Smart Talk November 18th – December 15th, 2017

Check out this week’s Smart Talk where we remember John Kominicki, look in on the latest development in 3rd track progress, attend a groundbreaking in Ronkonkoma for the long planned HUB, and more…

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November 18th – December 15th, 2017


REGIONAL UPDATES

Mill Creek Residential

Mill Creek Residential develops, builds, acquires and operates high-quality apartment communities in desirable locations coast-to-coast. While they are a national company, they immerse themselves in chosen markets – living and working in the communities where they operate. They combine a deep understanding of each market with 30+ years of expertise and a fresh innovative approach to the apartment industry, to build relationships and places in which people thrive – creating real and enduring value for residents, investors and associates.

Since starting in 2011, they have developed more than 20,000 apartment homes across 90+ communities and acquired more than 2,500 apartment homes in some of the nation’s best apartment markets. They expect to deliver an additional 5,000+ homes to a growing portfolio. They are proud of their people, the places they build, and the relationships they have with stakeholders across the country.

“John Kominicki was a friend and mentor to me and so many others. Journalism and the entire Long Island community have suffered a huge loss. He will be sorely missed.” – Long Island Business News Publisher Scott Schoen

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John Kominicki, 62

Vision Long Island was sad to hear of the passing of former LI Business News Publisher John Kominicki.

Along with the many Long Island businesses and interests he assisted through the years, John was an early supporter of Smart Growth well before it was even remotely popular or understood. He moderated panels, MC’d luncheons, wrote columns, challenged the business and development community and was a guide, a resource and a friend. He was also a founding member of the Vision Long Island Board of Directors and served for well over a decade.

There are very few people as unique and dynamic as Mr. Kominicki. Certainly someone who made his mark in almost any area and group of people he put his focus into. We were honored to have worked with him and prayers go out to his family, colleagues and loved ones.

The following memoriam was originally featured in Long Island Business News

John Kominicki, publisher of the Long Island Press and former publisher and editor of Long Island Business News, died late Monday after battling a brief illness. He was 62.

Kominicki was an icon in the news business on Long Island. He joined the Long Island Press in July of this year after launching the Innovate Long Island website and leading LIBN for 15 years.

A worldly figure, Kominicki was a Europe-based correspondent for European Stars & Stripes. He also wrote for The New York Times, USA Today, the Dallas Morning News and Newsweek, among others. In 1995, he joined The Dolan Company–former parent company of LIBN–as publisher of the Journal Record in Oklahoma City. He became head of the company’s editorial board and was an extraordinary mentor to many young editors and reporters.

Kominicki grew up in New Hampshire and was an accomplished singer and actor, who performed in musical theater productions as a young man. He honed his gift for gab while watching Mike Douglas on the big console sets in his dad’s television store. Later, Kominicki and his wife, Marie, owned a home in France and visited there every summer.

“John Kominicki was a friend and mentor to me and so many others,” said LIBN Publisher Scott Schoen. “Journalism and the entire Long Island community have suffered a huge loss. He will be sorely missed.”

Tributes have been pouring in from former colleagues and friends from all over the Island.

“John Kominicki was my boss when I was editor at Long Island Business News,” said Newsday reporter David Reich-Hale. “He was creative, dynamic and forward-thinking. Long Island, and the world, needs more people like him. In my 24 years as a professional journalist, I learned as much from him as anyone I’ve ever worked for or with. I’ll miss him dearly.”

Another former LIBN editor, Andrea Jones said: “John was a triple threat. He could write a scathing editorial, humorous piece or column, and make it look effortless. He was a ruthless editor, in the best sense of the word. And unlike most journalists, he could command a room, whether leading a meeting, functioning as an emcee of an event or attending a party as a guest. Yes, he was a hard-boiled newspaperman. But he had the soul of a poet.”

Carl Corry, who worked as a reporter, managing editor and then editor at Long Island Business News, remembers him as a wonderful writer and more.

Corry called him “an invaluable mentor and friend’”as well as the best writer “I’ve ever known” who only needed “30 minutes in his office with the door closed and the window open” to produce beautifully written prose.

“A half hour later, a pristine piece of writing emerged,” Corry, now a journalism instructor at Suffolk County Community College, said of Kominicki’s ability to write quickly and beautifully. “It would have been annoying if he wasn’t so good at it. ”

Gregory Zeller, a former LIBN editor and current editor of InnovateLI.com. also spoke highly of him.

“John was a hardass, a perfectionist and absolutely the finest mentor I’ve ever known,”  Zeller said. “He hired me on three separate occasions, and each time taught me new things about professionalism. Long Island loses a great journalist. And I’m sorry to lose a great friend.”

Michael Martino, a former Long Island Press editor who is now communications manager for Suez, remembered him for his character and conversations.

“John slammed into Long Island like a meteor and his mark will exist for a long, long time,” Martino said. “You could not have a boring conversation with him, ever. When the insanity of Long Island’s traffic, taxes and politics can stun even the most stalwart of transplants into running back home John took it all into his hand and became a giant in his field and beyond. This loss hurts a great deal professionally but much more personally.”

Gary Lewi, a longtime friend and public relations guru for Rubenstein, said: “If press cards stuffed in fedoras were still in style that would have been John’s fashion statement for he was from the old school of journalism where facts, the turn of phrase, and the clever pun that spoke to the assumed intelligence of the reader, were all part of his repertoire. He was a bright light in the constellation of journalism and an innovating force until the day he died. I just hope that he knew how many people he inspired along his journey and that we will hold quite dear the lasting gift of his friendship.”

Kevin Law, CEO and president of the Long Island Association, said “John was a good friend, a great Long Islander and  a former LIA board member. He was smart and funny and I will miss him.”

“Like everyone else who came to know and love him, I will miss John terribly,” said Katherine Heaviside, president of Epoch 5 Public Relations. “He was one of Long Island’s brightest minds — a rare talent who combined journalism, humor, and performance. He made LIBN into a must read for every business person on Long Island with a fresh new approach that has been carried on to this day. John’s spirit will live on in our memories for many years to come.”

Jaci Clement, CEO of the Fair Media Council called Kominicki an incredible talent with a huge heart and quick wit.

“He had the ability to tap the public pulse with his story ideas and then flawlessly execute the idea with his bright and lively style of writing,” Clement said. “It’s rare to possess both those traits in one individual, but it was John, always and every day. Anyone who cared about John should celebrate his life by toasting life and living in the moment. It’s how he lived, and among the many reasons why we’ll all miss him so.”

“My company, myself and my partner, Joshua Schneps, will be eternally grateful for working with John to create the new Long Island Press,” said Victoria Schneps-Yunis, whose company, Schneps Communications, acquired the Press in April. “He was a brilliant writer, thinker and creator. And he will be dearly missed.”

Kominicki is survived by his wife, Marie, and his daughter, Anya.

MTA Board Approves Contract to Move Ahead with 3rd Track Construction

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) board has voted to approve a design-build contract with 3rd Track Constructors (3TC) to complete the planning and construction of the LIRR expansion.

3TC is a conglomeration of several firms that include Dragados USA, Inc., John P. Picone Inc., CCA Civil, Inc., and Halmar International LLC, with Stantec as the design professional, as well as Cameron Engineering, and Rubenstein Associates leading the community outreach team.  The group will now take the reins on the project that aims to improve the commute on the world’s largest commuter rail.  The project will update the infrastructure and aims to minimize delays by increasing capacity.

“These infrastructure improvements were identified as crucial and necessary many years ago, and I am pleased to see that they will soon become a reality,” said LIRR President Pat Nowakowski. “The reliability of our system is the focal point for good service, and with this project, the LIRR will be able to deliver that better than ever for our customers who rely on the railroad for commuting to work and school, and other facets of daily life.”

The part of the track designated for 3rd rail expansion is a 9.8 mile stretch between Floral and Hicksville that sees approximately 250 trains on an average weekday.  Around 40% of all daily LIRR customers will travel through this corridor which is susceptible to congestion and bottlenecking if there is a mechanical emergency.  In addition to helping to alleviate those issues, the third track will also allow for reverse commuting during the morning and evening rush, helping out those who live in the city and work on Long Island.

As part of the project several street-level grade crossings will be eliminated in order to help improve traffic in the local area.  There will also be improvements along the rail line with new equipment and switches, new power substations to enhance capacity, station enhancements, and the improvement of seven rail bridges along the Main Line. 

The third rail project is a product of two year’s worth of community outreach to gather opinion and feedback from local residents, stakeholders, and elected officials.  This feedback has led to alterations in the project in order to build a consensus on moving the project forward for those who are most affected by the changes.  Solutions include erection of noise canceling walls to reduce disturbance from construction, environmental controls so as not to dirty up the local neighborhoods, a commitment to ongoing community outreach throughout the project, as well as others.

You can view a press release covering this development in its entirety here.

NYS Economic Development Council Provides $84.3 Million in Funding for Long Island Projects

Vision Long Island was happy to see NYS Economic Development dollars directed to Long Island communities.

$755 million awarded statewide, of which Long Island received $84.3 million supporting 98 projects. The 18 local municipalities represent 26 downtown revitalization and associated infrastructure projects, which captured roughly $22 million of that total.

Communities funded in Nassau included: Freeport, Glen Cove, Hempstead, Long Beach and Sea Cliff. Suffolk communities included: Huntington, Kings Park, Lake Ronkonkoma, Lindenhurst, Northport, Port Jefferson, Patchogue, Riverhead, Riverside, Westhampton Beach and Wyandanch.

Additionally, $30 million was dedicated to Federal Industrial Bonds which would provide future financing for local municipalities to advance economic development, infrastructure and community revitalization projects.  Many of these initiatives advance downtown efforts that have been underway for many years with the support of Vision and the Smart Growth movement.

The full listing of projects can be seen on the NYS EDC website here. There is a summary in the lower left hand corner.

Sixteen Projects along the South Shore Estuary Awarded State Grants

The New York Secretary of State, Rossana Rosado recently announced sixteen Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve (Reserve) Local Assistance Grants totaling $668,385 to municipalities along Long Island’s South Shore for implementation of projects designed to increase recreational public access, and improve the health and preserve the South Shore Estuary.

These grants of up to $50,000 will assist three towns, three villages, and one county to complete projects throughout the Reserve to advance the Reserves’ Comprehensive Management Plan, which was approved in 2001. The plan focuses on the protection and improvement of water quality, living resources, public access, open space, maritime heritage and economy throughout the Reserve.

“This funding will help to protect the valuable natural and economic resources of the South Shore Estuary by providing valuable funding to Reserve communities for implementation of priority projects,” said New York Secretary of State Rosado, Chair of the Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve Council. “The Department of State will continue to work with these municipalities to support Governor Cuomo’s investment in the health of Long Island’s South Shore Estuary ecosystem and communities.”

The South Shore municipalities receiving grants include:

  • Nassau County – $50,000 (invasive plant removal from Massapequa Lake);
  • Town of Brookhaven – $178,975 (Innovative/Alternative septic installation at two parks, eelgrass restoration at four sites, and stormwater mitigation);
  • Town of Hempstead – $202,510 (Research projects and environmental studies, implementation of Phase 2 of the Blueway Trail, reef construction using “waste” clam and oyster shells from local businesses);
  • Town of Islip – $50,000 (Installation of algae bioreactors to feed shellfish in their hatchery);
  • Village of Freeport – $100,000 (Installation of 37 catch basins to reduce waterway debris, and a kayak launch recommended in the South Shore Blueway Plan);
  • Village of Patchogue – $50,000 (Retrofitting eleven  outfall pipes to remove sediment and trash from stormwater);
  • Village of Rockville Centre – $36,900 (Replacement of filters in existing storm sewer systems and education outreach).

You can read more about the grants awarded to help Long Island’s South Shore here, and see more details about the awards here

WeWork Eyes Push into Retail

WeWork, a global company aimed at providing communal, flexible office workspace to growing businesses, has plans to expand operations into retail spaces in the near future.

The company places a heavy emphasis on communal workspaces that provide an aesthetic to encourage creativity and cooperation with employees.  WeWork provides furnished spaces to owners that can grow as their business does and works almost as an incubator for fledgling companies.  The organization has grown quickly in the past few years after starting up in New York City and is currently valued at around $16 billion thanks to innovative concepts that appeal to a more modern clientele and younger office workers. 

Though office space is its main product, the company has also worked to provide communal living spaces, often in conjuncture with their office space, as well as hospitality space.  The next step is to offer retail space to new stores, whether located within their current living space or office locations or on their own.  To help facilitate this, the company has recently acquired the Lord & Taylor building in Midtown.

“Retail is changing and the role that real estate has to play in the way that we shop today must change with it,” WeWork’s co-founder Adam Neumann said in a statement at the time.

We look forward to seeing what a fresh take on workspace can bring to the current concept of retail and hope that such a venture can bring new innovation to the field.

You can read more on this story here.

Hundreds Gather for Long-Awaited Groundbreaking at Ronkonkoma Hub

Vision was recently out in support of the $650 million redevelopment at the Ronkonkoma Hub. The official groundbreaking of this long awaited and planned transit-oriented development featured Town and County officials as well as community leaders from the Ronkonkoma Chamber of Commerce the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization, and the Ronkonkoma Civic Association.

Town officials on hand included Town of Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine, Councilman Neil Foley and Councilman Kevin LaValle; Islip Councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt; and Huntington Councilwoman Tracey Edwards. Suffolk County Officials included Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone; Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory; Legislator Kate Browning, Legislator Kara Hahn, Legislator Kevin McCaffrey, Legislator Tom Muratore and Legislator Tom Cilmi. NYS Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan was also on hand, as well at Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri.

“The Ronkonkoma Hub builds on our transformational investments in the LIRR and furthers our efforts to develop a new New York and a sustainable Long Island,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “This redevelopment at a major commuter crossroads will create a new commercial and residential complex, boosting the economic livelihood of Brookhaven and its surrounding communities for generations to come.”

The development of the Hub will begin with Phase 1, which will build 489 residential units in six buildings, with 1,000 construction jobs created. The second phase is expected to support 11,000 jobs, and  will include 1,450 apartments and over a half million square feet of retail space on the 53-acre site, with the build-out expected to be complete in about 10 years. In total, the project is expected to create 2,700 permanent full-time jobs upon completion and an impact of over $2 billion, with that figure not taking into account providing housing, jobs, and amenities that are highly sought after by Millennials.  “This is what we must do as a region to make our region attractive and competitive once again for the very people that we need to reach our economic potential, that are those young high-skilled, high-knowledge workers that we’ve lost too many of,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

A point that most of the speakers at the groundbreaking brought up is that projects like these cannot be moved ahead without achieving community consensus and buy in from the early stages. “You’ve got to listen to everybody who represents these communities,” said State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan. “This is a reflection of how when people actually work together, that good things can get done.”

With shovels in the ground, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine looked towards the future for not only Ronkonkoma Hub, but also for his township. “This will be a first for Brookhaven, but not for Suffolk,” said Romaine, speaking about the relocation about the Yaphank railroad station closer to Brookhaven National Lab in East Yaphank with the electrification of the rail, the existing Yaphank Meadows complex, and more transit-oriented development to come. “I believe it’s a new day for Suffolk, and a new definition for suburbia” Romaine

Congratulations to the Tritec Real Estate Company principals and their team for this investment in the community and the promise of needed jobs and housing for the station area.

Hicksville Downtown Revitalization Committee Meet to Review Progress

Last Tuesday, the Hicksville Downtown Revitalization Committee met to discuss the process of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) meeting and other ongoing issues. 

While the Westbury DRI planning process took about a year, Hicksville’s is scheduled to take only six months since so much planning has already been done.  Some on the committee were disappointed that is seemed that the planning process was starting over again, but Lionel Chitty of the Chamber of Commerce explained that this is the State’s process to ensure that the funding is spent wisely.  It is the hoop that Hicksville has to jump through in order to get the $10 million in funding. 

Some were also concerned that there were some people in the planning process that wanted more residential units built in the downtown that the community is comfortable with and were afraid that it could lead to a loss of the trust that has been built over the past several years.

While the NYS DRI process is underway for the $10 million grant the groundwork for the Town of Oyster Bay’s environmental review process has been started and they are planning on moving forward with the rezoning of the train station area.

Patchogue Village Retailers Form Committee to Promote Downtown

Retailers in the Village of Patchogue have formed a committee with one message for visitors to the resurgent downtown: Don’t forget to shop.

Patchogue has become a destination on the island known for its fast-growing restaurant scene, but local retailers are making an effort to get people to stay and shop as well.  The committee originally formed in October with a commitment to bringing business to local retailers.  As the opening move in this campaign, the group held a “Ladies Night Out” on Thursday where stored stayed open a little later in order to attract holiday shoppers. 

“There’s great retail in Patchogue, but sometimes it gets overshadowed because of all of the new restaurants,” said David Kennedy, executive director of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce. “Restaurants are becoming such an important aspect of downtown.”

The move is coming in the midst of a redevelopment boom in the downtown that has seen more than 700 apartments constructed.  These new units have attracted new residents, artists, and scores of visitors to the Village, as well as a $1 million renovation to the Performing Arts Theatre.  However, retail has not benefited to the same degree.

Patchogue has had a reputation as a retail destination in the past with anchor stores such as Swezey’s Department Store and others being the main draw to a bustling retail district.  However, in the 80’s consumers began to drift away as big box stores and strip malls rose in popularity and left many storefronts empty.  However, with a resurgence of smart growth in the region and a hunger for locally owned and sourced shops, the newly formed Retail Committee is fighting to bring the crowds of shoppers back to their downtown in time for the holidays.

You can read more on this story here.

Next Stage of Wyandanch Rising Planned for 2018

The Wyandanch Rising project has been quiet in 2017 without much progress, but that’s all set to change in 2018.

From 2013 to 2016 Wyandanch Rising seemed to be moving along at a brisk pace, resulting in the construction of 177 apartments, a plaza with an ice skating rink, a spray park and botanical garden, and the construction of a sewer line to extend the Southwest Sewer District.  Since then, however, the 400acre plot designated for redevelopment has been quiet, leading some residents to worry as to when the construction crews will return.

“There’s a despair that happens when all the construction vehicles go away and nothing’s happening,” said Amy Pfeiffer, the Babylon’s director of downtown revitalization. “Now there’s stuff happening again.”

However, all that will change next year as officials and master developer the Albanese Organization have announced plans to unveil the next stage of development.  The Town is hoping that the announcement will demonstrate to residents that Babylon is serious about redeveloping the area.

The Wyandanch Rising plan was conceived by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone when he was serving as Babylon Town Supervisor in 2002.  Designed as a transit-oriented redevelopment, the plan has been steadily gaining financing and traction in the community, with over 90% of the new apartments already rented out.  Retail has been more challenging, but gains have been made in that department recently and it is hoped that new development will spur more local stores and organizations to lease space.

“New downtowns don’t develop overnight, and you don’t create the kind of change that this effort is seeking overnight either,” Bellone said. “But you can see the direction that this is going, and all the signs for future growth and prosperity there exist.”
Vision Long Island supports the redevelopment of the area and Wyandanch Rising, which received a Smart Growth Award in 2010 for Creating a Mix of Uses.

You can read more on this story here.

Lynbrook Looks to Transform Abandoned Factory into Apartments

The Village of Lynbrook are working hard to broker an agreement between developers and the owner of the abandoned Mangrove Feather factory to allow the construction of rental apartments on the site.

The Breslin Realty Development Corp. has been in contact with building owner Barry Singer in order to discuss the future of the site.  The preliminary plan for the abandoned factory would feature 102 one-bedroom apartments and 111 parking spaces with a garage on the first floor.  It is hoped that since the building would consist of one-bedroom apartments that millennials, empty-nesters, and residents looking to downsize will be attracted to the area with less of a burden on the local schools. A public hearing is currently planned to present a more concrete plan to residents.

“It involves getting rid of a terrible eyesore in our village,” according to Village Mayor Alan Beach. “It will create foot traffic for our downtown in our village, and we’re shooting for young millennials and people that are looking to downsize and stay within our village.”

Plans for the factory have met roadblocks in the past with several deals falling through after an inability to come to terms with the owner.  Mayor Beach has expressed confidence that this attempt will be successful, however, noting that he had a sit down meeting with Singer shortly after assuming office.  That meeting led to another where Singer sat with Breslin’s chief development office, and now appears to be moving forward to a resolution hopefully in the near future.

Breslin has already purchased a vacant lot on the west side of Langdon Place to offer additional parking to residents. 

You can read more on this story here.

Redevelopment begins and ends with the public

One of the most rewarding parts of working on Main Street revitalization through the years is heading out in regular-people clothes and simply talking with local business owners, shoppers and residents.

Sometimes it’s the owner of a new downtown business, families at a street fair, couples or single folks at a music festival or trying out new food or drinks. Some we talk to are community members waiting for change and seeking investment or solutions to ongoing problems.

The one takeaway we get from all this feedback is folks care about the communities they live in on Long Island.

We have seen community groups speak out for downtown projects regularly for many years now.  Supportive civic and chamber leaders are featured speakers at groundbreakings, ribbon cutting and grand opening events. This was unheard of years ago.

Similarly we have watched developers work thoughtfully with their new neighbors in communities they are seeking to build. These positive results from real community based planning have secured many creative downtown projects with public benefits. This was unheard of years ago.

We have also seen local municipalities, both elected officials and government staff, approach downtown planning in a more progressive fashion. Supported by the public, these officials are seeking solutions rather than letting problems sit and fester for the next administration. In recent years a new crop of public officials have been elected on various levels of government with downtown redevelopment as a centerpiece or at least a key issue for their platform.

This was also unheard of years ago.

It is easy to get lost listening to some past approaches tell us why everything in our region is not working.  You know the old playbook – 1) list all of the problems facing our region, 2) find some groups or generic “interests” to blame for it all, 3) put some ideas together in a top down fashion, 4) when facing questions or resistance on the approach then “find a way to maneuver around the public” or “educate” them in a paternalistic fashion and if they don’t agree just call them names.

These approaches may be normative in conflict obsessed Washington but aren’t needed anymore on Long Island.

The antidote to this negativity is a true problem-solving spirit exhibited by the thousands of Long Islanders making real change in their communities.

When you think about it – the customers of a Main Street business, the members of a civic association, the buyers, renters or builders of a new downtown project and the voters of a recently elected official all have one thing in common. They are the resource we all need to be successful at improving our local communities for housing, jobs, small business, infrastructure and environment conditions.

At the Long Island Smart Growth Summit Dec. 1, well over 1,000 of these Long Island leaders gathered to sharpen their skills and learn about a slew of downtown & Transit Oriented Developments, clean energy solutions, water infrastructure projects, traffic calming and transportation infrastructure, new technologies, financing strategies and the voices of the young and our older residents. Participants take these connections back to their communities and help create better revitalization initiatives. Where projects or improvements are blocked by higher levels of government these local leaders themselves often petition Albany or Washington for the needed support to assist in the next budget round or legislative session.

The collective work of local community and business leadership working with the development community and local municipalities is rather astounding and vastly underrated.  So whatever role we all may play in advancing Long Island’s downtown development or infrastructure investment. Make no mistake:

None of this happens without the support of the public.

None of this is worth doing without serving the public.

Public Comment Requested for NYMTC SFY 2018 – 2019 Unified Planning Work Program

New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) Executive Director José M. Rivera announced the release of NYMTC’s draft Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) for the State Fiscal Year 2018-2019, a guiding document that helps NYMTC and its members to determine how federal funding will be spent for planning activities.

The draft UPWP, which is proposed for April 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019, identifies the planning priorities and activities to be carried out throughout the program year. Each year, the UPWP helps to outline recommendations and priorities for NYMTC’s 10-county planning area and enables federal funding assistance for planning activities undertaken by NYMTC’s staff and its members.

The comment period concludes December 19, and will offer an opportunity for the public to comment on the draft UPWP.
For more information, please click here or visit the below links to offer your input and review the draft UPWP.

Materials for Public Review:

·         Public Notice 
·         Draft Executive Summary 
·         Draft SFY 2018-2019 Unified Planning Work Program 
·         Interactive Map Hyperlink

4th Annual Music for Mittens to be Held on December 16th

For the 4th year, Carine Firestone has organized “Music For Mittens”, a fund raiser and items donation drive to benefit the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless.

The event will take place on Saturday, December 16, from 11AM to 6PM at KJ Farrells Bar & Grill, located in Bellmore. Over 30 local musical acts will perform, and it promises to be the best Music For Mittens yet!

If you can, please come down to support this event and Long Island Coalition for the Homeless, and bring some friends. If you can’t stop by, please spread the word to let others know about this wonderful event.

Last year’s event raised over $1,000, and a box truck filled with great donations of essential winter items for those in need. This year, the goal is to double it!

North Hempstead’s Clark Botancal Garden to Host 4 Day Winter Wonderland Starting December 17th

The Clark Botanical Garden in North Hempstead will be hosting its Annual 4 day Winter Wonderland holiday show.  The program will include a holiday lighting, an outdoor steam locomotive display, and an indoor Garden Railway model train display with a Christmas Village.

Single-day events begin with a holiday story time on Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m., featuring live singing by Greenvale native and former “American Idol” contestant Bryce Larsen, hot chocolate, face painting and a photo booth, plus arts and crafts. Dec. 18will play host to both canines and their human friends during a Winter Pawty from 3 to 8 p.m., at which Santa will be available for photos with your pup. Staffers from Jam Dance & Fitness Center of Great Neck will be in the Garden on Dec. 19 from 5 to 8 p.m. teaching holiday dances, and on Dec. 20, members of the Williston Park Library staff will be on hand to tell stories by the fireplace and help with arts and crafts. For the final evening of the event, a DJ will be spinning beats for a kids’ dance party on Dec. 21 from 5 to 8 p.m. Hofstra University’s astronomy department is slated to help with stargazing, and both the Albertson Fire Department and Santa will also be in attendance.

The event is free; call 311 or visit northhempsteadny.gov for more information.

NYS Climate Smart Communities Grant Program Funding Available

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

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

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

NYS DEC Technical Assistance Grants Available

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

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

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

Government Affairs Position Available With LIBOR

The Long Island Board of REALTORS® (LIBOR) is looking for an experienced government affairs person to augment their successful division.

This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by the employee(s) incumbent in this position.  Employee(s) will be required to follow any other job-related instructions and to perform any other job-related duties requested by any person authorized to give instructions or assignments.

Requirements:
Minimum of eight years relevant experience in an elected official’s office, a trade association or a corporation in the government affairs area.
Bachelor’s degree in Political Science/Communications or related areas
Registering (and Reporting) as a Lobbyist in NYS, NYC, Nassau & Suffolk Counties
Knowledge of the legislative process at various levels
Understanding of the internal (informal) political process
Must be perceived as non partisan and able to deal with both sides of the aisle
Superior writing and oral communication skills
Some experience in political fund raising helpful
Must be proficient in Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, Internet Explorer

Physical Requirements:
Ability to travel through three county area
Attend state level meetings twice a year
Attend Lobby Day in Albany
Attend out of state meetings as requested (GAD, DC, etc.)

General:
Augment the Government Affairs function with an emphasis on expanding and intensifying our outreach program on (but not limited to) the county and township level.

Specific
Refine and execute a formal outreach program designed to establish close working relationships with key officials and their staff.
Focus outreach on county and township level contacts.
Develop reports on contacts position on Realtor issues and evaluate commitment and support based on our priorities.
Write appropriate articles and position papers in support of Board goals and programs in the governmental area.
Assist in the promotion of RPAC fund raising.
Through prior experience ensure that we have access to key officials related to issues essential to Realtor interests.
Assist with related Committees.
Provide in person updates to the membership at Chapter & Division meetings

Salary is commensurate with experience. ($70K-$75K) plus benefits.

If you know of an interested applicant – please have them respond via email with their letter of interest and resume to rkaplan@lirealtor.com and cc the info to adellItalia@mlsli.com

Toronto Residents Fix Intersection with Chalk and Leaves

Where Regal Road and Springmount Avenue meet in Toronto, there’s quite a bit of pavement, and, importantly, all-way stop signs. The problem is that not a lot of drivers stop, probably in part because of all that space, and because it’s a rush-hour alternative to busy streets nearby. Some residents recently took it into their own hands to change that.

Their solution involved a lot of chalk, leaves, and children, who they corralled to help put the leaves in place and lay down the chalk, according to the CBC. One of the residents, Dave Meslin, took some photos of the difference and tweeted them, telling the CBC that their solution worked so well they decided to keep it up for longer than the single day they had planned.

You can read more about their solution and efforts here.

Smart Talk

Editor:
Chris Kyle, Communications Director

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

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

If you are interested in becoming a newsletter or news blast sponsor, please call the office at 631-261-0242 for rates and opportunities.

Vision Long Island
24 Woodbine Ave., Suite Two 
Northport, NY 11768 
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.
Email: info@visionlongisland.org

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