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Everything we do as Islanders fans the last few years has been some sort of a “watch”.

Last season fans were obsessed with the “Stamkos Watch” – this obviously didn’t work out favorably for the team – finishing with the 5th selection in the draft and retaining it during the lottery. We all know how it ended up, trading the 5th for the 7th and eventually the 9th to get Josh Bailey and a gaggle of extra picks. There is nothing wrong with Josh Bailey by any stretch – it just wasn’t titled the “Bailey Watch”.

This season we have two additional watches – one being the “Tavares Watch” which seems to be going swimmingly. James Mirtle commented this afternoon how it was just about the only thing the Islanders have been doing right this season. It’s still not a complete lock, but it’s definately a better shot at the number one pick than last year.

Our second watch is the “Lighthouse Project Watch”. The Lighthouse Project took a major step forward in it’s approval this morning at Town Hall in Hempstead. When the Lighthouse Group invited myself and several other bloggers to their offices at Rexcorp Plaza, we were told that once accepting the scope – the town was expecting them to turn in their environmental impact study “in a time frame measured with a calendar – but should be expected it in a time frame measured on a wrist watch”. It was not said to be factitious, I understood that. I was not expecting the group to hand over an 1,800 page document during the board meeting. I am sure that dropped a few jaws – it’s just a shame I couldn’t get out of work to be there.

There was plenty of coverage today – Nick G was in the crowd and took plenty of notes with his Let There be Light(house) blog. He lists the current phase of the process waiting game. He really deserves credit for being so dedicated to a cause – I tell ya.

Chris Botta was also in the crowd at Hempstead Town Hall – blogging away from his Blackberry.

Dee Karl – AKA 7th Woman had recaps and a “post game” report summarizing the events as well.

Katrina Doell does a great job as always blogging away on the official Lighthouse blog – The Light Post.

There was also an official press release given to me by the Lighthouse Group:

FEBRUARY 24, 2009, Uniondale, NY – Today, immediately after the Town of Hempstead Board publicly adopted the final scope of environmental impact studies for the Lighthouse at Long Island project, Lighthouse Development Group submitted to the Town the Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) which thoroughly covers the studies outlined in the scope.

“Getting to this point has taken seven years,” said Michael Picker, President ofLighthouse Development Group. “However, Long Island can’t wait any longer. That is
why, as the Town of Hempstead and its consultants were working diligently to prepare the final scoping document for environmental review, our team has been working day and night on that next step – the DGEIS, which we submitted to the Town this afternoon. We know that by continuing to work hand in hand, Lighthouse Development Group and the Town of Hempstead can make the Lighthouse Project a reality.”

Long Island is experiencing unprecedented, unparalleled, and uncharted economic strain. The need for an economic catalyst for Long Island is painfully apparent. The Lighthouse Project, which is anticipated to create 75,000 construction and related jobs, 19,000 permanent jobs, and $71 million in new annual tax revenues, is just that.

The DGEIS, including an executive summary, will be available on the Lighthouse Development Group website, www.lighthouseli.com.