Should Feds Allow Owners To Rebuild Beachfront Properties?

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My ex-husband's uncle was the mayor of Loveladies on Long Beach Island for a long time, and he was environmentally conscious. He spent his years in office fighting the developers who wanted to build on the dunes, and once he retired, up went the expensive houses.

South Jersey's been living on borrowed time for decades, and it was only a matter of time before they took a direct hit from a hurricane. (They're lucky it was the off-season, evacuation would have been a lot harder.) The barrier islands are too ecologically fragile to support the kind of development they've seen -- I mean, they're just big sand bars, and they've been moving all along.

I remember during Bill Clinton's presidency, there was an attempt to impose a new federal flood insurance rule that any beachfront house (not waterfront -- just beachfront, which is a much smaller number) destroyed by more than 75% could not rebuild in the same location. Common sense, right? The howl went up from the doctors, lawyers and other wealthy people who owned the beachfront properties, and they quickly withdrew the proposal. Too bad.

They should move everything back at least a half-mile and let the protective sand dunes further reclaim the beachfront. But I'm not optimistic:

LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP, N.J. -Some environmentalists say New Jersey should consider not rebuilding everything lost to Superstorm Sandy.

U.S. Geological Survey scientist Jeffress Williams says that rising sea levels and changing weather patterns make it likely that the coast will be hit by more frequent destructive storms.

He and other shoreline advocates say officials should consider restricting development to reduce the harm storms can do. They suggest relocating homes and businesses farther from the ocean, building more seawalls and keeping sand dunes high.

And in other news, now we know why Springsteen fan Chris Christie was being so nice to Obama!

NEW YORK — NBC is doing a benefit concert for victims of Hurricane Sandy featuring some artists native to the areas hardest hit.

Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi of New Jersey and Billy Joel of Long Island are scheduled to appear at the concert Friday.

The telecast will benefit the American Red Cross and will be shown on NBC and its cable stations including Bravo, CNBC, USA, MSNBC and E! Other networks are invited to join in.

The concert will be hosted by Matt Lauer. It will air at 8 p.m. Eastern and will be taped-delayed in the West.

Other performers include Christina Aguilera, Sting and Jimmy Fallon.

By the way, another nor'easter is headed this way for Election Day. Whee!


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