Fire Damages Baybridge Condos

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Update From NY1

The Blaze occurred in the Baybridge Condos.

Several Queens residents were left out in the cold after a fire in Clearview Friday evening.

Witnesses say the fire started at Jordan Road.

As firefighters battled flames on the second and third floors of a condo, the flames it spread to a neighboring building.

“They crashed our windows, so we don’t know what damage is done or how bad it is,” said neighbor David Linker. “We’re right next door to all the damage though so I’m sure there’s smoke damage and significant damage.”

All the residents left safely.

Officials were still investigating the cause of the fire on Friday night.

See the NY1 Video

Additional Photos

How Clean is That Restaurant?

dirty-restaurant

FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES

January 31, 2009
Diners to Get a Quick Guide to Cleanliness
By GLENN COLLINS

For the first time, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will compel the city’s nearly 25,000 restaurants to publicly post inspectors’ cleanliness ratings, which have previously been available only online or at the department. Rating signs, to be supplied by the city, will be required to be visible from the street, either in a restaurant window or vestibule.

The agency also plans to switch to a letter-grade system similar to that used for years in Los Angeles (using the letters A, B and C for passing inspection grades). The new rules, which will be part of a broad revamping of inspections, will be put in place over the next two years, giving restaurant operators time to comply.

The department said that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed off on the program as part of the executive budget announced Friday. He has scheduled a Saturday news conference to announce the new procedures.

“We expect this will improve our inspection program,” said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the city health commissioner. “It will encourage restaurants to be cleaner and inform people so they can make better choices about where to eat.”

READ MORE…………..

Fire Engulfs Homes in Bay Terrace Queens

FOX NEWS

Fire Engulfs Homes in Queens

NEW YORK CITY – Firefighter fought a fast-moving fire that tore through some houses in Bay Terrace, Queens, Friday night. The fire went to three alarms, authorities said.

SkyFoxHD was over the scene, where firefighters battled the flames while engulfed in thick smoke. The fire spread quickly from one house to another.

The homes are near the Clearview Golf Course and the Clearview Expressway.

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Watch Super Bowl Ads Today, Get Stuff Done on Sunday

superbowl-43-logo

If you’re one of the many who aren’t that into football but stay glued to your TV on Super Bowl Sunday for the commercials, you can head on over to Adweek right now to catch several of this weekend’s big campaigns.

This is the Bay Terrace Cafe’s way of thanking all our loyal customers for their continued patronage

Mets New Stadium – Taxpayer Field

Tax Payer Field

Taxpayer Field

FROM NEWSDAY

BY KEITH HERBERT

January 30, 2009

Two members of the House of Representatives are demanding that the Mets scrap their $400-million naming-rights deal with financially troubled Citigroup because of the bank’s receipt of federal bailout money.

Reps. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Ted Poe (R-Texas) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner requesting he “dissolve” the contract with the Mets to name their stadium Citi Field. The Mets’ home opener there is set for April 13.

In an interview yesterday, Kucinich said the financial behemoth is in no position to lay out cash to have its name on the Queens stadium. “It’s just totally unacceptable that Citigroup should be able to spend $400 million in naming rights when they’re the recipients of a massive federal bailout,” he said.

Kucinich and Poe wrote that Citigroup’s financial footing “has changed drastically” since the naming rights deal was struck in 2006. The agreement calls for Citigroup to pay $400 million over 20 years for the naming rights.

The Mets “are fully committed to our contract with Citigroup,” said Jay Horowitz, the team’s spokesman.

Steve Silverman, a spokesman for Citigroup in Manhattan, called the contract with the Mets a “legally binding agreement” signed two years ago.

Once a financial juggernaut, Citigroup has been hit hard in the economic downturn. Taxpayers have funneled $350 billion to the banking giant as part of a federal financial rescue, including loans, in the last several months, the representatives wrote in their letter.

In November, Citigroup announced plans to cut 50,000 jobs.

Questions relating to the naming rights deal emerged last year as the financial institution’s troubles surfaced and some wondered if the record-setting deal should be ditched. Two Staten Island councilmen even proposed changing the name to Taxpayer Field.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Among the athletic venues that have had to be renamed because of financial or legal woes of their sponsors:

ENRON FIELD. The Houston Astros bought back the naming rights of their ballpark shortly after Enron Corp. declared bankruptcy in late 2001. On June 5, 2002, the Astros announced that Minute Maid Co. would pay an estimated $170 million for a new 28-year naming rights deal.

MCI CENTER. The multipurpose venue in Washington, D.C., became the Verizon Center in 2006 after Verizon acquired MCI WorldCom in the wake of the WorldCom scandal.

ADELPHIA COLISEUM. In 2002, when Adelphia Communications went bankrupt, the NFL’s Tennessee Titans exited the naming contract without financial penalties. The stadium became known as The Coliseum until naming rights were acquired by Louisiana-Pacific (LP Field) in 2006.

PAIGE SPORTS ARENA. In 2004, the new basketball arena at the University of Missouri was named after the daughter of two major donors to the university. After allegations of academic fraud against the daughter surfaced, her parents removed her name from the arena.

PSINET STADIUM. The Baltimore Ravens’ home field became M&T Bank Stadium in 2003 after PSINet declared bankruptcy.

Permanent WTC Memorial to Open on Tenth Anniversary of Attacks

Date set for permanent WTC memorial opening

Date set for permanent WTC memorial opening

From Crain’s New York

Date set for permanent WTC memorial opening

Published: January 29, 2009 – 2:20 pm

(AP) – The head of the agency that owns the World Trade Center site says the Sept. 11 memorial will open on the 10th anniversary of the attacks — and will remain open.

But that doesn’t mean the memorial will be completed by then.

Executive Director Chris Ward says the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey is still determining exactly how much public access will be allowed while the construction continues. Two reflecting pools over the twin towers’ footprints will be in place and the victims’ names are slated to be engraved by the 10th anniversary.

Mr. Ward had previously intimated that the memorial would open temporarily for the anniversary and then close for about a year.

Construction on the memorial began in 2006.

Mr. Ward spoke at a state Assembly committee hearing on Thursday.

It’s a Wonderful Day in the Neighborhood

The happiest residents live in Queens.

The happiest residents live in Queens

FROM THE NY POST

QUEENS IS KING IN 5-BOROUGH SURVEY

By BRIGITTE WILLIAMS-JAMES and LARRY SUTTON

January 29, 2009 —

Queens residents are the city’s most cheerful – while people in The Bronx give their borough, at best, a Bronx cheer.

A new survey says 51 percent of people living in the home of the Mets, the Unisphere and the greatest smorgasbord of ethnic restaurants on Earth are “very satisfied” with their quality of life.

But in The Bronx, only 24 percent of residents had the same loving sentiments for their neighborhoods.

In fact, 25 percent – the highest tally in any borough – said they were “not at all satisfied” with the quality of life there.

Staten Islanders ranked second in happiness, followed by residents of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

So what’s Queens’ secret?

“We love the diversity, all the different types of nationalities and ethnicities that live here,” said Ben Kaufmann, 36, an architect who lives in Astoria with his wife and two sons.

“And the food! I’ve got great relationships with the guys at Dave and Tony’s Italian deli, and Ali at the Kabob Café.”

Kaufmann gets along with “the old timers and the young people” on his street, and participates in the annual block party in August.

The survey, conducted by the Citizens Committee for New York City, found at least 29 percent of Queens residents considered their neighbors to be friends, while another 15 percent said, “We can count on each other for small favors.”

Among the other pluses in Queens:

* “My area’s very quiet, and when it snows, I don’t have to worry about the streets being clean,” said Astrud Williams-Burnett, 42, of Laurelton.

* “There are more houses in Queens, and they’re not on top of each other,” said Tyrone Cumberbach, 37, of Richmond Hill.

* Queens Borough President Helen Marshall loves the greenery.

“We’ve got so many tree-lined streets,” she said. “And the lawns and gardens are so beautiful. It’s peaceful, very peaceful.”

While The Bronx scored lowest, it did have its fans.

“We’ve got good housing and transportation. And all the action is in The Bronx,” said Gloria Sanchez, 52, a tutor living on the Grand Concourse. “That’s why it’s called Boogie Down Bronx.”

The survey was conducted among 4,400 residents at street fairs, farmers markets, subway stations, libraries and other public spots.

Citywide, 33 percent of those polled said that “cleanliness and overall attractiveness of the neighborhood” were the determining factors in their quality of life, followed by 28 percent who cited “positive social interactions with neighbors.”

Nearly 75 percent of those surveyed said they would like to know their neighbors better.

And while more than half of those surveyed believed the city would improve in the future, 47 percent worried that their neighborhoods might become too expensive to live in five years from now.