NEWS YOU CAN USE
Coastal Flood Advisory
The combination of heavy rain, wind and high tides has caused the National Weather Service to issue a coastal flooding advisory for areas along the shore.
Between one to two inches of rain is expected tonight and areas along both the north and south shore of Queens and Long Island should reach their minor coastal flooding benchmarks.
The National Weather Service has said flooding should be minor.
102nd Precinct Community Council meeting
The 102nd Precinct Community Council will hold their next meeting on Tuesday March 15, 2011 at 8:00 P.M. at the Moose Hall located at 87-34 118th Street Richmond Hill, NY (south of Jamaica Avenue). All are welcome.
Lane re-opened on Cross Island ParkwayThe second Bronx-bound access lane from the Cross Island Parkway to the Throgs Neck Bridge has been re-opened, the MTA Bridges and Tunnels announced recently.
The lane, which has been closed since a 2009 construction fire, should help relieve the severe congestion on the highway.
Deadline approaches for home assessment challenges
The last day for property owners to challenge the assessed value of their Tax Class 1 properties – residential land of one to three family homes – is set for March 15.
The assessments cannot be more than six percent of their market value and cannot increase by more than six percent a year and 20 percent over five years. Property owners also have until the March 15 to contact the Department of Finance about any incorrect property information.
Leela Fiorino, director of Business and Community Outreach for the Department of Finance, addressed Assemblymember William Scarborough’s A.D. Task Force Meeting on February 26. She spoke about the responsibility of the department’s Property Division to accurately value the city’s one million residential and commercial properties. Assessments are conducted annually and a tentative final property tax assessment roll is complied each year.
The 29th A.D. Task Force Meeting takes place the last Saturday of every month from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Robert Johnson Family Life Center, located on Linden Boulevard. The next one is scheduled for Saturday, March 26 – the last meeting before the tax man’s annual visit in April.
Homeowners wishing to file a challenge to an assessed value of their home before the March 15 deadline can get an Exemption and Abatement Application for Owners at Scarborough’s district office, located at 129-31A Merrick Boulevard. Forms require the block and lot number of the property. Call 718-723-5412 for more information.
The Department of Finance is responsible for the collection of annual tax revenue, fines and fees, administering tax audits and enforcing actions to promote compliance. More than one million parking tickets are passed out each year and records are also maintained for more than one million properties.
Start of Maple Syrup Season
Get out the pancake mix – it’s maple syrup season.
From late winter until early spring is prime time for collecting sap for sugar maple trees that will be turned into delicious syrup.
To celebrate the season the 16th Annual Maple Weekend on March 19-20 and March 26-27. This celebration will take place at over 100 sugarhouses throughout New York, where visitors can see the syrup process first hand and take part in free tours.
New York maple syrup accounts for nearly 20 percent of the nation’s maple production, ranking New York third behind Vermont and Maine, respectively
The tours will take place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Some sugarhouses are also offering pancake breakfasts, gift shops and horse-drawn sleigh rides.
For more information and for a list of participating sugar houses, visit www.mapleweekend.com.
Win Ray-Ban sunglasses
The Food & Shops at LaGuardia Airport are giving their Twitter followers a chance to win Ray-Ban sunglasses.
Two winners will be announced each Friday in March starting on the eleventh. To win participants must follow @shoplaguardia and tweet hash tag #springshades for a chance to take home the sunglasses. Two tweeting followers will be chosen at random.
The contest will run until March 25.
Get 10 free trees for spring
With spring about to bloom, the Arbor Day Foundation is offering ten free trees for you to plant.
The dogwoods will be sent to you between March 1 and 31, the optimal time for planting these trees, with instructions on how to plant the them enclosed. These white-flowering trees that will grow to between 6-12 inches are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced for free.
It is just $10 to become a member of the foundation and receive trees that “have showy spring flowers, scarlet autumn foliage, and red berries which attract songbirds all winter,” according to John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation
This is part of the non-profit foundation’s Trees for America campaign.
To become a member and receive your ten trees join online at www.arborday.org/March or send a $10 contribution to TEN FREE DOGWOOD TREES, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, by March 31, 2011
Queens mother calls for blood donors
A single mother from Queens and the New York Blood Center are calling for more African-Americans to become blood donors.
Davina Daniels, 37, of Springfield Gardens suffers from sickle cell disease and has had difficulty finding donors who match her blood type for a transfusion.
“We need more African Americans to become blood donors, and give blood regularly,” said Melinda Caltabiano, director of New York Blood Center’s PreciseMatch Program citing the fact that there is only one matching active donor for Daniels, an African-American.
For people with sickle cell disease, repeated blood tranfusions are vital to replace their “sickled” blood cells with healthy red blood cells. As more transfusions take place, patients build up antibodies in their blood, thus requiring more precisely matched red-blood transfusions. These matches often come from people from the same ethnic and racial backgrounds.
For more information about giving blood and where to donate, call New York Blood Center at 1-800-933-BLOOD (2566) or visit www.nybloodcenter.org.
Nearly $1 million in rebates still available
Rebates up to $555 are available for New Yorkers who replace their old appliances with ENERGY STAR appliances.
These rebates will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis, with rebates starting at $50.
Once a qualifying purchase has been made, you can reserve a rebate online or over the phone. You must then submit a signed copy of the application and the required receipts within 14 days in order to complete the application process.
For consumer guidelines on this program, call 877-NY-SMART or go to www.NYApplianceSwapOut.com.