Monday, August 22, 2011

Don't Think Twice, It's All Right

The Abandonment of the Nassau Hub

In case you hadn't noticed -- assuming you even care -- the deadline for new proposals for the redevelopment of the Nassau Hub/Coliseum has come and gone.

Newsday reported that eight -- yes, count 'em, 8 -- proposals had been put forth, each to be "carefully reviewed" by the County.

As per Newsday, of the eight ideas (none either novel or entirely new), "One response offers a revenue-sharing model; several 'appear to revisit leveraging the surrounding areas as a means to finance a new arena;' others seek to develop without an arena; none would privately finance a new Coliseum..."

Inspirational, isn't it? One wonders where all the visionaries have gone? To the Farmers' Markets, we suppose...

Developers are vying, if not drooling, to get a foot in the door. Special interest groups, under guise of that "better Long Island," are still lobbying. Taxpayers, at least those left here, are still reeling from hit after hit to their wallets.

Ideas? We have an idea? Bring back Charlie Wang, his Lighthouse and his money, and let's get a move on.

Ho. Hum. Been there. Done that.

So, now that Ed Mangano & Company's rushed Referendum on an ill-conceived, patchwork plan to bilk taxpayers out of $400+ million has gone down the tubes, it's back to "wait and see." Delay. Obfuscation. Put the patient back on the respirator and hope for the best.

And what has become of the great protagonists of progress -- or, for that matter, the antagonists, who "just say no" to absolutely everything?

Eleceted officials have gone back to doing what they do -- issuing boistrous press releases and smile-filled photo ops signifying nothing. Islanders fans have retreated to the shadows of a crumbling arena, back to discussing trades, jerseys and prospects for the coming season. Community groups and civic organizations, wishy-washy on the Coliseum/Hub issue, at best, have returned to their perceived core issues of suburban life. Why, even the naysayers have been silenced momentarily, awaiting, no doubt, the next big idea, and yet another opportunity to say "no."

If the Nassau Hub itself has not been abandoned, in great measure, by those who declared themselves the strongest supporters of development, then certainly, logic and reason have been left on the curbside of a Hempstead Turnpike at the crossroads of desolation and hopelessness.

To borrow from Bob Dylan, via Peter, Paul & Mary (did they ever play the Coliseum?), Don't Think Twice, It's All Right:

We're walkin’ down that long, lonesome road, babe
Where we're bound, we can’t tell
But goodbye’s too good a word, gal
So we’ll just say fare thee well
We ain’t sayin’ you treated us unkind
You could have done better but we don’t mind
You just kinda wasted our precious time
But don’t think twice, it’s all right
- - -
HERE to read the Anton News Viewpoint, Bigger Than One Building

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