1/26/15

Winter Storm Juno and Home Heating Fire Safety

In an email blast, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) warns that home heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires and home fire deaths in the U.S.

With Winter Storm Juno bearing down and home heating systems kicking into high gear in January, one of the year's worst months for home heating fires, the NFPA urges caution in the days ahead. Safe and proper use of heating equipment is key to preventing fires and other hazards such as carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Most home fires are started by heating equipment left unattended, so Job #1 is to closely monitor all heating equipment, particularly space heaters, which cause 33% of home heating fires and an average of 81% of deaths in home heating fires per year.

Following these NFPA safety precautions will cut your risk of home heating fires and CO poisoning:

Heating
  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, including furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves and portable space heaters.
  • If there are children in your home, create a three-foot “kid-free zone” around space heaters and open fires.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • For fuel-burning space heaters, always use the kind of fuel specified by the manufacturer.
  • Plug only one heat-producing appliance (such as a space heater) into an electrical outlet at a time.
  • Remember to turn off portable heaters when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Cool the ashes before putting them in a metal container and keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
CO
  • Keep portable generators outside, away from windows and as far away as possible from your home.
  • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented outside your home.
  • Do not light your gas heater if you smell gas. Get out immediately and call 911 or the gas company.
  • If you need to warm up a vehicle, leave the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a fueled engine or motor indoors, even with the garage doors open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is clear of snow.
  • During and after the storm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow.
  • Test your CO alarms to make sure they’re working properly.
  • If you start feeling sick or dizzy while your generator is running, it could be carbon monoxide. Get to fresh air ASAP.
Portable Generators:
  • Before you refuel, turn the generator off and let it cool down; don’t refuel a generator while it’s running.
  • Make sure fuel, including gasoline and other flammable liquids, is stored in properly labeled safety containers. Place the containers outside living areas and away from fuel-burning appliances such as a gas hot water heater.
  • Always use extreme caution when operating electrical equipment in a damp or wet environment.
  • Plug appliances directly into the generator or use a heavy duty outdoor-rated extension cord. Make sure the cord is free of cuts or tears and that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin. Do not try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet.
For more information on home heating and carbon monoxide safety, visit “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires”, NFPA’s winter safety campaign with the U.S. Fire Administration.

Gentile Now the Last Man Standing

According to the Jewish Press, Democratic State Assembly Member Michael Cusick (63rd AD), an early Staten Island favorite for the Democratic nomination in the special election to replace former Republican Congressional Representative Michael Grimm in the 11th CD, has announced that he will not seek the nomination.

His decision may have something to do with a recent DCCC internal poll that shows him trailing Republican nominee Dan Donovan by a wide margin. 

With former congressional representative Michael McMahon having withdrawn his name from consideration, Bay Ridge Council Member Vincent Gentile, the last Democrat standing, is likely to get his party's nomination.

Cusick, first elected to the Assembly in 2003, represents a mid-island battleground district between the Republican South Shore and the Democratic north side. In a statement, he said he believes he can best serve his constituents in the State Assembly, where he said he will continue the fight for toll relief and address issues including prescription drug abuse, the heroin epidemic, and tax credits for private school donors.

Democrats are seen as struggling to find strong candidates for the seat in the gerrymandered 11th CD since Michael McMahon lost it to Michael Grimm in 2010. The 2012 Democratic nominee, political novice Mark Murphy, failed to dislodge Grimm, as did former City Council Member Domenic Recchia in 2014, despite Grimm's 20-count indictment for tax fraud.

The post from the Jewish Press.

More from the Observer.

1/25/15

Getting Ready for Winter Storm Juno

A media release tonight from City Council Member Brad Lander (D-39th District) advises that a blizzard warning is in effect for New York City beginning Monday, Jan. 26, at 1 PM, until Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 12 AM.  The current forecast is for 20-30 inches.

The city has mounted a Severe Weather site, Lander said, offering regular status updates on city services. It's the best available source for information on city operations and answers to snow-related questions, he said.  It even allows you to track the progress of city snowplowing operations.

According to an email blast from State Senator Liz Krueger (D-28th District), Governor Cuomo has announced subway service reductions beginning tonight at 7 PM. A decision will be made later today as to whether to shut down the subway system entirely. Metro North and LIRR will shut down at 11 PM. Bus service is likely to be shut down this evening.

More Storm Information and Advice from Brad Lander:
  • Garbage collection and recycling are cancelled for Monday and Tuesday.
  • Sanitation garages will go into Snow Alert mode as of midnight tonight.
    • Alternate side parking is suspended on Monday and Tuesday. Parking meters will remain in effect.
    • Schools will be open on Monday, but field trips, after-school activities, PSAL, and evening adult education programs are cancelled.
    • School will likely be cancelled on Tuesday, but the decision has not been made yet. An official announcement will follow.
    • While you are shoveling your sidewalk, Lander suggested, check in on elderly neighbors and see if they need a little help.
    • Report un-plowed streets, downed tree limbs, unplowed bus stops, heat and hot water complaints, or unsafe conditions to 311 (by phone or online) so the request can get to the relevant city agency as soon as possible.  To ask your City Council member to follow up, use the online form on the Council's website or call your council member's office.
    • If you can stay off the streets during the blizzard, please do. Remember the blizzard of 2010, when cars littering the streets made plowing impossible? Don’t be that guy, Lander said.
    • Take a look at these winter weather safety tips from the NYC Office of Emergency Management.
    • Track the storm via the National Weather Service online.
    • For other city updates during and after the storm, including PlowNYC updates on snow vehicle tracking, visit the NYC Severe Weather Site.
    More Storm-Related Information and Advice from Liz Krueger:
    • City Parks Department will be tracking downed limbs/trees and, due to high wind gusts, the public is advised to stay out of city parks during the storm.
    • The Department of Homeless Services HOPE Count, scheduled for tonight, has been cancelled and will be rescheduled.
    • Please save 911 calls for actual emergencies (but don't hesitate to call them if you have one). For other questions or complaints about city services, use 311. 
    • New Yorkers can sign up for Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency notification system that enables you to get phone calls, text messages, and/or emails alerts about severe weather events and other emergencies. To sign up, call 311, visit Enroll in Notify NYC, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.
    • Mayor deBlasio has asked New Yorkers to stay home and off the toads during the storm. 
    • Shovel and salt your sidewalk when the storm is over. 
    • If you must go outdoors, layer and cover all exposed skin.
    • Don't use an oven to heat your home, and keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that can catch fire.
    • Be sure to have spare batteries and a flashlight on hand and keep your phone charged, your car filled with gas -- or charged -- and plenty of groceries on hand.
    • Homeowners need to keep the pipes from freezing. Leaving a trickle of water on helps. If you can, create warm air flow around plumbing by opening cabinets, closing garage doors, etc). 
    More blizzard tips from Brooklyn Magazine.

    Schools closed; Regents Exams rescheduled [Bensonhurst Bean.]

    "Muldoon's Picnic" Returns to the IAC

    At 7:30 PM on February 9, March 9 and April 13, the Irish Arts Center, at 553 West 51st Street on Manhattan's West Side, will present "Muldoon's Picnic", an acclaimed monthly gathering of authors, including Colm Tóibín, Mary Karr and others, hosted by Paul Muldoon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry editor of the New Yorker.

    Set in the IAC's intimate jewel box theater, this expertly-curated and calibrated monthly omnium-gatherum delights with humor, world-class language and music, including Wayside Shrines, the joyful, eclectic band that has put Muldoon's lyrics to music.
    • On February 9, Special Guests include Aoife O’Donovan, Robert Sullivan, Sam and Louise Sullivan, and Colm Tóibín.
    • On March 9, special guests include Kevin Barry, Michael Cerveris, Major Jackson, Asher Muldoon and Sammy Grob.
    • On April 13, special guests include Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Mary Karr.

    Brooklyn Lyceum, a Former Public Bath, Goes Luxury Condo

    Real estate developer Greystone, which bought former Park Slope/Gowanus community arts venue the Brooklyn Lyceum for $7.6 million at foreclosure auction in October, 2014, announced last week that it will subdivide the historic building into high-end townhouse-style condos and will put up a luxury 68-unit apartment building on the vacant lot next door.

    Greystone developed Williamsburg's Printhouse Lofts and recently bought two Clinton Hill properties it will develop as luxury rentals.

    Greystone says it will spare the Lyceum's original façade, featuring terra-cotta dolphins that reflect its days as a public bath.  After the city closed the 1908 bath house in the 1930s, it used the building as a public gymnasium.

    Former owner Eric Richmond, who bought the building in 1994 when it was a derelict eyesore, turned it into a free-form multi-purpose community arts and cultural center. But foreclosure was filed in 2013 after he fell behind on his mortgage payments.  In the decade-long legal dispute that preceded foreclosure, the building racked up about $5 million in liens.

    Richmond and a group of partners tried to buy the property at the foreclosure auction, but got outbid.

    The Lyceum is the third historic Brooklyn building snapped up by condo developers in recent months. With the average price of a new Brooklyn condo at $927,207 at the end of 2014 -- up by 8.3% from the year before -- it's easy to see why.

    The Daily News article.

    More from DNA Info.

    1/24/15

    Roger Rosenblatt on "The Book of Love" at BPL

    At 7 PM on Thursday, Jan 29, Roger Rosenblatt, the New York Times best-selling author of "Making Toast" and "Kayak Morning", returns to the Dweck Center at the Brookyn Public Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, to talk about "The Book of Love", an exploration of love in all its moods and variations — romantic love, courtship, battle, mystery, marriage, heartbreak, fury, confusion, melancholy, delirium, ecstasy; love of family, of friends; love of home, of country, of work, of writing, of solitude, of art; love of nature; love of life itself.

    RSVP here.

    Highlights from La Traviata at Trinity Lutheran Church

    At 7 PM on Saturday, February 7, Trinity Lutheran Church, at 9020 3rd Avenue in Bay Ridge, will host the La Forza dell'Opera Company performing highlights from the Giuseppe Verdi opera La Traviata. 

    Admission is $20 at the door.

    The event is the first of a four-concert series titled "Opera Highlights," with narration aimed at providing audiences a better understanding of both the opera and the composer.

    Call Roman Borgman at 410-458-8770 for more information.

    Malliotakis Queing up Her Next Run?

    Staten Island Live reports that State Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis (R-64th AD) has changed her voting address from Rosebank to the western end of Bay Terrace.

    The move keeps her in the same Assembly district, but moves her from State Senator Diane Savino's district into State Senator Andrew Lanza's.

    Coming just after Richmond County District Attorney Dan Donovan beat her out as the county GOP committee nominee in the upcoming special election to replace former Congressional Representative Michael Grimm, Malliotakis' move is seen as a succession bid.

    If Donovan gets elected to Congress and State Senator Andrew Lanza, regarded as the leading Republican contender for Donovan's seat, succeeds him as district attorney, Lanza's seat in the State Senate will be open.

    Et voila. 

    The article from Capital New York.

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