Weathering The Storm
The Land of Ice & Snow
As Winter Storm Nemo descends upon New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is urging residents of the five boroughs to “take it easy” and stay indoors tonight. At a press conference on the city’s storm plans this afternoon he even shared some suggested activities for those who are snowed in.
“Tonight, what’s a good idea? Cook a meal. Stay home. Read a good book. Just take it easy,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “Remember there are a lot of people who are going to be out there shoveling the snow. … You just don’t want to get in their way.”
Mr. Bloomberg also revealed his own plans for weathering the storm.
nonprofits on notice
Mayor Michael Bloomberg says today’s snowstorm won’t be as bad as the epic “Snowpocalypse” of 2010.
“We don’t think that people are going to be that inconvenienced,” the mayor said in a radio interview with John Gambling this morning.
Though he didn’t give any dire warnings about the storm, Mayor Bloomberg did have some advice about helping your neighbors survive the wintry weather.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is keeping an eye on the assorted charities raising money for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. In a statement released today, Mr. Schneiderman announced he sent a letter to 75 Sandy-focused nonprofits requesting information on their fundraising and spending activities, which he intends to post online.
“Our office commends all of the charities, and their volunteers and donors, who have come to the assistance of New Yorkers after Hurricane Sandy,” Mr. Schneiderman said in the press release. “In light of the importance of the recovery efforts, and the enormous amount of money raised in such a short period of time, it is critical that donors know where their money is going, and that funds are spent responsibly. In the name of transparency and accountability, we must ensure that funds raised for Hurricane Sandy relief are used for that purpose.”
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, properties throughout the city’s flooded neighborhoods saw critical infrastructure collapse along with everything else in the storm’s path. However, four weeks after the storm Mayor Michael Bloomberg isn’t interested in hearing any more excuses from landlords who haven’t restored heat and electricity. At a press conference this afternoon, he announced these landlords will face “enforcement proceedings” should these critical services remain absent from their properties.
“I won’t even take this question,” Mr. Bloomberg at an afternoon press conference when asked what these proceedings will entail. “We’re expecting everybody to cooperate. This is New York, I’m sure there’s going to be somebody who doesn’t and then we’re going to worry about it. You have an obligation to maintain your rental units in a safe manner. If you don’t, you’re breaking the law.”
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, a likely mayoral candidate in 2013, can now be counted as a firm critic of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s handling of Hurricane Sandy.
“You remember the recent diplomatic phrase, ‘leading from behind,’” Mr. de Blasio mused on Assemblyman Dov Hikind’s radio show last night. “I think many times the mayor was not exactly on the front line. He was no Chris Christie, let’s say that.”
new jersey style
Senator Chuck Schumer is known for pushing populist issues that may have otherwise flown under the radar, and last weekend, he didn’t disappoint. In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission last weekend, Mr. Schumer called on the agency to develop a nationwide plan to improve cell phone service in the aftermath of natural disasters. Earlier today, Mr. Schumer announced the FCC would at least give the New York area a better look by holding field hearings early next year on the issue.
“Field hearings will increase our understanding of the problems encountered during Superstorm Sandy and harvest the best ideas to ensure that mobile phone service doesn’t fail after future storms,” Mr. Schumer said in a statement. “Mobile communication has become an essential part of our lives, and increasing its reliability must be a top priority. I’d like to thank Chairman Genachowski and the FCC for their good work during the storm, and for beginning to tackle this important issue so quickly after.”
Is it the wet fleece? It’s not immediately clear, but according to a new Quinnipiac University Polling Institute survey, New York City voters gave the highest storm response-marks to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, preferring his tactics over President Barack Obama, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Quinnipiac’s director, Maurice Carroll, said these numbers can be attributed to Mr. Christie’s full embrace of Mr. Obama in the wake of the storm.
“The storm-of-the-century brings out the best in Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New Yorkers say. But that love fest between New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie and President Barack Obama seems to have moved voters especially,” Mr. Carroll explained in a statement. “While all four leaders get very high marks – it seems a hug or two never hurts.”
On his weekly radio show with John Gambling this morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg delved into history to argue massive coastline protection projects are futile, at least in the face of future storm surges similar to Hurricane Sandy’s. Specifically, Mr. Bloomberg referenced the tale of Denmark’s King Canute, who stood before the waves and ordered the tide to recede.
“If you build a house on the water, there’s a chance of tsunamis, tidal surge, big storms that come off the water,” Mr. Bloomberg explained. “That’s why insurance is so expensive on the water. People have been doing this from time and memorial ever since civilization started. Why do people do it? Because living on the water, for a lot of people, is a great experience and they’re willing to run the risks. Nobody’s happy when nature comes to call and everybody screams we should have done something different. In a practical sense you’re not going to build a wall from the Florida Keys to the northern tip of Maine to protect the whole coast. In fact, you probably could not do that. There’ll never be a technology that can do that. If you remember, King Canute of Denmark tried to stop the tides from coming. It’s a classic story.”
In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, President Barack Obama toured New Jersey, but, at the request of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, did not go to the hard-hit areas of New York City due to concerns that he would drain emergency resources. That changed today, however, and Mr. Obama is currently in Staten Island along with Mr. Bloomberg, Governor Andrew Cuomo and other elected officials. According to our own Hunter Walker, who’s traveling with the president, Mr. Obama surveyed the damage to Breezy Point and the Rockaways from the air, and received a fairly positive response when he landed in Staten Island.
“A group of residents who were here at the center, which was not closed today, are cordoned off about 200 feet from the tents,” he wrote. “They cheered when POTUS arrived. Several became dismayed and shouted ‘Get out of the way’ when the press corps blocked their view of the president.”
Earlier this morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Macy’s announced 5,000 tickets for the city’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade will go to families who have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
“Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy friends and family and reflect on life’s blessings, but this will be a particularly difficult holiday for many New Yorkers who suffered terrible losses as a result of Hurricane Sandy,” Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement. “So many people have been donating their time, energy, and resources to helping families hit hard by the storm recover, and we hope that taking part in a tradition like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will make their holiday just a little brighter.”