December 30, 2013 - January 5, 2014
For three generations, Posillico has combined an ironclad commitment to quality performance with an unequaled family work ethic, making the company a leader in public works projects. Incorporated in 1946 under the presidency of Joseph D. Posillico, Sr. as a small trucking contractor, the company has grown to become one of the top engineering contracting firms in New York. We employ as many as four hundred people and serve the entire Tri-State area.
Over the last five decades, Posillico has completed many large and highly complex civil engineering and construction projects. These complex projects more often require off-peak construction during nighttime hours with stringent penalty/ bonus clauses, which have been consistently achieved by the Posillico team.
Their integrated services of civil, materials, environmental, drilling and consulting have allowed them to provide the seamless, cost-effective construction solutions to complex problems that their clients demand today and will demand in the future.
“This was a hard and bittersweet decision to reach. The almost 16 years I have spent serving the residents of the 8th Senate District were some of the most rewarding and enjoyable of my life,” former State Senator Charles Fuschillo
"The loss of Senator Fuschillo's leadership on transportation, infrastructure, and other quality of life issues will be felt on Long Island. We wish him well in his future endeavors but will miss his ability to fight for Long Island's downtowns and local communities," Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander.
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Fuschillo Departs State Senate For Alzheimer’s Foundation
As the ball dropped and the world celebrated the arrival of 2014, it marked the departure of more than just 2013.
Former State Senator Charles Fuschillo (R-Merrick) ended his 15-year tenure to become the CEO of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Fuschillo, 53, abruptly announced his departure on Tuesday.
“This was a hard and bittersweet decision to reach. The almost 16 years I have spent serving the residents of the 8th Senate District were some of the most rewarding and enjoyable of my life,” Fuschillo said in a statement.
He reflected on more than 200 state laws he authored during his term, including New York State’s landmark Do Not Call Registry, the Clean Indoor Air Law, stronger penalties for drunk drivers, and protections for individuals with autism, and passing complete streets legislation are just some of the many things we can look back on with pride. Senator Fuschillo was also the recipient of a Vision Long Island Smart Growth Award in 2012 for Walkability.
“I am also incredibly proud that we have been able to help countless residents with problems as major as recovering from the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy to everyday quality of life issues,” he added.
Fuschillo said he needed a new challenge and leading the Manhattan-based nonprofit provides that while maintaining the opportunity to continue helping others.
Surprised residents, officials and politicians offered words of appreciation and support for the departing politician.
"In a time when politicians are disparaged, Chuck Fuschillo is an exemplary politician in the finest sense of the word – working hard, putting his community first, and doing things to make people’s lives better. All of us, both Democrats and Republicans, will miss his abilities in the political sphere, but our consolation is that he will be putting his formidable talents to work for a much needed cause," U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said.
As chair of the senate transportation committee Senator Fuschillo was a leader in bringing transportation dollars to Long Island, continuing Nassau bus service, and pedestrian safety.
Meanwhile, Fuschillo’s departure leaves some questions in the legislative body. The Republicans already hold the majority, and the vacant seat could remain empty until the November elections or Governor Andrew Cuomo could call for a special election for the remaining year of his two-year term.
For more coverage, check out Herald Community Newspapers and Newsday (subscription required).
Nonprofit In Final Financial Push For Veteran, Homeless Resource Center
The Island Outreach Foundation is picking up a quarter of a million dollar tab for the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless.
The funds were awarded through a capital grant last month for the coalition’s new Community Resource Center in Amityville.
“We are so grateful to the Island Outreach Foundation for this generous grant, which will help us complete rehabilitation of our community center and bring us one step closer to opening our doors,” Executive Director Greta Guarton said.
The Amityville Community Resource Center is the former home of the Armed Forces Recruitment and Training Center. This 40,000-square foot building and 9 acres of property were part of an operational military base and facility until it closed in 2011. The process then began to transfer the property for its newly intended purposes: serving homeless veterans and other persons.
The foundation started planning the handover with the military in 2005 to ensure a seamless transition. But along the way, Superstorm Sandy blew away the roof. Rain flooded the interior, leading to mold in the spring.
Coalition officials are fundraising to collect $2 million for repairs and mold remediation. That entails upgrades to the mechanical/HVAC system, modifying some internal spaces for optimal use and re-sealing the crumbling parking lot.
As of Thursday afternoon, they had raised nearly $1.7 million. In addition to the Island Outreach Foundation’s $250,000 grant, the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless is accepting donations and selling bricks online. All large contributions will be recognized on a Donor Recognition Wall; there are also naming opportunities for major contributors.
Guarton said an elevator will be installed as per federal disabilities regulations. The fire system should be installed by the end of January with tiling and other minor cosmetic work remaining.
“We’re hoping to occupy the first floor in February,” she said. “The second floor would probably be by April or May.”
The center is expected to offer in-house services for veterans – homeless or not, as well as offices for case managers working with the homeless general population away from the office. Board Chair Charles Russo said the center will house 10 nonprofit organizations that provide housing and services for veterans and/or homeless Long Islanders. It’s expected to open early this year.
“We will be creating a ‘one stop’ for veterans for a variety of services, case management, counseling, housing services, and employment training and placement services. We are thankful to Island Outreach Foundation for being our partners in this important project,” he said.
No veterans or homeless will be housed at the center, but Concerned for Independent Living is in the midst of building permanent affordable housing for veterans and their families directly behind the future Community Resource Center. Guarton said 60 units are expected to open in April.
For more information about the project or to donate, visit their website.
A Look Back At The Billions Spent On 2013 Transportation Projects
More than $259 million in federal funding was officially locked in for Long Island transportation projects in 2013.
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) released their 2013 “Annual Listing of Obligated Projects” last week. The report unveiled thousands of maintenance projects and improvements across Long Island, New York City and the lower Hudson Valley.
“It’s a good listing for anybody who wants to see what transportation projects were federally funded this past year,” spokeswoman Lisa Daglian said.
NYMTC is a federally-designated council of governments that handles transportation planning for the region. They identify long-term needs and possible solutions, which in turn creates the five-year Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs). Once the council approves a TIP, the projects within are eligible for federal funding. After that, the appropriate federal agency will formally fund each project – obligation of funds.
Planning Director Gerry Bogacz said applicants – municipalities, local transportation departments and the like – actually front the money and request up to 80 percent federal reimbursement.
Of the hundreds of Long Island projects in the obligation report, the top 10 most expensive projects collected more than $259 million. That includes six LIRR projects, two Superstorm Sandy recovery projects and two projects for improvements on Route 347. Bogacz said $52 million went towards Sandy projects on Long Island.
The report also identifies if funds were advanced from future years for 2013, and also if 2013 funds were pulled in 2012. Last year’s tenth most expensive project – widening the intersection of Pinelawn Road and Ruland Road – advanced $15.15 million. While $106 million in current funds was tapped in the past, $108 million in future funds were used for last year’s projects.
“It’s a bit of a wash,” Bogacz said.
The 2014-2018 TIP was approved in September and includes $31.7 billion for 1,338 projects, including 430 projects on Long Island requiring $5.5 billion. Of the $31.7 billion, 63 percent is slated for transit and 37 percent is going towards highway projects.
Several hundred projects have been slated for Long Island, including numerous road renovations, countless eco-friendly vehicle purchases and a multitude of drainage-improving jobs. The list also includes Intermodal construction at Pilgrim State Hospital in 2017, major bridge replacement of Route 110 over Sunrise Highway and efforts to reduce vehicular travel through vanpools and a bicycle-leasing program at LIRR stations.
Some projects only appear for a single year, Bogacz said, while others can be obligated for years until the work is complete.
For more information about the 2013 Listing of Obligated Projects, visit NYMTC online
Better! Cities & Towns: Why Walkable Places Are Preferred
This article was originally published in Better! Cities & Towns.
Just over half of Americans (52 percent), say they want a detached house with a large yard — compared to a house with a small yard or no yard at all, according to the latest poll of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), released in October.
Does that mean that Americans want more of what the housing industry has been providing for the better part of three generations—spread-out subdivisions with drive-to shopping centers and office parks? The desire for the house with the big yard has fueled suburban growth since the end of World War II and was a major force behind the American suburban dream of the last half of the 20th Century.
But the statistic could be compared to your favorite ice cream. Question: Would you like a single scoop or a two-gallon tub of your favorite ice cream? A yard is appealing. A big yard is more appealing. Put that way, I’ll take the big yard and the two-gallon tub.
But that’s not how people navigate the difficult choice of where to live. The decision involves trade-offs on many factors, many of them conflicting. Americans overwhelmingly want a short commute (or no commute at all). They want easy access to the things they need (60 percent favor a neighborhood with a mix of houses and stores and other businesses within walking distance, NAR says). Fifty-nine percent want public transportation within an easy walk of their home, the survey reports.
They want choice in how to get around (driving, walking, biking, public transportation), and they want easy access to culture and parks, preferably within walking distance. Sometimes home buyers simply fall in love with the charm of a community (the vast majority of respondents, 78 percent, say that the neighborhood is more important than the house in choosing where to live, NAR reports).
When Americans today are given a choice involving these trade-offs, the option of a walkable, compact, mixed-use community comes out consistently ahead of conventional, drive-only places, the NAR survey shows (by a margin of 60/35 to 50/45, depending on how the question is phrased).
The concept of drive-to-where-you-live suburbia was rational and appealing to the majority of households, policymakers, and industry when it was new in the middle of the last century. Commutes were short, open space was plentiful, and the demand for mass-produced subdivisions was huge. We subsidized this new growth and enacted policies — single-use zoning, setback and parking requirements, street standards, finance controls — that made building traditional neighborhoods illegal. Predictably, over seven decades, we have overbuilt the drive-only suburban option. Researchers such as Arthur Nelson and Christopher Leinberger – whose work is featured in this issue – have confirmed this oversupply.
As traffic congestion, longer commutes, more expensive driving, and loss of open space has eroded the advantages of conventional suburban communities, the virtues of your grandparents’ communities are once again widely recognized. For the public and private sectors, walkable places create a ton of value. It’s not just the higher density, but the way that density is arranged in cities and towns that generates economic and social value not available in drive-only suburbs.
Smart Growth allows for creation of quality public space, proximity to culture and civic amenities, and the connection to nature that is accessible on foot. It allows for transportation choice and the ability to reduce household automobile costs. It’s simply a more efficient way to build. Combine these qualities with current undersupply and a strong ongoing demand for walkable places, reflected in research reported throughout this issue, is inevitable.
Post-Sandy opportunities abound, struggles continue
The following is an Op-Ed by Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander. It originally appeared in the Long Island Herald on December 19th, 2013.
One of the biggest post-Hurricane Sandy challenges has been getting resources directly to local residents, businesses and community infrastructure and resiliency projects. Over 1,000 small-business, civic and governmental leaders gathered at the annual Smart Growth Summit to strengthen our communities and rebuild the region’s infrastructure.
Post-Sandy, New York state created the Community Reconstruction Program, which is involving thousands of South Shore residents and business owners in planning efforts to strengthen their communities through infrastructure investments. This process is fueled by federal Sandy aid that will help implement a slew of community-driven infrastructure projects to help weather the next storm.
Jamie Rubin, director of the New York Office of Storm Recovery, said that the state has learned from past storms, and must continue learning. Through NY Rising, Rubin said, more vulnerable waterfront homes could be purchased. New York’s Community Reconstruction Program selected locations, including 31 in Nassau and eight in Suffolk, before creating an eight-month planning process — now 12 weeks old — to improve each community. Professional consulting firms were selected to work with each area along the way. Rubin also said that comprehensive storm water drainage will protect the power supply and vulnerable populations on the South Shore.
To be sure, the $455 million federal investment in the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant may be the biggest allocation of outside funds and the largest infrastructure project in Long Island’s history, and is a big win for Nassau County and the impacted communities. We recognize that it’s a bit strange to talk about long-term needs while communities are dealing with short-term homelessness and other extreme conditions. But it is still better that residents plan their future at the many public meetings than a bureaucrat or out-of-town engineer who doesn’t know their community.
One panel at the Smart Growth Summit addressed the strategies that have worked and the lessons that have been learned from the past year of Sandy recovery. Speakers included a plethora of community rebuilding and relief organizations that have been working around the clock to assist Long Islanders.
A number of local service groups, churches, small businesses and municipalities have stepped forward to help fill the many gaps and the unmet needs of thousands of Long Islanders who are still displaced. Some are homeless, and some are still living with friends and relatives, while little to no government, insurance or charitable support has made it their way. With homes destroyed, difficult claims to file and lawyers challenging lawsuits, it’s been a struggle for many to get back to normal.
The panel discussed some of the issues people across Long Island are still facing, well after the storm, and various groups’ functions. The group addressed the urgent need for mental health care for Sandy victims. Another big issue in the wake of the storm is the lack of communication and a grasp of what is really happening on the ground.
Friends of Freeport, which started as just a few people helping their neighbors, now has construction crews, and operates during the week and on weekends. Friends founder Rich Cantwell spoke about the group’s rebuilding efforts and how social media was helpful in garnering support and assistance. Although more than 100 residents have already been helped, he said, there’s a lot of work left to do.
Friends of Long Island was established to bridge the gap between governmental entities and conventional nonprofit disaster relief and the grass-roots community groups that are responding to the needs of communities. The collaboration has grown to stretch from East Rockaway to the Hamptons. Friends of LI’s volunteer efforts have helped those in need in Freeport, Long Beach, East Rockaway, Wantagh, Seaford, Oceanside, Island Park and other communities.
Grass-roots organizing is playing a role, as there have been over a dozen rallies advocating policy change and awareness of community needs across Long Island by Friends of Long Island members. These rallies provided media coverage for continuing needs in the community, were well received and were attended by local elected officials.
Despite the hope that public infrastructure dollars bring, there are huge obstacles ahead for rebuilding the South Shore. There are things folks can do: 1) support local groups like Friends of Freeport, that are mobilizing support on the ground; 2) keep the spotlight and pressure on government officials to keep federal resources moving; 3) attend public meetings, rallies and organize with local groups, share resources, and don’t stop participating.
As Long Islanders, many of whom are charitable people when it comes to causes that don’t involve Long Island, we can’t forget to support relief and rebuilding for what has happened in our own communities.
Help Save Funding For New York’s Walking, Biking Projects
Two mouse clicks.
That’s all a coalition looking for Governor Andrew Cuomo to restore funding for pedestrian and bicycling projects is asking from New York residents.
The New Yorkers For Active Transportation (NY4AT), of which Vision Long Island is a member, is sending postcards to Cuomo asking him to add $20 million in the 2014-15 state budget specifically for pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure projects, as well as at least another $20 million annually over the next 5 years. They also want the Department of Transportation’s Preservation First policy revised so it does not exclude new pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure projects and is consistent with the intent of the state's Complete Streets law.
"NYBC believes that dedicated state funding for pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure would support improved safety for all road users, encourage tourism and economic development, and help New Yorkers improve their health by expanding access to walking and biking opportunities," according to New York Bicycling Coalition Executive Director Josh Wilson, who also
said more than 1,000 postcards are ready to be delivered.
Wilson also confirmed they are looking to secure face-to-face meetings with top transportation officials in the governor's office in the coming weeks.
According to Wilson, "Dedicated state funding would help communities across the state that are eager to embrace the vision of New York's Complete Streets Law (signed by Governor Cuomo in 2011) by improving the condition and accessibility of their sidewalk networks, adding bike lanes to busy city streets, building shared use paths to connect communities, and redesigning intersections to alleviate congestion and improve safety for vulnerable road users."
Formed by Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Parks & Trails New York and the New York Bicycling Coalition, NY4AT advocates for safe, healthy and low-cost active transportation like bicycling and walking.
Anyone looking to looking to add to the stack of postcards sent to the Capitol can view the text of the postcard here and digitally sign here.
"We want to deliver a tall stack of postcards to the Capitol," the director said.
Have A Heart For LI's Homeless At Farmingdale State Candlelight Vigil
Wear red and join Long Island Coalition for the Homeless at Farmingdale State College on Feb. 13 to support your homeless neighbors.
The “Have a Heart for the Homeless” candlelight vigil is designed to show that Long Island wants to eradicate homelessness and hunger even in our affluent society.
The event is slated for 6-8 p.m. on the Great Lawn and multi-purpose room in Roosevelt Hall. Participants are asked to wear red; donations of new baby items, toiletries, cleaning supplies and non-perishable foods will also be collected at the vigil.
In addition to making a stand on an important issue, entertainment is planned for families. Face painting, balloon animals, story time, the Girl Scout Choir and free hair cuts are planned for the event.
For more information, contact the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless at 516-742-7770 or online.
LI Minority AIDS Coalition Seeking Policy Coordinator
Intern with Vision Long Island!
What's happening in your downtown this weekend?
The YMCA Boulton Center
37 West Main Street, Bay Shore
No shows scheduled this weekend.
Tickets and more information available here
Cold Spring Harbor
The John W. Engeman Theater
250 Main Street, Northport
Irving Berlin's White Christmas - Friday, Jan. 3 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 4 at 3 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 5 at 2 and 7 p.m.
Frosty - Saturday, Jan. 4 at 11 a.m. and Sunday, Jan. 5 at 10:30 a.m.
Tickets and more information available here
9 Railroad Avenue, Patchogue
Somethin' Fresh - Friday, Jan. 3 at 8 p.m.
Saturday Night Dance Party - Saturday, Jan. 4 at 9:30 p.m.
Badfish - Sunday, Jan. 5 at 8 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here
Here is a reminder about Long Islanders making a difference post-Sandy. News 12 recently did a profile of Vision long Island's community partner Friends of Freeport and Rich Cantwell. Check it out here.
Newsletter Editor: Mike Koehler, Communications Director
Contributors: Lucy Ayala, Program Assistant; Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director;
Elissa Ward, Sustainability Director
We strive to provide continued quality publications like this every week.
If you have any news or events that you would like to add to our newsletter, submit them to email@example.com for consideration.
If you are interested in becoming a newsletter or news blast sponsor, please call the office at 631-261-0242 for rates and opportunities.
Vision Long Island
24 Woodbine Ave., Suite Two
Northport, NY 11768
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.
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