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September 18th - 24th, 2016

Regional Updates

Mill Creek Residential Trust

Mill Creek Residential develops, builds, acquires and operates high-quality apartment communities in desirable locations coast-to-coast. While we are a national company, we immerse ourselves in our chosen markets – living and working in the communities where we operate. We combine our deep understanding of each market with 30+ years of expertise and a fresh innovative approach to the apartment industry, to build relationships and places in which people thrive – creating real and enduring value for our residents, investors and associates.

Since our start in 2011, we have developed more than 20,000 apartment homes across 90+ communities and acquired more than 2,500 apartment homes in some of the nation's best apartment markets. In 2016, we expect to deliver an additional 5,000+ homes to our growing portfolio. We're proud of our people, the places we quite literally build, and the relationships we have with stakeholders across the country.

“One of the students is a senior. So, what do we tell him? Sorry, you’re not going to be able to graduate this year because you can’t get to school? That’s not OK. That bus is going to be cut, so what are we doing? We’re telling them that they can’t go to work anymore but you can go to social services. That’s insane.” - Suffolk Legislator Kate Browning speaking on cuts to Suffolk County Transit.

“The Welfare to Work Commission of the Suffolk County Legislature is deeply concerned about the County proposal to eliminate eight bus routes.  The Commission shares the County’s frustration with the lack of adequate State transportation funding.  So too, we understand the gravity of the budget deficit faced by the County. Unfortunately, resolution of these fiscal problems is falling on Suffolk’s working-poor people who rely on buses, in some cases as their only means of transportation to and from work.  The impact of the cuts will not only hurt these workers but also the businesses where they are employed, not to mention businesses where they shop” - Dr. Richard Koubek, Suffolk Welfare to Work Commission.

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Bus Riders, Legislators and Bus Supporters seek to Stop Cuts to Suffolk Transit

Vision Long Island’s Board and staff joined a press event with Suffolk bus riders this week alongside students and Suffolk Legislators and other advocates in opposition to cuts to Suffolk Transit, and to call for a pause in cuts for 2016. The event was organized by the Long Island Bus Riders’ Union. Suffolk County Transit is scheduled to move 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.

The ten routes that are scheduled to be cut are: S35, S71, S90, 1B, 5A, 7D, 7E, 10A, 10D and 10E. Several of the routes proposed to be cut service one or more LIRR train station, one or more bus transfer areas, as well as colleges, parks and beaches, and Brookhaven Town Hall.

Advocates lined the Stony Brook Rail Road station stop of the S71 route, which is the beginning of the most-traveled route to be cut, to speak out about the potential cuts. Legislator Kate Browning was the first to comment at the press conference, the week after after she testified the previous week against bus cuts. She spoke of the several cuts to her district, the S71, &e and 7D, and how it would be a detriment to her constituents, speaking of contacts with students and disabled that would be affected, and who have reached out to her for assistance. Legislator Browning’s District houses Stony Brook University student, and was concerned about the need. “One of the students is a senior. So, what do we tell him? Sorry, you’re not going to be able to graduate this year because you can’t get to school? That’s not OK”. She spoke also about the senior population, which is concentrated in the Mastic Beach area, and that may be stranded. The economic impact was also highlighted with the Yaphank Industrial site that could be impacted. “That bus is going to be cut, so what are we doing? We’re telling them that they can’t go to work anymore but you can go to social services. That’s insane.” There are concerns that social welfare costs could increase with bus service decreases, with some saying that the savings in cost would be null. The Legislator also spoke about the need to have equitable funding between Suffolk County and other areas such as Nassau and Westchester, since Suffolk needs to cover much more square mileage. She expressed that service would be better; more expanded, and attractable if there was parity in funding.

Legislator Sarah Anker spoke about the 5A route that is slated to be cut, and the cuts that are proposed. She said that the cuts would be counterproductive towards the senior communities in her area. “We just got an extension into Sound Beach because of the advocacy…now they are taking it away from us. How can we connect when we don’t have transportation?” the Legislator said, speaking about the Connect Long Island proposal.  She also spoke about utilizing technology to better transit experience, suggesting flexible routes, much like SCAT service for the disabled, for those areas that utilize public transportation less without discontinuing connectivity. Flexible routes could allow riders to call and schedule rides, as Nassau County has done after restoring their most recent cuts, bypassing areas with no demonstrable need.

Also speaking was Dr. Richard Koubek, Chair of the Suffolk Welfare to Work Commission and Vision Board member. After working with the Commission for 20 years, he understands the need of accessibility and the correlation between job sustainability with the low to moderate income population. He spoke about a Request for Proposal brought forth by the County that would analyze the origins and destinations of rides, and give a better idea of what the needs are for riders that utilize the transit system. The analysis would be due over a week after the proposed cuts would begin, disallowing the 10 routes to be looked at for improvement, efficiency, and a positive cost-benefit. “This is all being done after the cuts. That doesn’t make any sense,” Koubek said. He agrees with the issue, which has been followed for several years, of Suffolk not receiving equitable funding in comparison to other counties. “we understand that we need more state funding, we understand that the County is in a crisis,” Koubek said, saying that the Commission has voted to ask to see what re-routing that has been promised will be, but not shown, and will ask for a moratorium until then. “This is backwards. We are making the cuts without the information. We are making the cuts in the dark.”

Additional comments spoke of testimonials about riders that would use the SCAT service even though they would not ordinarily be entitled to, fraudulently, out of need. Marilyn Tucci from SILO had said, “that will tax and burden SCAT if that happens.”

The Long Island Bus Riders Union also took on a two day tour known as “Rate the Ride”, evaluating the bus systems in both Nassau and Suffolk County. While data is being compiled at this time, there were opportunities for improvement evident from the rides, ranging from the lack of revenue from advertisement, lack of shelters and safe loading and offloading, inconsistencies with printed and actual schedules, late buses, and transfers from buses that could not be taken due to late buses. 

You can see the press conference, see testimonials from riders, and follow more about the effort to retain Suffolk bus routes here

NYS Sustainability Conference Held in Melville

Vision Board, staff, members of the Long Island Smart Growth Working Group and the Long Island Business Council and were out this week at the New York State Conference on Sustainability in Melville. Over 400 regional leaders and staff of NYS agencies were out in force including NYS ESD, NYS Department of Transportation, NYS Environmental Facilities Corp, MTA, NYS Department of State, NYS Office of Housing, NY Power Authority and many others.

Members of the Smart Growth movement including Village of Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro, David Gallo from Georgica Green, East End Arts Pat Snyder, Vision’s Director Eric Alexander and Sustainability Institute at Molloy’s Neal Lewis spoke on the panels throughout the day sharing what is being implemented in local communities. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone spoke to the need for regional planning to bring young people back to Suffolk County, and about the importance of Car Free Day which was this week. 

NYS Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who has visited Long Island 85 times, covered the numerous grants and support that NYS is investing in our communities. She covered the value and importance of local government and input in planning. The handbook for Local Governments and Nonprofits was explained as a one-stop-shop resource for state grants and programs, condensing all available information into one source for stakeholders. “Governor Cuomo has proven that strategic investment and collaboration across traditional borders can be a game-changer for a region, and this is exemplified everywhere you look here on Long Island,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “We are investing more to create and protect jobs, jumpstart growth in new industries and strengthen our urban communities and the results today are undeniable. This region is now a model for the rest of the state and nation to follow.”

NRDC's Shelley Potitcha gave a refresher course on the principles of sustainability; many concepts of which have been established on LI for many years with local implementation. 

Her goal was to seek a shared vision to put people at the center of a reinvestment strategy, speaking of the limited earning potential of millennials and the need for placemaking. Expressing that the downtown redevelopment underway on Long Island are boutique projects and defining ways to get moving at a much larger scale, Potitcha gave recommending as towards how to proceed. This included building complete neighborhoods, connecting people to opportunity and involving everyone, and investing in Green Infrastructure, making existing not only efficient but healthy and resilient while incorporating arts and culture- all while “going big or go home”. While people are stressed and worried about their lives right now, projects that incorporate the recommendations will reduce their stress when the focus remains on having a people-centered strategy for planning, and moving on more than one or two downtowns.

To date, New York State has invested more than $4.2 billion in Long Island helping to advance the region’s economic and infrastructure goals. Since July 2010, Long Island has added 116,600 private sector jobs – an increase of 11.3 percent, bringing the total number of private sector jobs to 1,151,200, as of July 2016. Today, the unemployment rate in Long Island has dropped significantly – moving from 7.6 percent in July 2010 to 4.2 percent during the same time this year. 

The downtown redevelopment panel included Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro who covered the progress of improvements to their business district; David Kilmnick speaking of a planned LGBT community center in Patchogue; Doon Gibbs speaking on job growth at the Brookhaven National Laboratory; and lastly Pat Snyder from East End Arts Council, by citing many examples through her organizations decades of work, discussed how they have been making the connection between arts and economic development.

After MTA Chief Tom Pendergrast presented a thorough review of upcoming capital investments he then moderated a panel on Transportation, Vision's Director Eric Alexander reviewed the approved and planned TOD's while highlighting Complete Streets projects as well. Tom Burman from Suffolk County presented the Ronkonkoma HUB project, Jonathan Keyes gave an update on Wyandanch Rising, and Patti Bourne spoke to planning initiatives in Long Beach.

Additionally, Tom Wright from the RPA outlined their past and present regional plans through their 90 year history as a not-for-profit. He also provided aggressive growth projections that he said are needed for LI to survive, saying that LI communities have a history of being opposed to growth but shouldn't be.

You can click here to see the Handbook for Local Governments and Nonprofits.

Over 4,000 Participate in Car Free Day on Long Island

Over 4,000 people pledged to be car free for Long Island’s 4th Annual Car-Free Day this week, topping last year’s pledges of 2,963. The event is observed in 1,500 cities in 40 countries.

The event aims to reduce traffic, conserve energy, protect the environment and promote fitness by having drivers use alternative transportation such as carpooling, using buses, trains, bicycling, walking and telecommuting. Some people still think . . . ‘Oh, that’s stupid. You can’t be car-free on Long Island.’ But that’s not the point,” said Rosemary Mascali, event and manager of LIRR’s Transit Solutions program. “The point is we have to do something. It might be different, because we’re suburban and we’re not New York City. But we can’t continue to increase our car driving on Long Island… How are we going to grow?”

Some who participated in Car Free day do so often, for various reasons. Some prefer the exercise and active lifestyle that alternative transportation provides, some are disabled and do not have the option of driving or riding a bicycle, and others prefer mass transit in an effort to save money. Some that are usual users of alternative transportation mentioned the ways that their activities differ from those who may drive personal vehicles, such as not partaking in some entertainment and dining options at night because of a lack of public transportation’s availability or utilizing home delivery service for food and other items due to a lack of accessibility to grocery stores or the ability to carry large items. Scheduling transportation around events can also be a challenge, with times between buses and trains having an extended delay and requiring much advance planning.

Others were electing to be Car Free for the day or for week as part of the pledge. The initiative offered many various raffle prizes for those who pledges, which encouraged those that would not ordinarily sign up to do so and give it a try. Nassau County Legislator Laura Curran pledged to be Car Free for the week, noting the travel times, places visited, positive benefits and some of the challenges noticed on her journeys, while encouraging others to try being Car Free for a day.

The Car Free Day events included two rallies at Wyandanch Plaza and at Suffolk Community College in Selden. Employers and municipalities were encouraged to participate, with Northwell Health, Winthrop University Hospital and Brookhaven National Lab having over 800 combined participating. Universities also jumped on board with Adelphi, Stony Brook, Suffolk Community and Hofstra having over 1300 participate.

You can read more about Car Free Day and how to try it out any day here, and see some examples of people that went car free in Newsday

Long Island Clean Energy Leadership Task Force Meets in Farmingdale

Vision Board members were out at the Clean Energy Leadership Task Force last week which held a meeting at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College.

The keynote speaker for the meeting was Mark Theilking, from Energize New York, who discussed the Commercial PACE program that has been approved both Suffolk and Nassau counties and will be going into effect very soon. Under Commercial PACE, commercial, industrial and non-profit building owners will be able to finance energy efficiency improvement (building retrofits and solar) in a very creative way that provides many benefits. The financing is at a very competitive rate with flexible terms that allow the energy savings to provide an immediate positive cash flow. Co-benefits include a boost to the energy efficiency and solar sectors as they embark on expansion and future projects.

The meeting also introduced the newly launch Clean Energy Communities program, with applications for this effort through NYSERDA are being accepted until September 30th. Also, updates were given on the Electric Vehicle Charging Station Network Project, which has already deployed 13,000 home and public charging stations;  a report on the new Energy Conservation Construction Code going into effect on Oct. 3rd, and an update on the Long Island Green Homes program.

The Sustainability Institute at Molloy is able to provide feedback and resources to the programs above, and can reached via email. More information on Long Island Green Homes can be found here

Baldwin’s Grand Avenue Revitalization Moves Ahead

The Hempstead Town Board on Tuesday approved a master developer to create plans for the development of apartments and shops in downtown Baldwin, unanimously approving Basser-Kaufman and Engel Burman Group for the Town’s urban renewal plan for Grand Avenue. Community members and local business out to testify in support included the Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, Baldwin Civic Association, Baldwin Oaks Civic Association, Nassau Legislator Laura Curran, Vision Long Island, and individual residents. 

The project, sponsored by Councilwoman Erica King-Sweeney, gives the green light for developers to work with the town’s planning and economic development department to acquire vacant downtown properties for a mixed use of apartments, restaurants and shopping, after years of wait. Engel Burman’s partner Steven Krieger understands that the best way for the project to move ahead is to have public consensus. “We’re hoping with a boost in the economy, this proves to a viable option,” Krieger said. “We understand we need to meet with the community and the town to make sure we find something most of the community is in favor of. This is the first step in the process.”

Although plans are not yet in the works, there are hopes that the long neglected Grand Avenue in Baldwin will be transformed into a walkable mixed-use downtown with shopping and restaurants below apartments, drawing a mix of young professionals and “empty-nesters” to the area in proximity to the LIRR station.

Supervisor Anthony Santino said that he has been looking towards Baldwin’s redevelopment for more than a decade, and that the Town would offer resources that might be needed moving forward. “We hope at the end of the day, this will make Baldwin a better place to live,” said Santino.  “Not just today, but for generations to come, and it’s important get it done right.”

You can read more about the long-awaited move to revitalize Baldwin’s Grand Avenue in Newsday

Tourism, Arts & Downtown Revitalization in North Hempstead

Vision was out this week to support the Town of North Hempstead Business & Tourism Development Corporation’s breakfast covering Arts and Culture as a Tourism Destination.

Welcome remarks came from Business Development Director Kim Kaiman and North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth, covering the importance of promoting activities in North Hempstead's downtowns including the Gold Coast Film Festival which drives visitors to local shops, restaurants and hotels. The film and television industry gave the county a boost, bringing in $530 million in two years to the county’s economy, with 535 films produced, employing 1,773 people.
Alexandra Ainatchi owner of SUS gallery in downtown Great Neck Plaza led off covering their marketing strategy to bring people to their gallery and by extension their downtown. The Spot Under Spot Gallery was created by Ainatchi and her former high school principal, Joanna Miller, after a chance reconnection on a NYC subway in 2014.SUS’ opening reception for their latest exhibition, Journeys Beyond, was last week, with it continuing through November 3rd by appointment only.

Sharon Maier-Kennelly, former Director of Port Washington's Landmark on Main Street and now with LIU’s Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, covered the importance of music and live events through a plethora of local and national examples.Tilles Center’s Concert Hall Series boasts seating of over two thousand, and features orchestral performances, fully-staged operas, ballets and modern dance, along with Broadway shows, and all forms of music, dance and theater from around the world. Chamber music, cabaret, solo recitals, and theater productions for children and adults are presented in the more intimate 490-seat Hillwood Recital Hall.

Theresa Statz Smith from the LI Arts Alliance spoke about the foundations and government entities that support the Alliance and the large scale arts and cultural institutions they include in their Alliance. She also discussed how regional performing-arts venues attract patrons and team up with local businesses to attract and serve customers.

Kristen Jarnagin, new Director of the LI Convention and Visitor's Bureau, gave an informative presentation on tourism's connection to downtown areas and the local and regional economy. Tourism generates $5.5 billion in gross revenue. Over $700 million in local tax revenue has been generated in a two year period through tourism, as well as about $600 million in state tax revenue. Long Island had seen a 3% increase in traveler spend in 2015, and ranks second in the state in total revenue from tourism after New York City with just under $5.5 billion spent last year in the industry.  It was important that she highlighted the importance of local events as a benefit to the tourism industry, as 80% of the tourism industry’s gain is generated by small business. Highlighted also was Discover Long Island, an initiative to continue the positive trend of tourism in Nassau and Suffolk by highlighting local attractions. Also outlined were the different types of promotion from past activities of her agency including Belmont, craft beer and wineries, as well the typical ads for beaches.

Some of the takeaways from the breakfast included the thought that regional entities that promote arts and tourism need to be connected to local events, and that those resources that can assist arts and tourism need to directly reach local arts and tourism activities. “Stay-cations” not only help families on Long Island afford the time and financial cost of well-deserved time off, but enjoy the rich and sometimes explored cultural and historical amenities available right here on Long Island, rather than traveling elsewhere. The Town of North Hempstead Tourism & Business Development Corporation is a good model with its grant program that supports local downtowns. You can learn more about the North Hempstead BDC here, and also check out Discover Long Island

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.

For more information on the Veteran’s Job and Information Fair, please contact Greta Guarton at 631-464-4314 x113 or, or visit

Tri-State Transportation Campaign to Honor Bold Transportation Projects

Tri State Transportation Campaign will be holding its 2016 benefit on Tuesday, September 27th. This has been a year of big and bold transportation projects. Transportation has headlined budget addresses, daily news articles, legislative hearings, press conferences, and our water cooler conversations. Let’s celebrate our region’s progress and vision this year amidst festivities and good company!

This year’s honorees will include CTfastrak, Connecticut’s first bus rapid transit system, AECOM, an innovator on major transit projects in New York and around the globe, and Senators Loretta Weinberg and Bob Gordon, champions of the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

The event will be held on Tuesday, September 27th from 6pm-9pm at Studio Arte, 265 W 37th Street at 8th Avenue in New York City. For sponsorship and ticket information you can click here

Annual East End Planning Conference to be Held in Riverhead

On September 29th, the APA Long Island Section will hold its annual East End Planning Conference at Hotel Indigo East End in Riverhead.

This year’s conference will start with and optional walking tour of Downtown Riverhead, followed by networking and opening remarks from Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter. Two workshops, Riverside Revitalization Acton Plan and Advancing Alternative Wastewater Treatment on the East End will sandwich a buffet dinner, with 1.5 CM credits each possibly available for the workshops.

Registration rates vary, and can be done online or by mail. For more information on the conference and to register, click here

Walk & Talk: Storrs Center and Willimantic Connecticut

Join the Congress for New Urbanism New York and the Congress for New Urbanism New England for a walking tour, lunch at Cafemantic, and happy hour in Northeastern Connecticut on Friday, October 7th from 10AM-4PM.

The tour will begin at the newly redone Storrs Center, a dense, walkable, and brand new traditional college town for Connecticut's largest and premier public university. Next, those attending can hop on the tour bus to Willimantic, CT for a walk through the historical mill town, once called the "Thread City". In its day, Willimantic was the largest employer in the state when the American Thread Company operated on the banks of the Willimantic River in the 1800s.  Explore both the historical hidden gems of the town, the new riverfront, and efforts to attract small tech startups. 

Tours will be led by Lou Marquet of Leyland Alliance, and Joseph Vallone of Vallone Architecture and Development Studio. Capacity is limited, so email to reserve your space. Regular admission is $60, $30 for students and includes lunch.

Long Island Business Council Hosts Candidates Forum

On Thursday, October 13th, the Long Island Business Council will be holding a Congressional Candidate’s Forum to hear solutions from our elected leaders on helping local small business. The event will take place from 8 to 10 AM at the East Farmingdale Fire House, located at 930 Conklin Street in Farmingdale. The Long Island Business Council is a group of small business leaders who are dedicated to regulatory relief, tax and utility stabilization for the average small business owner in addition to infrastructure investment towards our downtowns, taking our message to Albany and Washington as part of the Long Island Lobby Coalition and other regional initiatives.

To date, the Candidate's Forum will include Hon. Lee Zeldin, US Congressman; Anna Throne-Holst, Former Southampton Town Supervisor; Hon. Jack Martins, New York State Senator; Tom Suozzi, Former Nassau County Executive; Hon. DuWayne Gregory, Suffolk County Presiding Officer.

This meeting will include candidates running for Congress speaking on their platforms and federal policies. Breakfast will be available for attendees. Members of the Long Island Business Council can pre-register at any time, at no cost. The fee for non-members is $45.00. Please RSVP to the meeting by or by calling 1-877-811-7471.

Connection Day 2016 Brings Together Long Island’s Leaders

The Fair Media Council has announced the Connection Day 2016 event on October 21st from 7:30AM-4:30PM, designed to make Long Island’s leaders stronger, and to represent Long Island to the media while bringing the next leaders out to attend.

Conveniently located at Briarcliffe College in Bethpage, the event brings together a breakfast panel discussion on the media coverage of the upcoming Presidential Election moderated by WCBS News & Programming Director Tim Scheld, more than 15 breakout sessions to choose through throughout the day, and luncheon speaker Bill Keller, former Executive Editor of The New York Times and now Editor in Chief of The Marshall Project, which is leading the national conversation on the state of criminal justice in America.

With too many highlights of the upcoming event to mention, you’re urged to visit here and take a look at the lineup and order tickets while they are available.

Hercules on the Harbor Run Benefits Stony Brook Hospital Cancer Research

The Hercules on the Harbor 10k is a challenging course with many ups and downs that covers both on and off-road terrain which highlights many of Stony Brook's landmarks, including the beautiful village green, the scenic marina and harbor, the spectacular Avalon Park & Preserve, Harmony Vineyards, the Stony Brook Duck Pond, the Grist Mill, and the charming residential community. The course offers both novice and seasoned runners memorable moments that will keep them returning year after year.

The Hercules on the Harbor 10K is a timed event as well as a USA Track and Field Sanctioned course that will have live music along the course route to encourage runners to conquer some of the more challenging inclines. It is a rain or shine race.

Proceeds from this event will support the Stony Brook Hospital Cancer Research Center. Registration will be available between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on October 23rd, the morning of the 10K race, for $45 per participant. Awards go to the top 3 Male and Female Overall runners. There will also be awards for the Top 3 Male and Female runners in each 5 year age groups (Under 14 through 85+)

You can check out more about the race here, and also see the upcoming training runs on Facebook.

28th Annual Keys for the Homeless Conference

Long Island Coalition for the Homeless’ 28th Annual Keys for the Homeless Conference, In the Trenches of Homelessness: Many Faces Hopeful Solutions, will be taking place on October 28th at Touro Law Center in Central Islip. The Keys Conference is a unique opportunity to meet and network with corporate and non-profit housing developers, funding sources, service providers, government officials, representatives from government agencies, and vendors in various fields. 

This year’s Keynote Speaker will be New York Times Best Selling author Regina Calcaterra. Over a dozen of workshops covering several of the most pressing issues facing Long Island will be taking place, with some of the workshops offering CEU credits. Several awards and scholarships will be given.

Early bird registration ends September 26th, and there are various discounts for students and sponsorships available. You can click here for a full list of workshops and awardees, and to purchase tickets.

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 or 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 :

  • September 20, 2016 for the Brookhaven area, which will be hosted in Patchogue at the national park ferry service terminal; 
  • September 27, 2016 for the Southampton area, which will be hosted at the library or college; and 
  • September 28, 2016 for the East Hampton/Montauk area, which will be hosted at the Montauk Firehouse. 

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

5 bars in East Rockaway will be participating, with 100% of proceeds (minus transaction fees) benefitting local efforts in Louisiana. Your $40 ticket includes five (5) up to $6 drink vouchers, one (1) for each of the participating locations, food specials, and an event T-shirt. Each voucher is also an entry to raffles for each location and one large prize. There will also be raffles and additional prizes. For more details and for early-bird registration, click here. For those who cannot attend and would like to donate to this fund, there is an option for that on the event page.

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

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. ( )

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.
To facilitate the development of applications, NYSDOT will be hosting four webinars/workshops around the State and providing opportunities to review pre- applications with Department staff.  NYSDOT will also posting the webinars for potential project sponsors to view. 
Please note that an associated solicitation for the Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) that is mentioned in the NYSDOT announcement will not be undertaken for the NYMTC planning area.
Comments and questions regarding the TAP solicitation may also be submitted via email to

Down Payment Assistance Program Extended for Suffolk County

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone was joined by Legislator Kara Hahn and Community Development officials to announce the extension of the Suffolk County Down Payment Assistance Program this week. The financial program assists first time homebuyers with down payment funds in order to obtain homeownership.

“Having access to homeownership can be critical to the long-term stability of families and helps strengthen communities,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.  “Yet, for many first time homebuyers, coming up with down payment funds is an insurmountable obstacle that can deny them the chance to own a home.  This program helps to address that issue.”

Assistance will provide up to $10,000 in grant funding to eligible first time home buyers – helping an additional 35 Suffolk County families. A first-time homebuyer is defined by HUD as a person or persons who have not owned a home in the past three years.  Since the program’s inception, Suffolk County has helped more than 1,700 families with down payments on their first homes. The area, known as the consortium area, includes all of Suffolk County, with the exception of Babylon and Islip Townships.

“It is important that we have young people stay here in Suffolk County, to work here, to live and recreate,” said Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn. ” I’d like to thank the folks from Community Development to make this a reality for individuals to stay. And it’s great to see that our residents are utilizing of this program.”

Some of the eligibility requirements outside of the “first-time homebuyer” provision include having an income of 80% or less than the area median income, having at least $3000 cash at the time of their application, a documented minimum income of at least $30,000 a year, and being able to qualify for a mortgage. The maximum purchase price for a single-family home, co-op or condominium for the program is $356,000.

Applications for the program are being accepted through November 30, 2016.  Residents inside of the consortium area can download the application and view eligibility criteria and other information about the program through the Community Development tab on the County’s website,  Applications will be accepted by mail only and can also be requested from the Community Development Office at (631) 853–5705. You can also check out News 12 for media coverage regarding the announcement

$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.

Help Wanted

Young Volunteers Needed to Help Habitat Suffolk

Habitat Suffolk’s BUILD IT BRIGHTER is a program for students ages 11-15 who would like to get involved with Habitat Suffolk but who aren’t quite old enough to build on site yet. This workshop is intended to host 10 lucky volunteers ages 11-15 and parents or guardians who would like to stick around for the fun!

There will be two sessions, one for building butterfly houses on October 13th, and another to build Mail Caddies for Habitat homes on November 10th. Both workshops will be held from 6pm-8pm at Habitat’s Suffolk ReStore on 2111 Lakeland Avenue in Ronkonkoma. The cost is $20 per student.

Spots are very limited, so early registration is encouraged by emailing Wendy at

Intern with Vision Long Island!

Vision Long Island is looking for interns! Our staff likes to say we "wear many hats," and interns will have to do the same. Interns will assist with planning, design, outreach, event planning, writing, research, attending meetings, reporting, photography, video and more. Bring your unique skill set to the table! We are looking for energetic and conscientious individuals with an interest in urban/suburban planning from a bottom-up perspective. This is a valuable opportunity to work with great people and learn about the issues impacting Long Island. Strong writing skills a plus.

What's happening on your Main Street this weekend?



Bow Tie Grand Avenue

1841 Grand Avenue, Baldwin


Bellmore Movies

222 Pettit Avenue, Bellmore


Freeport Historical Museum

350 S Main Street, Freeport
Housed in a Civil War cottage, the museum chronicles Freeport's history through the 20th century. On display are a spinning wheel from the town’s oldest house, vaudeville-era items, waterfront memorabilia, a 1930s television and a 1777 13-star flag. The museum holds a collection of historic postcards and high school yearbooks from the early 1900s to present day.
Open Sundays 2PM-5PM.
For information, visit their website or call 516-623-9632

Garden City

The Garden City Historical Society

109 Eleventh Street, Garden City
Founded in 1975, The Garden City Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the historic character and ambiance of the Village of Garden City, and educating its members and the public in preservation and history related matters. The Society owns and operates The Garden City Historical Society Museum at 109 Eleventh Street, an original 1872 A.T. Stewart-era “Apostle House” listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which was deeded to the Society by the Episcopal Diocese. The Society maintains an Archive of over 1,200 artifacts and a Historic Structure Survey of pre-1935 residential and non-residential structures in the Village of Garden City. It offers periodic lectures and presentations, and publishes a newsletter. The Society’s A. T. Stewart Exchange (consignment shop) on the lower level of the Museum offers unique items for sale. The shop (516-746-8900) is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays (Tuesday is senior citizen discount day) and from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

For information, visit their website.

Glen Cove

Garvies Point Museum and Preserve

50 Barry Drive, Glen Cove
The museum is a center for research on Long Island geology, Native American archeology and natural history. Current exhibits feature, “The Seasonal Round”, an exploration through Long Island Native American life throughout the seasons. Exhibits on Long Island’s glacial formation, landform change and cultural evolution are on display. Prehistoric artifacts and audio descriptions add to the story of Long Island migrants, their lifestyles and interactions with newcomers such as Europeans. The museum has special educational programs to accommodate field trips and science research on the history of Long Island.

Garvies Point Museum and Preserve
To arrange a visit, call 516-571-8011 and for information and brochures, visit their website

glen cove
Glen Cove Theatres

5 School Street, Glen Cove

Great Neck

Palace Galleries

117 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck
The museum features highly distinctive collections of antiques, artworks and fine furnishings from around the world. It is a premier art dealer dating back to 1971 and features expertise in 17th to 19th century works. The gallery experience offers the opportunity to not only view fine art but to purchase a piece which stands out.

For information, visit their website or call 516-439-5218

great neck
Clearview Squire Cinemas Great Neck

115 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck


Hicksville-Gregory Museum

Intersection of Heitz Place and Bay Avenue, Hicksville
The museum includes a history of the Heitz Place Courthouse and a collection of earth science materials to describe the natural history of the area. It features one of the few remaining Long Island lock-ups and is one of the few remaining courthouses standing from before Nassau County split from Queens. The earth science exhibit in the museum has recent additions of a Mosasaur skull, prehistoric amber and the horn of a Triceratops horridus. The educational program at the museum offers experiences in paleontology, dynamic earth processes and investigating butterflies and moths.

For information, visit their website or call 516-822-7505

Long Beach

Long Beach Historical Museum

226 W. Penn Street, Long Beach
The museum, operated by the Long Beach Historical and Preservation Society, is a classic Craftsman-style summer villa. The house built in 1909, features large stain glass windows which are a hallmark of classic Long Beach estates. The house and backyard are furnished with local artifacts, including an original broadwalk bench, photographs and archaeological findings. The garden features original stock rose bushes.

For information, visit their website.


Clearview Manhasset 3

430 Plandome Road, Manhasset

Oyster Bay

Oyster Bay Historical Society

20 Summit Street, Oyster Bay
The Earle-Wightman House built in 1720, gives a picture of life in Oyster Bay during the colonial period and its transition through the mid-20th Century. It features an 18th century garden, maintained by the North Country Garden Club, holds ornamental plantings as well as herbs used for cooking, medical purposes and fragrances. Exhibited are postcard, photograph, map and newspaper collections. Current exhibition, “Women Wearing History: The Force Behind Fashion”, details women’s influence on the textile and fashion industry in the 19th and 20th centuries.

For information, visit their website or call 516-922-5032

Port Washington

Landmark on Main Street, the Jeanne Rimsky Theater
232 Main Street, Port Washington

Tickets and more information available here

Bow Tie Port Washington
116 Main Street, Port Washington

Rockville Centre

Museum of the Village of Rockville Centre-Phillips House

28 Hempstead Ave, Rockville Centre
The museum is a restored 19th century Victorian home which displays life in Rockville Centre in the 19th and 20th centuries. It features furnishings, antique kitchen tools, carpentry tools and clothing of the time period. The museum is considered one of the finest small museums in the state and there is never an entrance fee for special events or exhibits.

For information, visit their website or call 516-766-0300


Bow Tie Roslyn Theatre

20 Tower Place, Roslyn

Sea Cliff

Sea Cliff Village Museum

95 Tenth Avenue, Sea Cliff
The museum presents changing exhibits on the history and culture of Sea Cliff. It strives to raise community awareness by preserving artifacts, photographs and costumes relating to the unique historical background of the village. It contains 287 photos taken by Long Island postcard photographer, Henry Otto Korten. Currently exhibited, “Then and Now…” displays a range of artifacts and costumes over a 125 year span. Exhibits include the Connor Cottage, Victorian Kitchen, and a historical town diorama.

For information, visit their website or call 516-671-0090


Seaford Cinemas

3951 Merrick Road, Seaford


The Space at Westbury

250 Post Avenue, Westbury

Tickets and more information available here



140 Merrick Road, Amityville
Tickets and more information available here

Bay Shore

The YMCA Boulton Center
37 West Main Street, Bay Shore
Tickets and more information available here

Cold Spring Harbor

Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum

Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor
The museum explores the relationship between Long Islanders and the sea through. It details the history of the regional whaling industry, whale conservation and the history of Cold Spring Harbor as a maritime port. A new exhibit, “Sea Ink” explores tattoo art and its nautical origins. Exhibits featuring New York’s only fully-equipped 19th century whaleboat, ship logs and correspondence as well as whaling and maritime artifacts. Art programs are available for all ages.
For information, visit their website or call 631-367-3418

East Hampton

Guildhall, John Drew Theater
158 Main Street, East Hampton
Tickets and more information available here

East Hampton Historical Society

101 Main Street, East Hampton
The headquarters for the East Hampton Historical Society, the house is an example of life in the post-colonial era in the East End. It features historic furnishings and crafts built by local craftsmen of the time. The Historical Society also has four other museums and town houses including one of New York’s first educational academies and a colonial town government meeting house.

For information, visit their website or call 631-324-6850

East Islip

Islip Art Museum

50 Irish Lane, East Islip
The museum is the leading exhibition space for contemporary art on Long Island, featuring work from international, national and emerging local artists. It is said to be the best facility of its kind outside of Manhattan. Current exhibits feature “Print Up Ladies” which is a survey of contemporary works created by female artists, and “Inked” by Kathy Seff. The museum’s store features one of a kind jewelry, crafts and art work. Educational opportunists are also offered at the museum through its Cultural School of Arts.
For information, visit their website or call 631-224-5402

Huntington Village

The Paramount
370 New York Ave, Huntington
Tickets and more information available here

Heckscher Museum

2 Prime Avenue, Huntington
Located in Hecksher Park, the museum features collections of European and American paintings which spans over 500 years of Western art. Photography has become a growing part of the collection as well.

For information, visit their website or call 631-351-3250

AMC Loews Theatres – Shore 8

37 Wall Street, Huntington

cinema arts centre
Cinema Arts Centre

423 Park Ave, Huntington

Islip Village

Islip Cinemas

410 West Main Street, Islip
Showtimes at Islip Cinemas


The John W. Engeman Theater
250 Main Street, Northport


89 North
89 North Ocean Avenue East Main Street, Patchogue
Tickets and more information available here.

Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts
71 East Main Street, Patchogue
Tickets and more information available here.

The Emporium
9 Railroad Avenue, Patchogue
Tickets and more information available here

Plaza Cinema & Media Arts Center
20 Terry Street, Patchogue

Port Jefferson

Theatre Three
412 Main Street,
 Port Jefferson
Tickets and more information available here




Port Jefferson Historical Society
115 Prospect Avenue, Port Jefferson
The Mather House Museum, the headquarters of The Historical Society of Greater Port Jefferson, and features several exhibitions of local artifacts. The museum complex features the 19th century home, a country store, a marine barn, a tool shed, the Spinney Clock Museum and the Thomas Jefferson Perennial Garden. Exhibitions feature ship models, period furniture and paintings, vintage tools and clothing, antique dolls, taped oral histories, 250 antique clocks and other examples of life in the 19th century.

For information, visit their website or call 631-473-2665


Suffolk Theater


Vail-Leavitt Music Hall
18 Peconic Avenue, Riverhead
Tickets and more information available here

Sag Harbor

Bay Street Theater
The Long Wharf, Sag Harbor
Tickets and more information available here

Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum

Main and Garden Streets, Sag Harbor
The museum details Sag Harbor’s whaling industry through the 19th century and its impact on the culture and development of the area. It details how the whaling industry brought migrants from all over the globe and turned the port into an international destination. Artifacts left by whalers, antique tools, harpoons, captains’ portraits, antique furnishings and children’s toys are all on display at the museum.

For information, visit their website or call 631-725-0770


Sayville Historical Society

Edwards Street, Sayville
The museum is the headquarters to the Sayville Historical Society. The museum aims to foster historical spirit, encourage historical research and to preserve historical materials. The museum features products of both Sayville and other Suffolk localities. The Society holds 4 historic buildings, 1,500 items of clothing, 1,000 photographs, a map collection and numerous classic furnishings. Its collection is ly growing and tours of the Edward Homestead offer a view at the areconstanta through its history.

For information, visit their website or call 631-563-0186

Sayville Theatre

103 Railroad Avenue, Sayville


Smithtown Township Arts Council

660 Route 25A, St. James
The Council aims to enrich the township and surrounding area’s quality of life through celebrating and supporting the arts in everyday life. It is a goal to make art accessible to people of all backgrounds. It Mills Pond House is a valuable place in its preserved traditions as well as its evolving and unique influences. Current exhibit, “Winners Showcase” displays the artistic development and achievements of the region and nation. Classes in jewelry making, poster design, scrapbooking, pottery, drawing and several other skills and topics are available. The Council has also partnered with local downtown businesses to display local artists’ work.

For information, visit their website or call 631-862-6575


Southampton Historical Museum

17 Meeting House Lane, Southampton
The Southampton Historical Society was created to preserve the town’s history as well as history from the surrounding area. Its Rogers Mansion Museum features year round exhibits, a research center and education programs for children and adults. Current exhibit: Current exhibit: “If These Walls Could Talk: Meet the Families of the Rogers Mansion”.  Its research center allows for visitors to conduct research with a professional research assistant. Collections feature antique furnishings, a classic parlor room and dining hall and photographs of the 1938 historic hurricane.

For information, visit their website or call 631-268-2494

West Sayville

Long Island Maritime Museum

88 West Avenue, West Sayville
Featuring 14 acres with 9 historic buildings on the West Sayville waterfront, the museum preserves Long Island’s maritime history and heritage. It is committed to research, preservation and interpretation of the region’s nautical history and the relationship to Long Island’s natural history. The Elward Smith Library houses racing trophies and records of over 500 wrecks and groundings in the Long Island waters. The other buildings feature rotating exhibits of maps, photos, newspapers and personal accounts of maritime history. Also highlighted are boats and materials left behind by the US Life Saving Service.

For information, visit their website.

Suffolk Bus on the Chopping Block

In recent weeks nearly 200 residents, riders and local institutions and businesses were out in opposition to Suffolk County's proposed cuts to Suffolk Transit, the largest cuts in the 36 year history of the system.

The County is proposing elimination of 8 routes totaling roughly 130,000 trips on October 3rd serving the downtowns of Copiague, Lindenhurst, Port Jefferson, Riverhead, Mastic, Shirley, Southampton and others. Active stops on the chopping block also include two colleges, two hospitals, parks beaches and Brookhaven Town Hall.  

While the County in recent years has been encouraging connecting Long Island, promoting transit service and economic development in the future this system presently serves existing downtowns and employment centers. What is ironic is the communities facing cuts have just collectively approved over 1,000 units of Main Street apartments where transit is an important component. The impacts that these bus-line reductions would have on riders, the communities served by the eliminated lines, and the Suffolk economy has not been fully determined. 

Some good news is that elected officials seeking alternatives to the cuts to date include Suffolk Legislators Al Krupski, Kate Browning, Bridget Fleming, Sarah Anker, Kevin McCaffrey, Leslie Kennedy, Doc Spencer, Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine, Councilwoman Valerie Cartwright and Town of Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.

Organizations out in opposition to the cuts include the Sound Beach Civic
Association, Belmont Lake Civic Association, residents from Eastport, Medford, Mastic, North Shirley, Mastic Beach, the Hispanic American Association, Jobs with Justice LI, LI Bus Riders Union, Transit Workers Union, LI Federation of Labor, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Sierra Club, Vision LI, students from Stony Brook, Suffolk Community College and human service advocates from SILO and the Suffolk County Welfare to Work Commission.

In addition disabled riders, students, seniors and working people were all present at the hearings and many testified. One elementary school student contributed some funds to the Suffolk County DPW hearing officers.

No one has spoken out in defense of the cuts.

The Suffolk County Department of Public Works to their credit has issued a
RFP for an outside agency to conduct an "on board origin to destination and demographic survey" of Suffolk's bus lines, presumably to reduce the impact of the cuts.  However, the cuts are being implemented before the study is conducted and the rerouting decisions are made. The Department has found some fuel savings to limit the number of riders impacted as well. 

Solutions to the service elimination can include offsets of the $4 million in the existing County budget in the short term as well as serious efforts to renegotiate with NYS officials for future funding.  Opening discussion with the labor unions and the private operator can also find efficiencies in the system as well.  Nassau County has taken many of these actions and remapped routes, moved to smaller buses and adjusted schedules saving money and improving the system. 

In recent years there have been lots of conversations and regional plans underway about Long Island's future and speculation on where our local economy is headed.   These are all important discussions - yet servicing our existing workforce, students, seniors, disabled and Main Streets should not be forgotten and in fact prioritized.  Let's hope our policy makers aren't so focused on the future that we hurt real people and local communities in the present. 

-Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander

Smart Talk

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

We strive to provide continued quality publications like this every week. If you have any news or events that you would like to add to our newsletter, submit them to for consideration.

If you are interested in becoming a newsletter or news blast sponsor, please call the office at 631-261-0242 for rates and opportunities.

Vision Long Island
24 Woodbine Ave., Suite Two
Northport, NY 11768
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.

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