Streams

 

Sandy

The Leonard Lopate Show

Muddling Through

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

On today’s show: New York Times contributing writer Robin Marantz Henig  and her daughter Samantha Henig talk about why so many 20-somethings are finding it hard to establish independent lives. Playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury and director Eric Ting discuss the New York premiere of “We Are Proud to Present a Presentation...” Farmer Eric Herm explains how he thinks community, education, and agriculture will need to change in order for us to survive the 21st century. Plus, we’ll look at the toll Hurricane Sandy took on museums and galleries.

The Brian Lehrer Show

Sewage After Sandy

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Michael Schwirtz, reporter for The New York Times, talks about his reporting on how hundreds of millions of gallons of raw sewage from area treatment plants have flowed into NY and NJ waterways. NYC Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland discusses the city's response.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

It's the System

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Hurricane Sandy left New York and New Jersey waterways with a big raw sewage problem and revealed the flaws in wastewater infrastructure. Plus: Venezuela's El Sistema program of social change through music; the M23 rebellion in Congo; and the shows that ushered in television's golden age.

WNYC News

Mayor to Wastewater Workers: Keep Up the Good Work

Monday, December 03, 2012

WNYC

Mayor Michael Bloomberg continued to thank city workers for their efforts during Sandy when he toured the Oakwood Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant on Staten Island on Monday.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Telecommunications and Competition

Monday, December 03, 2012

David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at Syracuse University, and author of the forthcoming book The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use "Plain English" and Other Tricks to Rob You Blind, talks about his New York Times column on telecom companies, and explains their role during Sandy and in other emergencies.

 

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WNYC News

Staten Island Sandy Volunteers Concerned About City Scrutiny

Sunday, December 02, 2012

WNYC

In the aftermath of Sandy, volunteers set up local donation centers where residents could pick up hot meals, dry clothes and cleaning supplies. In some cases, these centers have been run by churches and other formal organizations. But others have been led by volunteers and now there is a growing concern among these smaller-scale operations about increased scrutiny from the city.

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WNYC News

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan Urges Congress to Approve Sandy Aid

Friday, November 30, 2012

President Barack Obama’s pointman on regional Sandy rebuilding efforts said tackling immediate needs such as minimizing the number of displaced is a top priority – but long-term issues such as buyouts and climate change loom large.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Getting Prepped

Friday, November 30, 2012

Retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen discusses his new post-Sandy role as the co-chair of Governor Cuomo’s Respond Commission, charged with making sure New York State is prepared for future weather disasters. Plus: Emily Bazelon of Slate discusses the same-sex marriage cases that could go before the Supreme Court; overlooked international news stories; the argument for higher wages for retail workers; and new inductees to the People’s Hall of Fame.

WNYC News

Tales from Two Senators on Sandy

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Congress is taking its first hard look at the damage from Sandy amid appeals for tens of billions of dollars in additional disaster assistance to rebuild from one of the most destructive storms ever to hit the Northeast.

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WNYC News

Morning Headlines | Selected by the WNYC News Hub

Thursday, November 29, 2012

WNYC's morning news producers bring you a rundown of today's must-read stories.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Sandy and Jobs

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Greg David, director of the Business & Economics Reporting Program at CUNY Journalism School, contributor to Crain's New York Business, and author of Modern New York:The Life and Economics of a City, looks at the effect of Sandy, and the clean-up, on the area's employment picture.

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Transportation Nation

NY MTA Takes On Major Debt Rather Than Raise Tolls & Fares To Pay For Sandy

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

NY MTA Chairman Joe Lhota.

(New York, NY - WNYC) The NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority held a board meeting Wednesday -- its first after Sandy -- and the main topic was how to solve a conundrum: filling the $5 billion hole that the storm blew in the agency's budget while simultaneously rebuilding New York's damaged transportation system.

NY MTA Chairman Joe Lhota seemed determined to assure the public that the agency, at the very least, had a plan. He began by saying revenue will not be raised by additional increases to planned toll and fare hikes in 2013 and 2015.

"The burden of Sandy will not be upon our riders," he said. "I have an enormous amount of confidence in our federal government that we will receive a substantial amount of money to get us back to the condition of functionality we had the day before the storm."

He said he didn't expect to see service cutbacks--though he didn't rule them out--and that he'd stick to a pledge to add or restore $29 million in subway and bus service.

Lhota said he is expecting FEMA and insurance to pick up 75 percent of the $5 billion tab. And he's hoping FEMA will boosts its reimbursement up to 95 percent. But the MTA can't count on that. As of now, the authority is on the hook for $950 million, which it needs right away to rebuild.

They'll get it by issuing $950 million in bonds. Lhota said the move will add $125 million to the authority's debt burden over the next three years. The best Lhota could say about where the money would come from is "cost-cutting measures" that are "unidentified at this time."

The MTA is paying $2 billion dollars in debt service this year. By 2018, debt service is expected to gobble up 20 percent of the authority's revenue. That's before figuring in the nearly $1 billion in debt that it voted to add Wednesday.

Lhota said the budget setback would not stop the authority's megaprojects, which are funded by its capital program. The Second Avenue subway, the East Side Access tunnel between Long Island and Grand Central Terminal, and the 7 train extension are essentially funded and nearing completion. Sandy delayed their construction but didn't flood them.

Today's decision to bring on more debt raised an alarm with Gene Russianoff of the New York Straphangers Campaign, an advocacy group. "Funding these needs by MTA bonds will increase pressure on fares through increased debt service - and it sets a troubling precedent for the funding of the next five-year capital program starting in 2015," he said in a statement.

Lhota added that all of the $5 billion will be spent on restoring transit to its pre-Sandy state. (Repairing the South Ferry Station alone is projected to cost $600 million.) None of the funds will be used to harden the system against future storms. That's going to take a whole other pile of money that hasn't been located yet.

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Transportation Nation

NJ Transit to Begin Testing Gladstone Line on Friday

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

NJ Transit's rail system recovery map. The faded gray line is the Gladstone Branch. (Click for full version)

NJ Transit says it's in the home stretch of making repairs to one of its hardest-hit rail lines and will begin running test trains on Friday.

“While every NJ TRANSIT rail line sustained damage as a result of Sandy’s wrath, the Gladstone line was particularly hard-hit, with the heavy damage and unique challenges making repairs more timely and more difficult,” said NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein. “I would again thank our customers for their patience and understanding during this difficult time.”

As a result of Hurricane Sandy, five 90-foot catenary (overhead wire) poles snapped and had to be replaced -- as did more than five miles of overhead wiring along the length of the Gladstone Branch.

Crews also removed 49 trees that were on the tracks and are in the process of finalizing repairs to the line’s infrastructure, such as signals and switches.

The agency says Friday's test trains are needed to ensure all of the systems are operating as intended and to remove the rust build-up along the lines.

Until service resumes, the transit agency is running free shuttle bus service to meet Midtown Direct trains and selected Hoboken-bound trains departing Summit. To learn more about the shuttle buses, visit NJ Transit's website.

To see a slideshow of NJ Transit's storm damage, click below.

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WNYC News

Sandy Forces Nathan's To Shut For First Time

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

For the first time in its history, Nathan's Famous on Coney Island will be closed this winter.

Sandy Forces Nathan's To Shut For First Time
For the first time in its history, Nathan's Famous on Coney Island will be closed this winter.
Just like so many other buildings along Surf Avenue, Sandy caused significant flooding and damage to the store.
Matt Soohoo, a visitor from California, journeyed about an hour from Manhattan, only to be disappointed when he arrived at Nathan's.
"I'll probably walk on the boardwalk a little bit. Man, I just wish I had a Nathan's dog too," Soohoo said.
Since opening in 1916, Nathan's  landmark store had operated every single day 365 days a year, until Sandy forced it to close. About 50 staff have been laid off. 
In a statement, Nathan's Famous said it aims to reopen in the Spring, leaving plenty of time to prepare for the Fourth of July annual hot dog eating conte

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Over the Edge

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

As they debate how to avoid going over the 'fiscal cliff" in Washington, New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman talks about what he thinks they should do to resolve it. Plus: charitable giving post-election and post-Sandy; journalist and author Pete Hamill on his new book of stories; why Intrade is shutting its doors to U.S. customers; the Mexican president-elect visits Washington; and the danger of consuming energy drinks.

WNYC News

Morning Headlines | Selected by the WNYC News Hub

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

WNYC's morning news producers bring you a rundown of today's must-read stories.

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WNYC News

NY Seeks Medicaid Funds for State's Sandy-affected Healthcare Providers

Monday, November 26, 2012

State health officials are asking the federal government for almost a half-billion dollars worth of special Medicaid funding for hospitals, nursing homes and clinics affected by Sandy.

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Transportation Nation

Restoring Last Parts Of NYC Subway Is The Hardest

Monday, November 26, 2012

Salt-encrusted circuit board from a New York City subway tunnel. (Photo by Jim O'Grady.)

(New York, NY - WNYC) Seven of the eight subway tunnels flooded by Sandy are back in service. But New York City Transit president Tom Prendergast said it will probably be months before the authority finishes fixing the eighth tunnel, which carries the R train under the harbor between Brooklyn and Manhattan. He said the problem is with the tunnel's electrical systems, such as the switches that keep track of train locations.

"Electrical equipment doesn't like water for obvious reasons -- water is conductive," he told reporters at the Midtown headquarters of the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority. "But salt water is very conductive and when salt water dries, it leaves salt, which is also conductive when it gets re-wet."

Prendergast said the authority does expect to get the R train running between 34th and Rector Streets--a normally busy stretch in Manhattan--within two weeks.

But he said the South Ferry subway station is also months away from re-opening. Sandy flooded that station to the ceiling, leaving little inside it untouched.

"You've got wall tiles that are down, you've got railings that are damaged," Prendergast said. "You've got possible damage behind wall surfaces, you've got electrical equipment in the form of elevators and escalators." (See a pic of drowning subway escalators here.) And as with the R train tunnel under the harbor, the station's electrical switches are coated in salt water and must be replaced.

The R train tunnel is one of the longest under-river crossings in the system and took more time to dry out, leaving more equipment damaged than in other tunnels.

A spokesman for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the MTA's price tag for damage caused by Sandy tops $5 billion.

(Click here to see what parts of the NYC subway system are still down.)

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WNYC News

Bloomberg Says $19B in Public, Private Sandy Losses

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg estimates Sandy caused a whopping $19 billion in losses in New York City. He's asking federal lawmakers to put up nearly $10 billion to reimburse both government agencies and private businesses.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

NJ Recovery: Four Weeks Post-Sandy

Monday, November 26, 2012

Nancy Solomon, managing editor of New Jersey Public Radio, discusses the status of the recovery in New Jersey four weeks after Sandy.

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