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Category: Hurricane Sandy

Cho Proves Lies Can Get You Close

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Scott Garrett

Scott Garrett

It looks as if Rep. Scott Garrett could, after all, end up having the longest election night of any New Jersey incumbent this year, Save Jerseyans, assuming new survey results from Patrick Murray’s Monmouth Polling Institute are accurate.

Monmouth found Garrett (48%) leading challenger Roy Cho (43%) by only 5-points with 6% undecided.  Garrett was re-elected by 12-points in the 2012 “Obama year.”

 “This race was not even a blip on most political prognosticators’ radar screens.  It should be now,” said Murray, who serves as director at the Polling Institute.


A Sandy Community Still in Distress, Part II

By Synnove Bakke | The Save Jersey Blog


Sen Corey Booker, Rep. Frank Pallone, Asm. Rob Clifton and Mayor Owen Henry speak with affected residents in Laurence Harbor.

Finally, almost two whole years later, there may finally be some relief in sight for residents in Cliffwood Way, Laurence Harbor. I wrote about this small devastated neighborhood when I found it by accident in April of this year. 

Click here to read my original report if you missed it, Save Jerseyans.

Last time visited alone. This time, through my work with Assemblyman Rob Clifton, I was fortunate to be able to attend a walk-through of the neighborhood with Senator Cory Booker, Rep Frank Pallone, Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry, the town administrator Chris Marion, OEM coordinator, Dominic Cicio, councilmen Butler and Mollis, and Freeholder Charles Kenney.


Obama diverts $1 billion in Sandy funds away from New Jersey

Kyrillos and Holzapfel cry foul

By Art Gallagher |

kyrillos talkingPresident Barack Obama announced that he is diverting nearly $1 billion in Hurricane Sandy recovery funds away from New Jersey and New York to fund a nationwide resiliency competition that will ostensibly help the winning communities build infrastructure to deal with the impacts of climate change.

Obama announced the competition last weekend at the University of California Irvine’s commencement, according to The Star Ledger:

“In some parts of the country, weather-related disasters like droughts and fires and storms and floods are going to get … harsher and they’re going to get costlier,” Obama said during the speech. “That’s why today I’m announcing a new one billion dollar competitive fund to help communities prepare for the impacts of climate change and build more resilient infrastructure across the country.”

State Senators Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth)and Jim Holzapfel (R-Ocean)l condemned the diversion of recovery funds away from their constituents.

Read the rest of this entry »

Christie Kicks Off MDW in Belmar

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Who cares about politics, right? You’re thinking about driving to the Shore if you’re not already, Save Jerseyans.

Governor Chris Christie is already there, having co-hosted the The Boomer and Carton Show on Friday morning to promote Jersey Shore tourism before Keansburg, Belmar (see below), Asbury Park and Seaside on this the kick-off of the first unofficial weekend of Summer 2014. He’s trying to put a positive face on the second post-Sandy season, citing statistics including $1.83 billion “out the door” despite the persistence of systemic and unacceptable problems with the Sandy relief aid process.

I hate to say we told you so….

But enough of that for now. Let’s take a walk on the Boardwalk:

Christie CV’s Sandy Bill of Rights

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Chris Christie, Stephen M. SweeneyIt’s one of the corner pieces of Steve Sweeney‘s 2017 gubernatorial campaign, Save Jerseyans, but Governor Chris Christie made it clear today that while he acknowledges documented problems with the disaster relief aid process, he’s not endorsing his fair weather ally’s so-called Sandy ‘Bill of Rights’ as-is.

He wants substantive changes.

“Since the devastating events of Superstorm Sandy eighteen months ago, New Jerseyans have come together in remarkable ways as a united and determined family dedicated to the recovery and rebuilding of our home,” Governor Christie declared in a statement accompanying his conditional veto of S1306 issued Monday. “In this bill, the Legislature laudably seeks to join those efforts, but has done so by proposing a series of new administrative procedures and spending requirements accompanied by a raft of partisan political findings, all styled as ‘rights,’” said Governor Christie.  “The result is unfortunately a series of post-hoc mandates that are violative of state and federal law, rife with illegal priorities and unquantifiable administrative costs, that would prove impossible to implement, frustrate sound future disaster planning, and all but certainly exceed federal funding for program administration.”

The Governor’s proposed changes are itemized below the fold…


MacArthur Drops Twin Attack Ads

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

The well-heeled campaign of GOP CD3 candidate Tom MacArthur is stepping up its aerial assault on primary opponent Steve Lonegan, Save Jerseyans, led by two new network television ads that dropped on Tuesday morning only days after launching a major online campaign centered around a website, ‘’; they feature several CD3-based elected officials who have already endorsed the former Randolph mayor:

TV Ad #1: “Joint Base”

TV Ad #2: “Suck it Up”


N.J. Boardwalks Bouncing Back

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Seven months ago, Save Jerseyans, a fire destroyed eight blocks of the Seaside Park and Seaside Heights Boardwalk along with over 50 businesses. A 25-foot section had to be removed to serve as a fire break to save the rest of it only months after Hurricane Sandy wrecked 33 boardwalks along the coast. It was salt on the wound of our state’s storm-battered population.

Governor Chris Christie dropped by the iconic Seaside boardwalk this Friday and, while workers are still hammering, hauling and sawing like there’s no tomorrow, he projected that all of the states’ damaged walks would be repaired by Memorial Day Weekend… even if his “gentle powers of persuasion” need to be employed:


Christie: 98% of Resettlement Cash is Out

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

There are plenty of big problems out there in Sandy-affected areas, Save Jerseyans, including the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) rule preventing homeowners from receiving funds for repairs affected before acceptance into the program. Scores of families are still displaced or suffering in place as our own Synnove Bakke recently chronicled. Then there’s the real albeit unbelievable possible of billions of dollars being diverted away from New Jersey’s recovery efforts.

Governor Christie chose to accentuate the positive during Thursday’s Brick mobile recovery town hall:


Obama Administration Looking To Divert Billions in Sandy Funds Away From New Jersey and New York

By Art Gallagher |

repost-us-10549927The Obama Administration is considering holding a contest for areas impacted by disasters other than Superstorm Sandy.  The “winners” would get between $1 billion and $2 billion of the remaining $3.6 billion is Sandy relief dollars being doled out by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), according to a story first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The Record reports that New Jersey Congressmen Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson; Albio Sires, D-West New York; and Frank Pallone, D-Long Branch, and Sen. Bob Menendez are urging HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan not to federal aid to projects in other parts of the country.  Members of the New York Congressional Delegation are making similar pleas.

Where’s Senator Cory Booker?  He’s proselytizing on twitter. 

Sires told The Record that the entire New Jersey delegation could join together in opposition to a nationwide contest for the money.  That would be great!  Sires should lead the Democrats in the delegation in ending the partisanship that has been dominating the discourse over Sandy recovery and sign the letter to Donovan and Michael Boots, the Acting Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality that Congressman Chris Smith invited him, and all members of the delegation to sign requesting a meeting to hash out the multitude of issues New Jersey residents are having with the HUD relief process.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Sandy Community Still in Distress

By Synnove Bakke | The Save Jersey Blog

I went on a winter shell hunting trip to the beach with my daughter in January of this year, Save Jerseyans. We ended up in the Laurence Harbor section of Old Bridge. On this icy cold day, we didn’t find any shells, but I was encouraged to see a boardwalk being built and an open area of beach where it looked like the sand had been replaced.

As we were leaving, we drove along the beach section of Old Bridge and we happened upon a ghost town, a neighborhood with 25 houses all boarded up. We drove down an eerie looking street named ‘Cliffwood Way.’ I made the turn into the neighborhood and was met with a very tragic sight: many of the houses featured crudely-painted warnings to looters.

It’s almost 2 years since Superstorm Sandy. Why are those houses still in shambles? Are they condemned and not going to be livable again or are the families waiting for Sandy Aid? It felt as if we had stepped onto the set of a disaster movie and not a community of the Jersey Shore. 

I decided to come back and check in when the weather is warmer so I may find some of the home owners.


Tortoises Find Help. Sandy Victims? Meh.

Sandy Response Support Skids in New Poll

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Florida to New Jersey Sandy TruckThe big takeaway excerpt of the most recent survey report from Monmouth Pollster Patrick Murray:

Among those residents who live in New Jersey’s hardest hit communities, only 41% are satisfied with the state’s recovery efforts while a decided majority (54%) are dissatisfied. In the remainder of the state, 49% are satisfied while 41% are dissatisfied. This marks the first time that residents of hardest hit communities have shown a significant difference in satisfaction levels when compared to residents in other parts of the state. In prior polls, these two groups’ satisfaction levels differed by no more than five percentage points.


The Politics Of Disaster Relief

By Art Gallagher |

Photo Caption - Sandy Inspection TourWhen disaster hits, natural or man made, Americans put aside their differences and come together to handle the emergency.

We saw it with 9-11. Most recently in New Jersey we saw it with Superstorm Sandy.

Once the emergency is over and the federal money is flowing, the politics…partisanship and patronage starts.  We saw it with 9-11. We’re living it with Sandy.

Read the rest of this entry »


Job Priorities

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Governor Chris Christie returned to Sandy-flooded Sayreville on Thursday to field residents questions, concerns, and even one survivor’s words of gratitude:

Notably absent? John Wisniewski, chairman of the Bridgegate SCI who hails from (and represents) Sayreville.


Monmouth And Ocean Senators Ask Congressional Delegation For Sandy Help

By Art Gallagher |

Jennifer Beck

Jennifer Beck

Six state Senators representing Monmouth and Oceans Counties have written to New Jersey’s U.S. Senators and Members of Congress asking for help in correcting inequities and inefficiencies in the federal government’s response to Superstorm Sanday.

In a letter dated March 31, Senators Jennifer Beck and Joe Kyrillos of Monmouth County, Robert Singer, Christopher Connors and James Holzapfel of Ocean County and Sam Thompson of Middlesex raised six issues concerning Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the Small Business Administration (SBA), FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and the Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) grant program.

With all those agencies and initials, how could anything be going wrong?

Read the rest of this entry »