Bayside activists protest lack of security at Fort Totten

Rally organizer Warren Schreiber talks with a fellow Bay Terrace resident Rosemarie Brennan at a rally outside of the gates of Fort Totten in Bayside. Photo by Christina Santucci

Rally organizer Warren Schreiber talks with a fellow Bay Terrace resident Rosemarie Brennan at a rally outside of the gates of Fort Totten in Bayside. Photo by Christina Santucci

Times Ledger

Bayside activists protest lack of security at Fort Totten

By Christina Santucci and Stephen Stirling
Wednesday, March 11, 2009 4:37 PM EDT

Dozens of residents and community leaders descended on the security gates at Fort Totten Saturday morning to protest the recent termination of private security services in the historic park — a move they say could lead to a spike in crime in the area.

For the past two years, the FDNY has spent $650,000 annually to provide a 24−hour security detail for the fort. Due to budget cuts across the city, however, the FDNY recently announced it would not hire a private security firm to guard the area and instead turned over control of the fort to the 109th Precinct March 1. The 109th, which is based in Flushing, covers the adjacent Bay Terrace neighborhood.

The decision has not sat well with a number of residents and civic groups in the area, however, who contend the FDNY gave little notice of the decision and could unintentionally create a hotbed for crime that could spill into the surrounding communities.

“Shame on the FDNY,” said Kim O’Hanion, Parks Committee chairwoman of Community Board 7. “What they’re doing here is totally unacceptable.”

Though several of the buildings at Fort Totten are occupied by law enforcement agencies, some buildings have been long abandoned and fallen into disrepair.

Warren Schreiber, president of the Bay Terrace Community Alliance, said without security these abandoned buildings could become havens for vandals and vagrants who could commit serious crimes or start fires in the structures.

About half a dozen guards from PD Security in Bellerose lost their jobs at Fort Totten. Mandouh Elzab of Richmond Hill, who had been working at Fort Totten for about six years said that two to three weeks ago, at about 2 a,m. a man came to the guard station needing medical attention.

“He was in very bad condition. I called the ambulance and stayed with him. If nobody is here, who is going to help this guy?” Elzab asked.

Protesters also said they were miffed by the last−minute warning the FDNY gave before making the decision to halt security at the fort.

“They should have come to us, the parties that are interested and affected, and let us know and have a say,” Schreiber said. “There have to be ways to solve this situation. But they gave us no warning.”

Community Affairs Detective Kevin O’Donnell of the 109th Precinct recently told TimesLedger Newspapers that the precinct would patrol the area, but not provide a constant security detail.

“If [the FDNY] drops security, it would just become part of the regular patrol of that area,” he said. “We don’t do security, we patrol neighborhoods.”

The fort, bounded by the Long Island Sound and Cross Island Parkway, is also home to an Army National Guard unit, an NYPD K−9 unit, an emergency services unit, an EMS academy and the auxiliary Coast Guard.

Schreiber, who has been leading the fight against the cutbacks, said it is unbelievable there are so many law enforcement agencies present at the fort, yet no one manning the front gate on a regular basis.

“We feel they betrayed the community,” Schreiber said. “They made an agreement to provide security here. All we’re asking for is the status quo. We’re not asking for them to reinvent the wheel.”

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Rally to Protect Fort Totten

PROTEST RALLY

PROTEST RALLY

*IMPORTANT RALLY*

PROTECT THE FORT!

ORGANIZED BY

BAY TERRACE COMMUNITY ALLIANCE

&

FRIENDS OF FORT TOTTEN PARKS

DATE: SAT., MARCH 7, 2009 AT 11:00 AM

PLACE: FORT TOTTEN FRONT GATE

CROSS ISLAND PKWY @ 212TH ST.

GUARD SERVICE IS GOING TO BE REMOVED FROM THE ENTRANCE TO FORT TOTTEN PARK DUE TO MAYOR BLOOMBERG’S BUDGET CUTS!

THE INCREASED POTENTIAL FOR VANDALISM, ARSON & BURGLARY OF HISTORIC

BUILDINGS AND SURROUNDING NEIGHBORHOODS, AND THE SECURITY OF OUR

HOMES AND COMMUNITY ARE SERIOUSLY AT RISK!

JOIN US IN PROTECTING THE FORT

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!

rally-flyer

Fort Totten Gate Security: An Ever Changing Story

A protest rally still remains a very real possibility.

A protest rally still remains a very real possibility.

At a meeting held on Tuesday, February 17, 2009, Fire Department Chiefs and Unit Heads decided to completely eliminate gate security at Fort Totten. This is contrary to earlier reports from official FDNY sources that the security would be provided by light duty fire fighters.

At this time attempts are being made to obtain copies of the conveyance agreement, which some interested parties believe call for FDNY to maintain gate security. As expected, FDNY is reluctant to make the documents available for review. Efforts are underway to obtain the documentation elsewhere.

A protest rally still remains a very real possibility.

BLOOMBERG TO FORT TOTTEN & BAY TERRACE: DROP DEAD

Welcome to Water World

A scene from the movie, "The Day After Tomorrow." The mayor warned that New York will become more prone to flooding in the coming decades.

A scene from the movie, "The Day After Tomorrow." The mayor warned that New York will become more prone to flooding in the coming decades.

New York only to get hotter, rainier and more flood-prone, say scientists

NY Daily News

BY Adam Lisberg
DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU CHIEF

Tuesday, February 17th 2009, 4:10 PM
Fox/AP

A scene from the movie, “The Day After Tomorrow.” The mayor warned that New York will become more prone to flooding in the coming decades.

New York will be hotter, rainier and more likely to flood in the coming decades – with sea levels possibly rising more than four feet, a panel of scientists said Tuesday –

“All of the evidence from the science community is that the seas are going to rise,” said Mayor Bloomberg as he unveiled the panel’s report.

“It’s pretty hard to not understand something’s going on, very worrisome and scary, on this planet.

“The planet is changing, and we have to do what we can to make sure we can accommodate it,” he added. “Did we, 10 years ago, think about water rising?

“Only a few people talked about it, and it was considered a communist plot. So by that standard, I suppose we have made some progress.”

Academic experts and insurance executives on the panel concluded that average temperatures could rise up to 7.5 degrees by 2080, rainfall could increase by 10% and sea levels will rise two feet.

Some studies predict the polar ice caps will melt much more quickly, which could raise New York’s sea level by 55 inches by the 2080s – more than 4-1/2 feet.

That likely means heavier and more frequent flooding from rainstorms and coastal flooding, the panel conluded, as well as heavier demands on all city infrastructure from electric power to sewers.

Weather experts say New York is due for a hurricane, and the city’s Office of Emergency Management has drawn up evacuation plans that assume huge swaths of lower Manhattan and low-lying areas of the outer boroughs will be underwater during a moderate hurricane.

“The city’s 14 wastewater treatment plants are particularly vulnerable,” said Department of Environmental Protection Acting Commissioner Steve Lawitts.

“Seawalls will be elevated where possible to protect the plants from flooding.”

Bloomberg announced the panel’s findings at a sewage treatment plant in Far Rockaway, Queens, that sits on the water’s edge and is vulnerable to flooding.

Plan superintendent Frank Esposito showed the mayor and top city officials the plant’s eight pump motors at the bottom of a deep concrete pit, where they could be inundated in a heavy storm.

The agency plans to raise them 40 feet sometime in the coming years, at a cost of $30 million.

Many of the agency’s other long-term plans will take decades to plan, city officials said, with a cost still being tallied.

“Each of these projects costs money,” Bloomberg said. “Just to raise the motors that you saw downstairs, that’s a $30 million project. But the number of things at every one of these wastewater treatment plants is significant.”

Mexico City Mayor hands out free Viagra to elderly men – Bloomberg Gives Us Trees

Is This Tree on a Viagra Regimen?

Is This Tree on a Viagra Regimen?

Mexico City Mayor hands out free Viagra to elderly men. Michael Bloomberg gives New Yorkers trees. It doesn’t require much effort to make the analogy.
NY Daily News
BY Catey Hill
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Friday, February 13th 2009, 12:10 PM

The government is handing out free Viagra to poor men, the New York Times reported.

If you are 60 and over, poor, and need a little extra excitement in your love life, Mexico City just might be the place to be.

“Everyone has the right to be happy,” Mexico City’s mayor, Marcelo Ebrard, told the New York Times.

The New York Times also reported:

Ebrard is up for re-election in July, and this little Viagra move might just help him get re-elected.

Ebrard not only is giving out Viagra, he’s also dumping sand at public pools to create beaches and turning major roads into bike paths on Sundays.  He’s staged a “kiss-in” on Valentine’s Day to increase awareness of domestic violence.  He’s built the largest skating rink in the world.

But it’s the Viagra that has many men excited.

“Now, I’m able to fulfill my wife,” Mr. Posadas, a grandfather of six, told the paper.

Angel Posadas Sandoval, 74, was a little more vague, but still got his point across by telling the paper, “things have changed.”

He added, “I’ll enjoy whatever time I have left.”

Mark Green Announces Candidacy For Public Advocate

From NY1

Democrat Mark Green, the city’s first public advocate, has told NY1 he will once again run for the office.

Green held the position from 1994 to 2001.

He says his experience is necessary during these tough times.

“Given the extraordinary economic crisis, it’s especially urgent that the person who’s the next public advocate,” said Green, “the number two citywide office holder, the investigator of city services, be a person who’s shown that he or she can get results and have innovative ideas, has a track record, and understands how to make New York a cutting edge, 21st century city.”

Mark Green Announces Candidacy For Public Advocate

Mark Green Announces Candidacy For Public Advocate

In 2001, Green was the Democratic nominee for mayor, but lost to Michael Bloomberg. He has also had unsuccessful runs for Congress, Senate, and state attorney general.

Green is also a former member of our NY1 Wise Guys, airing every Tuesday night on the “Road to City Hall.”

Green’s likely Democratic opponents include City Councilmen Bill de Blasio, Eric Gioia, and John Liu, along with civil rights attorney Norman Siegel.

Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum is eligible to run for re-election this year. But after strongly opposing the term limits extension- Gotbaum said she would not run for a third term.

Queens GOP Got Screwed by Mike

The Queens Republican Party has finally realized they were screwed by Mike. Maybe this time they’ll have enough backbone to let Bloomberg know he’s not welcome in the GOP.

It's Time to Fix the Elephant

It's Time to Fix the Elephant

From the NY Post

OLD PALS STILL GOP’D OFF AT MIKE

By SALLY GOLDENBERG

Last updated: 2:22 am
February 9, 2009
Posted: 1:50 am
February 9, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg’s on-and-off courtship of Republicans was on again yesterday, but they were not returning the love.

He greeted winning essayists at an Abraham Lincoln bicentennial dinner sponsored by the Queens Village Republican Club, but got a tepid response from members still stung by his 2007 defection from the party.

“He has a lot of issues that he has to address,” said Queens Republican Party Chairman Phil Ragusa. “And I don’t think the regular Republicans are ready to endorse.”

Bloomberg was a lifelong Democrat before running for mayor twice as a Republican, then becoming an independent.

Republicans are also unhappy over his decision to raise property taxes and to trash term limits in pursuit of four more years in City Hall.

Club members grumbled about his appearance days before the event.

“You can’t disinvite a mayor,” read one e-mail. “Anyway, he’s coming only for the nonpartisan essay-contest portion and then leaving, thank God.

He’ll get the message that he’s not welcome.”