The storm has passed and now we are attempting to recover from Sandy - the storm, not my wife. We are luckier than most here on Staten Island in that we have electricity and no damage to our house. Many on Staten Island do not. We don't, however, have cable which means that we don't have TV, home phone or home internet. Our cell phone service has come back so we have some connection to the outside world as well as some internet.
Right now I am at my cousin's house who has internet through a different provider so that I can pay my bills and update this blog.
My son, who lives in Manalapan, NJ and my brother in Holmdel, NJ have been without power for the last five days. He had been burning the branches which had blown down on his property in his fireplace for heat. A friend has now opened his house to my son's family.
Getting gas for cars (or generators for those lucky enough to have them) has been a nightmare, reminiscent of the gas lines of 1977.
Yet, our mayor has made two ill conceived decisions that is costing many increased grief here in NYC in general and Staten Island in particular.
The NY Marathon will continue. Generators which could be used to relieve the suffering of those without power are sitting idle at the start and finish lines for the runners. Displaced Staten Islanders have been kicked out of hotels - with no home to go to - so the marathoners have hotel rooms. Thousands of people are being transported to Staten Island - the start of the race - putting an even further strain on the few resources to help those who have lost everything! But the race is more important to hizzoner the mayor than the people of the city he administers.
Schools have been closed all week, and are now scheduled to open on Monday. Our mayor has told all teachers and administrators to report today. Many have no electricity at home nor gas for their car, yet they are being told to report. So what will they be doing when they report? The mayor has said that they are to be preparing for the students to come back on Monday. There is nothing they need to do. Any physical preparations are the responsibility of the school's custodians, not the teachers or administrators. So what will the teachers be doing? My son's school is still being used as a shelter - as are a number of other schools - and he has been told that they will not have access to their classrooms and will be huddled together in the auditorium. All the mayor's order does is put teachers and administrators at risk of harm. Once again - no concern for the people he is responsible for.
Add to that the fact that Tuesday is Election Day and schools are closed anyway. So why not just keep the schools closed until Wednesday. (Don't say "state aid" because enough days are built in to the schedule - and if necessary there are plenty of ways to make up days as has been done in the past.)
Billions of dollars in damage has been done and people are still suffering. Bodies are still being found. And what is our mayor concerned with ... HIS IMAGE!!!!
UPDATE: Bowing to pressure from NYers and runners alike, this year's NY Marathon has been canceled. It will not be run. This is a cancelation not a postponement.