Here And Now (Updated)
If you’re in Sandy-ravaged NYC and taking the kids out trick-or-treating, “use good judgement and be careful,” as Mayor Bloomberg said, especially in the area of the city where the lights are still out.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in NYC with no public schedule as of yet.
UPDATE: At 10 a.m., Cuomo will join federal, state and local officials on a helicopter tour of storm damage.
At 12:30 p.m., the governor will hold a post-tour briefing at his NYC office (633 Third Ave., 38th floor conference room, Manhattan).
President Obama is traveling to Atlantic City to assess Sandy damage with NJ Gov. Chris Christie – a bipartisan trip that could benefit both of them, politically speaking.
The president will return to the White House – not the campaign trail – where the traditional Halloween festivities have been cancelled.
While Obama is off the campaign trail, VP Joe Biden is stumping on his behalf in Florida. Former President Clinton will be in Iowa.
At 9:30 a.m., Bloomberg will ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, which is re-opening after two dark days.
Storm updates and non-storm headlines…
So far, 22 people have died in NYC as a result of Sandy, including an off-duty NYPD officer who had recused his family from his flooded Staten Island home.
JFK and Newark are open, with carriers providing limited service. LaGuardia and Teterboro airports remain closed.
At the Port Authority bus terminal, some service is expected to resume this morning.
The George Washington, Goethals, Bayonne and Outerbridge Crossing bridges are open again, as is the Tappan Zee.
The Holland Tunnel is closed under further notice. The Lincoln Tunnel remains open.
MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said his crews as still assessing the “unprecedented” damage to the subway system, and expected to be able to discuss a timetable for subway service restorations at midday today.
There is limited MTA bus service already, and near-full service could be restored by today, although no fares will be charged.
Christie said he expects PATH service to be suspended for at least seven to 10 days.
More than 1.9 million New Yorkers still have no power, according to Cuomo.
The lights should come on in just a few days for most people without power, but it could take up to a week or more for those in particularly hard-hit areas.
For nearly a decade, scientists have told city and state officials that NYC faces certain peril: rising sea levels, more frequent flooding and extreme weather patterns. Building sea gates to protect against floods could cost $10 billion.
Cuomo said “extreme weather” is the state’s “new reality,” and rebuilding must take that into account.
The NYSE faces challenges in re-starting trading after two dark days.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talked about Sandy’s impact on her home state while traveling in Bosnia.
Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani discussed the storm during a trip to Australia. He hopes “beyond hope” that the NYC marathon (which generates an estimated $340 million in economic revenue), goes off as planned this Sunday, as it did after 9/11.
Marathon organizers sent mixed messages about whether the race is on or off.
Bloomberg said the marathon should take place as scheduled, but he expects to “reconfirm” that this morning.
Sandy will likely dominate the 2013 state legislative session.
Most states have no contingency plans for dealing with a disaster or attack that coincides with Election Day.
It’s unclear if 700 polling sites in Nassau and Suffolk counties will be accessible by next Tuesday.
Rep. Nita Lowey wants Westchester and Rockland added to New York’s federal disaster declaration.
Bloomberg’s sign language interpreter, Lydia Callis, has three siblings and a mother who are deaf. She explains her animated facial expressions thusly: “American Sign Language is a very visual language, so sometimes you have to use pictures to describe what people are saying in English.”
The woman behind “El Bloombito” on Twitter was worried Bloomberg would “bust out some amazing Spanish and steal my thunder” during the storm. Nope.
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina does a state-by-state breakdown of the battlegrounds, and assures the president’s supporters that he’ll win if they do what they “need to do” on his behalf.
The presidential race remains very tight, especially in the key states of Ohio (where the latest NYT/Quinnipiac/CBS poll has Obama up 5 points), Virginia and Florida.
The Romney and Obama campaigns are embracing “two sharply different versions of political reality” as Election Day nears. As usual, the truth lies somewhere near the middle.
The Watertown Times endorsed Romney.
More than 50 upstate towns and cities have asked a state appeals court for permission to weigh in on a court battle over whether municipalities can ban natural-gas drilling within their borders.
Pension costs for schools are set to grow nearly 40 percent next school year, a major hit to education budgets already crippled by rising costs.
The battle between NYC Councilman Eric Ulrich and Sen. Joe Addabbo is one of the most expensive Senate races in the state. How Sandy will impact this contest is anyone’s guess.
If Republicans hold on to Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle’s NY-24 seat next Tuesday, they’ll be having a very good night.
The TU endorsed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant has ended a legal challenge of her September primary loss to incumbent Sen. Tim Kennedy due to a lack of resources. She’s still seeking a U.S. Department of Justice probe of a process she said disenfranchised voters, and running a write-in campaign against Kennedy.
The final debate between U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter and Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. tonight. It will be broadcast live on WROC-TV (Channel 8).
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