Sustainable Long Island
March 2014
Sustainable Long Island Newsletter
The one-stop-shop...
For all Sustainable Long Island news! 
In This Issue
Eighth Annual Sustainability Conference Accomplishing More Together - ONE WEEK LEFT TO REGISTER
Why More U.S. Cities Need to Embrace Bus-Rapid Transit
Why More U.S. Cities Need to Embrace Bus-Rapid Transit
Volunteer Spotlight: Kenneth Garger - Highlighting the best and brightest volunteers
Why More U.S. Cities Need to Embrace Bus-Rapid Transit
Why More U.S. Cities Need to Embrace Bus-Rapid Transit
Why More U.S. Cities Need to Embrace Bus-Rapid Transit
Board of Directors

Charlotte Biblow, Esq: President
Farrell Fritz, P.C.

Lauren Furst: Executive Vice President

Pathways to Wealth, LLC 


Robert Bernard: Treasurer 

Capital One Bank


Lennard Axinn: Secretary 

Island Estates


Russ Albanese

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


Dr. Miriam K. Deitsch

Farmingdale State College,
State University of New York


Pat Edwards

Citi Community Development
Amy Hagedorn


Jeff Kraut

North Shore - LIJ Health System


Kevin McDonald

The Nature Conservancy
Ruth Negr

Mitchell H. Pally

Long Island Builders Institute


Dr. Robert Scott

Adelphi University 


Ron Shiffman

Pratt Institute



If you or your organization wishes to be a future enewsletter sponsor, please email for rates and opportunities.
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Eighth Annual Sustainability Conference 
Accomplishing More Together

If you don't register today then you might miss us at the Carlyle on the Green at Bethpage State Park on Friday, April 4, 2014.    


If you miss us at the Carlyle on the Green on April 4 then you will miss Sustainable Long Island's Eighth Annual Sustainability Conference.


And if you miss the Eighth Annual Sustainability Conference then you'll be missing out on one of the most informative, motivating, and action-packed events of the year.


Don't Miss Out! 


What's on the agenda?  

Well we're glad you asked:



  • The morning plenary will question how we are able to move projects forward cooperatively, regardless of potential obstacles we as a region face. Learn from our panelists examples; all of whom have had a history of identifying opportunities, forming strategic relationships, and advancing projects toward success.


  • The Hall of Exhibitors, where local businesses and nonprofits will be sharing valuable details about themselves and their services, while also looking to build exciting new relationships.



  • Some of Long Island's biggest names will lend their expertise through interactive workshop discussions, focusing on economic growth and development; food access and availability; healthy environment, healthy communities; and seeking equity.

A Little Temptation:
  • The attendee favorite "Sustainable Samplings" networking luncheon, which features a taste of signature dishes from Long Island's premier restaurants.


  • Keynote Speaker Jon Kaiman - Special Advisor on Superstorm Sandy Relief; Chairman of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority.



Sustainable Long Island's Annual Sustainability Conference brings together Long Island's top executives and decision makers in the business, government, and nonprofit world. So what are you waiting for? 


Register today:



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NY Rising Sets Deadline for Homeowner Applications  

Deadline set for April 11 

(via Newsday) - The New York Rising Housing Recovery Program has set an April 11 deadline for homeowners who were victims of superstorm Sandy or two earlier tropical storms to apply for assistance to rebuild, elevate or repair their homes, state officials said. 


The community buyout program, in which homeowners can "opt-in" to have the state buy out entire neighborhoods, also will close April 11, NY Rising announced.


Mindful of the newly imposed deadline, a Long Island coalition of agencies -- Long Term Recovery Group -- plans to help homeowners apply to NY Rising.

"NY Rising opened its doors in April 2013," said Jon Kaiman, the governor's special adviser for Long Island storm recovery, explaining the decision to impose an application deadline now. "So, we do have this last push . . . to try to let people know this is their last chance to sign up" for the homeowner assistance program.

The agency noted that New Jersey and New York City had already closed their applications processes, on Sept. 30 and Oct. 31, respectively.


NY Rising's deadline affects homeowners only, not owners of multiunit dwellings. The deadline does not affect homeowners already in the program, those in the process of receiving their NY Rising award, or those seeking clarification of their award, officials said.

It covers homeowners who sustained damage from Sandy in October 2012, and tropical storms Irene or Lee in 2011.


NY Rising has authorized payments of $408 million to 6,366 Long Islanders for Sandy-related repairs and buyouts, according to NY Rising spokeswoman Barbara Brancaccio. Of that amount, $104 million in reimbursement money went to 3,064 homeowners for work already completed, while $163 million went to 4,877 Long Islanders for construction and repair.


The state has made offers totaling $141 million to purchase 360 homes on Long Island.


Kaiman said not all homeowners who have been awarded money have received it.


"We're literally tracking down folks," Kaiman said. "For whatever reason, they've been unable to pick up the check."


Meanwhile, the Long Term Recovery Group, a coalition of 145 nonprofit, volunteer and governmental agencies, plans to publicize the deadline and provide case managers at centers to help those apply to NY Rising, said Gwen O'Shea, president and chief exe-cutive of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, which manages the recovery group.


She noted that completing the application doesn't guarantee homeowners will get a NY Rising award, but if they don't apply, they can't be considered.


The coalition is heeding NY Rising's call to reach out to low- to moderate-income owners to make sure "those vulnerable and at-risk don't fall through the cracks, as it pertains to superstorm Sandy," O'Shea said. They plan to canvass households in Amityville, Babylon, Copiague, Lindenhurst, Long Beach, and the Shirley-Mastic area.

Though the recovery group is focusing on low- to moderate-income homeowners -- defined as $75,200 for a family of four -- O'Shea said case managers would assist any storm-affected homeowner.


Pledging to Complete a Greater Bellport Land-use Plan 

Community revitalization moving forward in North Bellport 


(via Long Island Advance) - A completed Greater Bellport land-use plan by October 2014 that will include a change of zone for properties along Montauk Highway to J6 Main Street Business zoning to encourage commercial development, and a town center on Montauk Highway and Station Road were initiatives pledged by Supervisor Ed Romaine on Tuesday at the Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area, one of the key community organizations invested in the area's transformation.


Romaine stood firm against a Transit Oriented Development center by the Long Island Rail Road on Station Road, a focal point of the community's recommendations in the 103-page Greater Bellport South Country Communities Sustainable Community Plan of January 2009 prepared by Sustainable Long Island. Several area studies dating back as far as 1964 have languished with the town, but Romaine was adamant the land-use plan and its effects, based on many of the recommendations from the 2009 sustainable community plan, would materialize.


"We will honcho this plan forward," he said. "I'm moving the first step of the [State Environmental Quality Review Act] process with a positive declaration at the work session [today]."  Romaine has placed Bill Faulk, executive assistant in Brookhaven's planning, environment and land management department, to bring the land-use plan to the finish line. The plan encompasses East Patchogue, Hagerman and North Bellport.


Romaine said a citizens advisory committee would be formed to refine suggestions or add new ones over three or four meetings to the current 83-page draft land-use plan, which was produced last August and is awaiting its SEQRA component.  Some of the recommendations include a zone for new retail, citing opportunities for ethnic dining establishments, design standards for the automotive businesses along Montauk Highway including landscaped areas and opaque fencing, support for a bank branch and walkable enticers like creating promenade linear parks with available empty narrow lots via environmental preservation by the train station, as well as constructing sidewalks including one along Bourdois Avenue from Atlantic Avenue north to Hampton Avenue to connect residents in the western part of North Bellport to the Boys & Girls Club and the new town center.


Last week, Romaine said the town had identified 24 possible brownfield sites and applied to the state's Department of State Brownfield Opportunity Area program for grant funding in September 2012. The PolyMag site on Station Road and Brookhaven Avenue, with 26,550 square feet of industrial building on a nine-acre L-1 industrially zoned property, was on the list. The town received the $303,958 grant, which covers over 800 acres of the area's boundaries, allowing town officials to determine if a site is a brownfield and what particular remediation is needed, a first step towards economic development.


"I'm very happy the land-use plan will move forward and the community voiced their desires in the 2009 sustainable community plan," said Councilwoman Connie Kepert, who met and sat in multiple meetings with the Greater Bellport Coalition group starting in 2006 that developed the visioning plan. "It sat in the planning department, waiting, so I am very happy that [Ed Romaine] is moving it forward.  I'm ecstatic. I think it's great."


Romaine discussed the 100 boarded-up homes in the community and advocated funds to rehab them or demolish them for modular homes via a town housing program structured as a municipal housing authority created in accordance with state public housing law. It would permit the town to purchase distressed dwellings or acquire tax default properties. A youth improvement program that employed several local teens to clean up vacant lots this summer was another strategy, Romaine said.


The draft land-use plan also discussed designating Bellport and Hagerman as hamlet centers with live-work units in those hamlet centers that would combine workspace with living quarters similar to storekeepers who live above a shop.   


But the TOD and its tie-in to sewer funding remains a sticking point to some. Recommendations in the sustainable community plan came out of a Visioning Weekend in 2007 that drew 500 people, as well as a community Vision Day.


Read more... 


Volunteer Spotlight: Kenneth Garger 

Highlighting the best and brightest volunteers


Kenneth Garger can be looked upon as your average young adult on Long Island. Saddled with student loan debt, working nontraditional and unpredictable hours at his job, and struggling to find housing options he can afford. But what makes Kenny different than the typical 20-something facing "the daily grind" is that he makes it a top priority to find time to volunteer.


"Everyday is a good day to volunteer," says Kenny.  


Kenny was looking to do something different to give back to Long Island - where he grew up in parts of Levittown, Hicksville, and North Babylon. That's when, through a connection from a childhood friend, he found Sustainable Long Island.


Kenny remembers, "After familiarizing myself with the organization and their projects, and talking to some friends 'in the know,' I knew I wanted to help out."


Kenny began contributing to some of Sustainable Long Island's more prominent projects, including the implementation of two community gardens - one in Long Beach and one in Freeport. He traded his press pass and paycheck from his job as a reporter for the New York Post for some 2x4's of lumber, pounds of soil, and a variety of gardening tools.


Getting his hands dirty, he and dozens of volunteers constructed garden beds and compost bins and planted seeds and seedlings for residents of the City of Long Beach and the Village of Freeport.  


"It felt great to know I was doing something that could help improve the quality of life for Long Islanders," says Kenny. "Not to mention the food knowledge and nutritional value the projects bring to the areas."



But Kenny didn't stop there.


In the past few months, Sustainable Long Island has worked as part of four consultant teams on the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program. Sustainable Long Island's main role for this project is to facilitate public engagement for the areas of Oceanside/Island Park/Barnum Island/Harbor Isle; The City of Long Beach; Lido Beach and Point Lookout; and Atlantic Beach/East Atlantic Beach/Atlantic Beach Estates.


With quick turnaround times, Kenny made himself available to help spread the word about three different public engagement meetings for each community reconstruction area (he also plans to help for the upcoming fourth round of meetings).


In often bitter cold weather - sometimes punctuated by rain, sleet, and snow - Kenny traveled to each of these storm-stricken communities, placing hundreds of lawn signs and door hangers to alert the public of upcoming meetings.  


He downplays the importance of his impact, but has undoubtedly helped Long Islanders during his time volunteering with the organization.


"Anyone can do what I'm doing, it's not like I'm unique. I'm just trying to do my part, trying to make even the smallest of positive change."


City of Long Beach Launches New Program to Help Sandy Victims 

Teams with FEGS to provide additional assistance 


(via the Long Island Herald) - As the April 11 deadline to apply for the NY Rising Housing Recovery Program quickly approaches, the city has launched a new program to help residents who are "still struggling to navigate through the bureaucracy" of post-Hurricane Sandy funding and rebuilding programs, City Manager Jack Schnirman said.

The city has teamed up with FEGS Health & Human Services - a not-for-profit organization that helps individuals achieve greater personal and economic independence - to establish a Residential Rebuilding Assistance Program in Long Beach, described as the first of its kind in the region. The program, officials said, will be offering residents additional comprehensive residential rebuilding services, with the ultimate goal of "helping Long Beach residents receive the funding and resources they need and deserve."

"This innovative, first of its kind partnership will enable us to assist residents who are still struggling to navigate through the bureaucracy," Schnirman said at the March 18 City Council meeting. "The City Council has made it clear that the city needs to take a comprehensive approach towards making sure that everyone obtains the funding and resources they need and deserve to rebuild with resiliency. This program will help facilitate the permitting process, provide disaster case management and offer residents additional support services."

According to the city, the program is funded by a Community Development Block Grant that the city obtained from the state to accelerate the repair, reconstruction and replacement of residences affected by Sandy.

"The city established this partnership to help residents obtain the long-awaited funding and resources they need and deserve to rebuild resiliently," Councilwoman Eileen Goggin said in a statement.

In Long Beach, 865 homes were deemed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be substantially damaged, meaning that the cost of repairs would be more than half the appraised value. Homeowners were told to either elevate or rebuild them.  


Read more here... 


20 Ways to Save Money While Going Green 

Get active, get creative - Go green, save green 

(via - If you aren't ready to throw some solar panels on the roof and ditch your power company, but would like to save some money by living a greener life, here are 20 tips to help you get started.


Around the house:

1. Buy food, including spices and flour, in bulk. You'll save money and reduce the amount of packaging that goes in the trash.  


2. Make sure your thermostat is set properly. Lowering the default settings during the summer and at night could save you almost $200 a year, according to Energy Star.  


3. Insulate your hot water heater. To see if you need to insulate, touch your heater. If it is warm to the touch, it needs additional insulation. You will lower your water heating costs with this single step.


Get active:

4. Cut down on car trips and run your errands on your bike or on foot. Rusty on two wheels? Take a workshop from a local bike club.  


5. Rip up some lawn and plant a vegetable and flower garden. You will save a ton of money on food, and delight your children as they watch things grow over the summer.  


6. If your zoning permits, get some chickens and have fresh, free eggs every day.  


Get creative:

7. Expand your hand-me-down circle. Organize a clothing swap for your co-op, preschool or a group of friends. Have everyone bring gently used and clean kids' clothes to your garage; parents can take as many items as they donate. The rest goes to charity.


8. Have your kids make their friends' birthday cards and wrapping paper. Paper bags are easily transformed with pastel crayons or markers, and kids love getting a handmade card-as do adults.


9. Organize a Halloween costume swap in September. This can be a great service project for a Girl Scout troop. Reserve a room at a local library, community center or other place and promote it with local schools and daycares. Green Halloween is a great resource for ideas on how to get started.


10. Check out, a "valet service" that collects your unwanted clothes, gear, media, toys and décor and sells them on its site. You set the prices and you can take your windfall in cash or stuff.


11. Use cloth napkins whenever possible, even in school lunches.



12. When stuck in line at the bank drive-through or school pickup line, turn off your engine.


13. Ditch those dreaded sandwich bags and get some washable containers or bags.


14. Save up to 30 percent on your monthly heating bills by having a home energy audit done by a professional. Ask if your local utility will cover some of the cost.


15. Give and accept hand-me-downs.



16. Replace your old light bulbs with LED bulbs. They last 15 times longer and use 75 percent less energy.


17. Got an older house? Install double pane windows and you'll see immediate savings on your heating bill.


18. Ditch the dryer and use a clothesline when the weather permits.


19. Dump your bottled water costs. Buy snazzy metal water bottles for everyone in the family at Target and a personal filter for your kitchen faucet, and you could save hundreds of dollars a year.


20. Replace your shower heads with low-flow models. Low-flow shower heads can save you up to 15 percent of water heating costs.

Air Pollution Now Linked to 1 out of Every 8 Deaths in the World 

Millions of deaths annually linked to air pollution 

(via - According to a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is the cause of 7 million deaths a year worldwide, and is the single largest environmental health risk in the world today.


The staggering number - one in eight of all deaths, globally - is more than double previous WHO estimates of those killed by air pollution. WHO says that there is a stronger link between pollution and cardiovascular diseases like stroke and heart disease, and between air pollution and cancer, than previously thought. 


Certain cities and countries around the world have reputations as pollution hotspots. China has a well-documented and dangerous air pollution problem, which experts are recently referred to as a "nuclear winter." In February, Beijing had zero visibility for nearly a week and the sun was blocked to the extent that it threatened the nation's food chain. Paris is fast becoming the Chinese capital's air pollution rival; earlier this month, the city opened up public transportation free of charge in an effort to curb air pollution from traffic. 


And in 2013, it was announced that air pollution alone killed 4,460 people in Tehran over the course of a year, following a decision by the city to shut down for five days in a bid to keep cars off the road. Iran's air pollution problem was partly caused by the filthy fuel the country has had to conjure up after strict sanctions imposed by the U.S. in 2010 on refined gasoline. 


The WHO says that improved technology used to measure the effects of human

 exposure to pollutants has led to better estimates of the number of deaths. Exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution contributes to respiratory diseases, including acute respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, WHO reports. A reduction in air pollution will potentially save millions of lives and prevent against noncommunicable diseases.  


Read more here...

Together we can build a more
sustainable Long Island


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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The Board and Staff of Sustainable Long Island