For anything positive to come out of tonight, attention and respect must be paid to all speakers. Even with Kate Murray's absence, if any TOH leaders have the grace and wisdom to come - and perhaps even speak - they should be applauded. As a note of trivia, Hempstead attorney Joseph Ra happens to be a huge Islanders fan.
sleep 5The Lighthouse Development Corporation has been very tight-lipped about tonight's format, even to the blogger who has pumped the event every day for a week while Newsday opted not to publish any advance coverage. What we know is there will be addresses from Charles Wang, Scott Rechler and Tom Suozzi.
It is our hope that Wang, Rechler and Suozzi push this story forward, tell us something we don't already know. On March 10, the Nassau County Executive said he was negotiating a new lease with Wang and Rechler and not waiting for Town of Hempstead approval. The possible announcement of details of a new lease would be something to leave with tonight.
Besides the developers and Suozzi, all community leaders - that's PR-speak for politicians - will have a chance to address the crowd. This is when, hopefully, a TOH representative will take the floor. Union leaders may also have their say. Just as important, all members of the public will have the opportunity to have their voices heard. The best way to guarantee your turn at the microphone is to sign up before 7:00 pm.
sleep 5Suggestion: If you decide to speak and are a resident of the Town of Hempstead, it would be a good idea to let everyone in the room know that you have a vote in the next election.
I don't know if I'm going to speak, but I am a TOH resident. So consider this my notice.
sleep 5As has been discussed at length in the PB Comments section, anyone attending is best-served representing themselves as a citizen first and Islanders fan second.
That said, this is not Halloween. Come as you are. If more than anything else you care about the Islanders, I'm not about to tell you to hide that. I'm sure the developers and politicians will appreciate anyone who brings their passion to the room tonight.
Speaking of which, we all know some. My lone sibling is one. What a powerful statement it would be if some Rangers fans - TOH or Nassau residents, ideally - joined their friends at the event tonight. After all, people from across all aisles are going to be in attendance. Since this just cannot be about politics, there's plenty of room for Blue and Red.
We all know how much Rangers fans would miss the Islanders and the Springsteen concerts and the family shows. If you're close with any Rangers fans, bring them. We'll make sure the Rangers-Thrashers game is on one of the screens at Champions at the Marriott.
By the way, I'll probably have a pre-event drink at Champions around 6:30 pm. If you are a reader, please say hello.
Comments on tonight's meeting and the arena issue only in this thread. Some scrappy hockey, toughness and goal song talk continues below.