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*TROPICAL STORM ISAIAS MOVING NORTHWARD ALONG THE EAST COAST* This product covers Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut ***TROPICAL STORM ISAIAS MOVING NORTHWARD ALONG THE EAST COAST*** NEW INFORMATION --------------- * CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS: - A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Orange and Putnam - The Tropical Storm Watch has been upgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning for Bronx, Eastern Bergen, Eastern Essex, Eastern Passaic, Eastern Union, Hudson, Kings (Brooklyn), New York (Manhattan), Northeastern Suffolk, Northern Nassau, Northern Queens, Northwestern Suffolk, Richmond (Staten Island), Southeastern Suffolk, Southern Fairfield, Southern Middlesex, Southern Nassau, Southern New Haven, Southern New London, Southern Queens, Southern Westchester, Southwestern Suffolk, Western Bergen, Western Essex, and Western Union * CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS: - A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Bronx, Eastern Bergen, Eastern Essex, Eastern Passaic, Eastern Union, Hudson, Kings (Brooklyn), New York (Manhattan), Northeastern Suffolk, Northern Nassau, Northern Queens, Northwestern Suffolk, Richmond (Staten Island), Southeastern Suffolk, Southern Fairfield, Southern Middlesex, Southern Nassau, Southern New Haven, Southern New London, Southern Queens, Southern Westchester, Southwestern Suffolk, Western Bergen, Western Essex, and Western Union - A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Northern Fairfield, Northern Middlesex, Northern New Haven, Northern New London, Northern Westchester, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Western Passaic * STORM INFORMATION: - About 830 miles south-southwest of New York City NY or about 900 miles south-southwest of Montauk Point NY - 29.7N 79.9W - Storm Intensity 70 mph - Movement North or 355 degrees at 9 mph SITUATION OVERVIEW ------------------ Tropical Storm Isaias, located off the north Florida coast, will continue to move to the north this morning, turning north-northeast this afternoon along the southeast coast. Isaias will continue moving northeast tonight over Eastern North Carolina. Isaias will slowly weaken as it accelerates northeast on Tuesday, likely moving over our area Tuesday afternoon and evening. There is still some timing and intensity uncertainty with this storm. However, confidence continues to increase with respect to the magnitude of local hazards and impacts. The main threats with this system involve heavy rainfall, strong winds, minor to moderate coastal flooding, along with high surf and dangerous rip currents. Locally heavy rain is expected with a widespread 2 to 4 inches, with localized amounts up to 6 inches possible. The heaviest rain is most likely to occur across New York City, Northeast New Jersey and the Lower Hudson Valley early Tuesday morning through Tuesday evening, and eastern sections Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night. The strongest winds are likely to occur across Long Island, coastal Connecticut, and the New York City Metro. Dangerous marine conditions are likely across all of the coastal waters Tuesday and Tuesday night. High surf and dangerous rip currents are expected along the ocean beaches Monday through Wednesday. The effects from Tropical Storm Isaias are expected to diminish quickly from southwest to northeast across the area Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. POTENTIAL IMPACTS ----------------- * FLOODING RAIN: Protect against life-threatening rainfall flooding having possible extensive impacts across northeastern New Jersey, New York City, and the Lower Hudson Valley. Potential impacts include: - Major rainfall flooding may prompt many evacuations and rescues. - Rivers and streams may rapidly overflow their banks in multiple places. Small streams, creeks, canals, and ditches may become dangerous rivers. Flood control systems and barriers may become stressed. - In hilly terrain, destructive runoff may run quickly down valleys, and increase susceptibility to rockslides and mudslides. - Flood waters can enter many structures within multiple communities, some structures becoming uninhabitable or washed away. Many places where flood waters may cover escape routes. Streets and parking lots become rivers of moving water with underpasses submerged. Driving conditions become dangerous. Many road and bridge closures with some weakened or washed out. * WIND: Protect against dangerous wind having possible significant impacts across Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut. Potential impacts include: - Some damage to roofing and siding materials, along with damage to porches, awnings, carports, and sheds. A few buildings experiencing window, door, and garage door failures. Mobile homes damaged, especially if unanchored. Unsecured lightweight objects become dangerous projectiles. - Several large trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. Several fences and roadway signs blown over. - Some roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places. A few bridges, causeways, and access routes impassable. - Scattered power and communications outages, but more prevalent in areas with above ground lines. * SURGE: Protect against locally hazardous surge having possible limited impacts across shoreline communities. Potential impacts in this area include: - There is potential for widespread minor to locally moderate coastal flooding across the Lower New York Harbor and South Shore Back Bays, with localized minor flooding impacts elsewhere. - Localized inundation with storm surge flooding mainly along immediate shorelines and in low lying spots. - Sections of near shore roads and parking lots become overspread with surge water. Driving conditions dangerous in places where surge water covers the road. - Moderate beach erosion. Heavy surf also breaching dunes, mainly in usually vulnerable locations. Strong and frequent rip currents. - Minor to locally moderate damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers. A few small craft broken away from moorings. * TORNADOES: Protect against a tornado event having possible limited impacts across Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut. Potential impacts include: - The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans during tropical events. - A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power and communications disruptions. - Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow rooted trees knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats pulled from moorings.

Economic Stimulus Payments: What Every Veteran Needs Know

LongIsland.com

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What every Veteran needs to know, and then some. Information thanks to IRS (

http://www.irs.gov/irs/article/0,,id=177937,00.html

).

How Much And When

Most taxpayers will receive two notices from the IRS; one explaining the stimulus payment program and another confirming the recipients' eligibility, the amount and the approximate time table for the payment. While 'schedules' based on the last two digits of your social security number have been making the rounds, these schedules are from a 2001 mailing. At this time what is officially know is that payments will begin to be mailed in May.

Basic Information on the Stimulus Payments


What is it?

It's an economic stimulus payment that more than 130 million households will receive starting in May. It's not taxable, and it won't reduce your 2007 or 2008 refund or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2008 return.

Are you eligible?

You're eligible if you have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) and show qualifying income of at least $3,000 on your federal tax return. Both people listed on a "married filing jointly" return must have valid SSNs to qualify for the payment -- if only one has a valid SSN, neither can receive the payment.

Can you use an ITIN instead of an SSN?

Taxpayers with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead of an SSN are not eligible to receive a stimulus payment. Both people listed on a "married filing jointly" return must have valid SSNs to qualify for the payment -- if only one has a valid SSN, neither can receive the payment.

How do you get it?

Just file a federal tax return for 2007, even if you normally don't have to because your income usually doesn't meet the filing threshold. You can't get it if you don't file.

How much will you get?

The actual amount depends on the information contained on your tax return. Eligible individuals will receive between $300 and $600. Those who are eligible and file a joint return will receive a total of between $600 and $1,200. Those with children will get an additional $300 for each qualifying child. To qualify, a child must be eligible under the Child Tax Credit and have a valid Social Security number. The payments phase out at certain income levels, so those with higher incomes may receive a reduced payment or even no payment.

Phase Out of the Stimulus Payment

: The stimulus payment begins to phase out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes (AGI) over $75,000 and married couples who file a joint return with AGI over $150,000. The combined payment is reduced by 5 percent of the income above the AGI thresholds.

What if some or all of your income consists of Social Security, veterans' or other benefits?

The economic stimulus law allows Social Security recipients and recipients of certain veterans' benefits and Railroad Retirement benefits to count those benefits towards the qualifying income requirement of $3,000. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not count as qualifying income for the stimulus payment. Normally, certain Social Security payments are not subject to income tax. However, the economic stimulus law passed in February contains a special provision allowing Social Security recipients to count those benefits toward the qualifying income requirement of $3,000 and thereby qualify for the stimulus payment. Social Security benefits are reported on the 2007 Form SSA-1099, which people would have received in January 2008. People who do not have a Form 1099 may estimate their annual Social Security benefit by taking their monthly benefit, multiplying it by the number of months during the year they received the benefits. Similarly, certain veterans' payments are not subject to income tax. However, the economic stimulus law passed in February contains a special provision allowing recipients of certain veterans' benefits to count those benefits toward the qualifying income requirement of $3,000 and thereby qualify for the stimulus payment. People are allowed to estimate their annual benefit by taking their monthly annual veterans' benefit, multiplying it by the number of months during the year they received benefits. In both cases (non-taxable SSI and veterans' payments), you should enter the amount on Line 20a of Form 1040 or Line 14a of the Form 1040A. Please note that Line 14a of the Form 1040A and Line 20a of Form 1040 are designated for Social Security. However, these lines should also be used to include any veterans' benefits.

An Example of a Form 1040A




This Week's Not Commented on Story - Once Again On The Backs Of The Veterans

BUYER AND BURR SEEK TO RADICALLY CHANGE VA DISABILITY COMPENSATION SYSTEM -- Would have the VA "determine appropriate amounts of compensation under a new, modern disability compensation rating schedule." What we have here is a last-ditch effort by a lame-duck administration to trash the veterans' disability compensation system. It's that plain and simple. Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN), Ranking Member on the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, are no friends of veterans. Buyer's record is especially dismal. The administration has been trying for years to change the compensation system to save money. The administration stacked the Veterans' Disability Benefits Commission (VDBC) in hopes of cutting back on veterans' benefits. But, that backfired when the VDBC final report was mainly favorable to veterans. That didn't work and now that report has been shelved. Then, the Dole-Shalala Commission was ginned-up to try the same thing. They came close. The Dole-Shalala recommendations, if implemented, would cause great damage to the veterans' disability compensation system. However, the Dole-Shalala recommendations are stalled in Congress. So, there's another push to get this done. And, this time the hatchet-men are Buyer and Burr. They have introduced nearly-identical legislation in the House and Senate that, if implemented, would radically alter disability compensation. Things to note: In a news story Burr admits this would save the VA money. How can that be done unless fewer vets are rated disabled and/or fewer disabilities are rated and/or smaller amounts of compensation are awarded. And, the burden would be put on the VA to "determine appropriate amounts of compensation under a new, modern disability compensation rating schedule." Do you trust the VA to do that?

--- Regards, Walt Schmidt