Long Island Main Street News October 16th, 2020

Here is the latest edition of Long Island Main Street News for day 216 of the Coronavirus shutdown and partial reopening.  This issue covers LIRR improvements in Lynbrook, new development in Port Jefferson, Pink Tie Delivery in Medford, a Council District system in the Town of Islip, Coronavirus shutdown impacts on local government from the NYS Comptroller, MTA/LIRR safety protocols, upcoming candidate forums, summary of Climate Change session, new events, grants and more.

presented by Vision Long Island and the Long Island Main Street Alliance

October 16th, 2020

Quotes of the Day

“COVID-19 has decimated local sales tax revenue this year, blowing holes in the budgets of municipalities across New York State. As we work to rebuild our economy, we must also help repair the damage that has already been inflicted. Just as our Main Street small businesses can’t rebuild alone, our local governments don’t have the means to do this themselves. Direct aid from the federal government is needed to help our communities recover.” – New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli
“The biggest thing is revitalizing uptown Port Jeff. It’s going to be important to have projects like this within the village to help defray the loss of property taxes that the village is going through.” – Rob Gitto, Vice President of the Gitto Group
“Although the Glen Cove Downtown BID purchases the decorations that line the downtown streets if it was not for the synergy between the BID and the Beautification Commission theses warm and welcoming decorations would not be possible.” – Patricia Holman, Executive Director of the Glen Cove Downtown B.I.D.   

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Glen Cove Downtown BID Brings Fall Vibes to Downtown

The streets of Glen Cove will be lined with over 150 festive scarecrows this October thanks to the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID), who are purchasing the decorations as a seasonal initiative.  The scarecrows will be installed by Ralph Comintino and Damion Stravredes of Glen Cove’s Commission of Beautification.

“Although the Glen Cove Downtown BID purchases the decorations that line the downtown streets if it was not for the synergy between the BID and the Beautification Commission theses warm and welcoming decorations would not be possible,” said Patricia Holman the executive director of the Glen Cove Downtown B.I.D.   

“We are very happy with the great relationship that Beautification and the BID has and we look forward to working on new projects with the B.I.D” said Elizabeth Mestres, co- director of the Beautification Commission.

The BID has also created a program that will allow downtown businesses to purchase fall flowers and ornaments at wholesale, helping to decorate the downtown for the upcoming season.  The BID itself also purchased over 550 mums and cabbages that will be planted throughout the downtown.

Glen Cove’s BID has been in existence since 1997 with a mission of providing a clean and welcoming downtown area for residents.  This includes decoration initiatives such as these two as well as ones for other seasons.  They also maintain some public spaces within the downtown and help to keep things clean.

Great work by this local group to keep their downtown looking great and ready for the upcoming autumn season.

Gitto Group to Develop New Port Jefferson Apartments

The Gitto Group is continuing its work in the Village of Port Jefferson, now with the addition of a new apartment complex at the former PJ Lobster House location.

The new complex will be slightly smaller than previous work done at the Brookport project, and will come in around three stories tall and with 46 units of apartments.  There will also be a retail component to the new project as well.

This will join a number of other projects that the Gitto Group has done in the local downtown area.  These projects include The Hills, the Barnum Crossing, the Port Jefferson Crossing, and the Uptown Funk revitalization, among others.  Vision Long Island has previously honored the Brookport, the Hills, and the Barnum House with Smart Growth Awards.

“The biggest thing is revitalizing uptown Port Jeff,” said Rob Gitto, vice president of the Gitto Group. “It’s going to be important to have projects like this within the village to help defray the loss of property taxes that the village is going through.”

Mr. Gitto also talked about the local Mathers Hospital and other medical facilities continuing to grow and increasing demand for local residential projects.  He hopes that these developments can continue to revitalize the uptown area of Port Jefferson by providing places for new residents to live and walk to both work and local entertainment venues.

You can read more at Greater Port Jefferson.

MTA Completes Phase 1 of Lynbrook LIRR Station’s Rehabiliation

MTA C&D along with the LIRR have announced the completion of new platforms and upgrades at the Long Island Rail Road’s Lynbrook station. 

The elevated station features two new island platforms, platform canopies, and other new amenities.  The new enhancement cost $17.9 million dollars and was funded through the 2015-19 MTA Capital Plan.  Work began in May 2019 and wrapped one month ahead of schedule.

The platforms were resealed and warning strips and platform edges were power-washed and repainted.  Lighting was upgraded on the platforms and new translucent canopy roofing was installed.  Other upgrades included improvements to the drainage system and two new glass platform waiting areas.  New signage was also installed as well as LED lighting and a security system.

This is part of a broader initiative by the MTA to improve conditions at LIRR station across the region.  The Lynbrook Station has been in use since 1936 and serves approximately 5,000 weekday riders.  A separate project to rebuild the Lynbrook Viaduct is also currently underway and is expected to be completed by summer 2021.

You can read more here.

Pink Tie Delivers to Medford

The Pink Tie Delivers team was out last week to the Genesis Church and Drive thru pantry in Medford for food and financial donations.

The Genesis Church Pantry has been diligent in meeting the needs of local families, seniors and residents for healthy food through the pandemic.  They are handling requests well beyond Medford and keeping a stable supply of food always is a challenge.

The companies that participated in this drop included 1st Equity Title, Trinity Solar, Allstate, National Grid, Late Night Chauffers, Asia Lee Fine Art, Vision LI, Keller Williams and Shoprite.

The Pink Tie Delivers team will be out today in Westbury and Hempstead.

For more info on how you can take part in the doorstep donation program or join the Delivers Team  check out pinktie.org or please email us at contact@pinktie.org

Council Districts Emerging in Town of Islip

In a win for Latino residents and advocates in the Town of Islip who brought suit in Federal Court in 2018 alleging that Islip’s at-large voting structure for Town Board denies Latinos representation in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Wednesday’s tentative settlement in Flores v. Town of Islip finds Islip joining Hempstead, Brookhaven and North Hempstead in adopting council districts.

This settlement makes Islip the fourth Long Island town in recent years to abolish the at-large council system, which detractors say leaves large swaths of residents, including minorities, underrepresented in government and community affairs.

As part of the settlement, Islip will start the creation of four council districts in 2021, with each represented by its own town board member. One district will be crafted to represent northwest Islip communities such as Brentwood, North Bay Shore and Central Islip.

Assemblyman Phil Ramos, who supported the effort to have councilmanic districts and testified in court, said Tuesday that the settlement “acknowledges that the present at-large systems in the Town of Islip elections disenfranchises Brentwood, Central Islip and other communities of color.” Ramos added, “We’ve been fighting for this for years. It’s certainly a day to celebrate.”

As Newsday reports, “Islip’s Hispanic residents for decades have said town officials ignored their complaints on issues from crime to potholes. The agreement, they said, promises to give them a seat at the political table. ‘I am so excited that we will now finally have representation for our Brentwood community,’ Maria Magdalena Hernandez, one of four Brentwood residents who sued the town, said in a statement. ‘For decades, we have not had someone on the town board fighting for our rights and needs. We were treated as second-class citizens. Now, we will be able to elect a candidate of our choice looking out for our community.’”

Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter said in a statement, “The town board will continue its unwavering commitment to represent and be accountable to all our residents in the Town of Islip, as the transition is made to councilmanic districts. Careful consideration was given to all the options, and when weighed against the escalating costs and inherent uncertainty of litigation, we believe that a settlement is the best and most responsible action which protects all interests, most especially our taxpayers, particularly in light of the current fiscal crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Elections for the first two districts created, including Latino neighborhoods centered in Brentwood, will be held next year and elections for the other two districts will be held in 2023.

Kudos to all involved. It is only when all residents have equal representation do communities prosper.


NYS Comptroller Report finds that Loss of Sales Tax Revenue is Hitting Municipalities Hard

As municipalities struggle to make up for losses incurred as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, they are getting hit especially hard with lost sales tax revenue according to a report by NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

“COVID-19 has decimated local sales tax revenue this year, blowing holes in the budgets of municipalities across New York State,” DiNapoli said. “As we work to rebuild our economy, we must also help repair the damage that has already been inflicted. Just as our Main Street small businesses can’t rebuild alone, our local governments don’t have the means to do this themselves. Direct aid from the federal government is needed to help our communities recover.”

Sales tax loss can equal up to 28.7 percent of some municipalities’ total income, hitting some local governments very hard.  Counties across the state have come to rely on sales tax revenue in recent years and are seeing their budgets fluctuate wildly without that source.  At the same time, counties tend to share that revenue with local municipalities within their borders, all of which have created untenable fiscal situations across the state.

New York has also moved in recent years to tap local sales tax collections for various purposes.  These moves have offset some of the recent positive sales tax news.  The loss of funding has also resulted in a loss of funding to local governments.   This of course impacts the delivery of critical services to communities.

Vision joined a meeting from the Nassau Village Officials Association where Comptroller Dinapoli himself was briefing the group on these numbers along with a comprehensive economic report on NYS finances.  None of it was pretty.

You can read the full report from the Comptroller’s office here.

MTA Unveils Efforts to Minimize Health Risk on Public Transportation

Before the Covid 19 pandemic hit, almost eight million people in the NYC and outlying areas utilized public transportation each weekday. As the City and local towns and villages started opening, it became apparent that trust in the safety of public transportation had been undermined by the fear of increasing risk of new infections. As early as June, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority began rolling out plans to ensure the safety of passengers. These efforts have included reducing congestion by amplifying service, sanitizing subways, railways and buses, and requiring mask usage.

The MTA has just unveiled its newest effort to minimize health risk to customers and employees. It will begin piloting a state-of-the-art air filtration and purification system on commuter rails. 

The unintended consequence of the fear over health risks associated with the coronavirus have resulted in a reduction of ridership. Vision Long Island applauds the MTA’s continued efforts to restore confidence in public transportation and its dedication to aiding in the region’s path to a full recovery.

Below is the MTA’s press release describing this new technology.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road are piloting a new technology to filter and purify air inside rail cars using an electrical field to generate a wave of ionized particles that destroy airborne viruses, bacteria and particulate matter, including COVID-19. The MTA is the first transit agency in North America to test the technology.

The pilot follows a successful proof-of-concept conducted by Metro-North over the summer.  The air filtration and purification system, which was developed by Westminster, Md.-based Knorr Brake Company and its Merak North America division, is incorporated into the railroads’ existing ventilation systems. It enhances in-car air filtration – which already filters air 30 times an hour or once every 120 seconds, exceeding CDC standards for certain medical facilities and far surpassing standards for classrooms and restaurants.

In partnership with the MTA, researchers with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will test the technology to determine effectiveness in meeting the needs for public transit.

“As more and more customers return to Metro-North trains, they want to be confident that we are doing everything that we can to keep them safe and healthy,” said Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi. “If the pilot proves successful, not only does this new air purification technology kill COVID-19, it kills any virus including the standard flu or bacteria that cause the common cold, and even particulate matter like diesel fumes. The benefits provided by this new system would last well after the pandemic has ended.”

About one-third of the air traveling through the ventilation system is fresh air pulled from above the roof of the cars. The system totally replaces the air inside a car 12 times an hour, or about once every five minutes.

“This addition to our ventilation would be completely invisible to the customers,” said Metro-North Chief Mechanical Officer James Heimbuecher. “We like that it can be incorporated into our existing ventilation systems with minimal intrusion. If this pilot proves successful, our crews are ready to begin adding this system across our entire fleet.”

Introduction of the technology has emerged through the MTA’s “COVID Response Technology” that was announced in July to engage the private tech industry and rapidly evaluate and deploy innovative technologies that make public transit safer, healthier and more responsive to customer and workforce needs in light of the global pandemic.

“I am excited that Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road are taking the lead by piloting this cutting-edge technology that could have a significant role in fighting this pandemic,” said MTA Chief Innovation Officer Mark Dowd.

The new system passes air through three stages. The first stage applies an electrostatic discharge to actively target viruses, and then uses physical filtration to remove the charged particles. The air is then safely exposed within a self-contained unit, to ultraviolet radiation that has long been proven to kill bacteria, mold, and viruses. Third, the air is exposed to a wave of ionized particles that attack pollutants, chemically decomposing them.

The ions further travel deeply through the air distribution ducts of the car and into the vehicle interior to enhance the railroads’ existing disinfection of surfaces inside the cars.

The air filtration and purification system is part of the MTA’s multi-faceted approach to minimizing health risk to customers and employees during the pandemic by high tech means and old-fashioned elbow grease. In addition to launching the COVID Response Challenge, the MTA has been exploring the use of ultraviolet light for disinfecting subway surfaces, with possible expansion to commuter rail. The MTA has heightened cleaning and disinfecting of cars and stations to unprecedented levels, deployed customer ambassadors to assist with loading and customer information, installed hand sanitizer dispensers at stations along with vending machines selling personal protective equipment, and floor decals to assist customers with social distancing.

The technology is being developed under patent by the Knorr Brake Company LLC of Westminster, Md., along with its subsidiary Merak North America LLC, which develops and installs climate control systems.  

“The combination of filtration, purification, and disinfection provides an engineered solution superior to any one of the technologies acting alone,” said Rich Bowie, Knorr Brake Company Vice President, Marketing, Sales & Systems. “Independent laboratory tests have affirmed the system’s effectiveness. By deploying the system, rail operators will be able to enhance safety measures beyond the cleaning regimens already put in place.”

The technology was installed in two HVAC units of a Metro-North car on Oct. 7 and is being installed by the end of the month on a car of MTA Long Island Rail Road.  The railroads will evaluate its effectiveness and its ability to scale up for installation throughout their fleets of more than 1,100 rail cars each.

Underscoring the inherent safety of public transportation, a recent study conducted for the American Public Transportation Association found no link between public transportation usage anywhere in the world and clusters of COVID-19.

See Photos and View Video of Press Event

Long Island Candidates Holding Virtual Events as Election Day Approaches

In this unusual year in which COVID-19 has turned life upside down, many political candidate forums have been transformed into virtual events. Here are a few local forums that are scheduled in advance of Election Day 2020 – November 3rd. Educate – Engage – Vote!

The League of Women Voters of East Nassau presents:

Candidate Forum for 2nd Congressional District – livestream

Candidates: Jackie Gordon (Democratic Party, Working Families Party, Independence Party), Andrew Garbarino (Republican Party, Libertarian Party, Conservative Party, Serve America Movement Party), Harry Burger (Green Party) and Daniel Ross (Independent)
Thursday, October 15 – 7:30pm
To view the livestream visit www.lwvofnassaucounty.org/videos.

Blank Slate Media presents:

Live Conversation for NYS Senate District #7 – livestream

Candidates: Anna Kaplan (i) (Democratic Party, Working Families Party, Independence Party, Serve America Movement Party), David Franklin (Republican Party, Conservative Party)
Thursday, October 15 at 5pm
Click here to watch

The League of Women Voters of the Hamptons, Shelter Island and North Fork presents:

Candidate Forum for 1st Congressional District – livestream

Candidates: Lee Zeldin (i) (Republican Party, Conservative Party, Independence Party), Nancy Goroff (Democratic Party, Working Families Party)
Monday, Oct. 19 at 7pm
To view the livestream go to SEA-TV’s YouTube channel.

The League of Women Voters of the Hamptons, Shelter Island and North Fork presents:

Candidate Forum for NYS Senate District #1 – livestream

Candidates: Laura Ahearn (Democratic Party, Protect the Taxpayer Party), Anthony Palumbo (Republican Party, Conservative Party)
Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 7 pm
To view the livestream go to Southampton Town SEA-TV’s YouTube channel  

Candidates Virtual Town Hall: Central Islip Edition presents:

Candidate Forum for NYS Senate District #3 – livestream

Candidates: Monica Martinez (i) (Democratic Party, Independence Party), Alexis Weik (Republican Party, Conservative Party)
Tuesday, October 20 at 7pm
Register here

The League of Women Voters of Port Washington-Manhasset presents:

Candidate Forum for NYS Senate District #7 – livestream

Candidates: Anna Kaplan (i) (Democratic Party, Working Families Party, Independence Party, Serve America Movement Party), David Franklin (Republican Party, Conservative Party)
Tuesday, October 20 at 7pm
To view the livestream go to the LWV of PWM website or visit LWV of PWM YouTube channel

The League of Women Voters of Port Washington-Manhasset presents:

Candidate Forum for Congressional District #16 – livestream

Candidates: Gina Sillitti (Democratic Party, Working Families Party), Ragini Srivastava (Republican Party, Conservative Party, Independence Party)
Tuesday, Oct 20 at 8:30pm
To view the live-stream go to the LWV of PWM website or visit LWV of PWM YouTube channel

The Plainview-Old Bethpage Chamber of Commerce presents:

Candidate Forum for NYS Senate District #5 – livestream

Candidates: James Gaughran (i) (Democratic Party, Serve America Movement Party), Edmund Smyth (Republican Party, Libertarian Party, Conservative Party, Independence Party), Barbara Wagner (Green Party)
Wednesday, October 21 at 7:30am
Join Zoom meeting here

Long Island Congressional Candidates Answer Climate Change Questions

The New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, and Students for Climate Action held a virtual Town Hall on Climate Change for NY Congressional Districts 1 and District 2 on Tuesday, October 13th. The forum featured 1st Congressional District candidates Congressman Lee Zeldin and Dr. Nancy Goroff, and 2nd Congressional District candidates Jackie Gordon and Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino.

Vision Long Island, Empower Solar, and others were co-sponsors of this important forum.

All candidates were presented the same five questions on the topics of greenhouse gas, offshore wind, solar investment tax credit, fighting fossil fuel, and clean water. The following is a brief summary of the candidates’ reponces.

Greenhouse Gas:

Lee Zeldin: “I think it’s very important for the government to be working with the private sector in order to have a strong robust partnership to be able to make progress on this front,” referring to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Mr. Zeldin noted the federal government can play an important role in research on reducing greenhouse gas and he referred to a bill he has co-sponsored providing financial incentives for industrial facilities and power plants seeking to invest in carbon capture storage equipment. (H.R.3861: Carbon Capture Improvement Act of 2019)

Ms. Goroff: “This is a top priority for me, I have been a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists for many years and I serve on the national advisory board. This is a major motivation for me and getting into this race.” Ms. Goroff believes the aim should be to become carbon neutral by 2035 in energy production and she stressed the need to invest in research to move toward the technologies of the future.

Ms. Gordon: Ms. Gordon acknowledged that many families are still working to overcome the affects of Super Storm Sandy. “We know climate change is real… Individuals have to play a part in addressing climate change, but the Federal government has to play a role too.” Ms. Gordon believes the US must reenter the Paris Climate Agreement.

Mr. Garbarino: “The environment is very important to me. Protecting the south shore of Long Island is very important to me.” Mr. Garbarino supports the Carbon Recapture tax credit and the Trillion Trees plan. Protecting the environment shouldn’t be a republican or democratic issue, but should be bipartisan.

Offshore Wind:

Lee Zeldin: Regarding New York’s goals of powering 6 million houses with 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, Mr. Zeldin stated he frequently meets with offshore wind companies, as well as with people who are concerned about such projects. He said it’s important that everyone’s voice is heard.

Ms. Goroff: “This is all really important and I think we need to start taking action as soon as possible,” She feels that federal stimulus money will be needed for clean energy infrastructure to help build offshore wind locations. “I will certainly be there as a voice for how important this is,” she said.

Ms. Gordon: “As a member of Congress, I will prioritize renewable energy sources. In doing that we have to support companies that are innovative, including help with funding, environmental impact studies they need.”

Mr. Garbarino: “On the federal level, we need government to move quicker on wind projects that have local support.” Mr. Garbarino supports off shore wind tax credits. He believes technologies need the tax credit and is supportive of such incentives.

Solar Investment Tax Credit:

Mr. Zeldin: Mr. Zeldin noted he is a co-sponsor on legislation to extend the investment tax credit for solar projects by five years.

Ms. Goroff: “It’s so important that we get renewable energy sources expanded across the country, including here on Long Island and tax credits are certainly one mechanism that has been very successful and can continue to be successful.”

Ms. Gordon: “As a member of Congress I will hands down support the extension of the tax credit.” She acknowledged that the tax incentive was the primary force in growing the solar industry. “It’s good for jobs, It’s good for the economy.” Ms. Gordon envisions schools partnering with the solar industry.

Mr. Garbarino: “I absolutely support the Solar Investment Tax Credit… They create jobs right here on Long Island.” Mr. Garbarino states he supports innovation. “Technology is getting better and better everyday and it needs to be supported.”

Fighting Fossil Fuel

Mr. Zeldin: Answering the questions in the framework of issues such as hydrofracking and expanding offshore drilling in the Arctic, Mr. Zeldin said he cosponsored the Carbon Capture Improvement Act of 2019, which authorizes the issuance of tax-exempt facility bonds for the financing of qualified carbon dioxide capture facilities, supporting providing incentives to companies to implement carbon capture and storage equipment.

Ms. Goroff: “We need to take action and stop investment in fossil fuel infrastructure and use our investments in green energy and clean buildings and clean vehicles.”

Ms. Gordon: “The best way to fight against fossil fuels is to make renewable energy competitive.” Ms. Gordon calls for federal support of companies creating these new energy resources.

Mr. Garbarino: Mr. Garbarino stated he is against off shore drilling off of Long Island. “Having natural gas is better than working with coal and oil.” Mr. Garbarino stressed continuing the solar tax credits and off shore tax credits for wind farms. He is a proponent of incentivizing people to support renewable energies.

Clean Water

Mr. Zeldin: Mr. Zeldin noted he spends a lot of time and energy on the subject of protecting drinking water and how to clean up already contaminated water supplies. “We’ve had challenges here; they go back decades and we will always be asking ourselves what more can we do to protect water quality here.” He acknowledged the federal government needs to assist local governments in the remediation of groundwater and he noted this is a problem throughout the country, especially in areas that had massive defense installations.

Ms. Goroff: “We need the Environmental Protection Administration to be doing monitoring but also helping with remediation.” She holds that the Department of Defense should be helping with remediation because many defense sites have contributed to the contamination. “This is something that is so important to Long Island families with sole source aquifers. People need to know that their water is safe.”

Ms. Gordon: “The Bethpage Plume is of critical concern. It is of great priority.” Ms. Gordon would seek to get local, state and federal agencies together to work on this issue. Ms. Gordon discussed levying penalties for “foot dragging” on this issue.

Mr. Garbarino: “We need Washington to pass a full infrastructure bill. Not just roads, not just bridges, not just energy restructure, but also clean water infrastructure and sewer infrastructure… The states, the counties, the towns will do these sewer projects when they have matching federal dollars.” Mr. Garbarino stated sewers aren’t just good for the environment, they are also good for the economy.

See Riverhead News Review

Rapid COVID-19 Testing Kits to be made Available Across New York State

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that COVID-19 rapid result testing will be made available to every county in New York State.

The New York State Department of Health will deploy an initial 400,000 rapid result test kits free of charge to local health departments, hospitals, pharmacies, and other health care providers to help increase access in all corners of New York State to free COVID-19 tests that can be done within 15 minutes and without having to send a specimen to a lab.

DOH will prioritize the distribution of testing kits to counties and local health care providers in areas seeing recent uptick in cases. The rapid tests can be used to control new outbreaks, conduct surveillance testing, and will also be made available on a as needed basis to help schools in ‘yellow zones’ test students and staff as part of new requirements to monitor COVID-19 spread as part of the Governor’s Cluster Action Initiative.  

“From day one, testing has been one of the most vital tools we have to accurately assess COVID-19’s spread in New York. Today New York State is building on our nation-leading testing program to expand rapid testing to every corner of the state, to give health care providers and localities the tools they need offer free rapid testing to their residents and patients,” Governor Cuomo said.

On Tuesday, as part of the state’s Cluster Action Initiative, the Governor announced that schools open to in-person instruction in “Yellow Zones” would be required to test a portion of their in-person students, staff, and teachers at least once a week.  The NYS Dept. of Health has issued guidance requiring 20% of students, teachers, and staff who are in-person in schools located within “Yellow Zones” to be tested once a week starting Friday, October 16.

DOH will issue a letter to all local health departments, as well as hospitals, pharmacies, and other provider organizations, providing details for how to access and receive these rapid testing kits.

Huntington Township Chamber to Host Scavenger Hunt for Young Professionals

On Tuesday, October 20th, the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Young Professionals scavenger hunt in Downtown Huntington.

The event will begin with a clue at 164 Main Street in Huntington.  Teams of up to 6 people can be assembled to participate in this networking event.  This will be a great way to encourage team building, networking, and support local businesses.

Teams assembled for the event will have an opportunity to Adopt a Family this Thanksgiving as well.  Once registered, the teams will get an email for that program and will have additional chances for bonus points along the way.

If you don’t have a team but wish to participate, there will be a separate singles team that is being created for the event.

You can contact kelly@huntingtonchamber.com for information and to register for the event.

Free Webinars on Supporting Education during the Pandemic on Oct 26th & Nov 2nd

The health crisis we’re facing is ongoing, so teachers face a unique challenge: encouraging children to learn and connect with others while they may be experiencing stress, anxiety and loss. At the same time, staff members need to sustain their own motivation and focus while both supporting students and coping with their own concerns. Two new webinars will help you find the balance with your own emotions, your work and your family–and will provide critical self-care tools.

The presenter is David Hymowitz, a social worker with 30 years of experience who has worked with many school districts as they develop programs on social-emotional learning.

Now That We’re Back: How Do We Continue to Support Students, Families and Ourselves?
Date: Monday, October 26, 2020
Time: 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m
Registration: There is no fee but pre-registration is required.

Now That We’re Back: Strategies for Program Leaders
Date: Monday, November 2, 2020
Time: 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Registration: There is no fee but pre-registration is required

Trunk or Treat on October 30th

Professor’s Café in Kings Park will be holding a Trunk or Treat event on Friday, October 20th from 5 to 7 pm.

The event will be $20 per car.  There will be Candy Apples, Roasted Corn, Cotton Candy, and more!  There will also be a drive in featurette with a kid-friendly Halloween movie.

The event will be located at the Key Food Parking Lot in Kings Park.  Don’t forget to bring your candy for trick or treaters with you!

LIA Small- and Mid-Sized Business Committee Hosting Economic Impact Webinar

The Long Island Association (LIA) will be hosting a webinar on the Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on a Global, National, and Local scale.  This event will take place online Tuesday on November 10th, starting at 9 AM.

The event will feature Chief Economist Dr. John Rizzo for a presentation about the economic impacts of COVID-19.  There will be an in-depth analysis on key data about how the virus has affected economies around the globe.  There will also be a question and answer session.

You can register for this event here.

32nd Annual Keys for the Homeless Conference to take Place Virtually on November 18th

The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless is holding its 32nd Annual Keys for the Homeless Conference online this year to help bring relief to Long Island’s struggling homeless population.

This year’s event will take place on November 18th from 9 am to 3:30 virtually and will feature 14 workshop topics that address what can be done to help the most vulnerable residents in our region.  The theme for the conference is “Adapting to Changing Times: Where Do We Go From Here?”  Marc Dones, the Executive Director of National Innovation Services will be this year’s Keynote Speaker.

The Coalition is responsible for leading the region’s initiative to serve our most vulnerable and reducing barriers to housing.  With their Continuum of Care partners, they have referred more than 200 homeless households for permanent housing.  Throughout the years they have helped to guide over two hundred million dollars of US Department of Housing and Urban Development CoC funding to Long Island agencies, resulting in the development of over 2,700 units of housing for homeless persons. 

You can register to attend, become a sponsor, or exhibitor for this event here.  A full schedule of the workshops for the event is available here.

NYSERDA, Affordable Solar and Storage Predevelopment and Technical Assistance (Predevelopment Program)

The Predevelopment Program provides grants to address barriers to solar installations serving low-to-moderate income (LMI) households living in rental housing, multifamily buildings or other households not served by traditional on-site residential solar. Individual awards will not exceed $200,000. Funding to proposals through this solicitation will offset costs for predevelopment and technical assistance work needed to implement solar installations for multifamily affordable housing and/or shared solar (Community Distributed Generation) installations that benefit LMI households.

– Eligibility: Applications must be submitted by or include the documented participation of any of the following: owners, providers or managers of regulated multifamily affordable housing, community land trusts, land banks or portfolios of single-family affordable housing; local government agencies; Community Development Corporations (CDC), Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) or other community organizations providing services to LMI households and/or demonstrating an LMI constituency; and prior recipients of Predevelopment Program grants seeking to replicate and expand upon the success from a prior completed Predevelopment

Program project.

– Funding: Up to $10.65 million is available with individual awards not to exceed $200,000.
– Deadline: Continuous through December 31, 2024, or until depleted
– Contact:
Email: affordablesolar@nyserda.ny.gov
Website: www.nyserda.ny.gov/funding

New York State Accepting Applications for NY Forward Loan Fund

New York State has opened pre-applications for the New York Forward Loan Fund. Loans from this fund are available to small businesses, nonprofits, and small landlords in New York State. New York Forward loans must be fully repaid over a 5-year term with fixed annual interest rates of 3 percent for small businesses and landlords.

Small businesses may apply for the lesser of $100,000 or up to 100% of the average monthly revenues in any 3-month period from 2019 or the first quarter of 2020. This loan can be paid back over five years with first year being interest only.  However, if small businesses have received either a PPP loan or an EIDL loan from SBA, they would not be eligible to apply. NYS has set a goal of 18% of total funds under this Program for Long Island

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as industries and regions reopen however, priority for New York Forward Loans will be given to industries and regions that have been reopened. Resources are available to assist in preparing applications for small businesses, landlords and nonprofits in industries and regions that have not yet reopened.

To view more details, including eligibility requirements and how to apply, click here:

If you need technical assistance through this process, please contact an Entrepreneurial Assistance Center near you and inform the counselor that you need help for the NY Forward Loan application.  You can find your closest contact center here.

This Week’s Sponsor

Greenman-Pedersen, Inc.

Established in 1966, Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. (GPI) is a consulting engineering, planning, survey, mapping, and construction management and inspection firm that specializes in the innovative development, design and construction of infrastructure and building systems. Originally founded by A. Beecher Greenman and Herbert M. Pedersen, GPI has grown from a two-person endeavor to a consulting firm included among ENR’s top 100 national design firms.

GPI provides services to a wide variety of government agencies, municipalities, institutions, industries, architects and developers. They attribute their long-lasting relationships with their clients to the talented, responsive, service-oriented professionals employed throughout the GPI organization.

They take pride in the many projects they have successfully completed and enjoy the challenge of new and difficult engineering issues requiring innovative, yet practical, cost- effective solutions. The firm’s commitment to provide quality engineering services and to work as a team with their clients is the reason those clients continue to turn to GPI for engineering solutions.

Smart Talk

Eric Alexander, Director; Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director;
Christopher Kyle, Communications Director; Elissa Kyle, Placemaking Director; Linda Henninger, Outreach Coordinator

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Vision Long Island
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Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.
Email: info@visionlongisland.org

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