Blog

Blog

/Our Journal

Uncategorized
Dec 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy. To me hurricanes always sound like something that occurs in the Caribbean only. Great big palm and coconut trees would sway in heavy winds and torrential rains while…

Read More

Election Day – Vote!

I woke up bright and early this morning to vote but perhaps not bright and early enough. Polls opened at 6 am. We arrived a little after 8:30 am. Although…

Read More

Nov 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy.

To me hurricanes always sound like something that occurs in the Caribbean only. Great big palm and coconut trees would sway in heavy winds and torrential rains while huge gray waves hit the sandy shores mercilessly.

Or hurricanes were swirling white clouds we looked down at as they knocked around the Gulf of Mexico like a pinball in a pinball machine. This comes from my earliest memories of weatherpeople predicting the weather on channel 11 (WPIX) or channel 4 (WNBC).

Hurricanes don’t sound like something that hits New York City. We’re not sunny here or tropical or Caribbean. We get snowstorms and rain, not hurricanes.

Of course none of my perception about hurricanes is based in any kind of science as you’ve probably realized by now.

I remember Hurricane Irene being a joke though I could swear I smelled the ocean and sand when it brought rain and a refreshing spring like breeze to Syracuse, NY.

Hurricane Sandy, on the other hand, was scary.

We made sure to gather supplies like water and batteries beforehand but none of us thought this storm would be what it turned out to be.

The wind buffeting against our apartment building was terrifying. It actually shook the building. Our lights flickered and we really hoped and prayed that they would not go out. I watched Con Edison’s power outage map, refreshing the website ever so often. People were losing power all around us. We did not, luckily.

My mind went backwards the blackout of 2003. During that time I still had a laptop that could connect to the internet using dialup. That was our only way to access news about what was going on until the hour or two of battery life drained to nothing.

It seems we are technologically “advancing” to a place that increasingly isolates us. This isolation becomes more apparent during emergencies. Items that were so commonplace once upon a time are now considered obsolete right up until the point where you wish you still had a battery powered radio or a landline telephone that doesn’t require batteries or electricity.

NYC was a dead zone for more than a week after the storm. There was no MTA service which is the main mode of transportation for New Yorkers, car or not. The familiar sound of police and firefighter sirens were more frequent in the otherwise unnatural quiet.

Our section of Brooklyn was lucky. No heavy damage as in the more coastal areas of the borough or Long Island. A letter from our state senator Kevin Parker took note of how lucky our area was by comparison and encouraged us to remember and help those who have been less fortunate in weathering Hurricane Sandy.

For those who are looking to help, he included the following links:

http://www.nycservice.org/

https://www.ujafedny.org/hurricane-sandy-relief-fund/

http://www.redcross.org/charitable-donations

 

For those in need of help:

http://www.fema.gov/Sandy

http://www.disasterassistance.gov/

http://www.redcross.org/find-help/shelter

http://www.nyc.gov/html/om/html/2012b/pr392-12-static.html

http:/www.governor.ny.gov/storm-resources

 

 

Election Day – Vote!

I woke up bright and early this morning to vote but perhaps not bright and early enough. Polls opened at 6 am. We arrived a little after 8:30 am. Although the outside of P.S. 252 was deceptively quiet, there was a line already building right up to the entrance that ran down to the auditorium and wrapped around the perimeter, leading back to the entrance and leading towards the gymnasium where voting was taking place.

There was some attempted line skipping and confusion about where citizens were allowed to vote (some were told to go to other schools) however it must be noted that Governor Cuomo signed an executive order allowing New Yorkers to vote anywhere in the state using affidavit ballots regardless of where they are registered. No one should be told they have to go to another polling station. Some citizens stated that P.S. 219 re-directed many to P.S. 252 as opposed to offering the affidavit ballot.

This from the Governor’s website:

Voting Info for Storm-Affected New Yorkers

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed an executive order that will greatly facilitate voting for new Yorkers who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. Due to the disaster emergency the Governor issued on Friday October 26, 2012 for all 62 counties of New York, he issued an executive order that suspends certain sections of the Election Law to allow New Yorkers in the affected areas to vote or cast affidavit ballots regardless of where they are registered. In addition, the Executive Order also mandates every board of election in New York State send any affidavit ballot to the board of election where the voter is actually registered, so that the vote is counted in the correct place.

Click here to check the status on your polling place or call 1-855-NYS-SANDY for assistance.

The voting system has changed since I last voted in person in 2004 (I used an absentee ballot in 2008). Instead of the machines with the curtain and pull lever, we now blacken ovals next to our candidates’ names and give the paper to an official who feeds the ballot into a machine to be scanned and counted.

The monitor gives a friendly thank you and acknowledgement of your vote.

The system is not unlike what students have been doing for ages with a no. 2 pencil. Remember Scantrons?

Hope you are all getting out and voting!

Check out images of P.S. 252 on Election Day this morning: