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Why the Governor is Coming to Uniondale

July 26, 2009, 8:24 PM ET [ Comments]
Dee Karl
New York Islanders Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
With the comment period for the Lighthouse project is currently in full swing and the August 4th meeting at Hofstra approaches, there is no better time then now for Governor Paterson to travel to Uniondale to support the project. Can I explain why?

If you a look at the “Want Ad” the Lighthouse group printed in the Islanders Illustrated magazine at the end of the season. What does it tell you? Look at the number of jobs the project could possibly bring to the area.

Let's contemplate the possibilities.
There could be about 26,200 construction jobs that, I’m imagining, would be mostly union jobs. That is revenue for the State right there. Also 48,750 construction related jobs bringing in a nice chunk of change in PAYROLL taxes for the State and the Federal Government. There would also be 450 wait staffers. Okay, that is not going to do the State any real good because of the way wait staff is paid, but at least that may be 450 people NOT collecting NY State Unemployment benefits. Who knows, maybe one of the 47 chefs will turn into the next Wolfgang Puck or Chef Gordon Ramsey and put Nassau County on the culinary map!

There are an estimated 312 sales positions with this project. Nice! Retail sales get the economy moving again as well as benefiting the sales tax coffers of both the State and the County.

Wouldn’t you like the 124 sports technology professionals that would help to cement Nassau County as a place for developing technology and science? They would not only bring in much needed revenue but also something money doesn’t buy -- credibility. I can only imagine what it would be like to have a sports technology facility in Uniondale that is revered by athletes as the best place for treatment or diagnosis.

Internships for growing minds, an estimated 120 to start, would set some lucky young people on the path of a new career. How about 685 Lawyers and Engineers? You know, to replace the ones that have already left Long Island for greener pastures and wallets in other states. We are losing our young professionals. It would be nice to have something to keep them here.

In addition, let us not forget those hard to employ: Mascots. Do you know how HARD it is for someone who only feels comfortable working in a fuzzy suit to find work on Long Island when the Easter Holiday is over? It is dreadful. This project could employ three furry workers with permanent positions. Moreover, where else would eight Zamboni drivers work? Or how about 15 ice-girls and their spandex sparkly outfits? (Would you really want to see a Zamboni drive an Ice Girl up to the unemployment office in Westbury? Wait… you might…)

There are also those guys on skates. You know the ones, those NHLers who have such a hard time finding jobs in a very small industry. We could employ 24 of those hard to place workers. Okay, I am kidding about that, but it would suck to lose our only major sports franchise in the area. We would also miss all the community service good will that NHLers bring to the area. There are the charity events, school programs and holiday hospital visits that would all disappear along with the charitable donations that are made for their efforts.

There are countless reasons why the Lighthouse Project is RIGHT for Nassau County and Long Island. Governor Paterson and countless other politicians can see that. Certainly, there are those who are opposed. However, please, shouldn’t the needs of the many always outweigh the reluctance of the few?

Tomorrow’s 11 am press conference at the Coliseum box office is open to the public. If you are in the area, and would like to support the project, I urge you to attend. Let this be the preview of the August 4th Town of Hempstead Public Comment meeting at Hofstra.

Thousands of jobs are at stake here. The viability and growth of Nassau County depends on it. Do your part by supporting it.
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