Verizon Customers Manhattan, NY Still Don't Have Service After Sandy — 186 Days and Counting

New Networks Shame on Verizon: There Are Customers in Manhattan, New York City Who Still Don’t Have Service After Sandy — 186 Days and Counting. Read the article  Download the article.
This is a foreboding glimpse into your future communications services if you live in the USA. I’m sitting in a high ceiling parlor in an aged brownstone at the E.9th Street Block Association meeting. People are telling me, somewhat muting their anger, that some have had no phone service since Sandy, October 28th 2012 —- 186 days ago, almost 6 months, almost half a year. Some had their service restored over the last month, only being out for about 5 months. I’m in a roomful of people in the middle of Manhattan, New York City, and I can’t believe my ears. I’ve been a telecom analyst for 31 years and thought I’d heard everything before – but this? Mayor Bloomberg, with claims that New York City is a world center for technology announced his new campaign, “We Are Made in NY” in 2013, stating we’re “strengthening the city as a global hub for innovation.” Being out of service is only one of the Manhattenites’ problems. Almost all of those without Verizon service have continued to be billed for services that THEY DO NOT RECEIVE. What’s the problem – how could this be happening in America?

Updated Web Tool Maps U.S. Food Access in Greater Detail

Updated Web Tool Maps U.S. Food Access in Greater Detail

Posted by Paula Dutko, Food Assistance Branch, Economic Research Service, on March 11, 2013 at 12:04 PM
Users of ERS’s Food Access Research Atlas can opt to view low-income census tracts (shaded in gold and in light blue) in a selected area of the country. The gold-shading indicates low-income tracts where a substantial number or portion of residents live at least 0.5 mile from a supermarket in urban areas or at least 10 miles in rural areas. (Central Connecticut) Users of ERS’s Food Access Research Atlas can opt to view low-income census tracts (shaded in gold and in light blue) in a selected area of the country. The gold-shading indicates low-income tracts where a substantial number or portion of residents live at least 0.5 mile from a supermarket in urban areas or at least 10 miles in rural areas. (Central Connecticut)

Access to stores that carry healthy, affordable food can play an important role in people’s nutrition and overall health. Ensuring access to healthy food is a priority for USDA and a key component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move!initiative.
Two years ago, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) first released the Food Desert Locator, an online mapping tool that used the 2000 Census and other data sets to identify low-income census tracts in which a substantial number or share of residents face challenges in accessing the nearest supermarket or large grocery store. My ERS colleagues and I have now updated and expanded the tool and renamed it the Food Access Research Atlas.
The new name better reflects what this tool shows us. Now, the Food Access Research Atlas has updated estimates of food desert census tracts using 2010 census data, and offers several additional distance measures to visualize access to supermarkets. For example, in the original measure, a household was considered to be facing an access challenge if it was more than 1 mile from a supermarket in urban areas of the country or more than 10 miles from a supermarket in rural areas. With the updated Atlas, users can also map low-income and low-access areas using distances of one-half mile and 20 miles.
In addition to expanded data layers for distance, the updated Atlas also highlights the role of vehicle availability in mitigating the difficulties of reaching a supermarket by identifying census tracts where many households lack access to a vehicle. Knowing where people face low access to both supermarkets and vehicles can be a first step toward addressing the most acute access challenges.
Another new feature identifies census tracts where a large proportion of the population lives in dormitories, military quarters, or similar group living arrangements as defined by the Census. While individuals in these census tracts may be far from a supermarket or large grocery store, such facilities frequently provide dining facilities or food stores for their residents. Noting these census tracts may provide a more accurate picture of whether these residents truly experience difficulty accessing affordable and healthy food.
Through these additional measures, updated data, and added layers of detail, the Food Access Research Atlas builds on past research to provide researchers, city planners, non-profit organizations, and policymakers at all levels a more nuanced view of the factors that impact whether people across the country can attain nutritious and varied diets. Check out the Food Access Research Atlas and discover what’s new!

The impact of Hurricane Sandy on K12 Schools

Hurricane Sandy Scholastic is donating one million books to schools and libraries in the hardest-hit areas of the tri-state region.

The impact of Hurricane Sandy on K12 Schools

The impact of Hurricane Sandy on schools (57 schools in New York City are too damaged to reopen, forcing the relocation of 34,000 students, and 14 schools in New Jersey are still closed) is a reminder of the need to build a comprehensive, all-hazards school emergency management plan that is framed by the four phases of emergency management — Prevention-Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.  Two critical aspects include the continuity of education and the provision of mental health supports for students and staff experiencing trauma due to disasters or significant incidents.
http://www.ed.gov/sandy/ AND http://rems.ed.gov/
Also, the emergency underscored the importance of facilities’ maintenance and environmental health, controlling utility costs, and schools serving as emergency shelters, as well as the need for effective environmental education.
http://www.ed.gov/blog/2012/11/sandy-underscores-maintenance-utility-cost-control-schools-as-shelters-and-environmental-education/
Meanwhile, Scholastic is donating one million books to schools and libraries in the hardest-hit areas of the tri-state region.
TO APPLY FOR A BOOK GRANT, PLEASE GO TO
http://www.scholastic.com/bookgrants.

Hurricane Sandy help from FED Dept of Ed to SEAs LEAs IHEs

Hurricane Sandy help from FED Dept of Ed to SEAs LEAs IHEs

Department is reaching out to state education agencies (SEAs), local education agencies (LEAs), institutions of higher education (IHEs), and state and local disaster recovery coordinators to let them know about issue-specific recovery resources.  Also, the Department is posting relevant information on a new Hurricane Sandy web page: http://www.ed.gov/sandy/.
Continue reading “Hurricane Sandy help from FED Dept of Ed to SEAs LEAs IHEs”

Find Free #Wifi HotSpots

Find Free WiFi hotspots in PA, NJ, DE, MD, DC, VA, WV, MA, NH and ME.

Why We Have An Open Wireless Movement
EFF believes open networks are crucial in hurricane-affected areas
By ADI KAMDAR
Oct 30, 2012
In troubled times, it’s important to help each other out. Right now, we’re witnessing an unprecedented hurricane hitting the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, and the ensuing damage and power outages are crippling rescue efforts, businesses large and small, and personal communications.
Communication is critical in time of crisis, and the Internet allows for the most effective way of getting information in and out. With readily available networks, government officials could use tools like Twitter to quickly spread information, citizen reports could help focus assistance where it is needed most, and social media updates could help reassure friends and loved ones—keeping mobile phone lines open for emergencies.
To take advantage of the Internet, people should not have to attempt to skirt restrictive Terms of Service to attempt to tether their smartphones. And tethering would not be necessary if there were ubiquitous open wireless, so that anyone with a connection and power can share their network with the neigborhood.
Last year, we wrote a post titled “Why We Need An Open Wireless Movement.” Today, EFF is proud to announce the launch of the Open Wireless Movement—located at openwireless.org—a coalition effort put forth in conjunction with nine other organizations: Fight for the Future, Free Press, Internet Archive, NYCwireless, the Open Garden Foundation, OpenITP, the Open Spectrum Alliance, the Open Technology Institute, and the Personal Telco Project.
Aimed at residences, businesses, Internet service providers (ISPs), and developers, the Open Wireless Movement helps foster a world where the dozens of wireless networks that criss-cross any urban area are now open for us and our devices to use.
Imagine a future with ubiquitous open Internet
FREE WIFI HOT SPOT FINDER
XFINITY WiFi hotspots in the affected markets to anyone who needs them ­ including non-Comcast subscribers in PA, NJ, DE, MD, DC, VA, WV, MA, NH and ME. Non-XFINITY Internet customers should search for the ³xfinitywifi² network name and click on the ³
Not a Comcast subscriber? ² link at the bottom of the Sign In page. Then select
the ³ Complimentary Trial Session² option from the drop down list. Users
will be able to renew their complimentary sessions every 2 hours through
Wednesday November 7th.
For a map of XFINITY WiFi hotspots, which are located both indoors and outdoors in malls, shopping districts, parks, and train platforms, please visit www.xfinity.com/wifi (Note: Complimentary XFINITY WiFi service may not be available in Partner WiFi Hotspot locations).”

2 free apps to help you through # Hurricane Sandy TuneIn Radio and Flashlight

TuneIn Radio (Free, iPhone, Android, Blackberry): Listen to local radio for weather news or distraction from the rain. TuneIn plays more than 70,000 stations, from WTOP to the BBC.
 
 
Flashlight (Free, iPhone): Turn your phone’s camera flash into a flashlight, just in case you left candles out of your storm stockpile. Similar apps exist for Android phones.