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Digging deep for answers

Rendering of the proposed new station in Elmont,

Rendering of the proposed new station in Elmont, just east of the Cross Island Parkway. Credit: the Empire State Development Board

Daily Point

Searching for answers

Deep in the thousands of pages of environmental analysis on Belmont Park’s redevelopment is an answer to a question that’s percolated for months.

What will happen to the Belmont plans if the proposed natural gas pipeline to meet new demands for new hookups is not built?

Belmont Park’s redevelopment has long been highlighted as one of the projects that would benefit from the proposed 24-mile pipeline under New York Harbor, which state regulators rejected in May. National Grid has since stopped processing new applications for gas service, and some critics of the Belmont project have wondered whether that would halt the Belmont development.

Wonder no more. 

Although the final environmental impact statement for Belmont Park notes that there’s an ongoing effort to find a “mutually agreeable solution” that would allow the pipeline to move forward, it also proposes two alternative ideas, too.  

“Developments that require new gas connections for new projects must seek alternative fuel sources as National Grid cannot be relied upon to supply natural gas,” the report notes.

New York Arena Partners, the development team handling the Belmont Project, is proposing the use of liquefied petroleum gas, better known as propane. It would install two 30,000-gallon tanks below ground on the south side of the project. That solution would require tanker trucks to resupply the propane, and the report estimates that the project would require one tanker truck delivery after every event at the new arena.

The development team, which includes Sterling Project Development and the New York Islanders, also suggests the possibility that heat and hot water could be provided through “electric-powered systems” – a combination of packaged terminal air-conditioner system units, similar to the heat and air conditioning units used in hotels and hospitals, and heat pumps, could serve the project, the documentation says.

The developers make clear, however, that both of those ideas are back-up plans only “in the event that natural gas service is unavailable.”

- Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

Talking Point

A growing war chest

Last week, congressional hopeful Perry Gershon blasted out news of big fundraising numbers for the most recent quarter: more than $400,000 from individual contributors and supporters. That’s relatively high for a challenger, and the implicit point was that the East Hampton businessman is cultivating a real donor network and isn’t relying on his own wealth, hundreds of thousands of which he put into his first run against Rep. Lee Zeldin in 2018. 

But this time, $45,803 of the recent quarter's $407,000 came from people with the last name Gershon, as per itemized receipts in Federal Election Commission filings, which went online Monday. 

Eight family members each gave two $2,800 contributions between April and July, and one relation gave $1,000. FEC rules mandate $2,800 as the maximum per election (primary and general) from an individual. 

The chunk of change included max donations from Gershon’s wife and two sons, Marshall and Logan, both of whose work is listed as “not employed / university student.” 

Candidates tend to look to their nearest and dearest for support. Zeldin, for example, enjoyed a sum of $700 this year in January and March donations from his father, David Zeldin. The Shirley congressman’s latest filings aren’t available, but will be posted Monday evening, a spokeswoman told The Point. 

For his part, Gershon waves off the sizable familial support. “Family members tend to support candidates,” he told The Point, adding that it would be more concerning if family were donating to someone else. 

- Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Pencil Point

Danger: Keep away

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

Final Point

So, you want a revolution?

In the second installment of our presidential contender summer reading, The Point worked its way through Sen. Bernie Sanders’ latest tome, “Where We Go from Here: Two Years in the Resistance.”

The book is billed as a day-by-day look at what Sanders tried to accomplish after losing the Democratic nomination in 2016. If you were looking for a slapdash reminder of the daily fights of the early Trump era, then you’re in luck. Sanders seems to write in a hurry. Twenty pages are spent reproducing a foreign policy address that wasn’t exactly “We shall fight on the beaches.” Though Sanders decries the “corporate media,” he tends to tell the story of his campaign stops by lengthily quoting reporters’ accounts of what he said and how many people showed up.

If you’ve heard a Sanders speech, you will recognize the rhetoric of “political revolution” and “the top one-tenth of 1 percent.” 

There is a relentlessness to the prose and the Trumpy preoccupation with numbers of viewers or retweets. A bracingly humorous passage occurs when the Vermont senator giddily visits the L.A. Dodgers’ spring training camp, remembering his days playing softball at Brooklyn’s PS 197 (an institution that also educated Chuck Schumer, he says). 

But soon there’s a lesson about how the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn taught him the “power of corporations and wealthy individuals.” (Robert Moses played a role, too, but that’s another story.)

As the Brooklyn firebrand seeks to recapture 2016 magic while fighting off challengers who share many of his views, the book is a reminder of the blunt ideology and enduring anger that many supporters appreciated. He doesn’t weave a tale or remember much about all those campaign stops, but the point is that someone working for behemoth Disney tells him she sometimes eats once a day, and would be fired if she ate the “gourmet” leftovers that customers trash. It’s the kind of thing (if not the kind of book) that makes people show up for a “political revolution.” 

Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

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