Well, it has been quite a week in our neighborhoods. Like most of you I was without power or water for the entire week. Also like most of you, I was inspired by the response of our city, state, neighbors and nation – and remain concerned about the thousands of our neighbors still in harms way.
Below is some information that may be helpful.
Most NYC Public Schools will be open as usual tomorrow, Monday, November 5th. A few schools have sustained serious damage or are still without electricity. In Lower Manhattan, schools that may have relocations or cancellations include P.S. 126, P.S. 226, Bard H.S.E.C., Urban Assembly/Harbor School and Millennium High School. More information and a full list can be found at http://schools.nyc.gov/Home/InOurSchoolsToday/2012-2013/cancellations.
All NYC Public Schools will be closed again on Tuesday, November 6th for Election Day.
More time to study! The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) scheduled for this Saturday, November 3, has been rescheduled to Saturday, November 17. Accommodations will be made for students with conflicts. The SAT test administration scheduled for this weekend (Saturday, November 3 and Sunday, November 4), has been cancelled in public schools in NYC. A makeup date has been scheduled for Saturday, November 17 for the November 3 test-takers, and Sunday, November 18 for those test-takers who were scheduled to test on Sunday, November 4. Students can also go online and change their test date to a regularly scheduled December administration date.
Much of the Subway service is expected to be running, at least on a limited basis, for Monday morning. LIRR and Metro-North Services are also returning. As of this email, the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, J, F and D trains have returned partially to Lower Manhattan. Nevertheless, much of our neighborhood remains unserved. The best place for information is at http://www.mta.info/.
IT’S GETTING COLD:
Temperatures are expected to drop into the low 30s tonight and tomorrow. Much of Lower Manhattan and the Lower East Side (including my building) are still without heat and hot water. If you or anyone you know is in need of warm shelter, call 1-800-733-2767 or text SHELTER & your zip code to 43362. Manhattan’s warm shelter is located at George Washington High School, 549 Audubon Avenue between Fort George Avenue and West 193rd Street. Busses to the site will pick people up at Seward Park High School, 350 Grand Street between Ludlow and Essex Streets.
Power has been restored to almost all of Lower Manhattan, though a few buildings remain without power. Con Edison has asked us to conserve energy until the entire system is restored. Please turn off all lights and appliances that you are not using so we can help get the entire area back on track.
If there is water running in your tap it is drinkable. If it runs brown (which it well may), let it run for a few minutes until it clears up.
VOTING AND ELECTIONS:
The following downtown NYC poll sites have changed due to the storm:
- The Poll site at Bard High School at 525 East Houston St is relocated to: P.S. 188 or P.S. 196 at 442 EAST HOUSTON ST. For Election/Assembly Districts: 002/74 004/74 005/74
- The Poll site at Westbeth Housing, 155 Bank St. is relocated to: P.S. 3 at 490 HUDSON ST. For Election/Assembly Districts: 079/66 080/66 081/66 082/66 093/66
Polls will be open from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM on Tuesday. To find your poll site and a full list of Sandy-related changes in NYC, go to http://vote.nyc.ny.us/.
If a person is stranded, sudden illness, accident or extenuating circumstances (as many of us are right now), an Emergency Absentee Ballot may be received. An authorized representative must present at the Board of Elections a request and letter explaining the situation. The representative must show proper identification. For Manhattan voters, go to the temporary offices of the Board of Elections at 450 West 33rd St., 10th Flr, between 9th & 10th.Sunday, today, until 8 pm and Monday 9 to 5. Please check website for exact details: http://vote.nyc.ny.us/html/voters/absentee.shtml
While we’re on the subject of elections. Most of us have been focused on rebuilding our neighborhoods this past week. But there is a vital presidential election on Tuesday. If we care about protecting homebound seniors, preparing for natural disasters, durable public transit systems, taking care of the needy in times of crisis and in trying to reduce the impact of global warming, and any one of a hundred other reasons, it is crucial that we re-elect President Barack Obama on Tuesday. One way to help, from now through Tuesday night, is to go by the Obama for America NYC HQ at 520 8th Ave, 20th floor (near 37th street), and call some of our neighbors in swing states. They may be particularly open to hearing from New Yorkers right now. They are open 9AM to 9PM. More information is at http://www.facebook.com/events/134342113379817/
So, obviously there are way to many people to thank over the past week. First and foremost are the NYPD, FDNY and EMS workers who saved countless lives. Joining them were thousands of volunteers who came to our aid, climbing stairs to feed and take care of homebound neighbors, donating food and supplies and more.
The MTA and the workers of TWU 100 have done an outstanding job bringing a 100-year-old system back on track for millions of New Yorkers. Likewise Con Edison and the workers of UWUA Local 1-2 and others have been incredible in restoring vital power to our city and region.
Among the many groups who have been invaluable are the Red Cross and NY Cares. In the Lower East Side, GOLES and CAAAV came through with all kinds of support and volunteers. Please consider supporting these fine organizations.
Many of our elected officials also did a tremendous job, coordinating efforts and getting needed help to our neighborhoods. Of those, from my local perspective, two stood out and deserve recognition.
Our State Senator Daniel Squadron has, this week, been one of the finest public servants I have ever seen. Wherever and whenever help was needed, Squadron’s team was contactable, organized and helpful. They organized hundreds of volunteers, coordinated calls from thousands of residents from Battery Park City and the Financial District to Chinatown and the Lower East Side to much of riverfront Brooklyn (in at least 3 languages). They contacted emergency services when residents could not. They solicited and distributed literally tons of supplies.
Former Community Board 1 Chair Julie Menin did a superb job of communicating vital information and organizing volunteers at vulnerable high rises across the area.
I can say this week more than ever, that I am genuinely honored to serve this incredible community. The recovery process will continue for months and indeed years. I look forward to keeping you informed and working with you as we move forward.