Taco bars, boardwalks, and tons and tons of freshly-sifted sand. Along the East Coast, towns hard hit by Superstorm Sandy are kicking off summer. By Eliza Shapiro and Josh Dzieza
In Far Rockaway, Queens, the beloved Rockaway Taco is open again, peddling $3 fish tacos and fresh watermelon juice. Some 75 miles south, in Belmar, New Jersey, a new 1.3 mile boardwalk sports a fresh coat of “spiced rum” colored paint, courtesy of Captain Morgan. And in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, the rickety Jet Star rollercoaster, dramatically submerged in the ocean after Superstorm Sandy, has been demolished to make room for swimming and surfing.
Repairs and construction of building at Beach 97th that houses concessions, public restrooms and offices in Rockaway Beach. (Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks )
It’s the official kickoff of summer, and up and down the East Coast, tourism-dependent towns devastated by Sandy are declaring themselves back in business. But while a great deal of money and time has been spent to make the beaches appear normal again, from enormous new lifeguard towers tugged in by barges to food carts set up where storefronts remain shuttered—some things will be noticeably different. In Rockaway, for example, only the concrete supports remain from its once-busy boardwalk. Elsewhere—and you might not notice this at first—the sand itself could look a little off.
Pranay Gupte remembers legendary New York Times editor A.M. Rosenthal on the sixth anniversary of his death.
I remember him every day of my life. I especially remember him this time of month because Abe Rosenthal died in May. And this May I remember him even more—and I miss him deeply—because I’m marking a big birthday this month, the same month that Abe was born. It is the kind of birthday that one knows would be inevitably on the calendar, but never expects that it’d arrive so soon. Where did all the years go, and why did they slip by so fast? Why did someone not stop the clock?
A.M. Rosenthal is seen in this Dec. 6, 1971 photo at the Washington bureau of the New York Times. (AP)
I do not celebrate my birthdays, because they are mere markers and not milestones for me. I do, however, always think of my parents, Dr. Charusheela Gupte and Balkrishna Gupte, because, of course, they were there in Bombay when I arrived in this world. They have been gone for 28 years—and I remember them every day of my life, too, just as I remember my maternal uncle, Keshav Ramachandra Pradhan, who helped raise me because my mother’s career as a professor, writer and social activist kept her away from home a lot, and my father’s job as a lawyer at a bank had him working long hours.
An expert in emergencies describes what aid groups do after disaster strikes. Tornado or earthquake, the script is the same, says AmeriCare’s Kate Dischino.
Last Monday afternoon, while preparing a shipment of tetanus vaccine for a town recently struck by a tornado, I received the first hair-raising alert about a massive tornado that had just leveled a suburb of Oklahoma City.
AmeriCares emergency response worker Kate Dischino, center, works with survivors in Oklahoma. (Dru Nadler/AmeriCares )
Having responded to many emergencies for AmeriCares, a global health and emergency response group providing humanitarian aid to 164 countries since 1982, I knew right away what this would mean for potentially thousands of families and individuals in the tornado’s path. There was no question that our disaster team would respond—and we knew it was vital to respond quickly. Experience says that when an EF5 tornado hits a metropolitan area, local clinics and shelters need emergency medical and relief supplies. Fast.
The I-5 disaster in Seattle reflects the dire state of our bridges and highways. But it may never be cheaper to replace these aging arteries than it is now. By David Cay Johnston.
The people on the Interstate 5 bridge that abruptly collapsed Thursday evening north of Seattle got lucky. They survived because their vehicles were entangled in the heartless embrace of twisted steel girders, which saved them from drowning in the cold waters of the Skagit River.
A collapsed portion of the Interstate 5 bridge lies in the Skagit River on May 24, 2013, in Mount Vernon, Wash. (Elaine Thompson/AP)
We all drive on bridges, overpasses, and viaducts that we assume must be safe because, surely, somebody inspected them and determined that they are safe. We pay taxes so somebody makes sure the bridges and roads are safe, right?
Following Obama’s speech on drones.
President Obama’s speech on drone reform Thursday ushered in a new era of restraint for the Central Intelligence Agency, one that Director John O. Brennan has the challenge of implementing. The change is a throwback of sorts—returning the CIA to its roots as a sophisticated spy service, rather than a targeted killing machine. While large clandestine operations—built over the past decade in Kabul and Baghdad—will help smooth the transition, U.S. officials worry that the shift in focus will take years. The CIA, although still in the “business of killing,” will have a diminished role in deciding who, exactly, can be killed.
Nine-year-old Antonia Candelaria was one of the seven children who died in Moore’s Plaza Towers Elementary Schools. Why didn’t the school have a shelter? Michael Daly reports.
A thunderstorm was sweeping through the Oklahoma City area, and the mourners had to travel through driving rain, hailstones, and flooded roads. They were going to the first funeral for the victims of the latest killer tornado.
Mourners leave a funeral service for Antonia Candelaria, 9, a student at Towers Plaza Elementary school who was killed by Monday's tornado. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)
Country music with a Christian theme was playing inside the South Colonial Chapel, where an easel held an enlarged photo of a smiling little girl in a pink-fringed bonnet. Nine year-old Antonia Lee Candelaria was known as “Tonie” or “Ladybug,” loved to paint and draw, and had just auditioned as a singer for an upcoming talent show.
Will the Scouts reverse their ban on gay members? A vote today will decide whether loyal Scouts like Pascal Tessier will stay or quit the organization. Winston Ross reports.
Since he was 7 years old, Pascal Tessier has been a Scout. Before he hit middle school. Before he realized he was gay.
Jennifer Tyrrell carries a petition to the Boy Scouts national offices for a meeting with representatives of the organization in 2012 in Irving, Texas. (LM Otero/AP)
He figured that out in the sixth or seventh grade, and he came out in the eighth, to his family and friends at school. He had no idea at the time that the Boy Scouts of America had a policy banning him from the organization he’d already spent six years in. By then he’d graduated from Cub Scout to Boy Scout, with an eye on Eagle. On Wednesday he finds out whether he’ll earn that rank or be forced to quit the most important extracurricular activity in his life, as some 1,400 local leaders vote on a proposal to reverse its 103-year-old policy banning openly gay boys at a national annual meeting at the Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine, Texas. Banning Pascal Tessier.
Mike Daisey is not apologizing: the whole fabrication scandal is the industry’s fault, or something. The fabulist seems to want only to rant in his new monologue. Winston Ross asks, Can anyone stop this man?
Mike Daisey confessed at the outset that he had little idea what he was going to say for the next two hours, in a first-ever monologue titled “Journalism” at the Tiffany Center on Tuesday night in downtown Portland. The question was whether anyone could believe him.
Stan Barouh/The Public Theater/AP
This, after all, was the guy who took on the Cult of Apple and in dramatic monologues across America appeared to expose its shoddy treatment of its underaged and overworked and malformed and poisoned workers, only to find himself the subject of exposure, for the embellishments and outright fabrications he repeated on This American Life, eventually forcing the radio program to issue an unprecedented retraction of an entire show.
In his commencement address to the U.S. Naval Academy, the president demanded an end to the problem of sexual assault in the military. 'Those who commit sexual assault are not only committing a crime,' said Obama. 'They threaten the trust and discipline that make our military strong.'