Saturday, August 12, 2017
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Not unlike Vladimir and Estragon in Sameul Beckett's play, Waiting for Godot, this past Friday many of us found ourselves waiting around waiting for Mayor de Blasio who was supposed to visit and tour the recent street raising/new bulkhead Capital Project on several west side streets as well as the 30+ Build it Back home elevations and rebuilds underway on West 11th and 12th Roads. Quite unsurprisingly, the Mayor failed to show and in his stead a "Deputy Mayor" was escorted along the west side streets of Broad Channel by both Dan Mundy senior and junior and a crowd of officious looking individuals replete with hard hats, clipboards and cell phone cameras held high in the air.
De Blasio's absence should surprise nobody as this is the same thoughtless Mayor who, as the citizens of New York were reeling from the execution style killing of Police Officer and mother of 3, Miosotis Famila, quietly skipped town flying to Hamburg, Germany to join with other progressive activists in protesting against the recent G-20 summit in that city with a side trip to visit with his son who is spending the summer on an internship in Berlin. When asked about the timing of his trip De Blasio and his minions channelled Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing as they lamented that this was a great deal of fuss over nothing of great importance reminding everyone that, after all, the Mayor was back in time to attend Officer Famila's funeral.
Also, as I remember it, this is the same imperious Mayor who arrived embarrassingly late for the November 2014 Flight 587 Memorial on Beach 116th street and then left the event without so much as a simple apology to the assembled crowd. When asked by the media about his lateness a few days after the Flight 587 memorial, rather than apologizing and attempting to place this embarrassing matter behind him, Mayor Bill took the course of a true politician - never retreat...never retract...never admit a mistake - and simply dismissed the issue of his constant tardiness as "inside baseball." Really? The Mayor would be well served to heed the sage advice of the editor of the Rockaway Times, Mr. Kevin Boyle, who cautioned at that time that "You gotta be careful using inside baseball stuff because if you go too inside, you'll be the only one there."
Bill de Blasio's lack of common sense, skewed progressive ambitions and ensuing insensitivity to those he (supposedly) serves can only lead us to believe that our career civil servant Mayor is quite comfortable believing that his time, agendas and priorities ares more valuable than ours.
Friday remained a busy day as later that afternoon I started receiving several frantic phone calls from neighbors wanting to know why there were multiple trucks towing cars from along Cross Bay Boulevard. As it turned out, Friday was "Dawn's Fun Run", a 3 mile run/walk/shamrock shuffle in memory of Dawn McIntyre. The event was well advertised with flyers throughout the town as well as all over social media and "No Parking" signs were prominently posted along the route of the race. On the day of the event the Vollies cruised along the boulevard with a public address system asking residents to move their cars as well. Unfortunately, there were still a few individuals who went unaware of this event and their vehicles were ultimately relocated to a parking areas which did not interfere with the race.
On a happier note, effective November 11th, 2017 (Veterans Day), all honorably discharged veterans, no matter their branch of service, will be eligible to shop tax-free online at the various military exchange websites under the umbrella of the The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) with the same discounts they enjoyed on base while on active military duty. The AAFES is the retailer on U.S. Army and Air Force installations worldwide. A Post Exchange or "PX" is a department style store somewhat similar to a Wal-Mart where you can typically find brand name items at markedly below brand name prices.
This change in Defense Department policy will open up online exchange shopping privileges to almost 20 million more people. Keep in mind that it won’t apply to shopping at brick-and-mortar, on base, exchange stores and that opening commissary shopping privileges to honorably discharged veterans isn't included in this new benefit. The commissary can best be described as the grocery store on the post. Unlike Post Exchanges, the Defense Commissary Agency relies on a $1.4 billion annual taxpayer subsidy to operate. Because goods there are sold at cost plus a 5 percent surcharge, increasing the customer base to all veterans would result in higher taxpayer costs under the current operating system. For more information on this pending new benefit for veterans or to register yourself or a family member as an honorably discharged veteran in order to utilize this service, you can visit the AAFES web site at www.shopmyexchange.com.
Broad Channel, why would anyone want to live anywhere else?
Hazardous Weather Outlook...UPDATED National Weather Service New York NY 1100 AM EDT Thu Jul 27 2017 NJZ004-006-103>108-NYZ071>075-078>081-176>179-281100- Eastern Passaic-Hudson-Western Bergen-Eastern Bergen-Western Essex- Eastern Essex-Western Union-Eastern Union-Southern Westchester- New York (Manhattan)-Bronx-Richmond (Staten Island)-Kings (Brooklyn)- Northwestern Suffolk-Northeastern Suffolk-Southwestern Suffolk- Southeastern Suffolk-Northern Queens-Northern Nassau-Southern Queens- Southern Nassau- 1100 AM EDT Thu Jul 27 2017 This Hazardous Weather Outlook is for northeast New Jersey and southeast New York. .DAY ONE...Today and Tonight. Hazardous Weather is Not Expected At This Time .DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...Friday through Wednesday. Low pressure passing south of Long Island late Friday night into Saturday has the potential to bring heavy rain that would result in flooding. At this time, the heaviest rain is forecast to stay south of the local area, but this could change. Flash and river flooding are not out of the question if the heaviest area of rain with this system shifts over the local area.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
COASTAL HAZARD MESSAGE
COASTAL HAZARD MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW YORK NY 425 AM EDT TUE JUL 25 2017 SOUTHERN QUEENS-SOUTHERN NASSAU- 425 AM EDT TUE JUL 25 2017 ...COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO MIDNIGHT EDT TONIGHT... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN UPTON HAS ISSUED A COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY, WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO MIDNIGHT EDT TONIGHT. * LOCATION...THE SOUTH SHORE BAYS OF QUEENS AND NASSAU COUNTIES FOR COASTAL FLOODING AND THE ATLANTIC BEACHES FOR THE HIGH RIP CURRENT RISK. * TIDAL DEPARTURE...AROUND 1 FT ABOVE NORMAL. * TIMING...HIGH RIP CURRENT RISK THROUGH THIS EVENING AND AT THE TIME OF HIGH TIDE TONIGHT FOR MINOR COASTAL FLOODING. * IMPACTS...FLOODING OF THE MOST VULNERABLE SHORE ROADS AND/OR BASEMENTS. MAJORITY OF ROADS REMAIN PASSABLE WITH ONLY ISOLATED CLOSURES. THERE IS NO SIGNIFICANT THREAT TO LIFE... AND ANY IMPACT ON PROPERTY IS MINIMAL. * RIP CURRENT RISK...HIGH. * SURF HEIGHT...4 TO 5 FEET. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... RIP CURRENTS ARE POWERFUL CHANNELS OF WATER FLOWING QUICKLY AWAY FROM SHORE...WHICH OCCUR MOST OFTEN AT LOW SPOTS OR BREAKS IN SANDBARS AND NEAR STRUCTURES SUCH AS GROINS...JETTIES...AND PIERS. TALK TO LIFEGUARDS AND BEACH OFFICIALS TO LEARN ABOUT ANY SURF HAZARDS AND HEED THEIR ADVICE. PAY ATTENTION TO FLAGS AND POSTED SIGNS AND SWIM IN LIFE GUARDED AREAS. SWIM NEAR A LIFEGUARD. IF CAUGHT IN A RIP CURRENT...RELAX AND FLOAT...AND DO NOT SWIM AGAINST THE CURRENT. IF ABLE...SWIM IN A DIRECTION FOLLOWING THE SHORELINE. IF UNABLE TO ESCAPE...FACE THE SHORE AND CALL OR WAVE FOR HELP. A COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY INDICATES THAT ONSHORE WINDS AND TIDES WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE FLOODING OF LOW AREAS ALONG THE SHORE. && ...SOUTH SHORE BAYS WATER LEVELS FOR TONIGHT... COASTAL............TIME OF......FORECAST TOTAL.....FLOOD..... LOCATION...........HIGH TIDE.....WATER LEVEL.......CATEGORY.. .................................(MLLW/NGVD)................. JAMAICA BAY NY.......1101 PM....7.8-8.3/5.6-6.1......MINOR... FREEPORT GAUGE NY....1059 PM....5.3-5.8/4.5-5.0......MIN-MOD.
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Flood Watch National Weather Service New York NY 341 PM EDT Sun Jul 23 2017 ...Flooding Possible Late Tonight into Monday Morning... NJZ002-004-006-103>108-NYZ067-069-071>075-078-080-176>179-241000- /O.NEW.KOKX.FF.A.0003.170724T0400Z-170724T1500Z/ /00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.OO/ Western Passaic-Eastern Passaic-Hudson-Western Bergen- Eastern Bergen-Western Essex-Eastern Essex-Western Union- Eastern Union-Orange-Rockland-Southern Westchester- New York (Manhattan)-Bronx-Richmond (Staten Island)- Kings (Brooklyn)-Northwestern Suffolk-Southwestern Suffolk- Northern Queens-Northern Nassau-Southern Queens-Southern Nassau- 341 PM EDT Sun Jul 23 2017 ...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT EDT TONIGHT THROUGH MONDAY MORNING... The National Weather Service in Upton has issued a * Flash Flood Watch for portions of northeast New Jersey and southeast New York, including the following areas, in northeast New Jersey, Eastern Bergen, Eastern Essex, Eastern Passaic, Eastern Union, Hudson, Western Bergen, Western Essex, Western Passaic, and Western Union. In southeast New York, Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), New York (Manhattan), Northern Nassau, Northern Queens, Northwestern Suffolk, Orange, Richmond (Staten Island), Rockland, Southern Nassau, Southern Queens, Southern Westchester, and Southwestern Suffolk. * From midnight EDT tonight through Monday morning * An area of low pressure will develop along a frontal boundary to our south and pass just south and east of Long Island. Rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches an hour are possible and may lead to flash flooding the New York City metro and surrounding areas. Flash flooding will also be possible for portions of the Lower Hudson Valley. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued.
COASTAL HAZARD MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW YORK NY 419 AM EDT SUN JUL 23 2017 ...MINOR COASTAL FLOODING TONIGHT... NYZ074-075-178-179-232015- /O.NEW.KOKX.CF.Y.0016.170724T0000Z-170724T0300Z/ RICHMOND (STATEN ISLAND)-KINGS (BROOKLYN)-SOUTHERN QUEENS- SOUTHERN NASSAU- 419 AM EDT SUN JUL 23 2017 ...COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 8 PM TO 11 PM EDT THIS EVENING... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW YORK NY HAS ISSUED A COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 8 PM TO 11 PM EDT THIS EVENING. * LOCATION...THE LOWER NEW YORK HARBOR, AND THE SOUTH SHORE BAYS OF NEW YORK CITY AND NASSAU COUNTY. * TIDAL DEPARTURE...1/2 TO 1 FT ABOVE ASTRONOMICAL TIDES. * TIMING...AROUND THE TIME OF HIGH TIDE. * IMPACTS...FLOODING OF THE MOST VULNERABLE SHORE ROADS AND/OR BASEMENTS DUE TO HEIGHT OF STORM TIDE OR WAVE SPLASHOVER. MAJORITY OF ROADS REMAIN PASSABLE WITH ONLY ISOLATED CLOSURES. THERE IS NO SIGNIFICANT THREAT TO LIFE...AND ANY IMPACT ON PROPERTY IS MINIMAL. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY INDICATES THAT ONSHORE WINDS AND TIDES WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE FLOODING OF LOW AREAS ALONG THE SHORE. && ...NY HARBOR WATER LEVELS... COASTAL............TIME OF......FORECAST TOTAL.....FLOOD..... LOCATION...........HIGH TIDE.....WATER LEVEL.......CATEGORY.. ...................................(MLLW).................... THE BATTERY NYC.....907 PM.........6.5-7.0.........NONE..... BERGEN POINT NY.....905 PM.........7.0-7.5.........MINOR.... ...SOUTH SHORE BAYS WATER LEVELS... COASTAL............TIME OF......FORECAST TOTAL.....FLOOD..... LOCATION...........HIGH TIDE.....WATER LEVEL.......CATEGORY.. ..................................(MLLW/NGVD)................ JAMAICA BAY NY......919 PM....8.0-8.5/5.8-6.3......MINOR..... FREEPORT GAUGE NY...917 PM....5.5-6.0/4.7-5.2......MIN-MOD... ROCKAWAY INLET NY...839 PM....7.5-8.0/5.5-6.0......MINOR.....
Saturday, July 22, 2017
URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE National Weather Service New York NY 410 AM EDT Sat Jul 22 2017 ...HOT WEATHER CONTINUES THIS AFTERNOON... NYZ072>075-176-178-221700- /O.CON.KOKX.HT.Y.0004.170722T1600Z-170722T2200Z/ New York (Manhattan)-Bronx-Richmond (Staten Island)- Kings (Brooklyn)-Northern Queens-Southern Queens- 410 AM EDT Sat Jul 22 2017 ...HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 6 PM EDT THIS EVENING... * Heat Index Values...In the mid 90s due to temperatures in the lower 90s, and dewpoints in the mid 60s. * Timing...This afternoon. * Impacts...The heat and humidity may cause heat stress during outdoor exertion or extended exposure. Extreme heat can cause illness and death among the at-risk population who can not stay cool. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... New York City residents should call 3-1-1 to obtain "Beat the Heat" safety tips. Use air conditioning to stay cool at home, or go to a place that has air conditioning. Check on vulnerable friends, family members and neighbors. A Heat Advisory is issued when the combination of heat and humidity is expected to make it feel like it is 95 to 99 degrees for two or more consecutive days, or 100 to 104 degrees for any length of time. To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency! In cases of heat stroke call 9 1 1.
Friday, July 21, 2017
Honorably Discharged Veterans Will Soon Get to Shop Tax-Free
Thursday, 20 Jul 2017 04:19 PM
Hey veterans, you can soon shop tax free.
Starting later this year, all honorably discharged veterans, no matter their branch of service, will be eligible to shop tax-free online at the Army & Air Force Exchange Service with the same discounts they enjoyed on base while in the military. It's the latest way in which the organization is trying to keep its customers as the armed forces shrink and airmen and soldiers buy more for delivery.
Adding 13 million potential new customers will give extra ammunition to the group that runs the stores on U.S. Army and Air Force bases worldwide as it fights Amazon and other retailers for veterans' online shopping dollars.
Since hiring its first civilian CEO five years ago, the Exchange has upgraded the brands at base stores to include items like Disney toys, Michael Kors fashions and other top names. Like private stores, it's also imposed tighter cost controls, reduced the number of employees and improved people's experience on the website.
"The intent is to really beat Amazon at their game because we have locations literally on the installations," said CEO Tom Shull. "We're leaning toward not just ship-from-store but pick-up-from-store and eventually deliver-from-store."
The Exchange is adding shipping centers within its stores to allow it to send products directly from those locations more cheaply and quickly. Twenty-six stores now ship orders, and that will expand to 55 by the end of the year.
Within the next three years, Shull said the goal is to deliver something on base within two hours of when it is ordered. That's possible partly because the Exchanges are already on base, cleared by security.
The Exchange delivers most orders on the second day now. Shull said shipping from stores will make a big difference in regions around bases, which are often in more rural areas.
Expanding online shopping to all honorably discharged veterans is expected to add about $200 million annually within three years to the $8.3 billion in sales the Exchanges generated last year.
"It's a modest benefit, but it can save you thousands of dollars a year," said Shull, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy who served in the Army for a decade before starting a retail career at chains including Macy's.Adding those shoppers, what Shull called "the foundation of our growth," is critical to help offset the 13 percent decline in the number of active-duty Army and Air Force soldiers since 2011 when the Exchange generated $10.3 billion revenue.
Former Marine Forrest Cornelius was among the first to sign up at the verification website when it launched in June, and got a chance to start shopping early to test it out. The 51-year-old was impressed by the site and a deal he found on Ray-Ban sunglasses.SPECIAL
"The biggest thing is price. They're always going to be a little bit cheaper," said Cornelius, who lives in Dallas.
But competing on price in today's retail environment is increasingly difficult, said Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough. Just look at how much trouble Walmart has competing with Amazon, he said, because Walmart has the fixed costs associated with its stores.
"To think you're going to compete on price, you're going to have a hard time there," he said.
Under Shull's leadership, the Exchange stores have traded their industrial feel and reliance on off-brand merchandise for a more modern look featuring well-known labels.
Two-thirds of the main Exchange store at Offutt Air Force Base resembles any department store, with prominent displays of name-brand makeup, Nike fitness gear and Carter's clothes for kids. The rest is filled with the kind of electronics, appliances, housewares and toys found at Walmart or Sears, with major brands in every section.
The Exchanges don't pay rent for their military base locations, and the government transports some of their supplies and goods to far-flung locations, but otherwise they operate mostly like an independent retailer. Roughly two-thirds of the employees are family members of soldiers or airmen.
The Exchange, which is part of the Defense Department, reported earnings of $384 million last year. That's a sharp contrast from five years ago when Shull arrived to projections of $180 million in losses.
Of last year's profit, $225 million was returned to the defense department to help pay for quality-of-life programs on bases like child development and fitness centers. Besides the main stores, the Exchanges also operate more than 70 movie theaters and bring in franchise restaurants and other vendors for the shopping malls it operates on bases.
Shull feels those are good reasons for the new online shopping privileges to draw veterans to do their shopping there.
"Veterans value the cost savings and what they can do to support the military," he said.
URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE National Weather Service New York NY 330 AM EDT Fri Jul 21 2017 ...HOT WEATHER CONTINUES TODAY... NYZ072>075-176-178-212200- /O.CON.KOKX.HT.Y.0003.000000T0000Z-170721T2200Z/ New York (Manhattan)-Bronx-Richmond (Staten Island)- Kings (Brooklyn)-Northern Queens-Southern Queens- 330 AM EDT Fri Jul 21 2017 ...HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM EDT THIS EVENING... * Heat Index Values...In the mid 90s. * Timing...This afternoon into early this evening. * Impacts...The heat and humidity may cause heat stress during outdoor exertion or extended exposure. Extreme heat can cause illness and death among the at-risk population who can not stay cool. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A Heat Advisory is issued when the combination of heat and humidity is expected to make it feel like it is 95 to 99 degrees for two or more consecutive days, or 100 to 104 degrees for any length of time. New York City residents should call 3-1-1 to obtain "Beat the Heat" safety tips. Seniors and those with chronic health problems or mental health conditions are at increased risk. Homes without air conditioning can be much hotter than outdoors. Use air conditioning to stay cool at home, or go to a place that has air conditioning. Check on vulnerable friends, family members and neighbors. To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency! In cases of heat stroke call 9 1 1.