Politics, Staten Island, and Sandy

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Huffington Post reporters Saki Knafo and Lila Shapiro talk about the factors on Staten Island that made it especially vulnerable to the disaster that came with Sandy. They’ve reported investigative pieces looking at the political landscape on Staten Island and the power of real-estate development.


Saki Knafo and Lila Shapiro

Comments [7]

Brenda from former Staten Islander

SI was not "mostly farmland and vacation homes" before the bridge. I grew up there on the north shore, which was a normal middle class residential area before the bridge, and after. In the seventies, however, more houses were crowded into existing spaces, and rezoning began to allow apartment buildings and dense townhouse developments.

Also one can assume that the reason all the tacky developments went up so quickly would be a result of of the Verrazzano Bridge's opening, paired with political corruption. I think developers probably did more than contribute to politicians' official campaigns.

Re the random, destructive and very ugly development on SI - there was also some kind of (state?) hillside protection legislation that was supposed to protect SI's hills from the rapid proliferation of insatiably greedy developers. It was completely ignored; too many hills disappeared and/or became cliffs. Just look to the right if you're driving west on the SI Expressway by the Clove Rd exit. My family's quarter acre home ended up being at the edge of a cliff, after a builder "re-graded" the adjoining land in order to squeeze in a ridiculously ugly house. The builder was oblivious to the damage to adjoining properties, never mind the landscape

I think SI is a case study of corrupt politicians feeding off of criminally inclined, greedy developers. The result seems tragic, in terms of congestion, aesthetics, the environment and the general quality of life on SI.

Dec. 20 2012 02:24 PM

I really don’t want to be mean. Vocal Fry! Good one. I was wondering what to call her irksome unlistenable affect. It also has a bit of Valley girl too. Thank you!!!! The annoying baby woman voice of writer Emily Steele from the FTC to Investigate Data Brokers segment forced me to turn Leonard off. I hardly ever do that. Now I have to suffer through this. I CAN DO IT!

Staten Island is a strange place. They keep asking for government help to build protective dunes?! I find that stranger still since a majority of S. Islanders can do it all themselves and do not need government assistance.

After Sandy, they wanted help one minute then they didn’t. The more important issue is the continued development of vulnerable aka flood zones. How much money and resources do tax payers have to allot to these areas once a disaster hits before ppl use common sense instead of cents. We have some of the same issues in Red Hook. Sandy was not a wake call.
Please secede SI. I beg of you!

Dec. 20 2012 01:57 PM

Hylan Blvd. runs near the shore in places but not always. But yeah Evac zone A is mainly from Hylan to the shore.

Dec. 20 2012 01:52 PM

Very True John. I agree.

Dec. 20 2012 01:48 PM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

Ha! I agree - she does have a terrible case of "vocal fry." I've also heard it called "vocal burn." Couple that with upspeak and/or a thick accent and you've got quite a lethal assault on the ears.

Dec. 20 2012 01:48 PM
John from Fanwood NJ

I grew up on he Island and my family is still theere, I left in the '80s for New Jersey, and became a member of the Planning Board in my small Union County town. I became aware that the developers trumped the planners in SI, which resulted in a "Queens-ification." Huge numbers of semi-attached two-family homes were built on small lots. There are now way more people than the skimpy City services can accomodate. We don't alow that to happen in New Jersey.

Dec. 20 2012 01:45 PM
Telegram Sam from Staten Island

This was an amazing, brave article but she's got the worst case of "vocal fry" I've ever heard in my life. Makes her unlistenable.

Dec. 20 2012 01:32 PM

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