Monday, June 21, 2010

Lighthouse v. Wigwam

After receiving recognition and approval by the Federal government the
Shinnecock Indians are shopping around for a location upon which to build a casino.
I usually don’t like to join the ‘nimby’ crowd because they are usually driven by hypocritical standards but this is one time I must give in.  But I am doing so not for mere personal reasons.
For a decade or so Nassau Coliseum and their tenant hockey team has been a blight on the area.  Neither has gone through a badly needed make-over in years.
But a sort of knight in somewhat self-serving armor recently appeared on the scene.  Charles Wang, the suffering owner of the Islanders offered a wonderful and viable solution to the problem.  He proposed the transformation of the decaying land that makes up the coliseum and its environs into a Mecca showplace to be known as “The Lighthouse.”
Admittedly his original plans were for a lager than life mini-city that could also turn the already busy Meadowbrook/Hempstead Turnpike into a traffic nightmare.
But with proper planning the benefits of the Lighthouse would far outweigh the drawbacks.
The number of jobs a project of this magnitude would produce in this terribly depressed market could make it worthwhile on its own.
But for some reason the local edition of the Nations ‘Party of No’ currently controlled by the ubiquitous Kate Murray has blocked every attempt to break ground.  Citing reason after ridiculous reason the Hempstead Town Supervisor and her wrecking crew have effectively turned the once great vision of a towering achievement into a farcical monumental inferno.
Now enter the Shinnecock tribe from the far east, of Long Island that is.  Their number one choice of location for a casino that will benefit the tribe and most likely any politician who smokes a peace pipe with them is, you guessed it, the Nassau Coliseum.
In one fell swoop it all becomes clear.  All the protestations about traffic concerns and bringing the area down goes out the wigwam and the true stinking greed of the politicians involved stands before us naked and unabashed.
Does anyone feel a casino will be good for traffic flow?
Does anyone feel the surrounding area will be beautified by its addition?
Does anyone know what it looks like two blocks off the boardwalk of Atlantic City?
Does anyone think Hempstead, and by that I mean the residents who pay taxes not the politicians, will see a dime of benefit from the casino business?
And I would have reservations about the future health of the businesses around the casino.  May I suggest they don’t request increases on their deliveries of cigarettes, liquor or any commodity for that matter.
Two very different goals are being pursued.  The Indian casino will become a Shinnecock Nation destination and Mr. Wang and company will be looking for places to build up in Kansas City.  In the end both will score big.  And in the end we will be shut out.
If you live in the Hempstead area expect to see an increase in mailers sporting the smiling chubby face of Kate Murray touting all the good things she is doing.
Well at least she and her ilk are supporting the local post office albeit with our tax dollars.

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