Tag Archives: Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder

LIPA instituting Sandy fixes


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Nearly nine months after Sandy, LIPA facilities are still coming back online.

During the storm, five of the energy company’s substations on the Rockaway Peninsula took on water damage, shutting down the area’s power and leaving residents in the dark until repairs were made.

“It’s still a work in progress,” said Nick Lizanich, LIPA’s vice president of operations.

He explained that at the peninsula’s substations, LIPA worked on immediate restoration, which required both temporary and permanent mitigation. He added that in some cases, it can take over a year to order and receive the larger pieces of equipment that were damaged.

Lizanich detailed those issues at a tour of the Rockaways’ substations on Wednesday, July 17. Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder and Councilmember Donovan Richards attended to see the repairs so far firsthand.

“LIPA is doing a good job ensuring the elected [officials] are in the loop. Communication was the biggest issue we had during Sandy,” Richards said. “To their credit, they’re taking steps forward.”

In Far Rockaway, LIPA’s substation was inundated by roughly three to four feet of water. Lizanich said workers could not get in for several days, but mobile equipment and mobile substations were brought in to temporarily distribute power. But he pointed out that while “there was power on the street [...] no customers [were] attached to it because their homes weren’t safe.”

“There’s a lot of room for improvement in that entire process,” Lizanich added.

Now LIPA is monitoring the fixes and working on turning temporary repairs into permanent ones.

“I think prior to Sandy, LIPA sold us a lot of smoke and mirrors. The storm made it clear there were holes in the system,” Goldfeder said. “But now to see real equipment, real plans and new notification systems is a great thing.”

However, despite visible changes, Goldfeder said “we have a long way to go.”

“I’m cautiously optimistic that we’re moving in the right direction,” Richards said.

 

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Cuomo passes bill to make rebuilding easier for Breezy Point residents


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP

Sandy left 135 homes incinerated and hundreds more damaged by flooding. Governor Andrew Cuomo passed a bill on Thursday, July 10 that will allow affected residents to waive the Board of Standard and Appeals (BSA) process and allow them to rebuild immediately.

“Before today, Breezy Point residents faced the prospect of waiting up to a year for approval to rebuild homes devastated during Sandy,” Cuomo said. “Signing this law [gives] these New Yorkers an easier way forward as they continue to restore their homes and neighborhoods.”

Breezy Point does not have street frontage. Instead, there are sandy pathways throughout the community. Due to this unique layout, many building and homeowners who hoped to reconstruct were previously required to file for a special permit through the BSA.

The BSA process can take as long as 18 months to complete, said Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, who drafted the legislation.

“Now it’s a simple building process,” he said. “They won’t have to worry about the lengthy, bureaucratic BSA process.”

Those looking to rebuild will submit a permit to the city Department of Buildings and “once the permit is approved by this single agency, building is permissible,” Goldfeder said.

“Now, rather than spend the summer swimming in a sea of red tape, we can start rebuilding the hundreds of homes tragically lost during Sandy,” said Arthur Lighthall, Breezy Point resident and president of the Breezy Point Co-Op. “If there is one thing that Breezy Point has shown time and time again, it is that we are a resilient community. We will rebuild and come back stronger than before.”

 

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Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder to launch mobile office tour


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder is once again taking his office on the road.

“I understand residents don’t always have the time to drop by my district offices, especially as they rebuild after Sandy, which is why I’m bringing my office to them,” Goldfeder said.

The Assemblymember and his office will launch their mobile office tour across his district in Breezy Point, next to the “Head Over Heels” festival, on Thursday, July 25. The mobile office will offer assistance and provide locals with the opportunity to share their personal concerns.

Goldfeder’s tour last summer brought in “hundreds of people,” he said, and he looks forward to another “great round of visits.”

Dates, times and locations of the mobile office are:

Date

Time

Neighborhood

Location

Thursday, July 25

4-7:30pm

Breezy Point

Breezy Point, next    to ‘Head over Heels’ festival, by the baseball field

Thursday, Aug. 8

10am-1pm

Far Rockaway

JASA-Brookdale Village Senior Center, 125th Beach 19th Street

Thursday, Aug. 15

3-6pm

Howard Beach

Waldbaums, 156-01 Cross Bay Blvd.

Thursday, Aug. 22

3-6pm

Lindenwood

Lindenwood Shopping Center, 82-35 153rd Ave.

Tuesday, Aug. 27

3-6pm

Hamilton Beach

Riley’s Yacht Club 99-62 Russell Street, NY 11414

Tuesday, Sept. 3

10am-2pm

Bayswater

Young Israel of Wavecrest and Bayswater, 27-16 Healy Ave.

Tuesday, Sept. 10

3-6pm

Broad Channel

Rock ‘n Roll Bagel, Corner of E.21st Rd. & Cross Bay Blvd.

 

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South Queens residents seek help at post-Sandy town hall


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Maggie Hayes

Carl Teresa drained his retirement savings to pay for Sandy home damages and is tired of getting the runaround from city and state agencies, he said.

Eight months after the storm, south Queens is still not whole, and Teresa said he is just one of many still struggling. Homeowners gathered at a town hall forum in Howard Beach, hosted by Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder and Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries, to ask pressing questions that still exist months later.

“You can’t get a straight answer from anybody,” Teresa said. “You talk to one person who has answer A, then another who gives you answer B. Nobody has the same answer.”

Teresa had his Rockaway Park home was inspected three times by FEMA agents before he received money for his damages. The first inspector, he said, left the state without relaying information. The second did not do an accurate inspection, he said, and the third was finally able to get Teresa a $31,900 FEMA assistance grant.

The basement apartment of his two-floor home was destroyed — inundated with over 30 inches of water — he said. The apartment is home to his mother-in-law, who has Alzheimer’s disease. She relocated to the first floor with Teresa and his wife until the repairs were complete.

Teresa estimated the damages cost him at least $70,000. He is on Social Security disability, and cannot return to work to replace the money lost.

“How do I support myself the rest of my life,” he asked.

Jeffries and Goldfeder advised people in predicaments similar to Teresa’s to register for the city’s Build-it-Back program, which is geared towards assisting homeowners, landlords and tenants whose properties were damaged by Sandy. It offers several pathways to relief, including reimbursement for out-of-pocket payments.

“People shouldn’t be forced to drain their bank accounts and decimate their savings in order to repair a home,” Jeffries said.

The two also discussed updates to FEMA’s flood and evacuation maps. Evacuation zones will be changing from letters to numbers, Zone 1 being the highest priority. Most of Howard Beach will be located in Zone 1, Jeffries said.

A rep from Neighborhood Revitalization NYC was also in attendance to speak about mold treatment. The program, which got cheers from the town hall audience, coordinates mold inspection and fixes free of charge. Members of the city’s Department of Financial Services as well as FEMA were also present to answer individualized questions.

Goldfeder, a notable advocate for Sandy victims since the storm, asked the Department of Environmental Protection to clean out catch basins in the hope to better preparing the area’s sewer system for any future storm.

“It has been a daily, daily struggle,” he said. “Almost every day is a new challenge.”

“Now, we need to make sure we are prepared for the future,” he added.

Those interested in the Build-it-Back program can visit www.nyc.gov/recovery for more information. To see the preliminary flood and evacuation maps, estimated to be released at the end of the summer, go to www.region2coastal.com. For those seeking flood insurance information and agents, visit www.floodsmart.gov.

 

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State Legislature restores cuts for disabled services


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

It was a reversal of fortune.

A $120 million cut to the Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) would have left programs shorthanded, officials said. But the state legislature eliminated the threat and voted unanimously to fully restore what was lost.

The Assembly voted last week to appropriate $90 million for OPWDD. That was in addition to $30 million already restored during the budget process. The Senate approved the funds the next day.

Assemblymember Nily Rozic, an OPWDD advocate, has worked closely with organizations such as the Queens Centers for Progress and said the need for services is “enormous.”

“There’s no reason to penalize this community, their families and their caretakers,” she said.
When the cuts were officially made earlier this year, Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder said the hardest part in passing the budget was accepting the OPWDD reductions.

“After passing the budget, we committed to doing whatever necessary to restore it,” he said. “This affects real people and real jobs.”

Goldfeder said he has seen firsthand how the cuts affect the disabled and their families even though he has been chair of the Autism Retention Committee for just a few months.

“It’s painful,” he said. “There’s no better role for the government to protect its citizens than the restoration of these cuts.”

The total $120 million restoration will go directly to facilities that provide services to the developmentally disabled, Goldfeder said.

Although the restoration went through, OPWDD funds still need to be increased in order to provide the best care, officials said. After an initial cut several years ago, OPWDD has seen no increase in funding.

However, Goldfeder said last week’s budget reversal was just a first step, and that there is a bright economic outlook for the future.

“This is the first place we have to look to restore a lot of the cuts that have taken place over the years,” he said.

 

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State gaming agreement leaves Queens out of casino deal


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislators have come to an agreement on a gaming deal that would effectively put four casinos upstate and leave Queens without one for now.

There is a seven-year hold on increasing the number of New York casinos, according to Cuomo’s office. After that, the entire state is up for grabs pending new legislation.

This leaves Resorts World Casino New York City out of the running to become a Las Vegas-style casino with full table games, as some Queens officials had hoped.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo, whose district includes the Racino and Aqueduct, said on Wednesday, June 19 that he was still reviewing the bill before it enters the Senate and Assembly for votes. His top concern, he said, was how it would affect his district.

“I’m still going through it because I need to look at the whole bill in its entirety,” he said. “My first priority is my district.”

He added that constituents might not necessarily venture upstate for gaming, but could cross the border to Connecticut or New Jersey instead.

“If they’re going to just have some entertainment, they’re basically going to stay local,” he said.
Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder also opposed Cuomo’s original plan, which barred downstate casinos. He said he is still reviewing the bill and is hopeful Resorts World could become a full casino.

“I’m still going through the bill to determine the rest of the merit, if it’s something I can vote for,” he said. “New York City is in the running in the seven years. They’re on an equal footing as everyone else in seven years.”

Along with colleagues and business leaders, Addabbo and Goldfeder argued that if the referendum passes, Resorts World could be a fully operational casino as soon as January. They said an expanded wagering facility would have led to 1,000 jobs along with stimulating the economy in the area.

Cuomo has pushed for upstate casinos, which are expected to boost tourism, since his State of the State address earlier this year. Throughout negotiations, his goal was to make sure full casinos come to upstate New York first.

“Today’s agreement with the Legislature would establish world-class destination gaming resorts to attract tourists to Upstate New York, generating economic activity for local businesses and creating thousands of good paying jobs where we need it most,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) similar to those at Resorts World will also expand in the state. Nassau and Suffolk Counties are possible sites. According to the governor’s office, the number of VLTs could increase if the November referendum cannot pass in order to make up for revenue expected from full casinos.

 

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Queens pols hopeful about Build it Back Sandy recovery program


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

NYC Mayor's Office Flickr/ Photo by Spencer T Tucker)

Federal money is here.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a new plan to distribute $648 million for New Yorkers trying to rebuild more than seven months after Sandy.

The Build it Back program offers four options for homeowners as the city shifts its focus to long-term repairs in the wake of the storm. Homeowners can use a city contractor to make minor or moderate repairs, rebuild their homes based on a city model, be reimbursed for out-of-pocket payments or sell their home to the city, which will then redevelop the site.

Affected city residents can begin applying next year and will be contacted by a program specialist, Bloomberg announced.

The city included homeowner reimbursements in the plan at the behest of elected officials, who made their case in April.

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, whose own home was damaged by Sandy, said he is hopeful the project will be a success.

“I’m cautiously optimistic about the chances of this program’s success,” he said. “I’m very excited that the federal funding is going to be put to use. However, I want to make sure that the money goes to the families who need it most.”

Councilmember Donovan Richards said the plan offered enough options for homeowners dealing with damages, and ensures the money will go to the right people.

“With the thousands of different situations people find themselves in, we need a variety of resources,” he said in a statement. “There is no one fix for every situation. This is why I am very happy about the new Build it Back program. I believe this is a big step in the right direction of a comprehensive recovery effort.”

 

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Call for full gaming at Resorts World Casino


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

Politicians and leaders in the Queens business community are calling for the state to ante up on full gaming in Queens.

State legislators and the Queens Chamber of Commerce called for a better plan to give Queens a casino if voters approve table gaming this November. They said Resorts World Casino New York City could become a full casino just months after the referendum is passed.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has said if complete gaming is approved, an upstate casino will be the first to reap the benefits and drive tourism north. Queens might not get a casino until five years after the referendum passes.

The Queens Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Director Jack Friedman said both upstate and downstate New York will have an opportunity for full casinos if voters approve them.

“We’re saying to the governor, this is not an either-or proposition,” Friedman said. “There’s room for both. Let’s do it now. Resorts World is ready, willing and able to take on table gaming, and it would be a big, big boost to the Queens economy.”

The Racino has boasted more than a billion dollars in total revenue – a large amount of which goes back to the state for education – along with employment opportunities for locals.

Councilmember Leroy Comrie said the Racino has hired many people in his district. He added that more jobs from full gaming would help unemployed people in Queens, especially those affected by Sandy.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo, whose district includes Resorts World, said the Racino could have table games as early as January 2014 if Queens is approved under the state’s plan.

Both Addabbo and Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder said they and their communities could not wait up to five years for full gaming to come to Queens.

Addabbo said he is pushing for a sooner start time if a casino is cleared for south Queens. In the remaining five weeks the legislature is in session, the senator said there are still considerable discussions that have to take place.

“We are in uncharted territory here,” Addabbo said. “This is an unpaved road for our state. We’ve never been in a position like this before for full gaming.”

Goldfeder said the tools were already at Resorts World to set up expanded gaming at the facility.

“Infrastructure is already in place,” he said. “Anybody who’s been there knows there’s a third floor ready to expand, to house the table games. You have a trusted partner that is willing. You have a location that is perfect and now is the time.”

 

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Rockaway Ferry service extended for at least six more weeks


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Though the A train is returning to the Rockaways tomorrow, the ferry is still going to continue, at least until July.

Rockaway Ferry weekday service between the peninsula and Manhattan has been extended for the next six weeks, with the possibility of continuing through Labor Day weekend, city officials announced Tuesday.

The ferry will also start an additional one service run in each direction every Saturday and Sunday, from July 4 through Labor Day, and will now also stop at Beach 108th  Street.

“The continuation of the weekday service will give Rockaway residents another transportation option, and the expanded summer weekend service will make it easier for visitors to get to the Rockaways, bringing additional economic activity to the beaches throughout the summer season,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The service will be extended through the end of the summer “if ridership remains strong,” according to officials.

After Sandy damaged the A train and cut off service past the Howard Beach/JFK Airport stop, the city provided several transportation options for residents served by the portion of the subway that was no longer running.

One of those options included ferry service between Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive in the Rockaways, and Pier 11/Wall Street and East 34th Street in Manhattan.

Even with the return of full A train service, there is support to make the ferry permanent, including from Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder

A petition he started to keep the boat running gathered 2,000 signatures in three days.

 

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New York Families for Autistic Children opens center after Sandy setback


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Ribboncutting

BY LIAM LA GUERRE

Richard Henry moved to New York City two months ago in search of a new autism facility for his daughter.

Fortunately, he won’t have to look any further.

After a six-month delay following Sandy, about 200 parents, children, staff members and politicians attended the grand opening of the $5.9 million New York Families for Autistic Children (NYFAC) center in Howard Beach on April 7.

Henry, an Ozone Park resident, is only 10 minutes away from the center by car.

“My daughter will be really happy coming to a place like this, because she doesn’t have to travel long distance,” Henry, 62, said.

Last October, Sandy flooded the first floor of the facility, destroying walls, furniture and electrical equipment. It forced the center to close its doors about two weeks before it was even set to open.

The post-storm renovation cost a little more than $200,000, mostly to repair damages, but also to replace appliances, according to NYFAC president Andrew Baumann.

Baumann was able to pay for the damages by borrowing money from New York Community Bank. The building now has flood insurance, he said, which it did not before Sandy.

“It’s definitely a dream come true,” Baumann said. “It’s been a long, hard road.”

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder secured $100,000 in the state budget to help cover the cost of rebuilding the center. He believes the facility represents the community’s rebuilding as a whole.

“We’re not done here, there is a lot of work to do,” Goldfeder said. “But it’s just a tremendous symbol for the community of strength, unity, stability and that we’re going to come back.”

The entire building is self-sufficient and environmentally friendly, running only on energy from giant solar panels on the roof.

On the first floor, there are rooms for meetings, video and board games, showers, first aid, an instrument-filled music room and a fully-loaded kitchen.

The second floor has administrative offices, a 16-seat conference room, a training room, an evaluation room and a television studio, so the center can create its own shows.

“This is going to be a wonderful resource for the families affected by autism,” said Councilmember Eric Ulrich. “It’s going to be a one-stop shop for people to get support, to get the services they need … and to get help.”

The next step for the center is to build a gym above the parking lot. The $2 million project will include fitness machines, a basketball court inside and a volleyball court on the roof outside, Baumann said.

But for now the center is focused on providing services to people with autism.

“It was important that they opened their doors to those children and families in need of assistance,” said Senator Joseph Addabbo. “It was never a question of if it was going to open, it was when.”

Check out more photos from the NYFAC grand opening here

 

 

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Mobile Command Center offers on-site help for Sandy insurance needs


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

People still dealing with Sandy-related insurance problems got a little help when the state Department of Financial Services (DFS) came to town.

A DFS Mobile Command Center set up shop on Cross Bay Boulevard on Thursday, March 21 to help with insurance needs in the wake of Sandy. About 15 to 20 people were helped between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the site, according to Peter DeLucia, director of special events for State Senator Joseph Addabbo.

Many people have had problems with insurance disbursements as they try and rebuild after the storm, DeLucia said. Addabbo and his staff have been in contact with DFS since the storm and were able to get aid to come to Howard Beach.

“We’ve been in contact with them constantly since the storm hit,” DeLucia said, adding that it was helpful for residents to work directly with DFS staffers. “There’s only so much we can do.”

DFS set up shop the next day in Rockaway with Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder and helped an additional 20-plus people.

The Command Center will return to the same Howard Beach spot, at 163-50 Cross Bay Boulevard, on Saturday, March 30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

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Rockaway Beach line restoration gets federal support


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Terence Cullen

Proposed revival of the Rockaway Beach LIRR Line has gotten some federal backing.

Congressmembers Hakeem Jeffries and Gregory Meeks are all-aboard for restoring the 50-year-defunct line in a new form, which would effectively link Rego Park to Ozone Park via mass transit.

Together with Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, they have sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, asking for federal money from Sandy for restoring the line.

“What this rail line would do, if completely restored, would intersect on five or six different points, giving people options,” said Goldfeder, who’s pushed rail restoration since coming into office a year-and-a-half ago.

“If you try and drive on Woodhaven Boulevard or Cross Bay Boulevard in the morning or afternoon, our streets are jammed.”

Meeks, who began representing the Rockaways in January, said this was needed now more than ever as the peninsula and its residents try to rebuild.

Jeffries, representing Ozone Park and Howard Beach, said south Queens commuters have one of the longest trips to Manhattan, and LIRR service would reduce the hour-plus commute to Midtown. It is, he noted, one of the longest commutes within NYC, “perhaps rivaled only by some in the southern part of Staten Island.”

Because neighborhoods such as Woodhaven have expanded closer to the tracks since train service ended in June 1962, many are concerned about a rail line right next to their home. But officials say they’ve explored new ways of silent transportation, such as a monorail, to reduce noise.

Trains could stop at the Howard Beach-JFK A train station in Coleman Square if the line is revived.

Commuters going to Rockaway would transfer to the A train, which is expected to be up and running later this summer.

A rail line, however, is not the only plan on the table for the three-mile strip.

The Queensway, a nature walk, has been the counterpart proposal to the plan and would be similar to the Highline in Manhattan. Andrea Crawford, a founding member of “Friends of Queensway,” said she didn’t believe the LIRR would be a practical way of transit – suggesting instead implementing rapid bus transit or improving A train service.

Members of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association are for better north-south transportation in Queens and reducing traffic on Woodhaven Boulevard, said communications director Alex Blenkinsopp. Because the rail line would run so close to homes, however, they are against this type of development.

WRBA hosted a town hall meeting on the LIRR line and the Queensway last September, but ultimately decided to urge the city to clean up the abandoned, overgrown strip of land.

“They’re not even trying to convince Woodhaven at this point,” Blenkinsopp said. “They seem to have decided that they need to railroad us, rather than attempting to address our concerns.”

 

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Resorts World revenue up while neighboring casinos down


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

Cha-ching.

Revenue and money played at Resorts World Casino New York City is on the rise compared to a year ago, while neighboring gaming zones are seeing a drop.

In January and February 2013, the Racino had an 11-percent tax revenue increase and a 25-percent increase in amount played from the same time last year — the first full year Resorts World has been able to produce in its now 15 months of business. The combined months had $2.4 billion played, leading to $116 million in total revenue.

In return, the Racino sent almost $80 million back to the state — as always, earmarked for education and the racing industry.

The spike in numbers also comes as a surprise with a shorter February this year, as 2012 was a leap year with a 29-day month.

“Resorts World Casino New York City’s model has continued to maximize gaming revenue for New York State in a manner that has not been replicated by any other facility in the nation in our nearly year and a half of operation,” said president Michael Speller in a statement. “2013 is shaping up to be another record setting year, and we are proud to contribute this astonishing amount of revenue towards the education of New York’s students.” Meanwhile, Pennsylvania’s slot revenue hot streak might be over. For February, revenue for the state’s 11 casinos was down more than 9 percent from last year — something Resorts World proponents say is in part thanks to New York gamblers staying home to bet.

Last February, there were only 10 operating casinos in the Keystone State — Valley Forge Casino Resort opened last March — and those, compared to last year, are down a combined 11.5 percent.

The success at Resorts World has proponents again saying the Racino should have full gaming, if voters approve an amendment for it this November.

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder said the upswing for Resorts World is just another component for the Racino to get full gaming – should voters approve a state amendment for it this November.

“New records set by Resorts World is further example that Genting is the right partner and Aqueduct is the right location for a larger facility and full, enhanced gaming,” he said. “We’ve got to give them the tools to continue to be successful.”

 

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New program to help with post-Sandy mold damage


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Though FEMA assistance can help homeowners deal with some of the devastating effects of Sandy, there is no direct federal funding for mold removal.

A new program aims to solve that issue for around 2,000 homes in hard-hit areas.

Using private money raised to help storm victims, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, in partnership with the American Red Cross and Robin Hood Foundation, is sponsoring a $15 million mold remediation program, Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced.

The mold treatment will be performed free of charge by private contractors and nonprofit organizations.

“Through our first-of-its-kind Rapid Repairs program, we have helped more than 15,000 families return to their homes. But mold remains a challenge that many residents are confronting,” said Bloomberg.

“More than three months after Hurricane Sandy, while recovery and rebuilding is ongoing, families are beginning to discover that mold is a serious concern for their families,” said Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder. “For most, mold remediation was too costly or when done, not addressed properly and now with summer season approaching, mold can have a very dangerous effect on our health and environment.”

The Mayor’s Fund is also sponsoring free training sessions on mold remediation, where thousands of free mold supply will be distributed.

Below is a list of the first series of these mold treatment sessions. The locations will continue to be updated as they are scheduled. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov or by calling 311.

January 31, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Shorefront Y (Spanish Only)
3300 Coney Island Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11235

February 2, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Gerritsen Beach Fire Department
43 Seba Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11229

February 4, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Gerritsen Beach Fire Department
43 Seba Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11229

February 4, 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM
P.S. 195
131 Irwin Street
Brooklyn, NY 11235

February 5, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Gospel Assembly Church
2828 Neptune Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11224

February 5, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Bayswater Jewish Center
2355 Healy Avenue
Far Rockaway, NY 11691

February 23, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
CYO-MIV Community Center at Mount Loretto
6541 Hylan Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10309

February 9, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
St. Clare’s Parish
137-35 Brookville Boulevard
Queens, NY 11422

February 13, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
P.S. 277
2529 Gerritsen Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11229

February 13, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island
3001 West 37th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11224

February 13, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Bayswater Jewish Center
2355 Healy Avenue
Far Rockaway, NY 11691

February 16, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
St. Clare’s Parish
137-35 Brookville Boulevard
Queens, NY 11422

February 16, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Oasis Church
539 Greeley Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10306

 

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Pols say ‘no dice’ to no downstate full gaming


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

Governor Andrew Cuomo pulled a wild card last week.

New York will get seven new casinos if voters approve a full-gaming amendment this fall, Cuomo said during his State of the State address. Most of these casinos, however, will be upstate — particularly in the Finger Lake region — to drive tourism to other areas of New York.

The news has some elected officials working to ensure Resorts World Casino New York City will continue growing in South Ozone Park and creating jobs in the area.

Immediately after the governor’s generalized proposal on gaming in the state, State Senator Joseph Addabbo texted Cuomo staffers about the statement; Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder got to Twitter. Both officials, who represent the Aqueduct property and surrounding neighborhoods, are working to ensure that Resorts World becomes one of those seven full-gaming casinos.

The governor’s proposal was open for interpretation, Addabbo said, and the already-built Racino is prime for table games. Should gaming laws pass this fall, Addabbo said the Racino’s proximity to JFK Airport makes it the prime place for further development and could build up the burgeoning area.

“There’s too many facts here that cannot be ignored to say, ‘no, we’re not doing a full-fledged casino there,’” Addabbo said. “That would be an irrational thought.”

Goldfeder likewise said future expansion at Aqueduct was crucial to job growth and economic impact in south Queens.

“Especially post-Sandy, we need to create jobs and spur, boost our economy,” he said. “And putting gaming at Aqueduct would do exactly that.”

Resorts World executives are confident the company’s partnership will continue to grow, said spokesperson Stefan Friedman. Executives also plan on continuing to generate revenue for the state, particularly for education. “We remain interested in enhancing the extremely successful partnership with New York State that has led to Resorts World’s status as the number one slot machine revenue generator in entire country and look forward to reviewing the governor’s proposal to facilitate economic development in Upstate New York,” Friedman said in a statement.

Both the senator and assemblymember said they expect the pre-developed land used for a venue that would bring more visitors to the area. Having full gaming at Resorts World would only help that cause, Goldfeder said.

“We’ve got a lot of big plans for that site and enhanced gaming would be a great anchor,” he said. “But I’m confident that, working with the governor, we’re going to come to a real conclusion that would be in the best interest of the community.”

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