Just before Hurricane Sandy hit, everyone was busy stocking up provisions to weather the maelstrom. Following the storm, there was a scramble to to find more to eat as stores were empty and restaurants closed. This is a city of gourmands, after all. For the city officials who were responsible for guiding the city through the disaster, this was no exception.
While we were compiling our oral history of Hurricane Sandy, Joe Lhota mentioned that even in the worst of the storm, he had managed to keep his daily dietary regimen intact. This got us wondering: what was everybody eating while they scrambled around getting the city ready and helping it recover? Here is what the protectors and providers of the city had on their plates and in their pockets.
When Hurricane Sandy came ashore, it fell to the city’s leaders and the thousands of workers at their command to secure our coasts, to rescue those trapped by water and without power, to help the city rebuild. The Observer spent Monday and Tuesday talking with New York’s top public officials about Hurricane Sandy. These are their experiences in their own words.
Joe Lhota, chairman and CEO, Metropolitan Transportation Authority: I have an app on my iPad that monitors hurricanes on the East Coast. I have always lived on the water. I always watch the app. So when I first got involved in this—it was long before it even hit Jamaica—I knew when it started as a tropical storm, and a hurricane, and a tropical storm, and then a hurricane again.
Joe Bruno, commissioner, NYC Office of Emergency Management: We follow the weather very closely this time of year as it comes off the tip of Africa, or wherever it develops. This particular storm came out of the southwest of the Caribbean. At 11 a.m. on October 22, we saw a tropical depression. At that point it’s just a depression, and you don’t know much about it. By 6 p.m., it was upgraded already to a tropical storm called Sandy. It continued to strengthen during the next day, and we kept track of it as it moved across Jamaica.
In his budget presentation, Mayor Bloomberg pointed a critical finger at state and federal lawmakers who reduced their aid to the city.
In response, Governor Cuomo’s spokesman, Josh Vlasto, emailed to say:
“Facing a historic deficit, Governor Cuomo passed a budget that included both tough choices and dramatic reforms to get the state’s fiscal house Read More
At the Somos el Futuro legislative conference in Albany this weekend, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli could be seen hugging Senator Charles Schumer-not because he was feeling particularly affectionate, but because Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, chairman of the conference, which gathers top Democratic officials to discuss issues of concern to Hispanic New Yorkers, had urged attendees to Read More
The latest round in the feud, from Bloomberg’s spokesman Marc LaVorgna:
Albany wants to have it both ways: take credit for a budget with real cuts and take no responsibility for the consequences of those cuts.
Re: the comment that the “Department of Education has a surplus of over $300 million.” False. The Independent Read More
Governor Cuomo’s spokesman is pushing back against Mayor Bloomberg’s criticism of the state budget, saying the cut the city isn’t as the mayor describes it. And that teacher layoffs aren’t needed.
Spokesman Josh Vlasto:
The agreement restores tens of millions of dollars in additional education aid, millions to keep senior centers open, and millions Read More
Here’s an oddly volatile moment between Andrew Cuomo’s current spokesman, Josh Vlasto, and NYPRIG’s Blair Horner, who, if you’ll recall, once worked for Cuomo. At issue is Cuomo’s plan to redesign Medicaid, which was crafted with “stakeholders” within the health care field, but not any group representing patients.
SpinCycle [$]: Read More
Another top aide is leaving Betsy Gotbaum’s office.
Gotbaum’s communication director, James Vlasto is leaving effective March 20, according to an email he sent to friends today.
“Now is the time to move on. I intend to stay active as a consultant to help those involved in public policy and to assist them in making Read More