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Six months later: Hurricane Sandy’s damage lingers on Long Beach

14 May

Superstorm Sandy devastated most of the Atlantic Coast in October 2012, with its most severe damage hitting New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. While most areas have recovered, there are equally as many areas that are still suffering the storm’s damage. One of these areas include the city of Long Beach on Long Island, New York. The following compilation of multimedia elements about this topic is by Ashley Hartman, Magdalene Michalik, Taylor Leonard-Coleman, and Christopher Owens.


Check out our video which shows the Long Beach community speaking out about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.


Take a look at our Vuvox which shows a series of photos of Long Beach in its reconstruction process.


We reached out to residents and learned that they are still struggling daily to cope from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

Rebuilding Hearts and Homes

Superstorm Sandy hit New York and neighboring states like New Jersey approximately seven months ago, and the exhausting recovery attempt carries on with repairing, rebuilding and reopening devastated homes and businesses. The process has been rough and many people are still stressed in the aftermath of one of the most vicious storms to hit the Northeast region.

According to Long Beach Police Department Commissioner Michael Tagney, 30 percent of Long Beach’s residents have not returned to their homes after Hurricane Sandy. Many residents have not returned yet because there is nothing for them to return to.

“I evacuated my condo on West Park Avenue the day before the storm hit in late October and I am still out,” said Shari Kivet Stier, a Long Beach resident. “I had insurance but no flood insurance, so the process for rebuilding is taking much longer then expected. I lost everything.”

Superstorm Sandy has left countless Long Beach families stressed to conquer the natural damage and defeat that resulted from one of the worst storms to hit Long Island. The large quantity of building wreckage and still vacant residences confirm the reality that almost no one on this beach island was unaffected by this superstorm. What is not so candidly displayed, however, is the emotional suffering and mental wounds that frequently follow a tragic event like Sandy.

“I couldn’t even eat for weeks,” said Elliot Posner, a Long Beach resident. “I was devastated at the damage that Sandy caused both to my home and to my family. My kids were out of school for weeks and we lost basically our whole life. The rebuilding of my entire life was hard to grasp and still is but there is nothing I could of done and I just try my best everyday not to let the feeling overwhelm me.”

Posner is a father of four and has lived in Long Beach for only a few years. His house was completely flooded, ruining almost everything. He was stranded from his house for three months and when his family moved back in they still had no running water. The reconstruction of his house can take almost a year while waiting for insurance and money from FEMA.

“Waiting for FEMA is like watching paint dry,” said Posner. “It’s a long process but I have to do it for my family. We’ve been volunteering and helping the community rebuild that’s the only thing I want to happen.”

Tragedies like Superstorm Sandy often bring communities together. Now that the summer is quickly approaching we can still see that the camaraderie amongst fellow Long Beach citizens is still shining strong.


Check out our Storify about the public’s reactions about reconstructing the boardwalk:

Long Beach boardwalk reconstruction begins after Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy wrecked the town of Long Beach during its path on between October 22-21, 2012. The storm was the most destructive and deadliest hurricane in 2012. The damage included the Long Beach boardwalk.

  1. Long Beach, NY Boardwalk Transition, part 1
  2. On April 27, 2013, reconstruction of the boardwalk began. The public is reminiscent while it awaits the beloved boardwalk to come back stronger than it was before.
  3. First trip to Long Beach since the hurricane. It looks so wrong without the boardwalk 😦
  4. Ship lights out at sea. So odd not having my beloved boardwalk, but it shall be back. Love my Long Beach.
  5. my summer won’t be the same without the boardwalk at long beach #memories
  6. Thought to myself I want to ride my bike on the boardwalk at long beach… Then I remembered there was no boardwalk #fusandy
  7. Others express their dissent about the $44 million project as many are still displaced from their homes.
  8. Long Beach is apparently getting close to 200 million in FEMA aid……included in this amount will be the 44 MILLION for the boardwalk……..Curious about where the other 156 Million is going? Directly to homeowners? Is the City using that money for overtime costs related to Hurricane Sandy too? What will be left for the homeowners? What will be left for the businesses? What will be left for the INFRASTRUCTURE that was damaged as a result of Sandy?
  9. The Long Beach boardwalk is going to
    cost 44 Million Dollars to repair ???Hahaha Hahahaaa !!! Unbelievable !!
    Oh my Lord !! Not hard to understand why this country is falling apart man. That is just incredible.
  10. it really annoys me every time i hear that the long beach boardwalk costs $44million to rebuild and fema will pick up most of the cost. i enjoy the boardwalk too but isnt it more important for people to rebuild their homes
  11. My family has been in Long Beach for close to a century, but I cannot, in good conscience go to support a boardwalk “groundbreaking” ceremony when our infrastructure is collapsing around us. I love this City, but families and businesses are still displaced. 44 Million dollars for a boardwalk is shameful.
  12. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy that the Broadwalk is finally getting rebuilt but what about the our homes? When will the “people””WE” get anything from all those fundraisers supposedly done for us? It’s been almost 6 months and we’re still displaced!
  13. More information about restoring the Long Beach boardwalk can be found here:
  14. The boardwalk will not be finished by the end of this summer. However, pieces of the 2.2 mile public attraction will open one at a time.

Undernourished Citzens Worldwide

22 Apr

Undernourished Citzens Worldwide


31 Mar

Z-pita is a Mediterranean restaurant in the village of Port Jefferson or other might know the location as “downport”. Its ideal main street location and just seconds from the ferry has kept this restaurant going for the past 15 years. Joseph Zangrillo or Joey Zee which is the name he known by from many of the locals is a dedicated worker. Joey works in the restaurant over 70 hours a week and informs us even though his age might be high he still has a lot of life to live. Using his mothers own secret recipes keeps the costumers coming back for more.

What It Takes To Be A Professional

21 Mar

Christine Xaver is an in-depth reporter for WCNY’s Central Issues news program located in Syracuse, NY. Xaver is also a professor at Tompkins Cortland Community College being the chair of the Communications and Media Arts program. Giving her students insight into the industry she produced her most significant project which is cooking show called The Sweet Life with Chris Xaver which is being aired nationally on participating PBS stations.

Christine Xaver on set of The Sweet Life

Christine Xaver on set of The Sweet Life

During a recent phone interview she explained her daily process of what it takes to be a professional journalist. She explained the daily struggles of the industry even after her 29 year career. “I have been in the industry a very long time and one thing you need to know about this industry is to always collect facts and have reliable sources to back them up.” She also explained how it’s hard to narrow down just an average routine day because of the constant moving, finding interview sources and then having to record, collect, and report information, and she explains how vital it is to always “check the facts”.

Xaver stresses that people shouldn’t underestimate the power that journalist have in informing and educating the public. She says “With the new age of the web and everyone trying to be what they think is a journalist. All of us can’t repost material we discover on the web at once and deem it to be news.” She also explains how hard it is due to the internet for citizens to trust and acquire the factual story. Xaver says “If you receive thousands of voices on one issue, it can sound like a lot of clatter. You need some reliable specialists on that issue to help deliver you through sentiments that make sense.”

“I can remember my first big story. It was November of 1986 and I watched hundreds of cops investigate the murder case in Dryden, NY. I was the first reporter on the scene and working for channel 7 at the time. The story was known nationwide and that’s when my career took off.” She explained it’s all about location and timing to make sure you are always prepared to find a story anywhere at any time. Being a professional at the time and trained for the career I was capable of conveying the factual story and gave the residents of Dryden evidence and a valid story about these poor victims.

Christine Xaver on set in Califorina.

Christine Xaver.

“Being a respectable professional journalist is a hard full-time job but with dedication and a good moral ethic it can be the best job in the world.”

A Day at An Italian Restaurant

14 Mar

After working for 4 years in a basic Italian restaurant I wanted to share my everyday experience. Not everyone truly views the restaurant like the employees. Express Cuisine with selected season ingredients and home made bread, pasta and our light and crispy pizza. Professional personnel with a special regard for customer service with a welcoming external space that is both ample and comfortable. Special events and corporate dinner services available as well as complementary wine. Always open. Come on in to Branchinellis!

Earbuds or Hearing Loss?

14 Mar

There seems to be no boundaries for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, now releasing his new $250,000 public health plan, which is targeting ear bud headphones. Bloomberg and NYC public health officials are scheduling a social media promotion to inform adolescents of the risks of losing their hearing from listening to music on their headphones at a high volume. You can barely go on a subway or walk down a busy NYC street without listening to the sounds of some song squeaking out of someone’s earbuds, reminding you that “tonight’s going be a good night.”

So is this the right choice for the Mayor to raise awareness of this so-called “problem” or is the problem exaggerated? Talking to Dr. Andrew J. Parker who is a ear nose and throat specialist from Norwalk, CT, he explains in detail of the problems that may be caused by these “dangerous” ear buds that the average American adolescent wears daily. “The standard ear buds that are placed in the ear canal and used with any typical iPod or MP3 player are so close to the inner ear it can cause internal damage if used at a high decibel.” Being an adolescent I was unaware of these so called hazards and would listen to my own iPod at an extreme level. Dr. Parker also said “as of the last few years I’ve had numerous adolescents come in daily with early signs of hearing loss. It cannot be targeted directly to the ear buds but almost all of the patients have told me that they used them.” Before talking to the doctor my original thoughts were Mayor Bloomberg isn’t supersized sodas a big enough target for one month? But ironically I find myself interested in this educational campaign.

The maximum safe level for ear phones is 85 decibels and iPods can reach up to 115 decibels which is potentially damaging to the ear drums. Considering I am a youngster, I think the campaign will be enlightening and hopefully beneficial in reducing the amount of hearing loss in teenagers instead of making them want to rebel against the campaign. But one question still arises are New Yorkers going to listen to the mayors campaign and turn down the volume or even change over to over the ear headphone or do they want the mayor to mind his own business and stop wasting more money? We will just have to wait and see the teenage reaction and results. ImageImage

Alcohol or the Super Bowl?

14 Feb

As America prepares for the Super Bowl XLVII is this event actually even about the game? Americans of all ages gather together over wings and cocktails to watch this national broadcast. Not only is football highlighted during this exciting event chances are you’ll be drinking at some point either at a party or a bar.  Super Bowl has not only been focused around football but what choice of cocktail or beer you have.

Has the game changed into a drinking activity? While interviewing 22-year-old Diana Aghabekian I realized I am not the only one who attends these Super Bowl parties mainly for the drinks. Aghabekian said “I’m not really into the actual game I’m more or less just into the amount of drinking that is acceptable during it.” She also explained how she typically drinks throughout the season on Sundays with friends to enjoy this American sport. Aghabekian was not the only one that had drinking on their mind.

The Super Bowl and football overall is just another excuse for us men to do what we do bed; drink and watch sports, said John Maini, a 27-year-old from Levittown. Many believe that it is not a Super Bowl party without beer or cocktails. Turning this sports game into some sort of consuming frenzy. I believe barely anyone actually goes out to these parties and bars to even watch the game anymore.

“Football has been my favorite sport all my life and I enjoy drinking but in order for me to actually get the full experience I opt to put the glass down during the game and pay attention to the game I’ve been waiting all season to see,” said Kieran Driscoll, a 62-year-old from Levittown. So maybe I was wrong it could be possible that there is some people actually out there who left out consuming an extreme amount of alcohol flow during this historical game. Kieran also states how he enjoys the game from his own home; unlike the others interviewed he believes that the only way he can make sure he sees every detail of the game is when he’s stationary on his couch with no distractions. Even though many are consuming insane amounts of alcohol including myself the number one priority should be to just drink responsibly.