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Andrew M. Cuomo was 17 years old in the summer of 1975, when the movie “Jaws” hit the big screen and terrorized beachgoers across America.
The teen years are impressionable ones, and the now-governor of New York might have picked up a thing or two from the prototypical summer blockbuster.
We’re referring to the lessons Cuomo might have learned from Larry Vaughn, and employed Wednesday in response to the two apparent shark attacks on Fire Island.
Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) was the movie’s mayor of fictional Amity Island, and after the first attack by the great white shark he overruled police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) and kept the local beaches open, fearing the loss of tourist dollars from the panic that might ensue. And, as we know too well, shark-chomping mayhem did ensue. Brody finally convinced Vaughn to hire local shark hunter Quint (played by Robert Shaw and widely considered to be based on the late Long Island shark hunter Frank Mundus), and the rest was cinematic history.
After a 12-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy were attacked in separate incidents at Sailors Haven and Atlantique, Cuomo channeled his anti-Vaughn. He deployed Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos “to lead a multiagency investigation” and temporarily closed the two beaches while the probe was underway. He also expressed relief that the two kids were OK and emphasized the state’s efforts to keep the people safe. Later in the day, two sharks were caught, but could not be connected to the attacks.
On Thursday morning, the governor’s office issued a statement from Seggos reopening the beaches with additional lifeguards, shoreline patrols, advice to swimmers to be vigilant, and a promise to “continue to do everything we can to protect beachgoers.”
Left unsaid: No one is hoping for a sequel.
TWU hedges bets
Looks like the TWU isn’t feeling that progressive blue wave this fall.
Two Republican State senators recently received the largesse of Transport Workers Union Local 100, the union that primarily represents NYC transit system workers. The senators were John Flanagan, the GOP leader, and Marty Golden of Brooklyn. Golden is the Senate representative on the influential Capital Program Review Board which greenlights MTA capital plans.
This year, Golden faces a stiffer than usual challenge in a city district where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans. Two young Democrats, Ross Barkan and Andrew Gounardes, are primarying each other, hoping to ride a blue wave in November past Golden. Both challengers have highlighted the MTA as a major issue, calling for better service and more funding.
TWU’s local opted to play it safe and go with the known relationship in campaign donations over the last six months, giving $850 to Golden, who was first elected to the Senate in 2002.
The union also made donations to Democrats, but again put its money on the status quo in supporting former Independent Democratic Conference members Jesse Hamilton, Jeff Klein, and Tony Avella, all of whom are facing feisty challengers from the left.
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More waiting at the Hub
Those hoping for progress at the Nassau Hub are going to have to wait a bit longer.
Nassau County officials decided Thursday to extend by two weeks the deadline for their Request for Expressions of Interest for the Hub.
The deadline for submissions of ideas for an “innovation district” at the Hub was supposed to be Friday — six weeks after the request was issued. The new deadline is Friday, Aug. 3.
A county source told The Point that one potential respondent asked for more time — and so the extension was granted to everyone.
The delay comes despite Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s initial emphasis on a sense of urgency and desire for a quick process.
“It won’t delay the process at all,” county spokesman Michael Martino said. “We felt the extension was warranted.”
After all, what’s two weeks when some have been waiting more than two decades?
Randi F. Marshall