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Long Island Index Blog

A vibrant discussion about the past, present, and future of our region.

Unconventional Wisdom from John Kominicki: Attention Jeff Bezos – The Times doesn’t know what it’s talking about!


Amazon is accepting proposals on where it should locate its second corporate headquarters, a mammoth $5 billion office center that, when finished, will be a third larger than the Pentagon and employ 50,000 people in “high-paying” jobs. That would make it Long Island’s largest employer overnight, topping even county government. And Stop & Shop. As

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Unconventional Wisdom from John Kominicki: The third track project proves that good things come to those who wait. For 70 years.


A state review board has approved the Long Island Rail Road’s long-considered third track project, a $2 billion plan that will speed service, enhance reliability and eliminate dangerous traffic crossings along a 10-mile stretch of rail between Hicksville and the Queens border. Four major lines link up with the main track there, meaning the fix

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Unconventional wisdom from John Kominicki: OK, not in your backyard. But how about your garage and basement?


Imagine a new kind of housing stock that could accommodate both young professionals and older empty nesters, that was easy to zone, quick and affordable to build and came without appreciable environmental impact. No height or density variances required, thank you, and forget the usual traffic snarls and grousing by the civics. This is living

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Unconventional Wisdom from John Kominicki: 60 years on, we’ve discovered that size, at least when it comes to housing, really matters


History has anointed Bill Levitt the king of suburbia, but the crown might have as easily gone to Walter Turnbull Shirley, a Brooklyn-born song promoter and wannabe impresario who turned to selling Long Island’s pastoral charm to the masses in the late 1930s. As Shirley told the story, he smooth-talked his way into a meeting

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Long Island Index Unveils New Interactive Map, Providing Consumers and Policymakers with Easy-to-Access Information on Long Island and its Communities


The Long Island Index, a project of the Rauch Foundation, today launched a new interactive map that enables Long Islanders to access easily an extraordinary array of data about Long Island and its communities. The map – available at – provides a wealth of information about the region, its characteristics, and key indicators –

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Unconventional Wisdom from John Kominicki: After years of rethinking Route 110, it appears to be time for the shovels


If you’ve tired of reading about projects that will break ground sometime after your last kid moves to North Carolina, here’s some good news. The towns of Babylon and Huntington are veritably skipping along on the Route 110 Plan, which, OK, isn’t actually called that and really isn’t a single comprehensive plan but rather a

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Unconventional Wisdom from John Kominicki: It’s All about Keeping Our Future on Track

Third Track Map from RPA

America’s first railroad was the Baltimore & Ohio, chartered in 1827 to compete with New York’s Erie Canal in the lucrative business of shipping goods westward. Baltimore was America’s third-largest city then – with designs on getting bigger – and the new railway was celebrated with parades and fireworks and a ceremonial groundbreaking at which

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Halpin: Long Island must go back to the future


Photo by Bob Giglione Originally Published in the Long Island Business News Mixed-use developments sprang up around train stations on Long Island more than 100 years ago. That’s where Long Island needs to go again. And two even older vehicles are perfectly suited to get us there: participatory government and the Long Island Rail Road.

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Long-Running Fight Over Downtown Development Finally Turns a Corner


  Vacancy rates for stores in Farmingdale are down to just 3 percent. There’s a new buzz of activity with family events and after-work concerts all signaling that this downtown is on the rise. It creates an infectious energy that underpins the growing appeal of Long Island’s latest downtown developments. For over a decade I’ve

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Long Islanders Should Embrace Walkable Downtown Developments Near LIRR Stations


The key to Long Island’s economic future depends on denser development around train stations. It will enable us to attract businesses and young workers, ease traffic congestion, and reduce pressure to develop the region’s remaining open spaces. Ironically, this kind of development is essential to preserving the suburban single-family lifestyle for which Long Island is renowned.

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Unconventional Wisdom from John Kominicki: There’s a Real Buzz about the Future of Long Island


There’s significant medical news to report, and I’m not just talking about whether you should still floss now that it’s been revealed that the practice actually does nothing to prevent gum disease. (What did we expect? It is, after all, waxed string.) No, I’m talking about incredible research – much of it being performed right

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