hurricane sandy Tag All blog entries tagged as hurricane sandy http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/latest Mon, 07 Jul 2014 20:32:00 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Today's Headlines: #Sandy Victims Win Hotel Extension http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/05/02/todays-headlines-sandy-victims-win-hotel-extension http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/05/02/todays-headlines-sandy-victims-win-hotel-extension

A judge ruled on Wednesday for the city to extend its hotel program for displaced victims of Hurricane Sandy. The city had originally planned on kicking remaining 196 evacuess out of hotels on April 30 but an extensionwill give victims until May 15. Five Sandy evacuees filed a lawsuit to gain the extension on Monday. The city Department of Homeless Services provided hotel rooms to victims who did not qualify for the FEMA hotel program. The FEMA program had previously been extended untill May 29.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) The Eye-Opener Thu, 02 May 2013 11:34:51 +0000
State Reimburses NYC For #Sandy Rapid Repairs Program http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/04/29/state-reimburses-nyc-for-sandy-rapid-repairs-program- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/04/29/state-reimburses-nyc-for-sandy-rapid-repairs-program- The state has reimbursed New York City $47 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency-approved funds for the costs of a program that helped homeowners recover from Hurricane Sandy.

The Rapid Repairs program assessed damage to properties and provided eligible repairs such as restoring heat, hot water and electricity.

"I am pleased to direct these funds back to the Department of Environment Protection for the work that was carried out under the Rapid Repair Program, which was then developed by the State and FEMA into the Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) Pilot Program for similar needs beyond New York City," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg used his statement on the reimbursement to rebuff criticism that the city should have provided temporary housing for people whose homes were too devastated to live in or whose homes were infested with mold. Rapid Repairs did not deal with mold infestation.

“Rapid Repairs – which restored heat, hot water and electricity free-of-charge – provided homeowners with an important head-start in the recovery process, which is still far from over," Bloomberg said in a statement. "As we continue the hard work of recovery and rebuilding, there is no doubt that helping people get back into their housing via Rapid Repairs was a better use of taxpayer money than a massive temporary housing program. I want to thank the entire team at FEMA who worked with us to make the program possible, and these reimbursements, along with the first round of Federal aid, will ensure the City can continue to address housing, business and infrastructure needs in the hardest hit communities.”

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Mon, 29 Apr 2013 19:41:08 +0000
Feds Approve State Sandy Recovery Plan; City Plan Awaits Approval http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/04/26/feds-approve-state-sandy-recovery-plan-city-plan-awaits-approval http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/04/26/feds-approve-state-sandy-recovery-plan-city-plan-awaits-approval The federal government has approved the state's plan for spending $1.7 billion in funds to help communities rebuild from Superstorm Sandy.

New York City is covered by a separate plan that officials say was submitted this week and will be approved soon.

Congress approved a plan setting aside $50.5 billion in Sandy relief for all impacted states. New York is expected to get around $30 billion of those funds eventually.

The state's plan provides block grant funds that are designed to be more flexible than other FEMA loans and insurance plans. "We got to communities and we say, 'You tell us what you need to restore your community,'" Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference earlier today announcing the federal government's approval of the state plan.

He was joined at the press conference by Shaun Donovan, the secretaroy of Housing and Urban Development, and Sen. Chuck Schumer.

In contrast to other FEMA programs, Schumer said the block grants can be used for mold remediation and are available to coops and condos.

He said the state's plan will also reimburse home and business owners who used their own money to rebuild, adding that the city's plan "originally" excluded such a measure. But Schumer said he spoke to Mayor Michael Bloomberg about changing that.

The state plan allows communities affected by hurricanes Irene and Lee to apply for funds and creates a system where communities can design their own projects and pitch them to the state. Community reconstruction zones will be eligible for $3 to $25 million, depending on a ratio of damage to population. This includes New York City communities.

"We simply cannot ignore the damage that extreme weather is doing to families around this state and country. That is why we must take this opportunity to rebuild smarter and stronger," Donovan said, pointing out that HUD will require homes and businesses to build to higher standards to anticipate future storms.

Cuomo described the community reconstruction zones as a "bottom-up approach," and detailed that the top-down approach will include the state using federal money to address infrastructure issues through state authorities like the MTA. "There was no more difficult moment than dealing with Sandy as a government official," Cuomo said. "For those of us who believe in government there is no truer test."

Here is a list of NYC reconstruction zones and how much they are eligible for:

Belle Harbor, Neponsit, Breezy Point, Roxbury
$ 25,000,000
Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Manhattan Beach, Seagate
$ 19,291,387
Broad Channel
$ 6,044,869
Far Rockaway, Rockaway
$ 22,221,745
Gerriston Beach, Sheepshead Bay
$ 13,368,780
Lower Manhattan
$ 25,000,000
New Howard Beach, Old Howard Beach
$ 18,329,368
Red Hook
$ 3,000,000
Staten Island (East Shore, South Shore)
$ 25,000,000

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Fri, 26 Apr 2013 16:33:59 +0000
#Sandy Roundup: Rockaway Peninsula Residents Still Reeling http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/03/27/sandy-roundup-rockaway-peninsula-residents-still-reeling http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/03/27/sandy-roundup-rockaway-peninsula-residents-still-reeling

Some residents in the Rockaway penninsula of Queens remain literally disconnected after Hurricane Sandy.

The 1,800-unit housing project Ocean Bay Apartments was one of the last two New York City Housing Authority buildings to regain power in late December, but local Councilman Donovan Richards says hundreds of his constituents are still waiting for phone service to return.

Despite the lack of landline service, Richards said that many of the residents have told him they are still receiving bills from Verizon. What they're not getting, he added, is any notice about when they can expect their phone lines to work again.

"This is a communication company," he said. "They should be able to communicate."

Richards said that a few of his constituents have continued to pay for the last five months of nonexistent phone service, including elderly residents who don't have access to wireless technology.

A Verizon spokesman told The New York Daily News that any customer can reach out to the company for a full refund. The company added that it has already started working on the units between 51st and 53rd streets, and hopes to begin restoring power between 54th to 59th streets before April.

Revitalization of Rockaway Beach Rail

Leaders from federal and state government want to infuse the Queens neighborhood with some renewed economic energy.

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder has joined forces with U.S. Congressmen Gregory Meeks and Hakeem Jeffries to bring the three-and-a-half-mile Rockaway Beach rail line back to life.

The three representatives sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood requesting that a portion of the federal aid for Sandy recovery be designated to restore the abandoned rail line.

"It became evident after Sandy that we need to increase public transit options and improve our infrastructure for our neighborhoods in Southern Queens and Rockaway," Goldfeder wrote in a statement on Sunday. "Restoring the rail line will help prepare our communities to become more resilient for our future and allow our local economy to thrive for many years to come."

Goldfeder has also delivered a petition about the rail line, with almost 3,000 signatures to Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Port Authority and MTA.

However, Goldfeder's proposal is only one idea being floated around as an option for the rail line. Closed in 1962, the railroad could turn into Queen's answer to Manhattan's High Line park. Nicknamed the QueensWay, the project is being promoted by national parks group the Trust for Public Land and the recently established local group Friends of the QueensWay.

Questions About Bloomberg's Post-Sandy Buyouts

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plans to buy out Sandy-damaged homes may have came out last week, but there are questions about its differences from Governor Cuomo's proposal.

WNYC reported last week that Bloomberg's program, unlike Cuomo's, allows for redevelopment on the properties in question. In terms of immediate effects, that means homeowners can only receive the post-Sandy value under the city's plan.

Long term, some critics argue that the Bloomberg proposal is too short-sighted and doesn't take climate change into account. Capital New York interviewed Columbia University professor Klaus Jacob, who warned against ignoring rising sea levels and increased storm surges.

"You don't want to, in the long run at least, invest new assets into areas that ultimately will be doomed," Jacob said. For more on Jacob's views on the matter, see our extensive interview with the expert.

Bloomberg himself has previously linked the spike in severe weather to climate change. The mayor raised eyebrows last year when he endorsed President Barack Obama specifically acknowledging climate change as a national issue.

"Our climate is changing," Bloomberg wrote days before the presidential election. "And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it may be — given the devastation it is wreaking — should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action."

Image of Rockaway Rail Line courtesy of Sean Eric Carlson.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Wed, 27 Mar 2013 19:39:23 +0000
How NY Is Spending #Sandy Relief Funds http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/03/04/how-ny-is-spending-sandy-relief-funds http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/03/04/how-ny-is-spending-sandy-relief-funds The Office of State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is making it easy for New Yorkers to track what the state is spending on Hurricane Sandy relief.

DiNapoli ordered all storm expenditures to be expedited and is keeping a very prominent list on his webpage of all the contracts that have been approved, how much money was spent, what it was for and who was contracted.

You can check out the database here. If you see anything interesting, don't hesitate to let us know in the comments section or over social media.

Here is an accounting of last month's contracts:

02/22/2013 Cascade Water Services Inc. OGS $175,000 Clean HVAC duct systems, South Beach PC
02/21/2013 WW Grainger DHSES $299,192 Generators, heaters & accessories
02/19/2013 Imperial Restrooms, Inc. DHSES $221,244 Rent portable shower trailers & water tanks
02/13/2013 Teledyne Paradise Datacom, LLC DHSES $66,046 Satellite Modems
02/13/2013 Standard Textile Corp DHSES $89,200 Pillows
02/13/2013 CDW Governement DHSES $71,515 Cameras, ink, printer & accessories
02/13/2013 Audio Video Corp DHSES $146,144 Wireless video system
02/12/2013 Garner Environmental Services DHSES $1,007,087 Pumps and Hoses
02/12/2013 Skyworks LLC DHSES $245,240 Light towers
02/12/2013 Jeres Hardware DHSES $315,029 Generators
02/11/2013 One Power Solutions DHSES $334,107 Mobile water purification unit
02/11/2013 Stone Industries DHSES $235,500 Toilet rentals
02/07/2013 Certified Stainless Service DHSES $137,600 Potable water transport vehicle
02/07/2013 Innotech Products DHSES $70,234 Heater meals
02/07/2013 Innotech Products DHSES $161,302 Heater meals
02/07/2013 WW Grainger DHSES $74,880 Chainsaws
02/07/2013 The Sandbagger Corp. DHSES $51,910 Motorized auger w/chutes, sandbags
02/07/2013 Jeres Hardware DHSES $283,814 Generators
02/07/2013 Jeres Hardware DHSES $132,176 Generators
02/07/2013 Airgas Carbonic DHSES $116,013 Dry ice
02/06/2013 Imperial Restrooms, Inc. DHSES $545,693 Rentals of shower trailers, water tanks & generators
02/04/2013 RRS Construction Corp. OGS $300,000 Restore sewer plant services - Jones Beach SP
02/04/2013 Square One Construction Services Inc. OGS $300,000 Repair building structures - Belmont Lake SP
02/04/2013 Square One Construction Services Inc. OGS $100,000 Repair greenhouse, replace glass - Planting Fields Arboretum
02/04/2013 N/A DMNA $572,234 Emergency payroll, 313 employees, Jan 9 - Jan 22, 2013

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Mon, 04 Mar 2013 19:51:48 +0000
Today's Lead Story: State Looks For Quick Action on Gun Laws http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/21/todays-lead-story-state-looks-for-quick-action-on-gun-laws- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/21/todays-lead-story-state-looks-for-quick-action-on-gun-laws-

State Looks For Quick Action on Gun Laws

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to toughen New York's gun laws and according to The Times Union Cuomo wants to do it as soon as next week. A source told the times union that a gubernatorial aide presented Senate Republicans with a draft of proposed gun legislation on Wednesday but Republicans turned it down. Republicans deny turning down any legislation. A myriad of Assemblyman have confirmed they were asked to stay in Albany on Wednesday in case a special session came to fruition this week but now all eyes or on Dec. 28. Cuomo has said he will address the issue of gun violence in his Jan. 9 State of the State Address but with the action in Albany it seems like something could happen much sooner. Cuomo has said he wants to eliminate loopholes in the state's assault weapons ban. Meanwhile, the Times Union reports that the same venue Cuomo will give his State of the State address in next year will also scheduled to host a gun show two weeks after the speech.




In the Press...

Fear, Death and Rumors in Queens High Rise (NY Times)

City's Incarceration Rate Plummets (City Room)

Bloomberg Vows to Redouble Efforts on Gun Control (NY Times)

New York Stock Exchange Sells Itself (Crain's)

Unemployment Rate Tumbles (Crain's)

Former Gov. Paterson Loses Radio Show (NY Post)

Volunteers Try to Plug Gaps in Hurricane Response (Capital)

Suit On Police Stops is Reinstated (NY Times)

Liu Calls for Increase in Minimum Wage and Sick Pay (NY Times)

Legislators Rally For Tougher Gun Laws (Gotham Gazette)

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) City Fri, 21 Dec 2012 13:50:24 +0000
City Council To Fight Extreme Weather With Legislation http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/18/city-council-to-fight-extreme-weather-with-legislation http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/18/city-council-to-fight-extreme-weather-with-legislation

Legislation aimed at fortifying the city's infrastructure to withstand future extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy has been introduced into the City Council.

"Before we see another Hurricane Sandy hit our five boroughs, we must ensure our shoreline, our streets, our transportation system, our electrical system — every part of our city's foundation and groundwork is fully prepared," said Council Speaker Christine Quinn before the legislation was introduced. "If we want to protect our neighborhoods and prevent and limit future devastation, we have to act now."

They mayor's office said it was reviewing the bills.

The Council also announced a series of oversight hearings to look at the city's response to Sandy, scheduled to begin in January.

When asked whether the Council would look at the question of whether some rebuilding along the shoreline should be reconsidered, Quinn said it was a debate worth having.

"You don't want to ever say you can't rebuild, you can't go back, but it is clearly a tough discussion we are going to have to have," she said. 'There are some real legitimate environmental, weather, safety issues here. And we have to have the conversation because New Yorkers are asking us to have it."

Here is a rundown of the package of bills announced today and introduced at the stated meeting:

• A bill to require the mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability to examine whether it would be possible to relocate power lines underground. The study would have to be conducted within six months of the bill being enacted.

• A bill to require that the city adopt updated flood maps created by the Federal Emergency Management Administration. Current maps are outdated.

• A bill that would require buildings in floods zones to construct electrical and other key equipment "so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding."

• A bill that would amend building code to require healthcare facilities meet national and state flood construction requirements.

The Council also said it would vote on a measure that would waive Department of Buildings fees for buildings damaged or destroyed by Sandy.

"This bill will do away with one step and one cost in the rebuilding process," Quinn said. "This may seem like a little step, but these fees … can really add up and become an enormous cost for New Yorkers."

___

Image by Bill Alatriste, courtesy of the City Council.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Tue, 18 Dec 2012 22:12:10 +0000
Today's Lead Story: Officials Demand Storm Aid http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/14/todays-lead-story-officials-demand-storm-aid http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/14/todays-lead-story-officials-demand-storm-aid

The governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and more than 100 influential business leaders called on the U.S. Congress to decide on $60 billion in aid for Superstorm Sandy relief before the holidays begin. The governors said Congress had taken longer to approve aid to their states than it had for relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina. Business executives also wrote a letter to congressional representatives. "We believe that failure to expeditiously fund storm relief and recovery will severely weaken this region and worsen our nation's overall fiscal condition," they wrote.

In the Press...

Utilities To Give Rebates For Lost Service During Sandy (Associated Press)

Republican Senator Who Voted For Gay Marriage Concedes (Gotham Gazette)

Countdown 'Til Senate Democrats Pick a New Leader? (Gotham Gazette)

NY Court Upholds 9/11 Benefits for 3 NYPD Officers (Associated Press)

MTA Head Recommends Fare Hike (Daily News)

Teachers' Pensions To Fund Post-Sandy Infrastructure Improvements (Gotham Schools)

State AG Looking At Elections Spending By Nonprofits (Albany Times Union)

Bloomberg Signs Pedicab Bill Into Law (Wall Street Journal)

Fight For Council Speaker's Seat Already Beginning (Wall Street Journal)

Brooklyn BP Wants To Lure Soccer Franchise To His Borough (NY Post)

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Fri, 14 Dec 2012 17:38:25 +0000
Addabbo: Sandy Recovery Too Important For Political Differences http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/12/10/addabbo-sandy-recovery-too-important-for-political-differences- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/12/10/addabbo-sandy-recovery-too-important-for-political-differences-

Senate Republicans and members of the Independent Democrats will gather in Queens today for the first meeting of the Bipartisan Senate Task Force on Hurricane Sandy — and they have invited a couple of members of the Democratic conference as well.

"There isn't any room for poltical differences," said Queens Sen. Joe Addabbo who is a member of the Demcoratic conference. "We have no room for that when there are still 10,000 without power in the Rockaways."

Addabbo will be just one of a number of legislators who have seen their districts ravaged by the storm. From Staten Island to Long Island, the senators who will gather in the Rockaways today represent areas that need immediate attention.

Sens. James Sanders, Dean Skelos, Diane Savino, Andrew Lanza, Jeff Klein, Diane Savino, Martin Golden and Charles Fuschillo have been confirmed for the gathering. The group will tour the Rockaways and then meet with community leaders.

Addabbo says it will be the task force's job to keep the Legisalture connected to the areas and constituents that need the most help.

"We have to have a constant dialogue while listening to the needs of people and we need to feed what we arehearing into that task force," he says. "The people need to understand there is a way of getting in touch with there legislators."

Addabbo says he expects there will be many more taskforce meetings in areas hit hardest by Sandy in the coming months.

Sen. Joe Addabbo at a hearing. Photo from NYS Senate Democrats.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Mon, 10 Dec 2012 16:31:56 +0000
Paying for Sandy and Future Storms http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/10/paying-for-sandy-and-future-storms- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/10/paying-for-sandy-and-future-storms- On Friday, President Obama asked Congress for $60.4 billion in Sandy aid for New York, New Jersey and other states. Nearly $48 billion of it would go to relief, while the rest would be used for mitigation of future storms. To further help recovery efforts, two U.S. senators have also proposed billions in tax breaks, a plan modeled after a Katrina bill. Meanwhile, a relief fund set up by Gov. Cuomo has been criticized for the political nature of the board that oversees the money it raises. Many members were involved in fundraising for the governor's election campaign. In related news, a number of the area's non-Sandy related charities have seen a drop in donations since the storm hit.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Mon, 10 Dec 2012 12:33:11 +0000
Today's Lead Story: Bloomberg's Post-Storm Plan http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/07/todays-lead-story-bloombergs-post-storm-plan http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/07/todays-lead-story-bloombergs-post-storm-plan

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said yesterday that the city would rethink evacuation zones, electrical infrastructure, telecommunications networks, hospitals and transportations systems after Superstorm Sandy caused billions of dollars in damage, paralyzed communities and killed dozens of people.

But Bloomberg said that his administration would not abandon the waterfront and dismissed the possibility of building sea walls to hold back the ocean. Instead, he said the city would look at "coastline protections" such as berms, dunes, jetties and levies.

"No matter how much we do to make homes and businesses more resilient, the fact of the matter is we live next to the ocean, and the ocean comes with risks that we just cannot eliminate," the mayor said.

Bloomberg outlined the post-Sandy plan, his first major address since the storm, at a Lower Manhattan event, where former Vice President Al Gore also made an appearance and praised the mayor's previous efforts to respond to the effects of climate change.

In the Press...

State Senate Power-Sharing Agreement Criticized For Lack of Diversity (NY Times)

New York Civil Liberties Union Files Lawsuit Challenging Solitary Confinement (Albany Times Union)

NY's Transportation Infrastructure Suffered $7.5B In Damage Because Of Storm: Senator (Associated Press)

UFT president to help all 4 seeking Democratic mayoral nomination (Gotham Schools)

Small Historical Society Tries To Recover From Sandy (MetroFocus)

NY Comptroller Warns Fiscal Cliff Could Cost NY $43B (Crain's)

___

Image courtesy of the mayor's office.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Fri, 07 Dec 2012 03:16:32 +0000
Today's Lead: Obama Expected to Ask for $50 Billion in Storm Aid http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/06/todays-lead-obama-expected-to-ask-for-50-billion-in-storm-aid http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/06/todays-lead-obama-expected-to-ask-for-50-billion-in-storm-aid
Obama Expected to Ask For $50 Billion in Storm Aid


Preisdent Barack Obama is expected to ask Congress for about $45 to $50 billion in storm aid reports The New York Times. That figure is far below the $82 billion requested by New York, New Jersey at Connecticut “While $50 billion is a significant amount of money, it unfortunately does not meet all of New York and New Jersey’s substantial needs,” Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York and Frank R. Lautenberg and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, all Democrats, said in a joint statement. The storm aid may get tangled up in the battle between President Barack Obama and Republican legislators over debt and tax rates.

Cuomo's Litmus Test For Political Support (Gotham Gazette)

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) City Thu, 06 Dec 2012 12:14:49 +0000
Faith Leaders Demand Temporary Housing For Sandy Victims http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/04/faith-leaders-demand-temporary-housing-for-sandy-victims- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/04/faith-leaders-demand-temporary-housing-for-sandy-victims-

Faith leaders working with Occupy Sandy on Hurricane Sandy relief efforts plan to converge on the residence of Mayor Michael Bloomberg to demand that the city provide temporary housing for those displaced by the storm or those living in unsafe conditions.

The rally in front of the mayor's office is expected to begin at 11 a.m. today.

As we reported Monday, elected officials say FEMA is considering renting empty apartments and housing those in need of safe refuge because of damage done to their homes by Sandy — especially in neighborhoods in the Rockaways.

Housing conditions are deteriorating in the communities on the peninsula as mold continues to grow unchecked in many homes, while still others remain without heat and power.

Grassroots groups have been protesting the lack of temporary housing for weeks now and the movement seems to be growing.

Dennis Saleeby, volunteer field operations director for New York Resilience System, says a group of advocates for storm victims is expecting to meet with the office of Council Speaker Christine Quinn today to discuss the need for housing.

The Bloomberg administration has noted that anumber of hotel rooms they have for displaced victims are sitting empty. But some residents of the the Rockaways say they need to be in their communities to able to commute to their jobs. Others seem not to know exactly how to get a voucher for a hotel room.

Far Rockaway Resident Vern Clarke told Gotham Gazette that hotels can't accomodate his family of seven. He says that although FEMA visited his house and saw his mold problem, they did not offer him housing assistance.

"It is clear to me that as we, people of faith, have responded in opening our churches, synagogues, and other sacred spaces and it is long overdue that the government and those who have accumulated and have the resources, in their care, need to step up. It is a crisis and we need our structures in place to adapt and work for the most vulnerable among us,” Rev. Juan Carlos Ruiz, who has worked along Occupy Sandy’s hub at St. Jacobi’s Lutheran Church, said in a press release.

The release also quotes resident Luis Casco as saying: "We are living in a mold infested community. One of my neighbors is a 67-yea- old woman who cannot run her daycare any longer and has a respiratory disease and is living in mold. We are people, not animals, we should not be living in these horrible conditions."

Photo by Cristian Salazar

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) City Tue, 04 Dec 2012 15:06:41 +0000
Today's Leads: Cuomo Optimistic About Aid; ERs Overwhelmed After Storm http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/04/todays-leads-cuomo-optimistic-about-aid-ers-overwhelmed-after-storm- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/04/todays-leads-cuomo-optimistic-about-aid-ers-overwhelmed-after-storm-

Gov. Cuomo says he's optimistic about his meetings yesterday with the White House and Congressional leaders where he pressed for aid to help rebuild from Superstorm Sandy. Congress and the president are currently trying to agree on how to avoid a possible fiscal crisis next month. The disaster aid will most likely be tied to those talks. Some in Congress have suggested the aid be offset by cuts elsewhere, a move that would put the money at risk. This is the first time Cuomo has visited Washington since being elected. Mayor Bloomberg made a similar visit last week. New Jersey is also seeking about $37 billion in aid.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Tue, 04 Dec 2012 13:17:05 +0000
Today's Lead: Building for New Era of Storms http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/03/todays-lead-building-for-new-era-of-storms- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/03/todays-lead-building-for-new-era-of-storms-

As politicians begin taking more seriously the possible construction of a sea barrier, Gov. Cuomo will travel to Washington today seeking over $40 billion in aid -- a large chunk of which will go towards protection from future storms. The Washington Post backed up similar thinking, calling big spending on preparation well worth it. But of course, planning will be difficult, and it's much more complicated than just walling of the city from nature. Future development should come into consideration; like new plans for Flushing Meadows Park in Queens. Some say the park's role as natural buffer against flooding would be compromised by the proposed stadiums and malls. And then there's the gas pipeline planned for construction under The Rockaways. Environmentalists say flooding in the area threatens its stability.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Mon, 03 Dec 2012 12:55:24 +0000
Today's Lead: Hypothermia, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning on the Rise http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/11/29/todays-lead-hypothermia-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-on-the-rise http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/11/29/todays-lead-hypothermia-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-on-the-rise

Hypothermia, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning on the Rise


Following Hurricane Sandy the City has seen a rise in carbon monoxide poisoning and hypothermia cases due to city residents living in unheated homes, or simply living on the street. The New York Times reports that the number of cold-exposure cases tripled after Sandy as compared to the same time frame last year. The City Health Department issued a letter warning doctors and health care providers of the issue. Carbon monoxide poisoning was 10-times higher the week of Hurricane Sandy and continued at an elevated rate due to people heating their homes with unsafe alternative methods. The findings seem to give further weight to recent pleas from advocates for the city to deploy temporary housing in areas hard-hit by Sandy.




In the Press...

Bloomberg Lobbies Washington For Storm Aid (NY Times)

Cuomo, Christie Issue Joint Request For Relief Funds (Albany Times Union)

Flood Insurance Costs to Rise (NY Times)

Details on Proposed NY Senate Coalition (Albany Times Union)

Hotel Rooms For Sandy Victims Sitting Vacant (Wall Street Journal)

Liu Calls For Ending Tax Subsidies for Business (Crain's)

Manhattan Fast Food Strike (Crain's)

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) City Thu, 29 Nov 2012 13:14:32 +0000
Today's Lead: Cuomo's Katrina Comparisons Debatable http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/11/28/todays-lead-cuomos-katrina-comparisons-debatable- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/11/28/todays-lead-cuomos-katrina-comparisons-debatable- The numbers Gov. Cuomo used to argue that Sandy had more of an impact than Katrina left some room for debate. In 2006, HUD put the number of damaged homes in Louisiana at 515,249, not 215,000, as the governor had implied. That brings the damage close to the final count of 550,000 damaged homes they expect to find in New York. There were also many times more businesses impacted by Katrina than the figure Cuomo used. And of course deaths caused by the Southern storm were staggering compared to the loss of life in the New York area.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Wed, 28 Nov 2012 12:33:00 +0000
Headlines: Cuomo Says Sandy Cost More Than Katrina http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/11/27/headlines-cuomo-sandy-cost-more-than-katrina- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/11/27/headlines-cuomo-sandy-cost-more-than-katrina- Gov. Cuomo said Hurricane Sandy affected more people than Katrina in his plea for nearly $42 billion in federal aid. He noted many more died in Katrina, but that the economic toll of Sandy was higher, reaching almost $33 billion in clean up costs. The aid request from Cuomo grew from his previous plea for $30 billion.The aid would be used to cover damage and restoration, but $9 billion of it would be used to prepare for future storms. Mayor Bloomberg is making his own plea for nearly $10 billion in aid. State health officials are also asking for almost a half-billion dollars in special Medicaid funding for hospitals, nursing homes and clinics affected by the storm.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Tue, 27 Nov 2012 13:11:25 +0000
Bloomberg Pressures Landlords on Sandy Repairs http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/11/26/bloomberg-pressures-landlords-on-sandy-repairs- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/11/26/bloomberg-pressures-landlords-on-sandy-repairs-

Weeks after Hurricane Sandy hit, the stories of people unable to stay in their apartments because landlords have yet to make repairs are still commonplace.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to put an end to that and is pushing landlords to act and wants to make sure they know the city is offering them the resources to make their apartments liveable again.

As we reported last week, groups in the Rockaways are concerned about the number of displaced residents who may be at the mercy of the increasingly cold weather and say they are concerned about hypothermia and other conditions that are exacerbated by exposure.

“As the weather gets colder, we cannot stress enough the importance of making sure those who are living in homes or apartments without heat get to a warmer place,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley in a statement. “Prolonged exposure to cold is not just uncomfortable, it is dangerous, especially for infants, the elderly, and people with chronic diseases.”

The Bloomberg administraion reminds landlords they have two options to repair their properties:

1) Owners and landlords may correct the conditions themselves and submit a timely certification to HPD.

2) Owners and landlords may sign up for the NYC Rapid Repairs program by calling 311, going to NYC.gov or visiting one of the City’s Restoration Centers.

Owners who fail to promptly correct these hazardous conditions themselves or do not sign up with NYC Rapid Repairs to restore essential services to their buildings will be subject to the commencement of enforcement proceedings.

Bloomberg visits homeowners whose power was restored by NYC Rapid Repairs.Photo provided by Mayor's Office.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) City Mon, 26 Nov 2012 20:16:57 +0000
Headlines: Cuomo and Sandy; Preparing for Future Storms http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/11/26/headlines-cuomo-and-sandy-preparing-for-future-storms http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/11/26/headlines-cuomo-and-sandy-preparing-for-future-storms Gov. Cuomo's response to Superstorm Sandy has earned him high approval ratings, despite some mistakes -- such as his failure to reform the state-controlled Long Island Power Authority since he took office. But he has begun making up for another misstep, and will meet today with the state’s Congressional delegation to discuss his request for federal recovery aid. He had been criticized for not coordinating with them. Meanwhile, the state will use a federal grant to hire over 5,000 unemployed New Yorkers in temporary positions to help clean up after the storm. Also, Cuomo has said he won't raise taxes to cover losses resulting from Sandy.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Mon, 26 Nov 2012 13:03:08 +0000