In light of the storm, I would like to grade Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in the style of an annual professional performance review -- the APPR used for public school teachers.
The first assessment is the "governor learning objective," which counts as 20 percent of the overall score. Before the storm, I had all of my power, but after the storm I was powerless. Therefore, the growth score should be a negative number, but since I will not score below a zero, this will be zero out of 20 points for the growth assessment.
The second assessment is the "local governor learning objective," also 20 percent. My local utility company is the Long Island Power Authority. Need I say more? Since I was without power for seven days, I give a score of 13 out of 20. Luckily, I do not live in a community where some are still without power.
Since the governor is considered administration, I will base the remaining 60 percent of the overall score on my observations. I recall hearing on the radio, a woman asked Cuomo when her power was going to be restored. He told her to visit the LIPA website, to which her reply was, "I can't, I do not have power." I would recommend a score of 30 out of 60.
Overall, the governor's grade would be a 43 percent. Since it has not yet been determined where this falls on the "highly effective to needs improvement scale" (aka the HEIDI scale), it has yet to be determined if Cuomo needs to be placed on a "governor's improvement plan."
Donna Getchell, Garden City
Editor's note: The writer teaches math at Garden City High School.
One thing about the days since Sandy is that they haven't been dull! My entire neighborhood was flooded that first Monday night, and some were flooded again with the next high tide Tuesday morning. By Wednesday, the streets looked as if Macy's emptied its entire store on my block. No one had cell service, a working automobile, power or information. Ocean Harbor was basically an island unto itself, and one with few natural resources.
It was humorous, if anything was humorous those first few days, to hear our portable radios tell us what websites to visit for help and information, where there were Red Cross aid stations, and how to contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It was funny because we could not do any of those things without power, Internet service, working automobiles or gas.
My neighbors were great. Everyone pitched in to help one another and share whatever they had, whether expertise, elbow grease or hot water. This was one of those times that you learn a lot about people, and I am fortunate to live where I do.
But some other things were comical, like a FEMA search-and-rescue team showing up five days after the storm, looking to rescue someone, which was the only outside help we saw for 11 days.
And there were sad things, like the sign on a neighbor's car: "You loot, we shoot"; the magically appearing contractors offering to clean out the flooded furniture and rip out the drywall for a huge fee; and the creeps who slowly drove around taking items off the garbage piles. Whether it was wishful thinking that they could bring something back to life or to pad their own insurance claim, I do not know. I saw them as vultures circling a severely wounded animal.
Flood insurance has declared my first floor as a basement because the concrete slab is four inches below ground level. As a basement, it wouldn't do me any good in a tornado or nuclear attack, but FEMA says otherwise.
All in all, I am lucky. No one in my family was hurt, and friends and family have come through for us big time. But if I had three wishes, I would wish for a new boiler, FEMA to show some common sense about my "basement," and to sleep in my own bed.
Mitchell Mizel, Oceanside