October 25th - 31st, 2015
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“It is hard to believe that Super Storm Sandy happened 3 years ago. We are still in various forms of recovery on the south shore, some people are home, some home in the process of lifting, others home living in half finished homes and yet others are not home - it is heartbreaking. We continue to work to repair our community but there is still much work to do. In addition to focusing on recovery we must continue to work on resilience. We need to ensure that our communities are prepared for the future. I hope as we enter year four of recovery that we can work together to get everyone home and prepare for the future..”
- Kim Skillen of Neighbors Supporting Neighbors speaking on the 3rd anniversary of Superstorm Sandy
3 Year Anniversary of Superstorm Sandy
This week marks the 3rd anniversary of Superstorm Sandy for Long Islanders, with many residents and businesses still recovering from the effects of the event. Those affected continue to battle for funding for repairs and mitigation against future storms and to lower their flood insurance rates. Communities organizations also have been working nonstop to assist those in the recovery process while some recovery programs and forms of assistance are “sunsetting”.
Temporary Extension of Federal Transportation Funding
Both the US House and Senate passed yet another temporary extension of federal transportation funding this week, which will allow spending to continue until November 20th.
LI Lobby Coalition claims Victory as Governor Signs CARE Act
Governor Cuomo signed the CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable) Act into law this week, which will help many of New York’s 2.6 million people who provide unpaid care to family and loved ones. Vision Long Island posted an Action Alert last week, urging the Governor to sign the bill, which was passed unanimously by the Senate and Assembly, into law. The CARE Act was a part of the LI Lobby Coalition agenda.
Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers of Commerce Holds Inaugural Meeting
Vision Board and staff were out in support at the kickoff meeting of the Suffolk Alliance of Chambers of Commerce. The Alliance is a new collaboration from small business leaders and local communities across the County who wish to unite to bring a unified message for local businesses.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone addressed the group looking to work with downtown business districts to assist in their revitalization while protecting home rule. He also stressed the importance of keeping young professionals on Long Island in order to provide qualified professionals to frequent and work at local business. “We’re not going to create sustainable economic growth in this region if we’re a region that can’t attract and retain young people,” Bellone said.
Suffolk County Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory echoed that sentiment while providing an introduction that focused on County support for job development. Legislators that came out in support of this initial meeting included Rob Calarco, Kara Hahn. Leslie Kennedy, Tom Muratore and Steve Stern. There were nearly 100 in attendance representing the majority of small business groups in the County.
Special thanks to Brookhaven Coalition of Chambers President Barbara Ransome for early efforts at bringing the chambers together. Kudos to the Co-Chairs of the Suffolk Chambers - Gina Cafone Coletti and Bob Fonti for bringing the groups together toward a common agenda.
Vision Long Island is happy to see a local group of business people working to bring positive change to local communities in order to help drive the economic engine of Long Island. It is encouraging that so many elected officials from the county were willing to give their time and speak on a message of economic hope. Stay tuned for more updates as the Alliance beings its efforts to make change.
You can read more on this meeting at LIBN.
LIBC Discusses Minimum Wage
The Long Island Business Council recently met with New York State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, covering a wide range of topics, including the proposed $15 per hour minimum wage increase. The state minimum wage is currently $8.75 and is set to increase to $9 for 2016. Under Governor Cuomo’s plan, the minimum wage would increase in annual increments, reaching $15 in New York City in 2019 and the rest of the state by 2021.
Kings Park Residents Come Out in Strength for Community Visioning
Kings Park residents along with the Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association came out in strength in order to participate in a downtown visioning session this past Saturday. Over 300 residents participated in the process, which included a downtown walking tour, lots of interaction and feedback with folks on what they want to see in their downtown.
The group of residents first heard a presentation on the history of Kings Park's downtown area, which has had some struggles attracting new businesses and customers since the closing of a local psychiatric center in 1996. The goal of the visioning process was to move beyond the closing and focus instead on the downtown and what could be done to make it more attractive to current residents while also drawing in local tourists from other parts of the island. The general feeling in the room was optimism that Kings Park has the potential to meet that goal with the right steps.
After the presentation the group took a survey of amenities they would like to see in their downtown, while listing out some of the
As a final exercise the group was broken up into smaller working groups who came up with their own maps of where they would like to see certain improvements and amenities in the downtown. The presentations and maps all helped to shed light on the process and what exactly the local community wants in their downtown.
Vision Long Island is proud to be working with a dedicated group of individuals through the local Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association, who are working to improve their downtown. Stay tuned for more updates as the process continues to move forward.
Tour Looks for Potential Redevelopment on Main St. in Smithtown
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio recently toured Main Street in Smithtown in an attempt to identify potential locations for redevelopment and discuss the importance of sewering in an effort to begin to redevelop the downtown.
Brookhaven Breaks Ground on New Renewable Facility
Brookhaven Town officials were on hand for the groundbreaking for a renewable energy generating facility in Manorville this week, with construction coming to completion this coming spring. The Town’s compost facility will now host 3800 solar panels which will generate enough electricity to power 1000 homes. The clean power will be sold back to PSEG for usage on the grid.
Gateway Nights in Huntington Station
Source the Station, the Town of Huntington, and the HS BID are collaborating on an event to create a downtown destination event at Gateway Plaza (1000 New York Avenue) on Friday, October 30th from 5pm-8pm. Parking for this free event will be at the New York Ave and Church Street parking lot.
Poe Festival Kicks Off
One of Long Island’s biggest Halloween parties will be taking place this weekend in Riverhead, as the Poe Fest kicks off this Friday for the annual 3 day event. Dozens of Riverhead businesses are banding together, hosting readings of stories from Poe and other authors, trick or treating sites and more.
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.
St. John's Episcopal Church Annual Holiday Fair
St. John's Episcopal Church will be hosting thier Annual Holiday Fair on Saturday, November 7th, from 10 AM to 4 PM located at 12 Prospect Street, Huntington, NY. Funds raised will go to support the church ministry outreach and local charities.
For more information, contact them at 631-427-1752 or www.stjohnshuntington.org.
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.
Blue Ribbon Friday in Huntington
To many the Friday after Thanksgiving, or Black Friday, is the official kickoff to the holiday season. But in Huntington, the day has been dubbed “Blue Friday,” thanks to the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society and its Huntington Harbor Parade of Lights, an annual boat parade that draws thousands of landlubbers to the shores of Huntington Harbor.
Small Business Saturday on November 28, 2015
North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town Board, along with the North Hempstead Business & Tourism Corporation (BTDC), are urging residents to support Small Business Saturday on November 28, 2015, as part of a national effort to drive consumers to shop at local independently owned businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. For the second straight year, the Town is a proud sponsor of Small Business Saturday, a joint partnership between Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and the Small Business Saturday Coalition.
20th Annual Port Jefferson Charles Dickens Festival
Planning for the spectacular 20th Annual Port Jefferson Charles Dickens Festival has begun planning for the Second Annual Festival of Trees at the Port Jefferson Village Center. A magnificent display of holiday trees decorated by YOU will be on display through the month of December located on the second and third floors of the Port Jefferson Village Center.
Long Island Coalition for the Homeless Conducts Annual Winter Drive
Long Island Coalition for the Homeless conducts an annual winter drive in order to ensure the safety and needs of those that are homeless on Long Island, living on the streets. Each year, volunteers pack “homeless kits” that include warm clothing, toiletries (travel size), and non-perishable foods. These kits are distributed to individuals that are living on the streets both during our annual homeless count in January and also during ongoing street outreach efforts throughout the winter months.
NYS Releases RFP to Build Affordable Homes
Governor Cuomo announced that $20 million is available for the construction of new affordable housing units damaged by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee this week. The funding will come from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery out of the $4.4 billion allocation from HUD’s CDBG-DR program.
Cuomo Announced $7 Million for Airport Improvement Projects
Governor Cuomo announced $7 million in funding is available for airport improvement projects across New York State this week. These grants, coming from the Governor’s Aviation Capital Grants Program, will go toward supporting airport infrastructure and economic development projects across the state.
Applications and instructions can be found here.
Town of North Hempstead Business and Tourism Development Corporation Grants Available
Town of North Hempstead Business and Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) Chairwoman Judi Bosworth and Executive Director Kim Kaiman announced this week that the BTDC will be offering matching fund grant opportunities to not-for-profit organizations (including civics and chamber of commerces) and business improvement districts to beautify downtowns.
“We want to work with our local businesses to make the downtown living and shopping experience the best it can be,” Chairwoman Bosworth said. “It is my hope that, through this program, we can beautify our commercial corridors and attract consumers to allow the businesses in our Town to thrive." The Downtown Beautification Program will assist the Town’s chambers of commerce and civic associations with revitalization of commercial and mixed-use downtown districts, allowing matching fund grants of up to $10,000 per Council District for eligible downtown beautification projects such as tree planters and other landscaping, street furniture, trash receptacles and signage.
Eligible applicants must develop a detailed plan that must be submitted as part of the application process. The deadline is November 30th, 2015. To apply or for more details, please call (516) 869-7739 or click here
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.
Vision Long Island Wishes You a Safe and Happy Halloween!
And while you're at, check out The Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns at Old Westbury Gardens (71 Old Westbury Rd.) in Old Westbury. The exhibit features more than 5,000 hand-carved jack o'lanterns created by professional artists and sculptors on display throughout a 1/3-mile trail. New for 2015: Larger-than-life animals, a dragon that is more than 50-feet-long, classic cars re-imagined using gourds, your favorite TV and movie stars and more. The event takes place Oct. 2-4, 9-11, 15-18 and 22-25; $26 adults, $22 children ages 3-12, free children 2 and younger; therise.org.