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A Pocketful of Promises is a small photo essay in the wake of Hurricane Sandy months after the media moved on to the next "big story". My intention is only to keep it in the public's consciousness as long as there are still hundreds of families who feel forgotten by our government. As the nation celebrated the Presidential Inaugural, at a cost of over $120,000,000,...people along the coastline are still without the barest necessities of modern living. Essentials such as electrical power, running water, heating, food and decent places to live have been denied to these people because FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has still to release the funds direly needed to help them to begin to rebuild their shattered lives. So as I watch the President and his Washington cronies on the TV chowing down mouthfuls of $3000 a plate dinners at the Inaugural Ball, I couldn't help but think of the kind of "blast" Sandy's victims were having in contrast.
Footnote: A Sandy Relief Package has been approved after 91 days, and counting, of political dilly-dalling.
The package is divided into two parts: a $17 billion base bill for immediate recovery needs and a $33.5 billion amendment for longer-term recovery efforts and projects to curb damages from future disasters.
—$5.4 billion for New York and New Jersey transit systems.
—$5.4 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster relief aid fund.
—$1.35 billion for Army Corps of Engineers projects.
— $3.9 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development's community development fund for Sandy recovery projects.
—$235 million for repairs and renovations at Veterans Affairs Department facilities.
—$143 million to the Coast Guard for damages by Sandy.
LONGER-TERM AID AMENDMENT
—$10.9 billion for New York and New Jersey transit system recovery projects.
—$12.1 billion for Housing and Urban Development Department community block grants for Sandy and other federally declared disasters in 2011-2013.
—$3.4 billion for Army Corps of Engineer projects for Sandy-related damage and protections against future storms.
— $2 billion for the Federal Highway Administration's emergency relief program to repair storm-damaged federal highways.
—$290 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, much of it for programs and equipment to improve weather forecasting.
Seems to me that only $5.4 billion will be used to aid New York and New Jersey Small Businesses and Home Owners in the Base Plan.
Now the interesting part is the $290 million, in the Longer-Term Plan, for weather forecasting. I'm concerned if that amount is justified when all these politicians need do is to stick their portly derrières out the window and if it freezes...they'll know its winter. I think that $290 million would be better served going to the homer owners and small businesses. Let the TV News conglomerates continue spending their sizable revenue from TV advertizements on predicting the weather. That is where we (including Washington) all get our forecasts from in the first place.
Phil Collins - Another Day In Paradise
She calls out to the man on the street
Sir can you help me?
It's cold and I've no where to sleep,
Is there somewhere you can tell me?
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