Smart Talk header

August 12th - 18th, 2017

Regional Updates

Long Island Business News

Long Island Business News is Long Island’s only publication devoted to local commerce and has been the premier source of news and data on business, economic trends and the region’s robust entrepreneurial sector for more than 60 years.

As the area’s No. 1 source for news on Long Island’s 149,000-plus businesses, they pay special attention to the region’s leading sectors: education, health care, high-tech, financial and professional services, and commercial real estate and development.

In addition to their 52 weekly editions, they publish a full line of annual publications, including the Book of Lists, the Tech Island Directory, the Meeting Planner’s Guide and Doing Business on Long Island.

“Access to public transportation is fundamental to the full independence and full community participation of Long Island’s disabled residents.  Systematic bus, fare increases and ADA violations when operating buses further segregates a community that has historically been kept in the shadows." - Anita Halasz, Long Island Bus Riders’ Union

"All residents and visitors deserve the opportunity to participate in society and visit our downtowns. In order for policy makers and the general population to see the value of and areas of opportunity in terms of public transportation, they need to get on the bus." - Jon Siebert, Vision Long Island

icon Like us on Facebook

icon Follow us on Twitter

icon Watch us on YouTube

Join us on LinkedIn icon

Get our iPhone app icon

Visit our website icon

LGBT Housing in Bay Shore Makes Progress

The Town of Islip Planning Board has voted unanimously to approve zoning changes for the LGBT affordable housing development in Bay Shore.

The 70,000 square foot development will provide 75 rental apartments on the corner of Park Avenue and Mechanicsville Road, which is about a block away from the local LIRR station.  The project has been in development for the past four years and is the product of a collaboration between D&F development, the Long Island LGBT Network, and the Long Island Housing Partnership.  Apartments will be restricted to residents who are 55 and older and meet certain income requirements.

Construction is expected to begin in June of 2018 pending zoning approval with a final completion date estimated in May of 2020.  Fair Housing Laws prohibit exclusively offering housing to a particular population, LGBT Network CEO David Kilmnick stated that housing would be available through an LIHP lottery to all who meet the income and age requirements.  However, the development will be centered on creating a warm and welcoming environment for LEGBT seniors who have had issues finding housing due to their orientation.

“This type of housing is critical for our LGBT older adults so they can be their true selves and experience the highest quality of life that all should be entitled to,” Kilmnick said.

The project, which is the first of its kind on Long Island, recently received a Long Island Smart Growth Award.

You can read more here.

Lynbrook Movie Theater Set to Open On Schedule

In spite of rumors of a delay, the $21 million state-of-the-art Regal movie theater in Lynbrook will open in time for the Christmas holidays according to Mayor Bill Hendrick.  Mayor Hendrick said he was unsure where the rumors had started, but laid them to rest while insisting that the holiday opening was still on schedule.  The Village Board previously allowed for Sunday construction in April in order to ensure that the opening would not extend into 2018.

“I’m getting updates all the time, and their target area is between Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said the Mayor in reference to the Blumenfeld Development Group (BDG), which is in charge of construction.

Hendrick also noted that he regularly checks in with BDG every two to three weeks in order to keep up to date on the progress.  He went on to state that the most recent update noted that the interior was nearly finished with workers getting ready to install the seats.  Storage rooms for the films, the exterior, and the façade were still needing to be built.

A final concern is parking, with the Village pledging to amend parking regulations on Atlantic Avenue in order to accommodate patrons during peak hours.  Vision Long Island is assisting the Village by providing additional parking analyses and will present recommendations to the Village in the Fall.

You can read more here.

Huntington Continues Box Signal Art Project

The Town of Huntington is continuing its beautification efforts by installing art on public streets, namely traffic signal boxes.

The past few weeks have seen art installed on four traffic signal boxes, including the first in Huntington Station, with three more scheduled by the end of the month and another three planned before the end of September.  Art works to be installed are chosen by a panel selected from the Huntington Public Art Advisory Committee, which looked at a total of 21 submissions.  Most of the art is by local artists, including 7 from the Town of Huntington itself and two others from Bayport and Seaford.

“Art on signal boxes serves a number of different purposes,” Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said. “For one, the art helps reduce graffiti on the boxes. But just as important, the art adds a distinctiveness and flair to our commercial districts. The boxes are interesting to look at, tell stories about our area and prove that you don’t have to go to a museum to see fine art. I thank our Business Improvement Districts for helping with some of the funding and I am pleased that we continue to be able to expand this popular program.”

The installations are being funded by a $13,600 from the Huntington Village and Huntington Station Business Improvement District with additional funding coming from the Town’s Public Art Initiative.  However, due to a lower than expected cost for installation, the fund has an additional $9,380 still remaining, which will allow for an additional 10 installations, which will be selected by two separate panels for Huntington Village and Huntington Station.  Five will be placed in the Village and five in Huntington Station.

Suffolk Bus Riders and Advocates Push for Additional Funding

Vision was out last week with the Suffolk Independent Living Organization (SILO), the Self-Advocacy Association of NY State (SANYS), Suffolk County Department of Public works, bus riders and others to urge Suffolk County residents and lawmakers to leave their car at home for a day this week, and learn more about the benefits and short-comings of the Suffolk Transit System.

The effort, Try My Ride, launched last week, and a joint partnership between Car Free Day, the Long Island Bus Riders’ Union, SILO, SANYS, and Long Island ADAPT. Those that chose to accept the challenge to ride a fixed-service bus were eligible to win prizes if they posted their videos to social media with the hashtag #TryMyRide.

Due to Suffolk County fiscal issues, ten routes were eliminated last August, which affected thousands of daily riders, including students, workers, the disabled, and those with low-income. After efforts by the Long Island Lobby Coalition this past session in Albany, $500,000 allocated to Suffolk County to help with the transit cuts, however came short of the $4 million needed to restore the routes. “The facts of the budget cuts were that we had a $34 million system that we were operating, and we only had $30 million to do it,” said Deputy Public Works Commissioner Darnell Tyson, who came to support the effort. “To put in short, we’re trying to do a lot with little funds.”

Suffolk County, who contributes about $25 million annually, receives significantly less in State Transportation Operation Assistance (STOA) funding than neighboring Nassau County, who contributes about $3 million a year. STOA is the main source of state funding for public transit systems in New York.  The formula gives aid depending on ridership and miles driven by the buses, which is a challenge to Suffolk, who needs to cover more roads, with fewer riders per square mile. "All residents and visitors deserve the opportunity to participate in society and visit our downtowns," said Vision Long Island's Jon Siebert. "In order for policy makers and the general population to see the value of and areas of opportunity in terms of public transportation, they need to get on the bus."

Anita Halasz of the Long Island Bus Riders’ union said in a statement, “Access to public transportation is fundamental to the full independence and full community participation of Long Island’s disabled residents.  Systematic bus, fare increases and ADA violations when operating buses further segregates a community that has historically been kept in the shadows."

As part of this effort, all 18 Suffolk County Legislators are being invited to take a tour of some of the routes on the Suffolk Transit System next week in order to see concerns for service, and learn what improvements can be made from the riders’ perspective.

You can read more here.

Governor Cuomo Announces Start of Work on New Moynihan Train Hall

In a press conference this past week Governor Cuomo announced that major work has begun to transform the James A. Farley Building into a state-of-the-art 225,000 square foot Train Hall.  The project will transform the historic Farley Post Office in Midtown, which is located across Eighth Avenue from Penn Station, into a transit hub that will house Amtrak and LIRR operations.  A concourse linking both sites was revealed earlier this Summer.

The new Hall, officially dubbed the Moynihan Train Hall, will create 12,000+ construction jobs and 2,500 permanent jobs.  The building will also feature a 700,000 square foot shopping and dining concourse as well as nine platforms and 17 tracks and is estimated to cost $1.6 billion.  It is estimated that the Train Hall will open by early 2021.

The building is named after New York State Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who passed away in 2003.  Back in the 1990’s it was Senator Moynihan who came up with the idea of transforming the post office into a transit hub.  Governor Cuomo stated that the complex will be a tribute to the Senator.

"After all the sophistication and philosophy that the senator brings to the topics he addressed, it comes to the bottom line: get good things done. Today, we have gotten a good thing done," Cuomo said. "And I'm sure the Senator is looking down and he's smiling."

You can read more here.

Sign the Petition for an Additional LIRR Crossing for Mastic/Shirley

The Mastic Beach, Mastic, and Shirley area, known by many as the Tri-Hamlet community, has only 3 LIRR grade crossings for the peninsula with over 45,000 residents. The area also has over 350,000 visitors to Smith Park County Park between Memorial and Labor Day alone, along with a year-round campground. A recent road closure for railroad grade improvements led to traffic being backed up for 2 hours, along with much longer than usual response and return time for EMS services.

A railroad crossing at Hawthorne Street/Titmus Avenue in Mastic is needed for the area, and is long overdue. There has been pushback from the MTA in the past for this important crossing for the community. We need federal officials to help fund the project through the Federal Railroad Administration, and New York State elected officials and the MTA to move ahead with the plan.

You can learn more and help for this important issue to the area’s economic development and resilience by signing the online petition for a grade crossing here. There will also be a public meeting held on Wednesday August 23rd at 6PM at the William Floyd High School Auditorium in Mastic Beach where comments will be solicited regarding the need.

Long Island Business Council to Hold Candidates Forum on September 19th

The Long Island Business Council will be holding a Nassau County Candidates Forum on Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 at the East Farmingdale Fire Department, located at 930 Conklin Street in Farmingdale from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM.  The forum will feature Republican Candidate Jack Martins and the winner of the Democratic primary.

You can RSVP for the event by calling 877-811-7471 or emailing  Attendance is free for LIBC members and $45 for non-members.

You can view the flyer for this event here and register online here.

Long Island’s 5th Annual Car Free Day to Take Place on September 22nd

The 5th Annual Car Free Day will take place on September 22nd this year.  Take the pledge to leave your car at home on Friday, September 22nd and celebrate sustainable transportation on Long Island.  In 2016, 4,111 Long Islanders pledged to be car free or car-lite, resulting in the avoidance of 84,000 miles of driving and 42 tons of CO2 emissions!

You can take the online pledge here and be eligible for prizes.  All pledges made through 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time on Friday, September 22, 2017 will be entered into the prize raffle drawing. Prize eligibility is available to those physically living or working on Long Island in Nassau or Suffolk counties.

29th Annual Keys for the Homeless Conference to be held on October 20th

The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless in co-sponsorship with Stony Brook University of Social Welfare, will be holding its Annual Keys for the Homeless Conference on October 20th.  The event will feature a keynote address from Richard Hooks Wayman, the Executive Director for the Children’s Defense Fund.  The theme of the Conference will be Breaking Down Barriers: Serving our Most Vulnerable.

The Conference is currently accepting sponsors, which will be available through October 2nd.  Sponsorships start at $1,000 for our Corporate Partners and $500 for Non-profit Partners.  Journal ad opportunities are still available as well.  If you have any questions you can go here to find more information and can contact Ksusha Cascio by email here or phone at 631-464-4314 x 123.

Central Islip's "Good Neighbor Awards" to be Held on October 26

The Central Islip Civic Council will be honoring four individuals for Outstanding Community Service on Thursday, October 26th.  Debra Cavanagh from the Central Islip Coalition of Good Neighbors, Islip Councilman Steve Flotteron, Rob Goldman Suffolk Community College, and Barbara LaMonica from Central Islip School District.

The event will take place at Watermill Caterers at 711 Smithtown Bypass in Smithtown.  You can find more information for the event and civic council here.

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. To find out more, click here.

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

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,

NYS DEC Technical Assistance Grants Available

The New York State DEC continuously accepts applications for Technical Assistance Grants (TAGs). TAGs are a citizen participation tool available to eligible community groups to increase public awareness and understanding of remedial activities taking place in their community. TAGs are available to eligible community groups for the purpose of obtaining independent technical assistance in interpreting existing environmental information about an eligible “significant threat” site being remediated in the State Superfund Program or Brownfield Cleanup Program. Technical assistance is intended to help the grant recipient and the community it represents to understand existing environmental data developed about the site, comment on site remedial activities and proposals and share this information with the public.

Funding is limited to $50,000 per site, with no matching requirement. A community group must be a nonresponsible party community group or one that is in partnership with another nonresponsible party community group. The group must be a 501(c)(3), and a group whose members’ health, economic well-being or enjoyment of the environment may be affected by a release or threatened release of contamination at the eligible site. The group must be one whose membership represents the interest of the community affected by the eligible site. Eligible sites must be Class 2 sites on the New York State Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites or sites being remediated under the State’s Brownfield Cleanup Program that the DEC has determined pose a significant threat to public health and/or the environment.

For more information, you can visit the DEC’s site here.

Report Analyzes Causes of Pedestrian Fatalities

The Safe States Alliance has created a report to provide practitioners with recommendations for improving pedestrian injury surveillance, data analysis, and reporting. Three case studies are presented as illustrative examples of how pedestrian injury data can be analyzed, using a range of methodological approaches and key variables to inform injury prevention efforts.

You can read the full report here.

Smart Talk

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 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.

Home | Contact Us | Donate | About Us