2024 Smart Growth Awards

Smart Growth Awards Logo

For over 20 years Vision Long Island has been honoring individuals, organizations, and projects that advance the growth of our downtowns and infrastructure. Specific focus areas include transit oriented development, affordable housing, environmental sustainability, traffic calming, transportation enhancements, clean energy and community based planning.

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Huntington Station BID Debuts New Website, Social Media

Photo of Huntington Station BID Boardmembers

Photo of Huntington Station BID Board Members provided by the Huntington Station BID

A Business Improvement District (BID) is “a geographical area where local stakeholders oversee and fund the maintenance, improvement and promotion of their commercial district.”

There are many BIDS on Long Island that do a great deal in service to our communities. The Huntington Station BID, to me at least, seems to do a little more. There is a sincerity to this BID that I find truly remarkable. I’m pretty sure that had a lot to do with those who established it, including Dee Thompson, who served as its Vice President from its founding until her passing last year. 

I’m even more certain that spirit will endure because of the people who comprise its Board and who show up regularly for their meetings. They care about the community, and they care about each other. Some are, themselves, remarkable stories that I hope to get to tell.

Mission & Vision

From the website:

The Mission of The Huntington Station Business Improvement District Association Inc., (HS BID), is to physically improve our
District by keeping it clean, promoting beautification and safety, and the support of our member businesses.

The Huntington Station BID has been responsible for many improvements within its boundaries such as security cameras, Christmas lights, summer hanging flower baskets, street trash receptacles, support of community activities such as the HS Unity Parade and Festival, beautification and maintenance of the streets and of the parking garage on Broadway. We support store front façade improvements and are a strong lobbying force and a recipient of grants for general improvements to the Huntington Station Community.

Our goal is to enhance the vitality and appeal of the Businesses within Huntington Station. Founded with a commitment to continuous improvement, we are dedicated to fostering a thriving and inviting community environment.

You can read more here.

Follow Them!

They’ve worked really hard to establish communications systems so they can share their work and do even more to serve.

Here is their new website.

Here is their new Facebook Page.

Here is their new Instagram.

Follow them to learn more about their work, and the local businesses and broader community that they exist to serve.

Were You There When it all Began?

Were you involved in the founding of this BID? Do you remember the Huntington Station of way-back when? If so, HS BID Board Secretary Kelly Smith would like to speak with you! Please contact her to share your recollections as she endeavors to piece together the history of this organization and the community it serves. Thanks!

Shop Local! Beckman’s Florist Endures!

Photo of Beckman's Florist by Katheryn Laible

Photo of Beckman’s Florist by Katheryn Laible

We were heartbroken to hear that shortly after writing this review, the folks of Beckman’s Florist had come to the very difficult decision that they had to close their doors:

Sometimes, you learn, there have been treasures under your nose all along. This one’s perfect for Valentine’s Day! 

We recently discovered the family-owned Beckman’s Florist, which has proudly served Long Island from it’s Larkfield Rd, East Northport location for almost 75 years. It was a lovely experience. 

The service was impeccable, the corsage incredible. It was also a delight to see all the gorgeous arrangements being prepared to grace other special occasions, offer love and care, and make any old day a bit brighter.

They have lovely gifts, too! This butterfly garden ornament is one of my favorite things. <3

It was heartbreaking, especially as we knew how much they loved their business. Then, we saw this on Facebook:

Seasonal ‘Scapes has some very exciting news! We are extremely happy and humbled to announce that we have acquired Beckman’s Florist. After 74 amazing years in our community, providing high-quality floral service, they came to the difficult decision to retire and sell their building. After our family spoke with their family, we have both decided to join our talents. Beckman’s will now be joining us at our location, 638 Larkfield Road, East Northport.
In the upcoming weeks, you will see new signage and information about our acquisition. Beckman’s Florist will now be a division of Seasonal ‘Scapes Garden Center.
Blending the fabrics of these two great families and businesses will allow Seasonal ‘Scapes to continue to serve our community with the top-notch service and quality that we strive to achieve.
Although Lisa will be “retiring”, she will be joining us as a per-diem floral designer and her daughter, Melissa, will also be sharing her talents and expertise with us as well. Please stop by and see their familiar faces and congratulate them on working with us to find a way to keep the Beckman’s name and tradition alive
within our great town!
We are beyond grateful and excited. These two businesses being woven together is just what our community needs. We are stronger together and when good people work together, great things can happen!

It sounds like wonderful news that underlines the strength and beauty of our communities. Now, they can take good care of themselves and each other, while still carrying on the legacy and talent they’ve been so proud to offer for so many years. We wish all involved the very best, and hope you consider them next time you need something special.

Northport Story Slam: Coincidences

Flyer for the Northport Story Slam. Info in text.

Come to the Next Northport Story Slam: Coincidences!

Live Storytelling to Light Up Hearts and Minds! Inspired by The Moth Radio Hour, Elizabeth Alexander has been organizing storytelling events in Northport Village and the surrounding area. In crafting these “Northport Story Slams,” she is creating opportunities for the community to connect and to be inspired. Illustrating in yet another way the talent and passion of our community, these have been FANTASTIC!
Moth-style storytelling is a genre of personal narrative stories about an experience that took place in the storyteller’s life. The stories are crafted, planned, and told (not read) before a live audience. It’s a wonderful art form that allows folks to connect at a very human level.
These are super fun and a wonderful way to get to know our neighbors, and build community. We were thrilled to get to host one at The Firefly and are excited for this next one!
You can follow them on Facebook, and check out their new website: www.northportvillagestorytelling.com. They were also recently featured in Northport Neighbors Magazine!

Upcoming Northport Story Slam Details

Date: Sunday, May 19 at 6pm
Theme: “Coincidences”
Where: Outdoor stage on Union Place, Northport (parking lot behind 172 Main St. 
Tickets: The $25 fee covers basic expenses. All profits will benefit Terry’s Gifts, a local charity. To purchase a ticket venmo @Liz-Alexander-106 that all or text Liz @ 631-375-4414 or email Northportvillagestorytelling@gmail.com. Please also check out the basic guidelines below.
There will be a large tent offering shelter in case of rain. Light refreshments will be served.
Basic Guidelines for Storytelling: 1. Tell story in 5-10 minutes 2. Story to be told, not read 3. Base story on theme: coincidences 4. Craft your story 5. Story must be about a personal experience. 6. No stand-up comedy acts or rants

Basic Guidelines for Storytelling

We are sure they are already dreaming of the next event, and always looking for story tellers. They might even offer another class to help folks learn this fine art. Here are their basic guidelines, so you can start thinking about that!

1. Tell story in 5-10 minutes

2. Your story is to be told, not read

3. Base your story on the theme: coincidences

4. Craft your story

5. Story must be about a personal experience.

6. No stand-up comedy acts or rants

Heroes Take the Field: USA Patriot Amputee Softball Team Exhibition Game, Opportunities for Local Youth

Team members of the USA Patriots Amputee Softball team together with Firefly Steve Caputo, who has photographed them for over a decade

The USA Patriots Amputee Softball Team is coming home to Long Island for another round of exhibition games. This year, they are also offering a pre-game youth clinic and barbecue!

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Listen! “Ungoverned” with Joan Cergol

"Ungoverned" podcast logo provided by Joan Cergol

Logo provided by Joan Cergol

I love what Joan Cergol is doing! Check out her new podcast, UnGoverned. You can find it on platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts. I like to just head over to her website, www.joancergol.com.

Grateful to Have Met Her

I first met Joan in 2002, when she left the private sector to work for The Town of Huntington. I was with the nonprofit Vision Huntington, which, at the time was rapidly becoming Vision Long Island.

Our organization had engaged with the Town in a novel concept, “The Smart Growth Steering Committee,” which brought various department heads around a table monthly, together with diverse local stakeholders ranging from the local chamber and BID, to environmental leaders, to housing folks, to youth and community development interests, historical societies, and more.

Some got frustrated that this group didn’t “DO” many things, but I thought what was happening was even more important. People were regularly talking to each other across party, department, and interest, building understanding and relationships…and people WERE doing things with each other and the ideas they shared, just not generally as a group…and we did do some turnkey things as a group…

Anyway, what I soon learned was that anytime anything really good and sensible got done with the Town, Joan Cergol seemed to be there. I was never sure what her party was, but her boss seemed to be then-Republican Supervisor Frank Petrone, who had been campaigning with then-Councilman Steve Israel on the slogan of “Worst to First,” touting their bond rating achievements and the power of bipartisan collaboration.

People Over Party

I recently found out that Joan was actually something of a kindred spirit, having been unaffiliated with any political party (as I have been for life) until she became a Democrat in 2008. Whether or what party Joan was a part of didn’t really matter to me. What I appreciated was the way she seemed to listen, to connect with folks, and to offer the best she could in terms of good solutions.

Eventually, as a Democrat, Joan was elected to the Huntington Town Council where she served for six years. In that, she never lost her independent-minded spirit, nor her thoughtful, inclusive approach to solving government and community problems.

She just liked working in service to the people of the Town.

A New Way to Serve

In 2023, Joan decided to stop running and to serve in a very different way. She is now applying her smart charisma to craft a sweet, thoughtful podcast that she describes as “snackable stories from a recovering politician.” Hopefully, she says, it won’t be too much about politics!

She is missed by many in the Town. It’s nice to see she’s found this new way to engage. It’s an enriching and entertaining listen that I look forward to watching develop. Check it out!

You can also read a recent article about Joan and her podast in this Huntington Now article by Layne Groom.

Photo of Joan Cergol at her podcast desk
Photo of Joan Cergol provided by Joan Cergol