Tag Archives: Breezy Point

Breezy Point homeowners sue LIPA over Sandy fire


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File photo

With post-Sandy complaints piling up, Breezy Point homeowners are now slapping the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) with a lawsuit.

Seventeen families who lost their homes in the Breezy Point fire are seeking at least $1 million apiece in damages, claiming negligence by LIPA, according to legal papers filed with the law firm Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath and Cannavo.

The six-alarm blaze that incinerated roughly 130 homes could have been avoided, according to the claim, if LIPA had shut off the area’s electricity before floodwaters came through.

FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said that the fires “were sparked by sea water impacting electrical systems and components in and around these structures.” The inferno began the night of the storm at 8:30 p.m., and was not put out until 6:30 a.m. the following day.

The day before Sandy hit, the storm was predicted to have “destruction potential.” 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 legal 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. According to the claim, one official 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 notices of the claim, and has no comment at this time.

 

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Agencies give Sandy testimony before City Council


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Nearly three months after the storm devastated the tri-state area, and with residents still trying to recover, the City Council has begun investigating how various agencies handled Sandy.

Testimony has been given by representatives of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the New York City Housing Authority, Con Edison and the Long Island Power Authority, among other agencies.

Councilmember Eric Ulrich, when addressing OEM, inquired why the West Hamilton Beach Volunteer Fire Department had been denied a request for a rescue boat, despite the anticipated flooding in the hamlet. Ulrich also asked why OEM had not looked at the Breezy Point Cooperative’s evacuation plan, or had better communication with the several volunteer fire departments of southern Queens.

OEM Commissioner Joseph Bruno said commissioners had been on the ground working with volunteer fire departments on plans during the lead up to the storm and had always maintained communications between the volunteers and the FDNY. It was not the office’s policy to approve of other entities’ evacuation plans, he said, but OEM could give input for both cooperatives and volunteer fire departments in the future, he said.

Ulrich suggested to Bruno that once recovery is completely over, and some stability is back in the area, OEM officials begin to work with these waterside communities to better prepare for future storms.

“I think in the next year it might be a good time, when everything settles and the rebuilding starts and life gets somewhat back to normal, that OEM try to engage these communities and these fire departments.”

 

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Record low fire fatalities, ambulance response time in 2012


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

In 2012, there was a record low of 58 civilian fire deaths in New York City.

Last year was a banner year for public safety, say officials.

In 2012, the FDNY had the fewest civilian fire deaths and fastest average ambulance response times for life-threatening medical emergencies in New York City history, announced Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano.

“With record low number of murders and shootings and the fewest fire deaths in our city’s history, 2012 was a historic year for public safety,” said Bloomberg.

Last year there were 58 fire deaths, a decline of 12 percent compared to 2011, four fewer fatalities than the previous record set in 2010, and a 43 percent decline since 2001.

There were not working smoke detectors in most of the fire deaths in 2012, and the top causes were accidental electrical fires, smoking, incendiary fires and cooking related.

Structural fire response time in 2012, at 4:04, was two seconds higher than the previous year, but that was partially due to Superstorm Sandy, said the FDNY.

During the storm, there were 21 serious fires that destroyed around 200 homes and businesses, including more than 120 homes in Breezy Point.

At 6:31, EMS response time improved despite a 3.4 percent increase in call volume, breaking the record low set in 2010.

Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley, chair of the City Council’s fire committee, stressed that these records might not have been set without efforts from the city council to fight the mayor’s proposed closing of as many as 20 fire companies.

“We can’t afford cuts to firehouses, and I will continue working with my colleagues to ensure the FDNY receives the required resources to keep us safe,” said Crowley.

 

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Sandy first responders honored as Queens Courier Persons of the Year


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Persons of the Year

With 2012  behind us, The Queens Courier is paying tribute to the first responders — those men and women who put their lives on the line every day, and who braved Sandy’s wrath to save, and help rebuild, lives.

They have earned our respect and admiration, and a debt of gratitude. Here is are some of their stories…

Dylan Smith

Dylan Smith saved the lives of six people during Sandy using just his surfboard, but tragically lost his own life just months later while on the water. On the night of Monday, October 29, Smith, 23, heroically paddled through the floodwaters into his neighbors’ homes in Belle Harbor, and, using a homemade rope bridge along with his surfboard, moved people to safety. Read more

Point Breeze Volunteer Fire Department

By now, everyone knows the story. More than 120 houses burned to the ground in Breezy Point the night Sandy struck. It was one of the most destructive residential fires in New York City history. Houses were lost, but lives were saved. Read more

Roxbury Volunteer Fire Department

It began as a glow to the west, a speck of twinkling amber light in the darkness. From the loft above the Roxbury Volunteer Fire Department’s station, the crew watched as the flicker became a blaze, carrying a once charming beachfront neighborhood into the night sky in embers and smoke. “Oh my God,” they said. “Breezy’s burning.” Read more

West Hamilton Beach Volunteer Fire Department

The West Hamilton Beach Volunteer Fire Department station house is on a strip of land that isn’t far from the water. So when the storm surge from Sandy started to rise up in the hamlet on Jamaica Bay, it brought seven feet of water into the firehouse where eight volunteers — five firefighters and three EMTs — were on duty. Read more

Queens Courier Persons of the Year honoree: Point Breeze Volunteer Fire Department


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison

With 2012 behind us, The Queens Courier is paying tribute to the first responders — those men and women who put their lives on the line every day, and who braved Sandy’s wrath to save, and help rebuild, lives.

They have earned our respect and admiration, and a debt of gratitude. Here is one of their stories…

By now, everyone knows the story. More than 120 houses burned to the ground in Breezy Point the night Sandy struck. It was one of the most destructive residential fires in New York City history. Houses were lost, but lives were saved. The Point Breeze Volunteer Fire Department (BPVFD), along with the Rockaway Point Volunteer Fire Department and Roxbury Volunteer Fire Department, stand as a major reason no residents died that night as members fought through 10 feet of water to be the first to arrive on the scene of the inferno.

But there is another story, a story of the houses saved from fire.

The Point Breeze department went out on a call and saw another house in flames about a half mile from the six-alarm blaze. By that time, most phones were down and no one called in the fire. The firefighters responded to the flames and extinguished them.

“Had that fire gotten loose, everything west of there would have been gone,” said Marty Ingram, fire chief of the BPVFD. “That would have been another devastation, we would have lost an equal number of homes and we could have lost the whole community.”

Twenty-five volunteers worked the night of Sandy, helping save those homes and rescue residents. And for the two months since the storm, the firefighters, who are college students, retirees, or hold down full-time jobs, have continued their work in helping the close-knit community get back on its feet.

The department has been helping in any it can: doing electrical work, plumbing, gutting houses.

“The service we provide, we try to take it a step further,” Tim Dufficy, a volunteer with the department for 10 years.

Many of the all-volunteer crew also had their homes damaged by the storm, as was the firehouse. Seven or eight members of the 50-person crew are sleeping at the firehouse, which is now staffed 24/7.

Used to helping others, the department has received an outpouring of support from throughout the country.

“We’ve had a lot of angels come in,” said Ingram. “We have become a universal fire house.”

Firefighters from Chicago, Miami and Pennsylvania descended on the fire house, helping where they can, staying overnight and heading out on calls. A truck was donated from Pittsburgh and tsunami of supplies poured in.

Edward Manley, from Florida and one of the many individual volunteers to gravitate to the area, said he plans on staying and joining the volunteer fire department.

“They’re great guys,” Manley said. “Some of the best people in the world you can meet.”

In addition to the repairs necessary at the fire house, the department is looking to add a second floor. They will be relying mostly on donations for the work. Most of the money raised for the volunteer department usually came from the Breezy community, largely displaced now, while those who have remained are focused on repairing their own damaged homes.

Those who would like to donate can head to pointbreezefiredepartment.bigcartel.com to purchase a T-shirt with the money going toward their rebuilding.

Members of the department said the outreach from the community has been tremendous, but Ingram said they were, and continue to be, just doing what they signed up for.

“Our job is to rise up from under the storm at the earliest possible time and reserve our roles as guardians of the community,” said Ingram.

More Queens Courier Persons of the Year:

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Overcast in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 36 with a windchill as low as 18. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 27 with a windchill as low as 18. Winds from the West at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: There There 

There There  is a wildly unpredictable theatrical roller coaster about being the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time doing the wrong things. Christopher Walken, on tour in Russia with a solo show, mysteriously falls off a ladder and is unable to perform. Karen, who apparently proofread the script once, is asked to fill in. On until January 12 at the Chocolate Factory in Long Island City. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens schools damaged by Sandy welcome students back

On the first school day of 2013, students at P.S. 207 were finally back in their building. Read more: NY1

Off-duty cop charged with DWI in Queens

An off-duty New York City police officer was arrested Wednesday and charged with driving while intoxicated and fleeing an accident in Queens. Read more: CBS New York

Boehner sets House votes on Sandy aid after Republican attacks

House Speaker John Boehner abruptly reversed course on Wednesday and set a timetable to approve $60 billion in Superstorm Sandy relief, after fellow Republicans including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie heaped scorn on his cancellation of an earlier vote. Read more: Reuters

Hillary Clinton released from NYC hospital after being treated for blood clot 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was discharged from New York Presbyterian Hospital Wednesday evening and her medical team is confident she will “make a full recovery.” Read more: CBS New York

Chef sues Citi Field food contractor Aramark

He says they took him right out of the old ball game. A former Citi Field chef has sued stadium food contractor Aramark because they fired him after he took a short time off after suffering chest pain, according to a Brooklyn federal court lawsuit. Read more: New York Post

New York City launches $500K grant program for local media and entertainment small businesses

Lights, camera, money. The city has launched a $500,000 training grant program for local small businesses that specialize in media and entertainment. Read more: New York Daily News

Congress ushering in new members, with old divide

Congress is ushering in the new and the old – dozens of eager freshmen determined to change Washington and the harsh reality of another stretch of bitterly divided government. Read more: AP

Queens Courier Persons of the Year honoree: Roxbury Volunteer Fire Department


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

DSC_0413w

With 2012 behind us, The Queens Courier is paying tribute to the First Responders — those men and women who put their lives on the line every day, and who braved Sandy’s wrath to save, and help rebuild, lives.

They have earned our respect and admiration, and a debt of gratitude. Here is one of their stories . .

It began as a glow to the west, a speck of twinkling amber light in the darkness. From the loft above the Roxbury Volunteer Fire Department’s station, the crew watched as the flicker became a blaze, carrying a once charming beachfront neighborhood into the night sky in embers and smoke.

“Oh my God,” they said. “Breezy’s burning.”

By dawn, the Breezy Point fire consumed over 120 homes, displacing hundreds during the most devastating storm to hit the East Coast in years. The Roxbury Volunteer Fire Department was one of the first outfits to respond to the fire — the most destructive one Chief Richard Colleran had witnessed in more than four decades of service.

Sandy provided unexpected complications for the volunteer company. Around 6:25 p.m. on Monday, October 29, water entered the firehouse. Within 15 minutes, the tide rose up to their knees. Colleran ordered his 12 remaining crew members to the studio apartment-sized room above the station where they watched the fire as it grew larger. Then, they lost all communication.

“We didn’t know how high the fire was going to get or when it was going to stop,” said Colleran.

One of the firefighters, a dispatcher with the FDNY, sent a distress signal to alert the borough’s dispatch center about the expanding inferno. Helpless, all they could do was wait and watch as the glow off in the distance crept closer.

Around 10 p.m., the flood receded enough to move the trucks from the station. The water-logged engines took several tries to start before sputtering on, gurgling under the weight of several feet of ocean. The crew members jumped on their soaked trucks and moved towards the blaze.

At 8th and Ocean Avenues, the nexus of the flash, the Roxbury Department met with members of Rockaway Point Volunteer Fire Company, who at the mercy of the tide were left without equipment. Broken water mains and defunct hydrants led Colleran and his men to draft seawater from where they stood using a floating strainer and suction — a piece of equipment that no other fire company in the area owned. They came in from the north side, attacking the fire to ensure it did not spread any further. Propane barbecue tanks and transformers burst like cherry bombs around the firefighters who sprayed the climbing flames.

“The fire was around us and all over the place. I don’t know how many houses were gone at the time,” Colleran said.

Back at the Roxbury Fire Station, Colleran’s wife Mary watched the blaze, terrified.

“The scary thing was these guys were the only ones who could put water on the fire,” she said. “None of the other departments could — I just kept praying these guys were OK — that was a scary night.”

Several hours into fighting the fire, trucks began disappearing. Drivers left their men standing in the watery inferno, confused. The pump used to harness seawater broke. City fire departments had finally arrived, drafting water with their rigs. With the blaze contained, Colleran and his men made their way back to their station house, exhausted. They didn’t have to make any rescues or pull anyone from the fire. There were no lives lost. For that, they were thankful.

Since the storm, the Roxbury Volunteer Fire Department has been running a makeshift mini-mart, stocking shelves of baby formula, chips and bottled water for locals in need. Construction paper pennants and cards, scribbled with magic marker offer pleas of strength and hope from students in the surrounding New York area.

“Stay strong!” some say. “Don’t give up hope.”

Fifteen families have called the station house “home” for the past few months, sleeping in the same loft where the staff watched the fire. Every day, the lunch crowd for Mary Colleran’s ribs and sausages grows smaller. Richard Colleran used to monitor how many visitors stopped in by how many times he needed to refill the coffee pot. The number has dwindled as the displaced find refuge elsewhere.

It will be months before Richard and Mary Colleran return to their home on the bayfront in Roxbury, which swallowed over six feet of water, lost its deck and suffered a cracked foundation. Their furniture is gone and their insurance won’t cover any of it.

Regarded as extraordinary, the veteran firefighter said he did not feel his actions during the fire warranted herculean praise.

“They were calling him a hero,” said Mary.

“Oh? Nah, just doing what we do,” Colleran said. “I just went down there to do whatever I could do. I’ve been trying to help people for years and I’m still going to help people.”

More Queens Courier Persons of the Year honorees:

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

MTA considers installing sliding doors to prevent deaths, injuries

The MTA will reconsider installing sliding doors on some subway platforms to prevent riders from getting killed or injured by trains, a top official told the Daily News. Fifty-four people this year have met their bloody ends on the tracks — a five-year high at more than one per week — according to preliminary figures released by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Read more: Daily News

Whale that washed ashore and died in Queens could pose health threat

The whale that washed up on a beach in the Rockaways and died could potentially pose a threat to humans. Members of the New York State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said there is a possibility that the whale could carry diseases that could be potentially harmful to people. Read more: Queens Courier

Young boy killed by truck in apparent hit-and-run in Jackson Heights

Tragically, little Miguel Torres never got to eat his last snack. The 11-year-old Queens boy was fatally struck by a truck Friday morning moments after he bought a Sprite and Pop Tarts at a corner store, police and witnesses said. Read more: Daily News

Teen killed at Queens house party

A 17-year-old boy died after being shot in the head outside of a Queens house party. The NYPD says the party was just breaking up and the boy was apparently drunk and milling about the property. Read more: My Fox NY

Congressional leaders hopeful as fiscal cliff deadline nears

Even though the top four Congressional leaders left their White House meeting with the president separately and silently on Friday, they cast the hour-long encounter in a positive light back at the Capitol. Read more: NPR

 

UPDATE: Whale that washed ashore and died in Queens could pose health threat


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo Twitter/@PointBreezeFD

A beached whale that washed up in Breezy Point this morning, may be near death, the New York Times reported Wednesday afternoon.

According to police, the whale was found alive around 10:40 a.m. at Beach 216th Street and Palmer Drive.

NYPD and FDNY personnel, including members of the Point Breeze Volunteer Fire Department, were spraying water on it to keep it alive until the Riverhead Foundation arrived to help the stranded whale.

But it may have been too late to save it.

The Times said that experts may need to euthanize the emaciated fin whale, which is estimated to be about 60 feet long and 60 or 80 tons.

UPDATE:

The whale that washed up on a beach in the Rockaways and died could potentially pose a threat to humans.

Members of the New York State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said there is a possibility that the whale could carry diseases that could be potentially harmful to people. A necropsy will be conducted on the whale sometime in the next few days to determine the cause of the animal’s death.

According to a report from Discovery News, whales can suffer from influenza, most likely by catching germs spread by bird waste. However, the risk of the disease being passed to humans is low.

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 40. Northwest wind 13 to 15 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 30. Northwest wind 5 to 9 mph becoming light north after midnight.

EVENT of the WEEKEND: Jazz Night at New York’s Legendary Metropolitan Room

The incomparable Stix Bones will be hosting two Jazz Nights during December at the renowned Metropolitan Room in NYC. Jazz Night is a seventy-five minute performance highlighting music from the forefathers of Jazz such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Dizzy Gillespie, and original compositions by drummer Stix Bones. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Man dead after train push horror in Queens

A man was killed tonight after a woman pushed him into the path of an oncoming train in Queens, police sources said. The tragedy occurred at the elevated 40th Street station, near Queens Boulevard, in Sunnyside at around 8 p.m., sources added. Read more: NY Post

Sandy Hook funeral-fund scam outrages, feds charge Nouel Alba

The innocent blood spilled on the floors of a Connecticut elementary school was still warm when a Bronx woman hatched a sick scam to profit off the tragedy. Nouel Alba, 37, was busted after allegedly posing as an aunt of 6-year-old Noah Pozner — one of 20 children massacred inside Sandy Hook Elementary School — to collect money for the child’s “funeral fund,” authorities said. Read more: Daily News

Official: Endangered whale beached in Queens dead

A 60-foot whale was found dead on Thursday after getting stranded on a beach in a coastal enclave of New York City that was ravaged by Superstorm Sandy. The animal — part of an endangered species known as finback or fin whales — was severely emaciated but clinging to life when it was discovered Wednesday stranded on the bay side of Breezy Point. Volunteer firefighters sprayed water on the whale as it sat halfway out of the water. Read more: NY Post

Wednesday storm causes more issues for residents of two Jamaica homes

Wednesday’s storm caused more problems for some Jamaica residents whose homes were severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Natasha Francis and her two kids are staying with family and friends. She said Hurricane Sandy damaged her roof, and now there’s water everywhere. Read more: NY1

2 armed robbers terrorize Queens shopkeepers

Cops say two men have been very busy this holiday season from terrorizing six Queens shopkeepers. On December 5th, Nisha Sharvo was minding her business behind the back pharmacy counter of Quick Script Drugs in Hollis, when on her security monitors she watched the men hold up the front counter and order staff and customers to the floor while robbing them – all before making a beeline for Sharvo. Read more: ABC Local

 

FDNY determines cause of Breezy Point, other Sandy fires


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Two months after Sandy hit, the FDNY has determined the cause of most of the serious fires that occurred during the superstorm, including the Breezy Point blaze that decimated 126 homes and damaged 22 others, Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano announced this week.

“A total of 21 serious fires occurred during the storm, destroying more than 200 homes and businesses across the city, and fire marshals have determined that most were sparked by sea water impacting electrical systems and components in and around these structures,” said Cassano.

Storm conditions also contributed to the severity of these fires because floodwaters made it difficult for authorities to reach and control them, and winds helped spread the fires, according to the FDNY.

The six-alarm Breezy Point blaze, which started around 8:30 p.m. on Monday, October 29, the night of the superstorm, started when water that came in contact with the electrical system of a one-story house at 173 Ocean Avenue. After it spread to over a hundred other homes, firefighters finally brought it under control at about 6:30 a.m the next day.

Authorities also had a difficult time responding to two significant Rockaway Beach fires during Sandy because of flooding and storm surge.

According to the FDNY, one of those blazes started when utility wires fell onto a three-story commercial and residential structure at 113-18 Rockaway Beach Boulevard during the storm, spreading to and destroying and 16 other buildings.

Another Rockaway Beach fire, at a Beach 129 Street home, was also caused by utility wires and destroyed 32 structures after authorities couldn’t reach it for several hours.

In addition to the 21 serious storm-related blazes in New York City, there were another 73 structural ones, said the FDNY.

Most of these blazes, 68, was electrical-related, 20 began because of an open flame, such as candles or a stovetop, and six started because of generators.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast with a chance of rain in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 45. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 20%. Tuesday night: Overcast. Low of 32. Winds from the North at 5 to 15 mph.

Hurricane Sandy’s 21 most serious fires caused by sea water hitting electrical systems: FDNY

Most of the 21 serious fires that destroyed hundreds of homes during Superstorm Sandy were sparked by sea water coming into contact with electrical systems, the FDNY announced Monday. Read more: New York Daily News

Outer borough metered cabs head to NY’s highest court

This cab fight is going straight to the top. The city has received permission to bypass the Appellate Division and go directly to the state’s highest court — the Court of Appeals — to try to overturn a lower court ruling blocking a new class of 18,000 taxis that would be allowed to pick up street hails outside Manhattan. Read more: New York Post

A Christmas miracle: Queens baby miraculously survives despite mother’s rare condition

This is a Christmas full of special meaning for a young family in Queens. Read more: CBS New York

Winter storm barrels toward region

Forecasters are tracking a significant winter storm barreling toward the tri-state area, though it’s not clear whether the system will pummel the region with rain or snow when it arrives Wednesday evening. Read more: NBC New York

Report: FBI counter-terror agents investigated Occupy Wall Street

When the Occupy Wall Street movement was setting up shop in Zuccotti Park last year, the FBI was already using counter-terrorism agents to investigate it, according to a report. Read more: CBS New York

Ambushed NY firemen shot dead; two police killed elsewhere

A gunman, who spent 17 years in prison for murder, ambushed and killed two volunteer firefighters and wounded two others on Monday near Rochester, New York, as they responded to a house fire he deliberately set, police said. Read more: Reuters

2 actors we loved knowing, who seemed to know us

What a couple of mugs, sporting less-than-perfect physiques in the bargain. But was there anything lovelier than Jack Klugman or Charles Durning doing what they did for an audience? Read more: AP

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Mostly cloudy in the morning, then overcast with a chance of rain. High of 39 with a windchill as low as 25F. Winds from the North at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the ESE in the afternoon. Chance of rain 60%. Monday Night: Overcast with snow and rain, then rain after midnight. Low of 37. Winds from the SE at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the ENE after midnight. Chance of precipitation 80% .

EVENT of the DAY: Jewish/Chinese Nosh Party “Woks and Lox”

Come to the Queens Kickshaw in Astoria tonight for Woks and Lox, a Jewish/Chinese nosh party! Celebrated chef Chichi Wang takes care of the menu, but there will also be Mah Jong, a Bar Mitzvah-esque sign-in board, a Chinese auction with prizes and other forms of Jewish and Chinese-inspired fun. (Auction proceeds will go to Jews for Racial & Economic Justice and the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence.). Starts at 8 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens lifeguard who used his surfboard for dramatic rescues during killer storm tragically drowns

A 23-year-old hero lifeguard from Queens — who used his surfboard to help save six lives as superstorm Sandy raged — drowned on Sunday in a surfing accident in Puerto Rico. Read more: New York Daily News

Search continues for Queens boy missing since Friday

A missing child alert remains in effect for a 10-year-old Queens boy. Read more: CBS New York

Recent rains worsen Queens apartments’ damage from Sandy

In a duplex in Jamaica, Queens, two families are still enduring damage from Hurricane Sandy. Read more: NY1

Gun control advocates join hands across the Brooklyn Bridge

Advocates for new measures to curb gun violence after the deadly Connecticut school attack have assembled on both sides of the Brooklyn Bridge to send a picturesque message to legislators. Read more: CBS New York

Potential school bus strike threatens ‘poverty quota’

The first quota system for a public school to be approved under the Bloomberg administration is in jeopardy of falling through due to a busing-related snag, parent leaders charge. Read more: New York Daily News

Assault weapons ban talk sparks run on gun stores

The National Rifle Association may still get its way and defeat the lawmakers calling for a ban on the sale of assault ridles, but some gun store owners say it seems their customers aren’t taking any chances. Read more: ABC News

Lawmakers see ‘fiscal cliff’ deal as elusive

With anxiety rising as the country lurches towards a “fiscal cliff,” lawmakers are increasingly skeptical about a possible deal and some predict the best possibility would be a small-scale patch because time is running out before the yearend deadline.Read more: AP

 

 

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 48. Winds from the NW at 10 to 15 mph. Tuesday night: Overcast in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 34. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: 20th Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival

In the first movie, A Mother’s Love, a strong black woman’s taste for the good life does not include her husband or daughter Monica. It takes another’s love and prayers to get the mother down to earth. The second flick, Between Friends, is set in Trinidad and Tobago. Middle class youngsters go to nightclubs and share moments at the beach, but filmmaker gradually exposes the different layers of their interaction. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Sources: Man shot in Midtown was aspiring Los Angeles rapper

Police say just before 2 p.m. Monday someone walked westbound on 58th street towards Broadway and shot Brandon Lincoln Woodard, 31, at close range in the back of the head. Read more: NY1

Queens drug addict busted for killing his mother and father — one year apart — as evidence surfaces under the patents’ fingernails

They gave him his DNA. And in the end, that genetic material doomed him. Queens drug addict Gregory Cucchiara, a 290-pound behemoth with a long rap sheet and little record of achievement, murdered his mother and father in separate attacks a year apart — murders that were ultimately solved from biological evidence found under the parents’ fingernails, law enforcement authorities said. Read more New York Daily News

MTA quits countdown clocks in favor of ‘Bus Time

Time has run out for New York City bus riders hoping to rely on countdown clocks. The MTA is reportedly giving up on posting electronic message boards that show bus arrival times. Read more: ABC New York

Single rides and monthly passes to cost more in M.T.A. plan

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board appears poised to consider a proposal that would increase base fares on subways and buses by a quarter, to $2.50, and raise the cost of a 30-day pass by $8, to $112. Read more: New York Times

Heroic ‘Operation Breezy Gut and Pump’ comes to an end

After an exhausting month of gutting, pumping and rebuilding, a heroic volunteer group suspended their Breezy Point operation on Sunday. Read more: New York Daily News

Strauss-Kahn, NYC hotel maid settle civil lawsuit over alleged assault

Dominique Strauss-Kahn and a New York hotel maid who accused the former International Monetary Fund chief of sexually assaulting her agreed on Monday to settle her civil lawsuit against him for an undisclosed sum, ending one chapter of a scandal that cost him his job and derailed his political career in France. Read more: Reuters

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy. Fog early. High of 59. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph. Monday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 48. Winds less than 5 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Greater Astoria Historical Society Christmas Party

Widely regarded as one of the greatest storytellers of all time, Charles Dickens left an indelible mark on how we celebrate the holidays. Tonight the Greater Astoria Historical Society will mark the 200th anniversary of the writer’s birth and have its annual holiday party with music, fun and special raffles. Free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Up to St. John’s University to continue case against estate of suicide dean, Cecilia Chang

The Queens district attorney will abandon his effort to get back the $1 million the late St. John’s University dean Cecilia Chang embezzled from the school — leaving the university to decide whether to continue the case against the estate of the suicide dean. Read more: New York Daily News

Cuomo to make $42B storm aid pitch to Congress

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be in the nation’s capital to meet with members of Congress as he seeks billions of dollars in federal aid to help New York recover from Superstorm Sandy. Read more: Fox 5 New York

Work week begins with higher tolls on bridges and tunnels

The countdown was on Sunday night to the first morning rush since a new toll hike went into effect for bridges and tunnels run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Read more: CBS New York

Development will damage Flushing Meadows’ role as marshy buffer against storm surge and coastal flooding

The borough of Queens was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Breezy Point, the Rockaways and other neighborhoods were completely devastated and may never be the same. We’d be foolish to think that Sandy was a once-in-a-lifetime storm. Instead, Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene are what we can expect more often in our future with climate change a clear and present danger. Read more: New York Daily New

Pig faces ‘big bad’ co-op

Say it oink so! Residents of a Queens co-op say the pet pig rooting around their courtyard isn’t kosher — and are determined to get the city to evict the unwelcome ungulate from the complex. Read more: New York Post

Some schools in New York, Connecticut to lengthen class time

New York and Connecticut are among five states set to announce Monday that they will add at least 300 hours of learning time to the calendar in some schools beginning next year. Read more: CBS New York

 No ‘fiscal cliff’ deal without higher rates, Geithner say

The Obama administration will entertain any Republican plans to avoid a so-called “fiscal cliff” at year’s end, but Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the Bush-era tax cuts for top incomes must go. Read more: CNN