What Are Your Memories Of “Superstorm Sandy”? UPDATED

BY  |  Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013 12:25pm  |  COMMENTS (8)

sandy

UPDATE: NJTV is running a special edition of NJ Today: “Superstorm Sandy, One Year Later”  tonight at 6pm.

What are your thoughts today, as you remember the historic storm that flooded the New Jersey coast one year ago, and knocked out power for millions…for weeks on end? What stories are you still telling? What images come to mind? Long gas lines, trees blocking roads, neighbors helping each other, so many people working from home, restaurants, and the library?

How are our local institutions dealing with the anniversary? NYC’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority is offering free rides on its A and R trains. Do you know of any Sandy commemorations in workplaces, schools, local businesses, or places of worship?

What’s your opinion of NJ Sandy recovery? Has it helped as much as possible? What do you think of Governor Christie’s “Stronger Than The Storm” campaign?

Finally, take our poll: Are you better prepared for future disasters? Continue Reading

Can “Stronger Than the Storm” Stand Up to the Backlash?

BY  |  Monday, Jul 01, 2013 8:53am  |  COMMENTS (7)

Stronger Than The Storm - ChristieAround New Jersey, small storms are brewing about the “Stronger than the storm” television and radio ads now running to entice visitors back to the Jersey Shore this summer.

The ads, developed by Brushfire Marketing Communications, a Cedar Knolls, NJ agency in just under three weeks, feature Governor Chris Christie (and, in some, his family). From the start of the ad campaign (paid in part by federal funds) there’s been controversy over whether Christie, who’s running for re-election, should be allowed to appear in federally-funded media ads, although many other governors have appeared in tourism ads in the past. Continue Reading

Hurricane Sandy, Oklahoma Tornadoes, Climate Change and Governor Christie

BY  |  Thursday, May 23, 2013 9:45am  |  COMMENTS (6)

hurricane sandyThings have been, shall we say, interesting, for folks in New Jersey who like to dissect weather trends. Snow and ice storms in October. Cold temperatures when it used to be hot and vice versa. Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. What’s going on? Climate change?

Not according to Governor Chris Christie who recently opined (among other things) that there was no proof climate change had anything to do with Hurricane Sandy.

The insurance industry however, is definitely worried about sea level rise caused by climate change and how that will continue to amplify the destructive effects of such storms.

That’s a distinction worth noting this week when many are asking if the Moore, Oklahoma tornadoes were triggered by climate change. Rather, scientists say, tornadoes will occur anyway, but are now operating in an changed environment — warmer overall temperatures, which exacerbate their intensity. In the same way, according to scientists, Hurricane Sandy’s inherent winds and sea surge were perhaps of greater intensity due to glacial melt, with has been traced to climate change.

New Jersey’s Climate Central, an independent scientific research and information organization, notes that what was learned during and after Sandy, as it directly relates to that high sea storm surge, merits serious consideration for future preparedness.

The New Jersey Climate Adaption Alliance at the Rutgers School of Environmental Studies, notes that “A changing climate and rising sea levels will have a devastating impact on New Jersey’s economy, the health of our residents, the State’s natural resources, and the extensive infrastructure system that delivers transportation services, energy and clean water to millions of New Jerseyans.”

What do you think?

Some Good Commuting News for a Change

BY  |  Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 8:17am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Path trainDespite the wind and rain this morning, at least the Montclair-Boonton line train service was back on schedule, following yesterday’s train-truck collision in Little Falls.

In other welcome commuting news, direct PATH service was re-opened yesterday between Hoboken and the World Trade Center for the first time since Hurricane Sandy. Overnight PATH service between Newark and World Trade Center was also restored earlier in the week.

As if that isn’t enough good commuting news, the lobby waiting area at Hoboken station is now open again, providing at least warmth and shelter to cold, waiting riders – though it will be another couple of months until the classic wooden benches return, ticket counters open, and restrooms are once again available. Still, many train commuters are happy to at least have a place to wait out of the chill of concrete platforms, back inside under the historic carved ceiling and decorative windows.

And how is your commute so far today?

Has the New Year Brought an End to Sandy-Related After Effects?

BY  |  Thursday, Jan 10, 2013 8:54am  |  COMMENTS (1)


Seventy three days since superstorm Sandy broke into the lives of New Jersey residents last fall — is anything still different for you? Many homeowners (and not just those at the Shore) are still negotiating with insurance companies, buying generators, working in temporary offices or, if self-employed, scrambling to make up for lost income.

Although we were in general fortunate at my house, I still see the after-effects of the storm in our routines. Thankfully, they are not that important, but are still daily reminders that what we assume will always work out, may not.

My son’s usual train home from Hoboken in the afternoon has not been added back to the Montclair-Boonton Line’s modified schedule, so along with other parents whose sons commute to their Jersey City prep school, I’ve been driving to train stations in Clifton and other places. With two self-employed people under the same roof, our family budget still hasn’t fully recovered from the downturn in business. At home, we have surge protectors in places we didn’t before – and a slightly larger than average supply of bottled water and canned goods.

In a post here the other day, a local simple living advocate recommended getting to know our neighbors before the next blackout. It’s sound advice, though I must admit that I’m no closer to knowing mine than before. However, now I do know which local service organizations need what kind of donations first in a crisis. Plus, I’ve filed away which of my friends and relatives won’t have hot water or be able to cook on a gas stovetop when/if a future blackout occurs, so I can call them directly and offer hot showers and to share a simple hot meal – rather than merely saying to the air, “Let me know if I can help.”

Not every storm-related after effect was a bad one either. I now know how to conserve battery power in a cell phone, which grocery stores have reliable generators, that my father was right about keeping the gas tank full, that I feel better knowing that all our tech devices are fully charged at all times, and why that old Scouting motto about being prepared makes sense even if you’re not on a camping trip. Our family also realized that if we could handle having no heat for eight days (bedroom temps: 48 degrees by the last night) we could turn down our thermostat in winter, thus saving some money; and it was fun to play board games by candle- and firelight.

What about you? What’s changed in your life since the storm? Are you doing anything differently? Take our poll and/or share it on comments.

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

House Votes To Provide $9.7 Billion For Victims Of Hurricane Sandy–Finally

BY  |  Friday, Jan 04, 2013 1:44pm  |  COMMENTS (12)

Riverview Drive, Montclair

It’s about time. The House of Representatives just approved legislation today to provide $9.7 billion to cover insurance claims filed by victims of Hurricane Sandy. The Senate is expected to pass the measure later today.

Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, drew the ire of both Democrats and Republicans–most notably, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie–for adjourning the 2012 Congress earlier this week before voting on aid for victims.

The New York TImes has more details.

Humbug! Sandy Shuts Down Tree Lighting in Glen Ridge!

BY  |  Thursday, Dec 06, 2012 1:50pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

It may feel as if there’s a bit of the Grinch afoot in Glen Ridge. The annual tree lighting there was not held this week as usual, and in fact has been cancelled, in part because of damage caused by superstorm Sandy and the costs and logistic that would have been involved in repairing the problems. NorthJersey.com is reporting that the borough made the decision after an inspection and assessment of the tree and its lights.

Photo: Flickr via Creative Commons

Launch Your Literary Career And Help Hurricane Sandy Survivors

BY  |  Tuesday, Dec 04, 2012 4:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Do you dream of writing a bestseller one day? Do you already have an idea, or a chapter or two written? Then consider bidding on a chance to have your work critiqued by a literary pro, while also helping Hurricane Sandy survivors.

Publishing Gives Back is auctioning off the talents of professional book agents, publishing house editors, and writing coaches–including Baristanet’s very own Lisa Romeo, editor, writer and teacher extraordinaire. All proceeds go to the American Red Cross or other Sandy relief charities.

Here’s just a sample of what’s currently on the auction block:

  • A 10-minute phone consultation on your pitch with Stephen Power, Senior Editor at Wiley Publishing, who has edited many New York Times bestsellers.
  • A critique of your synopsis and first three chapters with Lois Winston, an agent with the Ashley Grayson Literary Agency, as well as a critically-acclaimed author of fiction and non-fiction.
  • A cover design consultation with Mark Ecob, founder of Mecob Design, which  specializes in book cover design, illustration, photography and art direction.
  • For the full auction schedule and rules, click here.

    UPDATED: Shore Aid Telethon Raises Money To Benefit Hurricane Sandy Survivors

    BY  |  Tuesday, Dec 04, 2012 12:28pm  |  COMMENTS (4)

    Montclair area residents are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy by collecting funds to help those most affected. Here’s a follow-up on one of the latest efforts, the Shore Aid Telethon, from Katya Wowk, Communications Director, Township of Montclair:

    Montclair TV34, PBA Local 53, Parents Who Rock and Prudential New Jersey Properties joined forces to host Shore Aid – a live telethon to benefit the victims of super storm Sandy. The event was held Sunday, December 2 in Montclair Council Chambers, where numerous performers and guests helped pack the house for an afternoon of music and community giving. The event was also aired live on Montclair TV34 and the station’s streaming website.

    Continue Reading

    DeCamp Refunding Bus Tickets Unused In Hurricane Sandy Aftermath

    BY  |  Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 12:40pm  |  COMMENTS (4)

    Are you stuck with DeCamp bus tickets that are about to expire–ones you couldn’t use because of Hurricane Sandy?

    The NJ Transit train system, devastated by the storm, displaced commuters who then packed the buses to Port Authority. Many of those with DeCamp passes carpooled, switched to other bus lines, or simply stayed home until the trains began running again last week. If you’re a DeCamp regular who found it nearly impossible to board during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, you can get your tickets refunded.

    A representative of DeCamp Bus Lines (who declined to be named) told Baristanet today the company will refund tickets that went unused after the storm–and in most cases without charging the usual 10% processing fee for refunds. A discounted packet of 40 tickets costs $253.00, so we’re not talking chump change. Continue Reading

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