Tag Archives: Red Cross

Jackson Heights fire injures four, displaces families


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

An early morning fire in Jackson Heights Wednesday left four families displaced and injured four.

The two-alarm blaze broke out around 2:30 a.m. on the second floor of a two-story building on Roosevelt Avenue near 80th Street, said the FDNY, and was under control about an hour later.

Fire officials said four people received minor injuries in the blaze, including two firefighters.

According to the Red Cross, the fire displaced four families, two of which required emergency housing that the Red Cross provided. The Red Cross said it also provided emergency funds for basic necessities, such as food and clothing.

 

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Red Cross donates $1M to extend hotel program for Sandy victims


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

An anonymous donor has funded the almost-terminated Hotel Program, thereby allowing families displaced by Sandy to be housed past the original end date.

The donor, later revealed as the Red Cross, donated $1 million to the city program, which was previously funded by FEMA. That federal aid was set to stop on September 30.

“Hundreds of Sandy victims remain in hotels as they repair their homes or transition into new ones,” said Councilmember Donovan Richards, who fought against the termination of the program.

He said the end of the FEMA funding was “pushing these families into the homeless system.”

The Department of Homeless Services created the Hotel Program shortly after the storm left hundreds of residents on the streets. City homeless shelters were without any additional room, and so various hotels took in the storm victims.

Originally, the program was set to stop by May 31. The decision was taken to court, and federal funding was extended through September. The Red Cross stepped in on October 3 with its own donation.

“Today was almost the day hundreds of Sandy victims ended up on the street, or back in their mold-filled homes,” Richards said after receiving the donation. “This money gives our friends and neighbors the grace period they need to avoid homelessness.”

Over 1,000 households participated in the Hotel Program since Sandy, which cost more than $70.5 million, according to court documents. As of mid-September, 179 households remain in the program.

Since FEMA could no longer provide aid, the cost would have been transferred onto the city, which does not have a place in its budget for the program, according to court documents.

“Although this money will not extend the program forever, this will aid every day New Yorkers who are in the process of transitioning into new homes,” Richards said.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Tuesday: Partly cloudy. High of 81. Winds from the ENE at 5 to 15 mph shifting to the SSE in the afternoon. Tuesday night: Overcast in the evening, then mostly cloudy. Low of 72. Winds from the SSE at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: 30th Annual National Night Out Against Crime

The 30th Annual National Night Out Against Crime will take place on Tuesday, August 6, bringing together cops and the community. With food, fun and games, the evening fosters a sense of partnership and sends a message that people are coming “out against crime.” Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Red Cross spends $260M on Sandy relief; FEMA extends shelter program 

Red Cross officials say as of July 15 they had spent $260 million of over $300 million the agency received in donations for Hurricane Sandy relief. Read more: NY1

Cycling advocates spend summer petitioning for bike lane on Queens Blvd.

Cycling advocates are taking to the streets in hopes of getting a bike lane on Queens Blvd. Read more: New York Daily News

NY to tax scofflaws: Pay or license gets suspended

New York has begun sending notices to 16,000 delinquent taxpayers threatening to suspend their driver’s licenses if they don’t pay up, officials said Monday. Read more: NBC New York

Judge strikes down City Council’s prevailing wage bill

Mayor Michael Bloomberg claimed victory Monday after a judge struck down the prevailing wage law passed by the City Council last year. Read more: NY1

New NYC program lets parents take out loans for day care

After housing, child care is one of the largest expenses for families in New York City. Read more: CBS New York

US, British embassies evacuated in Yemen over terror threat

The State Department on Tuesday ordered non-essential personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen to leave the country following the threat by al-Qaida that has triggered temporary shutdowns of 19 American diplomatic posts across the Middle East and Africa. Read more: AP

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Friday: Increasing clouds, with a high near 47. Light and variable wind becoming east 6 to 11 mph in the morning. Friday night: A slight chance of rain or drizzle after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 41. East wind 9 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

EVENT of the DAY: Shirley Valentine at Queens Theatre

The Tony and Olivier Award-winning play, written by Willy Russell, is about a middle-aged housewife who finds herself unhappy and wondering what happened to all the joy in her life. But when she’s offered the chance to go on the vacation-of-a-lifetime, Shirley is introduced to the adventure, hope and, ultimately, love she had been missing. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Citizens group demands ‘overdue’ stormproof measures to prevent future devastation of Rockaways beaches

Just hours after Superstorm Sandy devastated Rockaway Beach, someone angrily spray-painted a message on the wall of a battered handball court: “John Cori warned you.” Cori, who grew up down the street on Beach 92nd St., has spent the past few years advocating for beach replenishment, new jetties and other reforms to protect the dangerously eroded shoreline. Read more: Daily News

NY1 Exclusive: Red Cross Worker Charged With Alleged Sexual Abuse Of Woman Who Lost Her Home To Sandy

A Red Cross worker is charged with sexually assaulting a woman who turned to him for help after Hurricane Sandy destroyed her Queens home. NY1′s Dean Meminger filed the following report. Evergreen Washington says a Red Cross worker should be stripped of his red and white uniform and put in a prison jumpsuit. Read more: NY1

Romney lunches with Obama at White House

Bitter campaign foes just weeks ago, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney met for lunch at the White House on Thursday, sitting down with an eye on overlapping interests rather than the sharp differences that defined their presidential contest. Read more: NY Post

Rockaway Residents Frustrated With Crowded Buses, Longer Travel Times

Rockaway residents say they’re fed up having to wait an extra 30 minutes or more each morning for a bus to work. “I don’t get paid if I’m not there,” said one commuter. “It’s crazy.” In some cases, buses are so packed, they have to bypass stops. Read more: NY1

St. John’s University dean Cecilia Chang expressed “suicidal ideations” a month before she killed herself

Ex-St. John’s University dean Cecilia Chang talked of committing suicide little more than a month before she hanged herself during her criminal trial, according to court papers. A female friend of Chang’s asked to have her name removed from the bail bond because of the defendant’s increasingly bizarre behavior, defense lawyer Joel Cohen told a judge at an emergency hearing held on Oct. 1. Read more: Daily News

Queens homeowner can’t get in touch with insurance company

Dark and damp, the smell of seawater left from Sandy is a reminder for homeowner Marcy Miller Bolden of the water which flooded her basement during the hurricane. “My basement is completely destroyed,” Miller Bolden said. “The seawater corroded my boiler.” Now Miller Bolden is living without heat and expenses she can’t afford. Read more: NY1

MLS seeks to build 25,000-seat soccer stadium in Queens

Major League Soccer is taking its plan to build a 25,000-seat home for a new team in New York City to the politicians in Queens who will decide the project’s fate. The league will present its plan for a stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park to Borough President Helen Marshall, Queens city council members and community leaders on Dec. 3, Dan Andrews, a spokesman for Marshall, said today in an e-mail. Read more: NJ.com

New Yorkers: Gov Christie best at responding to Sandy


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo: Governor Christie's Office/Tim Larsen

For the first time New Yorkers may be jealous of New Jersey.

In a Quinnipiac University poll released today, the city’s voters said that Governor Chris Christie did the best job of responding to Superstorm Sandy.

Thirty-six percent of poll takers, who were asked to choose among the New Jersey governor, President Obama, Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg, rated Christie number one.

The president came in second with 22 percent, followed by Cuomo at 15 percent and Bloomberg at 12.

Despite being beat by leaders outside of New York, a large majority of city voters still said the two did an “excellent” or “good job.”

The storm even raised the mayor’s approval rating to 56 percent, his highest grade in two years, according to Quinnipiac.

“The storm-of-the-century brings out the best in Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New Yorkers say. But that love fest between New Jersey Governor Christopher Christie and President Barack Obama seems to have moved voters especially,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “While all four leaders get very high marks—it seems a hug or two never hurts.”

The poll also asked New York City voters what they thought of other storm response efforts.

Though there has been criticism of the MTA, Red Cross and utility companies, the majority of those surveyed thought the transit agency and disaster relief organization as well as first responders did an “excellent” or “good,” job, but only 37 percent gave utility companies that rating.

Additionally, about half of poll takers thought that government and relief agencies favored Manhattan over the outer boroughs.

When it comes to future storms, with the fear of climate change in mind, most of the city’s voters favor spending billions of dollars to better protect the city from weather disasters like Sandy.

Where were they?


| qceditorial@queenscourier.com

Can anyone tell us why it took TWO WEEKS for the Red Cross to get to Sandy victims in the Rockaways?

It seems that one of the areas that was hardest hit was also the most ignored by the organization.

In the days following the superstorm, elected officials, community leaders and people with heart flooded the area with help.

Conspicuously absent, though, was the Red Cross.

But despite what actually happened, CEO Gail McGovern told NBC News of Sandy relief efforts, “I think that we are near flawless so far in this operation.”

When we see the absolute devastation left in Sandy’s wake – and the lack of help from the Red Cross – “flawless” doesn’t come to mind. Rather, “disgraceful.”

 

Donations give Woodside families hope


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Fire_relief_donationw

Residents of Woodside united and delivered for their neighbors in need, who were devastated by a deadly fire that destroyed their homes.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer recently delivered a donation of over 3,000 items to victims of the fatal fire that claimed one life, injured five others and ravaged three homes on 61st Street in Woodside on November 18.

The contributions, which were made by residents of the surrounding community, included diapers, food, cleaning products, clothing and toys. The items were distributed to the three families forced from their homes by the fire on December 22 at the councilmember’s district office. Local Pastor Daniel Gilland and representatives from the Red Cross were also on hand to aid with the donation.

“In the wake of this tragic event, it is heartwarming to see the community’s response to support their neighbors,” said Van Bramer. “The response was more than we could have ever hoped for and I sincerely thank everyone for their tremendous efforts. During this holiday season, these donations will give a little hope back to the families who lost so much in the fire.”

Precint Council addresses events, wanted man


| nkarimi@queenscourier.com

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Chrissy Voskerichian, president of the 109th Precinct Community Council, and the members of the board recently welcomed back community members to their September meeting to discuss future events and crime statistics around Flushing.

Upcoming events include a Halloween festival at Bowne Park, a Thanksgiving meal with the officers and a holiday get-together at the Marco Hotel.

Other future events include a defensive driving class, a CPR certification class through the Red Cross and a trip to the 9/11 Memorial, all dates to be determined.

Assemblymember Grace Meng and Councilmembers Peter Koo and Dan Halloran also spoke about the importance of being vigilant in the community.

Deputy Inspector Brian Maguire reported that there were no murders in the 109th Precinct within the prior month, two rape cases and 18 robberies. Maguire went further to highlight a wanted black male — 6’4” tall, in his 20s, with tattoos around his hand and neck — known for stealing iPhones. The man allegedly stops people with a story about a lost sister in order to pilfer the phone