POSTS WITH TAG: hurricane sandy

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    It's been a year since Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast. In the wake of the storm and its subsequent devastation, people did what we do best -- rebuilt. For some, this meant rebuilding their lost homes. For others, it meant rebuilding their entire lives in the face of having lost loved ones.

    Countless people were impacted by the storm. Now, one year later, with work still to be done, there is a light in view. Even in devastation, there is hope. Checking in with some of the big Sandy stories from last year can provide inspiration. From babies to puppies to examples of humanity at its best, these stories will warm even the iciest hearts.

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    FunTown Amusement Park is no more after the devastating fireMy stomach sank when I heard that the famous Jersey Shore boardwalk in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights was on fire this week. The area that made Snooki and JWoww household names hasn't even completely recovered from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Now this? How much can these poor people take?

    Now that the flames are out, the hard work of ferreting out the cause of the fire is under way. Already they have one major determination.

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    First Hurricane Sandy victims had their homes destroyed by that ferocious storm -- and now they're being battered by insurance companies who are dragging their feet, finding loopholes, and doing anything they can to avoid pay-outs. Take this Staten Island couple, who was insured by Allstate. They evacuated their home before the storm, but a neighbor called to tell them that wind had knocked the roof off their house. Allstate, however, says the roof came off due to flooding -- and conveniently the couple didn't have flood insurance. (They had cancelled it earlier because their payments were far more than the few reimbursements they'd gotten in the past.)

    The couple, Sheila and Dominic Traina, say they were massively ripped off by Allstate. But that didn't stop the company from using their home in a television commercial touting how they are "helping" Sandy victims.

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    I'd imagine it would be very surprising to take a walk on the beach in New York City and find a beached whale, but that's what happened today in Breezy Point, Queens. Rescuers are trying hard to save the 60-foot whale, believed to be a finback, from certain death. Biologists say that the whale is "emaciated" and "very ill", which may account for its beaching, and will decide in the next 24 hours whether or not a tide will be able to take it back out to sea, or if euthanizing the mammal will be the most humane thing to do. 

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    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. This year saw some glorious highs, like the camaraderie and triumph of 2012 London Olympics, and some tragic, heartbreaking lows, like the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre and Hurricane Sandy's devastation in New York and New Jersey.

    We saw acts of kindness, and startling acts of rage and violence. And we reelected the nation's first African American president to his second term. Here are some of the news highlights from 2012. What else would you put on the list?

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    Two months have passed since Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of the northeast coast, and in some neighborhoods, very little has changed.

    Shockingly, some are still without power and hot water and food and transportation is still hard to come by.

    One New York mother went far above and beyond in order to help a single mom and her kids escape the hurricane's devastation.

    See their story -- and find out how you can help others just like them -- after the jump.

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    Barbara Walters is apparently obsessed with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's weight. She brought up Christie's weight before and she's doing it again. This time to his face.

    Yep, despite deciding that Christie is one of her "10 Most Fascinating People" this year, she somehow missed the fact that in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, he seemed to be everywhere at once and never missed a beat. She actually had the nerve to ask him if he thought he's too fat to be President of the United States.

    Is she kidding, shockingly rude, or just completely oblivious?

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    Maybe 12-12-12 really does have huge cosmic significance, if for no other reason than this: Nirvana is reuniting for the first time at the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy relief concert tonight -- with Paul McCartney standing in for Kurt Cobain. (Just sit back and let that one sink in for a minute.) Nirvana reuniting? Paul McCartney?! How exactly did this amazing -- and amazingly unexpected -- group of musicians come together?

    Had to be fate. Because while McCartney knew former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, when he accepted the Foo Fighters' frontman's invitation to "jam with some mates," he had no idea those "mates" would be Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and "unofficial member" Pat Smear.

    “I didn’t really know who they were," says McCartney.

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    Are you feeling the holiday spirit yet? The carols doing their magic? No? Maybe this will. A Secret Santa has been wandering around areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy handing out $100 bills to every storm victim he meets.

    His elves are members of the NYPD, New Jersey cops, and even some folks from the FBI who are keeping the red-suited guy and his load of cash -- literally, it is all his own money -- safe. But somehow that just makes this whole thing that much more inspiring. And his message that much more clear.

    You, me, we could all do more.

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    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has filed papers to run for reelection next year. He was expected to run again -- and has been tossed out as a potential Republican presidential hopeful for 2016 -- but the announcement on Monday came surprisingly early, as Christie is, no doubt, capitalizing on his newfound popularity after Hurricane Sandy. I have to say I am quite pleased with his decision, but I don't know if I would have said that a few months ago.

    I haven't been Christie's biggest fan over the years. I thought he was just another GOP hack who was trying to slash the social safety net that I think our country so desperately needs. He was Romney's stand-in for so much of the presidential race that I would cringe when I heard his name. When he was tossed out as a potential Republican VP, I thought good riddance.

    But since Hurricane Sandy, I've become one of the Christie converts.

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