Neighborhood Chatter: 30 Pound Cat Finds Home

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Zadroga Bill to Cover 50 Types of Cancer Fifty types of cancer have joined the list of covered conditions for the World Trade Center Health Program linked to the Zadroga Bill that was passed in early 2011. The coverage comes after Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, reviewed the link between exposure to the toxins at the World Trade Center site and cancers affecting the digestive and respiratory systems. He recently issued a proposed rule to accept all of the Science/Technical Advisory Committee's recommendations. Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand released a statement Friday following the decision. "We thank Dr. Howard and the Science/Technical Advisory Committee for their hard work and diligence, which will get more of our 9/11 heroes suffering from cancer the treatment they deserve," they said. Two more peer-reviewed scientific studies will be done to determine if any additional cancers should be included in the list. "We are confident that with the benefit of new peer-reviewed studies to come, we will be successful in ensuring that first responders and community survivors suffering from other cancers will also get the access to the program they so desperately need," said Schumer and Gillibrand. City Has Too Many Bee Hives, Say Experts If dodging speeding cabs, wayward cyclists and lost tourists on the city's sweltering streets this summer isn't enough, here's another thing to look out for: bees-a whole freakin' lot of them. Honeybee swarms of cinematic proportions have terrified citygoers this spring from Brooklyn to the Bronx. They have bombarded a fire hydrant at the South Street Seaport, crowded the Bowery and even trapped a family in a Volvo at Pier 92. The source of these swarms is one of the city's fastest-growing hobbies: beekeeping. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani banned honeybees from New York City back in 1999 along with cheetahs, elephants and other exotic pets, but the relegalization ofbeekeeping in 2010 ushered in a new trend. The New York Post reports that since the ban was lifted, the number of registered hives in the city has increased from three to 161. Hives range in size from small rooftop collections to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which boasts the city's largest habitat with 20 hives and 20 million bees. Andrew Coté, founder of the New York City Beekeepers Association, said. "There are too many hives right now. As it increases in popularity, it will be more and more difficult to control." Sponge Bob, the 30-Pound Cat, Finds New Home Sponge Bob, the 30-pound feline media sensation, made his debut with his new owners last week on the red carpet at Animal Haven's second annual Performance for the Animals benefit concert and auction at City Winery in Tribeca. Two months ago, Sponge Bob's previous owner went into hospice and left the nine-year-old cat with Animal Haven, a nonprofit cat and dog shelter on Centre Street in Soho. The shelter started a blog about Sponge Bob to aid his adoption that won him instant fame last week, including press coverage in the UK and an appearance on the Today Show. He is likely the world's largest living cat. Sponge Bob now belongs to Courtney and Matthew Farrell, a young newlywed couple who live on the Upper East Side. They hoisted Sponge Bob up for the cameras on the red carpet-no easy task. Courtney Farrell said she and her husband had occasionally talked about getting a cat, but did not want to bother with a kitten or anything too out of control. When she first read about Sponge Bob, she sent her husband a picture as a joke. A few conversations later, they knew they had found the perfect match. When asked about the cat's health, Matthew Farrell promised, "We're going to whip him into shape." He and his wife both exercise regularly and believe in promoting healthy lifestyles. "He's already on a no-carb diet," he said with a smile. "Catkins." Compiled by Paul Biscegio and Adel Manoukian

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