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March 31st - April 6th, 2018

Regional Updates

Ruskin Moscou Faltischek

Founded in 1968, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek has consistently evolved and expanded to meet their clients’ changing needs. As specialized as they are diverse, they have built cornerstone groups that represent all major practice areas of law including: corporate & securities, financial services, commercial litigation, health care, real estate, employment, and trusts & estates. Their clientele is diverse, sophisticated and includes large and mid-sized corporations, privately held businesses, institutions and individuals. With more than 60 attorneys, superior knowledge of the law, polished business acumen and proven credentials, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek has earned a reputation for excellence and success. It is this ongoing achievement that makes them an acknowledged leader among their peers and the preferred choice among Long Island business leaders.

"With the amount of land dedicated to these public rights-of-way, it is critically important that public officials, community members, first responders, and other stakeholders collaborate to ensure that the design and function of these public spaces are not only safe for all users of our streets – cars, of course, along with pedestrians, buses, bicycle riders – but that they mesh with our local communities’ revitalization efforts." - Nassau County Executive Laura Curran speaking at the Long Island Complete Streets Summit

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Long Island Complete Streets Coalition Hosts the 6th Annual Summit

Vision was out this week with over 100 local civics, engineers, small businesses and government officials at the 7th annual Long Island Complete Streets Summit at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College in East Farmingdale.

Complete streets advocate Jivanna Bennaeim welcomed the group, sharing her story of a lost loved one on Middle Neck Road in Great Neck Plaza, Denise Carter from GPI spoke about how some of the concepts of Complete Streets are “simple, but not easy”, especially when working with multiple layers of government.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran was the featured speaker and welcomed the event with supportive remarks drawing on her leadership on Baldwin's Grand Avenue project and looking to improve other roadways in Nassau.  She noted that it is important for streets to be safe for all users, and that Complete Streets plays a key role in growing the local tax base.

"With the amount of land dedicated to these public rights-of-way," said County Executive Curran, "it is critically important that public officials, community members, first responders, and other stakeholders collaborate to ensure that the design and function of these public spaces are not only safe for all users of our streets – cars, of course, along with pedestrians, buses, bicycle riders – but that they mesh with our local communities’ revitalization efforts."

The Coalition released what can be considered the top 30 most dangerous roadways for walking and biking with information generated from recent crash data provided by Tri-State Transportation Campaign via the New York State Department of Transportation. The areas focused on our downtowns, near train stations, and commercial corridors undergoing revitalization – places that naturally draw foot traffic and places where people should be expected and encouraged to walk and bike. The roads spotlighted have had nearly 600 pedestrian and bicycle crashes in recent years.

The program included a panel on Fixing Long Island’s Dangerous Roadways featuring: Glenn Murrell, NYS DOT; Sylvia Silberger, Car-Less Long Island; Bernard Macias, AARP NY; Jennifer Heymach, Greenman-Pedersen, Greg Del Rio, NV5 ; and Town of Brookhaven Highway Superintendent Dan Losquadro.

The second panel covered the economic and placemaking benefits of Complete Streets designs in our downtown areas titled “Creating Walk Appeal” which featured Elissa Kyle, Vision Long Island; Sean Sallie, Nassau County DPW, Marwa Emam Fawaz, VHB ; and Paul Winkeller from the New York Bicycling Coalition.

Special thanks to our event sponsors, AARP New York, GPI / Greenman-Pedersen, Inc., VHB, NV5.inc, Nassau Inter-County Express / NICE Bus, Ennis-Flint and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

You can check out the story on News12 and the properly updated Newsday story. Vision staff will be releasing notes, powerpoints and quotes in next week’s Smart Talk newsletter with summaries and event details post-Summit.

NYS 2019 Budget Completed

NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo, LI Senators and Assembly delegations have announced the various benefits for Long Island featured in the State’s FY 2019 budget.

2019 will feature the eighth consecutive balanced budget for the state and holds spending below 2%.  Long Island will see benefits in the form of select funding for transportation and infrastructure among other things.  The LIRR will see $5.6 billion in funds for modernization as part of the $100 billion state infrastructure program.  This includes improvements for the both the Hicksville and Wyandanch stations, both of which should be complete in 2018.  21 additional projects should break ground this year including the third track project between Floral Park and Hicksville.

As for issues on the LI Lobby Coalition’s list, one victory was the launching of the Offshore Wind Master Plan, which will seek to make NY a leader in the growing renewable energy market.  The plan calls for at least 800 megawatts of offshore wind power and enough renewable energy for 400,000 households.  NYSERDA will also invest $15 million in clean energy workforces development and infrastructure for the growing industry.

The other victory was continuance of the NYS Downtown Revitalization Initiative that would bring $10 million to one Long Island downtown.   Westbury and Hicksville have been winners to date with roughly 20 downtowns applying each year for the funding.   
The Coalition has also lobbied for a set aside of transportation funds for pedestrian and bicycle projects and the DOT through NYNTC has advanced the Governor’s pedestrian safety action plan with RFP’s to local municipalities for these types of roadway improvements. 

Other platform items included an additional $1 million to expand safe pharmaceutical disposal which will help keep drugs out of our water supply.  Continued full funding for the state's historic $2.5 billion investment in water infrastructure, which is helping to upgrade and replace failing sewage and drinking water infrastructure across the state.

Not all the news was good the surcharge for Uber, LYFT, and local taxi companies into Manhattan was dedicated to the MTA instead of local transportation services like Nassau and Suffolk bus service.  The internet sales tax also failed to advance before the budget deadline despite local support from small businesses and both Nassau and Suffolk County Executives.  The LI Lobby Coalition and others will continue to press on both of these issues and other platform items before the end of the legislative session.

Other issues of interest to Long Islanders include improving the middle class tax cut, raising income eligibility for the Excelsior Scholarship program, combating MS-13, increasing education aid and infrastructure on Long Island, providing $300 million for environmental protection, establishing a new opioid epidemic surcharge, and helping to shore up Medicaid for DACA recipients.  Vision supported tax credits for the rehabilitation of historic, vacant or underutilized buildings that was also preserved in the budget.  

You can read more here.

US Senator Gillibrand Introduces Water Infrastructure Legislation

US Senator Kristen Gillibrand has announced legislation aimed at creating a grant program that will provide funding for water infrastructure projects. 

The bill, labeled the Promoting Infrastructure and Protecting the Economy (or PIPE) Act, would authorize $5 billion over a 10 year period and provide discretionary grants to local municipalities, tribal governments, and public water utilities.  Funding could then be used for projects related to drinking water and waste water infrastructure.  This legislation could provide much needed financial relief for New York, which is facing a bill of tens of billions of dollars in needed water infrastructure investments in the coming decades.

“Too many communities in New York that pipes that are old and leaking, lack sewer systems, and have outdated technology that isn’t doing a good enough job of keeping wastewater from polluting the environment,” said Senator Gillibrand.  “No New Yorker should ever have to worry about whether their water is safe to drink.  My new bill, the PIPE Act, would create a new discretionary grant program to fund drinking water and sewer projects so that communities can have the resource they need to fix their broken water infrastructure.”

The legislation would also allow for projects to be bundled together for a single grant application.  This move would help small and rural projects to compete for funds against larger projects.  It will also work to ensure grants are spent on a mix of rural, suburban, and urban projects.  This will be accomplished by capping the maximum amount of the total funding any single state can receive at 20%.

Huntington Township Housing Coalition Report Calls for More Affordable Housing

The Huntington Township Housing Coalition has updated a 2016 report that calls for more affordable housing in the Town.

The report initially concluded in 2016 that Huntington would need 2,798 units of affordable housing by 2020 in order to protect the Township’s most vulnerable residents.  The 2018 update shows that only 729 units are completed or currently being planned.  The update was recently presented to the Town Board along with recommendations for improvement.  Those recommendations included cutting the loopholes in the affordable housing law, applying the 20% affordable housing to a wider array of developments, and loosening code restraints to make it easier for legal two-family homes.

“We’ve heard from a lot of young professionals that they want to own a home, but they can’t afford to own a home,” according to Huntington Township Housing Coalition president Roger Weaving Jr. “What they’re looking for is easier routes to accessory apartments or two-family homes where they can buy a home and rent out half a home or buy a home and rent out an apartment.”

Weaving noted that the demand for affordable housing was demonstrated by the 20 to 1 oversubscription that the town Community Development Agency receives when availability for affordable housing units are announced.  Most of the interested parties include youg people with jobs who are spending anywhere between 30 to 50 percent of their income on housing.

You can read more here. You can also read the report updates here.

Oyster Bay Sets Hearing Date for Cerro Wire

The Town of Oyster Bay has declared the draft environmental impact statement for the Syosset Park project to be complete and has set a hearing to review the document on May 1st at 6 pm in Syosset High School.  The vote to approve was 6-0 with Councilman Anthony Macagnone abstaining as he had not received the 800 page document in time to review it before the vote.

The vote to proceed has triggered a 60-day public comment period, which will probably be extended according to a town official.  This will allow adequate time for residents to have an opportunity to voice any concerns for the project.  The statement is available on Syosset Park Development’s website www.syossetpark.com.  Once the statement is finalized the town board will vote on approval.  Plans for the project include 625 town houses and condominiums as well as two hotels, retail office and restaurant space, and a large park.  This is on the site of the former Cerro Wire plant and landfill.

Residents in the area have offered praise for the project, which they say cleaves closer to what the community is asking for as opposed to previous developers, who was looking to put a shopping mall in the spot.  Several local civic and neighborhood groups have called for the process to move forward.

You can read more here.

Sustainability Institute to Screen The Age of Consequences on Wednesday, April 11th

The Sustainability Institute at Molloy College is proud to announce and invite you to our 23rd Sustainable Living Film Series screening on Wednesday April 11th, 2018 from 6:00 - 9:30pm. ***The film series is typically hosted on Thursdays, but please note that this screening is being held on a Wednesday***

RSVP REQUIRED before event day.

$10 admission in advance. $15 at the door. Purchase tickets here. Admission includes the film, buffet dinner, and discussion following the film. All are welcome, so share this event and invite friends and family.

Art of Thriving Conference to be Held April 11th

The Art of Thriving Conference for Non-profits will be held next Wednesday, April 11th at The Inn in New Hyde Park.  The subject matter for the conference will be How to Manage in Turbulent Times.  Speakers will provide guidance on how to thrive in a time of shrinking resources and strategic practices that can ensure survival.  The Inn is located at 214 Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park. 

Vision Long Island's Director Eric Alexander will be speaking on a panel along with Rhonda Klch, Executive Director of Equity First Foundation, Terrie Magro, Founder of Michael Magro Foundation, and Paule T Pachter, CEO of Long Island Cares, Inc. The Keynote speaker will be Ed Henry of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with a special session on tax reform from David Rottkamp, CPA.

You can register online here.

Long Island Business Council to Hold Meeting Thursday, April 12th

The Long Island Business Council will hold a meeting on Thursday, April 12th to discuss important prorgams and initiatives in both Counties. The meeting will feature Presiding Officers Richard Nicolello of the Nassau County Legislature and DuWayne Gregory of Suffolk County Legislature. John Keating of PSEG Long Island will also speak on the new energy company's new Vacant Properties and Main Street Revitalization programs. Nassau County Executive Laura Curran will give welcoming remarks at the event as well.

To RSVP or for more information you can download a flyer here, call 877-811-7471, or email ck@visionlongisland.org.

Car-Less Long Island to Host 3rd Annual Bike-to-Work Parade on Saturday, April 28th

On April 28th, Car-Less Long Island will be hosting its 3rd Annual Bike-to-Work Parade along a 6.5 mile loop around Eisenhower Park that will begin and end at Hofstra’s North Campus.  There will be a police escort for safe riding. (See the map of bike route here and map of Hofstra here). There is a 1.9-mile walking route for those who want to see a more walk-able and bike-able Long Island, but do not want to bike themselves or are not ready to bike a 6.5 mile loop. There is also a short cut to a 1.5-mile route. (See a map of the full and short walking routes here. You can also see it on the Hofstra campus map here).  After the parade will be the bike to work festival with music, speakers, prizes, and fun for the whole family!

For more information on how to register, a flyer for the event, instructions on how to volunteer, and more, you can visit here.

Check Out these Hidden Restaurants on Long Island

Newsday has released a list of the best hard-to-find restaurants on Long Island, with a good number of hidden downtown hot spots making the list. If you're a fan of interesting cuisine and dining out in local downtowns, give it a read and find a hidden gem near you.

The downtown choices on the list include:

Crabtree's New York and Main - 330 New York Ave, Huntington
Osteria Leana - 76 South St, Oyster Bay
NY Garden Kabobs - 46, i, Gerard St, Huntington (Our Director recommends the Chicken Shawarma!)
Toro Tapas & Tequila - 224 E Main St, Patchogue
Biscuits & Barbeque - 106 E 2nd St. Mineola
Joe's Garage & Grill - 40 Peconic Ave. Riverhead
Turkuaz Grill - 40 McDermott Ave. Riverhead
Massa's Pizzeria - 80 Gerard St, Huntington

You can view the full list here.

Smart Talk

Editor:
Christopher Kyle, Communications Director

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

We strive to provide continued quality publications like this every week. If you have any news or events that you would like to add to our newsletter, submit them to info@visionlongisland.org 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.
Email: info@visionlongisland.org

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