Brian Zumhagen has been a weekend anchor at WNYC since 2003. His career in journalism started in 1993, with an internship in the press office of the German Green Party’s parliamentary delegation. Brian went on to spend the rest of the ‘90s working as a reporter, producer, and fill-in anchor at NPR member station KQED in San Francisco. He’s returned to Germany several times over the years for reporting projects. Most recently, he won a grant from the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship to produce radio features for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Before coming to WNYC, Brian was a frequent contributor to PRI’s The World. He reported for the program on 9/11 and served as the show’s United Nations correspondent during the run-up to the Iraq war. Brian lives in Queens with his wife and children.
Standing Water in Chinatown Threatens Economy, Officials Claim
Friday, September 23, 2011
Standing water at curbsides is harming the quality of life and economy of Chinatown, community leaders claimed Friday.
State Senator Daniel Squadron released a study that says the neighborhood is particularly susceptible to "ponding" — when puddles fail to drain within 48 hours after rain. His office found nearly 100 such puddles during one of the driest Julys on record.
Virginia Kee, founder of the Chinese-American Planning Council, said the standing water creates a hazard for residents and hurts the neighborhood's reputation among visitors.
"When people say, 'Oh, Chinatown smells. It is dirty. It is this. It is that,' they do not realize that, for years and years, we have asked to have this problem solved," she said.
Squadron is calling on the city's Department of Transportation to create a specific 3-1-1 category for ponding so service requests and repairs can be tracked the way they are for potholes.
City officials say calls to 311 about “ponding” are addressed, usually by the city's Department of Environmental Protection, though they are referred to the DOT when there's damage to streets.