Sustainable Long Island
July 2013
Sustainable Long Island Newsletter
The one-stop-shop...
For all Sustainable Long Island news! 
In This Issue
Sustainable LI, Adelphi University Release Long Island Food System Report Card - Joint progress report assesses state of local food system
Wyandanch Rising Officially Breaks Ground - Transformational project moving forward
Capital One Funds Sustainable LI's Technical Assistance - Grant supports evolution of youth-staffed farmers' markets
Spinney Hill Farmers' Market Opens - New hybrid market launches in Great Neck
Long Beach Reopens Section of Boardwalk - Real progress being made before full reopening this November
Riverhead: Ready for a Fresh Close-Up - Historic Town quickly emerging as the place to be
Carbon Disclosure Project Cities 2013 Report - How climate change action is giving us wealthier, healthier cities
Bus Rapid Transit: Cities Get on Board with Better, Reliable Transportation - Attracting young professionals through reliable mass transit
NEWSLETTER SPONSOR

 
For more information on this month's enewsletter sponsor, Eldor Renewable Energy, CLICK HERE!

If you or your organization wishes to be a future enewsletter sponsor, please email info@sustainableli.org for rates and opportunities.

 

Board of Directors
Ruth Negrn-Gaines: President
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Kevin McDonald: Vice President

The Nature Conservancy   
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Charlotte Biblow, Esq: Secretary

Farrell Fritz, P.C.
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Lauren Furst: Treasurer   

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Russ Albanese

Albanese Organization Inc.
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Lennard Axinn

Island Estates   

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Robert Bernard

Capital One Bank 

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

---------------   

Dr. Miriam K. Deitsch

Farmingdale State College,
State University of New York

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Pat Edwards

Citi Community Development     
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Amy Hagedorn
Hagedorn Foundation

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Jeff Kraut

North Shore - LIJ Health System

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Mitchell H. Pally

Long Island Builders Institute

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Dr. Robert Scott

Adelphi University 

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Ron Shiffman

Pratt Institute

--------------- 

 

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Sustainable LI, Adelphi University Release Long Island Food System Report Card   
Joint progress report assesses state of local food system

Sustainable Long Island and Adelphi University's Vital Signs project announced today the release of the Long Island Food System Report Card; a joint progress report that details the state of the region's current food system and provides recommendations to address the challenges ahead.

 

The report card is the first comprehensive assessment of Long Island's food system and offers a baseline profile of its sustainability across three domains: economic, environment and equity.

 

The report card tracks the performance of 31 food system indicators and rates them on a five point color scale from dark green (highest rating) to red (lowest rating). The goals of the Long Island Food System Report Card are to create awareness, share findings and encourage mobilization among stakeholders to improve the region's food system.

 

 

"With the release of the Long Island Food System Report Card, our hope is to mobilize Long Islanders in a discussion about how to achieve a sustainable food system on Long Island," said Amy Engel, Executive Director of Sustainable Long Island. "We are confident this report will assist Long Islanders, elected officials, businesses, and community partners in raising their awareness about existing food system issues, as well as encouraging dialogue between stakeholders about programs, policies, and food-related research."

 

"We at Adelphi University are pleased to work with our partner, Sustainable Long Island, on the Long Island Food System Report Card and other important research questions, which lend themselves to increased knowledge and improvements in society," said Dr. Robert A. Scott, President of Adelphi University. "This fulfills our mission as the 'engaged university,' underscores our vision for Vital Signs - the social health indicators project, and strengthens our programs in Public Health and the Center for Health Innovation."

 

"The Long Island Food System Report Card represents the first comprehensive assessment of our region's food system and offers a data-driven blueprint for creating positive change throughout all food system sectors," said Dr. Sarah Eichberg, Director of Community Research and Author of Vital Signs, Adelphi University. "While the report's findings are mixed, identifying areas of strength and weakness, its recommendations offer strategies to make our food system more economically robust, environmentally healthy and socially equitable for all stakeholders - from producers to consumers."




While Long Island remains a state leader in agricultural revenue, the strength and fairness of the Long Island food system is at risk. The report card's analysis of multi-year data revealed a number of trouble spots threatening economic, environmental and social sustainability. The number of farms continues to decline, dropping 15.6% from 1987-2007, with just 644 now remaining. Efforts to preserve farmland have been an uphill battle, with less farmland being preserved over the last decade than originally anticipated by the Counties.

 

Food manufacturing and food wholesale have also taken hits. From 2003-2010, the number of food manufacturers declined 16.7% in Nassau and 15.3% in Suffolk. During the same time period, the number of food wholesalers dropped 10.8% in Suffolk and 5.7% in Nassau, with the largest declines in the poultry, packaged frozen foods and seafood categories.

Consumers in the New York Metropolitan area are spending a greater share of their annual household expenses on food, 13%, than they did before the Great Recession, as a result of rising food costs and/or declining incomes. Moreover, the economic downturn has fueled a dramatic increase in food insecurity; Food Stamp or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) enrollment increased 116% in Nassau and 168% in Suffolk between 2008 and 2011.  

 

These challenges and many others require a thoughtful, proactive, and integrated approach to change that allows us to move toward a more sustainable future.

 

Overall recommendations to improve Long Island's Food System were identified as follows:

  • Infrastructure investment to preserve and grow Long Island's regional food system.
  • Economic diversification in farming to strengthen its role as one of the region's economic engines.
  • New and heightened initiatives to address food accessibility, insecurity and rising costs of food for all Long Islanders.
  • Protection of the region's farmland, water, and air quality for long-term economic and environmental viability.
  • Strengthened and expanded regional partnerships to promote communication, coordination, and collection of information - in order to conduct regular assessments of the food system.

Please view the full Report Card for more detailed findings.  

 

The Long Island Food System Report Card was made possible by The Angela and Scott Jaggar Foundation.

 

Wyandanch Rising Officially Breaks Ground  
Transformational project moving forward

Sustainable Long Island was proud to be in attendance last week as hundreds gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony on the Wyandanch Rising project at the site that will become the foundation for the community's revitalization.

 

The event was held to kick off construction on the first of two apartment buildings in downtown Wyandanch. The buildings are being developed and financed by Albanese Organization Inc. of Garden City. The first building will be five stories with 91 units above retail space. The second building will be four stories with 86 units above retail space. A plaza between the buildings with concert space, fountains and an ice-skating rink is to be built next year.

 

Leaders and officials from the town, county, state, and federal levels were in attendance to show their support of the project.

 

Sustainable Long Island has a long history working with the community of Wyandanch that date backs to the very beginnings of Wyandanch Rising.

 

Over 10 years ago, Sustainable Long Island facilitated the community-based planning event in partnership with the Town of Babylon. Wyandanch Rising initially brought together hundreds of homeowners, renters, business and property owners, civic groups, clergy, planners, architects, and government officials in June 2003. Over the course of the planning event, the participants crafted the first comprehensive plan for the community in over a generation.

 

With this first major construction now starting, Wyandanch Rising is finally turning this downtown into something rare on Long Island: a pedestrian-friendly community where people can live in multistory buildings and don't need cars for everyday transportation.

 

This Transit-Oriented-Development is just the beginning and provides the opportunity to increase transportation choices and access, enhance mobility for all community members, and create a compact mixed-use neighborhood.

 

Over the past decade, there have been many challenges to overcome for Wyandanch Rising... but the groundbreaking can be looked at as the first of many major victories for the Wyandanch community.

 

Sustainable Long Island would like to congratulate all the leaders who have made this development possible, including Sustainable Long Island Board Member Russ Albanese and the Albanese Organization for investing in the community of Wyandanch.

 

Sustainable Long Island looks forward to continued implementation and success in the future of Wyandanch Rising.

 

Please see below for a recent Long Island Business News (LIBN) article that discusses the project and includes input from Russ Albanese and Sustainable Long Island.

 


(via LIBN) - The Albanese Organization has broken ground on the much-ballyhooed Wyandanch Rising project, a $500 million reboot of the historic Babylon Town hamlet that in the early 1950s offered the first - and at the time, only - interracial housing on Long Island.

 

Already 10 years in the making, the Wyandanch overhaul is centered on 60 acres around the Long Island Rail Road station, currently a mix of struggling retail, shuttered stores and commuter parking lots.

 

But the past decade has not been squandered. In that time, the town has spent more than $25 million to acquire 50 parcels in the redevelopment area, 10 of them through eminent domain. The town plans to spend an additional $20 million to acquire 17 more, most of which the Albanese group will eventually buy and, it is hoped, build on.

 

"The time and expense for a developer to come in and negotiate to acquire those parcels would have been an insurmountable obstacle," noted Jonathan Keyes, Babylon's director of downtown revitalization.

 

Babylon is spending $15 million more - plus $2 million in state money - on supporting sewers for the project, while another $6 million of town and federal money will go to build a park and transit plaza at the site.

 

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has agreed to build a 1,000-car parking garage in the area and move the existing station building east to make room for additional development. The project has also received support from the Babylon Industrial Development Agency, which awarded tax breaks, plus low-interest financing from the state's Housing Trust Fund and an infrastructure loan from Suffolk County.

 

The main financing is coming from Capital One Bank and Hudson Housing Capital and was subsidized with federal and state income tax credits.

 

"For Long Island, this is unprecedented," said Russell Albanese, whose company was named master developer in 2011.

Albanese's firm has begun construction on the first of three planned buildings in Rising's first phase, a $38 million, five-story mixed-use structure that will feature 91 rental apartments above 20,000 square feet of retail space on four acres.

 

About 50 of the apartments, which are expected to be completed late next year, will be priced at affordable "workforce" levels.

 

Next up is a sister building to the first, a $38 million, four-story structure with 86 apartments over 20,000 square feet, with construction planned for this fall. Both buildings were designed by Beatty Harvey Coco Architects and Cameron Engineering.

 

A 60,000-square-foot office building with ground-floor retail space is the third project on the Albanese drawing board, with construction set for sometime next year. Albanese said other projects, including condos or other for-sale housing, will follow, based on market demand.

 

"But there will be more," he promised.

 

Settled by English farmers in the early 1700s, the hamlet was originally known as Lower Half Way Hollow Hills. The LIRR added what it called the West Deer Park station in 1875, but changed the name to Wyandanch in 1903 as a way to honor the Montaukett chief and end confusion for travelers passing through Deer Park.

 

The hamlet took in waves of German, Irish and Hispanic immigrants over the first half of the last century, plus a modest number of African Americans, who worked the land in the Little Farms area or built homes in the tract bounded by Straight Path, Little East Neck Road and what is now Patton Avenue.

Long Island's first "non racial" housing development, Carver Park, broke ground in 1951, offering upwardly mobile African Americans the chance - denied to them in developments like Levittown - to own their own home. Hundreds jumped at the chance.

 

The 1960s and '70s were unkind to Wyandanch, however, as new malls and big-box developments killed local retail and factory jobs dried up. More recently, the hamlet, which has a poverty rate of 16 percent, has also struggled with gang violence and drug use.

 

Wyandanch Rising grew out of a five-day visioning event in the summer of 2003 that led to a redevelopment plan the following year, according to Amy Engel, executive director of the community planning group Sustainable Long Island.

 

The full development could take another 15 years, but Engel said the area's residents, business owners, civic groups and other stakeholders will be getting what they asked for.

 

"It snowballed in a really good way," she said.

 

Capital One Funds
Sustainable LI's Technical Assistance  
Grant supports evolution of youth-staffed farmers' markets

Sustainable Long Island has been awarded a $20,000 grant from Capital One in support of the organization providing technical assistance to six youth-staffed farmers' markets projects across Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The markets are located in Roosevelt, Bellport, Flanders, New Cassel, Wyandanch, and Freeport.

 

The technical assistance includes training provided to staff and volunteers of each market on topics, such as healthy eating and nutrition; starting your own small business; safe food handling; marketing and promotion; customer service; market history and operations; and personal finance. This training - provided by experts and representatives from Cornell Cooperative Extension, Capital One Bank, and Sustainable Long Island staff - better prepare staff and volunteers with the necessary knowledge and understanding to enter the workforce.

 

Sustainable Long Island is also arranging two field trips to participating farms and cooking demonstrations at each youth-staffed market. The field trips will serve as a team-building exercise to encourage staff to work together as a team, as well as to teach staff about local agriculture and what it takes to run a modern farm. The cooking demonstrations - which will take place throughout the season to coincide with significant events, festivals, or celebrations - will provide the opportunity for market staff, volunteers, and customers to learn recipes that feature fresh, local ingredients available at the market; increasing customer traffic and encouraging additional purchases.

 

Additionally Capital One funding will be used by each of the six operating youth-staffed markets to help strengthen and advance their programs, as well as ensuring long-term sustainability of the projects. 

 

Overall this generous funding from Capital One will:

  • Expand access to fresh, healthy food choices in low-to-moderate-income communities
  • Provide over three-dozen youth staff and volunteers applicable job skills training
  • Foster a new generation of healthy food system stewards by increasing understanding of healthy eating and local agriculture

See below for a list of dates, times, and locations for Sustainable Long Island's partner markets:

 

Flanders Farm Fresh Food Market

David W. Crohan Community Center

655 Flanders Rd.

Flanders, NY 11901

Open Saturdays from 10AM - 2PM   

 

Freeport Community Farmers' Market

Freeport Recreation Center

130 E. Merrick Rd.

Freeport, NY 11520

Open Saturdays from 11AM - 4PM   

 

Greater Bellport Community Youth Market

Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area

471 Atlantic Ave.

Bellport, NY 11713

Open Saturdays 11AM - 4PM

 

Spinney Hill Farmers' Market

125 Community Drive (parking lot)

Great Neck, NY 11021 

Open Sundays from 9AM - 2PM  

 

New Cassel Farmers' Market

First Baptist Cathedral

212 Garden St.

Westbury, NY 11590

Open Saturdays 11AM - 4PM    

 

Roosevelt Community Farmers' Market

Freeport-Roosevelt Health Center

380 Nassau Rd.

Roosevelt, NY 11575

Open Sundays 11AM - 4PM    

 

Shiloh Community Farmers' Market

New Shiloh Baptist Church

221 Merritt Rd.

Wyandanch, NY 11798

Open Saturdays 1PM - 4PM   

  

 

Spinney Hill Farmers' Market Opens 
New hybrid market launches in Great Neck
 

(via theislandnow.com) - A farmers market operated by the North Shore-LIJ Health System, local organizations and members of the Spinney Hill community on the Manhasset-Great Neck border recently opened as part of the health system's "Healthy on the Hill" initiative.    

 

The market will run on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through October 27 at the North Shore-LIJ Health System headquarters at 125 Community Drive in Manhasset.  

 

Lisa Burch, the health system's director of sustainability and social responsibility, said the market seeks to teach the Spinney Hill community wellness through a combination of fitness, healthy eating and health screenings.  

 

"This market became an opportunity to give the community access to the fruits and vegetables they wouldn't have otherwise," Burch said.

 

The "Healthy on the Hill" initiative combines the North Shore-LIJ Health System, the Spinney Hill community, Sustainable Long Island, a community-based organization promoting economic development, environmental health and social equity for Long Islanders; the Long Island Green Market, which helps run other farmers markets across Long Island; and the Greentree Foundation, a Manhasset-based non-profit organization dedicated to international justice and human rights issues.

 

Sustainable Long Island note: The Spinney Hill Farmers' Market is supported by generous funding from the Bank of America Foundation

 

The Greentree Foundation also awarded the health system $10,000 to operate the market, according to a press release issued by North Shore-LIJ Health System.

 

Burch said the produce of local farmers, like the East Moriches-based Stan Pat Farm and Perez Market of Goshen, N.Y., will be sold at the market.

 

North Hempstead Councilwoman Anna Kaplan, who attended the opening of the farmer's market, said in a statement, "This farmer's market is a testament to the great things that can be accomplished when community organizations come together. Eating nutritious foods is so important, so I am pleased to have fresh fruits and vegetables available to our residents so close to home."

 

Nancy Copperman, North Shore-LIJ Health System's director of public health initiatives, said "Healthy on the Hill" focuses on healthy eating, active living and a focus on key health issues. 

 

The program will also provide free cardiovascular screenings as well as fitness challenges, and includes the refurbishing of the pool at Whitney Pond Park, Copperman said. The Manhasset High School swim team has volunteered to give swimming lessons, and the Manhasset High School athletic department will also host a lacrosse camp in an effort to entice people into using the park more frequently.  

 

"The point of all this is to keep people healthy so they don't have to come to the hospital in the first place," Copperman said.

 
Long Beach Reopens Section of Boardwalk 
Real progress being made before full reopening this November

(Excerpts via Newsday) - Long Beach reopened the first section of its new oceanfront boardwalk this past month with a sneak preview of the entire rebuilt structure that Superstorm Sandy destroyed.

 

Earlier this year, Sustainable Long Island facilitated numerous boardwalk redevelopment focus group meetings; gathering community input on how to rebuild the iconic structure that was severely damaged during Superstorm Sandy.  

 

Soon after, the City Council in April awarded a Plainview firm a $44.2 million contract to construct a new, 2.2-mile boardwalk, replacing the one ruined by the storm. Ground broke later that month, and its completion is due in November.

 

The city recently hosted a carnival and concert near the boardwalk construction site and allowed residents and tourists to walk on the middle two blocks, which are completed save for a few finishing touches. Dozens of residents lined up at the entrance of the boardwalk and ran up its new ramp as soon as workers removed barriers.


"It was an amazing sight," said City Manager Jack Schnirman, who called the chance to use the boardwalk a "sneak preview" for residents awaiting the full rebuild.

 

The city's contract with Grace Industries of Plainview requires it to finish the boardwalk's middle four-fifths of a mile -- which contains the newly reopened section -- from Laurelton Boulevard to Long Beach Boulevard, by July 23. That stretch will be open to the public when it is completed.   

 

The outer segments of the boardwalk, which stretch to Neptune Boulevard in the east and New York Avenue in the west, must be finished by mid-October, the contract states.  

 

The new boardwalk will be stronger than the previous one because it will be made of resilient tropical wood, representatives from project engineer LiRo of Syosset have said. City officials are counting on that, because they believe the boardwalk is critical to Long Beach's economic health and summer tourism season. Through the meetings held by Sustainable Long Island this past winter, the values the participants in the surveys and focus groups ranked most frequently as the top priorities in boardwalk reconstruction were durability and resistance to future storms.

 

City Council President Scott Mandel has said the boardwalk will save money because it will "require significantly less maintenance" than the old one.

City officials have said they intend to pay for some of the cost of the new boardwalk with Federal Emergency Management Agency money. FEMA has agreed to reimburse the city for storm-related damage.

 

Riverhead: Ready for a Fresh Close-Up 
Historic Town quickly emerging as the place to be

As detailed in previous organizational e-newsletters, Sustainable Long Island has been named to a team of consultants to conduct and facilitate implementation of a Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Step II Nomination for the Town of Riverhead.

 

The BOA program focuses on the area along the Peconic River and NY State Route 25 from the terminus of the Long Island Expressway at the west and encompassing Downtown Riverhead.

 

The main goal of the BOA Program is to provide communities with the tools they need to overcome obstacles to redevelopment. The study focuses on identifying strategic sites that may be catalysts for community revitalization, as well as analyzing the area as a whole.

  

As an emerging downtown, Riverhead is quickly becoming known for offering the best of business, culture, and recreation on the East End. Check out this New York Times article detailing how Riverhead is ready for its closeup.

 

(via New York Times) - The commercial area of Riverhead sits at the spot where the North and South Forks of Long Island divide, which is why it is sometimes called the Gateway to the East End. For some visitors passing through, it is best known as the home of Tanger Outlets, a giant discount mall, and of a string of big-box stores that stretch east beyond it on Old Country Road. Others may also know its Main Street, a once run-down area now in the midst of a revival driven in part by a world-class aquarium and a refurbished Art Deco theater.

 

What many don't know is that the census-designated place called Riverhead - the 15-acre hamlet as distinct from the surrounding town - stretches north to the Long Island Sound.

 

It has everything from multiacre farms and estates to clusters of manufactured homes, an evolved form of what were once called trailer parks, most of which cater to people 55 and older.

 

"Riverhead is ready to be rediscovered," said Valerie Goode, the owner of Colony Realty. Because the former state of its downtown hurt its reputation, she said, "you get a lot for your money."

 

Janet Bidwell, an agent with Douglas Elliman and a longtime North Fork resident, concurs. "We're seeing a lot of first-time home buyers and investors," she said.

 

Matt Marshak, a first-timer, believes he got a bargain last October when he paid $285,000 for a three-bedroom colonial with a two-car garage and a pool on nearly a third of an acre near the downtown. "It's an absolutely incredible home," said Mr. Marshak, a jazz guitarist. "Visitors are blown away by what I paid." His mortgage payment, he said, is less than the rent that he and his wife, Dionne, paid for their former home in East Meadow. They had driven through Riverhead a year or two earlier, he said, and felt drawn to it.

 

"Sometimes in life you see that you can be a part of something," he said. "Other areas have already arrived. This one is on its way." As a multiracial couple, he said, he and his wife liked the area's diversity. Still, because they knew of the "stigma" attached to Riverhead, they visited several times before committing. "We would drive around and talk to people on the block," he said. "We were really impressed."

 

They also had concerns about the schools that their daughter, Madison, now 3, would attend. "Once we talked to people who used the school system," he said, "we found they couldn't be more satisfied." And being close to the Long Island Expressway, their home is convenient for his wife's 45-minute commute to Jericho, and for his wide-ranging travels as a musician.

 

"As soon as we settled in," he added, "we realized how much the community has to offer, and we think it can be even greater than it is." He has already discovered Indian Island County Park, a fishing spot on the Peconic, and restaurants including Farm Country Kitchen, which overlooks the river, and the Riverhead Project, housed in a former bank.

 

Richard Wines, chairman of the Town of Riverhead's Landmarks Preservation Committee, said it had been instrumental in the resurrection of the downtown, helping it gain local historic status in 2006 and getting it onto the National Register of Historic Places last year. The designation allows tax credits that spur redevelopment. "People are starting to colonize," he said.

 

What You'll Find

Riverhead, about 70 miles from Manhattan, is bounded on the west by Calverton and at its northwest corner by Baiting Hollow. To the east are Northville and Aquebogue. Riverside and Flanders lie to the south. To the north it borders Long Island Sound and to the south the Peconic River, which flows into the Great Peconic Bay. The population in 2010 was 13,299, of which 66.1 percent considered themselves white, 15.8 percent African-American and 25.3 percent Hispanic of any race. The median household income is $51,205, versus $56,951 for the state as a whole.

 

The northern area still has farms, among them Briermere Farms on Sound Avenue, famous for its pies. There are also wineries, horse farms and golf courses, some surrounded by houses.

 

As the Suffolk County seat, Riverhead is home to courts and lawyers' offices. The Peconic Bay Medical Center, on Old Country Road, is the largest hospital on the East End and draws many older people to the area, said Ms. Goode of Colony Realty. Some buy homes in gated communities; others choose manufactured homes to use as second residences.

 

W. Brian Stark, the owner and manager of Glenwood Village on Old Country Road, a community of manufactured homes, said his complex, which has a pool and other amenities, was started by his father in 1964. When he completes current expansion plans there will be 560 units, he said. These range from older trailers that he phases out by buying them, for as little as $50,000, when they go on the market, to models costing up to $259,000, with full basements, fireplaces and other features. Buyers lease their land and pay monthly maintenance. No longer called mobile homes, "they are mobile only from the factory to the site," he said.

 

What You'll Pay

Of 192 properties on mlsli.com recently, nine were listed for more than $1 million. The least expensive, a condo, was listed at $15,900; it was followed by dozens of listings well under $100,000, for properties identified as mobile homes.

 

Ms. Bidwell of Douglas Elliman says that home prices in Riverhead, which was hit hard during the downturn, remain less costly than those in surrounding communities. Median prices rose in 2011, fell again last year but have been up the first part of this year.

 

In 2010, she said, 100 homes sold, at a median of $155,000, after 97 days on the market. Through mid-June, the median for the 53 sales was $135,000, after 122 days.

 

What to Do

The most prominent new addition to Riverhead's entertainment scene is the Suffolk Theater, a meticulously restored 1933 building that opened in March on East Main Street and presents musicians, comedians and other live performers in a cabaret setting. Several people with memories of the old theater have told Bob Spiotto, the executive director, that they "remember their first kiss in the balcony or seeing 'Star Wars' here." The theater is across from East End Arts, which offers an art gallery, performances and classes. Within a few blocks are the Long Island Science Center and the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall, built in 1881 and now used by local groups. Events are held along the Peconic riverfront, including a Classic Cars Cruise Night on Thursdays through August. The River and Roots Community Garden is in the same area, and the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center is on East Main. Beaches, golf courses and other recreational spots are nearby.

 

The Schools

Riverhead Central District, which also draws from parts of surrounding communities, has four elementary schools, one intermediate, one middle school and one high school. Of the 335 graduating, 40 percent are headed to four-year colleges and 46 percent to two-year programs. "It used to be about even," said Charles M. Gassar, the district's director of guidance; he ascribed the shift to the economy. About 46 percent of district students get reduced-cost or free lunches. SAT averages last year were 463 in reading, 482 in math and 439 in writing, versus 483, 500 and 475 statewide.

 

The Commute

Driving to Manhattan takes about 90 minutes without traffic. The Long Island Rail Road ride takes a little more than two hours; a one-way peak fare costs $27 and a monthly ticket $466. The Hampton Jitney to Manhattan costs $19 for a prepaid one-way ticket; a service called 7 Bus (formerly Bolt Bus) charges $12 to $20 a ride.

 

The History

In the 17th and 18th centuries, Riverhead was the center of the East End's agricultural economy, said Mr. Wines, adding that by the early 1960s it reached its peak as a cultural, banking, shopping and legal hub. Then small farms became less profitable, and malls drew shoppers away from local enterprises, leading to the decline that has recently started to be reversed. Zoning restrictions preserve a lot of the farmland.

 

Carbon Disclosure Project Cities 2013 Report
How climate change action is giving us wealthier, healthier cities

A new report compiling insights and trends from a survey of 110 global cities reveals that actions to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change are having positive impacts within communities.

  

AECOM partnered with CDP - an independent, not-for-profit organization that works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and drive sustainable water use, to help produce its annual CDP cities global reports - and

provided analysis and information design for the 2013 Carbon Disclosure Project global cities report: "How climate change action is giving us wealthier, healthier cities."   

  

The reports provide a snapshot of the challenges and opportunities cities face due to the global increase of carbon emissions as well as the ways they are adapting to existing and future climatic changes. Cities reported that initiatives they are taking are likely to attract new business investment, identified up to $13 million in annual energy efficiency savings and reported actions that will promote public health.


Gary Lawrence, chief sustainability officer at AECOM, noted, "We're seeing expanded participation and evidence of cities better understanding risk avoidance, resilience, and capital investment strategies that create more value, address concerns for human health and link to stronger economic outcomes."

 

CDP and AECOM have also produced an interactive infographic, which displays data from all 110 reporting cities, including their greenhouse gas emissions, risks, adaptation actions, and emissions reduction activities.

  

For additional information, please contact Jennifer Rimmer, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Sustainability, Northeast Region, AECOM, at 212-973-3075 or jennifer.rimmer@aecom.com. 

 

Bus Rapid Transit: Cities Get on Board with Better, Reliable Transportation 
Attracting young professionals through reliable mass transit

(via Planetizen) - Young people across the country are decreasing the amount they drive and increasing their use of public transit. Meet Jacob Curtis, a 29 year old young professional who was recently featured in The New York Times. Jacob moved to Charlotte for a new job. He found a home close to bus and rail lines. His home is in a location where he can ride his bike to the office along a no-traffic greenway. During his off hours, he navigates the Queen City easily thanks to his smartphone, which helps him plot routes that blend biking and mass transit options.

 

Sound familiar? It should, because Jacob is just one example of many Millennials who would rather use public transportation, bike-share or walk instead of drive. According to a report just released by U.S. PIRG Education Fund and the Frontier Group, 16 to 34-year-olds drove 23 percent fewer miles on average in 2009 than in 2001 (a decrease from 10,300 miles to 7,900 miles per capita). Over that same period, the number of passenger miles traveled per capita by 16 to 34-year-olds on public transit increased by 40 percent.

 

Contributing to this shift in transportation choices among Millennials is the fact that many young people - especially after the Great Recession of 2008 - are choosing to live in urban communities that are walkable and well connected by mass transit.  Seventy-seven percent of Generation Y plans to live in an urban core, according to consumer research by economic development practice group RCLCO. Like Jacob, a growing number of young people are choosing public transit instead of cars to get to school or work and to visit their family and friends.

 

The Baby Boomer generation also plays a role in this shift in driving patterns, as they pass through their prime driving years and head toward retirement. They, too, are taking their foot off the gas. With this shift happening at both ends of the age spectrum, the conversation around transportation planning in the U.S. has to change at the same time.

             

Many city leaders recognize the need to build better public transportation systems to attract and retain these highly-skilled young professionals and empty nesters. Mayors working to grow their local economies, become more competitive and attract an educated workforce realize that good mass transit is an essential asset. Yet, the current fiscal environment presents a formidable challenge to building and delivering these high-quality mass transit systems economically and quickly. So, what type of public transportation systems should cash-strapped cities invest in - buses, streetcars, subways?

 

Enter Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). As one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to expand and modernize public transportation, BRT is a high performance mass transit system that delivers the permanence, speed and reliability of rail systems, along with the flexibility of bus systems, for a fraction of the cost. The components of high-quality BRT systems include high-capacity vehicles, dedicated lanes, elevated platforms that are level with the vehicles, enclosed stations and off-bus fare collection.

 

The flexibility and cost effectiveness of BRT make it an excellent choice for cities and transit agencies facing both increasing demand for transit and increasingly constrained budgets. It's also ideal for young people looking for fast, reliable transit options, and even baby boomers looking to retire and live a car-light lifestyle.

 

The cities that want to be competitive - that want to attract the talented Millennials and the moneyed and retiring Baby Boomers - are looking to high-quality BRT so they can rapidly deploy the transportation options demanded by these critical generations.

 

Read more about BRT at Planetizen...

 

Do you think BRT can work here on Long Island? It's been a topic of much debate recently as Suffolk County has received over $320,000 in New York Metropolitan Transportation Council funding to study potential BRT routes. Let us know your thoughts by emailing info@sustainableli.org today!

   

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These challenging 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 interests to stay engaged and do what we can together to build a more sustainable Long Island.

 

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