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From The Desk Of NY State Senator Jack Martins

Is Belmont Cosmos Country?

Do you recall being in one room and hearing the theme music for your favorite television show emanating from the living room?  I liken it to a trumpet call as we scrambled to take our places in front of the old boob tube. 

For me, and maybe many of you, I can still recall the distinctive beat that summoned me weekly to WOR (we knew it simply as channel 9) to watch the bad boys of soccer – the New York Cosmos.  

This was the team that broke New York and really, North America, onto the world soccer scene; a team that imported world-class athletes like Georgio Cinaglia, Franz Beckenbauer, and of course, the immortal, Pele.  Until that time, soccer was virtually non-existent in the United States, a game our parents tried to dial in on the fuzzy UHF in vain.  

Then along came the green and yellow shirts who fired our imaginations and launched America’s love affair with “the beautiful game.”  Today, soccer is one of the most played sports among young people in the United States and many say it started with the Cosmos.     

Over the past two years, I have been working with the greater Belmont community regarding redevelopment of the Hempstead Turnpike corridor and, specifically, the south lot of Belmont Park.  There have been many suggestions, some good, some not so good.

I guess that’s why I’m so eager to let you know that through our efforts, the new, reincarnated New York Cosmos have officially proposed building a $400 million professional soccer arena right here in Nassau County.  It’s a dazzling state-of-the art venue and the ambitious plan includes shops, a community park, several restaurants and a hotel, all to be built on that very same, underutilized, south parking lot at Belmont.

Having just lost our beloved Islanders to Brooklyn, this plan comes as great news, not just for Long Island sports fans, but for anyone concerned about our local economy.  According to Long Island Business News, the Islanders’ 41 home games drew about 13,000 fans per game and generated more than $60 million in local spending.  Since they announced their move earlier this year, the best minds on Long Island have been busy trying to figure out just how to replace what they brought to the Long Island economy.  It’s a daunting task because in actuality, there’s virtually nothing that offers the predictable and recurring financial impact that an anchor sports franchise does. 

In that light, the Cosmos and the private investment they bring will create thousands of jobs, directly and indirectly, from the construction phase right through the creation of permanent jobs that come with running a world-class arena.  The project will also generate much-needed tax revenue for our communities and schools and it’s the kind of project that can jumpstart economic development along the Hempstead Turnpike corridor.

Besides the undeniable economic benefits, I believe that Long Island, which is home to 3 million people, needs a team it can call its own.  Teams tend to become integral parts of the landscape, partnering with schools, nonprofits, and local business to create opportunities for young people and to galvanize communities with regional pride.  Soccer’s immense popularity on Long Island makes it a perfect fit and who knows - we may even become a hotbed for local talent development.         

It’s a win-win for everyone.   Belmont was designed to accommodate over 100,000 people for the Belmont Stakes.  Ample parking and infrastructure already exist, so the proposal to construct a 25,000 seat stadium is an easy fit.  Belmont Park also has the benefit of an existing Long Island Railroad station and sits along the Cross Island Parkway with its own entrance and exit ramps already in place – making it incredibly convenient for anyone this side of the Hudson.  Just think my fellow sports fan, a day out without traveling to the Meadowlands!  I invite you to learn more about this proposal by visiting www.cosmosstadium.com.

We‘ve all heard the talk about economic development and job creation for decades.  Today, we’re seeing action.  I am proud to have secured the funding for the Empire State Development Corp. to conduct the study to explore development of the site because I’m tired of hearing that Nassau County, America’s first suburb, has had its day.  I don’t believe that for a minute.  Nothing is impossible.  This Cosmos stadium project is a perfect example and I truly believe it’s just the start of many good things to come.   

Success in these types of endeavors has a lot to do with our perspective going in.  Remember the old saying, “Whether you believe you can, or whether you believe you can’t, you’re absolutely right.”

News

Painter’s still lifes in Chef’s Corner meld normal objects into art 

A bunch of fruit in a bowl may not be that exciting to look at, that is unless you’re looking at them from Nancy Colleary’s point of view. Through her still life paintings, the she explores shadows, colors and light to make the most ordinary objects appear beautiful. 

 

From her in-home studio, she continues to hold classes and work on her own projects, which includes paintings that are on display at Walk Street in Garden City and Chef’s Corner in Mineola.

Former Nassau County Comptroller Howard Weitzman is set for a new job, as a financial consultant to the Town of North Hempstead. Weitzman, who served as Nassau County comptroller for two terms from 2001 to 2008, told the Anton Newspapers that he will concentrate on preparing the town’s 2015 budget.

 

Weitzman’s contract will then be retroactive to Aug. 26 after its town boad approval. The draft of the budget is due by Sept. 28.


Sports

Although the expectations for the 2014 Mineola Mustangs boy’s varsity soccer season may be somewhat measured, the team enters the season with the goal of a berth in the Nassau County playoffs. The team is young and inexperienced but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

There is considerable talent on the horizon. There are only four starting seniors and five sophomores on the roster. Four year starting senior forward Daniel Pardo returns (19 goals in three seasons) as does senior standout goalkeeper Andrew Pereira.

Mineola resident Michael Patalano of Andrews Road was named one two captains on the Kellenberg Memorial High School varsity football team recently.  He played for the Mineola Chiefs for five years, which prepared him for football at the next level.  He has three younger sisters. Two of them play sports for the Mineola Mustangs. 



Calendar

Village Meeting - September 10

Mustangs Face Rams - September 11

Homecoming - September 12


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com