WHYY-TV to broadcast Superstorm-Sandy: A Live Town Hall

Superstorm Sandy: A Live Town Hall airs live on WHYY-TV, Thursday, May 16th at 8 p.m

More than six months after Superstorm Sandy caused $50 billion in damage, questions still remain regarding the region’s infrastructure, its disaster response capabilities, and what the future holds.

Seeking answers and conversation about the storm and recovery efforts, WHYY and public TV stations in New Jersey and New York are teaming up to broadcast a live Town Hall event Thursday, May 16 at 8 p.m.

Hosted by Mike Schneider, managing editor of the NJTV’s NJ Today with Mike Schneider, expert panelists will field questions before live studio audiences at Monmouth University’s Pollak Theatre in West Long Branch, N.J., and the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in Manhattan next week.

Members of the community are invited to find out more about the Town Hall event, including how to be a part of the Monmouth University audience and where to submit questions for the broadcast panelists prior to and during the program on their local station site, SandyTownHall.org and via Twitter #sandytownhall.  SandyTownHall.org and NewsWorks.org/NJ will also carry the livestream on May 16th.

Topics of discussion will include:  infrastructure: maintenance, parameters for the future and how New York and New Jersey’s infrastructure compares to other regions; building codes in the post-Sandy era; the storm’s environmental consequences: what can we fix, what may not be reparable; storm response: the effectiveness of Sandy response by FEMA, the government, the utility companies and the region overall; economic ramifications:  who is paying the debt the storm left behind, government funds versus constituent responsibilities, and looking to the future: the region’s ability to plan ahead for extreme weather.

“Broadcasting this Town Hall is exactly what public television is about. People coming together to help find solutions. It’s also important because the fate of the Jersey Shore is a shared regional concern. Many of our viewers and listeners vacation down the shore or live there year-round, said Christine Dempsey, WHYY vice president and chief content officer.”

Superstorm Sandy: A Live Town Hall guest panelists will include experts in an array of fields, from infrastructure and engineering to climatology and charities.

Panelists at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey(subject to change)- Richard Constable, Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs- Nicole Gelinas, Searle Freedom Trust Fellow, Manhattan Institute-Vivien Gornitz, Special Research Scientist, Columbia University-Ralph LaRossa, President & COO, PSE&G-Mayor Matt Doherty, Belmar, NJ-Patrick Murray, Director, Monmouth University Polling Institute-Peter Reinhart, Director, Kislak Real Estate Institute, Monmouth University-Bill Ulfelder, Executive Director, The Nature Conservancy of New York-Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Hoboken, NJ

Panelists at the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in Manhattan(subject to change)- John Boulé, VP, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Ret. Col. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers- John Cameron, Chair, Long Island Regional Planning Council-Bud Griffis, Professor of Civil Engineering and Construction, Polytechnic Institute of New York University-Joe Nocera, Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times-Richard Ravitch, Former Lieutenant Governor, New York-Sheena Wright, President & CEO, United Way of New York City

Questions for the broadcast panelists may be submitted prior and during the program in the comments field, below, and via Twitter #sandytownhall.

The live program will also feature reporting from various locations across New Jersey, New York City, and Long Island. Lauren Wanko from NJ Today with Mike Schneider, MetroFocus’ Rafael Pi Roman, and Long Island Business Report’s Jim Paymar will revisit communities and individuals that they covered when the storm hit in November, continuing their in-depth reporting from the worst hit towns and cities. Other special reports will come from WHYY, The Star-Ledger and WNYC.

The event is free but organizers are asking that you RSVP for a ticket

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