THE GOOD . . .
The official groundbreaking for the Aqueduct Racino gives the city its first-ever casino and hundreds of jobs for local workers from in and around South Ozone Park.
The project – Resorts World New York – is expected to generate $300 million in annual revenue for the state. Genting New York, the developer behind the Queens racetrack, plans to install 1,600 Video Lottery Terminals by the end of March, with the casino becoming fully operational in 18 months.
The ceremony held on Thursday October 28 started Genting’s hiring for the project’s more than 1,300 construction jobs and a series of job fairs for the 800 permanent jobs at the Racino.
Genting awarded the contract to renovate the existing grandstand to Tutor Perini Corp., who will begin work sometime in November.
THE BAD . . .
We were watching on Election Day, November 2, as the voting public at large used the new paper ballots and scanners. The problems of the primary remained – many voters, especially senior citizens, complained about the small type on the ballot.
Poll workers did give voters a magnifying sheet to help them read the ballot, but it was floppy and difficult to get the ballot marking device underneath and still see the bubbles to be marked clearly.
Polling sites in northeast Queens reported major problems with machines at a number of polling places – some having three of the four voting machines down at one time throughout the day.
Frustrated voters left long lines, hoping to be able to vote at other polling places – only to be denied. The Board of Elections needs to fix this mess and do it before the next election cycle. We must not throw away any more votes.
THE UGLY . . .
An ugly, mud-covered campaign for the State Senate ended abruptly on Monday, November 8 with the short statement from 38-year veteran State Senator Frank Padavan. He announced his concession saying, "The voters of the 11th Senate District have spoken and now our community heads in a new direction."
We thank Padavan for all the wonderful things he did for the generations of people who grew up and currently live in the district.
We are confident that Senator-elect Tony Avella will serve his constituents well.