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After the Storm

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After the Storm

Queens residents continue to suffer from one of the most damaging storms ever to hit this city. Although Hurricane Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm when it got to Queens, it was devastating nonetheless.

The city did a remarkable job encouraging people to prepare for the storm. The city posted information on City employees worked to make sure there was not a repeat of Hurricane Katrina.

We disagree with the people who complained that the city was over-prepared. Hurricane forecasting is an imperfect science and city leaders were right to take every precaution.

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks announced two weeks ago that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is offering disaster assistance to residents in the 6th Congressional District, which includes Jamaica, St. Albans, Laurelton and the Rockaways.

The grants can help pay for rent and home repairs and replacement for personal property and could reimburse medical, storage and other disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or charities. The federal Small Business Administration will help small businesses affected by the storm.

Questions have been raised regarding why the FEMA information office opened on Long Island three weeks ago, just days after the storm. A FEMA director said it took longer to find a suitable storefront in Queens. That does not make sense. There was also a concern that FEMA would run out of money this week, but Congress reached a bipartisan compromise.

Homeowners can contact FEMA by calling 1-800-621-3362 or by visiting

Playing the Race Card

State Sen. Tony Avella is right: If Super Halal Meat Fruits & Vegetables Inc., on Hillside Avenue, cannot be a good neighbor, then it is time for the business to go.

In a little more than a year the business has racked up $25,000 in violations. Halal food conforms to Muslim dietary rules. The owner says the violations and attacks coming from Avella and City Councilman Mark Weprin are the result of discrimination against South Asians.

Baloney. Queens is home to people from all over the world. The violations were issued because the store is allegedly health hazard. The owner must clean up or close.

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