Tapped In: Sandy Aid; Fire Fatalities; Ed Potter Award
Compiled by Paul Bisceglio NADLER, CUOMO ATTACK DELAY IN SANDY AID The House of Representatives' failure to vote on a $60 billion Hurricane Sandy disaster aid bill last week prompted a number of angry responses by local elected officials representing the storm-ravaged city. "This is a betrayal of the millions of Americans who are struggling after Sandy and a trivialization of the loss of more than 100 American lives," said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. "Not taking up the $60 billion Sandy funding bill will mean that many Americans could remain homeless, the rebuilding of homes and businesses across the Northeast will be delayed, and the coastal infrastructure of the region will remain damaged and vulnerable to the next storm." He noted that agencies including the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could not proceed with major repairs until funding is secured. Local governors were similarly incensed. "This failure to come to the aid of Americans following a severe and devastating natural disaster is unprecedented," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a joint statement with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. "The fact that days continue to go by while people suffer, families are out of their homes, and men and women remain jobless and struggling during these harsh winter months is a dereliction of duty." Mayor Michael Bloomberg expressed more patience about the delay. "You know, democracy is something that takes a while to come together and to get the results," he said. "As long as it turns out that we get the monies that we think are appropriate for the federal government to send to a part of the country that's had a major natural disaster, all's well that ends well." The House cast a preliminary vote to direct funds to the National Flood Insurance Program on Friday, and has scheduled to vote on the remaining aid on Jan. 15, the first day of legislative business from the new 113th Congress. FIRE FATALITIES DROP TO LOWEST NUMBER EVER Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano announced last week that 2012 saw the fewest civilian fire deaths in New York City history. Fifty-eight people died in blazes, four fewer than the former record low of 62 deaths in 2010, and a 12 percent decline from the 66 deaths in 2011. It was the seventh consecutive year that fire-related deaths have numbered under 100, which has occurred only 12 times since the city began keeping records in 1916. The top two causes of fire-related deaths last year were accidental electrical fires and smoking. Forty-three percent of those killed in a blaze were over the age of 70, and 79 percent of the fatal fires struck where there were no working smoke detectors. Bloomberg and Cassano also announced that FDNY's Emergency Medical Service set a new record last year for fastest average ambulance response time: The new record, 6:30, is down one second from 2011's previous record. "With a record low number of murders and shootings and the fewest fire deaths in our city's history, 2012 was a historic year for public safety," Bloomberg said. "The FDNY has consistently improved fire safety over the past decade and has continued to drive response times to historic lows. These achievements and the efforts by our firefighters, EMTs and paramedics to save lives-while putting theirs on the line-is the reason fewer New Yorkers died as a result of fire in 2012 than ever before." POLITICAL MEMORABILIA SHOW TO HOST ED POTTER AWARD The American Political Items Collectors' Big Apple Ed Potter Chapter is sponsoring its 25th annual Political Collectors Show on Sunday, Feb. 3. The show will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sixth Street Community Synagogue, 325 E. Sixth St., and will feature over 10,000 political items for sale, including buttons, posters, mugs, bandannas, watches and clothing that cover the presidencies of George Washington to Barack Obama, as well as a special exhibition of political memorabilia from the 2012 election. The show will also include the presentation of the fourth annual Ed Potter Memorial Awards, named after the political memorabilia collector, which are given to those involved in the political process who have used political items and artifacts in their campaigns. This year's recipients are New York State Assemblyman and City Councilman Adam Clayton Powell and Manhattan Media's own CEO and mayoral hopeful Tom Allon. Admission is $3 for adults and free for children under 16. For more information, call 212-764-6330.
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