Commuting Thief: Police Arrest Suspect in Numerous Office Thefts in City

Hits: 0

WPCNR Morning Sun. From Police Reports. March 5, 2003 White Plains Police have announced the arrest of a Brooklyn “Commuting Thief” last Thursday after he was arrested with a handbag taken from a building on Water Street. The suspect, police say, allegedly commuted to White Plains, blended into office environments as if he worked there, to steal office workers’ belongings, cash and computer laptops from various locations. Police also consider him a suspect in eight similar thefts committed over the last month.

Captain Anne Fitzsimmons credited Stephen Demchuck and Harry Pino of the anti-crime unit and Detectives Walter Holubis and Michael Maffei for their work on the case.

Posted in Uncategorized

Council Extends Cappelli-Bland Scope; OK’s Intelligence Officer

Hits: 0

WPCNR COMMON COUNCIL CHRONICLE-EXAMINER. By John F. Bailey. March 3, 2003: After approving a byzantine set of zoning and urban renewal amendents to make the Cappelli-Bland Hotel Project feasible, the Common Council tonight amended a resolution setting the Cappelli-Bland Hotel project scoping session to run from March 13 to April 9, (instead of March 13-to 17, as the Mayor called for), against the wishes of Mayor Delfino.
Mayor Delfino declared the move “strictly political.” Rita Malmud introduced the amendment, expressing her concern that the people of White Plains be allowed enough time for the scoping session. No residents appeared at tonight’s hearing on the Cappelli Bland Hotel zoning and urban renewal plan amendments.

Robert Greer said there were a lot of issues and thought the council was simply being prudent. Benjamin Boykin, too, agreed that the council wanted to be thorough, though he himself had received no calls from anyone protesting the project. The additional three weeks of time for scoping (the process of determining issues to be addressed in an environmental review) delays the project one month, said Susan Habel, Commissioner of Planning, who said the earliest the Council could now have a final vote on the project was September. It had been planned for August.

The Common Council approved the Department of Public Safety request to hire a Special Intelligence Expert to analyze threats and intelligence information received by the city and to identify concerns the Department should be considering in the future to grow and adapt to new threats and security needs.

The Council also approved spending $800,000 to ready Liberty Park in Silver Lake for use by this summer, and approved expenditures of $5.5 to $5.9 Million for plans for a double deck parking structure behind the Rader’s–Dunkin Donuts trip on Mamaroneck Avenue. The cost would be bonded for twenty years at 4-3/4%, and is expected to begin to pay back in 15 years at which time the Parking Authority will have suffered a net loss of $130,000.

Posted in Uncategorized

Common Council Approves Anne Reasoner Budget Director.

Hits: 0

WPCNR Common Council Chronicle-Examiner. By John F. Bailey. March 3, 2003: The Common Council today officially made Anne Reasoner the Budget Director for the City of White Plains. Ms. Reasoner was approved by a unanimous vote and said her immediate plans were to concentrate on getting out the city budget which she said is due to be presented to the Council April 7.

New Budget Director

Photo by WPCNR News

Ms. Reasoner succeeds Eileen Earl who resigned effective February 7.

Ms. Reasoner joined the city as Deputy Budget Director in July, 2001, coming from Deputy Comptroller of the Town of Stamford. Prior to this she served 17 years with the Town of Greenwich as Budget Director there where she designed the budget for both the city government and the city school district.

She remarked that she applied for the White Plains job in 2001 at the suggestion of a coworker in Stamford who was from White Plains. Reasoner said she took the Deputy Budget Director position, “kind of hoping” that Ms. Earl would retire in a few years. She said the two towns, Greenwich and White Plains, were very similar in that each was a combination of city and residential neighborhoods. Of the budgets of the two cities, the Greenwich budget was slightly larger because it covered the schools, too.

Ms. Reasoner said she did not plan any immediate changes in operations until the budget process was completed. She said she was looking for a new Deputy Budget Director, and that position has been advertised.

Asked about the budget situation, she remarked that the sales tax receipts were still running $2 Million behind expectations as they were one month ago.

Posted in Uncategorized

County Legislators Approve $500,000 for Fountain/Theater in City

Hits: 0

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From The Mayor’s Office. March 3, 2003: Mayor Joseph Delfino announced Monday evening that the County Board of Legislators approved the expenditure of $500,000 aid to the City of White Plains towards the construction of the Main Street Fountain Plaza and the Community Theater. The vote was 13 to 1, the Mayor announced at the close of the Common Council meeting.

THE LAST PIECE OF THE PUZZLE: After Executive Director George Gretsas returned from the Michaelian Office Building where he had been observing the vote, he flashed the Mayor a thumbs up signal and a piece of paper announcing the result was delivered to his Honor. Mayor Delfino is shown thanking the council for their phone calls to legislators and for their efforts in influencing the the legislators.
Photo by WPCNR News

Posted in Uncategorized

Executive Spano Explores Feasibility of New Electric Line for Region Under RR

Hits: 0

WPCNR WESTCHESTER COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From Westchester County Department of Communications and John Bailey reporting. (EDITED) March 3, 2003 UPDATED: County Executive Andy Spano will hold a symposium Tuesday monring at 9:30 in the “D” Room in the Westchester County Center to explore a new electronic transmission line proposal to bring 2,000 Megawatts of power to the region, with an eye towards replacing the electricity supplied by Indian Point, should Indian Point be closed.

Presently, according to the New York Independent Systems Operator press office spokesman, Steve Sullivan, speaking to WPCNR Friday, there are not enough existing transmission lines to bring the full 2,000 replacement megawatts to the region. According to the NYISO office, Friday, transmission lines presently in place can only handle 1,600 megawatts, leaving Westchester 400 megawatts short no matter how much electricity NYISO can import from New England or upstate. Mr. Spano has moved to find ways to address this capacity problem. He has not taken a position on whether or not he supports the line.
Officials throughout Westchester County will have a chance tomorrow to learn about the proposal to bring inexpensive clean electric power from upstate New York and parts of Canada to Westchester County and the surrounding region.

County Executive Andy Spano has sent out letters inviting more than 100 federal, state, and local officials to an informational meeting on the project at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 4. A presentation will be given in Room D at the Westchester County Center in White Plains.

“We want everyone who is interested in energy, Indian Point and the environment to hear the presentation and be able to ask questions,” said Spano, who has not taken a position on the proposal. “It’s important to show everyone that there are possible alternatives to Indian Point.”

Representatives of the company making the proposal – Conjunction LLC – will give a presentation on the “Empire Connection” project. The speakers will be Steve Mitnick, chief executive officer; Jeanine Hull, the company’s general counsel; and Roger Clayton, new senior vice president for electrical engineering (also the former chairman of the New York Reliability Council).

Mitnik noted that the project would dramatically reduce electrical costs for the entire downstate area.

“Electric bills would fall significantly in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties. Families and businesses in New York City would save more than $100 million a year,” he said. “The power would be cheaper than any other power source down here – save the limited amount provided by upstate hydroelectric plants and the output from the Indian Point nuclear power plant.”

As proposed, the plan would move 2,000 megawatts of power from upstate to downstate – equivalent to almost a quarter of New York City’s average electric usage, Mitnick said.

Unlike the transmission lines that make up the current grids, built between 1950 and 1975, the new line would have cables following the tracks of an old rail route, going underground as necessary, to avoid
unnecessary environmental impact. It also uses a modern solid cable that can not leak, combust, electrify or explode, according to company officials.

When above ground, in remote areas, Empire Connection would replace the rail communication poles that currently line the rail route. When underground, two five-inch cables will be buried five feet below the surface.

The line would start in Albany – 140 miles north of New York City – and follow the old Hudson River Railroad along the Hudson River to Manhattan. Railroads currently using the rails – including Amtrak and Metro-North – would receive substantial annual payments which could be used to improve service between Albany and New York City.

To carry out the project, Conjunction must get approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the New York Independent System Operator. Those applications have already been filed. An application to the New York Public Service Commission will be filed this spring.

The project is proposed to start construction in late 2004 and be complete in late 2005. During installation, Conjunction intends to fund selective projects to enhance the beauty of the east bank of the Hudson River and increase New Yorkers’ access to the river.

The company has been meeting with the counties involved as well as environmental groups, and will hold regional meetings where members of the public will be invited to participate.

“Even at this early stage we want to hear from people,” Mitnick said. “If they want details or drawings or have questions about how it will affect them – we want to hear that. We know that if we’re open and answer their questions honestly, they’ll feel better about the project.”

Posted in Uncategorized

Like Shakespeare? Shaw? Brush Up Your Stoppard! The Real Thing Premiers

Hits: 0

WPCNR WHITE PLAINS VARIETY. By John F. Bailey. At The Rochambeau. March 3, 2003: “If you like Shakespeare, if you like Shaw, you’re going to like Stoppard,” says Producer Joan Charischak, of the Fort Hill Players, “he plays so many word games. It’s a comedy of language.” WPCNR’s Mr. Broadway dropped by to meet the White Plains theatre troupe rehearsing Saturday for their Friday opening of Tom Stoppard’s I>The Real Thing at The Rochambeau School Andrew L. Morzello Auditorium, 228 Fischer Avenue.

THE REAL THING IN REHEARSAL finds Stanley Wexler, left, Bernadette McComish, center, taking direction from Carin Zakes on the set. The Real Thing will run for the next three weekends, Fridays, March 7, 14, and 21 with curtains at 8, with Saturday performances on March 8, 15, and 22 with matinee and evening showtimes at 2 and 8. Admission is $14, $12 for seniors and high school students, $6 for children. For tickets call 421-0008.
Photo by WPCNR StageCam

Charischak said the actors and actresses in the 7-person cast are “having a lot of fun with it. They love the English accents. It is an intellectual comedy, a love affair with words.”

She said there are numerous scene changes in the play which takes place in the 1980s in London with action shifts between various apartment venues. When WPCNR dropped in, the elegant set featuring intriguing furniture and portraits already appeared to be creating a world we’d like to step into. Charischak said the original Tony Winning play had its various apartments installed on a turntable. The Fort Hill Players troupe of 27 of which only 7 are acting, will transform the traditional set in blackout.

THE DIRECTOR TALKS ABOUT THE REAL THING: Carin Zakes, Director, is directing her first show with the Fort Hill Players. She said last week’s complete sound check and actor run-through was very good, and she felt very encouraged about how the show was developing. Asked why people should come and see this play, Zakes said, “If you want to be reminded of those messy bits of life and the passion in life, come to see this play.”
Photo by WPCNR StageCam

Ms.Zakes said the show was about a writer who writes a play about adultery, then commits it himself. “It shifts back and forth between the play he’s creating and his real life.”

Zakes brought the cast together in small groups to coach them to create the dynamics needed between the characters, in January before going to full scenes. The cast has been rehearsing since the beginning of January, but only on full scenes for a month. “The play shifts from scenes in a play to real life, and the audience is left with the question, so what is the real thing?,” Zake said. “The writing is very good. It’s very challenging. Witty, intellectual and insightful. A lot (of the effect) depends on how the dialogue is delivered. It’s about relationships and love. The cast is really working hard to find the truth in the relationships. You need a gin and tonic after this play.”

Dirk Marks, veteran of Harmony on the Sea of last year, and a diplomat for the Dutch mission to the United Nations in real world time, plays Max. His wife leaves him in the first act. He said, “It’s such a cleverly written show. A lot of things are repeating themselves throughout the show. There’s a lot of psychology going on in this play. It’s extremely funny. It’s clever.”

Lorna Whittemore, an advertising space salesperson for The Record-Review, said that getting her character, the female lead, Annie, “has been a roller coaster ride of a process. She’s a very complex woman, and I had problems with my justifying her behavior, and finding myself unable to justify her behavior.”

Stanley Wexler, an investment banker in real life, former professional opera singer in San Francisco, plays the playwright, Henry. The soliloquies his character gives in which he introspects about his life and his play are a challenge, Wexler said,

“He has some long speeches that are really instructive to do to hold and keep the audience’s attention. The writing is spectacular,” Wexler enthused, “You can learn from Tom Stoppard, every time you do it. He’s (Henry) a pompous intellectual guy. He likes to hear himself talk.”

“I play a catty bitch,and that’s a stretch for me” says self styled domestic goddess, Syl Farrell, of Mahopac, who has some of the funniest lines in the play in the role of a wife who decides to leave her husband. Whittemore says she enjoys comic roles: “I come in and have fun. It’s a lesser role but it’s fun for me but the person’s awful. I throw my zingers and go home.”

Bernadette McComish, an interior lighting designer and sales representative with Balinger Lighting, plays Charlotte, the daughter of the playwright: “I play an 80s chick who is running away with a man her father hasn’t met. In many ways she is a lot like him (her father), and he understands that. The play holds up after twenty years.”

Ms. McComish says she love the theatre, but could not do it professionally, and this is an outlet for her love for theatre. She also writes fiction, and finds her acting helps her writing.

The actors and actresses have been rehearsing six times a week for the last month, are all very enthusiastic about the play.

THE SET AWAITS: Stan Wexler says, “The fun of the play is in listening to the language, it explores questions about love, life and relationships that make up things. I hope they like us.”
Photo by WPCNR StageCam

Posted in Uncategorized

Music County, USA: All-County Elementary, Intermediate Bands Showcase Flawlessly

Hits: 0

WPCNR WHITE PLAINS BATON & DOWNBEAT. Review By John F. Bailey. March 2, 2003: Close to one thousand proud parents and relatives from around the county heard two grand reasons why Westchester County is the leading county in the state in quality musical education at the 46th Annual Elementary & Intermediate All-County Band Musical Festival Saturday afternoon.

INTERMEDIATE BAND ALL-STARS TAKE A BOW, lead by their Conductor, Robert Dalpiaz, after their flawless performance at Purchase Performing Arts Center Saturday afternoon. The 7th, 8th and 9th Graders represented 41 Middle & High Schools in Westchester County.
Photo by WPCNR Arts

After only three rehearsals, both the elementary and intermediate school band all-stars representing 96 schools in the county, navigated their way with precision, passion, and power. They blended as if they had been playing together for years performing a series of musical tour de forces that showed off the the abilities of every instrumental discipline in the bands.

Judy O’Savio, President of the Westchester County School Music Association introduced the program and encouraged parents in the audience to write their legislators in Albany and make a strong case for the music programs in the schools, and to restore budgeted cuts.

She introduced Warren Arbiter, Chairperson of the Elementary Band who noted that the value of the county band experience for his 139 musicians and elementary music at large is that it introduces them to “the aestheticism of live music” creating the future generation of concertgoers, performers and supporters of the arts.

With that, Mr. Arbiter introduced the 139-musician Elementary Band lead off the program under the baton of Chris Melito, Director of the Middle School Bands in Briarcliff Manor. Melito lead them in a crisp, tight, and refreshing performance of Sousa’s “Washington Post March.” This perennial marching band favorite had a mellow surging roll to it with the flutes outstanding on their solo, with just the right blending of take over trombones in the middle section of the piece with trumpets taking charge with crystalclear uplifting tone on their solo turn.

From Sousa the band moved into “Hillcrest Pageant,” which found the musicians creating waves of musical circus scenes, section by section. Again on “Pageant” the trumpets simply dazzled.

THE ELEMENTARY ALL COUNTY BAND ALL-STARS, being conducted by Chris Melito of Briarcliff Manor Schools Saturday afternoon. On “Carnaval De Brasil,” the elementaries impressed this reporter with the percussion section abilities at Grade 4, 5, and 6 level to create the sultry marimba-samba beat of “Carnaval De Brasil.”
Photo by WPCNR Arts

Their Latin rhythm with whistles, bells, and maracas simply fascinated, transporting and engaging the audience to Rio. Considering that many of the young people have probably never heard a samba, their ability to get it just right is a tribute to Mr. Melito’s ability. The French Horns and trumpets answered each other flawlessly, weaved together by the trade winds of the percussion section. Unlike a march, the samba features a lot of solo work on “Carnaval”, section by section, and all the young musicians came in right on the beat.

The elementaries wrapped with the Glenn Miller standard, “In the Mood,” arranged in a stately, slow, swinging tempo that you could tell the children really enjoyed playing. The audience was highly impressed with sharp, loud applause for the variety of the program, and the simply amazing musicianship.

Elliot Semel, Intermediate Band Chair introduced the Intermediate All-County Band under the baton of Robert Dalpiaz, Director of the Brentwood (L.I.) High School Concert Band. Semel said the 118 young artists had “become an ensemble,” over the last three days, and had learned “the art of teamwork,” crediting much of this to Conductor Dalpiaz. The musicians (both bands) practice together as a group once in January, once on the Friday before the concert, and once on the day of the concert. The performances the audience heard Saturday are testimony to how good the young players are and how skilled their conductors are at conveying the intricacies of the selections.

The Intermediate Band began with Sousa’s “El Capitan,” where the trombones were mellow, the clarinets crisp in holding the light airiness of this famous march, that the brasses filled out with majesty, elegance. Baritones and French Horns cast a golden horizon as the march wound up to a smart punchy conclusion.

The grand “Gathering of the Ranks at Hebron” with its varying tempos and vistas created by the various sections was painted with dignity and grandeur by the band. You could visualize the regiments marching onto the grounds each with a different character, elegantly precisely rendered.

The Intermediates even produced a friendly “Bach Prelude and Fugue in Bb Major,” that featured impressive solo work, section by section. But, in this reporter’s opinion Bach does not belong in a band program. In fact, it lulled the audience, who could not wait for it to be over, clapping at the natural breaks. The band played it well, but next, year, let’s forget about Bach for band. Save it for the orchestra.

The concluding piece of the afternoon, “Variation Overture” turned the band loose to create more precise impressions. It became a band of vistas, horizons, and colors painting musical impressionistic paintings that allowed the pictures in the mind to perform. The percussion section in the Intermediates really shown in this one, producing a variation of stirring percussionistic effects and tones that delivered impeccable strong foundations for the various sections’ artists rendering the musical canvases. The young man with the bells was especially timely and authoritative.

Having seen two of these All-County Band Concerts now, I have to say and listeners agreed in my section this was a solid performance by both bands. The Intermediate had an edge in sound and artistry, while the Elementary had much more interesting repertoire and nailed it.

The All-County Band program is a tremendous undertaking and quite a miracle really. Saturday’s performances were a tribute to the talent of Conductors Melito and Dalpiaz for their ability to marshall “the young professionals” into bands that appeared to have been playing together for years not just three days. The youngsters seemed to enjoy it, too. This is achieved by the individual sections rehearsed separately on their parts, then joining the bands for full “sound checks” at the end of the rehearsals. It works based on Saturday’s marvelous and inspiring perfomrance. You forgot these students were mostly under 13 years old, and as young as 9.

The only phenomena that I noticed was that despite a “rainbow coalition” of caucasian, hispanic and asian nationalities in both bands, the groups were sadly missing a basic color, black. There were no African-American representatives. Hopefully, the Westchester County School Music Association might address ways to make it more possible to encourage young black musicians in the future years of this wonderful venture.

Photo by WPCNR Arts

Posted in Uncategorized

Knights End Tigers Season, 82-59 at County Center

Hits: 0

WPCNR PRESS BOX. March 1, 2003: The Mount Vernon Knights defeated the White Plains Tigers t for the Class A Championship today at the County Center in White Plains, winning 82-59 by the largest margin they have beaten The Tigers in three meetings this season. The Purple Knights move on into the Sectionals next Saturday. White Plains season is over.

Posted in Uncategorized

View From The Upper Deck: Give Us a Break, Reggie!

Hits: 0

WPCNR PRESS BOX. By John “Baseball” Bailey. February 27, 2003: Poor Reggie Jackson. He’s only pulling down $1MM a year in salary and endorsements, and he’s unhappy, and he’s had to sell off 35 of his antique cars. We must be in a depression.

Not only that, but Reggie is unhappy with his role with the New York Yankees as minor league reporter, and evaluator. He would like a bigger role with the Bombers.

Photo by WPCNR Sports

Reggie, you have a job. You get paid $150G’s a year. Stop whining. This was always Reggie’s trouble when he was a player. He was always whining about not being appreciated. Thurman Munson didn’t whine. Roy White didn’t whine. Stick Michael didn’t whine. But Reggie did.
In this day and age, Reggie is what’s wrong with baseball. A handful of the players live in a dream world. They are babies. They have worked very hard, made the show…and still that’s not enough. They want to be stroked, too. Instead of contributing they want to be contributed to.

Well, I have news for you Reggie, you never could come up with the big hit when the chips were really down. The Mr. October nickname is such a misnomer. When the Yanks won in 1977 in your first year with them, it was not you that did the job it was Roy White and Paul Blair with their scratch hits in the ninth to ease past Kansas City when the Yanks were down to their last ups in the final game. It was not you who beat the Red Sox in 1978, it was Bucky Dent, and Lou Piniella’s heads-up deak.

You excelled at creating team tension when the focus was not on you. I vividly remember your “I’m the straw that stirs the drink” remark that precipitated the Munson feud.

Now twenty-five years later, you’re still a baby with the fragile ego. I have had enough of glorification of overrated power hitters with big egos.

Speaking of personalities I do not need, it’s sportswriters who go down to Spring Training every year on the dole, soak up the sun and have to find something to write about every day. They write about anything but baseball.

Can we please stop tearing up the pea patch, guys and gals?

Can we stop reporting on Derek Jeter and The Boss having a falling out over Derek’s party hours? You guys are just jealous that Derek’s single and a swinger, can stay out to 3 AM with two ladies on his arm and still do the job.

What does that have to do with baseball? It’s spring training! It does not matter what Derek does.

Derek did not cost the Yankees a Championship last year, the scouts did. Blame the scouts for not getting the inside stuff on Anaheim. The pitchers lost that Championship, because they did not know how to pitch smart to the Angels, because the scouts did not develop a strategy to pitch the Angels that was effective, not Derek J.

As a former minor league player said to me this week, the flap over “The Jet” is ridiculous: “He’s got five rings,” our player who wished he could have made the show says.

Performance counts. “The Jet,” my name for Derek Jeter, is the best shortstop the Yankees have ever had. He plays every day. He hits over .300, has great range and gets a lot of big hits. His .298 last year? So what. That’s still solid. His teammates like him, and Reggie Jackson was not the most liked player among his teammates when he played for the Yankees. Thurman Munson disliked him intensely because it was all about Reggie, never about the team, with Reggie.

While we are at it:

Sportswriting has to be the refuge of the news reporter who could not make it, because they report on everything except the game. But miss the big story: the drugs in the game, the betting spreads in the NFL, the womanizing. Had that poor Baltimore pitcher not died, there would have been no stories on that lethal diet drug, ephaedra. Somebody had to die before a sportswriter would have the nerve to write about it.

Pete Rose gambling? Another story no sportswriter ever touched before Pete got banned.

Has a sportswriter ever gone to a game and paid for it? Let them sit in the stands and pay for a major league game: It’s a $150 night for the average family of four. Do the Sportswriters ever write about that from a quality of entertainment standpoint. Do they ever write how many boring games there are in a series because of the lousy pitching. No. Far be it from them to criticise management.

Do the sportswriters every cover fastpitch softball and baseball’s disgrace of not supporting it like the NBA does the WNBA? No.

Do the sportwriters ever write about the deterioration of the baseball telecast and radiocast? No.

A sportswriter would not know a story if it ran him or her over.

No nose for news. Just controversy that will get people to read the sports section.

Steinbrenner should fire Reggie and let him go to work for the Montreal Expos for his next job. Reggie’s whining last week was one of the most absurd public venting I’ve noted in a long time.

The story written in the Times actually taking Steinbrenner to task for not recognizing poor Reggie’s plight sets a new low in news nobody needs to know about.

Posted in Uncategorized

Witt-Washed! Facts Wrong. FEMA Calls It a Disservice. UPDATED!

Hits: 0

WPCNR Westchester County Clarion-Ledger. By John F. Bailey. © 2003, The White Plains CitizenNetReporter. All Rights Reserved. May not be Reproduced or Retransmitted In Whole or In Part Without Permission of WPCNR. February 26, 2003 UPDATED March 1, 2003: Witt Associates did not respond to a WPCNR inquiry Friday to see if their Final Version of their error-riddled Witt Report was released Friday. The Federal Emergency Management Agency press officer did not answer our inquiry to comment on whether FEMA demanded The Journal News take down their specific detailing of errors in the report from the Journal News website earlier this week.

The Witt Report, sharply critical of the Indian Point Westchester County emergency plan and the Indian Point ability to report nuclear accidents accurately, has based its conclusions on major misconceptions about Indian Point operations.

It appears to have happened because none of their experts toured or asked Indian Point or Westchester County for information on up-to-the-present operations or confidential security arrangements.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency in its own review released last Friday, and obtained by WPCNR, specifically documents over 146 outright errors, misconceptions, and inaccuracies on which the Witt experts based their conclusions in their 246-page written report (including appendices, the Witt Report runs approximately 500 pages).

Media Do Not Report How FEMA Really Feels About the Witt Report.

You would never know this from other news reports. FEMA’s report has been reported as far as its reaction to the New York State Report (The Witt Report), which reads, FEMA believes that the draft State report raises a number of issues that should be considered for enhancing the level of preparedness in the communities surrounding the Indian Point Energy Center. These include better education of the public, more training of offsite responders and improved emergency communications. Some of these issues should be evaluated for their applicability program-wide.

Now You See It. Now You Don’t

That is perhaps the only nice thing FEMA has to say in their critique. However, that full text from which WPCNR compiled this partial account was taken off The Journal News website within 24 hours of when WPCNR noted it there, so the full text is no longer available as of Thursday, February 27, and could have been taken off the site within hours after its appearance..

FEMA’s press office was contacted Friday afternoon and asked, on tape, if FEMA requested The Journal News to take down the full report from its website. The press officer has not returned the call with an answer as of Saturday morning.

Previously, WPCNR learned Thursday the full report of FEMA’s devastating undressing of Witt expertise, was never supposed to be released to the public. The critique, which was obtained by WPCNR, was prepared by FEMA officials who had no affiliation with Entergy, owners of Indian Point, and it is an embarrassment to the Witt organization.

The FEMA report was supposed to be only for viewing by state and county officials.

Repression of Full Text of the FEMA Report Deludes Public.

By keeping the full text of the report from the public view, and apparently no public officials having read the full text, the public has the mistaken impression that The Witt Report is correct.

What has not been reported or written about even by media with the full report in their possession, is the full scope of the FEMA report.

It is devastatingly uncomplimentary to Witt Associates’ scholarship, science and professionalism.

Nuclear “Experts” Not Named.

Indian Point executives, Mike Slobodien, Emergency Planning Director, and Jim Steets , Manager, Communications, confirmed to WPCNR one week ago that Witt Associates would not tell them who the persons were with a nuclear power plant background who had worked on the report.

FEMA Questions Comparing Chemicals to Radiation.

FEMA’s suppressed analysis of the Witt Report indicates that whether the persons had a nuclear power plant background or not, they did not do their homework., made assumptions based on chemical plant disasters and chemical plume behavior, not nuclear disasters or radioactive plumes which FEMA said is scientific nonsense.

Mr. Slobodien said the errors in the report would not have occurred had Mr. Witt or any of his associates or those acting on his behalf at Innovative Emergency Management (of Baton Rouge, Louisiana) his subcontractor, took the time to visit Indian Point on a fact-finding mission, or had consulted with Entergy officials about how Indian Point runs, monitors, secures and reports accidents today, before preparing their report.

Witt: Plant Should Use Computer Calculation of Plume Direction. Fact: They Do.

One Witt Team misconception that is one of the lynchpins of the Report’s conclusions critical of the plant, .involves the methodology Indian Point uses to track a release of radioactivity into the atmosphere.

The Witt Report states in many different places that Indian Point does not use up-to-date computer technology. The report says state-of-the-art computer technology should be used to calculate how changes in wind direction affect the direction a plume release would travel. The Witt Report alleges they cannot predict wind direction in real time, creating unnecessary time lags putting areas at risk.

This is not true reports Indian Point’s Slobodien and FEMA backs him up.

The obvious misconception on The Witt team’s part came about apparently when a Witt Team representative watched plastic overlays being used in the Emergency Operation Center they observed at Indian Point on September 24 the date of the county’s Indian Point incident exercise.

The Witt Report itself indicates their Team assumed the wind direction changes were estimated by referring to a plastic glassene chart that matched a new wind direction. According to Steets, who was present in the Indian Point Emergency Operations Center, the observer from Witt did not ask for an explanation of the charts.

Steets’ explanation for the mistake is he believes that the Witt observer or observer(s) apparently assumed the charts were the “technology” used to plot changes in direction any plume release would take.

Here is what the Witt Report says, on page 244,

We recommend that the Indian Point facility…State of New York, counties and cities install a more sophisticated nuclear atmospheric dispersion model. This model should be calibrated to incorporate meteorological information from the local area as well as the results of radiation detection and measurement devices, fix-mounted to provide real-time measurements of radiation status. This model should also be validated against the tracer experiments conducted in the Hudson River Valley. The model must provide information on the time of exposure of the population.

More Misconception.

In an earlier section of The Witt Report on page 237 it becomes clear that the Witt observers of the September 24 operation did not understand what they were seeing when the charts were laid down:

The Indian Point region is using old, out-dated technologies in a number of areas. The hazard assessment process uses plastic map overlays for determining the area at risk. The hazard information is communicated via slow transcription of hazard information onto paper and then faxed to the State and counties. Plume information is currently not available through operable automation systems that can show the State and counties the precise areas that are at risk. Hazard assessments do not integrate with population data and do not show the time that various zones would be at risk.

Big Mistake.

Slobodien reports, to the contrary, Indian Point does use “operable automation systems” that print digitized maps of the plumes, that are in no way “transcribed,” they are printed out like weather maps based on wind direction and the radiation monitors, and instruments about the plant. The system previously did not show the time various zones would be at risk, but he says “we do now.”

Mr. Slobodien told WPCNR the Indian Point system does exactly what Witt’s Report says they do not do. The plant uses “state of the art” computer technology to coordinate wind direction, plume density and create a plume chart digitally every 15 minutes like a cardiogram.

Time Interval Criticism Does Not Make Sense.

The 15-minute updating time frame that The Witt Report criticizes as being too long an interval between plume travel direction updates, reflects a basic lack of understanding of radioactive plumes, according to Slobodien.

“Charts printed out any faster,” Slobodien said, “are meaningless, because you can not ascertain the change visually.”

Witt Observer (s) Mistake Plastic Manual Backups for Real Thing.

“This is so egregious,” Slobodien told WPCNR last week, “to think that they (The Witt experts), would assume we were not using the most up-to-date computer technology available. The fact of the matter is we only use them the plastic charts as manual backup if our computers fail. Our computer plots the change in wind direction every 15 minutes and prints out the isopleths showing the changes in air density which show clearly the zone affected by the wind shift.”

It is a recurring theme throughout the Witt Report that the sketchiness of plume direction is one of the key reasons why the evacuation plans need massive improvement.

The FEMA analysis issued Friday February 21, (and not reported in any depth by any of the major media), does not agree with the Witt position on plume intelligence and notes this error in judgment made by The Witt Report:

…while a hard copy is transmitted by facsimile to the State and counties, the information is previously transmitted by a dedicated phone system that is not subject to overload during an emergency. The MRP-DAS system, a computer link with the utility, gives almost real time (the data is a 15-min average of the instrument readings and is therefore delayed slightly) data of plant systems readings and includes the readings of the 16 radiation detectors that are placed around the site….In Westchester, for example, the assessment included populations impacted and projected arrival time of the plume. It should be noted that the initial PAR and PAD were well before any release and therefore at the time of the first decision there was no dose, only potential dose.

No Quantification of Radiation Intensity.

WPCNR did not find in the Witt Report any number given for the REM’s the Witt Report Team expects to be released in any plume from Indian Point. An R.E.M. is short for “roentgen equivalent man,” a measurement that quantifies radiation doses as they affect a man or woman.

The Witt Report compares releases at Indian Point directly to the Chernobyl disaster in Russia in 1986, and the Bhopal chemical disaster in India, as examples of the kind of damage radiation leaks from Indian Point can do to the population.

It is Mr. Slobodien’s contention that those comparisons are not scientifically comparable. The Chernobyl fire and leak is not applicable, in his opinion, because the reactor that melted down contained graphite as a radiation absorber, and graphite caught fire creating a much longer event and release. Slobodien said he was confident any Indian Point plume could be contained within a few hours, not days as was the case in the Chernobyl incident. He said for any plume release, the Indian Point reactor would have to be penetrated.

Compares Apples to Oranges, Due to Witt Associates’ Subcontractor’s “Chemical Expertise” Background

The FEMA analysis throws out the chemical disasters as a means of comparison of plume drift damage cited by the Witt Report. FEMA notes Bhopal was a chemical release of deadly chemicals (caused by an explosion), and had nothing to do with radioactivity, citing it had only relevance to how a release of some sort can kill a lot of people. This comparing apples to oranges, without mentioning the Bhopal release was chemica, misleads the lay reader of the document.

The Witt Report expertise on nuclear matters is attributed to Innovative Emergency Management of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, (with offices in Anniston, AL, Abingdon,MD, Salt Lake City, and Washington, D.C.). IEM is primarily in the business of analyzing chemical release scenarios, not nuclear incidents, which perhaps explains their inclusion of a chemical plume in a report dealing with radioactive plumes.

They list Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Washington) and Battelle Memorial Institute, (Columbus, Ohio) both national institutions dealing in nuclear analysis and research as clients. However, Pacific Labs, located in Oregon has no contract records of doing any work with Innovative Emergency Management, and Battelle has only used them for input at their Chemical Biological Information Analysis Center in Canada, nothing of a nuclear nature. The outfit lists a number of government agencies and private power companies as clients. IEM principals have overwhelmingly chemical substance emergency based experience, and may have a “nuclear background” but neither their offices nor the Witt press office would reveal who the nuclear experts were, or their credentials.

Weird Science: FEMA Calls Chemical Plumes Very Different from Radioactive Plumes.

FEMA writes: Throughout the (Witt) report there seems to be an effort being made by the report authors to fuse the Radiological Emergency Response program with the CSEPP (Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program) program; CSEPP program terminology is used with the caveat that the term is interchangeable with REP (radioactivity) terminology. For example, on page 30 the authors chose to use a chemical plume rather than a radioactive plume to explain their point. This is misleading; the two types of plumes and their effects are quite different. If this document (The Witt Report) is for REP (radioactivity) planners, programmers, and practitioners, all CSEPP references should be deleted.

FEMA is troubled that The Witt Report compares a possible nuclear plant event evacuation with their experts’ past experiences of a chemical plant explosion in Bhopal, India in 1984 and a train wreck derailment in Mississauga, Canada in 1979 that produced a chemical fire:

….Chapter 4…references the CSEPP (chemical) method to develop protective action strategies. This “two-part” process is what the (Indian Point) dose assessment and the local decision-makers already do. The authors (of The Witt Report) appear to advocate “sheltering” even though (regulation) requires a default evacuation of the 2 mile ring and 5 miles downwind. The authors and particularly those with CSEPP (chemical) experience should be aware that a chemical stockpile has a greater probability of exploding than a nuclear facility and thus the amount of time to discuss and decide… differs ( WPCNR note: substantially more time in a nuclear plume release according to the nature of the plume.).

Maximum Indian Point Radiation in a Plume Release is 3-1/2 times that of a typical Hospital Gastro-Intestinal Series.

Slobodien told WPCNR that the most “absolute worse case,” that an Indian Point plume release could be is 4 to 5 R.E.M.’s, for one hour at a distance of 2 miles from the plant, 5 miles downwind, after which the plume dissipates.

What does this mean?

In comparison, he said, a routine hospital procedure, done daily at most hospitals, the G.I Series , (sometimes repeated on a patient within a few days time to check treatments), exposes a patient routinely to 1.4 REMs.

Using the Witt Report’s own Chart of R.E.M. comparisons, the Gastrointestinal Series, upper and lower, exposes a patient to 1.4 R.E.M.s. So the maximum exposure a person standing under an Indian Point plume for one hour on the ground would be receiving the equivalent of about three G.I. Series. G.I. series which can be experienced by persons in hospitals in an ongoing treatment situation for internal bleeding for example.

Handicapping the Plume.

Slobodien said exposure is judged on the amount of time one spends in the plume release area, and the calculated maximum radioactivity dose in an Indian Point plume release of 4 to 5 REMs, assumes exposure for one hour. Slobodien says he is confident they can contain and stop any plume release in an hour’s time, and natural dissipation of the cloud would take place by wind dispersal after an hour.

Likelihood of a 4 –5 R.E.M. release? The 1979 Three Mile Island Incident Released 0.001 REM.

WPCNR contacted a private environmental research firm, Integrated Environmental Management, Inc., of Knoxville, Tennessee (selected at random by WPCNR) for an independent nuclear expert verification. The organization describes itself as delivering “strategic health physics (radiation safety), industrial hygiene, and environmental consulting and services to both government and commercial clients.” It maintains a staff of Certified Health Physicists, Certified Industrial Hygienists and Registered Radiation Protection Technologists.

A Certified Health Physicist, Carol Berger, answered WPCNR’s question of whether a 4 REM dose was likely from an nuclear plant release, whether it was dose per particle or static at 4 REMS.

Berger wrote WPCNR: “The only way to turn any of these numbers into dose (i.e., REMS) is to first determine the location where the dose is to be measured, determine the amount of time a person remains at that location, assess that person’s actions while at that location (i.e., standing still, working hard, eating the local flora, etc.), evaluate the radionuclide content of the particles in the plume, and a variety of other input parameters.

“Therefore, your question about the radiation dose in a cloud being four (4) REMS seems to imply either a very dramatic release of radioactivity, a measurement point that is immediately proximal to the release point, and /or an exposure duration that is pretty long.”

The Three Mile Island Standard. Not Even Close to a G.I. Series Dose.

“Keep in mind ,” Berger wrote, “that during the incident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power station in 1979, when about three million curies of noble gases and about 10 curies of radioactive iodine were released, the maximally-exposed individual who was assumed to be in fairly close proximity to the plant, was only one (1) millirem, or 0.001 REM.”

Berger wrote that assessing radiological impacts of releases of radioactivity has been “well-developed over the years.”

She noted that, “they are able to assess doses at almost any location away from the release point from all exposure pathways, including direct radiation exposure, exposure from inhalation of the contents of the plume, exposure from ingesting food or water that have been contaminated by the plume and others.”

Who Are These Guys?

The draft Witt Report does not identify the persons working for Innovative Emergency Management, the subcontractor who worked for them in preparing the report. The Witt Report lists I.E.M. as having provided the judgments on Indian Point operations, but so far has refused to name names.

An IEM executive, Ted G. Lemcke, speaking to WPCNR last week said the individuals who handled the Innovative Emergency Management assignment from Witt Associates had a nuclear power plant background, and that he thought they would be identified in the Final Report now being developed from the rough draft. It was due yesterday, Friday, February 28. Mr. Lemcke said the Draft report was now being “clarified and verified” and Witt Associates is “resolving some issues with various parties,” but he would not say who those “various parties” were.

No one with Witt Came Knocking with Questions.

Mike Slobidien of Indian Point, in frequent touch with Witt Associates last week said no experts with nuclear power plant backgrounds participated in preparing the Witt Report, to his knowledge, because in his conversations, they would not identify those individuals to him, either. Slobidien said, it was his understanding that Witt Associates was going to schedule a tour of Indian Point as of last week, but no date has been set, and the media would not be invited.

Thursday, February 27, Mr. Slobodien said that Witt officials had been in touch with Indian Point within the last week to discuss their mistakes.

WPCNR Reports: A Tour of the Plant Is Instructive.

Touring and interfacing with Indian Point managers onsite prior to writing the report would have given The Witt Report team some valuable insights. It did for WPCNR. From what this reporter saw on site, driving a truck of explosives next to the reactor dome at Indian Point, might not be possible due to the extensive physical protection surrounding the reactors.

But, because Witt representatives did not tour Indian Point, according to Entergy officials, (as WPCNR did in June of 2002), they assume a terrorist could drive a truck up and set off a bomb causing “an immediate crisis.”

. The Witt Report spends part of page 185 raising the possibility that “Terrorist events could take other forms, such as trucks armed with conventional explosives.”

If you see the area around Indian Point reactors for yourself, a rational person would conclude it would be tough to reach the reactors from the entrance of Indian Point to the site of the reactors. For security reasons, WPCNR will not reveal the protection mechanisms, but Entergy said they would have cleared Witt’s team to go into great detail about the plant’s defenses that they would not reveal to WPCNR. But the Witt Team never asked.

The Witt Report writes that it was not commissioned to review Indian Point security processes, however, their conclusions are based on assumptions of security arrangements.

Did not Go Into Detail on County Improvements to Evacuation Plan.

Witt Report preparers also did not do intelligence gathering with Westchester County either. Tony Sutton, Deputy Commissioner of Emergency Planning for Westchester County, said he supplied Witt representatives with phone numbers and addresses of organizations, contacts, and agencies involved in the county’s emergency plan. However, when WPCNR asked if Witt had asked Sutton to go over all the most recent changes in Westchester’s plans since September 11, Sutton said, “No, they did not.”

County Executive Andy Spano in a news conference was quoted saying the same thing.

Who is Innovative Emergency Management?

Innovative Emergency Management employs at least one person with nuclear background among their principal officers. He is Ted G. Lemcke, an expert in using computer models to simulate and assess threats from weapons of mass destruction. However, he did not contribute to the Witt report, or sign off on I.E.M.’s contribution to it, he said. He referred WPCNR to Roy Williams of Witt Associates for more information. Mr. Williams did not return two WPCNR calls last Thursday..

WPCNR interviewed Barry Scanlon, Vice President of Witt Associates on the issue of who prepared the Indian Point assessments. He would not say who Witt’s nuclear experts were. “We’re confident with the expertise of our team,” Scanlon said. Scanlon said they were “internally reviewing comments” received on the draft report when interviewed by WPCNR last Thursday. He said last week he did not know if the names of the Witt nuclear experts were going to be released.

FEMA Takes Report to Task.

The Witt Report sources for Indian Point information appear to be their analysis of operating and licensing documents filed by Indian Point recently. Entergy purchased the plant in 2001. Neither IEM nor Witt representatives visited Indian Point on fact-finding missions, according to Jim Steets, Entergy spokesman, except to visit the Emergency Operations Center at Indian Point on September 24 when the County Wide Exercise mentioned prominently in the report was staged.

The reviewers of those documents cited in the Witt Report appendix which Indian Point had filed with the commissions and FEMA appear not to have interacted with Entergy officials to see whether or not Indian Point had complied with 73 of the “Not Met” judgments contained in those reports, which The Witt Report lists as having been “not met.”

FEMA says Witt Report Does Public a Disservice with False Impression of Number of “Not Mets.”.

According to FEMA, “Plan Reviews, efforts should have been made by the authors of the NY State Report (Witt Report) to verify their concerns with the plans before characterizing each as not meeting requirements. The authors of the NY State Report did not include a review of the procedures that are an integral part of the plan and where many of the details of what is to be done are included. By this approach, the report does the public a disservice when referring to requirements not being met in Appendix C.”

Entergy is Diplomatic.

Entergy made reference to this condition in their news release of February 7, when they wrote, “The draft also contains significant factual errors.” According to Entergy, in the Witt Report appendixes, of 198 elements listed by the Witt Report, where 73 where reported “not met,” actual not met totals were only 11, according to Entergy. Four of those 11 “Not Mets” were not required by a nuclear plant licensee, and the remaining 7, 2 were not required in the plan, 2 were not met, and 3 have been partially met.

Nuclear Experts Shocked.

Experts from around the country, not employed by Entergy, are reported “shocked” about the technical inaccuracies that are contained in The Witt Report as being the present condition of Indian Point ability to report accidents, plume-releases, and where the plumes might drift.

A Most Glaring Misunderstanding.

The Witt Report assumes is that Entergy does not use up-to-date computer technology which the Witt “experts” say have lead to its conclusions. Entergy official, Jim Steets, said this could have been avoided had Witt Associates sought a detailed tour of the Indian Point facility, conducted briefings with Indian Point managers, workers and personnel. No Witt representatives , Steets and Slobodien say, consulted with Indian Point officials on what security procedures were in place, nor consulted them on the details of the internal operational procedures of the plant. Steets said the Indian Point facility would have cleared them to discuss confidential security procedures in place, for The Witt Team to make a more meaningful assessment.

FEMA Strikes Back: Terrorist Events Analyzed with Same Procedure.

FEMA’s report goes much farther than Entergy’s polite comments released to the media February 7, FEMA systematically, chapter-by-chapter cite the report for inaccuracies in sweeping, uncompromising fashion, error by error.

From their “Executive Summary,” FEMA tells you where they are coming from:FEMA also believes that a number of the issues raised by the state report are not supported by FEMA’s own exercise evaluations, plan reviews and knowledge of the Radiological Emergency Response Program.

The Big Ten

In FEMA’s Executive Summary they list 10 major issues with Witt conclusions, in assessing the plans, saying flat out, “the emergency plans…are adequate to protect the public health and safety if updated and exercised consistent with current guidelines.”

FEMA disputes Witt Report worries about a terrorist attack:

Emergency response plans are periodically updated and are designed to be flexible enough to respond to a wide variety of adverse conditions, including a terrorist attack. The planning process has demonstrated its robustness and ability to evolve and improve during the years since the Three Mile Island accident.

The coordinated response to contain or mitigate a threatened or actual release of radioactive material would be essentially the same whether it resulted from an accidental or terrorist act. Further, it should be stated that every biennial exercise has used releases or potential releases that require an evacuation of at least a portion of the planning zone.

Witt Report Misses What’s Changed.

FEMA, just warming up notes the Witt Report does not account for the significant security measures that have been put in place since the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001.FEMA reports, “Immediately after the attacks, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff undertook a comprehensive evaluation of NRC’s security and safeguards program. On February 25, 2002, the NRC issued orders… that include increased patrols, augmented security forces and capabilities, additional security posts, installation of physical barriers, vehicle checks at greater standoff distances, enhanced coordination with law enforcement and military authorities, and more restrictive site access controls for all personnel….Entergy and Dominion (Millstone plant) are both in full compliance with the order and enhanced security measures are in place at Indian Point and Millstone.

Sheltering a Red Herring.

FEMA Dismisses The Witt Report Concern for “Sheltering:”:

…extensive studies of severe reactor accidents have been performed. These studies clearly indicate that for all but a very limited set of conditions, prompt evacuation of an area near the plant is much more effective in reducing the risk of early health effects than sheltering the population in the event of severe accidents. even in the event of a plume condition. FEMA reports that the population to be evacuated only applies to populations “immediately at risk, nominally those within 2 miles of the plant and about 5 miles downwind.”

FEMA Asserts They Have Planned

FEMA takes strong exception to The Witt Report comment that “Calculations of the optimal strategies for protecting the public safety and health are best done during the planning phase and incorporated into the emergency plans. There are no such comprehensive analyses incorporated as part of the plans for the Indian Point facility, counties or the State of New York.”

FEMA says this is 100% wrong, citing “extensive” guidance that has been used to set “event severity levels,” they call Emergency Action Levels, which FEMA writes, specify abnormal plant conditions and classify them according to the security level…The severity level classification of the event dictates onsite actions, including notification of responders and offsite authorities, recommending onsite and offsite protective actions.

Challenges that Evacuation Times Are Reasonable.

FEMA takes on The Witt Report criticism of evacuation times, by noting that there is time to make evacuation pre-calls because of the limited area involved:

Only a fraction of the EPZ (Evacuation Protection Zone) will be in the potential pathway of the plume at any point in time due to such factors as wind direction and speed. This is the population for which protective actions, such as evacuation, are needed. It is possible to move out of the plume by traveling only a short distance perpendicular to the downwind direction of the plume.

About 85 Specific Errors, Discrepancies and Alleged Misjudgments. And Bad Math.

The agency takes The Witt Report apart, chapter by chapter, reciting specific Witt Report errors, inaccuracies, and assumptions and opinions that are hard to understand:

Some examples: Witt claims the exercise process was not based on Performance. FEMA says the 2002 exercise for Indian Point was.

Witt Report Offers to Fix the Exercise Plan

In fact, WPCNR, in reading The Witt Report, noted a description of their partner’s process for Perfomance-Based Outcomes in determining emergency plans. This passage might be construed to be an offer to help New York and Westchester revise the emergency plan, writing, on page 193 of the draft Witt Report, in promoting its partner, Innovative Emergency Management:

…a REP (Radiological Emergency Plan) exercise has to be able to clearly demonstrate, using consistent, objective data, that the public safety goal has been served. Saying it has been served without the data to objectively defend the judgment will affect the acceptability of the judgment. This is the main shortcoming we observe in the implementation of the current REP exercise methodology.

To further enhance the “outcome-based” evaluation methodology for REP, a product-based emergency management structure is necessary. In our work in emergency management in the last 18 years, we have repeatedly witnessed the problems caused by the functional approach to emergency management. To solve these problems, IEM (Innovative Emergency Management, Witt Associates’ partners in writing the report), developed a product-based emergency management architecture about seven years ago. The Public Protection Performance Architecture defines the “products” or performance outcomes to be achieved in managing a response to an emergency. The product-based approach looks at the end points sought by customers…In reviews of many disaster case studies and in the course of many consulting assignments across the United States and some overseas, we understand that there are basic services or products that citizens demand.

FEMA Accuses Witt Report of Ignoring Pre-Evacuation Strategies

The Witt “Major Conclusion” ignores the fact that evacuations can and will occur before there is a release. FEMA remarks: “a release in most cases will be of limited speed and it will take time for it to move from the reactor building to the site boundary to the 10-mile boundary of the EPZ.”

The Witt Report says tone alert radios have not been widely implemented. FEMA reports, “this statement is without substance and is inaccurate. Each of the four counties has tone-alert radios distributed throughout their respective emergency planning zones and this information is provided in each of the county plans.”

Wanted: A Calculator.

FEMA identifies a major table of radiation effects discrepancy where the Witt Report says one thing but their table disagrees. Witt Report copy reads that “high, short-term doses can cause early side effects…receiving such high doses can be compared to receiving four lifetimes of normal background radiation in an extremely short time span.

FEMA calls them on this: “The report identifies an average radiation dose received yearly to be approximately 360 millirem. Acute exposures to four lifetimes of natural background radiation would be approximately 100 REM, well below the lowest entry in the table of effects located on page 26 of the Draft report. (200 REM—where 1 percent die within 30 days if untreated. 5% suffer nausea.)

FEMA notes this as a major error.

There are many more FEMA documentations of factual errors and misunderstandings that are equally damaging to the Witt Report conclusions.

FEMA Concerns Itself with Witt Advocacy Group Data

The FEMA critique wraps up with citing some of what it says are about 35 Witt misinterpretations of the Practice and Full-Scale Exercises last September, and spends several pages, debunking the concerns of “Advocacy Groups,” as expressed and supported by The Witt Team.

The lead sentence of the second paragraph under “FEMA comments on Appendix J: Advocacy Issues,” says it all: The authors of this report provide the concerns as basic well-grounded facts rather than clarifying where there is misinformation and half-truths.”

FEMA returns to the central Witt hypothesis of “a faster-moving event,” they note: …fourth bullet indicates that the emergency plans fails to consider radiation release from spent fuel pools. First, just as with a terrorism incident or a leaky valve, the off-site response will be the same. Second, unlike the reactor core, there is nothing “pushing” radiation up and out beyond the site boundary to off-site areas. Third, cooling pools are 40 feet of water encased in concrete within a concrete and steel structure. Any time of radiation release is highly speculative.

On page J-2 of the Witt Report, FEMA questions Witt Associates “misguided concerns based on partial information.” The FEMA team notes “these concerns include not planning for a “fast breaker” by the utility, the capacity of area hospitals to treat workers and citizens, refusal to medical personnel to report, and the location of reception centers. The hospitals are not used to do initial monitoring of individuals; that is to occur at the reception centers. The hospitals will be used in the event someone requires medical attention, broken leg, heart problems, etc., and capacity should not be exceeded.”

In conclusion, FEMA comments on the Petition for Withdrawal of FEMA approval, and goes into extensive detail on why the petition has no merit.

Witt Associates is being paid approximately $850,000 by New York State for the Witt Report.

Posted in Uncategorized