Major storm covering roads in snow, ice as travelers head home after Christmas

first_imgABC News (NEW YORK) — A major storm is moving from west to east Saturday, leaving roads especially dangerous as travelers head home after Christmas.Snow is falling in Denver Saturday morning and wind gusts continue to increase, nearing 35 mph. The blowing and drifting snow is causing limited visibility for drivers, which could wreak havoc on roadways.Freezing rain is also falling in the Twin Cities Saturday morning, and police in Minnesota are warning drivers to stay home as dangerous ice covers roadways.Many accidents have also been reported in the region.Up to a half an inch of pure ice could accumulate in parts of Upper Midwest Saturday into Sunday.Airlines have issued weather waivers for passengers traveling through Midwest and Upper Midwest airports Saturday and Sunday.Meanwhile, severe thunderstorms are expected from Texas to Missouri on Saturday. These storms could bring damaging winds and a chance for tornadoes for the heartland.By Sunday, the storm is forecast to hit the Great Lakes, the Ohio Valley and the Gulf Coast.In the Upper Midwest and the northern Plains, heavy snow with whiteout conditions is possible, with ice and sleet further east into the western Great Lakes.By Sunday night into Monday morning, the leading edge of the storm will move into the Northeast, with ice and snow in New England and heavy rain in the Mid-Atlantic, from Washington, D.C. to New York City.Driving conditions may be dangerous in the Northeast Monday morning.By Monday into Tuesday, some areas in the Northeast could see 6 inches of snow with ice and sleet on top of that.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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White House Right to Tell Local Zoning Boards to Be Constructive

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York In the heated debate about whether or not local zoning codes are choking us, New Age urbanists who propose environmentally friendly dense developments have new fuel for the fire now that the Obama administration is chiming in.“In more and more regions across the country, local and neighborhood leaders have said yes in our backyard,” said the White House in a recent policy release. “We need to break down the rules that stand in the way of building new housing.” Accompanying the presentation was a toolkit to spell out the White House’s policy proscription, as reported in Politico.The initiative is intended to address the “local barriers to housing development” such as zoning, land-use regulations and lengthy development approval processes that have restricted the housing market’s ability to respond to growing demand. The obstacles are thereby “jeopardizing housing affordability for working families, increasing income inequality by reducing less-skilled workers’ access to high-wage labor markets and stifling GDP growth by driving labor migration away from the most productive regions.”While developers and their allies may be drooling at the prospect of relaxed zoning standards, Long Island residents who fear the worst should take comfort in the fact that the federal government can only comment about land use. It can’t impose.Here’s the thing though: The White House isn’t wrong. Local zoning can be restrictive—and often on LI that’s by design. It’s called home rule.Many people, especially those who subscribe to the theory that we must build our way out of our economic decline, conveniently forget that the Island’s zoning is philosophically rooted in groundwater protection. By reducing densities in unsewered areas, we’re preventing toxic wastewater from polluting our aquifers, the sole source of our drinking water.Environmental necessity aside, our region simply cannot handle additional density unless something changes. But the White House is right, we do need more housing, whether we care to admit it or not.Metropolitan areas such as San Francisco and New York City are seeing their blockbuster economic gains stymied by the lack of affordable housing options. As urban areas become more economically polarized and in some cases, just wealthier, the crucial middle class is left floundering for a foothold.Think about the sky-rocketing explosion of real estate prices in the outer borough areas of New York City that were traditionally havens for the less well-off and blue collar workers. Where do these people go now?The White House’s “toolkit” prescribes more density, faster permitting and fewer restrictions for developers with regard to parking and accessory dwelling units such as an apartment over a garage, for example. These recommendations are standard fare at this point, but to have them come from the federal government lends them a weight that has been previously unseen in the land use discussion.The concern is that the “tool kit” doesn’t factor in the reality of suburban living. In other words, only a relatively small percentage of suburban residents actually use mass transit. So allowing developers to get away with not providing adequate parking for the new tenants in their projects is not a good idea. Unless the developers offer their tenants some incentive to ditch their cars, the end result will be higher density with fewer places to park.The recommendations often made by developers and the vested interests in the building trade deny the fact that suburbia simply isn’t ready for higher density and all of the impacts it brings.The White House’s entry into the argument about local zoning is unprecedented, according to Dr. Lee Koppelman, who served 28 years as the first Suffolk County Planner and 41 years as the regional planner for Nassau and Suffolk, and has been the executive director of the Center for Regional Policy Studies at Stony Brook University.“NIMBYism isn’t the entire problem,” the veteran planner told the Press. “The White House is ignoring the relationship between community and environmental planning.”In his career, Koppelman has supported balanced growth in environmentally appropriate areas but he said that ignoring the consequences of increasing density can be irresponsible.“It sounds to me like the White House is touting for the real estate lobby,” Koppelman said. “Do the suburbs have the infrastructure to support growth? If not, will the federal government provide the money to build it?”Answering that question is key. We need more affordable housing, but before we loosen zoning laws and other restrictions, our policymakers, builders and residents must work together to ensure that the suburban environment can handle it.Growth should occur in the areas that are truly ready—where “walkable neighborhoods” can truly be considered walkable thanks to good jobs, adequate neighborhood services, other community amenities and nearby transit connections. Rents have been skyrocketing in urban areas like New York and San Francisco, and they need to be reined in. A frank, honest discussion must be had at all levels of governance to understand why, exactly, prices are escalating so rapidly.Gentrification may make areas that were considered “less-desirable” worthy of investment in real estate circles, but the price we all pay is accelerated displacement of the lower and middle classes. Gentrifying neighborhoods don’t solve issues of poverty or affordability, but merely push those impacted aside. We must find a way to create attractive neighborhoods without driving up prices and forcing residents out.Here policymakers must seriously consider taking unprecedented measures to attack the high cost of living on Long Island. Local school districts—the principal driver of rising property taxes in Nassau and Suffolk counties—should have their administrative models examined. Consolidation, a concept that has been a political non-starter in the past, should be considered in areas where it makes sense, such as within smaller school districts on the East End, or struggling districts in western Suffolk and Nassau. Eliminating the region’s patchwork quilt of local special taxing districts should also be explored, because it would be a small but meaningful step in the right direction.But it’s critical that these efforts aren’t an excuse to give away the farm (both literally and figuratively) to developers and their enablers. Growing too rapidly can poison our environment. We’re still struggling to overcome the consequences of the rapid suburban expansion LI went through after World War II.Good land use policy is all about achieving balance. The White House is correct to assert itself because the suburbs, ours in particular, aren’t working as effectively as they should to address these economic problems. Young families in our area shouldn’t have to look elsewhere for decent housing and jobs. But we must be smart about how we go about tinkering with the suburban model.Calling for a wholesale increase in density, as the White House proposes, wouldn’t be right, either. Growth and environmental sustainability must be taken into consideration because what we don’t need is a new kind of sprawl.Rich Murdocco writes about Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s esteemed master planner. More of his views can be found on TheFoggiestIdea.org or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea.last_img read more

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Governor Wolf Applauds Victims, District Attorney on Conviction of Bill Cosby

first_img April 26, 2018 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Governor Wolf Applauds Victims, District Attorney on Conviction of Bill Cosbycenter_img National Issues,  Press Release,  Statement Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today applauded District Attorney Kevin Steele and the fearless victims for the conviction of sexual offender Bill Cosby.“The conviction of Bill Cosby on all three counts of assault is vindication for his many victims and the service of justice for Mr. Cosby’s heinous and cruel crimes,” said Governor Wolf.“To use any level of celebrity and power to prey on women is unforgivable and deplorable. I could not be more pleased with the verdict handed down today and I hope it provides some level of comfort to the victims of sexual assault across Pennsylvania and the country. The women who have come forward are strong and brave, and they have delivered hope to the countless women whose abusers have yet to be held accountable.“I thank Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele for his tireless work to bring this case to its successful resolution.”Pennsylvania Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm added her statement to the governor’s.“Today’s conviction of Bill Cosby serves as true vindication and validation of all the brave women who have come forward with similar stories of sexual assault. I applaud the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office for their thoughtful and conscientious defense of these women. I further commend them for not giving up on these victims, when so many others had in the past. The victims who have watched their offender walk above the law because of his status will hopefully feel redemption in the face of all the speculation and condemnation they have endured over these years. Today, justice was served.”last_img read more

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Naman Tanwar, Neeraj Swami start on winning note

first_img COMMENT Written By First Published: 5th October, 2019 22:21 IST LIVE TV Press Trust Of India FOLLOW UScenter_img Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Naman Tanwar was among the prominent names who made a winning start on the second day of 4th Elite National Boxing Championships here on Saturday.Last year’s bronze medal winner Naman (91kg), representing Railways, showed superb form and fitness to notch up a 5-0 win against Ashish Bhandor of Himachal Pradesh.Ashish was no match for his opponent as Naman landed a flurry of accurate punches to silence the local boxer.President’s Cup gold medallist Neeraj Swami (49 kg) also began his campaign in a dominant fashion against Meghalaya’s Phiban Sohtun. The diminutive boxer from Delhi attacked from the beginning and landed some mighty blows on his opponent’s face which forced the referee to stop the contest in the first round.India Open silver medallist Sumit Sangwan (91 kg), making a comeback, won his bout against Gujarat’s Rizwan Ahmed comfortably as the bout had to be stopped in the first round itself.Chandigarh’s Vipin Kumar (49kg) and Punjab’s Shiv Kant were involved in a highly entertaining bout as both the boxers traded punches and displayed great attacking prowess. But Vipin got the nod of the judges at the end with a 3-2 verdict.Assam’s Irfan Khan blanked Kerala’s Athul Raj 5-0 in the light flyweight category.After playing cautiously in the first round, Irfan showed quick movement and footwork to control the bout in the last two rounds.The pugilists will compete in all the ten weight categories — 49kg, 52kg, 57kg, 60kg, 63kg, 69kg, 75 kg, 81kg, 91kg and +91kg — as teams from Ladakh and Andaman and Nicobar are participating for the first time. WATCH US LIVE SUBSCRIBE TO US Last Updated: 5th October, 2019 22:21 IST Naman Tanwar, Neeraj Swami Start On Winning Note Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Naman Tanwar was among the prominent names who made a winning start on the second day of 4th Elite National Boxing Championslast_img read more

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Active Shooter in New Jersey, Officer Down

first_imgSWAT is on the scene of an active shooting that began at a cemetery in Jersey City, New Jersey and then spilled into a bodega one Jersey City police officer has been shot in the shoulder. Another officer has also been hit in what officers are calling an ambush. There is fear that there is some sort of device or bomb. The shooters are wearing all black and SWAT teams have surrounded their location.There’s at least one shooter reportedly with a long gun barricaded in the bodega. Officers need a bearcat to get to the injured officer. This is a breaking story.last_img

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Area Towns Sue TRWA

first_imgMichael Gianforte, executive director of the Two Rivers Water Reclama­tion Authority (TRWA), believes the legal battle between the authority and about half of its municipal customers can be settled amicably.The customers, however, have moved forward and are looking to take the authority to court, alleging overbilling.“Once in a while you have disagreements, you might have to get a third party to say who’s right and who’s wrong and then you get back to having a great relationship,” Gianforte said this week in response to the lawsuit filed by the towns.But attorney John Giunco Jr., representing the plaintiff towns, said his clients had sought to settle through negotiation. “Rather than respond to us, they chose to file a complaint,” Giunco said.Rumson, Red Bank, Sea Bright, Tinton Falls, Shrews­bury Township and Eaton­town and the Eatontown Sewerage Authority filed suit in Decem­ber against the authority, located in Mon­mouth Beach. The suit alleges that since 2006 the authority has overcharged them more than $1.1 million for treatment costs, double billed them $434,000 for unwarranted construction costs, and billed them for services they did not get and were not supposed to receive, according to the complaint filed in the Superior Court’s Chancery Division in Freehold.“There are a number of millions [of dollars] that are in question here,” Giunco contended. He said the crux of the suit “is about the proper allocation of those costs and revenues.”The sewerage authority was established in 1967, creating a two-tier level of service for its members. There are the participant municipalities of Fair Haven, Little Silver, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport, Shrewsbury Bor­ough and West Long Branch and there are the customer municipalities that are the plaintiffs in the suit.Under the more than 40-year-old agreement, the authority provides wastewater collection services for the participating municipalities. The customer towns “are responsible for owning, constructing, operating and maintaining their own wastewater collections facilities” and then having it move on to the Monmouth Beach authority site for treatment, according to the court documents.Because the two types of customers receive differing levels of service, the intent of the agreement with the authority is “to apportion both the cost of construction, acquisition and financing of the project and the cost of operation of the System on a fair an equitable basis,” the complaint contends.“The Authority is continuing to overcharge Customer Municipalities in this manner, and Customer Municipalities are injured thereby,” the complaint said.The towns in the suit are seeking to “have the economics equalized,” Giunco said. They are looking to have the charges made to their accounts corrected and credits be given where entitled. The attorney said the towns want that “going forward the rates charged will be accurate.”The Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority had won a substantial lawsuit against the design engineer of a pumping station, claiming a defect in the design. The award was approximately $11 million, Giunco recalled. “The municipalities are entitled to it. That money should be redistributed and not held in the authority’s account,” he said.The authority has responded by filing a separate suit against Rumson for nonpayment of repairs to a sewer main. The authority’s participating towns have responded too, filing their own brief, arguing that the existing four-decade-old arrangement is an equitable and fair one.“We are an open book,” Gianforte said, insisting billing has always been documented, “calculated and distributed over the last 45 years in accordance with that contract.“It is very early in the process, very early,” Gianforte said, adding that he remained hopeful “and looks forward to resolving the issues.” By John Burtonlast_img read more

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Helping Abused Children Recover

first_imgBy Marion LynchThere are nearly three confirmed incidents of child sex abuse every day in New Jersey. These are not crimes committed by strangers, but by parents, guardians, family members or others who have custody or control of children.When a child is violated by a trusted friend or family member, there can be significant and long-lasting effects.But recent research has found that with the proper therapy and support, these young victims can become survivors, recovering from their trauma and living healthy and happy lives.The Monmouth Family Growth Program of Catholic Charities helps children who experience sexual abuse at their main office at 145 Maple Ave., Red Bank and in satellite offices in Keansburg, Neptune, and the Child Advocacy Center in Freehold.Program director Jane Meyer says the staff has training in evidence-based treatments for children who have experienced trauma or abuse.Most of their patients are referred by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office or the New Jersey Department of Child Protection and Permanency (formerly DYFS)“It’s really critical that children receive help,” said Meyer, citing studies that link traumatic childhood experiences like sexual abuse with long-term health consequences. “Conditions such as diabetes, obesity and alcoholism are very closely linked to childhood trauma.”According to a report by Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey, researchers have found that children who experience sexual abuse suffer from sleep disorders, eating disorders, behavior problems, depression and difficulty in school.When they become adults, victims are more than twice as likely to commit suicide. They also face increased risks of alcohol and drug abuse, mental health issues and marital and family problems.The program employs Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). Trained therapists teach the children coping skills and give them an opportunity to tell the story of their abuse in a safe, child-friendly environment, Meyer says. They also work with parents or caregivers so they can learn how to care for their child as the go through the healing process.“A lot of times children will go to a general counselor or therapist and not get trauma treatment, “ says Meyer. “Because we use these evidence-based treatments we’re able to show the efficacy.”As a result of the effectiveness of the treatment, she says, “We know that children are going to be resilient and get through this and experience fewer effects later in life.”Therapy often begins with the young clients learning coping skills and relaxation techniques, Meyer says. Then the children are encouraged to tell their story in “whatever way they find comfortable.”“They may make a drawing or a collage, or they may dictate it while we type it,” Meyer says. “Some use an IPad and make a movie – whatever medium they want. We reach them wherever their interests are.”The importance of this process, Meyer says, is that the children get comfortable with telling their story. “They get comfortable with the words, and then they share it with their caregiver.”Many caregivers are hearing the details of the child’s experience for the first time, and therapists work with them so they can respond with support. “We make sure that they are going to be able to hear it so that they can respond in a way that’s comforting to the child.”The program employs five full-time therapists and a number of part-time counselors, treating approximately 400 clients a year. Their clients range from age 3 to young adulthood. They also work with adults who are survivors of childhood abuse.“It’s hard work, and we hear so many heartbreaking stories,” Meyers says.But the proven success of the program is encouraging to those who are working to help the children heal.“Even though we see a lot of sad things, we also see that kids get better.”“We see that they’re happy, that they’re doing well in school,” she says. “We see the change in them. It’s really rewarding work.”For more information about services offered at the Monmouth Family Growth Center, call 800-360-7711 or visit www.catholiccharitiestrenton.orglast_img read more

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