August 9th - 15th, 2015
St. Joseph's College
Since 1916, St. Joseph's College has provided an affordable liberal arts education to a diverse group of students. Independent and coeducational, St. Joseph's prepares students for lives of integrity, intellectual and spiritual values, social responsibility and service; lives that are worthy of the College's motto, Esse non videri — "To be, not to seem."
St. Joseph's Long Island Campus challenges its approximately 3,300 students to develop their full potential and a joy of learning. With more than 400 faculty members, the College enjoys a student-to-faculty ratio that provides individual attention in an open, supportive atmosphere.
The Long Island Campus of St. Joseph’s is located in Patchogue at 155 West Roe Boulevard, directly off Sunrise Highway. Located on the South Shore of eastern Long Island, the Long Island Campus is just minutes from the Great South Bay, Long Island MacArthur Airport, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Orient Point and many of Long Island’s ocean beaches. New York City is just a short ride on the Long Island Rail Road.
Campus facilities include six buildings and the brand new Outdoor Field Complex, spread over a 30-acre lakeside campus on the outskirts of Patchogue Village. St. Joseph's remains dedicated to maintaining low costs while upholding a strict standard of excellence. While retention rates at most colleges are slipping, St. Joseph's remains above the national average. Its academic strength hasn't gone unnoticed. The College is consistently recognized in U.S. News & World Report's annual "America's Best Colleges" issue.
“Today is a great day as we celebrate yet another milestone in the Wyandanch Rising Project. The construction of the MTA LIRR Wyandanch Parking Facility compliments the Wyandanch Village residential development and serves as a model for the required collaboration of Transit Oriented Developments. I am happy to celebrate nationally acclaimed artist Moe Brooker who designed the painted glass artwork in the garage, Parson Brinkerhoff for the design of the garage, Jeff Speck for the design of the tower which beautifully displays and complements the art work, Torti Gallas and Partners, Inc. and the MTA/LIRR for their willingness to partner on this economic development initiative.” - Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone on the opening of the new Wyandanch Train Station Parking Garage
“The new Wyandanch Parking Facility provides commuters and travelers with a safe and convenient place to park while using the LIRR. I thank all involved for collaborating on this effort and for their hard work in making this project a reality.” - Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer on the opening of the new Wyandanch Train Station Parking Garage
"If it goes into the future and another artist sees my work and has some sort of idea, some sort of understanding of what they would like to do, it's worth every moment that you put into it in terms of working." - Artist Moe Walker speaking on the stained glass windows he created for the the new Wyandanch Train Station Parking Garage
Senator Schumer Calls for More Transportation Dollars to Fix Aging Infrastructure
On August 11th, Senator Charles Schumer delivered a candid, exigent speech at the NYU Rudin Center, addressing the national imperative of securing economic funding for the New York City Department of Transportation to implement Hudson River tunnel repairs. The senator warned that damage from Hurricane Sandy has hastened the tunnels’ deterioration, and that without early action, New York’s economy faces a major threat. He began, “I want to speak about the very real possibility that in a matter of years – not decades – the only two rail tunnels running under the Hudson River into Manhattan will become inoperable... In a brutally competitive national and global economic marketplace, failure to build this vital link is insane. (It's tantamount to economic suicide.)”. Schumer’s cautionary tone speaks to the drawbacks seen in recent years in efforts to obtain federal funding for transportation, and the immediate need for concern in light of the current crisis.
Cutting off commuters’ access to trains would disorient the entire city’s population and workforce, rippling effects from which could lead to a much larger crisis. Schumer suggests that to close the tunnels could cause a national economic disaster, and mentions the real possibility of a recession, whether regional or national. He notes,“The New York economy is a vital spoke in the nation's economy, an engine of national GDP growth.”
Schumer called attention to the Port Authority’s 2009 ARC- “Access to Region’s Core” - plan, which sought to build two additional tunnels to allow trains to continue into New York while the other two underwent repairs. Governor Chris Christie interrupted the plan mid-construction, transferring funds over to New Jersey’s Pulaski Skyway. The tunnels were never built, and the two existing tunnels, “Sandy hit. Seawater rushed into the tunnels. Salts and chlorides infiltrated the walls of the tunnels and accelerated their deterioration. Thus, the timeline for necessary repairs was drastically accelerated ... Christie's decision to pull the plug on ARC was a massive mistake.”, says Schumer. Since 80% of passengers who would be impacted by tunnel closures and will benefit from repairs are New Jersey residents who travel to the city via NJ Transit, Schumer called for NJ Governor Christie’s support.
The Senator anticipates high costs for the tunnels’ repair- an estimated 20 to 25 billion dollars - yet sees them as inevitable measures necessary to prevent economic and infrastructural catastrophe. He has accordingly outlined a new plan for the Gateway Tunnel Project, in which he urges multiple involved parties- the MTA, NJ Transit, NYC, the Port Authority, government representatives, and the various government entities in control of funding- to collaborate under a new, non-profit organization he coined the Gateway Development Corporation. This separate entity would be able to leverage the resources of each involved transportation and state agency, collectively. It would consolidate the different kinds of federal financing available to each party, such as federal mass transit funding that is not available to Amtrak alone, and federal railroad funds that are available to Amtrak, but that Port Authority and regional transit agencies cannot access. The non-profit would also be able to attract private financing.
Senator Schumer also outlines a four-point plan proposing changes to existing federal legislation that would provide funds for Gateway. His first proposal calls for congress to give Amtrak the ability to cordon-off profits generated by the Northeast Corridor, providing Amtrak with an annual appropriation to cover operating losses on the rest of the system. This would secure upwards of $500 million per year, as profits are increasing. Secondly, Schumer mentions the New Starts program, which would grant transit agencies access to federal grant funding; if implemented, the MTA and NJ Transit could apply for FTA New Starts grant funds during tunnel repairs. His third solution is a robust transportation bill, funded by reforming an international tax code. “Our proposal requires companies with cash parked overseas to return that money to the U.S. at a lower rate in the short-term – and then, under our proposal, we move the international tax system to a new, lower rate. We would use the revenues generated from the one-time return of overseas earnings – called ‘deemed repatriation’ – to pay for a large increase in federal investment in infrastructure.”
Mr. Schumer’s fourth solution involving federal government legislation would utilize the existing Railroad Rehabilitations and Improvement Financing Program, which provides long-term, zero-interest federal financing. The Obama Administration was given $35 billion in loan authority by Congress through RRIF, yet has only dispensed about $2 billion, and the Gateway project is a perfect candidate for these funds. With this outline, Schumer has provided a comprehensive plan of action for this crisis, and while acknowledging that it is not foolproof, he urges all capable New Yorkers to take action. “I am fully aware that over time and through negotiation, those sources might change slightly. But just because the entire funding structure isn't locked into place doesn't mean we shouldn't move forward.”
You can check out the full press release here.
Suffolk County Adopts 2035 Comprehensive Master Plan
On Wednesday, August 12, a ceremony was held at the County Executive’s office in Hauppauge for the official adoption and signing of the Suffolk County Comprehensive Master Plan for 2035, Framework for the Future. A team from AKRF, a leading firm in Environmental, Planning, and Engineering Consulting on Long Island, led by Stephen Holley, assisted with the preparation of the plan, which outlines a foundation for sustainable growth and resiliency for Suffolk County, and drafts ways to encourage economic development that will help to retain and attract business and create jobs for Suffolk County residents.
The plan includes recommendations for the next 20 years of Suffolk County’s transportation, housing, economy, environment, communities, and government policy. Suggestions concentrate on economic growth and sustainable development. Transportation changes include improvements to mobility, access, and safety; housing suggestions aim for a more equitable and affordable county; suggestions are made to improve economic competitiveness and the capacity to innovate. AKRF also includes environmental and sanitation-related recommendations.
Specific suggestions include assisting towns, villages, developers, and organizations in securing funding sources for housing that meets different needs, supporting LIRR track improvements, developing transit infrastructure to meet various needs, reviewing prior studies and exploring means to mitigate traffic congestion between Suffolk County and the New York Metropolitan Area, and developing incentives to grow the tourism industry. These are just a few recommendations, taken from the extensive 2035 plan.
Vision Long Island gave support on Suffolk's Master Plan and specifically wants to see resources dedicated to pedestrian bike safety along county roads.
The full plan can be found at https://www.akrf.com/about/spotlight/suffolk-county-comprehensive-master-plan-2035/.
New Parking Facility Opens at the Wyandanch Train Station
On August 13 a brand new parking garage was introduced at the LIRR Wyandanch Train Station as part of the continuous effort of Wyandanch Rising, a program aimed at helping one of the most economically distressed locations on Long Island.
Wyandanch Rising was implemented in 2010 and since then has provided a major boost to the overall economic welfare of the community. The brand new five-story parking garage holds 920 parking spots, and is complete with colorful glass panels, frequent garage maintenance, and 24-hour security cameras. It is also designed strategically so that it can eventually expand and provide up to 1,500 parking spots. Parking will be open to all LIRR customers free of charge until September 1st, when the facility officially opens, and the following fees will be implemented: a $3 fee for 6-hour parking, a $5 fee for 20-hour parking, a $10 fee for 24-hour parking, and a $70 fee for monthly parking (which is a 35% discount of the regular daily fee). The fees will exist in order to provide maintenance and security for the garage, as well as improve Wyandanch’s overall economic situation.
On the day of the ribbon-cutting, Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone noted that “Today is a great day as we celebrate yet another milestone in the Wyandanch Rising Project. The construction of the MTA LIRR Wyandanch Parking Facility compliments the Wyandanch Village residential development and serves as a model for the required collaboration of Transit Oriented Developments. I am happy to celebrate nationally acclaimed artist Moe Brooker who designed the painted glass artwork in the garage, Parson Brinkerhoff for the design of the garage, Jeff Speck for the design of the tower which beautifully displays and complements the art work, Torti Gallas and Partners, Inc. and the MTA/LIRR for their willingness to partner on this economic development initiative.”
Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer then added: “The new Wyandanch Parking Facility provides commuters and travelers with a safe and convenient place to park while using the LIRR. I thank all involved for collaborating on this effort and for their hard work in making this project a reality.” Everybody who attended the ribbon-cutting agrees: the garage not only keeps up with trending societal needs for mass transit but includes the additional parking for a diverse and growing commuter population that will improve Wyandanch’s economic situation.
A feature of the new garage are stained glass windows dominating one wall and featuring bright colors that drew inspiration from the numerous jazz club musicians that would come through the area. Moe Walker, the artist responsible for creating the windows, hoped that others would draw inspiration from his work, stating that "If it goes into the future and another artist sees my work and has some sort of idea, some sort of understanding of what they would like to do, it's worth every moment that you put into it in terms of working."
Along with the new garage, the Town of Babylon is paying for the design and construction of a new station building at Wyandanch’s LIRR train station. The new building will be located just east of the current building, and is planned to break ground next year. The MTA also approved a $14.8 million five-year personal services contract with Allpro Parking of Buffalo, N.Y. back in May. The contract is aimed to have Allpro help in managing and operating the LIRR parking facilities at Wyandanch, as well as in Ronkonkoma and Mineola
Vision Long Island attended the ribbon cutting and is happy to see MTA resources directed to Long Island's downtown revitalization projects.
Hicksville Hosts Fourth Annual Indian Independence Day Parade
On Sunday, August 9, 2015, Indian Heritage groups from across Long Island gathered in Hicksville for a celebration ablaze with traditional drumming, dance, food, and national pride, commemorating the 68th anniversary of India’s Independence Day. Hundreds attended the parade, which spanned a 2-mile stretch of South Broadway St., ending at the Asamai Hindu Temple on East Barclay Street.
Parade-goers wore and sold traditional Indian clothing. Saris, lungi, or sarongs, kurta shirts, loose-fitting pants called shalwar, salwar kameez outfits, and other styles and variations painted the crowd with vibrant colors and patterns. The Indian flag’s orange, white, and green motif appeared on the parade’s floats, honoree sashes, ribbons, and flags waved by Long Islanders of all ages. The festival brought back familiar sights, sounds and scents to those native to India, and introduced these experiences to non-Indians and first generation Indian-American children.
Local Indian Heritage Groups choreographed and performed traditional dances. Bollywood Actress Neetu Chandra was the parade’s grand marshal. This year, the theme was “Women Empowerment and the Next Generation”. Parent Sangeeta Yadav described, “After so many years of struggle, we should respect the freedom, and how we got to this day”. She and many other parents see the parade as an effective way to bring contemporary relevance to Indian history, to educate children and future generations about the historical significance of India’s 1947 Independence, and include them in a shared history.
Among the event’s attendees were various elected officials: Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, State Senator Jack Martins, and others. According to the most recent US census, the Indian population in Nassau County rose to 40,000, up from 20,000 in 2010. Hicksville has come to be home to a Little India, a group of businesses along Route 107, Old Country Road, near the train station. The parade’s founder, Bobby K. Kalotee, sees the annual event as an opportunity to encourage community engagement, highlight local culture, promote family values and bring Long Island neighborhoods together.
Marriott Eyes Lynbrook for New Long Island Location
In recent years, along with the emerging trend of transit-oriented housing in downtown areas across Long Island, a successful market for downtown hospitality has appeared. Hotels centrally located in the downtowns of Rockville Centre, Great Neck, Riverhead, Port Jefferson, and others on Long Island, promote Main Street shopping and host business and community events, proving themselves successful business models that other Long Island downtowns now intend to follow. Proposals for new hotels have been made in Huntington, Huntington Station, Freeport, Port Washington, and Lynbrook. Plans are underway for a Marriott hotel in Lynbrook.
In Lynbrook, a parking lot at the corner of Broadway and Langdon Pl. stands damaged and in need of $340,000 worth of repair. Developer Lee Browning Sr., owner of Browning Hotel Properties, may relieve the city of this cost by transforming the upper floors of the parking lot into a Marriott Courtyard Hotel. The bottom three and a half floors would remain a parking lot with over 300 spots- 96 designated for use by the hotel and guests, and 210 left as municipal parking, which would allow its current users to continue to park there. The $20 million, 156-room proposed hotel would feature a business center, a fitness center, meeting rooms and a banquet hall large enough for 275 people. The Bistro, the Courtyard’s signature restaurant, would serve guests breakfast.
Residents are concerned about finding parking during the 18 to 20 months of construction. Deputy Mayor Alan Beach found that collectively, surrounding village parking lots had about 110 spots available. Browning agreed that for the duration of construction, he will provide shuttle bus service between these alternative parking lots and the Long Island Rail Road Station.
Despite Browning’s decade-long work on this project, it is still undergoing initial stages of planning. This site is the fourth that Browning Hotel Properties has examined for the project; the first three have either fallen through or were opposed by residents. Browning still needs to have an environmental impact study for the project done, obtain permits, and participate in a public hearing concerning the rezoning of the lot.
The village of Lynbrook seems to view the project as a major asset to the community. Mayor William Hendrick said he would be glad to see the hotel come to the village.
“It looks like this project is a go-ahead,” he told residents at the board meeting. “This would be a very good project for Lynbrook.” Bill Gaylor, vice president of the Lynbrook Chamber of Commerce and owner of the Lyn Gift and Hallmark Shop, on Atlantic Avenue, agreed. “It appears to me that this facility will be a huge improvement for the village,” he said. “I, as a commercial property owner and a resident in the village, in addition to my capacity with the chamber, wholeheartedly believe that this project [would have a] huge positive economic impact on the village.”
Vision LI Co-Chair Trudy Fitzsimmons Named 2015 Recipient of Chamber Honor
This year’s recipient of the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce’s John Klaber Memorial Award for Community Service is Trudy Fitzsimmons. Fitzsimmons has demonstrated her dedication to volunteer work here on Long Island now for 40 years.
NYSACC to Host 2015 New York State Conference on the Environment
The New York State Association of Conservation Commissions (NYSACC) will be hosting the 2015 New York State Conference on the Environment at the Coltivare event center in Ithaca, NY on October 15th - 17th.
This annual conference’s theme will be Collaboration, featuring examples from local municipalities, colleges and environmental groups, and examine the latest environmental trends, techniques and approaches in New York State. Field trips to Ecovillage, the energy producing wastewater treatment plant and Cornell’s Lake Source Cooling project will come the day after a dinner event at a new farm to bistro restaurant.
Registration and further information for this event will be available in the next few weeks here
Support for Downtown Huntington Station
Since the Development Strategy was approved, Renaissance Downtowns and the Town of Huntington have been working on a two prong approach to move revitalization forward in Huntington Station: 1., development and groundbreaking for the immediate opportunity sites and 2., working with the Town of Huntington to collaborate with Suffolk County on ways to bring sewer infrastructure to unsewered commercial corridors in Huntington Station. Currently, they are looking for support for these two initiatives.
FY 2015 HOPE VI Main Street Program NOFA
The purpose of the HOPE VI Main Street Program is to provide grants to small communities to assist in the renovation of an historic or traditional central business district or "Main Street" area by replacing unused commercial space in buildings with affordable housing units. The objectives of the program are to:
HUD is making available through this NOFA $500,000 for HOPE VI Main Street Grant Program.
Funding Opportunity Number: FR-5900-N-03
FY 2015 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants
FEMA has announced the FY 2015 Notice of Funding Opportunities for two of the Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs: Flood Mitigation Assistance and Pre-Disaster Mitigation. HMA grant programs provide states, tribes, territories, and local governments funding for eligible mitigation activities to strengthen our nation’s ability to reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future disaster damages.
Appications for EPA's Clean Air Excellence Awards Now Open
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting applications for the 2016 Clean Air Excellence Awards Program to recognize individuals and organizations whose efforts have helped to make progress in achieving cleaner air. Award recipients are selected for developing innovative, replicable and sustainable programs; serving as pioneers in their fields; and improving air quality either directly or indirectly through reduced emissions of criteria pollutants, hazardous air pollutants and/or greenhouse gases. Applications due September 11.
Coastal Program Grants now Accepting Applications
The Coastal Program, a grant opportunity from the US Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Services, is accepting applications for grants up to $500,000. This grant is open to all who fit the criteria.
The Coastal Program is a voluntary, incentive-based program that provides direct technical assistance and financial assistance in the form of cooperative agreements to coastal communities and landowners to restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat on public and private lands in order to identify geographic focus areas and develop habitat conservation priorities within these focus areas.
There is no cost sharing or matching required for this grant. Interested parties can click here for the full program description and apply. The current closing date for this opportunity is September 30th, 2015.
Further information and concerns should be directed to:
EmPower Solar Hiring Solar System Installation Professionals
EmPower Solar is looking to hire top quality construction professionals to install solar systems on residential and commercial buildings. Candidates should be enthusiastic about starting a career in a growing construction field. Candidates should have at least one year of construction or electrical experience and be comfortable working outdoors, working with tools, and working at high elevations. Candidates must own a vehicle with a valid license and clean driving record. See full job description here.
Intern with Vision Long Island!
Vision Long Island is looking for interns! Our staff likes to say we "wear many hats," and interns will have to do the same. Interns will assist with planning, design, outreach, event planning, writing, research, attending meetings, reporting, photography, video and more. Bring your unique skill set to the table! We are looking for energetic and conscientious individuals with an interest in urban/suburban planning from a bottom-up perspective. This is a valuable opportunity to work with great people and learn about the issues impacting Long Island. Strong writing skills a plus.
What's happening on your Main Street this weekend?
For information, visit their website.
Garvies Point Museum and Preserve
For information, visit their website or call 516-439-5218
For information, visit their website or call 516-822-7505
For information, visit their website.
For information, visit their website or call 516-922-5032
Bow Tie Port Washington
For information, visit their website or call 516-766-0300
Cold Spring Harbor
Take the Car Free Day Pledge Today!
Next month on September 22nd Long Island will be participating in its Third Annual Car Free Day!
Though it's still a month away, now is the time to put in your pledge and join the already over 1,000 Long Islanders who have pledged to either forgoe or scale back driving in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions and raise awareness of pedestrian issues.
Last year for Car Free Day LI, 2,855 Long Islanders pledged to be car free or car-lite, saving over 72,000 miles of driving, and 36 tons of CO2 emissions, this year we can do better!
Take the pledge here.