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July 17th - 22nd, 2016

Regional Updates

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"For all of us here today and for everyone working to ensure a prosperous future for our communities on Long Island, I know that revitalizing our local business districts is always a top priority. I walk down the main streets of communities all the time, whether its Garden City where I am from, or Hempstead, Freeport, Rockville Center, Long Beach, and many others, I see the heart of our local economies. It’s the mom and pop shops. We need to do everything we can to support the mom and pop shops… I see a lot of small- and medium-sized businesses that are succeeding and creating jobs no matter what obstacles they find in front of them.”
-Congresswoman Katheen Rice

"Too many communities across this state have been hit hard by the proliferation of zombie properties... This new grant initiative puts tools directly in the hands of towns and cities across the state to reverse course, rebuild from the foreclosure crisis, and put zombie homes in the rear-view mirro”
-Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

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The Cornerstone at Farmingdale Celebrates Grand Opening

Vision staff attended the ribbon cutting ceremony that celebrated the grand opening of the Cornerstone, a transit-oriented development in downtown Farmingdale. The new apartment building was awarded a Smart Growth Award by Vision this past June.

The 42-unit rental community is currently leasing, with four units designated as affordable housing. The Cornerstone allows residents to simply walk across the street to the busy Long Island Railroad Farmingdale station to commute to and from work. Furthermore, residents are able to benefit from the development’s proximity to the numerous shops, restaurants, and places of worship located on nearby Main Street. Developer Anthony Bartone gave high praise to the team of architects, engineers, and employees at the Cornerstone who worked together to complete the project in only 9 months. He also gave thanks to the Village of Farmingdale, which leads all other villages and hamlets on Long Island for the number of new Smart Growth developments. Bartone was joined by his partner Fran Terwilliger, who he credited with having the vision to create the apartment building. Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Eckstrand addressed the crowd as well, congratulating the developers for their continued efforts to bring Smart Growth to Farmingdale. Vision Director Eric Alexander discussed the immense amount of progress that has been made, not only in Farmingdale, but across Long Island. He informed the crowd that over 12,000 transit-oriented development units have been approved in Nassau and Suffolk Counties in the past decade.

Bartone Properties also worked together with village officials to open a new Starbucks, part of one of their new Main Street developments. The coffee shop is the first of seven commercial spaces to open below the Jefferson at Farmingdale Plaza, a two-building, 154-unit apartment complex located across the railroad from the Cornerstone. The Jefferson at Farmingdale, a former Smart Growth Award winner as well, features a number of one- and two-bedroom apartments paired with retail space. To the credit of these projects, a major transformation has been seen in the Village of Farmingdale. Attracting new residents and adding to the appeal of Main Street has helped the Village fill many of its vacant store fronts. Congratulations to Terwilliger & Bartone Properties and the Village of Farmingdale on their latest effort to bring housing to their downtown.

Hicksville Holds 14th Annual Street Fair

Members of Vision’s board and staff attended the 14th Annual Hicksville Street Fair in Kennedy Park on Sunday. Thousands of folks came to the event to enjoy the music, crafts, art, food, and activities. Hundreds of residents came by the Hicksville Downtown Revitalization Committee’s table, where information about the newly proposed zoning plan was available. A number of local politicians attended the event as well, including Nassau County Legislator Rose Walker and New York State Assemblyman Michael Montessano. Candidates for the New York State Senate Elaine Phillips and Adam Haber were also able to visit the revitalization booth with hundreds stopping by to see Hicksville’s plans for the future. Four local civic associations and many of the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce board members also stopped by.

Vision began helping Hicksville with their revitalization process in 2010. After the creation of a design proposal and the formation of revitalization committees, real progress began. Improvements to date include, but are not limited to, the addition of countdown timers at pedestrian crossings, streetscaping improvements along Marie Street, facade rehabilitation of the old American Dental building, approvals for renovations to 76-80 Broadway, and expansion of the building adjacent to the old Chamber office.

Plans for train station improvements were finalized last year, and as of June, the Town of Oyster Bay has proposed mixed use zoning changes to the Central Business District to allow for properties that serve more than just commercial functions. Community reactions to the town’s proposed zoning changes were overwhelmingly positive. A public meeting will be held in September so that community members will have the ability to voice their opinions about the suggested zoning changes.

Huntington Station Bicycle Safety Fair

Vision joined over 150 people gathered on Saturday at St. Hugh of Lincoln Church in Huntington Station to participate in a bicycle safety fair. Local community members and avid cyclists alike came together to draw attention to bike safety and provide people with various safety equipment, such as reflectors, vests, lights, and even some bicycles.

“Sunday's Bicycle Safety Fair was an energetic display of caring organization and individuals collaborating their efforts to make a stand for the safety of bicycle commuters in Huntington Station,” said Angela Satcher, the organizer of the safety fair. “This fair was the first of hopefully many to come for Long Island, and New York. It demonstrated the need and positive response from the community to have access to safety education and personal safety gear. Let's keep the conversation alive, continue to bring light on the need for safer cycling in other New York cities and towns.”

Long Island is known to have among the highest rates of bicycle crashes in the nation, primarily due to its large populations and poorly-lit roads. Over the past four years, about 20 collisions involving bicycles and pedestrians occurred in Hunting Station alone. Just last month in Hicksville, a sport utility vehicle collided with two bicyclists, killing one of them.

Suffolk County Police Officers from the Second Precinct  COPE unit in Huntington Station were on hand at the event to measure and inspect helmets before they were distributed to the children in attendance. Officer Drew Fiorillo said, “We want to make people aware of cyclist rules and, if they are unaware, enforce those rules.”

Local community members were very grateful for the event. Father Nehemiah Bellamy stated, “Safety is always a first priority so its comforting to have these tools to help keep [my kids] from falling.” Satcher emphasized that the goal of the event was to assist and support bicycle commuters, particularly those who ride with traffic daily, and raise awareness of drivers around the Huntington area. “It’s so important we come together and promote safe conditions between drivers and bicyclists every day. We want to show there’s a need for bike safety and events like this in other towns and cities.”

The event was sponsored by the New York Bicycling Coalition, Bikes for Kids, and Source the Station, an initiative to ensure that the future of the Huntington Station downtown is vibrant, inspiring and representative of the community’s values of being economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable. They also offer a monthly $500 grant for the implementation of initiatives that support local downtown revitalization.  A number of other non-profit organizations are talking about hosting their own safety fairs in other locations in both Suffolk and Nassau Counties as a result of Saturday’s success.

You can learn more about last week’s Bicycle Safety Fair on Newsday and you can visit Source the Station’s website to learn more about the grants they offer.

Congresswoman Rice talks Transportation funding at LI Smart Growth Working Group - $8 Billion Slated for Mobility Projects

The LI Smart Growth Working Group met this week at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College in Farmingdale to address recent plans for transportation investment for downtown projects, transit investments and complete streets road designs. 

After a welcoming message from Vision Long Island’s Director Eric Alexander and a round of introductions, the Working Group was kicked off by Mayor Ralph Ekstrand of Farmingdale, who discussed some of the ongoing projects within Farmingdale. The Mayor updated the group on the downtown’s success hosting their festival Live at Five on Main.  A combination of shopping, dining, and acoustic art, the biweekly summer celebration drew thousands of people on its opening night last Thursday. The village also just celebrated the grand opening of Vespa Italian Kitchen & Bar on Main Street. The Mayor went on to discuss the grand opening of the Cornerstone, a new transit-oriented development that was recognized at the 15th Annual Smart Growth Awards hosted by Vision in June. He stressed the importance of providing residents with a variety of transit-oriented units. The Cornerstone, which consists primarily of studio apartments, entices residents to live in the village and promotes further revitalization of their downtown area.

Hempstead Town Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney discussed her part in the revitalization occurring within the Town of Hempstead, specifically Baldwin.  She stated that the hamlet has progressed immensely as the intersection of Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue that used to be full of empty storefronts is now home to a number of local mom and pop shops that are bringing economic vitality to the region.

Amityville Trustee Dennis Siry gave a brief update on his village’s progress as well, with new zoning by the LIRR station being looked at for transit-oriented development, as well as a traffic calming project with NYS DOT. Keith Lanning, the Assistant Vice President for the Livingston Development Corporation also spoke about progress in the City of Glen Cove with the Villa condo project, which was originally proposed almost ten years ago. Gina Coletti discussed the Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers' progress in working with the local chambers of commerce, while she was flanked by Francesca Carlow of Nassau County Council of Chambers, who gave updates of their efforts and a reminder of their Annual Small Business Person of the Year and Legislative Breakfast coming up on October 21st. The Council is continuously working to encourage Nassau residents to shop local. Initiatives to teach the public about the benefits of frequenting local mom and pop shops as opposed to big chain stores or online are ongoing.

Neal Lewis, Executive Director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, spoke about the new wind farm that was slated to receive approval from the Long Island Power Authority – however that meeting was abruptly canceled on Wednesday. The wind farm, once approved, will consist of 15 turbines located over 30 miles off of the coast of Montauk. Responding to people who are worried about the presence of a wind farm ruining the view from the South Shore, Lewis stressed that it will not only be hard to see the turbines from land, it will be impossible. The project will provide the South Fork with 90 megawatts of energy, and combines the area’s need for energy with green energy, helping the state achieve its goal of generating 50% of its electricity from carbon-free renewable energy projects by 2030. Lewis also discussed a number of solar projects that are transpiring on Long Island, and stated that it is unfortunate that these ventures are often pitted as trees verses solar panels. While open fields do provide a lot of room for solar panels to collect energy, he advocated for more solar panels in the built environment, especially on new buildings and on carports that can be placed over parking lots. Information about the Long Island Green Homes initiative was also available, where residents can sign up for a free home energy audit which can save around $1,000 a year on energy costs.

Eric Alexander provided the group with an update regarding the progress of Hicksville’s downtown revitalization efforts on behalf of the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce. The Town of Oyster Bay recently proposed a number of zoning changes for the Central Business District that will allow new residential and mixed use buildings to be placed within the downtown corridor for the first time. Such changes are paramount to the economic success of the area, as new residents will bring new money to spend in local shops. The town will hold a public meeting to allow residents to share their thoughts on the zoning changes. He also discussed the Village of Westbury’s recent success in securing a $10-million-dollar Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant. The money is to be used to revitalize the local neighborhood and generate new opportunities for long-term growth.  Westbury successfully competed against 20 other downtowns on Long Island to win the grant.

Lois Howes, President of Friends of Freeport, spoke about the group’s continued efforts to help the victims of Superstorm Sandy recover. She also asked for volunteers to participate in the moving of sheds this Saturday, and in upcoming efforts. John Giordano from the Village of Lynbrook provided the group with an update about recent progress in his village, with $1.1 million being leveraged from county and DOT funds for revitalization efforts.  The former Regal movie theater will be replaced by a new 1,600 seat theater, and there is a letter of intent by Marriott to develop in close proximity to the train station.  Corey Bearak from the Queens Chamber of Commerce also provided the group with an update, and offered some caution on revenue models that call for tolling the varying bridges into Manhattan that are opposed by the Chamber and many other local Queens and Brooklyn organizations. Randi Dresner spoke next about the work being done by Island Harvest, a Long Island food bank. In a recent food drive, Letter Carriers for Food, Long Island residents could leave food in or by their mailbox for pickup. This raised over 400,000 pounds of food, but considering that there are over 3 million people in Suffolk and Nassau Counties, with over 316,000 facing food insecurity, the need persists.

Gerry Bogacz from the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council discussed the “FAST Act”, or “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act”, which authorizes 305 billion dollars for highway and motor vehicle safety, public transportation, motor carrier safety, hazardous materials safety, rail, and research, technology, and statistics programs. The funding in this Act is then allocated to the states, who have the responsibility of sub-allocating the money within the state. Much of this money is given to Metropolitan Transportation Organizations such as NYMTC, which serves Long Island, New York City, and the Lower Hudson region, and verifies that the federal funds get used. NYMTC will receive $8 billion dollars in this current 5-year transportation funding, and has held and will continue to hold a number of public outreach events to get input from local residents. Significantly, NYMTC has recently prioritized both downtowns and pedestrians. This plan is a radical improvement from past years plans that included less transit, less bike and pedestrian projects, and more road widenings with no growth at the end of the road.

Lisa Black from Governor Cuomo’s office touched briefly on the need to fix infrastructure in the region. John McCarthy from the MTA updated the group on the progress that has been made on the East Side Access Project and the work on the tracks located between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma. Combined, McCarthy said, these two projects have the ability to double the number of people who can get into Manhattan. Equally important is the ability to have trains running towards Long Island during morning peak hours and trains running into Manhattan during evening peak hours, which the Double Track will permit.

The keynote address was delivered by Congresswoman Kathleen Rice. The congresswoman began her speech by talking about her time in Washington, mentioning that the House of Representatives and the Senate need to have more contact with each other in order for real progress to be made. She moved on to discuss the demand for improved infrastructure across the island, saying, “We need to invest our money in infrastructure.” She praised the recently passed FAST Act, the first long-term federal highway bill in a decade, for its ability to help bring Long Island’s infrastructure “into the 21st century”, with $16.3 billion going to NY State for infrastructure improvements, and $2.5 billion going directly to Long Island. The $2.5 billion will be augmented by local shares and public-private partnerships to create a total of around $8 billion for infrastructure improvements  Rice emphasized the importance of having a bill that dictates federal funding for multiple years. “Why is it important to know that that money is guaranteed? Because now you can plan,” Rice said. “Now we have money for at least the next five years. It should be more than that. But at least that’s something. We’re going in the right direction.” As other speakers did before her, Congresswoman Rice also discussed the importance of supporting local mom and pops shops over big box stores. “In order to get young kids to move and live on Long Island”, Rice added, “active downtowns need to be surrounded by effective and reliable transportation systems.” Rice used this as a transition to confirm that the Third Track Project is happening, much to the dismay of many mayors within Nassau County who feel that there could be concerns with the needs of their communities. “It’s not a question of ‘if.’ It’s ‘when.’ So try to extract whatever you can for your village,” Rice said. “Let’s try to see if we can look at this as a way to expand our infrastructure ... and also expand our economic base.” Finally, Rice discussed the need for increased voter turnouts in order to affect real change. She pointed out that recent elections in Suffolk County was decided by counting absentee ballots and that each vote truly does matter.

Following Congresswoman Rice’s keynote address, Roy Smitheimer from the Town of Hempstead told the Working Group about the recent opening of LaunchPad in Great Neck Plaza, a business incubator. A Business and Tourism Development Corporation’s Business Breakfast was held their last week to inform residents and prospective business owners about the benefits of collaborative work environments and to educate them on how to help young millennials and entrepreneurs with start-up businesses.

Neighbors Supporting Neighbors updated the group on their work with Superstorm Sandy victims. The organization has been working with families who were financially devastated after the storm. The majority of their work has revolved around helping those families make ends meet while they continue to recover, however other efforts have continued to take place for non-disaster related needs, such as 300 boxes of food being distributed with Feed the Children last weekend, leading a collaborative effort for a playground to be built in Babylon Township, and a program with Island Harvest to create a food pantry operated by students in the Deer Park school district.. Nora Sundin from the Brookhaven National Lab mentioned an exciting weekly event they are hosting during which families can come to the lab to learn about the science and research that is done there. The event runs like an open house every Sunday from 10am to 3pm. Dr. Nathalia Rogers from the Long Island Youth Summit spoke again about the importance of keeping youth on Long Island. She stressed that we need to get them excited about living here, and present them with opportunities that make staying on Long Island a viable option. The LI Youth Summit hosts about 25 schools annually, and is now working with Northwell Health as their main sponsor for the annual event. The last speaker at the event, Rene Fiechter from the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, informed the group of a new program that gives jackets to various organizations including soup kitchens, shelters, veteran groups, and women empowerment groups. The jackets were confiscated since they were counterfeit, and instead of being destroyed, will be put to good use.  20,000 jackets have been distributed to date, and the project will have an additional 30,000 jackets available starting in September.

The LI Smart Growth Working Group was created in 2007 to plan and implement statewide policies that will affect Smart Growth development on Long Island. The group is organized by Vision Long Island, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, Neighborhood Network, Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, LI Federation of Labor, LI Business Council, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce, AARP and many others.   The group meets multiple times a year to tackle issues related to transportation, sewers, economic development, demographics, land use regulations and downtown redevelopment projects. 

Special thanks to Summit sponsors: National Grid, Harras, Bloom & Archer, the Long Island Youth Summit, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek Counselors at Law, Certilman Balin Attorneys, GRCH Architecture, Renaissance Downtowns, Zodiac Title Services, VHB, PSEG, Mill Creek Residential Trust, Greenman-Pederson, Inc., St. Joseph’s College, AARP, Engel Burman, D&F Development Group, Jobco, Noticia, Long Island Business Council, Southwest, H2M, Post Properties, Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers, Zucaro Construction, Posillico, Rivkin Radler Attorneys at Law, and the Sustainability Institute at Molloy for hosting.

You can see coverage of the event in Newsday. Congresswoman Rice's keynote address can also be seen here

Suffolk County Officials  Prepare for Bus Service Cuts

After Suffolk County’s announcement that 10 to 20 bus routes (up to forty percent of existing routes) would be cut in an effort to close a projected 129.4-million-dollar budget gap, county officials asked local transit advocates last week for advice on “the best ways to implement any sort of reductions”. County officials are also trying to encourage transit advocates to continue the fight for more funding from the state to prevent further cuts.

Details about the cuts have yet to be released, with Suffolk officials saying it will be two to three more weeks before residents will know which routes will no longer be serviced. Public hearings will follow in late August, and the cuts will be effective starting in early October. Deputy County Executive John Schneider met with other county representatives and transit advocates in Hauppauge on Thursday to update them on the status of the bus cuts. “The message is, ‘Look, in the short term, we need to find some ways to spend less on the system,’” Schneider said. “It’s not a step we take lightly, and it’s not a place that we want to go.”

This year’s 3 million dollars in bus cuts are much less severe than last year’s proposed cuts; in the fall of 2015, the county planned on cutting 10 million dollars from its bus system if the state did not agree to contribute an extra 10 million dollars a year. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan criticized the plan, calling it “highly inappropriate”. Suffolk County currently receives only about a third of what Nassau County receives in state transit aid, largely due to the difference in ridership between the two counties.

Many people are accusing the county of shirking its responsibility and placing blame on the state. Schneider has argued that, despite the 3 million dollar cuts, Suffolk County still provides a 30-million-dollar subsidy to its transit system, well above the amount given by most other counties in the state. Nassau County, for example, has only contributed approximately 6 million dollars to its bus system in recent years. While Schneider insists that the point of his recent meeting was not to rally support for increased state aid, he is adamant about the fact that the county will need more help from the state to continue providing “adequate transit service”.

Suffolk's SCAT service, which provides rides to disabled throughout the county 7 days a week will not be affected according to the county. Suggestions from stakeholders at the meeting included adjusting bus schedules to align better with LIRR stations, “right-sizing” buses by using smaller sized vehicles where there is lower ridership, and making maps more readable for ease of use. The the County's credit, talks are underway with the MTA to better align the schedules, to unveil an app to make maps more navigable for users, and plans to add 40 smaller buses to the fleet next year, with estimated fuel costs savings of around $250,000 going back into the transit system . 

Vision will once again join the County and transit advocates within the next two to three weeks when plans are unveiled regarding service cuts and other changes to the Suffolk Transit System.

You can read more about the impending Suffolk County bus cuts in this Newsday article.

End of Homeless Veterans on Long Island

Vision board members and staff attended the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless team’s announcement about the eradication of veteran homelessness on Long Island. The group announced that all military veterans who are actively seeking a home on Long Island now have a place to live. Matthew Doherty, the executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, sent Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone a letter stating that the two counties “have effectively ended homelessness among veterans.”

A total of 1,000 units of housing and a number of support services have been provided by a host of different agencies on Long Island in the past few years. Liberty Village and the Coalition’s resource center, where the press conference was held in North Amityville, have served as a hub for this activity. The Community Resource Center, located on a parcel of land in front of the 60 residential units, allows 10 organizations who work to support Long Island’s homeless and veteran folks to be located in the same place.

Other projects include the 60-home Mitchel Field development in Garden City and the rehabilitation of five two-bedroom town houses in Hempstead for veterans, active-duty military and their families. Suffolk County has made recent strides as well, with the passing of the Housing our Homeless Heroes Act, which transferred abandoned properties seized by the county for unpaid taxes to nonprofit groups to be used to house veterans. Since the introduction of this legislation, ten homes have begun the redevelopment process.

When asked why there are still some homeless veterans on the streets, Greta Guarton, the Coalition Executive Director, said, “if the choice is not to receive services or not to accept services, we’re going to respect that.” Long Island is currently one of only twenty regions out of over five hundred that were recognized for providing full services for veterans.

Also in attendance at the press conference were a number of HUD officials, Nassau County Executive Mangano, Suffolk County Executive Bellone, Suffolk County Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory, Suffolk Legislator Steve Stern, local agencies, veterans, and many others. While the inefficiency, waste and lack of coordination associated with Federal intervention are often discussed, this partnership between the HUD and the local communities in need is an example of true progress and effective public service

You can read more about the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless’ announcement on Newsday.

$13 Million in Grants Available to Combat Zombie Homes

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Thursday announced that his office will award $13 million in grants to local governments with a high number of “zombie homes,” vacant properties that often fall into neglect as the foreclosure process drags on.

Without regular maintenance, the homes can become an eyesore or even a haven for criminal activity, dragging down nearby property values and threatening to undermine entire neighborhoods.
“Too many communities across this state have been hit hard by the proliferation of zombie properties,” Schneiderman said. “This new grant initiative puts tools directly in the hands of towns and cities across the state to reverse course, rebuild from the foreclosure crisis, and put zombie homes in the rear-view mirror.”

The Zombie Remediation and Prevention Initiative will provide $13 million in grants to local governments throughout the state through a competitive application process. The 100 communities with the greatest problem of zombies and vacancy have been invited to apply for the funds. The money will address housing vacancy and blight by bolstering municipalities’ capacity for housing code enforcement, for tracking and monitoring vacant properties, and for legal enforcement capacity to ensure banks and mortgage companies comply with local and state law.  The grants also require communities to develop innovative programs and policies and connect at-risk homeowners to services so they can avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes. The initiative coincides with the recent passage of the Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act, a bill that was authored by Attorney General Schneiderman, championed by Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) and Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein (D-Brooklyn), and signed into law by Governor Cuomo on June 23rd. 

The opportunity comes from a $3.2 billion settlement negotiated by Schneiderman’s office with Morgan Stanley, one of several large settlements with financial institutions following the economic downturn.

The grants will range in size from $75,000 to $350,000. Nassau and Suffolk Counties have some of the highest rates of zombie homes in the state and country, with studies showing that house market values are reduced by as much as $5000 for every zombie home on a block.

The grant program follows the passage of a state law this year that imposes new rules on mortgage lenders requiring them to maintain abandoned houses before foreclosures are completed. Banks that fail to do so face fines of $500 a day.

The new law also establishes an electronic statewide registry of abandoned homes, a state hotline where neighbors can report them and requires notices to mortgage borrowers emphasizing their right to stay in houses until foreclosure.

Largest Wind Farm in the US to be Built off of Long Island

In an effort to reach the goal of meeting 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, New York is constructing the largest offshore wind farm in the country. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has recently joined the US Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s lease auction. An 81,000-acre site off the coast of western Long Island, which has been deemed the most feasible and cost effective location for wind farming in New York, is available for sale. A site of this size will be able to produce 90 MW of electricity, comparable to what a nuclear power plant is able to generate. Once the purchase is made next week, New York State will take action to reduce risks that developers could face, thereby increasing the desirability of the site.

“Investing in New York’s clean energy economy strengthens our communities by providing access to clean, affordable power and good quality green jobs. Next week marks another opportunity for this state to lead the nation in creating a stronger, more resilient energy system and protecting the environment for future generations,” said Governor Cuomo in a recent press release.

Another site off the coast of Montauk is being eyed by Deepwater Wind LLC, the builder of the first wind farm in the United States. Their proposal, selected by the Long Island Power Authority, includes the construction and installation of 15 wind turbines that would feed the South Fork over 90 MW of energy. Once this project receives final approval, Deepwater Wind will be building on the largest wind farm in the nation. While the exact costs of the project remain unknown at this point, it is estimated that the wind turbines could be up and running as soon as 2022.

There are a number of benefits to offshore wind farming, including job creation, proximity to dense populations, and decreasing the use of fossil fuels. Were all of New York’s waterfront to be utilized, over 38 GW of power could be generated solely from offshore wind farming. “This is the first in New York, it’s the largest to date, but we’re looking at this and seeing a tremendous offshore wind resource that will be developed and it’s not the last,” Long Island Power Authority CEO Thomas Falcone. “I think this is a very big step for New York, but also for the United States.”

In 2015 the University of Delaware compiled the New York Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Study and determined that New York has the ability to reduce costs by approximately thirty percent by increasing the visibility of and properly preparing for the farms. Furthermore, as the global market grows, it is expected that there will be an additional twenty percent reduction in costs by 2020. New York joins Massachusetts, who has also recently made strides in policy actions to help make wind power a reality, and Rhode Island, who is in the middle of building their own 30 MW offshore wind farm near Block Island, as a leader of offshore wind power construction.

LIPA was expected to vote on approving the project this week, however the meeting was abruptly canceled and not yet rescheduled. You can read more about the new offshore wind farm on the New York League of Conservation Voter’s website.

The Village of Great Neck Plaza Summer Concert Series

The Village of Great Neck Plazakicked off 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 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.

Music By The Bay Concert

A free summer concert will be hosted by the Mastic Beach Property Owners Association in order to give community members an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the local waterfront. The event will take place on July 23 from 6 PM to 10 PM at Marina One at 96 Riviera Drive in Mastic Beach. 20 Highview, known across the island for their dance classics, will be the featured band. Refreshments will be available for sale during the concert and attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs, but leave their coolers at home.

For more information about this event, you can email or visit the Property Owner Association’s website 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 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 21st, August 4th, and August 18th, and in Riverhead (Alive on 25) on 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.

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.

Petition to Improve USDOT Classification of Successful Streets

In an effort to create new metrics for how states and cities measure traffic congestion, the U.S. Department of Transportation has put forward a number of new requirements. The goal of the new requirements is to help people understand what federal transportation dollars accomplish. While this objective is worthy, the current proposal is flawed; it prioritizes high speed roads over other important aspects of transportation including safety, equity, opportunity, and economic growth. Additionally, the rule classifies highways and main streets as the same, creating the potential for harm in the nation’s most economically successful areas.

In order to help show the DOT that they also need to take into consideration people who bike, walk, carpool, or use public transportation, sign this petition.

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.

Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grant

The National Marine Fisheries Service is soliciting proposals for Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants to implement projects to improve or restore coastal habitat. 10 proposals are expected to be awarded grants valued between $100,000 and $2,000,000. The goal of such efforts is to strengthen the resilience of U.S. marine and coastal ecosystems and decrease the vulnerability of communities to extreme weather while also supporting sustainable fisheries by contributing to the recovery of protected resources. Applicants may be institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, and local or state governments. All applications are due by August 16, 2016.

You can learn more about the application process for this grant here.

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

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Grant

The Housing Trust fund is currently accepting applications for approximately 26.9 million dollars of State and Federal funds for projects relating to housing activities including housing rehabilitation, homeownership, manufactured housing rehabilitation or replacement, well and septic replacement, and lateral connection assistance that primarily benefit low- and moderate-income persons. Eligible applicants include non-entitlement villages, towns, cities or counties throughout New York State. The 2016 Application for CDBG Housing Activities will be available on the NYS Homes and Community Renewal website and is due no later than 4:00pm on Wednesday, September 28, 2016.

You can contact the Office of Community Renewal within NYS Home and Community Renewal at (518)-474-2057 with any questions, or visit their website.

What's happening on your Main Street this weekend?



Bow Tie Grand Avenue

1841 Grand Avenue, Baldwin


Bellmore Movies

222 Pettit Avenue, Bellmore


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.
Open Sundays 2PM-5PM.
For information, visit their website or call 516-623-9632

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.

Garvies Point Museum and Preserve
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

Tickets and more information available here

Bow Tie Port Washington
116 Main Street, Port Washington

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

Tickets and more information available here



140 Merrick Road, Amityville
Tickets and more information available here

Bay Shore

The YMCA Boulton Center
37 West Main Street, Bay Shore
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, “Sea Ink” explores tattoo art and its nautical origins. 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
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 “Print Up Ladies” which is a survey of contemporary works created by female artists, and “Inked” by Kathy Seff. 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
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.

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
Showtimes at Islip Cinemas


The John W. Engeman Theater
250 Main Street, Northport


89 North
89 North Ocean Avenue East Main Street, Patchogue
Tickets and more information available here.

Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts
71 East Main Street, Patchogue
Tickets and more information available here.

The Emporium
9 Railroad Avenue, Patchogue
Tickets and more information available here

Plaza Cinema & Media Arts Center
20 Terry Street, Patchogue

Port Jefferson

Theatre Three
412 Main Street,
 Port Jefferson
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


Suffolk Theater


Vail-Leavitt Music Hall
18 Peconic Avenue, Riverhead
Tickets and more information available here

Sag Harbor

Bay Street Theater
The Long Wharf, Sag Harbor
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 ly growing and tours of the Edward Homestead offer a view at the areconstanta 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 exhibit: Current exhibit: “If These Walls Could Talk: Meet the Families of the Rogers Mansion”.  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.

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.

Smart Talk

Newsletter Contributors:
Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director; Elissa Kyle, Planning Director;
Jon Siebert, Program Coordinator, 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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