July 3rd - 9th, 2016
Long Island Business News
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“You hit all the touchpoints, you incorporated every strategy in your development plan – that we know works. You have a transit oriented development plan. I am even more excited about how it can work when we get the third track done for the LIRR, which we have to get done. And it is going to be right here. You used the diversity of the community as an asset. You have affordable housing. You have walking strategies. You have it all in your plan. So a job well done.” - Governor Cuomo speaking on the $10 million downtown revitalization grant awarded to Westbury
Westbury Awarded Downtown Revitalization Grant
Governor Cuomo announced that Westbury will receive $10 million dollars in state funding in order to support its downtown revitalization efforts. This award is part of a $100 million dollar statewide grant program called the Downtown Revitalization Initiative that was announced in the governor’s 2016 State of the State address. Over 20 other downtowns on Long Island applied for the redevelopment grant, including Hempstead, Freeport, Glen Cove, Long Beach, Central Islip and Hicksville. In total, 10 towns in 10 different New York regions were granted this sought after award. The state received a total of 122 applications throughout the state with many excellent applications so clearly this must have been a difficult choice for NYS officials.
During the announcement of the winner, which took place at The Space at Westbury, Governor Cuomo said, “You hit all the touchpoints, you incorporated every strategy in your development plan – that we know works. You have a transit oriented development plan. I am even more excited about how it can work when we get the third track done for the LIRR, which we have to get done. And it is going to be right here. You used the diversity of the community as an asset. You have affordable housing. You have walking strategies. You have it all in your plan. So a job well done.”
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano joined in the announcement "This project follows downtown Farmingdale as a more livable, walkable and transit oriented development to keep young people in our region. We thank the Governor for making this investment"
Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro concluded, “On behalf of the residents of the Village and all of the stakeholders in our community, I thank the Governor for selecting Westbury for this grant. It is gratifying to know that, out of all of the deserving communities that could have been selected, our community, and the revitalization efforts we've made to date, are worthy of recognition. We've worked hard with all of our stakeholders to make Westbury the very best it can be and the additional resources will certainly assist us in taking the next step toward our goal of being one of New York's and Long Island's most attractive, sustainable and vibrant places to be. We look forward to working with the NYS Office of Planning and Development and the Regional Economic Development Council to develop the plans to move our community forward."
Also joining in the announcement were NYS Assemblymembers Chuck Lavine, Michael Montessano, Nassau County Legislator Siela Bynoe, Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Viviana Russell, Westbury Village trustees, staff and a range of local organizations including the Westbury Arts Council, BID, Library and Chamber of Commerce.
“Mayor Peter Cavallaro and the Village Board have been a true leaders in redeveloping their Post Ave business district for many years resulting in 800 units of housing, a new theatre and emerging restaurants and activities. Kudos to the Governor's office for bringing resources to one of LI's premier downtowns. Bringing economic development dollars directly to Long Island communities that are advancing mixed use development as well as arts, culture and numerous downtown events is a wise use of State funds.” Said Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander.
In addition Vision just completed a downtown marketing, retail attraction and PlaceMaking plan for the Village and we just honored the Westbury Arts Council with a Smart Growth Award for their accomplishments on Post Ave. Westbury was also featured in a Smart Growth Saturday tour.
You can read more about Westbury’s new grant in Long Island Business News.
Patchogue Chamber of Commerce Hosts First Alive After Five
Vision attended the first Alive After Five event of the summer on Thursday evening. Despite poor weather early on, over 7,500 people from across Long Island showed up to the free summer event hosted by Patchogue Chamber of Commerce. Attendees spent the evening enjoying live music on six different stages, eating at the 11 food trucks, and buying crafts and other goods from more than 90 local vendors. Special guest Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul attended the kick-off event as well.
The biweekly festival recently received a 2016 Smart Growth Award from Vision for Citizen Participation. Musical performers at the event included the Infamous Stringdusters, A’mericana, and the West Point Band. A Salute to our Armed Forces was the theme for Thursday’s festival, and the soldiers assigned to the US Army Recruiting Office in Patchogue called in some military vehicles for the event for attendees to check out. Alive After Five will continue on Main Street every other Thursday (July 21, August 4 and August 18) for the remainder of the summer.
You can read more about the upcoming Alive After Five events on their website.
Glen Cove Requesting Proposals for Ferry Operator
The City of Glen Cove is inviting ferry operators to submit a Request for Proposal to provide commuter ferry service between the Glen Cove Ferry Terminal to Manhattan Monday through Friday, with hopes to begin service in the fall. There would be two stops in Manhattan; one near 35th Street in Midtown and another near Wall Street.
The RFP calls for a minimum of three morning rush-hour departures to Manhattan, and three evening returns to Glen Cove. Other services, such as dinner cruises and trips to Yankees and Mets games, are “strongly encouraged.” The trip to or from Glen Cove to Manhattan is estimated to take about 50-60 minutes. A 2001-02 ferry run did launch, with inadequate promotion being cited as one of the reasons towards its failure 15 years ago. The service started out with ferries of 250 to 284 seats that made three daily trips to lower Manhattan’s Pier 11 in about 45 minutes.
After twenty years in the making, the Glen Cove Ferry Terminal is a vital part of Glen Cove's Waterfront Redevelopment Vision. The newly completed ferry terminal lies on part of 56 acres of land along the waterfront redevelopment site. With the help of federal, state and county agencies, as well as supportive elected officials, and redevelopment partner, RXR Realty, the City of Glen Cove has been able to completely remediate this portion of Glen Cove Creek, and it is now ready to support new residential and commercial use. During the 1950’s, waste and contaminants were disposed at the Captain’s Cove property. This environmental damage qualified the area to be classified as a State Superfund site, with cleanup efforts taking place over the past 20 years.
The proposed Garvies Point project is situated next to the terminal, with 56 acres of land being used for 1,110 condominiums, apartments, commercial use and parkland. Developer RXR feels that the ferry may help attract buyers and tenants to the proposed development, and has agreed to spend as much as a million dollars on subsidies for as long as two years to have a ferry operation in place. Deputy Mayor Barbara Peebles says that even if the Garvies Point project does not move forward, that there will be enough demand from existing area residents for the ferry operation to be a success.
Elmont Civics Hear Proposed Development for Belmont
Vision was invited to the Parkhurst and Tudor Manor Civic for a joint meeting in Elmont at which Engel Burman and Basser Kaufman presented their proposal for the redevelopment of the south lot of the racetrack, which sits on the edge of Elmont along the border of Queens and the Cross Island Parkway. Their vision for the project includes an anchor retailer, three restaurants, a supermarket, a bank, a public plaza, an organic community garden, a sports field with seats for 2,500, a playground, and a 7,000 squre foot community center. Several green features will be incorporated into the design of the development, including solar rooftops, fuel cells, rain gardens, and native plant species.
Engel Burman would have to relinquish control of the development to either the state, Nassau County, or the Town of Hempstead, who would then be in charge of maintaining the green space and community center. However, the development group will contribute one million dollars over five years towards the maintenance of the park. Additionally, they will not seek a PILOT agreement from the IDA. Engel Burman has thus far received letters of interest from Costco, Michaels, ShopRite, Modell’s Sporting Goods, and Chick-fil-A. “We see this as a vibrant hub that can be enjoyed by local youth, seniors, families… everyone in the community,” said Steven Krieger, a partner in the development group. “It’s a sense of place, it’s a downtown for the community where people can gather, shop, dine on this side of Hempstead Turnpike.” This plan would create a total of 1,663 permanent jobs.
Several questions from the community were raised at the meeting on topics including buffers, maintaining older trees, noise, the potential impact on traffic, fire and emergency services, security, and garbage. The majority of these questions were answered to the community’s satisfaction, and the proposal was well received. The Engel Burman plan is in line with the Elmont Vision Plan, a 2006 resident-created proposal for the development of Hempstead Turnpike. Krieger has stressed the importance of community input and is planning on implementing other outreach initiatives to hear more thoughts on the project.
The Empire State Development Corporation has yet to choose a developer for the project, despite the fact that the first request for proposals was issued in 2012. Since the initial request, the north lot has been removed from consideration, forcing developers to submit updated proposals. “We are re-engaging respondents in order to obtain the best possible deal for the state,” said Empire State spokesman Jason Conwell.
Another proposal for the lot, put forward by the pro soccer team New York Cosmos, includes building a 25,000-seat stadium, a 175-room hotel, a restaurant, and retail space. The Blumenfeld Group has also submitted a proposal for a large retail space, a Costco Business Center, and a community center. The final proposal, submitted by Related Development, consists of a 327,000 square foot retail space, 21,000 square feet of restaurants, a junior soccer field, and a playground.
You can read more about the proposed plans for the south parcel in the LI Herald.
Town of Islip Approves $10 million for Various Projects
The Town of Islip unanimously authorized over $10 million in bonding for various projects recently, months after their debt rating increased to AAA. “With our success with the rating agencies . . . it’s really a very favorable time of year for us to be doing bonding,” Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter said. “So I thank everyone for their help and certainly the departments in sharpening their pencils and coming up with projects that are needed but responsible.”
There were a total of four resolutions for bonding, with the first being for $5.527 million in capital improvements. Included in this bond were $2.6 million for dredging which will help prevent future flooding; $200,000 for intersection improvements; and funding for several other projects. The second bond for $810,000 includes $510,000 for sidewalk improvements; $200,000 to improve recreational facilities; and $100,000 in facility improvements. An additional $500,000 was approved for playground equipment and $600,000 for town facilities in the third bond, with the Supervisor noting before that bond’s vote that many of the Town’s facilities are in need of improvements. The final bond passed was for $1.5 million to improve town marinas and bulkheads.
The Town of Islip was recently awarded a Smart Growth Award for “Sense of Place” for its foresight in the Bay Shore Pedestrian Plaza. You can read more about the bonding of Islip’s projects here.
Army Corps Begins $230 Million Project to Protect Long Beach
After almost 4 years after Superstorm Sandy devastated Long Beach, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin working this month on the (re)construction of jetties and other offshore storm protection measures for the city, and for the entire barrier island from Atlantic Beach east to Jones Inlet.
$230 million in federal funding will be spent to replace the 294,000 cubic yards of sand during Sandy, making it more vulnerable to Nor’easters and other large storms. Some of the groins and jetties that will be reconstructed have not been repaired or maintained for around 60 years, even after other major storms. The first part of the project will begin in Point Lookout and Lido Beach and move westward towards Long Beach next year, adding sand and jetties across 7 miles of coast line. “The Army Corps project is long overdue, and it will help ensure that we have a stronger, smarter and safer beach,” Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman said, who noted also that there will be community involvement as the project develops.
The first phase of the project, with a price tag of $38 million, will require 250,000 tons of stone to be brought from New Jersey across the Atlantic Bridge weekdays in order to complete all groin construction. Phase 2, scheduled to be awarded towards the end of 2017, will add almost 5 million cubic yards of sand to the shoreline, and will include dune crossings and grass fixes. Sand for the project will be taken from the ocean floor about a mile off of Long Beach.
You can read more about the latest measure to make Western Nassau more resilient towards future storm events in Newsday
National Traffic Fatalities Increasing
Preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows an alarming trend: traffic fatalities are increasing across the country, and reached a seven-year high in 2015. Furthermore, pedestrians and cyclists have made up a disproportionate share of these fatalities. In total, 35,2000 people were killed in traffic last year. This number represents a 7.7 percent increase from the year before, and is the highest death toll since 2008. The number of pedestrians and cyclists killed last year has risen even faster, with a 10 percent increase from last year for pedestrians, and a thirteen percent increase for bicyclists. Crashes involving young drivers aged 15 to 20 have also increased by 10 percent from 2014 to 2015. While the amount of driving did increase by 3.5 percent since 2014, it is not large enough to explain by itself the growing number of traffic-related deaths.
Theories about why so many pedestrians and bicyclists are being killed are abound, as no one can agree on the precise cause. Arguments include increases in biking and walking overall, driver distraction, and low gas prices, which have in turn led to an increase in the amount of unexperienced teenage drivers on the road, since they are generally more cash prone.
America stands out as a straggler when compared to other nations such as Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom, who have all seen sustained reductions in traffic fatalities. While Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has said, “Every American should be able to drive, ride, or walk to their destination safely, every time,” the NHTSA has many institutional limitations that prevent quickly increasing the safety of American roads. The organization does support the use of car technology systems, such as automatic braking, but has not made any strides to reduce threats to pedestrians and cyclists by, for example, reducing car speeds through the use of specially designed streets.
Discouraging studies such as this demonstrate the continued need for the implementation of Complete Streets policy across the nation. Launched in 2004, the National Complete Streets Coalition works to integrate people and place in the design and construction of policies to ensure that streets are safe for all ages and abilities. To date, over 730 local, regional, and state agencies have adopted the Complete Streets policies and committed themselves to improving the experience of their drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.You can read more about the increase in traffic fatalities here.
The Village of Great Neck Plaza Summer Concert Series
The Village of Great Neck Plaza is continuing their 2016 Summer Concert Series on Tuesday, July 12th with the Seven Bridges Road Band and music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Additional concerts will be held on Tuesday, July 19th and Tuesday, July 26th, featuring artists Phil Costa and the Something Special Big Band and Liverpool Shuffle. All of the Village’s summer concerts will be held in the gazebo in Firefighter’s park, located on Grace Avenue, from 8 pm to 9:30 pm. In the case of inclement weather, the concerts will be held in the Great Neck Social Center at 80 Grace Avenue. More information about the 2016 Village of Great Neck Plaza Summer Concert Series can be found here.
Farmingdale Live at Five on Main Events this Summer
Farmingdale Live at Five On Main is a free summer program offering a number of music nights to people in downtown Farmingdale Village. The event will take place four times throughout the summer, with dates set for July 14th, July 28th, August 11th, and August 25th from 5pm to 9pm. Three bands will perform each night along Main Street between Prospect Street and North Front Street. The event will focus on more than just music; many merchants, restaurants, and clubs will be participating to provide the public with a number of options for dining and shopping. Three of the four nights will also feature a movie night on the Village Green, weather permitting.
No traffic will be allowed on Main Street on either side of Conklin Street from 4pm to 10pm, allowing for a two block pedestrian area for the events. Free parking will be available in Village parking lots, which are located along Conklin, on Main Street, north and south of the street closure, in the former Waldbaum’s parking lot, along neighboring streets, or in the Train Stations Lots after 4 pm. Similar events are also being held in Patchogue (Alive After Five), on July 7th, July 21st, August 4th, and August 18th, and in Riverhead (Alive on 25) on July 14th, July 28th, August 11th, and August 25th. Farmingdale and Riverhead's events are modeled after Patchogue's Alive After Five event (now in its 15th year), which was recently awarded a Smart Growth Award.
More information about participating merchants and supporters and rain dates is available on Farmingdale's Live at Five’s website.
Westbury Concert Series
The Village of Westbury will be hosting its free evening concert series at the Piazza Ernesto Strada in the Village of Westbury Square on the corner of Post Avenue and Maple Avenue. Free parking for attendees will be available in the Village Madison Avenue parking lot behind Rite Aid. All of this year’s concerts will be held on Fridays from 7pm to 9pm. Featured performers include Dance Visions NY, North Shore Pops, and Sonido Clasico. The series will also include an art event to complement the music. Handmade cards and Paint Night are just a couple of the activities to be held in conjunction with the concerts.
For more information, you can visit the Greater Westbury Council for the Arts’ website.
Free Huntington Station Bicycle Safety Fair
The Huntington Station Bicycle Safety Fair is an event meant to recognize and acknowledge locals who use bicycles to commute around their communities. The fair will take place at St. Hugh’s Church , 21 E 9th Street in Huntington Station from 12PM-4PM on Saturday, July 16th.
“Although not a cyclist myself, I care deeply for those who have the integrity to travel via bicycle in almost any weather condition, day or night, to make it to their places of employment,” said Angela Satcher, an organizer of the event. “Everyone deserves to be safe on the road. Until Long Island recognizes the need for safer cycling conditions, this the least I can do to make it safer in Huntington. “
2nd Annual Coltrane Day Music Festival in Huntington
The Coltrane Home in Dix Hills in partnership with the Town of Huntington Summer Arts Festival and the Huntington Arts Council is hosting the Second Annual Coltrane Day Music Festival at Heckscher Park in Huntington Village on Saturday, July 23 from 12pm to 10:30pm.
The event will feature live music all day, 15 plus workshops and community jams, local artists, food, and exhibits. This great festival will bring together music lovers and musicians of all ages to listen to and play a variety of music ranging from jazz to funk, blues, electronic, and even hip-hop. To find out more, to sponsor the event, or to register for workshops, please visit Coltrane Home's website.
Long Island’s 4th Annual Car Free Day
You can join the efforts to increase the use of sustainable transportation this Thursday, September 22, 2016 on Long Island’s 4th Annual Car Free Day. Last year, almost 3,000 Long Islanders pledged to go car free, saving 78,000 miles in driving and 39 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Car Free Day was celebrated in over 2000 cities in 40 countries around the world in 2015. To participate in this year’s event, all you have to do is promise to be either car-free or car-lite on Car Free Day by signing an online pledge form. You also receive the chance to win free prizes once you have made the pledge. 511NY, MTA, NICE, Suffolk Transit, HART, Long Beach Municipal Bus, and the Nassau-Suffolk Bicycle Coalition all have information about getting around town without using a car. Vision Long Island is a proud sponsor of this successful event.
For more information on this international event, you can visit Long Island’s Car Free Day website here.
Review Meetings for NYMTC Drafts
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC), a regional council of governments that provides a collaborative planning forum to address transportation-related issues among other items, has organized drafts of its Federal Fiscal Years (FFYs) 2017 to 2021 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). There will be a thirty-day public comment period for these draft products, currently ongoing, ending at 4 pm on Thursday, July 21, 2016 in order for the public to provide feedback on the Transportation Conformity Determination draft and TIP.
At the commencement of the comment period, all drafts will be made available online. A number of Public Review Meetings will be held at both 3pm and 6:30pm on July 12 on Long Island at Republic Airport Main Terminal in Farmingdale, and on July 13 in New York City at the NYMYC location. Webinars will also be offered to accommodate people who are unable to attend the meetings. In order to RSVP for a meeting and request a hard copy of the drafts, you may contact Toshema Johnson at 212-383-7256 or email@example.com. You can find more information about the drafts including addresses for the review meeting locations and information regarding Plan 2045 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.
Senior Community Planner Wanted for NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program
The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery is hiring a Senior Community Planner to develop and implement projects and programs that are driven by the community. This position requires close work with other staff in the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, as well as local officials and community members.
A Bachelor’s degree and 8 years of full time experience, or a Master’s degree and 6 years of full time experience are required for this position. To view the full job position click here, or you may email Jeanmarie Buffett, the Long Island Director, here with any questions.
Habitat Suffolk Seeks AmeriCorps Members
Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk has several AmeriCorps crew leader positions available. The members serving in this role will be part of the AmeriCorps team that will give the necessary boost to significantly increase the number of families that the Habitat Suffolk affiliate is able to serve through their affordable housing rehab and new construction projects. These are 10 ½ month terms of service.
Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, be a US citizen or lawful permanent resident, and have a high school diploma/GED, or agree to work towards one while serving. As well as gaining new skills on the job, Americorps members will receive health insurance, are eligible to receive a $5,730 award to pay for college, sick pay, and childcare assistance, as well as other benefits.
Information about this program and the positions available can be seen here. For more details, please contact Lindsey Gordon at 631-HABITAT x114.
Over $200 Million in Funding Available for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects
New York State has more than $200 million in expired earmarks and grants available that can now be spent due to provisions in the current federal transportation funding bill, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST). This money includes over $18 million for projects involving bicycles and pedestrians, as well as other roadway improvements. Parks & Trails New York has assembled a website that explains both eligibility requirements and a map illustrating where each earmark may be used.
Long Island has several million dollars that were earmarked for projects over 10 years ago, with the projects either not coming to fruition, being partially complete, or being funded by other sources. Instead of losing out on those earmarks, funding will be able to be repourposed for other projects within a 50 mile radius of the original project location., that are eligible for Surface Transportation Block Grant funding, and that will be complete on or before September of 2019. The maximum Federal share of funding for the new project must be the same as the share of the original project.New York State has to notify the Federal Highway Authority of its decision to repurpose the money by August 29, 2016, so the deadline is quickly approaching. You can contact your bicycle and pedestrian coordinator if you have an eligible local project for which you would like to receive funding. For more information or if you have any questions, please call Parks & Trails New York at 518-434-1583, or email Ron Epstein of NYSDOT at firstname.lastname@example.org
What's happening on your Main Street this weekend?
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Garvies Point Museum and Preserve
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Bow Tie Port Washington
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Cold Spring Harbor
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Port Jefferson Historical Society
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Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. - Martin Luther King Jr.
Amidst the violence and anger spreading across our nation it has become increasingly difficult to cope with senseless tragedies occurring at an increasing and alarming pace. We have been exposed to that first hand this week and we mourn. It is also equally important to remember our strength during these times that Long Island is a community of communities with support and love for all within its borders.
Hopefully we can take the time to reflect on what has occurred and seek solutions on a local level. No one will ever be able to see these tragedies from all sides but, as a community, we have an obligation to live with, work with, and understand the diverse individual we share our communities with. It is worth noting that we have that ability – nearly 10,000 people of all ages, races and backgrounds moved through downtown Patchogue just this week without incident. Events in the upcoming weeks will demonstrate the ability of Long Islanders of all races, cultures and backgrounds to gather, live freely and safely though community events scheduled throughout the summer and beyond. It is with great hope that our neighborhoods can stay safe through this dark and difficult period.
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