Bellevue gets $380M for Sandy rebuilding

Bellevue Hospital (Photo courtesy of hospital)

Bellevue Hospital (Photo courtesy of hospital)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Bellevue Hospital Center will get a $376 million slice of federal money to cover the cost of putting right damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced last Thursday that the city has secured $1.6 billion in federal aid from FEMA to repair the city’s public hospitals damaged during Hurricane Sandy two years ago.

With its share of the cash, Bellevue will install flood-proof elevators, storm pumps and a flood wall.

“The entire New York Congressional Delegation came together to fight for these funds, and wisely sought resources not just for repairs, but also for mitigation,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, in whose district the hospital is located.

“Bellevue is an important facility and it sustained substantial damage and had to be evacuated during Hurricane Sandy. We are taking the necessary steps to be sure that doesn’t happen again.”

According to Bellevue authorities, much of the damage caused by the 2012 superstorm has already been repaired and the fresh FEMA funds will reimburse HHC for those repairs and mitigation work.

Many pieces of critical equipment, such as electrical switching gear, have been relocated out of the basement to higher elevation on the first floor and the hospital has installed removable flood barriers at the two loading dock entrances facing the East River.

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Letters to the Editor, Nov. 13

Ice rink is still noisy

What chemicals are in the blue barrels stored in the ice skating rink? Are they hazardous? Fire engines responded to a call at 19 Stuyvesant Oval on Friday evening, October 24 around 8 p.m. (if not then Saturday evening). They were doing a sweep from the top floor on down. Response was perhaps to an odor of gas (not clear on the details of why they came, but I did overhear someone say it was due to the skating rink).

Follow up to the new tented recreational area on a playground that has been a basketball and volley ball court:

Welcome to my world! Those residents who are concerned about the noise level surrounding the new tented recreational area on playground, come to my apartment adjacent to the ice skating rink and you will find out what kind of noise levels that are in store for you! Every afternoon and mornings as well on weekends or holidays you can hear the screams and shouts of unsupervised children as they skate and slam into the boards for hours on end.

Where have you been, Tenants Association and our fave councilman Dan Garodnick regarding the constant disturbing noise level due to construction and deconstruction of the rink each year for months at a time and the daily noise level of the Zamboni cleaning the ice surface? There should be staff members on the ice at all times providing supervision and monitoring the children’s activities and keeping down the noise level. And please don’t scream out “Off the ice!” when a session is completed.

Why don’t they make a bubble or tent over the rink and keep the sound level enclosed as they are now providing at the tented recreational playground? Are we any less worthy of consideration in our neck of the woods?

And how about instead of being charged ridiculous MCIs in perpetuity, how about a rent reduction for the decreased quality of living due to the greed of making money on previously free playground space? Thanks for your consideration.

Richard Axel, ST

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Nation’s veterans are remembered

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By Sabina Mollot
New York City’s 95th Veterans Day Parade, also known as America’s Parade, took place on Tuesday, attracting crowds of spectators, who, for nearly the entire route along Fifth Avenue, were at least three rows deep.
Many waved flags and all seemed to have as many cheers for the countless stream of veterans and current servicemen and women marching by as for the more high-profile guests.
Those included Mets player Jacob deGrom, who had just been named Rookie of the Year, and former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, a parade grand marshal. DeGrom marched alongside his wife Stacey, and Kelly, a former Marine, marched with his wife Veronica, a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard reserves. Others marching including Amanda Wirtz, Miss Veteran America 2014, members of different military organizations from around the country and numerous marching bands.
As always, the parade kicked off at Madison Square Park with a memorial ceremony, a wreath laying and shots fired in the air, before heading off to 56th Street.
At the park, several elected officials spoke about veterans issues, including U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, who said more needs to be done to prevent suicide among veterans.
“The rate of suicide is far too high. We need better screenings,” he said, noting that a bill by an Indiana senator, which he’s pushing, is aimed at providing mental health screenings on an annual basis for all military service members. Mayor Bill de Blasio, who marched in the parade but didn’t attend the opening ceremony, spoke at a breakfast event.
He said more was being done to help veterans find jobs with special Workforce1 centers around the city which have placed over 1,000 veterans and spouses of veterans in jobs since January.
Additionally, he said, “They’ve helped more than 3,800 veterans with career counseling and workshops, and they’re expanding services to be available all over the city.”
Other elected officials to attend the parade included Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Public Advocate Letitia James and Comptroller Scott Stringer. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney was also there, marching arm in arm with World War II veteran Frederick Carrier, who fought in the invasion of Normandy.
Among the spectators were countless people who held homemade signs saying “Thank you.” Others came bearing photos of deceased veteran family members, like Peter Cooper Village resident Linda Wray.
Wray held a recent photo of her husband, Korean War veteran and U.S. Air Force Colonel Bernard Wray, posing with Mayor Bloomberg. Upon seeing some other Korean War vets milling around the street in the their signature blue jackets, Wray noted, “There are fewer and fewer of them every year. Like the World War II veterans who are in their 90s, the Korean War vets are in their 80s.”
While not a veteran herself, Wray attended wearing a hat that identified her as a member of the local post of the Jewish War Veterans.
The Stuyvesant Town area post, which has marched in the parade in previous years, has opted out for the past couple of years to hold its own, private ceremony in front of the VA Medical Center.