NY Islanders' Lighthouse Dogs: A Bloody Standoff Developing Over Nassau Coliseum

B.D. GallofCorrespondent IMarch 16, 2009

In Quentin Tarantino's first film, Reservoir Dogs, we are invited into a jewel heist gone horribly wrong and witness as the after-effects cause each member to fight with one another. The bloody conclusion is a Mexican standoff that kills all three members taking part.

Except for Mr. Pink, Steve Buscemi, who stays far too long to witness all that transpires and likely does not make a clean getaway as the cops move in.

The Lighthouse Project, much like the movie, seems to be going in this disturbing direction as the ongoing issue that has developed between the Project and Town of Hempstead supervisor Kate Murray that is becoming a potential bloody fight.

In today's Newsday are two pieces relating to the Lighthouse Project near the front of the paper. One is about how Charles Wang and Scott Rechler trying to see if they can get stimulus dollars since the project will create jobs.

All well and good, and due diligence on their part since it is a huge real estate project and might fall within the new White House initiative. Right?

Or if you look a bit deeper, it alludes that basically that they are looking for taxpayer dollars, purportedly over $700 million. How will this go over to many of the fan faithful when they have constantly pushed the notion that they are paying for everything out-of-pocket? 

At the very least, they have opened themselves up for criticism.

The other piece is by Eden Laikin, one of the writer's to Sunday's convoluted mess of an article that was left as a needle to pierce some fans ire. Her follow up is from the Town of Hempstead itself and Kate Murray's fresh attempt to stir the pot of something she and the town have parroted incessantly: Why don't they renovate the Coliseum first?

Murray herself also goes further, alluding to the stimulus initiative herself, citing that immediate work on the Coliseum would create jobs right away. This plows into the same repetitive notion that they have pushed since Wang got antsy over the time table, that if it is so important then start the lesser work now.

However, this is easier said than done, for this is much more than just a local hockey team anymore. This is about far more money, land, business and politics. Murray knows what the answer is, yet was able to pound home another shot in this war of attrition through the article.

Most interesting is that it might make clear the possible source for the Sunday hatchet job, the Town of Hempstead itself? We'll never know for sure, but I am willing to bet that sources within the ToH have been using Newsday's fresh face to ply old arguments.

It lends itself that this has ceased to be about the good of Long Island anymore, and now more about a politic battle.

What is becoming clearer and clearer is that these players are getting into a dangerous game, as the stress and agita rises higher and higher.

Though I am doubtful that Mrs. Blond, Kate Murray, will seek to bite off an ear, she is throwing a lot of gas over things, and might even scorch herself and political futures in the process. There is a gambit being played here where many irate fans might deep-six any further political notions and/or delusions she might have.

NY Islander fans are not only passionate, but in much higher numbers than many think. The NY Islanders' Web site is one of the top five NHL US team destinations in the NHL.

Murray is playing with fire to a powder keg of a fanbase. 

Meanwhile, do we the fan sit bleeding in Mr. White's (Lighthouse Project) arms waiting for that final bullet to come?

For the Lighthouse Project, in a letter to Nassau Exec Tom Suozzi (our Mr. Pink), declared an actual date for final approval plus lease or else. October of 2009, the start of next season. They cited Murray's own letter as a "political puck" and alluded that political party issues are infiltrating here from Murray.

Suozzi, per the Newsday piece, is already negotiating that lease himself so that all is ready upon approval. Is this enough to avoid bullets flying? And when they do, will he still be there or will he be ducking for cover more concerned about his own read end?

The Town of Hempstead have been pushing this same official line of renovating the Coliseum first for months now. Meanwhile, they have started to entrench themselves in some sort of foxhole as what members felt was a sure thing of it going through suddenly has become battening down the hatches and seat-belting themselves in for a fight.

Has Charles Wang's impatience set this off? Or has Kate Murray had no interest of being the one to greenlight such a project when she might have political aims that would be better off without it on her record? 

Did Kate Murray first declare intentions last season on Town of Hempstead night where she was surprisingly not present for it. Did the schism first occur here that the ToH or at least her aims, and most sport fans and Long Islanders do not see the issue eye-to-eye. 

Furthermore, what is Newsday's role? Will they continue to be a ping pong ball to this game? Or will they actually attempt to sift through the public relations from all parties and provide a clearer view than the murk they seem to be helping throw?

Clarity seems to be missing for us readers and Long Islanders as the game gets far deeper and far more concerning to the future of a project that has far more meaning that just a refurbished venue for our local hockey team. 

Above all, something has to give here lest we are thrust with the Tarantino violent ending.


- "Nice Guy" BD