TODAY'S PAPER
32° Good Afternoon
32° Good Afternoon
Opinion

Translation, please

Kirsten Gillibrand has been running social media ads

Kirsten Gillibrand has been running social media ads in which she plays beer pong.

Daily Point

In developer terms

In their first quarterly report updating redevelopment efforts at the Nassau Hub, Scott Rechler, of RXR Realty, and Brett Yormark, of BSE Global, are trying to let people know what they’ve been up to. It’s a lot.

Among the partners they’ve brought on are VHB, which will handle the environmental-review process, as it has done for other big local projects like Belmont Park, and Sam Schwartz Engineering, which will work on transportation, traffic and parking issues -- topics with which “Gridlock Sam,” as Schwartz is known, is all too familiar.

But when the report gets to its calendar for the rest of 2019, much of it is in developer-speak. So The Point is here to provide a translation.

Take the “project milestones” -- also known as the timetable. A chart displaying that timetable starts with “CBAC meetings” and “CBAC working groups,” scheduled to last through the end of 2019. That’s the Community Benefits Advisory Committee -- the group that essentially will decide who gets the tens of millions of dollars in community benefits the developers will spend to smooth the path for approval of their project.

Then there are the tours. “Stakeholder listening tours” are ongoing through the spring -- they’re the efforts to meet with key chambers of commerce, civic groups and others in communities near the Hub who want to have some input in the project. But the other set of tours is, perhaps, the most puzzling in terms of terminology: “Influencer project site tours.” At first, the Point thought that might mean that the developers were taking people on tours of the parking lot at the Hub.

But no. Instead, members of the development team are visiting other projects around the country -- including those in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Los Angeles -- to gather ideas and best practices. That will last into the summer. Sounds like fun.

Next come the plans. RXR and BSE expect to first develop a site plan -- a layout of the project components and how they’ll fit together, likely by the end of July, and then a “conceptual master plan” that will provide the details everyone is waiting for on the mix of residential, retail and office space, what each will look like, and how the streets and pedestrian paths will flow.

SImultaneously, the developers are preparing documentation for ESDC -- the Empire State Development Corp. and continuing “Grant Disbursement Negotiation” -- simply translated as working with the state on how and when state funds will be distributed. Those include $85 million for parking, and $40 million for Northwell Health’s lab and education space, and for pedestrian bridges.

The milestone list also includes “PLA/Org Labor working groups,” a reference to the need for a project labor agreement;  and “IDA & County negotiations,” which likely will include conversations about the tax breaks developers will seek.

Together all those acronyms and all that developer-speak translate into something fairly simple: Rechler and Yormark, and their teams, are going to be pretty busy for the next eight months.

- Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

Talking Point

Gillibrand's shot

It has come to this. Kirsten Gillibrand, the honorable gentlewoman representing the great state of New York in the U.S. Senate, the world’s greatest deliberative body, has been running social media ads in which she plays beer pong.

The ads show the 2020 presidential contender at what her campaign says is a craft brewery in Nashua, New Hampshire, standing in front of a wall listing the names of various intriguing drinks: lavender chamomile IPA sour, lemon peel cream ale, orange milkshake IPA. She’s surrounded by young people and facing down three cups, ping pong-style ball in hand. With the solemn face of a true pro, despite the non-regulation clear cups, she launches her shot. The frame freezes.

Words scroll: “If Kirsten makes this shot,” the scroll says, “will you donate $1 to guarantee her spot on the Democratic debate stage?”

Reader, she makes the shot. Her campaign says the cups held water (admirably hygienic) but she was drinking a beer.

It’s not quite Elizabeth Warren’s awkward “I’m gonna get me a beer” moment on a New Year’s Eve Instagram chat. But there’s at least an element of Gillibrand trying to fit in with the cool kids down the dormitory hall. One wonders how many shots it took her to connect. The Point can confirm that the game is not as easy as it looks.

The fundraising appeal is no joke, as Gillibrand lags in that regard behind the top contenders.

A CNN poll released Tuesday measuring support of 2020 hopefuls had Gillibrand around one percent among Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents who are registered to vote. That was more than a thirty-rack (percentage wise) behind Uncle Joe Biden.

No surprise that Gillibrand might be hoping to re-rack the cups.

- Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Pencil Point

Too many cooks

For more cartoons, visit www.newsday.com/opinion

Data Point

Preschool blues

Long Island has a similar preschool enrollment rate to New York City. But did you know that children whose families are considered impoverished are less likely to have their children in preschool? Find out how Suffolk and Nassau compare with each other here.


nextLI is a platform for participating in civic life on Long Island. It features data analysis and independent research. It is a project of the Newsday Opinion department funded by a charitable grant from The Rauch Foundation.

Columns