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May 25-31, 2014

Action Alerts


Caithness Long Island

Caithness Development, L.L.C. and its affiliate Caithness Energy, L.L.C. (collectively "Caithness") are privately held Independent Power Producers specializing in power generation from environmentally friendly renewable and non-renewable energy resources. Our primary focus for over 25 years has been the development, acquisition, operation and management of renewable geothermal, wind and solar energy power projects, as well as (environmentally friendly) natural gas power plants.

During the 1990's, economic conditions did not favor the development of new renewable energy projects, despite their environmental benefits. The abundance of inexpensive oil and gas, paired with the relative simplicity of developing gas-fire, combined-cycle generating facilities, proved to be an industry-wide strategy. Through 2007, Caithness, with its roots in renewable power generation, expanded its renewable portfolio while diversifying into environmentally friendly fossil-fuel generation. The result was an extensive portfolio consisting of 1052 megawatts (MW) of some of the premier renewable and fossil-fueled energy projects in the United States, with Caithness owning and operating major geothermal projects throughout the western U.S., as well as having interests in wind and solar energy projects.

“The line [for the Paramount] passes right in front of my store. Most people would think that is an inconvenience having your doorway blocked sometimes. I think of it as free exposure.” Artie Berke, owner of Cilantro and Nina's Pizzeria in Huntington and Northport

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Please join us for the 2014 Smart Growth Awards!

Friday, June 13, 2014
11:30 AM to 2:00 PM
The Crest Hollow Country Club
Woodbury, NY

For over a decade, Vision Long Island has been honoring the individuals and organizations that display true Smart Growth leadershipin 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.

Award recipients stand out in their ability to demonstrate one or more of these basic principles:

- Mix land uses
- Take advantage of compact building design
- Create housing choices for a range of household types, family sizes and incomes
- Create walkable neighborhoods
- Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strongsense of place
- Preserve open space, farmland, historic buildings and critical environmental areas


- Strengthen existing communities and achieve more balanced regional development
- Provide a variety of transportation choices
- Make development decisions predictable, fair and cost
- Encourage citizen and stakeholder participation in development decisions
- Utilize clean energy and green building development

Congratulations to this year's winners!

Regional Leadership
Hon. Ed Mangano
Nassau County Executive

Regional Leadership
Robert Scheiner
H2M Architects + Engineers

Community Revitalization
Bernadette Martin
Friends & Farmers

Operation Splash

Great Neck Sewer District

Transportation Choices
Sunday Bus Service
Hon. Jay Schneiderman

Suffolk County Legislature

Sense of Place
Bayshore Revitalization
Greenview Properties

Housing Choices
Wincoram Commons
Town of Brookhaven, Conifer Realty,
Coram Civic Association, CDC of Long Island

Strengthening Existing Communities
Downtown on Main, Smithtown
DC5 Properties

Mixed Use
Envision Valley Stream
The Village of Valley Stream

Compact Building Design
Sag Harbor

Community Leadership
Neighbors Supporting Neighbors, Babylon

Community Leadership
Sandy Support, Massapequa Style

Community Leadership
11518 East Rockaway


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Port Jeff Transit-Oriented Development Advances

A new transit-oriented development in Port Jefferson will get some financial support from the Town of Brookhaven.

Rail Realty, a division of the Gitto Group, confirmed the Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency recently accepted their application.

However, Rail Realty Managing Member Anthony Gitto said details were in short supply from the IDA. They are considering three sources of incentives for the apartment complex near the Port Jefferson LIRR station – sales tax and material, mortgage taxes on loans and up to 10 years of tax abatement.

Plans call for a 105,000 square-foot development on Texaco Avenue with 74 apartments in three stories of new construction. Underground parking will be available, as will limited on-site parking across the street.

Apartments would be just two blocks away from the train station.

“There’s a desperate need for housing on Long Island. Ideally if you have housing near a train station, it makes it more beneficial if they don’t want vehicles,” Gitto said.

The managing member said they’ve received conditional site plan approval from the Village of Port Jefferson, but still need full site plan approval. Currently, he added, they’re working on sewage and health department approvals.

“According to what I’m being told, we should have all our approvals some time in October,” Gitto said, adding that they could begin demolition and foundation work at the end of the year if the weather cooperates.

For more on this, check out Long Island Business News (subscription required).

From Police To Pizza, How To Run A Downtown Business

“It’s tough owning a small business let alone three small businesses.”

Artie Berke spent a decade serving the public as a police officer, but he’s most known as the man behind Cilantro and Nina’s Pizzeria in Northport and Huntington. Earlier this week, Newsday featured the entrepreneur in a business profile.

Berke spent 12 years with the NYPD when the Sept. 11 attacks occurred. Two of his friends were killed, leaving five children behind. The concept of mortality swept over him, changing his mindset. Dispatched to patrol Ground Zero afterwards, he spent $100 from his own wallet to buy a better gas mask

He gave up police life completely in 2002. Berke and wife Lynne sold their Huntington home to buy an old deli in Northport. They opened Nina’s Pizzeria downstairs and moved in upstairs. A decade later, Nina’s is one of the oldest restaurants in the village

Meanwhile, Kasper’s Hot Dogs opened on Woodbine Avenue in late 2011. A popular California business with a lengthy history and celebrity clientele like Clint Eastwood and Reggie Jackson, business was struggling and Berke took over in June 2012. He added more toppings and panini to the menu, but business dropped like a rock after the summer ended. Kasper’s closed for good in January 2013.

Enter Cilantro. The former hot dog shop became a fast food, made-to-order Mexican restaurant just a month later. Not only did it cater to different palates, but Berke hoped it would be profitable even when downtown Northport quiets considerably in the fall and winter.

“I liked hot dogs, but it’s just a summer season food. This has always been on the back burner of my head,” he said when Cilantro debuted.

A year later, Cilantro proved to be a success, even in the winters. After a lot of research, Berke and three investors opened a second location next to the Paramount in Huntington village in January 2014. The downtown concert venue received a Smart Growth Award in 2012.

“The line passes right in front of my store. Most people would think that is an inconvenience having your doorway blocked sometimes. I think of it as free exposure,” he said. “Also, staying open late is huge getting the people leaving the Paramount is great for business.”

Berke, along with Vision Long Island, is a member of the Northport Village Merchants Association and has been very supportive of downtown initiatives.

For more about Berke and his restaurants, try this Newsday article (subscription required).

Report: Many Americans Still Underwater With Their Homes

Nearly a fifth of homeowners in this country owe more on their house than it’s worth.

Online real estate database Zillow released their Negative Equity Report earlier this month, exploring trends in mortgages and housing across 23,000 zip codes.

The report revealed that fewer Americans are underwater as home prices continue to rise through eight quarters, but almost 10 million homeowners still owe more than their equity. According to the report, 18.8 percent of homeowners are underwater through the first quarter of 2014. That’s an improvement over the 25.4 percent in the first quarter of 2013 and 19.4 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.

The number, however, is actually closer to 36.9 percent when homes with a shortage of equity to cover closing costs and the down payment on a new house are considered. Zillow found that homeowners with less than 20 percent equity are effectively locked out from trading up to a larger home.

Compared to 34 other cities in the report, New York City homeowners are in significantly better shape than many. Zillow found 84.3 percent of New York homeowners have loan-to-equity ratio of 100 percent or less. The 35.9 percent with a ratio under 40 percent – the strongest category in the report – came only behind San Jose’s 40.1 percent, Pittsburgh’s 37.5 percent and San Francisco’s 36.7 percent.

On the other hand, Detroit, Atlanta and Las Vegas have at least 4.8 percent of homeowners facing loans worth more than twice as much as their equity. Just 1.6 percent of New Yorkers fall into that category.

On average, Americans with negative equity owe 39.3 percent – $71,669 – more than the value of the house. And yet, the report finds 92.8 percent of homeowners are current on their mortgage payments. That figure is up from 91 percent last year.

As a result, housing inventory is on the slide again, dropping under the mini-surge that occurred late last year. Lower-end homes are the most in short supply. According to the Zillow report, developers are purchasing inexpensive homes and converting them to rentals, competing against first-time homebuyers.

For more on the issue, check out Zillow and this AP story in Newsday (subscription required).

State To Insurance Company: Pay Up For Delays After Sandy

A Rhode Island insurance firm was penalized $327,400 Thursday for delays after Superstorm Sandy.

The New York State Department of Financial Services issued the fines after an investigation into Narragansett Bay Insurance Company’s inspection of Sandy claims.

“When a natural disaster like Superstorm Sandy strikes, insurers must respond rapidly to help their policyholders recover and rebuild,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

The investigation revealed that Narragansett repeatedly failed to perform inspections of damage in a timely manner. Policyholders complained to state officials last year about waiting weeks for adjustors to arrive and missed appointments.

In addition to the fine, Narragansett agreed to amend its procedures and within 60 days demonstrate to the state that it can process catastrophe claims within New York deadlines.

“While [Narragansett Bay Insurance Company] does not agree with the findings of the [Department of Financial Services], we have decided that it is in the best interests of our policyholders, agency-partners, reinsurers, and investors to accept their conclusion, move beyond this matter, and continue to focus our time and efforts on meeting the continued coastal homeowners insurance needs of our customers,” the company said in a statement.

Jon Siebert, a member of the Friends of Long Island volunteer organization that helps rebuild Sandy-damaged homes and support afflicted families, said homeowners who carried flood insurance before the storm deserve to be home by now.

Nineteen months later, countless numbers are still waiting, wading through the process. For many, the choice to leave their homes and call it a loss and begin anew is a reality," Siebert said.

For more on this story, check out Newsday (subscription required).

Report: Making America’s Communities Safer For Pedestrians

The New York metro area is among the least likely major cities to have local commuters on foot be killed, but it does have the highest ratio of pedestrians to total traffic deaths.

Advocacy coalition Smart Growth America released Dangerous By Design 2014 last week, which examined fatalities, traffic accidents and road conditions between 2003-2012. The report also discusses Complete Streets, success stories and other guidance.

According to the report, 4,005 pedestrians were killed in New York between 2003-2012. Of those, 3,384 occurred in the Long Island-New York-Northern New Jersey region. Among 51 metro areas around the country, the region ranks no. 48 in Pedestrian Danger Index – rate of pedestrian deaths relative to the number of people who walk to work.

The region also suffered 10,414 traffic-related fatalities between 2003-2012, which made it’s 32.5 percent of pedestrian fatalities the highest among all 51 regions. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana had the second most with 28.3 percent.

Some of the data is slightly better on Long Island. Nearly 31 percent of the 1,000 traffic fatalities in Nassau County were pedestrians, along with 23.2 percent of the 1,550 fatalities in Suffolk County.

However, both Long Island counties also saw some of the highest per capita pedestrian fatalities. The New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island region had 1.76 annual deaths per 100,000 people between 2008-2012. That number climbs to 2.31 in Nassau County and spikes to 2.43 in Suffolk County. Those figures put Long Island within the top five counties with the highest per capita rates; Suffolk is second and Nassau is tied for fourth with Manhattan. New York City combined (2,941) has slightly more traffic fatalities than Long Island (2,550).

Street design, the coalition said in the report, makes a difference in road safety. While every scenario offers different obstacles, most solutions entail lower traffic speed, less pedestrian exposure to motor vehicles and accessible crosswalks.

In the report, Smart Growth America recommends the federal government invest more biking and pedestrian funds in Transportation Alternatives Program; hold states accountable for traffic fatalities and serious injuries by setting and reaching realistic reductions in deaths; adopt a national Complete Streets policy; increase the federal cost share for certain safety programs and improving federal data collection in traffic-related deaths.

Smart Growth America is using a letter campaign to promote safer roads. Digital messages are being sent to Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx asking for states to set and work towards realistic targets for reducing deaths and injuries; meeting safety measures established by Congress and removing flexible highway funding on non-safety projects if those targets are not met.

For more about this study, check out the coalition’s website.

Complete Streets Funds Added To Suffolk Budget Amendments

Suffolk County may end up covering the slack from the state and federal government after all.

Legislator Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue) confirmed county lawmakers included $250,000 to implement Complete Streets policies – designed to create roads safe for pedestrians, bikers and all users – in the omnibus amendment for the June capital budget vote. Legislators will vote on Tuesday.

“A Complete Streets amendment means we are putting money towards our legislation. This annual expenditure will go a long way to promote safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists on our Suffolk County roads,” Calarco said.

Also supported by Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Amityville), the amendment will add $250,000 annually for Complete Streets implementation in 2015, 2016 and subsequent years.

“Legislator Calarco has been a true champion for Complete Streets and this is a great step forward to making our streets safer for everyone who uses them. We applaud the Suffolk County Legislature for pushing this issue forward,” Tri-State Transportation Campaign Associate Director Ryan Lynch said.

Suffolk County passed and signed Complete Streets legislation in 2012. However, the current federal transportation bill – MAP-21 – cut dedicated walking and bicycling infrastructure investments by 30 percent. The New York State Department of Transportation’s (DOT) 2014-2017 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program approved last year plans to spend only 0.98 percent of its transportation funds. That marks a 40 percent, or more than $100 million, cut for bicycling and pedestrian projects compared to the 2011-2014 plan. The DOT has planned to cut spending on walking and biking projects by 24 percent over the next four years, resulting in just 0.57 percent of regionally allocated transportation dollars being spent on these projects.

Meanwhile, the federal and state transportation cuts put more pressure on local governments to fill in the gaps. Tri-State Transportation Campaign, AARP and Vision Long Island testified before the Suffolk County Legislature last week to amend the capital budget. Vision Assistant Director Tawaun Weber recommended no less than $1 million for four years.

Investing in infrastructure like raised crosswalks, pedestrian safety islands, protected bike lanes and landscaped medians can force drivers to slow down and improve general safety on Suffolk County roads.

"We are happy to see Suffolk County provide dedicated funds for desperately-needed Complete Streets projects. This is the type of initiative that is needed to move Suffolk DPW towards creating safer roadways for our region," Vision Long Island Executive Director Eric Alexander said.

Senate Committee Makes TOD Eligible For More Assistance

The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) unanimously approved legislation earlier this month to reauthorize highway portions of the MAP-21 federal surface transportation bill passed two years ago. MAP-21 is set to expire Sept. 30.

If approved by the entire Senate and Congress as a whole, it would fund the highway program at current levels plus inflation for six years. Beginning with $40.3 billion this year, that would be increased to $40.9 billion this year through $45.1 billion in 2020. Included in that is a new National Freight Program beginning with $400 million in 2016 and up to $2 billion in 2020 and the Projects of National and Regional Significance Program at $400 million annually – a $100 million drop from 2013.

Under the proposed extension, to be considered for the Projects of National Regional Significance Program – which provides federal funding for expensive and important projects – projects must cost no more than $350 million, 30 percent of a single state’s federal highway aid, 15 percent of a state’s highway aid for rural states or 75 percent of the state with the most highway aid for multiple states. The bill would set the maximum grant size at $50 million.

However, the bill does not include language for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants. Currently funded at $600 million, that is a major deficit in spending in the proposed legislation.

Funding for Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) – a federal loan system for large-scale transportation projects created in 1998 – would be cut by $250 million down to $750 million annually. However, transit-oriented development would now be eligible for assistance. This was considered for MAP-21 but never made it into the final version.

Due to the jurisdiction of the Senate EPW Committee, this bill addresses the highway portion of the program. Other committees in the Senate have jurisdiction over the transit, safety and funding aspects of reauthorization.

The legislation, along with EPW Chairman Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and EPW Committee Ranking Member David Vitter (R-LA), won support from advocacy organization coalition Smart Growth America.

“I applaud Senator Boxer and Senator Vitter for advancing this bill to provide immediate and stable funding for America’s transportation networks. How we build our nation’s infrastructure has tremendous implications for neighborhood development and the economic resilience of our communities. The proposed bill includes provisions that will help local communities grow in smarter, stronger ways,” CEO Geoff Anderson said.

For more on this legislation, check out T4America and StreetsBlog.

Sustainability Institute Sponsors Vegan Living Program

The New York Vegan Living Program (NY VLP) is an educational program for the vegan-curious. Every Spring, they hold a series of talks, activities and classes, which covers the hows and whys of vegan living, nutritution, cooking, ethichal and environmental implications, and living in a not-yet-vegan word.

Vegan Living Program  Educational  Sessions:
All sessions  except June 29  are  open  to the public, but to be a Pledge or Coach you must attend  all five!
Sat., May  31,  1-3 p.m.- Introduction to Veganism (Open  to the public)
Sun., June 8, 1-3 p.m.- Vegan Nutrition with guest Registered Dietitian (Open  to the public)
Sat., June 14,  1-3 p.m. - The Environment (with guest speaker, Sustainability Institute’s Demosthenes Maratos), and  Living Vegan In a Not-Yet-Vegan World (Open  to the public)
Sat., June 21,   1-3 p.m. - Field Trip to For the  Animals  Sanctuary (Limited spaces, RSVP a must) Sun., June 29,   5-7 p.m. - Graduation Celebration (Pledges and  Coaches only)

Register online as a Vegan Pledge, Vegan Coach, or for more information, visit and click on "Long Island, NY".

Farmers’ Market on the Village Green in Farmingdale June 1

Eat Local Long Island is opening an expanded Farmers’ Market in Farmingdale Village on the Green starting Sunday, June 1.

“The Farmers’ Market was previously located adjacent to A Taste of Long Island for the past two seasons and we are thrilled to expand the market and offer residents and the community a great new spot to meet, shop local and enjoy great, fresh offerings, as well as a casual shopping experience at the Village Green”, said Mayor Ralph Ekstrand.

Jim & Courtney also operate the Farmers’ Market: Eat Local Long Island. “We look forward to a great Farmers’ Market on the Green, located next to the Fire House and Village Hall. Going into its third year, the market will be bigger and better with about 20 vendors on Sundays starting June 1st from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., rain or shine through Thanksgiving weekend (unless thunderstorms)”. Moving the market
to Sundays on the Village Green makes this more of a community, social happening, we hope everyone comes to check out all the great locally grown and made produce, food and more”, added Jim Thompson.

Local food artisans and vendors, with locally grown and produced, seasonal farm fresh produce, agriculture products and more will be at the market on Sundays.

Zucaro, Adopt A House Holding Home Lifting Seminar

On June 3, from 7-9 p.m., Zucaro House Lifters and Adopt A House will be holding a seminar to discuss the steps of a basic house lift as well as considerations for type of house (crawlspace vs. slab, or both). Attendees will learn about the house lifting process and will have the opportunity to ask questions directly to our staff, including lifters, following the presentation.
Project consultants from Zucaro House Lifters will be on hand to schedule individual appointments for estimates.

The location will be determined by interest and announced closer to the date so keep an eye on the event page located here.

RSVP Now For North Hempstead’s Downtown Conference

Registration is now open for the Town of North Hempstead’s Downtown Revitalization Conference.

Slated for June 6 at the Harbor Links Clubhouse in Port Washington, the event is an opportunity to learn about downtown improvements, financing improvements, using the arts to improve economic development and more.

Vision Long Island Assistant Director Tawaun Weber will participate on the opening panel, while Vision Board member David Berg is scheduled to participate in the “Planning Your Downtown Improvements” panel. Several mayors and elected officials are also expected to sit on panels.

Admission to the Luncheon Plenary Session is now free.

JobCo Organization's and Vision board member Michael Pontillo will serve as the key speaker at lunch, along with Long Island Association President Kevin Law as keynote luncheon speaker.

For more information, contact Roy Smitheimer at 516-869-7614 or via email.

‘Angel Walk’ Honors Wantagh Teen Killed On Sunrise Hwy

Join Sandi Vega in remembering her daughter and sending other teenagers to college.

The Brittany Vega Angel Walk, scheduled for June 8 at Wantagh Park, is an event to promote community safety.

Brittany Vega was a 14-year-old Wantagh High School student. She was crossing Sunrise Highway by foot on her way to school in September 2010 when she was killed. A parked car obstructed the sight of both Vega and a 36-year-old driver, setting the scene for the teen to be launched 70 feet from the crosswalk.

She went into cardiac arrest and died on the scene, despite nearby motorists pumping gas. The driver, who turned around to investigate the noise before finding Vega, was not charged by police.

The Brittany Vega Angel Walk is a way to turn her tragedy into something positive by focusing awareness on community safety. It will include a 2-mile walking course, community resources, live music, refreshments, activities for kids and more.

Vega’s mother, Sandi, has since been collecting funds in her daughter’s name to send Wantagh High students to college. As of Monday, more than $3,100 had been collected.

The teen was known as a bright, musically-gifted friend to many. An honor student and recipient of the Girl Scouts’ Silver Award, Vega was able to read music since she was 9. She had been walking to meet her art teacher before school began when the accident occurred.

For more information about the event next month, check out the flier or contact Sandi Vega at 516-557-3536 or Heidi Felix at 516-448-6688.

Island Harvest Running Against Hunger On June 14

Walk, jog or sprint through Eisenhower Park. At the end of the day, it all helps feed the needy on Long Island.

Registration is now open for Island Harvest’s Ellen Gordon CPAs 4(a): Cause 5K Run/Walk to End Hunger on June 14.

Post-race food and refreshments will be available, while the top three overall male, overall female and age groups will win awards.

All proceeds benefit the island’s largest hunger relief organization and help Island Harvest provide food and services to more than 300,000 Long Islanders every day.

Online registration at is $10 for ages 6-13 and $20 for ages 14 and up. Paper registrants pay $15 and $30, respectively.

Visit the nonprofit’s website for a registration form and more information.

Small Business Conference At Stony Brook University June 17

Join 1,000 other small business owners at the Long Island Community and Economic Development Conference this summer.

Presented by New Millennium Development Services and SUNY, the conference is Long Island’s premiere procurement event for small businesses with a focus on both women- and minority-owned employers and veteran companies. This event can increase a business' visibility, offer opportunities to build credibility in the marketplace and grow their list of potential partners - all keys to successful businesses.

Plenary sessions and workshops are on the slate, along with networking opportunities with contract decision-makers from governmental agencies, major corporations, and educational institutions. Breakfast and lunch are included.

This conference is scheduled for June 17 at Stony Brook University’s Charles Wang Center.

For more information, call 516-223-3855 or visit them online.

Youth Advisors To Be Honored at Humanist Society Luncheon

The Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island will honor a trio for their service in support of youth education and activism.

Vision Long Island Executive Director Eric Alexander, Tara Klein and Derek Smith have been announced as honorees for the organization’s Founder’s Day 2014 celebration. A luncheon has been scheduled for June 22 at the society’s Garden City office.

Alexander, Klein and Smith serve as advisors for the Youth of Ethical Societies (YES) program. A group of high school students focus on a few major issues of importance to the teens. Members discuss and plan during meetings, leading to toy drives, clean ups and other community action. Adult advisors moderate the meetings, but teens are given the reins.

The Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island is an organization that supports humanist beliefs, values and activism. They hold programs and events, including YES. The month of May marks the beginning of the ethical culture movement in May 1876 when Felix Adler founded the New York Society for Ethical Culture in Manhattan. Founder’s Day is their time to celebrate the people who bring their special talents and dedication to the society.

Reservations are required as space is limited and must be received by June 10. Guests should expect to make a donation, $50 for adults and $15 for children. For more information, contact the Ethical Humanist Society via email and check out this flier.

Anti-Gang Group Announces 14th Anniversary Gala

Anti-gang nonprofit S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth Inc. has announced details for their 14th anniversary gala.

Entitled “Oh The Places You’ll Go,” the event is scheduled for Sept. 18 at the Coral House in Baldwin.

S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth Inc. was founded in 2000 in response to the brutal murder of Uniondale resident Eric Rivera by alleged gang members. Former gang member Sergio Argueta and co-Founder Michael Hernandez launched community service projects and pushed for alternatives rather than just harsher penalties.

These days, the Uniondale-based organization is one of the largest gang-prevention and intervention agencies in the Northeast. They’ve reached more than 78,000 people through workshops and presentations, and fostered strong relationships with Long Island community members.

For reservations, sponsorships or more information, contact Rashmia Zatar at 516-483-1350 or by email.

Oct. 31 Date Set For LI Homeless Coalition Conference

The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless has announced a date for their next major event.

The 26th annual Keys for the Homeless Conference is slated to occur Oct. 31 at Touro Law School in Central Islip.

This year’s conference will focus on housing first, rapid rehousing and addressing the needs of Long Island’s most vulnerable populations.

Specific workshops have not yet been announced as proposals were accepted through today. The nonprofit, however, is still accepting nominations for the Unsung Hero Award and Helen Martin scholarship – awarded to those who have experienced homelessness and require financial assistance to pursue higher education.

Tickets at the door will go for $75, although early registration is priced at $70. Discounted sponsorship rates are also available by Aug. 1

Visit them online to register or for more information.

$50 Million Open For Alternative Transportation Projects

Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Department of Transportation are now accepting applications to financially assist alternative transportation projects.

Under the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), projects that create other forms of transportation or enhance transportation infrastructure can vie for $50 million in federal funds.

Projects will be selected through a competitive solicitation process and rated on established criteria that includes environmental enhancement; connectivity to an existing transportation system; encouragement of smart growth; impact on local or regional economies; availability of matching funds and level of community support.

Creating on-road and off-road trail facilities for non-motorized transportation would be eligible according to the state, as would community improvement activities and environmental mitigation activity.

Winners will receive up to 80 percent of total expenses in Federal Highway Administration money. They are responsible to secure the remainder.

The deadline for all applications is June 11. More information about TAP is available on the state’s website.

Suffolk County Now Accepting Applications
For Twelfth Round Of Downtown Revitalization Grants

Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone and the Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Citizens Advisory Panel are pleased to announce the availability of the Downtown Revitalization Round 12 Grant Applications. Eligible applicants must be local business or community groups partnering with a local municipality (town or village).  The application incorporates the Panel’s intent to support projects that will have an important and sustainable impact on downtowns and business districts.  All applications will be reviewed and scored via a merit based grading system.

Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on June 13.  

The Round 12 application is available here and instructions are available here.

State Supports Economic Development With $750 Mil

Announced earlier this year as part of his budget, Governor Andrew Cuomo officially launched the fourth round of the Regional Economic Development Council program this week. Up to $750 million are available in state economic development funds.

"New York’s economy is on a come-back in large part because we have adopted a grassroots approach to economic development that is creating jobs and growing new industries across our state,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Regional Councils are working and we plan to continue that success with the fourth round this year. I look forward to seeing the new projects that the regions come up with as we continue to grow our economy and put New Yorkers back to work.”

Applications for the latest round opened to businesses, nonprofits, municipalities and the public on Thursday. The program is designed to create bottom-up regional economic growth by funding local projects designed to create jobs and support communities.

More than $2 billion have already been invested via Regional Economic Development Councils. The first three rounds funded more than 2,200 projects supporting more than 100,000 jobs statewide. Recipients of the third round were announced shortly before Christmas, with Long Island faring well. Ninety-eight Long Island projects received grants, tax credits and other funding totaling $83 million – the single most of all 10 regional economic development committees in the state for the third round. That included $2.5 million for the Glen Cove Waterfront; $1 million to Glen Cove, the Piazza; $1.5 million for Bus Rapid Transit in Suffolk County; $1 million for Kings Park sewers; $1.34 million for Riverhead sewers; $1 million for Wyandanch Rising; and half a dozen smaller awards.

In round IV, $150 million in capital funds, $70 million in Excelsior Tax Credits and $530 million from state agency programs are on the table. To win the funding, participants will have to focus on implementation of regional strategic economic development plans, encouraging economic growth through job creation and investment, and identifying global marketing and export strategies. The latter is part of Cuomo’s 2014 focus on international business.

Five regions identified as top performers last year will compete for two $25-million capital awards in 2014; the other five will compete for three $25-million awards. Long Island received the third most support through the first three rounds. Each region is also eligible for as much as $10 million in Excelsior Tax Credits to support job growth.

Applications, available here, are due by June 16 at 4 p.m. For more information, read the 2014 REDC Guidebook here.

NYSERDA Opens $30 Million Cleaner Greener Funding

Applications are now being accepted for $30 million in Cleaner Greener Communities funding.

Public benefit corporation NYSERDA announced Phase II implementation grants are now open. The program is designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions and is funded with proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Entries for Category 1 - incentive applications – will be accepted via open enrollment until funds are depleted or Sept. 20, 2015. Category 2 – planning initiatives – and category 3 – sustainability projects –will be accepted until June 16.

As much as $5 million will be available for Category 2 projects, designed to prepare a community, region or project for a more sustainable future. These awards will range from $25,000-$250,000 per project with no less than 25 percent cost share.

For technical questions, contact the Cleaner Greener Communities team. For more information about this funding, visit Cleaner Greener Communities online.

LI Coalition For Homeless Announces Helen Martin Scholarships

The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless recently announced the creation of the Helen Martin scholarship.  The scholarship will grant $1,000 to two individuals who currently are or were previously homeless in order to seek higher education.  Award winners will be notified via mail over the summer and announced at the Annual Keys for the Homeless event on Oct. 31.

Applications must be received by noon on June 19. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

You can download the application here and read the requirements here. Any questions can be directed to mail Dylan Levene at, or Greta Guarton at

Donate The Tools, Supplies Students Need To Learn

The Supply Our Students Drive is hosted by the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless (LICH). Each year, they pack hundreds of backpacks with school supplies collected during this drive. The back packs are distributed through a network of homeless shelters in late August. Last summer, over 1200 back packs were distributed to kids in need on Long Island. With your help, they can distribute more back packs this year than ever before.

Please help them collect NEW school supplies to fill backpacks for children in need. Host a drive in your community, business, school, or office!  They will provide collection boxes and informational flyers about the event, and will pick up the boxes. Drives are being conducted now through August 10th.  Please let them know if you’re interested in conducting a drive!

 Please direct all questions to Dylan Levene at 516-742-7770 x 11 or

House Proposes Low-Income Housing Cuts For 2015

As it stands, funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) next year could cut into assistance for low-income families.

Left-leaning nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) released analysis of the bill funding HUD for 2015 approved by the House Appropriations Committee finding it made disproportionately deep cuts to low-income households.

At cursory glance, the $35 billion in the House bill appears to be a $2.1 billion bump over the 2014 funding. However, CBPP said the Congressional Budget Office estimates the 2015 legislation as-is would cut $740 million for new funding via a $3 billion drop in revenue via federal housing insurance and mortgage guarantee programs. The majority of that $740 million, they added, would come out of programs for low-income families and individuals.

If passed, the House bill could maintain elimination of more than 70,000 Housing Choice Vouchers cut last year due to sequestration. Congress provided funding to restore almost half in 2014, but the proposal fails to renew all of them and also cuts administrative expenses by $150 million.

The funding proposal, according to CBPP, would stall progress on eliminating homelessness. The number of “chronically” homeless people – unaccompanied individuals with a disabling condition who are either homeless for at least a year or four episodes within three years – has fallen by 16 percent since 2010, although more housing is necessary to eliminate chronic homelessness by 2016. The proposed legislation would free funding for homeless assistance at the 2014 level, rejecting President Barack Obama’s request for an additional $301 million.

The House bill also cuts funding for public housing by $165 million below the 2014 level, despite the fact that HUD metrics show funding approved for this year is inadequate to operate public housing developments and meet pressing repair needs.

Finally, the nonprofit argues the proposed legislation reduces funding for new affordable housing and impose deep cuts in other areas across the HUD budget.  The bill would cut funding for the HOME Private Investment Partnerships program, which helps states and localities rehabilitate or build new affordable rental housing and assist low-income homeowners, by $300 million – or 30 percent – below the 2014 level. 

With homelessness a persistent problem, CBPP is calling on Congress to provide enough funding to sustain existing rental assistance and roll back sequestration cuts on assistance for poor families.

For more information, check out the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ website.

Help Wanted

Intern with Vision Long Island!

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

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

What's happening in your downtown this weekend?



Bow Tie Grand Avenue

1841 Grand Avenue, Baldwin


Bellmore Movies

222 Pettit Avenue, Bellmore


Who-Ville Bar and Grille

339 Broadway, Bethpage
Tickets and more information available on Facebook


Freeport Historical Museum

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

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

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.

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:
No shows scheduled this weekend.
Tickets and more information available here

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
Dark Star Orchestra - Saturday, May 31 at 8 p.m.
Billy Idol - Sunday, June 1 at 8 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here




140 Merrick Road, Amityville
O El Amor with B-Side Bandits - Friday, May 30 at 7 p.m.
Girls, Girls, Girls and Guns 'N' Hoses - Friday, May 23 at 10 p.m.
Neon Night, Love, Rage For Order and Damage Inc.- Saturday, May 31 at 8:30 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here


Bow Tie Babylon Cinemas

34 Main Street, Babylon

Bay Shore

The YMCA Boulton Center
37 West Main Street, Bay Shore
Laurence Juber - Friday, May 30 at 8 p.m.
Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra - Saturday, May 31 at 8 p.m.
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, “Right Whales”, highlights the biology, history and decline of the Right Whale. Exhibits featuring New York’s only fully-equipped 19th century whaleboat, ship logs and correspondence as well as whaling and maritime artifacts. Art programs are available for all ages.

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

East Hampton

Guildhall, John Drew Theater
158 Main Street, East Hampton
Lecture with Artist Andrea Cote - Saturday, May 31 at 3 p.m.
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 “Jam Session”, a holiday exhibit featuring paintings and sculptures influenced by music. The museum’s store features one of a kind jewelry, crafts and art work. Educational opportunists are also offered at the museum through its Cultural School of Arts.

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

Huntington Village

The Paramount
370 New York Ave, Huntington
Buckcherry with special guests Fozzy and Mother - Friday, May 30 at 8 p.m.
The Monkees: Mike Nesmith, Mickey Dolen and Peter Tork - Sunday, May 25 at 8 p.m.
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. Current exhibits include “A Way with Words: Text in Art”, which displays the incorporation of text in visual art and “Coming of Age in America : The Photography of Joseph Szabo”, which portraits adolescence of Long Island through time with a look at summers spent at the beach. The museum also features educational experiences for students and adults and will exhibit Long Island’s best young artists in April.

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

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


The John W. Engeman Theater
250 Main Street, Northport
Plaza Suite - Friday, May 30 at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 31 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sunday, June 1 at 2 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here


89 North
89 North Ocean Avenue East Main Street, Patchogue
3 Daze Reign, Lyxx and Killing Is My Business - Friday, May 30 at 8:15 p.m.
An Ultimate Rush Tribute, Black Dog, Diamond, Half Step and The Electrix - Saturday, May 31 at 8 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here.

Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts
71 East Main Street, Patchogue
Band Selections to Dance by: Music Written to Celebrate Cultural Dance - Saturday, June 1 at 3 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here.

The Emporium
9 Railroad Avenue, Patchogue
Verano En Vivo - Friday, May 30 at 8 p.m.
Aidan's Ride - Sunday, June 1 at 2 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here

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

Port Jefferson

Theatre Three
412 Main Street, Port Jefferson
The Comedy Club - Saturday, June 31 at 8 p.m.
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

Bow Tie Port Washington
116 Main Street, Port Washington


Suffolk Theater
116 E. Main Street, Riverhead
No shows scheduled this weekend.
Tickets and more information available here


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

Sag Harbor

Bay Street Theater
The Long Wharf, Sag Harbor
Conviction - Friday, May 30 at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 31 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 1 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
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 constantly growing and tours of the Edward Homestead offer a view at the area through its history.

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

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 exhibits include “Shopkeepers of Southampton: Photographs by Davis Gaffga”, which gives a detailed look into historic businesses which helped shape downtown and community. Its research center allows for visitors to conduct research with a professional research assistant. Collections feature antique furnishings, a classic parlor room and dining hall and photographs of the 1938 historic hurricane.

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

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.

Remembering Maya Angelou

"We can learn to see each other and see ourselves in each other and recognize that human beings are more alike than we are unalike."
Maya Angelou, poet, author and civil rights activist, April 4, 1928-May 28, 2014

Smart Talk

Newsletter Editor: Mike Koehler, Communications Director
Contributors: Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director; Elissa Kyle, Sustainability Director; 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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