By Paul Rudoff on Nov. 9, 2012 at 7:46 PM , Categories: Personal, Spook Central, GB1, Books , Tags: hurricane-sandy
Last updated on November 11, 2012. Please check the blog post "Updates on Paul since November 16th and onward" for further updates.
Spook Central On Hiatus
Hey Everyone. Paul here writing in from the Red Cross emergency shelter at Nassau Community College on storm-ravaged Long Island, New York. If you're not already aware, my family was evacuated from our little house in East Rockaway on the morning of October 29th when the water from the canal across the street was already up to the top step on the porch... and the storm hadn't even come yet!
With the help of my friends, and new Spook Central staff members, Doreen Mulman, Raffaele Ruffaldi, and Matthew Jordan, I have been working on getting the site to be somewhat updated in my absence. I can only do so much from a tiny little iPod Touch. The special Halloween treat is now on the site, and I'm working on getting Matt to continue updating the Spook Central Facebook page, so that we can continue to bring you some new Ghostbusters news and multimedia. It'll be a while before I'll have a permanent place to live again and personal belongings again (the flood waters destroyed damn near everything, including my desktop computer) so this will be the last Spook Central blog post for a while. Keep following Spook Central on Facebook for updates (hopefully).
Now here's new Spook Central staff member Matthew Jordan (aka DevilManOzzy from the Ghostbusters Wiki) to tell you more about what I've been going through, and to give you the link to the special Halloween treat...
Updates on Paul
Filling in today on Paul's behalf is Matthew Jordan. We have some good news and some bad news.
The Bad News
The bad news came in the form of Hurricane Sandy, which flooded Paul's house. The image above shows the waters coming up to his steps on the 29th. Here is the timeline of events from Paul's postings on Facebook:
-10-29-2012: "Here on Long Island, New York, Hurricane Sandy is already starting to cause trouble. Photo taken on Mon. 10-29-2012 at approx. 8:50 AM Eastern. I will probably have to evacuate before it gets even worse than last year with Hurricane Irene. So if I'm not online for a few days, and can't answer e-mails, this is why. If I'm home, have electricity and computer access on Wednesday, I'll try to post the special Halloween Treat I have in store for all of you on Spook Central. It not, it'll be a belated treat."
-11-03-2012: "Hi everyone. Been at the Nassau Community College emergency shelter since Monday morning. Had to walk across the street to the Nassau Coliseum to grab Cablevision's Optimum wifi signal just so I can send this with my iPod Touch. It's freezing cold out here. Anyway, I checked out the home in East Rockaway yesterday and it's a mess. Got four or five feet of water in the house. Beds, dressers, TVs, everything destroyed. Fridge was lying on it's back. Kitchen countertop exploded. Computer may or may not be ruined. When I'm back on my feet somewhat, I'll upload photos. For now, Spook Central is on hiatus. Ironically, the outside of house had very little damage. This nearly 100 year old house will not go down so easily. Stay well everyone and know that I'm safe."
UPDATE - JULY 17, 2013
-From Doreen Mulman on 11-04-2012: "My good friend, Paul Rudoff of Spook Central, has been living in a shelter at Nassau Community College since Monday. His home in East Rockaway, NY was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Although his house is standing, it is flooded and everything inside is destroyed. Anyone who wants to help out Paul, can donate money via PayPal."
Pretty much, Paul lost everything, but the house itself. As noted by Doreen, Paul is taking donations on his Paypal. If you have any money to help, this is the time to send it. Paul has been a active ghosthead in this community, sharing his love for Ghostbusters since 1996. If there had ever been a time to help someone in need, it would be now.
Update from Paul (on 11-10-2012):
I went back to the house yesterday to retrieve some items, and the house is actually in worse condition than Friday of last week. The front door lock has corroded inside, making it unusable. The key won't even fit inside anymore. The fire department had to break a screen off a window and jimmy it open in order to get inside. The lock on the back door, even though it's damaged and will need to be replaced, is usable, so that's our entrypoint for the time being. There is a lot of mold on the side of my computer desk and the bookcase I have sitting next to it.
I definitely know that my computer is kaput, as not only were there splashes of water on the monitor, but when I shown a flashlight on it, I could see two different tones of color in the screen face. I think what I'm seeing is water in the bottom half and no water in the top half.
The shelf on the bookcase I had my Ghostbuster TV and movie scripts collapsed! I didn't have the time to see if the scripts themselves fell into water or if the shelf broke after the water left the area. I'll know for sure when we have to go back and start throwing everything out. I hope they're still good as those scripts still need to be scanned in and preserved as PDFs.
Right now we're playing a waiting game with FEMA. We need them to send an inspector to the house to see the damaged personal belongings, so they can give us money to eventually rebuy everything. At the same time, the landlord wants us to clear out the stuff so he can get repairmen in there to start repairs. I don't know how they can do repairs when most of East Rockaway still doesn't have power - and ironically, we got a LIPA bill in the mail for $126 - but the longer he has to wait, the longer we have to wait. He even said that if we miss this window of opportunity to get repairmen in there now, we may have to wait months until he can get repairmen again.
FEMA has approved us for a hotel stay and a temporary rental, but isn't setting anything up for us. They expect us, with little to no resources on hand, to book a room in one of only TWO hotels in Nassau County that's on their huge list, and later on they want us to find a new place to rent - even though we'd still be obliged to pay rent for the damaged house. Mind you, my family doesn't have a car, are using prepaid cell phones with limited minutes (once used up, the phone is a paperweight), and doesn't have a ton of money on hand or in the bank. We're not even sure what's going on with the hotel. Some say we need a consent letter, some say we don't; some say we'll have a 28 day stay, some say it'll just be 14 days. Nobody knows what the hell they're doing. I thought FEMA, by the very nature of their "business", had experience handling these sort of things. If things were set up properly, they'd set up the hotel and housing arrangements automatically for those in need, and not just say, "Here's some money, now go fend for yourself."
In all likelihood, we may be at the Red Cross emergency shelter for a while. The concept of heat may be a foreign concept to them (they've actually had the air conditioner on here), but we get three meals a day (even if it may be small portions or the same bagels for breakfast everyday), we get medical care and medicines (they order in our prescriptions at no cost to us), a cot to sleep on (not ideal, but it beats not having anything), and communal showers in the college locker rooms (again, not ideal, but its a shower). What we give up in privacy is made up by not having to worry about our personal needs. We don't think we're gonna have it so "good" at the hotel - and that's assuming that doesn't get screwed up.
While I can't speak too highly of FEMA at the moment, I want to give big THANK YOU to all of the Red Cross volunteers from all over the world (there are folks here from Mexico) who selflessly donated their time and energies to help all of us Long Islanders, and everyone in the Tri-State Area , coping with the devastation from Dr. Doofenschmirtz's Hurricaninator :-)
Anyway, the quicker FEMA gets their butts moving and inspects our damaged stuff, the faster the landlord can repair the place and we can move back in. It'll still be a few weeks or longer, but things will move quicker once FEMA makes this next step. You'd think FEMA would want to do everything in their power to help people get back in their homes quicker?!?
You know, I had optimistically guessed that 80% of my family's belongings were destroyed, but now I gave to wonder if the amount will be a bit higher. I won't have a real bead on things until the salvageable and destroyed stuff is separated and I have that visual comparison between the two.
Thanks to the following for lending some support thus far:
First of all, thanks goes out to Dan Schoening (Dapper Dan) for IDW Ghostbusters Ongoing #9 RIB Variant Cover up for Auction on eBay. All proceeds from this auction will go directly to Paul and his family.
Tristan Jones (T-Rex Jones) has also pledged to drawing a new cover for Paul, and auctioning off a separate one to raise money for the Paul. Click here to read more about it.
We also like to thank the webmasters at Proton Charging, Ghostbusters Mania, and Ghostbusters News; plus Sites by Doreen and Ghostbusters Wiki (support staff sites).
The Good News
The good news is that as part of the Ghostbusters PDF eBook Preservation Project, we are releasing one of the most sought-after Ghostbusters books, that at times is above $100: Making Ghostbusters by Don Shay. A copy of the book had the binding cut in order to scan the pages. You have Mrmichaelt to thank for that. I then cleaned the pages and organized the pdf, and Raffaele Ruffaldi uploaded the pdf to Spook Central. It is not perfect as it is huge (poster size as Paul put it) but due to limitations right now, we're releasing it as is. The book can be found with all the other GB1 books here.
Also, the script is being released as a stand alone pdf as well. The script pdf has the full script minus footnotes on the sides. However, the cover page was made up, as there was no cover for the script provided in the book. The script is also on the book page for the time being.
Added to the Spook Central Facebook page is a gallery containing collages of the black and white pictures that covered two pages in the book.
Comment from: Mrmichaelt [Visitor] · http://ghostbusters.wikia.com/wiki/Ghostbusters_Wiki
It'll be a loss if those Ghostbusters scripts were ruined but in the absolute sense, the house matters the most! I'm not surprised FEMA is doing this but I still got angry reading that update. Between this and what I've seen in the news, could there be riots soon? I suspect they'll get into gear when President Obama visits this coming week. Hopefully, he'll swing by Long Island.
It was a pleasure to work with you on the PDF project. I wouldn't be lying if I said I didn't feel any regret with destroying the binding on my book but it's not like the pages vaporized as I scanned them. They're in a soft cover presentation binder and sealed up in a bag. And I've got the PDF to refer to as well. If it helps deter fans from the price gouging on sites like Amazon and eBay (excluding bids), it would be for the best. Even better if it forces sellers to drop prices drastically to more realistic ones.
Matthew did a bang up job cleaning and organizing the scans I provided. When I opened up the file for the first time, it was like I was literally looking inside the physical book. I'm guessing this will look really great on those bigger tablets on the market.
Nov. 10, 2012 @ 23:37
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member]
Thanks for the kind words and well wishes, Michael.
Lest anyone get the wrong idea, my comments aren't meant to imply that my family needs our hands held and are not capable of doing for ourselves. It's just that for a lot of us here in the shelter, we have very little to no resources on hand, if at all. There are a lot of people here from Long Beach who don't even have homes anymore because they've been completely destroyed. These people are even worse off than I am. We all need FEMAs help, but we need it to be worry-free and hassle-free. Don't we all have enough worries and hassles already?
Anyway, the straights on the island are ready to riot over LIPA not restoring power to everyone who can accept it already. It'll be two weeks tomorrow since the hurricane struck and damn near everyone lost power, but you'd think it happened yesterday if you drove through all of the towns and saw how many traffic lights and stores have no electricity. I'm surprised that there hasn't been a rash of auto accidents.
Here's hoping Obama's visit will get LIPA and FEMAs asses in gear. It would be nice if Obama did something from the federal level to get power turned back on and gas stations fully stocked and operable again - because the politicians here aren't worth squat! They love to talk and get their pictures taken, but that's all they seem to know how to do.
On to better news... the Making Ghostbusters PDF looks great on the little iPod Touch. As with everything on this tiny device, I need to zoom in to better read the text, but that's not the PDFs fault. You and Matt did an excellent job. Thanks for contributing... and sacrificing your physical copy :-)
After all of the property loss I've had, I am going to make it a priority to digitally preserve all of my Ghostbusters materials that weren't damaged. I don't want to take a chance of losing them forever because I might not be so lucky next time. I just hope Matt will be up to the task, in a few months, of cleaning up LOTS of script, magazine, and comic book pages :-)
Nov. 11, 2012 @ 14:32
Comment from: Mrmichaelt [Visitor] · http://ghostbusters.wikia.com/wiki/Ghostbusters_Wiki
Yeah, I've been hearing even the Governor acknowledging the power companies are doing a flat out terrible job (yet nothing new is happening) and that 'lotto' gas rationing. What about looting? That must be happening by now. If it takes the President to get things into gear so be it.
If you need help with scanning loose documents (basically stuff that's easier to deal with) like the Extreme Ghostbusters scripts, I'm always willing to help with that while you work on getting things back to normal.
Nov. 12, 2012 @ 00:10
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