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News & Notes


Wetlands to provide a storm surge buffer for New York City. Image from Architecture Research Office

Fast Company: A Plan To Hurricane-Proof New York, With A Ring Of Wetlands

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, there have been a flurry of ideas on how to deal with the prospect that storms of such magnitude may no longer be once-in-a-lifetime events but the most visible manifestation–if you’re not a polar bear–of the havoc wreaked by climate change.

Seawalls. Levees. The kinds of things the Army Corps of Engineers typically builds to protect low-lying places like New Orleans just aren’t feasible for a place like Manhattan, says Stephen Cassell, the cofounder of New York’s Architectural Research Office. “It’s hard to predict how bad climate change will be,” Cassell says, noting that Sandy’s devastating surge was nearly 14 feet, which wasn’t even the worst-case scenario. “What if we build a barrier and the surge goes beyond that?”

Yes Providence, what if the storm surge is higher than our storm surge barrier?

New York Post: Growing NY through smarter taxes

How might two-tiered taxation work? In New York, land and improvements in residential areas are subject to an 18.6 percent property tax.Thus, land with a taxable value of $10,000 would be taxed $1,860, and improvements with a similar taxable value of $10,000 would owe another $1,860, a total of $3,720. Under a two-tier system, the tax rate for land could jump by, say, 50 percent, while the rate for improvement could be halved.In that case, the owner would pay $2,790 in land taxes and $930 for improvements — keeping the total to $3,720.

But here’s the payoff: The owner’s tax bill under that scheme would climb another $2,790 if he purchased a second lot with a taxable value of $10,000 — but by only $930 if he used that money toward building.Thus, hoarding would be discouraged; development encouraged.

The two-tier property tax has a proven record of success. In 1979, Pittsburgh began taxing land at a rate six times higher than improvements. In the ensuing decade, building permits increased by 70.4 percent.

Via: Nesi’s Notes

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Mayor’s Office: Super Storm Sandy Frequently Asked Questions

When will my trash be picked up?

Trash collection resumed today in the neighborhoods that normally have their trash picked up on Mondays and Tuesdays. Residents who normally have their trash collected on Wednesdays should put their bins and cans out to the curb tonight. Residents who normally have their trash collected on Thursdays should put their bins and cans out tomorrow night. Residents who normally have their trash collected on Friday should put their bins and cans out on Friday night.

Is yard waste being collected this week?

No. Waste Management and the City of Providence agreed to suspend yard waste pick-up this week to redirect all available resources to trash and recycling pick up. Yard waste pick-up will resume on Monday, November 5. Leaves, branches and other yard debris must be placed in paper yard bags or put out in open barrels clearly labeled ‘YARD WASTE.’ Branches must be bundled together and cut to less than four feet.

What do I do with larger fallen branches and trees?

Please contact the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services (421-2489) by November 9 to be placed on a waiting list for the City’s Forestry Division. Residents must bring the debris to the curb. The Forestry Division will not pick up debris on private property and will only collect debris from private residences that have requested assistance from the Office of Neighborhood Services. If you hire a private contractor to clear debris, they are responsible to take the debris away. The Forestry Division will only collect debris caused by the storm.

What, if any, assistance is available for damage to personal property?

If your home was damaged during the storm, please contact your insurance company. If a city-owned tree caused damage, instruct your insurance company to file a claim with the City of Providence. If a city-owned tree has fallen onto your property OR if a tree from your property has fallen on a public sidewalk or street, please contact the Forestry Division (785-9450) to have it removed.


Amtrak service restoration plan

Amtrak will provide modified Northeast Regional service between Boston and New Haven, Conn., and between Newark, N.J., and points south, on Thursday, November 1. Amtrak will also operate Shuttle service trains between Springfield, Mass., and New Haven, Keystone Service trains between Harrisburg, Penn., and Philadelphia, and Downeaster service trains between Boston and Portland, Maine, along with additional overnight services to and from the Northeast.

Amtrak is continuing to remove water from tunnels in order to make repairs to track, signal and power systems under the Hudson and East rivers and to restore service to and from Penn Station in New York City. Amtrak is planning to operate modified service to and from New York City on Friday, November 2, with schedules to be announced on Thursday, November 1.

In the meantime, there will be no Northeast Regional service between Newark and New Haven and no Acela Express service for the length of the Northeast Corridor on Thursday, November 1.


RIPTA Service information for today, October 30, 2012

RIPTA has detours in place today on Routes 14 and 66 due to issues related to Hurricane Sandy. The RIde Program is suspended except for vital medical trips. RIPTA warns to expect minor delays on all routes.

MBTA Commuter Rail service is also suspended today between Wickford Junction and Mansfield due to downed trees on the tracks.

Normal Service has been restored on MBTA Commuter Rail trough to Wickford Junction.

Northeast Corridor Amtrak service is suspended today.


Sandy photos from Twitter

We’ve been updating this post as we come across photos on Twitter.

Photos of Hurricane Sandy

Storified by Gr. City Providence · Tue, Oct 30 2012 13:29:22

W/ Cong @davidcicilline observing flooding @ Allens Ave. Fortunate 2 have avoided the worst of Sandy in PVD. #PVDsandy Taveras
Looking on as workers reopened the South Water St flood barrier this am. #PVDsandy Taveras
Touring Roy Carpenter’s Beach in Matunuck. Sad to see the damage done here by #SandyRI. Whitehouse Klepper
.@LincolnChafee & @LtGovernorRoberts viewing a break in the Narragansett seawall #SandyRI Chafee
Corn Neck Road. #SandyRI Island Tourism
Matunuck coastline #SandyRI @LtGovRoberts Chafee
Yowzer Becker
MT @TheAtlanticWire Breezy Point, New York fire damage. (Credit: Frank Franklin II, AP) #SandyHurricane Central
RT @nowthised: Wider shot of scaffolding toppling car on CPW and 92nd, across from Central Park,NYC @nowthisnews #sandy Central
PHOTO – AN OCEAN ON NY’S LOWER EAST SIDE. Never happened ever like this. #sandy #nyc ARECS
Window out in downtown Providence corner of Washington & Maiden Ln #sandyri @projo D. Jordan
RT @dylandreyernbc: Hard to believe we’re getting SNOW out of a HURRICANE in West Virginia. Insane! Central
MT @twcmarialarosa: Part of Atlantic City’s boardwalk (built to hold up a firetruck) obliterated! #Sandy #ACY #NJwx Central
Photo: Power lines leaning perilously over Gano Street during #SandyRI on Providence’s East Side (ReportIt/Armando): Nesi
Sandy opens the roof of an E. Prov. post office like a tuna can. #SandyRI White
RT @kathrynsotnik: House In matunuck washing into the water. Wx Team
From Parker Gavigan, crews securing the flood gates on South St. in Providence, readying for this evening’s high tide. Searles


GC: Photos

While we’re waiting for Sandy, let’s look at some photos. First up, this image of Sandy herself (himself?) from NASA:

NASA Satellites See Sandy Expand as Storm Intensifies

Photo (cc) NASA Goddard Photo and Video
NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite captured this visible image of the massive Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 28 at 1615 UTC (12:02 p.m. EDT). The line of clouds from the Gulf of Mexico north are associated with the cold front that Sandy is merging with. Sandy’s western cloud edge is already over the Mid-Atlantic and northeastern U.S.

If you carefully take photos related to Hurricane Sandy this week, please share them in our Flickr Group.

Poirier's Diner

Photo © Ken Zirkel.

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Preparing for Hurricane Sandy

hurricane sandy

If you carefully take any photos during or after the storm, share them on our Flickr Page.

If you’re in India Point Park, you’re on the wrong side of the Hurricane Barrier, good luck!

  • ALL RIPTA services suspended at 12 noon. Newport and South County service shut down at 10am. (Oct. 29)
  • ALL MBTA Service shutting down at 2pm. (Oct. 29)
  • All flights canceled at T.F. Green for the remainder of the day. (Oct. 29)
  • Providence Public Schools closed Monday and Tuesday.
  • Trash and recycling pick-up in Providence canceled Monday and Tuesday – See update from the City below.
  • Governor Chafee has declared a State of Emergency for Rhode Island.
  • Amtrak services in Northeast canceled Monday, Oct. 29 – All Acela Express, Northeast Regional, Keystone and Shuttle services are canceled for trains originating on that date. Also Empire Service, Adirondack, Vermonter, Ethan Allen and Pennsylvanian train services suspended, along with some overnight services.
  • Amtrak services in Northeast canceled Tuesday, Oct. 30 – All Acela Express, Northeast Regional, Keystone and Shuttle services are canceled for trains originating on that date. Also Empire Service, Adirondack, Vermonter, Ethan Allenand Pennsylvanian train services are suspended, along with the overnight Auto Train, Capitol Limited, Crescent, Lake Shore Limited, Palmetto and Silver Meteor trains.
  • School closings and other cancelations at

#PVDsandy & #SandyRI on Twitter:

It feels like we just did this last year, but here we go again. Personally, I’m going to probably going to start making ice and grab a Zipcar to go out and stock up on non-perishables tomorrow. I still have a pile of batteries around here somewhere left over from Irene.

Please share your information and preparation tips in the comments.

Post will be updated as more information becomes available.

Helpful links

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