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October 21st - 27th, 2017

Regional Updates

GRCH Architects

GRCH Architecture Principal Glen R. Cherveny leads a highly successful team of industry professionals with more than 30 years of experience in architecture, design, planning, engineering, and more recently LEED-sustainable architecture.

GRCH's goal of excellence is apparent in their work starting with their high-quality practices in the initial phases of programming and continuing on through the building construction phase and project completion. Their comprehensive approach to each project- and the needs of meeting each client's totall satisfaction-  is paramont to the process.

"Now as people are moving into their newly raised houses that don't feel like their homes, pre-Sandy, and their yards are disasters of rocks, weeds and scrub, depression sets in. They feel like they have nowhere to turn, and have no right to feel depressed, We at Friends of Freeport are trying to restore yards and, at times, finish what was left unfinished indoors as funds grew scarce and help was still needed." - Lois Howes, Friends of Freeport, speaking on the 5th anniversary of Superstorm Sandy

"Five years post-Sandy, there is still work to be done on Long Island to recover from the storm, but also to prepare for future events. Thank you to all of the volunteers and organizations, past and present, who have helped their communities recover, rebuild and be resilient, and continue to help those on Long Island and beyond when disaster arises." - Jon Siebert, Program Director of Friends of Long Island

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Five Years After Sandy, Grassroots Groups Continue to Assist

This weekend marks the 5 year anniversary of Super Storm Sandy, damaging about 100,000, businesses and government buildings in Nassau and Suffolk, knocked out power to much of Long Island, crippled transportation, and altered the dunes and channel at Fire Island.

Among the flood-damaged structures were 44 power substations or other electrical facilities; 28 fire stations; 26 schools; three police stations; and one medical facility, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, located adjacent to Reynolds Channel and heavily damaged. FEMA said 113,901 people in Nassau and Suffolk have applied for disaster relief assistance from the agency. Of those with federal flood insurance policies, 43,106 experienced flooding.

Immediately after the storm, grassroots groups throughout Long Island formed providing immediate relief to their communities, with many of the groups continuing to help with recovery and resiliency efforts in their areas post-Sandy, as well assisting at times in areas outside of their communities, whether on Long Island or beyond. Friends of Long Island formed shortly after Sandy in order to assist these efforts in a collaborative fashion, with the groups assisting each other, sharing best practices and advocating for their community’s needs.

Hamptons Hurricane Relief Fund helped families on the East End with materials, and recently organized a drive for items for those affected by Hurricane Maria. Friends of Shirley and the Mastics helped with muckouts and rebuilds long after Sandy struck, with their food pantry and hot meals program that started after the storm still assisting the community. The Greater Patchogue COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disaster) formed, one of five FEMA recognized COADs born in the past 5 years, ensuring that their community is prepared for the next event. Neighbors Supporting Neighbors Babylon, who assisted homeowners with physical and material assistance from Sandy’s effects, continues to help their community annually with Feed the Children, as well as with efforts after Long Island’s August 2014 floods.

Groups like Lindy Manpower and Friends of Freeport mucked out, demolished, and repaired houses and businesses in their communities individually, but also provided “mutual aid” to neighboring communities through out Suffolk and Nassau, with Friends of Freeport volunteers training with Nassau CERT to prepare for the next event. Groups such as the11518 in East Rockaway, after assisting residents recover in their community, have paid it forward with fundraising events to help those who helped them support those affected by this year’s hurricanes in the south while serving on advisory committees like Living With the Bay for the resiliency of their area. The Long Beach COAD continues to advocate for their residents, holding workshops for those impacted by Sandy while also preparing their residents for future disasters.

"Now as people are moving into their newly raised houses that don't feel like their homes, pre-Sandy, and their yards are disasters of rocks, weeds and scrub, depression sets in," said Lois Howes from Friends of Freeport. "They feel like they have nowhere to turn, and have no right to feel depressed, We at Friends of Freeport are trying to restore yards and, at times, finish what was left unfinished indoors as funds grew scarce and help was still needed."

"Five years post-Sandy, there is still work to be done on Long Island to recover from the storm, but also to prepare for future events," said Jon Siebert, Program Director of Vision Long Island. "Thank you to all of the volunteers and organizations, past and present, who have helped their communities recover, rebuild and be resilient, and continue to help those on Long Island and beyond when disaster arises."

Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce Holds 33rd Annual Businessperson of the Year & Legislative Breakfast

Vision Long Island board members and staff joined with over 600 small business leaders in support of the Nassau Council of Chambers 33rd Annual Businessperson of the Year & Legislative Breakfast this past week.

The event featured Gregg Richard, President of P.C. Richard and Son as the keynote speaker along with remarks from Nick Terzuli from the Nassau IDA.

Vision board members and supporters at the event included John Keating from PSEG, Jorge Martinez from the American Sustainable Business Council, Lionel Chitty from the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce, Elizabeth Custodio from People's Bank and Stuart Richner from The Herald.

Congratulations to Nassau Chambers President Francesca Carlow, former President Julie Marchesella, and their team including Freeport ChamberLois Howes, Great Neck Chamber Dennis Grossman, East Meadow Chamber Frankie Camarano, Merrick Chamber Ginny McClean and many others for putting together a positive event and encouraging folks to "shop local".

Vision Attends State and Regional Smart Growth Caucus Conference in D.C.

Earlier this week, Vision Long Island staff joined leaders from around the nation at the annual State and Regional Smart Growth Caucus Conference held in D.C.

The conference focused on the direction of smart growth nationally and identifying common issues leaders have faced in implementing smart growth in their areas. Some of the challenges discussed where a lack of funding and bipartisan collaboration, outdated infrastructure to support projects, and outdated zoning.

Throughout the conference, participants were able to take tours of the downtown area which highlighted many of the upcoming and newly completed smart growth projects, ride their metro system to take a look at their transportation systems, and view some of the new affordable housing projects that have come on line since revitalization efforts began. 

On the final day, participants took a trip to Capitol Hill to meet with legislative representatives for their areas to lobby for federal support and funding as Washington works on the upcoming budget.

Vision would like to thank the Coalition for Smarter Growth and Smart Growth America for allowing us to participate in this conference.

Nassau County Dismisses Lawsuit Against Garvies Point

Nassau County Supreme Court Judge James McCormick has dismissed the final lawsuit filed against the Garvies Point Waterfront Project.

The suit was filed by the Committee for a Sustainable Waterfront against the City of Glen Cove, the Planning Board, the City Council, the Glen Cove Industrial Development Agency, the Community Development Agency, RXR Realty and others.  The suit alleged that the project’s amended plan to update a storm water management system was a significant enough change to warrant a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

In the complaint, the plaintiffs stated that they used the beaches, public areas, and amenities near the waterfront site.  However, Judge McCormack found that the plaintiffs did not live or use the waterfront as currently situated and stated they did not suffer direct harm from the project.  The Judge would go on to note that the project has met all the thresholds necessary to avoid adverse impact on the environment.  The amendment in question was not found to change the project enough to require a second environmental study.

“No one has taken a harder look than the city, just the number of years that it’s been in front of the planning board,” Mayor Reggie Spinello said of the project. “I think that the city and the agencies have done a very good job in analyzing this and making sure things are done the right way, and it tells you that the court agrees with our procedures and how we handled it. And the project continues to move forward.”

This marks the third lawsuit against the project to be dismissed.  The first one was filed by the Village of Sea Cliff over the city’s failure to adhere to a 15-year memorandum of understanding that would have allowed the Village to advise the IDA on the development.  The second was filed by local residents of both Glen Cove and Sea Cliff over environmental concerns and overdevelopment.  Both have filed appeals since they were dismissed last year but there is no timetable as of yet on those or whether the most recent dismissal will be appealed.

You can read more here.

Port Washington Unveils New Artist’s Mural

Vision Long Island staff was out last weekend in downtown Port Washington to help celebrate a new mural project.

The beautiful art was combined with live music and a festive atmosphere for residents of all ages.  The mural was made possible by Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington, their Board, Director Mindy Germain and the artists themselves.  The project was also a triumph for Town of North Hempstead's Roy Smitheimer for reaching out to get people there.

Former NYS Senator Jack M. Martins made it out along with Town of North Hempstead Clerk Wayne Wink and many others. Music from Bach to Rock which included Jarred Winselberg was also a highlight. The site is worth a visit to see the beautiful new mural and spend some time in a local downtown.

Survey Shows Residents Consider Renting More Affordable than Buying

Residents in major cities are more likely to consider renting more affordable than buying according to a recent survey from Freddie Mac.

Due to a rise in construction rent prices across the country have been relatively stable while home prices have increased.  These are just some of the reasons used to explain how 76% of responders consider renting more affordable.  This represents an 11% upswing since September of 2016 with 25% of renters saying they enjoyed the flexibility afforded by renting.

“We talk virtually every day about how renting is becoming less and less affordable. I think the answer is just that housing is becoming less and less affordable and renting is the more affordable of the two,” David Brickman, executive vice president and head of Freddie Mac Multifamily.

Manhattan recently saw a slight dip in rental prices with the average going down to $3,334.  At the same time the median sale price for a co-op reached a 28-year high.  The average Manhattan condo sale price increased by 6.3% in a single year alone.

You can read more on this story here.

Help Save Transit Benefits

As a part of tax reform, Congress is considering eliminating the transportation fringe benefit. This is a benefit that provides commuters with the option of tax-free employer provided parking and transit. Eliminating this benefit would impact almost all commuting Americans and would create an accounting nightmare for businesses of all sizes.

Additionally, eliminating this benefit would impact transit ridership and as a result would create more congestion on our nation’s transportation system. We are joining forces with the Commuter Benefits Works for Us coalition and are asking you to act today by helping spread the word and contacting your Member of Congress.

Click here to make their voice heard to their Members of Congress.

Race2Rebuild Returns to Long Beach Oct. 28 to Benefit Disaster Survivors

Race2Rebuild creates tangible change to our communities by bringing families home after a natural disaster and keeping families in their homes.

Founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Race2Rebuild’s national team of volunteer athletes raised critical private funds and provided hands-on home building support to projects across the country. Their finish line has and always will remain the same: a safe and healthy home for every person.

Now in its 5th year, Race2Rebuild will be holding this year’s event in Long Beach to benefit Harvey and Irma impacted communities with their 5k Fun Run on Saturday October 28th at 9am in partnership with the Long Beach COAD and the City of Long Beach.

To race, volunteer and get involved, visit or for more information, please contact Chelsi McDonald at

Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers Hosts "Suffolk Chamber Challenge" on Oct. 29th

Join the Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers on Oct. 29th in the "Suffolk Chamber Challenge" -  The Suffolk County Marathon, half marathon, 5k run/walk and marathon relay to support local veterans. The race begins and ends in Patchogue, accompanied by the Freedom Fest: Taste of Long Island festival featuring local foods, wines and craft beers, as well as activities for children. Net proceeds of the Catholic Health Services third annual race will support services for Suffolk County veterans. More than $300,000  was raised in past years.  

When you register for the event online, enter Team Name "Suffolk Chamber Challenge".

For more information and to register for this great event, visit

Or call GLIRC (the Greater Long Island Running Club) at 516.349.7646. 

Long Island Business Development Council to Hold Meeting on November 2nd

The LIBDC will be holding a dinner meeting on November 2nd to exemplify organizations and companies that support Town of Huntington’s smart growth.  The event will feature a welcome address from Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone as well as Ryan Porter from Source the Station/Renaissance Downtowns and Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander.

The event will take place in the Savoy Room at the Hilton Long Island located at 598 Broadhollow Road in Melville.  Tickets are free for Gold members, $75 for Silver members, and $85 for non-members.  You can reserve seats here and contact Marlene McDonnell by email at or phone at 516-314-8982 for more information.  You can also visit for more information about the organization itself.

Vision Long Island Director Makes LIBN Hall of Fame

Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander will be among those honored in this year’s Long Island Business News Hall of Fame. This event includes the most distinguished leaders in our business community. Induction into the Hall of Fame is the highest honor for those who demonstrate a commitment to excellence; past, present and future.

Inductees are selected by a committee of the top business leaders across Long Island. This year’s honorees also include Mark Beige of Rubie’s Costume Company, Inc., Stanley Bergman of Henrey Schein, Frederick Johs of Lewis Johs Avallone Aviles, LLP, Lew Meltzer of Meltzer Lippe, Steve Schlesinger of Jaspan Schlesinger LLP, Anthony Scotto of Scotto Brothers, Michael Dowling of Northwell Health, and Wayne Grossé of Bethpage Federal Credit Union.

Network with these influential leaders and learn about their secrets to success on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, 6-9pm at the Crest Hollow Country Club.  The event will be emceed by Elisa DiStefano of News 12. For more information, visit LIBN or contact Danielle Rella at or at 631.913.4258.

Application for 2017 Community Change Grants Are Now Open

America Walks, partners of the Every Body Walk! Collaborative, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and other generous sponsors, are excited to announce another round of our popular micro grant funding. This program will award grantees up to $1,500.00 in community stipends for projects related to creating healthy, active, and engaged places to live, work, and play.

Walkable communities lead to improved safety and health for community members of all age, abilities, genders, and backgrounds.  They engage all community members in the work being done to create safe, accessible, and enjoyable places to walk and be physically active. These communities see benefits for all community members to individual health and wellness, community interaction, economic vitality, and environmental sustainability.  Advocates must be diligent in making sure that every community member has access to these benefits, and it is our hope that these funds can help with that.

Most importantly, walking and walkabilty can help to bridge community divides and overcome existing disparities. To make and keep walking and walkability a priority in neighborhoods and communities so these benefits are equally available to all, a strong, connected group of local advocates and dedicated organizations are needed. This grant program aims to support and grow this network of advocates and organizations and to strengthen communities' sustainability. 

Funded projects will increase walking and benefits of walkability in communities, work to grow the walking movement by engaging people and organizations new to the efforts, and take steps towards creating a culture of inclusive health.

Please contact Heidi Simon at with questions. Applications are due through submission of this form by November 10th by 5pm. For more info, click here.

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.

Full-Time Case Manager Needed for Long Island Coalition for the Homeless

The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless is seeking applicants for a Full-Time Case Manager for our main office in Amityville.  This position requires an ability to understand policies and regulations; work with homeless individuals and families, conduct assessments, and gather documentation for housing referrals; research resources for homeless and at-risk households.

Qualifications include: Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in a Social Work and two years’ experience (internships or volunteer work acceptable); or a related human services field or a minimum of three years’ related experience in human services arena; ability to comprehend and interpret government regulations; strong organizational skills; possesses effective verbal and written communication skills; working knowledge of computer database applications (Foothold AWARDS - preferred, Access, Client or Customer databases of accounting database software) or ability to learn quickly.  Applicant must have a commitment to organization’s mission and goals.  Must be self-motivated; must be able to work effectively with diverse people and personalities and as a member of a team. Bilingual (Spanish and English) preferred.

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). Salary range for this position is $35,000 - $40,000.

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.

Great Neck Plaza Looks to Join Butterfly Superhighway

Village Officials in Great Neck Plaza are looking to turn a local village parking lot into a butterfly sanctuary and one of many stops in a butterfly superhighway across Nassau County.

Mayor Jean Celender announced, at a village board meeting earlier this month, that the department of public works will be looking to plant specific types of plants and vegetation in order to attract butterflies.  The planting will take place at a converted parking lot with seeding starting in spring and continuing until the field is covered in butterfly attracting plants.  The project will not add to the budget as there is already an amount budgeted out for adding plants in a beautification effort.

Smart Talk

Chris Kyle, Communications Director

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

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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