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Long Island Suffers When Nassau and Suffolk Can’t Get Their Act Together

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first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Up until last week’s piece on the Nassau Coliseum, the focus of my work for the Long Island Press has been mostly a critical look at recent planning efforts undertaken by Suffolk County. Notable examples include my analysis of the flawed Connect Long Island plan, criticisms concerning the Suffolk County’s lackluster water protection planning efforts, and my take on the recent “regional planning alliance” that was formed to shepherd through the Ronkonkoma Hub.The focus on Suffolk is intentional – simply put, Suffolk County is where the urban planning action (if it can be called that) is on Long Island. With roughly 46,000 acres of vacant open space left, multiple opportunities for redevelopment, and room for expansion, Suffolk is where any meaningful development policies can still be enacted on Long Island. Suffolk County’s policymakers routinely discuss land use issues. In Nassau, they toss tax breaks at political insiders while praying for the best. Even worse is that planning is needed just as much in Nassau as it is in Suffolk. Nassau is a stagnant county, and even worse off in regards to regional planning. Simply put, there is no body of work to build future strategies upon.Suffolk has a rich legacy of planning efforts that over the course of recent administrations has become watered-down and special-interest driven, which is a disservice to the process itself. Good policies have been enacted, continued and expanded, but others leave room for improvement. And that is why I write about these important issues in the first place.Late last week, Suffolk released the latest iteration of its “Comprehensive Master Plan.” Entitled Framework for the Future, this document lays out the county’s growth strategies through 2035. Interestingly enough, Suffolk already produced such a plan in 2011, and the Long Island Regional Planning Council studied Sustainable Strategies for Long Island 2035 in 2010. Both documents are detailed and lengthy (the LIRPC plan is around 230 pages), making the 76-page document just released by Suffolk seem quaint by comparison.Compared to the other efforts, the new report reads like a series of disjointed press releases from the Suffolk County Executive’s office. Essentially it is the same series of solutions that are pushed routinely. A true inventory that quantifies regional needs is missing. Where is a detailed housing analysis, data-backed commercial and industrial analysis, transportation assessment or the like? In the past, the county’s housing studies alone were 120 pages. In total, the latest plan, minus the introductions and the platitudes, has a mere 48 pages of written analysis. Quality vs. quantity is not the argument here because much of what is presented is clearly recycled content from the administration’s previous press releases, statements and Suffolk County reports. The previous studies were lengthy and dense – each page filled with facts, figures and recommendations.By itself, the latest version is not a bad document. The data included in it covers several years as it should. Arguably, the 2011 plan did all of the groundwork already, but what is troubling is that the current document released by the Steve Bellone administration makes no reference to any of the previous 2035 plans, even in passing. There has to be a better way to bring cohesion to these efforts.And they must go beyond photo ops and luncheon appearances featuring smiling county executives. At least, Suffolk provides a fertile ground for policy debate, creation and incubation. Not so west of Route 110. Recently, Nassau’s comptroller of all people had to take the reins to bring about a much needed discussion of the county’s future, hosting a series of public hearings and even going so far as to write a strategic plan in regards to retaining LI’s millennial generation. Time is running out for Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Suffolk County Executive Bellone to make a coordinated meaningful difference in meeting the Island’s ever-pressing needs.Our woes don’t respect the county line, and we have to stop planning at the regional level like they do.Rich Murdocco writes about Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s veteran master planner. Murdocco is a regular contributor to the Long Island Press. More of his views can be found on www.TheFoggiestIdea.org or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea.last_img read more

British officials confirm H5N1 in turkey outbreak

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first_imgNov 13, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The avian influenza virus found this week in turkeys at a farm in Suffolk, England, is the lethal H5N1 variety, veterinary officials announced today.Laboratory experts are still running tests on the samples to gain clues about the strain’s origin, according to a press release today from the United Kingdom Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The farm is located near Diss, about 107 miles northeast of London.Authorities have declared a 3-kilometer protection zone and a 10-kilometer surveillance zone around the farm, plus a much wider restriction zone. Farmers in the zone are required to isolate poultry from wild birds, and movements of birds out of the zone are banned. DEFRA also banned bird-related gatherings in England, including bird shows and pigeon racing.The BBC said 6,500 poultry at the farm would be culled. The farm produces mostly turkeys but also raises ducks and geese.”A full epidemiological investigation and tracings of any dangerous contacts are underway and all possible sources of the outbreak will be investigated,” the DEFRA statement said.Fred Landeg, DEFRA’s acting chief veterinary officer, told BBC News today that initial genetic sequence data suggest that the outbreak strain is closely related to H5N1 viruses found recently in the Czech Republic and Germany, “which does suggest a possible wild bird source.””However, at this stage we are looking with an open mind as to the origin, and all potential sources of the origin will be investigated,” Landeg said.Previous news reports said the turkeys were free-range, which could have allowed them to come into contact with wild birds. Landeg said there is a lake at the affected farm that attracts a number of wild fowl, the BBC reported.Wild birds were initially suspected as the cause of an H5N1 outbreak in February at the Bernard Matthews turkey farm in another part of Suffolk, about 70 miles from London, but officials said later that the source was probably contaminated turkey meat imported from Hungary.The H5N1 findings at the Matthews farm represented the first outbreak of the lethal virus in British poultry. However, authorities also identified the virus in a wild swan that washed up on a Scottish shore in 2006 and in an imported pet bird in 2005.Today’s confirmation of H5N1 represents yet another infectious disease setback for Britain’s farmers. A laboratory leak of the foot-and-mouth disease virus from a vaccine research and production facility sparked outbreaks at five cattle farms in August and September. Veterinarians have also recently reported outbreaks of bluetongue disease in English cattle herds.See also:Nov 12 CIDRAP News story “UK reports H5 flu outbreak in turkeys”last_img read more

The Latest: Australia rugby league tour of England canceled

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first_imgAll first-division matches in the Spanish league are expected to be played without fans until the end of the season.Government officials believe some fans will be allowed back by next season with restrictions.___The International Tennis Federation and four Grand Slam tournaments are pledging more than $300,000 in financial support for wheelchair athletes and national event hosts affected financially by the coronavirus pandemic.Wheelchair tennis players who earned under $100,000 in prize money last year and meet certain ranking requirements can apply for a grant under the program. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The first England-Australia rugby league series in 17 years has been canceled. The conference said each school can use its own discretion in deciding when athletes return to campus. The Big 12 had suspended all team activities, voluntary or required, because of the coronavirus pandemic through May 31. As of June 1, new rules go into effect. In-person required and voluntary team activities are still banned for all athletes from June 1-14.Football players can resume voluntary on-campus activity on June 15. Other fall sport athletes can begin voluntary on-campus activity on July 1. Basketball players can participate in on-campus voluntary activities, starting July 6, and all other sports can resume voluntary activities on campus on July 15.Virtual or online supervised workouts and skill instruction is still not permitted. All required virtual or online activities, such as film study, are limited to eight hours per week and only on-field coaches may conduct those sessions.___The Japanese MotoGP has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. There is still not date set for the return of soccer in Brazil.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 England’s Rugby Football League and the Australian Rugby League Commission made the joint announcement.England was to play Australia at Bolton on Oct 31, at Leeds on Nov. 7, and for the first time at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Nov. 14.The series was canceled because of the uncertainty over global travel, and the need to extend both countries’ domestic seasons, stalled by the pandemic.Both governing bodies are committed to planning a series in 2022, after the Rugby League World Cup in England in 2021.___ June 1, 2020 The Latest: Australia rugby league tour of England canceled The wheelchair tennis tour has been suspended since March and at least until the end of July because of the COVID-19 outbreak.More than 85 ITF-sanctioned wheelchair events have been postponed or canceled.___Italian soccer authorities are considering the possibility of allowing fans into stadiums starting next month.The Italian league is set to resume on June 20 with no spectators allowed. There are also strict rules limiting the number of people in the stadium to 300. That includes both teams, staff and journalists. The president of Spanish soccer club Las Palmas says fans may be allowed in to watch the team’s second-division match against Girona on June 13 in the Canary Islands.Miguel Ángel Ramírez has told the club’s official radio station the official announcement could be made next week.Spain has been gradually easing confinement restrictions across the country and the Canary Islands has been one of the most advanced regions controlling the coronavirus outbreak.Ramírez says Spanish health authorities will have the final say on whether fans will be allowed at the Gran Canaria Stadium.Details were not immediately announced but about a third of the 32,000-capacity venue could be open to fans. Italian media are reporting that the soccer federation could discuss the possibility of increasing that number and permitting a vastly reduced number of fans.Federation president Gabriele Gravina says “it’s something I really wish for with all my heart.”Gravina says “it’s unthinkable that in a stadium that can hold 60,000 there’s not space for a small percentage of fans with the necessary precautions.”___The Big 12 Conference announced its schools can begin bringing athletes back to campus, with the resumption of voluntary activities starting June 15 for football players. The race was scheduled for Oct. 18 at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit. Organizers say they hope to return to the same venue next year.Japan has a big presence in the sport and is the home of manufacturers Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki.Organizers say this is first time since 1986 that Japan will not host a race.MotoGP says it is trying to restart the season with races staying in Europe until mid-November. A race in Japan after that would be too late in the season.___ Brazilian soccer club Vasco da Gama says 16 of its players have tested positive for the coronavirus.The Rio de Janeiro club says the positive results came after tests were conducted on about 250 people.Three players have already recovered and the others remain separated from the group.The club says it will begin a series of medical evaluations on squad members.Atlético Mineiro and Cruzeiro said Sunday one player in each squad tested positive. Atlético said Ecuadorean midfielder Juan Cazares had the virus. Cruzeiro announced that forward Vinícius Popó was infected. Associated Press last_img read more