On the brief side...
On the brief side...
McLaughlin Backs Supplies For Troops
Gum, shampoo and deodorant may not rank high in the "must" category for our fighting men and women in Iraq, but two paramedics at New YorkHospital Queens (NYHQ) inFlushing created a program to collect and send these essential non-essentials and many others. Assemblymember Brian McLaughlin (D–Flushing) gave a helping hand with a $5,000 donation to purchase supplies. The supplies are destined for the over 4,000 troops deployed fromFort Totten in Bayside.
McLaughlin was at the hospital last Thursday at 56-45 MainSt. to help kick off the Freedom Medical Team (FreeMat) program and hail program creators Peter Kwaith and Fred Noboa, paramedics at NYHQ. Joining him were ColonelMargie Farmer, chief of staff, 77th Regional Support Command, Fort Totten; Stephen Mills, New YorkHospital Queens chief executive officer and president; Susan Castillo, Miss USA; Jennifer Rose,Miss USO, and family members of servicemen in Iraq.
"As we pause to celebrate Passover and Easter, we must not forget our brave men and women stationed thousand of miles away, protecting our freedom,"McLaughlin stated."I hope that these supplies serve not only as reminders of home, but as an acknowledgement that we are a grateful nation, proud of their efforts and eagerly awaiting their return."
He thanked Kwaith, Noboa, Mills and NYHQ, and the Army, "for this unparaleled, cooperative effort to bring these reminders of home to our troops."
Vallone Jr:‘Make Sure NYC’s Ready For Terrorists’
Noting that health experts and others testified at a council hearing last week that the $40,000 provided to each city hospital by the federal government for emergency preparedness needs "is far below what the average hospital requires,"Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. stated that Washington must do more to make certain that New York City has the necessary training and resources to respond to a biological or chemical attack.
The comments were made at a joint hearing of the council HealthCommittee and the Public Safety Committee, chaired by Vallone, on the city’s preparedness for a terrorist attack.
Vallone noted New YorkCity remains the prime U.S. target for international terrorists and said that since the September 11 attack, the city’s first responders have worked vigorously to maintain and improve the city’s preparedness and defense against terrorist incidents.
Vallone said,"We need to be assured that the Office of EmergencyManagement (OEM) is able to coordinate the agencies involved in responding to biological or chemical attack."
And Councilmember Christine Quinn, Health Committee chair, warned, "Our hospitals and health care agencies may not be able to sufficiently protect New Yorkers with the funds Washington proposes to send us."
GennaroWants Water Challenge Period Extended
City Councilmember James Gennaro recently filed a resolution calling on the city’s Water Board to reinstate the six-year period within which water customers could challenge Department of Environmental (DEP) water bills they consider are incorrect or which may overcharge them.
Gennaro said that from 1984 to 1989 this was the practice, but the challenge period was changed in 1999 to two years. But following complaints by the Giuliani mayoral administration, the time period went up to four years, where it presently stands.
Gennaro (D–Jamaica Estates), chair of the Committee OnEnvironmental Protection, said water customers should have six years to challenge water overcharges, the same time period available to consumers to challenge gas, electric and telephone overcharges.
Mayersohn Warns Of Sanit Fines Increase
OnJune 1, fines levied by the city’s Department of Sanitation will double from$50 to $100 for most violations, including dirty sidewalks, improper maintenance of trash receptacles and sweep-outs, among the most common offenses, according to Assemblymember Nettie Mayersohn (D–Flushing).
The change applies to both residential and commercial property owners and does not require city council approval because the higher level is within the statutory range allowed by law.
To get a full list of fines and/or changes call Mayersohn’s office at 718-463-1942.
Onorato,Vallone Jr. DealWith SignalLights
State Senator George Onorato and Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., both Astoria Democrats, reported on traffic problems last week, one settled, one just starting.
Onorato said he had been informed by Queens Commissioner of TransportationJosephCannisi that a new traffic signal has been approved for the 23rd Avenue and 35thStreet intersection and is tentatively scheduled to be installed bySeptember 30.
Vallone Jr. cited several accidents at Ditmars Boulevard and 75th Street in the past year, the most recent onApril 12 in which a 10-year-old boy was struck and died Friday,April 18.
In addition, Vallone is concerned that P.S. 2 is half a block away from the intersection.
Because of the frequency of accidents at the site, Vallone has asked Cannisi to conduct a traffic study at the problem intersection. A request byVallone for increased traffic enforcement there was implemented by the 114th Police Precinct almost immediately.