Backchecking: UPDATED – Bueller…Bueller…Bueller….

See the bottom for the UPDATE….

 

Can someone tell me what this is?   Anyone…..    Anyone…..   It’s Plan C. Plan C for the Islanders of New York? Anyone……

There is blame to go around — and I will get to it — all of it in all directions. Not a single person will be left off the list. But the first and foremost thing to consider — do we have a Plan “C.” Lets get right to it.

TIMELINE
The Islanders lease is still good until the end of the 2014-15 season. This means the Islanders need a new home, open and ready for business by September of 2015. That is about 49 months away. We are being told it takes 30 months to construct a new building from the ground up — so that gives the Islanders a grand total of 19 months to negotiate a deal of some kind somewhere.

LOCATIONS
Nassau County
We will get into the finger pointing later — but for now, does anyone see this as a viable option any longer? Some may argue no, and the way I feel emotionally, I agree. With the wound so fresh and festering, it would be easy — far too easy — for me to just say a big fat F. U. to Nassau County. It’s nepotism, nimbyism, cronyism and every other ism, piled on with a gigantic dollop of stupidity with a cherry on top. Ah yes — that would feel oh so good wouldn’t it? Let’s all stand on top of the coliseum roof — hoping it wont cave in, and with a microphone to capture our voice to be heard all the way to Montauk Point — those two oh so appropriate words to carry our sentiment to Nassau County and all it foolish narrow minded old farts and politicians from all walks of life…

But I am letting my little day dream get us away from the key point. Is Nassau an option? Yes, I believe it could still be an option. But I believe it is a window closing and closing very rapidly. At this point, I believe Charles Wang and the Islanders need to grow up, and grow up huge. The time for small, quiet and gentle is over. It is time to be threatening and direct without a shadow of ambiguity — at all!

I am hearing Ed Mangano has made a call for RFPs to develop the Hub site — which basically takes us back about 8-10 years to square 1. Does anyone think Charles Wang will submit a plan? I doubt it.

I am not sure what the possibilities are. An RFP based on the Town of Hempstead’s restrictive, and frankly ancient way of thinking zoning codes are going to be a tough sell to Charles Wang. I suppose if an arena is included and that is all he cares about…, but my hunch is — that wont work for him. And should I be wrong, and he is willing to remain on Long Island in an arena as a tenant only in a complex that attempts to keep Long Island in the 1950s – I would hope that he pays the minimal in rent, and keeps the lions share of any profits he makes — and further hope that the responsibility to maintain any arena falls on the County, Town or who ever else is in the game.

We already know anything publicly funded, is not going to fly. Should PSLs come up again, I would rather drive to Quebec to see the team play. The question that looms — can the political personalities on all sides of Nassau County ever get over the burning desire to step on each others throats? If the answer to that question is “no” then the Islanders will likely not be in Nassau County.

Suffolk County
Suffolk County could work on a number of predetermined conditions.

First and foremost, the site would need to be Western Suffolk. Putting an arena out in Yaphank, or Riverhead, of Gabreski Airport is not going to work. It will be nice for those Isles fan living on the East End, but it is not something that a large percentage of Nassau Islander fans would do — travel an hour plus for a game. The honest truth is that the largest percentage of Islander fans are in Nassau County, and Western Suffolk. So the location in Suffolk will be critical if it is to be a consideration.

Anyone who thinks Suffolk County politics is any different then Nassau County politics? I spent my political time inside Suffolk politics, and I can tell you first hand — it is just as big a disaster as it is in Nassau, just the names are different. So what Steve Levy may want could be far different from what the Town of Islip may desire, or Town of Huntington. And then, you have to begin to factor in what the legislature wants, and who controls the land — so see — same thing, just different names, and the same questions loom — how badly would Suffolk want the Islanders? Badly enough to bury the political hatchet in the ground, or will it still be buried in each others heads?

Brooklyn
The borough of Brooklyn is making a huge comeback as are a number of city centers around the nation. With a new arena already under construction, Brooklyn, on the surface, makes a great deal of sense. But here too, there are issues. First, Charles Wang would have to carve a really strong deal for himself as he would not have the kind of control of resources as he would in his own building should he move to Barclays. This limits his chance at recouping the losses he has incurred in Nassau County. Further the arena, while it is now confirmed can house an NHL hockey team, has drawbacks.

The hockey conversion would likely bring the capacity of seating down to 14,000 – 16,000 which is not in the area the Isles were looking for. I think that is actually more of a blessing then a curse however for Wang — simply put, as the team improves (and I believe it will) tickets become more valuable, and you can charge more. It will be easier to sell-out games, creating a more electric atmosphere. It’s a win-win for players and management — although we would have to pay the ticket prices. Think Boston Red Sox. They have a 35,000 or so seat arena. They sell out damn near every game and have done so for years, and their ticket prices are pretty darn high for a quaint “dump” of a dilapidated ballpark.

I have also heard the sight lines are not optimal for hockey. This is moot to me — it’s an arena I can walk into, turn key without having to spend a dime. I can’t have everything if I am looking to keep my boys local — we will see the sight lines when we see them. I’m not taking someone else’s word for it.

Travel to and from Brooklyn will be dicey considering the LIRR is likely the only option for the fanbase. Suffolk residents are going to be tough to retain because they will have the longest trip, and I am also uneasy about a LIRR that can shut down on any given flake of snow — so what happens in the middle of January and February???

Queens
This makes a heap of sense to me, and is a solid compromise solution that I personally have felt will benefit everyone — everyone except the head-up-their-ass Nassau County clowns. And hey — you get what you deserve and what you vote for…

The problem is that the Willits Point area could be a longer then 19 month plan before shovels can be in the ground. With the Willits Point property, it is my understanding that the plan would include a condemning of privately owned properties to make way for the development that Charles Wang, and Queens would want. The trouble is that those property owners could possibly take Queens to court and I am not certain this would allow for a viable time line for the Islanders to have the ice ready for September 2015.

What could work is a partnership between the Islanders and the Mets, and the Islanders to build an arena on the Citifield parking lot grounds that would include some under ground parking.

Queens also would provide Islander fans with both a driving experience, and public transit — which is something that Nassau and Suffolk Counties could NEVER offer, or are too backwards in their thinking to consider, and Brooklyn can’t offer parking or driving in as a true viable alternative to the LIRR.

 

What this proves is that there are local options and there is still some time — just not much time — and each day that passes makes things that much tougher and tighter.

What concerns me is that Charles Wang will go off and sulk — and he has a right to. He was just told to screw off by Nassau County, so I don’t blame him for being “heartbroken.” He might have some wild-eyed ideas and thoughts when it comes to the team, but at the end of the day, he is the primary reason we still have a franchise in 2011. However, my hope is that both he and the Islanders will begin to play hardball, so to speak, and that these neighboring municipalities step up and make full and complete contact. The time to negotiate with Nassau County alone should be over. July 1 has come and gone, and Charles Wang should have the Islanders as a full and complete unrestricted free agent available to the municipality that offers the best deal for him, and his team.


The Blame Game
I’m sure there will be those opinions that will differ as some will want to lay blame on one person or entity or the other, this age group or that — and the truth is that in the end it really is the fault of everyone that the Islanders have yet to find a home. This goes back a while — all the way back to the days of Thomas Gulotta. Those were the first days of hearing about a new arena and a “Hub” for Nassau. From that point, very little was done to actually get something accomplished. Call it a lack of political will by a County Executive not too interested in an arena as his days in office were coming to an end, or for the long term lease that was signed by former owner Pickett pushing the need for an arena up to 2015.

Of course there was a 8-10 year gap where nothing really mattered as the Islanders went through owners the way Alex Ovechkin seems to go through hockey sticks. There was no time to consider developing a new arena when you had no real owner of the team. That is, until Charles Wang took the team on.

We all know that he has now made two efforts to develop the property and/or build a stand alone arena to keep the Islanders in Nassau County long term. Both efforts are left as the wreckage of fallen hopes for most Islander fans — and I say most only because I have run into the odd “fan” or two who either did not support one project or the other. Then again, I am biased. Nothing matters more to me then the boys in blue and orange in this kind of circumstance — not who is in what elected office or what the costs will be — within reason — and I found both the Lighthouse and the standalone arena to both be flawed, but certainly reasonable, and valuable.  I see limited issue with the Lighthouse Project — I would have wanted to see a light rail to help with transit, and I would have liked to see it blossom as a truly “green” project, mega towers that were scaled back could have been scaled back a little more…. The recently failed stand-alone arena was a project that I needed to warm to, but once some details from the plan emerged it was easier to come on board. The ambiguity of the project at the beginning left me wanting answers, which is why I wrote the blog post about us potentially getting screwed. This leaves us with the above mentioned alternatives — so nothing is really “over,” however, I have to level some blame at a number of key people — if for no other reason, then to feel a little better about this entire mess, and I hope that by reading this — maybe, just maybe, you can feel a little better too!

Charles Wang
As much as I appreciate that we have an owner willing to lose hundreds of millions of dollars, there is a lot more he could have done and should have done in BOTH the Lighthouse effort, as well as the referendum.

For the Lighthouse, he was in front of the curve through most of the project but he failed miserably in reading the political landscape. He launched his efforts with “the County” rather then “the Town” which really held all the cards. By the time he sat down with the Town Board of Hempstead, the game was already over. He had donated thousands upon thousands of dollars to Democrats in Nassau County. That matters because the seat of Republican power in Nassau County comes from Hempstead Township — ultimately he waded into the Republican pool, and pissed away after drinking a case of beer with the Democrats — so you can imagine how that made Ms. Murray — the Queen Hoople feel as she was just nearby in the very same pool. Charles should have known better — especially with a seasoned vet like Scott Rechler by his side — and if he didn’t shame on him. Worse still — if he did know, and chose to ignore good, sound political advice — well then he has to endure a big part of the blame. When Charles was questioned by the Town he was anything but cool and calm — his frustration was evident, and he was very short on answers and clear direction to fix the problems he was being asked to fix.

If you are going to get into this kind of building project or referendum votes, you best have a political adviser. The PR staff with the Islanders is hardly seasoned and has endured several major gaffs, so if Charles was hoping they could handle either Kate Murray and Joe Mondello – or Jay Jacobs and the Democrats — he was badly misjudging his opponents — something that I feel he has done very well — twice.

In the case of the referendum, he made a different mistake — and perhaps it was Ed Mangano’s as well — but he has to share in the responsibility of once again, not being prepared on the details of the proposal he had worked out with the County. He failed to be out in front of the debate, and played catch-up almost from the beginning. As mentioned several times on this blog, I felt like there was an assumption this would be an empty netter to win the Stanley Cup, and instead it was Rick DiPietro thinking he was set for a faceoff, but watched the puck go by costing us the game! Lets be real here — the “i’s” were never fully dotted and the “t’s” never fully crossed. Even County employees were coming out and publicly saying that one thing would work, if the other thing happened — and it became convoluted, and vague, and full of questions and some doubt. It was not until the last week that things began to become clarified — and by then it was far too late. The opposition lead by the king of stupidity — Jay Jacobs — had already made the argument that wins time after time — taxes will go up. Plus that was the argument made early, and that “first impression” stuck with simple minded narrow voters.

I am convinced that if the details were spelled out from the beginning, and that perhaps if the details were presented slightly differently,  it would have been a tighter race, or even a win for Charles Wang and the Islanders, but he failed to make his case. Now it seems, he plans to “go dark” again much like he did post Lighthouse. This is further compounds his mistakes. He is continuing to allow others to define what could happen, or will happen, and that is a problem. He must be exhausted — and sure he should take a week or two off — but in reality, he needs to pick himself up and dust himself off — as mentioned earlier — there are only 19 months left to come up with a solution.

My strongest recommendation to Mr. Wang — no more Mr. Nice Guy. The threats have to be real, and followed through now. All sides must be played against the middle to garner the best deal for his hockey team. He said the franchise is out of options. Those cannot be just loose words. As I have mentioned several times — he needs to be seen talking to and negotiating with people from Queens, Brooklyn and Suffolk if he is going to manipulate Nassau into a position where all sides come together — because in the end, if the nest of idiots we call our elected officials lose the Islanders to Queens, Brooklyn, Suffolk, or too a far off place, they will have destroyed any hope for Long Island’s future, not to mention elevated our taxes and created the worlds largest crack and whore den.

Ed Mangano
I think Mangano is at limited fault here. The man stuck his neck out early in his term to try to get this done, and he largely picked up where Suozzi left off when it came to supporting the Islanders, and trying to keep the team in Nassau. Commendable. The big screw-up in my mind was the decision to hold the election as a stand-alone issue, and a lack of any real details on the plan. Perhaps both of these are equally Charles Wang’s problem as well, but Mangano is the “tax-revolt” guy — who won an insurgent campaign. I think had the vote been on primary day or general election day the Islanders may have had a better chance.

When mixed into a primary or better still a general election, there would have been a chance — a good chance — that many voters would have voted for the candidates and either not seen, or not cared enough about the propositions on the ballot. It would have further forced the opposition to focus on Candidate races rather then a proposition — reducing the number of robo calls, ads, and leaflet distributions. This could have opened the door for Charles Wang to advertise his issue broadly without the flood of negativity. This became a single issue vote without any of the distractions of the general election. They could have buried this in the General election, and sent in normally apathetic voters to “bullet vote” the issue. (A bullet vote is when you go in, vote for one candidate or issue, and walk out.) So perhaps young Islander fans who don’t normally vote could have gone to vote for this one issue, and walk out.

We have a limited way of knowing who came out and voted August 1. Was it Democrats? Was it Republicans? My guess it was both who knocked this referendum into the NO column — but that means many of the same supporters who put Mangano’s “tax-revolt” team in office, turned their back on him. And perhaps that makes some sense. He was supposed to come in to CUT taxes, not increase them. This is kind of like the concept of how easy it easy to shout from the sidelines and tell the person in the County Executive’s chair everything he/she is doing wrong, but then once you are sitting there, in that same seat, seeing the problems and the details of those problems, the promises you make during your campaign become harder, and harder to execute.

Besides the decision to hold the vote as a stand-alone measure — the roll-out of the plan — which was tied to the timing of the vote — was poorly done, and I have to put the bulk of that on Mangano. He was the central political influence on the proposal with Wang — and Wang is not the political strategist here. As mentioned above the proposal lacked any true details, and the opposition lead by King of Stupidity Jay Jacobs ate Mangano and his detail weak plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Mangano and plan proponents were playing catch-up and reeling from the onset — and frankly were a good 2 weeks late in even formulating a response to opposition. They were never out front, and that caused a lack of trust and transparency issue with voters as exit polls indicated.

None the less, I believe Mangano tried his best, as did Suozzi — but in both case, they were swimming upstream, against different waves.

Kate Murray, Joseph Mondello and the Town of Hempstead Board (Better known as the Hooples of Hempstead)
I think the thing that bothered me the most about Kate Murray is that she remained silent during the early stages of the project. In politics we refer to this as “going fishing.” She did not want to be viewed as  “in favor” or “opposed” to anything. In fact — that is her entire being — to appear to be doing something without actually doing a damn thing. She is the quintessential Long Island politico. She is not terribly bright, and likely takes her directives from Joseph Mondello among other republican operatives.

For years she said and did nothing with regards to the Lighthouse Project. She and the entire Hempstead board sat on their duffs. Which seems to be par for the course. In place of jumping on to work with a man like Charles Wang — work to develop something both sides could agree on, she gave no indication of anything, for or against anything. She reserved comments and critique until is was too late — too late to vote her out of office, or her entire board — and far to late to find a compromise. As I said, part of that falls on Charles Wang, and Tom Suozzi, but the Hooples are just as culpable.

Some say the Lighthouse project was too large and needed to be scaled down.

Alright — that may have been true for some, but it certainly did not occur to the Town of Hempstead to pass legislation to zone the Hub property — that is not until the project was already dead.

Some felt that there were traffic concerns as well as other environmental issues.

Perhaps so — but at what point in the discussion was that communicated to Charles Wang and the developers so that it could be addressed in a timely manner before he had spent years and millions of dollars on his proposal? Was it early in the effort or late in the game? Again Charles should have been more prepared for the nonsense coming from Hempstead, but Hempstead should have had the zoning set up somewhere earlier in the process then it did — early enough to work with a developer like Wang or Rechler.

Others say this was a political move from the outset. That Murray, Mondello and the republicans were against it for fear that the demographics of the Town of Hempstead would change as the Lighthouse would attract people with Democratic voter registrations. Further, they were displeased with Wang and Suozzi being so closely linked. Unfortunately, if an idea comes from a Democrat, it has to be voted down by Republicans. And as we just saw, if it comes from a Republican, the Democrats have to hate. For lack of a better way of saying it — it’s nothing but bull shit, and we — the fans, taxpayers, the citizens have sit down and eat that bull shit.

Disgusting as it might be, I don’t want to make this about one party or another — because they both have let us down on a great number of issues.

But in this instance, Murray is the wicked witch of the South. The Queen of the Hempstead Hooples — ALL of them.

Government can work. It can be a place where things can be accomplished and the people (us) dont get screwed. She and her entire lazy, good for nothing board should have been out front on the Lighthouse from day one with Charles Wang.  They should have scheduled a meeting with Charles Wang as soon as he won the RFP with the County, and they should have been diligent in creating zoning for the property long before Wang had put his proposal into the Town. Had that happened, Wang would not have wasted millions of dollars on his proposal. He would have been able to see from the outset — zoning says I can do W, X, and Y, but I can’t do Z.

The last part about Murray — where the hell was she during this referendum vote? Where was her Town Board? This is what she wanted, remember? She was quoted several times as saying that if Charles Wang wants a new home for his team, we could have approved in 5 years ago and it would already be done. Well, this is what Murray wanted. She certainly took advantage of the photo op in May on the dais with Mangano and Wang. Where was she when the shit was hitting the fan from Jay Jacobs? (don’t worry, I have plenty to say about him too). I could say the same for puppet master Joseph Mondello. He sure was loud when it came to defeating the Lighthouse. Where the hell was he when his democratic counterpart was stirring up a shit storm of stupidity?

It makes me wonder — do these people gave a damn about anything other then staying in office to earn a paycheck off our tax dollars? Frankly, I would not trust either one of these fools or any member of the Town of Hempstead Government to wipe their own ass properly.

Tom Suozzi
The man tried — just like Ed Mangano — but he too made serious errors. First and foremost he should have directed Charles Wang to the Town of Hempstead. Like Kate Murray, Suozzi was interested in other things — not the Islanders, and not the development. Suozzi had his eye on the governors mansion. I am sure he felt that “solving” the hub would be a nice catalyst to Albany. The only problem was that he was not the person who should have been cutting deals and making promises to the Islanders and its fans. The power of development is with the Town of Hempstead — as county Executive he should have known this. In the end, I think he saw Wang, and shined him on that he could help get the project done, all the while taking Charles’ campaign dollars (which is why I think Suozzi fed him the bull shit.)

In addition to this, he pissed all over the Town of Hempstead, and the County Legislators — when he started out making a deal with Charles Wang. He did so without opening the development up and having an original RFP. That is wrong — plain and simple.

Lastly — he dropped the ball completely on his own re-election bid, and failed to remain in office. Perhaps he should have been more focused on his own backyard, than the ones in Albany. This may not seem that significant, but it further delayed things because we were then faced with a change of power and party that had largely supported Charles Wang and the Islanders. Of course we have since learned the only people that Democrats support are Democrats — and the only people Republicans support are Republicans. Sad but true and especially true on Long Island.

Jay Jacobs — The King of Stupidity, and his Court Jesters
Jacobs was little known to the bulk of Islander fans who were not politically active, but he is known now — and that is not a good thing for Jacobs. Within a few weeks, he set himself, and his party — and any chance they had to recapture office back quite a bit. I don’t think there is an Islander fan that will support anything Jacobs has to say, at this point — and his candidates will be answering questions about this during the next election cycle. He targeted this vote and defeated it without too much trouble. In the end — a tax increase of any kind is a difficult sell to anyone — Democrat, Republican, Liberal or Conservative — it’s a tax increase and it sucks. We as fans were willing to overlook it, but how many of you fans, regardless of age and political affiliation, are prime voters? (A prime voter is someone who never ever misses an election, including school board).

Mangano and Wang’s error in making this a special election, played directly into Jacobs’ hands, who was the instrument in defeating the referendum. He could use any and all of his resources to defeat the referendum and that is precisely what he did. The King of Stupidity may very well lead the Islanders right out Nassau County — along with hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue for the county that will fall on our shoulders with no hope of being  mitigated by future revenue sharing or the addition of a major tenant again. Not to mention, about 2,000 plus jobs! What major sport organization would ever award a franchise to Nassau County ever again after witnessing the debacle of the last dozen or so years?

What is particularly dumb is that Jacobs actually suggested 2 things that make little sense to me.

First and foremost — PSLs. Something so unpopular, and frankly pointless. I should “pay for my seats” before I pay for my seats? I think there should be legislation barring the practice — for any league or sport. If the seat is going to cost $200 rather then $100 because the cost of construction has to be factored in — fine. I will make the decision of whether $200 is worth it to see a game live or I should just stay home. Don’t disguise it with something as hollow as PSLs.

I think making the argument that Charles Wang and the Islanders should be “privately financing” a new arena is laughable. We are on a ferris wheel that never stops. Wang started out with an attempt to privately finance a project and it was killed by the Republicans. Then we tried a publicly financed project and it was killed by the Democrats — round and round we go…..Bueller…Bueller…Bueller…
Some will argue that the privately financed project was too large and one has nothing to do with the other. Others may argue that they don’t want to see public funds used, and they don’t want taxes to go up. Then there will be those who say Charles Wang can afford to build it himself, and does not need our help.

To all of this I say it is never that simple!

The privately financed project was a large scale full vision for the area. He had no partnership or good faith discussions with the Town of Hempstead to work things out either to scale down or work withing a zoning framework – see above.

The public attempt at financing the construction was not going to pass because Republicans had killed the Lighthouse — so Democrats had to kill the referendum and people did not want taxes to increase.

As for the argument I have been hearing that Charles can afford to build it himself — yes, I suppose he probably can. But then again, are these the very same people who cry foul about a nickel more in taxes or someone who earns a few billion dollars in income to help offset costs of running the country — to wit I say — you are contradicting yourself. Either the billionaires can afford “it” or not.

The bottom line is this — everyone has let the Islanders and its fans down. A friend of mine said something to me that I thought hit the nail on the head. In 1972, Nassau County decided to get into the “arena business.” If they are now in a place where they don’t want to do it, or don’t see the value in it, they need to just let us know that they want OUT of the arena business, and freely allow the Islanders to find a new home elsewhere. I don’t believe for a moment that any of the politicians — ANY OF THEM — give a shit about the Islanders, their fans or the people — they only care about one thing — keeping their jobs, and making the other guy or gal look bad. In the process, the People get screwed.

I don’t care who is in power — they are both very bad at their jobs — and it seems to be the case especially in Nassau County, and I can attest to the fact that it is just as bad in Suffolk.

My Conclusion
New York City seems to be poised to make something happen with the Islanders, and Queens has long been my desired choice for Charles Wang and the Islanders — and that goes back to before the end of the Lighthouse mess. I have long held that Charles has been too soft in his dealings with Nassau County — be it the Town of Hempstead or the County. He has tried this on two separate occasions and with both political entities — and both have let him down. It is high time Charles Wang become a little selfish. He must find the best deal possible for HIS team, and HIS business. To me, the answer is, and really has always been Queens. The word is Queens is ready for Charles Wang, and ready for the Islanders. It is time the Islanders prepared themselves for Queens. The round puck no longer fits in the square backwards ignorant hole that is Nassau County and its backwards thinking politicos. The zoning in Queens is essentially set up for this kind of a development and the political will seems to be in place to support the project apparently across the board. Am I the only one who sees this as a “no-brainer?” Why is Charles Wang putting himself, and his fan base through this torture any longer?

It is time Charles. You faught the good fight — not once, but twice. Why go back for a third round of physical and emotional abuse. The people of Nassau have spoken — rightly or wrongly influenced by both the Queen Hoople of Hempstead and her Board, or the King of Stupidity and his Court Jesters. They don’t want you, or the team. You tried both a private venture and a public venture. There is really no third option. Pack up the gear and move west about a dozen miles and an oasis can be built — they are waiting for you! Don’t go dark….don’t go silent again. The time to act is now. We have 19 months! Get to work.

 

UPDATE August 16, 2011

Ironic, I thought, but typical. Today, Newsday is reporting that Nassau County has 8 preliminary proposal for the Nassau Coliseum property — some of which would offer no arena at all. But one thing every single one of the 8 proposals have in common? Not a single one of them offers a privately financed option. Not one. Every one of the 8 proposals call for a publicly funded development.

So let me see if I have this right.

1) There was a privately financed project, it was called the Lighthouse. It was awarded to Charles Wang as he won the bid at the time, and was willing to have the entire project privately funded. because of a lack of proper zoning, and a good faith partner in Hempstead Township, as well as a lack of political smarts, and willingness to find compromise, the project was killed off — largely by the Republicans and the Hooples of Hempstead.

2) The new County Executive, together with Wang, decided to come all the way back to what Hempstead Township essentially wanted in the first place — a stand-alone arena. But, because of the lack of additional revenue, which I can understand, Charles Wang said that he would not pay for the construction. As such, a public referendum was created. Here, we saw the Democrats and King of Stupidity along with some others kill off the referendum.

So we come to the above mentioned “Plan C” for Do Nothing Nassau – and all of those who DO NOTHING and have DONE NOTHING — be it Jay Jacobs who made all the noise about public cost, or Kate Murray, who got her way and did nothing to help the referendum cause, have no offered NOTHING in the way of keeping the Islanders in Nassau County.

Ill say it again — those who shouted the loudest complaining that the Lighthouse was too big, or not good for the community, and those who cried foul over the referendum bond concept have offered a total of zero, zip, nada, bupkiss…

It is amazing that when it comes time to actually DO the work, to put the concepts down on paper and offer something other then hurling bombs and barbs at those who do create — be it jobs, or ideas for a new arena — when those people are asked to think of ideas — you will notice how quiet they become — so quiet you can hear a rat piss on cotton!

As I mentioned in my close from above — Charles Wang continues to pine away for a Nassau County that will never ever come to grips that this is not 1950, and it can’t rush into 2050. This is a County driving people and businesses away with bad decisions, and bad policy. The Islanders could easily follow suit — and at this juncture, I believe they should make it very obvious that unless the County steps up to the plate within the coming few months, they are gone. I have long been calling for the Islanders brass to be publicly seen with, and openly negotiating with other municipalities. Unfortunately they have yet to do so. Nassau County will never take Charles Wang seriously about his threat to leave if he keeps saying, “…this is my home, and this is where the Islanders belong. I have not given up on Nassau County…” Everytime he says things like that he undermines his own ability to negotiate a better deal for his franchise. Everytime he utters comments like that the Kate Murray’s, Ed Mangano’s, Jay Jacobs’ of the County turn to each other and say, “see….we know he won’t really leave…”

Charles, the time has come for you to face reality. Nassau County does not want you, care about you, or your hockey team. Start looking to Queens please….

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About the Author: A graphic designer who loves the game....and knows that age has slowed him down — but the passion is there. Islanders fan since the 70s, Dad, Husband and Coach of the Flying Tiger's Email: andre@filamentdesigns.net Twitter: http://twitter.com/FilamentDesigns

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  1. Steve says:

    Agree 100%. Despite NYC swimming in huge debt of 2 billion, I think it can float municipal (tax-exempt) bonds to build an arena in the Citi Field parking and have Wang privately finance a part of WP. The Isles have to piggy back with an entity that was able to make it from the RFQ to RFP like the Sterling Equities, the parent company of the Mets due to Madoff issues and another entity. Even with Wang getting a third of WP, the maximum housing allowed in WP is 5850. Divide that by 3= 1950 housing units for Wang. Certainly much more than what allowed in the TOH zoning of 500 housing units allowed maximum.

  2. Sean Avery is such a likeable guy but somehow he snapped. How come? Is this another case of police brutality.

    • HyeDray says:

      Subject change??? LOL….See, I knew there was someone who wanted to talk “hockey…”

      Yep – Avery is right there for me with Charles….and I don’t mean Wang….I was thinking more Charlie Manson…

      Seriously, the guy is a POS of the tallest order.

  3. RobJ74 says:

    Is Queens that viable???Will the business in the vicinity fight against this???Will politics allow it???