Executive Spano Calls for Indian Point Closing Before Congress

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WPCNR WESTCHESTER COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER from County Department of Communications. February 26, 2003: Westchester County Executive Andy Spano testified before a congressional committee Tuesday, giving his reasons why Indian Point should be closed.

EXECUTIVE SPANO CALLS FOR 5 ACTIONS FROM THE GOVERNMENT: Spano shown in a recent photo called on the Federal Government to take 5 Actions on Indian Point: More Guidance for the range of possible disasters at the plant, including terrorist scenarios; extension of Emergency Planning Zone beyond 10 miles to consider panic; transfer of security to a Federal security force; accurate predictive models of where radiation from the plant would go, calling present models “fixed static plumes”; new investment in communications, systems, technologies.
ArchivePhoto by WPCNR News

In the speech, he notes the county has spent $5 Million to improve the evacuation plan; says he agrees with the conclusions of The Witt Report; notes that terrorism is the major factor in the need to close the plant;details improvements the county has made to the plan; declares “nothing in FEMA’s directives to the counties ask that this kind of scenario be considered”; he calls for the Federal Government “to take control to protect its citizens”; calls on the government to implement the conditions of The Witt Report; and wants it closed because of “the number of people around the plants and the sheer physical limitations of our roads to move everyone at once in the face of a fast-breaking scenario.” He articulates 5 actions the government should take.

Here are Executive Spano’s remarks in their entirety, provided by westchestergov.com.:

Testimony of
Westchester (N.Y.) County Executive Andrew J. Spano
On Emergency Preparedness at the Indian Point Energy Center
To the U.S. House of Representatives’
Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
February 25, 2003

Mr. Chairman, Steven LaTourette, Ranking Member, Eleanor Holmes Norton, my own Representative, Sue Kelly and other distinguished members of the subcommittee, thank you for holding these hearings on emergency preparedness in relation to the Indian Point nuclear plants in Westchester County. As the County Executive, I also appreciate the opportunity to present the County’s perspective on these issues.

The health and safety of Westchester residents has always been my first priority. During the past five years as County Executive, that priority has translated into creating a professional Department of Emergency Services, increasing the special operations capability of our Department of Public Safety, forming a Bio-terrorism Task Force, prior to September 11th, and since September 11th, developing on-going strategies and interventions to cope with terrorism in all its possible forms – chemical, biological, and, because of Indian Point, radiological. In addition, we are coordinating the creation of a county-wide all hazards emergency plan that incorporates the efforts of 43 municipalities, 47 school districts, 43 local police departments, 58 fire departments and the myriad other interests that comprise our great county.

These considerable efforts are constantly hampered by the attention and resources we historically and continuously have had to appropriate for the preparation, training, and execution of the Indian Point Radiological Preparedness Plan.

It is important for you to understand that this is not a matter of academic interest for many of us. My own home is within the ten mile zone. Even the Governor and his family live within the ten mile zone.

Indian Point is situated in the small Westchester County Village of Buchanan, some 35 miles north of Manhattan. There are approximately 298,000 people, in four counties, within 10 miles of the plants; 150,000 live in Westchester. With Indian Point’s location just 24 miles north of the New York City border, one in twelve Americans live within 50 miles, the ingestion zone for radiation.

Before the threat of terrorism, issues about the response plan and, indeed, even the security of the plant itself were rarely raised by the general public. However, this lack of concern on the part of our residents never deterred our efforts to continually upgrade the plan and improve response efforts. In the last year alone, Westchester County spent almost $5 million to improve the plan, train responders and update technology, while receiving only $412,000 back from the utility.

Since September 11th, Indian Point as a possible terrorist target has not only become a monumental concern to those who live and work within the 10 mile zone, but it has also become an issue of national significance for residents throughout New York metropolitan area and in the surrounding states.

It was in reaction to these concerns that Governor Pataki hired former FEMA director James Lee Witt to conduct an extensive evaluation of the Indian Point nuclear response plan. I have concurred with much of that report and especially agree with its call for recognition of the new challenges facing us.

According to criteria determined by FEMA, response plans nation-wide were based upon the traditional assumption that an event at a nuclear power plant would be accidental and mechanical in nature and would evolve slowly over a period of several hours or even longer. In order to provide a “reasonable assurance” that the emergency response plans would work, FEMA established the guidelines and regulations for counties to implement. Westchester County, as have the other counties surrounding Indian Point, prepared plans consisting of hundred of pages, trained thousands of responders, and participated in drills that were evaluated under FEMA’s eye.

Not only have we met the bar FEMA has put before us, we have exceeded it. We have moved forward in a number of areas to protect the residents of Westchester County. On our own, we have for some time pressed for better technology and more sophisticated modeling of the radiological dispersion; and have worked with IBM Research Labs and others to contribute to this effort. We have included more conservative assumptions about travel time than the current models provide. We have set up a variety of modern communications capabilities, including internal web sites for quick transmission of status information. We have distributed potassium iodide to a large number of families in the emergency planning zone surrounding the plant.

But the picture is very different today. As the Witt report emphasized, since September 11, we also have to prepare for the possibility that the plants can be the target of terrorists and that the release of radiation could be fast-breaking. Nothing in FEMA’s regulations addresses this stunning fact. Nothing in FEMA’s directives to the counties ask that this kind of scenario be considered. Nothing in FEMA’s criteria calls for a drill based on a terrorist attack.

The essential difference between the old approach and our new concerns is the difference between “doing things right” and “doing the right things”. In the past, under FEMA and NRC directives, we have done our plans and drills right. But in today’s world, it is no longer enough.

However, we, as a County, have gone about as far as we can go. It is time for the federal government – the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, FEMA, perhaps even the new Department of Homeland Security – to take control and give the counties the resources, the expertise, and the funding so that the evacuation plan can respond to a terror based scenario. This is no longer an issue for one county or four counties or ten counties. Indian Point is located in the most populated area of the country. This is an issue of national security. The federal government licenses this plant; the federal government must take control to protect its citizens.

In the face of today’s heightened threats, the federal government must realize that its guidelines and actions do not go far enough. FEMA and the NRC must implement the recommendations of the Witt Report. However, even if these can be implemented, it is my opinion that the public still cannot be adequately protected. Therefore, I call for the closing of Indian Point due to the number of people around the plants and the sheer physical limitations of our roads to move everyone at once in the face of a fast breaking scenario.

However, even if the plant were to be shut down tomorrow, because of the spent fuel pools, there still would be a need for a workable response plan. Therefore, we ask for the following five actions:

1. FEMA and the NRC must get out of their traditional rut and provide guidance for a range of possible disasters at the plant that include fast breaking, terrorist-initiated scenarios. In general, FEMA must become directly involved with emergency planning, rather than insist on an evaluator’s role, above the fray.

2. The emergency planning zone around the plant should be extended beyond ten miles. Whether FEMA and the NRC agree that the radioactive fallout can extend beyond ten miles is beside the point. In a densely populated area, people who live beyond ten miles will take actions – like self-evacuation – which would have a severe impact on the success or failure of the emergency response plans.

3. The responsibility for security around the plants must be immediately transferred from the corporate operators, Entergy, to a Federal security force. Security is bound to be viewed as a cost burden to a profit-oriented corporation like Entergy. Moreover, there are limits to the firepower that a private company can use to protect the plant. Only the Federal government has the resources and authority to deploy the protection needed on land, on the water and from the air.

4. The NRC must use its expertise and those of the best laboratories in the nation to develop and deploy to us accurate predictive models of where radiation from the plant would go. We are currently provided fixed, static plumes that do not take into account the local hilly topography and river valley around the plants, nor changes in wind direction, nor other dynamic factors. This will make it difficult to focus on the precise areas that need an emergency response and would lead to a more widespread panic among the public than would be warranted.

5. FEMA and the NRC must also recognize that the new threats to the Indian Point plants will require much greater investment in new equipment, communications capabilities, systems and technologies. FEMA and the NRC should provide increased and truly adequate funding for us to upgrade our response to the new threats.

I will continue to do whatever is in my power to protect the residents of Westchester County. However, both the NRC and FEMA should be put on notice that the lives of the people within the vicinity of Indian Point rests on their shoulders. Please help us to make sure that the Federal agencies move swiftly and realistically to deal with the fast-moving and devastating threats to the Indian Point nuclear plants in our midst. Nothing we do should ever compromise the safety of our citizens.

I would welcome any questions. Thank you.

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Joe Davidson Tapped for Grand Marshall for St. Patrick’s Day Parade

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WPCNR MAMARONECK AVENUE ADVANCE ADVOCATE. From John Martin. February 25, 2003: At a reception attended by over 100 guests at Dooley Macs restaurant in downtown White Plains on Monday night, the White Plains St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee announced the selection of the 2003 Grand Marshal. At the event parade committee Chairman John Martin told the overflowing crowd that former White Plains Commissioner of Recreation and Parks Joseph P. Davidson had been selected as Grand Marshal for this year’s parade.
Also in attendance were the honorees selected as Aides to the Grand Marshal, Timothy Buckley, Terrence M . Conroy, James Flynn, Teresa Flynn, Marie McMahon, James R. Noonan and Mary Broderick Ryan.

Commissioner Davidson, who completed a 47 year distinguished career of civil service last year, spoke to the attendees and thanked the Committee for their selection of him.

Prior to the announcement, pipers of the Westchester Firefighters Emerald Society Pipe Band provided music and led the procession of dignitaries.

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Assembly Passes Bradley’s 911 Wireless Bill to Locate Callers at Risk

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WPCNR ALBANY REPORT-DISPATCH. From Assemblyman Adam Bradley’s Media Relations Office. February 25, 2003: Assemblyman Adam Bradley announced Tuesday the assembly had passed legislation to help localities make life-saving improvements to local 911 systems — enabling local emergency dispatch centers to pinpoint emergency calls from wireless phones.
The Wireless 911 Local Incentive Funding Enhancement (LIFE) program will end unnecessary delays in 911 enhancements by providing funding directly to local emergency dispatch centers. The legislation will help localities which currently handle their own wireless 911 calls, to finance the equipment they need. The program expedites actions taken by the Assembly in 2002, which set aside $20 Million in surcharges to help localities fund the system’s implementation.

“We need to do everything we can to keep our families safe — and that means seeing to it that this money goes to enhancing New York’s 911 systems,” Bradley said. “I urge the Senate and the governor to follow the Assembly in enacting this vital legislation before another tragedy occurs.”

New Yorkers have paid $200 Million in surcharges since 1991, Bradley’s report said, which was meant specifically to establish a statewide 911 emergency telephone communications system. However a 2002 audit of the E911 Fund by the state comptroller criticisized the use of the fun, citing spending on expenses like dry cleaning, travel and lawn mowing.

The bill was sponsored by David Koon. Richard Brodsky was a Co-Sponsor, and Mr. Bradley, one of the Multi-Sponsors.

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Argent Mortgage to Move in to 333 Westchester Ave.

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WPCNR WESTCHESTER AVENUE ADVOCATE & BEACON. February 24, 2003: The former General Foods property in White Plains, 333 Westchester Avenue, announced today the lease of about one/third(118,000 square feet) of the newly refurbished 333 Westchester “urban-rural” office complex to Argent Mortgage Company, a subsidiary of Ameriquest Mortgage Company.

THE RIGHT MAYOR:Charles S. Cohen thanked Mayor Joseph Delfino for his support of the renovation, calling him “The Right Mayor,” after the Mayor had complimented Cohen for bringing Argent Mortgage into “the right building, the right county, and the right city.” Mayor Delfino recalled that he had started his business career in the very same building back in the late 1950s.
Photo by WPCNR Business

Cohen said Argent would be leasing the North building for a training facility, and complimented his brokers, Colliers ABR, for bringing in Argent and pointing out the expansion possibilities the 333 Westchester offered to them as the key to the deal.

Colliers Vice Chairman Stephen J. Riker would not disclose the terms of the lease or its length. When asked if it was less than market value, Riker declined to say whether the lease deal made was below typical market, saying only that the lease rate per square foot was “competitive.” He said it was negotiated in three weeks.

Mr. Cohen noted that the Argent operation will be bringing in 400 employees into the new White Plains offices this summer, and will feature a state-of-the-art loan processing training complex.

According to the news release provided at the news conference, the four buildings on the corner of Westchester Avenue and North Street offer 600,000 square feet. 333 Westchester the new home for Argent Mortgage, contains 168,000 square feet of office space, of which Argent with the signing of the lease over the weekend is renting 118,000 square feet.

Tenants at 333 Westchester Avenue include Allied Irish Bank, Moviefone, MACSTEEL ASOMA, steel traders, Endurance Specialty Holdings, a Bermuda insurance company, Fredman & Rosen,lawyers, Rosenfeld & Tortu, benefits consultants, Merit Direct and Stone, Russo & Lassaro, CPAs.

The entire four-building complex contains 600,000 square feet, including a cafeteria, conference center, and a recreation facility. The space with the Argent lease now is 50% occupied, while the 333 Westchester North Building is now 70% occupied.

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County Legislature B & A Committee Approves $500G for Main & Mamaroneck Fountain

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WPCNR WESTCHESTER COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. By John F. Bailey. February 24, 2003: The Westchester County Legislature Budget and Appropriations Committee, listened to Susan Habel, White Plains Commissioner of Planning, and Mayor Joseph Delfino put in a polished professional pitch for county support of the city’s plans for a makeover of the Main Street Fountain Plaza this morning, and liked what they heard, voting to approve the request for $500,000 in county aid, and to recommend the monetary support measure to the full County Legislature.

BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN: In his first time back on the eighth floor since leaving the county legislature, Mayor Joseph Delfino addressed the County Budget & Appropriations Committee and thanked them for their support for the makeover of the Fountain Plaza. To the left of the Mayor are Legislators Michael Kaplowitz and Ursula Lamotte. Richard Wishnie’s office said Monday afternoon that the individual measure approving the $500,000 aid for the Fountain Plaze would be voted on by the full County Board on Monday, March 3, one week from today.
Photo by WPCNR News

Various County Legislators: Michael Kaplowitz, Ursula Lamotte and Martin Rogowsky comented on the project going up one block away from the County Office building.

Kaplowitz asked that perhaps in return for the funding the city might allow the county and citizens’ groups to use the Performing Arts Theatre (“synergyzing with the county,” were his words) and was assured by Ms. Habel that the city was considering organizations such as the Westchester Arts Council, as well as the needs of other civic groups. Laplowitz also wondered what White Plains was investing in the project. Ms. Habel pointed out the city was investing Parking Authority money, and paying $23 Million for the City Center Garage. Another legislator asked if Mr. Cappelli was paying anything for the theater and was told by Ms. Habel that he was paying $1.1 Million, plus money for the fountain.

Mr. Rogowsky suggested to Mr. Wishnie, Chair of the Committee, that in the future cities and towns, since White Plains will keep most of the sales tax from the City Center, that the city perhaps think about paying back such county monies in the future. Mr. Wishnie said this was a good suggestion.

Lois Bronz asked about affordable housing, and Ms. Habel walked her through Cappelli’s agreement to make 6% of his rental units “affordable housing.”

Ms. Lamotte inquired about whether the fountain would waste water, in view of draught experienced by the County last year. Ms. Habel assured Ms. Lamotte that the fountain would recycle the water as do all city fountains.

Sal Carrera, head of the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency, made a strong bid for the funding before the vote, saying,

“This (the fountain plaza) is a major asset that we should enhance.”

Asked about a timetable and the possibility of delaying this until next year, Habel said it was imperative that the fountain plaza be completed by October, 2003, this fall before the City Center theatres open.

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Police Comment on WPCNR Misconception on Saturday Power Outage.

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WPCNR SERGEANT JOE FRIDAY REPORTS. From Officer on Duty. February 24, 2003: Saturday, WPCNR reported my experience reporting a power outage on one block in Havilands Manor. The officer on duty at that hour wrote WPCNR today to explain how the police handle this kind of situation.

The officer assures citizens that the White Plains Police are in direct touch with Con Edison when they have to be, and WPCNR reprints his explanation, and thanks the officer for taking the time to explain how an electrical failure is handled by the White Plains Police:
I just finished reading your power outage article and I am disappointed you would be so irresponsible to your readers, telling them the police don’t have one on one access to Con Ed.

In the event of a true emergency (electric, gas, etc.), the police can call Con Ed. on a private, confidential phone line. This is a number used by emergency services and is strictly for true emergencies, not to find out how long it will take to restore power during a minor power failure.

How do I know this? I am the police officer you spoke with when you called the police. What you don’t understand, and I say this with as much due respect possible… when the electricity goes out in a city such as White Plains, the switchboard in police communications can get quiet hectic.

My job as a call taker is to assure you we are aware of the condition and that Con Ed is aware and move on to the next call, or assist you with whatever special circumstances the power failure has caused you (ie. you require electricity to run medical equipment).

Had I spent the time educating you on the way things work during a time when there was a power failure, people on hold who are trying to report emergencies to me would be losing critical time that could be spent dispatching a police officer, ambulance, or fire truck to them.

Besides this, how would a police officer know how long it would take a Con Edison worker to do his job. I could have told you a lie and said it would be back on shortly, but that would not be professional or responsible of me.

As a reporter, I caution you to use more care in jumping to conclusions about what you report. You should know that the WPPD has a good working relationship with the community we serve and would be willing to educate you on how things work under more appropriate circumstances.

By reporting to the public that emergency services in White Plains is in any way inadequate is very irresponsible and unprofessional of you. You should be proud to live in a community that has such high standards and is prepared to handle whatever emergency comes its way.

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Adam In Albany: Calls for Wireless 911 Improvements Fund with Surcharge

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WPCNR’S ADAM IN ALBANY. By 89th District Assemblyman Adam T. Bradley. February 23, 2003: On January 24, 2003, four teenage boys disappeared after their boat sank in Long Island Sound. One of the boys desperately dialed 911, but he was unable to describe their location to potential rescuers. Worse yet, the tragedy could have been avoided.

Since 1991, New York cell phone wpcnr_users have paid more than $200 million in surcharges – currently between $1.20 and $1.50 on top of their monthly bill. These surcharges specifically established for a statewide 911 emergency telephone communications system. Unfortunately, the money hasn’t been going to its intended purpose. In fact, a 2002 audit of the E911 fund by the state comptroller criticized the use of the fund, citing spending on expenses like dry cleaning, travel and lawn mowing.

That’s why I’m strongly supporting legislation to help localities make life-saving improvements to local 911 systems – enabling local emergency dispatch centers to pinpoint emergency calls from wireless phones (A.3911). It’s wrong that New Yorkers are paying for, but going without, life-saving technology that they have invested in.

The Wireless 911 Local Incentive Funding Enhancement – or LIFE – program will end years of inaction in upgrading 911 by providing funding directly to local emergency dispatch centers. The program builds on the Assembly’s measure last year – setting aside $20 million in surcharges to help localities fund the system’s implementation.

Many people bought their wireless phones in order to have then available in case of an emergency, and most assume that a 911 operator will be able to trace their location – just like the boys on Long Island Sound. We know the technology does exist. Now it’s time for the governor to implement New York’s local 911 systems so we can prevent another unnecessary, tragic incident.

We need to do everything possible to keep our families safe, and that means seeing to it that money set aside for enhancing New York’s 911 systems actually goes toward ensuring the safety of New York’s families – it’s a matter of saving precious lives.

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Ardsley Joins Greenburgh in call to repeal Wicks Law

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WPCNR GREENBURGH GAZETTE. By Town Supervisor Paul Feiner. February 23, 2003: The Ardsley Village Board of Trustees has joined the Greenburgh Town Board in seeking an exemption from the Wicks Law. The Ardsley Village Board passed a resolution at their last meeting hoping to get the exemption so that they could save money on their proposed new firehouse. The resolution that was approved mentioned a NY State Budget study which concluded that elimination of the Wicks Law could reduce construction costs by 30%.

Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner congratulated the Ardsley Village Board on their efforts to save money. “We’re hoping that Assemblyman Richard Brodsky and Senator Nick Spano, representatives of Ardsley and Greenburgh, will introduce legislation enabling our communities to be exempted from this wasteful law. Buffalo, various state agencies, Albany have received previous exemptions.” Feiner has scheduled a meeting at Greenburgh Town Hall for march 27th at 8 PM

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Electricity Outage Report System Flawed. Lessons Learned from Southend Power Out

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WPCNR SERGEANT JOE FRIDAY REPORTS. By John F. Bailey. February 22, 2003: There was an electrical failure at WPCNR in Havilands Manor at around 5:30 AM Saturday, the block was out and the electricity is on now. Here is what this no electricity situation showed about the circumstances around an electrical power failure that raise interesting questions:
This reporter notified the White Plains Police of the power failure and learned from the Desk Officer on duty that “Con Ed was working on it.” I also noted from the phone book that the 1-800-75-CON ED help number which is the way you notify Con Edison of a power failure.

However, what is interesting and cause for concern for this reporter is that when you call the police to report a power failure in White Plains, that is what the police do: The police call the automated 1-800-75-CON ED line, too, when you report a power failure to them.

The inadequacy of this system is that we had a momentary surge of power after about an hour an a half, and the juice then went off again. I called the police to note that though we had gotten a momentary “juicing,” that it was still off, and suggested they note to Con Ed that the block was still out, just in case they thought their crews had fixed it.

The desk officer at WPPD said he had no way of telling Con Edison that, because the 1-800-75-CON ED is what the police use to call Con Ed. I remarked, “Is that the truth?”

This raised some questions as to what happens in a widespread power failure. When you have a weather event, it is understandable what is causing an electric outage. But on a normal day, and the power goes on an entire block, you have to inform the police so when you call in you can be assured, “just a routine outage, Con Ed is working on it.” The police cannot do that if they just have automated contact with Con Edision as the electrical customer does.

Recipe for Panic

How Con Ed keeps track of outages, and how citizens are kept informed to prevent undo worry and alarm in this nervous age is a sensitive issue. If the police can’t contact Con Ed directly, and the ordinary citizen cannot, that’s another example of how poor communication is when systems break down in Westchester County.

If a cynical, intrepid fearless reporter can get a little concerned, I would say if what happened this morning a power failure for no apparent weather related or accident related reason), happened to a lot of people all at once there would be considerable panicky behavior developing.

Lesson Learned from a Simple Power Failure.

I instantly contacted The Bailey Associates to do a $1,000,000 survey of my home’s emergency preparedess plan, and this is what they found based on this simple power failure, and here are my recommendations to homeowners:

You need a cellphone fully charged to be able to report the outage. Your telephone will not work in an electrical failure.

You need flashlights ready to go where you can find them (I had those).

You need firewood (furnace does not work in an electrical failure), if temperature is below 50 degrees.

You need a lot of matches where you can find them.

You need candles set up around the house ready to light around the home or apartment. (Put candles in those manoras!)

You need to be able to light your gas stove with a match.

The food problem.

You need lots of dry food in the house. You need extra pet food. What do you feed your pet? when you run out of a week’s supply of cat food, for example…(the 21st century house cat is not equipped to hunt. In a prolonged power outage, your food will spoil in the refrigerator.

Tips from a Reporter in the Dark

Some suggestions…have a candalabra in each room or little candleholders set to go…with matches nearby this way you can light rooms without using up flashlight batteries when power is gone.

Lay in a store of spring water in bottles. Lay in a huge store of D batteries, C batteries.

this is key…a portable, battery-operated radio…with batteries in it with lots of backup batteries. However, in a testimony to the ineptitude of radio broadcast news, there was no mention of this minor power failure on Newsradio88, and the local radio stations, WFAS and WVOX do not appear to have a live newsperson on duty at 6 AM Saturday morning.

All-News, All-Speculation

However, what you hear on the radio may not be too useful in determining what is really going on.
The reporting of the barge fire in Staten Island by the radio media was really poor. It was not until reading news accounts this morning that it was learned by me that it was a gasoline barge that exploded. This would have immediately clarified the nature of the explosion for listeners if this specific information had been released. Gas is instantly flammable, and mentally we could have realized this was probably not a missile attack or sabotage situation.

The report I heard on WINS described this as a refinery fire, an oil fire, which was totally wrong. It was a gasoline barge fire. Specifics count. Broadcast news reports of unfolding events is simply terribly reported, so the value of what you hear on your emergency portable radio and what you hear may not be useful, except for determining that the world is still out there.

Return to Normalcy Checklist

Also when electricity goes back on…it usually blows your fuses…so go down and check the fuse box and check for off-switches…(I did, found three out…and get this…they now are installing fuses without red coloring on the switch plates in the off position…so you have to look carefully to spot the fuses in the “Off Position.”

If you have been cooking, when there is a power failure, be sure to turn off your gas jets, and when electricity comes back on, make sure they are off.

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School Board Candidates Can Register Now.

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WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS From Michelle Schoenfeld. February 21, 2003: The Annual White Plains Board of Education Budget Vote and Election of Board Members will take place on Tuesday, May 20, 2003, Noon to 9 P.M.. Petitions of candidates for election to the Board are due on April 30th.

Information packets for candidates are available from the District Clerk at 5 Homeside Lane.

Four seats will be available in this year’s election. Three are for three-year terms of office, effective July 1, 2003, and the fourth will fill a vacated seat, (Peter Bassano is currently serving for Richard Bernstein who resigned in July of 2002), for the period from May 21st, 2003 through June 30th, 2004. The candidate who receives the smallest number of votes will receive the shorter term.

Members of the Board up for reelection are Michelle Tratoros, Donna McLaughlin, Dorothy Schere, and Peter Bassano, should they decide to run.

Candidates for the Board must be United States citizens, 18 years of age or more, and residents of White Plains for at least one year. Petitions, included in the packet, must be signed by 100 qualified voters.

Registration, for qualified voters new to the city, or those who are not
registered with the Westchester County Board of Elections, will take place on Saturday, May 3rd, Noon to 5 P.M., at Mamaroneck Avenue School, Nosband Avenue. Residents who have moved within the city since they last voted may change their voting address at that time.

Absentee ballots will be available by application to the District Clerk.

For further information, call Michele Schoenfeld, 422-2071.

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