Daily Archives: September 13th, 2011

Campus Communities Face Irene Aftermath

About 400,000 customers on Long Island were effected by power outages when Irene hit


By:Erika Ruiz

Batteries, flashlights, water, and canned goods seemed to be on every Long Islander’s shopping list the weekend of August 26-28. Irene was visiting the island.
An estimated 400,000 customers on Long Island were effected by power outages when Hurricane Irene hit on Sunday, Aug. 28 according to News 12. Long Islander’s had been warned that this Tropical Storm, in its early stages alone would be threatening. As winds picked up from 40 to 75 mphs, Irene struck all of Long Island having no mercy on anything and anyone in its path.

Students squirmed in their seats with the anxiety of knowing if school was cancelled or not the day after Irene. Suffolk Community College decided to announce their school closing on Saturday August 27. Emails, calls and text messages were sent out to students notifying that classes would start on Tuesday the 29 instead. But it seems like school closings were the least of some SCCC students worries.

Brentwood resident, and SCCC student at the Grant campus Diana Membreno had no power for 4 days after Irene.
“Our house didn’t suffer any damages, thank God. But a huge tree in front of my house just ripped a chunk of the sidewalk off” she commented and shook her head.

Huntington resident, and SCCC student at the Ammerman campus, Saul Bolanos on the other hand witnessed damages done to his neighboring houses but was fortunate enough to not be one of those victims.
“We lost power for about 2 minutes during the storm itself. Other then that, we were one of the few houses who had power after Irene.”

Sachem resident and SCCC student on the Ammerman campus, Joe Lomonico suffered some flooding in his basement and power outage for 6 days.
“LIPA could have worked a bit more quicker in restoring power”, Lomonico stated. “But I’m happy that the time we had no power, we were able to spend family time together.”

SCCC students weren’t the only ones who were effected by the hurricane. Dr. Leanne Warshauer member of the English department and resident of Commack, had no power for 3 days after Irene. It was a little tougher on Dr. Warshauer since she has young children.
“They were shocked when they woke up and learned there was no television. But I’m surprised by how quickly they adjusted.” stated Warshauer when she referred to her twins, age 6.

All across the Island, families were effected or knew of someone effected horribly by the storm. Students and faculty at SCCC could all agree on the fact that everyone is safe now, and things could have been worst. When tragedy and disaster occur so close at home, Long Islander’s prove once again that they can all come together and help each other in times of need.

Hurricane Irene just proved that strategies and plans need to be made and put into practice so that when weather disasters like this occur, Long Islander’s are prepared for whatever the outcome.

Long Island Fall Home Show at Suffolk Grant

By Rob Rodriguez

The annual Long Island Fall Home Show returns to help homeowners “in all stages of remodeling, landscaping and decorating their homes” and exhibitors showing their product, from September 23- 25 at the Grant Campus Health, Sports and Education Center (HSEC) Fieldhouse.

This event is being put on by the American Consumer Shows (ACS), which happen to be the “largest producers of Home Shows in the United States.”

According to the American Consumer Shows website, it includes many exhibits showing many new products to help out with improving the home. There are also many demonstrations of various numbers of sample interior and exterior vignettes; as well as, landscaping exhibits. There are also professional home designers at the show to help the homeowners out and give them advice on redesigning their home and what looks good to do.

There are many reasons to go to the home show, according to their website. One of which is the ability to shop, compare and save because there will be many products out there and the fact that there are home improvement professionals there to advise them on what are great products for their price and which are the most effective products to use. It also helps the homeowners be able to “discover new and interesting products and services for your home,” showing the latest in home improvement tools.

The site also says that the homeowners should be prepared to be “wowed by the possibilities” because of the many companies and products that will be at this event.

The ACS says that these shows also help exhibitors to “showcase their products and services, and meet face to face with qualified homeowners, reaching those eager to learn and ready to buy.

Admission is free for this event, tickets will not be sold and so is parking. The time schedule for each day goes the following: Friday, September 23, 4 p.m.-10 p.m., Saturday, September 24, 10 am-10 pm and Sunday, September 25, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

For more information regarding the American Consumer Shows, you may visit their website at http://www.acshomeshow.com.

Lady Sharks Survive Hurricane Irene

By Rob Rodriguez

After and before Hurricane Irene had hit on Aug. 28, it had a slight effect on the College women’s sports teams.

The only women’s sports teams actively preparing for their up-and-coming season were the women’s soccer, tennis and volleyball teams.

An attempt was made to contact the women’s tennis coach, Chris Cosenza; however, there was no response. Their season had not gotten underway, but tryouts were a little over a week after the hurricane hit.

Women’s Soccer Coach Christina McMahon explained how Hurricane Irene affected her team and how they got over it rather quickly.

“The Hurricane did not really infringe on the Women’s Soccer team,” McMahon said. “We had one game cancelled. Besides that, all of our other activities remained normal and as scheduled.”

The Lady Sharks soccer team lost their first scrimmage of the season against Middlesex CC on Aug. 26, 4-1. McMahon said she feels like the hurricane was not a factor on her team’s play.

“We did play a scrimmage before the hurricane and lost. I do not think any of them were impacted by the coming hurricane,” McMahon said. “Our minds were focused on the game and it was almost two full days before the hurricane was to come.”

McMahon said she had she told the players before Hurricane Irene to inform her of anything that happened. “I asked them to be safe and to keep me updated on anything that was going on with them and their families,” McMahon said.

After Hurricane Irene, all was well for the team. “We didn’t have a scheduled practice until Tuesday so by then they were all back to their usual routines,” McMahon said. “Everyone and their families were okay and safe.”

Their playing field was intact after the Hurricane and they were ready to get back out there. “The playing field was not altered in any way; both our game field and practice field remained in great condition,” McMahon said. “We have a fantastic athletic department to insure that the fields are always in the best condition.”

Women’s Volleyball Coach Kim Simpson said she felt as though there was a bit of an effect on her team.

“The practices right before our first scrimmage were cancelled,” Simpson said. “Even though all the girls did well, it definitely had an effect on their performances.”

The volleyball team played on Aug. 30, two days after Hurricane Irene, and won their scrimmage against Farmingdale 3-1.

An attempt was also made to contact Sam Braunstein, College Director of Athletics who oversees all of the Sharks teams, regarding any decisions he and the athletic department may have made regarding the women’s sports teams, but he would not comment on the matter.

All is well for all the women’s sports teams. The Lady Sharks soccer team will officially open their season at Monroe College, Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m. The volleyball team will open up their season on the road against Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), Sept. 17 at 12 p.m. The women’s tennis team will also begin their season Sept. 17, but it will be a home game against the Fashion Institute of Technology at 1 p.m.

For more information on all of the teams, please visit their website, http://www.sunysuffolkathletics.com.

Suffolk Community College’s Hurricane Expert Professor Scott Mandia Discusses Hurricane Irene and other Storms to Come

By Nicole Brems

Every year when hurricane season rolls around Long Islanders wonder if this will be the year they get hit with the big one. The last bad hurricane to hit Long Island was Hurricane Gloria in 1985 and residents have felt due for another bad storm ever since.

As Hurricane Irene made her way up the East Coast during the last week of August, Long Islanders invaded the stores, boarded up their homes, and hunkered down for what seemed to be a big one. But, there was definitely one Long Islander who was more prepared then all the rest, hurricane expert Professor Scott Mandia of Suffolk County Community College. After the storm Professor Mandia discusses how he became a ‘hurricane expert’, Hurricane Irene’s aftermath and how we can prepare for future storms.

Professor Mandia became interested in weather after moving from California to Massachusetts during high school. For the first time he experienced thunderstorms and snow. Also, the father of a close friend worked for Boston NWS and was always showing him maps which, eventually got him hooked on the subject. Deciding to major in Meteorology in College, Professor Mandia explains his focus on hurricanes and how that focus led him to becoming a hurricane expert,

“My thesis was about ocean heat fluxes from tropical thunderstorms so I always had a bit of an interest. I also was in high school in Massachusetts when Hurricane Gloria hit in 1985 and that was exciting to me. I took a graduate geology course at SUNYSB after I moved here and the research paper had to focus on something that changed the geology of Long Island. I knew that the 1938 Hurricane created the Shinnecock Inlet so I chose to research that. I was so intrigued by the hurricane history that I turned the paper into a comprehensive web site. Because of the site, I have become the local go-to expert.”

As the local hurricane expert Professor Mandia contributes to multiple websites including a hurricane website, a climate change/history website/ and a very large global warming website. His work can be found on his faculty home page (http://www2.sunysuffolk/edu/mandias). He has been interviewed about hurricanes on television channels such as The Weather Channel, CNBC, Plum TV, and several radio programs.

Professor Mandia is not one to hype about storms as he puts it,

“The emergency management people do not hype. Some new people do. We really need to be prepared when the season begins June. Always heed evacuation requests and these requests typically come about 48 hours before landfall.”

The topic of evacuations especially hit home for Long Islanders after Hurricane Irene. Prior to the hurricane many residents of Long Island’s south shore were part of a mandatory evacuation. Professor Mandia commented about Irene’s destruction,
“Irene will end up costing BILLIONS. 500,000 homes and businesses without power for up to a week and all this from “just” a tropical storm. This shows us how vulnerable we are to hurricanes. We are expecting a major hurricane such as a Katrina to strike somewhere in the northeast some time this century and when it does we can expect $100 billion+ in damages. The question (of how bad a storm could New York take) is difficult because we will survive a Katrina but, there will be great economic pain and some loss of life when it does happen.”

When asked further about Long Island’s chance of getting hit with a bad hurricane he continued,
“The statistics show that we are 90% likely to get a major hurricane in the 40-50 years. On top of that, humans are warming the planet which is making hurricanes stronger and with more flooding rains that increase the costs. On top of that, this global warming is increasing seas levels which makes storm surges even higher and travel farther inland.”
Professor Mandia suggests going to http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/prepare/supply_kit/shtml to help make an emergency kit. He also says to make sure you have a plan. Especially after Hurricane Irene’s effects Professor Mandia’s advice should be heeded and all should be more prepared for the next storm.

Electrical losses surge as Irene pummels Long Island

by Arielle Tipa

As Irene made her mark, students faced a variety of inconvenient power failures.

On Aug. 28 the East Coast endured the worst storm since Hurricane Gloria in 1985. The chilling forecasts of Hurricane Irene’s arrival were well in advance, and preparations were swiftly put into action. Besides the untamable winds, flooding, toppled trees, and damaged vehicles, hundreds of thousands on the Island faced massive outages that lasted, for some, about a week. Fortunately, the storm was easily handled for those equipped and readily prepared for the expected blackouts. But, for some students here at Suffolk, dealing with the power losses were anything but a breeze.

“I lost my house phone, computer, AC, and lights for almost four days,” said Gabriella Amato, a Child Education major on the Ammerman campus. “I hated having no AC and computer. Plus, the traffic lights on Portion Road were all out.” Amato was among the half million residents dealing with the massive outages that took place all across Long Island.

Among the lucky few dealing with a shorter period of power failures was John Aprigliano, a Film major here on campus. “The most I got was a power outage which lasted for roughly 2 or 3 hours,” says Aprigliano. “I was surprised that my phone was getting service, but I assumed the lights would be out.”

Even some of the most basic necessities that are usually taken for granted, were temporarily lost due to Irene’s wrath.

“Having no computer or TV for 4 days straight didn’t bother me, but having no stove or hot water wasn’t that great. Most of my friends lost power for only a day or two. I lost power the longest out of all of them,” said Julianne Mosher, a student majoring in journalism.

“I worked about two of those days, and we had generators, so everything was fine over there,” said Mosher, an employee at Giunta’s Meat Farms.

But, at last, it’s LIPA to the rescue for the half million awaiting electrical restoration, including fellow students. “I was so happy after the power was restored”, says Jasmine Bresnihan, a Selden campus attendee. “Having all the traffic lights out was a big inconvenience when school started.”

Despite “Expert” Analysis Destruction Can’t Stimulate Economic Growth

Now that Hurricaine Irene has passed we can fully see the destruction she has left behind. But along witt he physical destruction comes a destruction of academic thought through the distortion of the parable of the broken window. The parable of the broken window shows in simplistic terms how physical destruction of property can never be beneficial to the community as a whole.

The parable tells the story of a community focused around the recent destruction of the front window of a bakery. The baker is distraught over the destruction of his property, but the politician sees the opportunity to secure a vote and steps in. The politician explains that even though the window is broken the community as a whole will benefit from the destruction. The glazier will have to repair the window, generating a job for the glazier. The glazier will then take the money he made and spend it, furthering the economic stimulus. The politician now exclaims that although this was a tragedy there will be more jobs, more production, and more economic stimulus because of the broken window. And in every tragedy we hear this same myth repeated.

“Ghastly as it may seem to say this, the terror attack, like the original day of infamy, which brought an end to the great depression could do some economic good” said Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman shortly after 9/11.More recently there are examples of the same sentiment like the Aug 28 article in Politico “Hurricane Irene an Economic Blow or Boost”, in which a case is made for short-term GDP growth in hurricane affected areas.

Although this argument is very prevalent in the media, it is rarely questioned. Everyone agrees that the massive destruction that was WWII brought America out of the great depression. But it didn’t, and destruction can never bring prosperity. The problem that these economists, advisors, experts, and politicians have is the unseen costs of stimulus. Going back to the parable of the broken window, our politician pointed out that the money spent by the baker fixing his window will stimulate the economy, and he’s right. But if the window were never broken the baker could have spent his money on a new suit, and still have a working window. But because of the destruction of his window he can no longer buy that new suit which takes a job away from the tailor, and so on. After all is said and done the community lost one working window.

If destruction and war caused economic growth then the simple solution to the recession we’re in would be to build millions of tanks and planes and sink them in the ocean. After all isn’t that what war does? It takes limited resources and destroys them. If Hurricane Irene helped the economy then it stands to reason that it would have helped five times more if it were a category five hurricane. And it’s here that we can see the lunacy of those who proclaim that growth can come from destruction.

Long Island Over-prepared for Irene

Local stores, like this one in Bellport, NY, boarded windows while keeping a sense of humor in preparation for Hurricane Irene.

By Kiera Osborn

While Hurricane Irene was rummaging her way up the east coast, supermarkets were sabotaged by paranoid New York residents.

Bottled water, non-perishable food, batteries and candles were the first to go. Anyone who waited until Saturday to stock up on supplies was left in the dust. With 90mph winds and a 500 mile long hurricane on its way, no one here in Suffolk County was taking any chances.

Irene’s outer-bands touched landfall here on Long Island at 9pm Saturday night. Although it was a powerful hurricane, many residents want to know if it was worth all the hype. 450,000 people were without power, some for more than 5 days. But it could’ve been much worse. Was it necessary to stock pile on everything the supermarkets were cleared out of?

“Honestly, my mother probably spent $200 at Stop and Shop and we only used about $20 worth of it”, said Jessica Carrieri, a photography major at SCCC. “Everyone got all crazy and bought everything they thought they would need and now they’re stuck with an over-abundance of crap.”

Erin King, a history major at SCCC stated “I bought all AA batteries for my flashlights. When I got home to put them in, I realized flashlights only take C or D batteries! It was already too late to go buy new ones so I had to stick with candles. I couldn’t even return the $30 pack of batteries because I already opened it. Funny thing is, my power never went out.”

Many residents felt they wasted their time and money preparing for Irene. Raymond Marciano, an employee from Stop and Shop stated “No matter which way you look at it, people would be complaining. I was working the two nights before the storm and the lines were all the way at the back of the store. Of course people were upset about how long they had to wait. I bet you if the news didn’t warn us of the worst to come, those same people would be complaining if they didn’t have a surplus of Fiji water. They just always need someone to blame.”

Now that Irene is gone and we’ve experienced our first hurricane in over 20 years, will we know how to better prepare for the next one? “I think this was a huge wake up call for everyone. Now we know which things are absolutely necessary in a storm and which we won’t ever use” King stated. “Was it a life or death situation? No. People were acting like we were getting ready to embrace the apocalypse. I think the storm was a blessing in disguise. Next time we won’t have to get worked up over something that’s clearly not life threatening.”