Nov. 1-7, 2014
Sustainability Institute At Molloy College
Long Island's first-ever venture housing sustainability education and policy analysis within an academic institution, the Sustainability Institute team, headed by Executive Director Neal Lewis, formerly of the Neighborhood Network, provides community education and advocacy on key issues related to sustainability. There is also a student education component, including classes taught by Sustainability Institute staff.
Molloy College launched the Sustainability Institute as part of its ongoing commitment to serving as "the public square" for debate and discussion on the key issues of sustainability. These issues affect not only their students, but the greater communities within which we all live and work. Through education and policy analysis, as well as by encouraging informed dialogue and respectful debate among parties with diverse viewpoints, they hope to help drive solutions that will serve "the common good."
“The results of this election mean that Democrats and Republicans will both have a say in the decisions that will impact New York’s future, and we will all be far better off for it.” State Senator Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre)
“I believe that there is much more we must do to make government more transparent and accountable to you. I will make sure government spends your tax dollars wisely. I will keep a bulls-eye on public corruption. And I will do everything in my power to protect the retirement benefits of more than one million New Yorkers who depend on our pension system for retirement security." Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli (D)
"In Congress, I will fight tirelessly every day to restore the American dream for my family and yours by working to grow our economy and create good paying private sector jobs, securing our borders and America's interests abroad, fighting for our veterans who have fought for us, repealing and replacing Obamacare and improving the quality of education in our schools." State Senator Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley)
“I'm going to Washington to fight for you... to help get something done.” Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice (D)
“I think of this as a four-year opportunity that’s being given to me to come back into public service and to have an impact during those four years.” Lieutenant Governor-elect Kathy Hochul (D)
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RSVP Now For The Smart Growth Summit
The Smart Growth Summit has brought together thousands of local business and community leaders, and municipal officials for more than a decade to advance downtown redevelopment and bring infrastructre dollars to our region. This year's event features 24 workshop panels, a youth summit, trade show, and both breakfast and lunch sessions. We anticipate over 1,100 in attendence. Lunch will sell out, so sponsor early!
Announcing this year's Event Schedule:
8:15-9:45 MORNING PLENARY:
“STATE OF THE TOWNS & VILLAGES”
Hon. Antonio Martinez
Hon. Ed Ambrosino
Hon. Jim Wooten
Hon. Peter Cavallaro
NC Village Officials Association
|Fair Housing/Segregation on LI
Housing discrimination still exists on Long Island in certain neighborhoods. This workshop will provide updates on fair housing policies and strategies to address them. This group of speakers includes developers, housing nonprofits and elected officials.
Sol Marie Jones, LI Community Foundation
Dr. Richard Koubek, Huntington Township Housing Coalition
Peter Florey, D&F Development
Hon. Siela Bynoe, Nassau County
Michelle Santantonio, Long Island Housing Services
Larry Levy, Hofstra University, Moderator
Youth Vision for LI’s Future
The Brain Drain has become old news – some young professionals are fleeing Long Island. Limited, expensive housing options, lack of jobs and a shortage of entertainment are common complaints. This panel will take input from several millennials and members of the LI Youth Summit and identify solutions.
Jeff Giullot, Millennial Development Institute
David Viana, Baldwin Civic Association
Elisabeth Muehlemann, Friends of LI
Dr. Nathalia Rogers, Dowling College, Moderator
Main Street has been transformed across Long Island. Downtown shop owners and chambers of commerce representatives will discuss what opportunities and best practices exist for healthy shopping districts in this discussion.
Melissa Wawrzonek, Clipper Ship Tea Company
Julie Marchesella, Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce
Gina Colletti, Nesconset Chamber of Commerce
Molly McKay, Willdan Financial Services
Bob Feldman, Basser-Kaufman, Moderator
Police officers can prevent crime on Main Street, but they’re not the only ones. Adding pedestrians to downtowns improves overall safety, as can community organizations, youth programs and private security systems. Representatives from both, as well as a retired SCPD chief, will speak in this panel.
Robert Dubrow, I-Tech Security
Sergio Argueta, STRONG
Lionel Chitty, Hicksville Chamber of Commerce
Elizabeth Isakson MD, Docs for Tots
Robert Moore, SC Police Retired, Moderator
Downtown Showcase Nassau
What’s happening in Nassau County? Elected officials from four communities with strong downtowns will give updates on current and future projects. Complete Streets projects are a highlight in Great Neck Plaza, while the arts are alive in Westbury with the Space at Westbury attracting high-end performances and the Greater Westbury Council for the Arts organizing community events. Mineola officials showed off new housing options during the first Smart Growth Saturday in May. Meanwhile, Freeport officials are promoting the Nautical Mile while trying create redevelopment and entice more pedestrians near Sunrise Highway
Hon. Jean Celender, Village of Great Neck Plaza
Hon. Peter Cavallaro, Village of Westbury
Hon. Jorge Martinez, Village of Freeport
Hon. Joseph Scalero, Village of Mineola
Sal Coco, BHC
John O’Connell, Herald Publications, Moderator
Over the past several decades, our streets have gone from public spaces shared by all members of society to get from place to place, to cars only spaces, engineered for speed without much consideration for other users or the surrounding context. Complete Streets provide space for all users of the roadway: drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and the disabled, to safely use the road. They can also serve not only as parts of the transportation network, but as public spaces that add value to the surrounding area. Learn about Complete Streets policy and design for Long Island.
Will Stoner, AARP
Ali Adelman Wendel Companies
Frank Pearson, Greenman Pedersen
Kimberly Pettit, BikeLid
John Massengale, Author, Street Design, The Secret to Great Cities and Towns
Veronica Vanderpool, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Moderator
Transit Oriented Development creates nodes of walkable development in areas surrounding transit stops. This mixed use development may not always fit into the prescribed financing categories banks use for lending. Learn about different, innovative ways to help finance this type of development to eliminate one of the hurdles to creating more livable, sustainable places.
Bob Paley, MTA
Andrew Saluk, NEFCU
Matt Frank, The Richman Group
Bill Purschke, Zodiac Title Services
Gerry Bogacz, NYMTC
Anthony Mannetta, Standard Advisors Group
Renewable energy and energy efficiency are a crucial part of fueling our economy without causing irreparable damage to our climate and environment. Learn about ways that Long Islanders can better utilize a range of renewable energy sources.
Clint Plummer, Deepwater Wind
David Scheiren, Empower Solar
Beth Fiteni, NYSERDA
Hon. Connie Kepert, Town of Brookhaven, Moderator
Economic Development & Infrastructure Suffolk
Infrastructure are one of the key ways that government can help spur economic development. Infrastructure can allow businesses to thrive by allowing for growth, providing efficient transportation between locations, and creating public spaces that enhance the value of their surroundings. Learn what Suffolk County is doing to help businesses thrive within the county particularly in aiding Smart Growth projects in our downtowns and the creation of new town centers.
Hon. DuWayne Gregory, Presiding Officer, Suffolk County
Joanne Mineri, Suffolk County IDA
David Calone, Suffolk Planning Commission
Bob Fonti, LI Business Council
Workshops II: 11:10-12:20
In the wake of Smart Growth Saturday, a number of downtowns are capitalizing on opportunities to strengthen and grow their communities. Patchogue officials will touch on new housing options and entertainment options, like the Emporium and the Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts. Bay Shore had been a rough town not too long ago, but a focus on a safe and appealing downtown helped attract tenants to new apartment buildings. And in Coram, construction is underway on Wincoram Commons. The extensive mixed-use project will create a much-needed community center and connect to another new housing development.
Hon. Paul Pontieri, Village of Patchogue
Larry Gargano, Greenview Properties, Bayshore
Erma Gluck, Coram Civic Association
Dan Schrafel, The Long Islander, Moderator
Tourism & Downtowns
With beautiful beaches, the Hamptons on one end and New York City on the other, why leave the region when it’s time to vacation? Long Island is a community of communities, each with their own identity and opportunities. Villages and downtown communities offer a wide variety of boutique shops and restaurants to enjoy. Listen to tourism experts, a municipality’s tourism boss and a videographer who’s featured a number of the island’s towns on screen in this workshop.
Kim Kaiman, Town of North Hempstead
Dr. Janice Scarinci, St. Josephs College
Karen Harding, THEM Media
Greg Zeller, LI Business News, Moderator
Jobs, Taxes, Small Business
Job development is the no. 1 issue facing Long Islanders. This panel of employers, business incubators, nonprofits and elected officials will discuss opportunities in downtowns and the proposed NYS small business savings legislation.
William Wahlig, LIFT
Tyler Roye, Launchpad Huntington
Kamlesh Mehta, South Asian Times
Tonya Lewter, New Millenium Development
Hon. George Maragos, Comptroller, Nassau County
Roger Clayman, LI Federation of Labor, Moderator
Future of Energy on Long Island
How will Long Island meet its future energy needs? Hear from leaders in the energy industry on Long Island how Long Island will move forward with managing our energy supply.
Michael Voltz, PSEG
Sean Mongan, National Grid
Ross Ain, Caithness Energy
Neal Lewis, Sustainability Institute at Molloy, Moderator
Long Island has the most highly used commuter transit system in the world. However, Long Islanders need transit to travel around the island, not just into the city. Learn about what is being done to improve transit island-wide.
Mitch Pally, MTA
Alex Matheissen, Move NY
Anita Halasz, LI Jobs with Justice
Rosemary Mascali, Transit Solutions
John McNally, Energeia Partnership
Jill Simonson, Southwest Airlines
Denise Carter, Greenman Pedersen, Moderator
Water quality is an issue that affects all Long Islanders. Living above our water supply presents challenges to keeping it safe for us to drink. Learn what is being done to help protect our groundwater and surface waters while still allowing for growth on Long Island.
Dennis Kellerer, H2M
Gary Rozmus, GEI
Peter Scully, NYS DEC
Dr. Chris Gobler, SUNY Stonybrook
Adrienne Esposito, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Moderator
Our health is impacted in many ways by the environment in which we live. Those who live in walkable communities tend to have lower obesity rates, and better health than those who are stuck driving to every destination. Learn how your community can affect your lifestyle and subsequently your health.
Hon. Laura Curran, Nassau County
Hon. Dr. William Spencer, Suffolk County
Kathy Munsch, American Heart Association
Jen O’Connor, Council for Strong Communities
Rev. Thomas Goodhue, LI Council of Churches
Bernadette Martin, Friends & Farmers, Moderator
Economic Development & Infrastructure Nassau
Infrastructure is one of the key ways that government can help spur economic development. Infrastructure can allow businesses to thrive by allowing for growth, providing efficient transportation between locations, and creating public spaces that enhance the value of their surroundings. Learn what Nassau County is doing to help businesses thrive within the county.
Hon. Norma Gonsalves, Presiding Officer, Nassau County
Joe Kearney, Nassau County IDA
Jeff Greenfeld, Nassau Planning Commission
Mike Denicola, Hazen & Sawyer
Hon. Ed Ambrosino, Town of Hempstead
Rich Bivone, LI Business Council, Moderator
Education & Economic Development
The economics of education is almost as challenging as the business of teaching and learning. The costs associated with delivering services have made School Districts weigh in on development projects while seeking alternative solutions with their own facilities. This panel will tackle the changing nature of school districts on Long Island and provide a look as to what issues they are facing.
Dr. Linda Lippman, Islip School District
Dr. Patrick Harrigan, Half Hollow Hills School District
Steve Krieger, Engel Burman
Mark Grossman, Suffolk Community College, Moderator
Vision Long Island
Hon. Steve Bellone
Suffolk County Executive
Hon. Ed Mangano
Nassau County Executive
Parking, Design and Codes
Parking can be both crucial for a downtown's survival and detrimental to its health all depending on how it is designed and managed. Not enough and it can discourage shoppers, too much and it can harm the walkability of the downtown which is what makes it successful. Learn about parking management best practices, regulations and strategies downtowns on Long Island and beyond are using to manage this resource.
Mark Gander, AECOM/Green Parking Council
Robert Bontempi, Huntington Chamber of Commerce
Victor Dadras, New York Main Street Alliance
Kathleen Deegan Dickson, Forchelli Curto Deegan
Sean Sallie, Nassau County Dept. of Public Works.
Elissa Ward Kyle, Vision Long Island, Moderator
New Town Centers
While Long Island has seen improvements to many downtowns with small, incremental development, several large projects are transforming downtowns and creating new ones. Learn about the progress on some of the larger Smart Growth development projects happening across the island.
David Wolkoff, Heartland Town Square
Robert Coughlan, TRITEC Real Estate, Ronkonkoma
Tom Graham, RXR - Garvies Point
Stephen Holley, AKRF - Wyandanch Rising
David Winzelberg, LI Business News, Moderator
Arts & Destinations
Downtowns can be destinations unto themselves, but they are also great locations for destinations within. Learn about some of the many great places to eat, drink, shop, experience art and music and otherwise enjoy yourself on our Main Streets.
Terry Statz Smith, Arts Alive
Phil Ebel, Great South Bay Brewery
David Saul, The Electric Dudes
Frank Paruolo, LI Board of Realtors
Heather Johnson, Northport Historical Society
Smart Growth Around the Region
Long Island has built some great examples of Smart Growth in our downtowns and transit hubs, but more can always be learned from the successes of other developments. Learn about projects from around the New York metro area and how their successes can inform how we develop here.
Matt Carmody, VHB – Roosevelt Island
Forest City Ratner Companies
SOM : Architecture
Steven Jacobs, U3 Advisors
Jaime Stover, Mill Creek – Jersey City
Ron Stein, Vision Long Island
Charles Lane, NPR, Moderator
Superstorm Sandy struck the Tri-State area in October 2012. When the second anniversary arrived last month, many South Shore residents were still not home and some who did return were bogged down in a tangle of red tape, misinformation and debt. This workshop will include an update from NY Rising officials, along with discussions about infrastructure and an update from some afflicted communities.
Jon Kaiman, Governor’s Advisor, NYS Office of Storm Recovery
Vanessa Pino Lockel, NY Rising
Matt Milea, NYS DOS
Paul Beyer, NYS Director of Smart Growth
Deborah Kirnon, St. Anne’s Parish Outreach
Jon Siebert, Friends of Long Island, Moderator
LI REDI stands for Responsible Economic Development Initiative. It’s Renaissance Downtown’s campaign to invest in critical infrastructure and gain public support with the goal of reversing the unsustainable living environment prompting many to leave. The ‘Long Island is REDI’ campaign kicked off with a conference focusing on Millenials this fall. This panel will include representatives of unions and developers discussing the viability of this and other regional plans.
Don Monti, Renaissance Downtowns
Joe Montelbano, Greater New York Laborers Coop and Education Trust
Anthony Macagnone, Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters
Keith Archer, Harras Bloom & Archer
Bill Tuyn, Forbes Homes, Moderator
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Albany, Washington D.C. Republican Wins In 2014 Election
Put Long Island Front And Center
The angry rhetoric is finally dying down again, and the mud-slinging between Democrats and Republicans across television and radio waves has ceased. The 2014 election season is all but over.
Throughout America, Republicans commandeered more power. They retained their hold on the House of Representatives with an estimated 246 of 435 seats – the largest majority since World War II. The GOP also wrested control of the Senate away, earning an estimated 53 of 100 seats.
On Long Island, State Senator Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) defeated incumbent Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) for a Congressional district covering most of central and eastern Suffolk County. He joins Peter King (R-Seaford) in battling for resources on Long Island. King easily fended off Democratic challenger Patricia Maher with 68.45 percent of the votes. Incumbent Steve Israel (D-Huntington), Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice and unchallenged Gregory Meeks (D-St. Albans) won the three remaining Congressional seats for Democrats.
“It’ll make an incremental difference. It’s another person, besides Peter King who can ask the national Republican leadership for things that are important to Long Island. The fact that he won a competitive seat means he’ll have the ear of the leaders who want to maintain their majority in two years, which will be a harder year for Republicans,” Larry Levy, executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, said.
Zeldin, Levy added, must position himself as a moderate for Long Island and suburban needs if he wants to retain his seat in 2016 when more Democrats are anticipated to flood the polls. As a state senator, he advocated for sewage projects in Mastic/Shirley, including the proposed treatment plant at Calabro Airport. He’s currently a member of the senate’s Transportation Committee, which blasted the MTA Payroll tax again earlier this fall.
But the change in power down in Washington, D.C. is minimal compared to some of the moves in Albany. All nine State Senate seats were won by Republicans. That includes Islip Supervisor Tom Croci (R) defeating environmentalist Adrienne Esposito (D) by 17 points and GOP Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) defending his job with nearly 66 percent of the votes. Jack Martins (R-Mineola fended off Adam Haber (D) by more than10 points, while Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset) won his position back with almost 61 percent of the vote.
“Election night was a good one for Long Island, even if we lost some good people. Having nine members of the majority party, plus the majority leader, makes it certain that Long Island will have a very big seat at the table in Albany,” Levy said.
Martins is still fighting for small business savings legislation that would allow businesses to invest and withdraw earnings tax-free to maintain and create jobs. Marcellino serves as the chairman of the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee and vice chairman of the Transportation Committee, as well as a member of several other committees. Skelos met with the Long Island Business Council in February to talk about government getting out of the way of local communities creating jobs.
Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo repelled Republican challenger Rob Astorino by more than 15 points. He will serve another term in Albany, this time accompanied by Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul. Long Island, however, did not support Cuomo in the 2014 campaign.
“The rise of the Long Island dominated Republican majority in the senate came with a fall for Andrew Cuomo in suburban communities around the state. Cuomo lost Suffolk County by a point and he received barely 50 percent in Nassau County,” Levy said. “Long Island is considered a swing area, but Cuomo had been very popular and successful on Long Island.”
Incumbent state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli had the most successful evening for local Democrats, defending his job with nearly 60 percent of the vote and winning with two million votes statewide. Incumbent state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) staved off Republican challenger John Cahill by 14 points.
Big Wins For Smart Growth Initiatives At The Polls
Politicians were the face of election day, but Smart Growth was a major player.
Referendums protecting and improving transportation, open space, clean water, small business and walkable neighborhoods were on the ballot from one coast to the other on Tuesday.
In Florida, voters approved designating billions to protect fresh water over the next 20 years without a tax increase. In Maine, they approved creating a bond to support small business loans that will help to create jobs, as well as a bond to fund infrastructure improvements that protect wetlands. Rhode Island voters authorized the state to issue $35 million in bonds to fund enhancements and renovations to mass transit hubs.
In Alameda County, Calif., residents voted in favor of a 30-year transportation plan that will fix roads, enhance mass transit, reduce traffic congestion, improve transit between jobs and schools and keep fares affordable. Meanwhile, Beaufort County, S.C. voters supported raising money to buy or place conservation easements on environmentally-sensitive property.
As a whole, transportation funding was widely approved. Taxpayers in Atlanta, Ga. overwhelmingly voted in favor expanding the city’s MARTA system into neighboring Clayton County by 73 percent. A one-percent sales tax increase was part of the expansion. Clayton was one of Atlanta’s five core counties that lacked public transit, which became a popular concern after the limited county bus system left town four years ago. Local universities saw a drop in enrollment when the buses left.
There were, however, some disappointments on the Smart Growth ballots. Massachusetts voters supported repealing a legislature-approved provision to index their gas tax designed to keep revenue matched with inflation and fund transportation needs. The decision, which passed only with 52.9 percent of the vote, not only means the state loses out on transportation funding, but many believe it was a test for other states looking to replace automatic indexing with other sources of funding. Massachusetts voters also approved a separate increase in the gas tax by three cents.
For more on this story, visit Smart Growth America and Transportation For America.
Director: Lack Of Affordable Housing Cause Of LI Homeless
The number of homeless Americans is down across the country, but it’s up on Long Island.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released their annual homeless assessment report this week, which found a 2 percent drop.
According to the federal report, 578,424 Americans were homeless in 2014, with 69 percent in established residential programs and 31 percent living on the street. That’s down from 591,768 in 2013. About 10 percent fewer people are living on the street and about 2 percent more are using emergency shelters or transitional housing.
But Greta Guarton warned those numbers can be deceiving for some parts of the country, including Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Guarton is the executive director of Long Island Coalition for the Homeless and she said Long Island and New York City helped make New York one of the 14 states with an increase in homelessness from 2013. The list also includes California, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.
“The biggest cities and the states with the biggest urban areas and generally the highest cost of living all had increases. That’s not a shock. It’s not a surprise the areas where affordable housing is in the greatest demand has the most homeless people. They can’t afford this housing,” Guarton said.
Founded in 1985, the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless is an advocacy organization for other groups. They assumed responsibility of coordinating the continuum of care in 1996, which translates to coordinating homeless services offered by 125 agencies throughout Long Island and processing $12 million annually to those groups.
They also perform the homeless count – a one-day tally in January using HUD’s limited definition. On Jan. 22, 2014, the coalition found 3,207 homeless Long Islanders. That’s up almost 100 people from January 2013 and a significant increase from the 2,515 in 2007.
Long Island was actually seeing fewer homeless residents, Guarton said, before Superstorm Sandy ravaged the region. Affordable housing for both average residents and those with lower income was in short supply before Oct. 29, 2012, but Sandy swallowed up whatever apartments were available. Many were never rebuilt, including illegal apartments in private homes.
Prior to the storm, Guarton said Long Island had a 2.1 vacancy rate. After Sandy, thousands were forced to find new housing, even if it was just temporary. That sent prices skyrocketing and forcing out many just scraping by.
“Because there was a market for it, when landlords went to renew their leases, their increases were so severe because they knew someone could afford it,” the director said.
When the coalition conducted their 2013 count, many displaced by Sandy were not included. Although it was three months after the storm, a number of Long Islanders were sleeping in motels and hotels covered by FEMA or staying with friends and family – neither is included in the HUD definition. A lot of that temporary assistance ran out by the following year’s count.
At the same time, the federal government actually decreased housing subsidies in October 2012. Basing the move off a 2010 study that found lower homeless populations, HUD reduced their Fair Market Rent. The figure typically increases slightly every year – not enough to coincide with actual increases in rent; it has increased in October 2013 and October 2014.
Long Islanders facing higher rents and lower federal assistance were able to find some housing. But much of it, Guarton said, entails its own challenges. These units are typically far from transportation, older buildings and not in ideal locations.
“You have someone without a car, they need services and maybe they’re looking for work and they can’t even get to transportation for where they need to go. You can’t live there and sustain yourself,” she said.
Their 2015 count is two months away, and Guarton admitted she expects to see a decrease. Developers and community organizations have focused recently on unsheltered veterans. Liberty Village in Amityville opened its 60 apartment doors to veterans in need in September.
“That’s not the entire unsheltered population, but it’s the one area where there’s been more development,” Guarton said.
Dropping those numbers across the board, she added, will require more affordable housing in all shapes and sizes. Even if it’s not priced for lower-incomes, new housing for the working class will open up other options to those in need.
“Even if someone is designing housing for 80 percent of AMI (area median income), that means folks moving in there will be freeing up other apartments,” the director said.
For more coverage of this story, check out News 12 and Newsday (subscription required).
Port Washington Mixed-Use Project Gets Green Light
A mixed-use development in Port Washington was approved by the Town of North Hempstead last week, the first for an overlay district.
“The Main Event” received permission from the Town Board on Oct. 29. Developers Laurie and Marty Scheinman want to build a three-story mixed use building on the 0.56-acre vacant lot at 322-326 Main St. The plan includes 5,400 square feet of office space and 12 apartments.
The “Better Blocks” overlay district, which this project falls in, allows for flexibility in zoning.
The community response at the three-hour hearing was mixed, an improvement for a town with a history of not always supporting downtown changes. Main Event supporters wanted to revitalize Main Street and provide housing for young professionals. Opponents were concerned about traffic on lower Main Street and flooding issues, as well as disruption during construction.
Vision Long Island also testified in support of the project. Sustainability Director Elissa Kyle said connecting this housing with the nearby LIRR station can reduce the need for downtown parking, which is already at a premium. She also said mixed-use projects across Long Island have proven to reduce vacancy rates and generally improve the fiscal health of downtowns.
North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio also played an important role in approving the project.
For more coverage on this project, check out Newsday (subscription required). Check out Vision’s full testimony here.
Alexander: Local Progress Can Rebuilt Trust Around Region
This editorial by Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander was originally published in the Long Island Business News on Wednesday.
Former House Speaker Tip O’Neill once famously stated all “politics is local.” On Long Island, it seems a lot of our progress is local, too, and that may be a good thing.
A recent Wall Street Journal poll found 13 percent of the public trusts their federal government but struggles to have faith in big business and other large interests. On Long Island, the leadership people so desperately seek nationally is exhibited on the community level, and it’s not simply local land use in the purview of municipal governments in a home-rule state. Look no further than the post-Sandy relief effort to see the role municipal partners and community organizations can play.
Such leadership is sorely needed. AARP data suggests that much of our 50-plus population is looking to leave the region as well as our younger residents, which would have a damaging economic impact – a projected $22 billion in lost economic activity.
Another recent poll, this by the Suburban Millennial Institute, showed 30 percent of our younger workforce leaving Long Island due to lack of jobs affordability issues.
In Long Island’s downtowns, opportunities continue to exist to address this potential loss of wealth and talent. Cranes are out and construction is underway, or recently completed, in places like Mineola, Westbury, Farmingdale, Huntington, Wyandanch and Patchogue, to name just a few. Recent “Smart Growth Saturday” tours in Great Neck Plaza, Port Jefferson and elsewhere showed great places with functioning office, housing and retail sectors supported by local community – something for young and old alike.
At a recent meeting of the Nassau County Village Officials Organization, it was clear that smart-growth solutions are now planning practice. The folks closest to the public all tell us the same thing – they want well-managed, vibrant places that people care about.
The Village of Farmingdale has seen a transformation with four mixed-use projects underway, 21 new retail stores and a new park. A recent downtown music fest attracted about 10,000 people. The latest meeting of the local civic association saw widespread support and praise for these changes.
Since a revitalization process began over the last decade, the Village of Mineola has completed a master plan with broad public input, approved an intermodal bus and parking facility, expanded Winthrop-University Hospital, brought in a high-tech incubator, welcomed new restaurants and shops and developed a series of tax-positive senior and multifamily rental units that will bring minimal children into the school district. It’s our understanding that the bulk of these endeavors leveraged new private investment and state and federal grant assistance at no cost to the taxpayer.
It’s not just downtown redevelopment driving changes. Community initiatives are pulling together to address public safety, market vacant buildings, build parks and facilitate other improvements. The movement for these changes is gaining strength.
Once the silly season of elections is over, there will be a robust debate on the substance and prioritization of Long Island’s many needs. Some of the items we will need these local voices to tackle include:
1. Having real input on the MTA Capital Plan to get our fair share of transportation projects and supportive service.
2. Getting wastewater treatment capacity in Suffolk and an ocean outflow pipe in Nassau that will improve water quality and allow for downtown growth.
3. Fighting for a Federal Transportation Bill that includes Long Island projects and addressing our unsafe streets through an uptick in NYSDOT funding.
4. Reducing myriad regulations that impede downtown redevelopment for our small businesses.
5. Getting human needs addressed directly without layers and layers of post-Sandy bureaucracy and helping the working poor who continue to struggle five years after the recession bottomed out.
The common thread in rebuilding trust with our citizenry is strengthening the capacity of smaller governments, organizations and local businesses to succeed in solving our regions problems. Yeah, politics out here may be local – but even local politics can truly help our region.
Spotlight On Honorees At Landmark’s Annual Gala
Catch a live performance from a Tony Award-winning performer and help downtown Long Island at the same time.
Two-time award winner Christine Ebersole will sing at Landmark on Main Street’s Spotlight Gala ’14 on Nov. 8.
Ebersole has performed in prestigious venues like the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. She’s also acted in a number of television shows and movies, and been a part of several musical albums.
The event will also honor Bruce Migatz of Albanese and Albanese, and Vision Long Island Board Member, and Steven Katz and Jeffrey Schor of PM Pediatrics.
For tickets, email or call the venue at 516-767-1384.
Join Hofstra In Celebrating Long Island’s Diversity
A non-partisan research group is inviting Long Islanders to celebrate their diversity.
National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University announced their 2014 Celebration of Suburban Diversity is to be held on Nov. 11 at Crest Hollow Country Club.
The institution strives to promote the study of suburbia's problems, as well as its promise. Local, national and international issues are all examined, as the suburbs have emerged at the nexus of dynamic demographic, social, economic and environmental change in New York and throughout the world. The National Center for Suburban Studies seeks to identify, analyze and solve the problems of suburbia, especially in areas of sustainability, social equity and economic development.
George Tsunis, CEO of Chartwell Hotels, will serve as the keynote speaker for the event. Great Neck Rotarian Sammy Hsiao, Long Island Hispanic Bar Association member Richard Montes, Suffolk County Asian American Advisory Board member Belinda Pagdanganan, disability rights activist Susan Gordon Ryan, and Hofstra University’s Gina Granger and June Scarlett will be honored.
Cocktails and hors d’oeurves from around the world begin at 5:30 p.m. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. The evening’s festivities include multicultural performances and the presentation of Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s High School Diversity Essay Scholarship Award.
For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Ina Katz at 516-463-9939 or email@example.com. Tickets are being sold for $250 a piece, and sponsorships begin at $1,000. Registration must be received by Nov. 4.
Join The Common Core Conversation
Concerned about Common Core?
Join Community Conversations for the Common Core: Uncommon Challenges discussion Nov. 12 at the South Huntington Public Library.
Administrators from several Long Island school districts will discuss the program, what the goals are, how it was rolled out in New York and how students can best fare from it. Syosset Superintendent Thomas Rogers will moderate the panel.
Community Conversations is a series of discussions on various topics hosted by Town of Huntington libraries and Leadership Huntington with the goal of promoting both libraries and public participation.
For more information, visit Leadership Huntington’s website or the Community Conversations’ Facebook page.
Community Benefit For Neighbors Supporting Neighbors
Meet a New York Times best seller and support your community.
Regina Calcaterra, author of “Etched in Sand,” will join grassroots organization Neighbors Supporting Neighbors at Captain Bill’s in Bay Shore on Nov. 13.
Calcaterra’s memoir is an inspiring coming-of-age story of tenacity and hope. She’s also a successful lawyer, New York State official and activist.
A $50 ticket includes dinner, coffee/tea and dessert. Proceeds benefit Neighbors Supporting Neighbors and homeless prevention charity You Gotta Believe.
Tickets can be purchased at either the Babylon or West Babylon Libraries, or by calling 631-422-6037.
North Hempstead Holding Business Seminar For Entrepreneurs
Join North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town Board help entrepreneurs turn a business idea into a reality.
The North Hempstead Business and Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) is holding the seminar “From Idea to Exit: How to get a Business Up and Running, Funded and Sold” Nov. 14 at the Harbor Links Club House in Port Washington.
The event, which will feature a free continental breakfast, includes speakers Michael Breitman, owner of ActionCoach of Metro New York; Rich Foster, Co-Founder of LaunchPad Long Island and Founder of Foster Management & Holding, LLC; and Stella Lellos, Esq., Partner of Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo, Terra, LLP. They will touch on topics like business planning, capital management and law, as well as answering important questions like “Do you know how to access early stage capital?”
This seminar is the latest in the BTDC’s ongoing Business Development Seminar series and is sponsored by Albrecht, Viggiano, Zureck & Co., P.C., National Grid, Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo, & Terrana LLP, Santander Bank, and the Long Island Development Corporation/LISBAC.
Registration is available online or by mailing in this form. For more information, call 516-869-6311.
Find A Beautiful Holiday Gift Made By Local Artists
Shop locally this holiday season.
Check out the Holiday Gift Boutique at the East End Arts Gallery for a variety of unique and artsy gifts. The shop opens for business from Nov. 15 through Dec. 23 with hours every day except Monday.
Peruse handmade ornaments, one-of-a-kind jewelry, unique home goods and more. Every piece of product is made by more than 38 local artists.
East End Arts members receive a 15 percent discount on all purchases.
For more information about the Holiday Gift Boutique, check them out online.
Talking Tech At Hofstra University Real Estate Conference
Sign up now for a free conference to explore how technology is changing the real estate business model.
Technology+Profits=Bigger Profits is scheduled for Nov. 18 at Institute of Real Estate at Hofstra University.
In partnership with the school’s Wilbur Breslin Center for Real Estate Studies, this event is to include a panel discussion about modern business models. Frank Edwards, of Colliers International; Marc Spector, of Spector Group; Dani Torcolacci, of Teichos Energy; and Michael Voltz, of PSEG-LI will discuss ideas.
For more information or to RSVP, call 516-463-7214 or email school officials.
Join LI Hispanic Chamber At A Red Carpet Gala
The Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will honor five Long Islanders during a black tie, red carpet ceremony next month.
Their 26th annual awards gala is slated for Nov. 22 at the Long Island Marriot in Uniondale.
Dr. Jorge Gardyn will receive the Chairmans Award for CEO of the Year; Claire Scanlon will be awarded the Minority Business Advocate of the Year; State Senator Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) will receive the Visionary Award: Senator of the Year; Mohinder Singh Taneja will be awarded the Ambassador of Diversity award; and Jose Nido will be honored with the Global Corporate Man of the Year. A sixth, surprise award is also on the agenda.
Register for the gala through the chamber’s website. Ticket prices range from $250 for chamber members to $350 for non-members.
Get Building With Gingerbread For 2nd Annual LI Contest
Check the calendar, Christmas is 47 days away. That’s less than two months.
Now is the time to sign up for Chocolate Duck’s 2nd annual Long Island Gingerbread House Competition. The Farmingdale-based cake-supply store is hosting the contest on Dec. 13 in the store.
Any gingerbread structure is eligible, not just houses, but it should be inspired by the Gold Coast Era.
Private judging will take place in the morning, with the show opened to the public at noon. Winners can compete for cash prizes, a 32-inch flat screen television and gift certificates.
Registration is open from now until Nov. 25. Adults will be charged a $25 fee and youths 17 and under will be charged a $5 fee. Registration forms can be found on the store’s website or the Village of Farmingdale’s website. For more information, contact Christine Bisbee via email.
Volunteers Wanted For Clothing Drive, Thanksgiving Dinner
The start of the holiday season is just a few weeks away, time for community members to start helping those in need.
The "Brentwood, Bay Shore and Central Islip Feed the Need" cause is up and running. These volunteers are collecting hats, gloves, socks, coats, blankets and wash-up kits for the homeless and neighbors in need. Donations can be left at St. Anne's Parish Outreach.
These volunteers will also be preparing and serving a Thanksgiving dinner again this year. Restaurants looking to donate trays of food and individuals looking to help with the meal are asked to contact Deborah Kirnon at 631 336-6427.
EPA Opens $3.75 Mil Grants To Protect Freshwater
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now accepting proposals to fund freshwater protection projects.
The Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant is used to accelerate and expand the strategic protection of healthy freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds across the country. The EPA expects to issue a cooperative agreement to fund a single grantee to manage the Healthy Watersheds Consortium grant program and issue subawards on a competitive basis.
Applicants can be nonprofit organizations, non-governmental organizations, interstate agencies and inter-tribal consortia which are capable of undertaking activities that advance healthy watershed programs on a national basis.
Eligible entities for the subawards include public and private nonprofit institutions/organizations, federally recognized Indian tribal governments, states, local governments, U.S. territories or possessions, and interstate agencies. Anticipated federal funding under the competition is approximately $3.75 million over six years.
Proposals are due Jan. 5. For more information about the RFP and this grant, visit the EPA online.
Save Even More On Solar Photovoltaic Installations
Homeowners having solar panels placed on their roof can trim a few bucks off the bill, as well as their carbon footprint.
Public benefit corporation NYSERDA is offering incentives for solar photovoltaic systems at residential and small commercial across the state through their NY-Sun Incentive program.
Kicking in Aug. 13, the program provides rebates for up to 24 kilowatts at homes and 200 kilowatts on small commercial sites. Incentives are distributed via a Megawatt (MW) Block incentive structure that allocates MWs to specific regions of the State.
Systems may also qualify for tax credits: up to 30 percent of the system cost for federal and 25 percent of the system cost (up to $5,000 for a primary residence) for New York State.
Check out NY-Sun Incentive for more on this assistance.
NYSERDA also offers financing through Green Jobs – Green New York.
Residential customers can acquire loans up to $13,000, or $25,000 with higher cost-effectiveness standards, over 5, 10 or 15 years. The current interest rate is 3.49 percent.
Small businesses with 100 employees or less and not-for-profit organizations, can borrow up to $100,000 at half the market interest rate and On-Bill Recovery loans of up to $50,000 at 3 percent interest over 10 years.
Find a contractor on NYSERDA’s website to get started.
Intern with Vision Long Island!
What's happening on your Main Street this weekend?
The YMCA Boulton Center
37 West Main Street, Bay Shore
Tickets and more information available here
Cold Spring Harbor
The John W. Engeman Theater
250 Main Street, Northport
The Purchase Latin Jazz Orchestra - Friday, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m.
Shut Up, Sit Down and Eat - Saturday, Nov. 8 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Jon Batiste and Stay Human - Sunday, Nov. 9 at 3 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here
9 Railroad Avenue, Patchogue
Rubix Kube - Friday, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m.
Saturday Night Dance Party - Saturday, Nov. 8 at 10 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here
Bay Street Theater
The Long Wharf, Sag Harbor
Literature Live! presents to Kill A Mockingbird - Friday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.
Living, Out Loud: Writers Riff on Love, Sweat and Fears - Sunday, Nov. 9 at 2 p.m.
Tickets and more information available here
Farmers Markets in or adjacent to Long Island's downtowns:
700 Hempstead Tpke.
Thursdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
July through November
Sundays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
June 1-Nov. 23
18 Village Square
Tuesdays, 7 a.m.-1 p.m.
June 3-Nov. 25
115 Forest Ave.
Saturdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
June 7-Nov. 22
1 West Chester Street
Wednesdays, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
May 3-Nov. 26
54 Audrey Ave.
Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
June through November
LIRR parking lot no. 12, Sunrise Highway
Sundays, 7 a.m.-Noon
June 1-Nov. 23
Railroad Street, LIRR Lot @ Washington Avenue
Saturdays, 7 a.m.-Noon
May 31-Nov. 22
Elm Street lot
Sundays, 7 a.m.-Noon
June 1- Nov. 23
Town Hall Lot, Montauk Highway
Saturdays, 7 a.m.-Noon
May 31-Nov. 22
Main Street, across from fire department
Sundays, 9 am - 2 pm
May 18- Nov. 23
Cow Harbor parking lot
Saturdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
June 7 – Nov. 22
127 Smithtown Blvd.
Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
June 7-Nov. 22
7-11 Lot, 255 East Main St.
Fridays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
July 4-Nov. 21
of Prince and Broadway
Sundays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
May through November
Islip Grange, Broadway Avenue
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
mid-May through November
85 Mill Rd., next to historical Society
Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
May 10-Nov. 22
Fall festivals in or adjacent to Long Island's downtowns:
Massapequa Fall Festival
Massapequa LIRR station
Nov. 8-9 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
St. John's Annual Harvest Fair
12 Prospect Street, Huntington village
Nov. 8 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Listen To The Folks Who Did Vote
It’s Over …. Now Let the Real Work Begin.
So thankfully the election season is officially over and the bitterness and anger this campaign generated in some races can hopefully subside. The folks that lost have the opportunity to be humble, vow to recalibrate the message, change direction, compromise on some policies or build a bigger base and be stronger in the next election. While there have been some pretty bizarre reactions like the one to abolish the midterm elections. Decisions are made by those who show up and the folks who didn’t this year will have a chance in two years or even in next year's local elections.
Time and resources can be spent on all sides: 1) listening to the folks who did vote, 2) listening to and analyzing why some were not motivated to vote; 3) identifying what policy, regulatory or budgetary changes would be palatable to a broader base of citizens; 4) remembering that the voters told us that elections are about people not about politics.
For Long Islanders we have many voices to support an agenda for our region: a NYS Comptroller from Long Island who was the State top vote-getter, the Senate Majority Leader that fully controls the NYS Senate fighting for Long Island’s interests and two new members of Congress one from each respective party. These representatives can assist in getting our area’s fair share of transportation, sewer, economic development and other infrastructure resources from DC and Albany. They have put themselves out there to serve the public. It is now incumbent on the public to participate, communicate, rally around some agreed upon priorities that support our local communities. Let’s get to work.
Newsletter Editor: Mike Koehler, Communications Director
Contributors: Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director; Elissa Kyle, Sustainability Director; 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
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Vision Long Island
24 Woodbine Ave., Suite Two
Northport, NY 11768
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.
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