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July 20-26, 2014

National Updates

Community Updates

Zyscovich Architects

For nearly 40 years, Zyscovich Architects has worked to create projects with purpose, bringing new life and vibrancy to cityscapes through integrated urban planning, architecture and interior design. 

Since the firm's early inception in 1977, the goal has always been to establish a company that can really provide high-value services for design-specific issues while placing "social betterment" at the core of everything we do. Zyscovich Architects runs the spectrum from transportation to schools, commercial to public-private partnerships, to recreational and master plans for cities. 

From iconic urban planning and design projects like Brooklyn, New York's DUMBO Heights, to Midtown Miami and Miami Beach’s Convention Center redevelopment district, to Latin America's largest commercial airport in Bogota, Colombia, the Zyscovich approach to urban design and master planning is gaining national momentum, while earning international recognition.

“This agreement offers a sustainable path forward for our sewage treatment infrastructure while also offering tremendous financial and environmental benefits." Nassau Legislative Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves



“We are encouraged by the fact that the new agreement contains some significant protections for County ratepayers and residents that were not part of the first privatization plan. Under the new plan, the County does not surrender control of its sewer system to a profit-making entity that may not always have the interests of the citizens at heart. While a private vendor will operate the system on a day-day basis, the elected officials of Nassau County continue to be ultimately responsible to the voters for the operation of the sewers. The County also retains the right to make any capital improvements it deems necessary to keep the system in working order. In addition, because of language we insisted on in the contract, the operator must maintain a continuous dialogue with the public through quarterly community meetings at each sewage plant." Nassau Legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams

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Finding Infrastructure Solutions With Existing Funds

Transportation infrastructure is critical for creating jobs, sustaining businesses and getting Americans around.

Standing under a closed federal highway bridge in Delaware last week, President Barack Obama issued an executive order to increase investment in infrastructure. His administration believes the Build America Investment Initiative will improve public-private partnerships and inter-agency cooperation.

The centerpiece of the movement is the Build America Transportation Investment Center. To be launched within 120 days of Obama’s announcement on July 17, it will serve as a one-stop shop for state, local, tribal and territorial governments use federal transportation programs to facilitate innovative approaches to financing projects, provide information and technical assistance. The center will be located at the Department of Transportation (DOT).

As announced, the Center’s “Navigator Service” will make DOT credit programs more accessible to states and local governments. The Center will also promote awareness of existing resources like the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, which provides long-term funding for highway and transit projects with dedicated revenue sources. In addition, it will share best practices from states with strong track records on private investments.

The Build America Investment Initiative also establishes the Interagency Infrastructure Finance Working Group. Co-chaired by the secretaries of Departments of Treasury and Transportation, and with membership of various federal departments, the group is designed to research and support public-private partnerships. They must meet for the first time by Aug. 16 and return to the president in four months with recommendations on promoting awareness and understanding of innovative funding by lower level governments.

And come Sept. 9, the Treasury Department will host the Infrastructure Investment Summit. The event is expected to bring together leading project developers and institutional investors with state and local officials and their federal counterparts. They’ll focus on innovative financing approaches to infrastructure, and highlight other resources that support project development.

Meanwhile, transportation remains a divided issue in Washington, D.C. The federal government is prepared to cut highway and infrastructure spending by 28 percent on Aug. 1, threatening 100,000 jobs. At the same time, Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on a solution to solve the dying Federal Highway Trust Fund. Financed by a gas tax that has not been increased in two decades, the president wants to close business tax loopholes while Republicans proposed borrowing funds from other federal programs to delay the decision until next spring.

For more information on the Build America Investment Initiative, check out the DOT website and New York Times.

Suffolk IDA OKs $3 Mil Tax Breaks For Huntington Hotel

When the doors to the future Huntington Hotel finally open, they could be a bit lighter with new tax breaks.

A team of developers, led by Emerson J. Dobbs Inc., successfully petitioned the Suffolk County IDA for $3 million in tax relief over 15 years on the $10.4 million project.

IDA members expressed concern last month when developer Jay Dobbs suggested constructing parts of the hotel in Pennsylvania and assembling them in Huntington village with a crane. Dobbs assured them no local contractor could produce the modular components. However, the IDA tabled their request until more specifics could be provided.

But on Thursday, Dobbs said they were reconsidering conventional construction over the modular design.

Either way, he pledged to employ local workers. If they go the modular route, the developers would hire 75-90 locals. And $6.5 million of the $8.9 million construction budget, Dobbs added, will be performed and supplied by local contractors and vendors.

The new assurances were enough for IDA Treasurer Peter Zarcone Jr., also an officer in the Local 66 Laborers International Union, and Board member Kevin Harvey, also an officer in the Local 25 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, to join the five other IDA members in approving the tax breaks.

Plans call for Old Town Hall to be the cornerstone of the proposed hotel, with the building restored to its original condition from 1910. A larger, three-story building would then be constructed over the existing parking lot north along Stewart Avenue to Gerard Street. While the former Town Hall boasts brick with a limestone façade, the new building will be constructed with limestone and a brick façade. Both buildings would be connected by a glass atrium.

When guests walk into the Old Town Hall to check in, eat breakfast or have a drink at the lounge, they would see three grand, arched windows and a broad set of stairs connecting the buildings.

All of the guest rooms will be housed in the second building. According to the floor plan, each floor will house 18 rooms. Six will run parallel with Gerard Street in the back of the structure, while two sets of six rooms will run parallel with Stewart Avenue.

The Huntington Hotel is set to open in fall 2015.

Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander said he was happy to see the downtown project moving forward.

“This use will nicely compliment the rejuvenated retail, restaurants and musical venues like the Paramount,” he said.

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

Early Support For $43 Mil Walkable Apartments In Port Jeff

The Village Board must approve a state environmental review, but new apartments could be coming into downtown Port Jefferson.

Developer Tritec recently received preliminary approval from the Suffolk County IDA for a six-figure tax break on their proposed 112-apartment design. Late submission of financial documents limited the IDA’s action back at the June 26 meeting, although the Board of Directors backed the $43 million complex.

Tritec officials confirmed they want to purchase the purchase vacant 3.35-acre Heritage Inn Motel for $3.9 million and convert it into a 14,3000 square foot building. In addition to 42 one-bedroom and 70 two-bedroom apartments, the development would include patio decks, a club room, connections to community walking networks and useable outdoor spaces.

“As one enters Port Jefferson Village from the west on 25a, you must past a vacant boat yard, and a vacant and dilapidated motel. These two properties are directly across from the harbor. It appeared to us that any revitalization of this part of the Village must include a revitalization of this area.  With its proximity to the water, the harbor front village and the park, we felt this would be an excellent location to construct a multifamily complex that could satisfy the need for quality housing, and add jobs and economic activity to the local economy,” Vice President Rob Kent said. “After extensive meetings with the Village and the local civic groups, we have proposed to build the 112 unit complex currently on file with the Village. The project was designed to maintain conformity with not only the local zoning code, but to also fit seamlessly into the attractive and well established architecture of the Village.”

The price tag on this construction is estimated at $37.2 million, which includes a subsurface parking lot with 168 spaces and 10 above ground spaces.

Tritec officials boast eliminating the surface parking lot reduces localized heating, eliminates light pollution and allows for more green space. Plans also call for bicycle racks and paths to promote alternative transportation, while the building itself is erected vertically to leave more undisturbed areas.

If approved, the project is expected to create 179 construction jobs.

The developer also claims their project will support the local economy. New residents are projected to have $3.2 million in discretionary income, most of which is frequently spent within 10 miles of home.

The development also won support from the Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce. Not only will it eliminated the blighted west gateway to the Village, Director of Operations Barbara Ransome said alluding to the closed motel, but it would add to the community’s population total.

“We think it will be a good shot in the arm for the business community down there because you’re bringing in more people,” Ransome said.

Tritec is seeking a 20-year payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) – paying Suffolk County the existing taxes for 10 years before phasing in taxes at the market rate over another 10 years. They’re also looking for a mortage-recording tax savings and sales tax abatement on equipment and construction costs, although the IDA needed more time to consider the exemption.

Sharing Plans For Improved Hicksville At Annual Street Fair

Hicksville residents continue to show their support for a more vibrant downtown.

Vision Long Island participated in the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce’s 12th annual Street Fair. With carnival rides, food and vendors filling Kennedy Park, volunteers and Smart Growth supporters answered questions about plans for Hicksville’s future.

Community members, supported by Vision, began putting a plan together to replace empty lots along Broadway with Transit-Oriented Development back in 2010. When the road was widened, structures on the west side were razed. In their place, the community wants to create an environment where commuters passing through can stop, safely walk around and spend. Commercial buildings will return, although some housing is being considered; consolidated parking for everything is a major piece of the puzzle.

Community volunteers on a revitalization committee are still hoping the Town of Oyster Bay will make necessary zoning changes while working out specifics. When they presented a market study to the Town Board last summer, town officials were impressed with the amount of outreach and local focus.

Meanwhile, committee members joined Vision employees sharing that plan with folks at the fair. They also collected contacts for residents looking to get more involved and accepted suggestions for future development in Hicksville. Recommendations ran the gambit from generic like more affordable housing for young professionals and eateries/pubs near the LIRR station to community-specific like more LIRR parking, enhanced litter control and pedestrian safety improvements in the triangle between Route 106, Route 107 and Old Country Road.

For more information on the Hicksville Downtown Revitalization plan, the committee or how you can assist please email Vision’s Sustainability Director Elissa Kyle.

Downtown Carle Place In Need Of New Identity

Carle Place may not be a large, booming downtown. But then again, it doesn’t have to be.

Tucked in between the Village of Westbury and Roosevelt Field Mall, the community of 5,000 people is often overlooked.

Westbury Avenue is home to a creamery, bars, clothing services, florists and a variety of local businesses. Unfortunately, it’s also home to vacant storefronts and properties with overgrowth and garbage problems.

“They don’t stop. They keep going,” said Frank Signorello, owner of The Hollow Creamery ice cream parlor.

The area is “struggling with bright spots,” Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander said, although community merchants are optimistic that can change. Carle Place Civic Association President John Hommel would like to see small shops and cafés to create local flavor, while Studio Novelle co-owner Samantha Shea said Carle Place has a wide base of customers.

North Hempstead Business and Tourism Development Corporation Executive Director Kim Kaiman said the town has taken steps to beautify the area, like placing flags on lampposts for Independence Day.

Alexander said the solution involves niche retail and two-story development to create a neighborhood retail feel.

For more coverage, check out Newsday (subscription required).

Westbury Mayor Cavallaro Leading Nassau Village Group

After leading the revitalization of his community, Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro will now oversee the Nassau County Village Officials Association (NCVOA).

Cavallaro was elected president for 2014-2015 late June and assumed his position earlier this month. He replaces East Williston Mayor David Tanner as the head of an organization representing 450,000 people living in 64 villages.

“I'd like to thank the membership for placing its confidence in me to serve as the association's president,” Cavallaro said in NCVOA’s monthly newsletter.

A life-long resident of Westbury, Cavallaro was elected mayor in March 2009. He also served 10 years on the Village Board and 12 years on the Planning Board. He was first elected to the NCVOA Executive Committee in 2010, and served as treasurer, second vice president and first president.

In his administration, Cavallaro will be joined by First Vice President Barbara Donno, mayor of Plandome Manor; Second Vice President Bernie Ryba, mayor of Old Brookville; and Treasurer Robert Kennedy, mayor of Freeport. Donno’s title remains unchanged, former Treasurer Ryba assumes Cavallaro’s old job and Kennedy joins the Executive Board.

“I want to congratulate and thank my fellow mayors who will be serving on the Executive Board with me,” he said.

The new president has already pledged to protect their municipalities from unfunded mandates and other attempts at over-reaching by state and federal officials. Mandates continue unabated, Cavallaro said, while resources continue to dwindle. He added that State Senator Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), Senator Jack Martins (R-Mineola) and Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel (D-Great Neck) continue to support Nassau’s villages.

Cavallaro also expected NCVOA to focus on working with county and town partners to meet efficiency and savings required in the state budget and working with state and county boards of elections to solve the lever voting machine issue.

“Village government has always been the most responsive and efficient level of government. We need to make that fact known to our residents, and to the State and Federal officials who represent us. Along these lines, we need to build on Mayor Tanner's initiative of doing a better job of publicizing village success stories and better articulating NCVOA's positions to our residents and policy makers,” Cavallaro said.

Legislators Sign Off On $1.14 Billion Sewer Deal

A Nassau County committee last Friday signed off on final approval for a $1.14 billion, 20-year deal to contract wastewater experts that could save taxpayers $233.1 million.

The seven-person rules committee from the Nassau Legislature unanimously agreed to hire United Water to handle management and operation at the Bay Park, Cedar Creek and Glen Cove Sewage Treatment Plants.

“This agreement offers a sustainable path forward for our sewage treatment infrastructure while also offering tremendous financial and environmental benefits,” Presiding Officer and committee member Norma Gonsalves said.

Legislators Kevan Abrahams, Dennis Dunne, Judy Jacobs, Howard Kopel, Richard Nicolello and Carrie Solages also voted on the matter. Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and United Water CEO Bertrand Camus were in attendance.

The deal now goes to state-monitoring board NIFA for approval.

"The plants will be a better neighbor to the residents that reside by them," Mangano said to legislators. "And, importantly, it will reduce the costs of operating these plants."

A part of French multinational corporation Suez, United is poised to be responsible for three county-owned plants that process wastewater for 1.1 million Nassau County residents. In exchange, they will be paid $57.4 million annually.

Nassau County will maintain ownership and control over rates, but United Water will be responsible for operating the plants. The county is also responsible for making $1.5 billion in investments, $600 million of which were approved by the Nassau County Legislature in 2009 and 2010.

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 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.

Vision Long Island provided testimony at the hearing and was briefed as a member of the Nassau Wastewater task force.

"Vision Long Island supports this operational agreement to upgrade the efficiency and operation of the Bay Park, Cedar Creek and Glen Cove treatment plants.  These changes to facilities that have been left in disrepair for over a dozen years combined with a federal infusion of resources will improve water quality and allow for growth in our downtowns.   Kudos to County Executive Mangano, Presiding Officer Gonsalves and Minority Leader Abrahams for working in a bipartisan fashion for the betterment of Nassau's infrastructure,” Director Eric Alexander said.

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.

For more on this story, check out Newsday (subscription required) and Herald Community Newspapers.

Schumer To Congress: Green Light Highway Funds ASAP

Sixteen bridges on Long Island are deficient and need work, while another 391 are obsolete. But if the federal Highway Trust Fund is not sorted out quickly, they could remain in need of upgrades.

Speaking from an LIRR overpass in Old Westbury, Senator Chuck Schumer called on his colleagues in Congress to find a way to keep the highway fund solvent, referencing more than 400 federal-aid eligible bridges on Long Island that needs upgrades or have become functionally obsolete. None of the bridges are unsafe.

“The Highway Trust Fund is too important to Long Island’s economy, and to our safety, to let it become insolvent,” said Schumer. “Congress should step up and reach a bi-partisan agreement that continues to provide the funding New York and the country needs to carry out local highway and mass transit construction projects, as well as plan for future bridge and road upgrades and repairs.”

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 fall below $4 billion in the first week of August and no longer have money for promised aid to states. Gradually scaling back payments to all 50 states, the cuts could stall projects already underway and in the planning stages, or force locals to pick up the bill. If nothing changes by Sept. 30, all payments from the highway fund would be stopped.

In Nassau County, eight federal fund-eligible bridges are structurally deficient and 213 are functionally obsolete; another eight bridges in Suffolk are deficient and 178 are obsolete. While neither category is unsafe, both should be addressed. Structurally deficient bridges are those with a significant defect in their structure, and usually have speed and weight limits on them to ensure safety until they can be upgraded. Functionally obsolete bridges have a design that is no longer appropriate for the bridge’s modern-day uses and are usually lacking a key safety feature like a safety shoulder or are unable to accommodate new volume, traffic or weight because of its design.

If not fully funded, Schumer said the cuts would delay about 112,000 roadway projects and 6,000 transit projects across the country. New York State receives more than $1.6 billion every year, with 409 highway projects across the state using those funds. On the island alone, there are 42 highway projects under construction worth more than $318 million.

He added that construction delays, particularly during summer construction season, could have a significant impact on jobs throughout the state. According to the Center for American Progress, if necessary funding is not authorized for the fund next year, New York could lose more than 12,400 jobs, including many construction jobs.

In addition to highways, the fund also provides funding to states to expand and improve their public transit systems. That account is expected to drop below $1 billion by the end of October, the point at which DOT will need to begin scaling back payments to New York State.

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

Marlin: Casinos Are No Panacea For Financial Woes

Opening casinos in New York will not solve excessive spending or fund mandates passed down by Albany, said George Marlin.

Marlin, a NIFA director, former Port Authority of NY and NJ boss and Conservative political candidate, penned an opinion piece critical of Governor Andrew Cuomo published in the Long Island Business News earlier this month.

The article “Casinos, VLTs can’t fix unfunded mandates,” challenged Cuomo’s decision to put opening seven casinos to a public vote last November as a solution to lower property taxes, creating jobs and increasing education funding. Marlin disagrees casinos and video lottery terminals (VLTs) would address the financial stress local municipalities feel.

A few weeks earlier, Long Island Weekly published an opinion piece from former North Hempstead and state employee Michael Miller. He also challenged assertions that casinos would be a financial panacea for Long Island.

“I hope people are prepared for disappointment,” he said.

Both arguments references a report from New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli back in May.

New York is already home to five Native American casinos and nine state-approved VLTs, DiNapoli said, and generates $3.2 billion for education. The state budget is more heavily dependent on more than $1 billion in annual lottery revenue, used lottery funds for nearly 5 percent of all education funding in 2012-2013 and collect revenue in larger sums than do individual taxes.

However, he also cautioned that additional casino revenue could simply replace other existing spending from in-state patrons, research shows lower-income individuals are more likely to gamble and opening new casinos within New York could feed addictions – about 5 percent of residents already have a gambling problem and 28 percent suffer from substance abuse disorders.

Shying away from discussion about the “evils of gambling,” Miller pointed to a situation upstate as proof casinos don’t just fix local economies. Cattaraugus County has three casinos and a 6.5 percent unemployment rate as of May 2014. All five neighboring counties have unemployment rates even lower, and only Erie County has a single casino.

“They’re not having a major effect. Cattaraugus should be ground zero,” Miller said.

DiNapoli said future decisions about gambling in New York should be less focused on budget revenue and more about problem gambling, balancing economic and fiscal benefits and costs, and impacts on local governments and public education.

Miller compared the current situation to the Nassau County property tax crisis in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Promises were made a lottery and OTB would lower property taxes. Half a century later, Miller said, they haven’t.

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.

Lights, Camera, Water Pollution!

Do you feel passionately about cleaning up Long Island’s water? Do you know how nitrogen affects coastal waters? Can you shoot video?

Suffolk County wants “SepticSmart” individuals to compete in their crapSHOOT film contest.

When he announced his “Reclaim Our Water” initiative this spring, County Executive Steve Bellone described the increase in nitrogen levels and risk to the local waters as alarming and requiring immediate action.

The county is using crapSHOOT as a vehicle for informing homeowners, gardeners, pet owners and everybody about the facts behind nitrogen pollution. Participants can enter either a 30- or 60-second public service announcement or a 1-3 minute short film about the issue.

Three winners from each category will be announced in upcoming months, as well as several honorable mentions. While all of the prizes have yet to be announced, county officials confirmed they will pay to have winners’ videos published on multiple media channels. All of the winners and honorable mentions will be screened at Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington village on Sept. 22.

Videos must be submitted no later than Sept. 1, contain accurate information and abide by the contest rules. For more information about crapSHOOT, check out Suffolk County’s website.

Head To Mastic Beach For Live 80s Music On July 26

Check out Mastic Beach this weekend for free live music.

Music By The Bay 2014, organized by the Mastic Beach Property Owners Association, has been scheduled for July 26 from 6-10 p.m. at Section 1 Marina.

Long Island’s own 80s band Something’ Fresh will play at the event.

Admission is free, although beverages and snacks will be available for purchase. No coolers will be permitted.

JumpstART Public Art Display Opening In Riverhead Soon

Check out budding artists’ work as East End Arts’ JumpstART program goes public in Riverhead this summer.

JumpstART is designed to teach artists about business, creating environments for them to thrive, and creating opportunities for artists of all incomes and backgrounds to succeed.

Participants began by applying and being judged this past winter before the program kicked off in March. Artists sit in on workshops led by arts, business and municipal leaders. After the fifth and final workshop ended in May, participants will culminate their education with a design and implementation in the public art project in downtown Riverhead. These projects, which require initiating a Kickstarter campaign to fund their project, will be on display from Aug. 24-Sept. 7.

For more about the program, visit East End Arts online.

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.

Preserve Legal Representation At Wine Tasting This Fall

Enjoy fine wine and help needy Long Islanders maintain free legal representation .

Nassau Suffolk Law Services has announced their Sixth Annual Commitment to Justice Wine Tasting Reception will take place at the Carltun in Eisenhower Park Oct. 8.

Established in 1966, Nassau Suffolk Law Services provides vital civil legal representation and advocacy for low income and disabled residents of Long Island. During 2013, 13,500 individuals benefited from their direct legal representation; preserving Social Security and public benefits for seniors, low income families, and individuals; preventing foreclosure; and providing legal assistance for people with cancer and HIV/AIDs.

For tickets and sponsorships, contact Sheila Johnson at or call 631-232-2400 x3322. Sponsorship prices and paperwork are also available on their website.

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.

Keep Supporting Bicycle, Walking Trails Through Senate

Bike and walking trails are safe, for now. But the fight isn’t over just yet.

Parks & Trails Network recently celebrated the defeat of an attempt to destroy Transportation Alternatives Program. TAP is a program that allocates $50 million in federal funds for non-motorized transportation.

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) proposed eliminating TAP via an amendment to the Preserving America’s Transit and Highway Programs (PATH) back in June. But when Parks & Trails Network, New Yorkers for Active Transportation and others across America called their senators to fight the move, they succeeded. Toomey has withdrawn his support and PATH Act of 2014 can leave the Senate Finance Committee for the full Senate.

However, both New York-based advocacy organizations are calling on supporters to contact Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to thank and urge them to continue their support for TAP. Schumer can be reached via this email, and Gillibrand’s office can be reached via this email.

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:
The 1940s Radio Hour - Friday, July 25 at 8 p.m., Satuday, July 26 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 27 at 2 p.m.
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
Better Than Erza - Friday, July 25 at 8 p.m.
Sway! A Dance Trilogy - Saturday, July 26 at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here




140 Merrick Road, Amityville
Craving Strange and Killcode with special guests Revel 9 and Pedestrian Knock Down - Friday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Against Me featuring Jenny Owen Youngs and Creepoid - Saturday, July 26 at 8 p.m.
Hundredth and Counterparts, with Handguns, Being As An Ocean, My Iron Lung, Capsize and Forever Came Calling - Sunday, July 27 at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here


Bow Tie Babylon Cinemas

34 Main Street, Babylon

Bay Shore

The YMCA Boulton Center
37 West Main Street, Bay Shore
The Subdudes - Friday, July 25 at 8 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here

Cold Spring Harbor

Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum

Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor
The museum explores the relationship between Long Islanders and the sea through. It details the history of the regional whaling industry, whale conservation and the history of Cold Spring Harbor as a maritime port. A new exhibit, “Right Whales”, highlights the biology, history and decline of the Right Whale. Exhibits featuring New York’s only fully-equipped 19th century whaleboat, ship logs and correspondence as well as whaling and maritime artifacts. Art programs are available for all ages.

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

East Hampton

Guildhall, John Drew Theater
158 Main Street, East Hampton
Hamptons International Film Festival presents "Keep On Keeping On" hosted by Alec Baldwin- Friday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Talk and Book Signing with artist Billy Rayner- Saturday, July 26 at 4 p.m.
Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies Panel Discussion: Andy Warhol, Global Phenomenon - Sunday, July 27 at 11 a.m.
Tickets and more information available here

East Hampton Historical Society

101 Main Street, East Hampton
The headquarters for the East Hampton Historical Society, the house is an example of life in the post-colonial era in the East End. It features historic furnishings and crafts built by local craftsmen of the time. The Historical Society also has four other museums and town houses including one of New York’s first educational academies and a colonial town government meeting house.

For information, visit their website or call 631-324-6850

East Islip

Islip Art Museum

50 Irish Lane, East Islip
The museum is the leading exhibition space for contemporary art on Long Island, featuring work from international, national and emerging local artists. It is said to be the best facility of its kind outside of Manhattan. Current exhibits feature “Jam Session”, a holiday exhibit featuring paintings and sculptures influenced by music. The museum’s store features one of a kind jewelry, crafts and art work. Educational opportunists are also offered at the museum through its Cultural School of Arts.

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

Huntington Village

The Paramount
370 New York Ave, Huntington
Joan Rivers - Saturday, July 26 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
Deathtrap - Friday, July 25 at 8 p.m., Saturday, July 26 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sunday, July 27 at 2 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here


89 North
89 North Ocean Avenue East Main Street, Patchogue
Andrejack CD release party with Two Cent Sam and the Vinyl Plane - Friday, July 25 at 8:30 p.m.
45 RPM and O El Amor - Saturday, July 26 at 8:30 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here.

Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts
71 East Main Street, Patchogue
Disney's The Jungle Book Kids produced by the Gateway - Saturday, July 26 at 10:30 a.m.
Tickets and more information available here.

The Emporium
9 Railroad Avenue, Patchogue
Nicky Jam - Friday, July 25 at 10 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 25 at 10:30 p.m.
The Duprees - Friday, July 25 at 8 p.m.
Beetlemania Now - Saturday, July 26 at 8 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here

Port Jefferson Historical Society
115 Prospect Avenue, Port Jefferson
The Mather House Museum, the headquarters of The Historical Society of Greater Port Jefferson, and features several exhibitions of local artifacts. The museum complex features the 19th century home, a country store, a marine barn, a tool shed, the Spinney Clock Museum and the Thomas Jefferson Perennial Garden. Exhibitions feature ship models, period furniture and paintings, vintage tools and clothing, antique dolls, taped oral histories, 250 antique clocks and other examples of life in the 19th century.

For information, visit their website or call 631-473-2665

Bow Tie Port Washington
116 Main Street, Port Washington


Suffolk Theater
116 E. Main Street, Riverhead
Arlo Guthrie - Friday, July 25 at 8 p.m.
South Side Johnny & Asbury Jukes - Saturday, July 26 at 8 p.m.
Robert Hunter - Sunday, July 27 at 7:30 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
A Divine Evening with Charles Busch - Saturday, July 26 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.

Keep An Open Mind

"I must say that Brooklyn is indeed a vibrant and upcoming borough! Where I work in Bedford-Stuyvesant there are so many young families in the area it's unreal! In my neighborhood where I live, I'm surrounded young people. It's one of the reasons why there are so many businesses in the area I'm sure! I realize what a different life I have now that I've left Long Island over one year ago. It took me the entire year really to adjust! Maybe living in such close quarters with so many others is not appealing to some, but it's the young people that make the difference! So many different people from so many different backgrounds managing to make it all work somehow and this, I believe, makes one a New Yorker." Duane Harrison

Smart Talk

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

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

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

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