Posts tagged NYC
The Day After Tomorrow hits home
This morning millions of people on the East Coast are facing flooded homes, fallen trees and widespread power outages caused by the giant storm, which swamped New York City’s subway system and submerged streets in Manhattan’s financial district.
Sandy, one of the biggest storms to ever descend on the country, hit the mainland at 6.30pm local time yesterday having laid waste to large parts of the coast during the day.
The storm that made landfall in New Jersey yesterday evening with 80 mph sustained winds killed at least 18 people in seven states, cut power to more than 7.4 million homes and businesses from the Carolinas to Ohio, caused scares at two nuclear power plants and stopped the presidential campaign cold.
New York was among the hardest hit, with its financial heart in Lower Manhattan shuttered for a second day and seawater cascading into the still-gaping construction pit at the World Trade Center.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the death toll in the city from the huge storm is up to 10. He also says it could be three days or more before power is restored to hundreds of thousands of people now in the dark.
He is giving no estimate on when public transit would be running, though he expects some buses be running later today. He said there have nor been any storm-related fatalities in NYC hospitals.
Among the dead in New York were two children killed instantly by a falling tree in Westchester County, a woman electrocuted to death by falling wires in Manhattan and a 29-year-old man killed in a car crash in Queens. A 30-year-old man was also killed when a tree fell on his house in Flushing, Queens.
The storm caused the worst damage in the 108-year history of New York’s extensive subway system, according to Joseph Lhota, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
‘This will be one for the record books,’ said John Miksad, senior vice president for electric operations at Consolidated Edison, which had more than 670,000 customers without power in and around New York City.
An unprecedented 13-foot surge of seawater – 3 feet above the previous record – gushed into Gotham, inundating tunnels, subway stations and the electrical system that powers Wall Street, and sent hospital patients and tourists scrambling for safety.
Curiosity turned to concern overnight as New York City residents watched whole neighborhoods disappear into darkness as power was cut.
The World Trade Center site was a glowing ghost near the tip of Lower Manhattan.
Residents reported seeing no lights but the strobes of emergency vehicles and the glimpses of flashlights in nearby apartments. Lobbies were flooded, cars floated and people started to worry about food.
A huge fire destroyed 80 to 100 houses in a flooded beachfront neighborhood Tuesday, forcing firefighters to undertake daring rescues and injuring three people.
More than 190 firefighters contained the blaze but were still putting out some pockets of fire more than nine hours after it erupted.
As daylight broke, neighbors walked around aimlessly through their smoke-filled Breezy Point neighborhood, which sits on the Rockaway peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean. Electrical wires dangled within feet of the street. source – Daily Mail UK
Ground Zero flooded out
Much of New York was plunged into darkness Monday by a superstorm that overflowed the city’s historic waterfront, flooded the financial district and subway tunnels and cut power to nearly a million people.
The city had shut its mass transit system, schools, the stock exchange and Broadway and ordered hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to leave home to get out of the way of the superstorm Sandy as it zeroed in on the nation’s largest city.
Residents spent much of the day trying to salvage normal routines, jogging and snapping pictures of the water while officials warned the worst of the storm had not hit.
By evening, a record 13-foot storm surge was threatening Manhattan’s southern tip, utilities darkened parts of downtown Manhattan on purpose to avoid storm damage and water started lapping over the seawall in Battery Park City, flooded rail yards and parts of the financial district.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged New York City residents not to call 9-1-1 unless “you have a life-threatening emergency,” in a press conference Monday night. He added that the emergency response service was receiving an estimated 10,000 calls per hour.
At New York’s Battery Park, the water level reached 13.88 feet, far above the previous all-time record of 11.2 feet from 1821. source – Weather.com
Last night New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg made an extraordinarily dangerous and radical pronouncement. He was appearing on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” when the host asked him: “Why do so many Americans not feel angry enough to demand further gun control?” Here’s his answer:
Well, I would take it one step further. I don’t understand why the police officers across this country don’t stand up collectively and say, we’re going to go on strike. We’re not going to protect you. Unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what’s required to keep us safe.
After all, police officers want to go home to their families. And we’re doing everything we can to make their job more difficult but, more importantly, more dangerous, by leaving guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, and letting people who have those guns buy things like armor-piercing bullets.
The Puffington Host reports that Bloomberg is not standing behind his statement: “According to a tweet from New York Times reporter Kate Taylor, Bloomberg tried to walk that statement back on Tuesday. ‘I don’t mean literally go on strike,’ Bloomberg said, according to Taylor. ‘In fact in New York they can’t go on strike–there’s a law against it.’ ”
We are unable to comprehend what Bloomberg could have in mind when he says he didn’t mean his comment “literally.” Last year, when lefties went hysterical over “violent” and “eliminationist” rhetoric from the right, it was clear that almost all of the examples they cited were not literal. Politicians and political observers have long drawn metaphors from the language of combat. Some such metaphors, like the word “campaign,” are so ingrained in the language that they are dead ones.
By contrast, as far as we know there is no metaphorical meaning of the phrase “go on strike.” Further, the context of Bloomberg’s remarks makes clear that he did mean the phrase literally. Merriam-Webster defines strike as “a work stoppage by a body of workers to enforce compliance with demands made on an employer.” Bloomberg said he wants police to declare “collectively”: “We’re not going to protect you. Unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what’s required to keep us safe.”
In Bloomberg’s defense, one might observe that he urged police only to “say” they would “go on strike,” not to follow through on the threat if lawmakers refuse to meet the putative demands. It must be said, too, that there are already plenty of laws on the books designed specifically to protect cops–for example, making the murder of a policeman a more serious offense than one in which the victim is a civilian. (Some of these laws apply to other government workers as well. New York City buses have signs warning that it is “a felony” to kill the driver.)
And whether Bloomberg meant to suggest a real strike threat or an empty one, it seems obvious that such a move would be counterproductive. The prospect of police shirking their duty to protect the citizenry strengthens, not weakens, the case for private ownership of firearms and other tools of self-defense.
A police strike, as Bloomberg figured out a day late, is illegal in itself. Bloomberg’s strike would be for the purpose of curtailing the citizenry’s constitutional rights. The mayor urged an unlawful rebellion by government employees against their employers, the people. Since ours is a government of the people, established by the Constitution, this was nothing less than a call for insurrection. source – WSJ
A parent’s nightmare
The mother of homegrown terror suspect Jose Pimentel says she loves the city — and her son.
“I want to apologize to the City of New York,” Carmen Sosa, 56, said Monday in the lobby of an uptown apartment building.
“I love the city. I’ve been here since 1987 and I’m very disappointed with what my son was doing. I didn’t raise him that way.
“I feel very bad about the situation. I thank the police. They did what they’re supposed to do.”
Sosa said that her son’s personality began to change after 2001, when the Dominican-born U.S. citizen swapped salsa for Islam.
“He started reading about the Koran,” she said, describing how the then-teenager man began praying and sleeping a lot.
She said Pimentel’s sudden, fierce embrace of Islam prompted her to move him from upstate Schenectady to Harlem in 2010.
“I brought him here because I didn’t like the way he was acting,” she said. “I’m Catholic … I don’t support the Muslims.”
She said she knew that Pimentel, now 27, created a website — www.truislam1.com — to showcase his beliefs.
“’I’m doing business,’” he told her about the hours he spent at the computer. “He was making his own web page about what he believed.”
But she said she never saw any evidence her son was building bombs to blow up police cars and post offices.
“I don’t know what he did in the house,” she said. “I know he didn’t do it in the kitchen.”
“He said he did it by himself,” she added. “I don’t know what to do.”
Since Pimentel’s arrest, Sosa says she hasn’t been able to sleep. “I don’t feel well,” she said.
Despite her dismay over her son’s activities, she had a message for the public about him.
“I just want to say I love him,” she said. source – NY Daily News
Dozens arrested in Wall Street as police clash with thousands of protesters trying to paralyse Manhattan in ‘day of action’
New York is today facing major disruption as tens of thousands of protesters are expected to flood into Manhattan to support Occupy Wall Street as the movement celebrates its two-month anniversary.
Protesters began amassing in lower Manhattan this morning to begin a ‘day of action’ in which they are expected to try to paralyse New York’s subway system. Sixty of them have already been arrested.
Riot police arrested protesters who sat on the ground and blocked traffic into the financial district on Thursday, hauling several protesters to their feet and handcuffing them one block from Wall Street.
‘All day, all week, shut down Wall Street!’ the crowd chanted. After several arrests, most of the protesters retreated down the street. A line of riot police followed them. ‘You do not have a parade permit! You are blocking the street!’ a police officer told protesters through a loudspeaker. The congestion brought taxis and delivery trucks to a halt. source – Daily Mail UK
A subway station billboard war is the latest flareup in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The dispute began with posters urging an end to U.S. military aid for Israel, prompting a City Council member to demand an end to the ads – and spawning an upcoming series of counter-ads.
“This is a highly political campaign with a controversial underlying anti-Israel message,” Councilman Lewis Fidler (D-Brooklyn) wrote MTA President Thomas Prendergast. ”I would urge you to disallow and/or remove these advertisements.”
The group behind the ads, the Westchester County-based WESPAC Foundation, said the subway spots are intended to encourage dialogue and not dissension. ”If the councilman thinks they’e anti-Israeli, he should say why,” said Felice Gelman, a member of the group. “I have family in Israel. They deserve peace. And U.S. policies are not helping.”
Israel was slated to receive roughly $3 billion in military aid this year from the U.S. The ads – with the tagline “End U.S. military aid to Israel” – appeared in 18 stations beginning Sept. 5.
The pro-Israel group Stand With Us said it planned to counter the WESPAC campaign with a series of ads appearing in stations later this month. ”We didn’t ask for a billboard war,” said the nonprofit group’s CEO, Roz Rothstein. “But the group putting them up wants a response, and we have to give them a response.”
The answering ad shows two small boys with their arms over each other’s shoulders. “The Palestinian Authority Must Accept The Jewish State & Teach Peace, Not Hate,” the copy reads. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it had no problem with the ads.
“There are First Amendment rights here, and the advertisement adheres to our guidelines,” said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz.
Straphangers in the Times Square subway station shrugged off the controversy.”I really have no reaction to it,” said Alex Zambrano, 34, of the East Village. “I know what’s going on in Palestine and Israel. But it’s just like every other ad that no one pays attention to.” source – NY Daily News
Don’t blame the Liberals for this one
The four Republicans who went against their party to help legalise gay marriage in New York are already under attack from conservatives. The senators made the decision in a vote of conscience which went against the party line, choosing instead to side with Democrats and usher in the historic legislation last night.
Today the chairman of the Conservative Party, a small but influential group in the state, condemned the four for what he described as a ‘betrayal’, and said they had lost his party’s support.
But the group – James Alesi, Roy McDonald, Stephen Saland and Mark Grisanti – were praised by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who described them as ‘people of courage, people of principle.’
In his attack, Conservative Party chairman Michael Long said: ‘It’s absolutely a betrayal. They accepted the Conservative Party endorsement. They knew where we stood on the issue.’
The four all knew the votes of conscience could cost them their political careers, but they said they felt they had to do the right thing.
With 19 million people living in New York state – including 42,000 gay couples – the decision meant that with the flourish of a pen, the number of such couples living in states that allowed gay marriage more than doubled overnight.
‘It seems inevitable that we’ll have same-sex marriage in most of the states within a decade,’ said Michael Dorf, a professor at Cornell Law School who studies the constitutional and social consequences of same-sex marriage in the United States. source – Daily Mail UK