New York Islanders: Kate Murray Gives Lighthouse Project a Thumbs Down

Eddie O'MalleyContributor IApril 1, 2009

UNIONDALE, NY - NOVEMBER 29:  A New York Islanders ice girl skates with a flag after the game against the Ottawa Senators on November 29, 2008 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Isles defeated the Senators 4-2.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

In a press release, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray officially gave the Lighthouse project a thumbs down.

Fasten your seat belts fellow Islander fans, this ride is about to get even bumpier.

Murray has also sent out a petition to 240,000 homes.  This petition is supposed to be sent to Nassau County executives so that they can ask the federal government for stimulus money to renovate Nassau Coliseum.

Murray must be out of her mind if she thinks that Nassau County and the ToH can actually get stimulus money to renovate a sports arena. 

She is still trying to play this card that a renovated arena alone is still a viable option.

This is not true.  A renovated arena by itself does not create enough revenue for Charles Wang, or anyone else who could be the current owner of the Islanders. 

It also does not create enough revenue for the ToH and Nassau County.

Murray also loses a lot of credibility when she makes statements such as, "A renovated Coliseum would be the biggest win for that building since the Islanders Stanley Cup Championship of 1984." 

The Isles won their last cup the prior year, in 1983.

This also makes her seem like a liar when she said that she would not attend the "pep rally" at the Long Island Marriott last week because it would cause a conflict of interest.  Now it seems like she did not attend because she is against the project.

It boggles one's mind as to how she can be against this project.  This project will create about 90,000 jobs between temporary construction and permanent jobs, more housing, office space, retail space will be built, and it is privately funded.

Yes, privately funded.  Charles Wang and Scott Rechler are not looking for public funding to build the project.

The thousands of added jobs will help lower the unemployment rate, which is around six percent right now on Long Island.

All the added housing, retail, and office space will create millions that Nassau County and the ToH badly needs as well.

Clearly Murray does not care about the people, only her personal agenda.

Without the Lighthouse Project, the Isles will vacate the Coliseum.  Without a tenant in the building, the Coliseum will continue to decay, and with no plan to build on the land surrounding it, the land will go to waste.

I look forward to Murray's explanation as to why people continue to leave Nassau County and the ToH, and why taxes continue to skyrocket as Nassau County and the ToH teeter on bankruptcy if this plan is not approved.

So where do we go from here?

Well, I still find it hard to believe that one person could stop a project of this magnitude from being built.

That being said, this was a pretty big bomb that Murray dropped, and I do feel that the chances of this project being built are greatly diminished.

It will be interesting to see how Charles Wang and the rest of the developers respond to this statement from Murray.

Queens has shown plenty of interest in building an arena in the Willets Point Development near Citi Field for the Islanders to play in. 

If I was Wang, I would not wait until the October deadline and start negotiating with Queens immediately.

Isles take on the A.O. and the Caps tonight in D.C. at 7.  Mark Streit is out with a groin injury.  Joe Callahan has been recalled from the Bridge. 

Colorado also plays the Coyotes tonight.  Isles are currently five points ahead of the Avs in the Tavares/Hedman race.