As We Dust Ourselves Off…

Being landlocked, your humble correspondent has been spared the ravages of Hurricane Sandy. Millions on the East Coast have not been so lucky. I didn’t realize how truly destructive this storm was as I’ve been on the road and have had spotty access to the national news. It started to hit me last night when in my hotel room I started going through my comments and realized that several of my correspondents have been strangely silent. That explains why my friends and acquaintances from New York and New Jersey, have been silent as well.

Please know that all who live on the East Coast are in my prayers.


  1. George, at least 150 people are dead from Hurricane Sandy, some in the Caribbean but mostly in the US. Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn and Queens were badly flooded. The Breezy Point neighborhood in Queens, had a fire in the middle of the hurricane and flood that claimed over a hundred homes. Power outages in NYC and New Jersey continue.

    The subways and commuter rail have been greatly affected – the South Ferry subway station was flooded to the ceiling. Many people depend on the trains and the MTA has been exerting a truly heroic effort to get NYC moving again. Subway and automobile tunnels crossing the rivers were also flooded, and the power outage has made it difficult to pump out the water.

    Both the Syosset chancery and SVS are without power at the moment and suffered downed trees, but thankfully no structural damage.

    Hurricane Sandy was not a particularly strong hurricane, but it was the most massive Atlantic hurricane on record, and every warning ahead of the storm about its impact turned out to be completely true. My only hope is that survivors will remember Sandy before accusing the government or media of “hyping” a storm. If you escape a hurricane with little damage, it does not mean the storm was “hype”, it means you dodged a bullet, and you may not be so lucky next time.

    I have spent nearly all of my life living in places at risk for tropical cyclones, and could never say enough to make people take these storms seriously.

  2. Lola J. Lee Beno says

    We here in DC metro area are safe, thanks be to God. In my household we never lost power. Still, my thoughts are with those affected up north of us. Just a while ago I learned that my sister’s BFF’s coworker’s parents (in Far Rockaway Beach) have been missing since the storm and the fire/police departments have been unable to help, and they have not turned up at any local shelters so far. I pray that they are safe and well somewhere.

  3. Sean Richardson says

    Our prayers and thoughts are with those who have endured so much, that they may be delivered from further distress and that we who have been spared see this as an opportunity to help those who are in urgent need. May our Lord be with them.

  4. I hope the aid is able to be delivered to those in need quickly. But this highlights just how important taking care of our own personal “disaster relief” is so important.

    I read about people having to go dumpster diving for food after only a couple days of no power. Thats crazy! I am fortunate enough to have at least a week’s worth of canned/dried goods in the pantry just as part of our normal grocery shopping. This is on top of the extra few days of food hidden in the garage along with a week’s supply of fresh water.

    Also, anyone notice that the disaster relief appears to be just about as inept at it was during Katrina? But this time its White and Black people so I can’t tell if its because Obama hates Whites or FEMA hates African Americans… I mean, the disaster response is all tied into race right?

    And finally I am seeing very very little about the rampant looting that is going on. I read about it in various places online, see twitter posts from the urban cockroaches who are committing the crimes but have not seen much coverage on the news about it.

    • Put Your Money WHere Your Mouth Is says

      See above website for details

      Job Title:Long Term Community Recovery Program Specialist GS-0301-13

      Department:Department Of Homeland Security

      Agency:Federal Emergency Management Agency

      Job Announcement Number:MG-2012-01391-LN-775232COR
      $87,815.00 to $114,158.00 / Per Year
      Thursday, November 01, 2012 to Wednesday, November 07, 2012
      Full Time – Temporary NTE 2 Years
      1 vacancy in the following location:
      Denver, CO United States
      United States Citizens

      Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career? If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling. DHS components work collectively to prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters. The vitality and magnitude of this mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join DHS.

      When disaster strikes, America looks to FEMA. Now FEMA looks to you. Join our team and use your talent to support Americans in their times of greatest need. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) prepares the nation for all hazards and manages Federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. We foster innovation, reward performance and creativity, and provide challenges on a routine basis with a well-skilled, knowledgeable, high performance workforce.

      Who May Apply

      All U.S. Citizens
      For definitions of terms found in this announcement, please click here

      EMERGENCY ASSIGNMENT: For all nonbargaining unit positions, the following applies: Every FEMA employee has regular and recurring emergency management responsibilities, though not every position requires routine deployment to disaster sites. All positions are subject to recall around the clock for emergency management operations, which may require irregular work hours, work at locations other than the official duty station, and may include duties other than those specified in the employee’s official position description. Travel requirements in support of emergency operations may be extensive in nature (weeks to months), with little advance notice, and may require employees to relocate to emergency sites with physically austere and operationally challenging conditions.

      Relocation expenses are not authorized for this position.


      You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position.
      You must be able to obtain a Public Trust security clearance.
      You may be required to undergo periodic drug testing.
      This position may require occasional non-emergency travel.
      Direct Deposit is mandatory.
      Males born after 12/31/59 – Selective Service Registration required.


      This position is located in the Department of Homeland Security, (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA), Region VIII, Recovery Division, Individual Assistance Branch, Denver CO. The incumbent will oversee and manage Regional planning and related field operations for Long Term Community Recovery LTCR planning under Emergency Support Function (ESF) 14 of the National Response Framework and the National Disaster Recovery Framework. The incumbent will serve as one of the lead staff for the program during presidentially declared disasters and provide supervision and guidance to LTCR program disaster cadre and technical assistance CADRE (TAC) in the performance of their duties.

      Oversees and manages Regional planning and related field operations for LTCR planning under ESF 14 of the National Response Framework and the National Disaster Recovery Framework.

      Provides and oversees technical assistance and support in coordination with state resources to disaster-damaged communities.

      Provides and oversees technical assistance and support in coordination with state resources to disaster damaged communities including but not limited to the following: establishes and coordinates locally driven “self-help” recovery planning processes; facilitates community and neighborhood workshops and involvement in the disaster recovery planning processes.

      Manages and coordinates project development among several different organizations.

      Responsible for providing and overseeing the evaluation of community needs, features, characteristics with respect to community housing, infrastructure, and local economy to ascertain the need for and implementation of long term community recovery assistance following a disaster.

      The incumbent may be required to travel 75% of the time.


      You qualify for this position at the GS-13 level if you possess one of the following: One full year of specialized experience at the next lower grade in the Federal government. Specialized experience is described as experience in the administration and delivery of Recovery programs to the general public, including legislative authorities, program regulations, policies and procedural guidance.

      The qualification requirements listed above must be met within 30 calendar days of the closing date of this announcement.

      Background Investigation: To ensure the accomplishment of our mission, DHS requires every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully pass a background investigation for a Public Trust as a condition of placement into this position. This may include a review of financial issues, such as delinquency, child support and/or tax obligations, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs.

      We will review your resume and supporting documentation to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements. Additionally, this review will include the verification of your qualifications, as indicated in your resume, based on the following competencies or knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform this job.

      1. Knowledge and experience in community or urban planning and related disciplines and an ability to apply this knowledge and experience in diverse environments.

      2. Knowledge of Federal, state, and local government organizational structures and relationships, especially as related to emergency management, disaster recovery and community planning.

      3. Knowledge and skill in applying analytical and evaluative methods and techniques to issues or studies concerning the efficiency and effectiveness of program operations.

      All applicants will be evaluated based on responses to the Job Questionnaire for the announcement. Once the application process is complete, a review of your application will be made to ensure you meet the job requirements. To determine if you are qualified for this job, a review of your resume and supporting documentation will be made and compared against your responses to the occupational questionnaire.

      If you are qualified, you may be referred to the hiring manager for consideration and may be called for an interview. To preview the Assessment Questionnaire, click the following link: View Assessment Questions


      DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays. Other benefits may include: flexible work schedules; telework; tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers. DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities. For more information, go to and select “benefits.”


      This announcement may be used to fill one or more vacancies.


      Your application must be received by 11:59PM EST on Wednesday, November 07, 2012.

      To begin your online application, click the Apply Online button and follow the prompts to register or sign into USAJOBS, take the online questionnaire, and submit the required documents. See Required Documents section for more detail.

      We strongly encourage you to apply online. If you cannot apply online, you may FAX your résumé, assessment questionnaire, and supporting documents to (478) 757-3144. You must print a copy of OPM Form 1203-FX, document your responses to the assessment questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire and use the official FAX coversheet found here.


      Your résumé
      Your responses to the job questionnaire View Assessment Questions
      Are you a current or former Federal employee? You are encouraged to submit a copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, that shows your current/former grade and step.

      Louise L. Noyes
      Phone: (800)879-6076
      TDD: 800-877-8339
      Agency Information:
      DHS FEMA HCD Talent Acquisition and Processing
      PO Box 9900
      Winchester, VA

      Control Number: 329828600

    • Unfortunately, people in Manhattan tend not to stock up on things. I think it is the general lack of storage space in apartments coupled with the regular availability of stores that are not only within walking distance, they also deliver groceries to your door.

      They did open a Costco and a Target in SpaHa a few years ago, though.

    • Out in Ca. where I come from,” sheltering in place” is a very important concept in emergency response. And in every school I have ever worked, they had complete “shelter in place plans and equipment,” and even general shelters for community(because of having gyms) But, it seems as if St. Vlad’s had no such equipment, or preparation. So I hear they are pretty cold and hungry there with no generator . If I am incorrect, please forgive me . I understand they are not likely to see power for 10 more days.
      Between that and NYC using resources to host a marathon, while people are hungry,cold and remain trapped in upper floors with no, water, heat, or power, and on the street, little fuel and groceries. It is Haiti all over again but without international help. and my Facebook page filled with the incredibly silly posts of the oblivious.
      Let us stay busy in prayer not foolishness.

      • SVS probably can’t afford generators for the whole school or even part of it. There are fuel shortages all around there anyway, how would they keep them running?

        If SVS had to cancel classes for two weeks, that was probably their only option. May God protect all of them.

        • Thank you Helga, I am always thankful for your posts. I also am really glad for all who could exit St. Vlad’s for the duration.
          This is how this works in a normal school, retreat center, or boarding school.
          There is one area designated as the emergency area, and is hooked to a large generator, it is usually the Kitchen, dining room and store rooms any water that is possible.
          The large walk- in refrigeration/freezer serves everyone during an emergencies. I don’t know what St. Vlad’s has but this is a really important item.
          Most school kitchens have large propane stoves and the tanks should be kept as full as possible at all times and meals are prepared from simple foods on hand 2 or 3 times a day.
          There is usually a store-room of large canned goods and big bags of rice, dry mixes etc for emergencies. While at St. Vlad’s it may not presently have a large dining room where ALL CAN EAT at the same time, they perhaps should have that space. That space along with the kitchen is where people sleep if it get too cold(there are cots stored in a large closet.) This space is the only one heated in an emergency by being part of the area which is on the generator. Everyone sacrifices so it works just fine.. The whole point of owning a generator large enough to do this is to have the fuel to run it ahead of time. Tanks. Sometimes heat for water in this area can be managed for this area as well. This plan doesn’t allow much privacy, but that is not what emergencies are all about. This isn’t satellite science…… so maybe we can raise the money so that St. Vlad’s has a solid plan, like others for dealing with the 7 to 10 days, recommended by all emergency preparedness organizations. It is really important that anyone who may have your children, that you may not see for that length of time, be prepared, also for any adults that you love.

  5. From the St. Nicholas Email List says

    Indeed, much has happened to the East Coast, especially our Primatial Cathedral:

    By appointment of +Bishop Alexander, locum tenens of the Archdiocese of Washington, and with the blessing of Archbishop Tikhon of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania and +Bishop Michael, Administrator of the Orthodox Church in America, the Synod of Bishops has blessed the reappointment of Archpriest John Perich, for an indefinite term of service, as Administrator of St. Nicholas Cathedral, Washington, D.C.

    With the blessing of +Bishop Alexander, Archpriest John announces the following clergy appointments and assignments at St. Nicholas Cathedral:

    1. Archpriest John Perich: Administrator of St. Nicholas Cathedral

    2. Archpriest Denis Bradley: Senior Priest & Assistant to the Administrator

    3. Archpriest George Kokhno: Sacristan [Riznichij] & Associate Pastor

    4. Priest Valery Shemchuk: Assistant Pastor


    Questions of the learned on this list since I am unfamiliar with these terms:

    1. What is the difference between an associate pastor and an assistant pastor?
    2. What is a Sacristan?
    3. Does St. Nicholas Cathedral have no Dean anymore or is this Archpriest John Perich?
    4. Has the acting dean of the cathedral, Father Valeri, been demoted?
    5. Is the “administrator” of the cathedral to live in the Washington, D.C. area?

    • What is happening at St Nicholas Cathedral is analogous to circling the wagons. Looks like its double-down and hope that enough people will not leave the Cathedral so they can keep the doors open. I wonder how many would return if the Cathedral left the OCA and joined ROCOR? One thing is for sure, there would be no Perich, Bradley or Kokhno. Sounds good to me!

    • Thomas Paine says

      Perich is a good man. Those who are Russophile/Convert Trouble-Makers at the Cathedral, watch out. This is a man who knows your game and you don’t have a shot. Congratulations to a priest who has done and will continue to do great things!

      • All in the Family says

        Perich is not a good man. He is an opportunist with less than an honorable background. The faithful at St. Nicholas are leaving in a steady stream and Perich will not stem that tide. Those who have left are not coming back. They are taking their children and families away from the OCA dysfunction. And your flimsy characterization of “Russophile/Convert Trouble-Makers at the Cathedral” shows how little you actually know about the makeup of the Cathedral folk. These are people who have laboured long and hard, given of their time, talents, and treasure to build up St. Nicholas. They have not left St. Nicholas, St. Nicholas has left them and now is being run by pro-gay and gay clergy. Fr. Denis Bradley preaches this from the pulpit as well as teaching that the stories in Holy Scripture are fairy tales. That might work at Georgetown but it is heresy in the Orthodox Church.

        The sad reality is the Fr. Valery is the odd man out in DC. He is slowly being pushed out so that it can be a Perich, Bradely, Kochkno unholy trinity of leadership. They now can barely pay their bills and as more people leave the economic reality of St. Nicholas Cathedral is about to make it impossible for them to pay for Fr. Valery if Perich is brought in full-time, which will be a monumental mistake. Fr. Valery is already feeling the heat and when he is thrown under the bus that will be the last straw and the Russian-speaking members will leave.

        There are already enough people who have left the Cathedral to start a new parish in the DC area with over 125 adult members and don’t think that this reality is lost on other jurisdictions looking to provide a real Orthodox home from these faithful people.

        I repeat, Fr. John Perich is not an honorable man. He has a reputation in NYC. He is known by many who have seen him in places which make +Matthias look like a choir boy. His past will come out. He can’t run away from it. He should go back to EPA and try and hide so that the good people of the Cathedral are not scandalized and demoralized any further.

        Only when Bradley, Perich, Kochkno and +Alexander are out of the way can St. Nicholas have any chance at recovery. These are not true Orthodox leaders. And if things don’t get better, then the DC Cathedral will continue to bleed membership until it will be a beautiful temple without a viable membership.

      • Thomas Paine comments are similar to “The Screwtape Letters”. When he writes: “Perich is a good man” it sounds like a praise from morally reversed world.

  6. Bruce Wm. Trakas says

    To watch the “drive by” media, you’d think the only people affected by this hurricane are only those who were hugged by Obummer. Everything is fine this time, NJ Governor Chris Christie is hugging Obummer; and unlike Katrina, when Republican G.W. Bush was President and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin’s staff evacuated and the residents didn’t, and idiot Governor Blanco wouldn’t authorize the federal government to take over.

    • 94% of Newark, New Jersey is without power. Someone ask Kanye West if this means Obama hates black people.

  7. Thanks for posting the kind words George. I have been wondering about the OCA hq regarding the hurricane and now know.

    In other personal news, someone at the yahoo orthodox forum [sic no caps] decided they didn’t like my posts. My last post was basically asking/commenting how someone can get away with attacking the Clintons on the forum and what that has to do with Orthodoxy. Oh, well. I guess the political tomfoolery works if you are on the right side of the fence over there, or maybe he got booted, too, and I was just dumb enough to ask why in a comment versus an email to the moderator.

    Why would an OCA priest host a forum and then alienate people that post there? Doesn’t he realize that type of alienation goes beyond his forum and transcends other things OCA? Maybe some of you know more about that other blog…

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      That’s why I haven’t participated on that forum for years – it’s become a place full of venom and spite. I just let the digests pile up in my email reader and clean these out periodically. God bless the priests from a certain jurisdiction that keep up the good fight, but I’ve got better things to do with my time.

    • I know someone else who ‘got booted’ from that list serve too and I’ve gotten “talked to ” more than once. And yet certain “favorites” can go absolutely vile towards others as long as they have the right views. Yeah I don’t quite think it’s a fair, open place to dialogue.

  8. cynthiacurran says

    Well, New York and New Jeresey are even more diverse than California. Calif has only 6 percent blacks while the whole state of New York and New Jeresey are about 15 percent a piece. Asians are almost 10 and Latinos about 17 or 18 percent but you Pueto Rician can be black or white and Domicians are black. New York City is a 4 subcategory of whites,hispanics, blacks and asians versus LA which us more 3 hispanics,whites, asians and blacks. Blacks are now less of La than Asians are in New York. I’ve done a lot of study of the demographic changes.

  9. cynthia curran says

    Pray for the families of the 150 people.

    • Homeless people along the eastern seaboard are ultra stressed right now. At a local Orthodox initiative where we buy new winter coats and jackets for homeless children, two more shelters have called needing coats so we are extending this initiative. Right now, people need disposable diapers, small size shampoos, toothbrushes , toothpastes, heavy plastic ziplocks to keep stuff in large and small, tissue packets, bandaids, bacitracin and neomycin, etc. individual size ointments, white socks all sizes, rain ponchos.

  10. Contact: PRESS OFFICE
    Stavros Papagermanos

    Date: Nov. 6, 2012



    NEW YORK – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America establishes the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund and designates Sunday November 11, 2012 as a day of prayer and offering on behalf of the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

    Archbishop Demetrios of America, on behalf of the Holy Eparchial Synod, issued today an Encyclical (click here ) in which he calls upon all the faithful throughout the Church in America to pray fervently for comfort from above. We offer prayers of remembrance for those who perished and of solace for those who lost family members. We pray for the many who have lost their homes, and for those who are facing uncertainty regarding their jobs and livelihood.

    The Archdiocesan Encyclical designates next Sunday a day of prayer for the victims and asks the parishes of our Holy Archdiocese to conduct a special collection for the “Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund,” and the proceeds to be sent to the Archdiocese, which will coordinate the relief efforts with the National Philoptochos, the Metropolis of New Jersey and the Direct Archdiocesan District. Donations by check can also be send directly to the Archdiocese designated for the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund or made online at:

    The Archbishop continuing the assessment of damages of Hurricane Sandy, visited yesterday Sunday Nov. 4, the Greek Orthodox Church of Holy Trinity / St. Nicholas in Staten Island, N.Y., which has been hard hit by the storm. He presided over the Divine Liturgy and offered a Trisagion prayer service for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives. He also led the congregation in prayer for strength and comfort from God for all the people who lost their homes, their businesses and property and are suffering in the aftermath. After the liturgy he met families who were affected by the hurricane and together with the community’s pastor, Fr. Nicholas Petropoulakos and National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas surveyed an area of Staten Island that was ravaged by the storm and suffered tremendous damage and loss. The Archbishop was joined by Greek American NY Assemblywoman Nicole Maliotakis, who is coordinating relief efforts for her constituency and together they met with and spoke to many volunteers, including local AHEPA officials, who were distributing food and supplies or were helping in the cleanup.

    Fr. Nicholas Petropoulakos said he appreciated the presence and support of the Archbishop in these difficult times. He said that many families in the parish had extensive water damage and suffered losses in their homes and business. The church, he added, has relatively minor exterior damage. Fr. Nicholas conveyed that the parish has received many calls and offers for help in kind and offers from volunteers from all over the country, and he explained that the church is serving as a collection and distribution center, funneling relief aid to people in need on Staten Island.

    For a photo album from the Archbishop’s Staten Island visit the Archdiocese photo gallery: