April 17th - 23rd, 2016
Sustainability Institute at Molloy College
The mission of the Sustainability Institute is to serve as a core resource on environmental excellence, and to promote positive solutions that advance the three dimensions of sustainability, economy, environment and social equity, for both the students & faculty of Molloy College and for the larger Long Island community of which Molloy is a part.
“The condition of the Ellison Avenue Bridge has been a major concern for the greater Westbury community for several decades, and the replacement of the bridge was long overdue... The residents of the Village and surrounding communities are happy, relieved and grateful that this project has finally been completed, on time and on budget I am deeply appreciative to Senator Jack Martins for working hard to make sure that the LIRR finally undertook this important infrastructure improvement.”
- Mayor Peter Cavallaro, Village of Westbury
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For over a decade, Vision Long Island has been honoring the individuals and organizations that display true Smart Growth leadership in advancing projects, policies, regulations and initiatives. Specific focus areas include mixed-use development, affordable housing, environmental health and safety, open space and historic preservation, traffic calming and pedestrian safety, transportation enhancements, clean energy, downtown revitalization and/or community-based planning.
Announcing our Keynote Speaker:
Hon. Thomas DiNapoli
New York State Comptroller
Congratulations to this year's Honorees:
President & CEO, RXR Realty
Hon. Don Barbieri
Village of New Hyde Park
Mix of Uses
Sun Valley Towers
Alma Corp. Realty & Village of Valley Stream
Copiague Commons, Copiague
Conifer Realty & Town of Babylon
Alive After Five
Patchogue Chamber of Commerce & Village of Patchogue
Sense of Place
East End Arts
Sense of Place
Westbury Arts Council
Sense of Place
Bay Shore Pedestrian Plaza
Town of Islip &
Compact Building Design
Mineola Village Green & One Third Ave
Lalezarian & Village of Mineola
Transit Oriented Development
Marina Pointe, East Rockaway
Beechwood Organization & Village of East Rockaway
Transit Oriented Development
Terwilliger & Bartone Properties & Village of Farmingdale
Transit Oriented Development
The Hills, Port Jefferson
Gitto Group & Village of Port Jefferson
Strengthening Existing Communities
Opportunities Long Island
LI Building Trades Council & LI Federation of Labor
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Leasing Begins for Sun Valley, Valley Stream
Valley Stream’s Sun Valley Towers, a new 72-residence rental complex on the southeast corner of Rockaway Avenue and Sunrise Highway, will begin leasing next month.
The $16 million five-story mixed-use building, developed by Long Island City’s Alma Realty, replaced three vacant and blighted residential and commercial buildings, and is just two blocks away from the busy Valley Stream Long Island Railroad station. The building’s first tenant, Blink Fitness, opened up last month after some delays in construction. Originally the 15,000 square foot gym was designed for multiple retail locations, so the space was suitable for the tenant after floor plans changes and plumbing modifications were made for showers and bathrooms on the ground level. Modifications to the 4 stories of apartments above the ground floor were necessary also, with all of the interiors in the kitchen needing to be redone, setting the project back.
Other aesthetic modifications were made to the building, as well as a tennis court being added to the roof. Soon, landscaping will be added to the roof to create a mini-park, in addition to the patio area and rooftop garden where Manhattan’s skyline can be seen. Solar panels will generate 25 kilowatts of power, feeding the common areas as well as the elevators. Valet service will also serve gym members as well as residents. Sun Valley Towers will have one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments starting at about $2,200 a month, complete with granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances and hardwood floors.
With construction expected to be completed “very soon”, a local realtor will set up an office inside of the building, allowing prospective tenants to apply directly at the site. Once applications are filed, there is about a one- to two-month window when tenants can begin moving in, according to Chris Giovanis, Sun Valley Towers’ project manager.
Sun Valley Towers will be receiving a Long Island Smart Growth Award this year on June 10th.
You can read more about Sun Valley Towers here, and see their first tenant, Blink Fitness’ website here
New Bridge in Westbury Replaces Long Island's Worst
The Village of Westbury is home to a new $17.5 million bridge that was built on time and within budget, replacing one that often rated by the state Department of Transportation as the worst of Long Island’s 700 bridges. The year-long construction project resulted in improvements to the two-lane bridge, originally constructed in 1896 and rebuilt in 1941, including a total reconstruction of the bridge’s road surface, increased visibility at approaches, and redesign of pedestrian walkways and walls.
At a ribbon cutting ceremony last week, Village of Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro, State Senator Jack Martins, Assembly Michael Montesano, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Legislator Laura Schaefer, LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski, and other dignitaries welcomed the new bridge along Ellison Avenue, which was closed to over 11,000 cars that took that route daily since the demolition of the old bridge in May. “The condition of the Ellison Avenue Bridge has been a major concern for the greater Westbury community for several decades, and the replacement of the bridge was long overdue,” said Mayor Cavallaro. “The residents of the Village and surrounding communities are happy, relieved and grateful that this project has finally been completed, on time and on budget I am deeply appreciative to Senator Jack Martins for working hard to make sure that the LIRR finally undertook this important infrastructure improvement.”
The bridge was originally designed just as a pedestrian overpass, then modified to accommodate vehicular traffic. The new bridge was made a bit wider than the old bridge from the 1800’s in order to fit the needs of the proposed LIRR third track project between Floral Park and Hicksville. Although Senator Martins has opposed the third track, he did say that the new bridge is a “wonderful example of what can happen when things go right and the community works with the railroad. Hopefully, they’re able to meet the communities’’ needs, concerns and wants much the same way as the railroad did here.”
While the bridge is now open, Posillico Civil, Inc. based out of Farmingdale will still have two months of work left, with fencing, grading, landscaping and utility connections being added on as the road is open to vehicular traffic in the area. Not only was the contractor that handled the demolition and building of the new bridge local, but local construction workers were used on the job in a negotiation between the LIRR and the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk, which also helped reduce labor costs.
You can read more about the removal of the most outdated and opening of Long Island’s newest bridge here, and see a time-lapse video of the demolition, which was done in one weekend, here
National Grid Teams Up with Gateway Gardens, Huntington Station for Earth Day
Vision Board and staff joined dozens of residents and volunteers from National Grid and the Town of Huntington to help celebrate Earth Day in Huntington Station’s Gateway Gardens this week. Vision Long Island also peeked in on their box at the organic garden, which does not allow chemical fertilizers or pesticides to be used.
“Like anything else at National Grid, we try to take things and make them a lot nicer than we find them, and is just one example on how we give back to the communities,” said Ken Daly, President of National Grid New York. The team planted, weeded, and removed litter, built a rain garden, and installed a drainage system to combat flooding at the site. Gateway Community Gardens was created in 2010 on about one acre of derelict parkland that had become a troublesome spot for the low income community around it. The garden, one of the largest on Long Island, has 115 garden beds for adults, children and those who are disabled. The upgrade will help a long waiting list of gardeners grow their own food in the urbanized, suburban area.
Beyond giving local gardeners an area to grow their own food, the garden has created a dozen part-time jobs; provided an opportunity for recreation, exercise, and social contact; helped the community fight diet-related diseases like diabetes; reduced family food costs; and been a teaching laboratory for hundreds of local children. You can click here to learn more about Gateway Gardens, or here to see coverage on FIOS1 from the efforts.
NYS Comptroller Makes Green by "Going Green"
New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli announced a way to invest in environmentally friendly companies at the UB climate change talks in Paris, creating two “greens” at once; money for the state’s Common Retirement Fund and investing in sustainable energy sources rather than companies with a dirty carbon footprint.
New York’s Common Retirement fund, which pays public employee pensions and has about 1 million beneficiaries, will be investing $2 billion into a new investment find which gives preference to companies that embrace greener living. Traditionally, investments in companies that are more environmentally friendly came with a lower return rate or higher risk on investment, however this fund that is only open to New York State, mimics the return and risk that other investments would have. “We expect returns equal to- or we think could be superior to- what we get in the Russell 1000,” said DiNapoli. The Fund will also invest $1.5 billion more into the Green Strategic Investment Program, which supports low-pollution investments such as wind farms or solar.
Some portfolio managers have been divesting in coal and oil due to their sluggish returns on investment. By partnering with Goldman Sachs, New York State will not only be able to invest in companies and funds that are more environmentally conscious, but ones that provide an equal or better return on investment, creating the “two greens” at once. “We were able to reduce their emissions by about 70 percent but essentially preserve the returns and risk characteristics that they were expecting,” said Hugh Lawson, global head of impact investing for the Goldman unit.
“There is no question that climate change is one of the biggest risks facing global investors across multiple sectors,” said Vicki Fuller, chief investment officer of the fund, which manages $173.5 billion. “By shifting our capital to companies with lower emissions and comparable returns, we are sending the message that our investment dollars will follow businesses with strong environmental practices.” Some, not surprisingly, are not comfortable with the change, including Matt Dempsey, a spokesman for the Independent Petroleum Association of America, and industry lobbying group. “Oil and gas investments have proven to be long-term winners,” said Dempsey. “Retirees whose money is at stake will not be thrilled to learn that some are playing politics with their savings.”
Although these so-called “green-indexes” are not new, data that has been gained over the past decade about companies’ carbon footprint gives a better idea about what which companies to invest in with the environment and a good return in mind.
You can read more about New York’s newest step to combat climate change here
Alexander: Time to start fixing LI’s dangerous roadways
In what was a shock to no one, the region’s “Most Dangerous Roadways” report was released and Long Island once again topped the list with the top-four most deadly roads. All of them are commercial corridors with many intersecting our downtown business districts.
This annual report from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign documented 2012 to 2014, where 782 pedestrians were killed on roads in the 12 downstate New York counties. Route 25 in Suffolk County (Jericho Turnpike) and Nassau County’s Route 24 (Hempstead Turnpike) both saw 12 deaths between 2012 and 2014, the most deaths on a single road in an individual county. Other Long Island roads on the list include: Sunrise Highway in Nassau and Suffolk counties, Route 110 and Montauk Highway in Suffolk, Route 25A in Suffolk and Merrick Road in Nassau.
There is some hope as the public and local municipalities are starting to take action. Complete Streets laws have been passed in New York State, Suffolk County, Nassau County, the towns of North Hempstead, Hempstead, Babylon, Islip, Brookhaven, Southampton and a number of villages. These policies join the growing list of 850 across the country.
Other promising news is that pedestrian safety projects have been advanced or are proposed in: Great Neck Plaza, Rockville Centre, Garden City, Manhasset, Baldwin, Long Beach, Farmingdale, Baldwin, Freeport, New Hyde Park, Manorhaven, New Cassel, Greenvale, Lynbrook, Huntington, Smithtown, Patchogue, Greenlawn, Riverhead, Central Islip, Bayshore, Wyandanch, Gordon Heights, Lindenhurst, Sag Harbor, Northport and Kings Park. All told, 40 traffic calming projects have been approved in the last decade in Long Island communities. Clearly more are needed.
Walkability is critical in planning for our future with over 12,000 units of transit oriented development approved in the last decade with more on the way. The real benefits to this form of growth is to provide support for local businesses, housing options and a reduction of auto usage in the form of less vehicle miles travelled per household. If that promise is to be realized we need to take seriously the conditions for young people, seniors, disabled, families – everyone who seeks to walk and bike in a community.
Motor vehicle registrations are down nationally and on Long Island as the millennial generation sees the benefits and economic necessity of walking and using public transit. An aging population on Long Island also needs safe roadways. It would be wise public policy to provide what these and other voters are seeking.
In this year’s state budget, which included increases in transportation, not one penny of our tax dollars was dedicated to pedestrian infrastructure. Transportation dollars should be dedicated to focused, tangible improvements on our roadways including crosswalks, countdown timers, medians, street trees, bike lanes, roundabouts, lane narrowing and other traffic calming measures. Some of the improvements are as simple and cost efficient as paint. To be clear no one is proposing sidewalks to nowhere but prioritizing safety improvements where people are walking and biking and where the dangerous roadways persist.
One simple request to remedy these safety issues from our legislators in Albany is to dedicate at least 2 percent of the $1 billion increase in the NYSDOT Capital Program (a minimum of $100 million) to pedestrian and bicycling projects over the next five years.
These design and engineering solutions are achievable and we should resist the efforts to deflect blame on both drivers and pedestrians as simple scapegoats. As Ryan Russo, assistant director of New York City’s Department of Transportation, stated at a recent summit of pedestrian and bike safety advocates, “we can design fatalities out of the system.”
Not a surprise that safety has improved on New York City streets while Long Island roadways creep up the list of the most dangerous.
How many more reports need to be released to tell us the same thing? If these levels of fatalities occurred through some form of an allergy, food-borne illness, playground equipment, mind impairing substance or other social or environmental factor there would be widespread calls for action. Our friends, neighbors, family members and future residents traversing our roadways deserve tangible safety improvements as well.
Mastic Beach Village Comprehensive Plan Public Workshop - Postponed Until Further Notice
The public meeting scheduled for Saturday, April 23rd from 10am-4pm at William Paca Jr. High School, 338 Blanco Drive Mastic Beach has been postponed until further notice.
Car-less LI's First Annual Bike-to-Work Fashion Parade
Car-Less Long Island invites all to join for the First Annual Bike-to-Work Fashion Parade, in celebration of National Bike-to-Work Month.
The parades follows a 6.5-mile loop with a 2.3-mile cut-off for those on foot, those with small children, and for those who just want a shorter ride. The parade culminates with a Bike-to-Work Festival with prizes for the best outfits and most creative bikes. Dressing up is optional, but is way more fun! The Bike-to-Work Festival leads into Hofstra University’s Dutch Festival, with rides, games.
The parade will be held on May 7th, gathering at Hofstra University at 9am. You can register and get more information about this event here.
Freeport Cares' 7th Annual Peace March
Freeport Cares, a collaboration of the Freeport Schools, the Village of Freeport and various community-based organizations invite all to attend the 7th Annual Peace March.
There will also be a Health and Wellness Fair at the end of the March, with light snacks being served.
The mission of Freeport Cares is to coordinate the programs and activities of the Freeport Public Schools with the Village of Freeport, the business community, local houses of worship, and Nassau County in supporting the needs of young people and families, with the goal of enhancing the well-being, educational and social success of the entire Freeport Community.
This year’s Community Peace March will be held on Saturday, May 7th at 9AM (rain or shine). The Peach March will begin at Freeport High School, and will loop around (between a mile and a mile and a half). Marchers are asked to wear something yellow- the color representing hope, and especially, hope for peace.
NYMTC Seeks Input on LI's on Future Transportation Funding
New York Metropolitan Transportation Council will be three Long Island community workshops for the public to share their ideas and comments on Plan 2045, which will guide the future use of federal transportation funding for the region.
Those that join the meeting will be able to share ideas to shape the plan, view and comment on proposed projects, proposals and studies, review the proposed regional goals and desired outcomes, and learn more about the vision of the Council.
May 9th, 3PM and 6PM
Republic Airport- 715 Republic Airport, Farmingdale
May 11th, 3PM and 6PM
Riverhead Legislative Auditorium, Suffolk County Legislature
300 Center Drive, Riverhead
May 12th, 3PM and 6PM
Nassau County Legislative Chamber
1550 Franklin Avenue, Mineola
You can learn more about the plan by clicking here
LI Business Council’s next meeting, Thursday, May 19th Featuring Bill Millet on Economic Benefits of Early Childhood Education
On Thursday, May 19th, 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. The Long Island Business Council is a group of small business leaders who are dedicated to regulatory relief, tax and utility stabilization for the average small business owner in addition to infrastructure investment towards Long Island’s downtowns.
This meeting will include special guest speaker Bill Millett from Scope View Strategic Advantage who will address the “Economic Benefits of Early Childhood Education”. 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.
To RSVP, or for more information, please call (877) 811-7471, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless Hosts Grand Opening Celebration
Long Island Coalition for the Homeless is pleased to announce their Grand Opening Celebration at their new facility in Amityville. Attendees can tour the newly renovated Community Resource Center and garden while learning about the different programs and services that are offered by organizations in the building. You can visit Long Island Coalition for the Homeless’ website by clicking here.
More details will be coming, so be sure to save the date! Friday, June 10th from 6pm-9pm at 600 Albany Avenue, Amityville. $50 per person includes a casual, barbeque-style dinner.
TIGER Grant Application Period Now Open
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced $500 million will be made available for transportation projects across the country under an eighth round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program.
TIGER discretionary grants will fund capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and will be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area, or a region.
To date, TIGER has provided nearly $4.6 billion to 381 projects. The demand is of course high; during the first seven TIGER funding rounds, over 6,700 applications requesting $134 billion were submitted.
Applications are due by April 29th, 2016. For more information about the program and to view projects that have been awarded in the past, click here
NPA Offers $1.75 Million in Green Infrastrucure Grants
National Recreation and Park Association's Great Urban Parks Campaign demonstrates the effectiveness of green infrastructure to positively affect environmental change in underserved low-income communities and communities of color.
The Great Urban Parks Campaign seeks to increase public access to recreational opportunities and access to nature via parks in underserved low-income communities and communities of color, improve environmental quality and increase hazard mitigation by reducing flooding by improving the site’s ability to hold and retain stormwater, improving water quality, improving wildlife habitat, and increasing biodiversity. Community engagement in the process and result is also a key objective.
NRPA will award between 3 and 5 grants of $350,000-$575,000 for a total of $1.75 million for this grant opportunity. Applications are due by April 29th. For more information and to apply, please click here
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?
Garvies Point Museum and Preserve
To arrange a visit, call 516-571-8011 and for information and brochures, visit their website
For information, visit their website or call 516-822-7505
140 Merrick Road, Amityville
Tickets and more information available here
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
Showtimes at Islip Cinemas
The John W. Engeman Theater
250 Main Street, Northport
9 Railroad Avenue, Patchogue
Tickets and more information available here
For information, visit their website or call 631-473-2665
Bay Street Theater
The Long Wharf, Sag Harbor
Tickets and more information available here
For information, visit their website or call 631-725-0770
For information, visit their website or call 631-268-2494
For information, visit their website.
Long Island Business News Hosts 1st Annual Diversity in Business Awards
People from all over Long Island gathered at Crest Hollow Country Club for the first Annual Diversity in Business Awards hosted by Long Island Business News. These awards were designed to highlight the outstanding achievements of business leaders of diverse ethnic backgrounds celebrating their leadership and commitment to the growing diversity of the Long Island business community.
Among the honorees were several supporters of the Smart Growth movement, including Vision Long Island board members, supporters, and friends including: Boardmember Lionel Chitty, Hicksville Chamber of Commerce; Boardmember Jorge Martinez, J & A Group;
Sponsors Elizabeth Custodio, Suffolk County National Bank; Silvana Diaz, Noticia; Courtney Bynoe, Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce; and Community Partner Edward Groce, Suffolk County PAL. Congratulations to all of the honorees.
For more on the awards, visit LIBN
Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director; Elissa Kyle, Planning Director;
Jon Siebert, Program Coordinator, Chris Kyle, Administrative
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Vision Long Island
24 Woodbine Ave., Suite Two
Northport, NY 11768
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.
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