TODAY'S PAPER
Good Evening
Good Evening
Opinion

Signaling for support

Sen. Carl Marcellino, seen here on Feb. 4,

Sen. Carl Marcellino, seen here on Feb. 4, 2017. Credit: Ed Betz

Good afternoon and welcome to The Point! Not a subscriber? Click here.

Daily Point

Designation: Fire Island

Taking a boat to Fire Island is hardly an unusual activity for Long Islanders in August.

But one group making the trip Thursday has a most atypical goal. It will collect information for its quest to persuade UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to grant World Heritage Site designation to Fire Island National Seashore.

The campaign is being spearheaded by Irving Like, the 93-year-old Bay Shore attorney who owns a home in Dunewood and was a key player in stopping Robert Moses’ plan to build a road across Fire Island and in shutting down the Shoreham nuclear power plant, and John Tanacredi, a Molloy College professor and executive director of the Center for Environmental Research and Coastal Oceans Monitoring (CERCOM).

Like, Tanacredi and several Molloy students have worked on documents to support the application to UNESCO. The point of the trip — the boat will leave from CERCOM’s facility in West Sayville and make a variety of stops on Fire Island — is to bring together Molloy officials, Fire Island officials and residents, and some of Like’s longtime colleagues to “share thoughts and perspectives that can assist in the finalization of this application process with UNESCO,” Tanacredi wrote in an email to The Point.

The process is complex, but Like and Tanacredi say their research has determined that Fire Island satisfies five of the 10 possible criteria for designation as a World Heritage Site; one is enough to warrant the designation.

“This is an exciting positive project,” Tanacredi wrote, “that will further help the protection of the natural and cultural resources that are embodied in the Fire Island National Seashore community.”

Michael Dobie

Talking Point

Marcellino’s softer side

One of Long Island’s most embattled GOP incumbent state senators is using a legislative mailer to target a key group of swing voters that almost every poll says is trending Democratic this year: suburban women concerned about reproductive rights.

State Sen. Carl Marcellino, who eked out a narrow win two years ago, has sent 5th District residents an update on the 2018 Albany session that is all warm and fuzzy with soft salmon-pink colors and that features a smiling middle-aged woman wearing workout clothes and sporting earbuds. It touts $5 million in funding for crucial women’s health initiatives and other programs “to improve mental, emotional, and physical well-being.” The mailer’s flip side shows an infant with a pacifier.

Of course, there is no mention that in the last session the GOP-controlled State Senate refused to make some changes to state law that would protect a woman’s right to an abortion if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. That’s one of the issues Democrat James Gaughran, who is challenging Marcellino a second time, has on his legislative to-do list should he win in November. But so far, local State Senate Democrats are using their advertising to hammer Republicans on other issues, such as stronger gun control measures.

Next month’s U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, they figure, will keep access to abortion front and center during the election season.

Rita Ciolli

Pencil Point

A different form of art

Final Point

What’s Farley up to?

Manhattan banker Chele Farley’s U.S. Senate run against Kirsten Gillibrand has increasingly included a warm embrace of President Donald Trump, who endorsed her campaign last week. But Trump’s support and her embrace of him aren’t going to help her in her bid to achieve something no Republican has since 1992, when Alfonse D’Amato won his last term.

The way Trump spoke of Gillibrand during a speech in Utica last week, while touting Farley, was a callback to one of the president’s more controversial #MeToo defiant tweets. Yet Farley happily highlighted it in a campaign email which read:

“referring to me and my campaign, President Trump said, ‘I know your opponent very well . . . she’s been up to my office looking for campaign contributions . . . She’s very aggressive on contributions . . .”

In a tweet last year, Trump called Gillibrand “someone who would come to my office ‘begging’ for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them).” The comment was highly controversial because many construed it as an accusation that Gillibrand had been willing to trade sexual favors for political donations.

Wendy Long in her 2012 run against Gillibrand and her 2016 try against Chuck Schumer lost both races by more than 40 percentage points. Several recent polls have shown Farley, whose highest previous political post was New York City finance chair of the state GOP, down by about 30 points. So, Trump-hugging likely wouldn’t help.

What is Farley, who attacked Trump’s tax cuts and their effect on New York when she announced her campaign in January, gunning for?

Trump likes to reward people who vocally support him, and he likes New Yorkers. Farley could be looking to move up in the party hierarchy, or she could be eyeing an appointive federal position. Or she could be, like so many New York Republicans running a race in a state that has only gotten bluer over the past 25 years, grasping at any straw and fundraising strategy she can.

Lane Filler

Columns