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Opinion

Let the games begin

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Daily Point

Isles group makes the rounds

The development of Belmont Park took a quiet step forward Wednesday with a meeting at a church in Valley Stream that neither the public nor news media was permitted to attend.

The state’s community advisory committee, made up of 15 area residents such as civic leaders and the mayors of Floral Park and South Floral Park, held its first meeting with representatives of the New York Islanders, the New York Mets’ real estate development arm, and members of the State Senate and Assembly who represent the area.

The Point was told the group discussed everything from traffic concerns and policing to the future of the Long Island Rail Road station at Belmont. Community members suggested considering the need for better youth sports facilities and adding science and technology education to the community center component that’s being planned for the site.

The committee plans to hold similar gatherings at least quarterly. One attendee told The Point that officials from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority might attend the next meeting.

“It was actually a really good start,” said our source.

Randi F. Marshall

Reference Point

#TBT - Dog eat dog world in Hempstead

Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, who last week asked for yet another audit of the town’s animal shelter, noted that it “has been a lightning rod of controversy for years.”

Controversy over animal care in Hempstead is a lot older than perhaps even Gillen realizes.

On this day back in 1950, Newsday published a cartoon and an editorial on the subject, applauding town officials for having “a sudden change of heart” after months of protest and finally taking steps to create a town-operated dog pound.

The editorial called the Roeper dog pound, a privately operated facility in Valley Stream, “a chamber of horrors” where “many a friend of man was needlessly led to the gas chamber instead of to a new home.” It cited a Newsday exposé of the pound, but credited angry town residents for “the resultant public pressure that really spurred these officials out of their lethargy.”

Sixty-eight years later, the passions have not cooled.

Michael Dobie

Point Proven

Bond vote stance worth repeating

The Massapequa school district held two bond votes in late January, for a combined $32.8 million. Both passed, one garnering 1,370 total votes and the other 1,368 — less than one-third of the 4,275 voters who cast ballots for the district’s budget and school board last May.

It was just the latest evidence for those who say bond votes should be held along with budget votes in May, when more voters are paying attention.

Michael Dobie

Bonus Point

Olympics event — the coin flip

Team USA has picked its flag-bearer for Friday’s Winter Olympics opening ceremonies in South Korea, but not without controversy.

Luger Erin Hamlin, a New Yorker, won over speedskater and fellow Olympic veteran Shani Davis — in a coin flip, after voting produced a 4-4 tie.

The outcome was reminiscent of the Virginia House of Delegates race in November that ended with two candidates deadlocked. The tie was broken by a state election official putting his hand in a bowl and picking one of two old film canisters that had the candidates’ names on pieces of paper inside.

Sports, unlike politics, has a long history with coin flips. But usually it’s to start a competition, not end it.

Michael Dobie

Columns