34 The Queens Courier • june 27, 2013 for breaking news visit www.queenscourier.com Photo courtesy of NYC.gov The city recently released a new hurricane map that puts an additional 600,000 New Yorkers in evacuation zones. LEFT OUT SOME RESIDENTS SAY NEW EVACUATION MAPS DON’T ‘MAKE SENSE’ BY CRISTABELLE TUMOLA email@example.com New York City issued mandatory evacuations to droves of residents during Sandy. But the next time a storm hits, thousands more may be told to leave. The city has released an updated storm evacuation zone map that puts an additional 600,000 New Yorkers in evacuation areas and replaces Zones A, B and C with zones numbered one to six. An extra 26 New York City Housing Authority developments, four hospitals and nine nursing homes are also in evacuation zones. Last month, the city announced it would revise the zones based on its Hurricane Sandy After-Action report, which analyzed the city’s response to the storm. The new zones take into account storm surge, geography and access to bridges and roads. “The new zones incorporate the best-available data and will help the city to more effectively communicate to those most at risk depending on the characteristics of a particular storm,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Cas Holloway. The old evacuation system was based on storm category. For instance, Zone A received a mandatory evacuation notice in the event of a Category 1 or higher storm, as happened during Sandy and 2011’s Hurricane Irene; while Zone B corresponded to Category 2 or higher storms. “We’ve moved away from that designation with the new zones” said an Office of Emergency Management spokesperson. If a major storm hits, the city will now consider several variables — including storm category, speed, size and direction — in evaluating which zones to evacuate, starting with Zone 1. One notable change on the new map involves Howard Beach. Most of the neighborhood, which sat in Zone B during Sandy, is now evacuation in Zone 1. During the storm, several parts of Howard Beach outside of Zone A saw significant flooding. Residents there felt they should have been included in mandatory pre-storm evacuations. But some Queens locations will no longer be evacuated first. Mia Famiglia, an Italian restaurant at 44-29 9th Street in Long Island City, sits only a few blocks from the water. It was in Zone A during Sandy, but is now in Zone 2. The restaurant was inundated with seven feet of water during Sandy, incurring heavy damages. Owner Lawrence Vecchio was not happy to hear his business will not be among the first to be evacuated during a major storm. “It doesn’t make sense to me,” he said. “We are literally across the street from the water. Do we have to be in the water?” Residents can visit www.maps.nyc. gov/hurricane or call 3-1-1 to find out if their homes or businesses fall within the boundaries of a new hurricane evacuation zones. THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan The Bayside Village Business Improvement District, alongside elected officials, honored its sponsors. ‘BID’ness looking up BY MELISA CHAN firstname.lastname@example.org The state of Bayside Village is looking up thanks to initiatives over the year that boosted foot traffic along the neighborhood’s busiest commercial corridor. More shoppers and prospective businesses visited Bell Boulevard this year, Bayside Village Business Improvement District (BID) officials said at their annual meeting. The BID’s “Roll Up the Gates” open house event drew in space renters, said BID Executive Director Lyle Sclair. And efforts like “Thursday Nights Out,” which encouraged businesses to stay open later, attracted late night customers. “The success of Bell Boulevard is very personal to me. Things have been getting better,” said Assemblymember Ed Braunstein, who added that restaurants are becoming more crowded on the weekend. “That’s how things should be,” he said. With nearly $166,000 in the proposed budget next year, the BID plans to redesign its website to be more mobile-friendly and add a live Twitter feed and event calendar to its front page. Officials are also looking forward to an expanded graffiti removal project in July and its end-of-summer bash on September 29, when the city will shut down Bell Boulevard to traffic in order to showcase shops. There will be cooking demonstrations, eating contests, fashion shows and giveaways at the free “Weekend Walk” festival, Sclair said. The BID — which has a new office at 213- 33 39th Avenue — welcomed new Class A landlord Martin Pollack to its board of reelected general members. An executive board election is expected in about two weeks, Sclair said. The results of last year’s heated BID election, the only contested one in the city, were not finalized for more than a week due to a controversy involving a mix-up of two proxy votes. HUSBAND & WIFE DEVELOPERS PLEAD GUILTY Huangs must repay $4.8M BY MELISA CHAN email@example.com Two notorious Queens developers pleaded guilty last week to flouting a court order and illegally selling condo units, the attorney general said. Tommy and Alice Huang were permanently barred from selling co-ops and condos in the state after they cheated Flushing home buyers in 1999. But on June 19, the Huangs admitted to fraudulently selling 33 units in Elmhurst at the Broadway Tower Condominium. “This egregious and unscrupulous greed on the part of the Huangs and their blatant disregard for the law and the safety of others must stop,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The controversial builders have been a “scourge” in the borough for more than 20 years, lawmakers said. Their “misconduct” in Queens includes illegal and unsafe construction, environmental crimes and building code violations, Schneiderman said. Tommy Huang was sentenced to five years’ probation in 1999 for damaging the landmarked interior of RKO Keith’s Theater in Flushing. He was also denied a variance by Community Board 11 last November to complete the construction of four single-family homes in Bayside. “Frankly, today’s announcement has been a long time coming and is long overdue,” said State Senator Tony Avella, who called Huang the “poster child” for unscrupulous developers. Tommy Huang, 59, and Alice Huang, 60, pleaded guilty to securities fraud felonies. The pair must return $4.8 million in illegal profits and penalties to the state and surrender their holdings at the Broadway Tower Condominium, the attorney general said. They can face up to four years in prison if the debts are not repaid, officials said. Tommy Huang will be barred from New York construction and real estate industries for at least five years. Both husband and wife remain permanently banned from selling securities in the state. Their son, Henry Huang, is also prohibited. Schneiderman said he helped his parents circumvent their court order and then covered up their crimes by filing false documents with authorities.
To see the actual publication please follow the link above