Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Air Quality Alert in effect until 10 pm tonight

Event:Air Quality Alert
FREE NUMBER IS: 1 800 5 3 5 1 3 4 5.

Major Security Lapse at Brooklyn Bridge

As the sun rose over our city this morning, social media outlets, Twitter, Instagram, Face Book, etc., started talking about how sometime during the overnight hours, persons thus far unknown, apparently went unnoticed as they climbed to the top of both towers of the Brooklyn Bridge and removed and then replaced the American flags that sat atop each tower with a large, plain "white" flag. 

  It was just a few months ago in lower Manhattan that security was breached when several individuals unlawfully entered and traveled unnoticed to the top of the new "Freedom Tower" (pictured prominently behind the Brooklyn Bridge in the photo above) and then based jumped (parachuted) from the tower to the Manhattan streets below.

The various news outlets are now reporting that the "authorities" are actively investigating this incident but one has to wonder just how seriously the issue of security is being taken by those in charge when these incidents keep occurring.

Message from Danny Ruscillo, President, 100th Pct. Community Council

As the 100th Precinct Community Council President I want to thank the Great A&P Tea Company  for their quick actions on installing two stop signs on their property that were requested. It was a request they be installed after witnessing a few very close calls.

The close calls were vehicles exiting the Waldbaums parking lot because of not coming to a full stop. 

One of the close calls was a vehicle leaving which almost hit an adult and a child walking on the sidewalk. Another was a man going by in an electric wheelchair. There were other incidents and because of this I thought it would be a good idea to contact the owners of this parking lot. 
Vehicles would exit this parking lot many times either to beat the changing traffic light or beat oncoming traffic on Beach Channel Drive. 

Now that the stop signs are installed please obey them it could save your life or possibly someone else's. 

Danny Ruscillo
President 100th Precinct Community Council
Co-Chair CB#14 Transportation Committee

Monday, July 21, 2014

NY Rising Rockaway Projects Move Forward




The projects chosen by the New York Rising committee for Rockaway West are in the implementation phase, according to state officials.
Chelsea Muller, of the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, said Tuesday night that the state is strategizing ways to bring the individual projects to fruition.
The different projects, which range from creating a relief center network to developing a Rockaway bike share, will be implemented by different agencies, including the state, city and non-profit groups, Muller said.
Rockaway West, which comprises Neponsit, Belle Harbor, Rockaway Park and Rockaway Beach, was allocated $21.3 million through the Community Development Block Grants.
The committee, with input from the general public, has spent the last eight months developing a suite of projects on which to use the funds. The committee focused on projects that can be implemented quickly and whose benefits can be sent in a short amount of time.
There are 45 NY Rising communities throughout the state; none of the funds allocated for this program have been spent yet, according to officials.
Muller said the governor’s office has brought on a team of consultants to implement the projects. Alma Smith, a representative of consulting firm HGA, which will be working on Rockaway West, said her firm has managed more than $500 million in HUD funds, especially for infrastructure projects.
The firm has worked on Hurricanes Katrina, Isaac and Irene, Smith said. She said she could not give a specific timeline as to when contractors will be prepared to break ground on any of the projects because there are so many steps through which to pass first.
Those steps include choosing architects and consultants to design and complete the projects, performing background checks, designing the projects, making sure cost estimates are up to date and completing environmental assessments.

Proposed Projects

1. Bioswales to improve drainage

2. Bayside coastal protection

3. Relief center network

4. Health care service expansion

5. Long-term ferry operations

6. National Grid site redevelopment

7. Beach 108th Street improvements

8. Bus circulator service

9. Rockaway bike share

10. Net harbor park

To see the complete NY Rising Rockaway West proposal, click here.

“Yes the clock is ticking, but yes we have a timeframe,” she said. “This project is only for two years so we have to finish.”
John Cori, a committee member and local activist, expressed his frustration at the $21.3 million figure.
“It’s a pittance – it’s nothing,” he said. “But it’s something.”

Message from Barbara Torborg, Broad Channel Historical Society

Aerial photograph of Broad Channel - June, 1994 - Photo by Don Riepe
Broad Channel Historical Society
Have a picture of life in Broad Channel that you believe should be in the 2015 Historical Calendar?

If so, please deliver that original photograph, as soon as possible, to any of the below members of the Historical Society Committee providing the year of the photograph (approximate if not sure) and the identity any individuals in the photograph and name of the individual who should be credited for donating the photograph.  The original will be returned to the donor upon request.

Historical Society Committee Members

Dorothy Fraher
Dan Guarino
Frank Henglein
Kathy Louis
John McCambridge
Dan Mundy
Mary O'Connell
Barbara Torborg
Jane Mary Tubridy
Joe Young
Judy Zackiewicz 

The Broad Channel Historical Society is a standing committee of the Broad Channel Civic Association.

You can visit the society's website by clicking here.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick gets bill capping flood insurance rates


Wed July 16, 2014

A bill awaiting Gov. Deval Patrick’s signature would help homeowners by capping increasing flood insurance rates.
The bill the state Senate sent to Patrick on Monday would prohibit creditors from requiring that owners of residential properties with one to four units buy flood insurance in an amount that exceeds the outstanding balance of their mortgage, home equity line of credit or home equity loan.
Should the homeowner decide to buy flood insurance that only covers the balance of the mortgage, the creditor must provide a notice to the homeowner that explains they are buying flood insurance that may not be sufficient to cover all losses.
“This bill will offer protection to families who could face unsustainable rate increases through no fault of their own,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said.
A spokeswoman for Patrick, who has eight more days to sign the bill, declined to comment.
Daniel Foley, vice president of government affairs and general counsel for the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents, said the bill, combined with one President Obama signed into law earlier this year limiting flood insurance premium increases to no more than 18 percent a year, “will at least stem the tide” of often dramatic increases resulting from a federal law intended to make the national flood insurance program solvent.

Refunds for flood insurance premium hikes repealed by Congress will start flowing on Oct. 1

July 18, 2014

WASHINGTON -- National flood insurance policyholders eligible for refunds based on federal legislation that modified or repealed key provisions of a 2012 law that had raised rates, in some cases significantly, should start getting checks on Oct. 1.

FEMA estimates that 13.8 percent of policyholders should expect a refund check.
President Barack Obama signed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 in March. It repealed and modified provisions of the 2012 Biggert-Waters flood insurance law that Louisiana lawmakers said had led to unaffordable premium increases for many policyholders.

Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, said FEMA informed him Friday of the Oct. 1 starting date for refunds.

"As so many families are struggling in today's economy, ensuring that families receive these refunds as quickly as possible must be a priority," Cassidy said.
FEMA didn't disclose how much the average refund will be or how much the agency will pay out in total. Part of the cost of eliminating some of the premium increases under Biggert-Waters is recouped from a $25 fee on all flood insurance policies for primary residences and a $250 surcharge for all other polices.

A FEMA official said the refunds will be made in a single payment from the Write Your Own companies that sell and help administer the program.

People who purchased homes after Biggert-Waters took effect in 2012, or whose coverage lapsed after the law took effect, were immediately denied subsidies, leading, in some cases, to dramatic increases in premiums -- double, triple, even 10 times the cost of previous policies." That provision of Biggert-Waters was repealed by the new legislation. It is the increases these policyholders paid that will be refunded, starting Oct. 1.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La, who led efforts to modify Biggert-Waters in the Senate, said it's important that Congress work to make more changes in the flood insurance program to keep it affordable and structurally sound as the program  comes for a reauthorization in 2017. Landrieu and Cassidy are competing in the fall Louisiana Senate race.

Under the 2014 legislation, increases for most subsidized properties can be no less than 5 percent per year and no more than 18 percent annually for an individual policyholder. Rates cannot be increased by more than 15 percent on average for policyholders in a single risk designation.

Friday, July 18, 2014

100th Pct Community Council and Transit District 23 "National Night Out Against Crime"

Tuesday August 5th. 2014

Time5 P.M. To 8 P.M.

Beach 108th Street & Shore Front Parkway
(At The Hockey Rink)

The Council Will Have This Year

King Of The D.J’s Eddy Pastore, Free Pop-Corn, Free Cotton Candy, Free Ices, Free Face Painting, Free Caricature Portraits, Free Carnival Games, Karate & Jiu Jitsu Shows
& Different Organzations

Along With
Raffles & Give-A-Ways    

Also Being Presented Will Be 
Cop of The Year Awards For The 100th Precinct
& Transit District 23

Our Community Council Would Like To Thank The N.Y.P.D. & The N.Y.C. Parks Department For All Their Years Of
Assistance With Our
National Night Out Against Crime  

Mayor di Blasio on Build It Back: "hammers are hitting nails and reimbursement checks are being cashed..."

De Blasio Administration Marks Significant Progress on Sandy Recovery, Announces Additional Improvements To Streamline Relief For Homeowners And Small Businesses

July 17, 2014

NEW YORK—Standing outside a home being repaired by the Build It Back program, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced significant progress in the City’s Hurricane Sandy recovery work as a result of the major overhaul earlier this year.
When the de Blasio administration came into office, Build It Back applicants were stalled in the intake process. Not only were there no construction starts or reimbursement checks sent as of December 31—not a single homeowner had completed a design consultation.
The administration made a number of immediate changes, while also undertaking a comprehensive review of the program and appointed a new leadership team that includes Bill Goldstein as Senior Advisor to the Mayor for Recovery, Resiliency, and Infrastructure and Amy Peterson as the Director of the Housing Recovery Office. In April, Mayor de Blasio released a comprehensive report, “One City, Rebuilding Together,” and announced sweeping changes to the Build It Back program.
As a result of those changes, as of this week, Build It Back has started construction on 132 homes—30 of which are complete—and issued 397 reimbursement checks totaling over $6.37 million, on track to meet the Mayor’s goal of 500 construction starts and 500 reimbursement checks by Labor Day. Build It Back has also scheduled another 55 constructions starts, including the first home elevations and Choose-Your-Own-Contractor starts, marking progress on all program tracks. These numbers will continue to increase on an exponential basis, as Build It Back adds even more capacity.
“Relief can’t come fast enough for homeowners and small business owners who have already waited too long—which is why we’ve made getting our Sandy recovery programs on track a top priority,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Now, as a result of the overhaul we implemented earlier this year, hammers are hitting nails and reimbursement checks are being cashed. This is just a start, and we are committed to getting every New Yorker the help they need to rebuild.”
“It is exciting to be standing here today and see the physical results of all of the hard work that has gone into revamping the Build It Back program. We still have a lot more to accomplish, but this is a great beginning,” said Bill Goldstein, Senior Advisor to the Mayor for Recovery, Resiliency, and Infrastructure.
“For too long, homeowners were told no. Now, Build It Back is focused on getting homeowners to yes—and we’re starting to see the results. From the overhaul earlier this year, to these changes that will further expedite and streamline construction and checks, we’re getting Build It Back back on track, so that homeowners get the relief they deserve,” said Amy Peterson, Director of the City’s Housing Recovery Office.
Today, Mayor de Blasio provided an update on the program and announced additional changes being made to further improve the recovery process.
Following the April report, the City has already:
  • Expanded eligibility and eliminated priority levels, so that every homeowner—regardless of income—is able to immediately move forward.
  • Streamlined the pre-construction process by:
    • Putting senior Build It Back staff directly in the centers to provide direct management, creating a quicker and more effective review and option selection process for homeowners.
    • Increasing Build It Back staff to ensure more effective delivery of services.
    • Adding 44 new staff to the Department of Buildings, including 21 inspectors, all specifically dedicated to the Build It Back program.
  • Provided direct financial relief to homeowners by:
    • Passing state and City legislation to provide property tax relief to homeowners that rebuilt after Sandy.
    • Passing City legislation to waive Department of Building fees for Build It Back projects.
    • Providing relief from New York City water bills for homes that have been vacant since Hurricane Sandy.
    • Expanding rental assistance to serve undocumented New Yorkers who were displaced from their homes by Sandy, in collaboration with the American Red Cross.
    • Allowing homeowners rebuilding their homes to use their “transfer amounts” for temporary relocation expenses during construction.
  • Focused on engaging local communities in the rebuilding process by:
    • Supporting a high-quality, local workforce with a focus on hiring New Yorkers impacted by Hurricane Sandy. For example, four workers on the construction site today are New York City residents from Sandy-impacted neighborhoods, such as the Rockaways and Howard Beach.
    • Embedding Build It Back staff in communities, including at elected officials’ offices, to create additional access points for homeowners and troubleshoot any issues.
    • Involving community-based organizations in providing direct aid to homeowners.
  • Improved communications with homeowners by:
    • Launching a new web portal that allows homeowners to track their status in real time, including by submitting paperwork.
    • Releasing clear, comprehensive materials, such as a new user-friendly guidebook and a revamped website at nyc.gov/recovery.
Mayor de Blasio and the Sandy recovery team also announced additional steps already underway, aimed at further streamlining the recovery process, including:
  • Changes in Build It Back Center operations, such as:
    • Continuing to place senior Build It Back staff in the Centers to directly manage day-to-day operations and troubleshoot.
    • Placing Department of Building staff and design and construction resources at Centers, creating a one-stop-shop for homeowners.
    • A focus on working with homeowners to select an option—resulting in more than 2,500 Option Selection Agreements signed since January.
    • Hiring a Deputy Director for Homeowner Services to prioritize customer service and ensure homeowners receive the support they need.
    • Partnering with Disaster Case Managers, including through joint trainings.
  • Expanding options for homeowners, including:
    • Creating significant progress on all pathways, including rebuilds, repairs, Choose-Your-Own-Contractor, and elevation.
    • Allowing Choose-Your-Own-Contractor and Designer for homeowners in the elevation and rebuild pathways.
For more information on the City’s housing recovery program, call the Build It Back Customer Service hotline at 212-615-8329, or visit www.nyc.gov/recovery.
The City also worked with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to make changes to the Hurricane Sandy Business Loan and Grant Program (HSBLGP), based on feedback from impacted small businesses. These changes will provide more grants to eligible businesses and make approval guidelines more flexible:
  • Making grants of up to $100,000 based on unmet need available for businesses without requiring a loan. Eligible applicants demonstrating severe unmet need and the ability to repay a loan can access up to $1.1 million in grant-only funds.
  • Removing caps on the loans and grants made available to each business; businesses can now qualify for matching loan and grant awards to meet their full unmet need.
  • Applicants with unmet need greater than $1.1 million will receive matching loans and grants, without a cap on the loan amount. Loans have a 1 percent interest rate and must be repaid in five years.
  • Increasing resources to help speed up the application process and provide additional technical assistance. 
  • Improving outreach to impacted neighborhoods throughout the City by developing outreach materials, collaborating with elected officials and community groups, and conducting on-the-ground canvassing.
  • The Department of Small Business Services has also made internal changes to help improve efficiency, expedite processing, and adjust the program to better address business needs.
SBS will be reassessing reviewed applications in light of program changes to determine whether they qualify for more loan and grant funding as a result of the program changes.
The changes to the program must still comply with federal guidelines which require businesses to demonstrate that they have remaining need after accounting for all other assistance received since the storm. NYC Business Solutions Account Managers are available to help answer questions and guide businesses through the application process.
For more information on the City’s business recovery program, call 311 or visitwww.nyc.gov/nycbusiness.
“The Department of Small Business Services has heard the needs of small businesses throughout the city that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy, and we worked with our federal partners at the Department of Housing and Urban Development to make changes to the Hurricane Sandy Loan and Grant Program that will provide more grants to impacted businesses, make approval guidelines more flexible, expedite processing, and increase technical assistance for businesses,” said Maria Torres-Springer, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “Given the changes to the program, we will assess both reviewed and new applications to ensure eligible businesses get the relief they need. There is much more to be done, but we will continue to prioritize the fast and efficient delivery of assistance to affected businesses.”
“One small step rebuilding a home is one giant leap toward rebuilding our city from Superstorm Sandy. Brooklyn communities stretching from Red Hook to Canarsie have been living an interminable nightmare, facing constant obstacles as they seek to bring back their homes and businesses—while fearing the next hurricane that could erase the progress they have made thus far. Today, we are turning the tide toward getting Brooklynites the help they have been owed and deserve, help that will allow us to fully recover and to focus on the important resiliency work to come for our waterfront,” saidBrooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams.
“Sandy was an unprecedented storm and continues to require an unprecedented amount of cooperation between all levels of government to move the recovery forward. I am pleased that Mayor de Blasio’s administration has pledged to take ownership of this recovery, until every victim and impacted community is made whole again. Coupled with aggressive Council oversight, we have seen progress made by this administration and an understanding of how urgent this work is on behalf of impacted property owners, renters, small businesses, and communities. We will continue this productive cooperation until the recovery is complete,” said Council Member Mark Treyger.
“This administration made a commitment that they would really build-it-back, and they have started to make good on that promise,” said Council Member Donovan Richards. “While we still have a long way to go, today’s announcement is a major step in the right direction.”
“The post-storm work that remains in many of our communities is extensive, and requires government backing and support. The Mayor’s latest action on post-Sandy recovery highlights the urgent need for programs for Sandy impacted communities that uplift homeowners and small businesses. I am encouraged by the de Blasio administration’s effort to lift the red tape and design loan and grant programs that work for our neighborhoods,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca.
“This update from Mayor de Blasio and his team is hopeful news for the thousands of Sandy survivors we minister to, who are still struggling to rebuild their lives, and is consistent with his pledge to reduce inequality through the rebuilding process,” saidFather Fulgencio Gutierrez, Faith in New York & Pastor of St. Mary / St. Gertrude Church in Far Rockaway. “While there is still a long way to go, Mayor de Blasio’s focus on helping those who are struggling the most will make our city more resilient in the long-term: immigrants, low-income homeowners, and those seeking dignified job opportunities. We’re especially encouraged by Amy Peterson’s initial progress toward supporting a high-quality, local workforce to rebuild their city. Too many Sandy survivors were struggling to find decent work even before the storm, and could have their lives transformed by these efforts to rebuild homes and create good, local jobs in the process.”

(212) 788-2958

The Rockaway Times:- Boyleing Points - Sign of the Times

Boyleing Points - Sign of the Times
Kevin Boyle

Kevin "Boil" holding his "Rockway" Times Sign

Do you live in Rockway? How well do you know Rockway? Last question: how are you at catching typos? Did you see how I spelled Rockaway in the first two questions? Both times I pulled the middle “a.”
Your brain tells you what you want to see. That’s why it’s not a great idea to proofread your own stuff.
Now if you did catch the slip right off the bat, I could have used you three weeks ago when the sign and awning were delivered for The Rockaway Times. I held the misspelled sign in my hands, proud of what was to be adorned on the side of the little building. Never noticed a thing.
Now for at least a couple of weeks before that, I had the logo designed and looked at it, oh, maybe a hundred times. The awning, far bigger than the sign, arrived on a truck. As it passed by the window a few of us grinned at its beauty.
None of us noticed the typo. The awning said The Rockway Times and no one noticed – until they were lifting it. As three men struggled to lift and affix it to the roof and storefront, I yelled “Stop!!!!!!!!!!”
One of the workers thought I was warning him away from a live electrical wire. Take it down, take it down, I said in a voice that a nine year old girl might be ashamed of.
It was too late. The sign was rigged to the roof. As they say online: OMG.
I called the shop and they said they could fix it. I stood there, heart in throat, waiting for a Wave photographer to show.
I stood there expecting a gang of proofreaders to show up and heckle. (You know what those people are like.)
While they made the fix in the shop, I realized I was catching a break. It was Wednesday early evening and no one was around – it was volleyball night. The west end is a ghost town on Wednesday nights.
So, finally, the typo was fixed and the awning proudly boasted the name, The Rockaway Times—though as I’ve noted previously, the sign must’ve not been big enough because every day, and I mean every day, people come in looking for a ride, thinking the place is still home to Belle Rock car service.
I got past the typo and the sign looked sharp, if I don’t say so myself. That is, until last week when a private sanitation truck slammed into it, knocking it from its frame and tearing the canvas. At least that’s who I think was driving the truck – though I do have other suspects. Anyway, the sign looks like a three-legged dog but it’s my three-legged dog.
Step aside, Murphy. It’s Boyle’s Law: if something can go wrong, it will.
I guess I could have just lived with “Rockway.” Not that long ago there was a car service in town called Daytop. I’m figuring it was supposed be called Dayton, as in Dayton towers.
The awning guy told me about another miscue. He said one time a guy’s last name was misspelled on the sign and the sign maker, who was at fault, tried to convince the guy the misspelling looked better than his actual name.
There’s an idea. Kevin Boil. Uh, nah.
* * *
It’d be nice if the City sent as many lifeguards to Rockaway as they do traffic agents. Everywhere you turn the ticket writers are out. So they get you when you’re speeding and they get you when you’re parked.
* * *
Bobby Bruns, long time all-star Graybeard basketball player, is doubling as a Brooklyn sales and deliveryman of The Rockaway Times. And that’s a score.
* * *
Shout out to Frances Sinon and to Kay Devlin. I’ve heard they’ve said good things behind my back.
* * *
Best of luck to TJ McVeigh and Pat Brady. The two local legends just entered the FDNY academy.

[NOTE: If you missed any the previous Boyleing Points from the new Rockaway Times, you can view them online by clicking here.]