Smart Talk September 30th – October 7th, 2017

Check out this week’s Smart Talk with coverage of the Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers’ Constitutional Debate, Mastic Beach Village adopts master plan, Comptroller DiNapoli releases a report outlining the federal tax deficit for NYS, and more…
Vision Long Island

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September 30th – October 7th, 2017


Regional Updates

Cronin & Cronin Law Firm, PLLC


Their success in the field of Tax Certiorari is due to their reputation for honesty, integrity and excellence. Because of their reputation, as well as their extensive knowledge and years of experience in property matters, they have established a positive relationship with the various municipalities. They aggressively negotiate cases through pre-trial negotiations and if necessary trial, in order to achieve maximum reductions in real estate taxes and substantial reductions in future tax burdens.

Their priority is outstanding service to their clients. They are committed to addressing the individual needs of each property. They make the process of protesting, negotiating and settling a case as easy as possible and take the time to explain the procedures and intricacies of the law.

“Today, I released a report that provides key details highlighting the impact of the federal budget on New York. New York received more than $214 billion in federal expenditures in 2016, while generating almost $255 billion in federal taxes. That meant a deficit of $40.9 billion, or 84 cents in spending received for every tax dollar sent to Washington. And this imbalance has doubled in recent years. ” –Hon. Tom DiNapoli, NYS Comptroller

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Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers Holds Debate on Constitutional Convention for NYS

Vision Long Island Board members and staff joined over 100 business and local government leaders in support of the Suffolk Alliance of Chambers of Commerce this past week in order to cover local business initiatives and the possibility of a constitutional convention.

David Kennedy from the Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, and Suffolk County Legislator Rob Calarco opened the meeting by welcoming attendees to the Patchogue Theatre.  Tony Tanzi from Kings Park Chamber of Commerce spoke after and explained how their community based plan produced a consensus plan that helped secure $20 million in NYS funding for sewers in their local downtown.  The increased capacity will help to grow existing and new businesses in the area.


The group heard from a couple of local stakeholders who are working to provide incentives and growth for the businesses on Long Island.  Kathy Wisnewski from National Grid spoke first, talking about economic development programs available to small businesses through the utility. Kevin O’Connor, CEO of Bridgehampton National Bank, also talked about their commitment to downtown redevelopment and housing opportunities for young people.

Suffolk County Deputy Executive Jon Kaiman covered the recently approved cost saving NYS Shared Services Initiative.  Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander provided downtown revitalization updates on redevelopment, infrastructure investment, and grant opportunities.  NYS Senator Phil Boyle, NYS Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick, and former Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy also were in attendance.

Following the updates, a debate on the upcoming NYS Constitutional Convention referendum began. Guardian Angel’s founder, radio talk show host, and Reform Party activist Curtis Sliwa spoke in favor of the “Yes” vote. The “No” vote was represented by Empire Government Strategies Anthony Figlioa.  The debate, moderated by Great River Strategies George Hoffman, covered topics that included cost of the convention, potential impacts to current environmental and labor policies, and ethics and corruption issues.


In spite of their difference, both agreed that the unintended consequence of this once every 20 years opportunity could include the weakening of home rule and the varying powers of local municipalities.

“There is a legitimate possibility that the convention could remove or weaken home rule but the voters would still have to approve those changes,” according to Curtis Sliwa, Guardian Angels, Reform Party.

“The development community will most certainly seek to remove home rule,” said Anthony Figlioa, Empire Government Strategies.

The question of “how we are sure that the delegates of the convention carry out their duty with the public interest in mind” was also covered.

“Today gave a 20 year wake up call to the public to learn about a proposition on the ballot this November. The Constitutional Convention is important for residents and businesses in Suffolk County. They need to know more about it and today the chambers, businesses and unions came to support their initiatives and choices. The SCAC was happy to host this debate with two well versed individuals Curtis Sliwa and Anthony Figliola. They ‘made the case’ for their position. In less than 40 days the residents of Suffolk and New York State will have an opportunity to make the changes they want to see or not which will last for 20 years,” said Suffolk County Alliance co-chair Bob Fonti.

Vision would like to thank Suffolk County Alliance of Chamber’s Co-Chairs Gina Coletti and Bob Fonti for a very substantive and informative session. Also, a special thank you to Patchogue Mayor Pontieri for hosting the event in his downtown, former County Executive Steve Levy for helping to put the event together, and all the sponsor of the event.

You can read more on this event at LIBN. To get more information on the Suffolk Alliance of Chambers or to join, visit their website or download their app.

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Report Outlining Federal Tax Deficit for NYS

NYS Comptroller DiNapoli has released a report showing that NYS regularly sends more Federal tax dollars to Washington than it receives.

The report provides details that highlight the impact of the federal budget on New York State.  It shows that the state received more than $214 billion in funds from the federal government in 2016 while simultaneously generating almost $255 billion in revenue.  This creates a deficit of $40.9 billion, or $0.84 on dollars generated for Washington.  This amount is double the amount recorded in 2013, when New York recorded a deficit of $19.9 billion.

“In the New York State Budget, federal receipts represent approximately one-third of total revenues,” said Comptroller DiNapoli.  “Federal spending provides Social Security income, Medicare and Medicaid health coverage and other benefits for millions of State residents, and supports tens of thousands of New York jobs. As the debates in Washington continue over key issues that will directly impact New Yorkers, this report is intended to help inform our residents and promote their participation in these deliberations.”

You can read the report here.

PSEG Long Island Increases Discounts for Low-Income Customers

The Long Island Power Authority Board of Trustees has unanimously approved a further reduction of charges for service, energy, and meter to low-income customers.  Existing discounts will be increased to $15 a month for eligible customers without electric heat, and $20 per month for those with electric heat.  The discounts went into effect earlier this week.

“PSEG Long Island continues to work toward a more affordable energy future for our customers across Long Island and the Rockaways,” said Dan Eichhorn, PSEG Long Island’s incoming President and Chief Operating Officer. “From implementing clean, renewable energy solutions that will eliminate the need for costly fossil generation, to making the changes necessary for our customers to have a truly balanced bill, month-over-month, to expanding the discount we provide to our most vulnerable customers, PSEG Long Island is delivering on our commitments to improve the level of service our customers receive and to achieve long-term rate stability.”

PSEG Long Island will begin to ramp up outreach efforts to inform customers of the discounts by social media, print, email, and other similar campaigns.  Participating customers will have a grace period of four months from the enrollment cut off date to complete re-enrollment.  This policy will prevent disruption in monthly discounts and will help to reduce gaps in discount coverage.  Customers will also be encouraged to enroll in the balanced billing program as part of the program.

“PSEG Long Island and LIPA are doing the right thing by taking steps to make it easier for those in need to better access discount and balance payment programs. Electric service is vital to modern life and it is critically important to provide mechanisms to assist low and moderate income households to pay their electric bills,” said Executive Director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College Neal Lewis.

“The action being taken by PSEG Long Island and LIPA’s Trustees provide much needed assistance for low-income customers throughout Long Island to access affordable energy enabling them to keep their lights on,” said Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander.

You can learn more here and find out how to reduce energy usage here.

Governor Cuomo Announces Funding for Water Quality Improvement

Governor Cuomo has announced that $10.4 million will be allocated to efforts to improve Long Island’s water quality and improve local coastal communities’ economies and resiliency by restoring shellfish populations.

Part of the effort will include the establishment of five new shellfish sanctuaries that will be no-harvest zones.  These zones will allow the local shellfish population to increase and improve algae filtering capacity, which will help to lower toxic blooms in the water.  The sanctuaries themselves will be strategically located and managed by SUNY Stony Brook and the Cornell Cooperative Extension, who will partner with local municipalities and volunteer organizations.  Sanctuaries will be located in both counties at Bellport Bay, Shinnecock Bay, Huntington Harbor, and parts of Hempstead and South Oyster Bay.

The effort will produce up to 179 million new shellfish in hatcheries which will then be seeded in each of the new sanctuaries.  This number will be enough to filter the entirety of the sanctuaries every three days and will include a mix of adult and juvenile clams and oysters.  The sites will also be continually monitored in order to give the new population the best chance at survival, growth, and reproduction.  Data collected will help to determine the success of the program and future efforts for water filtration attempts.

The Governor has also announced that the initiative will include funding to help existing hatcheries to expand seed production and help meet the needs of the new program.

You can read the Governor’s press release here.

Comprehensive Plan for Mastic Beach Unanimously Approved by Village Board

Vision was out yesterday in Mastic Beach Village in support of the Village Board adopting the proposed Comprehensive Master Plan. With Trustee Victor Viola making the motion and Deputy Mayor Betty Manzella seconding, the resolution to accept the plan was unanimously passed.

After almost 2 years of collaboration with residents, community organizations, business leaders, and elected officials; the plan, drafted by Wendel in partnership with Vision Long Island, serves as a roadmap towards the highly sought revitalization of their downtown and waterfront. With the Village folding back into the Town of Brookhaven by year’s end, this plan will be able to aide the town in revitalization efforts specific to the area without the need for a time consuming and costly study. Most of the funding for this plan came from grants received from New York State.

The area boasts 6.5 miles of mostly undeveloped waterfront, several historical points of interest, and a downtown corridor that has a high potential for redevelopment. Construction of a new $9 million ambulance headquarters broke ground on Main Street last month, and is expected to be completed within the next year, kickstarting the revitalization efforts.

Overall, the master plan recommendations include sewering for the business corridor, enhancing the commercial districts and adopting a downtown zoning code, the introduction of roundabouts to calm traffic and improve the pedestrian experience in the business district, the potential design and construction of a multi-modal transportation hub and welcome center, enhanced gateways at key business district intersections, future trail networks within potential development of and Eco-Park along the shoreline and more.

“While the chapter of Mastic Beach as a village is coming to a close, tonight marks the beginning of a new chapter with the adoption of the master plan.  Unlike plans in the past, it is the culmination of everyone working together to turn their vision for their neighborhood into a workable document specific to the Mastic Beach community. I think it will be a great tool for the Town of Brookhaven going forward because it identifies the wants and needs of the community speaking as one voice. Thank you to all of those who took the time out to participate.  You all have really shown how unique and amazing this community really is,” said Vision Long Island Assistant Director Tawaun Weber.

Smithtown Civic Group Drafts Proposed Concept Plan

Smithtown United Civic Association has released a proposed concept plan for Smithtown’s Main Street. The group, made up of residents from all over Smithtown, formed earlier this year after two major events regarding their downtown Main Street corridor occurred: the allocation of twenty million dollars by New York State for a new sewer  district, and the proposed sale of the New York Avenue School property.

Last year, officials were discussing a plan to eliminate soccer fields, demolish the 1920’s-era Smithtown High School, and install another on-site sewer treatment facility to support the construction of several 3-story apartment buildings. Some residents felt that they did not have a voice in these discussions or the future of their area. Through the Smithtown Chamber of Commerce, Smithtown United was formed. According to their press release, for the past six months the Smithtown United Civic Association board has met, researched, and discussed ideas for the town’s future development while meeting with political candidates and the community asking them for input.

Some of the ideas in the concept plan aren’t new, such as the combination of the seven town office buildings into the New York Avenue School, which could save taxes as well as preserve the historic school building. Another aspect of the concept plan is preserving Smithtown’s green space, including the soccer fields behind the school, where so many young people participate in sports all year. The plan not only recognizes the vital importance of this space from quality of life purposes, but intends to enhance it, making it a centerpiece of downtown. Other aspects of the plan address the importance of adapting to the diversifying needs of their younger and older residents. One such need is apartments – Smithtown Untied wants their downsizing seniors and returning college graduates to have great choices to stay in their community.

The civic realizes that many of the ideas in the plan can only spur revitalization if there is proper sewering to the area, and are encouraged by New York State’s $20 million allocation towards a sewer district for Smithtown. Key points in the plan beyond what is mentioned above include retention of sports fields, appropriate zoning for Smithtown, walkability and vehicle traffic flow improvements on Main Street, encouragement of transit-oriented development with the train station in proximity, and providing housing at a scale appropriate for the town.

Hicksville Community Council Recognizes Vision for Downtown Plan

Last week, Vision Board and staff received an award from the Hicksville Community Council for their work in downtown Hicksville.

Vision’s Director was joined on stage by Planning Director Elissa Kyle, who created the action plan for the downtown, our community partner Lionel Chitty from the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce and members of the Hicksville Downtown Revitalization Committee including Paul Molinari, Susan Petrosillo, Irene Guaraci, Linda Ruggiero, Mary Picollini, Stan Kobin and Elaine Peters. Other supporters included Beth Dalton, Charlie Montana and Paul Doogan.

Elected officials who joined in the event included New York State Senator Elaine Phillips, New York State Assemblyman Michael Montessano, Nassau County Legislators Rose Walker and Laura Schaffer, and Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino and Clerk James Altadonna.

Hicksville was recently the top recipient of this year’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative Grant for Long Island, with a total of 104 downtowns competing. The $10 million grant will complement a new $121 million LIRR station in Hicksville, which is in the heart of the downtown. The station is the juncture for both the Ronkonkoma and Port Jefferson branches, with Routes 106 and 107 intersecting close by. The money will be used for streetscaping, a proposed elevated plaza and walkways, and other enhancements. “For Hicksville, the railroad was always the centerpiece of the community. This works as the youth of today are not car-oriented people. They live in downtown centered communities.” Governor Cuomo said at a press conference in August announcing Hicksville’s award.

Special thanks to the Hicksville Community Council’s Harry Single, Joel Berse and Tom Bruno for the honor and for the work they do to bring the community together. Vision is grateful for the honor and recognizes the true heroes are the community and business leaders who have worked diligently and patiently throughout this process.

Help Save Transit Benefits

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

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

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

Hurricane Victims Need Your Help

With the devastation that Hurricane Harvey unleashed in Texas, Irma to Florida, and Maria to Puerto Rico; Long Islanders are reminded well of the gravity that disaster brings to entire communities in both the short and long terms. Several drives for monetary donations, as well as for physical donations, are underway and in the planning stages in order to bring relief directly to communities in need. Friends of Long Island groups understand first-hand how it is a bottom-up approach that best serves communities in the relief and recovery process, and will be partnering with organizations that helped us in the past on Long Island so they can help others, as well as targeting grassroots organizations to provide assistance.

When disaster occurs, the most important thing is to get cash to the affected region first-and also to know where donations are going. While well-intended, shipments of material goods in the immediate wake of disaster can clog up infrastructure, manpower, and storage that are critically needed- it is best to wait to send physical items until there is a collaborative effort with those on the ground to assess actual needs. There will be initiatives upcoming that we will communicate and will need your support for.

Here are some links where you can donate financially, with the funds going to good use in the relief process. These organizations had a positive presence in recovery and were well received on Long Island post-Sandy:

Friends of Long Island
You can find other vetted ways to donate here. Once there is an assessment of needs and capacity, Friends of Long Island will support recovery efforts in Texas, as we have done in other regions, while assisting our residents here on Long Island. We will also accept financial donations, which will go directly to communities and organizations on the ground, with 0 admin fee. To donate, please email

Since the aftermath and needs of Hurricane Harvey are not yet fully known, Friends of Long Island groups are currently assessing the situation, connecting with community organizations on the ground, and planning to assist as appropriate in the near future. In the meantime, national groups below are also gearing up to assist.

Other Regional Efforts

All Hands Volunteers
All Hands Volunteers is a US-based, 501(c)3 non-profit organization that addresses the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters by engaging and leveraging volunteers, partner organizations and local communities. Their vision is to demonstrate the power and value of volunteer service through the tangible work done, the hope it brings to suffering communities and the transformative experiences it provides for volunteers.

Amateur Radio Emergency Service organizes and trains volunteers to serve their communities by providing public service and emergency communications. They were a great organization on Long Island post-Sandy.

Church World Services (CWS)
CWS’s work began in 1946, in the aftermath of the Second World War, with a mission to feed the hungry and help those in need. They were very helpful providing cleanup materials and other assistance post-Sandy.

Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity partners with people in your community, and all over the world, to help them build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Habitat Suffolk assisted greatly post-Sandy on Long Island.

Island Harvest
Island Harvest was created in 1992 by one woman with a cooler, a station wagon, and a strong desire to help people in need. Linda Breitstone, our founder, was infuriated that food from a local convenience store was being thrown away at the end of the day – with a safe house for women and children down the street. In response, she established Island Harvest and our mission, “to end hunger and reduce food waste on Long Island.”

Islamic Relief USA
When disaster strikes, Islamic Relief USA responds immediately to get vital resources to survivors as quickly and efficiently as possible—like what they are doing now for Hurricane Harvey survivors. Islamic relief helped our communities post-Sandy.

The Jewish Federations of North America
They provide a lifeline for Jews and non-Jews in distress, at home, in Israel and across the globe. Whether it’s missiles raining down on Israel’s south, a violent conflict in Ukraine, Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast or an earthquake in Nepal,  Federation is there to help — and to rebuild. This organization directly funded recovery on Long Island post-Sandy.

LDS Philanthropies
Through generous donations from people like you, Humanitarian Services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who operates LDS Charities, provides aid to people around the world without regard to cultural or religious affiliation. Known locally as the “Mucking Mormons”, LDS helped thousands of residents throughout Long Island.

Lions Club of Long Island
The Lions Clubs of Long Island are conducting a Huricane Harvey emergency relief supply drive. Non-perishable foods are most needed. Please pack in secure, marked boxes. Second most needed are new mini refrigerators. Third most needed are water pumps and hoses. Bank Gift Cards and Cash Donations welcome! Check Link for locations to drop off donations to.

Long Island Council of Churches
During tragic events like Hurricane Harvey, many of us look for ways to reach out and help. The most immediate and effective way to support is to: Donate Money, Donate Blood and Pray. The devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey continues to cause damage to the Gulf Coast and surrounding communities of Houston. As of August 29th, Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner stated that there are about 12,000 shelters open, with another 13,000 shelters to open August 30th . Instead of requesting tangeable goods like clothing and can goods, I am asking that we support the efforts of Mayor Turner with monetary donations, at least until the waters recede.

Long Island Volunteer Center
The Long Island Volunteer Center works to provide support to, and promote and advocate for, volunteer service on Long Island. LIVC was designated a New York State Regional Volunteer Center in September 2011 to raise the profile of volunteerism on Long Island and increase volunteer engagement. LIVC was and continues to be an asset to our area. You can see volunteer opportunities in Texas, as well as on Long Island, by visiting their website.

NECHAMA is a voluntary organization that provides natural disaster preparedness, response, and recovery services nationwide. Through the years they have brought comfort to disaster survivors by training and mobilizing thousands of volunteers to help communities after floods, tornadoes, and other natural disasters. NECHAMA helped immensely on Long Island, Friends of Long Island will be partnering with the organization for recovery efforts in Texas.

NYS Senator Phil Boyle Donation Drive
Our thoughts and prayers go out to our fellow Americans in Texas now coping with the devestation caused by Hurricane Harvey. Please consider donating non-perishable food items, clothing, and pet-related items during our week-long drive to help people and their pets who have been displaced by this devestating storm.

Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies
Portlight Strategies, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization, founded in 1997 to facilitate a variety of projects involving people with disabilities, including post-disaster relief work. Portlight’s longest running disaster recovery effort followed the devastation of Superstorm Sandy in the shore communities of New Jersey and parts of New York City, and lasted for 18 months. During that time, they replaced lost durable medical equipment and ramping, and assisted residents in purchasing and installing accessibility equipment that was made necessary after their homes were elevated to meet federal flood insurance requirements.

Team Rubicon
Team Rubicon’s primary mission is providing disaster relief to those affected by natural disasters, be they domestic or international. By pairing the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders, medical professionals, and technology solutions, Team Rubicon aims to provide the greatest service and impact possible. Team Rubicon helped greatly post-Sandy.  A Long Island native and FoLI affiliate, Maj. Keith Grant, was a former board member for Team Rubicon.

Nassau County Executive Environmental Candidate Forum on Oct. 15th

From clean drinking water to sustainable transportation to coastal resilience, Nassau County faces a number of environmental challenges. Your County Executive plays a key role in addressing these challenges, and knowing where the candidates stand on these critical issues should be at the forefront of the political conversation this November. That’s why the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund has partnered with Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Vision Long Island, and Adelphi University to bring the candidates to you!

The event will be held on Sunday, October 15th from 6p.m.-8p.m. for Nassau County Executive Environmental Candidate Forum, featuring Laura Curran and Jack Martins at Adelphi’s Angello Alumni House at Adelphi University, 154 Cambridge Avenue, Garden City.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required, and can be completed here. If you need more information please contact Joshua Klainberg at (212) 361-6350 ext. 207, email Joshua Klainberg or check out NYLVC’s Facebook page.

Vision Board Members Among Top 50 Women in Business Honorees October 19th

This year’s Long Island Business News’ Top 50 Women in Business honorees include Vision Long Island Board members Judy Simoncic of Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo & Terrana LLP and Kathy Curtin Wisnewski of National Grid.  Other women leaders from Smart Growth supporting firms/institutions include Rivkin Radler, Hofstra University, Molloy, and H2M Architects & Engineers.

Launched in 2000, the Top 50 Women in Business program has recognized the Island’s top women professionals for business acumen, mentoring, and community involvement. The program’s honorees are selected by a judging committee and receive a unique crystal memento at the elegant dinner attended by more than 600 of the Island’s top business leaders, and represent the most influential women in business, government and the not-for-profit fields.

The event will be held on October 19th at the Crest Hollow Country Club 6pm-9pm. This year’s keynote speaker will be Nassau County Legislator Laura Curran, with News 12’s Elisa DiStefano emceeing the event.

You can click here to register, or contact Danielle Rella at for more information.

29th Annual Keys for the Homeless Conference to be held on Oct. 20th

The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless in co-sponsorship with Stony Brook University of Social Welfare, will be holding its Annual Keys for the Homeless Conference on October 20th.  The event will feature a keynote address from Richard Hooks Wayman, the Executive Director for the Children’s Defense Fund.  The theme of the Conference will be Breaking Down Barriers: Serving our Most Vulnerable.

The Conference is currently accepting sponsors, which will be available through October 2nd.  Sponsorships start at $1,000 for our Corporate Partners and $500 for Non-profit Partners.  Journal ad opportunities are still available as well.  If you have any questions you can go here to find more information and can contact Ksusha Cascio by email here or phone at 631-464-4314 x 123.

Nassau Suffolk Law Services Hosts Fall Commitment to Justice Reception

Doing What’s Legally Possible to Create a Just World will be held on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at Larkfield in East Northport NY, 6:00-10:00pm. Please join us as we salute The Barbara J. Merhman Commitment to Justice Honoree to A. Thomas Levin, Esq. of Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein. The keynote speaker will be Hon. Fern Fisher, Special Assistant to the Dean for Social Justice and Public Interest Initiatives at Hofstra Law.

With your support, we will continue to provide free, quality civil legal representation to Long Island’s neediest residents.  Ticket price is $125. To purchase tickets, sponsorships, and virtual journal ads please visit our website at or call Sheila Johnson at 631 232-2400 Ext. 3322.

Central Islip’s “Good Neighbor Awards” to be Held on October 26

The Central Islip Civic Council will be honoring four individuals for Outstanding Community Service on Thursday, October 26th.  Debra Cavanagh from the Central Islip Coalition of Good Neighbors, Islip Councilman Steve Flotteron, Rob Goldman Suffolk Community College, and Barbara LaMonica from Central Islip School District.

The event will take place at Watermill Caterers at 711 Smithtown Bypass in Smithtown.  You can find more information for the event and civic council here.

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $500 Million Funding Opportunity

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced the opportunity for state and local stakeholders to apply for $500 million in discretionary grant funding through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program.

Since the TIGER grant program was first created, $5.1 billion has been awarded for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure over eight rounds of competitive grants.  “The TIGER grant program is a highly competitive program whose winners will be awarded with the funding they need to rebuild the infrastructure of their communities,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “TIGER grants will continue to fund innovative projects that will improve the safety of America’s passengers and goods.”  

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 appropriated $500 million, available through September 30, 2020, for National Infrastructure Investments otherwise known as TIGER grants. As with previous rounds of TIGER, funds for the fiscal year (FY) 2017 TIGER grants program are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area, or a region. TIGER Discretionary Grants may not be less than $5 million and not greater than $25 million, except for in rural areas. There are some criteria changes compared to last rounds of TIGER funding, including special consideration being given for projects in rural areas.

Webinars have been conducted to give guidance, with additional webinars being scheduled and more information posted online.
The deadline to submit an application for the FY 2017 TIGER grant program is Monday, October 16. For more information, click here.

AARP Foundation Providing Grants for Scaling Evidence-Based Solutions for Vulnerable Older Adults

The AARP is providing grants for educational and non-profit organizations to create and advance effective solutions to increase economic opportunity and social connectedness among the vulnerable, older adult population.  The AARP Foundation works to ensure that low-income and vulnerable older adults have nutritious food, safe, secure, and affordable housing, a steady income and economic opportunities to grow and protect financial assets, and strong and sustaining social bonds. To address those needs, this grant competition seeks evidence-based solutions that are guided by a deep level of engagement with AARP Foundation and that can be brought to scale.

This funding opportunity is available to organizations that include institutions of higher education, public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as well as other types of nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.  This funding opportunity is intended for national or regional organizations, with a built-in distribution channel, such as affiliates, members, chapters or collaborative partnerships. AARP Foundation is seeking organizations that serve thousands of individuals in a cost-effective manner.

You can read the full details and grant application process here. All applications must be completed online. The deadline for application is October 24, 2017, 11:59pm ET

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Application Period Now Open

The open application period began on August 14 for two competitive Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs.
Eligible applicants including territories, federally recognized tribes, states and local governments may apply for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) grants through 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on November 14, 2017.

FMA grants are available to implement measures to reduce or eliminate risk of flood damage to structures insured by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). For FY 2017, $160 million is available, including $70 million for community flood mitigation activities that address flooding on a neighborhood level, such as floodwater diversion and localized flood-control measures as well as advance assistance for mitigation design and development of community flood mitigation projects. The remainder of funds will be used for mitigation planning, technical assistance and mitigating Severe Repetitive Loss and Repetitive Loss structures, which include elevation, acquisition, and relocation projects.

PDM grants are awarded for all-hazard mitigation planning and projects, such as the construction of community and residential safe rooms for tornados, and wind retrofits, which are enhancements made to strengthen the roof, walls and doors of structures to minimize damage caused by high winds. This year, $90 million is available, including $10 million for federally-recognized tribes. States, tribes, territories and the District of Columbia may apply for the statutory allocation of up to $575,000 federal share. The remainder of funds will be awarded on a competitive basis with an emphasis on mitigation activities that complement the post-disaster funding available under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and the flood mitigation funding from the FMA program.

You can learn more and apply for funding here.

NYS Climate Smart Communities Grant Program Funding Available

Funding will be available for inventory, assessment, planning and implementation projects that advance the work of municipalities in addressing climate change. Priorities for the 2017 round include specific adaptation actions that reduce flood risk and increase preparedness for future extreme weather conditions, specific mitigation activities related to transportation and reduction of food waste, and specific Climate Smart Communities certification actions that advance municipal ability in the future to implement adaptation and mitigation projects in the identified implementation categories.

A municipal resolution from the lead applicant authorizing application submission and documenting the availability of local match in the event of grant award must be submitted at the time of application.

For general information and questions on the Climate Smart Communities Program, please contact the Office of Climate Change, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Climate Change, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233, 518-402-8448,

NYS DEC Technical Assistance Grants Available

The New York State DEC continuously accepts applications for Technical Assistance Grants (TAGs). TAGs are a citizen participation tool available to eligible community groups to increase public awareness and understanding of remedial activities taking place in their community. TAGs are available to eligible community groups for the purpose of obtaining independent technical assistance in interpreting existing environmental information about an eligible “significant threat” site being remediated in the State Superfund Program or Brownfield Cleanup Program. Technical assistance is intended to help the grant recipient and the community it represents to understand existing environmental data developed about the site, comment on site remedial activities and proposals and share this information with the public.

Funding is limited to $50,000 per site, with no matching requirement. A community group must be a nonresponsible party community group or one that is in partnership with another nonresponsible party community group. The group must be a 501(c)(3), and a group whose members’ health, economic well-being or enjoyment of the environment may be affected by a release or threatened release of contamination at the eligible site. The group must be one whose membership represents the interest of the community affected by the eligible site. Eligible sites must be Class 2 sites on the New York State Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites or sites being remediated under the State’s Brownfield Cleanup Program that the DEC has determined pose a significant threat to public health and/or the environment.

For more information, you can visit the DEC’s site here.

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

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

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

Local travel will be also required for this position.  Benefits after probationary period will be available. These include paid time off (vacation, holiday, sick, personal), medical insurance for the employee (premium paid by LICH), and Simple IRA plan (with employer match). Salary range for this position is $35,000 – $40,000.

Interested parties should submit a resume and salary requirements via email to Please do not call the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless regarding this position.  Questions should be submitted via email only.



Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families…

Smart Talk

Chris Kyle, Communications Director

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

We strive to provide continued quality publications like this every week. If you have any news or events that you would like to add to our newsletter, submit them to for consideration.

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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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