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Friday, November 02, 2012

New Yorkers Beg For Food,Clothing, Bloomberg Diverts Resources For Marathon- Update:Cancelled!

By Susan Duclos

[Update] Marathon cancelled amid backlash against Bloomberg.

ABC News' Nation reports that New York residents are begging for food and clothing, three days after Hurricane Sandy devastated their area.

The residents of Staten Island are pleading for help from elected officials, begging for gasoline, food and clothing three days after Sandy slammed the New York City borough.

“We’re going to die! We’re going to freeze! We got 90-year-old people!” Donna Solli told visiting officials. “You don’t understand. You gotta get your trucks down here on the corner now. It’s been three days!”

Staten Island was one of the hardest-hit communities in New York City. More than 80,000 residents are still without power. Many are homeless, and at least 19 people died on Staten Island because of the storm.

Further down int he article, it reads:

Molinaro urged New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg Wednesday to cancel Sunday’s New York City Marathon. The race’s staging area is on Staten Island and Molinaro said it would be “crazy, asinine,” to have the race after what has happened.

“My God. What we have here is terrible, a disaster,” Molinaro said Wednesday. “If they want to race, let them race with themselves. This is no time for a parade. A marathon is a parade. Now is the time to put your shoulder to the wheel. If they want to prepare for something, let them prepare for the election, not a marathon.”

“Do you realize how many police officers you need for a marathon?” he asked. “There are people looting stores on Midland Avenue. There is looting taking place in the homes on the South Shore that were destroyed. That is where we need the police.”

 This is one of the few times I can saying that I completely agree with the New York Times when they say " What??????"

O.K., let’s see if we have this straight: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg wisely slaps down the N.B.A.'s initial ridiculous idea to play the Nets-Knicks opener as scheduled Thursday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn because of the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, then pauses about two seconds before declaring the New York City Marathon must go on. On one hand, it is unconscionable to stage an event in relatively lightly damaged Brooklyn that would involve 20,000 or so people, if you include all the employees, traffic cops and ticket scalpers who would have gravitated to the event, but perfectly O.K. to stage something with 40,000 runners and millions of spectators, which uses untold amount of city resources over a 26.2-mile course that ends in Central Park, which has not been accessible yet because no one knows how many trees are ready to fall on how many heads?

Yeah, that makes sense. 

The mayor’s news conferences often seem to be conveying several different ideas at once, in several languages, including one resembling Spanish, but this time he is apparently talking from two different planets. The wise, caretaking mayor from Planet Earth decides the N.B.A. must take a back seat to the city’s overall welfare on Thursday while the smooth-talking mayor from Planet Money Trumps All decides that whatever cash spills from the pockets of out-of-town runners, however many of them can even manage to get to the city, is worth draining the city of critical resources for a race on Sunday. 

Let’s try this again. What?

 What the hell is wrong with Bloomberg? What on earth is he thinking?

Kudos to the Hilton Garden Inn hotel in Staten Island  which is refusing to displace Sandy storm victims for marathoners.

USA Today reports:

 The owner of a Hilton Garden Inn hotel in Staten Island refuses to kick out his current guests, who lost their homes to superstorm Sandy, to runners arriving for Sunday's New York City Marathon.
Hotel owner Richard Nicotra told Hotel Check-In Friday afternoon that local residents are relying on his hotel while they remain homeless due to the storm and that he won't let them down. Both Nicotra and his wife are second-generation Staten Island residents. Local cable channel NY1 first reported the story on Thursday.

Meadia asks a very good question: "What would the world have thought of Mayor Nagin if he’d diverted resources from Katrina relief efforts to holding a Mardi Gras parade?"

[Update] Another storm heading  toward Mid-Atlantic and New England regions?

(Headline changed to reflect the cancellation of the marathon amid backlash)