9. Bet on LI
Among the many changes that New York State lawmakers made over the past decade that impacted Long Island — from legalizing gay marriage to enacting early voting — one of the most visible and controversial moves is allowing the region’s first casino to open in Islandia in 2017.
8. Medford Massacre
The opioid epidemic took an especially violent turn when David Laffer murdered four people while robbing a Medford pharmacy of prescription painkillers to feed his and his wife Melinda Brady’s addiction on Father’s Day of 2011.
7. Isles Skate
The Islanders shocked Long Island when the team’s owners announced in 2012 that it would move the NHL franchise from their original home of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. They’ve since announced a plan to move to a new arena they’re building in Elmont.
6. Gilgo Murders
When Suffolk County police searching for a missing woman found 10 sets of human remains in 2010 and ’11 — and later, the missing woman’s dead body — it launched what’s considered the largest serial killer investigation in the county’s history.
5. Dems Flip NY Senate
Democrats unseated three veteran Republican New York State senators from Long Island in 2018 and won a district vacated by another. Republicans had long held that the Senate was their lone check on Democrat power in the progressive state’s capitol. It’s the Democrats first time running the chamber in a decade.
4. MS-13 Crackdown
LI chapters of the violent street gang were responsible for dozens of murders over the past decade, most notably a 2017 quadruple homicide in Central Islip that prompted visits from then-U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions and President Donald Trump. Suffolk authorities recently announced the largest crackdown on the gang in state history.
3. Shinnecock Win Recognition
The Southampton-based Shinnecock Indian Nation won federal recognition in 2010 following a decades-long push to be considered a sanctioned tribe.
LI’s long list of public officials convicted of corruption over the past decade includes Ex-New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Ex-Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, and Ex-Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota. Mangano and Spota are appealing.
1. Sandy Strikes
Superstorm Sandy prompted LI leaders to request $8 billion in federal aid. It caused 13 local deaths out of more than 200 nationwide. Most of LI was blacked out—in some places for weeks. Nassau’s Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant failed, flooding homes and waterways with raw sewage. Breaches tore through Fire Island and neighboring Westhampton Island. An ensuing gas crisis sparked lines blocks and hours long. Hundreds were left homeless. Some waterfront roads and boardwalks were destroyed. And its impact is still felt years later.