Former NYS Chief Justice Sol Wachtler Discusses “Law as It Impacts the Citizen” at LIMBA

LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) has announced that Sol Wachtler, former Chief Justice of the state of New York, will be the guest speaker at the business networking group’s next virtual meeting on September 4. (This event is rescheduled from August 7). Mr. Wachter will discuss the topic “Law as It Impacts the Citizen.”

 

Mr. Wachtler served in the Korean War, where he was in charge of the Provost Marshal General Center Military Police Courts and Boards. After being honorably discharged from the Army, he opened his own law practice, where one of his associates was Frank X. Altimari, who later went on to become U.S. Circuit Court Judge for the Second Circuit.

 

He began his political career in 1963 when he was elected Councilman of the Town of Hempstead. Two years later, he was elected Town Supervisor. In 1968, he was appointed to the New York State Supreme Court and, in 1972, at the age of 42, became the youngest judge elected to the NYS Court of Appeals. In 1985, he was appointed Chief Judge of the state of New York and the Court of Appeals, both positions he held until 1993.

 

Mr. Wachtler was also the Founder and First Chair of both New York’s State Federal Judicial Council and the National State Federal Judicial Council. He also chaired the Committee on Public Safety for the Nassau County Board of Supervisors.

 

He currently serves as a Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in Central Islip. He graduated from Washington and Lee University where he received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws.

 

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. Please visit the LIMBA website to register for the event. Registration is free, but spots for this discussion will be limited.

 

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, or for a list of upcoming events, call (631) 757-1698 or visit www.limba.net.

 

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About LIMBA

Since 1968, LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) has been Long Island’s catalyst for economic investment and improvement, sponsoring lively breakfast forums featuring Long Island business activists and government officials. Its mission is to promote and address issues that affect the quality of life on Long Island. For more information, call (631) 757-1698 or visit www.limba.net.

Town of Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci Joins LIMBA For A Virtual Discussion on Issues Affecting the Town

LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) has announced that Chad Lupinacci, Supervisor, Town of Huntington, will be the guest speaker at the business networking group’s next virtual meeting on August 21. Mr. Lupinacci will discuss issues affecting the town, including the town’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the proposed settlement with the Long Island Power Authority to reduce the utility’s taxes for the Northport power plant.

Continue reading “Town of Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci Joins LIMBA For A Virtual Discussion on Issues Affecting the Town”

Stony Brook University Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center Chairman Bob Catell Discusses the Future of Energy on Long Island at LIMBA

LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) has announced that Bob Catell, Chairman, Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at Stony Brook University, will be the guest speaker at its meeting on Friday, July 24. Mr. Catell will talk about the future of energy on Long Island. Specific topics include how energy is delivered and how it is used to power local homes and businesses and the projected need in the future.

Mr. Catell started his career with Brooklyn Union Gas (now KeySpan Corporation and KeySpan Energy Delivery) in 1958. Following National Grid’s acquisition of KeySpan Corporation, he became Chairman of National Grid, U.S. and Deputy Chairman of National Grid plc. He served on the board of numerous nonprofit organizations and business groups and is a member of the Association of Energy Engineers, CUNY (City University of New York) Business Leadership Council, National Society of Professional Engineers and the Society of Gas Lighting.

Mr. Catell received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the City College of New York. He has attended Columbia University’s Executive Development Program, and the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School. In addition to being Chairman of the AERTC, he is a registered Professional Engineer.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. Please visit the LIMBA website to register for the event. Registration is free, but spots for this discussion will be limited.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, or for a list of upcoming events, call (631) 757-1698 or visit www.limba.net.

Attorney Joe Campolo Joins LIMBA Chairman Ernie Fazio to Discuss Issues Currently Affecting Long Island

Joe Campolo

LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) has announced that Joe Campolo, Managing Partner, Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP, will be the guest speaker at the business networking group’s next virtual meeting on July 10. Mr. Campolo will discuss how Long Island businesses are reconnecting with their clients after the COVID-19 pandemic and what missteps they should avoid in doing so. Ernie Fazio, Chairman, LIMBA, will also join in the discussion.

Campolo, Middleton & McCormick was recently named a Top Corporate Law Firm in America by Forbes. Mr. Campolo also pens a popular blog, “Off the Record,” where he discusses current events and deeply personal topics. He also hosts a weekly webinar called “Business Unusual,” in which he focuses on challenges businesses are facing as a result of COVID-19 and how to move forward.

Mr. Campolo honorably served in the United States Marine Corps.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. Please visit the LIMBA website to register for the event. Registration is free, but spots for this discussion will be limited.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, or for a list of upcoming events, call (631) 757-1698 or visit www.limba.net.

Suburban Hospital Alliance of New York State President/CEO Kevin Dahill Addresses the Stresses and Needs of Hospital Systems at LIMBA on June 19

LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) has announced that Kevin Dahill, President/Chief Executive Officer, Suburban Hospital Alliance of New York State (SHANYS), will be the guest speaker at the business networking group’s next virtual meeting on June 19.

SHANYS is the advocacy arm of the two regional hospital associations that Mr. Dahill oversees: the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council on Long Island and the Northern Hospital Association in the Hudson Valley. These two associations represent nearly 50 hospitals, which serve approximately one-fourth of the state’s population. Mr. Dahill also serves as an Executive Vice President of the Healthcare Association of New York State.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. Those who wish to register may do so by logging onto www.limba.net and clicking on the Register button. Registration is free, but there will be a limited number of spots for this meeting. Those who have questions for Mr. Dahill are asked to submit them before the start of the meeting; they will then be allowed to ask their questions after Mr. Dahill’s presentation.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, or for a list of upcoming events, call (631) 757-1698 or visit www.limba.net.

LIMBA Returns on June 5 with Online Meeting with LIRR President Phillip Eng

LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) has announced that it will host a virtual meeting on June 5 with Guest Speaker Phillip Eng, President, Long Island Rail Road (LIRR).

Mr. Eng has been LIRR’s President since April 2018. Under his leadership, the LIRR is delivering an historic $6 billion capital program to modernize and expand its infrastructure, including Double Track, Main Line Expansion, East Side Access, capacity improvements to its Jamaica station, the new M9 fleet and centralized train control. He is also responsible for initiating the railroad’s Forward program, a set of strategic initiatives aimed at improving service reliability and enhancing the customer experience.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. Those who wish to register may do so by logging onto www.limba.net and clicking on the Register button. Registration is free, but there will be a limited number of spots for this meeting. Those who have questions for Mr. Eng are asked to submit them before the start of the meeting.

“We are glad to bring back our meetings once again,” said Ernie Fazio, Chairman, LIMBA. “The lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic denied us the opportunity for our members to engage with today’s thought leaders in business and government. Thanks to today’s technology, we are able to do so remotely. We welcome Mr. Eng as our guest speaker and thank him for being part of this unique event.”

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, or for a list of upcoming events, call (631) 757-1698 or visit www.limba.net.

Dr. Donald Boomgaarden Discusses Today’s Challenges in Higher Education at LIMBA

On February 14, Dr. Donald Boomgaarden, President, St. Joseph’s College, spoke about the challenges in higher education at the LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) meeting, and how he is addressing them at the college. The meeting took place at the Courtyard by Marriott in Ronkonkoma.

Dr. Boomgaarden said the philosophical problem that today’s colleges and universities face is what he called “the globalization of superficiality.” With today’s technology, he said, more people are turning to the Internet to get their information. As a result, college-age students spend less time reading, thinking of or discerning real-world problems and learning about subjects. “The Internet creates an illusion of knowledge,” he said.

At St. Joseph’s, where he also teaches music, Dr. Boomgaarden challenges his students, who, he said, are looking for depth when it comes to learning a new subject and they “want to connect with something profound.” When the students are challenged, he said, they want to learn more. The most significant part of learning, he said, is “learning for its own sake.” People wish to learn more for the joy of it and that, he said, is very important to him.

Another issue facing higher education, according to Dr. Boomgaarden, is universality — that is, the colleges’ need to connect to the real world. He said colleges cannot be isolated from the local community; instead, they need to reach into the community, be a part of it and make the world a better place. This is done, he said, through experiential learning, in which businesses interact with local colleges to offer students internships, externships, paid and volunteer positions.

In addressing standardized testing, Dr. Boomgaarden said such tests as the Regents, while well-intentioned, are actually detrimental because they actually do not measure a student’s true academic performance and using a “one-size-fits-all” approach to the college admissions process will not work.

Dr. Boomgaarden also pointed out some of the more disturbing trends among college students, such as the inability to read and write. In his music class, he emphasizes writing as part of his curriculum, whether it is writing reports on musical artists and composers or reviews of concerts or albums. He added that more students are experiencing mental and emotional health issues such as anxiety and depression, and that the college has programs to help students overcome these problems. Lastly, fewer students attending New York State colleges are graduating. St. Joseph’s has a 70% graduation rate, which is twice the rate of New York’s, according to Dr. Boomgaarden, and its retention rate of first-year students is 90%.

The biggest problem students face after graduation is debt. In New York State, the average student debt in New York State is $38,000, according to Dr. Boomgaarden. Tuition for the Patchogue location is $14,000 a year and approximately $9,000 for the Brooklyn location (both prices mentioned are after receiving financial aid). He said these prices make St. Joseph’s the least expensive private college on Long Island.

In addition, St. Joseph’s offers online programs, from which students can earn degrees or special certificates. Some of those programs include business and healthcare administration. Dr. Boomgaarden emphasized that the online courses are hosted by the college’s own IT department, unlike other online colleges which use third-party providers. He also warned against for-profit colleges that advertise themselves on TV; he said they have poor educational quality and nearly half of the students are burdened with debt when they graduate. He said it is only right the for-profit colleges pay their fair share to alleviate student debt.

Dr. Boomgaarden is the college’s eighth president. He was previously Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Scranton. Prior to that, he was the Dean of the College of Music and Fine Arts and David P. Swanzy Distinguished Professor of Music at Loyola University.

For more information, or for a list of upcoming events, call (631) 757-1698 or visit www.limba.net.

Dr. Donald Boomgaarden (fourth from right), President, St. Joseph’s College, was the guest speaker at the LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) meeting at the Courtyard by Marriott in Ronkonkoma on February 14. Also pictured (left to right): Dr. Alan G. Vitters, Assistant Professor, Department of Business Administration and Accounting, St. Joseph’s College, the event’s sponsor; Patrick Fife, Partner, Twomey Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin, & Quartararo, LLP; Robert W. Doyle, Jr., Partner, Lewis Johs Avallone Aviles, LLP; Ernie Fazio, Chairman, and Ken Nevor, Member, LIMBA; Kathleen Magistro, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, St. Joseph’s College; and Bill Miller, Treasurer, LIMBA. Twomey Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin, & Quartararo, LLP and Lewis Johs Avallone Aviles, LLP are the annual sponsors.

Patrick Halpin Shares Recent Accomplishments of Suffolk County Water Authority at LIMBA

Patrick Halpin (third from left), Chairman, Suffolk County Water Authority, was the guest speaker at the LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) meeting, which was held on November 8 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Ronkonkoma. Also pictured (left to right): Ken Nevor, Member, LIMBA; Marc Herbst, Executive Director, Long Island Contractors Association; Ernie Fazio, Chairman, and Bill Miller, Treasurer, LIMBA; and John T. Tanacredi, Ph.D., Professor of Earth & Environmental Studies, Molloy College and Director, Center for Environmental Research and Coastal Oceans Monitoring (CERCOM) at Molloy College. Long Island Contractors Association and CERCOM were the event’s sponsors.

On November 8, Patrick Halpin, Chairman, Suffolk County Water Authority (SCWA), spoke at the LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) meeting to discuss what the authority has been doing to protect and improve Suffolk’s water quality. The meeting was held at the Courtyard by Marriott in Ronkonkoma.

As Chairman, Mr. Halpin said, he is responsible for hiring the most qualified people for the job and making sure they have the resources to get the job done while, at the same time, holding them accountable. Prior to serving in his current role, he was a New York State Assemblyman and Suffolk County Executive.

SCWA led the legal fight against gasoline companies that deposited MTBE into the water supply. As a result, the agency received $130 million from the decision which was used for remediation purposes. New York State Senator James Gaughran, who previously served as SCWA Chairman, told attendees that he introduced a bill that was signed into law allowing local water authorities to hold corporate polluters who contaminate the drinking water accountable and ensure the cleanup costs fall on the polluters, not the ratepayers.

“When you sue the company [for polluting the water], they change their way of operating,” Mr. Halpin said, adding that other water districts and authorities are starting to go after manufacturers of firefighting foams, which contain chemicals that can impact drinking water, such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).

Mr. Halpin said the authority’s laboratory, which is federally certified and employs 40 people, constantly tests the county’s drinking water for contaminants. Last year, the lab ran 167,000 tests; its employees were able to determine the level of contamination down to parts per trillion. In addition, the lab tests for 400 compounds (250 more than required by federal law) and uses a patented methodology to test for PFOS and PFOA which is faster and more accurate.

The SCWA maintains 6,000 miles of water main, according to Mr. Halpin. The pipes, which are made of ductile material, were installed in the 1950s and have a lifetime of 200 years. The only times when the pipes need to be replaced are when a line is hit during construction, or when the ground shifts, whether from development or minor earthquakes. The authority has also put in place an advanced oxidation system which uses hydrogen peroxide and ultraviolet light to remove 1,4 dioxane from the drinking water — the first-ever 1,4 dioxane removal system in the state.

Mr. Halpin said the agency has installed 45,000 feet of water main into Wainscott, but those challenges include bringing water into the Pine Barrens and trying to eliminate 1,4 dioxane from the water supply within seven years. Mr. Halpin also pointed out the long-term threats to Suffolk’s aquifers, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and the emergence of pharmaceuticals and other contaminants in the water.

The SCWA was founded in 1951 as a public benefit corporation. It serves 1.2 million people and is the largest supplier of groundwater in the nation. In addition, it has the lowest water rates in the U.S. and is rated AAA by two bond rating agencies, ranking SCWA as the top 1% out of 20,000 water suppliers nationwide. Its testing standards are more rigorous than what both New York State and the federal government require, making its potable tap water the best in the United States.

The authority monitors 586 active wells at 237 well fields, 64 storage tanks that collectively hold 68 million gallons of water and more than 38,000 hydrants. The average amount of water pumped each day is 210 million gallons; that number changes during the summer, with a peak pump rate of 470 million gallons a day, and during the winter, when it falls to 110 million gallons a day.

For more information, or for a list of upcoming events, call (631) 757-1698 or visit www.limba.net.

George Gorman Shares Updates on State Parks on Long Island at LIMBA

George Gorman (third from right), Long Island Regional Director, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, was the guest speaker at the LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) meeting at Courtyard by Marriott on September 27. Also pictured (left to right): Mike Salatti, Senior Vice President and Megan Bazata, Junior Engineer, GPI Engineering; John Zaher, Representative, Gershow Recycling; Bill Miller, Treasurer and Ken Nevor, Member, LIMBA; and Robert Grover, Chief Environmental Scientist/Vice President and Jen Heymach, Senior Civil Engineer, GPI Engineering. Gershow Recycling and GPI Engineering were the event’s sponsors.

On September 27, George Gorman, Long Island Regional Director, New York Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, updated attendees of the LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) meeting on what is going on at Long Island’s State Parks. The meeting was held at Courtyard by Marriott in Ronkonkoma.

There are 180 state parks throughout New York and 35 state historic sites, cottages, beaches and marinas, with 74 million visitors annually, according to Mr. Gorman. The first state-designated park was Niagara Falls, which has 10 million visitors a year; on Long Island, Jones Beach has the most visitors each year, with 8 million.

The Long Island State Park Region last year saw over 25 million park visitors. To service those visitors, there are 2,300 State Park employees. Approximately 700 are year-round employees, and an additional 1,600 are summer employees, including 500 lifeguards.

To bring Long Islanders to these attractions, Mr. Gorman pointed out that there is the annual Empire Pass, which can be purchased for $80 and allows the holder to enter state parks throughout the state free of charge, and the Senior Citizens Pass for visitors 62 years or older who can enter the parks for free during the week.

He pointed out some of the parks with strong attendance, such as Captree State Park, which attracts recreational fishing enthusiasts, and Hallock State Park Preserve in Jamesport, which has trails, beaches and a visitor center on Sound Avenue. Wildwood State Park is famous for its cottages on the property; reservations fill up very quickly, according to Mr. Gorman. Bethpage State Park was a big draw, thanks to the PGA Championship at Bethpage.

Some other beaches, meanwhile, are undergoing renovations in an effort to bring in more visitors, said Mr. Gorman. Hempstead Lake State Park is getting some of its tennis courts renovated as part of a three-year program. Other projects Mr. Gorman announced at the meeting included refurbishing the golf course at Montauk Downs State Park over the last few years, repaving the Field #2 parking lot and adding a new picnic area at Sunken Meadow State Park, as well as the construction of the Jones Beach Central Mall Boardwalk Café and the Gatsby Restaurant (formerly Marine Dining Hall), which is located at the West Bathhouse. The Gatsby Restaurant is an indoor, sit-down dining room which can be rented out as a meeting room or used as weddings for up to 350 people. Also open at the Central Mall is WildPlay, featuring outdoor activity ziplines and an adventure course next to the already established Splash Pad, both of which will be geared towards younger visitors.

For more information, or for a list of upcoming events, call (631) 757-1698 or visit www.limba.net.

Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer Discusses Town’s Latest Developments at LIMBA

Rich Schaffer (third from right), Supervisor, Town of Babylon, was the guest speaker at the LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) meeting at the Courtyard by Marriott in Ronkonkoma on October 11. Also pictured (left to right): Frederick Johs, Partner, Lewis Johs Avallone Aviles, LLP; John Tsunis, Chief Executive Officer, Gold Coast Bank; Bill Miller, Treasurer; Ernie Fazio, Chairman; and Ken Nevor, Member, LIMBA; and Kevin Gershowitz, President, Gershow Recycling. Gold Coast Bank was one of the event’s sponsors. Lewis Johs Avallone Aviles, LLP and Gershow Recycling are the annual sponsors.

On October 11, Rich Schaffer, Supervisor, Town of Babylon, was the guest speaker at the LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) meeting to discuss the latest developments in the town. The meeting was held at Courtyard by Marriott in Ronkonkoma.

Mr. Schaffer said that, seven years after Superstorm Sandy hit Long Island, the town is still working on infrastructural improvements. This includes fixing the bridges in the American Venice community and implementing drainage improvement and road elevation projects to avoid future flooding.

The town is in a resurgence, according to Mr. Schaffer, with new development projects taking off, thanks to help with other entities and municipalities. For example, he worked with the town’s Industrial Development Agency and the Village of Lindenhurst to bring in a 260-unit apartment building on the corner of Wellwood and Hoffman Avenues. In addition, another project is in the works on Wellwood Avenue to convert shuttered buildings into restaurants, breweries and stores along the corridor.

In addition, the town’s Planning Department is overseeing a proposed hotel near the Babylon train station, and Mr. Schaffer is working with the Planning Department and a working group on the five-phase Greybarn development project, which is halfway complete. The IDA purchased a piece of property next to Greybarn which will be converted into a business workspace, which will give local residents the opportunity to work remotely. There is also a plan to build underground parking near the MLK Health Center at Straight Path

These projects are a victory against the NIMBYism that runs through the town, Mr. Schaffer said. “We ask them, ‘What do you want us to do? You complain about the empty buildings and storefronts. You have to give me some ideas.’”

The three villages in Babylon — Amityville, Babylon and Lindenhurst — are in a shared services agreement with the town, according to Mr. Shaffer. The town makes its services available to these villages, which, in turn, pay for these services.

On the topic of energy, Mr. Schaffer said the town has switch from incandescent to LED-based lighting at its facilities. As a result, the town’s electricity bills have dropped dramatically. When discussing the Williams pipeline, he said he supports it and that he has sent letters to the Long Island state senators urging them to fight the governor’s plan to shut down the pipeline. While he understands the concerns posed by the environmentalists, Mr. Schaffer said, “You can’t stop progress.”

Mr. Schaffer also announced that the town received a bond rating of AAA — the highest possible bond rating a municipality can receive. This was accomplished, he said, by holding the line on property taxes and setting up a surplus in the budget.

Prior to becoming Town Supervisor, Mr. Schaffer was elected to the Suffolk County Legislature in 1988, 1989 and 1991. In 2011, the position for supervisor became vacant when Steve Bellone was elected Suffolk County Executive. Mr. Schaffer was appointed to the post by the Town Board. He is currently Babylon’s longest-serving supervisor.

For more information, or for a list of upcoming events, call (631) 757-1698 or visit www.limba.net.