In the aftermath of this weekend’s storm, few places have been hit worse than Staten Island. Anderson Cooper said on tonight’s AC 360 that Staten Island “hasn’t got the attention it should have in the last few days” and focused most of his show on the now-found bodies of two Staten Island children who were lost in the storm.
But today Mayor Bloomberg announced that the New York City Marathon would still start on the Staten Island side of the Verrizano bridge. This has been the final straw for many an angry Staten Island resident.
There’s already an online petition to postpone the marathon that has nearly 2,000 signatures and there’s a chain letter-like Facebook status that’s being reposted endlessly:
Marathon runners: When you start at the Verrazano Bridge, half of you should turn around and run toward Hylan Blvd and go to Father Cappadanno or straight to Tottenville and help all those that lost their loved ones, lost their homes, lost everything in Staten Island… The other half should run through Brooklyn to Breezy Point to Long Island and help those that lost their homes and loved ones as well. There are so many people that need socks, t-shirts, shoes, water, hot food; these are all the same supplies that NYC will be providing to the thousands attending the NYC Marathon. Instead of running 26 miles through a city that President Obama declared a Major Disaster Area, run a gallon of gas to NJ so people don't have to wait in line for 3 hours. I CANNOT believe the Mayor is still going to let the NYC Marathon go on.
Staten Island’s elected officials are also on the attack against the mayor’s decision. Representative Michael Grimm said today, “It is complete and utter lunacy. We are still taking people out of the water and we’re supposed to spruce up the parks for a race?”
And Councilman James Oddo said, “To begin this one mile away from where we are still looking for bodies is sinful.”