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Islanders have sites on Suffolk

NY Islanders Owner Charles Wang

Suffolk County Exec Steve Levy

Suffolk County Exec and Stony Brook University alumnus Steve Levy is pulling it all together as far as the Asian American community is concerned. He is in negotiations with Charles Wang, owner of the NY Islanders National Hockey team, to move the Isles to Suffolk. That might also mean Suffolk gets a pro-basketball team, Wang's favorite sport, if its far enough away from the city to be non-competitive. In December Levy formed an Asian American Advisory Board, one goal of which is to "promote and assist Asian American business development."

(c) Newsday http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-lipuck
0128,0,5253414.story?coll=ny-top-headlines

BY CHAU LAM AND MARK HARRINGTON
STAFF WRITERS

January 28, 2006

Two sites in Suffolk County under consideration as a possible new home for the Islanders are on county-owned land next to Suffolk County Community College campuses, one in Brentwood and the other in Selden, a source close to the negotiations said Friday.

The Brentwood campus is next to the Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center and the Selden campus is in the town of Brookhaven.

Ed Dumas, a spokesman for Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, would neither confirm nor deny that those two locations are being considered.

"It's too early. It's too preliminary, and it would just be a mistake to discuss sites at this stage of our discussion," Dumas said.

Meanwhile, Nassau officials expressed concern that talks between Islanders owner Charles Wang and Suffolk have escalated.

"If [County Executive Thomas] Suozzi doesn't step up to the plate, Nassau is really threatened with the loss of the Islanders," said Ed Ward, a spokesman for Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa).

The discussions between Wang and Suffolk are being taken seriously, Nassau Deputy County Executive Helena Williams said, but she pointed out the team has a lease with Nassau through 2015.

Nassau Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick) doesn't blame Wang for talking to Suffolk.

"I am not surprised. The history with Wang is that if he doesn't get what he wants he'll look elsewhere. Some people call it bullying. Some call it smart business strategy. It's a little of both but I don't blame him," Denenberg said.

Wang couldn't be reached for comment.

Wang, has proposed renovating Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where the hockey team plays. Wang, a billionaire who is also a developer, wants to build a sports technology center, conference facility and other buildings on the 77 county-owned acres surrounding the coliseum in central Nassau.

Wang proposed developing the project primarily by himself. But, after pressure from the Nassau County Legislature, it was put out for a 45-day bidding process. Wang's proposal is one of four being considered.

Frustrated with the slow progress, Wang approached Levy, and the parties are drafting a memorandum of understanding calling for "exploring plans, direction and an agreement" to relocate the Islanders, according to two people involved in negotiations.

Related articles:
Levy forms Suffolk County Asian American Advisory Board http://www.aaezine.org/articles/vol13/13N3SuffolkCoAsianAmAdvisoryBoard.shtml

SC AAAB's first event - Lunar New Year Celebration http://www.aaezine.org/articles/vol13/13N3SuffolkCoAAABLunarNewYear.shtml

_____________________
Editor's Note: When Wang offered to build an Asian American Center at Stony Brook University in 1996, the New York State Construction Fund applied pressure to be the architects of the building. Wang wanted his own architect and commented that if Stony Brook did not want the building, he was sure Hofstra would like it. Of course, the Fund backed down. The Wang Center's architect, the award-winning P.H. Tuan, included a soaring holographic coated modernistic pagoda 'Tower to Heaven' that changes color with the sun. It has since become the University's icon because of its unique and innovative design. Wang may be impatient but he is not a fool. 

The AA E-Zine does not accept advertising and does not get any funding from Wang, though having been founded by Stony Brook University alumni, it will forever owe him a debt of gratitude for the Wang Center. The links on the AA E-Zine are to sponsors of [AA]2 events or programs (e.g., FalconStor gave thousands for the first Wang Center Freshmen Welcome BBQ, New School's Dean funded an annual program, etc), donors to the University (e.g., aside from Wang's $50+ million, Acorn funded a Chinese brush painting art exhibit, GT Equipment Technologies gave hundreds of thousands to the School of Engineering, etc), and other non-profits who do beneficial things for the Asian American community (e.g. Cinema Art Centre's monthly program with Asian CineVisions, etc).

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