Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Devils Opened a new arena - The Lighthouse Project

Its True. The Prudential Center, already dubbed "The Rock" has been opened. Its an absolute jewel of an arena. The Devils and their fans should be very proud of what they are a part of in Newark. They are part of a cities resurgence. Its a victory for small market teams everywhere. Except the Islanders. The Islanders have their plan, approved and backed by the County of Nassau. That shocking revelation aside, the plan sits in the red tape and bureaucracy of the Town of Hempstead. The plans are sitting there (hopefully) being analyzed for rezoning and town approval. So whats the problem? The problem is that they are projecting 18-24 months for the process to be completed. That's ONE AND A HALF YEARS. 547.5 Days. 78 Weeks before a shovel ever hits the ground. Before you ask the question why should this project get put at the front of the Town's business, let me answer it. Nassau County and the Long Island economy have many problems. We have had these problems for years since the Gulotta administrations gross mishandling of our tax dollars. I won't get into that because that's another story. This project would be an absolute BOOM to the local economy. Jobs, housing, businesses, office space, a minor league baseball stadium, hotels, tourist attractions and oh yeah, the redevelopment of the Nassau Coliseum are some of the benefits this project encompasses. This project should be at the forefront of all Town, County, Long Island, District, and NY State business. Not on the back burner, but at the forefront. NY City is building not one but TWO brand spanking new what will turn out to be state of the art gorgeous new baseball stadiums. New Jersey built the Devils a gorgeous new arena and are moving forward with their plans for a brand new football stadium. The fact that this project is caught in limbo because of town bureaucracy is simply inexcusable. We have all seen the criticism, its Charles Wang's vanity project, hes only using the Islanders to get the project he wants done. Yeah... that's probably true. There is no denying that Charles Wang has an ego the sized of Nassau County. The plain truth is he has done wonders for the economy of the Island and its only pro sports team. This project would generate major tax revenue for a county that so needs to ease the burden on its tax payers. The area around the Coliseum is an absolute mess. the building is a joke compared to the facilities populating the NHL these days. Has anyone seen any of the other arenas in the NHL? Some of them are simply spectacular. Visiting players joke about the state of the building. We have our own management saying the facilities are inadequate.

Nassau County needs this project. We need it badly and 2-4 more years of red tape is all that stands in the way of a residential and commercial oasis in the middle of it all. Its time we all not as Hockey fans, but as Long Islanders show the politicians we N E E D this project to go forward as soon as possible to make not only the Coliseum a place people want to go, but to make Nassau County and Long Island a place people want to stay and live, not abandon for other areas of the country where instead of red tape, you have progress.


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