Port Authority May Exercise "Build in Place" Option by Adding 2 Floors to Current Bus Terminal
At the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) on September 28, PANYNJ Chief of Major Capital Projects Steve Plate announced that the agency could build a new bus terminal at the site of the existing one by constructing two new floors on top of the current facility and replacing the existing floors beneath them.
Port Authority studies determined that a "build-in-place option" to replace the outmoded Eighth Avenue terminal would be "potentially viable from a construction and operational perspective," according to Plate. Under this scenario, the Port Authority would work from the top down, adding fifth and sixth floors at the top of the Terminal before replacing the floors below. During construction the bus terminal would still operate, although PANYNJ would need to create a temporary facility for stag-ing and parking buses.
At the meeting, PANYNJ Chairman Kevin O'Toole emphasized that the build-in-place remains just one of several options, and that no final determination on construction had yet been made, and that the agency was not yet able to provide a definitive timetable for the design and construction of the new terminal.
A new terminal constructed on the footprint of the current facility would be a win for the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, however, and is likely to be supported by Hell's Kitchen residents and busi-nesses.
Assembly Hearings on Adult Care Facilities
In September, the Assembly Committees on Health, Social Services, and Aging held two joint hear-ings to examine the safety and quality of residential adult care facilities, or adult homes. The hearings covered the enforcement of adult care facilities' standards for safety and health, maintaining residents' privacy, and residents' ability to access supportive and social services, health care, meals, and transportation. As the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Health, I co-chaired the hearings, which were convened in Lower Manhattan and Syracuse.
Assembly Hearing in Manhattan on Adult Care Facilities
One of the most critical issues covered in the hearings was the primary source of payment for ser-vices in adult homes, the New York State Supplemental Program, or SSP, which provides financial support to the elderly and persons with disabilities. The SSP has remained at the same level for many years, and many advocates at the hearings expressed their concern that the current SSP allowance is insufficient, placing adult homes under financial strain and making it increasingly difficult for them to maintain adequate standards for residents.
Apply for a Reduced-Fare MetroCard
The MTA offers Reduced-Fare MetroCards to senior citizens and people with qualifying disabilities. Applications for reduced-fare MetroCards are accepted at MTA service buses and vans parked throughout the city. The buses offer a range of services, including applying for or refilling a Reduced-Fare MetroCard, buying or refilling a regular MetroCard, or getting answers to MetroCard-related questions. Vans sell Unlimited Ride MetroCards and Pay-Per-Ride MetroCards, and they refill Metro-Cards and Reduced-Fare MetroCards. These special vehicles are stationed in or near our Assembly district on a regular schedule:
- Chelsea: MTA bus at W. 23rd St. & 9th Ave., 2nd & 4th Thurs. of month, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
- Kips Bay: MTA van at E. 28th St. & 2nd Ave, 1st & 3rd Thurs. of month, 11:30 am - 2:30 pm
- Union Square: MTA van between 14th & 15th Sts., 2nd Tues. of month, 8:00 am - 10:00 am
- Hudson Guild Service Center, 119 9th Ave. at 18th St., 2nd Mon. of month, 9:30 am - 11:30 am (senior citizen MetroCards only).
Free Flu Shots in October
With the onset of fall, it's important to be on guard against the flu.
The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated. Everyone over 6 months old is strongly encouraged to receive a flu vaccine, especially those at high risk for complications from the flu, in-cluding children under the age of 5, seniors over 65, pregnant women, and others with certain chronic medical conditions. Persons with diabetes, asthma, or heart or lung problems are encouraged to consult a physician at the first sign of contracting the flu.
I am co-hosting a series of free flu shot opportunities being offered by Northwell Health's Lenox Hill HealthPlex at 30 Seventh Avenue between West 12th and 13th Streets. They will be provided on:
- Saturday, Oct. 14 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm;
- Monday, Oct. 16 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm;
- And on Wednesday, Oct. 25 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
To reserve a time for your free flu shot, please call 347-802-7400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Walk-ins will be taken based on availability.
You can learn about other opportunities for free flu shots by consulting the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's online "Health Map" at https://a816-healthpsi.nyc.gov/NYCHealthMap/home/, and then, under "vaccines," clicking on "flu vaccines."
Hurricane Recovery Efforts
A series of deadly hurricanes - Harvey, Irma, and Maria - have recently devastated parts of the United States and the Caribbean. The U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, in particular, have been devastated, causing a humanitarian crisis and shortages of food, water, electricity, medical supplies, and other essential resources.
Many New Yorkers are seeking information on how they can help. Most relief organizations are asking for financial contributions, rather than supplies, so that they can more quickly direct assistance to where it's needed most. These are the websites of four major non-profits engaged in relief efforts, which have each earned the highest, four-star rating from Charity Navigator, an independent organization that assesses charities' effectiveness and best practices (there are many other reputable organizations also delivering relief aid to the region):
- Catholic Relief Services
- Convoy of Hope
- Direct Relief
In addition, the five living former presidents of the United States have joined to form the "One America Appeal" for hurricane relief. Its website says that "every cent donated through the One America Appeal will help the victims recover," and can be found online.
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