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January 6th - 12th, 2018

Regional Updates

Engel Burman

In real estate development, you make a name for yourself not only by the projects you complete, but also by the company you keep. This is why the principals of The Engel Burman Group are always actively networking — remaining both in touch and in step with the communities they help build. While the management team is comprised of seasoned real estate professionals, the organization is driven every day by the youth and energy of the next generation. The effect of this collective experience makes for a formidable formula: The Engel Burman Group is proven, but hungry; careful, but courageous; wise, but willing to break new ground.

“Terry, Anthony and Gerry will all be great additions to the Town Board. When I started here, I was the youngest member of the Town Board. Now, I’m the oldest, so it will be great to add some new energy and ideas.” - Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer talking about the new Town Officials


"Today’s a new beginning for Smithtown, standing united as a township.  Together we begin a new and exciting era for our community.  One that is built on communication, teamwork, and social responsibility." - Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim speaking at his inauguration


“The Town of Islip is a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. I’m excited about my new role, and am looking forward to serving the people of the Town.” - Newly Elected Islip Town Councilmman James O'Connor



“Hickville is at the beginning of an amazing renaissance. (Teddy) Roosevelt said, ‘Take charge and dare to do mighty things'. That’s what we are doing in the Town of Oyster Bay. With community input, a new zoning plan will be presented to the Town Board. The plan incorporates Smart Growth, Complete Streets, and transit-oriented development, and will create Long Island's coolest downtown." -Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino


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Nassau and Suffolk Legislators Sworn In to Office

Vision staff were in attendance this week for the induction ceremony for the both the Nassau and Suffolk County Legislatures.

The ceremony for Nassau County saw the swearing in of the newly elected Nassau County legislators, which included Legislator Debra Mule from the 5th District, Legislator Tom McKevitt from the 13th, Legislator John Ferretti from the 15th, and Legislator Joshua Lafazan from District 18.  NYS Senator Elaine Phillips did the honors of swearing in newly appointed Presiding Officer Richard Nicollelo, who addressed the crowd as well.

Vision Long Island has worked with Mr. Nicollelo for many years on bus funding and other issues.  During that time, he has been very thoughtful and willing to work across the aisle.  We wish him and the entire legislature well moving forward into the New Year and administration.

Newly minted County Executive Laura Curran swore in Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams and gave opening remarks that struck a tone of cooperation.  "Maybe we can show Washington DC about good bipartisan government," she remarked. Both the Presiding Officer and Minority Leader pledged to work in a bi-partisan fashion as well.

Special thanks to former Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves for her leadership for many years listening to local communities, her legislators and working forcefully and fairly in the public interest.

Vision Board members were also present for the Suffolk County Legislature induction ceremony, which took place at the Legislature Building in Hauppauge.

Newly elected legislators include Legislator Steve Flotteron from the 11th District, Legislator Tom Donnelly from the 17th, Legislator Susan Berland from the 16th, and Legislator Rudy Sunderman from the 3rd.  Suffolk County Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory was again tapped for the position and was sworn in to manage the legislature for another term. US Senator Chuck Schumer took part in the program as well.

We look forward to working with both Counties and all of the Legislators in a bi-partisan community focused manner in 2018.

Islip, Smithtown, and Babylon Swear In New Officials

This past week saw the swearing in of new officials for several Suffolk County Towns.

Islip saw the swearing in of newly elected Town Councilman James P. O’Connor.  Islip Town Clerk Olga Murray administered the Oath of Office in the Town Board Room while family, friends, other Board Members, and Supervisor Angie Carpenter all looked on.  Councilman O’Connor is a 12-year resident of Great River and previously served on the Town Board for North Hempstead from 1997 to 2001. 

“The Town of Islip is a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. I’m excited about my new role, and am looking forward to serving the people of the Town,” said Councilman O’Connor.

Babylon had three new Officials sworn in at their ceremony, with Town Clerk Geraldine Compitello and Councilman Anthony Manetta beginning their first terms.  Councilman Terence McSweeney was also unanimously approved to his first term by the Council after being appointed by Supervisor Schaffer to fill the seat vacated by former Councilman Tom Donnelly.

The newly minted officials have long histories in both Babylon on and Suffolk County.  Councilman Manetta is the former CEO of the Suffolk County IDA where he worked extensively on economic development and community outreach.  Councilman McSweeney is a 14-year veteran of the FDNY and a local volunteer fireman.  He has spent recent years working as a special assistant to Supervisor Schaffer.  Town Clerk Geraldine Compitello was previously Supervisor Schaffer’s Chief of Staff and has worked on numerous special projects in the Town.

“Terry, Anthony and Gerry will all be great additions to the Town Board,” said Schaffer at the front of a crowded town board room. “When I started here, I was the youngest member of the Town Board. Now, I’m the oldest, so it will be great to add some new energy and ideas,” he added.

Finally, Smithtown welcomed in their first new Supervisor in 40 years with the swearing in of Ed Wehrheim.  Mr. Wehrherim hit the ground running, starting his first day on the job at 8:30 with a meeting with Town Council members in order to over the agenda for his first Town Board meeting as Supervisor.  Issues facing the Town that the new Supervisor is tackling include approval of a new bond for water mains in St. James and the appointment of a fifth council member.

"Today’s a new beginning for Smithtown, standing united as a Township," said the new Supervisor at his swering in ceremony. "Together we begin a new and exciting era for our community. One that is built on communication, teamwork, and social responsibility."

Vision Long Island congratulates all the newly elected officials on their victories and looks forward to working with the entirety of the Town Governments in order to advance Smart Growth principles on a local, community oriented level.

Towns of Oyster Bay, North Hempstead Swear in Officials

Over the past week, several Nassau County officials were sworn into office in their respective Townships.

Vision Board, staff and community partners were out for the Town of Oyster Bay inauguration ceremony this week at Hicksville High School. New York State Comptroller Tom Dinapoli swore in Supervisor Joseph Saladino along with elected Councilpersons Michelle Johnson, Thomas Hand and Lou Imbroto. The ceremony was postponed due to last week's snowstorm.

“Hickville is at the beginning of an amazing renaissance. (Teddy) Roosevelt said, ‘Take charge and dare to do mighty things'. That’s what we are doing in the Town of Oyster Bay," said Saladino. "With community input, a new zoning plan will be presented to the Town Board. The plan incorporates Smart Growth, Complete Streets, and transit-oriented development, and will create Long Island's coolest downtown."

North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth was sworn in for her third term as Supervisor by Comptroller DiNapoli during an inaugural ceremony at Clinton G. Martin Park on January 7, along with Council Members Viviana Russel, Angelo Ferrara, Lee Seeman each taking their official oath of office. All officials were re-elected last November.

Supervisor Bosworth detailed some of the accomplishments of the past year, which included the Town’s AAA rating, the Town’s increased openness and transparency, ethics reforms, a new anti-nepotism law, Tobacco 21 legislation, and the establishment of the “Not In Our Town” Anti-Hate initiative.

“I have my sights set on implementing even more initiatives that will continue to transform our Town into one of the best places to live, work and raise a family,” said Supervisor Bosworth.  “This includes the redesign of North Hempstead Beach Park, a re-education campaign about the Town’s recycling program, safeguarding the Town’s drinking water and aquifers and adding millions of dollars to the Capital Plan for road repaving and sidewalk repairs.”

We wish the newly elected officials and other members of the Town Board the best in 2018.

Cross Sound Tunnel for Long Island Could Carry $55.4 Billion Price

In last week’s State of the State speech, NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo pledged to continue to pursue construction of a tunnel across the Long Island Sound in order to connect Syosset with either Rye or Port Chester in Westchester.

The 18-mile tunnel has been estimated as costing up to $55.4 Billion and would cut travel times by up to an hour according to analysis conducted by Montreal based engineering form WSP.  The estimate is significantly higher than those of a bridge connecting Long Island to Connecticut, which range from $13 Billion for just a bridge to $32 Billion for a bridge-tunnel hybrid.

The idea of a bridge to connect Long Island with either Westchester or Connecticut has been around for a while with various efforts and studies continuing to fuel interest.  Cost has been a concern as well as the possibility of increasing congestion on already busy roads in the destination areas.  The high cost also makes the likelihood of a private entity building the bridge very unlikely, though it does not rule out a public-private partnership.

However, the plan has met with resistance on Long Island as impacted communities are concerned about how the bridge or tunnel would adversely affect the health of the local waters as well as local traffic and property rights.  This is in addition to the high cost and need to address other infrastructure problems in the region. 

"The Long Island Sound Crossing, if it were to originate from Oyster Bay, would adversely affect the estuary,” said Friends of the Bay Director Heather Johnson.  “According to the report, it would require easements on more than 200 properties in Oyster Bay and on Centre Island, and the installation of ventilation towers would have a negative effect on the health of Oyster Bay and Cold Spring Harbor. Senator Marcellino and Supervisor Saladino have already spoken against the plan and Friends of the Bay stand(s) with them."

This all comes at the conclusion of a $5 Million study by the State DOT on the feasibility and potential locations of a bridge.  Various locations had been considered as landing spots, with Westchester and Connecticut emerging as the most likely destinations. 

You can read more here.

FEMA to Provide $5 Million to Pay for Sewage Treatment Facility

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to provide $5 million to help pay for costs associated with a project to send partially treated sewage from Bay Park to the Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant in Wantagh.

The partially treated effluent is currently being discharged into Reynolds Channel where, according to officials, it’s harming the local environment.  The goal now is to send excess wastewater to the Cedar Creek Plant before discharging it 3 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean.  The project will refurbish a 100-year old aqueduct, currently sitting unused below Sunrise Highway, following an environmental review.

Preventing nitrogen rich discharge into Reynolds channel has long been a goal of local environmental groups.  The wastewater currently being discharged provides resources for rapid growth of local seaweeds that then grow much longer than normal.  The increased marine plants then leach oxygen out of the water as they grow, causing depleted “dead zones” to form that can lead to fish kills.  By diverting some of the effluent it is hoped to reduce these zones and help to bring life back to the channel, which used to be a popular spot for fishing and clamming.

The total project will cost around $354 million with Nassau County contributing $157 million.  New York State will put in an additional $78 million, which will go along with the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation’s $41 million loan.  FEMA’s additional $5 million in funding came as a result of a grant.  A majority of the project is expected to be finished by 2020.

You can read more here.

Lindenhurst Reveals First Transit Oriented Development

Vision was out this week along with community partners in downtown Lindenhurst in support of the first Transit Oriented Development in the Village of Lindenhurst.

Approximately 300 community residents were in attendance with business owners, who were out along with the Village Board.  The $100 million development includes 260 units and ranges between 3 and 4 stories. The development will be walkable to the train station and will provide new residents to give a boost the downtown retailers, restaurants and bars.

The meeting sported a full house with over 35 local speakers.  21 residents or business owners spoke in favor while 8 had concerns, questions, or were seeking changes, and 6 were outright opposed.  10 regional organization's from outside the community spoke and many local speakers were understandably not happy with folks from outside the community weighing in.

The project is estimated to create over 600 construction jobs and 40 permanent jobs. The rental units are currently slated at 100% market rate, but if an IDA pilot is granted 20% will be mandated as affordable.  Parking will be provided at a rate of 1.47 spaces per unit.  Due to the unit mix of 1 and 2 bedroom units, the school district impact is tax positive.

Tritec is the developer of the project and has had success with the approval and building of projects in Port Jefferson, Patchogue and Ronkonkoma.  The design and professional team includes BHC Architects, VHB Engineers, and Certilman Balin as attorneys.  Tritec has met with the Village, Fire Department, Chamber of Commerce, Historical Society and many local residents over the last three years and has worked with the on the architectural look and feel of the project. 

The Village approved a zoning code earlier in 2017 with the support of the local community at that public hearing.  This is the first project to fit under this new codes, and there are no variances needed. The Village has the ability to impose covenants and restrictions based on community input.

Vision Long Island looks forward to seeing this proposal and others move forward with community support in order to bring revitalization to Lindenhurst.

Riverhead Town Board Mulls Downtown Revitalization Committee

The Riverhead Town Board is currently considering the creation of a committee aimed at revitalizing downtown Riverhead.

In the first work session of the New Year the newly minted Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith called for an advisory committee aimed at improving the downtown.  Supervisor Jens-Smith said that the creation of the committee would be an important step in obtaining grants for revitalization efforts.  There was some discussion as to who would liaise between the Town Board and the newly created committee.

Vision Long Island has been a supporter of revitalization efforts in Riverhead for a long time now and has seen increased progress in the last few years with new restaurants, downtown housing, hotel,  events and an increased arts presence. 

You can read more here.

Abraham’s Table Sponsors 2018 New Poor People’s Campaign on January 14th

On Sunday, January 14th, Long Island Abraham’s Table will be sponsoring an interfaith, multicultural celebration and choir concert to mark the 50th anniversary of Dr, Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign in order to promote a New Poor People’s Campaign.

The event will take place from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center, located at 74 Hauppauge Rd in Commack.  Featured Speakers will include Congressman Thomas Suozzi and Tracy Edwards, the Long Island Regional Director of the NAACP.  There will also be five choral performances.  There will be no admission fee, but you will need to bring a nutritious canned or boxed food donation for LI Cares.

Participating organizations include Center for Social and Human Understanding, Suffolk County Community College, Dix Hills Jewish Center Social Action Committee, Islamic Center of Long Island, Long Island Council of Churches, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal RC Church Wyandanch, Suffolk Board of Rabbis, Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center, and Turkish Cultural Center.

The Sustainability Institute Continues its Sustainable Living Film Series with Food Evolution on January 17th

On Wednesday, January 17th, The Sustainability Institute at Molloy College will be screening the movie Food Evolution, narrated by Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  The event will take place at the Molloy College Suffolk Center, located at 7180 Republic Airport in Farmingdale.  Doors open at 6:00 pm with a $10 admission fee.  A Vegan buffet Dinner will be available at 6:00 pm, with the program slated to begin at 7:15.

The movie synopsis: Food Evolution looks at a critical question facing the world today-that of food security-and demonstrates the desperate need for common sense, solid information, and logical deliberation. Using the often angry and emotional controversy over genetically-modified foods as its entry point, Food Evolution shows how fear and misinformation can overwhelm evidence-based analysis. Food Evolution takes the position that science and scientists hold the key to solving the food crisis. But whose science? In the GMO debate, both sides claim science is on their side. Who's right? What does this mean for the larger issues of food security, sustainability, and environmental well-being? Food Evolution seeks to answer these critically important questions.

You can register to attend here.

LI Business News Top 40 Under 40 Event February 8th

The Long Island Business News has announced their 40 Under 40 honorees, which is scheduled for February 8th from 6-9 at the Crest Hollow Country Club.

Since 1998, Long Island Business News has taken nominations for outstanding members of the business community on Long Island who are 40 or under. These future leaders of Long Island have already begun to distinguish themselves in business, government, education and the not-for-profit sector. They have a proven track record of career success, are involved in mentoring and promoting their profession and find time to give back to their communities.

Great to see our good friend from East Rockaway and Friends of LI partner Dan Caracciolo recognized along with key staff from Smart Growth supporters Molloy College, PSEG Long Island and Rivkin Radler honored as well.  You can see the list of awardees here, and register for the event here

Upcoming Apprentice Recruitments for Two Unions

Two Long Island-based trade unions have announced upcoming apprentice recruitments.

The Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee for Plumbers, Local Union #200, will conduct recruitment from Jan. 10 through March 28 for 20 plumber apprentices. Applications must be completed in person at 375 Central Avenue, Bohemia from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Wednesday, excluding legal holidays, during the recruitment period. All applications must be received by March 28, 2018.

The Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee for Operating Engineers, Local Union #30, will conduct recruitment from Jan. 22 through Feb. 02 for 25 stationary engineer apprentices. Applications must be picked up at the union office located at 16-16 Whitestone Expressway, Whitestone, Queens between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays, during the recruitment period. These applications must be returned via U.S. Postal Service certified mail and postmarked no later than Feb. 16.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and hold a high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma (such as TASC or GED). Plumbers Local 200 applicants must be residents of Nassau or Suffolk.

Other requirements apply. For further information, applicants should contact their nearest New York State Department of Labor office, Plumbers Local 200 at (631) 567-3083 or Operating Engineers Local Union #30 at (718) 847-8484 ext. 239.

NYS Climate Smart Communities Grant Program Funding Available

Funding will be available for inventory, assessment, planning and implementation projects that advance the work of municipalities in addressing climate change. Priorities for the 2017 round include specific adaptation actions that reduce flood risk and increase preparedness for future extreme weather conditions, specific mitigation activities related to transportation and reduction of food waste, and specific Climate Smart Communities certification actions that advance municipal ability in the future to implement adaptation and mitigation projects in the identified implementation categories.

A municipal resolution from the lead applicant authorizing application submission and documenting the availability of local match in the event of grant award must be submitted at the time of application.

For general information and questions on the Climate Smart Communities Program, please contact the Office of Climate Change, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Climate Change, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233, 518-402-8448,

NYS DEC Technical Assistance Grants Available

The New York State DEC continuously accepts applications for Technical Assistance Grants (TAGs). TAGs are a citizen participation tool available to eligible community groups to increase public awareness and understanding of remedial activities taking place in their community. TAGs are available to eligible community groups for the purpose of obtaining independent technical assistance in interpreting existing environmental information about an eligible “significant threat” site being remediated in the State Superfund Program or Brownfield Cleanup Program. Technical assistance is intended to help the grant recipient and the community it represents to understand existing environmental data developed about the site, comment on site remedial activities and proposals and share this information with the public.

Funding is limited to $50,000 per site, with no matching requirement. A community group must be a nonresponsible party community group or one that is in partnership with another nonresponsible party community group. The group must be a 501(c)(3), and a group whose members’ health, economic well-being or enjoyment of the environment may be affected by a release or threatened release of contamination at the eligible site. The group must be one whose membership represents the interest of the community affected by the eligible site. Eligible sites must be Class 2 sites on the New York State Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites or sites being remediated under the State’s Brownfield Cleanup Program that the DEC has determined pose a significant threat to public health and/or the environment.

For more information, you can visit the DEC’s site here.


Celebrate the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. on Long Island

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America. We commemorate as well the timeless values he taught us through his example — the values of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service that so radiantly defined Dr. King’s character and empowered his leadership.

Some of the celebrations being held include:


GOSPEL CONCERT. Features a live performance by The Gospel Sons in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., 2:30 p.m., Long Beach Library, 111 W. Park Ave.; free; 516-432-7201,

DISPLAY. Display of King artwork, literature, books and memorabilia presented by The Mothers Club of Wheatley Heights, daily through Jan. 31, Half Hollow Hills Community Library Dix Hills Branch, 55 Vanderbilt Pkwy.; free;, 631-421-4530.


SYMBOLIC MARCH AND PROGRAM. March begins at 8:45 a.m. at First Baptist Church, 7 Continental Place, and ends at the Robert M. Finley Middle School on Forest Avenue, where there will be a commemorative program at 9:30 a.m. highlighting the theme of this year’s presentation, “50 Years — Still Striving Together”; free; 516-676-2000.

DAY OF PEACE AND UNITY CONCERT. Multifaith celebration focuses on bringing together musicians, community members and food from different religious and cultural backgrounds; celebrate differences and promote peace and unity with neighbors, 5-8 p.m., The Bates House, Frank Melville Memorial Park, 1 Bates Rd.; $10 suggested donation, includes buffet dinner; register,, 631-240-3471.

Also, each year, thousands of organizations nationwide lead or participate in the MLK Day of Service.  For many organizations and community groups MLK Day is an opportunity to bring people together to honor Dr. King’s life and legacy and help further his dream through service. You can find some local volunteer opportunities at

Smart Talk

Chris Kyle, Communications Director

Newsletter Contributors:
Eric Alexander, Director; Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director;
Elissa Kyle, Planning Director; Jon Siebert, Program Coordinator

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 for consideration.

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Vision Long Island
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Northport, NY 11768
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.

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