Category Archives: Broad Channel

Even with Aid from FEMA Program, Dramatic Drop in Flood Insurance Rates Extremely Unlikely: City

Responding to a report in last week’s Forum detailing a federal program that could help reduce flood insurance rates in affected areas of the city, the de Blasio administration characterized possible dramatic discounts as extremely unlikely. Last week, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio, calling on him to enroll the city in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Community Rating System to help reduce flood insurance premiums for thousands of families. Communities enrolled in … Continue reading

FEMA Program Could Drastically Cut Homeowner Flood Insurance Rates

For residents of low-lying, flood-prone areas, there may be light on the water-logged horizon. That’s because a little-known Federal Emergency Management Agency program could help dramatically reduce flood insurance premiums for affected homeowners. Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Howard Beach) this week called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to enroll the city in FEMA’s Community Rating System to help reduce flood insurance premiums for thousands of families. Communities enrolled in CRS can reduce household premiums by up to 45 percent through community … Continue reading

Amendment 8 Plan Outlines How City Will Use Grant Money for Sandy Recovery

With the arrival of the third allocation of Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds—a little more than $994 million—the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency last week began to roll out the city’s strategy for how to use the money, and solicit public comment from residents and business owners. Every time the city receives additional CDBG-DR funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, it must update its Action Plan to describe how the funds will be … Continue reading

EDITORIAL: Sandy: Still Beating on Us, but Not Breaking Us Down

The Forum has spent the last couple of weeks reviewing 2014 and reflecting on some of the big stories that have impacted our community over the course of the year. As many do, we use the new year to look at what happened in our past and how it might affect our future. When we have the chance to actually see the year in articles and photographs, laid out before us in a distinct timeline, the perspective is somewhat enhanced. … Continue reading

Emergency Evacuation Route Signage to Get Overhaul

In October 2012, residents evacuating Superstorm Sandy were directed by emergency personnel to one area, while signs clearly indicated another.  Confusion ensued.  Those evacuation signs have not been updated since. This week the Office of Emergency Management announced the planned installation of new, corrected emergency evacuation route signage throughout southern Queens and Rockaway. The installation will be handled by the city’s Department of Transportation and is expected to occur before next summer. Last May, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) sent … Continue reading

Goldfeder ‘Deeply Disappointed’ with Funding of QueensWay Park Proposal

An area elected official this week said he was “deeply disappointed” with the state Regional Economic Development Council’s recent decision to grant funding for the QueensWay park proposal on the Rockaway Beach Rail Line right-of-way, but vowed to continue the fight to reactivate the abandoned line. Reacting to last Thursday’s news that the Trust for Public Land, a national non-profit organization working to create parks, had been tapped by the REDC to receive more than $443,000 to design the first … Continue reading

Broad Channel Wants Postal Facility

United States Senator Chuck Schumer and State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder announced this week that they have sent a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe urging the immediate installation of a new Contract Postal Unit, or CPU, in Broad Channel. This request comes after months of delays and multiple rounds of review of the original application to replace facilities destroyed during Hurricane Sandy. “Many families in Broad Channel are still not back in their homes following Superstorm Sandy and most still … Continue reading

DOT, MTA Continue to Engage Communities on Bus Rapid Transit Plans

The latest stop for the two agencies tasked with implementing Bus Rapid Transit in communities across the five boroughs was Borough Hall on Tuesday morning, where city Department of Transportation and New York City Transit Authority officials presented the possible plans for BRT along the Cross Bay Boulevard-Woodhaven Boulevard Corridor. Addressing the Borough Cabinet, Eric Beaton, DOT director of Transit Development, and Robert Thompson, manager of Long-Range Bus Planning at NYCTA, detailed the concept of BRT and how it might … Continue reading

Goldfeder Pushes Port Authority, Gets Noise Monitors

In a continuing effort to effectively monitor noise caused by planes flying in and out of JFK Airport, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has agreed to install additional sound monitors in Bayswater and Broad Channel, Queens.  Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) was aggressive in his pursuit of these monitors and wrote a letter to the FAA and Port Authority in September. Beyond the additional monitors, the Port Authority offers a tracking system on its website, so … Continue reading

Pols Push Law to Forgive FEMA Sandy Disaster-Relief Debts

  Federal elected officials, supported by state representatives, this week indicated that they would be drafting legislation to provide relief for Superstorm Sandy victims who are in debt to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Two years after the thoroughly destructive storm burst through parts of the city, including Howard Beach and the Rockaways, FEMA began issuing notices to some property owners to collect accidental overpayments. U.S. Rep. Greg Meeks (D-Jamaica) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey) are leading a bipartisan … Continue reading

Free Tablets Available for Lease at Several Borough Library Branches

Google tablets are available for loan at 10 borough library branches, including Broad Channel, Forest Hills, Howard Beach, Jamaica, Rockaway Beach and Rockaway Park. Loans are free with a Queens Library card. Customers may borrow them for a month, with three possible renewals (four months total). First-time borrowers must sign a borrower’s agreement and show photo identification. Queens Library began lending customers Google tablets on their library cards in November 2013. Through the efforts of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the … Continue reading

City, Community Clean Storm Debris from Jamaica Bay

Civic and environmental groups teamed up with volunteers from city agencies last week to clean Superstorm Sandy debris from Jamaica Bay in Broad Channel. The Broad Channel Civic Association, American Littoral Society and Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers, and volunteers from the Parks Department and the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency got to work behind a Cross Bay Boulevard home scheduled to be rebuilt through the Build It Back program. The point of access to the bay on the site became … Continue reading

Addabbo, Jr. Seeking Fourth Term in State Senate

With the midterm elections less than a week away, state Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) is hoping that he can turn his three-term run in the 15th District into an even four. Addabbo, 50, who served seven years on the City Council before being elected to the Senate in 2008, has the decided advantage of name recognition over his relatively unknown GOP challenger, Rego Park resident Michael Conigliaro, who was urged to run against Addabbo by City Councilman Eric … Continue reading

Delays Leave Sandy-Scarred Family Seeking Answers

The post-Superstorm Sandy story of the De Virgilio family reads like a Hollywood-ready screenplay, replete with drama, tragedy and the resolve to rebuild. But according to Sophia Vailakis-De Virgilio, red tape and bureaucratic hurdles are delaying a happy ending. “The house has been demolished,” she said of her former Broad Channel abode. “[After Sandy], it looked like it had been picked up and dropped back down, only slightly off kilter.” Vailakis-De Virgilio and her family fled West 12th Road ahead … Continue reading

New Book Spotlights MTA ‘Art Museum’

The next time you find yourself at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue, take a quick look around. You might catch a driver or bus passenger or pedestrian heading north on the boulevard craning their neck toward the elevated subway station and that mysterious face that has stood sentinel over the roadway for more than 20 years. And thanks to a new book that features the 250 permanent works of art throughout the city’s vast transportation network, curious … Continue reading