Eastern Suffolk BOCES Chief Operating Officer Julie Lutz, Ph.D. Discusses the Changes to Public Education on Long Island at LIMBA

On March 11, Julie Lutz, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer, Eastern Suffolk BOCES, spoke at LIMBA’s (Long Island Metro Business Action) virtual meeting on the topic “Public Education on Long Island: Shifting Demographics, Costs & Outcomes. Why It Matters?”

During her presentation, Dr. Lutz described the shifts in Long Island schools over the past decade. While school districts such as Central Islip, Riverhead, Brentwood and Wyandanch have seen increases in enrollment, the number of students enrolled in Suffolk County public schools overall dropped 12.1%, according to Dr. Lutz.

Between the 2012-13 and 2020-21 school years, the number of children considered to be “economically disadvantaged” was up 27.4%. “Even wealthier school districts fell into this,” she said, adding that Long Island school districts saw a 27.2% bump in economically disadvantaged students, compared to a 6.1% increase throughout the rest of the state.

In addition, there has been “a growing number of English Language Learners” (ELL) in Suffolk’s schools, Dr. Lutz said. In fact, the number of ELL students increased 66.6% from 2010-11 to 2020-21. As of October 2020, there were 42,163 ELLs on Long Island, which is 18.2% of the state’s total ELL population (including New York City). For students with disabilities, the number in Suffolk rose 7.3%, compared to 6.8% on Long Island, 6.0% in Nassau and 3.7% for the rest of the state.

In explaining the differences between wealthy and poor school districts, Dr. Lutz said that 61.4% of Suffolk students attend a district of below average wealth. Among ESBOCES districts, that figure is 69.4%, and it is 45.5% among Western Suffolk BOCES districts. In addition, 1.1% of students experienced homelessness at some point during the school year, compared to 0.9% for the rest of the state (excluding New York City and Long Island).

Dr. Lutz also pointed out that the least wealthy districts on Long Island are majority-minority; 67.7% are Hispanic and 20.7% are Black. The wealthiest districts, meanwhile, are 54.6% white, 22.2% are Hispanic and only 3.5% Black.

Dr. Lutz said that “parents come to Long Island for the educational quality.” During her presentation, she pointed out that, in 2020, the graduation rate was 91.5% on Long Island, compared to Suffolk County (90.3%), the rest of the state (87.5%) and New York State outside of New York City (88.7%). Furthermore, of the Long Island students who graduate, 86% go on to college.

Long Island school districts graduate a high percentage of students with Advanced Regents diplomas — 58.4%, compared to the rest of the state at 38.9%, according to Dr. Lutz. “If Long Island were its own state,” she said, “we would be number one in the nation in the number of 2022 Regeneron Science Talent Search semifinalists with 49.” That would be greater than California (45) and the rest of New York (44).

Eighty to 90 percent of the students in ESBOCES’ career and technical training programs go on to higher education. “This dispels the myth that students in our schools don’t go to college,” Dr. Lutz said. “These students are getting trained [in the trades] and are able to get job offers [after graduation]. There is sometimes a hurdle students need to jump over to get into the BOCES program, but these programs keep giving students a leg up.”

The problem is that Long Island is short changed when it comes to school aid from Albany. “The share of state aid to Long Island is 12.5%, but we educate 15.8% of the state’s children,” Dr. Lutz said. “Long Island needs its fair share of state aid. More money is coming from our pockets. Not only do we get less, but the purchasing power [of the state aid money] is also less.”

According to Dr. Lutz, over two-thirds of the schools’ revenues on Long Island are funded by property taxes. “As a result, we see many families moving to other parts of the country that are more affordable,” Dr. Lutz said.

For more information about upcoming LIMBA programs, visit https://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.

Award-Winning Broadcast Journalist Waldo Cabrera Discusses “Black History from an Afro-Caribbean Standpoint” at LIMBA

On February 25, Waldo Cabrera, an award-winning broadcast journalist, spoke at LIMBA’s (Long Island Metro Business Action) virtual meeting on the topic “Black History from an Afro-Caribbean Standpoint.”

During his presentation, Mr. Cabrera explained that the first documented slave revolt in the “New World” happened on December 26, 1521 in Hispaniola (now broken into two countries: the Dominican Republic and Haiti). A group of African slaves who worked in the sugar plantations owned by Diego Columbus, son of the explorer Christopher Columbus, revolted. They tried to prove “they would not be submissive” and used violence and force during the uprising, Mr. Cabrera said. However, “it was not a good end for them,” he said, when Columbus ordered the military to end the revolt.

Last year, Mr. Cabrera worked with a group of students at City College of New York to bring the story to life. For the film, titled Visualizing Resistance, he spent six months with the students documenting the project, from planning to the final presentation. They also reviewed original documents from the Dominican Studies Institute to learn more about what really happened during the 1521 revolt.

By mid-December, the students completed their project. On the 500th anniversary of the revolt on December 26, 2021, the college issued a press release announcing the film’s completion. During his presentation, Mr. Cabrera showed the film to the LIMBA members.

“The students were more proud to be part of [the project], because they didn’t look at it as a race-centered project,” Mr. Cabrera said. “They were given a task to create a living document. … They knew they had to deliver on it.”

Mr. Cabrera also discussed a second slave revolt, this one having a more positive result. In 1791, African slaves in Haiti revolted against their masters, and “Haiti paid a dear price for that,” Mr. Cabrera said. This included the burning of the crops and battling French soldiers. In 1825, France recognized Haitian independence, but asked Haiti for 100 million Francs in reparations (equivalent to $21 billion today). According to Mr. Cabrera, it was the largest slave revolt since Spartacus’ unsuccessful efforts against the Roman republic in 1900 B.C.

When asked what Black History Month meant to him, Mr. Cabrera replied, “Society tells you what color you are. To me, it’s a matter of reflection. It’s a matter of educating yourself on who you are and where you’re from. I like to focus on the positive aspects of where you come from. Others may understand Black History Month from an American standpoint; I understand it from an Afro-Caribbean standpoint. I seek voices from different angles.”

Mr. Cabrera is the Executive Producer of The National Video Journalists Network (NVJN). He has won an Emmy® award and numerous Long Island Folio and Press Club of Long Island Awards.

For more information about upcoming LIMBA programs, visit https://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.

NYS Assemblyman Fred Thiele Calls to Restructure LIPA as a Public Power Company at LIMBA

On February 4, New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele spoke at LIMBA’s (Long Island Metro Business Action) virtual meeting in which he called for the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) to be restructured as a public power company.

During his presentation, the assemblyman described how he voted against the LIPA Reform Act of 2013, which, he said, was supposed to revamp electric operations on Long Island in order to improve customer service, enhance emergency response and preparation, reduce the cost of LIPA’s debt and ensure safe and adequate service. Mr. Thiele voted against it because it lacked transparency, accountability and oversight. “It was the best ‘no’ vote I ever cast,” he said.

He explained that the current structure acts as a “three-legged stool”: PSEG LI, which is a third-party manager that runs the utilities on a day-to-day basis; LIPA, a nonpublic utility which contracts with other privately run utilities; and the Department of Public Services of Long Island (DPS LI), whose only function is to provide recommendations to PSEG. “There is a lack of transparency,” he said of this operation, adding that PSEG is “the least regulated and has the least oversight.”

He said National Grid — which is responsible for operating and maintaining LIPA’s electrical grid under a management services agreement with the power authority — was “a failure” during Superstorm Sandy, considering that Long Islanders pay the highest utility rates in the nation and get little to no return on investment. “They overpromised and underdelivered,” he said. “Their customers haven’t gotten what they paid for.” On what he described as a dismal response by PSEG LI to Hurricane Isaias, he said, “There were problems with communication and customer response times; these were problems that needed to be addressed.”

The assemblyman advanced the idea of making LIPA a publicly run utility. He pointed out that public utilities are “financially feasible” and more reliable than privately operated ones. Citing an options study that LIPA conducted after Hurricane Isaias, Mr. Thiele said that public utilities can help customers save $65-$75 million a year on their energy bills. In fact, he and New York State Senator James Gaughran introduced a bill that would make LIPA go public. The bill currently has 12 co-sponsors in the Assembly — nine Democrats and three Republicans — and 90% of those who publicly commented on the bill were in favor of it.

Under the proposed legislation, there would be a Legislative Commission on the Future of LIPA, an eight-member group that would report to the state Legislature what would be needed to restructure LIPA as a publicly owned power authority by the end of 2025. The Commission would also establish an Advisory Committee comprised of stakeholders in the fields of labor, business, government, education, higher learning and social justice; consumer and civic organizations; and local Native American tribes.

The problem with LIPA, Mr. Thiele said, is that, historically, the governor’s office, which is based in Albany, controls the utility and the trustees are appointed by the governor, the speaker of the Assembly and the state Senate majority leader — none of whom are from Long Island. He said he and Senator Gaughran hope to meet with Governor Kathy Hochul soon and have this bill included in the state’s proposed 2022-2023 budget.

Mr. Thiele is currently serving his 13th term in the New York State Assembly. During that time, he authored legislation which created the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund (CPF) Act. Under the Act, the five East End towns on Long Island established dedicated funds for land preservation and water quality protection, with the money coming from the 2% real estate transfer tax. Since its enactment 20 years ago, the CPF has generated more than $1.7 billion and has resulted in the preservation of more than 10,000 acres of environmentally sensitive land. Mr. Thiele is Chairman of the Local Governments Committee and serves as a Member of the Rules Committee, Environmental Conservation Committee, Oversight, Analysis and Investigation Committee and Transportation Committee.

For more information about upcoming LIMBA programs, visit https://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.

Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. Gregson Pigott Discusses County’s Handling of Opioid Crisis and COVID-19 Pandemic at LIMBA

On January 21, Dr. Gregson Pigott, Suffolk County Health Commissioner, spoke at LIMBA’s (Long Island Metro Business Action) virtual meeting.

During his presentation, Dr. Pigott described how Suffolk County was prepared to handle the opioid crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. He also talked about his start in the agency, where he operated a community health program for persons of color and later served as Medical Director for Suffolk County Emergency Medical Services, overseeing the county’s emergency medical technicians.

“They are a very underappreciated group,” he said of the emergency medical personnel. “When you call to complain about a heart problem or a lung problem, the EMTs are always there. That is why I always try to give our emergency medical people the recognition they deserve.”

One of the issues his department had to deal with was the opioid crisis. When people were experiencing chronic pain, Dr. Pigott said, the doctors wrote prescriptions for these painkillers, not aware of their addictive qualities. After these opioids were pulled off the market, many people resorted to illegal drugs for their pain.

Dr. Pigott said there are medications to overcome drug addiction, such as methadone, which, he said, will help addicts in their recovery. One of his prior positions was as a Physician at a local methadone program in Huntington. “It’s not always about detox or staying sober,” he said. “Rather, it’s about needing medications to help you with your recovery.” When asked how long someone must be on methadone before they have fully recovered, he said, in his experience, the person’s age is the best predictor of maintaining sobriety without medication. He noted that those under the age of 30 may have an easier time managing the withdrawal that comes from tapering down the medication than older addicts.

The next topic turned to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 8, 2020, the first COVID case was confirmed in Greenport. Dr. Pigott said the infected person was a local resident who did not travel and was not in contact with a lot of people.

The number of COVID cases in Suffolk quickly rose to 1,658 on April 10, 2020. Dr. Pigott said the pandemic put a strain on the local healthcare system. “Hospitals were overcrowded and overflowing with people who were seriously ill,” he said. “There was a lack of ventilators. We also couldn’t perform colonoscopies, lung scans and elective procedures.”

He also said the situation was worse at the local nursing homes. According to Dr. Pigott, there were approximately 4,100 Suffolk County residents who died as a result of COVID, of which there were 742 COVID confirmed deaths and 267 COVID presumed deaths at nursing homes, according to the New York State Department of Health. Funeral homes were overwhelmed, as they had to rent refrigeration trucks to store the bodies. “We lost a lot of people to COVID in 2020,” he said. “This was a situation we never want to see happen again.”

By the summer of 2020, the numbers started to go down, only to go up again in the fall, Dr. Pigott said. He said the surge in infections came during holidays, such as Halloween, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. The peak number was 863 on January 19, 2021. At the time, Americans were urged to get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. “These have been very effective,” he said of the vaccines. “We saw a significant reduction in hospitalizations, especially among seniors.” He added that the number of seniors over the age of 65 who were hospitalized went down by two-thirds after they were vaccinated.

Dr. Pigott said the two best ways to protect oneself against omicron or other strains of COVID are to get vaccinated and wear a mask. He recommended the N95 masks because they are the most effective against the virus, whereas neck gaiters, bandanas and cloth masks do not offer the same protection.

On January 3, the positivity rate in Suffolk hit a record high of 28.1%. On January 18, the positivity rate fell by half to 13.9%. Dr. Pigott noted the downward trend in positive cases, but added, “We’re not out of the woods yet.”

Dr. Pigott is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University. He is a graduate of Brown University, Brown University Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Cambridge Hospital in 1997.

For more information about upcoming LIMBA programs, visit https://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.

New York & Atlantic Railway’s Chuck Samul Discusses “The Benefits of Rail Freight” at LIMBA

On January 7, Chuck Samul, Director of Sales and Marketing, New York & Atlantic Railway (NYAR), spoke at LIMBA’s (Long Island Metro Business Action) virtual meeting on the topic “The Benefits of Rail Freight.”

During his presentation, Mr. Samul described how, in 1997, NYAR entered into an agreement with the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to operate freight trains on LIRR lines throughout Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk. The railroad operates seven daily trains Monday through Friday — three during daylight hours and four at night. Three trains are operated on weekends, one during daylight and two at night.

Mr. Samul said that the NYAR line has three support yards (Pine Aire in Suffolk County, Blissville in Long Island City and Bay Ridge in Brooklyn), five commercial terminals (Long Island City Freight Terminal, Hicksville Yard, Grand Avenue Transload facility, Brookhaven Rail Terminal and Calverton Industrial Park) and three branch lines which are for freight only (Bay Ridge, Lower Montauk and Bushwick).

NYAR provides freight rail service in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. Currently, they provide service to approximately 85 customers. According to Mr. Samul, half of the volume is inbound traffic, comprised of lumber, building materials, rolled paper, food and beverage products, bulk plastics and track material for major Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), LIRR and New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) projects. Long Island exports recyclable material such as scrap iron and steel used in steelmaking, glass cullet used in producing new glass beverage containers, municipal solid waste, construction and demolition debris and retired passenger equipment from the LIRR.

Currently, NYAR employs 49 people full-time, with approximately half of them members of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, according to Mr. Samul. He went on to say that the rail freight system boosts the local economy, adding that one rail freight job supports nine other jobs in the U.S. economy, according to the American Association of Railroads.

In addition to providing safe and economical transportation of goods vital to their customers, another benefit is the reduced impact on the environment. Using rail to transport freight reduces congestion and traffic and wear and tear on streets, highways, bridges and tunnels. One rail car takes four, heavy, long-haul trucks off the road. Rail moves one ton of freight over 400 miles on one gallon of fuel. Mr. Samul also said that NYAR has retrofitted locomotives with anti-idling equipment that saved 200,000 gallons of fuel per year from pre-2013 levels.

Mr. Samul also explained some of the infrastructure projects NYAR is participating in, including the implementation of a Positive Train Control system — mandated by the federal government and as part of its 2016 agreement with the LIRR — to prevent collisions or derailments. Another project involved the reconstruction of facilities at Fresh Pond Yard. Reducing the track curvature of the East Wye Leg results in improved safety performance through a reduction of lateral forces. Additional benefits are reduced wear and tear on the rail cars, and reduced ongoing maintenance requirements. A positive benefit to all in the neighborhood is reduction in noise from rail operations.

Mr. Samul joined NYAR in July 2014 as Manager of Marketing Projects and was appointed Director, Sales and Marketing in 2018. He began his railroad career in 1978 with Conrail as a produce inspector at the Hunts Point Terminal Market. He held positions in a variety of departments there, including risk management, claims and industrial development, eventually ending up at the corporate headquarters in Philadelphia, working in marketing, real estate and line sales. At Norfolk Southern, he worked in the real estate department and served as Liaison for all property transactions in New York, New Jersey and Detroit.

For more information about upcoming LIMBA programs, visit https://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.

NYS Assemblyman Steve Englebright Discusses “Environmental Consideration” at LIMBA

Steve Englebright (center), New York State Assemblyman, was the guest speaker at the LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) meeting at TopGolf in Holtsville on December 3, 2021. Also pictured (left to right): Maureen Early, Senior Community Affairs Specialist, Covanta; Matty Aracich, President, Building & Construction Trades Council and Board Member, LIMBA; Ernie Fazio, Chairman, LIMBA; John C. Tsunis, Chief Executive Officer, Holiday Inn Express Stony Brook; Robert W. Doyle Jr., Principal, Lewis Johns Avallone Aviles, LLP; and Ken Nevor, Member, LIMBA.

On December 3, 2021, Steve Englebright, New York State Assemblyman, spoke at LIMBA’s (Long Island Metro Business Action) meeting on the topic “Environmental Consideration.” This meeting was held at TopGolf in Holtsville.

The assemblyman covered a number of topics during his presentation and answered questions from the audience. He explained that he was a co-sponsor of a bill to have state residents vote on a proposal to incorporate the Environmental Rights Act into the New York State Constitution. The bill was signed into law and voted on in the general election in November 2021. The proposal passed by a 70%-30% margin; the Act will provide New York residents “the rights to clean air, clean water, and a healthful environment.” “I’m very pleased that it passed,” the assemblyman said, adding that sister states such as Pennsylvania and Montana already have such amendments on the books. “It’s very significant.”

He also discussed the passage of New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) two years ago, which called for leading environmental experts and agency heads to draft a plan for the state on environmental conservation. A draft of the plan is expected to be released soon. “As a state, we are becoming a part of the national and global marketplace to reduce greenhouse gases,” he said.

Mr. Englebright talked about what he saw were disturbing trends in the environment, such as melting ice caps and heavier-than-expected rainfall on the East Coast, while the West Coast has had none. He said he foresees eroding seashores, adding, “it’s not a far possibility” and the hundred-year storms “are now coming every two to three years.” In Colorado, for the first time, the state has not had snow in early December. “We definitely need to confront this,” he said.

He noted that September 2, 2021 was a significant day because he remembered leaving Albany and seeing the Saw Mill River Parkway flooded out. When he drove through the Bronx, “there were cars upside down,” he said.

Climate change just doesn’t affect the environment, Mr. Englebright said, it also affects business productivity, the economy and the way we live. He said pollutants in the air pose a threat to our pulmonary and cardiovascular systems and the quality of our drinking water can also affect our health. To reverse the trend, the state must look to decarbonization, which can only be achieved by converting to renewable energy.

The discussion turned to the use of alternative energy sources and getting away from fossil fuels. This included the proposal to electrify the Port Jefferson LIRR line. “Why do we still have diesel engines in Suffolk County?” Mr. Englebright asked. He also noted that the MTA put in an order for 50 new diesel engines with a 50-year life span in 2019 which “contradicted the purposes and goals of the climate bill,” meaning the CLCPA. The MTA since rescinded the order.

Electrification of the trains will help the local economy become more prosperous, the assemblyman said. In addition, the use of alternative energy such as solar can help increase the values of homes and businesses.

At the end of his presentation, he urged local business groups to meet with him and learn how they can help push for greener practices in the building and construction of homes and businesses. “The environment is either going to be our salvation,” he said, “or it’s going to be a problem.”

Mr. Englebright has served in the Assembly since 1992. He authored New York State’s first solar and wind net-metering laws and successfully pushed for the expansion of solar net-metering to include all utility customer classes. In February 2015, he was appointed Chair of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation. His priorities include advancing policy and budgetary initiatives to improve the quality of our air and waters, open space preservation, recycling and sustainability and ramping up our effort on the state level to reduce greenhouse gases and combat the impacts of climate change, including sea level rise, ocean acidification and future extreme weather events.

For more information about upcoming LIMBA programs, visit https://limba.net/.

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* Photo is attached.

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

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine Discusses “Long Island’s Solid Waste Crisis” at LIMBA

On April 2, Ed Romaine, Supervisor, Town of Brookhaven, will be the guest speaker at LIMBA’s (Long Island Metro Business Action) virtual meeting. The topic will be “Long Island’s Solid Waste Crisis.” Among the topics that will be discussed are solutions to getting rid of solid waste in Long Island.

Mr. Romaine, who has been Brookhaven’s Town Supervisor since 2012, has had an impressive track record on environmental issues. As supervisor, he introduced legislation to protect the Carmans River, which was unanimously approved by the Town Board. Before being elected Town Supervisor, he served as Suffolk County Legislator from 1986 to 1989 and again from 2005 to 2011. As County Legislator, he authorized Suffolk’s first-ever Clean Water Act and preserved countless acres of open space across eastern Brookhaven, the North Fork, and Shelter Island.

In 1989, Mr. Romaine was elected Suffolk County Clerk. He served for 16 years in that position. As County Clerk, he took an active role in increasing productivity and improving access to official county government records. He is recognized as a pioneer in government technology and was chosen New York State County Clerk of the Year in 2001.

Mr. Romaine earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Adelphi University and a Master’s degree in History from Long Island University.

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 https://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.

Interstate Maglev Project President James Jordan Discusses “Maglev for America” at LIMBA

On March 19, James Jordan, President, Interstate Maglev Project, will be the guest speaker at LIMBA’s (Long Island Metro Business Action) virtual meeting. The topic will be “Maglev for America.”

The issue of Maglev technology is close to Ernie Fazio, Chairman, LIMBA, who has tirelessly campaigned to bring Maglev to Long Island. He has proposed the concept of a Maglev train that would run between Greenport and Ronkonkoma at speeds of 160 miles per hour. The train would run every 40 minutes, making only four stops.

“The Biden administration has plans to improve our rail system and I am convinced they will,” Mr. Fazio said. “But because we are a very big country, we need to do better than European rail systems, and we can. Maglev is a system that will be less expensive to build, less expensive to power and faster than anything they have built in Europe. This is exciting technology that the Japanese Rail company copied from our scientists and incorporated into their Maglev version. It is a brave new world of ground transportation.”

Mr. Jordan served as a legislative aide to then-U.S. Senator John C. Stennis. During his tenure, he was introduced to superconducting Maglev Technology. He also served in the U.S. Navy as the director of the Energy R&D office for the Chief of Naval Operations. Mr. Jordan is the co-author of The Fight for Maglev: Making America the World Leader in 21st Century Transport and Maglev America: How Maglev Will Transform the World Economy.

He is a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned a Master’s in Business Administration at Harvard University.

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

For more information, 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.

 

St. Joseph’s College President Dr. Donald Boomgaarden Discusses “The Challenges Faced By Higher Education During Uncertain Times” at LIMBA

On March 5, St. Joseph’s College President Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D., will be the guest speaker at LIMBA’s (Long Island Metro Business Action) virtual meeting. The topic will be “The Challenges Faced By Higher Education During Uncertain Times.”

Under Dr. Boomgaarden’s leadership and in response to the COVID pandemic, St. Joseph’s College (SJC) took a number of proactive steps to acknowledge the very real challenges facing college students. Last spring, tuition rates were frozen for the 2020-2021 academic year and the amount of emergency financial aid disbursed was increased. In addition, the College created an emergency fund for students in immediate financial distress. For prospective students currently in high school, SAT scores were made optional when applying for spring 2021 admission. While continuing to adhere to all guidelines and best practices, SJC spent more than $2 million to outfit the campuses with the necessary equipment for the continued health and safety of its community, and has been offering a multifaceted approach to classes since Fall 2020 that gives students four options for learning and course instruction: remote, hybrid, on-ground and online.

“At St. Joseph’s, we focus on developing the whole person, instilling a love of learning, a spark of curiosity and a firm, moral foundation that prepares our students not only for their future careers, but also for lives of deep meaning and service,” said Dr. Boomgaarden. “Even in today’s uncertain climate, we are confident in our services and commitment to helping our students find gainful employment upon graduating from St. Joseph’s.”

Dr. Boomgaarden currently serves on the steering committee of the Long Island Regional Advisory Council on Higher Education (LIRACHE), in which he is also chair to the Superintendents and College President’s Partnership, and as chair of the Lower Hudson Valley Consortium of Catholic Colleges and Universities. He was recently appointed Board Chair of the Association of Colleges of Sisters of St. Joseph and has been named one of the most influential Brooklynites by “Brooklyn Power 100” for two consecutive years.

He previously served as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Scranton. Before that, he was the Dean of the College of Music and Fine Arts and David P. Swanzy Distinguished Professor of Music at Loyola University New Orleans. A historian of opera, music aesthetics and harmonic theory, he is the author of “Musical Thought in Eighteenth-Century Britain and Germany,” and published articles and reviews in scholarly journals, including the Journal of Musicological Research and Journal of Music Theory.

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

For more information, 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.

Ryan Madden of the Long Island Progressive Coalition Discusses “Reimagining LIPA and The Municipalization of Power” at LIMBA

On February 19, Ryan Madden, Sustainability Organizer, Long Island Progressive Coalition (LIPC), will be the guest speaker at LIMBA’s (Long Island Metro Business Action) virtual meeting. The topic will be “Reimagining LIPA & the Municipalization of Power.”

A graduate of Binghamton University, Mr. Madden earned a B.A. in Political Science and Environmental Studies. Prior to his work in sustainability, he focused on electoral politics, campaigning for national and local candidates in his hometown of White Plains and in Binghamton. During his last year in college, Mr. Madden worked for the Energy Conservation Corps of Cornell Cooperative Extension promoting NYSERDA’s Green Jobs Green New York energy efficiency program.

Mr. Madden joined LIPC in September 2015 as a Community Organizer for PowerUp Communities. As the Sustainability Organizer, he leads LIPC’s efforts for energy democracy and climate justice locally and statewide.

For over 42 years, LIPC has worked at the state, local, and national levels to advocate for some of the largest problems our society is currently facing. They pride themselves on taking initiative when it comes to fighting for some of society’s largest issues, such as community wealth, racial injustice and climate change. However, they recognize that creating widespread change is challenging. Therefore, LIPC’s mission is to educate their clients and the general public on ways to take a stance to effectively bring about change.

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.

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