2009-01-09 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

Commentary By Liz Guarino

Did you make any New Year's resolutions? Did you know that the number one resolution of people living in this country is to lose weight? With or without resolutions, Happy New Year, Everyone!

If you had a real tree and want to drop it off, remove all decorations including tinsel and bring it to Rockaway Beach at Shore Front Parkway and Beach 94 Street on Saturday, January 10 and Sunday, January 11 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (drop off only). Curbside pickup is available; DOS will collect clean Christmas trees until Friday, January 16.

At the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Sunday, January 11 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., take a family winter walk into the South Garden and the West Pond Trail. Observe, listen and take note of what's around you on this stroll. Dress suitably for the day's weather. Bring binoculars; sign up in advance at 718-318-4340.

The members of the Book Discussion Group decided to try a nonfiction book for their next selection. A History of Iran by Michael Axworthy, a book which covers a span of over 2500 years, is their choice. Discussion for this book will be held at the library on Saturday, January 17 at 11 a.m.

The Broad Channel pre-K will be hosting a Texas Hold 'em on February 6 at the Shad Creek Association. Sign up starts at 7 p.m. and the game starts at 8. It will be $100 buy in and a $60 rebuy. Drinks and food included. All proceeds to benefit the Broad Channel Pre-K.

Cleaning out after the holidays? Old stuff that was replaced by gifts and is no longer needed can go to Salvation Army Thrift Store, which is the closest thrift store to the Channel which will accept donations. Clothing, CDs, books, sporting goods, toys and games— all items that are not wanted by their owners anymore, but still have life left in them that someone else can enjoy, can be donated. The thrift store address is 148-15 Archer Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11435 and the telephone is 718-523-4648. Catholic Charities is at 8956 162 Street, Jamaica, NY 11432 and accepts books, clothing, collectibles and furniture; phone number is 718-217-1238.

The following was written by Dan McIntyre, chief and 25-year member, Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Corps:

"New York Times reporter James Angelos ran a story on Dec. 21 about our volunteer fire and ambulance services quest to acquire a federal appropriation dedicated to our organization. His story was quite insufficient.

"This omission of facts and basically downplaying our plight has caused people to have negative opinions of our efforts as if we are trying to "steal" City Monies for our benefit. This appropriation in strictly dedicated to the BCVFD building project by Federal law and can't be diverted for any reason. "The City's statement that these funds would be better used by FDNY is only a ridiculous effort to divert attention and portray the BCVFD as having an anti FDNY attitude. They want to pit this fine agency against us by insinuating we are hurting them financially. NOTHING CAN BE MORE UNTRUE!

"Did Mr. Angelos contact Congressman Weiner's office?

"How about Clinton's office? Schumer's office? He didn't even contact our Councilman, Joe Addabbo about his efforts for 6 months to arrange a meeting between our team and the NYCDOT.

"Also not brought to light was the fact that we have been meeting with the NYC Department of Design and Construction, our City appointed "Sponsor" for over two years to attain a workable project management plan that would pass State and federal muster and allow us access to the federal funding.

"Mr. Angelos's response to us was that he didn't have the space necessary to allow the complete story. Why do a story at all if it can't be done correctly? This subject is not one for "fluff". To downplay our importance with a blankety blank statement from some unknown spokesman in City Hall is inexcusable. I have contacted his editor.We have been here for 105 years, we were also one of the first Ambulance Corps in New York. We were running EMS when NY City had Meat Wagons, the predecessor to HHC EMS. "The subject of this story should have been. Why does City Hall ignore its constituents?

Why can't the DOT meet if they have a problem with a project their sister agency is Sponsoring?

(3) Why does the City state that this building will cost $5.4 million dollars? $540 a sq ft? Trump builds in Manhattan for half as much.

"These are questions I think all your readers would like have answered. Our local papers and the Daily News ran better stories, unfortunately City Hall also ignored their request for answers. City Hall was silent until the Times called, then the City took notice.

"We provided this reporter with solid evidence that the City of New York was stalling and avoiding the problem. He solicited an answer from the press people at City Hall and received and published their playbook answers. This was a golden opportunity for an in-depth story into Bloomberg's administration and his attitude toward the outlying boroughs.

"We are forced to solicit a "project sponsor", i.e. the City, because they have the financial ability to "back" the federal monies.

"If the BCVFD had $2 million on hand, or could find an entity or individual to loan us $2 million for around 8 months, then we wouldn't have City of New York involved at all. We could deal directly with NY State DOT, the agency who has our funding in dedicated accounts.

"I can be contacted via the email Cracky57@aol.com , cell phone at 347 678 5857, BCVFD 718 474 6888."

If you have material that you wish to appear in the column on a Friday, please get the item(s) to me by 9:30 a.m. on the Tuesday before the issue comes out.

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