September 20th - 26th, 2015
PSEG Long Island is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PEG), a publicly traded diversified energy company with annual revenues of $11 billion and operates the Long Island Power Authority’s transmission and distribution system under a 12-year contract.
They pledge to build a Long Island utility with PSEG's same record of service, reliability and customer satisfaction. It will take some time to make all the improvements they’re planning, but in the end, they will create a utility of which Long Islanders can be proud. Keeping the lights on isn’t just a job for them: It’s their mission.
"Politics is ... an expression of our compelling need to live as one, in order to build as one the greatest common good: that of a community which sacrifices particular interests in order to share, in justice and peace, its goods, its interests, its social life. I do not underestimate the difficulty that this involves, but I encourage you in this effort." - Pope Francis
Brookhaven Town Planning Board Voted to Waive Restrictions Blocking Ronkonkoma Hub
Last week, Vision joined Senator Schumer, Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine and Councilman Neil Foley pushing for federal infrastructure funding for the Ronkonkoma Hub Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Project.
LI Smart Working Group Hears Update from Local Leaders
The Long Island Smart Growth Working Group met at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College to discuss Long Island’s infrastructure needs. New York State has $550 million for infrastructure funds, and the working group was convened in order to highlight Long Island’s infrastructure priorities.
Local officials community members gave updates on what is happening around Long Island. Mayor Maura Sperry of Mastic Beach informed the group of festivals being held in the village as well as grant application that are being applied for improvements. Deputy Mayor Jorge Martinez gave updates on the roadwork being done to fix Sandy damage as well as pumps being added to mitigate flooding in the southern part of the Village. Vincent Ang, former Village Clerk of Valley Stream discussed the numerous multifamily housing developments going up around the village, including a recently opened 90 unit luxury building that has already helped downtown merchants as well as several others both affordable and luxury. Linda Henninger of the Kings Park civic announced the upcoming visioning for revitalizing the downtown area of Kings Park. Kim Skillen of Neighbors Supporting Neighbors reminded the group that it has been almost three years since Superstorm Sandy and there are still people out of their homes, but thankfully there has been an extension on insurance claims.
Adrienne Esposito of Citizens Campaign for the Environment kicked of the panel with some of the recent successes Long Island has seen with regards to infrastructure including upgrades to the Northport treatment plant and progress on sewers in Mastic but also a reminder of additional expansions that are needed. She also reminded the group that of the $5 billion surplus New York State had, it is unclear how much Long Island will receive. Long Islanders need to speak with one voice to ensure that our needs are heard and that we get a fair portion of this pot of infrastructure funding.
Kyle Strober of Senator Schumer’s office spoke about all of the projects on and around Long Island that have gotten Federal funding, many due to damages from Superstorm Sandy. In addition to East Side Access and adding a double track to the Main Line of the LIRR, they have funded upgrades to MacArthur and Gabreski Airports. They are also funding dune repair projects along the barrier islands and the south shore as well as additional funding for sewers to protect watersheds of the Call, Connetquot and Forge Rivers.
Supervisor Frank Petrone of Huntington discussed how the needs of the environment and economic development need to be melded together. Huntington Station revitalization needs a sewer extension to allow for businesses to expand while still protecting groundwater. Recently the town tried to create a parking district within downtown Huntington but stopped because the 2% tax cap would have been exceeded. In order to be able to fund infrastructure projects, there needs to be an exception to the cap for referendums that have been voted on by the public. Another issue that needs to be addressed is solid waste. Much of our waste is shipped off of Long Island when it should be dealt with here. Finally, the town is working to mitigate future electrical failures by requiring new developments to bury electric lines and to create a microgrid for the area around town hall that provides vital services in the event of an emergency.
Councilman Steve Flotteron of the Town of Islip spoke of the need for sewers especially in the eastern parts of the town. Much revitalization has happened in Bay Shore because of its sewer infrastructure, but other hamlets such as Sayville are limited due to a lack of a treatment system. Restaurants have to choose between washing reusable dishes and having extra seats for customers. Industrial areas around MacArthur Airport cannot allow for bio-medical companies due to a lack of sewer capacity.
Sean Sallie of Nassau County Department of Public Works stated that the many planning efforts going on around the county are reaching the point of implementation. There are numerous storm water projects happening along the south shore including a traffic calming project along Austin Boulevard that also incorporates a new storm water pipe. Traffic calming along Grand Avenue in Baldwin is being studied with a public meeting coming up in the fall and the Motor Parkway multiuse path is being expanded to connect two previously separate sections.
Peter Scully, Suffolk County Deputy Executive, noted that the unexpected silver lining of Superstorm Sandy is that many water infrastructure projects are finally moving forward. The previously mentioned sewer infrastructure in the watershed of several rivers, a recently completed water resources management plan, and the expansion of the Bergen Point treatment facility. In the 1960s and 70s, the federal government paid for over half the cost of sewer infrastructure projects, today, not nearly as much, we need to look at other ways of financing them including a county wide sewer district or other methods.
Denise Carter of Greenman Pedersen reminded the group that there will always be more projects than there is funding and the trillions of dollars are needed nationally just to get our infrastructure into a state of good repair. We need to get creative locally to develop funding mechanisms to get the projects built that have local community support. Our automotive infrastructure on Long Island is locked up, we need to get innovative to get more people out of their cars without limiting their mobility.
3rd Annual Long Island Car Free Day a Success
The 3rd Annual Long Island Car Free Day was a success, with almost 3,000 people pledging to be car-free, carpool, telecommute or use public transportation. The international event held in over 1500 cities and 40 countries is held every September. Vision Long Island was proud to attend the rally as well as participate in Car Free Day.
Cedar Creek Oversight Committee Gets a Lesson on Sewage Treatment by United Water
The Cedar Creek Oversight Committee held their quarterly meeting this month at the sewage treatment plant while taking a walking tour led by United Water officials. United Water began operating the plant less than a year ago as a cost saving measure by Nassau County.
Long Beach Loses Well-known Business
Hundreds of people in Long Beach came out this month to show support for a local business owner who is forced to close her doors after 20 years in business. Local residents remember Long Beach Craft & Variety and its owner as an anchor to the community.
Local Revitalization is Antidote to National Paralysis
According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, 71 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the direction of our nation. This makes sense given the steady stream of negative news, polarizing, poisonous stories of partisanship and paralysis resulting in national and regional malaise.
This poll speaks to the trends we have been seeing for years on Main Street that folks do not trust big things.
Political consultant Scott Miller tells us “Over 80 percent of the American people, across the board, believe an elite group of political incumbents, plus big business, big media, big banks, big unions and big special interests—the whole Washington political class—have rigged the system for the wealthy and connected.”
While most Long Islanders may not feel they benefit from elite dealings, what remains unreported is the large swath of community building, small business development and local municipal decisions that strengthen our local communities.
This summer, Long Islanders were enjoying the fruits of the last two decades of downtown revitalization. To start, vacancy rates in downtowns are lower than ever before.
Folks might be enjoying craft beers or wine bars in local downtowns. There are Zagat rated fine dining, diners, drive in’s and dive’s with worthy fare. If fresh food is what you crave, the growth in farmers markets and local food is palatable.
Staycations were a theme with families frequenting local events burgeoning across Long Island. Movie nights, antique car shows, family fun nights, cultural, arts and music festivals were just part of the list. There are exception musical choices on Long Island including downtown theatres that are hosting national level acts.
All told, close to 60 of our Island’s 100 downtown business districts have active revitalization programs. This summer brought us construction, grand openings and other project advancement in nearly 20 downtowns including but not limited to, Valley Stream, Glen Cove, Lynbrook, Farmingdale, Island Park, Hempstead, Westbury, Freeport, Great Neck Plaza, Mineola, Rockville Centre, Riverhead, Lindenhurst, Huntington, Port Jefferson, Wyandanch and Riverside.
The revenue generated from this range of activity benefits Long Island business districts. Villages that have embraced a transit oriented development program have seen tax revenue increases and stronger financial bottom line.
In the coming months you are poised to see more growth in our downtowns to meet the market need. The latest polling from the National Association of Realtors tells us that 45 percent of folks want to live in attached housing in or near downtown. Many want to walk and bike more and shop locally as well.
In our little corner of the world we have experienced firsthand some of the people and places that make up the promise of our country: small businesses and residents who work to make our communities stronger.
There is a lesson here – folks continue to care for, trust, patronize and invest in their local communities. The unity that local residents, business owners and municipal officials of all races, income levels, political persuasions and backgrounds exhibit creating changes on Main Street can be instructive to our national and regional daily mud wrestling.
The concern people have is that the distraction of the national and regional politics will get in the way of local progress. Maybe we can turn that around and have the positive community building aspect of our local growth be an example for this national malaise. Just a thought.
Smart Growth Saturday Downtown Tours!
Fresh off of last spring’s events, Vision Long Island invites you to join us in local downtowns for the fourth Smart Growth Saturday! Visit real places with projects underway and well managed Main Streets, showing the progress of downtown renewal across Long Island. We have chosen these communities for this event and we recognize that there are many other downtowns across Long Island doing great work and we look forward to future tours.
Tours will gather at 11 am for an initial presentation and will leave before 11:30. Tours are free, but RSVPs are required as space is limited. RSVP to 631-261-0242,email@example.com, or online here.
Valley Stream- Meet at the Chase Bank (235 Rockaway Avenue) at 11 am. Tour will be led by Mayor Ed Fare. Tour a revitalized Rockaway Avenue, new development projects, Village Green Park, access to train station and other amenities.
Lynbrook (POSTPONED)- Meet at Lynbrook Movie Theater (321 Merrick Road) at 11 am. Tour will be led by Village Clerk John Giordano and will include: downtown including the renovated movie theater, and shops along Atlantic Avenue.
Sayville- Meet at Marc Williams Furniture Store (66 North Main Street) at 11 am. Tour will be led by the Chamber of Commerce past President Bill Etts & Town of Islip officials and will include historic Main Street, Gillette Park, the Sayville Movie Theater and Maritime Museum
Amityville- Meet at Village Hall (21 Ireland Place) at 11 am. Tour will be led by Village of Amityville officials and will include: Broadway and Park Av. shops, historic buildings, Village Triangle and Gazebo, Delano Nature Trail, LEED Certified Village Hall and the Lauder Museum
Vision will share & invites those on tours to post photos on Twitter & Instagram #SmartGrowthSaturday
Valley Stream Annual Community Fest
Valley Stream will be holding its annual Community Fest Saturday, September 26th from 10AM-5PM (Rain Date: October 3rd). Around 10,000 people came out last year to enjoy the one day celebration of the uniqueness of Valley Stream through its culture, visual and performing arts, food, service organizations and activities geared towards families.
20th Annual Pine Barrens Research Forum
The 20th Annual Pine Barrens Research Forum will be held on Thursday October 1st and Friday October 2nd at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Berkner Hall.
Thursday’s program will feature scientific and technical presentations and a poster session covering a broad range of topics of interest to researchers, natural resource managers, educators, land use planners, students, naturalists, administrators, and others. At this time, Friday’s Field Session is full, but there is a waiting list for those who are interested.
Westbury’s Business Improvement District’s Annual Street Fair
Westbury’s Business Improvement District’s Annual Street Fair will be held on Saturday, October 3rd from 10AM-5PM on Post Avenue (Rain Date Sunday, October 4th). Dozens of vendors and local merchants will be on hand alongside animal rescue groups. The event attracts about 10,000 attendees annually.
Dowling College Gala - October 7th
2018 is coming! That is the year that Dowling College will celebrate its Golden Jubilee.
NYSACC to Host 2015 New York State Conference on the Environment
The New York State Association of Conservation Commissions (NYSACC) will be hosting the 2015 New York State Conference on the Environment at the Coltivare event center in Ithaca, NY on October 15th - 17th.
This annual conference’s theme will be Collaboration, featuring examples from local municipalities, colleges and environmental groups, and examine the latest environmental trends, techniques and approaches in New York State. Field trips to Ecovillage, the energy producing wastewater treatment plant and Cornell’s Lake Source Cooling project will come the day after a dinner event at a new farm to bistro restaurant.
Registration and further information for this event will be available in the next few weeks here
2015 Celebration of Diversity
The 2015 Celebration of Diversity will be taking place on Wednesday, November 11th at 5:30PM at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. Dedicated to funding diversity-related scholarships and research at the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, the annual Celebration of Suburban Diversity banquet brings together Long Islanders from across the multicultural spectrum, as well as individuals with disabilities and gay and lesbian communities. The evening is dedicated to the idea – and ideal – that we can be stronger for our differences if we come together to appreciate them.
27th Annual Keys for the Homeless
The 27th Annual Keys for the Homeless event will take place on Friday, November 13th from 8AM-2:30PM at Touro Law Center in East Islip. This year’s theme will be “Building Community Roots to End Youth & Family Homelessness” and is sponsored by Long Island Coalition for the Homeless and Stony Brook University’s School of Social Welfare.
2015 Annual Smart Growth Summit-Nov. 20th
As a community, business or government leader on Long Island, we would like to invite you once again to join us at the 14th Annual Smart Growth Summit, being held on Friday, November 20th from 8am-4pm at the Melville Marriott.
Last year’s event drew nearly 1,200 civic, chambers, developers, environmentalists, design professionals, business leaders, young people and over 70 federal, state, county, town and village elected officials from Long Island and the region.
The Smart Growth movement is busy approving 10,300 units of transit oriented development, revitalization programs in over 50 Long Island downtowns, 40 traffic calming projects, new Main Street office space, lively restaurants/bars nightlife, and countless events featuring the arts, culture and live music. Recent increased Federal, State and County infrastructure investment in our sewers, rails, buses and roadways has also been critical to the success of the redevelopment projects.
The 14th Annual Smart Growth Summit will feature networking, a trade show, nearly 20 workshops, a youth summit and plenary sessions on regional and local issues facing mixed-use development. Some sessions may include: downtown revitalization, wastewater infrastructure, financing Smart Growth, transit-oriented development, clean energy, youth leadership, regional projects, fair housing/segregation, off Island case examples, solid waste and many others to be announced in the coming weeks based on input from the broader movement.
Our goal is to once again have over 1,200 leaders working together. So here is where we need your help: please plan to join us and consider sponsoring the event.
For sponsorship and registration information click here (limited scholarships are available for community & youth leadership). If you have any questions, please call us at 631-261-0242.
If you are one of the thousands of Long Island leaders who have joined us in the past, please do so again. If you are new to the event and the Smart Growth movement, please consider partnering with us this year. Either way, we need your leadership, presence and voice to make great places a reality on Long Island.
Coastal Program Grants now Accepting Applications
The Coastal Program, a grant opportunity from the US Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Services, is accepting applications for grants up to $500,000. This grant is open to all who fit the criteria.
The Coastal Program is a voluntary, incentive-based program that provides direct technical assistance and financial assistance in the form of cooperative agreements to coastal communities and landowners to restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat on public and private lands in order to identify geographic focus areas and develop habitat conservation priorities within these focus areas.
There is no cost sharing or matching required for this grant. Interested parties can click here for the full program description and apply. The current closing date for this opportunity is September 30th, 2015.
Further information and concerns should be directed to:
2015 NYS HOME Local Program
The Housing Trust Fund Corporation (HTFC) Office of Community Renewal (OCR) announces the availability and requests proposals for approximately $16.5 million of Federal Fiscal Year 2014 and 2015 NYS HOME Local Program funds, set aside for use by Local Program Administrators (LPAs).
The NYS Home Local Program is a federally funded program administered by the HTFC OCR. The program is designed to fund a variety of residential housing activities to expand the supply of decent, safe, and affordable housing throughout the State of New York. Applications will be accepted for residential housing activities in the following categories: Homeowner Rehab, Homebuyer, Homeowner/Homebuyer Rental Rehab and Tenant based Rental Assistance.Applications are due by 4:00pm, Friday, October 16, 2015. The Request for Proposals (RFP) and all related documents are available on the HCR website at: http://www.nyshcr.org/Funding/NYSHOME. Please check the website for updates and/or corrections regarding this RFP. We welcome your applications to assist low and moderate income New Yorkers to have an affordable and sustainable housing option.
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?
For information, visit their website.
Garvies Point Museum and Preserve
For information, visit their website or call 516-439-5218
For information, visit their website or call 516-822-7505
For information, visit their website.
For information, visit their website or call 516-922-5032
Bow Tie Port Washington
For information, visit their website or call 516-766-0300
Cold Spring Harbor
For information, visit their website or call 631-351-3250
Port Jefferson Historical Society
For information, visit their website or call 631-473-2665
For information, visit their website or call 631-725-0770
For information, visit their website or call 631-563-0186
For information, visit their website or call 631-862-6575
For information, visit their website or call 631-268-2494
For information, visit their website.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is scheduled to visit St. Joseph’s College on Monday, September 28 to discuss The Innovation Zone (I-Zone), a comprehensive plan to make the county a more attractive place for young residents and high-tech businesses by investing in economic development and creating modern transportation options. The I-Zone will connect downtown areas to local institutions, such as SJC Long Island, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University to help foster economic growth.
County Executive Bellone’s presentation will take place at 1 p.m. in the Muriel and Virginia Pless Center for Performing Arts and will be followed by a question and answer session.
To RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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