JPCA releases Citi Bike counter proposal

JPCA argue that DOT draft plan would disrupt Middle Village, Maspeth, Glendale and Ridgewood

As ridership increases and environmental preservation efforts are further encouraged, the Department of Transportation seeks to expand its Citi Bike outreach.

Its latest expansion proposal would add 52 Citi Bike stations throughout neighborhoods within Community Board 5, which include Middle Village, Maspeth, Glendale and Ridgewood. It would include 18 stations on the sidewalks and 34 in roadbeds.

In response, JPCA released a counter proposal to the DOT’s Citi Bike draft plan in support of residents who own cars in those communities, which is the majority of households.

“We’re a transit desert in most of the areas, so they were putting more of their stations in the street, which takes parking away from people who need it for parking at their residences or businesses,” JPCA member and Juniper Berry Editor Christina Wilkinson said.

“So I think our plan is more sensitive to the needs of the community,” she continued. “We’re having bus stops taken away from us and spaced further apart. So having bike share with this narrow criteria that the DOT has of every two or three blocks is not very realistic if they’re asking people who take mass transit to walk further to get to the bus.”

She emphasized that JPCA takes no issue with stations placed on sidewalks as they are non-disruptive, however they must be placed strategically.

“The regular destinations of people living here, such as Queens Blvd. or Woodhaven Blvd., as well as the other half of CB5, do not yet have Citi Bike docks installed. The inability to dock the bikes at popular destinations reduces the program’s usefulness,” JPCA’s counter proposal says.

“It would be more strategic to have Citi Bike installed boroughwide along major commercial corridors before focusing on residential area placement.”

The counter proposal also points out the fact that Citi Bike docks feature branded content from Citi and Lyft, which is generally prohibited on residentially zoned blocks.

JPCA advocates that only 43 stations be placed in the CB5 neighborhoods, and eliminated the locations from the DOT’s plan that they felt would not be as useful to residents.

Their plan has been shared with the DOT via a virtual meeting on April 6.

“I think that they were pretty receptive to what we were saying. They just received the proposal earlier that day, so it was hard for them to give us any feedback on what we proposed,” Wilkinson said.

“But they said that they would look at each individual location, most likely visit it in person and determine whether or not there were any reasons why what we proposed wouldn’t be able to be implemented.”

Business Districts to merge in Downtown Jamaica

The bustling business district of downtown Jamaica could soon be overseen by a single business improvement district, or “BID,” as consolidation efforts are underway.

Support has been shown for the merger of the Sutphin Boulevard BID, the 165th Street Mall Special Assessment District and the Jamaica Center Special Assessment District, with many elected officials giving their blessing to the concept at a Committee of Finance meeting last week.

The bill itself, Int. No. 103, would alter how the district is assessed by expanding the boundaries of the existing Sutphin Boulevard BID.

Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, also the former co-chair of the Jamaica Now Leadership Council, offered her full support of the legislation to create a unified business improvement district. It was during her time as co-chair of the Jamaica Now Leadership Council when the merger was first proposed.

“Our downtown area will have a singular brand and voice, which will facilitate more opportunities for investments and large-scale transformative projects,” Adams said. “It will reduce any overlap in responsibilities among the current BIDS, and will more strategically position Jamaica to meet the ever growing needs and challenges of our small businesses, residents and visitors.”

Adams, a Southeast Queens native, says that a unified effort will mean consistent programming and services, as well as greater input for the concerns of businesses in downtown Jamaica.

“I’m excited about the future of this area that I’ve called home for so long, and the potential for positive change this proposal will bring,” Adams said.

As it currently stands, the Sutphin Boulevard BID encompasses Sutphin Boulevard and properties south of Archer Avenue. The Jamaica Center BID, which is technically a special assessment district, includes businesses along Jamaica Avenue starting at Sutphin Boulevard and ending at 169th Street. The 165th Street Mall Special Assessment District includes businesses extending along 16th Street from Jamaica Avenue to 89th Avenue, with over 160 stores in its current footprint.

Councilmember Nantasha Williams, representing the 28th district, said that the merger will be beneficial to all parties involved, and that the move could reduce some administrative costs, such as rent and insurance. Although the conversations about merging predate her time in City Council, she said she is proud to carry the efforts of former Councilman I. Daneek Miller.

“The pandemic has decimated our commercial districts and if the unification means our businesses will be paying less and receiving more services, then this is a no-brainer,” Williams said. “I am in full support and I look forward to working with the BID on future projects.”

Alix Duroseau Jr., the board chairman of the Sutphin Boulevard BID, told the Ledger that he is “cautiously optimistic” about the merger, and he is looking forward to what the endeavor could bring to downtown Jamaica.

Jennifer Furioli, the executive director of the Jamaica Center BID, spoke on behalf of President Michael Hirschhorn during the Finance Committee meeting.

“We want to nurture a thriving downtown, and by partnering with our peers on 165th Street, I believe we can,” Furioli said.

Speaking for Hirschhorn, Furioli added that the Jamaica Center BID has been extremely limited in what it can accomplish due to rising administrative expenses. This year, over a quarter of the organization’s operating budget is allocated to liability insurance expenses,

In the 2022 fiscal year, the Jamaica Center BID says they expect to pay $222,905 for their insurance policy, not including nearly $40,000 for deductables and possibly more depending on legal outcomes.

The Downtown Alliance, the largest BID in the city with a $20 million budget, only paid about $113,000 for their yearly insurance.

“By unifying under Sutphin’s legal structure, as is proposed, the liability would be eliminated and the new BID would not have any legal exposure that the Jamaica Center now contends with,” Furioli said.

Property owners within the new expanded district will be mailed a survey, with at least 51 percent of property owners needed to be in approval of the merger. A City Council vote could come in May or June, which would make the merger official as of January 1, 2023.

Flushing Town Hall awards $100K to Queens artists

Aligning with their mission to provide a platform to local artists, Flushing Town Hall announced it has awarded grant funding to various Queens-based artists and organizations.

After becoming a regranting partner for New York State Council on the Arts in their “Statewide Community Regrants” program, Flushing Town Hall administered Arts Grants for Queens.

Ten individual artists will receive grants of $2,500 each, and $91,032 in funding will be split across 33 organizations.

“We thank NYSCA for this opportunity and are overjoyed to be able to award our neighbors and peers in the borough with well-deserved funding,” Ellen Kodadek, executive and artistic director of Flushing Town Hall, said.

“The pandemic took a painful toll on the arts sector, and on Queens, but together we are resilient. With these regrants, we proudly invest in the artists and organizations who will bring us catharsis, healing and occasion to gather together again.”

A panel of artists, community leaders and stakeholders selected the artists and organizations that would receive grant funding via an application process that examined artistic merit, community benefit and project feasibility.
Included in the long list of grant recipients is Women in Comics Collective International Inc., an organization focused on providing support to marginalized groups as they navigate the comics industry.

As they celebrate their 10-year anniversary, Women in Comics Collective will use the awarded grant to fund WinC x King Manor, an outdoor comic book festival at the King Manor museum in Jamaica.

The event will take place on May 21 from 5 to 9 p.m. and will feature different workshops, art vendors and live model drawing with local cosplayers as the models.

“I was dancing around my house when I found out we were selected,” Regine Sawyer, founder and coordinator of Women in Comics Collective, said. “As a nonprofit, it’s so helpful to have this support to make events financially accessible to communities of color and other marginalized communities.”

“It is very important to us that our events are in communities that aren’t exposed to this, because there’s so many artists, writers and creators who come from these neighborhoods, but don’t have that hands-on experience interacting with industry professionals that they admire,” she added.

The diverse list of grantees also includes Culture Lab LIC, an organization that will offer an artist residency program providing artists with the space to produce new work, and indie artist Magdalena Kaczmarska of Rego Park for “Stories in the Moment,” providing Queens dementia patients with artistic opportunity.

Dan Bamba, director of arts services at Flushing Town Hall said that the institution is excited to be part of the first year of NYSCA’s regrant program.

“Flushing Town Hall may be best known as an arts presenter, and as an Arts Council, we also offer an array of services for aspiring and professional artists, as well,” Bamba said.

“In addition to these NYSCA regrants, we also offer Space Grants for artists developing work in our space and we host Artist Professional Development Conversations, a series of workshops addressing the business needs of artists, with topics ranging from fundraising to marketing to bookings.”

Bamba added that a private ceremony will be held to honor the grantees, and that Flushing Town Hall plans to reopen the program for a second year to continue to support the arts community in Queens.

Forest Hills resident celebrates 30 years living with MS

When AnnaMarie Prono was 27, she woke up one morning feeling like her left hand had fallen asleep.

She brushed it off and went on a week-long cruise in the Caribbean, only to experience more sensations of numbness and pins and needles throughout other parts of her body.

A spinal tap confirmed that Prono had multiple sclerosis, a disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves.

“I saw a general neurologist who specialized in epilepsy at the time, and he told me, ‘Yes, you have multiple sclerosis. You should get a cane and stay out of the heat,’” Prono said.

“He just sent me on my way,” she continued. “I was like, ‘How can this be?’”

When she was first diagnosed, Prono felt discouraged when her doctor told her that there’s no cure for MS, and because it’s so rare, pharmaceutical companies did not want to spend substantial funds to research the disease.

She was prescribed steroids to calm the flare ups, and informed that the FDA would approve three new injectable treatments to slow the progression of MS.

“I was very shy of starting any of that because this was all new, and I didn’t know the long term effects and what it would do to me,” she said.
“I wondered when I would get another flare up. When will I have all my feeling back in my hand, and when are my eyes going to be normal again so I can drive? I was told to wait and see,” she continued.

Two years after her first episode, Prono experienced another where she was completely numb from the waist down, her pupils jumped up and down and she had vertigo.

This instance prompted her to try different treatments to help prevent intense episodes from recurring.

However, when she got tired, her symptoms would flare up, which was a common occurrence from her high stress job as an architect and construction manager.

“I remember I was working on a project where we looked at a statue. Normally, I would just jump or climb up anything to look, and for the first time I said I was afraid to do it because I didn’t trust that I wasn’t going to fall,” Prono said.

“My new neurologist at NYU told me I have secondary progressive MS, which was devastating,” she continued. “I didn’t like the fact that I couldn’t work anymore, and I thought my life was over.”

Prono has participated in various studies with NYU, which included transcranial direct stimulation—a service that is not yet FDA approved—but has shown great success for her.

This year, Prono celebrates 30 years of living with MS, and with that, 30 years of leading the AMTeam in WalkMS.

Upon signing up for her first walk, Prono said it is something she will continue to do as long as she is able to walk.

“I think I’ve raised $240,000 over the last 30 years with my team. Friends and family have been amazingly supportive,” she said. “Because this is the 30th year, and I never thought that I’d get to 30 years, I decided I needed to do something special to raise money and awareness.”

On the weekend of Palm Sunday, Prono held an art showing at Our Lady of Mercy in Forest Hills, where she displayed her original artworks and sold prints to raise money for National MSSociety.

Over the course of the pandemic, she worked on a personal art series called “100 Days of Birds.” From hummingbirds to peacocks, she used colored pencils to explore drawing a different bird each day.

After reaching 100, she went on to draw insects and other animals, as well as numerous religious figures.

“I would tell people that during the pandemic, the one hour I spent drawing was probably the best hour of my day,” Prono said.

“This year, I took part in an art therapy study with the University of Florida, and I’m currently enrolled in an art therapy program with NYU Langone,” she continued. “That has been very eye opening for me.”

Prono also participates in equine therapy at GallopNYC Forest Hills, and recently wrote a musical about Mother Cabrini and a little girl that had MS.

Although she’s now quite open about her journey with MS, Prono said that wasn’t always the case.

“Thirty years ago, I was afraid to tell people. I was afraid about losing my job,” she said. “Now, I talk to people about it openly, and I’ll just come out and say it.”

“Now, 30 years after my diagnosis when there were no approved treatments for MS, we have 16 different disease modifying therapies that are approved by the FDA,” she continued. “If you don’t get the answer you want, keep looking.”

Ruhling: The Confectioner with the Sweet Heart

Crystal Gonzalez sets the small white box on the table and carefully opens it to reveal a half dozen elaborately iced cupcakes.

There’s one with a couple of cherries on top, one adorned with a gigantic strawberry, one defined by an upright Oreo and two decorated with edible parchment butterflies that look as though they are going to flutter off into the spring air.

She brought the home-baked goods, she says, to sweeten the day.

Crystal, a tall woman with a nose ring, large, dark glasses and long blue and purple hair that matches her blouse, has been baking all her life, but it’s only post-pandemic, since she became a wife and a mother, that she has really thrown herself into her pastry pastime with passion.

This is not something she ever thought she would do for a living, but now she can’t imagine her life without sugar and flour and eggs.

Before she started making cakes to sell, Crystal, who was born and raised in Astoria, had a career in her family’s now-shuttered Times Square restaurant, Theatre Row Diner.

She started working there full time after she graduated from the State University of New York at Purchase with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a minor in sociology.

“It was,” she says, “my dream job. I loved the fast pace and meeting all the people – we had a lot of tourists from all over the world, and I loved giving them a great New York City dining experience.”

Shortly after she got married – she and her husband used to hang out in high school, which she didn’t remember until they re-connected on OkCupid – and found out she was having a baby, the couple took out a one-year lease on an apartment in Brooklyn at the end of 2019.

“My last day working at the diner before the lockdown was March 13, 2020,” she says. “I was pregnant and out of a job.”

While she was waiting for the arrival of daughter Elyzabeth, who made her debut in June 2020, Crystal began the work that would lead to the creation of her sweet sibling, Crystal’s Confections.

“I put this note out on social media saying that I would bake cupcakes for free so I could practice,” she says. “I got my first order in July 2021 – and the woman insisted she pay. I got $50 for 50 cupcakes.”

The orders kept coming in, and soon Crystal was making a steady income.

“I can earn $800 in profit in a good month,” she says.

These days, she does her baking in her Astoria apartment, which is in the basement of her parents’ house, the one she grew up in.

Crystal and her husband are part of the extended family that also includes her two younger brothers.

“I look at my hands, and I look at the cake or the cupcakes I have made,” she says. “And I think, ‘These two hands literally just made them.’”

She considers it an honor to bake for people’s celebrations and sees it as her duty to brighten people’s lives with something sugary.

Recently, for example, she baked cinnamon rolls, cupcakes and brownies for the guys at the fire department because they are on duty 24/7.

“I love how the ingredients come together and how this involves me in people’s lives,” she says. “Whatever the occasion – a child’s first birthday or a wedding – the cake is the centerpiece of the party.”

Although Elyzabeth is too young to help out, she does like to sit in her high chair and watch Crystal creating her confections.

“I generally give her a spoon to play with,” Crystal says. “And sometimes I use her as a taster – if she likes it, she goes ‘yummmm,’ and if she doesn’t, she literally spits it out.”

She laughs.

Crystal bakes during the day and applies the icing and decorations in the evening when Elyzabeth is sleeping.

“I don’t like to be interrupted when I do it,” she says, adding that she’s been collecting and refining recipes for years.

Crystal’s Confections is a one-baker operation: She puts Elyzabeth in her stroller and makes most of the deliveries on foot.

“I love to walk,” Crystal says.

Larger orders are delivered via Uber.

When Crystal started her new career, she envisioned herself manning a storefront, but now she’s thinking it would be more fun to remain a stay-at-home cottage baker.

“When Elyzabeth is in school next year, I’m going to get a part-time job,” she says. “Perhaps it will be in a restaurant or in a bakery. I like the idea of decorating cakes.”

Whatever she does, though, she’ll keep Crystal’s Confections going because her baking makes her and everyone else so happy.

Nancy A. Ruhling may be reached at; @nancyruhling; nruhling on Instagram,,

New administrator at Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Anthony Sama has recently been appointed the new administrator of Flushing Meadows Corona Park. He will also serve as the executive director of the Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park, replacing former administrator/executive director Janice Melnick, who held the position for the last 19 years.

“We are excited that Anthony will bring his expertise and care for public service to his new role as Executive Director of our Alliance and Administrator for Flushing Meadows Corona Park,” FMCP Alliance Chair Daniel Zausner said in a statement. “We look forward to working with him.”

Sama previously served as the Director of Citywide Special Events for NYC Parks Department, a position he has held since 2009. A Queens native and graduate of Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood, he went on to attend New York University’s Stern School of Business. He is also married with two young children, who he says will be among the most devoted participants involved in upcoming activities at the park.

“I’m proud to be part of the flagship park of Queens and the fourth-largest park in New York City,” Sama said in a statement. “I’m honored to have been selected to help represent some of the most fascinating and diverse neighborhoods in the country. It will be my privilege to continue the great work of those who stewarded Flushing Meadows Corona Park before me, from keeping the park clean and safe to celebrating our cultural heritage and environmental legacy.”

In his role with NYC Parks, Sama has overseen the growth and execution of many of New York City’s premier special events on parkland, including the NYC Marathon and the Global Citizen Festival. For more than ten years, he has worked closely with communities, elected officials, and large organizations to standardize event processes and policies and help create meaningful and fun public programs in compliance with complex policies and needs.

“Throughout his career at NYC Parks, Anthony has played an integral role in connecting and representing partners, stakeholders, and the public we all serve,” NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue said in statement. “Over the past two years in particular, Anthony has shown great leadership by coordinating the distribution of over half a million masks to New Yorkers in parks, overseeing the build-out of a hospital on Central Park’s East Meadow, and working with more than 350 city schools to bring the City’s Outdoor Learning Initiative to life in city parks. I am confident his vast experience, and ‘can-do’ attitude, will benefit him in this new position.”

Flushing Community, Elected Unveil ‘Sarah Whiting Way’

Family, friends, and civic leaders gathered on Friday, April 8, to co-name the intersection of Holly Avenue and Robinson Street for longtime Flushing resident and activist Sarah Whiting.

Sarah Whiting was born in North Carolina in 1916 and moved to Brooklyn at a young age. She eventually married Julius Whiting and moved to Flushing. They had one daughter, Carol Whiting.

A committed civic leader, she founded the Holly Civic Association and Flushing Democratic Club, as well as an after-school program at PS 24. She volunteered her time with the Concerned African Americans of Flushing, Flushing Hospital, the Flushing Branch of the NAACP, Community Board 7, and the 109th Precinct Community Council.

A deeply religious person, Sarah Whiting was also affiliated with Macedonia AME, Ebenezer Baptist Church, and First Baptist Church of Flushing. She passed away in July of 2017, six months shy of her 101st birthday.

“From founding the Holly Civic Association to establishing the Flushing Democratic Club to creating and running an after-school program at PS 24, as well as her volunteer work with a variety of local boards and councils, the legacy of Sarah Whiting will continue to impact the lives of Flushing residents for generations to come,” Councilwoman Sandra Ung said in a statement. “I want to congratulate her daughter Carol Whiting and the entire Whiting family on the dedication of ‘Sarah Whiting Way.’ It’s a well-deserved honor.”

Also in attendance were Congresswoman Grace Meng and former councilman Peter Koo.

Burrito BLVD to open Astoria location

Two years ago, Robert Matos opened up Burrito Blvd at 72-64 Metropolitan Ave. in Middle Village, having no prior experience in the food industry.
Matos, who worked in real estate at the time, wanted to try something new career-wise, and saw promise in the Mexican food industry by way of his longtime friend Joe Vetrano, who owns the Burrito Blvd location in Mineola.

“He told me it was the best thing he ever did, and so that stuck in my head,” Matos said.

“Joe was in the process of franchising Burrito Blvd, and we became business partners. Middle Village quickly took off,” he continued. “People in the community would tell me that this is exactly what was needed, and I get compliments on my staff all the time. So that early response made me feel good and reassured that I’m not crazy and that this was going to work.”

Because both Burrito Blvd locations have seen such success, Matos and Vetrano decided to open a third location at 36-20 30th Ave. in Astoria together.

The grand opening will take place on Sat., April 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and will offer $2 burrito, bowl and taco specials all day.

“Astoria is a great area because it’s so busy; everybody walks or takes public transportation. It’s a great corner spot on 30th Ave., which happens to be one of the busiest streets in Astoria. It was a great opportunity,” Matos said.

He added that the Astoria location will be quite different from the Middle Village one because it will be more of a grab-and-go style store, as opposed to a large indoor dining space.

Similar to the Middle Village store, the Astoria location will feature mural artwork by an artist who goes by the name Mike.A.

But the main thing Matos takes pride in when it comes to running his business is getting to engage with the community and provide them with quality food products.

“It feels good to have a place where I get kids that come from the park to hang out and bring their friends. It’s the best feeling to know people are satisfied with what you’re doing,” Matos said.

“It’s so great to serve my community and I’m so thankful for their support,” he continued. “I think opening day in Astoria will be a big success, just like it was for Middle Village.”

Woodhaven BID hosts community cleanup

A community cleanup in the heart of Woodhaven brought out over 30 volunteers to help beautify their neighborhood this past weekend.

The community event, organized by the Woodhaven Business Improvement District, saw sidewalks get swept, graffiti get painted over, and a sense of pride return to longtime residents.

Starting at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue, community members from the local BID, as well as the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, Community Board 9 and youth from the NYPD’s Law Enforcement Explorers program, all pitched in to the efforts on the morning of Saturday, April 9.

The city’s Department of Sanitation lended brooms and dustpans to the community cleanup effort.

John Ziegler, a former resident of Woodhaven, collected sidewalk trash along Jamaica Avenue while reminiscing of the neighborhood he once called home.

“I think it’s about trying to keep the sense of community, like I experienced as a kid here,” said Ziegler, who now resides in Long Island. “It’s so future generations can experience what I did. It means so much.”

On the other side of Woodhaven’s busiest street, the tag-team of Martin Coburg and Kenichi Wilson painted over graffiti markings underneath the subway tracks.

“We try to come support and to let the community know what they’re doing,” Coburg, president of the Woodhaven Residents Block Association, said. “It’s more than just helping the businesses, we also want to have a nice, clean district.”

The two said a common problem along the store-lined streets of Woodhaven includes the ongoing issue of trash placed on the sidewalks.

Wilson, the first vice-chair of Community Board 9, noted that with many residential dwellings sitting above storefronts, businesses often receive tickets for trash being thrown out by tenants.

With residents, businesses and even third-party landlords involved in the issue, Wilson commended the work that both the Woodhaven BID and the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association have done for its community members and businesses.

“I feel that this is one of the biggest, best run business improvement districts in all of Queens,” Wilson said.

Public Advocate testifies about flood resiliency

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Councilwoman Carline Rivera have introduced legislation that would require the city to have more emergency planning in relation to flash floods.

The National Weather Service had to issue its flash flood emergency –, which is more severe than a “watch” or “warning,” for NYC in the agency’s history this past September after historic rainfalls from hurricane Ida. 13 people from New York City, primarily in Brooklyn and Queens, died due to being trapped in flooded basements.

The city estimates that there are over 50,000 basement units in the city. But the number isn’t reflective of the reality as most “basement” apartments are illegal and technically classified as cellars – which have worse health standards and safety qualities.

A basement is a story of a building partly below curb level but with at least one-half of its height above the curb level; while a cellar is an enclosed space having more than one-half of its height below curb level – according to the Housing Preservation and Development website. While there was a pilot program to convert units into fully legal basements, the funding was slashed by 92 percent in the 2021 budget under then-Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The current legislation being pushed by Williams and Rivera wouldn’t change the legality of basement apartments but rather focuses on how the city responds to these emergencies. The bill would require the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to establish a flash flood emergency evacuation plan for residents of multiple dwellings, post plans on the OEM website and conducting outreach, in coordination with the Department of Housing Preservation and Environmental Protection, that provides signage to residents regarding the flood risks and the evacuation plan. It would also require OEM to report on the implementation of the evacuation plan and post their reports on the OEM website.

“In the past decade, New Yorkers have been challenged by the hurricanes and floods that struck the New York City area leading to tragic consequences throughout the five boroughs…While New York City and the rest of the world grapple with the effects of climate change, we can put policies in place to prepare individuals who reside in flood zones,” Public Advocate Williams said during a committee hearing on Fire and Emergency Management and on Resiliency and Waterfronts. “Preparation is the key for maximizing best practices and minimizing tragedies.”

The bill would further require the OEM to release a report on the implementation of its plans within 60 days. The report would be required to give information on the number of multiple dwellings(including basement and first floor apartments evacuated during flash flood emergency), addresses and council districts of evacuated dwellings, challenges in implementing the evacuation plan and the number of people who were evacuated.

“We continue to talk about once-in-a-lifetime, once-in-a-hundred years storms as we now know. There will be much more than that. The horrors that I saw, in the City, during Hurricane Ida. Nothing is worse than losing lives that could have been prevented,” Williams said. “What we saw was the loss of homes, especially in southeast Queens, that we could have prevented and the lives that were lost with preventive intentions and communications. Because we had enough information to let folks know what was going to happen. We also know the areas that are continually flooded. Many of these residents have been complaining for many, many years without movement or response.”

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