Rebirth for The Philippines



Desperately-needed food, water, clothing and other supplies are being rushed to Typhoon Haiyan survivors in the Philippines.  But as weeks turn into months, perhaps what the hundreds of thousands left homeless will need most is hope. 


Superstorm Sandy survivors are uniquely positioned to give that hope, since they understand what it is like to see your community devastated in the blink of an eye.  By writing a simple letter sharing concern and encouragement and mailing it to “Rebirth for the Philippines,” schools, churches, scout troops and other organizations as well as individuals can let the Filipino people know they are not forgotten.  Children who can’t write can draw pictures.  What is important is to do something to brighten the lives of the survivors and reassure them that they are not alone.

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Posted: November 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Kathleen Koch, Typhoon Haiyan | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Rebirth for The Philippines

Bennett: “We’re fighting this primary as if we’re down 25%”

Monmouth County GOP Chairman John Bennett sounded a rallying cry to about 125 Republican faithful on Saturday morning in Hazlet at a Armed Forces Day ‘friend raiser’ held at the Red Oak Diner for county candidates Sheriff Shaun Golden and Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso.

“We’ve had primaries before in Monmouth County that we did not take seriously,” Bennett said,”and bad things happened.  This time we’re running as if we are 25 points behind.”

State Senator Joe Kyrillos asked the assembled Republicans to make sure their friends and families come out and vote on June 4 for himself and Assembly members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon, in addition to Golden, Arnone and DiMaso.

Deputy Freeholder Director Serena DiMaso, former mayors Eddie Farve or Bay St. Louis, MS and Brett Warr of Gulfport, MS and former CNN correspondent Kathleen Koch

Deputy Freeholder Director Serena DiMaso, former mayors Eddie Farve or Bay St. Louis, MS and Brett Warr of Gulfport, MS and former CNN correspondent Kathleen Koch

DiMaso introduced former CNN correspondent Kathleen Koch, former mayors Eddie Farve of Bay St. Louis, MS and Brett Warr of Gulfport, MS, as well as former Congressman Gene Taylor.  The group was visiting New Jersey to support the Bayshore Conference of Mayors, touring the destruction of Superstorm Sandy in Mantoloking and the rebuilding of the Seaside Heights boardwalk.

Golden used the presence of the guests from Mississippi to talk about his department’s response to Sandy. “We had no deaths or serious injuries in Monmouth County.  In Katrina, there were almost 2000 deaths,” he said.

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Posted: May 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, 2013 Election, Bayshore Tea Party Group, Elections, Monmouth County, Monmouth GOP, Primary Election | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

Mayors Helping Mayors: Gulf Coast Mayors Visiting Jersey Shore, NJ Mayors Next Week

Former Waveland, MS Mayor Tommy Longo tours Sea Bright with Mayor Dina Long in February.  Longo, three other Gulf Coast former mayors and former Congressman Gene Taylor will address the Bayshore Conference of Mayors on May 17 in Keansburg, Photo: NJ.com

Former Waveland, MS Mayor Tommy Longo tours Sea Bright with Mayor Dina Long in February. Longo, three other Gulf Coast former mayors and former Congressman Gene Taylor will address the Bayshore Conference of Mayors on May 17 in Keansburg, Photo: NJ.com

A group of former mayors and a former congressman who led their Mississippi communities to recovery from Hurricane Katrina are coming to the Jersey Shore next week to share their knowledge and experience with New Jersey’s mayors and senior municipal officials who are continuing to deal with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

The group will be speaking at a meeting of the Bayshore Conference of Mayors on Friday evening May 17, 7PM, at Anthony’s Restaurant, 65 Church St in Keansburg.  All mayors and senior municipal officials of towns impacted by Sandy are invited, according to Union Beach Mayor Paul Smith, the conference president.  Those wishing to attend should contact Smith via text or phone call at 732-713-0506.   If someone who should have gotten an invitation didn’t, this is it. Readers are encouraged to pass this post on to their mayors.

The Mississippi delegation, comprised of former Congressman Gene Taylor and former mayors Brent Warr, Eddie Farve, and Tommy Longo, is being flown to New Jersey free on charge by Southwest Airlines.  Their lodging is being donated by Dominique Ervin, General Manager, Hampton Inn of Neptune/Wall and Sal Cannizarro of Immediate Care Medical Walk In of Hazlet.

This mayors helping mayors project is the brainchild of author and former CNN correspondent Kathleen Koch.  A Bay St’ Louis, MS native, Koch has dedicated herself to supporting survivors of natural disasters since Katrina.  She is the author of Rising from Katrina: How My Mississippi Hometown Lost It All and Found What Mattered and is donating a signed copy as a door prize for the conference.  She was sent to Japan by the U.S. State Department in March of this year to deliver her message of Resiliency and Words of Hope to the survivors of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami of the second anniversary of that catastrophic event.

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Posted: May 10th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Dina Long, Hurricane Sandy, Kathleen Koch, Matt Doherty, Monmouth County, Serena DiMaso, Shaun Golden, Superstorm Sandy, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Mayors advising Mayors

Governor Chris Christie has spoken of how helpful governors who have been through catastrophic hurricanes have been in counseling him to “get it right” in leading the State’s efforts in to rebuild from Superstorm Sandy.   At his press conference yesterday where he announced the appointment of Superstorm Czar Marc Ferzan, Christie spoke of how helpful governors Haley Barbour (MI), Bobby Jindal (LA) and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush have been in private conversations over the last month.

Author and former CNN correspondent Kathleen Koch, a Gulf Coast native who is committed to support Sandy survivors, thought it would be a great idea for Gulf Coast mayors who have rebuilt after Katrina and Rita to support New Jersey mayors who are now confronted with rebuilding their towns after Sandy.

Koch is in contact with a group of Gulf Coast mayors of towns with populations that range from 4,700 to 70,000 who want to advise New Jersey mayors.  Frustrated in her research for the right conduit, she reached out to MMM to get the word out.

MMM is honored to get the word out and Koch is generously volunteering to act as the conduit between mayors.  New Jersey mayors impacted by Sandy can contact Koch at [email protected]

Between the mayors, council members, legislators, legislative staff, executive staff, political operatives and members of the media who read this site daily, we can reach every New Jersey mayor dealing with Sandy recovery by the end of the day.  Please share this post with them.  If you know how to contact a mayor of a town impacted by Sandy, share this post with them.

Thank you.

Posted: November 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Hurricane Sandy, Kathleen Koch | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

While you’re shopping….

Consider adding these two books to your stocking stuffer list.

Kathleen Koch’s Rising from Katrina: How My Mississippi Hometown Lost It All and Found What Mattered is the story of a small town in the shadow a big city that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.  It is an encouraging and inspirational tale that will be a great gift for those of us impacted by Sandy.

Spring Lake resident James Lincoln Turner’s Seven Superstorms of the Northeast: And Other Blizzards, Hurricanes & Tempests is a book that Al Gore and his comrades probably don’t want you to read.  Tuner writes of devastating storms in the Northeast dating back to the early 1600’s when the Pilgrims were warming the globe with campfires and horse dung was the biggest transportation related pollution.  Turner’s book is filled with historical photos of storms that ravaged the Monmouth County towns of Asbury Park, Ocean Grove, Red Bank and Sea Bright.


Shop Amazon – Black Friday Deals Week

MoreMonmouthMusings is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate  advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and  linking to amazon.com

Posted: November 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Economy, Hurricane Sandy, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on While you’re shopping….

A letter to Sandy survivors

By Kathleen Koch

Welcome to the survivors’ club.  Whether you lost your belongings, your car, your home, a loved one or your entire neighborhood, you are not a victim and don’t let anyone label you that way.  You are not helpless.  You will get through this.

In the disaster zone, your brain won’t want to process what your eyes are seeing. You will see, hear and smell things you never thought you would.  It will feel like you’re in a dream or on a movie set, because this simply can’t be the place where you lived.

You will feel like an ant trying to move a mountain.  Don’t be paralyzed into inaction by the enormity of the task ahead of you.  It can be done.  Just keep moving.  Any forward progress, even in baby steps, is good.

Salvage what you can.  The smallest items will be precious reminders of the past. But recognize what is beyond repair and as painful as it is, throw it out.  If you can’t, have someone else do it for you.

Don’t punish yourself or those you love because you (or they) did not store your family photos in the attic, move the car, save your vital papers, evacuate, buy flood insurance.  What’s done is done.   Let it go.

You are on autopilot now.  Your adrenaline is pumping as you figure out where to live, find food, buy gasoline.  You will get used to standing in lines.  Use that time to bond with others who are on the same journey.  Anger and frustration help no one.

Respect the rules of a disaster zone.  Don’t cut in line.  Defer to the young and the old who are most vulnerable at these times.  Just because property is sitting in the middle of a street or dangling from a tree branch does not mean it’s free for the taking.  It belongs to someone.  Stack salvageable items where neighbors can see them and potentially reclaim their lost property.

“How’s your house?” will become the new greeting when you see friends and neighbors.  You will have a new way of marking time — pre-Sandy and post-Sandy. The definition of the word “home” will expand to include a shelter, a couch, a garage, a friend’s basement.

Disasters are great equalizers.  They reveal people’s true nature — for better or for worse.  You will find out who your real friends are and what love really means. Incredible acts of kindness will come from unexpected quarters.  Beware of the few who seek to profit from the misery of others.

Feel the pain.  Cry if you need to.  Hug each other.  Share what you have.  Know that you are not alone, because volunteers by the thousands are on their way. Their selfless generosity will renew your faith in your fellow man.

Your instinct will be to rebuild an exact replica of what was, down to the last brick, board and beam.  Consider carefully whether that is wise or even possible.  Seek out ways to prevent future damage by rebuilding higher, smarter, stronger and further from the water.  See this as an opportunity.

Accept the new normal.  The past is just that.  You can cherish the place you and your neighbors once called home where it will always exist — in your collective memories.

Kathleen Koch is a former CNN correspondent who covered Hurricane Katrina and wrote Rising from Katrina: How My Mississippi Hometown Lost It  All and Found What Mattered.

Posted: November 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Hurricane Sandy | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »