Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bruno now has a home!




A few weeks ago, we wrote about Bruno, the last dog at the temporary hurricane shelter in Nassau County, N.Y., which housed dogs and cats who lost their homes because of Sandy. It was a touching story -- Bruno faced an uncertain future. The saddest part? After his owner visited, the 7-year-old Rottweiler would howl for a half hour.


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The shelter indeed closed, and Bruno made it out okay. Sadly, however, his owner had to relinquish him, because he was still having trouble getting back on his feet after Sandy destroyed his home. Bruno was taken in by Northwind Kennels, which were fielding "hundreds" of adoption requests brought on by the intense media coverage.  Finally, Bruno has his forever-home happy ending. He was adopted Thursday by Melville couple Marc and Karen Siegel, according to CBSNewYork.com.


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The Siegels said they visited Bruno four or five times, and that he seemed "like a perfect fit" for their family.  Northwind owner Penny Smith-Berk agreed. “Bruno is a very special dog and he will now be going to a very special home,” she said. “Marc and Karen are the perfect family for Bruno."


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Bruno gets a giant fenced yard to play in, which is quite a change from being caged up in the storm shelter for so long. Marc Siegel and his family are thrilled with how everything turned out.
“I can’t thank everybody enough at the Nassau County SPCA and again the kennel in Bedford for all the wonderful things they’ve done working with Bruno and finding him a good home,” he said. “People like this who do charitable work, they are not in it to make money, they’re in it just for the love of the animals.”


Monday, March 4, 2013

Give Sandy Victims A Break On Mortgages

Schumer to banks: Give Sandy victims a break on mortgages

Homeowners working on repairs shouldn't face late fees, Sen. Charles Schumer said Sunday

Thousands of Hurricane Sandy victims could face foreclosure because the grace period banks gave them on their mortgages is running out, Sen. Charles Schumer warned Sunday.
Schumer called on banks to extend the three to six month mortgage holidays they issued after Sandy, allowing homeowners to postpone payments without late fees.

“These victims of the storms were spending all of their resources on repairing their homes and providing their families with another place to live. They simply had nothing left in the bank for mortgage payments,” Schumer said.

“For many homeowners, they are not in a better financial place then they were months ago... It’s hard enough to rebuild without having to worry about going into foreclosure.”

Schumer also announced that the feds have awarded the Port Authority $195.7 million to deal with storm damage. The money will go for repairs to PATH trains and the World Trade Center transportation hub.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hurricane Aid Wins Final Approval in Congress.

The money will provide aid to Hurricane victims whose homes were damaged or destroyed, as well as to business owners who had heavy losses. It will also pay for replenishing shorelines, repairing subway and commuter rail systems, fixing bridges and tunnels, and reimbursing local governments for emergency spending.

Congress Approves $51 Billion in Aid for Hurricane Victims

WASHINGTON — Congress gave final approval on Monday to an emergency aid package of nearly $51 billion to help millions of victims of Hurricane Sandy, ending the legislation’s long and complcated odyssey.
      
By a 62-to-36 vote, the Senate approved the measure, with 9 Republicans joining 53 Democrats to support it. The House recently passed  the bill, 241 to 180, after initially refusing to act on it amid objections from fiscal conservatives over its size and its impact on the federal deficit.
      
The newly adopted aid package comes on top of nearly $10 billion that Congress approved this month to support the recovery efforts in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and other states that were battered by the hurricane in late October.
      
The money will provide aid to people whose homes were damaged or destroyed, as well as to business owners who had heavy losses. It will also pay for replenishing shorelines, repairing subway and commuter rail systems, fixing bridges and tunnels, and reimbursing local governments for emergency spending.
      
President Obama praised the vote, saying, “I commend Congress for giving families and businesses the help they deserve, and I will sign this bill into law as soon as it hits my desk.”
      
Leaders from storm-damaged states welcomed the vote in the Senate, though the aid package does not cover the entire $82 billion in damage that the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut identified in aid requests to Washington.
      
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a Republican, joined with Govs. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York and Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut, both Democrats, saying, “Despite the difficult path in getting to this moment, the Senate membership clearly recognized early on the urgency and necessity of approving the full aid package.”
      
“To all Americans,” they added, “we are grateful for their willingness to come to our aid as we take on the monumental task of rebuilding, and we pledge to do the same should our fellow citizens find themselves facing unexpected and harsh devastation.”
      
In the debate leading up to the vote in the Senate, lawmakers from the storm-tossed region faced one major hurdle: an amendment backed by fiscal conservatives that proposed cuts in other programs to pay for the storm aid.
      
Republican supporters of the amendment argued that Congress had to begin imposing fiscal discipline on itself and that the aid package included unrelated spending items, like $274 million for Coast Guard initiatives in the Bahamas and Great Lakes.
      
“At some point, we need to make choices,” Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, told his colleagues. “We can’t have everything. That’s how you get trillion-dollar deficits.”
      
But lawmakers from the region argued that the government had an obligation to respond quickly to the emergency in the Northeast without miring the process in a debate over deficit spending.
Supporters of the package also warned that amending the bill would further delay aid from getting to victims by forcing the measure to be considered yet again in the House, where it has already faced fierce resistance.
      
“It’s been 91 days since Sandy struck,” Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said. “We’ve waited 91 long days. We can’t wait any longer.”
      
In the end, the amendment was defeated, 62 to 35, largely along party lines.
      
The Senate action brings an end to a fierce Congressional debate that had lasted since Dec. 7, when Mr. Obama proposed a $60.4 billion emergency bill to finance recovery efforts.
      
The Democratic-led Senate passed the measure, with minor changes, within a few weeks. But the Senate measure eventually died in the House after Speaker John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, adjourned the previous Congress without taking it up.
      
Mr. Boehner eventually agreed to take up the matter this year after coming under intense criticism from leading Republicans in and out of Congress, including Governor Christie.

No Heat for Hurricane Sandy Victims.

It has been over 3 months since Hurricane Sandy, and still no heat for many of the victims of Hurricane Sandy.   Below freezing temperatures are endangering Hurricane Sandy victims who huddle in cold homes that lack heat or insulation.  In Staten Island, Eddie Saman has taken up residence in a volunteer-run tent city after a feeble attempt to his cover walls with blankets. While in Breezy Point, a woman carries a space heater from room to room while her storm-ravaged home is repaired. See these stories below reported by reporters from the New York Daily News.

Eddie Saman shows off his home which he has insulated with blankets donated by the Red Cross, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 in the borough of Staten Island in New York. The house was badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy and will have to be renovated. Meanwhile, because of the extreme cold weather, Saman has been spending the night in a tent nearby operated by the volunteer group Cedar Grove Community Hub.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Mark Lennihan/AP

Eddie Saman shows off his Staten Island home Wednesday which he has insulated with blankets donated by the Red Cross. The house was badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy and will have to be renovated. Meanwhile, because of the extreme cold weather, Saman has been spending the night in a tent nearby operated by the volunteer group Cedar Grove Community Hub.

 
The superstorm destroyed their homes — and the cold weather is playing havoc with their lives.
Sandy-ravaged homeowners have been driven to extremes as they try to survive in houses that are essentially construction sites.

“It’s colder here because of the water,” said Mary Lou Foley, a Breezy Point, Queens, resident who has spent the past week huddling under a slew of comforters and carrying a space heater from room to room. “It’s 18 degrees in the city, but it feels like 5 because of the wind. It’s just too cold,” the 56-year-old said Thursday.

Mary Lou Foley tries to stay warm in her Hurricane Sandy ravaged house in Breezy Point. She has been staying here for the past month without heat, sleeping on a comforter on the floor but she has remained optimistic and says she is "happy."

Debbie Egan-Chin/New York Daily News

Mary Lou Foley tries to stay warm in her Hurricane Sandy ravaged house in Breezy Point. She has been staying here for the past month without heat, sleeping on a comforter on the floor but she has remained optimistic and says she is "happy."

 
Foley is one of the lucky ones because she has power in some parts of her partially rebuilt house, allowing her to use an electric heater. But she can only plug in one at a time. “If I plug in two heaters, I’m afraid I will blow a fuse. So I plug in one heater and try to stay close to it,” she said. “I have to do this until I have power restored.”

Construction crews are working as fast as they can in Sandy-afflicted areas like the Rockaways, but no one can slow down Mother Nature.

"It's colder here because of the water," says Mary Lou Foley, who has been living in her frigid Breezy Point home without heat. It is under construction after Hurricane Sandy devastated the neighborhood.

Debbie Egan-Chin/New York Daily News

"It's colder here because of the water," says Mary Lou Foley, who has been living in her frigid Breezy Point home without heat. It is under construction after Hurricane Sandy devastated the neighborhood.

 
“My house is nothing but floor and walls. At least they added insulation on my wall,” Foley said. At night she lies on the hard floor, keeps on her hat and jacket and covers herself with comforters.
Susan Starace and her 18-year-old daughter, Victoria, stopped to pick up a heater Thursday from the Breezy Point donation hub. “It’s freezing in my house,” the mom said. “I’m hearing a lot of horror stories from my neighbors. Their pipes are bursting. It’s that cold.”

Eddie Saman, 47, of New Dorp Beach in Staten Island, insulated his walls with donated blankets in a futile attempt to trap his radiator’s weak heat.

Mary Lou Foley carries a space heater with her from room to room as she tries to keep warm in her Hurricane Sandy-ravaged home in Breezy Point.

Debbie Egan-Chin/New York Daily News

Mary Lou Foley carries a space heater with her from room to room as she tries to keep warm in her Hurricane Sandy-ravaged home in Breezy Point.

 
The fierce cold drove him to a nearby tent city run by volunteers. Saman said he’s slept there for the past week. “I can’t stay at home, I will not survive,” said the Egyptian immigrant, who lost most of his clothes and possessions in Sandy’s floods.  “I even tried to sleep on the radiator. Thank God they have a big heater here, and warm food.”

Sandy victims were dealt another cold blast by Congress Thursday, when the main storm-relief bill hit another delay as the Senate delayed action due to a spat over the body’s rules. Senate leaders did cut a deal on the rules fight, but they said they did not have time to vote and send the bill to President Obama before leaving town Thursday night. The chamber is set to tackle the $50 billion disaster aid bill early next week.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Lea France Fannie Mae-Hurricane Sandy Pets

Hurricane Sandy Pets - It would be heart wrenching to have to give up your pet, because you had lost your home in the hurricane.  But this is what has happened to many pet owners that lost their homes. And many pets were found just wandering the streets after the hurricane.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The House Approves the Bill for Hurricane Sandy

Thumbs Up for the Hurricane Sandy "Relief Bill Approval".  While this is great news, there are concerns about the overwhelming smell of mold and all the other environmental issues that developed in approximately 400,000 homes, while everyone waited for the Relief Bill to get passed by congress.  Log on:  http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/house-approves-9-7-billion-sandy-flood-aid-article-1.1233026