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A new development in the Islanders saga?
The battle lines are being drawn over the future of the New York Islanders.
On one side are some of the region’s largest sports titans, some local politicians and representatives of the New York Racing Association.
On the other side stands Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, accompanied by those who run the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and Long Island Association chief executive Kevin Law, who has ties to the governor and the state’s economic development efforts. Joining them most recently is developer Scott Rechler, whom The Point has confirmed is interested in helping to develop commercial property and housing that might be built on land surrounding Nassau Coliseum.
At center ice are the Islanders, who are unhappy in Brooklyn and looking for a potential new home.
The Islanders are in discussions to build an arena at Belmont Park, a deal that could involve the Wilpon family, which owns the New York Mets, and James Dolan, the executive chairman of Madison Square Garden. That could be a win for Belmont and the surrounding area, especially if there’s additional economic development, year-round horse racing and a full-service Long Island Rail Road stop as part of the deal.
But Mangano, Law and Barclays officials are trying to woo the Islanders back to the Coliseum, though for now, the arena’s renovations aren’t being done with an NHL team in mind, and the site has no public transit.
State officials will play big roles in deciding where the team goes, especially because a move to Belmont would require a state request for proposals from developers, although it wouldn’t require state funds.
So, there’s one more name on the list who everyone’s courting, but who hasn’t yet taken a side, at least not publicly.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Randi F. Marshall
A contender for Nassau comptroller?
Legis. Howard Kopel of Lawrence says he is “keeping his powder dry” when it comes to deciding whether to run for Nassau County comptroller, but he told The Point that he’s committed enough to the idea to start raising money.
It’s a process the Republican says he despises, and mostly hasn’t bothered with too much in his four successful runs to represent the district. He’s the only Republican to have expressed serious interest in the job since Comptroller George Maragos left the GOP, saying he would run for the Democratic nomination for county executive.
On the Democratic side, Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman, who originally said he would run for county executive, has decided to seek the comptroller nod by running side by side with Legis. Laura Curran of Baldwin, who will seek the county executive post and carry the blessing of county Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs into a potential primary battle with Maragos and Assemb. Charles Lavine of Glen Cove.
So what will tip Kopel’s decision?
It may well depend on who is likely to win the nominations from both parties for county executive. In an election like this, with a voter turnout composed largely of political diehards, it’s likely that the same party will win both the county executive and comptroller races.
Kopel says he will weigh his chances before he decides. That largely means weighing the prospects of the Republicans who have been mentioned as possible candidates for county executive — against the chances of Curran, Maragos or Lavine. Former State Sen. Jack Martins is likely the best GOP prospect, but former Nassau Legislature Presiding Officer Bruce Blakeman and Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Donald Clavin are also pondering runs.
The greatest speech ever
In his speech to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, President Donald Trump used some optimistic rhetoric, including the exhortation for Americans to have “the bravery to express the hopes that stir our souls.”
That last phrase also appeared in Trump’s inaugural address: “A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions.”
In both speeches, “stir our souls” appeared in rousing sections, with similar calls for unity under the same flag and God.
Despite the similar language and wording in those passages, the speeches largely struck different tones. A dark delivery and the phrase “American carnage” marked the first. An opening that mentioned civil rights and a stand against hate helped the second, though many of the general elements of Trump’s “America first” campaign message persisted.
Those usual messages were still present — just shaken and stirred.