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February 21st - 27th, 2016

Regional Updates

Long Island Federation of Labor

The 250,000 member Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, represents a wide range of union workers from teachers to technicians, public employees to painters, bus drivers to bricklayers, retail, auto, janitorial, utility, health care and construction workers. The Federation is the voice for the Long Island labor movement. It speaks on behalf of Long Island’s working families and its affiliated local unions to political leaders and legislative bodies at every level of government. The Long Island Federation of Labor supports the legislative and political programs of the National AFL-CIO and the New York State AFL-CIO.

“It is critical that Long Island voices are heard and our needs are reflected in the budget and legislative process.  Uniting our voices and concerns with the Long Island lobby coalition demonstrates substantial and diverse support for sewage treatment funding, support for small businesses and addressing the burden of zombie housing across our island,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment

“Our Long Island Coalition is representative of various interests from across Long Island’s diverse communities.   The groups here today share a common purpose;  to better the lives of all long Islanders and to preserve, protect and enhance the quality of life of its citizens.  Year after year we work together to ensure Long Island continues to offer quality jobs great schools, and focuses on making it an affordable place to live; while continuing to preserve our natural resources.   We all need to ensure that Long Island remains a place  our children and grandchildren can afford to and want to call home.”  John R. Durso, Long Island Federation of Labor

The LI Lobby Coalition is stronger than ever as we travel to Albany to bring concerns of the residents and business community.  Together we continue to make a difference and bring home the bacon to our local communities”.  Bob Fonti, LI Business Council/Suffolk Council of Chambers of Commerce

The Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce is working in co-operation with the LI Lobby Coalition in Albany on behalf of 42 chambers of commerce and 6,000 members in order to make the Long Island Region a safe and more production place to live, work and conduct a Main Street Business.  Julie Marchesella, Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce

Jorge Martinez of the Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said, “The Long Island Hispanic Chamber is one of LI’s oldest and most respected business organizations. We support the LI Lobby Day Coalition’s efforts in job creation and infrastructure investment. We encourage our State officials to work with small businesses and allied organizations in improving Long Island’s economy.”

“The LI Lobby Day supports legislation that creates tax-breaks for small businesses that will allow them to access their own monies tax free for the purposes of business survival and development.  This is the first time in our state’s economic history that we have a potential to create infrastructure for delivering a direct and effective stimulus to small businesses when they need it the most.  Dr. Nathalia Rogers, American Communities Institute at Dowling College

Three and a half years after Sandy, individuals, businesses and communities continue to move ahead in recovering from the disaster, as well as creating resilience towards other events. Friends of Long Island is happy to join the Long Island Lobby Coalition once again to advocate for programs to be funded expeditiously in order for areas to recover and prevent against future losses. Jon Siebert, Friends of Long Island

"I am delighted to join my Long Island friends and colleagues, and to speak with our state representatives about infrastructure projects and improvements that will make Nassau and Suffolk not only survive economically, but also thrive in the coming decades," said Nassau County Legis. Laura Curran. "I am especially excited to discuss ways to bolster and expand public transportation."

“Long Island is at a critical juncture when it comes to our transportation infrastructure—the decisions made in Albany this budget season will have a lasting impact on our community's economic viability and quality of life, for decades to come. Safer streets, better bus service, and a clearer plan for how we spend our limited infrastructure dollars are the key elements we’re asking our state representatives to address this spring.” Nadine Lemmon, Tri-State Transportation Campaign

Annual fare hikes, low service levels, and late or no-show buses are the symptoms of an underfunded bus system, and Long Island bus riders are paying dearly due to a lack of state assistance. It is time for New York to step up and pay their fair share to suburban transit systems." said Aaron Watkins-Lopez of the LI Bus Riders Coalition

The Kings Park Civic Association is excited to be part of the Long Island Lobby Coalition.  We understand how important it is for our elected officials to hear from us directly on matters important to the residents of Long Island including the dire need for infrastructure dollars to help our local communities revitalize our aging downtowns.  Linda Henninger, Kings Park Civic Association

"Child Care is one of Long Island's vital industries on our economy and so we need to support our local providers so their businesses flourish. Keeping children in quality care will take a $90 million investment by the state, so that providers can satisfy the health and safety regulations that are mandated federally."  Danielle Asher, Child Care Council of Suffolk

Eric Alexander of Vision Long Island concluded “Long Island communities matter and this shared agenda of local civics, small business and other varied public interests lifts up critical issues that sometimes get lost in the malaise of day to day dealings in Albany.  The accomplishments of bills enacted from past lobbying includes Complete Streets, Priority Infrastructure, energy programs, health and public safety legislation proves that collaboration works.  The opportunity this year to create a financing mechanism for Main Street businesses to provide jobs will benefit Long Island’s economic climate without burdening the taxpayer.  Lastly we are proud to see Long Islanders united in working to get our fair share of resources from our State government for our local communities.”

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Long Island Lobby Coalition Heads to Albany

The growing Long Island Lobby Coalition, with the support of over 90 organizations, made the annual journey to Albany this week to support various needs of Long Island. Approximately 40 of the groups were in attendance this year.

Meetings were held with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, the Long Island State Senate delegation, as well as the Long Island Assembly delegation to remind policy makers why “Long Island Communities Matter”, which was the theme of the 8th annual lobby day. This year’s agenda covered six key issue areas: Critical infrastructure projects, small business, transportation, energy and environment, human services and housing, and post-Sandy recovery. The Lt. Governor was out on Long Island as this year’s keynote speaker at the Vision Long Island Smart Growth Summit so she was well aware of many of the issues raised. 

This year’s first meeting was with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, filling the Capitol Blue Room. Julie Marchesella, President of Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce suggested a “Shop Local” media campaign to assist the state’s small businesses while increasing the dwindling state sales tax revenue; partially due to the rise in online shopping. An advertising campaign geared towards raising awareness of the negatives of online shopping was proposed to combat the negative trends that hurt Long Island’s downtowns and state sales tax gains, which supports many projects in the state. Online shopping has increased over the past five years.  Sales tax revenue has decreased over the past five years,” said Marchesella.

The need for a five year Capital Plan to be funded for non-MTA transit was discussed with the Lt, Governor. "New York needs a transportation capital planning process that is done transparently, comprehensively and in a coordinated, long-term manner,” said Nadine Lemmon of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “Prior to passage of the NYS budget, we need a list of projects for the proposed $22.1 billion NYSDOT capital plan—Long Islanders deserve to know where their state tax dollars are going. We’re thrilled that the Long Island Lobby Coalition has taken up the baton for transparency and accountability in Albany." Although non-MTA transit across NY carries 6.1% of all transit riders, it only receives 3.43% of all transit capital funding in the Executive Budget with zero capital funding for NICE and Suffolk Transit. The Lt. Governor acknowledged the disparity, and pledged to bring the issue up with NYS Department of Transportation next week at a meeting this week.

The need for assistance with zombie homes was brought up to the Lt. Governor. Long Island was one of the hardest-hit areas in the country thanks to predatory lending mishaps in the 2000’s, and currently has the highest rate of new foreclosures in the state. Out of over $7 billion that New York has received so far in predatory loan fines from major banks, no monies from those fines have made it down to the communities and the municipalities that are struggling to deal with this untenable situation. It was asked that a least a quarter of these fines received are used to go directly back to the communities to help fix the problem; paying for administrative needs and to purchase properties for revitalization. Maps of vacant and blighted homes were displayed to the Lt. Governor by Mastic Beach Village Mayor Maura Spery, which made the issue of managing the problem on a municipal level more visible. Hochul acknowledged that the zombie home crisis is a big issue facing the state, and said she will assist however possible.

The reaction by the Lt. Governor to this year’s agenda was positive, with the Lt. Governor thanking the Long Island Lobby Coalition for “bringing together such an amazing disciplined group of people who are all on the same page. That’s the challenge,” she said. “All of you speak with one voice, and that’s impressive, because you represent so many diverse interests; labors, chambers, elected officials, that rarely come together in the state. I assure you that there’s far more clout when I say “this is what Long Island wants”, and take this to the different agencies. I will continue to be a strong advocate for you… help me stay engaged.”

The Lobby Coalition then made its way to the Capitol Room to meet with Long Island’s senate delegation, with Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, Senators Jack Martins, Phil Boyle, Kemp Hannon, and Carl Marcellino able to give their time this year.  The Senate delegation has been tremendously helpful with the 7 bills that have been passed over the past few years with the support of the Coalition.

Support for tax-deferred IRA accounts for small businesses was asked for by Bob Fonti of the Long Island Business Council. This would allow businesses to deposit part of their profits and be able to withdraw from the account tax-free during recession to help them when economic growth is low for several months, in the event of natural disaster, and for job growth. The Senate is very supportive of the measure, with Majority Leader Flanagan saying that the senate “has passed it before, and will pass it again,” and urged that discussions take place with the Governor’s office and Assembly to ensure passage and signing of the measure.

Adrienne Espositio of Citizens Campaign for the Environment spoke about the need for continued funding for the safe disposal of pharmaceutical drugs which protect the waterways and public health. Long term care facilities on Long Island had 52 boxes of unwanted drugs collected for disposal last year, and permanent drop off boxes were installed at five police precincts, two ambulance companies, and 11 King Kullen supermarkets with pharmacies. Senator Marcellino acknowledged that the programs were successful, citing an event that yielded “ten 60-gallon garbage cans of medications” collected.

Infrastructure projects were also discussed, with Deputy Mayor Jorge Martinez of Freeport asking for a $5 million feasibility for floodgates. “Superstorm Sandy devastated over 3000 homes and caused millions of dollars’ worth of damage in Freeport,” Martinez said.  We need help for municipalities to implement programs for grant funding, more importantly feasibility study for flood gates at Jones and East Rockaway Inlets. Gates of the sort have been in place in many areas in the world, and their presence would have made Sandy, and will make other future events like Sandy, nothing but a nuisance in the future.”

Superstorm Sandy recovery needs were also discussed, with Ron Beattie of Oakdale’s New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program citing concerns on the program not moving ahead with proposed projects quickly enough. The state needs to allocate the funding awarded to 22 Long Island CRP zones to subrecipients by next year for the projects to move ahead. Currently, only one project per region has been started. Senator Jack Martins had said that at this point, it is a problem with the administration (governor’s office) to ensure that funds are expedited, and “perhaps you need to get a microphone” to discuss the issues with the media and the Governor’s office. He said further that “the Long Island Lobby Coalition is well equipped” to handle this action to ensure that projects are moving forward.  

"The Long Island Lobby Coalition is calling for some of the very same issues we are as a Senate delegation; greater investment in Long Island's infrastructure, support for local small businesses, and protecting our environment. Their advocacy in Albany is a great benefit as we fight for these issues. I look forward to continuing to work with the Coalition for the benefit of Long Island throughout the legislative session," said Senator Jack M. Martins.

The last collective meeting of the day was with Long Island’s Assembly delegation. Those in attendance included Assemblymen and Assemblywomen Jean-Pierre, Chad Lupinacci, Michael Montesano, Ed Ra, Andrew Raia, Michaele Solages and Fred Thiele.
Critical infrastructure projects were discussed, such as the need for funding for an outfall pipe for the Bay Park Sewage treatment plant. The Bay Park and Long Beach sewage treatment plants contribute 80% of the nitrogen to the Western Bays, resulting in seriously degraded water quality, degraded salt marshes, low oxygen levels and disappearing shellfish harvesting. ” With now having three quarters of the needed funding towards the Bay Park Ocean Outfall Pipe and only needing $150 million more from the State, we have never been closer to bringing back a huge economic boom in the Western Bay communities,” said Tommy Asher of Operation SPLASH. “All of Nassau County will benefit by bringing back our commercial shellfishing industry, recreational fishing and tourism by removing those highly volatile toxins out of Reynolds Channel”.  Other infrastructure items discussed included $40 million for connectivity of Mastic Beach Village to the upcoming Forge River Watershed sewer treatment facility. Currently there is no funding to expand sewering three and a half miles down to Neighborhood Road in Mastic Beach, which will provide resilience, environmental and economic development benefits to one of Long Island’s lowest lying shoreline communities. (Mastic Beach received $1.3 million from the Town of Brookhaven this week to develop their shovel ready plan in tandem with the nearby Mastic-Shirley plan). Kings Park also asked for $14 million for sewers for their downtown after self-funding a downtown revitalization plan. A total of $800 million in water infrastructure projects were asked for by the Long Island Lobby Coalition.

Funding needs for bicycle and pedestrian safety were also discussed, with Sylvia Silberger of Carless Long Island discussing some of the concerns. "There are many Long Islanders who are pedestrians or cyclists by necessity. For example almost all bus riders are also pedestrians. But there are many more still who choose to, or would like to choose to commute on foot or by bicycle for a variety of good reasons such as individual health, environmental concerns or a desire to help decrease traffic congestion.  However, presently it is incredibly dangerous to do so on Long Island.” It was asked that policymakers include in the proposed $22.1 Billion proposed for the NYSDOT Capital Plan an increase of $20 million per year for each of the five years of the plan to supplement federal funds already allocated to pedestrian and cycling safety infrastructure in Long Island.

Assembly members were quite receptive to the proposals, and pledged support for many of the agenda items.  Assemblyman Fred Thiele said, "Long Island Lobby Day was a tremendous success. I thank the many Long Islanders that came to Albany with their legislative and capital funding priorities. They presented a detailed plan for Long Island that will be critical to our efforts to insure that Long Island is treated fairly in Albany this session. In particular, the proposed sewer plan for Mastic Beach in my district is of critical concern."  The Lobby Day concluded with individual meetings with policy makers, including Charles Gasparino, Dean Murray and Joseph Saladino.

One outstanding issue in the meeting of the Assembly delegation was the inability of the majority caucus to pass the legislation for the Small Business Savings Accounts.  For the last two years the Senate has passed this bill and the Assembly has blocked it.   The coalition and the many local businesses and Chamber of Commerce representatives in the room reminded the Assemblymembers of the importance of the small businesses on Long Island and want to see successful passage of this legislation. 

Upcoming, there will be session tracking of these community-based issues, and may have a “scorecard” to help chart progress of Long Island Lobby Coalition agenda items over the past several years.

You can view the entire Lobby Day platform with all of the items discussed with the Lieutenant Governor, Senate and Assembly here. Some of the initial press coverage of the event can be seen at Long Island Business News,  Newsday and Verizon Fios1 News

Clean Energy Leadership Task Force Hears from NYS Comptroller Thomas Dinapoli

Last Friday, the Clean Energy Leadership Task Force met at Molloy College’s Sustainability Institute in East Farmingdale.  Vision Board member Neal Lewis welcomed the group and gave updates on numerous issues from code the Green Homes Program  and upcoming changes to the state building to solar farm proposals in Shoreham and Middle Island.

NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli gave a keynote address to the group and gave an update on his office’s audit of Energy Performance Contracts that five Long Island school districts have entered into.  They found that all of the districts were realizing significant energy savings (between $660,000 and $3.3 million) which was both reducing their environmental impact and holding down operating costs for taxpayers.  He also spoke about the state pension fund which is the third largest public fund in the country, and using it to influence corporations to adopt more sustainable practices and investing in clean energy and other green companies.  He also spoke about recent renovations to the Comptroller’s office that increased its efficiency and reduced their operating costs by over $36,000 a year.

Following the Comptroller, Brad Tito of NYSERDA spoke about numerous ways that local governments can reduce their utility expenses by switching to renewable energy and more efficient fixtures.  Conversion of street lights from high pressure sodium or metal halide to LEDs can save municipalities  millions of dollars in utility costs.  They also produce a better quality light that allows better visibility of color.  He suggested that small municipalities partner together when soliciting bids so that they can take advantage of better prices.

Clint Plummer of Deepwater wind showed progress of the  construction of the first deep water wind facility in the United States three miles off the coast of Block Island.  The foundations of the five turbines have been completed and the towers and turbines will be installed shortly.  It is expected to up and running by the end of this year.  He also discussed the proposed 90 MW wind farm, 30 miles off the coast of the South Fork of Long Island which has seen increasing energy demand and constraints on energy supply.  This project which will be located past the horizon and not visible from land and will consist of 15 turbines.  Two battery storage facilities in Wainscott and Montauk will store excess energy made during peak production to be used during times when production in lower.

Third Track Proposal Causes Friction, Requires Transparency

In response to the Governor’s recent call for expansion of the LIRR to include a third track, one local opposition group has begun  to reactivate amongst calls for cooperation and transparency.

Announced in January, the plan aims to add a third track to 9.8 miles of the Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville with the goal of relieving train congestion and expanding service from New York City to Long Island.  The targeted area services trains along the Oyster Bay, Montauk, Port Jefferson, and Montauk branches.  Supporters of the plan say that it will both spur local economic growth and ease commutes for Long Island residents.  They point to a 2014 Rauch Foundation study showing an increase of 14,000 jobs with 35,000 new residents over the next ten years, generating $40 million in sales tax and $103 million in property taxes.

Opponents, however, are more concerned with impact of the necessary 50 property acquisitions and the use of eminent domain, as well as the increase to traffic for seven grade crossings.  Delays have also raised costs from previous estimates on the third track, and there is still an open question as to when the funding will be forthcoming.  In response to this and in the wake of a lack of details, Citizens Against Rail Expansion, or CARE, has reformed in opposition to the plan.  Originally established in 2007, the group currently numbers around 20 members from a high of 140, and is working in opposition to the plan.

Local Villages affected by the plan have also been vocal about their concerns.  New Hyde Park’s LIRR Task Force recently met with the MTA about increased traffic and the loss of parking spots.  Mayors from across the Main Line have also sent a letter to the Nassau County Village Association stating that the LIRR could reap the same benefits as a third line by simply updating their infrastructure.  Proposals included electrifying Port Jefferson tracks, updating signals and switches, adding a train yard in Huntington, and eliminating grade crossings.

Vision was and still is a supporter of the project but learned a few things along the way....among them: 1) the need for the third track needs to be outlined by independent sources along with the economic benefits for the region AND the local communities being impacted by the proposal; 2) clear and tangible public benefits to the communities who have to bear the burden of this project are needed; 3) outreach to the local municipalities, local businesses, residents and property owners needs to commence in a transparent fashion; 4) the economics of the MTA/LIRR needs to be more transparent so folks see how this project moves efficiently without the wasted dollars and delays that other projects have been plagued with (East Side Access, security cameras that don't work etc).

The Village of New Hyde Park will be holding a public meeting for residents to voice their concerns on March 3 at 8 p.m. at the Marcus Christ Community Center, located at 1420 Jericho Tpke.

Glen Cove Ferry May Open This Spring

The Glen Cove Ferry Terminal is nearing completion, and city officials are hoping that its completion will mark the beginning of the only commuter boat service between the island and Manhattan.  Proponents of the project have long hailed it as an attractive transportation alternative that will cut road and rail weary commuters travel time substantially.   However, the ultimate success of the service may lie in other factors such as speed, price, convenience, and other unknown elements.  “The broad idea is good,” according to Stony Brook Urban Planner Donovan Finn. “But the devil is in the details. Getting people to change what they’ve been doing for years or decades is difficult.”

The service is expected to run to lower Manhattan and midtown, with future destinations including Citi Field and Yankee stadium.  Officials have stated that there is a pent up demand for commuter alternatives into the city, with an expected 60 minute service to Wall Street, a ride that requires switching trains and takes about an hour and a half from Glen Cove on the LIRR. 

Though there are several ferry services for New Jersey and amongst the boroughs themselves, Long Island has struggled in the past to maintain one, with the last one going under in 2002.  However, there are some differences this time around, with the most glaring being the proposed Garvies Point development right next door.  The development promises to build over 1,100 condos and apartments along with shopping, restaurants, parks, and other amenities that could attract ridership from Manhattan as well as residents eager to take the ferry into the city.

RXR Realty, the Uniondale-based developer who is creating Garies Point, has agreed to put up as much as a million dollars to operate ferry service for up to two years, if necessary.  Frank Haftel, Garvies Point project director for RXR, cited the attractiveness of having quick and easy access to Manhattan for potential residents as a major component of that decision.  “It’s a great amenity,” he said.

You can read more on the ferry at Newsday’s site here.

Smithtown 13-Acre Parcel Shows Potential for Mixed-Use Development

Smithtown Central School District has hired Newman Grubb Knight Frank to sell a 13-acre parcel of property in the heart of Smithtown Village and within 500 feet of the Smithtown LIRR station, and some are already hailing it as prime target for transit-oriented development.

The site, located at 26 New York Ave, includes a former junior high school known as the Joseph M. Barton building, and is currently being used for administrative district offices and adult education.  The area is currently zoned for residential properties with a portion zoned for business.  “This is a great opportunity for a transit-oriented development with the right density,” said NGKF broker Jack O’Connor. “Most of the town board members I’ve spoken to are in support of a mixed-use development that would enhance the revitalization of downtown Smithtown.”

In order to help meet that right density, the district is also weighing the idea of selling an almost 11-acre wooded area on Browns Rd. in Nesconset.  That parce could either be preserved or used as athletic fields to help procure a transfer of development rights.

To read more about this, check out Long Island Business News page here.

Friends of Long Island Co-host Disaster Resilience Training Program for Suffolk

Friends of Long Island will be co-hosting, a free *new* half-day workshop: the Disaster Worker Resiliency Training Program along with World Trade Center Health Program and Stony Brook University. This program is part of a research study that looks at ways to help emergency responders and disaster workers (paid and volunteer) prepare mentally for their work and the stress that goes along with it.

Workshops are conducted by clinical psychologists affiliated with Stony Brook University and the World Trade Center Health Program. Some organizations that they have conducted workshops with include United Way in New Jersey, the WTC responder community, St. John¹s Episcopal Hospital, Nassau County Medical Reserve Corps.

Program details:
-          One 4 hour (half-day) workshop
-          You will learn skills to help yourself, your coworkers and community better manage stress
-          You will be compensated up to $60 for your time

The only workshop for Suffolk County will occur on Saturday, February 27th, 2016 from 9AM-1PM in Lindhenhurst, NY at the Lindenhurst Community Center, 293 Buffalo Avenue

Please call Vincenza or Matthew at (631)-632-8317 by Monday, February 22nd to see if this program is right for you and to learn more. You can also email them at at

Neighbors Supporting Neighbors- Feed the Children

Neighbors Supporting Neighbors will be partnering with The First Presbyterian Church of Babylon to present Feed the Children.

Boxes of school supplies, personal hygiene products and non-perishable goods to families in need in the community will be distributed. If you are or know of a family in need and would like to register to receive these products for FREE, or would like to volunteer, please email the organizer.

Volunteers will be needed the day of and the day prior to the event, which will take place on Saturday, February 27th from 10-4 at First Presbyterian Church- 79 E Main St, Babylon.

Truth UTC Performs in Brentwood Continues in March

The Truth UTG will be hosting a series of performances at the Sonderling High School in Brentwood beginning in February.

The mission of the organization is to inspire change and instill a positive influence in the lives of youth and adults through the art of theater and spoken word, so that they may achieve their highest potential in all aspects of life. The traveling performances produced by The Truth give audiences of all ages, races and backgrounds an intimate, visual look at life’s grim realities and divine beauty.  ​"They are shinning a light on new concerns and topics that are sure to change the scope of the politics and policy of the future, while giving young Americans a new creative way of understanding current events," says Congressman Steve Israel about the organization.

Viva Africa, described as a “modern-day West Side Story meets The Lion King” will have several showings at the Brentwood High School-Sonderling Building. Show dates are March 3,4, and 10. Doors open at 6PM for all showings. Tickets are $10, with group rates available. You can learn more about The Truth UTG here

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to Keynote NYMTC Annual Meeting

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will be the keynote speaker at the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council ‘s 2016 Annual Meeting, which will have as its theme Making Connections: Investing in Our Region’s Future. Secretary Foxx will discuss the FAST Act and the President’s budget proposal. Following a roundtable discussion on leveraging strategic transportation investments to support the region’s growth that will be led by New York State DOT Commissioner Matthew Driscoll, NYMTC’s members will take action to adopt the April 1, 2016 – March 31, 2017 Unified Planning Work Program, and on several other items. They will confirm Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell as the new rotating co-chair, replacing New York City Department of City Planning Director Carl Weisbrod, who has served since last March. 

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

Please note that the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House is a federal facility and meeting attendees will be required to go through security upon entering, including metal detectors. Please allow ample time.

Save the Date for the Long Island Business Council's next meeting on March 9th!

On Wednesday, March 9th from 8:00am to 10:00am, The Long Island Business Council will be holding a worksession at the East Farmingdale Fire Department, located at 930 Conklin Street in Farmingdale.

This meeting will include a keynote address from U.S. Congressman Steve Israel. Breakfast will be available for attendees. As a member of the Long Island Business Council you can pre-register at any time, at no cost. The fee for non-members is $45.00.

Contact us at 877-811-7471 or at to RSVP or for more information.

St. Joseph's College Hosts Hospitality Symposium

The St. Joseph’s College Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Long Island Hospitality and Leisure Association will be holding a Symposium-Trends in Hospitality: Present and Future.

The Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Management (IHTM) at St. Joseph’s College provides a leading voice in the discussion of responsible tourism and hospitality. Tourism brings an estimated $5 billion dollars a year to the Long Island economy. Key industry professionals from GAM Hospitality Management, the NYS Hospitality and Tourism Association, and the Long Island Hospitality and Leisure Association will discuss timely and relevant issues.

The symposiums are open and free to the public.  The next symposium will be held on Friday, March 11th from 8am-10am at the McGann Conference Center at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue. For more information, click here. To RSVP, please call (631) 687-1285 or email

Van Bourgondien Park Public Review Workshop

The Van Bourgondien Park Steering Committee in West Babylon will be holding a public meeting to preview the most recent design plans and improvements for the area, and gain public input towards the project. The Van Bourgondien Park located on Albin Ave.

The steering committee is built of 16 community organizations and governmental entities, including Suffolk County Legislator Kevin McCaffrey and Babylon Deputy Mayor Tony Martinez, and has been meeting to gather ideas and begin the planning process. No community park should be undertaken without public input by stakeholders, including area residents of all ages and organizations that currently use the property or have an interest in using it in the future. The area, owned by Suffolk County and operated and maintained by the Town of Babylon, currently has a playground, concession stand, tennis courts, multiple soccer fields and a historic home on the property.

The Review Workshop will be held on Friday, March 18, 2016 from 6:30pm - 9:00pm at the West Babylon Junior High School- 200 Old Farmingdale Rd, West Babylon, NY 11704 .For more information, please contact: Neighbors Supporting Neighbors- (631) 885-1655 or by email.

The 2016 Complete Streets Summit will be held Thursday, March 31st

This Complete Streets Coalition is a contingent of chambers of commerce, civic associations, local governments, engineering and professional trade groups, transit advocates and members of the public who want safe streets for all modes of traffic. The group looks to coordinate Complete Streets planning efforts, communicate on finding opportunities for local projects, act as a clearinghouse for information and lobby with a united voice for safe roadways.

The second annual Complete Streets Summit, held at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College in Farmingdale, was a gathering of government leaders, planners, engineers, nonprofits and other community stakeholders who support policy changes to design roadways for all uses – not just automobiles. The Summit was a chance to remind participants of the campaign’s significance.

Fee for registration is $45. Scholarships are available! Please send the completed form to Vision Long Island, 24 Woodbine Ave, Suite 2, Northport NY, or you can register online. Contact us at 631-261-0242 or

Ethical Humanist Society of LI Hosts Annual Social Justice Leadership Dinner

The Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island will be holding the Social Justice Leadership Dinner on Thursday March 31st, 2016 at 6:30PM. The event will be held at the Nassau County Bar Association located at 15th & West Streets in Mineola.

This year’s honorees include Vision’s Director Eric Alexander, businesswoman and philanthropist Esther Fortunoff, Musicians and humanitarians Patricia Shih and Stephen Fricker, and Youth Activist Grant Recipient Matthew Berman.

For ticket information or journal advertising costs please email the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island, or call (516) 741-7304. You can register for the event here.

Help Wanted

ScottsMiracle-Gro Announce New Community Grant

Scotts Miracle-Gro has announced a grant opportunity for community organizations  to develop and enhance pollinator gardens . The GRO1000 awards will provide monetary grants, product donations and educational resources to fifty 501(c)(3) organizations this year.

To date,  Scotts Miracle-Gro has awarded 680 such grants, allowing for over a million and a half square feet of space being restored and revitalized, over 50,000 youth to experience nature through hand-on learning and panting over 8,000 garden plots. Grassroots Grants are awarded to local communities to help bring pollinator habitats, edible gardens and public green spaces to neighborhoods across the United States. The grant application will be open until February 22nd, 2016. To learn more about how this opportunity can benefit a local project in your community and to apply, click here

Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Grants

Gina Coletti and Bob Fonti of Suffolk Alliance of Chambers would like to remind those interested that the Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Grant Applications for Round 14 have been sent out. Suffolk County has recently held the 1st of three training sessions at the Dennison Building in the media room. Please consider attending to further educate your organization on the application process.

Eligible applicants must be local business or community groups partnering with a local municipality (town or village). The application incorporates the Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Citizen Advisory Panel’s intent to support projects that will have an important and sustainable impact on downtowns and business districts. Applications are due by 4:30 pm on May 25, 2016.

The final two training sessions will be held on February 22 at 2:30pm and 6:00pm in the Media Room at the H. Lee Dennison Building, 100 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge. To RSVP, please email To learn more about the opportunity and to view the application and guidelines, click here

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.

What's happening on your Main Street this weekend?



Bow Tie Grand Avenue

1841 Grand Avenue, Baldwin


Bellmore Movies

222 Pettit Avenue, Bellmore


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.
Open Sundays 2PM-5PM.
For information, visit their website or call 516-623-9632

Garden City

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.

Glen Cove

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.

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

glen cove
Glen Cove Theatres

5 School Street, Glen Cove

Great Neck

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

great neck
Clearview Squire Cinemas Great Neck

115 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck


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

Long Beach

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 Manhasset 3

430 Plandome Road, Manhasset

Oyster Bay

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 Washington

Landmark on Main Street, the Jeanne Rimsky Theater
232 Main Street, Port Washington

Tickets and more information available here

Bow Tie Port Washington
116 Main Street, Port Washington

Rockville Centre

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


Bow Tie Roslyn Theatre

20 Tower Place, Roslyn

Sea Cliff

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


Seaford Cinemas

3951 Merrick Road, Seaford


The Space at Westbury

250 Post Avenue, Westbury

Tickets and more information available here



140 Merrick Road, Amityville
Tickets and more information available here

Bay Shore

The YMCA Boulton Center
37 West Main Street, Bay Shore
Big Laughs in Bay Shore Comedy Night!
Tickets and more information available here

Cold Spring Harbor

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, “Sea Ink” explores tattoo art and its nautical origins. 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

Guildhall, John Drew Theater
158 Main Street, East Hampton
Tickets and more information available here

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

East Islip

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 “Print Up Ladies” which is a survey of contemporary works created by female artists, and “Inked” by Kathy Seff. 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

Huntington Village

The Paramount
370 New York Ave, Huntington
Phantogram w/ Son Little
Tickets and more information available here

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.

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

AMC Loews Theatres – Shore 8

37 Wall Street, Huntington

cinema arts centre
Cinema Arts Centre

423 Park Ave, Huntington

Islip Village

Islip Cinemas

410 West Main Street, Islip
Showtimes at Islip Cinemas


The John W. Engeman Theater
250 Main Street, Northport
The Producers


89 North
89 North Ocean Avenue East Main Street, Patchogue
Tickets and more information available here.

Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts
71 East Main Street, Patchogue
Tickets and more information available here.

The Emporium
9 Railroad Avenue, Patchogue
Tickets and more information available here

Plaza Cinema & Media Arts Center
20 Terry Street, Patchogue

Port Jefferson

Theatre Three
412 Main Street,
 Port Jefferson

Tickets and more information available here




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


Suffolk Theater
Songs in the Attic w/ guests from The Billy Joel Band


Vail-Leavitt Music Hall
18 Peconic Avenue, Riverhead
Tickets and more information available here

Sag Harbor

Bay Street Theater
The Long Wharf, Sag Harbor
Tickets and more information available here

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 ly growing and tours of the Edward Homestead offer a view at the areconstanta through its history.

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

Sayville Theatre

103 Railroad Avenue, Sayville


Smithtown Township Arts Council

660 Route 25A, St. James
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 exhibit: Current exhibit: “If These Walls Could Talk: Meet the Families of the Rogers Mansion”.  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

West Sayville

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.

Study Shows More Americans are Giving up Their Cars

A recent  study published by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute has revealed that a majority of middle aged Americans have begun to follow the lead of Millenials and ditch their cars.  "Over the past several decades, particularly for the youngest age groups, there's been a pretty large decrease in the number of people who have been getting driver's licenses," says Brandon Schoettle, a researcher at the University of Michigan. 

In urban areas with more access to transportation, more and more Americans are finding it difficult to justify owning and maintaining a car in the face of parking fee and expensive tickets.  "There's been a shift publicly for people to move to things like public transportation that just wasn't there back in the '80s and '90s, partly because there's sometimes better public transportation in certain areas than there was a few decades ago, and a little more concern about the environment," says Mr. Schottle.

You can read more at the original NPR article here.

Smart Talk

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