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Daily News from New York, New York • 997

Daily Newsi
New York, New York
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I 1 ri 2 iJ Kern Sareaa (516) 237-5494 Fax (516) 2220545 Home Diivery 1-800-692-NEWS For information on civic groups and entertainment see the BULLETIN BOARD FAGS 7 r- t'u siwiwimA, i 1 (KDIFteir Uh ft 0ire foorjutrai Li ture, said Democrats "certainly aren't happy Blakeman is running. He's obviously the strongest candidate they have." But Nyman said Democrats still feel the voting trends in the district give them an edge. "Democrats aren't going to forfeit that seat," he promised. At least five Democrats have expressed interest in running for the Five Towns seat Party leaders say there could be a primary. Democratic hopefuls include attorney Phil Bernstein, former supervisor candidate Donald Davidson, attorney Peter Young Democrat leader Todd Richman and Cedarhurst Village Trustee Harry Taubenfeld.

ously Mondello is going to want a Hempstead guy running the Legislature." Blakeman, the son of a former Assemblyman, said he couldn't pass up what he called a "historic opportunity" to take part in the creation of the new Legislature. He predicts the chief issue in the race will be holding the line on taxes and attracting new businesses. "We have to make it affordable to live here," he said. "We have to attract young people and we have to stop forcing senior citizens to move out" Long Beach Supervisor Bruce Ny-man, the likely leader of the expected Democratic minority in the Legisla aisle said Republicans don't have a guaranteed win in the Five Towns district, in the southeastern corner of the county. In seven out of nine previous elections for other offices in the district, Democrats came out ahead.

Nassau GOP boss Joe Mondello urged Blakeman to take the risk, however. A Mondello confidante said the party leader was "thrilled, because this takes a seat that could have gone the other way and puts it in play. "He's the odds-on choice to be presiding officer," said the GOP operative. "He's a councilman, he's a favorite of Mondello, and he's a vice chair of the party. He is the most 'in' guy of all the Hempstead candidates, and obvi By MICHAEL 8.C.

CLAFFEY Daily News Staff Writer Hempstead Republican Councilman Bruce Blakeman said yesterday he's giving up a sure thing reelection to the Town Council to run for a seat in the County Legislature from the Five Towns. GOP sources say that if the 39-year-old attorney from Woodmere wins the Five Towns seat, he would be on the short list to become presiding officer of the new Legislature. "He could vault from being an obscure councilman to one of the most visible positions in the county," said a top GOP operative. But politicians on both sides of the gmm 4 I fllll Debra Peecher, working underneath the Stadium in token booth 203, where the roar of the and 4 trains often gets lost in the roar of the 55,000 fans, smiles at the words "Opening Day." "Music to my ears," she says. "Me and my son are Yankee fans.

But I don't get to go to many games because I take the OT to work the games. It can mean $1,000 a month during the season. During a game we have like 15 clerks working this station alone. It's a madhouse, but a FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD surrounding Yankee Stadium, the baseball strike war more devastating than Mighty Casey's final at bat Which makes today's long-awaited Opening Day a bittersweet trip to the plate. For Herman Mangual, who runs Yankee Parking on E.

158th St off River the strike cost him a family vacation to Puerto Rico. Debra Peecher, who sells tokens in the Yankee Stadium subway 1 fr I iff Ifl I llfipilltl wonderful mad- I house, especially i-vA I when the Yankees I jx I win. sti, DENIS HAMILL station, lost thousands of dollars in overtime. Muhammad Abbadi, who since 1977 has owned a Yankee souvenir store on River says lost reve the World Series will I take a day off to go to the game," iiailii lilli i 'x she said. Over in Macombs Dam Park in the shadow of the baseball cathedral, neighborhood kids practice their jump shots.

They have not forgotten that in an interview last year, a Yankee official named Richard Kraft referred to the Macomb Park hoopsters as "monkeys." "That remark still angers me," says Bill Roberts, 36, who is busy making his legs keep up with his teenage opponents. "And the strike angers me. But I grew up here in the Bronx, I love the Yankees, so I'll still probably go to 20 games this year. But I think a lot of the anger would dissipate if George Steinbrenner reached out and gave some jobs to kids like these for the summer. But yeah, I'm happy they're back." Pablo Cartagena, 21, walks through Stan's World, another Yankee souvenir shop, holding an Opening Day $18 ticket, Box 301-Row H-Seat 3.

"I'm angry as hell at the strike because the Yankees were heading straight for a World Series," he says. "Replacement players didn't satisfy me. I belong to a baseball team and we play better than some of those guys. Maybe this year I get to see a World Series. But today I'm here just to buy a ticket walk around, to smell the place, get it in my blood again." Baseball today simply does not deserve fans as good and loyal as this.

And yet, untold hordes of Pablo Car- nues coupled with rent for a closed business have put him six figures in the red. "Look next door," Abbadi says, stepping out of his newly reopened shop, pointing to an adjacent boarded-up storefront "Wendy's, the hamburger place, they shut down. Then that over there." He points north on River across 161st St, where five storefronts burned during the strike and have not reopened. "Finally, they are going to play baseball," Abbadi says. "But it will take me most of the season to just make up for my losses." Herman Mangual has run his 155-car parking lot down the block from his home on 158th for nine years.

"The strike cost me 40 of my income. Plus I lost about $100 a day in tips. Sure I'm angry. My two kids are Yankee fans. Last year might have been their first World Series.

They missed that and the trip I had planned to take to Puerto Rico. "But now, because we have a great team, the fans will return." The word to watch in that last sentence is "we." Despite the strike, lost revenue and anger over millionaire players dueling with billionaire owners, the fans who will travel to Yankee Stadium today still regard the Yankees as family. Now that the family feud is over, a resentful healing SUSAN WATTS BUYERS UP! Steve Martucci of Stan's World, a souvenir shop in shadow of Yankee Stadium, has vision of pennants. the fan a reason to return. You have to say you're sorry.

After all, the fans didn't do anything wrong and they're the ones who lost most Plus, remember, the owners and the players, they haven't even settled this thing yet" search of glory in the battered beauty beneath the ugly business of baseball. "If I didn't have this business, I don't know if I'd come back," says Steve Martucci, son of the owner of Stan's World. "As a businessman, I'm angry, of course. But as a fan, I'm even madder. "However, I see the Yankees have 30 scheduled promotion days, where they are bending, giving free hot dogs, sodas, a free ticket You have to give IRflTH THOSE OMINOUS I WORDS resounding around Yankee Stadium, the stricken neighborhood was still leery of the possibility of a replacement umpire yelling, "Play Ball'' on Opening Day.

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