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POSTED ON Monday, 08.01.2011 / 10:44 PM
It’s after 10:30 p.m. and the Islanders staff, County Executive, union leaders, and members of the television and print media are all gathered in the lower concourse of the aging Nassau Coliseum, anxiously waiting to hear the results of today’s Referendum vote.

If the majority of residents went to the polls today and voted “yes,” the referendum will move to the County legislature, who will hold a vote for a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue to be built in Nassau County before being turned over to NIFA for final approval.

Gathered at the Coliseum, Islanders owner Charles Wang set the mood early. At about 7:30 p.m., he addressed the Islanders staff, who gathered for a light dinner and refreshments after spending the entire day in the Nassau County community, and thanked them for all of their hard work over the last few months as the team has tried to spread the word and urge residents to Vote Yes for Nassau County’s future.

Tonight, all that work has come to a close. The final tally from today’s vote is being calculated and could come in at any moment. As everyone congregates and enjoys the end of the very much political campaign between Islanders/Republicans and Democrats, there is still that anticipation, the hope and the nervousness as Nassau’s future waits in the balance.

So if you’re glued to the television, Twitter, Facebook or any other sort of news outlet waiting to hear the outcome of today’s vote, you’re not the only ones feeling anxious. All of us in Islanders country are waiting in the balance.
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POSTED ON Monday, 08.01.2011 / 8:51 PM


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POSTED ON Monday, 08.01.2011 / 8:04 PM
By mid-day many of the voters who went to the polls at Massapequa High School were from all walks of life and diverse in their opinions. But the one thing they all had in common was that they voted in the affirmative to build a new state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue.

On August 1, 2011, Heather and Cole Schlesinger voted yes to bring jobs to Nassau County residents.
Tom Waddell and his wife Alison, who are expecting their second child in September, headed to the polls with their young son Alexander. They plan to raise their family in Nassau County and hope the Islanders remain on Long Island for years to come so they can raise their children Islanders fans

We’re out here today being Islanders fans and being in support of Nassau County,” Tom Waddell said. “This is a good idea to come out and vote yes for the project and to move forward. I think it’s a good thing for Long Island and Nassau County, but also to keep the Islanders at home. It’s a beautiful day. I think people should come out and vote.”

While the first half of the day was sunny and warm, it started to rain and hail after 4 p.m., halting East Bound trains on the Long Island Rail Road. It is yet to be determined how the inclement weather will affect the remainder of the day at the polls.

Prior to the rain, the Waddell’s weren’t the only family who came to the polls together.

Kathy Voigt said she brings her nine-year-old daughter Marianne with her every time she votes because even though her daughter isn’t quite old enough to have her voice heard, Kathy feels it’s important to teach her daughter about the process.

“I came out to vote today because I think it’s important that people take a stand one way or the other,” Voigt said. “They (the community) should have some influence in what is going on. I chose to vote yes for the job factor. There is a lot of unemployment (in Nassau County). The project will bring revenue to the area and we’d like to keep the Islanders here.”

Tom Waddell and his wife Alison bring their son Alexander with them to the polls at Massapequa High School on August 1, 2011.
Heather Schlesinger, 54 and a mother of four sons, went to the polls with her 22-year-old son Cole. They both were voting to support those in the community who have gone without jobs for too long.

“I know a lot of people who don’t have kids in school anymore and I’m one of them,” Heather Schlesinger said. “I think it’s very important to support the community. I’ve lived here since I was five (years of age) and I think we need to bring revenue (to Nassau County).”

Schlesinger continued, “It’s important that we do this. It will add a lot of jobs. We shouldn’t just think about the taxes going up. You have to think about all the opportunities that are being created.”

ven Rangers fans, like Massapequa resident Peter Cardone, showed up to vote yes.

“I’m a Rangers fan, but I do root for the Islanders,” Cardone said. “I’ve been to many games there (at Nassau Coliseum). Overall, I think it’s just going to be good for the whole atmosphere because if we lose a team on Long Island, the city is really going to be the only place we have to see a game. And of course, you always have to have a rivalry. Jets-Giants, Islanders-Rangers. You have to have it just for the spark.”

Whatever their reasoning, hockey fans, non-hockey fans, Islanders fans or not, Nassau came out to vote Monday. Now they just wait for the final count and hope that enough of their neighbors, friends and family showed up to keep the Islanders on Long Island as well as bring 4,500 jobs and millions of dollars of tax relief to Nassau County.
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POSTED ON Monday, 08.01.2011 / 6:27 PM


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POSTED ON Monday, 08.01.2011 / 6:26 PM


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POSTED ON Monday, 08.01.2011 / 3:17 PM
At Jackson Avenue school, voters entered the cafeteria a few at a time to cast their votes. Here are some of the folks who voted yes.

Cora Hickey - Mineola

"I voted yes because I believe Long Island needs a new arena. I am a Ranger fan who believes we need a new arena. It’s a disgrace how bad it is. It’s an NHL team that should have something that is going to compete with the rest of the league. It (a new arena) will bring jobs and revenue to the county."

I’ve lived in Mineola all of my life. I’m five minutes from the Coliseum, so it’s always been very convenient for me to go there as opposed to going to The Garden. I was shocked when I went to the Coliseum for an Islanders game recently at how bad it was, how bad the conditions were and how run down the place was. There’s really no excuse for that. I am definitely for the vote and I hope it passes."

John Cloghessy - Mineola
"I am voting yes primarily because - while we have the highest taxes in the country - the economy could use this boost, based on what they’re telling us it will mean for the county.

I think it’s (the Coliseum) a tremendous social center because of not only the professional hockey team, but concerts and other events that it brings to the area. There’s not another venue of that size around here.

Frank McGuinness, Mineola
"I supported it (the new arena). I am in the construction business and I want to see us get work, get business out here and keep the Islanders."

"It will mean revenue for the county first of all. I think it will bring more businesses and more people here, and we need that money money.
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POSTED ON Monday, 08.01.2011 / 1:48 PM




Robert Norton of East Meadow voted yes because of the need for jobs in Nassau County. He said that the county is not only going to lose the Islanders, but also concerts and all of the local businesses near the Coliseum.




                                                                                                                       













Bill and Kathlyn Parkinson of East Meadow both voted yes because their son is a carpenter and a new arena will help him and as well as many others by bringing in new jobs “for now and for the future.” They want to build up Long Island not tear it down.
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POSTED ON Monday, 08.01.2011 / 12:49 PM
Hicksville has one of the most traveled railroad stations in Nassau County and commuters boarding trains began voting "yes" for a new arena early this morning.

Dozens of people said they visited their local polling stations before heading into work in support of a new arena. Local cab drivers asked if they could distribute Vote Yes fliers to their customers in hopes of getting more people voting yes today. The support was encouraging and the large number of Vote Yes lawn signs throughout Hicksville is a sign of good things to come.
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POSTED ON Monday, 08.01.2011 / 11:51 AM
With a high volume of travelers at the Mineola train station, it was a great location to continue spreading the word about the importance of voting yes at the polls today.

There was an overwhelming support for a positive result tonight from the various commuters waiting for their trains.

It was very encouraging to see so many supporters who stopped by to discuss why they already have or are voting yes today. Keep up the support, Nassau County. We need your help!
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POSTED ON Monday, 08.01.2011 / 11:38 AM


Out in Bethpage this morning, residents seemed overwhelmingly in support of Vote Yes and as cars drove by, we got plenty of honks and thumbs up.

As one resident drove by the Islanders Vote Yes crew on the corner of Stewart Avenue and Central Avenue, he rolled down his car window and yelled, “Thanks for the reminder, I almost forgot! Go Islanders!”

Look for Vote Yes signs near the on ramps to the Seaford Oyster Bay Parkway (135) off Hempstead Turnpike! The Vote Yes crew will be out there all day so Honk if you’re Voting Yes!
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