Police and firefighters respond to a crash on the westbound Southern State Parkway...

Police and firefighters respond to a crash on the westbound Southern State Parkway near Little East Neck Road in April. Credit: Paul Mazza

Daily Point

A way to fix the Southern State?

It isn’t unusual for the Long Island Contractors’ Association to advocate for road improvements, and more money for them.

But the report LICA released Thursday took those efforts a step further.

LICA, partnering with Assemb. Michaelle Solages, unveiled a study focused on the dangers of the Southern State Parkway, showing that the total number of accidents on the parkway has jumped from 3,210 a year in 2012 to 4,166 in 2019. Between 2012 and 2019, there were 15,768 accidents on the Southern State, 8,443 of which resulted in injury, 78 of which included fatalities. A separate study found that the Southern State had 1.1 fatal accidents per mile, compared with .21 on the Northern State, a stunning comparison.

In the face of those alarming statistics, LICA’s report made a bold proposal.

The association suggests adding a high-occupancy toll lane to each side of the parkway and reconstructing 50 bridges. Additional roadway improvements — including to the design of the road itself — would also be in the mix, according to Marc Herbst, LICA’s executive director. And the association proposes using a public-private partnership to help fund it.

A similar public-private partnership concept has been used to remake LaGuardia Airport and Moynihan Train Hall.

Solages told The Point she wasn’t endorsing this specific proposal, but thought it was a good way to start a necessary discussion.

“Obviously, there needs to be deeper conversations and community outreach and community input, but at the end of the day we can’t do nothing,” Solages said. "We have to look at ways to redesign the Southern State. Every year there are countless people who die on that road and many accidents. It’s incumbent on me to look for solutions.”

Herbst said he hopes there now will be opportunities for public discussion and ways to gather backing for LICA’s proposal or other ideas that would address the Southern State’s ills.

“If there’s support, we’ll put an effort together,” Herbst told The Point.

— Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

Talking Point

McCarthy’s trip to New York

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy would like to become House Speaker Kevin McCarthy after the November midterms. Hence his busy Thursday swing through New York, a state where the GOP hopes to pick up some crucial congressional seats — and the party has a good shot at doing so, after a Democratic-friendly redistricting plan got thrown out in court earlier this year.

The California Republican held a law enforcement roundtable in NYC showcasing some of the party’s House hopefuls, including George Santos and Anthony D’Esposito who are running to replace Democratic Reps. Tom Suozzi and Kathleen Rice, who are not seeking reelection. Also in the room were Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, the NYC delegation’s lone Republican member, and lieutenant governor contender Alison Esposito, a former member of the NYPD. The campaign season topics of crime and changes to the state’s bail laws were — unsurprisingly — on the menu.

This being deep-blue NYC, however, Democrats in the area did not take the visit silently — particularly in CD10, an open seat which has drawn luminaries such as Bill de Blasio, who has since dropped out, and former Rep. Liz Holtzman, who was a key figure in Richard Nixon’s impeachment. City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera delivered McCarthy a letter “welcoming” him to New York and blasting his party’s general anti-abortion views.

“When I join the ranks of Congress, it will not be as your colleague,” Rivera wrote. “It will be as your adversary.”

Fellow CD10 Democrat Dan Goldman, a Levi Strauss heir and lawyer for the House Democrats during Donald Trump’s impeachment, also took the opportunity to say that if McCarthy was serious about law and order, “he should heed his own call and comply” with a subpoena from the House Jan. 6 committee.

Rather than allow himself to get further bogged down in Democratic fun, McCarthy later hustled east to an Amagansett fundraiser for Hudson Valley congressional candidate Marc Molinaro, which gubernatorial challenger Lee Zeldin also attended, as did Rep. Andrew Garbarino — who would be the only non-freshman in Long Island’s congressional delegation should he win his primary and general for CD2.

Plenty of races, plenty of possibilities, plenty of opportunities for McCarthy to marshal his troops. By Friday morning, his Twitter posts suggested he was on to Connecticut, helping two GOP candidates there.

— Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Pencil Point

Culture war update: The Kansas front

August 4, 2022: Abortion Vote

August 4, 2022: Abortion Vote Credit: The Buffalo News, NY/Adam Zyglis

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

Puzzle Point

In the news

Welcome to this week’s news quiz. Provide the answer for each clue, one letter per blank. The first letter of each answer, taken in order, spells the name of a witness in a federal antitrust trial who said this about the proposed merger of publishing heavyweights Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster: “I came because I think that consolidation is bad for competition … It becomes tougher and tougher for writers to find money to live on.”

A link to the answers appears below.

_ _ _ _ _ _   Soft drink brand that shifted its plastic bottles from green to clear to increase the chance they’ll be recycled into new bottles.

_ _ _ _ _   Suffolk County police precinct that deployed 70 new license plate readers to help solve crimes.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _   U.S. public health officials declared the spread of monkeypox to be this, a rare designation made only five times since 2001, including for the coronavirus pandemic.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _   Huntington Town opened three new courts for playing this paddle-using sport, which is becoming rapidly more popular.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _   Nassau County school district where staff members found a bullet and shell casing next to a shattered window in an elementary school.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _   Number of hours House Speaker Nancy Pelosi actually spent in Taiwan on her visit to the island nation.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _   The FDA ordered 88,000 products with a synthetic version of this addictive drug off the market.

_ _ _ _ _ _   Voters in this state rejected a constitutional amendment that would have removed abortion rights from the state’s constitution.

_ _ _ _ _   State sued by the Justice Department over its impending near-total ban on abortion.

_ _ _ _   The United States Senate voted, 95-1, in favor of granting membership in this organization to Sweden and Finland.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _   The FBI arrested Wanda Vazquez, who formerly held this top elective position in Puerto Rico, on charges that she accepted bribes from a campaign donor.

Click here for the answers to the clued words and to the identity of the mystery witness in the antitrust trial.

— Michael Dobie @mwdobie

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