This column was written Friday, and with the situation still very much in flux some of what I'm writing here may have been overtaken by events. So like last week's column, I'll just do my best. My post-election column will be for next week.
This columnist has been rough on our Gov. Chris Christie, calling him a bully, and opposing many of his actions as governor. Hurricane Sandy showed him in a new light.
Watching his news conferences, there was no question that Christie was genuinely moved by the massive destruction wrought by Superstorm Sandy. There were amusement parks where he had recently taken his family that were now just a pile of wood and rubble. The governor was clearly exhausted and emotionally drained, but he has done a great job so far, for all the people in New Jersey, no matter what their politics.
Christie ignored politics as usual and praised President Obama a number of times, and took Obama on a helicopter tour of the battered shore. This was true bipartisanship: people matter, not politics. Just think if Congress had chosen to act like Christie for the last four years by working with President Obama instead of single-mindedly trying to destroy him.
Longport Media, composed of WOND 1400, WWAC 102.7 and 98.3, KOOL, did South Jersey a great public service by staying on air for what seemed like forever. I understand that Harry's station, WPG Talk Radio 1450 (Townsquare Media), also stayed on air overtime. Kudos to both.
One thing that Sandy did was to bring the issue of climate change/global warming to the forefront. The New York subway system and the southern end of Manhattan have beenshown to be vulnerable to flooding. Sea levels are rising faster every year, and storms like Sandy are happening more frequently than in the past. Whether one thinks that climate change is caused by humans or just a part of natural cycles, we need to consider the effects of climate change before rebuilding, especially on the barrier islands.
Avalon and much of Stone Harbor were spared from the worst of Sandy due to their extensive dune system. The dune system on Absecon Island needs to be rebuilt longer and deeper as soon as possible.
We still need to review our electric power distribution system, and consider decentralizing the system by using hydrogen fuel cells, solar and wind power to take some of the pressure off of the grid. Atlantic City Electric should hold a public meeting to discuss their response to Sandy. By now, Atlantic City Electric should be able to identify the weakest areas in its distribution system and figure out how to reinforce those areas, perhaps by running some wires underground.
Three quick housekeeping points:
First, please continue to feel free to contact me by email or via my cell. I try to answer all emails and calls as long as they are polite. So please, no capital letters (email “shouting”) and no name calling. If you call me from a phone that is “restricted” I won't answer or return your voice mail. I will keep anything you say to me confidential if needed.
Second, I do not respond, in this column, to letters to the editor that oppose or criticize this column. I don't feel that it is my job to do so. My job is to be a balance to the two right-wing columnists who share this page, and to write columns that get people thinking and talking. I do respond to correct any errors I might have made, and I appreciate those readers who have pointed out errors in the past.
Third, the NJEA Convention that was scheduled for Nov. 8-9 was cancelled last Thursday due to the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. We have a great deal of peace and justice inventory that we bought for the convention. If you feel a sudden urge to decorate your car's bumper, please give us a call.
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