Sustainable Long Island
January 2011
Sustainable Long Island Newsletter
The one-stop-shop...
For all Sustainable Long Island news!
In This Issue
2011 Conference
Celebrating Local Food Efforts
Long Island Bus Cuts
North Amityville Revitalization
Elmont Update
3rd Annual Brownfields Forum
Supermarkets Editorial
enXco Groundbreaking
Transportation Decisions
Sustainable Local Farms
Grossmann's Farm' Approved
NY State Green Jobs Survey
Mitch Pally takes helm of homebuilders' group
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

---------------

Russ Albanese

Albanese Organization Inc.

---------------

Lennard Axinn

Island Estates

---------------

Robert Bernard

Capital One Bank
---------------

Peter Bogan

---------------
Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III
SUNY College at Old Westbury

---------------

Dr. Miriam K. Deitsch

State University at Farmingdale

---------------

Michelle DiBenedetto

Long Island Housing Partnership

---------------

Pat Edwards

Citibank

---------------

Richard Grafer

---------------
Amy Hagedorn
Hagedorn Foundation

---------------

David Kapell

---------------

Jeff Kraut

North Shore - LIJ Health System

---------------

George O'Neill

---------------

Mitchell H. Pally

Weber Law Group, LLP

---------------

Dr. Robert A. Scott

Adelphi University

---------------

Ron Shiffman

Pratt Institute

---------------

Robert Wieboldt

---------------

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Join Our Mailing List
Reading this newsletter, but not on our mailing list?
Join Today!

Greetings!  

 

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season and enjoys a happy new year! Can you believe 2011 is almost here? It seems like just yesterday we were ringing in the 2010 year... and what a huge year it was for us here at Sustainable Long Island. Throughout 2010 we have continued to seek methods to encourage better planning and improve Long Island in ways that recognize the entwined links between the health of the economy, the quality of the environment, and the equity of Long Island life. We have had some great events, successful programs, and united with some inspiring partners, and through all of these efforts one thing comes to mind: we couldn't have done it without your help.

With your support this year, we've found new ways to truly rethink, rebuild, and renew a brighter future for the place we all call home, highlighted by:

  • The creation of 15 jobs for local youth & formerly homeless veterans through the creation of two youth-run farmers' markets selling fresh local fruit and vegetables in North Bellport and Roosevelt, two of Long Island's historically underserved communities, and connecting them with produce from six Long Island farms. Community members were given a choice and chose healthy, nutritious food!
  •  Unified the once divided community of Farmingville through the process of convening hundreds of people - residents, business owners, civic & religious groups, and government officials - in creating a shared agenda to revitalize their downtown, and recently had the Community Plan adopted by the Town of Brookhaven.
  • Facilitated a community planning process in North Amityville to address the need for comprehensive redevelopment at the intersection of Albany Avenue and Great Neck Road. We introduced planning concepts regarding the strategies used to make a vibrant place and held an interactive visioning exercise to determine what amenities and services community members wanted.
  • Organized an event with Senator Schumer and local sustainability advocates on Long Island in an effort to promote downtown revitalization and sustainable development throughout the area.

We are so proud of the success we've accomplished this year and I have great faith that we can duplicate and surpass these achievements in the coming year. But we need your continued support.


We know we share the same passion, goals, and mission as you do and that is why we kindly ask you to make a tax-deductible contribution to guarantee that Sustainable Long Island continues to bring economic development, environmental health, and social equity to all Long Islanders now and in 2011!

(Flower)
Click here to make a secure online donation via Sustainable Long Island's brand new website!
2010 Exclusive: Register for our 5th Annual Sustainability Conference for special pricing
Conference

Exciting news: our 5th Annual Sustainability Conference has been announced for Friday, March 4, 2011. "The Rally for Resources" will focus on discovering where your community can find funding opportunities for local projects and plans. You will have the chance to find out who's moving beyond the talk toward implementation and finally "getting it done."

We are pleased to announce that if you are one of the first 50 people to register by year-end, you will qualify for special discount pricing of $100 per ticket! That is 33% off the standard ticket price. But act fast as this special will expire midnight on New Years Eve!

Experience interactive workshops on a range of topics featuring brownfield redevelopment, community project implementation, food project financing, and much more! To enjoy all this and keynote speaker Woody Tasch, President of Slow Money, for the special price of $100... REGISTER TODAY! 

*We also would like to ask you to consider donating any unused airline miles you may have obtained over the 2010 year. With these donated miles, we will be able to better accommodate our keynote speakers, panelists, and moderators travel needs. 

Sustainable Long Island Celebrates Bhavani Jaroff, Ann Rathkopf, and Joe Gergela at Year-end Event
Honorees

Sustainable Long Island held a food-equity fundraiser on Monday, December 20, at Oheka Castle in celebration of efforts to increase access to fresh, local, affordable food in low-income communities. Known for its food equity work, Sustainable Long Island paid tribute to organizations, including Slow Food Huntington and the Long Island Farm Bureau.


"What many Long Islanders 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," said Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director of Sustainable Long Island. "Tonight we honored those who have shown a commitment to the community and the environment when dealing with food-related issues"


The night was highlighted by the honoring of Bhavani Jaroff and Ann Rathkopf 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. County Executive Edward Mangano also paid a visit to the cocktail reception which included food, fun, and festivities that supported local eating and local food.

Group


"I am thrilled to be working with Sustainable Long Island and Slow Food Huntington in addressing issues around food," said Bhavani Jaroff. "Whether the problem is food access, food education, industrial agriculture, global warming, the economy, or the health of our people, it is my passion to highlight the inter-connection of all of these issues and to raise awareness about our local food system."


"Slow Food is a push back against fast food and the industrialization and corporate take-over of our food systems," said Ann Rathkopf. "Slow Food believes in food that is Good, Clean, and Fair, for every single human being. It's about defending taste, preserving tradition and safeguarding biodiversity."


For the past three years, Sustainable Long Island has gathered thousands of Long Islanders together in an effort to combat food access issues with initiatives such as youth-run farmers' markets in low-income communities. Earlier this year Sustainable Long Island teamed up with the Long Island Farm Bureau and local community partners to launch two youth-run markets in North Bellport and Roosevelt.


"I am honored to be recognized by Sustainable Long Island. The working relationship between our two organizations has proven that Long Island agriculture is a viable and required resource for the local community," said Joe Gergela. "The Long Island Farm Bureau hopes to continue to work with Sustainable Long Island to develop programs that will strengthen and empower our people, our businesses and the industry of agriculture."


The event was sponsored by Ann and Len Axinn; The Christopher Reynolds Foundation; Adelphi University; The Annamarie Foundation; Edible East End; Farmingdale State College; Angela and Scott Jaggar; Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW; and State Bank of Long Island.

Mangano

Long Island Bus Cuts: "Should Old Acquaintance be forgot..."
LI Bus

This month, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board voted to adopt a 2011 budget that cuts all funding for Long Island Bus, which serves about 100,000 riders daily. However, the MTA and Nassau County officials are reportedly negotiating a plan under which the county gradually would assume the cost of operating its bus service, possibly over three-to-four years. With that in mind, below is a never-before-seen editorial that Sarah Lansdale, executive director, Sustainable Long Island wrote about the dire countdown to decision time when it comes to LI Bus cuts:

"Should Old Acquaintance be forgot..."


...you can almost hear the melody when reading the first line of the ever popular song "Old Long Syne." It's most common to hear playing loudly at funerals, graduations, conclusions of certain occasions, and most notably, when the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve.

Unfortunately, the farewell theme could not be more fitting on Long Island this year, as Nassau County is pursuing the privatization of Long Island bus without any definitive funding strategy which may leave 100,000 riders stranded once the calendar turns to January 1, 2011.


"Should Old Acquaintance be forgot and never thought upon..."


Long Islanders who use the bus for everyday needs, including work, school, and play, feel they are not being "thought upon" now that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is moving toward eliminating its $26 million contribution to this invaluable mode of public transportation. After years of funding, the County has had just 10 months, during a financial crisis, to come up with the entire budget.


It is believed that about 8% of Nassau households do not have access to cars and depend solely on the bus system.  Their daily routine would cease to exist if they were forced to forget this old acquaintance. Long Island Bus is considered by many to be Long Island's blood-line of economic development, environmental health, social justice and equity.


"All Grief and Sorrow takes the flight and speedily is gone..."


The grief of discontinuing the bus service would be detrimental to so many, from the low-wage workforce; to senior citizens; the physically disabled; to the young adults on their way to class; the mothers transporting their children to daycare; to the roommates traveling to the grocery store; the residents populating Long Island businesses; to the couples visiting their families for the holidays; the list goes on and on. With Nassau County recently approving its $2.6 billion budget - continuing to contribute only $9.1 million to Long Island Bus, well below the required amount the MTA needs to continue to operate the service, sorrow has overwhelmed riders across the region.


"Why doth thy presence me defeat, with excellence divine..."


Long Island bus ridership increased in the months preceding the major service cuts that took place this past June 2010 and ridership surpassed expectations by nearly 2%. In fact, no more than two years ago did the American Public Transportation Association report a 52 year high in use of public transportation nationwide, specifically Long Island Bus which transported 33 million riders a year.  With more people recognizing and preferring the use of public transportation, there is a great opportunity for the MTA and Nassau County to promote future ridership rather than sending the wrong message to the millions of yearly riders.


"Will not thy presence yield relief, to this sad Heart of mine..."


With the economic downturn continuing across Long Island and our country, "relief" may be hard to come by unless our leaders work together and attempt to save this service. With the county imploring bids from private bus companies, it is clear that long-term sustainable solutions are needed. However, viable options are available to close the budget gap and even further increase ridership, such as working towards bus-only travel lines; improving coordination of schedules to decrease travel times; decreasing fragmentation of services across municipalities; offering students reduced rate passes as part of tuition fees; enacting tolls on the East River bridges, or congestion pricing; and doing everything possible to overhaul bureaucracy to improve return on investment dollars.


"That thou canst never once reflect, on Old Long Syne...."


LI Bus

Looking back to 1973, when the MTA first agreed to take over the Long Island bus system while private operators were on the brink of bankruptcy, I wonder if they ever thought this day would come. Technically, the MTA has to give a 60 day notice to cancel its contract with the County - which formally has yet to happen, but the date of January 1, 2011 still looms large.


As one ball drops in New York City this New Years Eve, another ball may be dropped by the MTA and Nassau County shortly after. These cuts will halt the growth of dozens of communities on Long Island, make suburbs even more economically segregated, and go against every aspect of sustainable growth on which the parties involved say they pride themselves.


Time is running out...

10, 9, 8, 7, 6...

This is a countdown none of us are ready for...

5, 4, 3, 2, 1....

Plan to revitalize North Amityville OKd

Amityville


Sustainable Long Island facilitated a community planning process in North Amityville earlier this year. Information can be found by following this link.


Last Week, Newsday gave an update on the process (from reporter Denise Bonilla):


The Town of Babylon has approved a community plan for North Amityville, hoping to bring in new development and stave off an economic downturn in the area.


The plan centers on the intersection of Albany Avenue and Great Neck Road, which is considered North Amityville's downtown and was once one of the most notorious drug trafficking areas in the country.

The vision plan proposes mixed-use buildings with commercial space and housing, a new plaza and a garden. It also includes short-term and long-term solutions, the latter of which includes reconfigurations of buildings and roadways.


The area already has come a long way from its most infamous days. During the 1970s and then with the crack boom of the 1980s, the intersection known as "The Corner" was an open air drug market, with streams of cars coming through while drug pushers and prostitutes hawked their services.


"There was a time when all you heard was gunshots all night," said longtime resident Rosemarie Dearing, 72.


But in the mid-1980s, Dearing and a group of residents joined forces with police and local government to clean up the area and by the late 1990s, "The Corner" lost its vacant lots and instead boasted a Citibank, Rite Aid and Tutor Time. In recent years, the town added colonial street lighting and planters to spruce up the intersection.

Last January, however, Rite Aid shut down several of its stores, including the one in North Amityville.


As the economy floundered, residents feared other businesses would flee and the area would once again be vulnerable to nefarious activity. "We were thinking that this could possibly go back to what it was if people start seeing boarded-up stores," Dearing said.


Town Supervisor Steve Bellone said he felt the time was ripe to re-examine development in that area. "It was a good opportunity in this bad economy to step back and do some new planning for moving forward rather than allowing it to slide back," he said.


The town held several community meetings to discuss what residents wanted to see on the corner - respectable businesses, they said - and what they didn't want to see - fast-food restaurants, liquor stores or other places where people could hang out at night.


Dearing and other community members praised the vision plan that grew out of those meetings, saying the project will help keep the area vital. Bellone said that in the coming year the town will begin the redevelopment process by putting out a request for proposals to developers.

NY gives Elmont redo $2.4 million

Elmont


First reported by the Long Island Business News:


The state has approved a $2.4 million grant for commercial renovations along Hempstead Turnpike in Elmont.


Earmarked towards the $4 million rehabilitation and reconstruction of 12 existing business and mixed-use properties in a blighted couple of blocks, the money for Elmont is part of more than $40 million doled out statewide by the Empire State Development Corporation on Thursday.


The ESDC said in a statement that the funding will help create 312 new jobs and retain 1,721 existing jobs across the state.


In Elmont, the grant is an advancement of the planning process to revitalize the streetscapes of rundown commercial areas, according to Sarah Lansdale, executive director of Sustainable Long Island.


"This really shows a partnership with the state and all levels of government to move things forward," Lansdale said.

Sarah Lansdale Keynote Farmingdale State Commencement 

On December 22, Farmingdale State College celebrated winter commencement exercises. Sustainable Long Island's Executive Director Sarah Lansdale was the invited keynote speaker.


"Ms. Lansdale is a terrific choice to address our students since the goals of Sustainable Long Island complement the college's goals so fully. We are delighted that she agreed to address our winter graduates," said Farmingdale State College President, W. Hubert Keen.


This was the eighth winter commencement held at Farmingdale State College since its founding almost 100 years ago. 


Farmingdale has also been named as the 5th safest campus in the nation, based on a statistical analysis conducted by the online publication The Daily Beast, and the College ranks in the top 110 public colleges nationally in terms of the earning power of its graduates, according to payscale.com.

3rd Annual Brownfields Forum - "The Area-Wide Approach" panel
NPCR
Earlier this month we attended New Partners for Community Revitalization's 3rd Annual Brownfields Forum hosted by National Grid at the Metro Tech Center in Brooklyn, NY. This conference highlighted the latest in Brownfield policies, programs and opportunities and area-wide development at the National, State and City level with information on:

 

         Federal Initiatives

         NYS Brownfield Opportunity Area Program

         NYS Brownfields Cleanup Program/ Brownfield Tax Credits

         Mayor Bloomberg's PlanNYC 2.0

         Legislative updates and much more!


The conference also featured Keynote speakers NYS Senator Antoine Thompson, Chairman, NYS Senate Committee on Environmental Conservation and Town of Babylon Supervisor Steve Bellone.

Sarah Lansdale, executive director, Sustainable Long Island, participated in  "The Area-Wide Approach" panel discussing NY Brownfield Opportunity Areas Programs. Here's a recap of some of what was discussed:

Bellone

Question: Tell us about NYMBYism - what is it and how you see BOA addressing those challenges, particularly with respect to affordable housing.

Answer: NIMBY, or "Not In My Backyard" is a reaction sometimes voiced by local residents against a proposed new development that they do not want within their community.  There are a variety of reasons for this opposition, including health and safety concerns, or an inadequate amount of information. These arguments tend to exclude those with less influence on the sometimes political process, resulting in a variety of environmental justice concerns.

The Brownfield Opportunity Area Program was designed to engage community members in brownfields redevelopment, enabling them to create their own revitalization plan and implementation strategy in a proactive and systematic way.  It encourages community-based planning, where a diverse range of stakeholders are included in the process to determine a redevelopment plan that matches the values held by the community.  BOA guidelines are very specific and detailed when it comes to requiring a public participation plan and techniques to enlisting partners.  It facilitates an exchange of knowledge, allowing for information about a proposed development to be more easily accessible.

A critical component of smart growth, affordable housing helps to promote healthy, diverse communities.  The inclusive planning process promoted by the BOA program helps to disseminate information to the community and facilitates consensus building between individuals who may share diverse values.  Through active engagement and discussion, this process will help communities identify opportunities for redevelopment in the community including affordable housing.

Question: It has been said that Long Island has more layers of government than anywhere else in the state, perhaps the country.  How do you see the BOA area-wide approach working in that political environment?

Answer: Rather than address contamination, remediation and redevelopment of brownfields on a site by site basis, the area-wide approach provides communities with a comprehensive strategy for revitalizing brownfields.  This holistic approach to brownfield redevelopment is more cost-effective and efficient.

Designed to work from the local municipal level up, the BOA Program helps with the identification of community needs and assets as related to brownfields sites, and facilitates an inclusive planning process by engaging community members, local organizations and government officials in the process of create a plan and implementation strategies for redevelopment.  Once an implementation plan has been drafted, it is circulated for review by area residents, local, state and federal agencies.

With 900 units of government, Long Island has the densest concentration of government in the United States.  The BOA planning process creates an opportunity for local residents to raise concerns about their community to many levels of government found within the region and to actively participate in the decisions made about future development.  This process facilitates coordination between the multiple levels of government.

One of the advantages of the BOA program is that it is possible for non-profit organizations that conduct community development and have 25% of their board living in the community to apply for a BOA grant without the approval of the municipality.  While collaboration and cooperation is always encouraged, it is possible for a community that really wants to conduct an area-wide brownfield study to do so.  In addition, having this opportunity may be a negotiating or leveraging point and could allow for better cooperation.

Interestingly, however, the layers of government have not been the main challenge in brownfield redevelopment on Long Island.

For more questions from the panel click here.
Newsday Editorial - Supermarkets where they're needed
Supermarket

 In a suburb dotted with farm stands and supermarkets selling lots of fresh produce, "food desert" isn't a phrase that pops up often in conversation. Still, too many Long Island communities, like North Bellport, don't have easily accessible fresh food.


They tend to be poorer communities, where many residents don't have cars and have to use sparse mass transit to shop. So, if they've never had a supermarket nearby - or if they had one and it closed - they have a tough time getting healthy food. The result: unhealthy reliance on obesity-inducing fast food.


But now there's a ray of hope to get new markets into these areas. The state's economic development arm, Empire State Development, with help from the not-for-profit Sustainable Long Island, are offering a possible solution: the New York Healthy Food & Healthy Communities Fund. It's $30 million - $10 million from the state and $20 million from Goldman Sachs - for loans and grants to supermarkets and developers, to help defray the costs of opening markets in these communities.

The idea, modeled on a successful approach in Pennsylvania, is hardly the total answer. After all, $30 million isn't much, spread across the whole state. So the hopes are modest. It might only produce two or three projects on Long Island. But that's two or three food deserts that would finally get an oasis of healthy food. And that's an experiment worth trying.
 

*Featured in Newsday Print Edition 12/2/2010

Clean Renewable Solar Project Expected to Power Nearly 1,800 Homes and Create 150 Jobs
NY Gov
Earlier this month, Governor David A. Paterson was joined by local stakeholders and representatives of enXco and Mercury Solar Systems in announcing the beginning construction phase of the Suffolk Solar Carport Project which is expected to deliver up to 17 megawatts, enough to power nearly 1,800 homes with clean renewable energy for LIPA customers.

"This announcement is another step that our State has taken towards energy independence and economic security," Governor Paterson said. "Through utilizing existing structures, we are able to keep costs down and maximize our limited funds for these clean energy initiatives. This project will create jobs and reshape our economy for future generations, and will further our goals of making the State more energy efficient and affordable for everyday New Yorkers."

The groundbreaking, which took place in Brentwood, Suffolk County, is one of seven parking sites leased to enXco by Suffolk County where the company will construct carports with solar panels on the rooftops. The solar power generated from the carports will be delivered directly to LIPA's electric grid through a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement. The project will also serve as a unique educational tool for users of the carports to get a first-hand look at how clean renewable energy is generated.

LIPA Chief Operating Officer Michael Hervey said: "I commend Governor Paterson and all of our partners in making Long Island a leader in solar energy. This project is a prime example of how partnerships created between private, public and coordination between governmental entities can result in remarkable economical and environmental benefits for Long Island. Today's groundbreaking demonstrates a unified commitment to Long Island and LIPA's customers to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency, to diversify our energy portfolio, to reduce our use and dependence on fossil fuels, to stimulate the local economy, to create clean energy jobs, and to help build the Long Island solar industry."

The State, through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), awarded LIPA $6.7 million in federal stimulus funding which will allow LIPA to connect the solar panels installed on the carports to the Long Island electric grid. The project will consist of over 60,000 solar modules reducing carbon emissions by more than 14,300 tons annually, which is equivalent to removing 2,447 cars from the roads each year. In addition, there are substantial economic benefits to Long Island, including:

  • $8.5-$9 million in Suffolk County lease revenue;
  • $10 million in local material procurement;
  • $1.2 million for local school districts and towns; and
  • The creation of 150-200 jobs during the construction phase of the project

The county lots are located at: the H. Lee Dennison Building and the North County Complex in Hauppauge, the Cohalan Court Complex in Central Islip and the Riverhead County Center, as well as county-owned parking lots at the Long Island Railroad stations in Brentwood, Ronkonkoma and Deer Park. As the project areas are located on existing parking lots there will be no disruption to the local environment and no reduction in the number of available parking spaces at any of the locations. Additionally, the design will allow for snow plowing and regular maintenance.

In December 2009, the LIPA Board of Trustees approved power purchase agreements with BP Solar International Inc. and enXco Development Corporation, thereby creating the State's largest source of solar power on Long Island by introducing approximately 50MW of clean renewable energy generated on Long Island onto LIPA's electric grid. The 50 MW is enough to power 6,500 households and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 45,300 tons per year as well as reducing other environmental pollutants.

David Kirkpatrick, Vice President of Solar Development for enXco, said: "We are pleased to launch the construction phase of these valuable projects. These project sites represent the largest distributed utility scale solar project for enXco and our first in New York. We applaud the efforts and commitment of LIPA and Suffolk County to bring this vital renewable energy project to their service area and look forward to a successful future."

Frank Alfano, CEO of Mercury Solar Systems, said: "Our team is thrilled to bring these unique solar carports to Long Island, the largest project of its kind in all of the U.S."

LIPA's 50 MW clean renewable energy project first stemmed from then-Lieutenant Governor Paterson's Renewable Energy Task Force report in 2008 and furthers the Governor's 45-by-15 initiative which established a goal for the State to meet 45 percent of its electricity needs through improved energy efficiency and renewable sources by the year 2015.

Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director of Sustainable Long Island, said: "This enXco groundbreaking is the first major step in providing power to close to thousands of homes across Eastern Long Island. Not only does this project promote renewable energy, but it also creates green jobs while helping to boost the local economy."

For more quotes on the groundbreaking and project visit Sustainable Long Island's blog.

State transportation decisions could save money and reduce carbon emissions

ReportA new report released by Smart Growth America and the Natural Resources Defense Council found that transportation policies in every state could save money and reduce carbon emissions by making smarter decisions with state funds.


In "Getting Back on Track: Climate Change and State Transportation Policy," SGA and NRDC found that current transportation policies in almost all 50 states either fail to curb carbon emission rates or, in some cases, actually increase emissions. This contradiction between state policies and broader efforts to reduce carbon emissions means not only that many states are missing opportunities to protect clean air; it means they are missing economic opportunities as well.


In a press conference, former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening remarked:


Transportation makes up an enormous proportion of our national economy and our environmental impact: it must be front and center as we think about how to get the most out of our public investments. The states that rose to the top in this report, California, Maryland and New Jersey, are there because they are meeting the challenge to innovate.

Transportation is the country's second-largest and second-fastest growing source of carbon pollution (after electricity generation), yet transportation policies in most states fail to acknowledge their role this problem. Smarter transportation policy could save money, create jobs and help rebuild the economy while also curbing emissions.


"State departments of transportation are working at odds with carbon reduction efforts, and that means states are missing out environmentally AND economically," said Neha Bhatt, deputy policy director for Smart Growth America. "We can get a better transportation system and reduce carbon emissions at the same time, but we have to change state and federal transportation policies to do that."


According to the findings in the new report, fewer than half of states have complete streets laws or policies in place, and only 15 states provide incentives for clean transportation commuting. 15 states have implemented smart growth policies or policies that curb sprawl, but only seven states incentivize transit-oriented development. If more states adopted these kinds of policies, they could not only reduce emission rates but attract more businesses and create more jobs, too.


"Most states' transportation departments seem to be ignoring their important role in stopping climate change," said Colin Peppard, deputy director of Federal Transportation Policy at NRDC. "If states considered all their transportation policy options, they could tap into tremendous potential to reduce carbon emissions, even with limited resources."


In addition, changes to federal policy could also encourage states to use their transportation money more effectively, and without action at both the state and the federal levels, the United States will almost certainly fail to meet current carbon reduction goals. The overdue authorization of a federal transportation bill will be a key moment for leadership from both Congress and the Obama Administration to reduce carbon emissions and continue to rebuild our economy.


Gov. Paterson Announces Executive Order to Promote Sustainable Local Farms
Farm 

 Governor David A. Paterson announced that he has signed Executive Order No. 39, establishing State policies for the promotion of sustainable local farms and the protection of agricultural lands. Currently, there are seven million acres devoted to agriculture throughout the State, and New York's 36,000 family farms generate $4.4 billion in annual sales.


"The protection of New York's agricultural lands is a fundamental principle enshrined in our State Constitution and has been a priority of my Administration," Governor Paterson said. "Agriculture is a bedrock of New York's economy and this Executive Order will set forth provisions to aid in the protection of agricultural lands for our State's long-term economic and environmental prosperity."


Maintaining agriculture helps ensure healthier soil and cleaner waterways, and aids in the absorption of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. State agencies are directed to consider these issues when reviewing and revising policies relevant to the purchase of agricultural products. The Executive Order also designates the first week in October as "Agriculture Week," during which individuals, restaurants, institutions and markets are encouraged to celebrate the benefits of New York's fresh and nutritious food products, and of agricultural land as a vital natural resource.


Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Patrick Hooker said: "I am very excited that the Governor is continuing his strong support for New York's hard working family farmers. As the original guardians of the landscape, agriculture in New York will continue to provide fresh, safe, healthy food for New Yorkers and the world at large. This is a most worthwhile initiative."


Frederic C. Rich, Chair of Scenic Hudson and Head of the New York State Environmental Leaders Group, said: "We are all delighted with the Governor's action. Never before has the public, both urban and rural, been so aware of the importance of healthy local food, and of the need to protect New York State's ever-shrinking base of farm land. His Executive Order makes clear that a commitment to sustainable farming in New York is not optional -- it is mandated by the Constitution and the law. We applaud and thank the Governor for this important Order."


Robert Morgenthau, Former Manhattan District Attorney, said: "The order is extremely important and significant. It should be a great economic benefit to the farmers of New York State, and the Governor is to be congratulated on taking this major step toward supporting sustainable agriculture. New York State will continue as a leader in extending the benefits of agriculture to all of its citizens."

'Grossmann's Farm' Contract Approved by Full Nassau County Legislature
Farm

The full Nassau County Legislature voted unanimously on Dec. 20 to approve the contract between Nassau County and Nassau Land Trust, the organization selected to manage the site of the old Grossmann's Farm in Malverne.


Last week it passed through two committees in the County Legislature.

Members of the Committee on Planning, Development and the Environment voted unanimously to approve the contract on Dec. 13. The item then moved onto the Rules Committee that same day, which also showed bipartisan support for the contract, voting unanimously in favor of its approval.


The Grossmann family had owned and operated their farm in Malverne from 1895 to 2007. In recent years, uncertainty over what would become of the village landmark troubled many of Malverne's residents, but in late 2009, Thomas Suozzi, then-Nassau County Executive, announced that the County intended to purchase the property and preserve its farming roots. Soon after taking office, Suozzi's replacement, Ed Mangano finalized the deal on Feb. 8. 2010.


"Grossmann's Farm has been an important part of the Malverne community for generations and this purchase means that it will remain a working farm forever," said Mangano. "By preserving our remaining open spaces, such as Grossmann's Farm, we are investing in our quality of life here in Nassau County and ensuring that future generations can enjoy them."


Nassau County purchased the five-acre farmland for $6,538,233.  The Grossmann family retained 0.2 acres of the property, which includes the original homestead, the white house that faces the intersection at Hempstead Avenue and Ocean Avenue. The Village of Malverne secured slightly less than a half acre.


The County acquisition was made possible through the 2006 Environmental Bond Act, a $150 million environmental program that has enabled Nassau County to purchase and protect open spaces and renovate parks. After putting out a call for proposals in the summer of 2009, the county selected Nassau Land Trust to operate the farm. A contract between the two parties was constructed but must pass through the legislature before it can be finalized.


The negotiated agreement gives Nassau Land Trust (NLT) an exclusive license to occupy and operate the farm under County ownership for the next 10 years, with the opportunity to renew the contract twice in the following decade. However, the county can terminate the relationship at any time.


The contract states that "Under the agreement, NLT must use the property to operate a farm and a farm stand and conduct a community supported agricultural share program and educational programs for all ages....Though the property will be maintained as a farm by NLT, the County reserves the right to host special events on the farm."


NLT may also allow "a bona fide sponsor the use of the premises to conduct special events," but they must be of the same nature as the public programs described in the contract, mainly educational and promoting farming.


Lloyd Zuckerberg, president of Nassau Land Trust, envisions it will be a place where residents and local schools can learn more about farming practices, while also enjoying the fresh crops harvested there.


"It's our hope that it will eventually be a CSA [community-supported agriculture system] in which local residents would pay to be subscribers to the local produce the farm provides," Zuckerberg explained.


According to the contract, "a percentage of the proceeds from sales and fees charged by NLT will be placed in a reserve account to be invested back into the farm."


It also indicates that the Nassau Land Trust will invest approximately $500,000 over the first ten year term of the agreement on capital improvements, such as a new barn and farm strand, new fencing and temporary ADA-compliant restrooms. They also are required to maintain an advertising program and spend at least $4,000 in the first year and no less than $2,000 in each of the following years on marketing what the contract refers to as a "farming gem."


They are expected to receive some help in funding the construction of the new barn from a private contributor, who will donate $150,000, according to the contract, which adds "however, the terms of the agreement with NLT are not dependent on such monies actually being donated."


In addition to these expenses, Nassau Land Trust will also be responsible for all utilities and costs and for all structural and non-structural repairs. The contract required NLT to submit a record of its receipts and expenses in a timely manner to the County, which also has the right to conduct audits.


The contract also states that the farm must be open to the public at least six days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. between June and October and on an as-needed basis the rest of the year.


"It is our dream to honor the 150-year history of this farmland and the Grossman Family, " Nassau Land Trust stated in its written proposal to the County, "to perpetuate the farming traditions, and to make a vibrant, working, educational farm in Malverne a reality."

New York State Green Jobs Survey

Green


Where are the New York State's green jobs, and what preperations do people need to get hired?


The Advanced Energy Center in partnership with the New York State Department of Labor, The New York City Labor Market Information Service (NYCLMIS) at the CUNY Graduate Center, the State University of New York at Albany, and SUNY is conducting a groundbreaking study to answer these questions.

 

A $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor will fund this benchmark study to estimate the number of green jobs and to identify the new, emerging and enhanced skills needed for these green jobs.

 

The Department will survey about 20,000 firms to collect this information across the following six industry clusters: construction; energy and environmental-related product manufacturing; electric power generation, transmission, and distribution; professional services; financial services; and building services. Survey results will be a critical tool used to estimate the number of green jobs and to identify the new, emerging and enhanced skills needed for these jobs.

 

A letter directing companies to a dedicated survey website will be mailed to all employers in New York State within these industry clusters with more than 25 employees, and to a sample of those with less than 25 employees. Two weeks later, a reminder will be sent, along with a paper copy of the survey.

If your company is selected to participate, please respond to the green jobs survey as soon as possible!

For further information please contact the NYS Department of Labor hotline toll-free at 1-877-201-4693 or email greensurvey@labor.ny.gov.


Sustainable Long Island Board Member Mitch Pally takes helm of homebuilders' group

First reported by the Long Island Business News:


Scorned by the Long Island Association for its top job a few months ago, attorney Mitchell Pally will instead take the reins at the Long Island Builders Institute.


Pally, who spent 21 years with the LIA as its vice president of government relations before joining the Weber Law Group in Melville, has broad experience with land-use and zoning issues on Long Island. Most recently, Pally had been the point man for Riverhead Resorts ill-fated ski mountain plans in Calverton.


At LIBI, Pally will have an uphill climb. Building starts are at historic lows and homebuilders have been hard hit by the economic downturn, the lengthy approvals process, and the tightening of the credit market.

Ira Tane, LIBI's president, said his group is excited to have Pally join its struggle.


"We have been through some very difficult years and we are confident that with Mitch's guidance we are looking forward to a brighter future," Tane said in a statement.


Pally, who'll begin as LIBI's chief executive on January 10, said he's looking forward to the challenge.


"We're going to do our best to make sure the Long Island community knows that homebuilding done in an appropriate and sensitive manner is in everyone's best interest," Pally said.

Thank you to our community partners!

We would like to thank all of our community partners for making so many succesful ideas and plans come to fruition in 2010. With their assistance and leadsership, numerous projects have been implemented across Long Island that promote sustainable development and aim to better Long Island as a whole. We look forward to continued unity and success in the new year!
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?



Find us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter

Sincerely,

Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director
Sust
ainable Long Island