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April 21st - 27th, 2018

Regional Updates

SunPower by EmPower Solar

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“The first thing you should learn is the concept of showing up. Your potential is one thing, but what you do with that potential is quite another.  Very often we get caught up in the whole mythology of talent, that people who accomplish things must be so smart.  Sometimes, the problem is that we do not get to where we want to because we feel that we are not talented enough.  Talent counts, but effort counts twice.” - Dr. Yves Duroseau addressing the New York Youth Summit

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Berkeley College Hosts 9th Annual Youth Summit

Vision Board and staff were out last week supporting New York Youth Summit with over 200 High School Students from over a dozen schools across Long Island, Westchester, and New York City participating in the event hosted by Berkeley College. Now in it’s 9th year, this is the first time that the Youth Summit went on the road from Long Island to New York City.

“The goal of the Summit is to engage students as early as possible in creative thinking about issues that impact Long Island,” said Dr. Nathalia Rogers, co-chair of the NY Youth Summit “We’re looking to develop a generation of future leaders who will stay here and help our communities to thrive.“

The New York Youth Summit is a year-round educational program for high school students. It is a partnership between high schools, Northwell Health, Berkeley College, and a number of other public and private organizations, including Vision Long Island. The first Youth Summit took place on Long Island in 2009. Today close to 500 students submit projects for the program and about 250 students are selected to participate in the Summit’s annual conference. In 2017, the program was renamed the New York Youth Summit to reflect the participation of high school students from New York City, Long Island and Westchester.

The program is designed to give high school students the opportunity to do research and art projects that deal with important issues impacting communities in the New York City Metropolitan area and in the United States. Students who have submitted the best projects go on to participate in the Summit’s annual conference, where they work with top experts to develop solutions to a host of socio-medical, environmental, and social issues.

The purpose of the Summit is to engage young people as early as possible in thinking about and solving the problems related to local and regional social, economic and environmental issues. The Summit aims at developing research, creative, and social skills of high school students by allowing them to work collaboratively with leaders in business, government, and non-profit sectors. The Summit also aims to bring together talented students of diverse backgrounds from different schools giving these students an opportunity to interact and propose solutions together.

The Summit featured workshops on bullying and social networks, teen substance abuse and mental health, community health, climate change, renewable energy, sustainable fashion, diversity and equality, gentrification and community development, LGBT youth, access to education, teens and criminal justice, and teens as future leaders. The 11 timely workshops were presented by professional experts such as John Keating, Manager of Economic Development and Account Services for PSEG Long Island; Eric Alexander, Director of Vision Long Island; Laura Carlo, Northwell Health; Christoper Kleva, Stony Brook University hospital; Robert Maguire, Berkeley College; Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director of Vision Long Island, among many others.

After a video welcome from Berkeley College President Michael J. Smith, the keynote address delivered by Lenox Hill Hospital’s Chief of Emergency Medicine Dr. Yves Duroseau inspired the students in attendance. Dr. Duroseau spoke of his journey to his current position with Northwell Health, saying that he didn’t fully understand how he was successful until he read a book called “Grit: the Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth. Dr. Duroseau expressed to the students that “it’s OK to talk about not just your successes, but really assess your failures, because they can make you better, they should make you better”.

“The first thing you should learn is the concept of showing up," said Dr. Duroseau. "Your potential is one thing, but what you do with that potential is quite another.  Very often we get caught up in the whole mythology of talent, that people who accomplish things must be so smart.  Sometimes, the problem is that we do not get to where we want to because we feel that we are not talented enough.  Talent counts, but effort counts twice.”

The event featured an Award ceremony, with Zachary Marcone of Columbia University, and Jerinna Solagas presenting, and a Joint Final Session where students received awards for projects that they submitted to the Youth Summit that included art work, videos, essays and research papers, and also shared lessons learned from their research and in the workshops.

Sponsors included Northwell Health, National Grid, PSEG Long Island, East Coast Energy Solutions, Vision Long Island, and Berkeley College.

Vision Tackles Middle Missing Housing at Tuoro College

Last week Vision Long Island Placemaking Director Elissa Kyle made a presentation on Missing Middle Housing at Touro Law School in Central Islip. 

The event was hosted by the Touro Land Use Law Institute and Real Estate Law Society.  “Missing Middle Housing” is a term coined by Dan Parolek of Opticos Design for the range of housing types in between the scale of single family homes and larger mid-rise apartment buildings.  Ms. Kyle’s presentation focused on the challenges to building Missing Middle Housing on Long Island as well as available opportunities.  Types such as townhouses, 2-4-plexes, live-work units, and small apartment buildings that can be built on the smaller lot sizes commonly found in and around historic downtown centers. 

Historically many of these housing types were built in Long Island downtowns, but most current zoning codes don’t have provisions for them.  New developments of this type usually have to jump through the same regulatory hurdles as much larger projects which makes them less feasible to build despite their smaller scale.

After the presentation, Michael Lewyn of the Land Use Law Institute interviewed Elissa for a podcast discussing many of these issues.  The podcast can be found here. You can find more information about Missing Middle Housing here.

Suffolk Supervisors Call for Electrification of LIRR Huntington Branch

In a show of unity Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine, and Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim have sent a letter to state lawmakers urging them to complete a feasibility study on electrifying the LIRR Huntington branch.

The letter comes at a time when local leaders have put a much more prominent focus on revitalization and transportation solutions in their communities.  Electrification will help to improve that by making it easier for riders to travel East of Huntington and back without the need to switch to a diesel train.  The Supervisors also noted that the Port Jefferson and Huntington branches have the highest ridership of any other LIRR line.

“It will have a strong effect on Huntington, Smithtown and Brookhaven,” said Lupinacci. “For the commuters in all three towns this is something that’s critically needed in the area.”

Huntington has five stations in Greenlawn, Northport, Centerport, Fort Solanga, and Commack that would benefit from the additional options as well as more commuters traveling East.  Smithtown would also benefit from the infrastructure investment as it tries to revitalize the Kings Park, Smithtown, and St. James business areas.  Brookhaven is also looking to create revitalization opportunities in Port Jefferson Station and create an easier commute for students who wish to attens Stony Brook University.
The idea of electrification on the North Shore branch dates back to at least the 1980’s when $600 million in MTA funds as approved as part of a five-year LIRR improvement plan.  However, a budget gap caused the plans to be suspended indefinitely just two years later.  Since then there has been intermittent attempts to revive electrification and create a “one seat” ride from Port Jefferson to Manhattan.  A brief pilot program in the mid-90’s using a dual train that could switch from diesel to electric was tested but never implemented fully and later abandoned.

With the appointment of the new LIRR president, Phillip Eng, the Supervisors are hopeful that the company will take another look at electrification, starting with the completion of the feasibility study.

You can read more here.

Downtown Riverhead Selected as Opportunity Zone

New York State has nominated downtown Riverhead and the Enterprise Park at Calverton (EPCAL) as “Opportunity Zones.”

Opportunity Zones are a new federal designation aimed at allowing low-income census tracts to boost private investment in urban and rural communities that are under-served.  Riverhead and EPCAL are listed among the 514 low-income census tracts that New York nominated to the U.S. treasury this past week.  Each state was allowed to nominate 25% of qualifying census tracts which were also required to have at least 21% of its population below the federal poverty rate. 

This designation will allow the two tracts to receive funding from what’s referred to as “Opportunity Funds.”  These special funds will open the door for a wide array of investors to pool resources and rebuild distressed neighborhoods. 

“In New York State, we’ve focused on revitalizing our downtowns and investing in the communities that need it most,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “The Opportunity Zone Program will be a complementary initiative that helps to attract additional private investment to the hundreds of communities that Governor Cuomo has recommended for this designation.”

Other nominated Suffolk County census tracts include Wyandanch, North Bellport, and two Center Islip tracts.  There is currently no clarity on when the U.S. Treasury will make selections and how many tracts will be selected once it does.

You can read more here.

St. James Conducting Sewer Study to Expand Capacity

This past month the Smithtown Town Board voted unanimously to pay $24,000 to H2M Architects + Engineers to conduct a study on the feasibility of installing a dry sewer line.  That study may be finished in the next couple of weeks according the H2M.

The study is examining how much wastewater is produced in the commercial district and the cost of installing dry sewer mains at the same time as the water mains.  Smithtown has budgeted out about $2.4 million for water main installation as part of its 2018 capital budget, but is still looking for funds for the dry sewer lines.  Supervisor Wehrheim said that he has had a sit-down meeting with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone to look into possible funding sources.  The planned dry sewer lines that are being studied will be gravity fed lines using the natural slope of the area.  There will also be a pump station for the sewers which will require a 30 x 30 square foot area in an undetermined area. 

The project is scheduled to begin in May, but Supervisor Wehrheim has asked residents to agree to a delay of the project for a year in order to do the construction all at once.  This method, according to the Supervisor, would be more economically viable and better for local businesses that would be affected by the installation.  Wehrheim also mentioned that the town was looking to make the installation as seamless and nonintrusive as possible for local business, possibly including night contruction.

“We’re looking at the percentage cost for doing the paving at night,” said Supervisor Wehrheim.  “I think that’s something that very much will be feasible.  The other thing that we’re looking at instead of having this be spread out among contractors, is to see if we can come up with enough funding by putting this out as one request for proposal and have a larger contractor come in who can subcontract the work so that would speed up a project like this.”

You can read more here.

Long Beach to Suspend Bus Service after Failed Bond Vote

The City of Long Beach has announced that they will suspend weekend and night bus service after the failure of a $2.1 million bond measure that would have made up for separation payouts to city employees.

Without the needed bond measure the City now faces a significant budget shortfall and may struggle to make payroll next month and could lead to layoffs and even a shutdown of the city.  Because of this the city immediately suspended weekend bus service and did the same for nighttime service within a few days.  Mid-day service as well as trips to Point Lookout will also be suspended.

There is currently no word on whether or not service will be restored if the funding issue is resolved.

You can read more here.

Vision Long Island Joins National Grid for Earth Day

Vision Long Island Staff and Board members were out for Earth Day in the Village of Patchogue in support of National Grid.  This included planting and beautification efforts in the thriving downtown. We commend National Grid’s Kathy Wisnewski for organizing the event with her team as well as and Vision’s Board Co-Chair Trudy Fitzimmons for participating.  It was truly a great event.

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.

2018 Arthur Kunz Memorial Scholarship Breakfast to be Held on May 4th

On Friday, May 4, 2018, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM, the APA Long Island Section will hold its annual Arthur Kunz Memorial Scholarship Breakfast at Molloy College’s Suffolk Center at Republic Airport in East Farmingdale.

This year’s presentation will focus on shared mobility, travel trends of millennials/post-millennials and the emergence of self-driving technology. Key drivers of transportation changes and the implications for the planning profession will be discussed. Guest Speakers include Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Dr. Floyd Lapp, FAICP, an adjunct professor in Urban Planning, Columbia University.

“A New Transportation Paradigm [1.5 CM Requested]: Self-Driving Technology, Ridesharing and Culture” will be presented by Scott Le Vine, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning, SUNY New Paltz.

Each year, the best and brightest of Long Island’s new and future professional planners compete for the Arthur Kunz Scholarship, which provides funds to its recipients for attendance at the annual American Planning Association National Conference. This year, the Arthur Kunz Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to four planners who were selected following a competitive process. This year’s recipients will each take a few moments during the breakfast to share with you some highlights from their experiences.

Registration costs before the event: $15 students; $20 municipal, APA members, non-profits; $25 non-APA members; ($40 at the door). To register for this event and pay online, please visit here or, send a check payable to “LI Section” to: Kathryn Eiseman, APA LI Section Treasurer, c/o Nelson, Pope & Voorhis, 572 Walt Whitman Road, Melville, NY 11747. (If paying by check, please also send an email confirmation to Kathy Eiseman at A registration link can also be found on A healthy breakfast buffet will be provided. AICP-CM credits will be requested!

Infrastructure Week 2018 Kicks Off on May 14th

The 6th Annual Infrastructure Week will begin on May 14th with kickoff events in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.  The event will feature more than 360 organizations and nearly 100 nationwide events.  U.S. Transportation Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Cho will keynote the D.C. event and Mayor Eric Garcetti will help launch the Los Angeles event.  They will share a lineup of corporate CEOs, labor leaders, and mayors from across America for a half-day of thought-provoking discussion on critical infrastructure topics.  You can preview the D.C. event here and LA event here.

Individual events will be taking place across the country in several states that you can look up here.  They also provide shareable social media content here, and ask that you use #TimeToBuild if you’re posting online.  You can follow the event on twitter at @infraweek.

You can view more information on the weeklong event here.

SunPower by EmPower Solar Holds Student Solar Competition, Registration Open until May 15th

EmPower Solar was founded in 2003 after participating in the DOE Solar Decathlon; a competition that encouraged us to problem solve, get creative and innovate our way to a sustainable future.  Fifteen years later, they carry this story with them and each year encourage students to get involved in the STEM and energy fields with a contest of their own. This year, they have partnered with the Alley Pond Environmental Center to launch the 2018 Student Solar Contest.

Students will compete by answering the common question of: How do our energy choices affect wildlife and our environment? Through posters, business letters, and mock-interview style videos, students will compete for scholarships and other prizes.
Students K-12 on LI and in NYC can sign up their teams here.  Registration is open until May 15th with final projects due on June 15th and the award ceremony on August 24th. 

Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Highway Safety Grants now Available for 2019

NYS is now taking applications for eGrants for Highway Safety.  Program areas to be considered include occupant protection, traffic enforcement, motorcycle safety, traffic records, community programs, programs that impact younger drivers or older drivers, pedestrian safety, roadway safety and impaired driving.  Local and tribal govnerments as well as not-for-profits are eligible to apply.  The deadline for applications is May 1st, 2018.

You can contact NYS at 518-474-5111 or  You can also apply and look up more info on the grants here.

The 2018 AARP Community Challenge

Have a great project for your community? The AARP Community Challenge is giving grants to fund quick action projects in areas such as housing, transportation, and public space that spark change and help build momentum to improve livability for all residents. It takes time to build great communities. But, AARP also believes that quick action can spark longer-term progress. The AARP Community Challenge funds projects that build momentum for local change to improve livability for all residents. Apply now at Application deadline is 5:00 pm on May 16, 2018.

NYS Launches Third Round of Downtown Revitalization Initiative

This week saw the launching of the third round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which is a $100 million investment in 10 downtowns across New York State each year.

The program enters its third year as an investment program aimed at investing in local economies in order to better create vibrant neighborhoods and raise quality of life across the state.  The program selects one community in each of the ten Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) zones to receive a $10 million grant.  Criteria for selecting nominees include:

• The downtown should be compact, with well-defined boundaries;
• The municipality, or the downtown's catchment area, should be of sufficient size to support a vibrant, year-round downtown;
• The downtown is able to capitalize on prior or catalyze future private and public investment in the neighborhood and its surrounding areas;
• There should be recent or impending job growth within, or in close proximity to the downtown that can attract workers to the downtown, support redevelopment and make growth sustainable;
• The downtown must be an attractive and livable community for diverse populations of all ages, including existing residents, millennials and skilled workers;
• The municipality should already embrace or have the ability to create and implement policies that increase livability and quality of life, including the use of local land banks, modern zoning codes and parking standards, complete streets plans, energy efficient projects, green jobs, and transit-oriented development;
• The municipality should have conducted an open and robust community engagement process resulting in a vision for downtown revitalization and a preliminary list of projects and initiatives that may be included in a DRI strategic investment plan; and
• The municipality has identified transformative projects that will be ready for implementation with an infusion of DRI funds within the first one to two years.

The program has previously awarded both the Village of Westbury and downtown Hicksville a grant to help with revitalization efforts in those communities.  It is also a priority for the Long Island Lobby Coalition, who has supported funding for revitalization for years. 

Interested municipalities can get more information and apply through New York State’s DRI page, located here.  June 1st is the deadline for submissions.

National Grid Reminds You to Call 811 Before You Dig

Recently National Grid produced this 5 minute video on “Call Before You Dig” 811. Take a look, it is very cute!

Across Long Island National Grid is finding homeowners, contractors, developers and municipalities doing construction work and not always calling 811 or following the exact procedure. They are working closely with these contacts to reinforce the message on calling 811 before you dig. Recently, a local Village hires a contractor to plant flowers on their main street and they decided to dig with a back-hoe (not hand dig). They hit a gas main and it resulted in an emergency shutdown of 100 homeowners. If they would have dug a few feet over it could have been a 1000 homeowners without gas.

Always call 811 to be sure you know where best to dig! You can view the video here.

Smart Talk

Christopher Kyle, Communications Director

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

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

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Vision Long Island
24 Woodbine Ave., Suite Two
Northport, NY 11768
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.

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