Follow these Christmas
As we approach the beginning
of the holiday season,
many people will begin to
purchase their Christmas
When looking for a live
Christmas tree, always remember
to shake the tree to see if a
lot of needles fall to the ground.
If that happens, it usually is a
very strong indication that the
tree is already in the process of
drying out, and would not be a
After finally finding a
Christmas tree that is full and
healthy and transporting it
home, if you are not planning
to put it up immediately, then
place it in a pail of water in
your garage, and refill the pail
each day, because the tree will
use up all of the water every
day. Upon bringing it indoors
and decorating it, never use
live candles — due to the risk
of fire — and only use UHL approved
lights. Always remember
to check the cords to make
sure that there is no damage.
It is better to use tiny multicolored
or white lights instead
of the traditional larger ones
because those large bulbs are
much hotter than the smaller
ones, and the large bulbs could
also possibly start a fire.
Do not ever set up your live
Christmas tree anywhere near
your radiators, as the heat from
them will speed up the process
of the tree drying out.
Always remember to turn off
the lights when going out and
going to bed, and always keep
the tree stand full with water
every single day.
Follow these tips and everyone
will be able to have a safe,
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THEY DESERVED BETTER
Southeast Queens residents have grown accustomed
to being virtually ignored by the city over the years, but
the events that occured in that neighborhood last weekend
brought that to a whole different level.
As raw sewage began pushing into dozens of homes
in a 15-block area of South Ozone Park early Saturday
morning, frantic calls to the 311 help line offered no
help at all.
With human waste floating in her basement, Bina
Balgobin was forced to leave her home due to the unbearable
“We were sleeping in the car,” she told TimesLedger
reporter Carlotta Mohamed, who was overwhelmed by
odor when she arrived in the neighborhood. “It’s been
crazy with that stinky smell and the flooding in the
Another impacted homeowner, Rashad Mubarack,
said the sewage ruined the house he had just purchased.
“I closed on this house on the 26th, got the keys on
Friday and then at 3 a.m. the next day, we find out there
is three-feet of sewage in the basement,” Mubarack
said. “Everything in there is completely gone.”
The Department of Environmental Protection finally
arrived on the scene late Saturday afternoon and
determined a massive blockage in a sewer main 40 feet
underground was the cause.
DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza admitted 311
calls began arriving very early Saturday morning but
operators believed the calls were about isolated problems
and a widespread response wasn’t necessary.
“It took probably a few hours before someone connected
the dots to say ‘Hey, this just isn’t a sporadic
problem, but it’s very concentrated in one area. Something
is going on,’” Spazienza said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio finally arrived in South Ozone
Park Monday afternoon and announced the city will
use emergency procurement to hire contractors to clean
homes affected by the sewage back up and that cleaning
would begin at the city’s expense. After speaking with
several affected families, de Blasio admitted there was
a lot of anger over the ignored calls for help.
“There’s a lot of frustration that the calls to 311 went
in and the response was not as quick as it could have
been and I think we need people to know that that’s not
acceptable,” de Blasio said. “Even if a few hours went by
and the response was not what it could have been and
that’s not acceptable to me or my colleagues in government.”
No it is not acceptable and the mayor said the slow
response would be investigated.
“We want to make sure the response is as quick as
possible going forward,” he said.
The residents of South Ozone Park deserved a much
faster reaction from the city.
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TIMESLEDGER,16 DEC. 6-12, 2019 QNS.COM