Sustainable Long Island
August 2011 
Sustainable Long Island Newsletter
The one-stop-shop...
For all Sustainable Long Island news! 
In This Issue
A First Look For The First Suburb
Sustainable LI Awarded $45,000
Better for LI to grow together
Rethinking Ronkonkoma
2011 Farmers' Markets
High School Fellowship: Year Three
Village of Farmingdale Downtown Revitalization Efforts
Attention Nassau County Residents
Board of Directors

Ruth Negr
ˇn-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   



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



Dr. Miriam K. Deitsch

State University at Farmingdale



Pat Edwards




Richard Grafer


Amy Hagedorn
Hagedorn Foundation



Jeff Kraut

North Shore - LIJ Health System



Mitchell H. Pally

Long Island Builders Institute



Ron Shiffman

Pratt Institute



Robert Wieboldt

















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Premiere Screening:

"Suburban America: Problems & Promise" 

Sunday, August 14 

Limited Number of Tickets Available!


Suburban America 3   

Set in a wide array of suburbs and metropolitan areas around the United States, "Suburban America: Problems & Promise" presents a dynamic and thought-provoking exploration of suburbia, including its genesis and history, its dramatic political and social changes, as well as its developmental challenges and sustainable solutions. Produced & Directed by Emmy«-winning filmmaker Ron Rudaitis, the documentary will air nationally on Public Television beginning September 2011 via American Public Television (check local listings).


To celebrate the film's release, Sustainable Long Island is hosting a special preview screening event, a "FIRST LOOK FOR THE FIRST SUBURB," on Sunday afternoon, August 14, 2011 at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington. The documentary will be screened in its entirety for the very first time - fitting that Long Island, the nation's first suburb, will get the very 'first look' at this vital documentary film in advance of its national broadcast television release.


The screening will include a delicious luncheon and a Q+A with the creator of this landmark film, which brings to light key issues and opportunities concerning the changing needs of America's suburbs with the aim of helping to create more sustainable, economically viable metropolitan regions.


"Suburban America: Problems & Promise" focuses on many of the primary issues that Sustainable Long Island advances in economic development, environmental health, and social equity. Proceeds from this special event screening will go to Sustainable Long Island. Event sponsorship opportunities are available. 


For more information and to register today click here!  


Sustainable LI Awarded $45,000 in Support of Redeveloping Closed Auto-dealerships


The Citi Foundation has awarded Sustainable Long Island a $45,000 grant to support the redevelopment of closed auto-dealership corridors in several low-to-moderate income communities across Long Island.

Car Dealerships 

The funds from Citi Foundation will be used to conduct a comprehensive regulatory scan to identify barriers to redevelopment of closed auto-dealership corridors; determine local, state and federal agencies necessary for redevelopment of these properties; and identify the preliminary environmental challenges, community priorities, and redevelopment opportunities the private market sees as possible.


The impact of the auto industry's problems is being felt in low-to-moderate income communities across Long Island, as well as the rest of the country; where auto-dealerships have closed - or are in the process of closing - leaving corridors of blighted land, brownfields, and economic sinkholes in already struggling downtowns. Many communities must now address numerous environmental regulatory and land use (zoning, lot configuration, land assembly, ownership) challenges in the development of these sites while many local governments are shedding staff and slashing already tight budgets.


2010 year-end data shows, of the currently closed auto-dealerships on Long Island, approximately 25% are located in low-to-moderate income communities. Using an area-wide approach, a strategy that Sustainable Long Island has long advocated for in statewide and national brownfields redevelopment programs, these vacant dealerships can be transformed into vibrant, vital downtown areas that reflect the community's image for the place in which they live.


Read additional coverage on this story in Newsday and LIBN

Better for LI to grow together (Response to Newsday Editorial)


This past July, Newsday published an interesting opinion piece on the Long Island Regional Planning Council and Long Island planning in general moving forward. Below is an excerpt of our response to the editorial "Will Long Island... Grow together or grow apart?" To view the original article and Board President Ruth Negron-Gaines' response in its entirety visit our blog.  

LI Illustration 

While it's true Long Island will lose its only regional planning entity at year's end, first-rate planning and advocacy agencies remain, along with local community organizations that continue to work to develop the future of Long Island from the bottom-up.


I agree now is the time, more than ever, for Long Island leaders to focus on community and regional planning that integrates current and future needs for our deteriorating downtowns, struggling environment, and over-stressed economy. The good news is we have the tools; we have the people; we have the organizations and leaders to "step in" and "step up."


Rethinking Ronkonkoma (NY Times Letter)


Recently The New York Times had a small editorial on the development of Ronkonkoma's downtown and train station. Below is our response to the piece "Rethinking Ronkonkoma." To read the original article along with our response visit our blog.  


The 50 acres surrounding the Ronkonkoma Long Island Rail Road station are just a few dozen of literally thousands of acres across Long Island that sits idle waiting to be redeveloped into a "destination location."


By constructing residential apartment units, high-quality restaurants, and varied retail stores within walking distance of Long Island Rail Road stations, Long Island's downtown business districts will become invigorated and major issues, like the downward suburban spiral highlighted by the exodus of young adults, may finally find its solution.


What's needed to turn areas, like the Ronkonkoma train station, into prime examples of positive change is determination by the community, support by local government, and the necessary infrastructure to support it.


Along with Mr. Lesko and Town officials across Long Island, we need to embrace transit-oriented developments which will provide the opportunity for residents to walk to-and-from businesses, schools, and local transportation hubs within their community.


2011 Long Island Farmers' Markets

Following successful pilot projects in 2010, Sustainable Long Island has been providing technical assistance to local farmers' markets across Long Island, including the Roosevelt Community Farmer's Market, The Greater Bellport Community Youth Market, and the Farm Fresh Food Market in Flanders.


"In 2010, Sustainable Long Island's youth-led farmers' markets project used a comprehensive community-based approach when dealing with the issue of food access in underserved Long Island communities," said Ruth Negron-Gaines, Sustainable Long Island Board President. "We are so excited to provide technical assistance to communities looking to recreate this model in 2011 and provide access to fresh, affordable produce to Long Islanders who need it the most."


This year the markets in Roosevelt, North Bellport, and Flanders are staffed by local youth under the supervision of a market manager. The produce is sold from various Long Island farms offering fresh fruit and vegetables to thousands of Long Islanders across the region.  


The Roosevelt Community Farmer's Market is located on 380 Nassau Road (in the parking lot of the NuHealth building) and will be open every Sunday from 11am-6pm through November 13.


The Greater Bellport Community Youth Market is located on 685 Station Road (in the parking lot of the Polymag building) and will be open every Sunday from 11am-4pm through October 30. 


The Flanders Farmer's Market is located at 655 Flanders Road (in the parking lot of the Crohan Community Center) and will be open every Saturday from 9am-1pm through October 29.


View a full listing of additional farmers' markets across Long Island!   

Also celebrate food grown on Long Island on August 5th!

(Click picture for details)


High School Fellowship: Year Three


Please welcome Sustainable Long Island's 2011-2012 Fellow's:

From Left to Right: Holly Josephs, Ashif Hassan, Emily Wilkins,
Stephanie Mejia, Makese Powe

Sustainable Long Island has hired these five high school students interested in issues of sustainability, community planning and development, and civic engagement to participate in planning processes, engage other young adults in planning for the future, and learn about local and regional food systems. The Fellowship is an opportunity to learn about and participate in community based planning and regional efforts to ensure a sustainable Long Island for generations to come. Stay tuned for details and updates on the Fellow's exciting journey!


Village of Farmingdale's Downtown Revitalization Efforts


Village officials held a public hearing this past month at the Farmingdale Public Library to field questions and concerns from residents regarding the Village of Farmingdale's proposed downtown revitalization efforts that would affect 60 acres of land. The hearing included an environmental analysis of their downtown revitalization efforts.


Mayor Starkie

In recent years, Farmingdale's downtown area has battled against inadequate property maintenance, high vacancy rates and shuttered storefronts. As a result, the Village, along with downtown interest groups, community residents and the Board of Trustees, embarked on a study to combat these issues, and provide for the future development of the area.


Like several other villages in Nassau County, Farmingdale was cited as having the potential to have a vibrant downtown, where shopping, dining, living and working combine within a walkable, active setting that is attractive to young professionals, families and senior citizens.


The Village of Farmingdale began formulating a strategy to revitalize its downtown in 2006 by initiating a visioning process. This five-year study resulted in a Downtown Master Plan, which establishes the build-out and revitalization of the downtown area of the village. Currently, there are 375 units that are available to be rebuilt or revitalized for residential units in the Main Street and downtown village area, including units above stores and offices.


Read more at Newsday and Anton Community Newspapers about proposed goals of the plan, next steps, and some of the public's comments and concerns on the plan. 

Attention Nassau County Residents: August 1


By now, you may (ideally) know all about the August 1st vote on the much-discussed planned redevelopment of the Nassau Coliseum. Whether you are vehemently for the plan or adamantly against it, please make sure you VOTE, VOTE, VOTE! 

Nassau Coliseum

Click to find out where you can vote!

Together we can build a more sustainable LI



These rough economic times have magnified the problems we Long Islanders face each and every day. With our leaders warning us of tougher times to come, thinking regionally and acting locally is urgent. It is in all of our best interest to stay engaged and do what we can together to build a more sustainable Long Island.


Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to Sustainable Long Island that will help support our ongoing, and future work within your Long Island communities; while helping advance economic development, environmental health, and social equity!

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?

If you have been following us recently you've seen our opinions and discussions on sewer improvements, poverty levels on LI, equity across LI, walkable communities, the Nassau Coliseum Plan, and real-time updates on all the news you've read today. So what are you waiting for? Join us, like us, follow us, and stay informed!


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The Board and Staff of Sustainable Long Island