called him twice now.
Vote is tomorrow night on it.
Goosby cites that those things she and others have questioned at hearing are not in the report, as the LHP keeps repeating.
Source: If it was in the report, one would think they’d come in and show us the page, right?
She also cited that the Environmental Study is required by state law.
About the Author: B.D. Gallof is a published writer and hockey blogger. He writes about Hockey, NY Islanders & the NY Islanders venue situation for CBS New York. BD has been written up in Sports Illustrated, TSN.ca, the NY Times Slapshots blog, Yahoo's Sports and SportsBusiness Journal. He has been a featured blogger for The Huffington Post, as well as owner, lead writer, and managing editor at HockeyIndependent.com.