Beach nourishment projects will restore shorelines but require expensive upkeep and affect ecosystems; federal taxpayers will foot the bill.
Posts tagged NYC.
I’m sure you heard that the spire was added to Freedom Tower this week. They stuck a GoPro camera on it. Here’s the video. Warning: A bit queasy.
Cool project to revisit news stories that made a big splash back in the day. First up: a giant floating barge of garbage from 1987.
-Jody, BL Show-
Imagine revisiting a big scandal from the past in video form. That (seems) to be what Retro Report is all about. Fantastic! Want more!
Architects propose various natural systems to combat sea level rise in the Upper Bay. More via MoMA
Would love to see this sucker in the MTA.
“Uh, is this the Express?”
(alternate caption: This is a Manhattan-bound Cement Truck. The next stop is Vernon-Jackson Blvds. Stand clear of the closing doors)
But yes - this is a photo of a cement truck making a stop at Hunterspoint Ave on the 7 line.
It’s from the MTA flickr, where it bears the caption “This is the first time we have used a crane to lower a cement truck onto tracks and into a tunnel.”
Part of me hopes this becomes a trend, mostly because I’d love to see the looks on peoples faces if something like this trundled through an In-service station.
Of all the photographs I’ve taken, I think this is my favorite. I know it needs to be touched up and cropped, but man what an interesting situation in a weird part of NYC…
Howler and Yoon, winners of the Audi Urban Future Award image a NYC where roads become soccer fields and solar panels.
NYC bus and subway commuters are greeted—inexplicably—by cheering crowds. There, wouldn’t that make your morning ride to work better?
People are awesome! High-five if you’ve ridden the A C E…
The Senate Monday night passed a $50.5 billion emergency spending bill to aid people in New York and New Jersey who are trying to rebuild their homes and businesses after last October’s devastation from super-storm Sandy.
Why New York’s Sandy Commission Recommendations Matter
From a behavioral perspective, the hardest thing about adapting to the slow process of climate change is creating a sense of urgency. After a close call with Hurricane Irene a couple years back, and a horrible clash with Hurricane Sandy this past fall, New York is beginning to accept the fact that when it comes to weather patterns along its coasts, there’s a terrifying new normal.
Late last week, just two months after Sandy, a state commission released a massive, 200-plus page blueprint on ways to develop resilience in the face of tomorrow’s environment [PDF]. The NYS 2100 Commission — one of several formed by Governor Andrew Cuomo following Sandy — evaluated the state’s critical infrastructure systems and recommended a gradient of goals, from broad to specific, to reduce their vulnerability.
“There is no doubt that building resilience will require investment, but it will also reduce the economic damage and costs of responding to future storms and events, while improving the everyday operations of our critical systems,” write commission co-chairs Judith Rodin of the Rockefeller Foundation and Felix Rohatyn of Lazard in a foreword.
While the commission offered statewide suggestions, its emphasis fell naturally on the New York City metro area — especially coastal parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island — where Sandy hit hardest.”
(Photo: Richard Drew / AP)
An injured dolphin that became stranded in Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal died Friday, officials said.
Authorities in New York City have responded to a dolphin that’s become stranded in Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal Friday.
Live helicopter video from NBCNewYork.com showed the sea mammal bobbing up and down in the canal’s murky water — which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared a Superfund site in 2010 because it contained a ”century’s worth” of pollutants.
Houses of Worship Seeking FEMA Grants Face Constitutional Barrier.
Hurricane Sandy flooded and battered St. George Malankara Orthodox Church of India in New Dorp, Staten Island, ruining its basement, windows and doors. Yet, when its vicar contacted the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ask for a grant to help with the estimated $150,000 rebuilding cost, he said he got a clear answer: No.
“FEMA said that they considered the church a business, so they offered us a loan,” the Rev. Alex K. Joy said in an interview about a month after the storm. “But we don’t want a loan. We have 400 members, 90 families. In this situation, we need some assistance.”
A broad range of private nonprofit organizations qualify for federal disaster assistance grants, including zoos, museums, performing arts centers and libraries. Houses of worship, however, are not on the list, even though in recent years the federal government has ruled that some religiously affiliated institutions like schools and hospitals can get grants.
An effort is under way to change that, led by several Jewish organizations, including the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and the American Jewish Committee. Last month, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, introduced an amendment to the multibillion-dollar Hurricane Sandy recovery appropriations bill that would explicitly place houses of worship on the list of qualified organizations. But because of an unrelated bipartisan deal meant to ease the bill’s passage, that amendment was locked out of consideration.
Mr. Lieberman’s tenure in the Senate ended this week, but Nathan Diament, the executive director of public policy for the Institute for Public Affairs at the Orthodox Union, said he was continuing to work with other lawmakers to add the amendment to the bill before it came again before Congress.
“Houses of worship should not be discriminated against and excluded from getting assistance on the same terms as other eligible nonprofits,” he said.
Mr. Diament has also been meeting with officials from the Homeland Security Department and other federal agencies to see if the change can be made without legislative action. FEMA regulations are silent on the matter of houses of worship, so a bureaucratic decision may be all that is required, he added.
Yet the issue is controversial, because the constitutional separation of church and state generally bans the use of tax money to build religious institutions. Dena Sher, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the organization had “serious concerns” about the effort to change the policy and was monitoring the situation.
“To rebuild houses of worship is a form of compelled support for religion, which is exactly what the First Amendment is designed to protect against,” Ms. Sher said. “We understand and identify with the serious difficulties everyone is facing, but we can’t let this misfortune be used as a premise to erode these bedrock principles.”
I should also note, the very interesting and oft-forgotten Treaty of Tripoli, signed in 1797 between the US and several Muslim countries that had for centuries routinely pirated the Mediterranean. The U.S. ratified the treaty, stating in Article 11:
As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
A lot has changed since then with respect to the intent of separation of church and state. Several federal laws have been enacted that specifically favor religious institutions over other institutions (see RLUIPA, for one mind-blowing example).
These federal laws are burdensome to local communities, and are actively being litigated. They provide religious organizations wide latitude to build church-related buildings on any plot of land in the U.S. regardless of local law (in sum). It’s much more complicated than this, and not suitable for a tumblr post.
So, while cities and towns regulate their land uses in nearly every respect, religious organizations are ostensibly immune from local regulations, such as zoning and some local environmental regulations.
So the question of federal funds is interesting: Should federal funds be used to bail out religious institutions above other non-profits? Why wouldn’t these organizations look to the free market or local communities they serve? It is very interesting to think that FEMA could be forced to reconcile the intent of the founders and the clear meaning of the Constitution with modern day political whims.