Tag Archives: Breezy Point

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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Eight months after Sandy, Rockaway Theatre set to relaunch


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

It is curtains up once more at the Rockaway Theatre.

The community theater, located in Breezy Point’s Fort Tilden, was completely destroyed during Sandy. But the show must go on, and the Rockaway group is officially ready to reopen its doors.

A production of “The Rockaway Café” will open on Friday, July 19 and run through early August. The cast has been rehearsing its comeback on a newly built, post-Sandy stage.

“We’re ready to reintroduce the whole theater to the community,” said Stephen Ryan, an actor in various theater productions.

Ryan was cast in the play “Brighton Beach Memoirs” that showed on Sunday, October 28, just one day before Sandy.

“We knew the storm was coming. I didn’t think it was going to be as bad as they were saying,” he said. “The show went on, but we just made a quick exit.”

“I assumed this place floated away,” he added.

Susan Jasper, the theater’s production manager, said she returned to the site after the storm to find water had come down through the audience’s section, washed over the stage and rushed back into the dressing room.

“This was a disaster in many ways,” Jasper said.

Floors and walls were replaced; the stage, built in 1942, was rebuilt; the dressing room was redone; props and sets were replaced and repairs are far from over. The building needed mold remediation as well.

Jasper estimates all of the damages amount to roughly $200,000. They have not received any help from FEMA or the Red Cross and are “back to square one” — not for the first time. The facility was completely rehabilitated when Jasper took over in 1997.

The theater’s children’s program is held typically every September through March. After the storm hit, Jasper had to cancel the program and refund parents. Additionally, the group had to postpone the production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” from November to March.

The show was instead shown at Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach.

“The way I originally envisioned the production had to be drastically changed,” said Chaz Peacock, the show’s director.

Locals had to pull out due to their own homes’ damages, half of the production had to be recast and the actors performed on a much smaller stage.

Now, ready to reopen, “The Rockaway Café” is set as the theater’s annual variety show. Each year, the show has a specific genre of music. This year, the theater is “saluting the storm” with songs like “I Made it Through the Rain.”

“Act one is devastation, act two is uplifting,” Jasper said.

There will also be raffles at all matinee performances. Local merchants have donated gifts and gift certificates and the theater group is still accepting donations of any kind.

“The loyalty of people involved helped us get back,” Peacock said.

Admission to “The Rockaway Café” will be $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and children. All proceeds will help defray the costs of rebuilding. For information on how to help or showtimes, call 718-374-6400.

 

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Wounded Warriors Adaptive Water Sports Festival will go on as planned


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

The show will go on.

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder helped acquire the use of a new dock for the Wounded Warriors 10th annual Adaptive Water Sports Festival, so now the event can continue as planned.

Each year the water sports festival by the Wounded Warriors Project, an organization dedicated to empowered injured soldiers, provides the multi-day sports event in Breezy Point to treat veterans. But Sandy destroyed a necessary landing dock, which threatened to cancel parts or all of the festival.

“The neighborhood has been looking forward to this event to provide a much needed sense of normalcy,” said Flip Mullen of Wounded Warriors.

Goldfeder’s office got the ball rolling with the Wounded Warrior Project, Seastreak Ferry and the NYC Economic Development Corporation, to ensure veterans could use the new dock at Beach 108th Street so they can commute to and from the Rockaways.

“It has been eight months since Superstorm Sandy ravaged our community and we could not let the storm prevent us from continuing our traditions of celebrating our Wounded Warriors,” Goldfeder said.  “Our veterans fought to protect our country and we are proud to welcome them back to Rockaway.”

During the water sports festival injured veterans, many who have lost their limbs, will be able to water ski, kayak and learn to scuba dive.

The event will run from July 11 -13. The Wounded Warriors are scheduled to arrive at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 11 at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Overcast with a chance of rain, then a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain in the afternoon. Fog early. High of 84. Winds from the SSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy with a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain. Low of 73. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Outdoor Cinema Presents Our Nixon

Outdoor Cinema is an annual international film festival now in its 15th year. Outdoor Cinema 2013 will show eight films from around the world, all in their original language with English subtitles. Prior to the film there will be music, dance and food to enjoy. Our Nixon (U.S.A.): A documentary about Nixon’s presidency using never-before-seen footage shot by three of Nixon’s top aides with their home video cameras will be shown at Socrates Sculpture Park on Wednesday, July 3 at 7 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Breezy Point homeowners sue over devastating loss during Sandy

Scores of Breezy Point homeowners have filed a major lawsuit against the Long Island Power Authority and National Grid. Read more: CBS New York

Crime decrease last year in 112th Precinct was actually an increase

It turns out crime was actually up — not down — last year in Forest Hills and Rego Park. Read more: New York Daily News

Emails appear to reveal officials knew of 911 system lost calls issue 

CBS 2 has obtained emails from Emergency Medical Services supervisors that address “lost calls” in the city’s 911 system, indicating officials knew of problems with the system early on. Read more: CBS New York

Hundreds more majestic Canada geese killed in name of airline safety in Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

More than 260 geese were rounded up for slaughter at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Tuesday morning as part of an ongoing effort to reduce bird strikes at nearby JFK Airport. Read more: New York Daily News

New Yorkers’ new domain: ‘.nyc’ gets initial OK

New York City likes to think of itself as a domain like no other. Now it can boast as much on the web. Read more: NBC New York

U.S. to delay key health-reform provision to 2015

The Obama administration said on Tuesday it would not require employers to provide health insurance for their workers until 2015, delaying a key provision of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law by a year, to beyond the next election. Read more: Reuters 

National Grid makes recovery announcements in Breezy Point


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

Breezy Point is getting back on the grid.

As part of a cooperative effort with Habitat for Humanity, National Grid made a slew of recovery announcements on Friday, May 17 to benefit the neighborhood.

Company president Ken Daly announced the supplier has replaced 14 miles worth of gas lines in Breezy Point and given grants to three local businesses to continue rebuilding.

“This is not just about National Grid, and it’s not just about our employees,” Daly said. “It’s really about our extended family.”

One of the grant recipients was Kathy Dady, a 24-year Breezy Point resident who runs Breezy Point Lumber on West Market Street.

Although the lumber yard was damaged by the storm, Dady said the staff still took in orders for when deliveries could be made. The yard reopened three weeks after Sandy and has since contributed to many rebuilt homes. Dady expects to stay involved in the process.

“Everybody relies on the lumberyard,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll be [supplying lumber] for the houses that were burnt.”

Habitat for Humanity of Westchester County has worked in Breezy since the storm hit. Executive director James Killoran said while more than six months have passed, there is still a long road ahead for the community.

Killoran added that the Breezy Point community has the chance to become better, greener and more prepared for future storms.

“We’re not ready and we have to do something better,” he said. “Disaster doesn’t take a vacation, and neither do we.”

 

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Council districts to get vote on city-funded community projects


| mchan@queenscourier.com

A million dollar decision is in the hands of some Queens residents.

Three City Council districts in the borough have a week, starting April 1, to vote on community projects they want the city to fund.

Part of an initiative called “Participatory Budgeting,” residents are allowed to develop ideas and then choose five physical infrastructure projects they want to see in their neighborhood. The total $10 million budget is composed of discretionary capital public money to be split between eight districts in the city.

“Participatory Budgeting gives the community an unprecedented opportunity to make decisions on how city dollars get spent in our community,” said Councilmember Mark Weprin.

Weprin and Councilmembers Dan Halloran and Eric Ulrich have each allocated $1 million to their respective districts.

Project items to be voted on include upgrading technology at schools and libraries, installing police and security cameras in high crime areas, and upgrading community facilities like the Poppenhusen Institute and Queens County Farm Museum.

Residents in Halloran’s district have proposed adding a dog run canopy and kayak launch at Little Bay Park and a bird watching platform at Parsons Beach.

“These projects are all worthwhile, especially because they came from the people,” Halloran said.

This is the second year of the city’s participatory budgeting.

The process was derailed by Sandy in the 32nd District, according to Councilmember Eric Ulrich’s office, since some ballot items involving the boardwalk and parks have become ineligible after the storm.

A vote was still scheduled for the first week of April as of press time.

Last year, residents in Ulrich’s district voted to build a bandstand space on Shore Front Parkway, install a library vending machine in Breezy Point and upgrade technology at local schools.

For ballots and voting locations in all three Queens districts, visit pbnyc.org.

 

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Rockaway residents take to City Hall, demand say in Sandy rebuilding


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Terence M. Cullen

By day 143, Rockaway residents had had enough.

Scores traveled to the steps of City Hall on Saturday, March 23 to call on Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city to help residents rebuild after Sandy.

Shoulder to shoulder with elected officials and candidates for mayor and borough president, resident after resident told personal stories of their prolonged recovery and demanded a say in how the peninsula is rebuilt.

“Now, as community residents of the Rockaway peninsula and Broad Channel, we demand to always have our voices heard on what goes on with all future projects, and most importantly, to be part of the process when implementing them to protect our community from another Sandy, or any type of possible future disasters,” said Danny Ruscillo, president of the 100th Precinct Community Council. Ruscillo held a sign that became one of the chants during the hour-long press conference: “United we stand. Divided we drown.”

Senator Charles Schumer recently secured money to rebuild New York beaches, and take measures to prevent flooding.

 

The Army Corps of Engineers, which has been conducting surveys on protecting the beach-front community for more than a decade, recently said the study would take at least another year-and-a-half.

But residents like Margaret Wagner think that’s too long. Wagner said she took the trip to lower Manhattan while her husband was at home putting up sheetrock in their Broad Channel home.

“We want the studies to end tomorrow,” said Wagner. “Give us a plan today. Not a year-and-a-half from now.”
John Cori and Eddie Pastore, who run Friends of Rockaway Beach and organized the City Hall rally, have long campaigned to build better beach protection.

This was not the first time Rockaway residents have criticized Bloomberg and his administration for what they believed was a delayed reaction to the storm. On a visit to Breezy Point in November, Bloomberg was lambasted by a resident; spectators at the St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 2 booed him when he marched.

Councilmember Eric Ulrich and State Senator Joseph Addabbo both said it was crucial that those who live there have the final say in how the communities are rebuilt.

“These residents have to live with what’s left behind,” Addabbo said. “Let’s get to work for these people.”

“We heard about the federal money that Senator Schumer was able to secure and we’re very grateful for that,” Ulrich said. “But the community needs to be kept in the loop as to how that money is going to be spent.”

 

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Councilmember Eric Ulrich

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Mostly cloudy in the morning, then overcast with ice pellets. High of 36 with a windchill as low as 25F. Winds from the East at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 90% . Monday night: Overcast with ice pellets and snow, then rain after midnight. Low of 36 with a windchill as low as 28F. Breezy. Winds from the East at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 100% .

EVENT OF THE DAY: Paper Bag players

Starting at 10:30 a.m., the Paper Bag players will perform a set of short plays at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center, located at 222-05 56th Avenue in Bayside. In a show put on for kids, the story and musical numbers explore the Old West and The Life of a Bowling Pin and in the rousing finale set at a Country Fair two neighbors who can’t get along become the best of friends with the audiences help. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

School bus involved in accident on Grand Central Parkway

Authorities are investigating an accident involving a school bus and a car in Queens. Read more: NBC New York

Four off-duty NYPD busted amid St. Patrick’s Day weekend hijinks

Four off-duty NYPD employees have been arrested since Friday, including an officer accused of driving drunk and leaving the scene of an accident, officials said. Read more: New York Daily News

Teen charged with DUI in fatal accident on Grand Central Parkway

Authorities arrested a teen for DUI after he struck and killed a taxi driver on the Grand Central Parkway early Sunday morning, said police. Read more: The Queens Courier

Irish prime minister attends St. Patrick’s Day mass in Breezy Point

It’s a special day for Irish residents of Breezy Point, not just because it’s St. Patrick’s Day, or that they’re meeting the Taoiseach, or Prime Minister, of Ireland. Read more: NY1

Twitter co-founder eyes NYC mayor’s job

There may be another billionaire interested in New York City’s top job. Read more: Fox New York/AP

Top court to hear arguments over generic drugmaker liability

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Tuesday in a case that could decide whether generic drugmakers can be held liable for alleged flaws in the designs of their medications, even though federal law requires generic manufacturers to copy the brand drugmaker’s design. Read more: Reuters

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Mostly cloudy. High of 46. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Friday night: Overcast in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 32. Winds from the NW at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Sixth Annual Panorama Challenge NYC Team Trivia Game

At the Queens Museum of Art, participate in the world’s only geographical trivia-based game night involving the world’s largest architectural model The Panorama of the City of New York. This challenge involves audio clues and laser-pointers highlighting assorted NYC landmarks, bridges, neighborhoods, parks and more. $10 suggested donation with all proceeds supporting the City Reliquary Museum in Williamsburg. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Two charged with murder, kidnapping for deadly South Richmond Hill fire

Authorities have arrested and charged two men in conjunction with the South Richmond Hill fire that revealed one man bound and shot. Read more: Queens Courier

Metro-North, LIRR fare hikes go into effect

The first round of MTA fare and toll hikes went into effect Friday morning. Read more: CBS New York

City Council wants Albany to give tax relief for Sandy homeowners

Homeowners who decide to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy may find that they are paying for the privilege. Read more: NY1

Breezy Point residents still planning Wounded Warriors event

Residents in Breezy Point are committed to hosting their annual Wounded Warriors event despite all the storm damage. Read more: Fox New York

Man arrested at LaGuardia after switchblades found in carry on, authorities say

Authorities at LaGuardia Airport arrested a man Wednesday that they say had three switchblades in his carry-on luggage. Read more: NY1

Obama to hold budget talks with congressional leaders

A fiscal deadline all but blown, President Obama says he once again wants to seek a big fiscal deal that would raise taxes and trim billions from expensive and ever growing entitlement programs. Read more: ABC New York/AP

Body found on Breezy Point beach identified as missing Queens woman


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Facebook

Police have identified the woman whose body washed up on a Breezy Point beach Saturday as 24-year-old Marisha Cheong, who went missing from her Jamaica residence two months ago, said the NYPD.

According to CBS New York, Cheong’s live-in boyfriend was supposed to pick her up at a Forest Hills subway station on December 19, but she never showed up.

There was no sign of the young women until her remains washed up just across from 121 Bayside Avenue  this weekend.

It’s unclear how she died, but the Office of the Medical Examiner is expected to release the cause of death within the next few days.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Clear. High of 37 with a windchill as low as 5F. Breezy. Winds from the WNW at 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Monday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 30. Winds from the SW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Yelp Drinks Queens

A week long celebration of the finest libation worthy establishments makes for the best Happy Hour in Queens ever! Yelp is bringing you the 3rd edition of YELP DRINKS NYC, a city-wide chance to sample something cool at places locals love! Participating locations will feature at least three (3) adult beverages for 50% off all week long, giving you the perfect chance to check out why they are so highly-rated. Just go into any of the bars participating during business hours from Feb. 18-24 and mention Yelp Drinks to take advantage of the promotion. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Crowded race for vacant City Council seat to be decided Tuesday

The free-for-all to fill a vacant City Council seat in southern Queens will come down to the wire on Tuesday. Read more: New York Daily News

Thieves brazenly steal $2 million worth of jewelry from Four Seasons Hotel

Thieves pulled off a stunning jewelry heist this weekend at one of the city’s most posh hotels. Read more: CBS New York

Both Democrats and Republicans say they don’t want Obama to push forward with his own immigration plans

Republicans and Democrats alike on Sunday predicted President Obama would fail if he pushed forward with his own effort to overhaul the nation’s immigration system. Read more: New York Daily News

Volunteers rebuild Breezy Point Sandy-damaged home

A 78-year-old cancer survivor was moved to tears upon discovering that her Superstorm-Sandy damaged New York home had been rebuilt by volunteers. Read more: ABC New York

Reports: Oscar-winning actor patted down by Manhattan deli employee

Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker was reportedly patted down by a worker at a Morningside Heights deli after being accused of shoplifting. Read more: NY1

Singer Mindy McCready dead in apparent suicide

Perhaps there was one heartbreak too many for Mindy McCready. The former country star appears to have taken her own life Sunday afternoon in Heber Springs, Ark. Authorities say McCready died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot to the head and an autopsy is planned. She was 37, the mother of two young sons. Read more: ABC New York

Woman’s remains wash ashore in Breezy Point


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Screenshot Google Maps

A woman’s partially decomposed body was discovered on a beach in Breezy Point this morning, according to reports.

While only part of the woman’s skull remained intact, police said there were no obvious signs of trauma.

Her identity has not yet been discovered.

It is unclear how she died. The Office of the Medical Examiner will release the cause and whether any criminality is suspected in the next few days.

Boil water order lifted in Breezy Point


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

water map

Once again, it’s safe for Breezy Point residents to drink from the tap.

On Wednesday, the New York City Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene and Environmental Protection announced that the area’s boil water order has been lifted, except for the areas between Jamaica Walk and Ocean Avenue and to the south of Oceanside Avenue.

Although Sandy didn’t compromise the city’s drinking water, Breezy Point’s privately managed and operated water pipes were damaged. In November residents were told not to drink from the tap, but in January were allowed to use water for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and preparing food as long as it was boiled first.

Before lifting the order, Breezy Point’s water was tested to ensure that it meets state drinking water standards, said the city.

If water appears discolored or cloudy at first, run the faucet until it runs clear and cold. This process may take several minutes if faucets and outlets have not been regularly used. Also, residents should replace all ice machine filters and beverage dispenser filters, and flush water through the filter for five minutes.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast with snow. High of 36. Winds from the NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 80%. Tuesday night: Overcast with snow. Low of 30. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of snow 80%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Free comedy show in Sunnyside

Check out this free comedy show at The Courtyard Ale House in Sunnyside. The show is on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month at 9 p.m. and features the best stand-up comedians in the city. The show is free, no drink minimum, nothing! Just come out and laugh! Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Delayed insurance checks for Sandy victims could slow recovery

Superstorm Sandy ripped up the roof of Matt Piccione’s Breezy Point home and deluged his basement with water, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damages. Read more: New York Daily News

NYPD stop-and-frisk report under scrutiny

The NYPD has released a report that breaks down its controversial stop and frisk policy by precinct and race. Read more: Fox New York

Mets eye casino at Citi to help offset losses suffered in Bernie Madoff scandal

It’s an Amazin’ gamble The Mets’ owners want to roll the dice on building a Las Vegas-style casino next to Citi Field to recoup some of the $162 million for which team brass are still on the hook following the Bernie Madoff Ponzi-scheme debacle, plans obtained by The Post reveal. Read more: New York Post

State plan to buy homes at risk of future storm damage awaits federal approval

Governor Andrew Cuomo laid out his plan Monday to buy Hurricane Sandy-ravaged homes in areas at risk of future storm damage. Read more: NY1

Ed Koch remembered as New York City’s ‘quintessential mayor’

Remembered as a man with a “big brain, but an even bigger heart,” thousands said goodbye Monday to New York City’s “quintessential mayor,” Ed Koch. Read more: CBS New York

Report: New York-Newark fourth most traffic congested area in nation

An annual study of national driving patterns shows that Americans spent 5.5 billion additional hours sitting in traffic in 2011. Read more: CBS New York

Biggest gas price jump in two years

The weekly average price of a gallon of regular gas is $3.54, up 18 cents from a week earlier.  That’s the biggest weekly price increase in two years, according to the Department of Energy. Read more: ABC News

After losing 40 years of memories in Breezy Point fire, homeowner fights for justice


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman

The cause of Sandy’s Breezy Point fire was electric, the FDNY announced in December.

One month later, area resident Kieran Burke has initiated a lawsuit against the town’s power company, LIPA, and rallied his neighbors to fight for justice.

“[LIPA’s] negligence destroyed my home and incinerated 40 years worth of memories,” said Burke. “That was my childhood home, I raised my family there.”

When Burke got word that the blaze was electric, and then further received word that LIPA could have prematurely shut off the area’s electricity before Sandy hit, he approached longtime neighborhood friend and attorney, Keith Sullivan, of the law firm Sullivan and Galleshaw.

The firm was the first to file, followed by Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath and Cannavo (SPBMC). Together, the two represent roughly a combined 90 residents. Each claimant is seeking a different amount, with the highest claim being $1.5 million.

“From my perspective, this is a tragedy, and it was so avoidable,” said Sullivan. “We have a community that was hit hard by Mother Nature, and then kicked when it was down by LIPA’s incompetence.”

When the flames started that night, Burke dashed from a nearby home to his own, where he frantically searched for important items, including his son’s birth certificate. The fire spread, and he had to leave his home immediately.

“Their negligence nearly killed me,” he said.

The six-alarm blaze that incinerated over 100 homes could have been avoided if LIPA had shut off the area’s electricity before floodwaters came through, according to the claim filed with SPBMC.

The day before Sandy hit, the storm was predicted to have “destruction potential,” the legal claim stated. In such a case, de-energizing, or suspending electricity to an area, is recommended in order to protect the public from fire and electrical hazards posed by floodwaters.

According to the claim, LIPA had knowledge that Breezy Point was a flood-prone zone before Sandy hit, but disregarded this notion.

“De-energizing Breezy Point and the Rockaway Peninsula during Sandy would have afforded [these families] and their neighbors protection from fire,” said the claim.

LIPA, however, did take precautionary measures and de-energized Fire Island before the storm struck, and also did so one year prior, before Hurricane Irene. One official, in the claim, described these acts as “a measure to avoid fires and other risks that would require a personnel response not possible during the storm,” measures that Breezy Point was not afforded.

A LIPA spokesperson said that the organization had reviewed the claims, and has no comment at this time.
“This is a cut and dry situation,” said Burke. “LIPA destroyed people’s lives.”

 

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