Board of Directors
Biblow, Esq. - Secretary
Farrell Fritz, P.C.
Lauren Furst -
Robert BernardCapital One Bank ---------------
Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III
SUNY College at Old
Miriam K. Deitsch
State University at Farmingdale
Long Island Housing Partnership
IBEW, Local 25
North Shore - LIJ Health System
Weber Law Group, LLP
Dr. Robert A. ScottAdelphi University
Reading this newsletter, but not on our mailing list?
|"If it's going to happen,
then it's going to happen here first!"
- Senator Charles Schumer
Senator Schumer said it best at his meeting with the EPA, HUD, and DOT on August 9th, discussing Long Island downtown revitalization.
But his quote could be applied to many goings-on right now across our region and who better to learn, participate, support and interact with than Sustainable Long Island!
So scroll down for more information on Schumer's meeting, farmers' markets, brownfields, some pressing Long Island issues and initiatives, and much more!
Federal, Local officials come together to discuss Long Island Revitalization|
On August 9, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer opened a meeting
with high-level officials of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
Department of Transportation (DOT), and Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD), all members of the Partnership for Sustainable
Communities, to discuss and better understand the needs, obstacles and
red tape experienced by localities as they seek to revitalize downtown
cores and promote sustainable development. The meeting comes on the
heels of Schumer's call this past May that federal agencies assist local
communities in navigating the bureaucracy that often bogs down local
development plans. In the meeting, the partnership mapped out areas of
coordination in downtown housing, environmental, and transportation
planning to promote sustainable development methods to revitalize local
economies in the area.
Schumer joined with local sustainability
advocates on Long Island including Sustainable Long Island and Vision
Long Island as well as the Hofstra University Center for Suburban
Studies in an effort to promote downtown revitalization and sustainable
development throughout the area.
Last June, EPA, DOT, and HUD formed the Partnership for Sustainable Communities to promote the coordination of downtown housing, transportation and environmental investments at the local planning level. Over 20 Long Island town and village officials met directly with federal agency staff to present downtown visions and describe their implementation challenges and needs. This is the first official meeting of the new federal partnership in America's suburbs.
Schumer believes that this initiative has the potential to transform metropolitan areas by bringing back economic competitiveness, increased access to employment opportunities, and the greater availability for transit options.
In May, Schumer and local partners asked for members of the Sustainable Partnership to hold a public meeting and work session with local government officials and planning advocates. Schumer called on this Partnership to plan a visit to Long Island to learn about some of the initiatives in both Nassau and Suffolk counties that embrace ideals like transit-oriented development that will help revitalize and rebuild downtowns and walkable communities.
"Finally, suburban problems are getting noticed," said Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director of Sustainable Long Island. "Long Island's downtown revitalization and transit-oriented development plans need more than just local officials and community planners fighting for them; these plans need federal assistance. Long Island has the ingredients to become the epitome of what the suburbs should be, but it is much easier said than done. Senator Schumer and The Partnership for Sustainable Communities have taken a tremendous step forward in identifying which communities haven't received a fair share of the limited resources available."
"This event connects Long Island's main streets to Washington. The smallest municipalities are connecting to Federal agencies, which has not happened in a coordinated fashion, not just on Long Island but any suburban area in the nation. The strength of Long Island resides in its many downtowns. This new Federal partnership could provide the resources necessary to assist the revitalization of our downtowns and support needed sewer and transit infrastructure," said Eric Alexander, Executive Director of Vision Long Island.
"These are not your mother and father's suburbs," said Lawrence Levy, Executive Director of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University. "Demographic change, economic dysfunction, environmental degradation and other challenges have transformed the suburbs in ways that demand a new federal approach that helps us solve our problems. Too many people in Washington and elsewhere still believe the myths of suburban wealth and wellness. I hope that what the federal officials learn during their visit will help change attitudes and inspire change in Washington and Long Island. Thank you Senator Schumer for bringing us together."
The Partnership defines sustainability to include economic competitiveness, environmental health and equity, and access to jobs and transit, to help determine which projects are funded. Nassau and Suffolk Counties offer a variety of opportunities to use the Partnership's principles to transform communities and blighted downtown areas with new housing, retail, and public transportation centers.
The latest Census notes that more than 50% of the US population now lives in the suburbs. As the oldest suburb, Long Island is a laboratory for what works and doesn't work for these communities. In anticipation of a public meeting, Schumer will solicit the participation of local elected officials, planners, and community advocates regarding sustainability projects that have interest or business before the 3 federal agencies.
farmers' markets continue to flourish in underserved communities|
farmers' markets in North Bellport and Roosevelt have been open for more
than a month now and the success has been outstanding! Fruit and
vegetables have been flying off the market tables - and on to the
kitchen tables of community members who have come out to show their
support in huge numbers. Crowds, including new customers and recurring
buyers, continue to grow each week!
from eggplant to green peppers to yellow watermelon has been a real
hit, with the most popular items such as tomatoes and cantaloupe being
sold out each week. The Roosevelt market has been selling out hours
before closing time each week (a great problem to have) even though the
order from local farms, such as Deer Run Farms and Anderson Farms, has
more than tripled since opening week (doubled in North Bellport)! This
past weekend alone, more than 1000 pounds of melon and 19 bags of corn
were gone by 2pm - with close to $1000 sales in just WIC checks!
markets have benefited from great locations in communities that need
them the most. Visitors such as Legislator Kate Browning and Legislator
Vivian Viloria Fisher have come down for a tour, partners such as
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk and The Health and Welfare
Council have been on site sharing educational information, and even The
Boys & Girls Club Steel Drum Band has made a rocking appearance in
to come down to the markets every Sunday from 11a.m.-4p.m or until the
produce sells out!
Greater Bellport Community Youth Farmers' Market
Corner of Montauk Highway and Michigan Avenue
Sunday from 11am-4pm
July 11 Close: October 31
Roosevelt Community Farmers' Market
Nassau Road, Roosevelt NY
Sunday from 11am-4pm
July 11 Close: October 31
Long Island Advance: "Greens to go"
Bellport Farmers' market opens by Linda Leuzzi
A half-hour before their official opening on Sunday, July
tables were set up, signs were in place and the last task,
produce in straw baskets with their prices, was
to begin. Ebony Alston had been up at 6:30 a.m. that
and yes, she was excited. "This is going to be fun,"
Debbie Linbrunner from St. Joseph the Worker
was the first customer and by 11:15 a.m. others
up at the Greater Bellport Community Youth
out staples like spinach, corn, beets
and other healthy
things from the earth. Sustainable
Long Island volunteers
moved the cash register questions
along and Jie Zhang and
Jingchuan Sun, Habitat for
Humanity homeowners, had
also come to lend a hand. But
this was the young people's
project-Alston was among the
five youths from the Boys
& Girls Club of the
Bellport Area, including Kiana Scipp,
Joann Chambers and Rasheed Terry, who
will run the
market every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
October 31 at the Michigan Avenue and Montauk
Market manager Khadija Yanni, who lives in
Bellport, supervised the young people as they
marketing and selling skills, skills that
will hopefully help
them become entrepreneurs some day.
Yanni hails from
Sierra Leone, West Africa, where her
A North Bellport resident since 1991
and a member of the
Greater Bellport Coalition, she
received the job opening
alert for a market manager to
run the farm stand on the
corner of Michigan Avenue and
Montauk Highway and
applied. Yanni trained last week
with the five teens, who
along with selling techniques,
learned about the healthy
value of vegetables and fruit.
The market will accept WIC
checks and the produce comes
from four local farms,
including Deer Run Farms in
Brookhaven and W & K
Farms in Manorville.
teens joined Yanni two hours earlier at the site
up the produce. Suffolk County United Veterans
pick up the vegetables and fruits from the farmers.
have more vegetables than fruit," she said. "It
depend on the month. We'll carry broccoli, cabbage,
and squash. We will have strawberries but the
A farmers' market has long been on the
of Bellport's Visioning Plan. "Sustainable
approached us in February," said John
of the Greater Bellport Coalition.
"They had run
across some funding that made the program
we had people go for training.
Kepert (4th District) obtained
some of the Quality King
money to get the project off
the ground. We have five kids
who will be employed,
funded by the county's Summer
Jobs for Youth Program."
wound up getting a $75,000 community benefit from
King," confirmed Kepert aide John Byrne. "And
went to helping establish the farm stand."
Long Island Executive Director Sarah Lansdale
organization, who helped the community in
visioning process, asked the Greater Bellport Coalition
they wanted to partner on the farm stand to show
their plans were moving forward. "It usually takes
years to make things happen and we felt this would
an opportunity to address the need and the plan
well," she said. Lansdale said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee,
seeking $100,000 in federal funding to expand the
farm stand project, which had been established in
Turning a Value-Meal Into a Meal-of-Value|
By Sarah Lansdale - Column in Networking Magazine
In our country almost everyone is different than one another.
They have different thoughts, different interests, different goals and overall
different lives. However, if we do all have one thing in common its that
we love to eat. Obviously we don't just love it, we need food to survive.
With all the different options available, Americans should have no problem finding
exactly what they want to chow down on.
But when you look closer at the issue of Food in our country you
realize, that there are over 23.5 million Americans who don't have access to a
supermarket within a mile of their home. Specifically on Long Island, there are
more fast-food and full-service restaurants per 1000 people than grocery
So what happens when you want something healthy and fresh to
eat, but it isn't as available to you as those high fat meals and sugar filled
That is where the issue of food equity comes into play - the
notion that access to fresh, healthy food is not universal and that some
communities are at a disadvantage in the food system. Communities with
limitations in resources, disposable income, language and transportation often
have restricted access to, and knowledge about, a variety of healthy,
affordable food options.
Without a supermarket nearby or even a fruits and vegetable
stand within walking distance, these low-to-moderate income neighborhoods are typically
populated with fast food restaurants that fill the community with high fat,
high sugar, processed foods. The biggest problem that stems from this is that
many communities on Long Island will not be able to enjoy the benefits of a
local farmers market and instead will have to settle for those beautifully
You see, at a farmers market customers are often in direct
contact with producers, so you will know precisely how your vegetables were
grown and exactly where your meat is coming from. Access to this fresh, healthy
food plays an important role in improving diet and nutrition, things that can
often be ruined by a lifestyle filled with cheap alternatives like the local
burger joint or the town taco spot.
The customers aren't the only ones who enjoy the advantages of a
farmers market; the producers do too. A producer's cost drop considerably, with
less transportation, packaging, and security regulations. They can personally
control the price through the direct sale of their goods or sell beforehand to
a market for a set price.
The economy also profits as these markets often bring increased
employment and potential new residents and customers whom support local
business, thus keeping money within the community. And the environment is
assisted as well; by reduced automobile travel, cutting out added pollution and
Sustainable Long Island along with the Long Island Farm Bureau
and local community partners, including the Greater Bellport Coalition, Suffolk
County United Veterans, Boys and Girls Club of the Bellport Area, Roosevelt
Community Revitalization Group, and NuHealth (Nassau Health Care
Corporation), are taking the lead on this issue; conducting research and
examining data looking at availability of fresh food in various retail
locations, while exploring multiple solutions for bringing more fresh food into
currently underserved communities - one is which creating weekly farmers
markets that are run in part by Long Island youth; high school students under the
supervision of a market manager. The markets will provide jobs to local youth,
give community members greater choice of fresh produce and healthy food
options, promote nutrition and education, contribute to a sense of place, and
boost the local and regional economy.
Every Long Islander should have the chance to choose some fruits
over some fries, some grapes over some grease, and some carrots over some
calories. Every Long Islander should have the opportunity to turn a
value-meal into a meal-of-value.
Letters to the Press:
Toward healthier bodies, communities
I couldn't agree more with a recent
letter "Healthier food makes the best 'value' meal' " . Buying locally
grown food across our region should be our first choice before checking
out drive-through menus.
This also sheds light on
the growing problem of food equity - the notion that access to fresh,
healthy food is not universal and some communities are at a
disadvantage. Offering fresh produce to neighborhoods across Long Island
is the first step in combating this problem.
Sarah Lansdale, Bethpage
Editor's note: The
writer is executive director of Sustainable Long Island.
Our letter was in response to a previous entry the week before:
food makes the best 'value' meal
With the news that Sonic, Smashburger
and Pudgie's will be opening new restaurants, I am highly concerned
about Long Island's future .
With America's surging obesity and
diabetes rates, do we really need more fast- food joints on Long Island?
Furthermore, with the latest United Nation reports linking meat production and climate change,
there is all the more reason to move away from quick meal solutions that
are heavily reliant on cheap animal products.
It's time to embrace
healthy, local and sustainable food options. Long Island's
new establishments should feature organic, local and wholesome meals to
solve the problems our country faces.
Andrew Greco, Smithtown
Editor's note: The writer is vice
president of Stony Brook University's Environmental Club.
Check out this one from the Long Island Press:
Pass The Drive-Thru By
When I read "10 Worst Things To Get At A Long Island Drive-Thru"
[July 29], I couldn't help but think about all of the unknown
ingredients that are doing damage to Long Islanders' bodies and their
communities. If Long Islanders had more healthy options, such as a local
farmers market, it would be much easier to turn that value meal into
meal-of-value. With that said, I put together my own Top 10 list-one
that is on the other side of the spectrum when it comes to triple
burgers and double chicken sandwiches.
The Top 10 reasons you should shop at a Long Island farmers market:
1. Healthy Choices
2. Fresh Tasting Food
3. Affordable Prices
4. Organically Grown
5. Variety of Options
6. Fruit and Veggies > Bacon and Salt
7. Educational information on the who, what, where and when of your food
8. Support Your Community
9. Support Long Island Farms
10. Support Long Island!
Executive Director, Sustainable Long Island
Brownfields to Greenfield$|
Updated Version To Be Released This Fall
Sustainable Long Island is currently working on updating the Brownfields to Greenfields manual to be released later this month. The programs and initiatives involved with cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields are constantly evolving. The
purpose of this manual is to provide an understanding of the
redevelopment process and the opportunities available in New York.It is designed to provide information for local government
seeking to facilitate brownfield redevelopment in their communities,
hoping to understand how the process affects them, developers and
seeking to participate in this growing marketplace, groups that wish to
facilitate the redevelopment process, and end-users of redeveloped
property.The ultimate goal is to
facilitate full stakeholder participation in the brownfield process.
This manual provides information on: New York State, federal, and private funding and financial incentives; technical assistance and liability protection available for the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites in New York State; and an overview of the various brownfield programs administered by the New York State Department of State (NYSDOS).
Don't let Brownfields become Beauty Busters|
By Sarah Lansdale - Column in Anton Community Newspapers
Growing up on Long Island, residents often feel a sense of pride in
what their region is known for. Long Island is known for many things
including its attractive scenery, gorgeous beaches, and historic
locations. From notable museums to popular vineyards to beautiful
forests and meadows, Long Island has always been the place to see.
However, Long Island's celebrated landscape has been constantly
threatened by an ugly problem known as brownfields. We often hear public
figures, elected officials, and numerous organizations preach about
brownfields and how they need to be removed and redeveloped from our
area. Even with all this attention paid toward the issue many still
wonder, what exactly is a brownfield? The United States Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) defines a brownfield as "real property, the
expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which, may be complicated by the
presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or
The overlying thought is that brownfields are
limited to abandoned industrial sites, but the truth is, many are
typical commercial properties that an average Long Island passes by
That abandoned dry cleaner up the block? Brownfield.
vacant gas station on the corner? Brownfield.
warehouse downtown? Brownfield.
Former service stations, marinas,
railroad tracks, even schools? Yep you guessed it, Brownfield.
can all see these blighted properties, but don't realize that the ground
contamination that is often left behind by theses once standing
businesses is cause for great concern to our personal and environmental
So how did a once prosperous business turn into a toxic
eye sore? Owners, who move their business and leave specific sites,
often realize that sometimes the cost to clean up what they've left
behind surpasses the value of the property itself. They may feel fine
with leaving their properties in their current condition and in some
cases, the level of contamination might be so small, the owners cannot
justify a reason to take any kind of action.
However, the need for
redevelopment of these areas is vital. The potential benefits include
revitalizing communities, increasing property values and reducing
environmental concerns. Every acre of brownfields cleanup saves our open
spaces and breathes new life into Long Island. Redevelopment could
create thousands of jobs, millions of dollars in tax revenue and
billions of dollars in business revenue region-wide. Recently federal,
state and local governments have provided new motivation for brownfields
redevelopment. They entice communities and property owners with offers
of tax incentives, grants and low interest loans, and liability
As you can see, brownfields redevelopment is a serious
issue on Long Island today. These properties pollute, dirty and ruin
many aspects of everyday life including our air, our land and our water.
So don't let brownfields take over and destroy Long Island's image;
instead let's keep it the way it should be - as the place to see and the
place to be.
Wyandanch's Pipeline to Progress? SEWERS|
A Babylon town hearing on
a proposed sewer line for Wyandanch drew nearly a dozen
speakers last week - August 13, almost all of whom spoke in favor of the
project. Proponents commended the town and said
the sewer line - part of the town's massive downtown Wyandanch
revitalization project - would help bring development and jobs to the
downtown, as well as protect groundwater.
Here is an inside look at the comments
Sustainable Long Island submitted at the meeting:
want to thank Supervisor Steve Bellone and the Town Council for this
opportunity to comment on the Wyandanch Rising project this morning.
Sustainable Long Island is a regional organization that has worked with
the Town of Babylon the Wyandanch Rising project for many years. We
facilitated the initial planning process and wrote the initial Wyandanch
I commend the Town, under the Supervisor's
leadership for all of your efforts in attracting necessary resources to
implement Wyandanch Rising. What is needed to move forward are
sewers, plain and simple. The sewer line is the one missing
infrastructure piece to fully implement the redevelopment plan.
water management is a critical need in preparing for Long Island's
future. Years ago, the Town of Babylon engaged the hundreds of Wyandanch
community members to re-think, rebuild and renew Straight Path - what
was apparent back then, as it is now, is that sewers are the critical
element of the plan to move forward. The high water table in Wyandanch
makes it extremely difficult to effectively develop with septic systems
and the small irregular-shaped parcels along with the high water table
make it difficult to accommodate on-site waste water treatment systems.
sewers makes economic sense. In fact, a study cited by the 2008 US
Conference of Mayors, Mayors Water Council, () indicates that for every
dollar of water and sewer infrastructure investment,long-term private
GDP output increases by $6.35, over a 9% return
on investment.() Additionally, every job in sewers and water creates
3.85 jobs in the national economy. () Making the $15 million
investment in Wyandanch has tremendous economic benefits for the
community. Local businesses will be able to employ localresidents,
create revenue for the local economy and boost tax revenue.
land becoming increasingly scarce, increasing density in communities
will be critical in maintaining the affordability and range of housing
options on Long Island. Sewers will not only improve housing
affordability but businesses see the expansion of sewers critical in
expansion and creation of new jobs. Sewers are a critical part of the
Wyandanch Rising effort, making Straight Path development ready
to attract retail, office, and housing development.
regional perspective, Wyandanch is not alone in its need for sewers. According to the National Environmental Services Center, Long Island -
Nassau and Suffolk - has considerably fewer sewers than its neighboring
regions. Fifty-nine percent of the total Long Island households utilize
sewers, which is considerably lower than neighboring regions New York
City 99% and Westchester/Rockland Counties 88%. Seventy percent of
Suffolk County households use a septic system.
the lack of waste water treatment negatively impacts our sole source
aquiferand allows for harmful materials that are poured down drains
intoseptic systems to leach into the aquifer. In order to protect LI
aquifers, advanced waste water treatment is required in sensitive
watersheds and critical hydrologic zones to obtain pollution
concentration slower than achievable with basic secondary treatment. In
addition, several STPs discharge into our estuaries. STPs on the south
shore discharge into the South Shore Estuary Reserve already negatively
impacting these sensitive areas.
In sum, sewers are
Wyandanch's pipeline to progress. Wyandanch will riseby building sewers!
Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director, Sustainable Long Island
Krop, R. A., Hernick, C., Frantz, C. (2008). Local Government
Investment InMunicipal Water and Sewer Infrastructure: Adding Value
to the National Economy. United StatesConference of Mayors.
 US Departmentof Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Cited in Krop, Hernick, and Frantz(2008), p. 11. Regional
Input-OutputModeling System (RIMS II). http://www.bea.gov/bea/regional/rims/.
Proposed MTA Long Island Bus Cuts|
Photo Credit: http://www.mta.info/ A coalition of civic, transportation, business, labor, planning and
environmental groups joined together to oppose MTA cuts to Long Island
In particular, the groups called the MTA's proposal to eliminate its
funding contribution entirely to Nassau County's LI Bus system a
misguided attempt to balance its budget and a system killer. If
enacted, thousands of bus riders would be left with no alternative to
get to work and school, possibly forcing riders to pay for expensive
taxis or lose their jobs.
"The MTA's proposed cuts will obliterate the LI Bus system as we know
it," said Kate Slevin, executive director of the Tri-State
Transportation Campaign. "These cuts could very well mean that Nassau
County will not have a viable bus transit system as soon as the next few
"But the MTA is not the only entity at fault," continued Slevin. "Nassau
County and the State are not living up to their obligation to fund Long
Island Bus and ensure riders have affordable and reliable transit
She noted that Nassau County is contributing half as much as it was in
2000. Both the County and State cut support last year resulting in the
service cuts that were implemented in June.
LI Bus serves over 32 million riders a year, over 100,000 riders a day,
and is an integral cog in Nassau County's transit system, fostering
economic development, reducing congestion and protecting the
The groups called on the MTA to retract the proposal, and for Nassau
County Executive Edward Mangano and state elected officials to work
together to find a long term solution to Long Island Bus' funding
"These service cuts will impact
100,000 Long Islanders who commute
to and from work," said Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director, Sustainable
Long Island. "The idea is an unrealistic approach to help funding woes
that the MTA faces. The people of Nassau County deserve better, they
deserve available mass transit that is safe and affordable."
"If ultimately LI Bus would cease operating, it would have a devastating
effect on the business community in Nassau and Queens County as well as
their workforce," said Daniel R. Perkins, Vice President of Government
Affairs for the Long Island Association. "Let's hope that the MTA, the
State of New York and Nassau County can work together to find a solution
so that doesn't happen."
"Yet another moment of crisis offers us the opportunity to rethink the
way that bus service is delivered and paid for in the metropolitan
region," said Bob Yaro, President of Regional Plan Association. "The
current inefficient and fragmented bus system should be consolidated
into a single Regional Bus Authority, as was recommended by the Ravitch
Commission. Until then, the MTA and Nassau County need to come up with
solutions that don't leave riders stranded."
Eric Alexander, Executive Director of Vision Long Island said
"Brainstorming can be a useful tool. However, some ideas have unintended
consequences for the health and economic well being of working Nassau
County residents. This is one idea the MTA should scratch from their
"This is outrageous. This is a very short sided proposal. Long Island
roads will be plagued by horrible congestion and people are not going to
be able to get to work. The MTA cannot balance their budget problems on
the backs of Nassau bus riders," stated Lisa Tyson, Director of the
Long Island Progressive Coalition.
"For thousands of working people in Nassau County, Long Island Bus is
irreplaceable," said John Durso, president of the Long Island Federation
of Labor, AFL-CIO. "It is essential for the economic health of our
region that a viable transportation system is available for people who
Also check out our friend Ryan Lynch's, Senior Planner, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, editorial in Newsday:
Nassau bus riders hanging in the balance
The MTA then held a board meeting on the proposed LI Bus cuts where Sustainable Long Island submitted comments. See our comments below:
MTA Cuts to LI Bus
Submitted by Sustainable Long Island
July 28, 2010
Thank you for this opportunity to comment on the issue of MTA service
cuts for all Long Islanders.
Sustainable Long Island is a regional not-for-profit organization whose
mission is to promote community and economic development, environmental
health, and equity for all Long Islanders now and for generations to
Long-term sustainability requires an increase in both public
transportation services and ridership; the proposed cuts undermine both
goals and should not be implemented. Sustainable Long Island urges the
MTA to consider alternatives to the proposed cuts in bus services
including efforts to improve services and increase ridership.
According to a report in January 2009 by the American Public
Transportation Association, 2008 marked a 52 year high in public
transportation use nationwide. MTA's 2010 budget year-to-date reflects
an increase in ridership in 2010. Clearly, the public recognizes the
need for public transportation. The question is does the MTA recognize
the need for the public to use its services?
Today, as we continue to grapple with the effects of the economic
downturn, several facts are clear:
· Financial support from state and federal sources are not likely to
increase in the short term
· The proposed cuts in bus services will disparately impact low-income,
older and differently-abled populations
· MTA's proposed solution of cutting services and increasing fares is
not a long-term sustainable operating plan
While we support in theory MTA's recommendation that Nassau County phase
in additional funding for the LI Bus, we all need to realize that in
the short-run this is not an economically viable option.
Alternately, MTA can and should look for ways to increase ridership as a
means to close the budget gap. Options to increase ridership:
· Improve service by improving coordination of schedules to decrease
· Decrease fragmentation of services across providers/municipalities
· Offer university students in Nassau and Suffolk reduced rate passes as
part of tuition fees. (Combined student total as of 2009=179,820 for
the 19 institutions of higher learning)
· Listen to your constituency-and provide services to encourage car
users to make the switch to public transportation
The MTA should also commit to long-term sustainable operations and work
toward implementing Transit-Oriented Development, adopting a sustainable
business plan that includes working with partners who embrace public
transportation. This plan would include diverse activities such as:
· Get in the trenches with communities to ensure land use near transit
includes housing-those occupants are more likely to use public
· Make using public transportation a viable option, not a chore only
those in without options must choose
· Work toward bus-only travel lanes
· Make bike/public transit a more viable option
· Work to overhaul its bureaucracy to improve return on investment
dollars. If the consumers of the service must experience service cuts,
the MTA should share the pain.
Nothing noted here is a new idea, in our new economy more and more
businesses need to operate under a leaner budget. Generally, businesses
do not flourish by offering fewer and fewer services to decreasing
numbers of consumers. The MTA is in a fortunate position that it can
grow its market share of travelers; an enviable position for many other
businesses. It would be foolish in the short, and long-term, to instead
choose to implement the proposed cuts.
Once again, thank you for time, and for the opportunity for
Sustainable Long Island to comment on this important issue.
Jack Abrams School Controversy|
Students from the Jack Abrams Intermediate School
in Huntington Station will be placed in other schools in an effort to
protect them from a recent spate of violence in the area. The school,
instead, will be used for administration, tutoring, adult education and
possibly, eventually, an alternative high school.
Photo credit: Newsday / Mahala Gaylord
What are your thoughts on the plan to close Jack
Abrams Intermediate School in Huntington Station? Do you think the
wrong decision was made or will this move help with safety and
revitalization in the area?Here's what some of you had to say:
New York State Budget effect on Long Island|
Long Island Schools losing $173 million,
Hospitals losing $19 million, Clothing taxes going up, $31 million loss
on Long Island's Environmental Protection Fund...
Photo credit: Newsday /Alejandra Villa
What are your thoughts on how the state budget
will affect Long Island?Here's what some of you had to say:
I'm sure they'll just raise out taxes again. Didn't anyone tell you
that Long Island in New York State's rich uncle? LOL
Taxing and no jobs is pushing our kids off now...Our great place to
live should never see this kind of activity against schools and the
We should have increased taxes on the wealthy.
2nd Annual High School Fellowship|
Sustainable Long Island announces
the start of its 2nd Annual High School Fellowship,
where numerous high school juniors and seniors across Long Island have
been hired to work closely with staff on community planning and
revitalization projects within the organization.
Funded by the Levitt Foundation,
this program will have students engaged in a local community planning
project, develop creative, fun outreach methods targeted at young
adults, and learn about local and regional food systems while helping
with Sustainable Long Island's youth-run farmers'
"This fellowship gives the chance for
students to see what it's like to work at a nonprofit organization,
complete day-to-day tasks, while focusing on numerous projects and
planning processes" said Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director, Sustainable
Long Island. "Students will be active in and learning about
issues of sustainability, community planning, and development and civic
Students including Sarah DeGray of Sachem
High School North, Ibeth Escobar of Roosevelt High
School, and Matthew Lippertshauser of Bethpage High
School receive a stipend for their work, which entails a one
year part-time commitment including 20 hours a week in the summer and
five hours a week during the school year. This program will help
students build different skills, while providing experience to those who
will soon be off to college looking for more part time, and eventually,
full time jobs.
"It's important to me to get younger
people involved in issues that our communities face on a daily basis,"
said Matthew Lippertshauser. "I hope to learn from this experience and
educate others along the way."
After a tremendously successful
inaugural year featuring student's developing and holding a Bethpage
youth-visioning and meeting numerous elected officials, the organization
interviewed dozens of young adults in different Long Island communities
for this program. Youth are integral to Long Island's future growth and
with their help Sustainable Long Island believes they can reach a
broader audience and engage more young adults in thinking about and
planning for the future.
If you are or know a High School Junior or Senior who would like to participate THIS year, it's not too late! We are looking for students in specific communities to participate in the fellowship including:
- Middle Country
- Port Washington
- North Amityville
Apply today by sending a letter of interest to
Sustainable Long Island Community Planner Artineh Havan
News and Notes|
Our funders tour from this past month!
Here's a quick glance into just a handful of the events and meeting we have been participating in and attending. For a full up-to-the minute list of all the latest happenings follow us on...
At the Junior League of Long Island Community
Impact Breakfast discussing health and well-being issues affecting women
and children on LI.
Yesterday we attended a roundtable discussion on
how to create a more sustainable restaurant culture.
At the Long Island Appollo Alliance roundtable
discussion in Hauppauge with guest speaker Mijin Cha of Urban Agenda and
NYC Appollo Alliance
We'll See You There!|
summer passed you by? Looking for free, fun,
family entertainment before school starts? Join Sustainable Long Island
night under the stars at the Airmid Theatre's production of "Three
Moon" on Thursday, August 26th at 7pm.
charming screwball comedy was the toast of Broadway in 1933,
setting the tone for future plays like "You Can't Take it With You" to
successful for generations to come!
Nissequogue River State Park
in Western Suffolk County
799 Saint Johnland Rd
Park, NY 11754
Thursday, August 26 at 7pm
FREE! You can bring a picnic, and be sure to
remember to bring your favorite chair or blanket
since seating is on the lawn.
and Why: Sustainable Long Island will have a table at Airmid Theatre's
"Community Revitalization Night" spotlighting local non-profit
Come support your local theatre, your friends at Sustainable Long
community, and enjoy the free entertainment!
See You There!
opens with the local VFW Post 400 raising the 1850s American Flag and opening
remarks by Tom Muratore, Suffolk County Legislator. All day family-fun
activities include Historic Schoolhouse tours, guided hikes by local scout
troops through the recently blazed Farmingville Hills County Park, nature
projects, letterboxing adventures, storytelling with Sachem Public Library,
face painting, toddler crafts, and more. Sustainable Long Island will be on hand facilitating a drawing activity for the youth in attendance. Youth will draw pictures representing what "community" means to them - their vision of the community in the future. Drawings have the opportunity to be featured later this fall at an art exhibit at the Terry House in Farmingville.
Donate to Sustainable Long Island Today
Sustainable Long Island thanks the individuals and organizations who
continue to support our work. They have shown commitment to revitalizing
our communities and improving the lives of all Long Islanders.
By Donating you are helping promote:
- Equity for All Long Islanders
Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director
Sustainable Long Island