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September 16th - 22nd, 2017

Regional Updates

National Grid

National Grid is one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world - covering Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and the UK.

They are at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society—delivering clean energy to support our world long into the future. Every day they work with stakeholders to promote the development and implementation of sustainable, innovative and affordable energy solutions.

They are proud of the contributions their work and their people make to the prosperity and wellbeing of their customers, communities and investors.

“If I could build a time machine or wave a magic wind I would go back in time and give it [the property tax assessment system] to the towns because I agree with Jack. I think the smaller entities are closer to the ground. However, this has been an idea that the current County Executive has floated and it went over like a lead balloon because the towns don’t want it. It’s not realistic. In an ideal world, yes, but I think we have to deal with the reality of what we have to do and make it work. Then perhaps if we get our house in order, have a serious conversation with the towns about putting it on a more granular level.”
- Nassau County Executive Democratic Candidate Laura Curran

“If this is going to be an interview since we are dealing with the business council, then let’s look at it from that perspective. Not only what our skills sets are that we bring to the table, what are our experience is, but also how we plan to challenge the issues that are before us and we are all too aware. I do believe Nassau County’s best days are ahead of us, not behind us.”
- Nassau County Executive Republican Candidate Jack Martins

"I have a four-point plan to clean up Nassau’s finances and save taxpayer dollars. This (speeding up contract payments) falls under the third point, which is clean up and reform our county contracting system. We all know that the county contracting system is the biggest source of corruption, and really the biggest problem going on in Nassau County in so many ways. We have a contracting system that is ripe for reform. Not only are people not getting paid on time because the system is moving too slow, but there is also too little oversight... We need to modernize things, we need to centralize vetting databases, we need to speed this up and make this happen…"
- Nassau County Comptroller Democratic Candidate Jack Schnirman

“Let’s be honest about corruption. Let’s talk about the current climate of corruption. The fact is that corruption is not a party problem necessarily, it’s an individual problem. When somebody breaks the public trust, that is an individual that must be rooted out and punished. The public and the government shouldn’t be celebrating, and politicians like my opponent shouldn’t be jumping with glee when someone is accused of corruption. It’s a sad day. My job as comptroller is to reassure you that I know exactly what happened, I’m going to put the controls in place, and I’m going to make sure nobody rips off the taxpayers on my watch.”
- Nassau County Comptroller Republican Candidate Steve Labriola

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Long Island Business Council Held Nassau County Candidates Forum

The Long Island Business Council held a Nassau County Candidates Forum on Tuesday, at the East Farmingdale Fire Department with 120 small business and community leaders. The forum featured Republican Candidate Jack Martins and Democratic Candidate Laura Curran for County Executive, as well as Republican, Reform, and Conservative Candidate Steve Labriola and Democratic Candidate Jack Schnirman for Comptroller. The forum was moderated by Vision Long Island’s Director Eric Alexander after introductions were made by Long Island Business Council’s Nassau Chair Richard Bivone and Suffolk Chair Robert Fonti.

Both opening remarks, as well as Q&A period with questions culled from attendees, provided a great opportunity to hear from candidates on their positions, with a focus on small businesses, as we draw nearer to the upcoming November 7 election. Key topics included: reforming the property tax assessment system, balancing the budget, reducing fees, tax issues such as tax sharing and getting a fair share of internet taxes, reforms and checks and balances in the wake of widespread Nassau County government corruption, public transportation funding including NICE Bus, Nassau as a sanctuary city, Bay Park Ocean Outfall Pipe and the surge-barrier gates - a LI resiliency measure, police resources, infrastructure projects – such as the Nassau Hub, audit priorities, Nassau County IDA policiescontract system reforms, and more.

While opposing candidates in both races certainly have different positions and plans if elected to take office on January 1, 2018, there was a consensus that we need to look forward and not to the past to ensure Nassau can face some of the daunting challenges that lie ahead. Here are some remark highlights:

“If this is going to be an interview since we are dealing with the business council, then let’s look at it from that perspective. Not only what our skills sets are that we bring to the table, what are our experience is, but also how we plan to challenge the issues that are before us and we are all too aware. I do believe Nassau County’s best days are ahead of us, not behind us.”
- Nassau County Executive Republican Candidate Jack Martins

“If I could build a time machine or wave a magic wind I would go back in time and give it [the property tax assessment system] to the towns because I agree with Jack. I think the smaller entities are closer to the ground. However, this has been an idea that the current County Executive has floated and it went over like a lead balloon because the towns don’t want it. It’s not realistic. In an ideal world, yes, but I think we have to deal with the reality of what we have to do and make it work. Then perhaps if we get our house in order, have a serious conversation with the towns about putting it on a more granular level.”
- Nassau County Executive Democratic Candidate Laura Curran

“Let’s be honest about corruption. Let’s talk about the current climate of corruption. The fact is that corruption is not a party problem necessarily, it’s an individual problem. When somebody breaks the public trust, that is an individual that must be rooted out and punished. The public and the government shouldn’t be celebrating, and politicians like my opponent shouldn’t be jumping with glee when someone is accused of corruption. It’s a sad day. My job as comptroller is to reassure you that I know exactly what happened, I’m going to put the controls in place, and I’m going to make sure nobody rips off the taxpayers on my watch.”
- Nassau County Comptroller Republican Candidate Steve Labriola

“I have a four-point plan to clean up Nassau’s finances and save taxpayer dollars. This (speeding up contract payments) falls under the third point, which is clean up and reform our county contracting system. We all know that the county contracting system is the biggest source of corruption, and really the biggest problem going on in Nassau County in so many ways. We have a contracting system that is ripe for reform. Our state comptroller suggested a series of reforms in 2013 and the district attorney suggested a series of reforms in 2015. Unfortunately, they’ve mostly fallen on deaf ears. So, one of the things that we have a problem with is non-profits, some of them which are in the room here, aren’t getting paid on time. We have a twin problem. Not only are people not getting paid on time because the system is moving too slow, but there is also too little oversight. Right? So, what do we need to do? We need to modernize things, we need to centralize vetting databases, we need to speed this up and make this happen… This isn’t the sexy stuff, but as folks in this room know this is important.”
- Nassau County Comptroller Democratic Candidate Jack Schnirman

All candidates addressed reforms concerning the Nassau County IDA. County Executive candidates Laura Curran and Jack Martins presented specific plans immediately after the Business Council event. Vision Long Island is on the record supporting community-driven downtown transit-orienteddevelopment projects recieving IDA assisance.

John Keating of PSEG Long Island also spoke to their two current pilot programs, Vacant Space Revival, designed to encourage occupancy of commercial space in a business district or in an area of existing commercial businesses that has been vacant for a period of one-year-or-more, and Main Street Revitalization, designed to encourage economic vitality of a business district and to optimize the use of existing electric infrastructure. Visit their website for more information. 

For more on the Long Island Business Council Candidate Forum, visit LIBN and Newsday.

Heartland Headed to Homestretch After Hearing Canceled

After being unanimously approved by the Suffolk Planning Commission in February and recently the Town of Islip (zoning changes and phase one), conflict briefly arose when there was an objection submitted by Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone.

Post approval by the Town of Islip, other towns were allowed a 30-day period to provide their objections despite the fact that the entire project lies within the Islip boarder.  Huntington was the only Town to provide any objection which came in the form of a letter submitted by Supervisor Petrone.  This provoked a hearing to be called by the Suffolk County Planning Commission who had also recently expressed concerns but then reaffirmed their support for the project. In the letter, Supervisor Petrone indicated his worries for potential traffic impacts to the Town of Huntington via several main roadways adjacent to the project.

They hearing was scheduled to be at the Rose Caracappa auditorium on Tuesday evening, however after legal advisement, the Commmission dismissed the hearing.  Due to the letter not containing the signatures of all town board members, the actual merit of the letter was found to not warrant an additional hearing. At this time, the Suffolk County Planning Commission has expressed that they have no intentions to further pursue the issue. A Town of Huntington spokesman that they felt this was in the same format as submissions to the committee have been done in the past. The Town reiterated that they have not changed their position despite the canceled hearing. Project developer Jerry Wolkoff stated that these concerns have been addressed in the 15 years of community meetings and hearing leading up to the approvals.

For more on this story, visit Newsday.

Vision Co-Sponsors APA Long Island’s East End Conference in Riverhead

Vision was out this week with dozens of municipal and private planners at the 2017 APA East End Conference held at Hotel Indigo in Riverhead.

The day kicked off with a mobile workshop and tour of 8 Hands Farm in Cutchogue which is a scenic 28-acre family farm that raises heritage breed animals on its pasture. Long Island’s East End has been long-known for their agriculture. Attendees were able to see how farms like this one play into the planning needs for the area.

After a welcome from Sean Sallie, Director of APA’s Long Island Section, Gerry Bogacz gave an update and overview of the NYMTC Plan 2045, a long-range Regional Transportation Plan for investing in the transportation system and building sustainable growth in the region. With an anticipated growth in population to 14.3 million by 2045 in NYMTC’s planning area, the existing transportation network in New York City, suburban Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley must be maintained, as well as further integrated and improved. The transportation network in NYMTC’s planning area currently supports on a daily basis approximately 3.3 million trips by bus, 5.7 million trips on rail rapid transit, 1.2 million trips on commuter rail, 103,000 trips on ferries, and over 162 million vehicle miles traveled on its roads. Updates included information regarding third and double track projects on the LIRR.

The first breakout session, Offshore Wind Energy Generation, was moderated by Vision Board member Neal Lewis, Director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, with panelists Bob DeLuca, President, Group for the East End; Jennifer Garvey, Deepwater Wind; Nick Shearman, Sane Energy Project; and Linda James, Chair of the Town of East Hampton’s Energy Sustainability Committee. Local experts discussed a long range of issues involving renewable energy, including offshore wind energy, and the responsibility to engage with local stakeholders throughout the development process to ensure that projects are sensitive to the residents, environment and economies of local communities. Jennifer Garvey of Deepwater Wind mentioned how community outreach was conducted to stakeholders before their Block Island project was even underway to understand the needs of all stakeholders, with plans to do the same for the upcoming South Fork project.

The final workshop, The Missing Middle-Providing Housing Options on the East End- featured Diana Weir, Housing Director of the Town of Southampton; Arthur Krauer, Conifer; and Peter Elkowitz, President/CEO of the Long Island Housing Partnership. The panelists discussed challenges and opportunities for improving housing availability and options on the East End of Long Island, looking at potential solutions for addressing the evolving housing needs of the local workforce, next generation and seniors to enhance the sustainability of east end communities. Several case studies highlighting recent success stories were shared, including 60 units of affordable housing approved recently.

Thanks to APA's Sean Sallie for a great event. Vision was proud to be a co-sponsor of the 2017 APA East End Conference. For those unable to attend, video of the event will be made available here.

Belfor Hosts Conference Focused on Storm Preparedness

Vision was out Wednesday morning with nearly 70 participants of a hurricane preparedness conference held by Belfor Property Restoration.  Just in time for this highly active hurricane season, the conference focused attention focused preparing for the next storm - which will come.
BELFOR Property Restoration is one of the leading companies in integrated disaster recovery and property restoration services. They have more than 100 full-service offices in the U.S. geographically positioned to respond to almost any disaster from coast to coast.

Speakers include LI Sandy expert Jon Kaiman (formerly of the NYS Office of Storm Recovery), former Communications Director of Gov. Office of Storm Recovery Barbara Brancaccio, Princeton University's Kieran Bhatia and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone among others.

The conference was geared to such topics as flood insurance, how municipalities can prepare, the science of storms and how to predict them, and effective communication and deployment of emergency response services. 

Sufolk County Executive Talks Sewers At Kings Park Chamber Luncheon

Vision Long Island was out this week at the Kings Park Chamber of Commerce luncheon featuring Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. The County Executive focused his comments on the sewer investment for the downtown business district.

Kings Park residents came out for a series of visioning meetings sponsored by the Kings Park Civic Association and the Kings Park Chamber of Commerce to provide input to Vision Long Island in developing the Kings Park Downtown Revitalization Plan.  They then presented the final draft to the Town of Smithtown and many of their elected officials.  A major hurdle for progess with the community improvements was the need for sewers.  Working with their local elected officials, they were able to begin securing the funding needed.

County Executive Bellone thanked the Chamber, Civic Association, School District and Vision for the work they have done to pull the plans together, and the Governor and NYS Senate Majority Leader for securing the funding. It was a great event and we are glad to see folks working together now side by side with the Town of Smithtown.

New $8 million Ambulance Company Headquarters Kickstarts Mastic Beach Downtown Revitalization

Vision was out Wednesday to take part in the groundbreaking of the new Mastic Beach Ambulance Company Headquarters in downtown Mastic Beach. The Mastic Beach Ambulance Company Volunteers were joined by elected officials, civic leaders, and residents.

The groundbreaking marks not only a well-needed and deserved building being constructed for volunteers to continue to serve their community, but the beginning of revitalization efforts in downtown Mastic Beach. The $8 million, Colonial-themed building will serve as a catalyst for future redevelopment in an area long-neglected.

The new two-story building, which should be completed within a year, was originally designed to be over 21,000 square feet. The Ambulance Company and Town of Brookhaven reduced the proposed size for the new building to be less than 18,000 square feet, reducing the overall projected cost to around $8.5 million without contingencies, benefitting taxpayers. The Town of Brookhaven approved bonding for up to $11 million for the project last year, which includes a 20% contingency as required by law.

The current building, located on Whittier Drive and Mastic Beach Road, was constructed in 1990. At that time, the  Ambulance Company received  no where near the more than 2500 calls it receives annually. This increases in volume over the past 10 years excludes the year of Superstorm Sandy when many residents were not living in their homes. In its current location, the Ambulance Company is forced to have a majority of their vehicles outside of the three bays of the building causing deterioration of medicine on board and exposes the equipment to the elements.  The new location will be situated about a mile and a half south west of the current location, with better proximity to highly visited Smith Point County Park.  The new 1.2 acres location formerly housed a long-abandoned hardware and grocery store, and a condemned residential structure. Once completed, the new structure will be able to host activities for the community right in the heart of the downtown, reduce overall response time, and give a 24-7 presence on Main Street

The long-term efforts of the volunteers of the Ambulance Company, Mastic Beach Village, the Town of Brookhaven, and the community complement the comprehensive plan recently drafted by Wendel Companies partnering with Vision Long Island. That plan is set to be adopted by the Village early next month.

It was great to see some many key leaders and supporters present at such a pivotal moment for the community. This includes Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine, Deputy Supervisor and Councilman for Mastic Beach Dan Panico, Suffolk County Clerk Judy Pascale, Mastic Beach Ambulance Company Chief Charles Voelger, Mastic Beach Village Mayor Robert Miller, Mastic Beach Village Trustees Victor Viola and Fred Krage, former Mastic Beach Village Mayors Maura Spery and Bill Biondi, representatives from Assemblyman Dean Murray and Legislator Kate Browning's offices, and Frank Figurino from the Pattersquash Creek Civic Association.

For more on this story, visit Newsday.

Nassau IDA Hearing Held for 2 Projects in Downtown Hicksville

On Wednesday, Vision was out today at a Nassau IDA hearing in support of one of the two local downtown projects under consideration for Hicksville. Vision board and staff spoke in favor of the long vacant American Dental building on Broadway which would be transformed into first floor retail and three floors of apartments totaling 19 rental units.

Lionel Chitty, President of the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce and Paul Leo from the Carpenters Union also testified in support.

There is hope that this project is the first of many future redevelopments by the train station, at the right height and density, that fall directly in line with the community’s desire for revitalization of the long neglected area.

Alexander: A Nation Divided While Our Communities Stay United

Eric AlexanderIt is no surprise that a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll shows that as a nation we are increasingly divided on economic and cultural issues.  Studies are showing that not only are many of us radically different on public policy but we have fundamentally divergent social and cultural values.

There is no doubt these trends on national issues are increasing. We get this division drilled into our heads on an almost hourly basis – coverage of radical protests, divisive and extreme statements by fringe elements of our society, twitter feeds from our president and other political figures in reaction. Then there’s the rehashing of last year’s presidential campaign complete with new polls, research and book tours exhuming what occurred in that election again and again.

Can we accept the fact that in an incredibly diverse nation and in our many communities we call Long Island, folks have different views and that is OK?

Thankfully, in contrast to these trends, there are the many things that occur on a daily basis with tens of thousands of Long Islanders that rarely make the news and are not conflict driven so they don’t sell. By focusing on the division on a tape loop here are some of the things we miss:

We miss the community led efforts to bring aid to victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas or Irma in Florida. With the five-year anniversary of Sandy, community groups are trained and still working to prepare for the next large storm.

We miss folks working together on issues of public safety, gang violence and the opioid epidemic. We miss community leaders and victim’s families who have rallied together for design improvements to address Long Island’s many dangerous roadways.

We miss work in places that historically never unified around issues for Kings Park sewers and Hicksville downtown redevelopment or something as simple as creating an LIRR at-grade crossing for emergency access in Mastic and Shirley.
We miss island-wide efforts to improve our water quality and other environmental measures along with a slew of initiatives to address homelessness, child care and improved bus and rail service.

We miss difficult planning to sort out longstanding large scale projects such as Heartland Town Square, Hempstead redevelopment, Glen Cove waterfront and the LIRR Third Track.

The Third Track initiative is a prime example where the impacted communities led the way in negotiating a final agreement directly with NYS officials. These efforts get to consensus when local community folks lead the process.

Maybe we should realize that there are good civic minded people who volunteer each day in their community, there are folks who want to invest capital in local neighborhoods to create jobs and local business opportunities and that most individuals who work for government do so to truly serve the public.

Of course we can zoom in to the minority of folks making these decisions that are narcissistic, greedy, power mad, corrupt and diabolical but that does not tell the full story. By giving this minority so much airtime we elevate the bad behavior.

What is more insidious is that we are robbing the good work of the majority of folks who do not hold those values and engage in negative activities and instead simply want to make their community better. The last thing we need are more reasons not to trust each other and the collective work that is underway to improve conditions in neighborhoods across our region.

Personally I have had enough hearing about how divided and bad folks are. Let’s take a moment to recognize the good work people are doing – post it on your social media feed, demand it of your news outlets and most importantly lend a hand yourself.
Despite our divisions, and at times radical differences, we do have windows of opportunity to bring people together so let’s keep doing it block by block, community by community.

To view the full article, visit LIBN.

Harvey and Irma Victims Need Your Help

With the devastation that Hurricane Harvey unleashed in Texas and Irma to Florida, Long Islanders are reminded well of the gravity that disaster brings to entire communities in both the short and long terms. Several drives for monetary donations, as well as for physical donations, are underway and in the planning stages in order to bring relief directly to communities in need. Friends of Long Island groups understand first-hand how it is a bottom-up approach that best serves communities in the relief and recovery process, and will be partnering with organizations that helped us in the past on Long Island so they can help others, as well as targeting grassroots organizations to provide assistance.

When disaster occurs, the most important thing is to get cash to the affected region first-and also to know where donations are going. While well-intended, shipments of material goods in the immediate wake of disaster can clog up infrastructure, manpower, and storage that are critically needed- it is best to wait to send physical items until there is a collaborative effort with those on the ground to assess actual needs. There will be initiatives upcoming that we will communicate and will need your support for.

Here are some links where you can donate financially, with the funds going to good use in the relief process. These organizations had a positive presence in recovery and were well received on Long Island post-Sandy:

Friends of Long Island
You can find other vetted ways to donate here. Once there is an assessment of needs and capacity, Friends of Long Island will support recovery efforts in Texas, as we have done in other regions, while assisting our residents here on Long Island. We will also accept financial donations, which will go directly to communities and organizations on the ground, with 0 admin fee. To donate, please email

Since the aftermath and needs of Hurricane Harvey are not yet fully known, Friends of Long Island groups are currently assessing the situation, connecting with community organizations on the ground, and planning to assist as appropriate in the near future. In the meantime, national groups below are also gearing up to assist.

Other Regional Efforts

All Hands Volunteers
All Hands Volunteers is a US-based, 501(c)3 non-profit organization that addresses the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters by engaging and leveraging volunteers, partner organizations and local communities. Their vision is to demonstrate the power and value of volunteer service through the tangible work done, the hope it brings to suffering communities and the transformative experiences it provides for volunteers.

Amateur Radio Emergency Service organizes and trains volunteers to serve their communities by providing public service and emergency communications. They were a great organization on Long Island post-Sandy.

Church World Services (CWS)
CWS's work began in 1946, in the aftermath of the Second World War, with a mission to feed the hungry and help those in need. They were very helpful providing cleanup materials and other assistance post-Sandy.

Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity partners with people in your community, and all over the world, to help them build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Habitat Suffolk assisted greatly post-Sandy on Long Island.

Island Harvest
Island Harvest was created in 1992 by one woman with a cooler, a station wagon, and a strong desire to help people in need. Linda Breitstone, our founder, was infuriated that food from a local convenience store was being thrown away at the end of the day – with a safe house for women and children down the street. In response, she established Island Harvest and our mission, “to end hunger and reduce food waste on Long Island.”

Islamic Relief USA
When disaster strikes, Islamic Relief USA responds immediately to get vital resources to survivors as quickly and efficiently as possible—like what they are doing now for Hurricane Harvey survivors. Islamic relief helped our communities post-Sandy.

The Jewish Federations of North America
They provide a lifeline for Jews and non-Jews in distress, at home, in Israel and across the globe. Whether it’s missiles raining down on Israel’s south, a violent conflict in Ukraine, Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast or an earthquake in Nepal,  Federation is there to help — and to rebuild. This organization directly funded recovery on Long Island post-Sandy.

LDS Philanthropies
Through generous donations from people like you, Humanitarian Services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who operates LDS Charities, provides aid to people around the world without regard to cultural or religious affiliation. Known locally as the “Mucking Mormons”, LDS helped thousands of residents throughout Long Island.

Lions Club of Long Island
The Lions Clubs of Long Island are conducting a Huricane Harvey emergency relief supply drive. Non-perishable foods are most needed. Please pack in secure, marked boxes. Second most needed are new mini refrigerators. Third most needed are water pumps and hoses. Bank Gift Cards and Cash Donations welcome! Check Link for locations to drop off donations to.

Long Island Council of Churches
During tragic events like Hurricane Harvey, many of us look for ways to reach out and help. The most immediate and effective way to support is to: Donate Money, Donate Blood and Pray. The devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey continues to cause damage to the Gulf Coast and surrounding communities of Houston. As of August 29th, Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner stated that there are about 12,000 shelters open, with another 13,000 shelters to open August 30th . Instead of requesting tangeable goods like clothing and can goods, I am asking that we support the efforts of Mayor Turner with monetary donations, at least until the waters recede.

Long Island Volunteer Center
The Long Island Volunteer Center works to provide support to, and promote and advocate for, volunteer service on Long Island. LIVC was designated a New York State Regional Volunteer Center in September 2011 to raise the profile of volunteerism on Long Island and increase volunteer engagement. LIVC was and continues to be an asset to our area. You can see volunteer opportunities in Texas, as well as on Long Island, by visiting their website.

NECHAMA is a voluntary organization that provides natural disaster preparedness, response, and recovery services nationwide. Through the years they have brought comfort to disaster survivors by training and mobilizing thousands of volunteers to help communities after floods, tornadoes, and other natural disasters. NECHAMA helped immensely on Long Island, Friends of Long Island will be partnering with the organization for recovery efforts in Texas.

NYS Senator Phil Boyle Donation Drive
Our thoughts and prayers go out to our fellow Americans in Texas now coping with the devestation caused by Hurricane Harvey. Please consider donating non-perishable food items, clothing, and pet-related items during our week-long drive to help people and their pets who have been displaced by this devestating storm.

Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies
Portlight Strategies, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization, founded in 1997 to facilitate a variety of projects involving people with disabilities, including post-disaster relief work. Portlight's longest running disaster recovery effort followed the devastation of Superstorm Sandy in the shore communities of New Jersey and parts of New York City, and lasted for 18 months. During that time, they replaced lost durable medical equipment and ramping, and assisted residents in purchasing and installing accessibility equipment that was made necessary after their homes were elevated to meet federal flood insurance requirements.

Team Rubicon
Team Rubicon's primary mission is providing disaster relief to those affected by natural disasters, be they domestic or international. By pairing the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders, medical professionals, and technology solutions, Team Rubicon aims to provide the greatest service and impact possible. Team Rubicon helped greatly post-Sandy.  A Long Island native and FoLI affiliate, Maj. Keith Grant, was a former board member for Team Rubicon.

Leadership Huntington Foundation Gala Celebrates 22nd Anniversary

Leadership Huntington announces its 2017 Gala Honorees and celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Leadership Huntington Class of 1997.

Awards will be presented at the Leadership Huntington Annual Gala on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 from 6-9 pm at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.

Honorees include:
Lifetime Achievement Award – Frank Petrone, Huntington Town Supervisor
Graduate of Distinction – Andrew Raia, New York State Assemblyman
Outstanding Community Trustee – Robert Hughes, Huntington Town Historian

Sponsorship opportunities, journal advertisements and individual tickets are available for purchase. For more information   please contact Stephanie Gotard Program Director at  (631) 813-4757 or or click here.

Restore NY Communities Initiative Informational Meeting to be Held Online September 25th

Empire State Development Corp. will host a free workshop on September 29th for municipalities interested in applying for some of the $80 million in redevelopment funding available through Round 5 of the Restore NY Communities Initiative. ESD has also scheduled informational workshops for Sept. 25 in Schenectady and Sept. 26 in Rochester, as well as a live webinar covering Restore NY application requirements at 10 a.m. on Sept. 25. More information on the workshops available here; email to register for the webinar.

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.

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $500 Million Funding Opportunity

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced the opportunity for state and local stakeholders to apply for $500 million in discretionary grant funding through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program.

Since the TIGER grant program was first created, $5.1 billion has been awarded for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure over eight rounds of competitive grants.  “The TIGER grant program is a highly competitive program whose winners will be awarded with the funding they need to rebuild the infrastructure of their communities,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “TIGER grants will continue to fund innovative projects that will improve the safety of America’s passengers and goods.”  

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 appropriated $500 million, available through September 30, 2020, for National Infrastructure Investments otherwise known as TIGER grants. As with previous rounds of TIGER, funds for the fiscal year (FY) 2017 TIGER grants program are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area, or a region. TIGER Discretionary Grants may not be less than $5 million and not greater than $25 million, except for in rural areas. There are some criteria changes compared to last rounds of TIGER funding, including special consideration being given for projects in rural areas.

Webinars have been conducted to give guidance, with additional webinars being scheduled and more information posted online.
The deadline to submit an application for the FY 2017 TIGER grant program is Monday, October 16. For more information, click here.

AARP Foundation Providing Grants for Scaling Evidence-Based Solutions for Vulnerable Older Adults

The AARP is providing grants for educational and non-profit organizations to create and advance effective solutions to increase economic opportunity and social connectedness among the vulnerable, older adult population.  The AARP Foundation works to ensure that low-income and vulnerable older adults have nutritious food, safe, secure, and affordable housing, a steady income and economic opportunities to grow and protect financial assets, and strong and sustaining social bonds. To address those needs, this grant competition seeks evidence-based solutions that are guided by a deep level of engagement with AARP Foundation and that can be brought to scale.

This funding opportunity is available to organizations that include institutions of higher education, public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as well as other types of nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.  This funding opportunity is intended for national or regional organizations, with a built-in distribution channel, such as affiliates, members, chapters or collaborative partnerships. AARP Foundation is seeking organizations that serve thousands of individuals in a cost-effective manner.

You can read the full details and grant application process here. All applications must be completed online. The deadline for application is October 24, 2017, 11:59pm ET

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Application Period Now Open

The open application period began on August 14 for two competitive Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs.
Eligible applicants including territories, federally recognized tribes, states and local governments may apply for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) grants through 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on November 14, 2017.

FMA grants are available to implement measures to reduce or eliminate risk of flood damage to structures insured by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). For FY 2017, $160 million is available, including $70 million for community flood mitigation activities that address flooding on a neighborhood level, such as floodwater diversion and localized flood-control measures as well as advance assistance for mitigation design and development of community flood mitigation projects. The remainder of funds will be used for mitigation planning, technical assistance and mitigating Severe Repetitive Loss and Repetitive Loss structures, which include elevation, acquisition, and relocation projects.

PDM grants are awarded for all-hazard mitigation planning and projects, such as the construction of community and residential safe rooms for tornados, and wind retrofits, which are enhancements made to strengthen the roof, walls and doors of structures to minimize damage caused by high winds. This year, $90 million is available, including $10 million for federally-recognized tribes. States, tribes, territories and the District of Columbia may apply for the statutory allocation of up to $575,000 federal share. The remainder of funds will be awarded on a competitive basis with an emphasis on mitigation activities that complement the post-disaster funding available under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and the flood mitigation funding from the FMA program.

You can learn more and apply for funding here.

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.

Long Island Coalition for the Homeless Seeks Training Manager

The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless is seeking applicants for a Full-Time Training Manager for our main office in Amityville.  This position requires an ability to understand policies and regulations; provide training to staff and community members on the regional Coordinated Entry System (CES); research, negotiate, schedule and track participation in training and workshops for Continuum of Care members; coordinate with staff/committee members to seek out other training opportunities, including participation in planning for the annual Keys for the Homeless Conference.

 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).

 Job description is as follows:

REPORTS TO: Associate Director

SUMMARY OF RESPONSBILITIES: The Training Manger works to develop and present training/workshops related to the Coordinated Entry System (CES); researches, negotiates and schedules training for COC (including those to be presented at annual Keys for the Homeless Conference, as appropriate). The Training Manager will learn the CES process by participating in client engagement, Vulnerability Assessment and outreach to various stakeholders. Additional responsibilities include maintaining knowledge of all services offered by homeless housing and assistance programs; assisting in strategic planning associated with the CoC and national initiatives to end homelessness as it relates to coordinated entry as it relates to training.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

  • Learn CES as a provider, in order to train on same to stakeholders (including shelter staff, outreach staff, staff and volunteers at libraries, churches/PSM, volunteer shelters, soup kitchens, food pantries
  • Develop training materials and presentations for above stakeholders
  • Provide hands on, onsite training and follow up assistance to above stakeholders
  • Survey COC members for trainings needed related to implementing and operating Housing First programs, working with various special needs populations, and technique trainings including Motivational Interviewing, Harm Reduction, Critical Time Intervention, Progressive Engagement, etc.
  • Research training resources for appropriate training/workshops; negotiate costs as appropriate, schedule trainings and management registration, preparation and attendance.
  • Outreach to COC members and others for additional training opportunities, including for Keys Conference workshops, as appropriate.

QUALIFICATIONS: Bachelor’s Degree in communications, social work or related fields plus five years work in a related field; Master of Social Work degree or graduate degree in human services-related study preferred, plus two years’ experience in case management or related experience in human services, or seven or more years’ experience in the human services field. Proven ability to present materials and train staff in various settings. Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint); knowledge of other presentation applications acceptable. Preferred additional knowledge of computer database applications (Foothold AWARDS- preferred, Access, Client or Costumer databases of accounting database software). Must have ability to communicate respectfully with people in crisis; ability to communicate effectively, both written and verbal, and work closely with persons within and outside the agency. Must be self-motivated and have a commitment to organization’s mission, visions and goals. Must have private transportation.

Interested parties should submit a resume and salary requirements via email to Please do not call the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless regarding this position.  Questions should be submitted via email only.

Long Island Housing Services Seeking New Executive Director

Long Island Housing Services is seeking a new Executive Director.  The organization was founded in 1969, in the wake of the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the subsequent passage of the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. The organization was formed by a grassroots group of volunteers and civic and religious leaders. Its mission is to eliminate unlawful housing discrimination and promote decent and affordable housing through advocacy and education.

The Executive Director must be an experienced and seasoned leader and manager who will provide oversight of the organization, engage in the broader fair housing community, and develop and maintain strong relationships with funding sources, including local, state and federal government. The Executive Director must also have a strong and honed ability to motivate, develop, and manage staff. S/he must communicate openly and honestly, promoting inclusiveness, cooperation, and teamwork.

Applicants must apply by October 6th, 2017.  You can view the description of responsibilities, qualifications, and how to apply here.

Transit-Oriented Development Demand Picking Up Nationally

An article recently released by Rejournal highlighted that while many of the major cities trends of multi-family housing may be the a lot of press, the trend of transit-oriented development (TOD) in the suburbs is also in high demand. Providing many of the benefits like those larger cites, suburban TOD also adds many of the benefits to suburban living like better schools and less noise.

The article looks at how many of the more densely populated cities are seeing a spike in their suburban areas because of transit oriented development. Many of these projects are near train stations which allow for easy access and often a walkable commute to rail that make for a quick ride into the metropolis areas. Walkability is just one quality of life feature as folks can still enjoy nearby restuarant, activities, and more. This type of development as been a multi-generational attraction including empty nesters and millennials.

For more on this story, click here


Smart Talk

Chris Kyle, Communications Director

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

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Vision Long Island
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Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.

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