Tag Archives: Oklahoma tornado

Op-Ed: Solidarity with Oklahoma


| oped@queenscourier.com


BY ASSEMBLYMEMBER PHILLIP GOLDFEDER

When Sandy arrived seven months ago, my district, my community, and my family were severely impacted and our lives forever changed. Our neighborhoods, our businesses, and our homes were torn into pieces, flooded and burned down and our families left to rebuild their lives with uncertainty and despair.

We survived in southern Queens and Rockaway by helping each other and with great thanks to the kindness and generosity of our neighbors from across the country.

We have always been a strong community with a history of providing for others, but there are moments in time when the unimaginable takes place and we are forced to rely on others during our toughest challenges. Simply put, during Sandy we were not prepared.

I often look back at the days and weeks following the storm and wonder how we survived without a playbook, without a plan, and without the necessary resources. The answer is simple: we supported each other and were supported by those who have been through destruction and understood what we needed to survive.

When I heard that a natural disaster — this time a tornado — had ripped through the communities of Moore County in Oklahoma, I had a deep understanding of how they were feeling and on behalf of all of us who experienced Sandy, I needed to help. I needed to act.

Sandy survivors from across our community were inquiring about how to assist families that were struggling. I immediately reached out to my counterpart in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, Paul Wesselhoft, whose district included the devastated areas of Moore County. After speaking with him, the decision was clear: I knew what I had to do for our community that strongly desired to return the favor that had been done for us just a short seven months ago. I booked the next flight to Oklahoma.

I had no plan, no agenda — only a desire to assist the thousands that were struggling to find hope. As I drove from the airport to the Capital, the only visible signs of a tornado were the many tents, hastily prepared and staffed with enthusiastic volunteers ready to receive supply donations. I stopped at each location to explain the circumstances that put me in their particular neighborhood and to say thank you for their help in the relief effort. Each encounter concluded with hugs, tears, and a rejuvenated spirit and belief that here was a light at the end of the tunnel.

I arrived in Oklahoma City and met with Wesselhoft and others including Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon to discuss the level of damage, ongoing relief efforts and what I could do to help.

Sadly, spending every waking hour in the affected communities following Sandy prepared me for what I was about to see. As I traveled through Moore, it was difficult to distinguish where the streets ended and homes began; their neighborhoods, their businesses and their homes were torn into pieces, blown away with their families left to rebuild their lives with uncertainty and despair.

The damage and devastation was eerily similar to what I witnessed in our own community post-Sandy, but I also saw the same strength, resolve, and resiliency of the families experiencing this tragedy.

On behalf of southern Queens and Rockaway, I traveled to Oklahoma to say thank you for being there for us, but more importantly, I sent a strong message that we would be there for them. I met with their leaders, thanked volunteers and worked alongside families picking through the debris with the hope of locating lost memories.

I want to thank everyone in our community that has found a way to help families in Oklahoma get back on their feet. Trucks of supplies were sent, money was donated, and volunteers from our community are now on the ground repaying the debt. As we continue our own recovery, please keep the struggling families in Oklahoma in your thoughts and prayers.

Goldfeder represents Assembly District 23

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain. High of 86. Winds from the South at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%. Wednesday night: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain. Low of 70. Winds from the SSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: International Star Andy Statman Plays Mandolin and Clarinet

Considered one of the world’s premier mandolinists and clarinetists, the Grammy-nominated musician Andy Statman has played with everyone from Itzhak Perlman to Jerry Garcia. This concert on Wednesday, May 22 at LeFrak Concert Hall, Queens College is part of a national tour in honor of Statman’s recent National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Anthony Weiner launches mayoral run

Anthony Weiner has officially kicked off his political comeback. Almost two years after resigning from Congress because of a Twitter sext scandal, the former Queens politician is running for mayor. Read more: The Queens Courier

Artists howl as developer moves to tear down Long Island City graffiti palace 5Pointz

Long Island City artists are demanding a local panel block a plan to tear down a world-renowned graffiti mecca to make way for a luxury housing project. Read more: New York Daily News

Gay couple, man assaulted in 2 Separate attacks hours after rally against hate crimes

A gay couple was attacked early Tuesday in SoHo and a man was beaten in the East Village, hours after thousands marched to protest the killing of a gay man and several other bias attacks that have shaken the community, officials said. Read more: NBC New York 

Senior citizens hit hard by high electric rates in New York City

The numbers are in. New Yorkers are dishing out double for what most of the country pays for electricity. And if Con Edison gets its way, the rates could jump even higher. Read more: CBS New York

Immigration fingerprint proposal would apply to NYC airports

As Congress works on a comprehensive immigration bill, a new amendment would require all foreigners to be fingerprinted when they leave the U.S. through the nation’s 30 busiest airports. Read more: NY1

FBI kills Fla. man linked to Boston bombing suspect

An FBI agent was involved in a deadly shooting connected to the Boston Marathon bombing case. Read more: NBC News

Rescuers comb Oklahoma tornado rubble for buried survivors

Rescue workers with sniffer dogs and searchlights combed through the wreckage of a massive tornado to ensure no survivors remained buried in the rubble of primary schools, homes and buildings in an Oklahoma City suburb. Read more: Reuters

Queens’s Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy. Fog early. High of 82. Winds from the SW at 5 to 15 mph. Tuesday night: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers. Low of 70. Winds from the SW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Swingin’ with the All Stars: Louis Armstrong & Baseball 

Swingin’ with the All Stars: Louis Armstrong & Baseball, a new exhibit at the Louis Armstrong House Museum, explores his favorite sport, which he followed passionately. A longtime Brooklyn Dodgers fan, Louis switched to the New York Mets in the late 60s. The exhibit includes photos and artifacts exploring his relationship with the game. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Police pursue persons of interest in shooting death of girl, 14, on bus

Police have several leads and are pursuing a few persons of interest in the shooting death of a 14-year-old girl on a Queens bus Saturday, law enforcement sources tell NBC 4 New York. Read more: NBC New York 

Rockaway beaches readying to open Saturday after $140 million effort to repair Sandy’s destruction

The Rockaway Beach shoreline is turning shades of blue and chartreuse in preparation for Saturday’s unofficial kick-off of the summer season. Read more: New York Daily News

Willets Point business owners: We are being evicted by NYC for no reason

A lot of workers are about to lose their jobs. They got kicked out of their auto body shops by the landlord. Read more: CBS New York

City slams lawsuit alleging racial discrimination in stop-and-frisk during closing arguments

Witnesses who alleged racial bias in the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk didn’t prove their case, lawyers for the city said Monday in closing arguments in a nine-week trial over the controversial tactic. Read more: New York Daily News 

Crews dig through night after deadly Okla. twister

Spotlights bore down on massive piles of shredded cinder block, insulation and metal as crews worked through the night lifting bricks and parts of collapsed walls where a monstrous tornado barreled through the Oklahoma City suburbs, demolishing an elementary school and reducing homes to piles of splintered wood.  Read more: AP

NY crackdown on repeat drunken drivers keeps thousands off state roads: officials

New York officials say their crackdown on repeat drunken drivers through new rules imposed last September has resulted in 3,164 potentially dangerous motorists being kept off the state’s roadways. Read more: NBC New York