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Thread: nyc: xmas snowpocalypse 2010

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by stache348400
    Thank you JCMAN. My question was actually directed to meesalikeu.
    yes and i disagree. drifts aside this one had as much or more snow. additionally, as ninja says this one was windier and rougher, although it was only one storm and of course there was the dos slowdown which made it worse than it would have been. in fact we are still suffering from trash pickup backlogs to this day.
    Last edited by meesalikeu; January 18th, 2011 at 12:13 AM.

  2. #17

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    The part I highlighted in red is exactly what the city may use in their argument, if there is a suit in this case. There's no guarantee she would have made it even if there were no storm or other obstructions. If the judge were to allow the plaintiff's argument, it would open the floodgates for similar suits. Utility work, broken down cars that weren't towed, downed trees, etc. I have a feeling the city will settle these cases for small amounts.



    Queens Woman's Mother Lay Dead for Hours in Snow-Bound Home

    Updated: Friday, 21 Jan 2011, 7:37 PM EST
    Published : Friday, 21 Jan 2011, 7:36 PM ESTLINDA SCHMIDT
    MYFOXNY.COM - Michelle Orenstein is brokenhearted that her mother isn't alive to see her get married in April. Michelle says that during the Christmas weekend blizzard, she couldn't reach her mom by phone at her home in College Point, Queens. Photos show her mom's street buried under snow. And a picture taken outside Michelle's home in Whitestone shows she wasn't able to go anywhere.
    The next day, Michelle managed to get through the streets and discovered her mom lying dead on her kitchen floor. Michelle is angry because she says the unplowed streets prevented her from getting to her mom 24 hours earlier.
    "If the street had been plowed, who knows, she might still have been alive," Michelle says. "She was my best friend. She was supposed to walk me down the aisle in April."
    To add to her pain, it took the medical examiner's office 16 hours to arrive and remove the body.
    City Councilman Dan Halloran contacted the M.E.'s office, which responded with a letter saying: "A bereaved family member should not have to wait 16 hours for the medical examiner to arrive. Our customary target and standard is to arrive within one hour of notification."
    The M.E. also said "it was impossible for our vehicles to get to snowbound addresses."
    Michelle blames Mayor Mike Bloomberg for the city's poor response to snow cleanup. She calls him "incompetent" and says he "failed at his job."
    She says no one should ever have to endure what she and other families have dealt with.

    http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/loca...-home-20110121
    Last edited by mariab; January 24th, 2011 at 10:16 PM.

  3. #18

    Default December Blizzard Will Cost Over $68 Million

    December Blizzard Will Cost Over $68 Million


    By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM

    Published: January 24, 2011

    The enormous blizzard of Dec. 26 embarrassed the mayor, stranded buses and cars, and left hundreds of subway riders stuck on frozen trains in the outer reaches of New York City.

    It is tough to put a price on all that mayhem. But here is a start.

    Overtime expenses and lost ridership revenue cost the Metropolitan Transportation Authority $30 million, transit officials said Monday, disclosing the budgetary toll exacted by the storm for the first time.

    Holiday and weekend pay for workers who were called in to operate the system’s buses, subways, railroads and crossings added up to about $14 million, the authority said, or about 3 percent of its annual overtime budget.

    That was nearly twice the labor costs incurred last February, when the system grappled with two smaller snowstorms in a span of two weeks.

    Overtime is unavoidable for a transit system that operates 24 hours a day, and the authority, no stranger to winter weather, has a contingency budget for the extra labor required to combat the snow and ice.

    The Bloomberg administration on Monday was still compiling a full accounting of costs related to the storm. A spokesman said the city’s bill was certain to exceed $38.8 million, the city’s entire snow budget for the year. Most of the expense was for overtime pay to sanitation workers who were called in to work on a holiday weekend.

    Officials at New York City Transit, the bus and subway unit of the authority, were criticized at a City Council hearing last week when they could not produce a dollar amount.

    James Vacca, chairman of the Council’s transportation committee, said in a statement that the figures released on Monday did “represent a lesson to be learned.”

    “The M.T.A.,” he added, “needs to activate its emergency plan as soon as possible and get people to work as soon as possible, so that we minimize the amount of revenue lost at the farebox and minimize the cost of overtime that is ultimately paid out.”

    The transportation authority has made a concerted effort to reduce its overtime expenses. Before the storm in December, the agency said it was on track to reduce 2010 overtime by $54 million, an 11 percent drop from the year before.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/25/ny...1&ref=nyregion

  4. #19
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Here's the question.

    In times like that with so many PEOPLE in the city, why has NY become so isolated that nobody VOLUNTEERS to help shovel?

    The 'burbs are not perfect, but a neighbor WILL come over with the blower if they see you having trouble. There ARE guys that will go and plow their driveway, and all of their family/friends along the way before they go out for other $$ jobs.

    Has NYC become SO specialized that people living there expect it to be taken care of like one giant condo association?

    There ARE responsibilities of the city. There ARE things individuals have little or no power to effect or contribute to, but some things, especially in times of emergency, need the help of the COMMUNITY.

    We are SO SPOILED that we expect the roads to be clear DURING A BLIZZARD!!!

    Wassap wit dat?

  5. #20
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    One city council member, whose family comes from China, has suggested that NYC organize neighborhood groups to shovel, etc. An authentic communistic effort. Doesn't seem to have moved forward.

  6. #21
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    Example:

    "This is terrible! The roads are impassable! We can't get out!!!"
    "What are we going to do?"

    "Lets just get a few people together and start shoveling ourselves out. We have enough people here to make short work of it..."

    "But, I don't pay taxes to have to shovel my own roadway!"
    "Yeah, that isn't my responsibility?"
    "Why should I have to shovel?"
    "I have a bad back!"
    "I'm a woman!"
    "It's cold!"

    "OK, fine. We'll call in the DPW to work OT and clear this stuff up for you, OK?"

    "Yeah, that sounds great!"
    "Have them do my road first, NOT the Mayors!"
    "Yeah, that will show him!"




    "Oh, you can't raise taxes, we're paying too much already!!!!"
    Last edited by Ninjahedge; January 25th, 2011 at 01:09 PM.

  7. #22

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    When are property owners supposed to draw the line with regards to the taxes you pay compared with the services you get? NY's hurting, every town's hurting. But when your property taxes are either steadily climbing, or staying as-is with NO chance of reduction, at what point do you say "this is far too out of balance". That's one of the reasons our Gov had to put a 2% per year cap on prop tax increases. We are now the highest in the nation, even with all the rateables.

    Services will suffer in a recession. Police & fire obviously should be the last, but it doesn't have to stop there. No, I don't believe every 6" should be plowed but this storm was exceptional & should've been treated as such. As I've said before, most likely everything within a 10 block radius of Times Sq, financial district, Rock Center, etc. probably saw bare pavement. But the people who work there ain't getting there if they can't get to the end of their block.

    Side note: Article in local paper the other day about Edison, NJ. Laying off about 10 public works employees, & is reducing recycling p/u to once per month. That I understand, a minor inconvenience that the residents will adapt to.

  8. #23
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Queens City Councilmember Daniel J. Halloran has lots of 'xplainin' to do ...

    Evidence Elusive on Charge of a Blizzard Slowdown

    NY TIMES
    By RUSS BUETTNER and WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM
    January 25, 2011

    The story rocketed around New York City when streets went uncleared after the Dec. 26 blizzard: Sanitation workers, angry about job reductions, had deliberately staged a work slowdown.

    It resulted in wisecracks on “Saturday Night Live,” fiery denunciations of unions on cable news and four criminal investigations.

    And it occurred because one man, Councilman Daniel J. Halloran, Republican of Queens, said five city workers had come to his office during the storm and told him they had been explicitly ordered to take part in a slowdown to embarrass Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

    But the more that investigators look into Mr. Halloran’s story, the more mystifying it becomes.


    Mr. Halloran said he had been visited by two supervisors in the Transportation Department and three workers in the Sanitation Department. But the two transportation supervisors did not back up his story in interviews with investigators, according to two people briefed on the inquiries. And Mr. Halloran has steadfastly refused to reveal the names of the sanitation workers.

    Mr. Halloran expects to testify this week before a federal grand jury looking into the question of a slowdown, according to a person familiar with his intentions, and it is not clear whether prosecutors will try to compel him, under oath, to divulge the workers’ names.

    Meanwhile, investigators had hoped that extensive publicity would bring out others with knowledge of the purported plot. That has not happened, according to the people briefed on the investigations, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigations are continuing. This leaves prosecutors with no proof that anything occurred.

    “When you’re talking about establishing a negative, I don’t know how it’s going to get firmer,” one person briefed on the inquiries said.

    Mr. Halloran declined to be interviewed for this article.

    Of course, someone could still bring forward evidence. Investigators are examining videos of trucks driving with their plows up, although officials say the drivers must sometimes put the plows up to stay on their routes.

    Yet in the days since Mr. Halloran first made his explosive accusations, he has revised his account.

    In an article that appeared in The New York Post on Dec. 30, he said the workers had been told “to take off routes” and “not do the plowing of some of the major arteries in a timely manner.”

    “They were told to make the mayor pay,” Mr. Halloran said in the article, “for the layoffs, the reductions in rank of the supervisors, shrinking the rolls of the rank and file.”

    More recently, the councilman has said the workers were not explicitly told to take part in a slowdown, but were subtly informed there was no need to rush while clearing the snow.

    For many New Yorkers, it was the first they had heard of Mr. Halloran, 39, a lawyer from Whitestone who has had a colorful first year in office.

    During his 2009 campaign, his faith was briefly an issue. He is an adherent of Theodism, a neo-pagan faith that draws from pre-Christian tribal religions of northern Europe, and he led a branch in the New York area.

    He campaigned as a conservative Republican with the support of Tea Party organizers, advocating personal responsibility and limited government. As a councilman, he has taken on the usual local causes, like pushing to keep a community pool open, but he has also pursued issues with a more personal dimension.

    Last June, he followed a city traffic officer, Daniel Chu, whom, he said, he had seen speeding through streets with his siren blaring while talking on a cellphone. The chase ended at a Dunkin’ Donuts, with Mr. Halloran snapping photos of Mr. Chu leaving the restaurant and the officer issuing Mr. Halloran a ticket for parking in a crosswalk.

    The episode ended in mutual recriminations, with Mr. Halloran getting his ticket dismissed and calling Mr. Chu an “infamous rogue agent,” while Mr. Chu notified the city that he intended to sue for defamation.

    In 2008, Mr. Halloran sternly criticized the city’s Buildings Department after it cited him for building a bathroom in the basement of his home without obtaining the required permits. Shortly after winning election, he accused the department of issuing improper citations for illegal basement conversions that had been called in by home repair companies hoping to get work fixing the violations.

    Then, last month, he requested a building permit for a $60,000 project to add a second floor onto his Cape Cod-style home. On Jan. 3, the Buildings Department denied the request, saying it would make the house too big for the area’s zoning.

    The timing of the permit was unusual, given the recent financial difficulties faced by Mr. Halloran and his wife, Cynthia.

    In January 2010, Wells Fargo began foreclosure proceedings on their home. In November, Ms. Halloran, a registered nurse, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, seeking to wipe away $116,521 in credit card debt, while retaining a 2005 Jaguar and their home.

    Her debts include $14,777 owed to Home Depot, $29,000 on three Chase credit cards and $58,000 on two American Express cards. The couple has an annual salary of $166,660, according to bankruptcy records and Council salary rules.

    Mr. Halloran’s spokesman, Steven Stites, said that the couple was in the process of a divorce, though no public court records have been filed, and that they planned to sell their house.

    Mr. Halloran’s assertions helped prompt investigations by the Brooklyn and Queens district attorney’s offices, the city’s Department of Investigation and the United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn. But expectations are shrinking that the efforts will produce indictments or official findings of a slowdown, according to the people briefed on the investigations.

    Mr. Stites said investigators had asked the councilman not to reveal the nature of their conversations. He also said Mr. Halloran would not reveal the names of the sanitation workers who spoke to him because they had been seeking his advice as a lawyer at the time, and Mr. Halloran believed that their names were protected under attorney-client privilege.

    “The council member sees that investigators take this issue as seriously as he does and is hopeful that any crimes committed will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Mr. Stites said.

    Stephen Gillers, an expert in legal ethics at New York University, said the state law governing attorney-client privilege generally only shielded communications, not the names of the clients or the nature of the representation. But, he added, even protecting the communications could be hard for Mr. Halloran.

    “If he was approached as a public official,” Mr. Gillers said, “with the power to call attention to official misconduct, there is no attorney-client privilege.”

    Mr. Stites would not provide details of Mr. Halloran’s expected appearance before the grand jury, and Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for the United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn, said in a statement: “I am prohibited from disclosing information related to matters before the grand jury. I cannot confirm, deny or comment.”

    There is no question that the account has brought unusual attention to Mr. Halloran, who was a fixture on both national and local news networks for a week and a half after the blizzard.

    In a letter published in The Chief-Leader, which focuses on municipal labor issues, Mr. Halloran seemed to feel conflicted about all the uproar. In the letter he defended his original assertions about the slowdown, but also suggested it might have been small in scope, involving “a few bad apples.”

    “My goal was never to make headlines or anger people,” he said.

    © 2011 The New York Times Company

  9. #24
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    The sad part is, I have no doubt that this is a possibility BUT, Halloran is a scumbag.

    Good luck proving anything.

  10. #25
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    They didn't even suspend alternate side parking rules today. There's no rhyme or reason to their decisions

  11. #26
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Well.... maybe. It really was not snowing that much this morning. You can move your car (although I do not see any street cleaners out... They could at least clean up the plow job....)

    The thing that annoys me is that they seem to be ignorant about budgeting this. They should know by now you need to play the averages. You have little snow for 2 years, SO WHAT, the 3rd can bankrupt you. Don't start dipping into the reserve just because it is there!

    Maybe they need to start up capped trust funds that will kep collecting tax for these thnigs until they are "full", then remit the taxes OR put them into a capital improvement plan for somethingthat would help with infrastructure (and possibly reduce cost).....

  12. #27

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    Bloody hell what a mess. Almost as bad as the Xmas storm. Maybe worse because we're running out of room for the snow. Thought I was going to have to dig a tunnel to get my car out. Anyone have pics?


  13. #28
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Central Park was gorgeous today.

  14. #29
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    I do, but none posted, sorries.

    After taking over an hour to get home on Wednesday (all you need is one panicked driver and you are all going 20mph down the highway) and 2 hours of shoveling on Thursday, I called in snowbound yesterday.

    I was in no mood for another slow commute, delayed day, and achey legs while stuck at a desk.

  15. #30

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    We missed the January thaw. I was really looking forward to that. Saw a normal fluctuation in temps a few weeks ago when it went up into the 40s, but definitely no thaw. Plus more crap coming Tues.

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