Tag Archives: Sandy relief

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

House approves $50.7B in Sandy aid


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Sandy victims are one step closer to receiving the relief money they need.

After $9.7 billion in flood insurance funds were signed into law earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an additional $50.7 billion in aid.

In a 327-91 vote Tuesday afternoon, January 15, the House approved $17 billion in emergency funding that will go towards addressing immediate needs for victims and communities affected by Sandy.

A few hours later, a final bill that included an additional $33.7 billion for both immediate and anticipated needs was adopted in a 241-180 vote.

“We are grateful to those members of Congress who today pulled together in a unified, bipartisan coalition to assist millions of their fellow Americans in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut at their greatest time of need. The tradition of Congress being there and providing support for Americans during times of crisis, no matter where they live across this great country, lives on in today’s vote in the House of Representatives. We anticipate smooth passage when this package moves back to the Senate for final approval and for this long-awaited relief to finally make its way to our residents,” said Governors Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie and Dannel Malloy in a joint statement.

“It’s been two-and-a-half months since Sandy hammered our region, and thousands of New Yorkers continue to suffer from the devastation. Now, they will finally receive the relief that they have desperately needed, said Congressmember Grace Meng. “The battle we had to fight to secure this aid was outrageous. But I’m pleased that the money will finally start to head our way.”

Throughout the day’s legislative session, House members spoke adamantly about the bill. Some stressed the relief money’s urgency, while others objected to unrelated Sandy spending.
In the House, the majority of those opposed to the relief aid were Republicans. The Democratically controlled Senate is expected to say yes to the money next week.

In December, the Senate initially approved the full $60.4 billion Sandy aid package in one lump sum, but the House adjourned before it could follow suit.

After several politicians publicly criticized Speaker John Boehner for the early adjournment, he scheduled a vote on the legislation.

But the $60.4 billion was broken up into several votes, starting with Congress’ January 4 approval of the $9.7 billion.

That part of the legislation temporarily increases the borrowing authority of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for carrying out the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The $50 billion passed Tuesday includes money for FEMA disaster relief, transit and infrastructure repairs, and other recovery needs.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Friday: Overcast with a chance of rain in the afternoon. High of 48. Winds from the SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%. Friday night: Overcast with rain, then a chance of rain after midnight. Fog overnight. Low of 43. Winds from the SSE at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the East after midnight. Chance of rain 80%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Homesick Hound Dogs

The Queens Kickshaw in Astoria presents the Homesick Hound Dogs — an altcountry/Americana band that couldn’t have happened anywhere besides New York City. With high-energy original songs about love, whiskey and other things that make life awkward and wonderful, the group strives to make the listener feel at home no matter how far home is, most importantly they will make you feel at home in your dancing shoes. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Donations for Sandy victims may not be going entirely to victims and recovery, says watchdog

Victims of Superstorm Sandy may not be receiving all the donations that have poured in for them, according to a disaster aid watchdog group. Read more: New York Daily News

Obama names Queens native Jack Lew as treasury secretary

Queens is coming to the cabinet. President Obama officially nominated his chief of staff, Queens native Jacob “Jack” Lew, for secretary of the treasury Thursday. Read more: Queens Courier

Mechanical error may have been cause of ferry crash

The day after a ferry ride left dozens of passengers in stretchers, the National Transportation Safety Board is slowly finding answers. Read more: NY1

New York City examining DNA errors in rape cases

The New York City medical examiner is reviewing hundreds of rape cases for DNA evidence errors. ABC New York

New York in midst of flu epidemic as emergency room and drug store visits rise

A ferocious flu “epidemic” has New Yorkers rushing to doctors, hospitals and drug stores — with emergency-room visits up 150 percent over last year, city health officials said yesterday. Read more: New York Post

FDA requires lower doses for sleep medications

The Food and Drug Administration is requiring makers of Ambien and similar sleeping pills to lower the dosage of their drugs, based on studies suggesting patients face a higher risk of injury due to morning drowsiness. Read more: ABC News

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Partly cloudy. High of 48. Winds from the NW at 10 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 36. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Urinetown: The Musical

Winner of three Tony awards and one of the most uproariously funny musicals in recent years, Urinetown is a hilarious tale of greed, corruption, love and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold. In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. Performances start Thursday, January 10 and continue through Saturday, January 26 at The Secret Theatre in Long Island City. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Crane collapses in Long Island City, injuring seven

Seven workers suffered minor injuries when a crane collapsed at a Long Island City building site. Read more: Queens Courier

Cuomo takes aim at guns, Sandy relief during State of the State address

Governor Andrew Cuomo has vowed New York will become the nation’s leader in gun safety laws in wake of recent shootings. Read more: Queens Courier

Seastreak Wall Street Ferry saw other problems before crash

The Seastreak Wall Street ferry that crashed in Lower Manhattan Wednesday has had a few minor incidents in recent years. Read more: CBS New York

Cheating teacher the answer man: probe

A Queens elementary- school teacher brazenly helped fourth-graders cheat on the state’s high-stakes English exams, even though there was a second proctor in the room, investigators found. Read more: New York Post

Breezy Point couple surprised with newly renovated home after it was destroyed by Sandy

An octogenarian Queens couple whose house was ravaged by Superstorm Sandy received a surprise gift on Wednesday — a brand new home. Read more: New York Daily News

Report: Queens Native Will Likely Head Up Treasury Dept.

President Barack Obama is reportedly set to tap a native New Yorker to serve as the new head of the United States Treasury Department. Read more: NY1

NYC firm hit hard on 9/11 gives $10M in Sandy aid

The New York City brokerage firm that lost 658 employees in the Sept. 11 terror attacks announced that it will “adopt” 19 schools in communities hit hard by Superstorm Sandy and will give each family in those schools $1,000 to spend as they see fit. Read more: AP

Cuomo takes aim at guns, Sandy relief during State of the State address


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Governor Cuomo's Flickr

Governor Andrew Cuomo has vowed New York will become the nation’s leader in gun safety laws in wake of recent shootings.

At his annual State of the State address on January 9, Cuomo put forth a seven-point agenda that would lead to some of the tightest gun regulations in the country – particularly aimed at assault weapons and multi-round ammunition clips.

“I know that the issue of gun control is hard,” an energized Cuomo said during his closing remarks. “But we are proposing today common sense measures. It’s simple: no one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer.”

Cuomo’s seven points are: the toughest assault rifle ban in the country; closing a private sale loophole by requiring background checks; banning high-capacity magazines; harsher penalties for illegal gun use; keeping guns away from the mentally ill; blocking direct Internet sales of ammunition in the state; and creating a state check on all ammunition purchases.

While the governor wants to crack down on high-powered rifles, he clarified any new gun legislation would not harm legal gun owners and would be a balanced plan.

“This is not taking away people’s guns,” Cuomo said. It is “about ending the unnecessary risk of high-capacity assault rifles.”

Relief and moving forward after Sandy dominated a good portion of Cuomo’s hour-and-a-half address.

On delayed federal aid, Cuomo called on Congress to stop “playing politics” and give relief to New York and New Jersey residents who desperately need it. The $9.7 billion initially passed Friday, January 4 for flood insurance was not enough, Cuomo said, and more had to be done.

“My friends, that [$9 billion] is just too little and that is too late,” he said. “This has long been established that in the face of a disaster, the federal government comes in to help.”

Cuomo promised the city as a whole would come back bigger and better, by remaking homes to last and resist future storms, especially in coastal regions. Raising homes in areas such as Rockaway could prevent future flooding like that during Sandy’s surge. The state also plans on buying parcels of land from residents who want to relocate to higher-elevated areas.

This also includes better precautionary measures for tunnels and subways. Though this would be costly for the state, Cuomo said he wants to do it now to prevent the city from shutting down in the way it did after Sandy.

“We can rebuild a better society than we had,” he said.

 

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Congress approves $9.7B in Sandy aid


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

After the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelming passed 9.7 billion in Sandy aid Friday, 354-67, the Senate unanimously approved it later that afternoon.

The money will go towards flood insurance claims for Sandy-damaged homes and businesses.

A vote on the remaining $51 billion in storm aid will take place January 15.

“Belated as the bill may be, I am pleased the House was able to finally act today on a piece of the vital Superstorm Sandy disaster relief legislation to increase borrowing authority by FEMA on behalf of the National Flood Insurance Program. This action, however, is woefully insufficient in addressing the significant concerns and needs of millions affected by last fall’s storm,” said Congressmember Gregory Meeks.

“Today’s action by the House was a necessary and critical first step towards delivering aid to the people of New York and New Jersey. While we are pleased with this progress, today was just a down payment and it is now time to go even further and pass the final and more complete, clean disaster aid bill. We are trusting Congress to act accordingly on January 15th and pass the final $51 billion instrumental for long-term rebuilding in order for New Jersey, New York and our people to recover after the severe devastation of Hurricane Sandy,” said Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie in a joint statement.

Today’s approval came after several politicians publicly criticized Speaker John Boehner earlier this week for adjourning the House before voting on the $60 billion Sandy relief package.

Following the criticism, Boehner promptly scheduled a vote on the legislation.

President Obama, who urged the House to vote and pass the aid money, is expected to sign today’s approved bill.