|Board of Directors|
Ruth Negron-Gaines- President
Kevin McDonald - Vice President
The Nature Conservancy
Charlotte Biblow, Esq. - Secretary
Farrell Fritz, P.C.
Lauren Furst - Treasurer
Albanese Organization Inc.
Capital One Bank
Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III
SUNY College at Old Westbury
Dr. Miriam K. Deitsch
State University at Farmingdale
Long Island Housing Partnership
North Shore - LIJ Health System
Mitchell H. Pally
Weber Law Group, LLP
Dr. Robert A. Scott
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The holidays are upon us and the good cheer has already begun to spread throughout Sustainable Long Island. Check out our newsletter for some fun facts, festive fundraisers, and much more!
| Meeting on New York Healthy Food & Healthy Communities Fund|
Empire State Development (ESD) and Sustainable Long Island held an informational meeting this past month at Farmingdale State College regarding the New York Healthy Food & Healthy Communities Fund. The coalition, joined by representatives from the Town of Brookhaven, NYS Department of Labor, LIPA, National Grid, and more discussed the funding opportunity, which will increase access to healthy foods, create local jobs, and support the health and well-being of all New Yorkers.
"Governor Paterson created the New York Healthy Food & Healthy Communities Fund, understanding the critical need for the improvement of food markets in underserved communities," said ESD Chairman & CEO Dennis M. Mullen. "By providing financing to supermarket and grocery operators, the program will increase the availability of nutritious food choices for the 1.7 million New Yorkers who lack access to stores with healthy food options - including those here in Long Island."
"The introduction of this initiative will alleviate some of the expenses faced by supermarket developers and operators when looking to open in low-income communities," says Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director of Sustainable Long Island. "This funding will help provide access to fresh food to thousands of New Yorkers, decrease food costs, and also increase property values with new and rehabbed supermarkets in specific communities."
Millions of New York residents lack access to fresh healthy food near their homes. These areas, known as "food deserts," are often located in low income communities where the only food available is from fast food restaurants or convenience stores that stock mostly packaged and processed fare. Inadequate access to fresh food has been linked to poor health outcomes in these neighborhoods, including high rates of obesity and diabetes.
"ESD will play a vital role in providing financial incentives for this important initiative," said ESD's Long Island Regional Director Andrea Lohneiss. "We will be facilitating discussions between supermarket operators, community groups, local governments and property owners. Working together, I know we can achieve successful outcomes on Long Island."
The $30 million New York Healthy Food & Healthy Communities (HFHC) Fund is administered by ESD and includes a $20 million commitment from The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and a $10 million commitment from ESD. In addition, the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) is providing an additional $300,000 to cover expenses related to technical assistance and program administration. State funding for the HFHC program was set aside by Governor Paterson in the 2009-10 State Budget. The Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), in partnership with The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) and The Food Trust, were selected through an RFP to administer the fund.
| Farmingville - Bringing People Together|
- On November 23, we presented the Farmingville Community Plan to the town board for acceptance. This unique community planning process has brought a once divided community together again! The core of the Community Plan is the creation of a revitalized hamlet center along Horseblock Road with landscaping, street furniture such as benches, lighting and trash cans, and a variety of locally-owned businesses.
|Farmingville: bringing people together|
- Sustainable Long Island facilitated a Community Planning Process for Farmingville in 2009 that included preparatory meetings, a best practices tour, focus group sessions, and the community planning weekend, led by nationally known land use planning expert Dan Burden.
- Among the goals of the Farmingville Community Planning Process were to bring together a divided community and to build a consensus of diverse ideas through the creation and implementation of a sustainable community plan. The project gave hope to residents that it would help unify the community and create a new, more positive image for Farmingville. This project presented an opportunity to bring people together, focusing on positive change and proactive, positive participation in the planning process.
- Sustainable Long Island would like to thank our community partners and elected officials who showed their support and made this planning process a success. We look forward to our continued partnership as redevelopment in the community begins.
Click here for the Farmingville Community Plan
|Oheka Castle - December 20th - You're invited!|
Sustainable Long Island is holding a fundraising event which will highlight this past season's youth-run farmers markets and celebrate efforts of increasing access to fresh, local, affordable food in low-income communities across Long Island.
When it comes to the topic of food, commitment to our community and the environment is what matters most. What many often forget is the difficulty people face when trying to eat and live healthy, especially if one does not have access to a variety of food options nearby. For the past three years, we've gathered thousands of Long Islanders together in an effort to combat this problem with initiatives such as the youth-run farmers' markets in low-income communities.
We are pleased to invite you to join us on the evening of December 20th at Oheka Castle for a cocktail-party and fundraiser. Sustainable Long Island is honoring Ann Rathkopf and Bhavani Jaroff for their work establishing Slow Food Huntington and Joseph M. Gergela III for all his accomplishments as Executive Director of the Long Island Farm Bureau. There will be food, fun, and festivities during this cocktail party with a brief program.
A $150 ticket to this cocktail reception will be considered your donation to continue Sustainable Long Island's work, will show your support for local eating and local food, and include a FREE one year membership to Slow Food USA. Call Jean Cipriano or Scott Woodson at 516-873-0230 to register today!
| Youth-run Farmers' Markets succesful season comes to a close!|
Sustainable Long Island's youth-run farmers' markets have officially come to a close for the season, resulting in over $28,000 in sales and supplying over five thousand community residents with fresh, affordable produce . Earlier this year Sustainable Long Island teamed up with local community partners and the Long Island Farm Bureau to launch these projects in North Bellport and Roosevelt, two communities historically underserved by food retailers and markets.
Throughout the season (July 11 - October 31) residents had the option of purchasing affordable fruit and vegetables from high school students of each community who ran the markets, which were stocked with produce from six Long Island Farms including Anderson Farms, Deer Run Farms, Milk Pail Farms, Natural Earth Farms, Philip Schmitt & Sons Farms, and W&K Farms. Over 90 boxes of cabbage, 240 bags of corn, 870 bunches of beets, and 3200 pounds of tomatoes made their way fresh from the farm to North Bellport and Roosevelt resident's kitchen tables. More amazingly, 65% of total transactions came from EBT sales and WIC and Senior Checks, cementing the fact that access to fresh, affordable food alternatives is needed now more than ever in many low-income communities.
Throughout the summer and early fall months, numerous elected officials visited the markets including Legislator Kevan Abrahams, Legislator Kate Browning, Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Legislator Vivian Viloria-Fisher, and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano - who held a press conference to highlight the Roosevelt Markets' success. The market sites became more than just a shopping center, but a festive-family-fun atmosphere with unique activities and demonstrations occurring throughout the season, including cooking demonstrations, steel drum bands, interactive games, and informational tables on nutrition, agriculture, and health services available in both North Bellport and Roosevelt.
The markets provided jobs to local high school students in each community, promoted nutrition and education to residents, contributed to a sense of place, gave community members' greater choice of fresh produce and healthy food selections, and helped boost the local and regional economy with its success, including 748 bags of spinach, 3860 pounds of apples, and 5120 pounds of melon sold. Sustainable Long Island continues to expand its food equity program - identifying challenges and potential solutions for communities that lack access to fresh, healthy food - for the upcoming year, and is currently working with local community partners to implement this project in numerous Long Island towns for next season.
Click here to view a touching mini-documentary on the Roosevelt Market
| Wyandanch Rising - Sewer Project Groundbreaking |
Earlier this month we attended a groundbreaking ceremony in downtown Wyandanch was held for a sewer project that has been decades in the making. The sewer infrastructure being built by the Town will make it possible to implement the Wyandanch Rising Hamlet Plan - the community's vision for the future.
"This is an historic achievement for Wyandan ch that will pave the way for the development of a real downtown, new jobs, affordable housing and a better environment," said Supervisor Bellone. "This achievement would not have been possible without the incredible work of Senator Schumer, Congressman Israel, Assemblyman Sweeney and our other partners."
The sewer plan the Town is implementing was developed with the $450,000 in federal funding Congressman Steve Israel secured for a comprehensive study and project design. US Senator Chuck Schumer, along with Congressman Israel, was instrumental in securing the federal support for the financing the Town will receive through the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (NYS EFC), headed by CEO Matt Driscoll. Assemblyman Bob Sweeney, as Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee, worked closely with the EFC to insure that Wyandanch would be funded. Assemblyman Sweeney has also secured an additional $300,000 grant for the project.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy and the Suffolk County Legislature under the leadership of Legislator DuWayne Gregory, Presiding Officer Bill Lindsay and Minority Leader Dan LoSquadro joined together to eliminate sewer connection fees that could total up to $11 million.
The NYS Empire State Development Corporation granted the Town $2 million for the project; the NYS DOT awarded $486,000 and the US EPA awarded $410,000 for the project.
"Sewers are one of the pivotal pieces in making Wyandanch Rising a complete reality - bringing the necessary economic development in terms of tax revenue, jobs, businesses, and housing to continue the revitalization process spearheaded by Supervisor Bellone," says Sarah Lansdale, executive director, Sustainable Long Island. "Suffolk County has identified the expansion of sewers in targeted areas as an economic development tool, and their support of the Wyandanch Rising process propels this revitalization effort forward."
After the New York State Environmental Facilities Corp. approved $14.66 million in low-cost financing funds for a Wyandanch sewer project, the great news continued. Recently The Town of Babylon was awarded a $20,000 Affordable Green Neighborhoods grant, which comes from the U.S. Green Building Council and Bank of America. Plans include a new parking and transit structure at the train station, open plazas and mixed-use retail and housing nearby.
| Cablevision Editorial: Don't Bury the Bus|
By Peter Kohler, Cablevision Vice President of Editorial Services, Long Island
Demonstrators recently staged a mock funeral for Long Island Bus.
Bus riders had reason to dramatize their plight. They've become pawns in hard bargaining between Nassau County and the MTA, which operates the bus system and subsidizes it to the tune of $26 million.
Given its own deficits, the MTA says it has to end the subsidy. And Nassau says it can't afford to take it on, given the county's need to close a $393 million budget deficit. So where does that leave 100,000 riders?
Unless the MTA and Nassau can negotiate an agreement to phase out the subsidies, the county will have to find private operators to run LI Bus. Sensibly, Nassau County has invited private bus companies to propose what they would charge to operate the bus system. Suffolk County has long used private companies to operate its buses.
Despite the furor over payroll taxes, service cuts and its finances, the MTA can still provide a leadership role in planning regional bus services for Nassau and Suffolk, as it has pledged to do. It just can't be expected to pay the bills.
But for Nassau County, burying Long Island Bus is not an option.
As a Long Island Bus rider, the bus system currently is horrible and not on time. The cuts that Mangano has put into effect are disgusting. We depend on the buses running on time, and having more buses especially at nighttime (late nights in effect). For the N22 going to Hicksville, it is an hour wait at the train station and for a woman at 11 p.m. that is too long of a wait time every hour the bus runs. When someone is attacked at the terminal or at the Roosevelt Field mall just wait for Mangano to see the lawsuits filed against the county. It is getting colder outside; waiting at bus stops for long periods is ridiculous. Hiring independent bus companies is not the answer. The time for waiting will be even slower, the cost to the riders higher. Many of the transit drivers will be unemployed. Then Nassau County will indeed see a rise in unemployment. There are other ways of reducing the deficit, such as reducing the cases of foster care families, returning them home; raise taxes on alcohol in stores, bars, restaurants; increase the sales taxes; increase the bus fees as long as we get more buses--on the N40, N22, N79, N24--at least every half hour and including late night runs. That would definitely be worth the increase. Including the MTA train schedules from Huntington to Port Jeff, more trains run late nights. The S1 needs to run more frequently instead of every hour from Halesite to Amityville. The bus stops in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties are dangerous. They are not lit. Half the stops don't have benches for travelers to sit down on while we are waiting for the bus. Something has to give. We depend on all these forms of transportation to get to work. If it continues this way, there will be more unemployment due to not getting to work on time, more lawsuits due to cutbacks in spending.
Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director, Sustainable Long Island
Sustainable Long Island has been one of the numerous organizations urging Nassau County to prioritize LI Bus riders in the 2011 budget, increase its contribution to one of the largest suburban bus systems in the country, and work with, instead of against, the MTA. We participated in the aforementioned mock funeral and our eulogy was as follows:
Long Island Bus, you have been so helpful in implementing Sustainable Long Island's mission, promoting sustainable development throughout all of Long Island. Today, our mission hits the brakes.
Long Island Bus, you have been integral in supporting community development, reducing traffic congestion, automobile pollution, and providing a service that absolutely no one can duplicate.
You have promoted economic development by bringing jobs to hundreds of people, and bringing people to thousands of jobs.
You have been so important to our senior citizens who will now be hindered in their mobility. You have been so crucial to our young adults, who may now leave our region due to the affordability of what alternative transportation options are left. They often say you don't know what you have until it's gone, but in this case, each and every resident in Nassau County knew exactly what they had and exactly what they've lost.
You enabled social equity, facilitated environmental justice, and promoted economic development and for that, we at Sustainable Long Island mourn the loss of what was the backbone of Long Island growth.
Today we not only pay tribute to the death of Long Island Bus, but to the death of functional Long Island Transportation as a whole.
Rest in Peace Long Island Bus, 32 million riders a year and 100,000 riders a day will surely miss you.
***Our response was featured on News 12 Long Island
| Verizon Foundation Awards $10,000 Grant |
We are pleased to announce that Sustainable Long Island has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation for its ongoing work to address the issue of food equity across Long Island. With this new stream of funding, Sustainable Long Island has been able to continue to focus on identifying solutions for communities which lack access to fresh, affordable food.
"The need to address the issue of food security on Long Island has become increasingly urgent given the current economic climate," said Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director of Sustainable Long Island. "With the Verizon Foundation's assistance, we are able to maintain the success we have accomplished with the creation of youth-run farmers' markets in low-income communities."
Earlier this year Sustainable Long Island teamed up with local community partners and the Long Island Farm Bureau to launch two youth-run markets in North Bellport and Roosevelt. Through this project, high school students from each community had the opportunity to run the markets, under the supervision of a market manger, while learning small business and customer service skills. Sustainable Long Island has used this additional funding from the Verizon Foundation to expand the educational opportunities at the market for youth, using the lesson plans at Thinkfinty.org to train the 10 teen staffers on nutrition, agriculture, and health.
"There's nothing more important than helping our young people get started in the right direction," said Patrick Lespinasse, Verizon Director of Government and External Affairs. "Sustainable Long Island's unique educational and community-minded program helps to build strong skills within our children, while making sure that our needy neighbors on the Island have avenues for food supplies. It's a great partnership."
The students have developed and executed peer-to-peer nutritional activities and a nutritional survey at the market this year. This project has equipped young people with planning tools, educational nutrition information and sample activities, and knowledge to continue to make a positive impact in their communities.Pictured in Photo: Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director, Sustainable Long Island (left) and Patrick Lespinasse, Verizon Director of Government and External Affairs (right).
|We'll see you there!
NPCR's 3rd Annual Brownfields Forum
Evolution of Brownfields: From Policies to Partnerships
December 1, 2010 from 8:30am - 5:00pm
Hosted by: National Grid
Location: 1 Metro Tech Center, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Hear about the latest in Brownfield policies, programs and opportunities and area-wide development at the National, State and City level with information on:
NYS Brownfield Opportunity Area Program
NYS Brownfields Cleanup Program/ Brownfield Tax Credits
Mayor Bloomberg's PlanNYC 2.0
Legislative updates and much more!
Featuring Keynote speakers NYS Senator Antoine Thompson, Chairman, NYS Senate Committee on Environmental Conservation and Town of Babylon Supervisor Steve Bellone.
Sarah Lansdale, executive director of Sustainable Long Island, will be a part of "The Area-Wide Approach" panel discussing New York's Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) Programs. Recap to follow on our social media websites!
News and Notes
- Check out Peter Bronski's, of Long Island Pulse magazine, story "Eat Like a Locavore" on eating locally, mentioning our youth-run markets!
- On November 20th, many of the students who worked at the Roosevelt and North Bellport Markets attended the Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners conference in Brooklyn to share their success and learn about career opportunities in this burgeoning field. This was the first annual conference to forge food, farming and policy solutions and convened farmers, gardeners, activists, students and community leaders from across the nation.
|Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference Closing Keynote Ralph Paige|
|Want community updates on various planning projects? Exciting tidbits on events, meetings, and engagements in your neighborhood? Exclusive information and the latest feedback about everything Long Island?
Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director
Sustainable Long Island