Sustainable Long Island
September 2012  
Sustainable Long Island Newsletter
The one-stop-shop...
For all Sustainable Long Island news! 
In This Issue
Shop Smart. Do Good!
Environmental Justice Column
Sustainability in Business
Bethpage Revitalization Project
Volunteer at Local Farmers' Markets
Suffolk County Sunday Bus
Leaders Tout Wind Energy
Fall Energy Saving Tips
Donate today!
Board of Directors

Ruth Negr
n-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    

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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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Ron Shiffman

Pratt Institute

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Robert Wieboldt  

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Shop Smart. Do Good!

Shop all day while supporting Sustainable Long Island

 

   

Lord & Taylor will be hosting Shop Smart. Do Good! - an exclusive day filled with special savings at their Manhasset (Tuesday, October 2nd) and Garden City (Tuesday, October 30th) stores. As part of the celebration, Lord & Taylor is giving Sustainable Long Island an opportunity to raise thousands of dollars toward advancing sustainability across Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

 

Sustainable Long Island is one of several non-profit groups participating in the sale of $5 admission tickets to Lord & Taylor's Shop Smart. Do Good! event. Sustainable Long Island retains all the proceeds from our ticket sales. With each purchase of a ticket, you receive:

  • Two 25% bonus coupons!
  • A 15% savings pass to be used all day long on regular and sale-priced merchandise storewide!
  • Opportunity to win great prizes!
  • Also, if you sign up for a new Lord & Taylor credit account, you will receive an additional 15% off all of the day's purchases, on top of the coupon or savings pass savings!
  • Current cardholders will receive an additional 10% off all day long!

The top three organizations with the highest ticket sales will receive a bonus donation from Lord & Taylor. In addition, the top organization with most overall online ticket sales will receive an EXTRA bonus donation in the amount of $500.  


To order tickets to either or both Shop Smart. Do Good! events, visit each store's event webpage (Garden City <> Manhasset) and click Sustainable Long Island from the drop down menu as the organization you are supporting when purchasing a ticket. You can also contact Tammy Severino at 516-873-0230 or by email: tseverino@sustainableli.org to purchase a ticket and help advance economic development, environmental health, and social equity for all Long Islanders.

 

Environmental Justice at the Forefront  

Sustainable Long Island's column in the latest issue of the Long Island Business News 

 

On Long Island, there is constant concern in many communities about numerous environmental issues and the quality of life for residents. Over time, different projects and initiatives have tried to combat this issue with varying degrees of success and failure. As different planning processes move toward implementation, Long Islanders will be focusing on the many building blocks of sustainability - one of which is environmental justice.

 

Environmental Justice has been defined as the right of all people to have equal access to their basic needs. In many low-to-moderate-income communities on Long Island, environmental benefits and burdens are unevenly distributed. For example, there are often more sources of pollution than sources of clean air, healthy drinking water, and open space. Many community members in these areas have been frequently unaware of such disparities. What's worse is the combination of these environmental harms can have detrimental impacts on individual and community health, restricting opportunity for residents and reducing overall quality of life.

 

But for all the definitions and explanations about what environmental justice is, the biggest detail may be the need for the public to become more engaged on this issue. There is a great necessity for additional education on how environmental justice impacts our region and who exactly it affects.

 

First we need to identify specific concerns and develop realistic strategies for addressing these challenges. Convening leaders from across Long Island can be the starting point; conducting research, holding discussion forums, and providing recommendations and guidance for future progress. With the correct resources, Long Islanders can better understand and become aware of environmental justice and what they can do to influence land use policies and other practices.

 

One project looking to build off this environmental justice momentum was announced earlier this summer as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) chose Wyandanch as one of four locations for the launch of a program aimed at reducing pollution in low-income communities.

 

The DEC kicked off Operation ECO-Quality, which many describe as a "groundbreaking effort" to raise compliance with environmental regulations in low-income and minority communities. The pollution-prevention program will focus on areas with high concentrations of small to mid-sized regulated facilities, such as auto body shops, gas stations and dry cleaners.

 

Operation ECO-Quality is a proven project as well. It was successfully piloted in three Westchester County communities in 2010. In the City of Yonkers, the compliance rate more than doubled, jumping from 42 percent to 91 percent. In Mount Vernon, the rate climbed from 36 percent to 86 percent, and in Peekskill, it rose from 45 percent to 83 percent.

 

Wyandanch specifically is identified as a Potential Environmental Justice Area by the DEC; having a high proportion of low-income and minority residents, based on census tract-level demographics. The municipal attention paid to Wyandanch and willingness from community and political leaders to examine these issues will foster a clear dialogue within the community and will help emphasize education of local business owners about how they can comply with current regulations, rather than receiving fines or violations.

 

Operation ECO-Quality and similar environmental justice projects can help ensure that all communities enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and public health threats and equal access to the decision-making process.

 

Through this renewed environmental justice movement, stakeholders can be offered the chance to engage in a fair, meaningful way and help to redistribute environmental burdens and benefits in a more equitable manner. They can be given the tools necessary to take community-based action and exhibit environmental stewardship that will benefit their friends, families, and colleagues for the long-term.

 

As several Long Island communities, Towns, and Villages continue to make great strides in moving forward toward a sustainable future, now is the ideal time to reiterate the importance of environmental justice, and to reinforce the positive impact local and regional organizations can have in the future by advocating environmentally-friendly planning, development, and policies.

 

Improve Businesses Sustainability Efforts  

Transit Solutions, 511NY Rideshare, Sustainable Long Island team up at Sustainability Council Education Seminar   


Last week, Sustainable Long Island presented at the inaugural Sustainability Council Education Seminar. Led by Transit Solutions and 511NY Rideshare, the seminar discussed the issue of sustainable transportation, as well as looking at meaningful ways to improve businesses sustainability efforts.

Best practices in sustainable transportation and the low cost initiatives and free resources available to help develop a workplace travel plan to reduce emissions and energy usage were highlighted.

Sustainable Long Island focused on the economic, environmental, and social impacts of transportation. Some of the points mentioned included:

Economic: cost to consumers; cost of accidents; depletion of non-renewable resources; traffic congestion.

Environment: air, water, light, noise pollution; depletion of o-zone layer; disruption of ecosystems; release of toxic substances.

Social: accidents; declining community livability; mobility barriers/inequalities for the disadvantaged; visual pollution.

Sustainable Long Island also touched on Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone's innovative Connect Long Island plan, which would tie several transit-oriented development projects and downtowns together through the creation of north-south rapid-transit bus routes.

Lastly, we discussed several planned transportation enhancements that can strengthen the connection between development hubs and regional job centers, including: 
  • LIRR 2nd track from Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma
  • East Farmingdale Station 
  • LIRR East Side Access
  • Bus Rapid Transit on Route 110, Sagtikos Parkway, and Nicolls Road 

Stay tuned to upcoming Sustainable Long Island enewsletters discussing more on these issues and our exciting partnership with Transit Solutions and 511NY Rideshare.  

 

Bethpage Revitalization Project Underway Join downtown Bethpage residents and get involved today!     

Downtown Bethpage is undergoing an exciting revitalization project! The key goal of this downtown revitalization project is to provide the community of Bethpage with the tools to attract and maintain economically viable businesses in the downtown.

The project core is the input to be received from key stakeholders in the community as well as from commuters that utilize the Bethpage station and local officials. The market study will identify the strengths of the community to build upon and in doing so, a niche that can be developed and marketed.

The best way to make sure your voice is heard throughout this process is to visit the project website at www.downtownbethpage.com and fill out the Resident and Business Owner Survey. Survey results will be posted on the project website, analyzed, and will be used in developing a downtown improvement plan.

The product of these efforts will be recommendations for the community to pursue in improving connections and parking availability for customers, improved pedestrian safety, and a plan for realizing the goal of creating a successful and vital downtown area.


The first step of this process began earlier this week, as the steering committee undertaking the project - consisting of Nassau County; Nelson, Pope & Voorhis; Nelson & Pope, Engineers & Land Surveyors; and Sustainable Long Island - held a stakeholder committee meeting with key community leaders, business owners, civic organizations, property owners, and local Town and County officials. This meeting was very productive with attendees urging the project team to look carefully at the parking issues in the downtown.

As the process moves forward, two public meetings will be held to gather input on strategies for revitalization from all available residents and business owners.


Volunteer at Local Farmers' Markets

Sustainable Long Island seeking volunteers

 

Sustainable Long Island is looking for volunteers to donate their time for a few hours on upcoming Saturdays and Sundays; helping faciliatate a survey at local farmers' markets across Long Island.
  
Volunteers will speak with and interview customers at each market - reading survey questions aloud and recording responses on paper surveys. These surveys are designed to help the markets evaluate their progress, including how customers are using the market, if the market is meeting customer needs, etc. The survey also offers opportunities for customers to emphasize what they enjoy most about the markets and what they can do to improve.
  
Sustainable Long Island will help conduct the surveys, compile, summarize, and share the results with project partners. The results will be used to advocate for farmers' markets in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, seek future support for similar projects, and document the impact these initiatives have on surrounding communities.

 

The days/times vary by each market (see below). Those interested can call Sustainable Long Island at 516-873-0230 and ask to speak with Erin or Janice. You may also email your interest in volunteering to info@sustainableli.org.

 

Volunteers needed:

 

Flanders | 10am-2pm | Saturdays through October 13th

Freeport | 11am-3pm | Saturdays through October 27th

Wyandanch | 1pm-4pm | Saturdays through October 27th

North Bellport | 11am-4pm | Saturdays through October 27th

Roosevelt | 11am-3pm | Sundays through October 28th

New Cassel | 11am-3pm | Saturdays through November 17th

 

Suffolk County Sunday Bus a Great Ride  

Sustainable Long Island joins call to make  

successful service permanent

Photo Credit: Newsday
Two successful summers of Suffolk County Sunday Bus runs on East End routes offer strong evidence that the service should operate year-round on crucial routes countywide.

The most recent numbers on the two summer routes of Suffolk County Transit, on the North Fork and South Fork, show strong ridership, despite two fare increases.

Sustainable Long Island has joined Tri-State Transportation Campaign and a host of other community, planning, business, labor, and transportation advocates in signing a letter requesting additional support from our State elected officials to make the program permanent and to expand Sunday service to additional routes. Read excerpts of the letter below:

Despite the fiscal uncertainties facing Suffolk County, the County continues to dedicate a consistent level of funding to support its bus service, but additional state support would allow Suffolk County to expand Sunday service beyond its initial successful pilot program.

                                                

Studies show Sunday ridership grew by nearly 2% when compared with the same number of service days in 2011 and an additional 2,813 riders took advantage of this new summer service. This increase in ridership took place despite a 25 cent fare increase that went into effect immediately before the 2012 summer service began.

 

The 2012 New York State budget included an additional $1.5 million in State Transportation Operating Assistance, via a redistribution of the Long Lines and Transmission Tax, for Suffolk County. We had hoped that this additional subsidy, in tandem with the $1 million generated through the May fare increases, could have offered Suffolk County an opportunity to expand bus service to seven days a week on the majority of its routes. However, because this redistribution is only guaranteed for one year, Suffolk County could not plan for a more robust expansion of transit service.  

 

We hope for the support of permanent redistribution of this tax in the New York State 2013 budget, and identify additional state support for Suffolk County's bus system. This is important because currently, Suffolk County receives less state support (31% of Suffolk County Transit's total 2011 budget) than neighboring Nassau County (47% of Nassau Inter-County Express' total 2012 budget).

 

Leaders Tout Wind Energy  

As Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) vote nears, groups urge Governor Cuomo to consider offshore wind farm

 

(Via Newsday) - Environmental groups are pulling out the stops in an effort to sway NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo and LIPA to include a large offshore wind farm in the regional energy system.

 

As LIPA trustees prepare to vote next week on renewing a long-term contract for more than a dozen National Grid power plants across Long Island, environmental advocates are hawking wind energy as a clean alternative to fossil-fuel plants on billboards and in public meetings, newspaper ads and meetings with high-level energy officials.

 

Their goal: to convince LIPA and Cuomo to give serious consideration to a project to erect 150 wind turbines in waters 30 miles east of Montauk, to supply as much as 600 megawatts of power to LIPA. The project, by Deepwater Wind of Rhode Island, would incorporate new undersea cables that would connect the wind farm to Long Island at Shoreham, and provide backup power to Long Island through a second cable via a connection at Brayton Point, Mass.

 

At a recent news briefing to announce new allocations of cheap power from the New York Power Authority, Cuomo was noncommittal when asked about offshore wind energy. "Wind as an [energy] source is very important to the state," he said, but "specific projects I'll leave to LIPA."

 

Tom Congdon, Cuomo's assistant secretary for energy, said the state continues to support a wind farm proposal involving LIPA, the New York Power Authority and Consolidated Edison. NYPA has applied for an offshore lease for the project and is awaiting a decision.

 

The state is also doing due diligence on offshore wind through the Department of State's Ocean Energy Planning, "to make sure any future project is feasible," Congdon said.

 

"We have a load pocket [heavy use area] near the ocean in Long Island and New York City that probably makes as much sense for offshore wind as any place in the world." 

 

Fall Energy Saving Tips

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) provides helpful energy-saving tips

 

As temperatures drop, it's time to consider ways to reduce your energy bills in the coming months. Try tackling some easy do-it-yourself projects recommended by NYSERDA.
  • Instead of merely getting your furnace or boiler tuned, have an energy efficiency expert conduct a comprehensive home energy assessment and recommend the best ways to reduce energy waste and improve the comfort of your home. The audit is free for most New Yorkers.
  • To help pay for energy improvements, take advantage of NYSERDA's low-interest loans - including payment through your utility bills - and cash-back incentives. 
  • Call 1-877-NY-SMART or get started here.
  • Install and properly use a programmable thermostat and save up to $200 on energy costs. A programmable thermostat offers pre-programmed and customized settings to regulate your home's temperature when you are home, asleep or away. While remembering to adjust your home's temperature manually might be a challenge, a programmable thermostat can help you "set it and forget it.
  • Make sure to buy ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs as the days get shorter and night creeps in earlier.
  • Consider the fact that lighting accounts for approximately 12 percent of the average household's energy bill.
  • Check out the variety of ENERGY STAR qualified bulbs; they come in a wide variety of shapes and styles for every application.
  • Offset initial costs with lifetime savings. ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs can be found for as low as $1.50 and can save about $70 or more in energy cost per bulb over their lifetime.
  • Learn about lumens. They measure how much light a bulb produces rather than how much energy it uses, which is measured in watts.
  • Pay attention to lumens to make it easier to buy the amount of light you need. An ENERGY STAR� qualified bulb with more lumens produces bright light while fewer lumens produce dimmer light. A 60-watt light bulb is the equivalent of about 800-850 lumens. 
  • Purchase an advanced power strip to manage the power that your electronics and appliances use. These power strips shut off stand-by or "vampire load" that is consumed when electronics and appliances are turned off. This simple, affordable device is a smarter version of the traditional power strip.
  • Plug your televisions, DVD players, home stereos and gaming consoles in an advance power strip, and you can cut the power to all this technology whenever you turn off your TV. 
  • Consider replacing your refrigerator with an ENERGY STAR qualified model. Depending on the model year of your refrigerator, you could save up to $200 on your energy costs annually.
  • Get style, performance and savings through advanced features that enable ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators to use 20 percent less energy than conventional models. 

 

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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.

 

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation 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?


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Sincerely,

The Board and Staff of Sustainable Long Island


SAVE THE DATE: December 11, 2012
 
Sustainable Long Island invites you to a special End-of-Year Celebration. Please join us this holiday season, on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, for a wonderful evening of song and celebration at OHEKA Castle from 5:00 - 7:00PM.

 

Featuring renowned opera singer Daniel Klein!
Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are available.
Please contact Tammy Severino at  tseverino@sustainableli.org for more information.