A Death In The (Civic) Family

This past week, Hurricane Sandy ravaged & savaged a good chunk of the US East Coast. Houses & businesses damaged or destroyed, coastline washed away, power sources knocked out, water supplies contaminated – the whole Hurrican Disaster Scenario.

The difference this time was the utter disinterest ahead of time by so many in the affected areas – after all, there was a big hoo-ha about Irene last year & nothing came of it (although people in Vermont could argue that point). So, a lot of people in the coastal & low lying areas stayed put, thought it would be great fun. Nope.

Power out to over 8 million people, subway & tunnels flooded, gasoline shortages for the few vehicles which could get through the flooded streets & for gas powered generators, entire neighborhoods burned down because fire trucks couldn’t get to the areas, Staten Island & Hoboken still under water, people trapped in their houses, 40 deaths. So, what is the subject of conversation today in the NYC area?


A story in the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/sports/marathons-cancellation-sure-to-carry-huge-costs.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20121104&_r=0 (may be behind paywall) gives both sides of the argument, although it’s mainly complaining about how much good it would have done for the city & should have proceeded as scheduled. Loss of tax revenue from hotels, restaurants, & other businesses along the route are given as one reason for bemoaning the cancellation; “It would make the City feel good!” is given as another reason to hold the race.

Let’s think this through. When the race was officially cancelled on Friday, a good chunk of the 5 boroughs & surrounding area were still without electricity, no water or questionable water quality, some places still under water. This is where you’re going to host 40,000+ out of towners? Doesn’t seem like a good idea. I realize a lot of these people had already arrived by the Friday afternoon cancellation, but telling everyone to come on & enjoy our half drowned & hurting City seems a bad idea.

As for “making the City feel good!” ? Really? No home, no food, no clean drinking water, some suffered deaths of family members or friends, but they want to go cheer on a bunch of people running through the City? You really think so?

This is so tone-deaf to the actual needs of the citizens, it’s a totally different song. When a close family member dies, the last thing wanted is a boisterous party, esp. if you don’t know how you’ll pay the expenses, pay outstanding bills,raise the kids, etc. Maybe in a month or two after the freshest of grief is passed & the money questions have been answered – not the same week. Granted, if it’s a distant cousin who died, you might not be as loathe to attend a party that week.

This was a death in the civic family, where neighborhoods died & others are barely on life support. Saying to the members of your civic family their pain & fear isn’t reason enough to cancel a party in what’s left of their yards is heartless, & so callous as to question the humanity of all who question the decision.


About pegsiskatzencats

Middle aged cat lady, flaming liberal, gardener extrordinaire, I live for the Cubs, & HATE hot weather. Chicagoland native, I WILL RETURN!
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