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The House of Representatives passed legislation Tuesday that would roll back the flood insurance rate hikes caused when legislation passed two years ago removed some subsidies that aim to make premiums more affordable.
In his State of the Union Address, President Obama said, if Congress continues to “gridlock” his agenda, he would invoke his inherent powers and issue executive orders. Shouts of impeachment rang out in the GOP-controlled House!
Laws are made almost exclusively by legislation originated as acts of Congress; such acts are either signed into law by the president or passed into law by Congress after a presidential veto. However, presidents can issue orders, which have the force of law.
All presidents invoked this power except William Henry Harrison, our ninth president. John Adams, James Madison and John Monroe each issued only one. The three highest were Teddy Roosevelt (1,081), Woodrow Wilson (1,803) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (3,522).
Here are samples of presidential orders: Wilson provided conditions for employment for the Panama Canal. John F. Kennedy created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Jimmy Carter established the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Ronald Reagan created the president’s commission on th
e HIV epidemic. Obama signed on Feb. 12 an executive order that requires federal contractors to raise their minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10, effective in 2015.
Readers, for your information, the numbers of executive orders by our last three presidents are: Bill Clinton (364), George W. Bush (291) — and, for the past five years, Obama (169).
Build it Back, the city program established after Hurricane Sandy to help people who lost their homes to the storm, has so far done anything but.
The numbers tell the story of complete and utter failure. Approximately $1.5 billion has been allocated for the program, and so far less than 2 percent of that money has actually been released. Nearly 20,000 people have applied for assistance, and the number of homes rebuilt is zero.
Community Board 10 got its first briefing last Thursday on Gov. Cuomo’s plan to reconstruct Spring Creek Park in Howard Beach to create a better flood barrier and a more user-friendly greenspace, and members had a laundry list of questions for representatives from the state Department of Environmental Conservation for what it would mean on the quality of life in the neighborhood.
The parkland, which frames the western and southern parts of the “new side” of Howard Beach, is underutilized, unkempt and inadequate as flood protection, according to the DEC and reconstruction work, which will be funded by Sandy relief money, would reconstruct it to allow for better flood protection and make it a more usable space for parkgoers.
The U.S. Senate passed legislation last Thursday that would relieve the flood rate hikes mandated by a 2012 law aimed at stabilizing the finances of the National Flood Insurance Program.
By a vote of 67-32, the Senate approved the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which if made into law would delay the increases in the flood insurance rates mandate under the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012, until the Federal Emergency Management Agency does an affordability study to determine how the rate hikes would affect homeowners in food zones. It also would require FEMA to certify that its flood maps are accurate and ensure local levees and other flood control structures are taken into account in the mapping process.
The ongoing recovery from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy dominated life in South Queens for most of 2013 and was a factor in many other big stories, from the future of the abandoned Rockaway Beach LIRR line to the election battle between Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and his Democratic opponent Lew Simon.
But South Queens also dealt with a wide array of other issues in 2013, from crime at Forest Park to internal strife on Community Board 9.
Howard Beach’s PS 207 may have been the most heavily damaged school in Queens by Hurricane Sandy.
The school, at 159-15 88 St., is in the heart of the heavily residential Rockwood Park section of the neighborhood that was hit hard by Sandy’s storm surge last year.
Much of Howard Beach is placed in Zone AE under the new flood maps released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but several blocks on the west side of the neighborhood and higher areas, including Lindenwood, are in the less risky Zone X.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency released Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps for New York City last week that reflect the latest updates to the agency’s redrawing of the coastal flood zones.
The Preliminary FIRMs replace the Preliminary Work Maps that were released in June as an interim product. Those maps, placed much of Howard Beach into a new zone, Zone A, would require residents to have flood insurance and take measures, such as raising their homes, or risk substantially higher flood insurance premiums.
Six new laws designed to make buildings more resilient when hit by storms such as Hurricane Sandy were signed by Mayor Bloomberg last week.
The measures all stem from recommendations made by the city’s Building Resiliency Task Force. And they use new flood maps created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as the standard for what areas are susceptible to deluges like those created by Sandy in South Queens, the Rockaways and other areas. Some rules affect new construction and some affect existing buildings.
Hurricane Sandy hit 13 months ago, and the Rockaway boardwalk, which was completely destroyed in the storm west of Beach 88th Street, has still not been rebuilt.
That fact has been a point of contention between the city and the Rockaway community since the hurricane. As devastated boardwalks have been rebuilt on the Jersey Shore and Long Beach in Nassau County, the people of the Rockaways were left wondering “what about us?”
After 43 years in Jackson Heights, the main campus of Plaza College will call Forest Hills home starting next September.
Plaza College has agreed to a 15-year, 40,000-square-foot lease with Muss Development LLC and will move into the first two floors of the Forest Hills Tower at 118-35 Queens Blvd. The move of the main campus from Jackson Heights, where the school has been located since 1970, is designed to celebrate the school’s upcoming 100-year anniversary in 2016.
Those concerned over the possibility of massive flood insurance rate hikes can breathe a sigh of relief. At least for now.
Congress unveiled a deal struck last week to postpone the rate hikes that started taking effect last month because of the Biggert-Waters Act, a 2012 law that sought to put the cash-strapped National Flood Insurance Program, administrated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on more solid financial footing.
(StatePoint) Imagine living without heat, power or communication during the coldest days of the year. During a winter weather emergency, not only can these conditions be unpleasant, but dangerous too.
There was perhaps no other community in Queens taken by surprise by Hurricane Sandy as much as Howard Beach.
The neighborhood was thought to be immune to Sandy’s storm surge because of it’s relative weakness as a Category 1 storm and geography: the Rockaway Peninsula stood between Howard Beach and the ocean.
Sen Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced this week that New York State is set to receive an estimated $6.3 billion in further Sandy-relief funding in 2014.
The money is allocated from the $61 billion Sandy aid package that was approved earlier this year by Congress. According to Schumer, less than one-third of the money has been spent.
A bipartisan deal has been struck in Congress that aims to avoid the hikes in flood insurance rates under a 2012 law that could lead to some residents paying thousands of dollars a year in flood insurance premiums.
The bill, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, was introduced this week by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island) in the House of Representatives and Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) in the Senate. Waters is the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee and co-sponsor of the 2012 Biggert-Waters Act, the law the new bill seeks to change.
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.
Surfers are still plying the waves in the Rockaways nearly a year after Hurricane Sandy. But one of their favorite stores, the Breezy Point Surf Shop, is struggling to avoid a wipeout.
Almost a year ago, Hurricane Sandy destroyed the store. Owner Donald Ritter watched the storm wash away $80,000 worth of merchandise and his life savings. He did not have any flood insurance.
(NAPSI)—Your home is probably the biggest monetary investment you’ll ever make, so it’s a good idea to carefully discuss your house’s siding choices with your home builder or remodeler.
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.