Board of Directors
Biblow, Esq. - Secretary
Farrell Fritz, P.C.
Lauren Furst -
Capital 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?
An exciting month for Sustainable Long Island this September as leaves begin to change and summer turns to fall. In this newsletter, check out the inspiring New York Times column on the Roosevelt Farmers' Market and an informative op-ed in the Long Island Business News on supermarket closings. Also we're excited to tell you that our website is currently being redesigned and scheduled to re-launch later this fall. Until then check out your one-stop-shop for all Sustainable Long Island news below!
Fresh Vegetables Where Fast Food Reigns|
New York Times Column by Peter Applebome
a.m. on Sunday, Kevin Freeland drives a white Ford van into the parking lot at
the Freeport-Roosevelt Health Center in one of Long Island's poorest
communities. Lettered on the side are the words Vets Transportation, and the
van's 14 seats have been removed. Inside are 63 boxes of fresh produce he
picked up from four farms on Long Island's East End that morning, after
beginning his day at the shelter for homeless veterans where he's staying in
mostly women with small children and the elderly, begin to filter into the lot
about the same time. They form a line of about 40 people and wait patiently for
10 minutes or so until one of the workers ushers them forward and the Roosevelt
Community Farmers' Market opens at 11.
not the new omnivore's playland of the Union Square Greenmarket or the
ambitious farmers' markets you can find in Port Washington, Huntington or other
affluent Long Island communities. There are no artisanal cheeses, heirloom
tomatoes, $8 organic breads, grass-fed beef, spinach/goat cheese quiches or
local musicians singing James Taylor songs. Instead it is
just three tables full of fresh produce: corn, broccoli, eggplant, collard
greens, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, cilantro and the rest, neatly arrayed on
tables under white Quik Shade canopy tents.
the bustling farmers' market is today's most coveted suburban amenity, this is
one for those pretty much left out of the game. In a world where the slow-food,
eat-local, simple-beats-processed gospel of Michael Pollan et al. tends to
be the playbook only for those with a little (or a lot) extra to spend,
Roosevelt's new market seems to be prospering, a small bit of food equity in a
world where eating can be pretty Darwinian, too.
this is a blessing," said Mr. Freeland, a 45-year-old Navy veteran, who does
two janitorial jobs, formerly owned a janitorial business in Atlanta and has
been homeless since his apartment was flooded out this year. "You get the food
direct from the farm - they're still cleaning it off when I get there. You
can't get more fresh than that."
Roosevelt market is one of two on Long Island - the other is in North Bellport
- organized by Sustainable Long Island, which works on
sustainable agriculture and development projects, and the Long Island Farm Bureau in conjunction with other organizations and local groups,
particularly in this case the Roosevelt Community Revitalization Group. The
idea is to provide fresh food to communities where obesity, diabetes and
high-cholesterol problems are epidemic and where local food options tend more to
fast food than healthful ones. In addition to the produce, the market has
featured nutritionists and health information.
seems to be this perception that low-income communities don't have the same
needs and interests when it comes to food, and we do," said Clara
Gillens-Eromosele, one of the leaders of the Roosevelt revitalization group.
"We're not looking to have more fast food in our community. We're looking to
educate people about alternatives."
first year, the market has succeeded beyond expectations. Total sales have
increased from $260 in the first week to about $1,400 now. Still, the most
popular currency is $24 in federal vouchers ($20 for eligible older people)
that can be used only at farmers' markets. Whether people will participate
after they've used the vouchers - from WIC, the federal nutrition program -
isn't entirely clear.
people show up early, having heard that the market sells out each week well
before the scheduled 4 p.m. closing time. A few take public transportation,
like Constantine Mangos, 61, who took the bus from Hempstead. "The corn last
week was so fresh, I couldn't stop eating it," he said. "I come religiously - I
should be in church." Most drive, from Roosevelt, Freeport, Uniondale and other
broccoli, available for the first time, sells out first. Then the tomatoes;
then almost everything but the first pumpkins of the season. The market closes
down at 3, with whatever is left over given to local food pantries.
It may be
a stretch to believe a once-a-week farmers' market will have a huge impact on
eating patterns. Tavis Nembhard drove his grandmother, Avril Powell, still in
her church dress, who bought three dozen ears of corn for herself and various
family members. "The kids want that big M," he said, referring to McDonald's.
Still, in the warm sun, everyone happily lugging home burlap bags of corn and
boxes of squash, eggplant, lettuce, peppers and the rest, it felt, at the
least, like a step in the right direction.
Farmers' Markets to the Rescue|
Feature in Edible East End By Eileen M. Duffy
Last year, when the Southold-based food
consulting firm Karp Resources convened a group of Long Island food
influencers-grocers, farmers, politicians-it presented some daunting
data for Nassau and Suffolk Counties: fast food joints per 1000 people,
diabetes rates per town, the relative dearth of farms and farm stands
especially Upisland. The result, as much in rich as poor communities
across America, is that often many people lack access to fresh produce
and therefore eat cheap fast food, spend too much on packaged food at
corner stores and then suffer the health consequences of such a diet.
So Sustainable Long Island, a nonprofit focused
on community development, which commissioned the research from Karp
Resources, cut through the despair, and found some hope in a solution
that has come to the rescue of many communities lacking in healthy food
options: farmers markets.
In mid-July, youth-run farmers markets opened in
North Bellport (in western Suffolk County) and Roosevelt (in Nassau
County), two areas well-known for being on the short end of the food
equity stick. On the first day they sold out of beets and cabbage.
"Some of the kids were having beets for the first
time," says Sarah Lansdale, executive director of Sustainable Long
Island."They were starting to share recipes."
Created in conjunction with the Long Island Farm
Bureau and public and private funds, the markets will run on Sundays
through October. This twist on traditional farmers markets-with youth
paid to run the stands-relieves the farmers from having to be being
present so they can focus instead on growing the food.
"This is a prime example of local people and
businesses working together to make their community a better place to
live," says Joseph Gergela, Long Island Farm Bureau executive director,
"providing opportunities for job growth, improving healthy lifestyles,
adding to the viability of the agricultural industry, and reducing the
The produce comes from local farms; that cabbage
was grown in Brookhaven at Deer Run Farms, and the beets came from
Schmitt & Sons in Riverhead. Homeless veterans are driving the
delivery trucks to the markets.
Lansdale believes the project itself will be
sustainable and hopes to open more markets next year. Creating jobs for
teens, helping farmers bring their goods to market and providing healthy
food for the community allows Lansdale to use an oft-cited description
with twist-it's a win-win-win.
Food Equity Resource Guide|
At a recent Long Island Regional Planning Council meeting,
we provided attendees
Shuttered Supermarkets Hurt Local Biz|
Featured in the Long Island Business News (LIBN) - By John Durso, President of The Long Island Federation of Labor and Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director of Sustainable Long Island.
Photo Credit: Groceteria.com
Lately, it seems that at almost every main street corner, a
longstanding supermarket is no longer present. Many believe these
supermarket closures are a sign of these recessionary times.
It was announced last month that the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea
Co. will shut down 25 of its stores located across Connecticut,
Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania by the end of this year.
Three Long Island locations including a Pathmark in Garden City, and
two Waldbaums' - one in Centereach and one in Levittown - would fall
victim to the closures.
Shoppers who used the soon-to-be closed locations for their grocery
needs will have to find an alternative. Many workers who had stable
employment will now begin searching within the unstable job market.
Those who are union members may have the option to transfer to other
locations, but unfortunately many nonunion employees may not have that
alternative. The majority of those laid off will have to scramble for
new jobs and unemployment insurance, if eligible. According to the New
York State Department of Labor, from July 2009 through July 2010 - just
weeks before A&P's announcement - employment within Long Island
grocery stores had increased by a few hundred jobs. With this latest
news, that trend will surely be reversed.
Despite the fact that these market closings are in areas not
considered low-income, access to fresh, affordable food options still
remains a top issue. Sustainable Long Island and other organizations
continue to address the issue of food equity - working to maintain or
establish a variety of food purchasing options on Long Island. The fewer
shopping options may not only increase food costs but may decrease the
convenience of finding healthy options to buy and eat.
The loss of these neighborhood grocery stores may also decrease
property values, shrink the communities' tax base and contribute to
stagnant sprawl. As rivals of A&P look on, many wonder if the other
supermarket chains will look to purchase the soon to be abandoned real
estate. When these stores shut down, blight often begins. The community
will suffer from the visual and physical effects of an empty parking lot
and vacant building. This blight will not only drive away new residents
and community members, but new businesses looking to fill the economic
void these closures will bring.
In addition, grocery stores are typically key community spaces that
help the overall economy of the neighborhood. These stores could be
characterized as "anchor businesses," one major company that is placed
next to or in the middle of other smaller shops and strip malls to
support the economic development of the surrounding stores. A store like
a Pathmark or a Waldbaums brings in the major business to the area
while promoting the local community around them. For example, the
Waldbaums in Levittown is located within the parking lot of several
smaller shops and is directly across the street from a former K-Mart -
also a former anchor business now reduced to a neighborhood blemish.
When these anchor stores close down, the smaller stores are left to
survive on their own.
We are encouraged by Gov. David Paterson's statement last December
launching the Healthy Food/Healthy Communities Initiative, which will
support the development and expansion of fresh food retailers in urban
and rural communities throughout New York. We await the announcement of
the program guidelines of this $30 million loan and grant fund that will
bring healthy food options and access to fresh food markets to
residents across our region.
Perhaps it's just a sign of the times that supermarkets are closing
during an era when the lack of access to fresh food has become a
national problem; when hundreds of good union jobs may be lost,
impacting families financially and personally; where blight slowly
creeps into potentially revitalized downtowns. We all must get involved
in our communities and support our local business to make sure the
long-term effects of these closures do not impact the town where we
live, play and work.
AvalonBay at Huntington Station|
Will they or won't they?
The AvalonBay project at Huntington Station will finally go to vote at the Town Board's meeting later today, September 21. Both supporters and opponents have been rallying, protesting, and urging all those who will listen to take a stand one way or another. Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone and numerous Council Members have been bombarded with letters, emails, and phone calls the past few weeks and even an AvalonBay press conference was held on September 7th on the front lawn of Town Hall. Sustainable Long Island was one of the organizations to speak that day and featured below are our comments supporting the project:
Photo Credit: http://avalonhuntingtonstation.com
Sustainable Long Island endorses the AvalonBay project and
Huntington's redevelopment efforts that embody the very ideas on which
Smart Growth is based. It is not only important for other Long Island
communities to incorporate similar developments in their own
communities, but it is essential for the future growth of Long Island.
benefits that Huntington would receive as a result of this project
would also spread into neighboring communities:
transit-oriented development, located near the local train station would
promote a vibrant, walkable community.
- With safety
one of the major concerns to residents of the area, a safe, lighted
walkway leading to the train station would be implemented.
With traffic issues causing much worry among the public, this project
will pay for a new traffic light on Park Avenue, one of the main areas
- With a predicted 25% rental affordable
housing, it offers a range of options for young and old Long Islanders
looking for a place to settle down.
- Along with the
creation of jobs and the 75% market rate tax base, this project is a
positive step for the community.
We have a long way to go
to see this project come to fruition, with naysayers remaining loud
and persistent, but with your support we will move forward. Sustainable
Long Island urges everyone who supports this project to call Supervisor
Petrone, write letters to the town board, and even email council
members, to show that AvalonBay is an economic wake-up call for the
revitalization of Huntington Station.
MTA Public Hearing - September 16th|
Our comments on the MTA cuts to LI Bus
Good evening.Thank you for this opportunity to testify today.
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 come.
work with communities across the Island, engaging them in community meetings and
developing community plans to help build a more sustainable Long Island. Through our work we know that many Nassau
residents use buses for work, school, and their daily routines. About 8% of Nassau households, who are also
from low-income communities, do not have access to cars and depend solely on
the bus system. Long Island buses serve
over 32 million riders a year, over 100,000 riders a day and are an integral
component in Nassau County's transit system, fostering economic development,
reducing congestion and protecting the environment.
Discontinuing the Bus service completely
would be detrimental to so many including our low-wage workforce, seniors, physically
disabled and young folk that do not have access to cars. The low-wage workers, especially, are at the
center of our region's economy-the domestic, department store, convenience
store, electronic assembly, garment, hotel, and restaurant workers, the
security guards, and the street vendors.
Everything they do-transporting children to and from schools and
childcare facilities; going to work; looking for work; attending community
colleges; even enjoying modest forms of recreation- depends upon a viable
public transportation system. Cutting
the bus system would make it very difficult for these residents to continue
their normal daily routines and put their families' well being in
jeopardy. It is important to add that
many low-wage workers are from lower-income communities and are historically
marginalized populations and people of color.Therefore the Long Island Bus cut would contribute significantly to
environmental injustice and indirectly violate Titles III and IV of the Civil
Rights Act. Title III prohibits state
and municipal governments from denying access to public facilities on grounds
of race, religion, gender, or ethnicity; whereas Title VI, prevents
discrimination by government agencies that receive federal funding. If an agency is found in violation of Title
VI, that agency can lose its federal funding.
Also, the Long Island Bus cut would also significantly
affect the economic development of the region and contribute to losses in jobs
and businesses, as residents would not be able to travel to, maintain and
support them. In a time when jobs are
harder to come by such drastic reductions in transportation service will have a
severe negative impact on our communities' economic and environmental health
and lead to further congestion and pollution.
The proposed fare hikes and bus cuts burden
the very people who should be incentivized to continue to use public transportation. In fact, Long Island bus ridership increased
in the months preceding the major service cuts that took place in late June
2010, and Long Island's bus ridership outpaced the targeted ridership by almost
2%. This means that more people
recognize and prefer to use public transportation, and there is a great
opportunity for the MTA to promote further ridership.
Long Island bus cut is also sending the wrong message to businesses and
developers about where and how the region should grow as they determine where
to locate jobs. By cutting bus service
we are making suburbs even more economically segregated.
We need buses on Long Island. While Nassau County is proposing a privatized
bus system, it does not seem feasible that it would be able to operate one with
the level of service that is expected, especially considering the current
funding it provides the MTA.
We are also aware that a regional bus study
which could put the Long Island Bus on firm financial footing is included in
MTA's current capital plan. The wiser
decision would be to wait to receive the study.
are not here to lay blame. We know that
MTA faces crushing deficit and recognize the challenges of this dire
situation. There is also a lot more
Nassau County, the state and federal governments could do.
are requesting that the MTA consider increasing tolls, for example at the East
River bridge, as well as strongly consider congestion pricing to solve its
deficits instead of cutting its services for those who support and use it the
are requesting that Nassau County act in good faith and in the public interest
and increase its contribution of funding which is decreasing annually and work
with the MTA to identify a sustainable funding stream.
prides itself that it is largely responsible for the fact that energy
consumption and CO2 output of New Yorkers is approximately a quarter of the
national average. MTA states, and I
quote, "By improving, and expanding these efficiencies, the MTA can serve as a
national model and regional platform for sustainable growth in the 21st
century." I ask you, are these service
cuts symbols of sustainable growth? I
would say that they are in fact the antithesis of it.
County administration has pledged to bring back economic development and devoted
itself to help businesses in the county.
However, by cutting the transportation mode to businesses, how are they
is not committing itself to sustainable growth; and Nassau County is not
supporting local businesses by cutting bus lines, our blood lines to economic
development and environmental health.
again, we urge you to make sustainable choices; the current ones including fare
hikes, funding cuts and privatization are not acceptable.
***These comments were changed during
the meeting to reflect others input
and already discussed speaking points. This is to be viewed as more of
than the exact testimony.
Two Roads Diverged on Long Island...|
By Robert Fruedenberg, Long Island Director, RPA
Nassau County, the Village of Freeport is on the verge of adopting a master
plan for its struggling station area and aging North Main Street commercial
corridor. The plan - prepared by RPA in association with Moule & Polyzoides
and Sustainable Long Island- envisions the transformation of 86
acres of parking fields and underutilized buildings around the train station
into a more dense, vibrant, mixed-use downtown community. Infrastructure
improvements and a road diet are slated to convert the speedy and barren North
Main Street into a walkable, livable community street.
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
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).
News and Notes|
Here's a quick glance into just a handful of the events and meetings we
have been participating in and attending. For a full up-to-the minute
list of all the latest happenings follow us on...
Video posted September 8th to Facebook
the Long Island Regional Planning Council meeting at Molloy College. A
packed agenda is on tap including discussions on the AvalonBay Project
and the MTA. Sustainable Long Island will be presenting on Food Equity,
with recommendations for the LI 2035 Regional Sustainability Plan.
attended the HIA-LI 16th Annual Business Achievement Awards, honoring
outstanding Long Island Companies. Tonight we're headed to the Middle
Country Coalition meeting, discussing updates on projects within Selden
and Centereach. We also will be at Kodiak's Restaurant in Farmingdale
for the Young Adult Allianc...e Power Pregame - gathering young
professionals who help mobilize other young adults on Long Island.
Update: Great turn out on Labor Day Weekend where many items were ready
for grilling including yellow peppers, corn, and eggplant. We had over
300 Senior and WIC checks used! Cornell Cooperative Extension used one
bunch of arugula to demonstrate how it can be used in a salad and as a
result it flew off the table...! They will also be providing the students
with additional nutrition training in the coming weeks.
Sustainable Long Island At a local farming summit
planning meeting discussing the status of faming on Long Island, current
programs, and successes here and in other areas. Yesterday we visited
Congressman Steve Israel's office to discuss numerous issues of food equity.
Sustainable Long Island Last week we attended
Legislator Vivian Viloria Fisher's victory garden task force and attended a
meeting held by the NY State Transportation Equity Alliance discussing
transportation issues facing Long Island. We are currently preparing the draft
visioning plan for North Amityville (along with the town) to be released to the
public later this fall.
We'll See You There!|
Majora Carter Lecture at Adelphi University
Death of Philanthropy - Why Real Change Can't Come From Charity"
The Thomas Dixon Lovely Ballroom
Wednesday, October 6 - 7:00 PM
Founder of the nonprofit Sustainable South Bronx, Majora Carter is an advocate
for urban sustainability and restoration, and green collar jobs. Ms. Carter is
the current president of the economic consulting firm, the Majora Carter Group.
Suffolk County Planning Federation
Conference - 9/29/10, 1PM to 9:40PM, Berkner Hall, Brookhaven National Lab
The Suffolk County Planning Federation
invites you to attend its annual training conference to be held this year on
Wednesday, September 29th from 1PM to 9:40PM (see schedule for details) at the
Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY. See the schedule below and links for
details and registration information. The conference is free, but registration
is required. A Suffolk County Planning Federation certificate of completion
will be provided to all attendees and may serve as proof of training required,
and AICP CM credits have been applied for.
The online registration form is available
For more information about the conference,
Planning Federation Conference - 11/9/10, 5PM to 9PM, Nassau Community College
The Nassau County Planning Federation will
hold its seventh annual Fall Conference on Tuesday, November 9th from 5PM to
9PM at Nassau Community College, G Building Conference Center. Six
continuing educational credit-eligible workshops will be presented, all
focusing on critical issues affecting Long Island: Recent Updates to SEQRA,
Planning Case Law, Clean Energy, Affordable Housing, Water and Storm Water, and
the Future of Transportation Planning. A light dinner will be
provided. This event is free. AICP CM credits will be applied for. For
more information, contact Lowell F. Wolf at 516-571-0431.
Ask Yourself Long Island:|
Which community has the best Long Island downtown? Which has the worst?
Let us know you thoughts...
And you can be featured in an upcoming Sustainable Long Island e-newsletter!
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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
|Want community updates on various planning projects? Exciting updates on events, meetings, and engagements in your neighborhood? The latest feedback about everything Long Island?Sustainability is only a click away!
Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director
Sustainable Long Island