Written by Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone Thursday, 29 August 2013 00:00
A Republican and a Democrat standing together these days is rare. Even though we are from different political parties, partisan politics could not have been further from our minds on October 29, 2012 and in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
It was immediately clear that this was not just another storm and that the challenges it placed on our residents and businesses—and on the entire region—were enormous. That’s why President Obama established the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, chaired by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.
Last Monday, the Task Force released its Rebuilding Strategy to help guide federal investment in the region, marking an important new chapter in the region’s rebuilding effort.
Our work with the Task Force and Governor Cuomo has yielded unmatched results: we worked to secure up to $1.3 billion for Long Islanders in the first round of Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding, the bulk of which will assist homeowners and small businesses in their rebuilding efforts. We know that every day waiting for aid is a day too long and that relief never comes fast enough. The Rebuilding Strategy addresses some necessary changes to cut the federal red tape and get the assistance into the hands of our still struggling homeowners and small businesses, and we commend Secretary Donovan for leading this effort.
As members of the Task Force’s Advisory Group, we are confident that the policy recommendations presented in the Rebuilding Strategy will serve Long Islanders well. Throughout the entire process, the Task Force has recognized that rebuilding must be a locally-driven effort. The Task Force engaged nearly 450 stakeholders to inform the Rebuilding Strategy’s more than 65 recommendations, which will help people to protect their homes, small businesses to get back on their feet and communities to harden vital infrastructure systems.
The Rebuilding Strategy also acknowledges that, in light of new threats posed by climate change and sea level rise, we cannot simply build back to the way things were. In the aftermath of Sandy, we saw firsthand what works best for protecting our homes and communities. For example, shore communities without sand dunes suffered greater damage than neighboring communities that had taken protective measures. These types of resilience efforts are most effective when communities work together.
We agree that regional coordination is common sense and are working together to make that a reality. If several towns working on beach replenishment projects come together to share the expense of bringing in large equipment, they could save millions of dollars. Regional coordination is smart fiscal policy as well as smart resilience policy.
To that point, the next round of CDBG-DR funding is expected to be announced shortly. These funds are intended to be targeted at rebuilding and securing the regional infrastructure needs for Long Island’s future. We have worked closely with Secretary Donovan and Governor Cuomo to ensure Long Island gets the necessary federal investment dollars to meet the infrastructure challenges laid out in the Rebuilding Strategy and look forward to that announcement. Our cash-strapped towns and villages need these federal dollars to make the critical investments that will protect our communities for decades to come.
In the weeks after the storm, the two of us hosted Secretary Donovan on a tour of impacted communities. Though we still have a long road ahead of us, the progress of our communities since that day is extraordinary. In both Nassau and Suffolk, our beaches and parks are open for summer, and our vital infrastructure systems are back up and running.
Although the majority of our homeowners have returned to their homes and our small businesses have reopened, we know that there is still much work to be done. We must rebuild our communities smarter and stronger. The Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy, released last Monday by Secretary Donovan, will help us to make that vision into a reality.
To view the full Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy, visit www.HUD.gov.
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00
Hicksville residents, business owners, and stakeholders came out to a Northwest Hicksville Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) open house last week where they learned more about proposed revitalization and provided feedback on the draft pre-nomination study.
The Northwest BOA is bounded by the Northern State Parkway to the north, Old Country Road to the south, Cantiague Lane to the west and 106/107 to the east. The area includes major Hicksville landmarks including the Broadway Mall, train station, post office, Cantiague Park, Burns Avenue School, several businesses and manufacturers, and numerous residential homes. Several of the properties in the corridor lie vacant or underused, which identifies the area as eligible for the BOA program, which is meant to provide communities with money, land use and redevelopment tools for revitalization.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
Although Fuel Cafe is six years old, it's been a work in progress since new owners took over one-and one-half years ago. The main part of the cafe was recently redecorated and an adjoining room is soon to open. And though there's been several changes, the concept remains the same—this is a place where healthy and hearty food is served. The food is grilled or baked, never fried, and they do not use microwaves so everything is made to order.
With a menu of over 170 items and dozens of combinations of meats, vegetables, bread and more, be prepared to do a lot of reading to figure out what your meal will be.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
As they come off their most successful season in 30 years, the Hicksville Boys basketball team faces a challenge in replicating last year's success. The 2012-13 season saw the Comets compile a 15-5 record and had their season ending in the Nassau County semifinals to rival Baldwin. According to Head Coach Phil Essigman, who is entering his 14th season with the varsity team, the team will feature only two returning players from last season. Last year’s team was incredibly deep and experienced and it is part of the “rollercoaster”, as he described it, of high school sports for teams to go through periods of grooming inexperienced players.
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 00:00
Hicksville’s Mary-Jo Depaoli, and Nao Joe scored with awards on Sunday, November 17 in the 5th annual Blue Ribbon Run for Prostate Cancer, a 5 Kilometer road race that started and finished at Syosset-Woodbury Community Park.Depaoli crossed the finish line with a time of 23:01, earning her second place honors in the women’s 35-39 age group, and Joe finished the race with a time of 28:36, to earn third place in the women’s 30-34 age group, A record breaking total of 414 runners and walkers crossed the finish line.
The race was held by the Town of Oyster Bay and raised money to help in the fight against prostate cancer. Free prostate cancer screenings were offered on-site, as well as informative urology and men’s health exhibits, refreshments and prizes for participants.