August 14th - 20th, 2016
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."
“A major improvement project such as this one . . . will help bolster the local economy. Downtown businesses tend to be locally owned and a thriving downtown can provide a tremendous boost to the local economy” - Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano speaking on Freeport's revitalization of North Main Street
“The Nassau County Legislature’s vote is a major boost for the economic vibrancy of the Glen Cove community. We applaud the Nassau County Legislature for recognizing the opportunity this project represents for the Glen Cove community and for ultimately choosing to support our effort to restore the waterfront to productive use.” - Scott Rechler, RXR chairman and CEO speaking on the approval of legislation for Garvies Point
“On behalf of the residents of the Village and all of the stakeholders in our community, I thank the Governor for selecting Westbury for this grant. It is gratifying to know that, out of all of the deserving communities that could have been selected, our community, and the revitalization efforts we've made to date, are worthy of recognition. We've worked hard with all of our stakeholders to make Westbury the very best it can be and the additional resources will certainly assist us in taking the next step toward our goal of being one of New York's and Long Island's most attractive, sustainable and vibrant places to be." - Westbury Village Mayor Peter Cavallaro speaking on a grant awarded by NYS
Freeport Breaks Ground to Revitalize North Main Street
Vision Long Island joined Nassau County and Village of Freeport elected officials this week for the groundbreaking of the long-awaited $7.5 million North Main Street redevelopment project in Freeport. The project, a joint effort between Nassau County and the Village of Freeport, has been two years in the making.
Westbury Village Hosts Kick-Off for $10 Million Downtown Revitalization Initiative
Mayor Peter Cavallaro and members of the Westbury Village Board of Trustees, Village staff and Vision staff met with representatives from the NYS Department of State and the real estate and economic development consultant team who will be working with the Village to develop the strategic plan for the $10 Million NYS Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) awarded to the Village last month.
Nassau Legislature Approves Amended Funding Plan for Garvies Point
The Garvies Point project in Glen Cove cleared another hurdle this week as the Nassau County Legislature voted 13-5 in favor of an amended IDA agreement for the $1 billion waterfront redevelopment. The mixed-use development will now be able to contribute a smaller portion of payments in lieu of taxes to Nassau County. Vision and members of the Glen Cove community testified in support of this project at the Legislature and the vote carried 13-5 with all of the republicans led by Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves and two of the democrats Carrié Solages and Laura Curran in support.
“The Nassau County Legislature’s vote is a major boost for the economic vibrancy of the Glen Cove community,” Scott Rechler, RXR Realty chairman and CEO, said in the statement. “We applaud the Nassau County Legislature for recognizing the opportunity this project represents for the Glen Cove community and for ultimately choosing to support our effort to restore the waterfront to productive use.”
Islip Planning Board Votes to Recommend Portion of $4 Billion Heartland Town Square Development
After over a dozen years of delays and engineering and design changes, a portion of the 450-acre Heartland Town Square project in the Town of Islip has taken a step forward, with the Planning Board voting to recommend a portion of the project to the Town Board.
Four of seven Planning Board members, including Board Chair Edward Friendland, voted to recommend an amended portion of the project to the Town Board, who will then vote on approval; two Planning Board members were absent, and one abstained. The recommended 133-acre part of the project, about a third of the overall property obtained by developer Gerald Wolkoff, will help measure the impact of Heartland to the Town as it develops. The intended $4 billion mixed-use project would include 9,000 apartments, 1 million square feet of retail and and 3 million square feet of office space when built out.
Planning Board member Joseph DeVincent, who voted in favor of recommending the first phase to the Town Board, said that he was pleased to see the changes that Wolkoff has made to the proposed plan over the years. Changed also was the amount of square footage proposed for the first phase by reducing the building height to five stories. “The Town Board would continue to have the discretion to prevent further development in the event of traffic issues,” DeVincent said. “The town board could continue to require additional infrastructure support ... or scale back the density. Where I couldn’t support this before, I’m very impressed by the changes.” The proposed plan for Heartland Town Square includes internal buses and shuttles would help bring residents and visitors to local mass transit, minimizing traffic impact and carbon footprint of the development on the former Pilgrim State Hospital grounds, which would be situated 52 minutes from New York City.
Special acknowledgement should be made to Planning Board chair Joe DeVincent for negotiating changes that make the project better for all parties. Vision was out to testify at many of the hearings through the years and the local community support for the project has been critical.
There is no date set for the Islip Town Board to vote on the Planning Board’s recommendations. You can read more about the progress with the project in Newsday, and check out some of the features of the Heartland Town Square project here
Valley Steam Considers Changes to Downtown’s Appearance to Spur Growth
Five years after the Village of Valley Stream’s master plan was created, new standards are being proposed to further enhance the commercial district’s Renaissance. “This really sets the tone for the future,” says Vinny Ang, former Village Clerk.
Governor Announces $33 Million in Wastewater Infrastructure Grant Awards
Governor Cuomo announced $33 million in grants to support 15 critical municipal water infrastructure projects last week, including over $4.1 million for two Suffolk County projects. These grants are part of the third round of NYS Water Grants funded through the state’s Water Infrastructure Improvement Act.
NY Attorney General Announces Recommendations to Correct National Flood Insurance Program
Upon the announcement of indictments involving an engineering company and an employee in relation to insurance claims after Superstorm Sandy, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released a report identifying several fundamental flaws in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which includes recommendations to increase transparency and accountability.
Mixed-Use Town Centers Gain Popularity
A newly opened mixed-use development in Columbus, Ohio has been attracting a lot of attention after planners and architects have claimed that it has influenced a number of trends in land use and community design. Built on over 1,300 acres of empty land, the development, titled Easton, currently consists of over 3.7 million square feet of retail space in 280 stores and 4.2 million square feet of office space in 21 buildings, alongside hundreds of units of hotel rooms and apartments.
Construction on the tightly aligned outdoor districts began in the 1990s, and the units have since become models for “reintroducing density as an attractive and profitable real estate design principle.” Easton’s design was inspired by the same principles that were used to build towns before 1900. “Before automobiles, this is how America was built,” said the chairman of the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University, Christopher Leinberger. “It petered out after World War II, when we built the drivable suburban model. Only in the early 1990s did we realize there was an embryonic market for urbanism.” Yaromir Steiner, one of the many people who contributed to the design and development of Easton, added, “You could say that the period from 1950 to 1990 was an urban planning aberration. We are finally correcting all of this.”
The mixed-use development has also seen robust financial returns. So far, 1.7 billion dollars have been spent to construct Easton’s many districts. Overall, the entire project returns 138 million dollars annually in sate, city, county, and school tax revenue. Furthermore, the development attracts over 30 million visitors a year and generates more than 1 billion dollars each year in retail sales. Over 32,000 people work within Easton’s stores, restaurants, and offices, as well.
Adam R. Flatto, the president and chief executive of the New-York based Georgetown Company, Easton’s master developer and financial partner, also sees the benefit to new developments constructed following the principles of Smart Growth. “People respond to Easton as a social experience. They enjoy being here.” Since the construction of Easton, over 120 new mixed-use town centers have been built across the nation, defying the trend of declining retail store sales.
Over 400 acres of the land bought for Easton remain available for development, on which over 2,000 new apartment units will be built during the next decade. Flatto attributes the success of Easton and similar developments to the manner in which they fit “the live-work-play evolution occurring throughout the country.”
You can read more about the national trend of building new mixed-use town centers similar to the new Ronkonkoma Hub project, in The New York Times.
2016 Wyandanch Plaza Arts Fair
The Wyandanch Plaza Association will be presenting the 2016 Wyandanch Plaza Arts Fair on Saturday, August 20th, bringing cultures and building community through an appreciation of the arts.
Village of Great Neck Plaza Summer Concert Series
The Village of Great Neck Plaza will be continuing their 2016 Summer Concert Series through August, with two more free concerts. The summer concert series takes place on Tuesday nights, starting at 8pm, at Firefighter’ Park (Jon’s Park).
Farmingdale Live at Five on Main Events this Summer
Farmingdale Live at Five On Main is a free summer program offering a number of music nights to people in downtown Farmingdale Village. The event will take place four times throughout the summer, with dates set for August 25th from 5pm to 9pm. Three bands will perform each night along Main Street between Prospect Street and North Front Street. The event will focus on more than just music; many merchants, restaurants, and clubs will be participating to provide the public with a number of options for dining and shopping. Three of the four nights will also feature a movie night on the Village Green, weather permitting.
No traffic will be allowed on Main Street on either side of Conklin Street from 4pm to 10pm, allowing for a two block pedestrian area for the events. Free parking will be available in Village parking lots, which are located along Conklin, on Main Street, north and south of the street closure, in the former Waldbaum’s parking lot, along neighboring streets, or in the Train Stations Lots after 4 pm. Similar events are also being held in Patchogue (Alive After Five), on August 4th, and August 18th, and in Riverhead (Alive on 25) on August 11th, and August 25th. Farmingdale and Riverhead's events are modeled after Patchogue's Alive After Five event (now in its 15th year), which was recently awarded a Smart Growth Award.
More information about participating merchants and supporters and rain dates is available on Farmingdale's Live at Five’s website.
Long Island Premiere of The Rounds in Lindenhurst
The Babylon Arts Center in Lindenhurst will be presenting the Long Island Premiere of "The Rounds"on August 26th and 27th at 7PM. The play is presented by EggSalad Productions, a community of diverse artists dedicated to social justice through experimental performance and creation of purposeful art.
Blue Claw Festival in Mastic Beach
The 12th Annual Blue Claw Festival, hosted by the Mastic Beach Property Owners’ Association, will be held in Mastic Beach at Marina One on Sunday, August 28th from 11 AM to 6 PM. Attendees have the opportunity to enjoy fresh steamed shrimp, crabs, crab-cakes, clams, beer, wine, and soda. Admission is free and attendees will have the chance to enjoy music and dance performances presented on the show mobile and children’s activities such as face painting and sad art. A large selection of vendors with food and arts and crafts will be present as well.To learn more about the event, visit the Mastic Beach Property Owners’ Association’s website.
Westbury Concert Series
The Village of Westbury will be hosting its free evening concert series at the Piazza Ernesto Strada in the Village of Westbury Square on the corner of Post Avenue and Maple Avenue. Free parking for attendees will be available in the Village Madison Avenue parking lot behind Rite Aid. All of this year’s concerts will be held on Fridays from 7pm to 9pm. Featured performers include Dance Visions NY, North Shore Pops, and Sonido Clasico. The series will also include an art event to complement the music. Handmade cards and Paint Night are just a couple of the activities to be held in conjunction with the concerts.
For more information, you can visit the Greater Westbury Council for the Arts’ website.
Long Island’s 4th Annual Car Free Day
You can join the efforts to increase the use of sustainable transportation this Thursday, September 22, 2016 on Long Island’s 4th Annual Car Free Day. Last year, almost 3,000 Long Islanders pledged to go car free, saving 78,000 miles in driving and 39 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Car Free Day was celebrated in over 2000 cities in 40 countries around the world in 2015. To participate in this year’s event, all you have to do is promise to be either car-free or car-lite on Car Free Day by signing an online pledge form. You also receive the chance to win free prizes once you have made the pledge. 511NY, MTA, NICE, Suffolk Transit, HART, Long Beach Municipal Bus, and the Nassau-Suffolk Bicycle Coalition all have information about getting around town without using a car. Vision Long Island is a proud sponsor of this successful event.
For more information on this international event, you can visit Long Island’s Car Free Day website here.
Veterans’ Job and Information Fair- Assistance Needed!
The Amityville Community Resource Center will be hosting a Veteran’s Job & Information Fair on September 27, 2016 from 10 AM - 4pm. The Information Fair will be held from 10-4pm and the Job Fair from 12-4pm. Veterans can get free haircuts and business clothing from their boutique.
Assistance is needed from service providers, schools and vendors to participate in the information fair, and from employers with jobs available. Community members and organizations are encouraged to participate before the event by collecting new or gently used business and casual men’s clothing, business attire for women, and back to school clothing for children.
Jane Jacobs Film to Premiere at Toronto Film Festival
Citizen Jane: Battle for the City will be premiering this September at the Toronto International Film Festival
Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, is a film about cities through the lens of Jane Jacobs, author of the 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Directed and Produced by Matt Tyrnauer, Produced by Robert Hammond, Corey Reeser, and Jessica Van Garsse.
In 1960 Jane Jacobs’s book The Death and Life of Great American Cities sent shockwaves through the architecture and planning worlds, with its exploration of the consequences of modern planners’ and architects’ reconfiguration of cities. Jacobs was also an activist, who was involved in many fights in mid-century New York, to stop “master builder” Robert Moses from running roughshod over the city. This film retraces the battles for the city as personified by Jacobs and Moses, as urbanization moves to the very front of the global agenda. Many of the clues for formulating solutions to the dizzying array of urban issues can be found in Jacobs’s prescient text, and a close second look at her thinking and writing about cities is very much in order. This film sets out to examine the city of today through the lens of one of its greatest champions.
You can learn more about the premiere here.
Upcoming Public Hearings- Suffolk County Bus Cuts Starting in October
Suffolk County Transit will be moving ahead with bus route cuts, with plans to axe 10 routes effective October 3rd in order to bring a $78 million deficit into order. The cuts would be some of the largest in the 36 year history of Suffolk County Transit.
Comment Period Open for South Shore Coastal Storm Risk Management Project
The Army Corps, with the passage of the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, has been awarded the funding to complete ongoing coastal storm risk management projects. As such, they have prepared a Draft General Re-evaluation Report/Environmental Impact Statement for coastal storm risk management project that is intended to minimize erosion and increase hurricane protection from Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point (FIMP). The $1.2 billion project, which has already replenished beaches on Fire Island, is expected to take place over the next several years, with 30-50 years of contingency plans.
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “The release of this Draft General Re-evaluation Report/Environmental Impact Statement is an important milestone, decades in the making, which moves New York State and the Army Corps of Engineers one step closer to the construction of the project. I look forward to continuing to work with our federal and local partners to complete this comprehensive storm damage reduction project so we can better protect citizens, businesses and economy of Long Island.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is opening a 60-day review period for the public to submit written comments to assist in the agency’s evaluation of the project changes. Public comments can be submitted by e-mail to either Robert.J.Smith@usace.army.mil or Mark.F.Lulka@usace.army.mil by September 30th. The Army Corp Engineers will also be holding a number of public meetings within the next 60 days to receive feedback on the draft.
Further instructions for submitting comments and the report and its associated documents are available on New York District’s website.
Over $200 Million in Funding Available for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects
New York State has more than $200 million in expired earmarks and grants available that can now be spent due to provisions in the current federal transportation funding bill, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST). This money includes over $18 million for projects involving bicycles and pedestrians, as well as other roadway improvements. Parks & Trails New York has assembled a website that explains both eligibility requirements and a map illustrating where each earmark may be used.
Long Island has several million dollars that were earmarked for projects over 10 years ago, with the projects either not coming to fruition, being partially complete, or being funded by other sources. Instead of losing out on those earmarks, funding will be able to be repurposed for other projects within a 50 mile radius of the original project location., that are eligible for Surface Transportation Block Grant funding, and that will be complete on or before September of 2019. The maximum Federal share of funding for the new project must be the same as the share of the original project.
New York State has to notify the Federal Highway Authority of its decision to repurpose the money by August 29, 2016, so the deadline is quickly approaching. You can contact your bicycle and pedestrian coordinator if you have an eligible local project for which you would like to receive funding. For more information or if you have any questions, please call Parks & Trails New York at 518-434-1583, or email Ron Epstein of NYSDOT at firstname.lastname@example.org
National Endowment for the Arts Grant
The National Endowment for the Arts has an Our Town grant program that aims to support creative placemaking in downtown communities. In order to be eligible for the grant, there must be a partnership between arts organizations and the government, other nonprofit organizations, and private entities. Projects of two types will be considered: Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning and Design Projects which represent the character and quality of a community, and Projects that Build Knowledge About Creative Placemaking, available for organizations that provide technical assistance to those doing place-based work. Matching grants range from 25,000 to 200,000 dollars. The deadline is September 12, 2016.
To learn more about the grant, and apply, visit the National Endowment for the Arts’ website.
Applications Being Accepted for Environmental Excellence Awards
The Federal Highway Administration is now accepting applications for the 2017 Environmental Excellence Awards. These awards are meant to recognize projects that use FWHA funding to not only comply with environmental regulations, but to achieve environmental excellence.
Nominations are accepted for any and all projects that have used FHWA funding to create an environmentally conscious transport solution. Applications will be accepted until September 15, 2016. Any questions may be directed to EEAawrdsNomination@dot.gov.
For more information about the nomination process, you can visit their website.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Grant
The Housing Trust fund is currently accepting applications for approximately 26.9 million dollars of State and Federal funds for projects relating to housing activities including housing rehabilitation, homeownership, manufactured housing rehabilitation or replacement, well and septic replacement, and lateral connection assistance that primarily benefit low- and moderate-income persons. Eligible applicants include non-entitlement villages, towns, cities or counties throughout New York State. The 2016 Application for CDBG Housing Activities will be available on the NYS Homes and Community Renewal website and is due no later than 4:00pm on Wednesday, September 28, 2016.
You can contact the Office of Community Renewal within NYS Home and Community Renewal at (518)-474-2057 with any questions, or visit their website.
$16 Million in Grant Money for Energy-Efficient Housing Construction
As a part of Governor Cuomo’s goal to reach 50% renewable energy by 2030, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is offering $16 million dollars for the design and construction of energy-efficient housing. It has been projected that buildings that take advantage of this support will see yearly savings of 9 million dollars.
"Ensuring New York's buildings are constructed to the highest standards of energy efficiency is crucial to both our long-term sustainability and prosperity of the state,” said Governor Cuomo. "Smart choices about efficiency can simultaneously save money and protect the environment. This investment promotes that principle in order to build healthy communities and save consumers hundreds of millions of dollars."
Half of the 16 million dollars will be offered to builders of low-rise buildings, including single family homes, and the other half is meant for builders of mid- and high-rise buildings that consist of apartment units. Applications for this grant money will be accepted through December 29, 2017, or until funding runs out.
More information about the grant and the application process can be found on NYSERDA’s website.
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.
Full-time COC Compliance Manager Position Available in Amityville
The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless is seeking applicants for a Full-Time Continuum of Care (COC) Compliance Manager in their main office located in Amityville. This position requires a strong ability to research and understand policies and regulations; strategic planning; compliance monitoring, training and coordination of multiple groups and activities.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Maintain thorough knowledge of housing programs’ regulations and environmental review process; assist Executive Director in monitoring and evaluating CoC programs and the provision of technical assistance as appropriate; coordination with Associate Director and HMIS staff for COC-related reporting; preparation of statistical reports pertaining to homelessness and housing; support Associate Director in development and implementation of initiatives to end homelessness, including facilitation and chairing of subcommittees as appropriate.
Local travel will be also required for this position. Benefits after probationary period will be available. These include paid time off (vacation, holiday, sick, personal), medical insurance for the employee (premium paid by LICH), and Simple IRA plan (with employer match). A criminal background check will be required before employment is offered.
Interested parties should submit a resume and salary requirements via email. For more information about this position, please click here . Please do not call Long Island Coalition for the Homeless regarding this position.
What's happening on your Main Street this weekend?
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Garvies Point Museum and Preserve
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Bow Tie Port Washington
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Cold Spring Harbor
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Port Jefferson Historical Society
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While there are many reasons to not like WalMart but you can now add this one: the excessive use of police resources to manage crime at one of the biggest retailers in the world.
Check out the article outlining the pushback from law enforcement agencies of another form of public subsidies to this corporation.
More reasons to support local businesses and downtowns.
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