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January 14th - January 18th, 2013




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This week we are featuring quotes Long Island elected officials conerning the recent passage of the Sandy Relief Bill:

"I would have thought two weeks ago tonight we'd be here. It's a bit like a dream in a way, the fact that it happened when it was dead. It is unfortunate that we had to fight so hard to be treated the same as every other state has been treated." - U.S. Representative Peter King


"I am proud to be a part of the bipartisan coalition that delivered this necessary aid to our hard-hit area, although we should have reached this point many weeks ago. I urge the Senate to pass this legislation without delay. As a bipartisan coalition, we support this funding to make sure that the federal government is a full partner with state and local government in rebuilding our communities. That effort will come from the ground up, with the federal government providing the resources to get the job done." - U.S. Representative Tim Bishop

“Almost three months after Sandy hit, New Yorkers can finally rest assured that help is on its way. I'm delighted that the House finally passed the Sandy relief bill, but the real heroes are the New Yorkers rebuilding their lives, homes, and businesses. I'm delighted that the House finally passed the Sandy relief bill. But the real heroes are the New Yorkers rebuilding their lives, homes and businesses." - U.S. Representative Steve Israel

“The flooding from the river damaged flooring and wiring and will cost millions to repair before the school can reopen. And it’s not just our schools that are suffering. There are also many homeowners and small business owners whose properties were destroyed. I would like to thank those from the 4th district of NY who have come to Washington DC to talk about the devastation and the urgency for funding to repair and rebuild Long Island. After all, natural disasters don’t know if a district is Republican or Democratic.  They destroy homes and businesses and lives without discrimination. As Americans, we should be there for others no matter what part of the country needs help. This, to me, is what patriotism is.” - U.S. Representative Carolyn McCarthy

"While the House bill is not quite as good as the Senate bill, it is certainly close enough. We will be urging the Senate to speedily pass the House bill and send it to the president's desk.” - U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer


"It's great news for families, communities and small businesses in our region that the House – after weeks of delay - finally passed an emergency relief bill for Superstorm Sandy.  Our region extends a helping hand any time another community suffers from a major disaster, and we're pleased that the House voted to provide this emergency relief for New Jersey and New York.  As we rebuild, we are committed to making smart investments to ensure that our transportation networks, beach communities, businesses and local neighborhoods can rebuild stronger so that they are better prepared for future storms." - U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

“I want to thank Congressman Peter King and Congressman Steve Israel for leading the charge in rallying the votes necessary to approve disaster relief funds that will assist residents in recovering and rebuilding from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. It was important that I along with a bus full of Hurricane Sandy victims put a face to our voice for support of the bill.” - Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano

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Sandy aid bill approved by House of Representatives

More than 10 weeks after Superstorm Sandy destroyed communities all along Northeast, the House approved $50.7 billion in emergency relief for the victims Tuesday night as Republican leaders struggled to close out an episode that exposed Congressional party divisions.

The vote was 241-180, and officials said the Senate was likely to accept the measure early next week and send it to President Barack Obama for his signature. Democrats supported the aid in large numbers, however, there was substantial Republican backing, too, in the GOP-controlled House.

The Senate approved a $60 billion measure in the final days of the Congress that expired on Jan. 3, and a House vote had been expected quickly.

But House Speaker John Boehner unexpectedly postponed the vote in the final hours of the expiring Congress as he struggled to calm conservatives unhappy that the House had just approved a separate measure raising tax rates on the wealthy. The delay drew a torrent of criticism, much of it from other Republicans.

"There's only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims, the House majority and their speaker, John Boehner," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on the day after the delay was announced. Rep. Peter King of New York added that campaign donors in the Northeast who give to Republicans "should have their head examined."

Democrats were more politically pointed as they brushed back Southern conservatives who sought either to reduce the measure or offset part of its cost through spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.

"I just plead with my colleagues not to have a double standard," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York. "Not to vote tornado relief to Alabama, to Louisiana, to Mississippi, Missouri – with Ike, Gustav, Katrina, Rita – but when it comes to the Northeast, with the second worst storm in the history of our country, to delay, delay, delay."

Earlier, conservatives failed in an attempt to offset a part of the bill's cost with across-the-board federal budget cuts. The vote was 258-162.

Critics of the bill said the proposed cuts would crimp Pentagon spending as well as domestic accounts and said the aid should be approved without reductions elsewhere.

"There are times when a disaster simply goes beyond our ability to budget. Hurricane Sandy is one of those times," said Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Sandy swept through several states in late October and resulted in 140 deaths and billions of dollars in residential and business property damage, much of it in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The storm caused power outages and interruptions to public transportation that made life difficult for millions, and the clamor for federal relief began almost immediately. As part of the effort to see the bill passed Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone made the trip down to Washington D.C., along with over 50 hurricane victims from across the island, in order to lobby congress to pass the bill.

“I want to thank Congressman Peter King and Congressman Steve Israel for leading the charge in rallying the votes necessary to approve disaster relief funds that will assist residents in recovering and rebuilding from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy,” said Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano.  “It was important that I along with a bus full of Hurricane Sandy victims put a face to our voice for support of the bill.”

The emerging House measure includes about $16 billion to repair transit systems in New York and New Jersey and a similar amount for housing and other needs in the affected area. An additional $5.4 billion would go to the Federal Emergency and Management Agency for disaster relief, and $2 billion is ticketed for restoration of highways damaged or destroyed in the storm.

The leadership brought legislation to the floor, less than two weeks later, under ground rules designed to satisfy as many Republicans as possible while retaining support from Democrats eager to approve as much in disaster aid as possible.

Across the capitol, majority Democrats indicated they would probably not seek changes. "While the House bill is not quite as good as the Senate bill, it is certainly close enough," Sen. Charles Schumer of New York said. "We will be urging the Senate to speedily pass the House bill and send it to the president's desk."

Congress has already approved a $9.7 billion increase in a fund to pay federal flood insurance claims, much of it expected to benefit victims of Sandy.

In the weeks since the storm hit, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has spent about $3.1 billion for construction of shelters, restoration of power and other immediate needs after the late-October storm pounded the Atlantic Coast with hurricane-force winds and coastal flooding.

Officials say Sandy is the most costly natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The storm damaged or destroyed 305,000 housing units in New York, and more than 265,000 businesses were disrupted there, officials have said. In New Jersey, more than 346,000 households were destroyed or damaged, and more than 40,000 families remain living out of their homes, according to officials.

For further reading, please visit Politico.

'Long Island Medium' star Theresa Caputo donates $10G to Lindenhurst Sandy charity Camp Bulldog

Camp Bulldog, a grassroots effort in Lindenhurst to help those affected by the storm, has been working tirelessly to hand out hot meals and emergency supplies to victims of Hurricane Sandy in the Lindenhurst area, as well as those in need in the weeks following the storm.  This past Monday, Camp Bulldog received a special $10,000 donation from Theresa Caputo, star of TLC’s “Long Island Medium.”

One of the founders of Camp Bulldog, Robin DiGiacomo, said it was the largest single donation received by the group.

“She was wonderful, absolutely wonderful,” DiGiacomo said of Caputo, who visited Camp Bulldog Monday afternoon along with her husband, Larry, observing the operation and talking with the people served. “It was a pleasure to have her here.”

She said Caputo, who films “Long Island Medium” at and around her home in Hicksville, did a live spiritual reading at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury in November and pledged to donate a portion of the proceeds to Sandy relief.

Caputo was impressed with the quick action of Camp Bulldog, which began shortly after the storm, and the group’s ability to meet the growing demand. The organization began with two folding tables serving hot food in a parking lot on Camp Bulldog began with two folding tables serving hot food in a parking lot on South Wellwood Avenue at SOMO @ 722 and Surfside 3, and now serves hundreds of people per day at Shore Road Park, offering hands-on assistance and other emergency supplies, offers hands-on assistance and other emergency supplies.

“She had several groups that she was considering” as recipients, DiGiacomo said. “She chose Camp Bulldog.”

The situation in south Lindenhurst is always changing. Even as some lives return to normalcy, they continue to wait for insurance checks to rebuild their homes. Others are simultaneously making mortgage payments on unlivable homes while also paying for temporary shelter.

DiGiacomo said that for the time being, Camp Bulldog is continuing its operation as usual and holding on to the donation until founders decide on the most pressing need of the people they’re serving.

“We’re working with the village hand in hand to assess people’s needs,” she said. “We’re looking to help those most in need.”

For further reading, please visit Newsday.

Representative Steve Israel calls on FEMA  to help co-op owners

Current Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) policy is leaving owners of co-ops damaged by Hurricane Sandy without money for repairs. Representative Steve Israel, along with other local officials and presidents of co-op boards in Queens, is calling on FEMA to revise their policy to allow co-ops to apply for grants, not just loans.

Co-ops are housing communities made up of individual apartment owners who help manage and maintain housing, common areas, and residential infrastructure. Currently, FEMA offers grants for recovery efforts through the Individuals and Households Program (IHP) as well as the Public Assistance (PA) Program. FEMA classifies co-ops as “business associations,” meaning they are eligible to apply for loans through the Small Business Administration, but not for FEMA grants.

Israel lent his voice to co-op officials in Queens on Tuesday, asking FEMA to change its rules.

“It seems clear that FEMA’s policy is the result of not understanding the role of co-ops in our community.  But that bureaucratic error in Washington is having real consequences for co-op owners here in New York.  Calling them ‘business associations’ means that co-ops cannot apply for the same type of aid available to other homeowners.  It’s time for FEMA to right this wrong so co-ops in Queens can rebuild after Hurricane Sandy.”

Without FEMA assistance, residents of housing co-ops will be forced to bear the cost of repairing damages caused by Hurricane Sandy and any future disasters. The current policy will come with  excessive maintenance increases and huge assessments, imposing a huge financial burden on co-op residents. Many shareholders who are already experiencing financial difficulties will not be able to absorb the additional charges. It is important that FEMA reviews and revises existing policy.

For further reading, please visit Fios1 News.

Island Park rally calls for more federal Sandy relief aid

On Saturday in Island Park, about 250 people trudged a mile in a protest aimed at calling on Congress to approve more federal dollars for local superstorm Sandy relief efforts. Island Park's "Walk a Mile in Our Shoes -- Hurricane Sandy Relief" event was among eight coordinated marches and rallies held Saturday in New York and New Jersey.

The community events were held as they waited for the House of Representatives to vote on its version of the $51 billion disaster recovery package for superstorm Sandy. The bill was approved on Tuesday, but House members were slow to approve the relief funds the region's leaders say are needed.

"We have our local politicians who are working their tails off for us, and Congress is not listening," said Island Park organizer Tommy Asher, 42, a former FDNY firefighter whose home and nursery school business were heavily damaged. "We have to help them help us. We have to put a face to the destruction."

An Island Park fire truck blaring its siren and Asher, carrying a large American flag on a long metal pole, led marchers down Long Beach Road from the Ace Hardware Store Plaza to the Long Island Rail Road station next to Island Park Village Hall. Along the route, an American flag hung from a fire truck ladder greeted the crowd that passed the village firehouse.

"We are here to bring to light our plight here in the village," said Island Park Mayor James Ruzicka, adding that Village Hall will probably get torn down after sustaining an estimated $1 million in damage. "We are the forgotten area. Hopefully, this walk will make Washington come to our aid and get us some help out here."

Island Park officials distributed material that indicated the village has absorbed about $8 million in damage from Sandy, which they described as a "fraction" of the total devastation the small community has sustained.

During the march, more than a dozen commercial and public buildings displayed banners bearing a price tag with individual estimates of storm damage and rebuilding costs.

"Because of the storm, we lost everything," said Mehreen Maeem, 33, a pharmacist at Conrad's Pharmacy on Long Beach Road, which had a sign indicating it suffered $60,000 in damage. "Luckily, we are one of the businesses that has been able to reopen."

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, County Legislator Denise Ford (R-Long Beach) and Hempstead Town Senior Councilman Anthony Santino took part in the demonstration. "I came to join with my fellow residents to send a message to Congress," Mangano said, "that there are people here still struggling from the effects of Sandy and we need the funds, so that the building efforts can begin."

For further reading, please visit Newsday.


Study shows that East Side Access could help boost Long Island home values

A study done by the Regional Plan Association shows that homes on Long Island and in Queens could benefit from the East Side Access project, which is slated for 2019. Homes in these areas will likely see an increase in value once the Metropolitan Transportation Authority completes its ambitious plan to connect the Long Island Rail Road to Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal.

The study, conducted by the Regional Plan Association, has found that the plan for East Side Access, which will shorten travel times by an average of 18 minutes per day for some 560,000 commuters, will drive an increase in home values for properties within two miles of most Long Island Rail Road stations.

According to the study, “Rail Rewards: How LIRR’s Grand Central Connection Will Boost Home Values,” homes within a half-mile of most stations will gain roughly $3,000 in value for every minute of commute time saved. Homes between a half-mile and two miles from railroad stations will gain between $900 and $2,000 for each commute minute saved. The study projects that nearly 600,000 homeowners, 400,000 in Nassau and Suffolk, will appreciate $7,300, and cumulatively, home values in the region will rise by $4.7 billion.

Homes within two miles of LIRR stations should see increases as far as Babylon, Huntington and Deer Park, with places in eastern Suffolk seeing increases dependent on their distance. Homes that are closer to a station would increase by a larger amount. Within a half mile of a station, for example, homes are likely to increase by an average of $11,000. Homes will be more valuable because the improved service will provide incentives for people to want to live close to a station.

It served rapidly growing communities, brought produce from farms in Queens, Nassau and
Suffolk to a city that was spilling over from Manhattan, and brought well-heeled New Yorkers to summer homes and hotels in resorts along the island’s famed beachfront. These values could increase in the future if the LIRR uses the new capacity to add even more service, or if travel times are shortened even more by improving connections to streets and subways in Manhattan.

Additional improvements to the railroad and the area around stations could raise home values even further, the study suggested.

For further reading, please visit Long Island Business News. For the full report please visit the Regional Plan Association or the Rauch Foundation.

Hempstead approves controversial agreement on downtown plan

Despite opposition to the deal, the Village of Hempstead has approved a controversial community benefits agreement for its $2.5 billion downtown redevelopment plan.

The board voted 3-2 Tuesday night to approve the agreement with the project's master developer, Renaissance Downtowns UrbanAmerica. Reaction to the decision was mixed, with some in the audience of about 100 people clapping, and others shouting "shame!"

Mayor Wayne J. Hall Sr. voted in favor of the resolution, along with trustees Livio Rosario and Henry Conyers. "I feel this is the best way to protect my village," Rosario said. Trustees Donald Ryan and Perry Pettus opposed the move.

The agreement requires the developers to make "good faith efforts" toward giving the first 25 percent of construction and permanent jobs to village residents, as well as 25 percent of contracts to local or minority contractors. In addition, at least 10 percent of residential units must be affordable housing. Failure to comply with the agreement could trigger fines, stop-work orders or even jail time. The downtown project is expected to create about 3,500 permanent and 10,000 construction jobs. Now that the agreement has been approved, the developer can submit a site plan.

"This has to be one of the biggest days for Long Island. It now truly clears the path for jobs and economic development. I am a man of my word and I am going to prove that," said Donald Monti, chief executive of Renaissance Downtowns, who is working with UrbanAmerica Advisors on the downtown makeover.

For further reading, please visit Newsday

Islip considering high-density zoning

As an incentive for developers who build affordable, environmentally-friendly housing, the town of Islip is proposing a change to the town code in order to allow for higher density in a residential zoning district.

The vote is expected to take place on Tuesday to set a January 29th public hearing on the proposed amendments and the draft of the environmental impact statement which addresses the possible changes.

"Basically, if they give us a desired product, like green energy techniques or affordable housing, they get more density," Planning Commissioner Dave Genaway said. "Green energy techniques like solar panels or geothermal systems are fairly substantial upfront costs, so we know we're never going to get these things unless we make it financially realistic for developers to do it."

The town's primary zoning district for non-age-restricted apartments, condominiums and townhomes, the Residence CA district, would be the only district affected. Under town code, densities of up to six units per acre for town homes and nine units per acre for apartments in non-age-restricted developments would be allowed.

According to the resolution, "the proposed code amendment would allow developers who take advantage of the incentives to reach maximum densities of up to 10 units per acre for town homes and 12 units per acre for apartments."

The proposed changes drew opposing reactions from civic groups and local housing advocates.

Central Islip activist Renee Ortiz said she applauds any step to combat illegal housing in Northern Islip: "We have to recognize there is a huge housing crisis and there is not enough affordable housing available for our community."

Vision Long Island’s Executive Director, Eric Alexander "supports zoning regulations that provide incentives for affordable housing, energy efficiency and meet green building standards."

But Bill Etts, president of the Sayville Chamber of Commerce, said the possible impacts need to be carefully weighed. "The real issue is we need to keep our young people here on Long Island in affordable housing," he said, "yet we need to do it in a smart way that doesn't affect our environment and doesn't burden our school districts."

Creating affordable housing in Islip speaks to the Islandwide need for better housing opportunities for young people, and in Islip, an influx of inexpensive units could help alleviate the illegal housing situation.

"It gets back to the reduction in illegal conversions, but rather providing a better supply of safer, affordable homes that aren't like illegal conversions, where we have 10 people living in the basement," he said Genaway.

For further reading, please visit Newsday.

Call for Outside-the-Box Transportation Solutions in New Competition

The George Mason University School of Public Policy is currently seeking submissions for its inaugural Cameron Rian Hays Competition for "Outside-the-Box" Transportation, Business, and Policy Innovations. The competition challenges young people to think creatively and offer “outside of the box” solutions to complicated transportation policy challenges.

The competition is looking to find answers to transportation challenges such as transportation funding, developing public/private sector collaboration, encouraging multimodal solutions, reducing community and environmental impacts of transportation services, enhancing quality of life through access to jobs and medical care, expanding opportunities for disadvantaged populations, and tackling coming challenges related to demographic changes and generational shifts.

It is open to students and individuals under the age of 35. Group submissions will also be accepted, as long as each individual member of the group is younger than 35. Submissions can be academic work or professional reports pertaining to either the public or private sector and do not need to be completed activities. Research or professional projects as idea proposals are allowed.

The competition will award $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place, and $2,500 for third place. Winners will be invited to attend the Cameron Rian Hays Outside of the Box Conference, which is set to take place in May/June 2013, and present their proposals to a panel of transportation policy experts and an audience of transportation professionals.

All entries are due by Friday, Feb. 15. Additional information on the competition is available online, including how to submit an entry here.

Ben & Jerry's Foundation providing grants for constituent-led organizations

The Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program supports non-profit grassroots, constituent-led organizations across the country that are using direct action, grassroots community-organizing strategies to accomplish their goals. Proposals will only be considered if they are aligned with the Foundation’s broad interests in social justice, environmental justice and sustainable food systems. Only organizations with operating budgets less than $500,000 may apply. In making funding decisions, they focus on the types of activities and strategies an organization uses for creating social change. Although the Foundation appreciates the value of direct service programs in meeting individual and family needs, we do not fund such programs.

National Grid announces Sandy Recovery Program to help repair or replace broken heating systems

National Grid is reaching out to natural gas customers who have been most seriously impacted by Hurricane Sandy on Long Island and New York City with a Customer Assistance Program. Eligible customers include property owners whose home has not been declared uninhabitable by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) and National Grid has placed a warning tag on boilers, water heaters or furnaces, (meaning that the equipment is unsafe for relight and operation until repair or replacement is made) are eligible.

National Grid can offer assistance to residential gas heating customers based upon the income guidelines listed in the document linked here. They have also released a Value Plus plumber list, available here. To participate with the program, customers can choose their own licensed plumber or select a plumber from this list. National Grid has also partnered with an agency (HeartShare) helping with this program.

The two tiers listed below are programs for residential customers:

Tier 1 
Contact # is 1-877-MY-NGRID (1-877-696-4743) 
Heating equipment (boiler, furnace, water heater) replacement based upon HEAP income guidelines. This is an outright grant from National Grid.

Tier 2 
Contact # is 1-877-MY-NGRID (1-877-696-4743) 
Heating equipment (boiler, furnace, water heater) replacement based upon income guidelines above HEAP income guidelines with an upper income limit. Please note that the tier 2 income chart is available on the document linked in the second paragraph of this araticle. The grant from National Grid is determined partly by the household income and the cost of the equipment.

Important: Please note that they cannot accept customer phone calls to the residential program.

If you know of anyone that needs assistance from these programs, please have them call directly to the 800 numbers above.

Though the above programs are designed for residential customers there is also help for commercial customers:

Tier 3 
Contact # is 1-855-496-9359 
National Grid is offering commercial gas customers grants that include heating equipment, buildings and inventory. Assistance varies based upon needs. There is an agency (RAM) helping with this program to help determine the amount of assistance available.

For additional information, please visit the web site link of Please be sure to review all relevant documents to find out what aid you are available to receive.

Volunteers needed for Clean Up this Weekend

Dear potential volunteers who have not yet signed up for a community for this weekend.

Vision Long Island would like to thank those of you who have helped in the past. Because of your efforts we have been able to help so many Long Island residents through our efforts but there is still work to do.

Vision Long Island is organizing another physical clean-up crews to assist local communities damaged by heavy flooding for this weekend.

This weekend we will be focusing our cleanup efforts in the following communities:

510 Ray Street
Freeport, NY 11520
Saturday at 9am
For more information please contact Eric Alexander 631-804-9128

Shore Road Park
65 Shore Rd.
Lindenhurst, NY 11757
Saturday at 10am
For more information please contact Elizabeth Alexander 631-375-4414

St. Andrew's Church
250 Nighborhood Road
Mastic Beach, NY 11951
Clean up:
Saturday and Sunday at 10am
For more information please contact Jon Siebert 631-615-8430

Long Beach Ice Arena
150 W. Bay Ave
Long Beach, NY 11561
Sunday 9am and 12pm
For more information please contact Eric Alexander 631-804-9128

Please provide your own supplies needed for clean-up:  Industrial bags, rakes, hammers, shovels, gloves, masks, heavy boots.  We may have many of these items available but it is safer to have them ready to go just in case. 


Huntington Township Housing Coalition to host interfaith service and choir concert on January 21st

On Monday, January 21st 2013 from 2:00pm to 3:30pm the Huntington Township Housing Coalition (HTHC), in partnership with rockCANroll and the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center, is hosting “Shelter Me, O God,” a Martin Luther King Jr. Day multicultural, interfaith service and choir concert for homeless Long Islanders.

Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone will be speaking at the event, the HTHC will also be launching their coalition's campaign to lift the Town's restrictions on accessory apartments.  

Among the participating Huntington Choirs include Unitarian Universalis, Fellowship of Huntington, Kehillath Shalom, Light of Salvation Chorus, St. Philip Neri RC Choir, and the Bethel AMC Church Choir. Admission is free but rockCANroll is asking for attendees to bring a healthy and nutritious food donation for local food pantries.

A reception will immediately follow the service featuring exhibits of programs that support hungry, homeless, and ill-housed residents of Huntington and Long Islanders. The event will take place at the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center 74 Hauppage Road in Commack.

For more information, please contact Dr. Richard Koubek at For a complete list of most-needed foods go to the rockCANroll website.

Public comment period for the Draft 2013-2014 UPWP Document now open, NYMTC to hold meeting on January 24th

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) announces a public comment period for the Draft Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) covering the period April 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014. The public comment period opened on Monday, January 14, 2013 and will close at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, February 12, 2013.  

The UPWP is a federally-mandated product of NYMTC’s planning process.  It defines planning activities in NYMTC’s region and identifies federal planning funds to conduct these activities. NYMTC’s members will take action to adopt the draft UPWP at their Annual Meeting on February 26, 2013.  The meeting will be held from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the U.S. Custom House, Auditorium, 1 Bowling Green, New York, NY 10004.

NYMTC’s Program, Finance and Administration Committee (PFAC) Thursday, January 24, 2013 at  1:15 pm at the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council Office which is located at  199 Water Street, 22nd floor in Lower Manhattan.  Due to the ongoing effects of Hurricane Sandy, this meeting will be available as a webinar instead of webcast.  To register for the webinar, please visit the webinar site. The agenda for the meeting follows

There will be a Executive Director’s report from Joel P. Ettinger followed by the Executive Director of Empire State Future, Peter Fleischer will discuss sustainable community and economic development across New York State in his presentation.There will also be time for public participation and a list of action items. The action items are available for download at the WW.NYMTC.ORG in the Calendar of Events.

For security purposes, bring a valid photo ID. R.S.V.P. by calling (212) 383-7200 or by sending an e-mail to

Long Island Bus Rider’s Union to host public forum on February 28th

The Long Island Bus Rider’s Union is hosting a hearing on fare increases/bus service that we're hosting on February 28th from 6pm to 8pm at the Ethical Humanist Society in Garden City. The goal is to get the participation of bus riders and to bring the legislators to them.

If you have had problems with your bus service and want your voice to be heard or worried about fare increases and possible service cuts in 2013, or any other issues, the Long Island Bus Rider’s Union is asking people to voice their concerns are this public forum.

There is also a Long Island Bus Riders' Union Incident Report Form which will help the union get a better understanding of the incident and to advocate on anyone’s behalf. Please be as thorough as possible, and remember, if the bus service is so bad that you are forced to take a taxi, please keep a receipt. They will use these receipts to advocate for better, more affordable bus service.

Incident forms can be mailed to LI Bus Riders’ Union, 390 Rabro Drive, Hauppauge NY, 11788 or completed online. For further information please visit the Long Island Bus Rider’s Union website.

4th Annual Celebration of Suburban Diversity banquet rescheduled to March 6th

In the spirit of promoting tolerance and understanding, the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University will be holding the 4th Annual Celebration of Suburban Diversity banquet which has been rescheduled to Wednesday, March 6th 2012  at the Long Island Marriott in Uniondale. Long Islanders along the length of the multi-cultural spectrum will come together, as well as the disabilities and LGBT communities.

Some of the highlights of the evening will include awards, art work, entertainment, and inspirational speakers, including keynote speaker will be Robert B. Catell Chairman of the Board of the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC), which will celebrate the strength and opportunities in our differences. Last year's event drew over 500 people and the support of so many major corporations and organizations including Bethpage Federal Credit Union, National Grid USA, Bank of America, Cablevision, Macys, the Horace and Amy Hagedorn Long Island Fund, North Shore-LIJ Health System Foundation, and the Long Island Federation of Labor. A portion of the funds raised at the event will support diversity and sustainability-related scholarships, research and conferences. Last year's Celebration helped the NCSS to underwrite tens of thousands of dollars worth of internships  and grants to community groups, faculty and students.

Long Island's new suburbanites are students, patrons, customers and entrepreneurs of various ages and backgrounds who can revive and sustain our economy and understanding one another is essential to all our success; diversity and sustainability are the keys to our social and economic survival.  The ability of people from different  races, religions and regions to live and work together is crucial to our prosperity.  

If you would like to sponsor, checks should be made payable to Hofstra University Diversity Celebration and mailed to NCSS, 250 Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY 11549. For information about the event or sponsorship opportunities, please visit the event page or contact Ina Katz at 516-463-9939 or via email at

"Pitching Long Island" panel to be held on March 12th

On Tuesday, March 12th, Public Relations Professionals of Long Island, a nonprofit group in the region for professional communicators, will be hosting Pitching Long Island: Who, What, Where, When & Why.

The region of Long Island, surrounded by water with the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn to the west, is unique in its geography, culture, politics, economy, challenges and advantages. From economic development to recreation to education to business and the professions, the people who pitch Long Island are as unique as their surroundings.

Panelists include Vision Long Island’s Executive Director Eric Alexander, Account Director Audrey Cohen of Epoch 5 Public Relations, Vice President Melissa Connolly for University Relations at Hofstra University, Laurie Bloom, Director of Marketing & Communications at Rivkin Radler LLP, and Mindy F. Wolfle, President of Neptune Marketing LLC, as the moderator.

Hear what they have to say about their careers, the techniques they employ in their messaging, their roles as spokesperson, and how they manage the strengths and weaknesses of their organizations.

If you live or work on Long Island, this panel discussion will provide insight on what it takes to market our region.

Please visit the Public Relations Professional of Long Island website for registration and further details.

Help Wanted

Intern with Vision Long Island!

Vision Long Island is looking for interns! Our staff likes to say we "wear many hats," and interns will have to do the same. Interns will assist with planning, design, outreach, event planning, writing, research, attending meetings, reporting, photography, video and more. Bring your unique skill set to the table! We are looking for energetic and conscientious individuals with an interest in urban/suburban planning from a bottom-up perspective. This is a valuable opportunity to work with great people and learn about the issues impacting Long Island. Strong writing skills a plus.

To learn more or apply, send a resume, cover letter and writing sample to Put Fall 2012 Internship in the subject heading. For more information, call our office at 631-261-0242.

Theatre Listings

Check out what downtown theaters and performing arts centers are playing this weekend! Consider visiting a local bar or restaurant, or doing some shopping before or after the show.

Bay Street Theater
The Long Wharf, Sag Harbor:
The Picture Show presents Frank Capra's State of the Union - Friday, January 18th at 8:00pm
The Picture Show presents Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington - Saturday, January 19th at 8:00pm
Tickets and more information available here

The YMCA Boulton Center

37 West Main Street, Bay Shore:
Marshall Crenshaw & the Bottle Rockets - Saturday, January 19th at 8:00pm
Tickets and more information available here

Guildhall, John Drew Theater
158 Main Street, East Hampton:
The Met: Live in HD presents Met Premiere of Donizetti’s MARIA STUARDA - Saturday, January 5th at 12:00pm
Guild Hall in Partnership with the East Hampton Library presents the Annual Free Winter Film Series: The Day I Saw Your Heart - Sunday, January 20 at 4:30 PM
Tickets and more information available here

Landmark on Main Street, the Jeanne Rimsky Theater
232 Main Street, Port Washington:
Landmark Laughs presents BIG AND TALL: An Evening of Comedy with Bruce Vilanch & Judy Gold - Saturday, January 19th at 8:00pm
Tickets and more information available here

Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts
71 East Main Street, Patchogue:
No shows this weekend.
Tickets and more information available here

The Paramount
370 New York Ave, Huntington:
Gin Blossoms - Friday, January 18th at 8:00pm
Tickets and more information available here

Theatre Three
412 Main Street, Port Jefferson:
Lost In Yonkers - Friday, January 18th at 8:00pm, Saturday, January 19th at 8:00pm and Sunday, January 20th at 3:00pm
Friday Night Face Off - Friday, January 18th at 10:30pm
Raggedy Ann & Andy - Saturday, January 19th at 11:00am
Tickets and more information available here

Vail-Leavitt Music Hall
18 Peconic Avenue, Riverhead:
No shows this weekend.
Tickets and more information available here

The John W. Engeman Theater
250 Main Street, Northport:
No shows this weekend.
Tickets and more information available here


Museums in or near Long Island downtowns:

The Garden City Historical Society
109 Eleventh Street, Garden City
Founded in 1975, The Garden City Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the historic character and ambiance of the Village of Garden City, and educating its members and the public in preservation and history related matters. The Society owns and operates The Garden City Historical Society Museum at 109 Eleventh Street, an original 1872 A.T. Stewart-era “Apostle House” listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which was deeded to the Society by the Episcopal Diocese. The Society maintains an Archive of over 1,200 artifacts and a Historic Structure Survey of pre-1935 residential and non-residential structures in the Village of Garden City. It offers periodic lectures and presentations, and publishes a newsletter. The Society’s A. T. Stewart Exchange (consignment shop) on the lower level of the Museum offers unique items for sale. The shop (516-746-8900) is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays (Tuesday is senior citizen discount day) and from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

For information, visit their website.

Garvies Point Museum and Preserve
50 Barry Drive, Glen Cove
The museum is a center for research on Long Island geology, Native American archeology and natural history. Current exhibits feature, “The Seasonal Round”, an exploration through Long Island Native American life throughout the seasons. Exhibits on Long Island’s glacial formation, landform change and cultural evolution are on display. Prehistoric artifacts and audio descriptions add to the story of Long Island migrants, their lifestyles and interactions with newcomers such as Europeans. The museum has special educational programs to accommodate field trips and science research on the history of Long Island.

To arrange a visit, call 516-571-8011 and for information and brochures, visit their website

Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum
Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor
The museum explores the relationship between Long Islanders and the sea through. It details the history of the regional whaling industry, whale conservation and the history of Cold Spring Harbor as a maritime port. A new exhibit, “Right Whales”, highlights the biology, history and decline of the Right Whale. Exhibits featuring New York’s only fully-equipped 19th century whaleboat, ship logs and correspondence as well as whaling and maritime artifacts. Art programs are available for all ages.

For information, visit their website or call 631-367-3418

East Hampton Historical Society
101 Main Street, East Hampton
The headquarters for the East Hampton Historical Society, the house is an example of life in the post-colonial era in the East End. It features historic furnishings and crafts built by local craftsmen of the time. The Historical Society also has four other museums and town houses including one of New York’s first educational academies and a colonial town government meeting house.

For information, visit their website or call 631-324-6850

Heckscher Museum
2 Prime Avenue, Huntington
Located in Hecksher Park, the museum features collections of European and American paintings which spans over 500 years of Western art. Photography has become a growing part of the collection as well. Current exhibits include “A Way with Words: Text in Art”, which displays the incorporation of text in visual art and “Coming of Age in America : The Photography of Joseph Szabo”, which portraits adolescence of Long Island through time with a look at summers spent at the beach. The museum also features educational experiences for students and adults and will exhibit Long Island’s best young artists in April.

For information, visit their website or call 631-351-3250

Hicksville-Gregory Museum
Intersection of Heitz Place and Bay Avenue, Hicksville
The museum includes a history of the Heitz Place Courthouse and a collection of earth science materials to describe the natural history of the area. It features one of the few remaining Long Island lock-ups and is one of the few remaining courthouses standing from before Nassau County split from Queens. The earth science exhibit in the museum has recent additions of a Mosasaur skull, prehistoric amber and the horn of a Triceratops horridus. The educational program at the museum offers experiences in paleontology, dynamic earth processes and investigating butterflies and moths.

For information, visit their website or call 516-822-7505

Islip Art Museum
50 Irish Lane, East Islip
The museum is the leading exhibition space for contemporary art on Long Island, featuring work from international, national and emerging local artists. It is said to be the best facility of its kind outside of Manhattan. Current exhibits feature “Jam Session”, a holiday exhibit featuring paintings and sculptures influenced by music. The museum’s store features one of a kind jewelry, crafts and art work. Educational opportunists are also offered at the museum through its Cultural School of Arts.

For information, visit their website or call 631-224-5402

Long Island Maritime Museum
88 West Avenue, West Sayville
Featuring 14 acres with 9 historic buildings on the West Sayville waterfront, the museum preserves Long Island’s maritime history and heritage. It is committed to research, preservation and interpretation of the region’s nautical history and the relationship to Long Island’s natural history. The Elward Smith Library houses racing trophies and records of over 500 wrecks and groundings in the Long Island waters. The other buildings feature rotating exhibits of maps, photos, newspapers and personal accounts of maritime history. Also highlighted are boats and materials left behind by the US Life Saving Service.

For information, visit their website.

Museum of the Village of Rockville Centre-Phillips House
28 Hempstead Ave, Rockville Centre
The museum is a restored 19th century Victorian home which displays life in Rockville Centre in the 19th and 20th centuries. It features furnishings, antique kitchen tools, carpentry tools and clothing of the time period. The museum is considered one of the finest small museums in the state and there is never an entrance fee for special events or exhibits.

For information, visit their website or call 516-766-0300

Oyster Bay Historical Society
20 Summit Street, Oyster Bay
The Earle-Wightman House built in 1720, gives a picture of life in Oyster Bay during the colonial period and its transition through the mid-20th Century. It features an 18th century garden, maintained by the North Country Garden Club, holds ornamental plantings as well as herbs used for cooking, medical purposes and fragrances. Exhibited are postcard, photograph, map and newspaper collections. Current exhibition, “Women Wearing History: The Force Behind Fashion”, details women’s influence on the textile and fashion industry in the 19th and 20th centuries.

For information, visit their website or call 516-922-5032

Port Jefferson Historical Society
115 Prospect Avenue, Port Jefferson
The Mather House Museum, the headquarters of The Historical Society of Greater Port Jefferson, and features several exhibitions of local artifacts. The museum complex features the 19th century home, a country store, a marine barn, a tool shed, the Spinney Clock Museum and the Thomas Jefferson Perennial Garden. Exhibitions feature ship models, period furniture and paintings, vintage tools and clothing, antique dolls, taped oral histories, 250 antique clocks and other examples of life in the 19th century.

For information, visit their website or call 631-473-2665

Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum
Main and Garden Streets, Sag Harbor
The museum details Sag Harbor’s whaling industry through the 19th century and its impact on the culture and development of the area. It details how the whaling industry brought migrants from all over the globe and turned the port into an international destination. Artifacts left by whalers, antique tools, harpoons, captains’ portraits, antique furnishings and children’s toys are all on display at the museum.

For information, visit their website or call 631-725-0770

Sayville Historical Society
Edwards Street, Sayville
The museum is the headquarters to the Sayville Historical Society. The museum aims to foster historical spirit, encourage historical research and to preserve historical materials. The museum features products of both Sayville and other Suffolk localities. The Society holds 4 historic buildings, 1,500 items of clothing, 1,000 photographs, a map collection and numerous classic furnishings. Its collection is constantly growing and tours of the Edward Homestead offer a view at the area through its history.

For information, visit their website or call 631-563-0186

Sea Cliff Village Museum
95 Tenth Avenue, Sea Cliff
The museum presents changing exhibits on the history and culture of Sea Cliff. It strives to raise community awareness by preserving artifacts, photographs and costumes relating to the unique historical background of the village. It contains 287 photos taken by Long Island postcard photographer, Henry Otto Korten. Currently exhibited, “Then and Now…” displays a range of artifacts and costumes over a 125 year span. Exhibits include the Connor Cottage, Victorian Kitchen, and a historical town diorama.

For information, visit their website or call 516-671-0090

Smithtown Township Arts Council
660 Route 25A, Smithtown
The Council aims to enrich the township and surrounding area’s quality of life through celebrating and supporting the arts in everyday life. It is a goal to make art accessible to people of all backgrounds. It Mills Pond House is a valuable place in its preserved traditions as well as its evolving and unique influences. Current exhibit, “Winners Showcase” displays the artistic development and achievements of the region and nation. Classes in jewelry making, poster design, scrapbooking, pottery, drawing and several other skills and topics are available. The Council has also partnered with local downtown businesses to display local artists’ work.

For information, visit their website or call 631-862-6575

Southampton Historical Museum
17 Meeting House Lane, Southampton
The Southampton Historical Society was created to preserve the town’s history as well as history from the surrounding area. Its Rogers Mansion Museum features year round exhibits, a research center and education programs for children and adults. Current exhibits include “Shopkeepers of Southampton: Photographs by Davis Gaffga”, which gives a detailed look into historic businesses which helped shape downtown and community. Its research center allows for visitors to conduct research with a professional research assistant. Collections feature antique furnishings, a classic parlor room and dining hall and photographs of the 1938 historic hurricane.

For information, visit their website or call 631-268-2494

Freeport Historical Museum
350 S Main Street, Freeport
Housed in a Civil War cottage, the museum chronicles Freeport's history through the 20th century. On display are a spinning wheel from the town’s oldest house, vaudeville-era items, waterfront memorabilia, a 1930s television and a 1777 13-star flag. The museum holds a collection of historic postcards and high school yearbooks from the early 1900s to present day.

For information, visit their website or call 979-233-3526

Palace Galleries
117 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck
The museum features highly distinctive collections of antiques, artworks and fine furnishings from around the world. It is a premier art dealer dating back to 1971 and features expertise in 17th to 19th century works. The gallery experience offers the opportunity to not only view fine art but to purchase a piece which stands out.

For information, visit their website or call 516-439-5218

Long Beach Historical Museum
226 W. Penn Street, Long Beach
The museum, operated by the Long Beach Historical and Preservation Society, is a classic Craftsman-style summer villa. The house built in 1909, features large stain glass windows which are a hallmark of classic Long Beach estates. The house and backyard are furnished with local artifacts, including an original broadwalk bench, photographs and archaeological findings. The garden features original stock rose bushes.

For information, visit their website.



Clearview Grand Avenue
1841 Grand Avenue, Baldwin

Bellmore Movies

222 Pettit Avenue, Bellmore

glen cove
Glen Cove Theatres

5 School Street, Glen Cove

great neck
Clearview Squire Cinemas Great Neck

115 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck

long beach
Long Beach Cinema

179 East Park Avenue, Long Beach

Clearview Manhasset 3

430 Plandome Road, Manhasset

Clearview Port Washington
116 Main Street, Port Washington

Clearview Roslyn Theatre

20 Tower Place, Roslyn

Seaford Cinemas

3951 Merrick Road, Seaford


Clearview's Babylon Cinemas
34 Main Street, Babylon

AMC Loews Theatres – Shore 8

37 Wall Street, Huntington

cinema arts centre
Cinema Arts Centre

423 Park Ave, Huntington

Islip Cinemas

410 West Main Street, Islip

Plaza Cinema & Media Arts Center
20 Terry Street Suite #121, Patchogue, NY 11772

Sayville Theatre

103 Railroad Avenue, Sayville


"The race of mankind would perish did they cease to aid each other. We cannot exist without mutual help. All therefore that need aid have a right to ask it from their fellow-men; and no one who has the power of granting can refuse it without guilt." - Sir Walter Scott

Smart Talk

Newsletter Editors: Christopher Kyle, Program Coordinator
Contributors: Lucy Ayala, Program Assistant; Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director; Elissa Ward, Sustainability Director

We strive to provide continued quality publications such as this each week. If you have any news or events that you would like to add to our newsletter, submit them to 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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