LABOR PRESIDENT FEARS ISLANDERS WILL LEAVECastellane: “I hope they take Mr. Wang seriously”

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James Castellane, the President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk, is concerned Town of Hempstead politicians are not taking Charles Wang’s Oct. 3 deadline for Lighthouse “certainty” seriously.


Castellane, who is trying to line up business agents from every trade in Nassau and Suffolk for Tuesday’s zoning hearing at Hofstra, is worried the New York Islanders will leave Nassau and the Coliseum will be an abandoned parking lot in a few years.


Said Castellane today in a phone conversation: “Charles said to me a few months ago, ‘Jim, my son’s birthday is October 3rd. The start of the next Islanders season is October 3rd. If after all this time, we can’t get answers on this project by then, I’m not going to like it but we have to start talking to other areas. This has gone on too long.'”


The president of the Trades continued: “I sure as hell hope they are taking Mr. Wang seriously. Look at his track record. He’s been a man of his word. He has his deadlines. In my opinion, Charles has been a professional through this whole process. He has been patient. He has invested millions upon millions of dollars. If it was me, I may have split a long time ago. I mean, enough is enough.”


The zoning hearing for the Lighthouse is Tuesday at Hofstra University from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm with one-hour breaks at 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm. There has been a noticeable lack of buzz for the event, far different from the Aug. 4 environmental hearing which included a rally at the Coliseum. The labor leader is concerned the Town may view a drop in attendance as a drop in support.


“I would have liked to have had another rally, but it’s a difficult time,” said Castellane. “I’ll tell you how tough it is. I might not be able to line up as many of our people for the hearing as I’d like because they’re off Long Island doing jobs! This is how bad it’s gotten. These guys are barely making their mortgages.


“I don’t understand why the Lighthouse wasn’t done a while ago. It’s amazing. My group is involved, fighting for projects all the time. In 99% of them, we’re faced with serious opposition. In this one, you can hardly find anyone against it! I can’t believe the Town is going to jeopardize thousands of potential jobs because of this BS.”


Castellane said “labor has been the driving force” in getting Nassau County, the Town of Hempstead and the Lighthouse developers to try and work together. “The Lighthouse is too important to us,” he said. “We’ve worked hard on this project. There comes a point when we can only do so much. These are adults, major political leaders. They have to get on the same page in these next few weeks. If they don’t, I’m very worried the Lighthouse, the Islanders and thousands of jobs are going to go away.”


Point Blank plans to be at the morning session of tomorrow’s hearing. Comments on the Lighthouse in this thread only.