Amtrak’s senior management team kept a low profile last month as Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) commuters spent four long days (May 9-12) waiting for Amtrak to repair what was originally reported to have been a minor derailment in an Amtrak-owned East River tunnel.
The federally-supported Amtrak’s ability to hide from public view during that crisis was aided by a quiet New York Congressional delegation, which said little as dozens of trains were canceled and LIRR commuters crammed into packed cars. Amtrak only pays attention to federal lawmakers, I wrote at the time. Recent events prove how true this is.
Howie Rose, the distinctive voice of New York Islanders and New York Mets broadcasts, asked aloud during a low point of the Islanders’ 2010-2011 campaign ‘is it spring training yet’ for the Mets. The rhetorical question was inadvertently captured on an open microphone and became a story in the sports media because accidental candor always makes for good copy.
Given the Islanders’ strong finish in 2010-2011, which occurred months after Rose made his accurate observation about the squad’s fortunes at the time, the team’s supporters have reason to look ahead to October 2011, when the National Hockey League (NHL) resumes play.
Garden City and Floral Park will celebrate on Friday evening, June 10 their annual Belmont Festivals, held the night before the final leg of thoroughbred horse racing’s Triple Crown is run.
The Belmont Stakes is taking place at Belmont Park in Elmont on Saturday afternoon, June 11. Even though no horse is vying for the Triple Crown this year, the Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom, and the Preakness’ victor, Shackleford, are both expected as of this writing to compete in the Belmont.
Three storylines are emerging as the 2011 election campaigns for Nassau County’s 19 legislative seats unfold: the outcome of the August referendum on the Nassau Coliseum‘s future, the condition of the county’s budget, and the fate of the GOP’s redistricting proposal.
Before getting into the issues, keep one thing in mind. Nassau County‘s Republican county legislators will face five straight months of unrelentingly hostile coverage on Newsday’s editorial pages. Indeed, Newsday endorsed only four Nassau GOP candidates for two-year terms on the county Legislature in 2009. Alas, Nassau’s voters sent 11 Republicans to Mineola, giving the GOP a majority in the county Legislature for the first time since 1999.
The town of North Hempstead already owns the site which houses the Harbor Links catering facility in Port Washington so why does the town board want to expand its reception hall portfolio to include the land where The Royalton Mansion sits in Roslyn Heights?
North Hempstead’s elected officials likely have little appetite for acquiring the 10-acre Roslyn Country Club (RCC) parcel upon which the 1920s-era mansion is situated at 33 Club Drive, Roslyn Heights. Town board members are hungry, however, for the votes residing in the 668 Roslyn Heights homes nearest the RCC. That will become evident at a Tuesday, May 31, 7:30 p.m. public hearing being held at 220 Plandome Road, Manhasset, to consider the town’s potential condemnation of the RCC.
Days into the LIRR’s latest crisis, with trains being canceled and relentless news reports about widespread delays, the LIRR did an extraordinary thing. They placed a leaflet on the seat of every train, inviting commuters to fill out the LIRR’s Customer Satisfaction Survey later this month. The thought bubble over my head read: Oh, no, you didn’t.
First-time author Douglas Gladstone can rightfully take some credit for getting Major League Baseball (MLB) and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) to act last month on a matter they’d generally ignored for years.
At issue was the plight of athletes who played less than four years on a MLB roster between 1947 and 1979. This group was, through a provision in MLB’s 1980 collective bargaining agreement, denied post-career financial benefits, such as health care coverage and pension payments, that have since 1980 been extended to MLB players who spend as little as one day in the major leagues.
The first Saturday in May is an important one for thoroughbred horse racing fans; that’s when the Kentucky Derby is run every year.
The first of the Triple Crown races, the Saturday, May 7, Derby features the top three-year-old horses in the country vying against one another. Most of them will then compete in Maryland’s Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 21, before traveling to Elmont on Saturday, June 11 for the Belmont Stakes.
Belmont Park began its spring season on Friday, April 29, and the horses will be running there until Sunday, July 17, when the action moves to Saratoga, New York.
The Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA), only weeks after the Mangano administration dropped its lawsuit against them, is now being sued in federal court by the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), which represents thousands of the county’s unionized government employees.
The CSEA is asking a federal judge to overturn the NIFA board’s decision last month to freeze the wages of the county’s CSEA-represented employees at their current levels, a sensible step NIFA took amid the county’s ongoing financial difficulties and soon after NIFA’s six directors unanimously declared a ‘control period’ over the county’s 2011 budget.
County Executive Edward Mangano made news last week by suggesting a public referendum may determine whether Nassau residents invest $400 million for the construction of a new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, a county-owned facility.
“For too long, Nassau Coliseum and the property that surrounds it has laid to waste rather than generate revenue for the county that can help hold the line on property taxes,” the county executive stated. “The aging Coliseum is no longer competitive with other sports complexes and conference centers around the region and nation. Long Island’s only professional sports team, the New York Islanders, have threatened to leave Nassau County in three years if a new Coliseum is not built.”
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Mike Barry, a corporate communications consultant, has worked in government and journalism. Email: MFBARRY@optonline.net