Sunday, December 21, 2014

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The Call Blog: Latest Storm Brings State Of Emergency

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My travels today took me from the R to the B to the F, then back to the F, then back to the F one more time to the E. A little slow going, a lot of puddled crosswalks, but no horror stories along the way. My four years of college in Buffalo trained me well.

Governor Cuomo declared a state of emergency for all of New York State today as another winter storm dumped snow, ice and rain on our area. In addition, a power failure and track fire snarled the morning commute for thousands of New Yorkers riding the 1, 2, 3 and 7 subway lines.

Public schools remained open, and Mayor de Blasio praised residents for taking the "series of storms in stride." The City canceled garbage and recycling collection to facilitate snow removal. And the mayor reminded homeowners they have four hours after a snowfall to clear their sidewalks.

What was your commute to work or school like this morning? Did you find the roadways, sidewalks and crosswalks passable? Should Mayor de Blasio have canceled or delayed the opening of school? What acts of kindness have you seen from your fellow New Yorkers this stormy winter?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

Once again, as a winter storm is hitting our area, the Mayor and Chancellor have opted to keep public schools open, despite the warning of hazardous travel by both vehicles and walking. It is beyond comprehension where these 2 people get their common sense from. Safety should and must be first and foremost. There is absolutely no reason why the schools should not be closed -those that travel are doing so at their own risk.

Fresh Meadows, NY

He did it again. The governor declared a state of emergency for all of the boroughs, the mayor says roads are treacherous and people should stay home if possible, yet he kept the NYC public schools open today. Even mild-mannered Al Roker said it was unforgivable that DeBlasio didn't shut down NYC schools when hundreds of other public schools were closed because of safety concerns. My son takes public transportation from Manhattan to Brooklyn. He walked to the subway and was hit with falling snow and ice this morning. He headed to the subway anyway and it was impossible to get down to the subway because of the crowd of people. He returned home and will have an Absent marked on his record - when the school should have been shut down in the first place. And this is the second time in a week that DeBlasio has used poor judgment regarding public schools. Last week he made another similar decision and it was reported the next day that school attendance was less than 40%, proving the point that the majority of parents thought it was unsafe to send their kids to school. (Many of the parents who sent their kids to school thought it was a poor decision but had to send their children anyway)


Yesterday I was saddened to see snow removal trucks clearing the bike lane on Columbus Avenue while residents in Staten Island are waiting for snow removal on many side streets.

...not to mention the fact that with the Columbus Avenue roadbed having been narrowed by the installation of bike lanes, traffic on Columbus Avenue --a statutory truck route--was moving at a snail's pace..

The take away is: with the City's limited sanitation resources DOT and Transportation Alternatives need to focus more attention on the basic services that taxpayers expect, the ability of commercial trucks to make their rounds, emergency routes through the city, snow removal, the ability of emergency vehicles to navigate, etc.


“Mayor Moron” aka Mayor DiBlasio is off to a bad start. He must not get out much.” Mayor Moron” was just on TV saying how well sidewalks have been cleaned!!!! Not mine, people are falling all over the place. The governor declared a State of Emergency and this dope keeps schools open.

What is wrong this fool? He isn’t going to be happy until someone gets hurt!

Brooklyn, NY

In everything I have read and heard on radio, there was expressed concern with the uppity Upper East Side dwellers, than they were with the Hospitals and College within that area, that should have received preferential treatment. Plus, the doctors appointments that were canceled for lack of access.

If it were any other administration, there would have been an inquiry into the number of patients and ambulances that couldn't get to their destinations on time. Hospital for Special Surgery, Cornell-Weill, Lenox Hill Hospital, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Mount Sinai, and Hunter College.

L from Brooklyn

Why were the schools not cancelled today? and last week? What is the new Chancellor and Mayor trying to prove? This irrational management is making parents very angry.Safety of our children going to school is not their priority!


Rae ave in Staten Island is being singled out for complaining about snow removal from previous storms. Every block around the area has black top showing. Rae ave. Has six inches of sleet and snow from Monday. We have seen trucks with their plows up we have seen inspectors but we still have snow and ice.

This is not the only storm we are speaking of this happens every snow storm. Come see for yourselves.


John, John, John ...

I hate to admit it, but I miss Michael Bloomberg! My express bus from Throggs Neck didn't have a lot of problems leaving the Bronx and the highways were fine BUT it couldn't maneuver turns on large Manhattan streets like 79th St. and even hesitated a few times on FIFTH AVENUE, of all places! Getting off the bus on 5th and 51st., we had to step into ankle deep snow and slush. It took all day for my feet to thaw out. It was never like this before, and we've had a lot worse snowfalls. The only "acts of kindness" we had was paying a couple of boys from the closed catholic school nearby shovel out our car! Crosswalks were FAR from passable!

Dina (Throggs Neck) -- Ed is home and retired so doesn't have to do this!

A 2 hour delay would have gone a long way to help teachers and students get to work and school. He has no idea what it's like to live and work in Staten Island and have to navigate side streets that may have been cleared but cars digging out from plowed snow and ice just get it in the street again. Driveways cleared to get car out to get to work only to be plowed back in again . After a while you just give up and call out. There's no accessible public transportation from my home to my school building. If I have to drive to get a bus or the train. I might as well just drive

Staten Island. Arden heights

The Sanitation did a great job where I live on Staten Island. There was no need to close the schools, roads were clear all day for the most part. You could have driven one of thsoe fancy SUVs to school if the buses could not make it. Or was that to much work for spoiled parents?

Park Hill

Hi John

My commute to the hospital was good expect the ambulette driver had to back the van near Central Park West because that was the only spot that was cleared of snow so my wheelchair can be loaded into the van, they finally plowed the sidewalk and waalkway near my building but the maintence workers moved it into the street and on the side of the sidewalk, i'll be walking again pretty soon i'll be able to jump over the snow.

Mayor Diblasio can't cancel school every time there's a snowstorm, every time a child misses a day of school they're missing a days work every child should have the internet so if they do miss school they can email their teachers and get the schoolwork. i didn't see any acts of kindess today, if i see anyone that needs help i will help that person i believe in giving summer is 142 days away Luna Park will be open.

upper west side

I waited 1 hour in the ice and rain for the Q41 bus. It seems when you really need them the MTA is not there.

Howard Beach

Who is responsible for the crosswalks? It is impossible at some corners to cross the street because of slush, puddles, snow and ice. It is hardest to manage after dark where many streets do not seem to be lit sufficiently.

Upper Westside

Hi John,

I tried going out and it was to icy to walk and so I went back home. Didn’t get very far at all. Yesterday when I went out after the previous storm I did notice that many people did not clear away enough of the snow and it was slushy and some pathways were not cleared or cleaned also. Then on my way back from the supermarket yesterday due to the warmer weather caused all of the snow and ice that formed on the power lines to start falling on everyone. I noticed on TV last evening that a building that was not completely finished being built had ice falling down the sides of the incomplete building. Kind of dangerous. But we New Yorkers seem to come through all of the obstacles we have to endure living in this city.

I believe that DeBlasio should have considered closing the schools today because it was very dangerous for the people walking and I did see on TV that the buses and cars had great difficulty making it up many of the hills besides having problems on some of the side streets that were impassable.

Thank you John,


I never made it to work. Too much shoveling to do. Schools should have been closed. When I was in school, a snow day just meant a day longer in school.

Re De Blasio and his pronouncements about all weather related issues, as far as I'm concerned he can just shovel it.

Port Richmond, SI

Lets see first I found out schools were opened then on my way to work the 1 train signal went down then I fell in a lake of slush.

Bronx Dave

Yes, schools should be closed in these treacherous conditions with many transportation delays.


Hi John,

I believe the cohesiveness of agencies is finally making headway when dealing with the snow...BUT???? The subway steps are another story....

The steps are always a nightmare. Any suggestions from you or your audience as to where to go with this complaint?

All stations seem to have this lack of attention.


I think the schools should have been closed. Westchester County schools were closed. Parochial school a block away from my son's school was closed. Only one other student in my son's class came to school. My son's teacher was not at school.

Parent: G. Noriega

Its poor judgment fron Mr. BLAZIO, my daughter's school canceled pta meeting but school was open..

Funny story, ......


News and weather reports urged New Yorkers to stay off the roads today due to the hazardous weather conditions. However, parents like myself are expected to send our children to school on the yellow school buses as usual. No thanks, I keep my kids home on days like today regardless of the NYC DOE decisions.

- Lisa K., Glendale, NY

What's up with DeBlasio? I thought Mayoral Control was over after Bloomberg left. I am surprised that he even kept the schools open while other districts were closed for safety of the children, yes parents had the option to send or keep them home.

Tony, Albany

It was a very irresponsible idea to leave schools open. I understand that some kids see school as a safe haven however, city busses have chains on the tires, plows have chains but how about school busses?? I saw busses swivel all over the roads, how safe was it to send the kids in such a condition?

Irene S.

Schools should have been cancelled today or delayed opening at the very least A state of emergency was declared but teachers & students are forced to go to school There are snow days in the contract for this Educators are paid to teach not to baby sit or serve lunches.

Awilda from Brooklyn

I am a supporter of Mayor DiBlasio, but this morning was ridiculous! As a NYC public school teacher I made the trek to work today on treacherous roads. The roads surrounding my school in Whitestone, Queens were a nightmare. A road that is adjacent to my school as well as another elementary school did not even look like it had been plowed once. How are teachers and students expected to get to school on time and SAFELY in conditions like these? A delayed opening would have been nice.

-Sara, Oakland Gardens

I told my daughters teacher yesterday that she wouldn't be in school today. We tried our best on Monday and it was such a disaster. We are walkers, we walk almost half a mile to school (2 miles there and back twice a day). I push my son in a stroller. My daughter, the stroller with my son in it and myself are literally standing in the middle of the slushy streets waiting for lights since there are deep puddles on corners. We almost got hit by a school bus! We moved out of the way in time but not before the bus sprayed us all with a huge splash of mud and slush.

My daughter has only missed three days of school this year, all my decision because of the weather. She gets rewarded for 100% attendance every month, she missed the last two. She looks forward to that. If schools had been closed it wouldn't be a mark on her record and kids would be home safe. This is from a neighborhood I would say was adequately plowed. Plowing is just one area of concern when it comes to weather like this. It's not enough to say you see blacktop. Rant over.

Chrissy in Flushing/Fresh Meadows

There was no reason to close schools....I think De Blasio made the right decision to keep schools open...what kind of education will our children get if, every time we see snow, everyone thinks schools should be closed....I come from the generation of when snow storms fell in FEET not INCHES and still had to go to school...I think mayor MORON is doing a much better than mayor DOOMSBERG!

McGriff from Brooklyn

I'm a teacher; my 20 minute commute took an hour and ten minutes. It was dangerous, slippery, and chaotic. I saw cars sliding in the streets. I had under 10 students in each class; I was a glorified babysitter. We all want kids to have access to lunch, but safety must come first. The city needs to get their message straight: you don't declare states of emergency and tell people to stay off the streets and then keep schools open.


I so agree with everyone who is complaining tonight. The 6 train which I take from the UES every day has been delayed nearly every day for two months. Crosstown 79 Street bus - forget about it! Why are we paying the MTA anything for the worst service in the world? I have spent hundreds of dollars in taxi fares to get to work on time. Why am I paying $112 a month for a MetroCard? I complain on the MTA website nearly every day but nothing changes.


Can the public be reminded that the MTA workers are family people as well. They too have children and spouses on the roads. They work hard. Hats off to them!

Where is the empathy???


Stop blaming the mayor personally for the mess that is outside. If memory serves, I remember there was a certain previous mayor that wasn't even in town when we faced something similar! But alas, any mayor can't do much against nature. I understand it's a pain, but we have to take it day by day.

Mike from Morningside

A few inches of snow and it's school closings, press conferences and a State of Emergency? What a laughing stock we must be to those in other states. I've worked during the height of winters in Minnesota, and let me tell you, NY winters are nothing. I still remember my first winter in the States having just arrived from the Caribbean (mid-70s. I have a vivid memory of seeing dog waste encased in ice along the streets). I remember the winters here in the City being whole lot worse than it has been in recent memory.


MAYOR DEBLASIO, Check your 311 messages! People are trying to reach you about other important matters!! Mayor deblasio you stay forever on same issues!!! MOVE ON!!!

Alfonso, new yorker

I am a teacher in the NYC Public Schools. I live near my school so did not have problems commuting. However. Many of the teachers do commute and could not come to work. The classes that do not have a teacher get split up. The remainder of the teachers at school end up babysitting other students from random grades.


The Chancellor should remember that the mission of school is education, not social services. With rampant absenteeism today due to the conditions, very little learning took place.

Jon in Manhattan

Hi, I'm a teacher in Staten Island and there are no trains nearby me or the school I work in. Therefore, I have no option but to drive. I'm tired of risking my life in declared dangerous driving conditions. We are educators not babysitters or food servers. Hire school aides or offer to pay teachers to feed children!

Mildred from Staten Island

Hi John,

I'm a retired teacher and my own kids went to public schools. I can honestly attest to the fact that schools are, for far too many kids, their only safe place. For many, the only food they eat is what they get in school. Parents who want to, and are able to keep their kids home should do so. I also think the City should consider other plans...for instance, tell it like it is: attendance is low, kids are grouped together in large areas, like an auditorium or cafeteria, little learning happens. Why not pay a stipend to those teachers and food workers who can safely get to work...and tell the others to stay home. Let parents know that this is how it will be, and let them decide.

West Brighton

It is very rare that we have ice storms that yield a half inch of ice. Very dangerous walking conditions - not to mention every crosswalk had six inches of slush to wade through. Also, Carmen Farina said that it was important that students got a hot lunch. I thought the main reason for school was to educate the students.

Mike from cobble hill

I wish that the governor and Mayor would work together on the State of Emergency. I was up at 5:00 am to see if school was closed. I heard state of emergency. Stay off the road then at 7:00 am I heard NYC Schools are open. Don't make sense. Especially for students who take Buses.

Miss Mae from Harlem

There's an old saying "the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing" this was never more true than today. If a state of emergency is in effect, how can the mayor put the lives of our children in jeporday by not closing schools? We live in Queens on a dead end street that NEVER get plowed & there are quite a few families with handicapped members. My son is a college student who uses the the "Q" & "!" trains to get to classes. By the time he made connections with the "Q", the one train was no longer in service!

Astoria, Queens

Chancellor and Mayor need to understand that they are putting children at risk when they have these weather conditions. A lot of students take school buses and the streets were dangerous. New York State declared a state of emergency but the schools were open. Is it worth risking childrens lives for a hot lunch?.. Schools may be a safe haven but how safe is it if it is unsafe to get there?



my name Angela from queens.Schools should of been closed At least a 2 hour delay would of help. The side walks and road were absolutely horrible this morning. Don't declare a state of emergency and put our kids out in this dangerous conditions. Keep in mind for next storm please.

I'm a born and raised NYer. When I was in school we had the blizzard of "96. The only time I really remember getting off from school.

I also went to college in Erie, Pa with it's lake effect snow and such. Went to my classes in a sweatshirt. But places with a ton of snow on a regular basis take better care to make sure people can safely get where they are going. Plows are at it before it gets out of hand. NYC did NOT look like Erie or Buffalo or Minnesota today. It was a mess. Hardly up on it snow removal game.

Chrissy in Flushing/Fresh Meadows

I went to parochial school in Brooklyn and we rarely ever closed. My siblings and I went rain, snow, and ice. If you could see over the snow you went. You got up earlier, bundled up and took it slow.

Lower east side

I think the mayor is not doing a good job he needs to have more trucks out there cleaning the streets. Mayor bloomberg did a better job


Why are people making such a big deal when it comes to this issue? If you want your child to stay home during bad weather, just keep them home. Why does the Mayor have to close the schools? Just keep your kids home if that's what you choose to do.

Bronx, NY


This Mayor is turing into our former mayor Bloomberg. Bloomberg hated teachers and it seems like so does this mayor. All he does is worry about photo ops and trying to push his agenda of UPK. However, I am a teacher in Brooklyn and I had 1/3 of my class out and driving to work was horrible. All the side streets are icy, the plows are not coming through and the salters are not spreading the amount of salt they should be using. Carmen Farina is a waste as a Chancellor she seems to have forgotten where she came from and what she used to do. When He came into office the first day was a snow storm and then he decided to close schools in order to get the teachers on his side. Now every single teacher is against him. Cuomo declares a state of emergency and DeBlasio says people should stay off the roads, but he expects all teachers to be at work. And as far as Farina saying something about receiving a hot meal, that is not the schools responsibilty or purpose. She sounded like an ignorant person by saying that the purpose of school is for hot food. Also, the parents are the biggest hypocrites. All they do is complain that the schools should have been closed or had a delayed opening, but those are the ones sending their own kids in in these DANGEROUS conditions. One thing does not match the other. In addition, teachers that complain about having to go to work and then go in, are also BIG hypocites. Maybe if half the teachers in the entire city decides to stay home the next snow storm, this will send a big message to DeBlasio and his puppet Farina.

Thanks for the support,
Rego Park

The commute for me this morning was very difficult. It took me a hour to shovel out my car to go to work. The roads were terrible. I got stuck on a street because the streets were not plowed properly. It took me about 15 minutes to get myself un-stuck and caused major traffic on that street. As I was driving the amount of deep pot holes in the Bronx and on the highways are outrageous, it almost caused my car to topple over. The pot holes also caused me to receive a flat tire on the FDR. I then had to wait for road side assistance to come assist me in changing my flat tire which took about 2 hours for them to come & change my tire. So I defiantly got to work very late. And a very stressful day and upset New Yorker.


Adding to what the gentleman previously stated about alternate side being suspended, but meter rules being in effect, for those of us who are not as limber as the average 18 year old, how is anyone supposed to feed a meter when it's surrounded by a snow bank that no one shovels?


I for one think it deplorable at the obvious incompetence of this mayor's orchestrating during these storms, its going to take more than photo ops to convince NewYorkers that he conducting his office effectively my greatest concern is the great speed in which the plows are racing through that the crossing guard at my grandson's school and sidewalk pedestrians including myself had to literally run into a parking lot because the plow created a massive wave of snow that was tossed onto the already unshoveled sidewalk I vow to submit video in the future of such situations seeing that they have total disregard of pedestrians.


The schools are open because the NYC Dept of Education is the biggest baby sitting service in the country.


While the city appreciates the good civic example our mayor has set by shoveling his sidewalk, it begs the question , why don't his children help him out? A few more snow storms like we have had could land our mayor in the hospital. Ask your kids for help Mr. Mayor.

Forest Hills

Have no kids in school but the sidewalks were in bad shape as well as the crosswalks. No one shoveling at 7:00 a.m. Side roads in bad shape, but main roads good. Black ice an issue. Bottom line,common sense has to rule.

Jack B.
Queens Village

I believe the school should have been closed today. Because I was not able to send my kids to school because the side walks on my block was not clean and I have a baby which I am not able to push the stroller on a block that isn't clean. So my kids were home today. And I hate that it's counted as an absence.

The new Mayor isn't making good decisions.


The streets are slippery. Yes it is winter and annoying. Maybe its time to hire more Sanitation workers instead of postponing the exam for the past few years.

Redhook Brooklyn

If the mayor declared NY in a "state of emergency", then certainly school should have been closed today. Mass transit was compromised with service problems and suspensions or the trains/buses were so packed you couldn't get on; roads were slick and full of traffic! It was hectic and dangerous to try and get to school. Why put so many parents and children in danger... Why does the mayor tell people to stay off the roads and stay indoors when 'school is open'!?? He doesn't make sense. The mayor needs to consider SAFETY first when he decides to have schools open.

If not today, then What clarifies for a school closure?!

Bring back Bloomberg! We miss you!


I work in a 200 bed health care facility, I went earlier to work today arrived almost 2 hours before my time - it was tough but I made it. It wasn't only me who arrived early but almost all of our staff. The ones who were late are the ones who are usually late on a daily basis. I'm so proud of the staff from management to the basic whining, no complaints, NO absences, our patients are well taken cared of. Listening to your show now makes me prouder of our dedicated staff!


Just watching the news from my hotel room. I'm here on business from London, and never seen snow like it! Had fun this morning trying to cross the sidewalks, and jumping the slush and puddles!

Great spirit from the locals, and helpful staff at the subways!


Absolutely NOT. If NYC is under a State of Emergency, why do they want the school buses running and the safety of the children and staff at jeopardy. Everyone on TV and radio is saying 'stay off the roads", etc.

The new Chancellor said, we need to keep schools open for the continuance of education and hot meals, etc. Those reasons are not true. On a day like today, first is the safety of all involved that keep the school running every day all year. The continuance of education on a day like this when a lot of school staff cannot make it to school is not continuance of education. The children are safe in school, but believe me they are not working on their usual subjects because, in fact, probably their teacher was ABSENT. She said today 60% of children were present in school, I do not believe that number, (or was that just the borough of Manhattan) maybe most of them HS children, but what was the percentage of staff absent????

The Mayor and his new Chancellor get an F. I have worked for the school system for 22 years and I find this in a way disrespectful to all of us who work so hard every day. This new Chancellor came out of retirement in Florida, where the sun always shines, maybe she needs to look around and put on her boots and try and take mass transit to work on a snow day or clean off her car and drive to work at 6am along with our new Mayor. I am also tired of seeing him shoveling the snow for a minute to take a picture op too. The NYC public school system deserves a snow day when it is a safety issue and should be given notice so that the so called Safe Haven for some children can be prepared for in another way instead of endangering all of the school children and staff and keeping school open for the 2nd time this week when safety is an issue!


Long before snow plows and salt, Homo Sapiens made it through the Ice Age. If we, as a species, made it through the Ice Age over 15,000 years ago, I am confident that we can handle 5 inches in NYC. Stop giving the kids an excuse to stay home from school and play X-Box Live. When these kids mature into adults, they will get fired for missing work each time it snows.


I live on Staten Island and must drive to work in Melville, Long Island every day; it's 50 miles each way. The road conditions on the Belt Parkway both Eastbound and Westbound particularly between Knapp Street and Rockaway Parkway exits are dangerously disgracefull. There are pot holes all over the place, many are huge and clustered.

They're causing massive traffic jams, accidents, and wheel and tire damage to many, many cars. The left lanes in both directions are especially bad. There are clusters of pot holes just before the Mill Basin drawer bridge the size of sewer covers. The snow fall just exacerbated the condition. The number of pot holes and their size are the result of neglect, poor's a disgrace.

And the condition along the stretch between Flatbush Avenue and Rockaway Parkway is even worse because the street lights haven't worked in a few years so you can't even see the pot holes to attempt to navigate around them.


Sal from Staten Island ClientIP:,, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP