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July 6-12, 2014

Community Updates

Advantage Title

Advantage Title was founded by CEO and President Joe Willen in 1987 with three employees. Twenty-seven years later, the family-owned company is a known commodity in the title industry. They maintain strong relationships with many top underwriters to give clients security and flexibility. And their professionalism and years of experience virtually eliminate unnecessarily costly and inefficient transactions and ensure smooth ones.

Top law firms, institutional lenders, builders, brokers and developers continue to put their trust in Advantage because they trust the company as experts who are obsessed with excellence, speed and accuracy whether we are working on a national, international,residential or commercial deal. Their hard work, expertise, attention to detail and high level of professionalism set the standard in the title insurance industry. 

"Together with United Water, we will implement unprecedented advances in environmental protection, odor control, management efficiencies, plant aesthetics and public information," Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano

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Return To Sender: USPS Won’t Close Local Branch

The Northport post office will remain open.

Months after Vision Long Island reported the United States Postal Service (USPS) placed plans to close the Main Street branch on hold indefinitely, Northport is not on the latest USPS list of possible closures.

According to The Observer, Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington) said a new consolidation report did not include the branch, the first official documentation confirming it will remain open.

"I fought to make sure the U.S. Postal Service understands how crucial the Northport Post Office is to the Northport community. I was pleased that the USPS heeded my calls and, even in the face of many post office and mail processing center closures in 2015, the Northport Post Office will remain open. I will continue to advocate for this important community resource," Israel said.

Northport Deputy Mayor Henry Tobin discovered the postal service was considering closing the downtown post office in summer 2012. Some of the services would move to a smaller 3,055 sq. ft. downtown store while all 19 postal carriers would have been relocated to East Northport.

A public meeting at the American Legion hall later that summer drew a packed crowd, while elected officials like Israel (D-Huntington) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) pressed USPS to abandon the study.

Superstorm Sandy delayed their decision into 2013. In October, USPS officials said closure plans were on hold indefinitely.

“I would never say never. I can definitely say not now,” Corporate Communications Manager Maureen Marion said at the time.

Israel left a message for Northport Mayor George Doll with the news that fall. Doll said at the time that he was cautiously optimistic despite not having an official statement.

“The fact it’s not closing is wonderful news. It’s a part of Main Street. It’s part of our commercial district. People who use it may stop in some of the local shops,” he said, adding that it’s also heavily used by merchants and residents.

Eric Alexander, director of Northport-based Vision Long Island, credited public officials, the Village of Northport, the Northport Village Merchants Association and residents to fight the closure.

“It’s great to see Senator Schumer and other federal officials protect a downtown by preserving the hub of commercial and community action,” Alexander said.

Nassau Sewage Plant Deal Aims To Save Taxpayers Money, Improve Water Quality For 1.1 Million Residents

Handing maintenance and operation of three wastewater plants will reduce Nassau County spending by at least $233.1 million, officials announced Tuesday.

County Executive Ed Mangano unveiled the 20-year agreement with United Water at a meeting of his Wastewater Plant Advisory Committee. Vision Long Island reviewed the presentation from United Water's President Richard Henning and his team.

“This partnership was formed to dramatically improve the County’s ability to protect our environment and the health and well-being of our residents. Together with United Water, we will implement unprecedented advances in environmental protection, odor control, management efficiencies, plant aesthetics and public information. Furthermore, this effort permits a more effective and efficient management of the plants and sewage system following the federal government’s significant investment in storm hardening of our infrastructure,” the county executive said.

A part of French multinational corporation Suez, United will be responsible for the Bay Park, Cedar Creek and Glen Cove Sewage Treatment Plants. Combined, they process wastewater for 1.1 million Nassau County residents.

Nassau County will maintain ownership of all three plants, but United Water will be responsible for operating the plants. Company officials also said they will implement programs to resolve major deficiencies in the system.

Nassau County will also be responsible for overseeing United, with the company providing written reports detailing operation and maintenance every month. Both sides will meet regularly to review performance and county officials will also perform an inspection every year. In addition, there will be a full-scale inspection of all three plants every fifth year to help the county determine if United Water is meeting its obligations.

Company officials have pledged not only to operate the plants to best protect the surrounding wetlands and estuaries, but to also hire Nassau County employees when possible. Part of the agreement calls for United to use certain county employees at the sewer plants to generate no less than $10 million in annual savings. Employees not hired by United to work at the plants would be moved to vacant county positions as part of a no-layoff agreement in the deal.

Wall Street-based financial consulting firm PFM Group was hired by Nassau County to independently review the agreement. According to Nassau County and United Water, PFM Group found the contract could save $233.1 million over the 20 years, and may actually save closer to $378.9 million when the savings of personnel reassignments and reduced overtime are factored into the equation.

The recently-announced arrangement was supported by several Long Island environmental activists.

“Knowing there is a direct connection between the performance of Nassau County's sewage treatment plants and the water quality of our bays and beaches means water treatment is something we need to be the absolute best at. We believe United Water will help us to achieve this goal by bringing worldwide experience and new technologies to our wastewater plants so that the residents and the sea life get what is deserved and that is the absolute best,” said Rob Weltner, president of Operation SPLASH.

“[Citizens Campaign for the Environment] fully supports the hiring of an established and highly experienced, qualified, professional contractor, specializing in wastewater treatment management. We believe this is an essential component for cleaner bays, estuaries and our ocean. It has become exceedingly clear the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), Cedar Creek and the Glen Cove STP must be operated by a management and engineering firm possessing a proven history of successfully operating and implementing advanced wastewater technology,” Citizens Campaign Executive Director Adrienne Esposito said.

Mangano actually picked United Water to take over maintenance and operation back in 2012. The concept was to create a deal since the county’s Sewer and Storm Water Authority would go broke by 2014 if nothing changed. At the time, he claimed United Water would freeze prices through 2015, never raise them beyond the consumer price increase, taxes would still be collected by the county and employees would not be laid off.

A county source said the new deal does not give jurisdiction over rates to United Water.

Vision Long Island reviewed the presentation from United Water as a member of the most recent Wastewater Plant Advisory Committee.

"With hundreds of millions of dollars in federal capital funding in place to upgrade Nassau sewer infrastructure, it is a wise investment to improve management and operational efficiency. The proposal allows for growth of the sewer systems without increased costs. This provision, along with efforts to improve water quality, will allow downtown redevelopment projects to move forward in the safest and most sustainable manner possible," Director Eric Alexander said.

For more about this story, check out Newsday (subscription required) or Mangano’s press release.

Demands For Transportation Info With LIRR Strike Looming

With the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and a coalition of eight Long Island Rail Road unions seemingly at an impasse, a strike later this month sounds very plausible.

And if that happens, the Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council (LIRRCC) is calling on New York State to collect and distribute information to passengers of the country’s largest commuter rail system.

“In the event of a LIRR strike, Long Islanders will need to access a variety of sources of information to make intelligent decisions about travel. Much of this material is not readily available through from the MTA or LIRR, and we call upon state government to pull together all this information so that it is accessible through a single source,” LIRRCC Chair Mark Epstein said.

Since 2010, LIRR employees have worked without a contract and been engaged in fruitless negotiations with the MTA. On July 20, 5,400 LIRR workers could walk out on their job.

If a strike occurs, the LIRRCC wants state officials to create a dedicate website, a smartphone app, text and email alerts, and regular communication with local media. They also want the state to coordinate with local elected officials and public safety agencies across Long Island and New York City.

The list of information includes policies on LIRR tickets amid the strike; real-time traffic conditions from the Department of Transportation; information about other mass transit like the Huntington Area Rapid Transit and NICE Bus systems; special traffic regulations; locations and hours for carpooling; and status of New York City’s alternate side parking.

The LIRRCC also asked state officials for consideration of existing and planned road closures; increasing the number of MTA buses from previously reported amounts; creating incentives for high-occupancy vehicle use and access to the Airtran system at JFK International Airport during the strike.

No contingency transportation plans have been released by the MTA, although preliminary plans were leaked last month. According to those reports, shuttle buses would run from six LIRR stations to subways in Queens, while park and rides would be set up at Citi Field and Aqueduct Race Track in Queens.

The MTA has offered a seven-year deal with 17 percent raise over that stretch, first-time required health insurance contributions in the form of 4 percent of an employee’s salary and continued contributions into pensions beyond the 10 years already required. The union counted with a six-year deal with 17 percent raises and no concessions on benefits. Two Presidential Emergency Boards sanctioned by the White House previously recommended a six-year deal with 17 percent raises and 2 percent of an employee’s salary towards health care.

As of Friday, a strike remains possible as negotiations remain fruitless. New York Representatives Tim Bishop (D), Steve Israel (D), Carolyn McCarthy (D), Grace Meng (D), Joseph Crowley (D) and Peter King (R) issued a statement this afternoon about the current status.

"We are pleased that representatives from labor and management spent nearly five hours negotiating on Thursday in an effort to ensure the continued operations of the Long Island Rail Road. We remain optimistic that an agreement can be reached without any disruption of rail service, however, we are troubled that no further negotiations are currently scheduled. We strongly urge both parties to work through the weekend to reach a deal to benefit the diverse ridership of the Long Island Rail Road."

Are Baby Boomers Choosing Multi-Family Housing?

The accepted belief is that older Americans are leaving single-family houses in the suburbs behind for apartments and condos in downtown environments.

But the Wall Street Journal reported last month that baby boomers are more likely to hold onto their single-family housing.

Reviewing data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the article finds population growth for Americans aged 70 and older is the lowest in the densest communities. That marks the only age group to see this trend.

In addition, the amount of boomers living in single-family homes in 2013 is the same as it was in 2012 and 2006.

At the same time, Fannie Mae analysis of the Census data finds more and more boomers are becoming empty nesters and retiring from the workforce.

The Wall Street Journal also touched on a study by real estate website Trulia. That report found the number of households headed by Americans aged 70-74 in multi-unit housing has been dropping for years, even before the recession.

This all seemingly conflicts reports and data that suggest baby boomers are moving into multi-unit housing.

The Wall Street Journal itself published a story last August about boomers sharing downtowns with younger, artistic crowds. They referenced Census data analysis that found boomer population declined at a more significant rate 40-80 miles outside of the country’s 50 largest cities than within 5 miles of those cities. A different study found more Americans age 55 and older are living in condos, up from 7.3 percent in 2005 to 9.6 percent in 2011.

And according to an EPA report on infill and Smart Growth from February, the housing market will likely grow for both rental and owned homes that match the needs of empty nesters. They may have been the first generation living in the suburbs, but many retirees cannot or choose not to drive and are left with a large house and yard to maintain by themselves. At the same time, the American Seniors Housing Association said Americans aged 55-75 want to stay connected with the community, volunteer and find urban environments appealing.

The question remains unanswered - do baby boomers prefer living in single-family suburbia or downtowns with multi-unit housing? Perhaps the answer lies in the fine print. The definition of a baby boomer according to the U.S. Census Bureau is someone born between 1946-1964. That puts the oldest boomer at 68, too young for the Trulia study. Even using the 1943-1960 dates preferred by generational theorists and others, the oldest boomer could only be 71.

“Anyone born before 1946 is technically not a baby boomer,” AARP Associate State Director Will Stoner said.

Reinforcing this argument, the Trulia study used in the newer Wall Street Journal also found the share of households headed by Americans aged 50-69 – the Census-approved ages of baby boomers – living in multi-unit housing rose to 21.6 percent in 2013 after hovering around 20 percent for nearly two decades.

Stoner also suggested it could be a difference between desires and supplies. Both millennials and boomers prefer walkable downtowns with transit and entertainment options, he added, but Long Island and many other communities simply don’t have them.

“If there isn’t housing available, they’re not going to move because the option isn’t available in their communities,” he said.

GOP Proposes $11 Billion Shell Game To Fund Highways

If nothing changes, the Federal Highway Trust fund could hit zero by next month and be $18 billion in the red by 2024. But a proposal with temporary fixes by Republicans in the House of Representatives has Democrats up in arms.

Ways and Means Committee approved a bill Thursday to move $10.8 billion around to sustain highway and transit funding for states until May 2015.

Sponsored by committee chair Dave Camp (R-Michigan), the legislation calls for pension smoothing, increase customs user fees and transfer $1 billion from a fund to fix leaking underground fuel tanks.

"I know these policies are not perfect, but they are viable, have been used by the House and Senate before and should pass both the House and Senate quickly," Camp said. "With these policies, we can steer clear of another crisis showdown, and we should."

Democrats criticize the plan, saying it’s letting Republicans and Congress off the hook for developing a long-term solution. Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) proposed legislation for a six-year transportation bill that was defeated along party lines earlier this year.

“It is a mistake to take the pressure off this Congress and kick it down the road,” Blumenauer said, adding it will likely be even harder next year in the partisan atmosphere of a presidential campaign.

Created in 1956 to finance the country’s Interstate Highway System, the Highway Trust Fund. In 1982, funding for mass transit was added. The fund has been the home for federal fuel tax beginning at 3 cents per gallon in the beginning to 18.4 cents per gallon in 1993.

For years Congress passed long-term plans and properly funded the account. But since the new millennium, the Federal Highway Trust fund has been leaning heavily on transfers from the general fund – including $12 billion in 2014. By 2024 at this rate, general funds would account for one-third of the fund’s revenue.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has already warned the fund would no longer have money for promised aid to states in the first week of August. Gradually slowing down, the account would be empty by the end of the month.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said publicly he wants to bring it up for vote in the House next week. Reports, however, question if the GOP boss has enough votes to pass it without Democratic support.

For more media coverage, check out Long Island Business News (subscription required) and the Wall Street Journal.

HUD Boss Donovan Confirmed As New OMB Leader

The White House announced changes to federal housing leadership this week.

Formerly the secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Shaun Donovan will become the next director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Senators on both sides of the aisle confirmed his appointment on Thursday.

A White House statement praised Donovan for his work during the recession and the wake of Superstorm Sandy. He assumed office in 2009.

“While we have made significant strides by investing in areas that are helping to grow the economy, creating good jobs, and promoting more effective and efficient management in government, Shaun knows there is more work to do, and today's bipartisan vote ensures the dedicated professionals at OMB will have a proven, effective leader to build on the progress we've made,” President Barack Obama said.

Meanwhile, Julián Castro has become the 16th Secretary of HUD. The mayor of San Antonio, Texas since 2009, Castro was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday.

A White House statement praised Castro as a proven leader and champion for safe, affordable housing.

Dear friends and colleagues:  On behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, we are pleased to share the good news that the Senate confirmed Shaun Donovan today as Director of the Office of Management and Budget and Julián Castro as the 16th Secretary of HUD yesterday.   We appreciated the support from our stakeholders during this transition period and look forward to continuing the important work that we do together to better our communities.

“I know that together with the dedicated professionals at HUD, Julián will help build on the progress we've made battling back from the Great Recession -- rebuilding our housing market, reducing homelessness among veterans, and connecting neighborhoods with good schools and good jobs that help our citizens succeed,” the president said.

For more about these changes, check out the New York Times and Daily News.


Thoughts On What's Missing From Downtown Smithtown

The following is an editorial by Vision Long Island Intern Nicolas Shearman.

In the past 15 years as a resident of Smithtown, I can count on two hands the number of times I have walked across Main Street. This is despite the fact that I’ve attended school and church on the street for over a decade and live within three miles of downtown.

It is a sad reality that I know very little about my hometown’s historic core. Prior to the auto-centric suburban development in the 1950s, Smithtown was a farming community with a collection of pedestrian friendly downtown areas. Kings Park, St. James, and Smithtown were centers of residential use, commerce, and industry.

Transit diversity within the town was greater in the 19th century than it is today. The town was home to a bicycle craze in the 1890s; local bicyclists urged the town to construct bike paths. Eventually, Suffolk County constructed a path running along Jericho Turnpike.

On a scorching hot day last month, I walked downtown Smithtown in search of answers. If Main Street was once home to pedestrians and mixed-uses, what changes can be made to restore the town’s vitality?  

Pedestrian activity on Main Street was minimal during my four-hour visit. The most activity was found in shopping centers, where people walked quickly to and from their cars. Shopping centers primarily contained retail space, whereas older buildings built to the street contained mixed uses. Residential space above shops and offices was limited.  Rows of vacant storefronts with decaying facades did little to add to the area’s aesthetics.

There is a severe lack of tree shade on all streets in the downtown. At the end of my stroll, my skin was badly burned and I dripped with sweat. I couldn’t even find a water fountain to quench my thirst.  

Basic measurements and observations reveal that Smithtown is designed for the convenience of the automobile, not for human comfort.

The lack of trees on Main Street makes the strip feel like an asphalt jungle. Over 1,500 feet of sidewalk on Main Street and Singer Lane front vast expanses of uninviting parking lot. The few young bicyclists and pedestrians I encountered struggled to cross streets due to constant traffic and excessive street widths.

As a third-year college student, I will soon make decisions regarding post-graduate life. Will I continue to live in Smithtown? Do I want to continue to live in Smithtown?

Like many of my peers, I seek to live in a walkable community where I can live, work, and play without using a car. Access to open spaces, such as preserved farm and parkland, is also a need. The benefits of living in walkable communities near open space are innumerable, as seen in nearby areas.  
Northport, a local downtown known for its vibrancy and walkability, exhibits the many social benefits of decreasing car use and traveling by foot. As an employee of two businesses on the downtown’s Main Street, I experience daily the amenities of living in a neighborhood designed for humans rather than cars. I have befriended residents of apartments above Main Street’s shops. People of all different generations interact in the village park, located at the foot of Main Street. Local shop owners speak each morning as they ready their storefronts and restaurants for large amounts of foot traffic. The community’s farmers’ market, concerts and summer events contribute to Northport’s strong social fabric and quality of life.

As a student, parishioner and patron of Main Street in Smithtown, I have not experienced the strong social ties present in successful downtowns like Northport. Narrowing Smithtown’s streets, planting street trees and improving the aesthetics of facades not only will increase pedestrian comfort. Simple, initial changes will provide people with an attractive destination to socialize, work, and shop.

Further changes to downtown Smithtown could include buildings apartments above existing retail and office space, or redeveloping shopping centers into multi-story, mixed-use blocks to foster social activity found in downtowns like Northport.

In Eastern Long Island, land preservation partnerships between local governments, non-for-profits and landowners have proven successful. These partnerships must be forged in Smithtown. Parcels of land, small and large, should be acquired as parkland and used as community gardens and farms. This can add open space, honor Smithtown’s agrarian roots, build a stronger sense of community and satisfy popular desire for local food systems.

Transit must be available for town residents to significantly decrease car dependence and realize the benefits of walkable living. Bike paths, such as those present in Smithtown at the turn of the last century, should be reintroduced. The construction of a streetcar line to connect areas of high walkability or commercial activity should be a consideration. Such a line could connect shopping centers along Jericho Turnpike in Commack, downtown Kings Park, downtown Smithtown, St. James, Stony Brook and Smith Haven Mall.

Join Sandy Volunteers In Helping One Of Their Own

Join Neighbors Supporting Neighbors Babylon, Lindy Manpower, Friends of Long Island, United Way of Long Island and others this Sunday in helping a Sandy volunteer begin a new chapter in his life. Ed Andersen has been a vital cog in Neighbors Supporting Neighbors Babylon, but he's quietly been fighting leukemia and chemo at the same time. Volunteers will demolish this veteran's damaged house and unveil a special surprise.

The approved demolition crew should arrive his Babylon home by 9 a.m. Everyone else is invited on site at 12:30 p.m.

For questions and RSVP, contact Theresa DiPietto-Roesler with Neighbors Supporting Neighbors Babylon at or 516-443-6866. Check out the event flier here.

Learn How 12 Steps Can Create An Organically-Green Lawn

The Sustainability Institute at Molloy College is proud to announce a new educational series: “12 Steps to an Organically Green Lawn.”

They've drawn on the lessons learned from many years of working with Long Island organic landscapers, organizing educational seminars and many other sources to put this series together.

The series will be featured on Facebook and Twitter over the summer. Follow them on both for easy to follow, do-it-yourself tips to make any lawn thick and green without toxic pesticides. The series is also available here on their website.

Now Playing: Long Island International Film Expo

Get your tickets now for the 17th Long Island International Film Expo.

“The 2014 Facts of Life” began July 9 at the Bellmore Movie Theater and continue until July 17.

A partnership between the Nassau County Film Commission and Long Island Film/TV Foundation, more than 100 short and feature-length films are being shown this year. A number of panels are also held during the festival, including some on distribution, scriptwriting and legalities.

Awards are bestowed during the Closing Party and Awards Ceremony on the last day. Audience votes and a judging committee will decide on the best director, story, feature film, short film, Long Island film, student film, animation and foreign film. Technical awards for best actor, actress, cinematography, art direction and lighting will be presented today. Winners will receive trophies and prizes ranging from cash to equipment rentals to editing time.

For more information about the Long Island International Film Expo, check out their website.

Public Invited To Federal Transportation Meeting July 17

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) have announced a public meeting about the New York metropolitan transportation planning process on July 17. The meeting, federally-mandated to evaluate transportation planning, is slated for 6:30-8 p.m. at the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) office on 199 Water Street, 22nd Floor in Manhattan.

Federal law requires urban areas with at least 50,000 residents to have a designated metropolitan planning organization (MPO) to carry out continuous and comprehensive transportation planning. NYMTC is the MPO for New York City, Long Island and southern portions of upstate.

For all transportation providers to continue receiving federal aid, FHWA and FTA must certify NYMTC’s compliance with regulations at least once every four years. NYMTC was previously certified compliant in June 2011.

This public meeting includes evaluating the planning process and documenting the process on a periodic basis. Taxpayers can talk directly with staff from FHWA and FTA about the transportation planning process in the NYMTC area.

Written comments should be received no later than Oct. 31 to be considered for the review.  Your comments can be emailed to Karen Rosenberger.

For security concerns, participants must RSVP with Rosenberger by email or calling 212-668-6091.

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.

Don’t Raid Clean Water Funds To Build A Bridge!

Governor Cuomo is proposing to raid over a half billion dollars from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) to pay for destruction of the Tappan Zee Bridge on the Hudson River. For decades, the CWSRF has been New York's foremost source of funding to fix aging and failing sewage infrastructure. Governor Cuomo's proposal to raid this fund flies in the face of efforts to protect clean water, is a gross misuse of funds and sets a dangerous precedent that puts additional clean water funding in jeopardy in the future.

New York State currently has a $36.2 billion sewage infrastructure funding need. Taking away limited clean water funds for the Tappan Zee Bridge project impairs our ability to pay for much-needed sewage infrastructure upgrades. Since the CWSRF's inception, its intended purpose has always been to protect water quality. Raiding the CWSRF for a transportation project sets a precedent that could lead to further misuse of the fund, and could compel Congress to cut funding to the CWSRF in the future.

We know that aging and failing sewage infrastructure leads to sewage overflows, which puts public health, our environment, our fishing industry and recreational opportunities at risk. Raw sewage overflows expose the New Yorkers to harmful bacteria, make our children sick and close our treasured beaches. Governor Cuomo should prioritize the long term health and safety of New Yorkers by continuing to use clean water money to upgrade sewage infrastructure.

The good news is that this is not a done deal! Legislative leaders still have the opportunity to reject this ill-conceived proposal to raid $511 million from the CWSRF. Please take a moment (it takes less than a minute) to email our leaders in Albany and tell them you do not want them to raid clean water funds for the Tappan Zee Bridge!

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 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
Spin Doctors with Circus Mind - Friday, July 11 at 8 p.m.
Procol Harum - Saturday, July 12 at 8 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here




140 Merrick Road, Amityville
Cold Shot and Breakdown - Friday, July 11 at 8 p.m.
The Long Island Battle of the Bands - Sunday, July 13 at 1 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
JD Souther - Friday, July 11 at 8 p.m.
Nick D'Avanzo's Rock and Blues Revue for the benefit of the Muscular Dystrophy Association - Sunday, July 13 at 7 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
Guild Hall Films at the Farm: Ghostbusters - Friday, July 11 at 8:30 p.m.
Gallery Talk with Nina Yankowtiz - Sunday, July 13 at noon.
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
Back to the Eighties Show with Jessie's Girl - Friday, July 11 at 8 p.m.
The Summertime Comedy Showcase - Saturday, July 12 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, July 11 at 8 p.m., Saturday, July 12 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sunday, July 13 at 2 p.m.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - Saturday, July 12 at 11 a.m.
Shut Up, Sit Down and Eat - Sunday, June 29 at 7 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here


89 North
89 North Ocean Avenue East Main Street, Patchogue
LA Woman, Mudcat and Crowes Addiction - Friday, July 11 at 8 p.m.
Live After Death and Exciter - Saturday, July 12 at 10 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here.

Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts
71 East Main Street, Patchogue
No shows scheduled this weekend.
Tickets and more information available here.

The Emporium
9 Railroad Avenue, Patchogue
Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band - Friday, July 11 at 6 p.m.
Ol' Skool Summer Soul Jam - Saturday, July 12 at 10 p.m.
Cold Steel with Gothic Knights, Sanitarius and ShitKill - Sunday, July 13 at 8 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
Friday Night Face Off - Friday, July 11 at 10:30 p.m.
9th Annual Long Island Comedy Festival - Friday, July 11 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, July 12 at 8 p.m.
Sleeping Beauty - Saturday, July 12 at 11 a.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
Ashley Munroe (of the Pistol Annies) and Striking Matches - Saturday, July 12 at 8 p.m.
New Orleans Jazz with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band - Sunday, July 13 at 7 p.m.
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
Richard Kind in "Travesties"- Friday, July 11 at 8 p.m., Saturday, July 12 at 8:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 13 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
23rd Annual Summer Gala Dinner and Dancing at The Tent - Saturday, July 12 at 8 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.

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Smart Talk

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

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