Northport and Malverne are among the 100 safest small towns...

Northport and Malverne are among the 100 safest small towns in America for 2021, according to SafeWise, a safety and home security website. Credit: Ian J. Stark

Daily Point

Regional ranking

It is central to the Long Island political ethos that life here is to be envied, and some new rankings from the business world bear that out.

First is a report from safety and home security site SafeWise that found the villages of Northport and Malverne among the 100 safest small towns in America for 2021.

New York boasted 17 entries on the list, behind only New Jersey with 27, and those two were the lone Long Island representatives — a strange finding, which might be partially explained by the company’s metrics. SafeWise analyzed violent and property crime data from the FBI, excluding places that failed to report complete crime numbers to the FBI. The ranking also disqualified towns and villages with populations greater than 15,000 or fewer than 5,000, which knocks out tiny, quiet places like, say, Head of the Harbor.

Northport ended up tying for 13th, and Malverne tying for 24th.

But wait, there is more. Long Island wins another kudo in a list from Soft-Tex, whose website describes it as a "home textile innovator" that sells or manufactures "bedding brands to ensure a good night’s sleep." A company representative says Suffolk was ranked the "4th most comfortable county in America."

The ranking comes from Soft-Tex’s Q4 sales data. Each ZIP code with more than 1,000 people was scored based on the number of orders per capita of bedding, and Suffolk’s tony South Fork 11976 came in fourth.

Whether lists like these lead you to scratch your head or nod in full agreement, they can end up serving a purpose for companies looking to get their names out there, and politicians boasting about high marks — as Nassau County Executive Laura Curran often does about her jurisdiction’s top rating as a safe community by U.S. News & World Report.

— Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Talking Point

The train and the game

The massive redevelopment work at Belmont Park is heading down the homestretch, just over a month before the New York Islanders are scheduled to play their first home game at the new arena there.

Inside the UBS Arena at Belmont Park this week, workers laid the ice and painted the bright orange and blue Islanders’ logo, a big step in transforming a massive space that looked like any other arena into the team’s home. The glass, seats and even the team benches are in place.

The ice has been painted at the UBS Arena.

The ice has been painted at the UBS Arena. Credit: NY Islanders

But the work’s not done yet. The live cam still shows a constant presence of cranes and workers putting the finishing touches on the outside of the building, and those who’ve recently visited the building say there’s still work to do on the concourses and more.

And the construction goes beyond the arena itself. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is trying to finish the first phase of the new Elmont train station before the Islanders’ home opener on Nov. 20. That’s going to require steel girders over the Cross Island Parkway to support the platform — and the only way to install them is with a crane on the parkway itself. Eastbound service to Belmont Park will open Nov. 20, but full service in both directions won’t be running until the end of 2022.

So, next weekend, the Cross Island will be closed from the Southern State Parkway to the Grand Central Parkway.

But if all goes well, the Cross Island, the train station and the arena itself all will be ready to go when the first puck is dropped at center ice.

— Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

Pencil Point

The Biden recovery

Credit: The Buffalo News, NY/Adam Zyglis

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Puzzle Point

In the news

Welcome to this week’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 Long Island municipality whose animal control officers are taking roping lessons to help them corral large animals. Answers will appear in Monday’s edition of The Point.

_ _ _ _ The FDA issued new guidelines on intake of this common food additive.

_ _ _ _ _ Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe announced this former president will rally with him next week.

_ _ _ _ _ _ Airline that bet on a rebound on post-pandemic air travel by announcing its biggest expansion of trans-Atlantic flights.

_ _ _ _ _ Last name of a couple whose likenesses received star billing at the opening of a new wax museum in Dubai.

_ _ _ _ _ _ Last name of the politician currently leading the field in polling for the Democratic nomination for New York governor in 2022.

_ _ _ _ _ _ Freeport’s village and school district are battling over the village’s desire to sell athletic fields to this corporate giant.

_ _ _ _ _ Pharmaceutical company that is seeking approval for a COVID-19 pill that doctors said could be a game-breaker in treating the virus.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ The search for this seasonal cultivar is tying up traffic on the East End.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ The Long Island Rail Road issued warnings to eight conductors for not properly punching these.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Location of a new bookstore planned by former Rep. Steve Israel.

_ _ _ _ _ _ Country in which a man with a bow and arrow launched an attack that killed five people.

— Michael Dobie @mwdobie

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