The New York Islanders will participate on Tuesday, Oct. 2 in the first-ever National Hockey League (NHL) game to be played at either Barclays Center or in Brooklyn. But it may not be the last.
“We love the idea of the Islanders playing a game here,” said Bob Sanna, executive vice president of Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC), and head of construction for Barclays Center. When our conversation about the upcoming Islanders-New Jersey Devils preseason game turned to Barclays Centers’ extraordinary access to mass transit, Sanna added, “Getting here is no more complicated than going to Madison Square Garden on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to see a Knicks game.”
Every LIRR train line, with the exception of the Port Washington branch, can deliver passengers directly to the LIRR’s Atlantic Terminal station and Barclays Center is a short walk from there. Port Washington branch customers must first travel to Penn Station, and then take a 20-minute subway ride, to reach the venue.
CBS Television Stations’ bid to acquire Melville-based WLNY-TV moved forward last week as the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) initial public comment period on the proposed transaction concluded with no one objecting to the deal.
First announced publicly in December 2011, CBS Television Stations has signed a definitive agreement to purchase for $55 million an independent television station founded by its seller, Michael Pascucci’s WLNY Holdings Inc., in the 1980s. Having derived its call letters from We Love New York, WLNY-TV is Channel 10 if you are a cable subscriber. Channel 55 is where you’ll locate WLNY-TV if your household has either a satellite provider or relies on over-the-air service.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) raised fares, cut service and imposed a new payroll tax on downstate New Yorkers between 2009 and 2011.
During those same three years, however, the tens of thousands of MTA New York City Transit workers represented by Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 each received a cumulative salary increase of 11 percent. The same arbitrator-approved contract which gave TWU-represented workers these pay hikes also reduced their health care premium contributions, thereby requiring the MTA to pay higher transit worker benefits, too.
New York City’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza, one of Manhattan’s iconic buildings, was constructed during the Great Depression and opened in 1933.
I offer this history lesson in anticipation of the complaints that will be aimed at the Mangano administration as it revives this year its efforts to redevelop Nassau’s Hub, 77 county-owned acres upon which the faded Nassau Coliseum, and little else, sits. My point: extraordinary assets have been built during bleak economic times.
The voters made it clear in August 2011 that a new Coliseum, if one is to be built, will have to be privately financed. The referendum’s outcome—57 percent of the voters said they did not want county taxpayer monies used to build a new Nassau Coliseum—was a major setback for County Executive Ed Mangano and New York Islanders owner Charles Wang, especially since the Islanders’ lease at the Coliseum expires in 2015. But there is still time to revitalize Nassau’s Hub, a centrally located, underutilized parcel, and a couple of governmental actions occurred in 2011 to move the development process along.
Governor Cuomo wants the nation’s largest convention center to be built near Aqueduct Racetrack, and announced last week during his ‘State of the State’ address that the Genting Organization, a Malaysian-based company, would provide the financing.
The pronouncement was inexplicably taken seriously in Albany even though the proposal is better-suited as source material for Really!?! With Seth [Meyers] & Amy [Poehler]. The segment used to air on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update sketch. The Aqueduct location is so terrible that even conventioneers unfamiliar with New York City would quickly realize they’d been scammed. Situated in South Ozone Park, Queens, the thoroughbred racing facility‘s adjoining acreage is endowed with a New Jersey Meadowlands-like charm. Indeed, East Rutherford, NJ, the official address of the godforsaken Meadowlands, also houses Xanadu, another epic, government-encouraged land use blunder.
Book reviewers have noted Howard Cosell (1918-1995) will likely be an unfamiliar name to those aged 40 and under, and that’s probably true.
But Plainview author Mark Ribowsky’s just-published Howard Cosell: The Man, the Myth, and the Transformation of American Sports (W.W. Norton & Company) offers to a broad audience an insightful look not only at Cosell but how the media landscape has changed dramatically since Cosell was the ABC television network’s most recognizable face.
Nassau County government careens from one fiscal crisis to another because the county’s single largest source of revenue—sales taxes—has remained stagnant for years.
This is rarely discussed publicly, and I’m not sure why. The Mangano administration always talks about holding the line on county property taxes but that levy only accounts for 30-plus percent of the monies used to finance the county’s $2.6 billion annual budget. Meanwhile, the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) undertook a paid advertising campaign to convey one message to the public: CSEA county employee compensation packages cumulatively constitute a small percentage of a property taxpayer’s bill when compared to school districts. That’s true. Yet the CSEA has been silent on the issue of sales tax collections, and that’s where the real story of the county’s revenue problem lies.
New York Knicks television play-by-play announcer Mike Breen, who also broadcasts National Basketball Association (NBA) games for Disney-owned ABC and ESPN, will work a double-shift on Christmas Day. The first is in Texas and the other is in California, where he’ll also reunite with a former colleague.
The logistics are daunting but doable. Breen, along with analyst Jeff Van Gundy, a former Knicks head coach, are starting Sunday, Dec. 25 in Dallas, home of the league’s defending champion, where they’ll call the Mavericks-Miami Heat game. Tip-off is at 2:30 p.m., ET, and millions are expected to watch on ABC the rematch of last year’s NBA Finals. It is one of a series of high-profile contests that will launch the NBA’s lockout-shortened 2011-2012 season.
The partial repeal of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) payroll tax, incorporated into a bill which won near-unanimous state Legislative support in Albany last week, is at first glance welcome news.
The MTA payroll tax extracts 34 cents out of $100 earned in New York’s 12 downstate counties and re-routes those monies to the MTA.
“This plan repeals the devastating MTA payroll tax for about 78 percent, or more than 704,000, of the business entities that currently pay it. This includes eliminating the tax for 290,000 employers with payrolls of less than $1.25 million; 415,000 self-employed taxpayers; and all public and non-public schools,” stated state Senator Jack Martins (R-Mineola), who voted in favor of the measure. The new law goes into effect on April 1, 2012.
Congressional inaction extends these days to small matters, as well as major ones.
Those who use mass transit, and take advantage of a lesser-known provision of 2009’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, could lose a benefit effective Dec, 31, 2011, that allows commuter rail and subway users, along with bus and vanpool riders, to allocate up to $230 a month for their mass transit expenses using pretax dollars. Drivers can also access the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-approved benefit, using $230 in pretax dollars toward their parking costs.
Until 2009, commuters who drove to work received a greater tax break than those who took mass transit because rail and bus users could set aside no more than $120 in pretax dollars for commuting expenses (e.g., a MetroCard) whereas drivers were eligible to use up to $230 a month in tax-free income for parking. Was that good public policy in parts of the U.S. where traffic jams are commonplace and mass transit is readily available?
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Mike Barry, a corporate communications consultant, has worked in government and journalism. Email: MFBARRY@optonline.net