Myopia Is An Island, Revisited (Or, It's A Small World After All...)
"...We are still a people capable of doing big things..."
--President Barack Obama
Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray writes again. A letter to all 200,000 town homeowners -- on their dime -- urging them to think small.
"Scale back" the Lighthouse Project, she says, perhaps a Lighthouse Light. Create yet another new "zone" (a Special Lighthouse Taxing District, perhaps?). "Jump start" a process that has been stalled -- or was that detoured -- for more than a decade.
Jump start? Hmmm. That would require the cables to be attached to a live charge rather than a dead weight, wouldn't it?
A new zone? Narrowing the possibilities of what could be built, and diminishing the prospects of a much-needed rennaisance, not only for the Coliseum and Nassau County, but for the entire region?
Scale back? Yeah, we get it. Downsize our tomorrows here on Long Island. Supplant Herculean ideas with Lilliputian thoughts. Why go for the grand vision when the nearsightedness of diminutive will suffice?
Lighthouse? We thought you said, Blighthouse! That, dear friends, will require more study.
Then again, maybe Kate Murray has a point. Scale back. Start out small. Resurface the Coliseum parking lot. Paint the facade. Add some brick pavers, ornate trash receptacles, and a wrought iron bench, or two. Oh, yeah. And don't forget the Victorian-style streetlamps. We must have those.
Think small. Could it be that "small" is all the Town of Hempstead is capable of doing? Yes, the small stuff. A planter here. A hydrogen-fueled car there. A weed-eating goat. A solar-powered clam. A photo-laden press release for minutia.
Maybe the small stuff holds sway because Kate & Kompany haven't fared so well on the big stuff, like the redevelopment of Roosevelt Raceway, with its Archstone/Moldstone, clogged thoroughfares, and gentle, rolling asphalt landscapes, all in the shadows of Nassau's tallest structure, the Covanta incinerator tower.
Then again, the Town of Hempstead hasn't really gotten much of a handle on the small stuff, either, like opening a supermarket in Elmont, closing a no-tell hotel in West Hempstead, or so much as paving a street, virtually anywhere in the town.
Maybe, for Kate Murray and her ilk, small is best. Freezing all projects -- and all progress -- may even be better.
Rarely can small minds embrace big ideas. In Hempstead Town, even the little ideas, like the low-watt light of the Victorian-style streetlamp, flicker, albeit dimly (just bright enough to afford the camera-shutter the opportunity to open and close), and then, ever so slowly, die on the great Hempstead Plain.