Schumer and Murray Kick-Off Point Lookout Beach Season

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Hempstead Town Beaches are Back! Schumer and Murray Kick-Off Beach Season, Invite Beachgoers to Visit Restored Shoreline

From the Town of Hempstead:

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray proudly toured Point Lookout beaches that have been restored from the ravages of Hurricane Sandy. The second summer since the Superstorm witnessed Schumer and Murray welcoming neighbors back to the ocean for the start of the beach season. Partnering on shorefront restoration, the Senator successfully recruited the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the Jones Inlet and place the sand siphoned from the clogged waterway onto the local beachfront. Murray oversaw a town beach restoration program that included distributing Army Corps sand that was placed on the Point Lookout shorefront to other sand-starved locations, the rebuilding of sand dunes and the planting of beach grass to preserve fragile dunes that protect area homes and businesses. The town also performed extensive sand dune restoration and beach replenishment in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

“Senator Schumer has been one of the best friends that beachgoers and those who live by the water could have,” stated Murray. “The Senator’s strong and persuasive voice ensured that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredged the sand-clogged Jones Inlet and deposited desperately needed sand onto the storm-wracked Point Lookout coast. Thank you Senator Schumer.”

During this past winter, Schumer succeeded in having the Army Corps remove 680,000 cubic yards of sand from the Jones Inlet, simultaneously pumping that sand onto Point Lookout beaches. There were two primary benefits of the project. First, the sand-clogged inlet is now clear, removing a serious hazard to navigation for boaters. Second, the sand that was removed from the navigational channel was deposited on Point Lookout beaches, adding coastline for beachgoers and increasing the protective sand barrier between local homes and the Atlantic Ocean.

“I could not ask for a better partner in the critical and ongoing restoration of the beaches in the Town of Hempstead than Supervisor Kate Murray,” said U.S. Senator Schumer. “Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on Jones Inlet, Point Lookout, Lido and East Atlantic Beach, and after working with the Army Corps to dredge, replenish the sand and restore dunes at these beaches, it’s great to welcome local beachgoers and tourists back this season.”

While the Senator delivered the valuable $10 million Army Corps project to the barrier island in Hempstead Town, Supervisor Murray directed the township’s Conservation and Waterways Department to “dovetail” its operations with the federal project. In direct coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project that took place between February and March of 2014, town crews moved 50,000 cubic yards of sand west from the point where it was deposited by the Army Corps dredging operation, restoring eroded beaches and dunes. Dune restoration and beach replenishment was concentrated along Civic Beach, Middle Beach and Town Park Point Lookout, as well as other locations to the west of Point Lookout. Sand was replaced at the undermined lifeguard offices at Point Lookout, cabana areas at the same beach and along the protective dune structure.

Complementing the placement of sand and the restoration of sand dunes, Hempstead Town procured 250,000 beach grass plants (ammophila breviligulata) which were planted on dunes in Civic Beach, Lido ANCHOR Beach and East Atlantic Beach. The beach grass has a dense root structure which stabilizes sand dunes and literally prevents the sand from blowing away. The plants also fortify the dunes to protect them from washing away during storms. Town officials are poised to continue planting beach grass during upcoming fall planting season with the assistance of local community groups.

“It is a pleasure to partner with Senator Schumer to restore our coastline for beachgoers,” stated Murray. “What’s more, collaborating to restore sand dunes along the coast will make sure homeowners and businesses have a greater degree of protection from tidal storm surges.”

Schumer and Murray observed that the beachfront distance from dune to waterline has doubled in many areas as a result of their joint work along the barrier island. Additionally, the officials reaffirmed their mutual commitment to the Long Beach Island Project, an almost $180 million initiative, that is anticipated to commence in March of 2015. The effort includes restoration of existing stone groins (jetties), construction of new groins, replenishment of sand along coastal beaches and other engineered work to protect coastal communities during major storms.

“I’m thrilled to be part of this banner day for The Town of Hempstead,” said U.S. Senator Schumer.

“We’re here today to tell everyone that the beaches are back and better than ever,” concluded Murray. “Grab the sunscreen, put on your bathing suit and visit one of Hempstead Town’s beautiful beaches now.”

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Support the Point Lookout Park Project

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Join the Point Lookout Park Project at the beach, Saturday 6/28/14 from 11-2

They will be talking about the project, signing up for their brick sponsorship campaign and accepting donations.

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The corporate sponsorship deadline for their 5K event is next Friday July 4, 2014.

Info about the project and their fundraising goals can be found at:
http://www.pointlookoutparkproject.com

See you there!

ToH “Rails” Against “Ill-conceived” Strike Plan

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From Town of Hempstead:

Murray, Town Board Members Call MTA’s Strategy to Cram Commuters From 32 LIRR Stations Into Three “Unworkable”

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and members of the Hempstead Town Board held a press briefing at the Bellmore Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) station, lambasting a busing plan that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) intends to implement in the event of a strike by LIRR unions. The plan calls for “herding” commuters from over 30 LIRR stations along the Babylon branch (includes Far Rockaway, Long Beach and West Hempstead branches, which connect to Babylon branch) into 3 overcrowded stations in Bellmore, Seaford and Freeport. Commuters would be bused to subway locations in Queens from those stations. The town officials branded the plan “unworkable, ill-conceived and poorly planned.” Joining the Supervisor at a press briefing on the issue were Senior Councilman Anthony Santino, Councilwoman Angie Cullin, Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Gary Hudes, Councilman James Darcy and Councilman Ed Ambrosino, along with Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad and Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin.

“Herding commuters from over 30 local south shore train stations into 3 stations that are already filled to capacity for busing into the city is nonsensical,” stated Murray. “The MTA has to do better and come up with a real plan to transport commuters from Long Island to the city in an orderly manner if an LIRR strike occurs. What’s more, dumping the entire burden of all of the commuters along the Babylon line onto one town is not fair. After all, three to four towns are served by the branch.”

Murray and other town officials also blanched at the MTA’s message to commuters, as reported in Newsday, calling on residents to “stay home” in the event of a strike.

“Try telling a cancer patient with an appointment for life-saving surgery in the city to stay home,” said Murray. “It’s just not reasonable,” added Santino, “And, it demonstrates a complete lack of concern for commuters.”

Murray expressed dismay at the MTA’s plan to utilize only three LIRR stations as “busing depots”, Bellmore, Seaford and Freeport, for almost 38,000 riders who use the Babylon branch and 3 connecting branches (Far Rockaway, West Hempstead, Long Beach) in the town on a daily basis. The Bellmore, Seaford and Freeport train stations have a grand total of approximately 3,775 parking spots. The officials indicated that attempting to cram the 38,000 commuters from the Babylon line, along with tens of thousands of riders from other train lines, would wreak havoc in downtown Freeport, Bellmore and Seaford. The town representatives said that local residential streets would be overrun, downtown businesses would be decimated with commuters snapping-up shopper parking spaces and traffic in these idyllic neighborhoods would grind to a halt. The MTA does also anticipate utilizing parking at Nassau Community College and the Hicksville LIRR station for shuttle bus service to accommodate Nassau commuters.

“This is not an alternative transportation plan for commuters impacted by an LIRR strike,” said Hudes. “This is a recipe for disaster,” added Cullin.

On May 12, 2014, the MTA disseminated a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking bus companies/operators to present their responses to the request, detailing plans to furnish bus transportation for commuters between Nassau/Suffolk Counties and Queens locations. The request, issued in apparent anticipation of a LIRR strike, calls for the use of a total of 250 (or more) buses. The buses would furnish alternative transportation in the absence of an operating LIRR train system to over 261,000 daily commuters on Long Island. Town officials expressed reservations over the MTA’s readiness to deal with the prospective strike, pointing out that the daily ridership dwarfs the number of buses planned to move commuters between Long Island and Queens. In fact, the daily ridership equals over 1,000 commuters per bus based upon the MTA’s own numbers (261,000 riders/250 buses).

“The numbers just don’t add up,” stated Darcy. “The MTA is ‘railroading’ commuters into a plan that makes absolutely no sense,” added Goosby. “School’s out and buses should be readily available in numbers greater than 250 vehicles,” stated Ambrosino.In addition to the three Hempstead Town train stations that will serve as bus depots in the event of a strike, the LIRR also plans to set up depots at the Hicksville LIRR station and at Nassau Community College.

Town officials wondered why there was no temporary bus depots planned for Babylon Town and Oyster Bay along the LIRR Babylon branch. The officials pointed out that a half of a dozen stations exist between Babylon Town and Hempstead Town (Babylon, Copiague, Amityville, Lindenhurst, Massapequa, and Massapequa Park).

“It makes little sense to ignore residents of other towns,” observed Murray. “What’s more, cramming all of the commuters from three towns into a few stations in Hempstead Town defies logic,” added Hudes.

In a letter to the MTA, Murray and her colleagues on the Town Board have asked the Authority to go back to the drawing board and craft a workable solution for commuters. The officials suggested establishing the temporary bus depots at each respective train station from which commuters depart each morning. In addition, the Town Board members suggested that bus depots specifically be set up at LIRR Babylon line branches in the other towns served by the line as well as Hempstead Town. The officials stated that the entire traffic and parking congestion burden should not be placed exclusively upon one township.

“Unfortunately, the MTA’s solution to a prospective strike scenario is to cram 10 pounds of ridership into the proverbial 5 pound bag,” said Murray. “It’s little wonder that many commuters have an unfavorable opinion of the MTA. It’s time for MTA management to develop an intelligent and workable transportation plan for commuters who would be affected in the event of a strike.”

Leashed Common Denominator

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A reader asks:
“Just wondering if you have any idea who i should call about a very aggressive dog that has charged me 3x over the past month?

It has tags but freely roams the street. Just worried it is going to hurt a child or an elderly person.. ”

Thoughts???

Event: Park Project Fundraiser @ Ted ‘s

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Point Lookout Park Project will hold a fundraiser to help rebuild the Point Lookout children’s playground.

Join in this Saturday, 6/14/14 from 4-7pm at Ted’s Fishing Station

A worthy cause, a worthy investment in our community!

The Wind 100 in Long Beach

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Next Saturday, June 14, 2014 the Sierra Club are holding a unique Event in Long Beach to draw attention to the need for offshore wind power for Long Island. The proposed wind farms should move forward, rather than locking Long Island into new gas fired power plants, their pollution and their volatile prices for the next 40 years.

My personal friend, Matt Kearns, will run from Montauk to Long Beach: 100 + miles that day (thus “The Wind 100”), to bring attention to the growing need for and easy availability of offshore wind power here for Long Island.

Matt told me he is running from Montauk, “the End, to a new beginning” in the clean energy offshore wind power represents.

WHO: Wind Energy Supporters, Special VIPs, and you!
WHAT: Wind 100 Rally for Wind
WHEN: Saturday, June 14, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
WHERE: Long Beach Boardwalk at the Allegria Hotel, 80 West Broadway, Long Beach, NY 11561

Myself and hundreds of other supporters have signed up to attend and you can register your support and sign up to attend here:

Sierra Club Wind 100 webpage.

This will be a memorable Long Beach event!
Spread the word.