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July 22nd - 28th, 2017

Regional Updates

Ruskin Moscou Faltischek

Ruskin Moscou Faltischek is the preeminent Long Island law firm. Founded in 1968, the firm has consistently evolved and expanded to meet their clients’ changing needs. As specialized as they are diverse, they have built cornerstone groups that represent all major practice areas of law including: corporate & securities, financial services, commercial litigation, health care, real estate, employment, and trusts & estates. Their clientele is diverse, sophisticated and includes large and mid-sized corporations, privately held businesses, institutions and individuals. With more than 60 attorneys, superior knowledge of the law, polished business acumen and proven credentials, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek has earned a reputation for excellence and success. It is this ongoing achievement that makes them an acknowledged leader among their peers and the preferred choice among Long Island business leaders.

“Long Island has the ideal combination of a highly educated and talented workforce, and is centrally located in proximity to Manhattan and other top business centers in the tri-state region. Due to these attributes, as well as other changes to the Long Island region, like the new and planned transit-oriented developments, Long Island’s technology sector should continue to grow in the coming years.” - Ellen Rudin, Managing Director of CBRE’s Long Island and New York City Outer Boroughs Offices

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Islip Praised While Suffolk County Threatens Override for Heartland Project

Vision was out in the Town of Islip this week to praise the Supervisor and members of the Town Board for approving Phase 1 of Heartland Town Square.  We are also grateful to current and past planning staff including Ron Meyer, Michelle Bassen, Rich Zapolski. Dave Genaway, Gene Murphy, Planning Board Chair Joe DeVincent and many others for their multi-year commitment to reviewing the project.

The Heartland Project is the most thoroughly planned, reviewed and analyzed project in Vision Long Island’s twenty years of working on planning and development issues on LI.   After 15 years of review, VHB's staff was able to deliver a hand truck full of planning documents at past hearings, and noted that there is a room in Islip's Planning Dept largely full of current and past documents on the project.  The plan also enjoys support within the Brentwood community, which will be most affected by the zoning changes. 

The approval of Phase 1 will also allow for the opportunity to pull in state and federal dollars to advance infrastructure such as widening the Sagtikos Parkway.

The compromise the Town came up for the zoning with allows the most economically viable elements of a town center to emerge while monitoring and regulating the impacts of the project.  Part of this is looking at school district bumps, which has been a point of concern.  However, smaller projects across LI have on average 3 school kids per 100 units, leading to the conclusion that any impact to the district will be minimal.  

The one remaining issue that should be addressed includes apprenticeship programs and securing local jobs on this project.  Vision hopes they are addressed at the IDA level if they can't be at the Town Board level. 

Phase 1 will be carefully monitored to ensure it does not negatively impact the community and was reduced in order scale back traffic impacts.  The phase will only include 25% of the total proposed commercial, 35% of the total proposed residential, and a cut to the height of the buildings.  The second phase will not be considered until Phase 1 is complete and its impact can be properly assessed.

All this and more is why Vision Long Island was puzzled by the comments from the chair of the Suffolk County Planning Commission as she acted as if the entire project was approved.  Suffolk County is also exploring the possibility of holding another public hearing and voting on its previous recommendation should any of Islip’s three neighboring Towns complain about the project.  This would require a two thirds vote by the planning commission to overturn a previous vote.  However, we hope that will not be the case as, after 15 years of substantive planning, no one wants to see a regional sideshow that has the potential to overturn a local municipality's decision.

Again, Vision Long Island congratulates the Town of Islip for a fair review and compromise plan on this project.

Ronkonkoma Hub Sewer Plan Comes In Over Budget

In a delay to the $538 million Ronkonkoma Hub project, a plan to connect with the Southwest Sewer District has come in $10 million over budget.

The sewer project had been budgeted at $26.4 million and had received four bids after opening the process on July 12th.  The bids ranged from $36.8 million to $44.1 million, with all four being well above the budgeted amount.  There is uncertainty as to how this will affect the project going forward.  “This obviously puts a big question mark on the future of the Ronkonkoma Hub,” said Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine, who had previously backed an on-site sewage plant instead of connecting to the existing system.  “I await with great anticipation how the county executive will address this issue.”

The idea of a separate on-site treatment plant was shot down in 2014 with Suffolk County claiming that a connection would cost less.  The hookup has met with resistance however, as Islandia sued to block the route through the Village before settling to allow it.  Lawmakers and local residents have also complained about cost as well as the potential to overcharge the existing system.  These were addressed for the most part by the County, but some questions still remain.

New bids are expected to go out in a month which will divide the costs for the pump stations and sewer installation.  The hope is that dividing the project will spur competition and attract more contractors, driving the cost down.

You can read more on this issue here.

Hicksville Chamber Hosts Nassau County Executive Candidates Forum

Vision Board and staff were in Hicksville last week with nearly 100 residents and business owners at a candidates forum for Nassau County Executive.

Participants included former NYS Senator Jack Martins, Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos. Nassau County Legislator Laura Curran had a conflict and could not attend.

Candidates tackled a range of issues, including the County budget, corruption, the opioid crisis, and other issues.  The primary issue covered for our agenda was transportation investment. Mr. Martins stated that he would reinvest in bus services and focus on funding the LIRR to have the system functioning and modernized.  Meanwhile, Mr. Maragos would focus investment on future and present technologies like monorails and Uber services.

Special thanks to Vision Board member Lionel Chitty from the Hicksville Chamber for organizing and moderating a productive forum.

Long Island’s Tech and Millennial Communities See Growth

Long Island’s tech talent pool grew by 24% from 2010 to 2015 while its millennial population has doubled the national average at 8.7% growth in that same timeframe.

According to the new annual Shoring Tech Talent Report by CBRE, an annual report that ranks 50 U.S. and Canadian markets via their ability to attract and grow tech talent, the tech sector is quite healthy in the region.  This growth is credited as the main driver of the resurgent local office real estate market, which has pushed vacancy rates down while driving rental costs up.

“Long Island has the ideal combination of a highly educated and talented workforce, and is centrally located in proximity to Manhattan and other top business centers in the tri-state region,” Ellen Rudin, managing director of CBRE’s Long Island and New York City Outer Boroughs offices. “Due to these attributes, as well as other changes to the Long Island region, like the new and planned transit-oriented developments, Long Island’s technology sector should continue to grow in the coming years.”

You can read more on this story here

MTA Chairman Reveals NYC Subway Action Plan

This week saw the MTA chairman Joseph Lhota announce a new Action Plan for the NYC Subway aimed at stabilizing the system and laying a foundation for modernization.  The plan comes in the midst of a state of emergency as Governor Cuomo stepped in and ordered the Chairman to provide the plan.  It will address the record volume of customers, aging infrastructure and lack of capital expenditure necessary to grow the system.  The initial phase is expected to attack what has been determined to be the drivers of 79% of incidents on the tracks.

Chairman Lhota stated that, “New Yorkers are rightfully frustrated with the current state of the subways, and their demands for better service have been heard. We are committed to earning back their trust by implementing solutions that will enhance the customer experience in the short- and long-term. The NYC Subway Action Plan marks the beginning of a new chapter for the MTA and provides an opportunity to stabilize and improve the system and lay the foundation for modernization. As we work to build a better system, customers can expect to see progress in ways both big and small.”
Phase 1 will start immediately and will include Five Components:

  • Signal and Track Maintenance
    • Expediting a signal repair program that will fix 1,300 signals detected to be most problematic.
    • Launching an emergency Water Management Initiative in which teams will seal leaks with chemical grouting, clean 40,000 street grates to ensure proper water diversion and eliminate debris clogging drains.  
    • Cleaning the entire underground subway system to remove debris and reduce fire hazards.
    • Accelerating the repair of potential track issues across the entire underground track by dispatching 31 teams across the system to target locations with the highest rate of incidents.
    • Tripling the installation rate of a continuous welded rail and increasing track welding capacity by 30 percent; additionally installing 50,000 new friction pads to increase resilience of the rail and reduce incidents impacting service.
    • Tripling the Combined Action Teams, which are able to respond to a range of track, power and signal issues without requiring additional support, to cut response times from 45 minutes to 15 minutes. 
    • The New York State Public Service Commission will announce a plan this week to improve the power signals throughout the system.
  • Car Reliability  
    • Expanding major overhaul capacity from 950 to 1,100 cars per year to increase reliability.
    • Maximizing 24/7 shop capacity by adding an additional full repair and maintenance shift.
    • Prioritizing the inspection and repair of doors, which cause 40 percent of car breakdowns.
    • Pre-positioning Emergency Subway Car Response teams for quicker on-location repairs.
    • Launching a seat removal pilot program on select lines, beginning with the Times Square Shuttle and the L line to increase capacity by 25 riders per car.
    • Adding cars to trains on lines, such as the C Line, where platforms are long enough.
    • Including interior upgrades as part of the regular maintenance cycle to improve the customer experience.
  • System Safety & Cleanliness
    • Increasing the frequency of station cleaning by 30 percent.
    • Launching a program at priority stations to deep clean, repaint and repair tile, as well as facilitating timelier elevator and escalator repairs to help improve accessibility.
    • Calling on the NYPD to increase its presence at stations to deter illegal activities such as harassment, sexually inappropriate behavior, loitering, aggressive panhandling and littering.
    • Launching a littering awareness campaign to educate customers on the consequences of littering, which contributes to 700 fire-related delays every year.
    • More than doubling the number of stations with dedicated EMTs for medical emergencies and coordinating with FDNY EMS for best coverage of the system.
  • Customer Communications
    • Overhauling digital communications assets, including the launch of a new integrated MTA app.
    • Revising communications protocols to provide clearer, more timely information to customers during incidents and better information about the work being done to the system.
    • Placing MTA Customer Representatives at high-traffic stations to provide guidance to riders in real time, rolling out clearer station signage for planned service changes and retraining staff to improve communication with customers.
    • Accelerating system-wide completion of countdown clock installations.
  • Critical Management Group
    • Rebuilding the management and operations organizations resulting in faster and more effective solutions.
    • Bringing key decision makers together to monitor incidents in real time and more rapidly dispatch resources.

Phase Two will be outlined in coming weeks and will focus on modernization, including:

  • Addressing long-term, system-wide improvements, including better subway cars, the adoption of a new signal system and modern communications technology to facilitate new signaling and enable customer benefits.
  • Incorporating the most promising innovations from the MTA Genius Transit Challenge.

You can read the press release for this here, and more on the action plan itself here.

Federal Funds for LI Sound Cleanup Restored in Most Recent 2018 Budget Proposal

The most recent proposed 2018 budget had some good news as $8 million in grant funds to help clean and protect Long Island Sound were restored.

The funds had been originally stripped in President Trump’s most recent proposed budget, causing alarm to local environmentalist groups.  Heavy lobbying from those groups as well as Congressmen Lee Zeldin and Tom Suozzi saw them restored.  The Sound is considered to be an economic engine for the area, driving between $15 and $37 billion each year in fishing and tourism revenue.

It’s unclear what the final cost of cleaning up and preserving the Sound will be.  The primary problem right now is how to deal with aging septic systems that contaminate the water with excessive nitrogen.  This is in addition to storm water runoff as well as debris and litter from boaters and fishermen.  Still, the funds are an important step in the process.

"The funds are used for water quality and wetlands restoration, habitat protection," says environmentalist Adrienne Esposito. "We need to bring back our winter flounder and our lobster and make sure our beaches are swimmable.  We have come a long way in the last two decades.  The water quality is improving and we can't afford to stop now."

You can read more on this story here.

NYS Schedules Public Hearings to Inform Locals on South Shore Wind Farm

NYS has begun an outreach effort to educate and inform local residents about tis ongoing plan to build wind farms off the South Shore.

The meetings will be designed to engage the public as well as stakeholder groups so as to generate feedback during the early stages of the project.  This will occur concurrently with Governor Cuomo’s push to produce 50% of New York’s electricity through renewable energy sources by 2030.  The final goal is to generate up to 2.4 gigawatts of power through offshore wind in the next 13 years.

The meetings will feature information on the Offshore Wind Master Plan for the state, which will be completed and released by the end of the year.  NYSERDA, the organization behind the informational push and plan, will also be conducting more than 20 studies in the Atlantic Ocean for best places to install turbines.  Around 240 to 300 turbines will be needed to meet the state’s goal of 204 gigawatts by 2030.

The wind farms are expected to support 160,000 jobs over the next 30 years, and will not be visible from the shore line.  They will also be spaced a mile apart and will allow for fishing boats to work nearby with no minimum exclusion zones.  The project is aimed at allowing the two industries to coexist side by side.

You can read more on these meetings here and submit comments concerning the Master Plan here.

Weekly Summer Street Fairs in Downtowns Across Long Island

The downtowns of Patchogue and Riverhead will once again host evening street fairs on Thursdays during the summer, alternating week that the events are hosted. Bay Shore will also be holding bi-weekly street fairs on Wednesdays.

ALIVE AFTER FIVE - Patchogue will host their 16th annual summer street fair, which was a Smart Growth Award recipient. There will be  six stages of live music and entertainment, more than 90 craft & retail vendors, 11 food trucks, children's activities and amusements, a Chinese auction and much more! The events will be held on August 3rd, and August 17th, with a rain date of August 24th.

ALIVE ON 25 - Riverhead’s festival, modeled after the success of Patchogue’s annual event, includes a classic car show by the Peconic River, local wine and craft beer, free music, kids activates, street vendors, local restaurants and food trucks, and more.  The events will be held on August 10th and August 24th, with a rain date of August 31st.

ALIVE BY THE BAY - Bay Shore will be hosting this event on Wednesday nights this summer on Main Street. There will be live music, indoor & outdoor dining, local art, vendors, food trucks, beer, activities, fun for the kids and much more. The events will be held on Wednesday nights from 5:30PM-9PM on August 9th, and August 23rd. Facebook page.

FEAST OF ST. ROCCO - Church of St. Rocco, 18 Third St., Glen Cove, stroccoglencove.com, 516-676-2482. Rides, games, food, children's show on July 29. July 30 is the traditional procession of Saint Rocco after 10:15 a.m. Mass. Fee Free, $30 pay-one-price rides. Date 3-11 p.m. July 29, 3-10 p.m. July 30.

OUR LADY OF MERCY FAMILY FESTIVAL - Our Lady of Mercy Church, 500 S. Oyster Bay Rd., Hicksville, 516-931-4351, ourladyofmercy.org. Rides, games, food, live music, casino. Fee Free, $30 pay-one-price rides. Date 5-11 p.m. July 29, 5-10 p.m. July 30.

BELLPORT DAY FESTIVAL - Bellport Village, on South Country Road, between Station Road and New Jersey Avenue, bellportchamber.com, 631-438-1713. Live music, dance, a bounce house, craft fair, art show, petting zoo, food. Fee Free. Date 11 a.m.-4 p.m. July 29.

LOBSTERFEST - Wharf House at Founder's Landing, Terry Lane at Hobart Road, Southold, 631-477-9752, southoldparkdistrict.com. Lobster or steak dinner, hot dogs and hamburgers for children (5-8 p.m.) live music until 9:30 p.m. and raffles; reserve. Fee $55 ($50 in advance), $7 for 12 and younger. Date 5 p.m. July 29.

COUNTRY FEST LONG ISLAND - Dorothy P. Flint Nassau County 4H Camp, 3186 Sound Ave., Riverhead, 631-482-5657, countryfestli.com. Live country music with more than 10 bands, vendors, carnival, monster truck rides, mechanical bull rides, pony rides, crafts, kids events, line dancing lessons. Fee $14, $20 2-day pass (e-tickets only), free 10 and younger, free parking; cash only. Dates 11 a.m.-9 p.m. July 29, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. July 30.

ANTIQUES, FINE ART AND CRAFTS FAIR - Southold Historical Society, 55200 Rte. 25 (Main Road and Maple Lane), Southold, oldtownartsguild.org, 631-734-6382. More than 40 vendors, antiques, fine arts, crafts, photography, jewelry, food; live music. Fee $5, free 12 and younger. Date 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. July 29; rain date: July 30.

OUR LADY OF THE ASSUMPTION FEAST Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 1 Molloy St., Copiague, 631-842-5211, olacopiague.org. Food, rides, raffles. Dates 6-10 p.m. Aug. 2-3, 6-11 p.m. Aug. 4, 5-11 p.m. Aug. 5, 2-10 p.m. Aug. 6.

SUMMER LIGHS FESTIVAL Gateway Plaza, Corner of NY Avenue & Olive Street, Huntington Station, 631-629-4660, sourcethestation.com. Live music & Fun, Local Food, Lights will turn on at dusk. Date: 6pm-9pm August 3.

FRITCHIE ART SHOW Westhampton Beach Village Green gazebo, Main Street, Westhampton Beach, westhamptonchamber.com, 631-288-3337. Outdoor fine art juried event with more than 100 exhibitors. Fee Free. Dates 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Aug. 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 6.

PAUMANAUKE POW WOW Babylon Town Hall Park, 200 E. Sunrise Hwy., Lindenhurst, 631-587-3696, paumanauke.org. Aztec and traditional dancers, drums, audience participation, native food, dance competitions, traders; bring chairs. Fee $10; $5 ages 12-16 and 60 and older, free younger than 12. Dates 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Aug. 5-6.

FINE ART AND CRAFTS FAIR Cutchogue-New Suffolk Historical Council's Village Green, off Main Road, Cutchogue, oldtownguild.com, 631-734-6382. More than 40 fine art and crafts vendors, food vendors, live music. Fee $1. Date 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 5; rain date: Aug. 6.

SOUTHAMPTON ANTIQUES FAIR Rogers Mansion, 17 Meeting House Lane, Southampton, 631-283-2494, southamptonhistoricalmuseum.org. Antiques, furniture, jewelry, vintage clothing, glass, ceramics, artwork and collectibles. Mansion tours from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. ($4). Fee Free. Dates 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 5, 19.

GARVIES POINT DAY Gravies Point Museum and Preserve, 50 Barry Dr., Glen Cove, 516-571-8010, garviespointmuseum.com. Nature crafts, butterfly- and bird-friendly garden tour, live wildlife presentation, bird watching, films and nature walk. Fee $5 ages 5 and older; free younger than 5 with adult. Date 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 5.

2nd Annual "Summer Nights in the Park" Concert to be Held on August 3rd

The Kings Park Chamber of Commerce will be hosting our second annual "Summer Nights in the Park" free family-friendly summer concert.  We expect a huge turnout with attendees coming from all over Long Island.  Our headliner, Fleetwood Maxx, NYC's best Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band since 2008, and opening act, the Jon Divello Band, Modern Country Tribute Band, both have very large followings and will surely bring a crowd. 

The event will take place on Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 6:00 p.m, and will be located at Municipal Parking Lot, Main Street, Kings Park.

Riverhead to Cardboard Boat Race on August 6th

It’s time to collect that cardboard and duct tape for the ninth annual Riverhead Cardboard Boat Race, set for Sunday, Aug. 6, along the Peconic Riverfront. Registration and inspection begin at 9 a.m., with a Hula Hoop contest at 11:30 and heats starting at noon. There is no registration fee.

Boat builders must use cardboard, duct tape, water-based glue and latex paint (props and decorations are permitted). No other materials may be used. Boaters may use one single-sided paddle per occupant; kayak paddles are not allowed. Each boat must have a name. All participants must wear an approved life jacket at all times.

The event is sponsored by the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce, the Riverhead Business Improvement District and Riverhead Town.  Boaters may register online or on race day. For rules and other details, visit riverheadchamber.com or call 631-727-3200, ext. 223.

Suffolk County Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory Presents Charting the Course Event August 8th, 2017

Folks should join us at the Civic Tech Suffolk Conference on Aug. 8, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Babylon Student Center at Suffolk County Community College in Selden. The conference is sponsored by Suffolk Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory and will feature an array of business and government leaders. The event is free but registration is required.

The day kicks off with a keynote address from government technology industry expert Sid Burgess, a senior solutions consultant at Granicus, which specializes in digital civic tech. Then, a panel of experts from the technology, government and business discuss partnering government with technology to improve both efficiencies in municipal departments and access to constituent services for residents.

Breakout sessions cover cybersecurity, predictive analytics, business development and procurement, apps and gadgets, hardware and software, and using tech for smart growth and to connect with millennials. Vision's Director Eric Alexander and Board member Dr. Nathalia Rogers and Neal Lewis will be a part of the lineup along with many other LI business representatives like LISTnet’s Peter Goldsmith.

Check out the story in LIBusiness News here.

You can view the flyer for the event here.

To RSVP, contact Christina DeLisi at (631) 853-6377 or email Chartingthecourse.legislature@suffolkcountyny.gov.

Long Island Coalition for the Homeless to Host Supply Our Students and Back Pack Pirates Festival

The Supply Our Students Drive is hosted by the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless (LICH). Each year, they pack thousands of back packs with the school supplies collected through this drive. The back packs are distributed through a network of homeless shelters in late August.

In collaboration with Holiday Magic, LICH also hosts “Back Pack Pirates Summer Festival”,  a one-day summer camp experience for up to 450 children from homeless shelters.  In addition to an incredible camp experience and brand new back packs, they provide the children with new school clothing and shoes. They also collect bathing suits and towels so the kids attending the event can participate in water activities.

Every child deserves to start their school year with the tools they need to succeed. Please help LICH collect NEW school supplies to fill backpacks for children in need, or host a drive in your community, business, school, or office!  They provide you with collection boxes, informational flyers about the event, and will pick up the boxes. Drives are being conducted now through the week of August 1st.  Please let them know if you’re interested in conducting a drive!  

Host sites are listed on their website! or you can visit any of the TFCU Branches to make a donation!

You can also conduct a DRIVE for new (or very gently used) clothing and shoes/sneakers for school-aged children, bathing suits and towels – or gift cards to help them purchase those items. Donate online: https://yougivegoods.com/drive-5540

The Back Pack Pirates Festival is 100% to the families of the children who attend but it costs approximately $100 per child!  They cannot provide this once in a lifetime experience to the children without your help!

 You can make a donation online!

About LICH: The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless is a 501c3 non-profit organization based in Amityville, NY. Our mission is to eliminate homelessness on Long Island and improve the lives of Long Islanders who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.  
Please direct all questions to Ksusha Cascio at (631) 464-4314 x 123 or kcascio@addressthehomeless.org

Suffolk County to Provide Septic Improvement Grants

Starting July 1st, you may begin the process and submit your application for the Septic Improvement Program.

The Septic Improvement Program is available to qualified owners of residential property located within Suffolk County.

Grant funding, of up to $10,000, will be provided toward the purchase and installation of Suffolk County Department of Health Services approved Innovative and Alternative nitrogen removal onsite wastewater treatment system (I/A OWTS) and leaching structure, as well as toward attendant engineering and design services. An additional $1,000 may be available toward installation of Pressurized Shallow Drainfields for a maximum grant of up to $11,000. All other costs, including, but not limited to, costs above the authorized grant amount, irrigation repairs, electrical improvements unrelated to system installation or other improvements necessary for the installation are the responsibility of the property owner/applicant. Post-installation landscaping restoration is also the responsibility of the property owner/applicant.

Preferential consideration will be given to properties in environmentally sensitive areas.

Please note:

Submission of an application does not guarantee an award of a grant. The County reserves the right to change the terms and conditions of the Septic Improvement Program at any time. This program is highly competitive and applications will be prioritized by area and other eligibility requirements and will also be based upon the availability of funding.

In addition:

  1. Grant Awardees will be required to execute a grant agreement with the County of Suffolk.
  2. Grant Awardees must permit Suffolk County Septic Improvement Program representatives the right to enter onto the property to perform any site assessments related to the processing of applications.
  3. Information and documentation that is submitted with the application may be subject to independent verification by the County.

If you would like to speak to someone directly about the program and/or Grant Application, please call the Department of Health Services at 631-852-5811. Staff will be available to answer your questions Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm. You can also send an email to septicdemo@suffolkcountyny.gov.

National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Grant, due September 11th

The National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town grant program supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with arts at their core. This funding supports local efforts to enhance quality of life and opportunity for existing residents, increase creative activity, and create a distinct sense of place. Applications due September 11.

Social Justice Grant: Pop Culture Collaborative

The Pop Culture Collaborative is now accepting applications for their 'Pop-Up' grants program. These rapid response grants are available on a rolling basis throughout the year for any individual, organization or company working to harness the power of pop culture to create just, authentic narratives of people of color, Muslims, immigrants and refugees through TV, movies, sports, music and all forms of entertainment and mass media.

The Collaborative is a new, multi-million dollar philanthropic resource created by Unbound Philanthropy, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Ford Foundation, The JPB Foundation, and General Service Foundation—all organizations committed to growing and experimenting with pop culture narrative strategies as powerful tools for change in the real world.

They have designed these grants to help leaders in justice movements, the arts, entertainment, advertising, academia, and technology respond nimbly to increasingly common assaults on pluralism and inclusion in our society. 

Grants range from $5,000 to $30,000, and projects must have an imminent time-hook or a project timeline that can be completed within a four-month time frame. Individuals with fiscal sponsorship, non-profit and for-profits are all eligible to apply. Projects should aim to advance social change and authentic narratives in popular culture for people of color, immigrants, refugees and Muslims.

You can find full 'Pop Up' Grant Guidelines and Application Information here, and can submit your idea here. Every idea will be considered, and applicants will be notified if the program wishes receive a formal proposal.

NYS Climate Smart Communities Grant Program Funding Available

Funding will be available for inventory, assessment, planning and implementation projects that advance the work of municipalities in addressing climate change. Priorities for the 2017 round include specific adaptation actions that reduce flood risk and increase preparedness for future extreme weather conditions, specific mitigation activities related to transportation and reduction of food waste, and specific Climate Smart Communities certification actions that advance municipal ability in the future to implement adaptation and mitigation projects in the identified implementation categories.

A municipal resolution from the lead applicant authorizing application submission and documenting the availability of local match in the event of grant award must be submitted at the time of application.

For general information and questions on the Climate Smart Communities Program, please contact the Office of Climate Change, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Climate Change, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233, 518-402-8448, climatechange@dec.ny.gov

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.

Polls Show Increasing Number of Americans Favor Raising Gas Tax to Fix Roads

People are becoming increasingly fed up with the crumbling state of roads in this country and a slim majority would support a raise in the gas tax to bring relief.

51 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of Democrats indicated that they would be in favor of a raise on the national level in order to pay for road and bridge repair for crumbling infrastructure.  This coincides with an effort on the part of the President to push for infrastructure spending across the country, a big campaign promise he made. 

While we would want to see the gas tax increased it would be important to not just invest in repaving roadways but support other modes of transit including our local bus systems and traffic calming solutions for increased walkability.

Smart Talk

Editor:
Chris Kyle, Communications Director

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

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 info@visionlongisland.org 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.
Email: info@visionlongisland.org

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