Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Jones Beach was significantly damaged by Superstorm Sandy but officials expect the popular beach to be open in time for Memorial Day Weekend. (Photo: Christopher Twarowski/Long Island PressBring on the waves.Long Islanders received a bit of good news Monday that all New York State-run beaches and parks are expected to be open by Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial start of summer, despite significant damage from Sandy.Many area parks and beaches were battered by the October superstorm, which caused extensive damage to shore-front roads, structures and contributed to significant dune and beach erosion. Several repair projects are still ongoing, some of which will continue after the parks are opened.“Our parks and beaches are not only popular destinations for vacationers, but they are also important economic drivers for our communities,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “We will continue to work diligently to ensure that these great assets are in safe and good condition for visitors to enjoy this summer.”The news was met with cheers from local officials still dealing with post-Sandy repairs. Officials noted the economic boost of opening up the parks just in time for the holiday weekend.In 2012, more than 18 million people visited state parks and beaches on Long Island and four state parks on LI—Jones Beach, Robert Moses, Sunken Meadow and Heckscher—ranked in the top 10 in the state.“Our parks and beaches on Long Island are the escape that people need,” said New York State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey, adding that Jones Beach State Park has more yearly visitors than Arizona’s Grand Canyon. “Sandy caused a lot of destruction but our crews and contractors are fiercely working to get us in great shape to kick off the summer.”But plenty of repair work remains before the parks and beaches can be opened to visitors.Many of Jones Beach’s electrical vaults were submerged during Sandy and crews are still working to replace and raise panels to prevent damage from future storms. The beach’s popular theater, which was submerged in four feet of water, is still a work in progress. The theater suffered damage to the VIP boardwalk, tented areas, orchestra seating and entire electrical system, officials said.Fields 2, 5, 10 and West End 2 of Jones Beach are currently open to the public but areas between the West Bathhouse and the East Bathouse remain closed due to boardwalk damage.Crews are also installing planking on top of the Central Mall and lifeguard stands in that area, including Field 2.At Robert Moses State Park, workers are currently restoring a section of the roadway at the south side of the park’s traffic circle that collapsed into the Atlantic Ocean after Sandy, officials said. Construction at the beach includes placing 500,000 cubic yards of sand to replenish Fields 4 and 5, and more than 300,000 cubic yards of that sand is being dredged from the Captree State Boat Channel. All parking fields will be open come Memorial Day, officials said.“We are confident that Memorial Day Weekend will be as good or better as we saw last year,” said New York State Parks Deputy Regional Director George Gorman.Construction efforts are being funded by the state but parks department officials will soon apply for federal reimbursement.
NAFCU’s Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee Conference begins today at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco with a pre-conference workshop and a welcome reception.The pre-conference workshop will be led by NAFCU Executive Vice President and COO Anthony Demangone. The workshop offers board members an overview of understanding different financial statements as well as the opportunity to earn credits for the NAFCU Certified Volunteer Expert program.NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger will kick off the week’s presentations tomorrow with a welcome address and a Washington and Industry Update on current legislative and regulatory news and its impact on credit unions. continue reading » 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Topics : The United States central bank opened a two-day policy meeting on Tuesday amid signs of waning consumer confidence and with Congress locked in debate over how best to support the economy amid the pandemic.With interest rates already at zero and the Federal Reserve pumping trillions into the economy through myriad loan programs, policymakers are expected to focus less on direct action as COVID-19 remains a bigger concern.Coronavirus cases and death tolls are resurging, and many states have reimposed more strict controls, again shutting down some businesses, while tens of millions of jobs have been lost, many permanently. Jobless workers are also now facing the imminent expiration of extra unemployment benefits unless Congress acts.Analysts expect the Fed to reinforce a tool used during the global financial crisis: forward guidance. The policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is expected make plain that it has no intention to raise the benchmark interest rate until the US is fully back on track and unemployment has fallen significantly from the current 11.1 percent level, while focusing less on inflation.Amid signs the economy continues to struggle, how much of a boost that declaration will provide is unclear, but economists view it as a minimum step. “The events of recent weeks have changed my view on forward guidance,” Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, said in an analysis. “Now is the time to clarify the Fed’s position on forward guidance, which means being explicit about holding interest rates near zero until the economy actually overshoots on its two percent inflation target.”More lendingThe FOMC will announce its policy decision Wednesday afternoon, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell will hold a press conference to explain the statement.Powell has said the central bank can do more to help the economy weather the pandemic storm, and on Tuesday the board announced it was extending through the end of the year lending facilities that had been set to expire around September 30.The Fed said those programs for firms of all sizes as well as states and municipalities “provide a critical backstop stabilizing and substantially improving market functioning and enhancing the flow of credit to households, businesses and state and local governments.”But as the pandemic fire continues to rage, a key measure of consumer confidence dropped sharply in July, highlighting the continued uncertainty about the economy. The Conference Board research firm said its consumer confidence index fell to 92.6 from 98.3 in June, worse than analysts expected.The government on Thursday will release the first official data on the damage done to US GDP in the April-June quarter, which is expected to show a shocking collapse of around 35 percent. But the Fed does not need that figure to realize the harm already inflicted on American households and firms.Powell and other central bankers have made it plain that the Fed’s options are limited and the federal government will need to provide more cash.As expanded unemployment payments and a moratorium on evictions are set to expire, Senate Republicans late Tuesday unveiled a US$1 trillion support package that slashes additional weekly jobless benefits to $200 a week from $600, but also would offer a second round of $1,200 payments to individuals and give funding to schools, provided they reopen.That sets the stage for a showdown with Democrats who are pushing their own $3 trillion plan. Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer call the Republican effort a “weak, piecemeal proposal that will only prolong the suffering for millions of workers and families across America.”US stocks tumbled on Tuesday amid mixed results from companies battered by the pandemic, and the lack of progress in Congress towards reaching an agreement on a new rescue package.