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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Oceanside rallies for restoration
(Page 2 of 3)
Penny Frondelli/Herald
Superintendent Dr. Herb Brown addresses a crowd in front of Oceanside School 8 Friday morning.

Town Councilman Anthony Santino told residents that he and Murray would send town sanitation workers into Oceanside that day to clean up the streets, many of which were still lined with waterlogged furniture.

County Legislators Denise Ford and Howard Kopel expressed their sympathy for their constituents’ troubles as well as their anger, calling LIPA’s inability to restore their power a crime. U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy had difficulty speaking to the crowd as frustrations began to boil over, with many shouting, “Where have you been?” Though she explained that members of her family and staff were also still without power and that officials were doing all they could, McCarthy was unable to appease the crowd.

The last politician to speak, State Assemblyman Brian Curran, acknowledged that residents did not want to hear more of the same; they wanted information. “All of you are not here to have us tell you what you already know,” Curran said. “LIPA has now promised that north Oceanside will have full power by the end of this day. We hold them to it. And we demand they get crews down here for south Oceanside and we don’t stop until everyone has power in Oceanside.”

Curran described north Oceanside as everything north of Atlantic Avenue and west of Long Beach Road.

Jenna Maughan, a resident of Oceanside, also spoke to the crowd. “Twelve days ago, Sandy destroyed the homes of my friends,” she said. “And now LIPA is preventing them from rebuilding their lives. We see through your stall tactics and confusing misinformation. You must give us clear, truthful information in a real timeline.”

Brown concluded the rally by reiterating the efforts the district and Oceanside Community Service had made to help residents and bring a sense of normalcy to their children’s lives. “The school behind me, School 8, was damaged and will not be usable for at least a month,” he said. “We are starting school for 450 kids on Tuesday at another location, School 6. If you think that’s an easy thing to do, try it someday. We’re doing that, and LIPA can’t turn on one light? They can’t turn on one traffic light? They can’t turn on our homes?”

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