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Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last Friday that he will allocate $50 million from the state’s share of the $67 billion federal Hurricane Sandy aid package toward rebuilding protective marshland in Spring Creek Park to serve as a stronger barrier between Howard Beach and Jamaica Bay and alleviate future flooding in storms like Sandy.
The project, developed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, will involve excavation, recontouring, and revegetation to establish a self-sustaining system of wave-dampening barriers to reduce storm damage on the south and west coasts of Howard Beach. It would also make the land, which is a public park, into a more inviting and functional space.
The Queens Library will begin lending customers Google tablets on their library cards at select South Queens branches beginning Nov. 20.
The tablets — donated by Google to communities in New York State affected by Hurricane Sandy — will be loaned from seven Queens Library locations: Howard Beach, Broad Channel, Arverne, Far Rockaway, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park and Queens Library for Teens in Far Rockaway. Customers may borrow them for a month with the option of three renewals for a total of four months.
The Jets enter their bye week, which is just a shade over the halfway mark of their NFL season, with a 5-4 record. They are certainly not an elite NFL team, as their 49-9 defeat at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals two weeks ago proved, but they have also shown resiliency by beating the NFL perennial powerhouse New Orleans Saints 26-20 last week. And that score did not even reflect how dominant the Jets were in that game.
If you had told most Jets fans during the preseason that their team would be 5-4 in early November they probably would have hugged you while crying tears of joy. The conventional wisdom was that Jets head coach Rex Ryan was sure to be fired by new general manager John Idzik at the end of the season. As much as Jets fans had come to loathe QB Mark Sanchez over the last two years, the feeling was that the team would be lucky to win two games once it was learned that he would miss the entire 2013 season with a shoulder injury. It was asking a lot to expect rookie quarterback Geno Smith to win NFL games right out of the starting gate.
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) appeared to prevail over his Democratic rival, District Leader Lew Simon 53 percent to 47 percent in the 32nd Council District — a margin of about 1,100 votes — in what ended up being the closest race in the entire city
To say this isn’t Lew Simon’s first time at the rodeo is an understatement.
The Rockaway civic leader has made multiple attempts at elected office, including twice before for the City Council seat he’s currently seeking, and he’s been elected and re-elected as Democratic leader in the Assembly district that includes most of the Rockaway Peninsula, Howard Beach, Broad Channel, and Ozone Park for the last couple of decades.
For elected officials, incumbency is typically a positive — a chance to make the case to voters that your term in office has been successful for the community you represent and their vote will give them more successes in the future
That’s exactly what Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), running for a second full term in office, is hoping for.
A little more than six months after Hurricane Sandy, several dozen Rockaway residents stood in the cold spring rain at Beach 95th Street and Shore Front Parkway to protest.
From their vantage point, they were able to see right out into the ocean. Any rougher weather and where they stood would have been underwater.
Lew Simon, the Democratic candidate for the 32nd City Council District, was hospitalized and underwent an angioplasty, his campaign said.
Nearly a year after Broad Channel was flooded by Hurricane Sandy, it was flooded again last Saturday — this time by South Queens residents who were victims of the storm, and rightly fear they may soon become victims of the government.
At issue are the massive hikes in flood insurance premiums for areas hit by the storm, and even some that weren’t, that will be imposed by the federal government unless a law passed just a few months before Sandy struck is modified. The hundreds of people who stormed Broad Channel’s American Legion Hall last Saturday were taking part in a series of nationwide protests against the insurance hikes, which could top $12,000 a year for some residents here in Queens. It’s not that the rates are actually going up but that the government is reducing the subsidies it provides to those who have to buy coverage.
The crowd grew so large last Saturday, one resident said the population of Broad Channel may have doubled. The neighborhood’s American Legion Hall on Cross Bay Boulevard could not hold everyone who showed up for South Queens’ rally against flood insurance premium hikes that begin this month.
It was just one of dozens of rallies held across the country at the same time, including in coastal communities in Louisiana, Florida, Alabama and Massachusetts and floodprone areas in states like Iowa and Illinois. The rallies were held in protest to the 2012 Biggert-Waters Act, a bill that supporters said seeks to put the National Flood Insurance Program on solid financial footing, but opponents fear will lead to the decimation of coastal communities like Howard Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaways.
Survivors of Hurricane Sandy in southern Queens and the Rockaways worried about increasing flood insurance rates will rally in Broad Channel Saturday, calling for Congress to postpone implementation of the 2012 Biggert-Waters Act that will cause flood insurance rates to go up for homes damaged in Hurricane Sandy. The rally will take place at noon Sept. 28 in front of the American Legion Hall at 209 Cross Bay Blvd.
The Biggert-Waters Act, passed as part of a larger appropriations bill just weeks before Sandy, removes some subsidies given to homeowners to make flood insurance more affordable. Proponents of the law say the subsidies are wasteful, premiums should be tied to market rates and that the subsidies made it more financially feasible to build more expensive structures in flood-prone areas.
Marguerite Rocholl traded in the shore for the mountains several years ago. But even though she calls the Catskills home now, Rocholl’s heart and mind are never far from the community she called home for much of her life — Broad Channel.
What brought her to writing “Before You Were Born” — her book about her rearing in the island community in the middle of Jamaica Bay — was less about the neighborhood and more about one of its residents, her own father.
To revive what has been dead for over 50 years is never an easy proposition, but the Queens Public Transit Committee is determined to do just that with the Rockaway Beach Line of the Long Island Railroad, which went out of service in 1962.
On Saturday, at a rally a couple of blocks from a rail overpass that stands as a reminder of what once used to be, group member Philip McManus addressed a modest crowd that had gathered at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Metropolitan Avenue in an effort to call attention to the project.
This past year has proven to be one of the most difficult and challenging for all the families and businesses in Southern Queens and Rockaway struggling to recover from Sandy. Now is the time to help rebuild our homes and economy, but more importantly prepare and create resilient communities for the future by investing in our transit infrastructure.
It’s unfortunate that it took a natural disaster for us to finally receive the attention we desperately need for better transportation alternatives. Community leaders and residents have been struggling and fighting for too long and as we discovered with Sandy, the severe lack of quick and accessible transit options has proven to have detrimental repercussions.
Most of Howard Beach is now in the first priority evacuation area for hurricanes, according to new city maps that identify zones to be evacuated in the event of another major storm. The maps, which increased the number of zones from three to six, add another 600,000 people citywide into areas that could be evacuated in case of another hurricane, including tens of thousands in Queens neighborhoods originally not in the zones like Elmhurst, Woodhaven and Jamaica.
According to the city, just under three million people — more than a third of the city’s total population on — lives in an evacuation zone.
Democratic District Leader Lew Simon is all in.
The Rockaway civic leader is running for the City Council against Republican incumbent Eric Ulrich in the 32nd Council District.