Feeling the Heat
While some employees may have off for today’s Veteran’s Day holiday, others have become veterans of the post-Sandy recovery effort.
Along with the traditional New York City school closings, several of the City’s offices were closed on Monday, such as the Department of City Planning and the Landmarks Preservation Commission, as might be expected on a federal holiday. But for offices dealing with the ongoing recovery effort from Hurricane Sandy, the holiday was just another day of trying to restore power, heat, and hot water to those still without it, another day to clean up and safeguard New Yorkers ravaged by the storm.
The Office of Emergency Management has been functioning nonstop since before Sandy made landfall two weeks ago, and that goes for today, too. “It’s 24 hour shifts around the clock no matter what day it is,” OEM spokeswoman Nancy Greco said. The New York City Housing Authority said in a statement that recovery efforts “are moving forward without regard to the holiday. NYCHA has maintained sufficient frontline staff and contractors to continue recovery efforts without interruption.”
New York City was battered by all of the elements Monday night and in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. After the flooding and winds from Hurricane Sandy reached their peak Monday evening, storm-related fires broke out throughout the five boroughs. The Observer was on the scene for two of these blazes in Brooklyn.
The Neverending Story
The Fire Department’s promotional exams may be the most challenging civil service tests in the city. The guys who take them certainly think so. “The fire exam is definitely the toughest there is, ten times harder than cops or anything else,” Captain Joe Loftus told The Observer recently.
In the past few years, a cottage industry has sprung up to help firefighters study for the exams that allow them to rise through the ranks. Capt. Loftus and a group of his colleagues were at the forefront three years ago when they launched LtQuestions.com, a simple WordPress site that offers fellow firefighters sample tests—16 for only $96.
Unfortunately, LtQuestions.com and similar sites meant to help firefighters better serve the city also appear to be imperiling it at the same time.
Ah, the Internet. It makes life easier, it makes life harder. Like this, hate that. Share baby photos, kiddie porn, revolutionary Tweets, fatwas, bomb plans. All from the convenience of a keyboard.
After about 45 minutes this morning, dozens of firefighters got a blaze under control on the 88th floor of 1 World Trade Center. The Fire Department did not yet know the cause of the fire, which only hit the one floor. There were no injuries reported, according to an FDNY spokesman.
The fire was reported a little before 8 a.m., and 84 firefighters from 26 units responded. That is not an unusual number for a high-rise blaze, according to the spokesman.
There’s never a shortage of stories about negligent apartment managers and landlords, and the overlords at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village have proved that they are not the exception. As charming as this 25,000-resident complex in the East Village seems with its brick exteriors and tree-lined paths, everything is not peachy-keen.
The Fire Department of New York soon will commemorate the anniversary of its greatest tragedy and, in some ways, its greatest triumph. The department’s extraordinary sacrifice on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when 343 service members were killed trying to rescue civilians in the twin towers, became a symbol of sacrifice and courage in Read More
Crime & Punishment
A reader passes along this image of FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano and a contemplative NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, from the ABNY / Downtown Alliance breakfast this morning at 7 World Trade. The guest speaker was Joe Daniels, President & CEO of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Read More
Retired FDNY firefighter Robert Linhart, 59, was busted outside Madonna’s Upper West Side apartment yesterday, with several signs strapped to his truck reading, “Madonna, I need you;” “Tell me yes or no;” “If it’s yes, my dream will come true. If it’s no, I will go. XXX.”
According the New York Post, Read More
Since 1981, I have taught a graduate course called Public Management at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. I care a lot about what government does and how it does it, and I know that government has a reputation for mismanagement – some of it deserved and some not.
At the heart Read More