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Calendar of Events
Last Updated: June 19, 2018
The following article - and more - can be found in our print edition:
Coalition Against an UnSound Crossing
• Loriann Cody
A new group has formed to fight Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plans for a cross-sound tunnel from Long Island to Westchester. The Coalition Against an UnSound Crossing (CAUS) is a nonprofit (501c3), nonpartisan organization that aims to be more than just a NIMBY (not in my backyard) group. Their goal is to coalesce the many organizations, groups and individuals that are currently fighting Cuomo’s tunnel proposal under one umbrella coalition; united with one voice, educating the public on the negative impact a tunnel would have. They are holding their first press conference on Wednesday, June 27th, at 12:30 PM at Syosset-Woodbury Community Park at 7800 Jericho Turnpike, in Woodbury.
The Coalition board is comprised of civic leaders (from both Nassau and Suffolk Counties), business executives, an author and journalist, conservationists, a lawyer, a former Town of Oyster Bay Superintendent and members of the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee. Executive Director Peter Janow, a Major in the US Marine Corps (ret), is a pilot and International Affairs Officer, as well as a life-long Long Island resident and conservationist. He first introduced himself to the public at the Anti-Tunnel Meeting held Monday, June 4th at Jericho High School. The President is Heather Johnson, the Executive Director of Friends of the Bay; and Bill Bleyer, author and former journalist is Vice-President.
The Coalition was formed shortly after the feasibility study was released at the end of 2017, and the Governor indicated he wanted to move ahead with the $55 billion (est.) project by attaining at least six letters of interest from developers who wish to build the tunnel.
While many groups have noted that a tunnel from the end of the Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway in Syosset to Rye in Westchester is a bad idea (environmental concerns, cost concerns, quality of life issues, the rise in traffic congestion, urbanization of the island, timeline, etc.), the Coalition is unique in that they can raise funds to fight the proposal. While the board members are all volunteers, the funds raised allowed the group to hire public relations professionals to help get the word out – with social media campaigns, print and radio ads. The funds also allow for a lawyer, just in case legal action is warranted. The Coalition plans on conducting their own environmental impact study, and will hire environmental consultants and traffic experts if needed as well.
They are actively looking for volunteers and monetary donations. Their website (www.unsoundcrossing.org) is set up to accept donations. If you wish to get involved, fill out a contact form online, email your support to: email@example.com or call them at 516-508-9171. Attend the press conference on the 27th at the Syosset Woodbury Park. "When fighting a tunnel proposal that should be a non-starter complacency is not an option,” Janow noted.
Strong Support for Glen Cove Ferry
Schumer and Suozzi
At a press conference on June 18th, at the Glen Cove ferry terminal, a vigorous Senator Charles E. Schumer, committed his support for the Glen Cove ferry, and offered his assistance in deterring the $16.6 million bill due to the federal government on January 1 2019. In camaraderie Congressman Thomas R. Suozzi is working with Schumer to get the government to extend the deadline payment. Schumer was instrumental in getting the federal grants that funded the ferry terminal building, and the dredging in the Glen Cove Creek. The Federal Highway Administration stated a few weeks ago that the deadline would not be extended.
Glen Cove Mayor Tim Tenke said, “People call his office all the time, and ask when will the ferry be up and running?” Glen Cove Councilwoman Marsha Silverman and Councilman Michael Zangari were also at the press conference. Sen. Schumer said, “This ferry service would bring prosperity, would bring jobs, and will enhance the whole region. For bureaucrats to demand the money back at this time is wrong.” He has been an advocate of the ferry for years, when Ralph Suozzi was Mayor of Glen Cove, and they were working with the idea of the Glen Cove ferry transporting people to Yankee Stadium and Citi Field games.
At this time the city does not have a ferry operator that has signed up to do the job. Tenke said a subsidy of a million dollars over two years for the ferry was being worked out with RXR Realty; the builder of the Garvies Point condominium complex. Suozzi said, subsidies are a common factor in any transportation entity. Maybe some subsidies could be promoted and raised among the Yankee’s and Mets ball game’s owners. Also partnering with ride-sharing companies, and shuttle services could be another incentive and convenient for riders. The Garvies Point project will be under construction for the next year or two; parking and travelling the area could be troublesome. But, when finished the new residents of Garvies Point will most likely be a core group of riders on the ferry.
Sen. Schumer said, “If the administration doesn't listen to reason I will put in legislation, and push for relief for the taxpayers, and the City of Glen Cove.” Tom Suozzi said later, “I thank Senator Chuck Schumer for coming to Glen Cove today, and lending his support to help extend the bureaucratic deadline imposed by the government. My office has met with the City, and sent a letter to the Federal Highway Administration requesting an extension of this deadline. Reliable ferry service to and from Manhattan will be a big boost to the region.” City officials will be meeting again with the administration this summer. Much is riding on the success of this hoped for service. All Aboard!