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October 28th - November 4th, 2017


Regional Updates

D&F Development Group

The D & F Development Group, LLC (The D&F Group) provides the highest quality combination of experience and knowledge to make certain that project goals are attained. They offer an entire spectrum of real estate expertise from a single source – including project development, construction and property management.

The D&F Group is proud to be among New York’s premier developers of affordable family and senior housing, working closely with a wide array of for-profit and not-for-profit partners. Yet, their diversity and extensive background enable them to provide comprehensive services relating not only to affordable housing but to all segments of the real estate marketplace. Furthermore, their versatility means they can handle all aspects of a project from inception to finalization. Depending on the specific project, they can provide any one or more of the individual areas of real estate services they offer.

The D&F Group brings agility, efficiency and dedication to each project … committed to ensuring that all budgetary, scheduling, regulatory, aesthetic and other requirements are fulfilled.

"New York is building back better and smarter than ever before, and we are committed to upgrading our infrastructure to protect our water quality and natural resources. This project will permanently remove tens of billions of gallons of sewage from the Western Bays, restoring our natural barriers to extreme weather and revitalizing our most critical ecosystems." - Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking on the Bay Park Outflow Pipe

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Governor Cuomo Announces Plan to Address Bay Park Plant Discharge

Vision Long Island board members and staff were out this week for the 5 year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy in Oceanside at an announcement concerning the Bay Park sewage treatment plant discharge.

The Bay Park plant discharge problem will be addressed by diverting treated sewage through an old pipeline under Sunrise Highway and through the Cedar Creek plant with an outfall pipe three miles into the ocean. This method will remove 99% of the nitrogen from current conditions.

The project cost is approximately $350 million with NYS and county funds providing $277 million and $77 million coming from Federal funds. The original cost of the outfall pipe that would have also addressed this problem was close to $800 million, resulting in a savings of over $400 million with the new plan. 

The Western Bay's Coalition, Adrienne Esposito from Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment, Operation Splash, and John Durso from the LI Federation of Labor, worked diligently with many others for years to get this project funded. A solution to Bay Park discharge was a top platform item for the 100-member LI Lobby Coalition for over 4 years, with multiple trips to Albany and Washington as well as local events. 

US Senator Chuck Schumer, who was present at the event, thanked Congressman Peter King for lobbying for Sandy resources in a bi-partisan fashion. He went on to also thank community leaders, including the "Indefatigable Adrienne Esposito,” as well as Ed Mangano and his team for spearheading this project and said this plan is a "Metaphor for what we can do when we come together."

"New York is building back better and smarter than ever before, and we are committed to upgrading our infrastructure to protect our water quality and natural resources," said Governor Cuomo. "This project will permanently remove tens of billions of gallons of sewage from the Western Bays, restoring our natural barriers to extreme weather and revitalizing our most critical ecosystems."

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano was also at the podium and thanked the Governor for his commitment to Nassau County. He also thanked his DPW team for devising and addressing the solution after 50 years of inaction.

Elected officials, governmental, labor and community organization's attending included NYS Senators Todd Kaminsky and Jon Brooks, NYS Assemblyman David Mcdonough and Michael Fitzpatrick, Nassau County Legislators Denise Ford, Rose Walker, Laura Curran, Arnold Drucker, former NYS Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, former NYS Senator Brian Foley, Suffolk County Dept. County Executive Jon Kaiman, Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman, Village of Rockville Centre Mayor Frances Murray, John Cameron, Richard Guardino, LI Regional Planning Council, Dick O'Kane, LI Building Trades Council, Mario Mattera, Artie Gibson, Plumbers Local 200, Michael Martino-Suez, members of Operation Splash, Lois Howes from Friends of Freeport, Jon Siebert from Friends of LI, Dan Carraciolo of the 11518, Karen Montalbano from the Baldwin Civic Association, and Jeannine Maynard of the Uniondale Community Council.

Vision Long Island would like to congratulate the Governor's team including Lisa Santeramo, Imran Ansari, Laura Munafo and many others for pulling together a powerful and respectful event on this Sandy Anniversary.

NYS Comptroller DiNapoli Warns of Threat to State Finances

NYS Comptroller DiNapoli recently referred to a looming budget deficit that, along with unexpectedly low tax revenue and cuts in federal spending, is part of a “triple threat” to New York’s finances.

The Comptroller talked about the possibility that Washington could further cut aid to the state, which would result in some hard decisions for officials concerning funding for programs and services.  This is in addition to the cut already made to health care funding.  He went on to note that the projected $4 billion deficit for the state next fiscal year would further complicate the matter.  Tax collections in the first six months of 2017 have also been down by 2.1% compared to the previous year.

"New York faces serious fiscal challenges. Projected budget gaps, weaker than expected personal income tax collections and cuts to federal programs combine for a triple threat of budgetary risks," DiNapoli said. "Any federal funding reductions not already assumed in the Financial Plan could force difficult decisions regarding the funding of important programs and services."

You can read more here, and DiNapoli’s full report here.

Hicksville NYS Downtown Revitalization Initiative Process Underway

Vision Long Island board members and staff, along with members of the Hicksville Downtown Revitalization Committee were out this week at the kickoff meeting of the NYS Hicksville Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

The meeting had two primary focus points: Identify and prioritize projects for the downtown area that will be leveraged with the public investment from NYS; create a strategic investment plan for the $10 million.  Planning consultants from NYS were present sharing their ideas for the downtown area, which included a downtown path, an elevated community space, pedestrian plaza, mini parks, a signage program, and traffic mitigation.  However, a key missing issue was the need for street level pedestrian safety and walkability.

Hicksville Committee members raised a series of issues during the discussion including pushing back on 5 and 6 story buildings with support for 3-4 story buildings.  The group also called for housing for both young and elderly adults with Farmingdale being referenced multiple times as a model.  They also discussed the need to build up trust in the community as well as listening to local residents.  Many cited the need to actually complete the first few projects as opposed to simply creating more plans.  It was also noted that NYSDOT needed to participate in these plans and help to create street level pedestrian safety for commuters, residents, business owners and shoppers.

Other residents, including members of the Hicksville Downtown Revitalization Committee, spoke in the public comment portion of the meeting.  The comments included issues such as traffic calming, bringing back Main Street on Broadway, and listening to Hicksville residents.

The process will ideally be set up to compliment the Town's zoning proposal for the central business district.  This proposal has received robust public input with two meetings that combined for a total attendance of over 1,000 residents, and will allow 3-4 story mixed use development adjacent to the train station. 

Town of Oyster Bay officials on the committee include Supervisor Joseph Saladino, Councilperson's Anthony Macagnone and Rebecca Alesia, and Nassau County Legislator Rose Walker. Oyster Bay Deputy Supervisor Greg Carman is the Co-Chair of the Committee.  Members from the Hicksville Downtown Revitalization Committee on the committee include Lionel Chitty, Paul Molinari and Phil Heckler. Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander is a non-voting member on the committee.

Public input on these project priorities will occur through three public meetings with a timeline for completion of the investment analysis set for 6 months.

Constitutional Convention Could Impact “Home Rule”

Local residents, business owners and community leaders are becoming aware of the ballot initiative on the upcoming Constitutional Convention on the ballot this November 7.  We have heard positions from both sides, co-sponsored a debate with the Suffolk Chambers on the topic and heard input from regional leaders and folks in communities where we work.

While there are merits to a number of government reforms proposed by proponents of the measure - the risks outweigh the benefits.

There are two sets of concerns - one related to the potential changes from the convention the other related to the process of who decides these changes.

The biggest fear we have heard is the potential for the constitutional convention to make changes to varying municipal laws related to land use and zoning powers AKA "home rule".

While some special regional interests may want to see these decisions concentrated among a smaller cadre of elite decision makers it is our experience that Long Islander's are quite happy with development decisions being made by their local duly elected Town or Village representatives.

The other concerns we have heard include a slew of environmental and labor laws, some of which our 100 organization member LI Lobby Coalition have pushed for passage in recent years. The potential to undo recent gains is too great.

There is a major concern about the process of this Convention. The law maintains that three delegates per Senate District and a handful of at-large seats would exist. Statewide that is over 200 and on Long Island less than 30. Essentially you would put the power of reshaping government into the hands of roughly 30 "philosopher kings" who would decide what is best for Long Island. We already have elected members of the NYS Senate and Assembly who are charged with making these decisions.

The thoughtful reforms proponents of a convention bring forward deserve consideration in the upcoming legislative session but not with another layer of government.  We hear complaints now about the amount of activity underway at different levels of bigger, more removed governments that regular citizens are not privy to.  Another layer of government in Albany would only add to that distrust and confusion.  

Coalitions exist that contain local citizens and business owners throughout NYS on major issues and the proponents of the Constitutional Convention should take their agenda to Albany before our duly elected members of the Senate and Assembly.  We recognize that there are entrenched interests that may fight some of the common sense reforms but the increased attention from this “Con Con” debate will add fuel to their legislative reform efforts. 

The alternative to the existing annual legislative session is a convention process that could be manipulated by large donors, special interests and a robust concentration of power away from local communities and into the hands of a select few.  

To preserve local municipal power we hear local folks voting no on the Constitutional Convention.

-Eric Alexander, Director, Vision Long Island

You can view the op-ed at LIBN.

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.

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 drella@libn.com or at 631.913.4258.

LaunchPad Huntington to Host Startup Weekend November 17th – 19th

On November 17th through 19th LaunchPad Huntington will be helping out local entrepreneurs to take their business from concept to creation with their Startup Weekend Long Island event.

The event will cover basics for individuals looking to start up their own business and offers the chance to tap new resources, meet seasoned entrepreneurs, and network with people who work in and out of the tech field.  The weekend is part of a global event though LaunchPad Huntington is the only local site participating.

The event will start with dinner and networking before moving on to a weekend project built with a team, a 60-second pitch to an expert panel, and more.  The weekend-long event will be geared around professionals looking to develop skills for a career change.

You can get more information as well as a list of event judges, mentors, and coaches here.

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 hsimon@americawalks.org 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, climatechange@dec.ny.gov.

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 gguarton@addressthehomeless.org. Please do not call the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless regarding this position.  Questions should be submitted via email only.

Our Thoughts and Prayers are with the Victims and their Families of the Attack in Manhattan

New York City is still reeling from the first terrorist attack in the city since 9-11. At this time of tragedy and sorrow we cannot help but think of the victims, both those who will and will not be returning home, and the families affected by loss and harm. We will keep them in our thoughts and prayers and urge you to as well. We are all one region, one people, one country, and what hurts the least of us hurts all of us. May there be peace for the ones we lost and their families.

Smart Talk

Editor:
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 info@visionlongisland.org 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.
Email: info@visionlongisland.org

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