September 4th-10th, 2016
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.
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“This is bad for Suffolk County. It’s bad for the economy. It’s balancing the budget on the backs of some of the poorest people in the county... And it’s the wrong thing to do.” - Hon. Jay Schniederman, Supervisor, Town of Southampton
“There’s no question that to many people public transportation is their sole form of transportation, and we need to continue to provide those services” - Hon. Bridget Fleming, Legislator, Suffolk County
“Cutting bus service now will only stop the progress that has been made to increase ridership and public transit connectivity. The only solution is to hold off on the cuts until there is a full and proper analysis of the system’s ridership and the effects of cuts, find offsets in this year’s budget to keep existing service, and to properly negotiate with the state for equitable funding of the system in comparison to other NY regions.” - Jon Siebert, Vision Long Island
Over a Hundred Residents Demand Halt to Suffolk Bus Cuts
Vision was out this week at the Suffolk County Legislature in Riverhead to testify in opposition to Suffolk County's proposed cuts to their bus system. The County is proposing elimination of 8 routes on October 3rd serving the downtowns of Copiague, Lindenhurst, Port Jefferson, Riverhead, Mastic/Shirley and Southampton. These communities have collectively approved over 1,000 units of downtown housing in recent years where transit is an important component, with additional housing on the horizon in the areas.
New York Receives $5.1 Million in Railroad Safety Funding
This week, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer announced $5,162,417 funding U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) funds to improve the safety of 53 rail grade crossings along Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) lines. The funds are being provided through the $25 million Railroad Safety Infrastructure Improvement Grant Program.
"When it comes to improving rail safety we must take an all-of-the-above approach that includes prioritizing a culture of safety, improving education, and making smart upgrades to dangerous grade crossings,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “Today's investment by the FRA in some of New York's most dangerous crossings will help this cause tremendously."
In 2013, 2,096 accidents at grade crossings killed over 200 people nationwide. In New York, there are over 5,000 rail grade crossings. Between 2005 and 2014, there were 341 Railway Grade Crossing Incidents that resulted in 59 fatalities and 96 injuries in New York.
According to ‘Operation Lifesaver,’ a national nonprofit organization dedicated to rail safety education, a person or vehicle is hit by a train every three hours. Ninety-five percent of all fatalities on U.S. railroads are due to people trying to beat a train at a crossing or walking on railroad tracks. Across the country, there are 140,000 miles of railroad track and 212,000 rail-highway grade crossings. Approximately half of public rail crossings are ‘active’ crossings, which have either protective gates or flashing lights to warn whether a train is coming. FRA safety data shows that nearly half of crossing collisions are at active crossings.
The $5,162,417 in federal funds, provided by the FY 16 Railroad Safety Infrastructure Improvement Grant Program, include:
$8 Billion in Funding for Long Island Transportation Projects Adopted
Vision Long Island heard from Keynote Speaker U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx at the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council’s (NYMTC) Annual meeting this week, where the Council adopted the 2017-2021 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
TIP includes $8 billion in funding for Long Island and for Long island related projects. Included in the Regional Transportation Plan for Long Island is the Nassau HUB Transit Initiative, which has been stalled for many years through past administrations. The HUB Transit Link includes a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service to the Village of Hempstead, Village of Mineola, Hofstra University, Nassau Coliseum, Nassau Community College, Museum Row, and Roosevelt Field. BRT projects give right of way to buses, allowing a smoother, faster ride between major destinations, which also alleviates traffic congestion.
NYS Pedestrian Safety Plan DetailsAnnounced
Governor Cuomo recently announced the results of a two week pedestrian safety enforcement campaign throughout New York State over the summer as part of a $110 million comprehensive pedestrian safety initiative.
You can read more about the enforcement aspect of the collaborative campaign, https://www.ny.gov/programs/pedestrian-safety-action-plan.
New Suffolk Law Encourages Bringing Your Own Bag Shopping
Suffolk County voted to place a five-cent fee on single-use plastic and paper bags this week, making it the first New York State County to approve such a measure to encourage usage of reusable bags and reducing the amount of plastic and paper bags being improperly discarded.
“We know from cities and countries around the world that by giving consumers the choice to pay a small fee or to save money and the environment by bringing their own bag, the vast majority of people will choose reusable over disposable” said Adrienne Esposito, Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment in a press release. “In Washington DC, Ireland, England, we have seen small fees on plastic and paper bags lead to 60-90% reductions in single-use bag use. We are very excited that Suffolk will now be a state and global leader in the fight against plastic bag pollution we and applaud Legislator Spencer and the Suffolk County Legislature on the passage of IR 1649.”
According to data released by the EPA, between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed annually worldwide, with only 5 to 7 percent of plastic bags being recycled, in part, due to the fact that it costs more to recycle a bag than to produce a new one. Since most plastic bags don’t biodegrade over time, they break down into smaller chunks of “petro-polymers” (oil), contaminating soil and waterways, or can kill sea life by ingesting the plastic.
Additionally, Americans consume more than ten billion paper bags each year, requiring 14 million trees to be cut down annually for the paper production. The production of paper requires large amounts of water, energy and chemicals to be used into the process; this is on top of the environmental impacts of shipping both paper and plastic bags for consumption.
Beginning on January 1st, 2018, stores in Suffolk that are defined as “covered” stores will charge 5 cents per single-use bag, with the five cents being retained at the establishment, not going to the County. Patrons will have the option to bring their own bag, and will not be charged the fee. Additionally, paper bags will have to contain at least 40% recycled content. A little more than a year after the fee is imposed, and every year after, the Health Department will analyze the reduction in single-use bag usage in the county, see how effective the law has been, look at the waste and litter reduction benefits of the law, look at cost savings from pollution, and enforcement of the law. Violations of the law are set at $500 per offense. There will also be a Public Education Working Group commissioned by the Legislature to conduct outreach efforts and educate the public on the new law.
Village of Great Neck Plaza Rolls Out Parking App
In an ongoing effort in the downtown retail area of the Plaza to make parking easier and more user-friendly, the Village of Great Neck Plaza has recently entered into an agreement with Parkmobile, a leading technology vendor that provides parking payments using smartphones. "It is our hope this will be a welcomed convenience for shoppers and people visiting our community. For those who don't want to use Parkmobile's services, parking patrons will be able to continue to pay the traditional way using quarters and $1 bills," said Village Mayor Celender.
Senate to Move $10.6 B Water Resources Development Act Ahead
Lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill this week, with less than four weeks of government funding remaining, with a new spending bill due by September 30th.
Malls Closing Across the Country With Declining Visits
A change in buying patterns across the country has turned into questions and concerns about what will become of the abandoned real estate, as well as how to recoup lost jobs.
Farmingdale Cultural Arts Day September 10th!
The Farmingdale Cultural Arts Day will be held on Saturday September 10th at the Gazebo “On the Village Green”, 361 Main Street, starting at 10AM. Cultural Arts Day will feature Music, Dance and Theater performances, in conjunction with the 6th Annual Art in the Park exhibit! The Art in the Park sale and exhibit will feature original works in oils, watercolors, acrylics, pastels, mixed media, drawings, photography and sculpture.
The event is free to attend, bring your family, friends, chairs or a blanket to watch performances (some seating will be provided). The rain date is Saturday September 17th. For more information, you can call Village Hall at 516-249-0093, email, or join the event on Facebook.
Jane Jacobs Film to Premiere at Toronto Film Festival
Citizen Jane: Battle for the City will be premiering this September 8th through 18th 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.
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.
Tri-State Transportation Campaign to Honor Bold Transportation Projects
Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) Workshop Webinar
NYS Office Building
NYS Department of Transportation office
To facilitate the development of applications, the NYS Department of Transportation is hosting webinars/workshops around the State and providing opportunities to review pre-applications with Department staff. Recordings of these webinars will also be posted for potential project sponsors to view.
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 October 19th. The Army Corp Engineers will also be holding a number of public meetings within the next 60 days to receive feedback on the draft.
Tentative dates and locations for public hearings are :
Further instructions for submitting comments and the report and its associated documents are available on New York District’s website.
Louisiana Needs Your Help
Louisiana suffered a devastating blow once again this month as twenty parishes were drenched with historical flooding, with over 7 trillion gallons of rain overfilling rivers and flooding homes. The unnamed storm is being called the worst US natural disaster since Sandy in 2012, dumping over 20 inches of rain in some areas, with other areas getting closer to three feet of rainfall.
Over 100,000 homes are estimated to be damaged by flooding with over 60,000 being so badly damaged that residents cannot return. 30,000 people were rescued, and thousands are still in shelters. One of the most frightening statistics is that 110,000 have registered for FEMA assistance, with less than a quarter of that amount filing a flood insurance claim- clearly outlining that there will be significant needs and gaps.
As Long Island creeps closer to the 4th Anniversary of Sandy, communities are once again coming together to provide assistance to Louisiana. Several initiatives to assist have started to be planned, with assistance planned in the future as well. Ways you can help:
ER 4 LA Pub Crawl Fund Drive- Sat October 1st 3pm-8pm
Ongoing Drive- Nassau County/Western Suffolk
Fill the Truck Supply Drive- September 3rd from 8am-2pm at Stop & Shop, 575 W. Montauk Hwy, West Babylon
Several organizations are working together to bring rehabilitation supplies and funds down to Louisiana. Drop off locations, items requested, and more information contact Jon Seibert.
State Farm Neighborhood Assist Grants Opened Sept 1st
Have you ever wanted to help your community with a problem but didn't know where to start? Maybe it's a run-down park or to help the impoverished in your community. Now, YOU have the power to fix it. State Farm Neighborhood Assist helps identify and address key issues faced by neighbors throughout the United States.
State Farm Neighborhood Assist is a crowd-sourced, philanthropic initiative that lets communities determine where grant funding is awarded. The submission phase is open from Sept. 1-Sept. 15 and you may submit one entry into each of the three program categories: Education, Safety, and Community Development. It's best to submit early - a maximum of 2,000 submissions will be accepted, so there is a possibility of the application window period ending early. All you have to do is submit the cause; you don't have to "run the program."
After the submission stage ends, State Farm Youth Advisory Board (YAB), a group of college and high school students from across the country, will narrow down the submissions to the top 200 finalists. Once the top 200 causes are identified, they are voted on by you and your community. The voting stage is Oct. 26-Nov. 4 and each person gets 10 votes per day, every day, during that period. Winners will be announced November 30.
The top 40 causes with the most votes will each receive a $25,000 grant from State Farm. For more information about the program and to apply, click here
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.
2016 Transportation Alternatives Program Solicitation Announced
The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has issued a Notice of Funding Availability for project proposals under the Transportation Alternatives Program, or TAP. (https://www.dot.ny.gov/divisions/operating/opdm/local-programs-bureau/tap-cmaq )
TAP funding supports bicycle, pedestrian, multi-use path and transportation-related projects and programs as well as projects that reduce congestion and will help meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act. Applications for this funding opportunity must be received by October 21, 2016. For additional information on TAP, including eligible project activities, contacts and other program requirements, please refer to the program guidance and application resource materials.
$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.
Young Volunteers Needed to Help Habitat Suffolk
Intern with Vision Long Island!
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
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Bow Tie Port Washington
For information, visit their website or call 516-766-0300
Cold Spring Harbor
For information, visit their website or call 631-351-3250
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A Third of Millennials Live at Home
A recent study published by Pew Research Center and Stateline showed that almost a third of young adults aged 18 to 34, also known as the Millennial Generation, lived with a parent in 2014, making it the most common living arrangement for that age group for the first time in modern history.
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