Salvatore DeBunda, a partner in Philadelphia's Archer & Greiner law firm, wasn't looking for another job when Hurricane Sandy hit and gave him one.
As president of the board of the Longport Seaview Condominium Association, the job of putting the 134-unit beachfront building at 16th Avenue back together fell to him and other board members.
"I wanted to resign the day it happened," he joked, of the flooding and electrical fire in the building. "The water shorted out a transformer and started a fire. The entire transformer and all electronics were destroyed."
But after months of weekly meetings and telephone conferences, he and the seven members of the board - mostly part-time residents - got repairs done to the roof, hallways, pool area, and electrical system. They opened the building for Memorial Day.
At first, it looked as if they'd have to elevate the transformer outside the building, blocking the view of some residents, because they couldn't raise it enough to meet FEMA requirements in its first-floor location.
Then, tenant and former Philadelphia mayor William Green III discovered the idea of encasing it in a watertight room-within-a-room, in its current location. The room is still being constructed, so the transformer is in a temporary outside position right now, said DeBunda, 70.
Humanity on display
Local residents including Gail Rosenthal, director of the Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, attended the display of "One Million Bones" last week at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Stockton professor Linda Nelson was there, along with 13 Stockton students and 150 eighth-graders, teachers and staff from the Emma C. Attales Elementary School in Absecon. Professor Wendel White and his daughter, Amanda, helped install the exhibit of handcrafted human bones, organized by Stockton alumna Naomi Natale, of Albuquerque, N.M., to illustrate the impact of genocide on the world.
More than 250,000 people from all 50 states and 30 countries made the bones, including Stockton Take Action Now: Darfur members and Attales students. Visit onemillionbones.org.
Employee of month
Medical Technologist Jane Chew has been named Shore Medical Center's June Employee of the Month.
Chew joined Shore Medical Center in 1986 and works in Shore's blood bank as a technologist. She lives in Cape May Court House, with Don, her husband of almost 30 years.