Disastrous. Mortifying. Destructive. Calamitous.
Those are just a few of the words that can describe the horrors Hurricane Sandy brought to the residents of Woodbridge, New Jersey, and citizens all across the Northeast coast of the United States.
New Jersey was one of the hardest-hit states, and its beloved shore area was devastated by Sandy’s high winds and flooding. One flood prone area in central New Jersey is the Woodbridge River Basin. Although the area has not received much attention that some other devastated places in New York and New Jersey, it is a spot that has been devastated by major flooding over the past two years from Hurricanes Irene (in 2011) and Sandy. The area has suffered mightily from storms over the years, yet nothing major has been done to fix or slow down the flooding that occurs.
Along with a state-of-the-art community center and the oldest library in Woodbridge, the town features the Woodbridge River, which begins in the central Woodbridge area and snakes its way down to Arthur Kill, which is the body of water that separates New Jersey from New York. The river began causing trouble when an extension of the New Jersey Turnpike was built in 1951. Because the Woodbridge River ran in the path of the turnpike extension and caused major flooding problems on a marquee roadway, a man-made creek was built to channel waters away from the turnpike and into swamp lands that neighbor a small community.
What does that mean? It means that every time a major rainstorm occurs, the turnpike will not flood, but the small neighborhood will be prone to flooding.
Disastrous. Mortifying. Destructive. Calamitous.
Last week, communities in New York and New Jersey were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Many people were left homeless after the storm, while others are still without power and heat.
But on Wednesday, another storm took aim at the east coast.
Winter Storm Athena moved into the same parts of New York and Jersey still recovering from Sandy. Athena brought with it very cold temperatures, heavy rains, lots of snow, and strong winds. The National Weather Service predicts Athena will also cause a 2-4-foot storm surge. This will cause moderate flooding in areas who have yet to dry out from the last storm.
For the rest of the story, visit the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps website.
—Kid Reporter William Russell
Photo: Snow covers debris piles as flood waters start to return to neighborhoods in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, on Wednesday November 7, 2012, as a nor'easter hits. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
In the main event space at President Barack Obama's Election Night party at McCormick Place in Chicago, hundreds of national and international news agencies were set up and broadcasting. After my parents, brother, and I arrived and explored, we made our way to a workspace that looked on to a TV that was showing six different news stations simultaneously. Massive overhead screens also hung throughout the event space. Obama supporters at the event focused on those screens and cheered loudly whenever a projection favoring Obama was announced.
Of course, when it was announced that President Obama had won re-election, McCormick Place erupted with cheering and chants of "Four More Years!
The announcement was made at around 11:20 p.m., and as the crowd waited for the President to deliver his victory speech they danced, clapped, sang, and waved little American flags. The music was loud, and so was the crowd!
But everyone at McCormick Place had to wait a long time for the President. Mitt Romney delivered his concession speech at 1 a.m. — nearly two hours after Obama was declared the winner. The crowd seemed to lose some of its energy as the night dragged on. Except for the section of supporters directly behind the President's podium. Their presence was revealed a short while before the President took the stage. They were concealed behind a blue curtain. This newer, fresher cheering section was located directly in the sight line of most of the major TV outlets, providing them with images of energetic attendees.
Obama finally took the stage at 1:40 a.m. He was met with wild, loud, and long cheers. First Lady Michelle Obama joined him on stage, then left the President by himself to deliver his victory speech.
In his speech, Obama thanked his supporters, his family, his Vice President, Joe Biden, and even his opponent, Mitt Romney.
But he also spoke to pulling the country together after a divisive presidential election. "We are an American family, and we rise and fall together as one nation and one people," President Obama said.
A big part of the President's speech was that it's now time to move past the campaign and focus on working to improve the country. Obama said that he wants to work with Romney to solve the problems facing the nation.
"In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward," Obama said.
When President Obama concluded his speech, the crowd went wild! He was joined by his family and the Biden family. Then an explosion of red, white, and blue confetti filled the air.
Obama supporter A.J. Dilay summed up the feelings of a lot of the people at McCormick Place last night. "Being here tonight has been so uplifting," he said. "Just the energy is like nothing I've ever felt. I'm just screaming inside and full of joy."
I know it's a night that I will never forget!
—Kid Reporter Natalie WexlerPhoto: Supporters cheer at the end of President Barack Obama's remarks during an election night party, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Last night, hundreds of people from around the world
gathered at the Boston Convention and Expo Center to see if their choice for
President, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, would be the next
President of the United State. His hopeful supporters waited for hours to get
into the center. Even Donald Trump was there to show his support for Governor
Romney. The mood was calm but happy, A sort of “We got this” feeling was in the
As I talked to supporters, they seemed happy but also a little nervous. “I’m not sure who will (win), but I hope its Romney,” said Lisa Gibbs from Birmingham, Alabama.
As the votes came in, Romney held a small. early lead. But President Obama kept it tight right and was right on Romney’s tail. People outside started to get more excited and people started answering my questions as if Romney had already won. “We came from Baltimore early this morning to watch history be made here,” said Joe Tristani.
Though Romney had a small lead, he lost it very quickly and became neck and neck with Obama. There was a new sort of tension in the air with people starting to realize that Romney might not be the next President. His supporters went back to saying “if” he wins. I asked supporters what they thought the most important issue in America is and how Romney would help solve it if elected. Nancy Young of Massachusetts said, “We hope to get rid of Obamacare and get the healthcare plan back on track.” Others like Janet Fogerti thought that the economy was the biggest issue. “I think the biggest issue is the economy but also national security,” she said.
At 11:30 p.m., most of the national TV news outlets had projected Ohio would be won by Obama, which would mean he won re-election. Governor Romney's campaign wasn't ready to concede defeat — they wanted to see more results come in from Ohio first. But as the night went on, Obama won more states and it was clear Romney would not be the winner.
At 12:55 a.m., Romney took the stage at the convention center to deliver his concession speech. His speech was gracious. He thanked his family and staff, as well as his supporters and his running mate, Paul Ryan. “Next to Ann,” Romney said, “Paul is the best choice I’ve ever made.”
Romney also said he wanted the country to pull together and get to work fixing the nation's problems. "The nation, as you know, is at a critical point," Romney said. "At a time like this, we can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people's work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion.
He then gave advice on how Americans, as working people, can help fix the economy. "This election is over, but our principles endure," Romney said. "I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to a new greatness."
When he finished his speech, his family, as well as Ryan and Ryan's family, came together on the stage to thank their supporters.
—Kid Reporter Coleman Hirschberg
Photo: Kid Reporter Coleman Hirschberg outside Mitt Romney's campaign night event in Boston. (Courtesy Coleman Hirschberg)
Editor's note: Kid Reporter Coleman Hirschberg had to leave the Romney event early because he got sick as the night wore on. As a result, he wasn't able to speak to Romney supporters after Romney delivered his concession speech.
Mike Pence and John Gregg went head to head yesterday for
the title of Governor of Indiana. Both with their separate reasons for wanting
to be elected, both anxiously watched the votes come in.
This is the first Governor election where the powerful incumbent, Mitch Daniels, wasn’t running. Both candidates are diverse, which made it a more difficult decision for Indiana voters.
“The governor’s race has been interesting because it started out so quiet and then has been much more vocal at the end,” said Dr. Sarah Stelzner of Indianapolis. “I think got a little bit dwarfed by the whole controversy with the senate race and obviously with the presidential race. So, that one has been a little bit harder to follow for me and the fact that there’s two people trying to put themselves forward as opposed to an incumbent that you have some experience with but it was easy for me to make a decision.”
Amidst the chaotic Election Day, a foreigner who wasn’t able to vote headed to the polls with a friend for the experience. Valerie Spriet of Indianapolis enjoyed comparing and contrasting the elections here and in her native country, France.
“It’s not allowed,” Spriet said about campaign ads still being broadcast on Election Day. “Because at this stage in France, 24 hours before the election everything must be stopped. The candidates mustn’t speak on TV anymore. Nobody is allowed to give papers for the different parties outside the place you vote. It is totally forbidden. They think that they have to leave people on their own to think now to begin to make their own choice and that they don’t have to interfere anymore. So they stop all the campaigning.”
The votes were neck and neck for a great amount of time until Mike Pence pulled ahead to become the next Governor of Indiana with 50 percent of the vote to Gregg’s 46 percent.
I interviewed both candidates about the governor's race in Indiana. You can read more about it on the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps website.
—Kid Reporter Grace Ybarra
Photo: Governor-elect Mike Pence (Courtesy Pence campaign)
History is made in Nevada.
President Obama captured re-election last night with the assistance of Nevada's six electoral votes.
Obama won the state by 51 percent of the popular vote, with 47 percent going for Romney. This is the second consecutive year Nevadans have voted blue (Democratic). This swing state has predominately voted red (Republican) since 1912.
It appears Nevada may be starting a new trend for their future.
—Kid Reporter Cheyenne Ruiz
Election night was a good night for Maryland Democrats, but
especially for Governor Martin O’Malley. In addition to voting to reelect
President Barack Obama, Marylanders renewed mandates for the Democratic ticket:
Senator Ben Cardin, US Representatives John Sarbanes, Steny Hoyer, and Chris
Van Hollen, and denied 6th district Republican Congressman Roscoe Bartlett an
11th term in favor of Democratic newcomer John Delaney.
Governor O’Malley had four other reasons to smile, too. His constituents voted “Yes” on all statewide ballot measures championed by the Governor and Democratic Party leaders.
President Barack Obama defeats Mitt Romney to earn another term
After months of campaigning, the 2012 presidential election came to an end last night.
President Barack Obama defeated former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney to earn four more years in the White House.
President Obama won the popular vote 50 percent to 49 percent, as of early Wednesday morning. But he won nearly 300 electoral votes, with Florida still not called for either candidate. The first candidate to 270 electoral votes is declared the winner.
At a rowdy Election Night event in Chicago, was met with wild, loud, and long cheers. First Lady Michelle Obama joined him on stage, then left the President by himself to deliver his victory speech.
Check out the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps website for the rest of the story!
—Kid Reporters Natalie Wexler and Coleman HirschbergPhoto: President Barack Obama waves as he walks on stage with First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha at his election night party Wednesday, November 7, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Colorado voters have been bombarded with political ads these
past few months. Colorado is what they call a “swing state,” which means it
usually is split right down the middle between Democrats and Republicans.
Because of this, each party does anything they can to convince voters to vote
for them. Television ads, radio ads, billboards, signs, and rallies are just
some examples of the media attention Colorado has been receiving.
Many Coloradans are starting to get annoyed. Corie Rajala, the Slavens K-8 School Spanish teacher, stated that the amount of money spent on ads negatively affected the overall vote of the people. She is not alone in thinking this. Linda Brown, a Slavens parent, agreed with Mrs. Rajala. She was relieved the election is over.
What exactly goes on in a polling booth? Many non registered voters, meaning kids, may not know. There’s a Supervisor or Election Judge. They are in charge. When people enter, they go to the first desk where there is a large book of all the registered voters in that area. If you are not for some reason in the book, then you can still vote but you have to fill out papers and the process is longer. Then you get your ballot and you stand in a voting booth. In here, you are surrounded on all or three sides so no one can see your vote. Then there are two boxes. One is labeled “Mail-In Ballot,” one is a computer voting machine. Citizens also have an option to fill out the ballot at home and send it in, or drop it off at a local poll.
The boxes have a lot of security on them. First, the supervisor has to show everyone that its empty before locking it and putting a plastic tag with a number on the lock. If the tag is removed, they know that the boxes have been tampered with. There is also security with the computer ballot. First you need to go the first desk, but instead of receiving a ballot you receive a number. Someone else turns that number into a card. You stick that card in the machine and begin voting. The computer keeps track of all the votes that have been submitted on that certain machine. This way, the staff can know that when they get the computer, if it says zero, then it has not been tampered with or cheated. Each staff must go through about eight hours of training to work in the Poll room. A Supervisor and his assistant must have an extra four hours of training. Any media must stand 100 feet away from the poll in order to conduct an interview.
In the end, Barak Obama won the election against Mitt Romney. Colorado didn’t get a chance to be called one way or another until after his victory. We did eventually end up blue, or Democratic, but the margin was extremely slim — just like in many states all over the country.
—By Kid Reporter Jenna Winocur
The polls closed in the state of Georgia at 7 p.m. along
with the polls of all other states on the Eastern seaboard. Election Day had
ended and now Georgians could just wait. As major TV stations such as NBC News,
CNN, ABC News, and CBS News projected the results of the presidential campaign,
I couldn’t wait for Georgia’s results to come out.
The Peach State has traditionally been a Republican state and has voted for the Republican candidate in seven of the previous 10 Presidential general elections. But several of the voters that I had interviewed earlier today at our local polling place had cast their ballots for President Obama, and I was extremely curious to see if our state would change sides during this Election season.
It was quite exciting waiting for the results, and finally they were announced at 8 p.m. Georgia was called for the Republican nominee, Governor Mitt Romney. This win now brought him 16 electoral votes closer to the White House. And it marks the fifth consecutive Presidential election that Georgia has been a red state.
With 96 percent of precincts reporting, here are the results: Governor Romney won 53.2 percent of the vote and President Obama won 45.7 percent. 1.4 percent of people voted for another candidate. Romney won by a larger margin in Georgia than Republican John McCain did in the state four years earlier, also against Barack Obama.
Other races that Georgians watched for on Election Night were the House of Representatives elections. For the 14 Congressional districts in Georgia that held House elections, 13 incumbents were re-elected including Representative Tom Price of District 5, who has agreed to be interviewed by this Kid Reporter several times.
As the final national election results come out, it has become apparent that incumbent President Barack Obama has won re-election, just like what Scholastic readers predicted in the Scholastic Student Vote. Election Day is winding to a close and so is this Election season that has been so exciting and so close between the two candidates.
—Kid Reporter Andrew Liang