Wednesday, December 29, 2010
The aftermath... death by neglect
From Eyewitness News:
An 8-year-old boy was killed in a fire that quickly moved through a two-story home in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn.
The fire broke out inside an East 57th Street home just after 6 a.m.
Fire trucks navigated their way on a plowed street, around at least one abandoned vehicle, to get to the building.
The 8-year-old boy was trapped in the house and pronounced dead at the scene. Two others were treated for minor injuries.
An off-duty Department of Sanitation worker driving to work was alerted to the blaze by a screaming woman who ran out of the house.
From the Daily News:
A blizzard baby delivered inside the lobby of a snowbound Brooklyn building died after an emergency call of a woman in labor brought no help for nine excruciating hours.
The baby's mother, a 22-year-old college senior, was recovering Tuesday night at Interfaith Medical Center, where her newborn was pronounced dead at 6:34 p.m. on Monday. That was 10 hours after the first 911 call from the bloody vestibule on Brooklyn Ave. in Crown Heights.
"No one could get to her. Crown Heights was not plowed, and no medical aid came for hours," said the student's mother.
By the time a horde of firefighters and cops finally trooped to her aid through snow-covered blocks, the baby was unconscious and unresponsive, sources said.
In Queens, a woman tried to reach 911 operators for 20 minutes Monday and then waited for three hours for first responders to arrive. By then, her mom had died, state Sen. Jose Peralta's office said.
Laura Freeman, 41, said her mother, Yvonne Freeman, 75, woke her at 8 a.m. because she was having trouble breathing. When the daughter couldn't get through to 911, she enlisted neighbors and relatives, who also began calling.
One of the callers reached an operator at 8:20 a.m., but responders stymied by snow-clogged streets didn't reach the Corona home until 11:05 a.m., said Peralta, who wants the death investigated.
"The EMS workers walked down the block trudging through snow," Freeman said. "They tried. I could tell by the look on their faces. I really would just like [Mayor] Bloomberg to admit that there were casualties."
From the NY Post:
Michael Bloomberg, who aspires to be known as the greatest mayor ever, was a tad testy yesterday.
Why? Because Mother Nature had snowed on his parade and -- as mayor -- he had to deal with it.
In the event, not very well.
Certainly, New Yorkers aren't terribly dazzled by the city's performance.
Indeed, Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty -- the man in operational charge of the snowplows -- admitted the storm "got ahead of us."
"I'm angry, too," Hizzoner snapped when asked about the many streets that remained unplowed yesterday -- and about his seemingly cavalier take on it all on Monday.
Asked if he had any regrets, Bloomberg went sarcastic: "You know, I regret everything in the world."
Maybe even running for a third term?
Bottom line: It's the mayor's job to run the city; the buck stops with him.
New Yorkers are owed answers.
Maybe even an apology.
Meanwhile, let's hope the rest of the clean-up is smoother -- and speedier -- than it's been.
As Nassau and Suffolk County officials Tuesday boasted one of their best responses ever to a big winter storm, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg pleaded for residents' patience through another day of unplowed streets, crippled mass transit and a sometimes-overwhelmed emergency call system.
"It is a bad situation and we're working together to correct it," Bloomberg said at a news conference at the city's emergency center in Brooklyn. "Nobody suggests that this is easy. Nobody suggests that this is pleasurable. But I can tell you this, we are doing everything that we can think of, working as hard as we can."
No such plea was needed from Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano or Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, who said nearly all major roadways in their jurisdictions were passable by midday Monday and there were no major glitches in storm cleanup. Even residential streets maintained by villages and townships appeared to have done better than those in The City That Never Sleeps, with five major towns reporting that all their roads were clear by noon Tuesday.