Saturday, September 10, 2011

Federal Disaster Aid Approved for Additional NY Counties

Individual Assistance for Bronx, Kings, Queens and Richmond Counties; Public Assistance for Otsego and Saratoga Counties

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that federal disaster assistance is now available for homeowners, renters and small businesses in additional counties as a result of damages incurred by Hurricane Irene.

"I thank FEMA for swiftly assessing the damages and needs of the New Yorkers effected by Hurricane Irene," Governor Cuomo said.

"I also thank the federal government for allocating additional funds to these counties that will aid in the speedy recovery of those impacted by the storm. All residents and small businesses who have suffered losses should call FEMA's registration number – 1-800-621-3362,
or register on online as soon as possible."

Today's additions include: Individual Assistance (already designated for Public Assistance, including direct federal assistance): Bronx, Kings, Queens, and Richmond counties, and Public Assistance and direct federal assistance (already designated for Individual Assistance): Otsego and Saratoga counties.

Residents and small businesses in a total of 27 counties are now eligible to apply for the following assistance: the Individuals and Households Program, Crisis Counseling, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, USDA food coupons and distribution, USDA food commodities, Disaster Legal Services, the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Small Business Administration disaster loans.

The counties currently eligible for assistance are as follows:

Individual Assistance (Assistance to individuals and households): Albany, Bronx, Columbia, Clinton, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Kings, Montgomery, Nassau, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Queens, Rensselaer, Richmond, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster, Warren, Washington and Westchester counties.

Public Assistance (Assistance for debris removal, emergency protective actions and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities): Albany, Bronx, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Kings, Montgomery, Nassau, New York, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Queens, Rensselaer, Richmond, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster, Warren, Washington and Westchester counties. Direct federal assistance is authorized.

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program: (Assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards): All counties in the State of New York are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

Additional counties may be made eligible for federal assistance as ongoing damage assessments are completed.

Aquinas Honor Society Holds Prayer Service for 9/11 Victims

(Click to enlarge image)

Family Members of Firefighter Carl Bedigian and Emerita "Emy" De La Pena Attend Tribute

On Friday, September 9, a special prayer service was held at the Immaculate Conception School (ICS) in Jamaica, New York. The tribute was conducted in honor of Firefighter Carl Bedigian, Emerita "Emy" De La Pena, Hector Tamayo, Frederick Varacchi and Deputy Chief Orio Palmer, Battalion 7, all of whom were taken on 9/11 and have a connection to the Immaculate Conception Parish and the school's Aquinas Honor Society.

The proceeding paragraphs pertain to the photo above.

Two Aquinas students are pictured standing on the left side of the hill by the Aquinas Memorial Bell. As ICS Principal Dorothea Breen read a timeline of events for that tragic day, the students tolled the bell.

Another student holds the flag and along the fence are family members representing firefighter Bedigian and Emy De La Pena. The families are pictured with Father Jack Douglas and Sister Karen Cavanaugh, C.S.J., from the Immaculate Conception Parish.

In the front row, from the left, a student holds the ICS school seal. Next to him, three students hold small boxes that contain pieces of stained glass that was used to create the school's Peace and Hope Memorial that hangs over the schoolyard entrance. They were presented to the families as a reminder of the service. More information about the Peace and Hope Memorial can be obtained at

The following paragraphs pertain to this photo.

Two boys hold the bronze plaque that conveys the meaning of the Peace and Hope Memorial. As Sister Cavanaugh speaks, a student holds a display poster with photos of the aforementioned parishioners of the Immaculate Conception Parish who perished on 9/11.

A photo in the upper left section of the poster shows Gabriel and Emy De La Pena holding their infant daughter back in 2001. The daughter, now age 10, is pictured in the background wearing the striped shirt.

The plaque was blessed by Father Douglas, and representatives of the Bedigian and De La Pena families thanked the school for its kindness and support.

Photos courtesy of Carl Ballenas, Moderator for Aquinas Honor Society.

Obama, Holder, Napolitano, Panetta and Shinseki Reflect on 9/11

NFL Players to show 9/11 Patriotism, Fines or Not

NFL players say they plan to wear red, white and blue cleats and gloves even if it means they will be fined for violating the league’s uniform.

By Marc Steidler
Anchor: Jim Flink
Link provided by

Friday, September 9, 2011

In Memoriam.... Army Specialist Christopher J. Scott

From the Executive Chamber of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, September 13 in honor of a soldier from Tyrone who died in Kandahar province, Afghanistan on September 3.

Army Specialist Christopher J. Scott died of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire. He was assigned to the 716th Military Police Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and fellow soldiers of Specialist Christopher Scott," Governor Cuomo said.

"We will honor and remember the service and sacrifice of this New York soldier with our profound gratitude and appreciation."

From The G-Man would like to honor Army Specialist Christopher J. Scott, his love of country, and his service with the following video tribute. May he rest in peace.

Video uploaded to YouTube by moderatepopulist

In Memoriam.... The Victims of 9/11

From the Executive Chamber of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Sunday, in tribute to the tenth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

From The G-Man would like to take this opportunity to honor all the emergency responders who lost their lives, as well as those who perished when Tower 1 and Tower 2 collapsed, with the f
ollowing video tribute. May they forever remain in our hearts.....and rest in peace.

Video uploaded to YouTube by moderatepopulist

Meeks: 'This Approach Creates a Basis for Bipartisan Compromise and Swift Congressional Action'

New York Congressman Issues Statement on President Obama's Speech on the American Jobs Act

JAMAICA, NY-- Congressman Gregory W. Meeks (NY-6), Senior Member of the House Financial Services Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement on President Barack Obama’s speech on the American Jobs Act to a joint session of Congress:

“Last night, President Obama undertook to bring the nation and the Congress together around a bold plan to put millions of Americans back to work rebuilding America. I commend the President for incorporating ideas previously put forward by Democrats and Republicans in his American Jobs Act.

This approach creates a basis for bipartisan compromise and swift congressional action. I call on my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to respond to the challenge of putting the American people ahead of politics and act on the President’s proposals with a sense of urgency and cooperation.”

Author: U.S. House of Representatives
Permission: Public Domain

New York on High Alert for Possible Terrorist Attack

Statement from Governor Cuomo Regarding Terror Threat

"The reports of a new possible terrorist threat against New York are cause for renewed vigilance and awareness, but not alarm or panic. We will not allow the terrorists to dampen our spirits on this anniversary. Our state and local law enforcement officials are always at the highest state of alert. New Yorkers should feel confident that everything that needs to be done is being done to keep the city secure.

I have been in contact with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as well as senior officials at the White House who have briefed me on the situation and we remain in direct and constant communication and coordination with our partners in federal and local law enforcement.

In response to this recent threat and to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers, I have ordered the deployment of significant additional state police officers to critical infrastructure sites within New York City as an added precaution. I have directed State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico, MTA Chairman Jay Walder, and Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward to coordinate the deployment of these additional resources and to work with the NYPD and other law enforcement.

The deployment will focus on providing additional security for the World Trade Center site, Penn Station, Grand Central Station, bridges and tunnels, and other key infrastructure sites and state facilities.

While every threat is treated with the utmost seriousness and rigor on the part of law enforcement, there is no reason for undue anxiety.

The commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks will not only stand as a solemn day of remembrance and mourning, but serve as a reminder to the world that New Yorkers are a beacon of strength, resilience, and unity. As we pledged together as one state and nation on that terrible day ten years ago, terrorists will never break our will to live free from fear.

We will not give the terrorists what they want which is to instill fear and anxiety and thus infringe on our freedom. This is our day and we must not let them take it."

Photo source:
Andrew Cuomo by Pat Arnow.jpeg

Newsy Now: News Round-Up

This is Newsy now and here are your latest headlines.

By Tracy Pfeiffer
Anchor: Megan Murphy
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Tick-Borne Parasite Shows Up in U.S. Blood Supply

Accounts of the parasitic infection, babesiosis, being discovered in the US blood supply are increasing.

By Anna Burkart
Anchor: Christina Hartman
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Solar Panel Company Gets Federal Loan, Then Raided by FBI

A solar panel company that benefited from a $535 million stimulus loan was raided by the FBI after it went bankrupt.

By Evan Bush
Anchor: Christina Hartman
Link provided by

New York in State of Emergency

(Click to enlarge image)

President Obama Signs New York Emergency Declaration

The President today declared an emergency exists in the State of New York and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from the r
emnants of Tropical Storm Lee beginning on September 7, 2011, and continuing.

The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Albany, Broome, Chenango, Chemung, Delaware, Greene, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Schoharie, Sullivan, and Tioga.

Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding.

W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Philip E. Parr as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.

Photo courtesy of:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

President Obama Presents American Jobs Act (Enhanced Version)

Queens Honor Students Pay Tribute to 9/11 Victims

(Click to enlarge image)

Stained Glass Memorial Window Conveys Peace, Hope and Remembrance

JAMAICA, NY - In 2009, the students of the Aquinas Honor Society of the Immaculate Conception School, in Jamaica Estates, designed and created a stained glass memorial window that now hangs over the schoolyard entrance.

The work, entitled the Peace and Hope Memorial, was created with a
rtist Ernesto Mendoza and family to honor the families and victims of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

The Aquinas Honor Society is composed of academically-gifted students from grades six through eight. The students received a grant from the Alive in Hope Foundation to create the piece.

Breaking down the colors and symbols

In the left corner of the window, brilliant colors of red, yellow and orange glass with jagged shapes were used to represent chaos, sin, despair and economic woes. A rosary representing the power of prayer draws viewers into a field of blues and greens, with a more composed pattern. The calmer shades of blue are the colors of the Blessed Mother Mary. The green color refers to the season of Spring, and a rebirth of hope. The image of the Holy Spirit, in the shape of a dove, holds an olive branch in its mouth.

Through the assistance of the Fire Department of the City of New York, three pieces of steel from the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were used to form the leaves. Carved in low relief are images of the school logo - ICS, the Passionist shield of the priests of the parish and the words PEACE and HOPE. The letter H was made to resemble the image of the Twin Towers. They were created by Gray Glass of Queens Village.

The words Sisters of Saint Joseph, founders of the Immaculate Conception School, was engraved on the window. Also engraved were these names: Emerita “Emy” De La Pena, Firefighter Carl Bedigian, Hector Tamayo, Frederick Varacchi and Deputy Chief Orio Palmer, Battalion 7. All were taken on 9/11 and have a connection to the Immaculate Conception Parish and the Aquinas Honor Society. To honor all who perished and fought to save lives on that fateful day, the students have engraved the phrase ALL ARE REMEMBERED onto the window.

The window has been completed with Artist in Residence Ernesto Mendoza and his family who guided and trained the students in the art of Stained Glass making.

To mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the students raised funds to place a bronze plaque next to the Memorial Window so that its meaning would not be lost over time. They composed the text for the plaque and will unveil the plaque -- as well as have it blessed at a prayer service -- on Friday morning, September 9, with all students from the school at 8:10 a.m.

The text inscribed on the plaque reads as follows:

The Peace and Hope Memorial

In 2009 The Aquinas Honor Society won a grant to create a unique stained glass window for their school Guided by Artist Ernesto Mendoza and family, the students created the symbolic design and called it the “Peace and Hope Memorial.”

The design depicts prayer in the form of the rosary. In the left corner sharp, jagged red and orange pieces of glass depict the problems of humankind: greed, fear, poverty and hunger. Moving right a softer pattern emerges depicting the power of prayer. The colors turn to various tones of blues and greens representing hope and rebirth. The cross displays the emblem of the Passionist Congregation. The dove, representing peace, holds an olive branch, whose three leaves are made from pieces of steel from the World Trade Center Twin Towers given to the students by the New York City Fire Department. The students names are hidden in the design. The names of a few of those lost on 9/11 and connected to the Aquinas Society, appear in the design. Finally to honor all those lost, “All are remembered” is engraved on the right. It was dedicated and blessed in April of 2009.

The Aquinas Honor Society
Immaculate Conception School, Jamaica Estates, NY
September 11, 2011

Photos courtesy of Carl Ballenas, Aquinas Society Moderator - (718) 523-1876.

Leaders of Tomorrow: Ahkeem Coar

Medgar Evers College Student and Talented Poet Aims to Become Fragrance Mogul

"Let me begin by saying I am not an average New York teenager," said Ahkeem Coar, a native of Hinesville, Georgia. Coar, whom was born on April 4th, in Winn-Army Hospital, noted that Hinesville is a military town on the outskirts of Savannah.

"Southern morals and values were instilled in me long before moving to New York. When I came to the big city, I had no idea so many opportunities would be offered to me. Some opportunities I stumbled upon, coincidentally, like being profiled on From The G-Man," said Coar.

While living in Far Rockaway, Queens, the community-minded Coar got involved with the Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation, also known as RDRC. While there, he was part of an after-school program called the "Transition to Adulthood" (TTA). The program gave Coar a chance to meet very prominent people in and from the area.

"Participating in the program gave me a chance to give back to the Far Rockaway community. The community service I took part in ranged from helping the elderly to cleaning up the beach. I participated for two years until I graduated from Frederick Douglass Academy VI High School," Coar stated.

During his final year of high school, the teen with the infectious smile kept himself occupied working two jobs: The Sands, a catering company in Atlantic Beach, and Visions in Manhattan. Coar revealed that having two jobs instilled a sense of pride in him that he hadn’t experienced before. Once the summer came, he began to question whether he would be employed. It was at this point that fate intervened and presented itself in the form of a phone call.

"I got a call from an employment counselor I met earlier during the school year. She told me about an amazing summer internship that was being offered by a renowned fragrance company in Manhattan called Givaudan. Excited and enthusiastic, I jumped at the opportunity," Coar said.

"I saw it as an opportunity that would lead me one step closer to my dream of having my own cologne and perfume line. The goal certainly seemed obtainable, at that point. While working there, I learned that there is a lot that goes into making and marketing a fragrance. My experience at Givaudan was unforgettable, to say the least."

Ulitmately, because the internship ended, and the fact that he was about to enter his first year at Medgar Evers College, Coar stopped working at Givaudan.

"I was entering my freshmen year of college, and I was placing and lot of emphasis on that. However, the people I’ve met and things I’ve learned remained with me. They probably won’t fade from memory for quite some time," said the Georgia native.

"Reflecting on my life, I realized I have been blessed with opportunities that others merely dream of. Although I am no longer working at Givaudan, I am confident and positive that I'll have another chance to work with the company and its phenomenal staff."

Ahkeem Coar, without question, one of America's.....leaders of tomorrow.

Photos of Ahkeem Coar courtesy of the Coar family.
Givaudan logo courtesy of:
Author: Givaudan
Permission: Public Domain

Newsy Now: News Round-Up

Perry v. Romney in GOP Debate; San Clemente School Scare; Medvedev Responds to Russian Plane Crash; Libyan Missiles Looted; Witherspoon Hit By Car

By Erik Shute
Anchor: Jim Flink
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U.S. Slides to Fifth in Global Competitiveness

The U.S. drops to fifth in Global Competitiveness rankings by the WEF.

By Lee Jiang Chung
Anchor: Kylie McGivern
Link provided by

The USPS: Soon to be Rescued by the White House?

The U.S. Postal Service faces default, and it's asking Congress, with the backing of the White House, to extend the due date on a $5.5 billion bill.

By Ruisha Qian
Anchor: Christina Hartman
Link provided by

Slain Yale Student's Family Sues

The family of slain Yale doctoral student in pharmacology, Annie Le, is suing the university for failure to protect women.

By Kylie McGivern
Anchor: Kylie McGivern
Link provided by

$300 Billion Job Plan, Will It Help or Hurt Obama?

The president will explain a $300 Billion plan to create jobs in his address to Congress on Thursday night.

By Jennifer Long
Anchor: Christina Hartman
Link provided by

Human Rights Watch: Vietnamese Addicts Used as Labor

Drug rehabilitation centres in Vietnam are nothing more than forced labour camps according to Human Rights Watch.

By Julia Corderoy
Anchor: Ana Compain-Romero
Link provided by

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

White House Briefs

Russian Ice Hockey Team Plane Crash Kills at Least 40

Reports say the dead represent ten different countries. Only one player and one crew member are said to have survived.

By Tracy Pfeiffer
Anchor: Christina Hartman
Link provided by

Top Aides Leave Bachmann Campaign

Michele Bachmann’s campaign manager and deputy stepped down from their positions in her presidential campaign Monday.

By Nicole Thompson
Anchor: Christina Hartman
Link provided by

Iran: 'We Will Allow 'Full Supervision' of Nuclear Facilities'

This, after the IAEA said it is quote- "increasingly concerned" about Iran's nuclear program.

By Yutaka Hayashi and Tracy Pfeiffer
Anchor: Lauren Gores
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