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October 30th- November 5th, 2016

Regional Updates

1st Equity Title & Closing Services

At 1st Equity Title & Closing Services we are here to help you. We appreciate the opportunity to learn more about your requirements, to earn your confidence and to establish an enduring business relationship. Our staff is committed to providing prompt courteous service and continues to develop innovative solutions to meet your everyday needs. We offer bundled settlement services and can negotiate liens/judgments on behave of your clients. We can order payoff letters or arrange an assignment of Mortgage from the older Lender on a transaction. In additon, we are able to offer significant discounts on such services as UPS, Fedx, Staples, At&t, Verizon, etc. to our existing clients. Speak to your account representative to find out more details.

1st Equity Title & Closing Services is an independent title agency working for you and your customers. Whether you’re dealing with a retail complex, condominium development or single-family home, we have the expertise, resources and people to move your real estate transaction forward.

“We have an extraordinary opportunity on Long Island – with 124 LIRR stations – to create denser development around them; to build dynamic downtowns with shops, office space, and housing; to ensure that the housing is available at a variety of price levels so that younger people, among others, can afford them. In doing that, we can focus development where we want it, create settings that will attract the business that we need, and preserve our vast expanse of single-family homes. ” - Pat Halpin, former Suffolk County Executive


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FIOS1 News Tours Revitalized Farmingdale Village

Vision was out last week in downtown Farmingdale with Fios1News reporter Cecilia Dowd listening to small business owners talk about the revitalization of the Village. Lithology Brewing Company, Vespa Italian Kitchen and upcoming Flux Coffee House were interviewed.

If almost all  of the parking spots are taken in a downtown, it’s likely a sign of a successful downtown revitalization. Plans to begin working on the revitalization of downtown Farmingdale started in 2006. “There were 26 vacancies,” said Vision’s Director Eric Alexander, speaking of the commercial vacancies in the downtown. “Once the plan was approved, and the first project came forward, and the housing project came forward, twenty three of the twenty six were filled.”

New venues such as Lithology Brewing Company and Vespa Italian Kitchen are doing well, with others looking to open, but there is still a lot of work left to be done on Long Island. “There are 60 downtowns that have downtown revitalization plans, forty of them are actually approving projects… so there are still 20 or so that haven’t moved forward with approvals and projects yet,” said Alexander. Areas such as downtown Baldwin, Lindenhurst and Freeport have begun to move on projects, as well as many others.

Kudos to the Mayor and the Village board for all of their efforts - clearly it is working. You can check out the story on Farmingdale Village here

Grand Opening of Liberty Landing in Ronkonkoma Assists Veterans

Concern for Independent Living held a Ribbon Cutting/Grand Opening Ceremony last week to celebrate the opening of Liberty Landing, a 59-unit supportive housing development for homeless veterans and families in need of affordable housing in Ronkonkoma. 30 units will be provided for homeless formally veterans, with the remainder available for low income families.

Liberty Landing is one of several projects undertaken by Concern for Independent Living to address housing needs on Long Island. In 2014 Concern opened Liberty Village, a 60-unit supportive housing project for homeless veterans and their families in Amityville.  Concern is currently in the construction phase of 123 units of supportive and affordable housing in Middle Island and is in the development stage of 96 units of supportive and affordable housing in Hempstead. The grand opening of Liberty Landing builds on $21.6 million the Governor recently announced to create 265 supportive homes for homeless Veterans and their families. This is part of a $10 billion commitment to build affordable housing and combat homelessness. Last month, Governor Cuomo directed New York State Division of the Budget Director Robert Mujica to execute a memorandum of understanding to release $2 billion in funding to advance the creation of more than 100,000 units of affordable and supportive housing over the next five years. The executed agreement is now before the New York State Senate and Assembly for action.

“We have been very fortunate to have the support of Governor Cuomo and the three state agencies that helped make Liberty Landing a reality.  Together with Suffolk County, NEF, Bank of America and The Community Preservation Corporation we have created housing that matches the pride that we have for the Veterans who have served our country,” said Ralph Fasano, Executive Director of Concern for Independent Living, Inc.

Located on the site of a former nursing home on Portion Road, Liberty Landing includes one- and two-bedroom apartments and an on-site community building with exercise room, computer room and community room. Funding for this project was provided by NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH), NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), Suffolk County, Bank of America, National Equity Fund, The Community Preservation Corporation, and The Home Depot Foundation.

“It is important to give our veterans a hand up in times of trouble,” said Assemblyman Al Graf.  “These men and women who selflessly volunteered to protect the freedoms we hold dear, sometimes return with both physical and non-visible scars from their deployments.  This project is a step in the right direction in honoring a commitment to our returning veterans.”

You can learn more about Liberty Landing’s opening here, and see other housing opportunities from Concern for Independent living here

Mixed-use Development in Huntington Station Seeking Masons & Excavators

BGRDNorthridge, LLC (BGRD) is anticipating breaking ground on their brand new commercial/residential building on November 22, 2016. BGRDNorthridge,LLC is seeking qualified Masons & Site Excavators to receive plans and submit proposals on the foundation, retaining walls, site clearing, site grading, & drainage installation.

The Northridge Project’s first phase would include a 22,599 square foot mixed-use building on town-owned property at the intersection of Northridge Street and New York Avenue, bringing retail, residential, and commercial space to the area. BGRD and its contractors have a good faith requirement under the Community Benefits Agreement to hire 25% locally.

Those interested in submitting a bid must do so by November 10th. You can click here to view the full RFP, submit a bid, and to learn more about the Northridge project. Contractors within other trades who would like to be contacted in the future about additional opportunities can also click above to submit their information.

200 Transit-Oriented Development Units Possible in Smithtown

Smithtown Central School District is looking to sell some underutilized property within walking distance of the busy Smithtown LIRR station, in the heart of a downtown that is trying to undergo revitalization.

During their Oct. 25 meeting, the Board of Education approved entering into a contract with Southern Land Company, LLC for the sale of the district’s New York Avenue property (the building structure and surrounding land). Currently, the building is being utilized for district offices, has an adult education center and ballfields.

It is anticipated that SLC will build one- and two-bedroom apartments in keeping with the architectural style of Smithtown. Though still in the early stages of the contract, if finalized, the district would receive the greater of $71,000 per approved unit or $14,768,000 for the sale of the building. As part of the contract, there is a 75-day “due diligence” period, during which SLC has the right to back out of the purchase.

The Board of Education and administration believe that the proposed use of the property is one that would benefit the school community. If finalized, the sale will potentially expand our tax base, lowering the burden on our residents, and provide additional resources to enhance our educational programs, according to the school Superintendent Dr. James Grossane.

Rezoning would need to take place, as the parcel is currently zoned for four residential units per acre, with some of the area zoned for business. The builder plans to build a sewage treatment plant on site to serve the apartments, which could help the area, since Smithtown and Kings Park are competing against funds for connectivity to the existing Suffolk County Sewer District 6.

You can read more about the potential project from the Smithtown School District’s website, and in Long Island Business News

Canstruction Long Island Holds 2016 Event to Creatively Fight Hunger with Art

Vision joined Canstruction Long Island last week at RXR Plaza in Uniondale, with Vision’s Director Eric Alexander participating as a guest juror. Canstruction Long Island is an opportunity for professionals to network and build business relationships, for college students to meet and work with potential employers, and for K-12 students to fulfill their community service requirements, all while showing off their talent and creativity, having great fun and helping to feed the hungry on Long Island.

Every Team must have an architect or an engineer mentoring them, and teams are responsible for obtaining all of the cans they will need to build their structure. Cans can be obtained by holding a food drive, approaching grocery stores or food distributorships and asking for can donations, and by soliciting cash donations from vendors you work with, friends and family. At the close of the Exhibit, all of the structures are disassembled and the cans are donated to The Interfaith Nutrition Network (INN), Island Harvest Food Bank and Long Island Cares, Inc., The Harry Chapin Food Bank and The NEST at Nassau Community College for distribution to food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, group homes, day treatment facilities, senior nutrition sites and day care centers in Nassau and Suffolk.

This year’s juror’s favorite award went to H2M Architects + Engineers for “Found Dory, Now Let’s Find a Solution to Hunger”.  Also awarded were Lines & Designs 3-D for “Best Use of Labels”, John W. Baumgarten Architect P.C. for “Structural Integrity”, the Youth Group of Temple Israel for “Best Meal” and “Most Cans”, Friends Academy for “Best CANfiguration” and “juror’s Favorite”.

These and the other amazing sculptures will be on display at RXR Plaza in Uniondale from 8AM-6PM daily until November 13th. You can see some of the sculptures created in a slideshow from Newsday, and also learn more about Canstruction Long Island here

$20 Million Made Available for New York Landbanks

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman this week announced $20 million in new funding, to be administered by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. (Enterprise), for New York State land banks that are working to protect homeowners and neighborhoods across the state by acquiring blighted homes and transforming them into community assets.

“New York’s land banks have successfully empowered communities across the state to rebuild and revitalize neighborhoods hit hard by the foreclosure crisis,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “I’m proud that the funding my office helped secure this year in settlements with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs will now make it possible to support nearly double the number of land banks across the state, and deliver much-needed support to homeowners in New York.”

Since 2013, the Attorney General’s office has provided more than $33 million to land banks with funding secured through settlements with the nation’s largest banks over misconduct that contributed to the housing crisis. This latest funding, made possible by settlements announced earlier this year with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, will be offered through a competitive Request for Proposals to the state’s original 10 land banks, including Nassau and Suffolk, as well as the newest eight land banks which have formed in the last year and which are located primarily in rural communities throughout upstate New York. Applications for this round of funding are due by November 30th.

This latest round of funding comes as a new report from the A.G.’s office finds that the $33 million invested in the state’s original 10 land banks since 2013 has resulted in substantial benefits for homeowners and communities. In the past three years alone, these ten land banks have reclaimed 1,995 properties from abandonment and blight; returned 701 properties to the market and put them back in productive use; and demolished 409 unstable structures.

By stabilizing, renovating, or demolishing formerly blighted properties, the New York State land banks are saving an estimated $19 million in property value for surrounding homes, according to estimates by the A.G.’s office. This estimation is based on the average housing density and property values for the counties covered by each land bank, and on a study of property value loss for homes within 500 feet of blighted properties. On average, homes within 500 feet of blighted properties lose approximately $5,000 in value per blighted property in that radius. By transferring vacant and abandoned properties to responsible land owners, local governments benefit because they avoid the significant cost burden of property maintenance, such as mowing and snow removal. In addition, local governments benefit from increased revenue because the new owners pay taxes on the properties. In turn, local schools benefit because they receive more funding when there is an increase in the number of property owners in their school districts. Land bank programs can also increase the variety of mixed-income housing offered and provide more opportunities for affordable housing.

You can view the Attorney General’s most recent report on land banks here

Huntington Small Business Seminar Helps Those “Charting the Course”

Business owners and professionals in the Huntington attended a seminar this week, hosted by Suffolk County Legislator William “Doc” Spencer and Town Supervisor Frank Petrone, to help local businesses gain access to the wide array of services available on the town, county and state levels.

Leg. William Spencer, a sponsor of the event, said he aimed to “open up dialogue on how to better address the challenges faced by our local businesses. We want the business community to know that they are important to the fabric of our community and that there are programs and services designed to help them start-up, grow and succeed,” he said.

Speakers included Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini, Astoria Bank's Robert Moore, small business owner Patty Flores Romales, Renaissance Downtown's Ryan Porter, Robert Fonti from the Suffolk Alliance of Chambers and the host Phil Rugile from Launchpad Huntington. 

Vision's Director moderated a panel on small business resources with LI Business News's David Winzelberg, H2M Group Vice President and Huntington Chamber President Robert Schiener, NYS Department of Labor's Pam Bedford and Michael Cohen, NYS Minority and Business Development's Ibrahima Souare, Suffolk County Economic Development and IDA's Regina Zare and Kelly Morris, and Suffolk County Department of Health's Craig Knepper.

Resources for the small business community included grants, technical assistance on business operations, regulatory compliance and marketing assistance. A robust conversation emerged on the challenges face with the Suffolk County Health Department and the many fees and costs and regulations associated with owning/operating a small business.  Other issues addressed included traffic, parking, new technologies, energy costs and cyber crimes.  Direct contact and access to folks who can help guide businesses through tough processes was achieved with this session.

The first “Charting the Course” conference took place in June at Suffolk County Community College at the Selden Campus, featuring opportunities for local and regional businesses and County and State services to network. Local Chamber of Commerce members, Business Improvement Districts and representatives from local villages Northport, Asharoken, Huntington Bay and Lloyd Harbor were invited to attend.

Design Professionals of Long Island Hold 19th Annual Dinner

Vision joined the Design Professionals Coalition of Long Island this week as they held their 19th Annual Dinner at Millridge Cottage in Jericho. Speakers  discussed Smart Growth on Long Island and the progress that is transforming downtowns, villages and communities into vibrant destinations that are more livable, economically sustainable and environmentally responsible.

Speakers reviewed their experiences with successfully completed downtown redevelopments, those currently under development and plans and opportunities for the future. Topics  included holistic and comprehensive community-driven downtown revitalization, mixed use, mixed income and transit oriented development, infrastructure, public transportation, redevelopment and open space preservation.

Speakers included Don Monti, President and CEO of Renaissance Downtowns, and Eric Alexander, Director of Vision Long Island, who discussed upcoming projects as well as those that have been completed and those that are underway.  You can learn more about the Design Professionals Coalition of Long Island by clicking here to see their website.

Firewall needed from Washington divisiveness

The following op-ed was written by Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander and appears in Long Island Business News, which you can read here.

Folks are going to the polls in a few days reacting to a campaign defined by personal attacks and vitriol where it seems both candidates have written off large swaths of the electorate. Someone will win and the real work begins. We need our local Congressional delegation to work across party lines to provide a firewall from the divisiveness and post-election fallout that will distract the public from real issues where the federal government can actually help our local communities and business districts.

The LI Business Council and the Nassau & Suffolk Chambers of Commerce recently came together with six of the eight major party candidates to discuss this very topic. There was a serious focus on policy and regulations, quite the antithesis to the reality show themes exhibited in this year’s Presidential contest.

The LI economy is poised to grow with investments in the health care and tech sectors, growth in our downtowns, energy, transit and sewer projects.  Here is a sampling of needed actions in Washington from local small businesses and folks creating downtown redevelopment and infrastructure:

Lack of Federal investment in infrastructure has plagued past projects like the former Nassau Coliseum Lighthouse project or upgrades to Nassau sewer plants.  In 2015, as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the federal government created two new financing options for development near transit: Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans, through the U.S. DOT, and Railroad Rehabilitation Innovative Financing (RRIF) loans, through the Federal Railroad Administration.  Unlike TIGER grants that never make it to our region these programs should invest in LI.

There are not enough funds from the State or our counties, given their precarious finances, to invest in needed water and sewer projects.  The Water Resources Development Act should be in place to invest in our infrastructure and promote environmental restoration.

For Main Street businesses the Small Business Savings Accounts legislation should be passed and SBA reform would help provide better access to those loan programs.

For affordable housing access change the FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac regulations that deny loan guarantees for multi-family projects that are six stories or less – precisely the height that works in LI downtowns.  Ensuring that the Low Income Housing Tax Credit is a permanent part of the tax code will also bring affordable housing to more communities.

Other issues include energy tax credits, mandate relief, minority business lending, getting Sandy dollars to impacted communities and improving educational quality. Concerns about the $15-an-hour minimum wage came up repeatedly along with health care costs for employees as the Affordable Care Act is anything but affordable.

Lastly local control is critical. When municipalities do receive funding they need authority to innovate and find flexible solutions to carry out their projects.  Also we have at least two dozen regional plans so limit investment in top-down planning efforts.

There is some hope.  Through the work of our Congressional delegation and Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Sandy Relief Act and Transportation Fast Act have provided new resources for transit, water and sewer upgrades.  In addition the platforms of the current Congressional candidates have been in sync with these priorities.

If the partisanship and special interests force us to stay divided let’s keep the division in Washington and on the cable news networks, not here at home.  Long Island communities working collaboratively with our federal representatives might be able to provide some examples of how to navigate through the toxicity that exists on a national and regional level.   There’s an idea worth voting for.

Op Ed by Pat Halpin

The following opinion piece originally published in Long Island Business News by Vision Board member and former Suffolk County Executive Patrick Halpin:

Mixed-use developments sprang up around train stations on Long Island more than 100 years ago. That’s where Long Island needs to go again. And two even older vehicles are perfectly suited to get us there: participatory government and the Long Island Rail Road.

Those of us who are regular commuters into New York City tend to notice the shortcomings of the LIRR, but it’s an extraordinary asset that other suburban areas of the nation wish they had. Its 124 stations provide a vast network that connects our communities to the business capital of the world, while letting us live in smaller settings over which we can have more control.

Local control is something we cherish, but it has to be adaptable, rather than static, for the region to thrive. As the world changes, Long Islanders – like everyone else – want things that are different, and we have to provide enough of it to be competitive.

I see that in my own family, where my adult daughter Christina has moved into an apartment in New York City, because she thinks about housing and transportation differently. She pays a lot of money to rent a studio near her job, but she doesn’t have to buy, maintain, and insure a car; she avoids the cost and time of commuting, and she lives in a vibrant setting surrounded by friends and entertainment.

Long Island will always offer a distinctly different lifestyle, and it should. But if we don’t offer some of what younger people want, they won’t be living here. Interestingly, despite the well-documented exodus of young people from Long Island, a majority of Long Islanders aged 18-34 can imagine themselves or a family member living in a local downtown area, according to the Long Island Index.

In another instance, a friend of mine bought a condominium complex in Amityville within walking distance of the train station. Most of the people buying the units there are life-long Long Islanders looking to downsize. As the Long Island Index reports, 29 percent of Long Islanders say that they want to live in an apartment, condo, or townhouse in five years. They, too, want to live differently.

What’s striking to me, as a former elected official, is how complex the dynamic is at the moment between elected officials and constituents on the issue of denser development. We cherish our single-family homes, but we want more options. We want to adapt, but we don’t want too much change. We want our elected officials to lead, but not be too far out in front. It’s complicated territory to navigate.

That’s one of the reasons that some of our smaller communities have become especially innovative mini-laboratories of downtown development. The villages of Mineola, Patchogue, and Westbury are great examples. In smaller settings, elected officials are more closely connected to the communities they serve and can better align themselves with changing aspirations.

That’s where the LIRR stations come in again, because mixed-use development around them is both innovative and historical. It’s the future without breaking from the past.
What’s crucial is for public officials to work early on with representatives of communities and developers together to achieve good planning. Too often, in the past, developers have come up with ideas and then presented them to the public. That caused resentment and a perception that public involvement only came after a project was a fait accompli.

With community engagement from the outset, the plans that emerge enable elected officials to be supportive and developers to be responsive. They in turn produce projects that both look good on paper and get built.

We have an extraordinary opportunity on Long Island – with 124 LIRR stations – to create denser development around them; to build dynamic downtowns with shops, office space, and housing; to ensure that the housing is available at a variety of price levels so that younger people, among others, can afford them. In doing that, we can focus development where we want it, create settings that will attract the business that we need, and preserve our vast expanse of single-family homes.

That’s an exciting future for Long Island – and one that will benefit all Long Islanders. So let’s get moving and make it happen.

Donations and Volunteers Needed for Babylon Ends Hunger

On Saturday, November 5th, the Babylon Rotary Club is organizing its first Babylon Ends Hunger Program in order to help feed the hungry in the community.

In addition to collecting donations, the program hopes to enlist dozens of volunteers to spend two hours each packaging nutritious meal packets. This year’s goal is to package at least 30,000 meals for distribution to local soup kitchens and food pantries, as well as those less fortunate in Haiti, through Friar Supporters.

You can register to volunteer or donate here or contact Megan Noble at (631) 661-5300 for more information. 

Hofstra University to Host Suburban Sustainability Symposium

The Hofstra Cultural Center in conjunction with the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra Center will be hosting a Suburban Sustainbility Symposium on Thursday, November 10, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the Guthart Cultural Center Theater, Axinn Library, First Floor, South Campus.

The suburbs are not often thought of as places where sustainable practices thrive. Yet, there are examples all over the United States where suburban communities are making great strides. Symposium speakers include a range of experts who are working on real-world solutions to suburban sustainability challenges within the realm of environment, economic development, social equity and suburban politics. Schedule is as follows:

John Cameron, Long Island Regional Planning Council

James Gennaro, New York City Department of Environmental Conservation; Bernadette Martin, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County; Neal Lewis, Molloy College; and Dr. Christa Farmer, Hofstra University

Geri Solomon, Long Island Studies Institute; Lisa Ott, North Shore Land Alliance; Eric Alexander, Vision Long Island; and Sammy Chu, Green Building Council

Moderated by Diane Masciale, WLIW21 with Henrietta Davis, Former Mayor, Cambridge, MA; Dr. Ronald Loveridge, Former Mayor, Riverside, CA; and Jack Schnirman, City Manager, Long Beach, NY
* RSVP Required. Seating is limited.

William Achnitz, Community Development Corporation of Long Island; Dr. Martine Hackett and Dr. Christopher Niedt, Hofstra University; and Dr. Viney Aneja, North Carolina State University


Admission is FREE and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Hofstra Cultural Center at 516-463-5669 or visit

6th Annual Gold Coast International Film Festival November 10-15

An absolute must for movie buffs, the Gold Coast Arts Center is excited to announce the Sixth Annual Gold Coast International Film Festival returns to the Great Neck area on November 10th through November 15th, kicking off a six day celebration highlighting the importance of film and the arts in eight locations.

The Plaza will be a part of this celebration, as will Bow Tie Squires Cinemas, located at 115 Middle Neck Road, will be hosting several special screenings and events that you surely will not want to miss. 

On Sunday, November 13th, movie lovers will be able to take in a triple feature of flicks, two documentaries - one about a renowned photographer who has shot some of the biggest names in our lifetime, and the other, the role of comedy in discussing tragedy, - as well as an Academy Award-nominated film. 

Starting the festivities on the 13th, at 12 Noon, The Policeman tells the story of Azulai, a policeman in Jaffa, who is beloved by everyone who knows him - police colleagues and the criminals on his patrol. The only problem; Azulai is completely ineffectual at law enforcement! Winner of a Golden Globe and an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film in 1972, The Policeman is the comical story of Azulai's superiors who want him to go and the criminals who want to keep him around. Prior to the screening, movie-goers are invited for a 'Bagel Nosh' at 11 a.m. at the Gold Coast Arts Center, with complimentary bagels courtesy of Best Bagel and Bagel Hut of Great Neck. Following the screening, there will be a special screening with Dr. Amir Kishon, son of the legendary satirist Ephraim Kishon, the film's director, and Director at the Kishon Cultural Estate. 

Several local restaurants will be offering specials during the festival, with the Village of Great Neck Plaza’s Restaurant week running until November 13th for even more options, and Friday November 11th will feature a Family Film Day, where adults are free when the children attend.  There are several ticket options available, including an all-access pass for the entire event, and multi-ticket options. You can see the entire calendar of events for the festival and purchase passes by visiting their website, and check out their Facebook page for updates

2016 Celebration of Suburban Diversity

The 2016 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.

The Honoree this year is Jean Kelly, Interfaith nutrition network

For more information, please call (516) 463-9770

Attention Baldwin Residents: Public Input Session for the Baldwin Downtown and Commercial Corridor

On November 16th, Nassau County will be holding a public input session for the Baldwin Downtown and Commercial Corridor Resiliency Study.  The study seeks to improve both physical resiliency in the face of future storms as well as economic resiliency in the Baldwin community with a focus on its main commercial corridors including Grand Avenue, Milburn Avenue, Sunrise Highway, Merrick Road and Atlantic Avenue. The study is being led by VHB, with Vision Long Island on the consultant team, and the meeting will be an open house format in the Baldwin High School cafeteria from 7-9pm.  For more information please visit:

Attention Hicksville Residents: Update Meeting on Proposed Rezoning Nov. 17th

On November 17th, the Town of Oyster Bay will be hosting a meeting to update the public on the proposed zoning changes to the downtown area of Hicksville.  Vision has been working with the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce and the Hicksville Civic organizations since 2010 to develop a Downtown Revitalization Action Plan to improve the area surrounding the train station.  Revisions to the existing zoning were among the many recommendations in the plan.  The meeting will be at Hicksville High School in Cafeteria A at 7pm. Click here for more information.

Upcoming Huntington Community Summit on Rental Housing

The Huntington Township Housing Coalition and the League of Women Voters of Huntington will be hosting a Community Summit on Rental Housing on Saturday, November 19th from 8:30AM-12PM.

Keeping Our Young People in Huntington: The Need for Affordable Rental Housing and Downtown Revitalization  will continue the Town-wide conversation on the need for affordable rental housing that began with Ruland Road and then the HTHC public education campaign, raise awareness and strategize next steps to secure Town Board support.

The Opening Plenary, Cool Downtowns Are Needed and Possible, will feature Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri as the Keynote Speaker, describing the success Patchogue’s revitalization with its emphasis on affordable housing. The Reaction Panel, moderated my Dr. Richard Koubek of the Suffolk County Welfare to Work Commission, will include Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone, Peter Elkowitz of LIHP, Mitch Pally of LIBI, Russell Albanese of the Albanese Organization, and Elissa Kyle from Vision Long Island.

Three breakout sessions (Youth Flight from Huntington, Political and Decision-making Resources for Creating Affordable Rental Housing, and Density and Multifamily Housing: Coping with Sewage, Traffic and Water Conservation) will take place before the Closing Plenary.

Admission to this event, which will take place at the Cinema Arts Centre, is free.

For more information or to register, please click here.

Funding and Technical Assistance Opportunities from EPA and NPS

Local Foods, Local Places 2016-2017 Application

Applications due by November 6, 2016.

Local Foods, Local Places helps communities create more livable neighborhoods by promoting local foods. The program is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Delta Regional Authority.

The Local Foods, Local Places program will provide selected communities planning assistance that centers around a two-day community workshop. At the workshop, a team of experts will help community members develop an implementable action plan that promotes local food and neighborhood revitalization. Eligible applicants include local governments, Indian tribes, and nonprofit institutions and organizations proposing to work in a neighborhood, town, or city of any size anywhere in the United States. We expect that many of the communities we select will be economically challenged and in the early phases of their efforts to promote local foods and community revitalization.

Healthy Places for Healthy People

Applications due by November 6, 2016.

Healthy Places for Healthy People helps communities create walkable, healthy, economically vibrant places by engaging with their health care facility partners such as community health centers (including Federally Qualified Health Centers), nonprofit hospitals, and other health care facilities. The pilot phase of this program is sponsored by EPA and the Appalachian Regional Commission. Healthy Places for Healthy People will provide selected communities with expert planning assistance that centers around a two-day community workshop. A team of experts will help community members develop an implementable action plan that will focus on health as an economic driver and catalyst for downtown and neighborhood revitalization.

Eligible applicants include local government representatives, health care facilities, local health departments, neighborhood associations, main street districts, nonprofit organizations, tribes and others proposing to work in a neighborhood, town, or city located anywhere in the United States. Applications that include representatives from both the community (local government or non-governmental organization) and a health care facility will receive special consideration.

Cool & Connected Fall 2016 Application

Applications due by November 6, 2016.

Communities interested in using broadband service to revitalize main streets and promote economic development are encouraged to apply for Cool & Connected, a planning program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities. Through Cool & Connected, a team of experts will help community members develop strategies and an action plan for using broadband service to promote smart, sustainable community development. Eligibility:

  *   Any community representative is welcome to submit an application to participate in Cool & Connected.
  *   Special consideration will be given to small towns and rural communities that face economic challenges.
  *   Special consideration will be given to communities in places where USDA has provided loans or grants in support of broadband services.
  *   Your community should have existing or anticipated broadband service that can be leveraged for community development.

Preservation Technology and Training Grants

Applications due November 3, 2016.

Funding Opportunity Number: P16AS00579

2017 Preservation Technology and Training Grants are intended to create better tools, better materials, and better approaches to conserving buildings, landscapes, sites, and collections. The competitive grants program will provide funding to federal agencies, states, tribes, local governments, and non-profit organizations. Grants will support the following activities:

  *   Innovative research that develops new technologies or adapts existing technologies to preserve cultural resources (typically $25,000 to $40,000)
  *   Specialized workshops or symposia that identify and address national preservation needs (typically $15,000 to $25,000)
  *   How-to videos, mobile applications, podcasts, best practices publications, or webinars that disseminate practical preservation methods or provide better tools for preservation practice (typically $5,000 to $15,000)

The maximum grant award is $40,000. The actual grant award amount is dependent on the scope of the proposed activity.

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.

Park & Trail Partnership Program

Parks & Trails New York (PTNY) and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), with support from Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature, are pleased to announce the second round of competitive grants through the NYS Park and Trail Partnership Program. This program is open to Friends organizations that support New York State parks, trails and state historic sites and is administered by PTNY, in partnership with OPRHP.

The Park and Trail Partnership Program is a $500,000 capacity-building matching grants program funded through the NYS Environmental Protection Fund. The program is designed to enhance the preservation, stewardship, interpretation, maintenance and promotion of New York State parks, trails and state historic sites; increase the sustainability, effectiveness, productivity, and volunteer and fundraising capabilities of not-for-profit organizations that promote, maintain, and support New York State parks, trails and state historic sites; and promote the tourism and economic development benefits of outdoor recreation through the growth and expansion of a connected statewide network of parks, trails and greenways.

Applications are due by December 2nd, 2016, and there is a 25% match for the grant. For more information and to apply, click here

$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

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.

Solar Roadways, a start-up company that aims to change the way sidewalks and roadways are underutilized, recently unveiled its first public installation in a downtown plaza in the resort town of Sandpoint, Idaho: 150 square feet of hexagon-shaped solar panels that people can walk and bicycle on.

Solar Roadways has a U.S. patent for its solar pavers and is the only company receiving federal highway research funds in pursuit of such a product.

The company has received three grants from the Federal Highway Administration to help move the technology from the drawing board to the public installation, and is the only company to receive such funding. Additionally, competitive funding was awarded by GE. Now it's working on proof that the tempered glass panels are strong enough and have enough traction to handle motor vehicles, including semitrailers. The current technology being tested includes LED sensors that light up when weight is detected, and additional engineering is underway to eventually allow the panels to charge electric vehicles.

You can check out a time-lapse video of the first installation and implementation of the solar sidewalks in a downtown here

Smart Talk

Newsletter Contributors:
Eric Alexander, 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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