Good afternoon and welcome to The Point!
As the Suffolk sheriff race turns
It looks like Phil Boyle is going back to the State Senate.
The Point has learned that Suffolk County Democratic leader Rich Schaffer will not give Boyle the party ballot line to run for sheriff. In an amazing rebuke by his own party, Boyle lost the GOP primary last week to Lawrence Zacarese, assistant chief of the Stony Brook University police. Schaffer will go instead with Errol Toulon Jr., a former Suffolk deputy county executive for criminal justice matters.
While Schaffer initially had promised the Democratic line to Boyle, meaning he could have run practically unopposed in November, the calculation changed dramatically with his primary defeat. Boyle’s continued quest for sheriff on the Democratic line and against the candidate of his party was too politically risky for both Boyle and Schaffer.
While Boyle still holds the ballot lines of the Conservative and Independence parties, his chance for victory there is impossible, so he is likely to ask to be removed from them as well. Instead, Boyle will head back up to Albany in January and seek to repair his standing with the party and his constituents by the time he comes up for re-election in 2018.
The nomination of Toulon provides an out for the Democratic leader, who is coming under increasing scrutiny by progressives in his party to stop playing footsie with the GOP and minor parties.
The key remaining question is whether the Conservative and Independence parties will dump Boyle from their November ballot lines and sign on with a new, and rather embarrassing, cross-endorsement deal.
So how does this all happen? Both Boyle and Stuart Besen, who was the placeholder for Boyle on the Democratic line, would have to be nominated this week for state Supreme Court judgeships in some county where they will be sure to lose. A judicial nomination and death are the only two ways a candidate can get off a ballot after he or she has officially accepted a nomination. And while Suffolk is still the Wild West of politics, the other alternative is not under consideration.
A tease at the Coliseum
“Bring them back!”
That chant reverberated throughout Nassau Coliseum on Sunday, as an announced 13,917 fans celebrated the New York Islanders’ return to the old barn-turned-new.
Fans made the most of it, arriving hours before the game, honking horns in rhythm, playing street hockey in the parking lot while they grilled lunch, lining up for photos with the Stanley Cup. It was like old times, they said, and the game was the icing — pun intended — as the Isles finished with an overtime win.
And Brett Yormark, chief executive of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, operator of the Coliseum, hopes the Islanders’ owners — as well as representatives from the NHL — were watching and listening.
Yormark told The Point he sees a two-phase opportunity: first, the Islanders come back for some games, perhaps temporarily; and second, if the team reconsiders making the arena a more permanent home. Both, he noted, would require “doable” improvements to the arena.
“I think yesterday was a great first step for us in what will be a multistep process,” Yormark said in an interview Monday. “Hopefully, they read the stories today, they understand what the fans want, and collectively, we can all work together to deliver to fans exactly what they’re looking for. That’s the goal.”
Yormark used Sunday’s game as a chance to plan. He and a design and construction team walked around the arena during the game, observing what worked and what didn’t, from the crowds in the concourse and the lines at the concession stands, to the more successful way the plaza was utilized for pregame festivities.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has said the Coliseum is “not a viable option” for an Islanders return. But conversations with the Islanders, Yormark said, are ongoing.
For now, though, Sunday’s extravaganza was, in the words of one fan tailgating in the parking lot, “a tease.”
Randi F. Marshall
Drama, drama, drama
- President Donald Trump still hasn’t won an Emmy. But after “Saturday Night Live’s” nine victories — winner Alec Baldwin played Trump, Kate McKinnon played opponent Hillary Clinton dealing with Trump, Melissa McCarthy played Trump’s first press secretary Sean Spicer, Dave Chappelle gave a moving monologue after Trump’s election victory, and “SNL” overall skewered Trump and his administration — he can lay legitimate claim to being an Emmy inspiration.
- As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cuts by half the number of department specialists attending this week’s UN General Assembly opening session and leaves many other positions unfilled, it’s becoming clear that Tillerson’s rethinking of how the State Department conducts diplomacy presumes the goal is to conduct less diplomacy.
- What do you call the Interior Department’s proposal to allow seismic studies that could lead to oil and gas drilling in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? Overdue, if you’re in the fossil fuel industry. War, if you’re an environmentalist.
- The Long Island’s tourism agency’s campaign to attract international visitors to the region has a little bit of cart-before-the-horse feel to it, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t the strategy have a better chance of success if international airlines carrying international visitors could land on Long Island?
- The Trump administration says it doesn’t expect any breakthrough in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process during this week’s UN General Assembly opening session. That’s OK. No one else expects that, either.
- Since President Donald Trump issued his “fire and fury” threat to North Korea, Kim Jong Un has tested a hydrogen bomb and launched three missiles. Trump was right about unleashing fire and fury, he just had the wrong country.