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Wild card in Islandia
Among the lessons to be drawn from the state Supreme Court ruling that Islandia Village officials acted illegally last year in granting a special permit to Suffolk Off-Track Betting for the casino at Jake’s 58 hotel is this:
It’s foolish to bet against attorney Paul Sabatino when it comes to matters of municipal law. Sabatino, of Huntington Station, was the lawyer for the plaintiffs, a group of casino opponents. And he is a genius — some foes would say, dark genius — in this arena of legal arcana.
So it’s worth paying attention to what he says will come next for the casino — one of the most successful in New York since opening in February.
“If the New York Gaming Commission has an ounce of integrity, it should pull the license since one of the conditions for obtaining the license is written confirmation that the location of the casino is in compliance with local ordinances,” Sabatino wrote in an email to The Point.
Islandia has until Dec. 8 to file an appeal.
“If we win the appeal,” Sabatino wrote, “they have to shut it down.”
And then we’ll find out who really has the winning hand and who is only bluffing.
The New York Islanders are coming home — for a day.
The hockey team is playing a preseason game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday — the only time the Islanders will play a game in Nassau County this season.
And Nassau Coliseum is ready for the puck to drop.
The rink sports the team’s familiar logo under the scoreboard at center ice — unlike in Brooklyn, where the scoreboard is off-center. American and Canadian flags are in the rafters, waiting for national anthems. And the boards feature the usual sponsors along the sides.
It seems as if the Coliseum is trying to make a good impression on its guests. After all, county and arena officials hope to woo the team to return permanently to the Coliseum, even as the Islanders hope to build an arena elsewhere, potentially at Belmont Park.
For one day, though, it’ll be as if the team never left Long Island.
Randi F. Marshall
Pointing between the lines
‘Distinguished’ move in Hempstead
News item: State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has appointed Jack Bierwirth — a respected former Long Island schools superintendent in Herricks, Sachem and Freeport — as a “distinguished educator” in the troubled Hempstead school district.
What it means: Elia remains so concerned about perennially struggling Hempstead, which she visited three months after becoming commissioner in 2015, that she took this unusual tack: Only once since state law in 2007 created the “distinguished educator” position to give someone authority to review low-performing districts and develop and implement improvement plans has it been employed, in Buffalo in 2012.
What it doesn’t mean: That this is a precursor to the state taking control of Hempstead. After the state’s checkered reign in Roosevelt, which it ran for 11 years beginning in 2002, education officials are loath to repeat that experience.