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The Post  
Christie Estimates $29.4 Billion Sandy Damages; Laser Scan Wright Synagogue; Small Business Saturday
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 11/24/12 7:03 pm | updated: 11/25/12 6:33 am
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie estimates that Hurricane Sandy will cost New Jersey $29.4 billion in both damages and economic losses. Widespread damage to the coastline and shore towns include both private property with water logged/destroyed homes and public transportation and utilities such as washed away roads, broken gas lines, water pipes and electric grids. The economic losses can be felt immediately with costs to man shelters as well as the days or weeks without services and utilities, however those losses might grow in the long term as the state's tourism industry may take a hit come next summer. In a statement Friday night Christie said, "This preliminary number is based on the best available data, field observations, and geographical mapping... I will spare no effort and waste no time to rebuild and restore our tourism industry, our transportation and utilities infrastructure, and the lives of our citizens for the long term." Rebuilding in New Jersey is expected to be a long process, but most towns are looking at Memorial Day as the goal for some projects. Whether that is realistic remains to be seen. It may depend on how much money the state can secure in relief from the Federal government, but setting an estimate is a first step.

Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright is known for his organic architecture style, designing world famous houses, museums, offices, furniture, and interiors all over the world. Many may not know that you can see one of his buildings right here in Philadelphia. The Beth Sholom synagogue on Old York Road in Elkins Park is a stunning example of Wright's design and his only synagogue built between 1954 and 1959. Wright died before it was dedicated. This week DJS Associates of Abington spent 3 days scanning the building with specialized lasers. The backpack sized lasers are mounted on tripods, rotate 360 degrees, and emit green pulses of light 50,000 times a second. They performed 40 indoor and 20 outdoor scans which they'll stitch together to map an enduring 3D digital map of the building. The map is precise to within a millimeter. The laser also can read colors, not just shapes, to recreate a photo realistic scan. Eventually the map will be used to create a vitual tour and to help as a guideline when repairs are needed to the building.

Black Friday (or Black Late Thursday) may be the realm of the big box and department stores, but there are hundreds of small, local businesses in our country that don't want you to forget that they have great gifts to purchase too. Small businesses help the local economy, they create jobs, have lots of knowledge and personal service, plus they have unique products and great prices. Today, Saturday, has become Small Business Saturday where hundred of mom-and-pop store across the region are offering big discounts and hope you think small. In Philadelphia, areas like Germantown Ave in Chestnut Hill and Main Street in Manayunk have many stores participating with extended hours. There is also free metered parking in Philly today.
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