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AIR QUALITY ALERT IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM THIS MORNING TO 11 PM EDT THIS EVENING The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an air quality health advisory for the following counties... Suffolk...Nassau...Richmond...Kings...Queens...New York...Bronx...Wes chester...Rockland. from 11 AM this morning to 11 PM EDT this evening. Air quality levels in outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an Air Quality Index value of 100 for the pollutant of Ground Level Ozone . The Air Quality Index...or AQI...was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale. The higher the AQI value...the greater the health concern. When pollution levels are elevated...the New York State Department of Health recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. People who may be especially sensitive to the effects of elevated levels of pollutants include the very young...and those with preexisting respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease. Those with symptoms should consider consulting their personal physician. For additional information, please visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website at,, or call the Air Quality Hotline at 800-535-1345.

What Every Veteran Needs To Know: Advocacy - Part 9 of 9

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In the first of this series of nine we introduce some specific answers to general questions often asked and just as often misunderstood. In Part Two we jumped into one of the "meatiest" of topics, VA Health Care. In Part Three we pulled back a little bit and looked at the overall "other" Federal VA Benefits picture. In part Four we dived back into the "details" as we looked at Counseling & Support. In Part Five we looked at Housing, in Part Six Education, and in Part Seven Employment. In Part Eight we looked at Burial Benefits. Today, in the final part of this series we provide you with access information regarding organizations that provide General Assistance & Advocacy.

General Assistance & Advocacy

Town of Oyster Bay Veterans Services Division
Telephone: (516) 733-8414 -- Fax: (516) 733-8415 -- Email:

New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs
Telephone: (888) 838-7697 or (888)-VETS-NYS Website:

Locate a State or County Veteran Service Officer:

New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs

Directory of National Veterans Service Organizations

Local Veteran Service Organizations

American Legion

Blinded Veterans Association

Disabled American Veterans

Military Order of the Purple Heart

Veterans of America

United Spinal Association

Veterans of Foreign Wars

Veterans of Modern Warfare

Vietnam Veterans of America

This Week's Not Commented on Topic - One Step Forward, More Than Two Steps...

ATTORNEY'S CAN NOW REPRESENT VETERANS, IF THEY CAN FIND SOMEONE WILLING TO TALK TO THEM -- (from an attorney to a national veterans help columnist) I thought you might find this story of complete VA incompetence that recently happened to me... unbelievable, if you did not know better. I called the VA RO [VA Regional Office] on a case of mine and asked to speak to someone about the case. I explained I was the attorney of record and that they had all my forms. They know this because they sent me the c-file. They told me they can't talk to me about the case because I am not the veteran. That is bad enough but then I had the veteran call and they told him they could not talk to him about the case because he had a lawyer. I called back told my story and the woman on the phone actually said to me that I would have to talk to Congress to get rules changed before I could talk to anyone. She then said, "That is why we tell veterans not to get lawyers." and stopped abruptly realizing she should not have said that. It is stupid things like this that make the VA process so slow. I don't think the VA is ready for the army of lawyers that will begin to enter this process and change the way they do business. I used to think SSA was run poorly but they are a finely tuned machine compared to the VA.

--- Regards, Walt Schmidt