A newly registered domain name was creating some buzz in the Long Island political world this week: JOSHLAFAZANFORCONGRESS.COM.
Lafazan is a Nassau County legislator widely seen as ambitious and with his eyes on higher office. But the provenance of the domain, which was registered on Nov. 10, is a bit of a mystery because identification information about the registrant has been "redacted for privacy," according to the ICANN lookup tool.
"That wasn't me," Lafazan told The Point. "I have no idea who that was."
The Woodbury independent who caucuses with Democrats said he found out about the listing Thursday night. Asked directly if he’s considering a run for Congress, he pointed to his very tight and very recently declared victory this November to hold his seat in the county legislature: "So my focus is taking the oath of office on January 1, and getting back to working for the people of this district."
Lafazan lives within Rep. Tom Suozzi’s congressional district, and with Suozzi himself eyeing higher state office, there are certainly people interested in replacing the veteran politician and who would be eager to take over without having to primary an incumbent.
If Lafazan didn’t purchase the domain, which currently has nothing on it but a "recently registered" sign, there are other possibilities. Lafazan noted that "there's a whole market of speculative domain purchasing" given how cheap they are. It’s possible such speculation could be done for political purposes, or money.
Anyway, the mystery is still out.
"I'd like to know who purchased it," Lafazan said. "So if they can contact me that would be great."
— Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano
Another 'new' station?
Suffolk County and the Town of Brookhaven have come to an agreement on the future home of the Yaphank Long Island Rail Road station.
Now the question is whether the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will come along for the ride.
According to a letter dated Thursday that Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine wrote to LIRR president Phil Eng, the county and town prefer to have the station moved to land east of William Floyd Parkway, just south of the Long Island Expressway, a site they said "will provide the strongest connection to the world-renowned Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and the East Yaphank community."
Bellone and Romaine said they’ve recently seen "renewed interest" from business leaders and others in the station’s relocation and in electrifying the LIRR east of Ronkonkoma.
Their letter suggested that the spot they chose could provide access to residents and commuters and "unlocks additional previously landlocked parcels to the south and east of the proposed station location for compact, walkable development."
Bellone told The Point that he had been thinking about moving the station for nearly a decade.
"The whole idea of this from the beginning was to take a train stop that was not being utilized by anyone and to move it to leverage one of the greatest assets we have in this region — Brookhaven National Laboratory," Bellone said.
Bellone noted that while he preferred having the station directly on BNL’s property, the agreed-upon location is a "good alternative." And he said he hopes there will be ways to add direct connectivity from the station to the lab for employees.
Bellone and Romaine are hoping that the effort to move the station will be paired with electrifying the line. Bellone said he’d like to see the line electrified as far as Riverhead, but that going as far as the lab would be a good first step.
Now, it’s up to the MTA, which previously has been supportive of the concept but had put it, like other proposed capital projects, on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the Bellone-Romaine recommendation, MTA spokesman Dave Steckel said Friday the authority would "incorporate their ideas into our assessment to meet the operating needs of the LIRR and commuting priorities of our customers."
No word on a timetable or what the MTA’s next steps would be.
— Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall
Keeping the faith
For more cartoons, visit www.newsday.com/nationalcartoons
A goal for LI
As hundreds of elected officials, business executives, union leaders, sports figures and hockey fans flooded into UBS Arena at Belmont Park for its official ribbon cutting Friday, they could hear a noise from deep inside the arena: the noise of construction.
There was work still to do as employees readied the place for a charity event to be held Friday night and for the New York Islanders’ home opener Saturday.
The Friday afternoon event, in a gleaming main entrance hall, featured Gov. Kathy Hochul and Rep. Gregory Meeks, along with an odd juxtaposition of officials for a new Long Island arena with a Nassau County address on the Queens border. On the dais: Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. In the audience: Queens Borough President Donovan Richards. But then things got a bit strange, because State Sen. Leroy Comrie, whose Queens district stops just short of the arena, was on the dais and spoke, while State Sen. Anna Kaplan, the Long Island senator whose district actually covers the arena, sat in the front row. Nonetheless, it was a Long Island-centric event. Said Curran: "No longer is Long Island the land of no. We are the land of Yes Yes Yes."
— Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall
In the news
Welcome to Friday’s news quiz, based on events that took place this week. As usual, provide the answer for each clue, one letter per blank. The first letter of each answer, taken in order, spells the name of a New York politician who said, "This is the city of nightlife. I must test the product. I have to be out … We used to be the coolest place on the globe. We’re so damn boring now, man."
A link to the answers appears below.
_ _ _ _ _ _ The Long Island Rail Road officially opened its first new station in nearly 50 years in this community.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ A ban on lobstering in Maine was reinstated in an effort to protect this rare species of oceanic mammals.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Department of the federal government that held an auction for oil and gas leases on more than 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ U.S. Catholic bishops approved a long-awaited document on this rite that did not directly reference President Joe Biden, as many anticipated.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ A 9-year-old boy became the 10th person to die from injuries sustained during a crowd surge at this music festival in Houston.
_ _ _ _ _ _ Entertainment giant being sued for allegedly using a designer’s new technology for a "tower ride" in a recently opened blockbuster theme park experience.
_ _ _ _ _ Tech company that will let users make common repairs to its cellphones, and that will open an online store next year with more than 200 parts and tools.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Two men found guilty of assassinating this civil rights leader in 1965 had their convictions thrown out in a Manhattan court.
_ _ _ _ Schools and factories were closed in New Delhi, India, and a general lockdown was considered because of this annual menace.
Click here for the answers to the clued words and to the identity of the mystery politician.
— Michael Dobie @mwdobie
The Point will be off next week and returns Tuesday, Nov. 30. Happy Thanksgiving!