Tag Archives: superstorm sandy

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

Wednesday: Overcast with ice pellets and rain in the afternoon. High of 41. Windy. Winds from the ENE at 10 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph. Chance of precipitation 100% . Wednesday night: Overcast with rain. Low of 39F. Windy. Winds from the ENE at 30 to 35 mph with gusts to 55 mph. Chance of rain 100% with rainfall amounts near 1.4 in. possible

EVENT of the DAY: Holiday Open House

At the Queens Country Farm Museum Holiday Open House enjoy free tours of the decorated farmhouse, craft activity for children and mulled cider. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Some Hurricane Sandy aid diverted to Gulf Coast in D.C. deal to gain Senate votes

A bill to provide $60.4 billion in disaster aid to Northeast states ravaged by Hurricane Sandy has been quietly amended to divert some of the money to Gulf Coast states recovering from a much smaller storm. Read more: New York Daily News

NWS issues advisories across tri-state as massive snowstorm heads east

n enormous storm system that dumped snow and sleet on the nation’s midsection and unleashed damaging tornadoes around the Deep South began punching its way toward the Northeast on Wednesday, slowing holiday travel. Read more: CBS New York

Webster firemen’s killer left chilling note, deaths at 3

An ex-con killed two firefighters with the same caliber and make military-style rifle used in the Connecticut school massacre after typing a note pledging to burn down his neighborhood and “do what I like doing best, killing people,” police said Tuesday as another body, believed to be the gunman’s missing sister, was found. Read more: ABC New York

City fire marshal dies behind wheel on Christmas Eve

A city fire marshal died Monday night after suffering an apparent heart attack while driving in Queens. Read more: NY1

First of its kind Museum of Mathematics open in Flatiron District

A new museum has opened its doors in New York. This one’s geared a kids, but tackles a subject not typically popular among the school-aged set. Read more: CBS New York

Catholic schools open doors to storm-tossed students

The scene at St. Patrick School in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, seemed no different from that at any other parochial school: Students stood bright-eyed and fidgety in choirlike rows around the auditorium stage, rehearsing carols for an annual Christmas pageant. Read more: New York Times

Obama to cut vacation short to deal with fiscal crisis

President Barack Obama is cutting short his Hawaiian holiday to leave for Washington on Wednesday to address the unfinished “fiscal cliff” negotiations with Congress, the White House said on Tuesday. Read more: Reuters 

 

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 surfer who saved six during Sandy apparently drowns in Puerto Rico


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A 23-year-old Belle Harbor man, who, using his surfboard, heroically saved six people during Sandy, died in a surfing accident in Puerto Rico yesterday, according to multiple media reports.

The body of lifeguard Dylan Smith was discovered floating near his surfboard in the waters just off of Maria’s Beach in western Puerto Rican, near Rincon on Sunday morning, police told NBC New York.

Smith was pulled from the water, but attempts to resuscitate him failed. It appears that he drowned, but the U.S. Caribbean territory’s police are investigating his death.

FDNY Chief Michael Light, a family friend who knew Smith his whole life, told the Daily News that Smith went to the popular surfing spot to “unwind” and “blow off some steam.”

“The same sport — the sport of surfing — that he used to save all those people, it’s so shocking that he perished that way,” Light also told the paper.

During the night of Sandy, Smith, along with Michael McDonnell, rescued six of their neighbors trapped on a Beach 130th Street porch as houses around them burned and flood waters surged. Using a homemade rope bridge and surfboard, the pair was able to get them to safety.

Because of their heroics, People magazine named Smith and McDonnell as two of its 2012 Heroes of the Year.

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

Wednesday: Clear. High of 48. Breezy. Winds from the WNW at 15 to 20 mph. Wednesday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 36. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 15 mph

EVENT of the DAY: Queens Young Professionals Holiday Party

Recently, the Queens Young Professionals group formed to provide resources and networking opportunities to cultivate the borough’s future business leaders and encourage the next generation to become invested in borough wide issues. QYP, which is free to join, hosts its first ever holiday party with an unlimited buffet and specially priced drinks plus the chance to network. $10. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

M.T.A. chief will resign as he looks at mayoral bid

Joseph J. Lhota, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has informed the Cuomo administration that he is stepping down from his position, according to four people with direct knowledge of his plans. Read more: New York Times

MTA to vote on fare, toll hike proposal Wednesday

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is scheduled to vote on its latest fare and toll hike proposal Wednesday morning. Read more: NY1

Little-known program can help flood-prone homeowners stave off future damage

Broad Channel homeowner Joan Delahunt, still reeling from the impact of Hurricane Irene, was working on a plan to raise the level of her flood-prone home when Superstorm Sandy struck. Read more: New York Daily News

NRA breaks silence, comments on Newtown tragedy

After four days of self-imposed silence on the shooting that killed 26 people inside a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, the nation’s largest gun rights lobby emerged Tuesday and promised “to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.” ABC New York

Obama to call for gun policy changes

President Barack Obama is launching an administration-wide effort to curb gun violence, underscoring the growing political consensus over tightening gun restrictions following the horrific massacre at a Connecticut elementary school. Read more: Fox New York

Instagram takes step back, says ‘It is not our intention to sell your photos

Instagram, the popular mobile photo-sharing service now owned by Facebook, has backpedaled on some of its planned changes that led to concerns that it would use its members’ photos in advertisements. Read more: CBS New York

Time 2012 Person of the Year: Barack Obama

Twenty-seven years after driving from New York City to Chicago in a $2,000 Honda Civic for a job that probably wouldn’t amount to much, Barack Obama, in better shape but with grayer hair, stood in the presidential suite on the top floor of the Fairmont Millennium Park hotel as flat screens announced his re-election as President of the United States. Read more: Time magazine

 

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast with rain, then a chance of rain in the afternoon. Fog early. High of 55. Winds from the South at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Tuesday night: Overcast in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 41. Breezy. Winds from the WNW at 20 to 25 mph with gusts to 30 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Sandy Hook March and Candlelight Vigil 

We come together to mourn the loss of the children and educators who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday, December 14. Among them was 6-year-old Benjamin Andrew Wheeler, son of Francine and David Cole Wheeler, and brother of Nate. Francine resided with us in Sunnyside and, while raising her babies, was instrumental in the formation of a community of young mothers here. We will also gather to support the grieving family of Principal Dawn Hochsprung, who lost her life in a valiant attempt to save her students and colleagues. Please join as we honor them. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Political fight begins in U.S. Senate over Superstorm Sandy aid package

Democrats in the U.S. Senate on Monday began trying to push the $60.4 billion emergency spending plan for Superstorm Sandy victims through Congress by Christmas. Read more: CBS New York

Boy arrested in threat that sent school into lockout

Authorities say a 13-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with an Internet threat that sent Westbury Middle School on Long Island into lockout mode Monday. Read more: NBC New York

Getting books back into the hands of Sandy storm victims in Rockaway

Curling up with a good book has become a luxury for victims of Superstorm Sandy in Rockaway. Adults and children alike lost most of their personal possessions, including beloved book collections built over generations, in a mix of flood waters, sand and fire. Read more: New York Daily News

LIPA trustees vote to hold rates steady

Despite a possible $950 million repair bill from Superstorm Sandy, the Long Island Power Authority will not be raising rates. Read more: Fox New York

Sunnyside man stabbed to death on Staten Island

A Sunnyside man was stabbed to death by his girlfriend’s father, police say, after the two argued during a booze-fueled gathering inside his home early Monday morning. Read more: SILive.com

Newtown students to return to classes in wake of school massacre

The schools of Newtown, which stood empty in the wake of a shooting rampage that took 26 of their own, will again ring with the sounds of students and teachers on Tuesday as the bucolic Connecticut town struggles to return to normal. Read more: Reuters

 

Queen’s Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’s FORECAST 

Monday: Overcast with a chance of rain. High of 54. Winds from the ENE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Monday night: Overcast with rain. Fog overnight. Low of 48. Winds from the ESE at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80% with rainfall amounts near 0.9 in. possible.

EVENT of the DAY: “How Much Do I Owe You?”

No Longer Empty is proud to announce its 14th exhibition in the Clock Tower in Long Island City. The iconic former Bank of Manhattan building has opened its doors, vaults and even illuminate The Clock Tower to host an immersive and ambitious site-specific exhibition. As the title implies, “How Much Do I Owe You?” is a personal and conversational exploration into the new iterations of currency, value and exchange at this time of financial flux, growing debt and job insecurity. Open now, Monday-Thursday, 1-7 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Triumph of Civic Virtue is moved to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn

The Triumph of Civic Virtue, the controversial Queens statue that has divided local lawmakers and residents for decades, has moved to greener pastures. Read more: New York Daily News

Cuomo delivers $154 million in federal Sandy aid

Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered the first federal aid since Superstorm Sandy hit New York – more than $114 million for New York University Langone Medical Center and $40 million to help remove debris on Long Island. Read more: ABC New York

Report: City to offer ‘bounty’ to landlords to ban smoking in apartments

Smoking has been banned in New York City restaurants since 1995, in bars since 2002, and in parks and beaches since last year. Read more: CBS New York

Teachers say they don’t feel prepared to teach new Common Core standards before April state exams

Teachers across the city do not feel adequately trained to prepare students for upcoming state exams aligned with new, more rigorous standards called Common Core, according to a survey conducted last month by the United Federation of Teachers. Read more: New York Daily News

Extell’s chief thinking tall for Midtown

Gary Barnett, one of New York’s leading developers, is planning a new Midtown skyscraper that could rise 300 feet higher than the Empire State Building, and he’s has hired the architect who designed the world’s tallest tower. Read more: Wall Street Journal

‘These tragedies must end,’ Obama says

President Obama vowed on Sunday to “use whatever power this office holds” to stop massacres like the slaughter at the school here that shocked the nation, hinting at a fresh effort to curb the spread of guns as he declared that there was no “excuse for inaction.” Read more: New York Times

Gun control debate begins to simmer after massacre

Democrats say meaningful action in the wake of last week’s elementary school shooting must include a ban on military-style assault weapons and a look at how the nation deals with individuals suffering from serious mental illness. Read more: AP

 

 

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

 TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Overcast. High of 45. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 10 mph. Wednesday Night: Overcast in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 36. Winds from the North at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Jackson Heights Community Orchestra

The newly-formed Jackson Heights Community Orchestra, launched by conductor Patricia Glunt, has scheduled its first performance for Dec. 12 at the Jackson Heights Community Church. “Jackson Heights is ripe and it’s ready for an orchestra,” said Glunt, a 58-year-old musician who lives in the neighborhood. “The idea is really to explore and showcase the talent that we have in Queens, and use Jackson Heights as the center of that.” Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Vallone officially announces borough president bid

Councilmember Peter Vallone’s holiday surprise wasn’t all that surprising. Vallone announced his bid for Queens borough president at his father’s annual holiday party on Tuesday, December 11, surrounded by friends and family. Read more: Queens Courier

Queens lawmaker proposes local referendum on casino gaming

Local residents should get a chance to weigh in before the state rolls the dice on full-tilt casino gaming, a Queens lawmaker said on Tuesday. Read more: New York Daily News

JFK guards threaten strike, could snarl holiday travel plans

Just in time for Christmas, security guards at JFK Airport are threatening to walk off their jobs and create a holiday nightmare for travelers. Read more: New York Post

Sandy ineptitude catches up with LIPA at Moreland Commission hearing

Officials slammed the Long Island Power Authority Tuesday for its performance in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, during a hearing by a commission exploring how those utilities might be restructured. Read more: CBS New York

First section of WTC spire set to be hoisted

The first section of a spire that will rise atop the World Trade Center’s tallest building is set to be lifted into place on Wednesday. Read more: Fox New York

The Pope, now on Twitter, posts his first message

Pope Benedict XVI sent his first Twitter message on Wednesday, saying, “Dear Friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.” Read more: New York Times

Gunman opens fire at Oregon mall; Suspect, 2 dead

The mall Santa was waiting for the next child’s Christmas wish when shots rang out, causing the shopping mall to erupt into chaos. Read more: AP

 

 

 

New campaign helps small businesses impacted by Sandy


| dpetrovich@queenscourier.com

Screenshot from supportnycsmallbusiness.com

In an effort to help small businesses that have been affected by Sandy, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn joined forces with the Department of Small Business Services to launch the “Support NYC Small Business” campaign.

This new promotional campaign encourages locals and tourists to shop in New York City neighborhoods that were hit hardest by Sandy, trying to get small businesses back on their feet.

Sandy impacted over 13,000 businesses, but many have reopened and several others are in the process of reopening.

In order to spread the word, this campaign highlights select businesses and their remarkable recovery stories on television, radio and bus shelters, and in print and taxis.

The campaign will also hit the web with a “Back to Business” site that includes an interactive map of open businesses. The city is urging business owners who have just reopened to add to the map, so New Yorkers can consult the map for their holiday shopping and beyond.

Yelp is a partner in this cause, featuring links to help drive New York City users to the Support NYC Small Business interactive map.

“In the height of the holiday shopping season, we need to make sure that New Yorkers, tourists and all shoppers are fully aware that many small businesses impacted by Sandy have reopened and are ready to serve customers,” said Quinn.

While some small businesses are up and running, several are still struggling to open. All businesses affected by Sandy who still need assistance can get more information by visiting www.nyc.gov/nycbusiness, calling 311, or visiting one of the city’s Restoration Centers or NYC Business Solutions Centers in any borough.

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

Legislation to reduce Sandy tax burden


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A tax package that would help those financially impacted by Superstorm Sandy will be introduced in Congress, announced Senators Charles Schumer and Robert Menendez.

The Hurricane Sandy and National Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2012 that the New York and New Jersey U.S. senators are introducing includes deductions for storm clean up expenses, additional exceptions for those that provided free housing to displaced Sandy victims, worker retention credits for business owners who continue to pay employees even though their businesses were inoperable, the waiving of penalties for those that withdrew from their retirement plan early and other tax benefits.

“When recovering from a hammer-blow like Sandy, every bit of support helps, and this legislation will make it easier for families and small businesses affected by the storm to marshal more of their resources for recovery,” said Schumer.  “These changes to existing tax law are a common sense and simple way to help disaster victims, and a quick way to get them aid to repair their homes, to recover losses and to support their businesses.”

The legislation also helps out taxpayers that made donations to Sandy relief.

Currently, contributions to qualified charitable organizations cannot exceed 50 percent of a person’s adjusted gross income, but the legislation would remove the limit.

Read a summary of the full tax package here.

“H” train merchandise to benefit Sandy victims


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA

The special subway shuttle that was set up last month on the Rockaway Peninsula after Sandy damaged the area’s transit is being honored with a limited collection of “H” line merchandise available through the New York Transit Museum store’s website.

The store, which already carries clothing and other items featuring the city’s subway lines, is selling t-shirts and sweatshirts with  a blue “H” subway logo  and “The Rockaways” or “Rockaway Shuttle” spelled out underneath, as well as magnets and pins. Additional merchandise may also be developed.

Proceeds from sales will benefit Sandy relief efforts through the Graybeards, a local nonprofit organization established in response to 9/11 and dedicated to the Rockaways community, said the MTA.

“The H Line has piqued a lot of interest in subway service in the Rockaways and, with the help of a few of our product licensees, presented us with a unique opportunity to promote the service and to provide tangible assistance to efforts to rebuild that community,” said Mark Heavey, MTA director of marketing and communications.

Currently the “H” line runs between Far Rockaway-Mott Av and Beach 90 St and connects riders to a shuttle bus providing service to the “A” train at the Howard Beach/JFK Airport stop.

According to the transit agency, the first “H” line (known as the “HH”) started running on repurposed LIRR tracks in 1956, and travelled from Euclid Avenue to either Rockaway Park or Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway. It stopped running in 1972, but in the late 70s, it came back as the “CC” train, then returned to the “HH,” and was shortened to just the “H” train in 1986. In 1994, it was again renamed as the “S” (shuttle) train.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Overcast with a chance of rain in the morning, then partly cloudy. Fog early. High of 54. Breezy. Winds from the NW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 34F with a windchill as low as 27. Breezy. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Jillian Peña – The Guiding Light

The Guiding Light is a sci-fi religious ballet. It explores religiosity in the balletic body, the desire to believe in something, and the complex relationship of the individual within the group. This sci-fi religious ballet trio explores the uncanny through the multiplication and duplication of the dancers both metaphorically and actually. Starts at 8 p.m. at the Chocolate Factory in Long Island City. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens man Ahmed Ferhani pleads guilty to plotting to blow up a string of Manhattan synagogues

A Queens man admitted Tuesday he wanted to “create chaos” by plotting to blow up a string of Manhattan synagogues — giving Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance the first state-level terror conviction under laws passed after the 9/11 attacks. Read more: New York Daily News

Teachers’ union joins chorus of concern about formerly flooded Queens school

The teachers’ union has joined parents in raising concerns about the safety of a Queens school flooded by Sandy. Read more: NY1

Police: Man implicates himself in deadly midtown subway push

Police said Tuesday night that a suspect implicated himself in a shocking subway pushing incident in Manhattan a day earlier that cost a man his life. Read more: CBS New York

New Far Rockaway playground hit by vandal and then again by Superstorm Sandy

This little playground in Far Rockaway has had a tough first year. Before it was even open to the public, the much-needed play space near Beach 29th St. was ravaged by a heartless vandal in March. The city rebuilt it only to see it battered by Superstorm Sandy months later. Read more: New York Daily News

New York City hits Sandy victims with ‘failure to maintain’ property citation

Residents in one Queens neighborhood are crying foul after they were written up for failing to clean up the city’s own mess. It is yet another new complication in life after Superstorm Sandy. Read more: CBS New York

Fiscal cliff offers hint at more defense cuts

House Republicans’ “fiscal cliff” counteroffer to President Barack Obama hints at billions of dollars in military cuts on top of the nearly $500 billion that the White House and Congress backed last year, and even the fiercest defense hawks acknowledge that the Pentagon faces another financial hit. Read more: AP

Gov. Cuomo receives high marks for Sandy response


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence Cullen

In a new Siena College poll, the majority of New York State voters said they were happy with how Governor Andrew Cuomo has handled the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

According to the results, 67 percent felt that the governor has done an excellent or good job, 22 percent said he has done a fair job and seven percent said he’s done a poor job.

In New York City, a slightly higher percentage, 70 percent, gave Cuomo a high rating.

In an effort to help with Sandy relief,  the  governor is travelling to Washington D.C. today to lobby for about $42 billion that the state needs to recover from the storm and protect itself from the next significant weather event.

State voters were almost as pleased with how President Obama and Mayor Michael Bloomberg handled the superstorm.

Sixty-one percent said that Obama did an excellent or good job and 55 percent gave Bloomberg the same rating.

In a Quinnipiac University poll from two weeks ago, New York City voters thought that Obama did a better job than Governor Cuomo, but gave him higher marks than Bloomberg.

But in the same poll, voters also rated New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s handling of the storm and its aftermath higher than all three politicians.

The Siena poll did not ask state voters about Christie.

It did, however, ask about the utility companies, FEMA and the MTA.

The majority of voters were pleased with FEMA and the Metropolitan Transit Agency, but gave Con Edison mixed ratings.

Forty-nine percent said that Con Ed did a good or excellent job, while 29 percent said the utility did a fair job and 15 percent gave it a poor rating.

Voters were not as happy with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), which has received criticism on how it has responded to the storm.

Only one in six Long Islanders said LIPA did an excellent or good job with post-Sandy power problems, and 60 percent said it performed poorly.

The poll also asked about other aspects of Sandy, including how the storm affected voters—from home and business damage to school closings and power outages.

“Nearly one in seven voters suffered damage to their home, including one-quarter of downstate suburbanites. More than one-third lost their power, including more than eight in ten suburbanites.  And more than two-thirds of  New Yorkers saw their schools close for at least a day, and one-third had schools closed for at least a week,” said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg  “Not in a very long time has a natural disaster directly affected more New Yorkers than Sandy.

Additionally, the poll found that more than half of New Yorkers have made a financial contribution to a charitable organization raising money for those affected by Sandy, and 26 percent have volunteered their time.

The storm may have also forced New Yorkers to take global warming more seriously.

Because of Sandy and other significant storms from the last couple of years, 69 percent believe that they climate change is real.