Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Blowin' In The Wind

Hurricane Sandy will shortly arrive.  I acknowledge this fact, but will not dwell upon it.  We have ample food supplies, batteries, flashlights, candles, et cetera.  My major concern is how (not if) the storm will alter the respective travel plans of myself and my wife this coming week.  Until that becomes more definitive, there really is nothing to report.

The New York Islanders NHL franchise will move from Uniondale, Long Island to Brooklyn in 2015.  On this piece of news I feel no ambivalence whatsoever:  Let them make the move!

Understand that I enjoy watching a good athletic contest once in a while.  I have not seen a major league professional contest in person in over 25 years, but the radio audio and/or television video technology suffices just fine.  More recently, I have watched some college competitions, which may be a slightly lower athletic caliber than the pro leagues, but have far, far less of the Disneyfication hype advertising.

And I have long advocated economic development, but not at any cost.  The Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum certainly bring jobs to Long Island's economy, but the cost of those jobs in environmental damage, traffic jams, and criminal activity is not worth the benefits.  This is especially so when the playing venue is subsidized by the taxpayers, as the Nassau Coliseum is.

Not that the Brooklyn venue is anything to cheer about in such regard, but the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, where the Islanders plan to relocate, has one thing the Nassau Coliseum does not -- A good transportation infrastructure.  The Nassau Coliseum was built upon an historically significant military aviation facility which had been open space.  Mitchell Field has now been taken over by college campuses (Hofstra and Nassau County Community College), industrial and office buildings, et cetera.  The Long Island Railroad trackage cannot accommodate the mobs of spectators, so it is very highly automobile-dependent.

With the Islanders' exit, Charles Wang's plan to develop the Coliseum are now in disarray.

But it must be remembered that Long Island was originally an agricultural and fishing locale which once fed New York City.  The Wang plan only accelerates the Queensification of Nassau County (and, for that matter, Suffolk County).

Society would be better served by developing better rail transit and better power sources on Long Island than by trying to build skyscrapers and venues for professional athletic contests.

As for the hurricane, it will be interesting to see how Sandy impacts the Islanders v. Ottawa Senators game at the Coliseum this coming Tuesday.


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