Buchwald on People to Be Heard Tonight at 8 on the Con Ed NYSEG Response and What Can Be Done Looking Forward on FIOS CH. 45, ALTICE-CABLEVISION CH. 76

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John Bailey and Assemblyman David Buchwald  District 93, which includes the towns of Bedford, Harrison, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, New Castle, North Castle, North Salem, and White Plains NY USA May 25

ON YOUTUBE NOW:

 
 
whiteplainsweek.com link is
 

JOHN BAILEY INTERVIEWS 

ASSEMBLYMAN DAVID BUCHWALD 

ON

THE ROAD AHEAD FOR FIXING HOW UTILITIES HANDLE DISASTERS

WHAT’S BEING PLANNED.

WHAT PUBLIC LEADERS WANT

WHAT THE STATE COULD DO

HOW UTILITY REFORM MOVES AHEAD 

IF PUBLIC SERVICE DOES NOTHING– WHO BELLS THE CAT? PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION MIGHT DO IT AND MAYBE NOT.

ON WESTCHESTER’S MOST RELEVANT INTERVIEW PROGRAM

PEOPLE TO BE HEARD

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David Buchwald in the White Plains TV Studios May 25

8 PM –CH 45 FIOS, CH 76 ALTICE-CABLEVISION

AND ON

www.wpcommunitymedia.org

AND YOUTUBE

 
whiteplainsweek.com link is
 
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County Executive Latimer Appoints Director of Energy Conservation and Sustainability. Conversion of County Motor Vehicles to All Electric Planned

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Department of Communications. June 7, 2018:

Westchester County Executive George Latimer announced the appointment of Peter McCartt, one of many talented individuals who have joined Latimer’s administration to move Westchester County forward. McCartt has been tapped as the new Director of Energy Conservation and Sustainability.

Latimer said: “I am proud to name Peter McCartt as a key member of my team, who brings a wealth of experience on the environment, energy conservation and sustainability. Peter will be charged with rolling out many important initiatives, including launching a County-wide food scrap recycling program, upgrading the County’s fleet to electric vehicles and working with the sound shore communities and rivertowns to ensure our waterways are protected.”

 

McCartt said: “I am honored and excited to be taking on this new position. There is a lot of work to be done to bring the County up to the high standards held by my friends in the environmental advocacy community. I feel deeply obligated to them and to our children.  There are a great many assets within and outside this government, and I am up to the task of utilizing these valued resources of committed volunteers and professionals. The time is now to save green by being green, it just makes cents.”

 

McCartt has had a long and successful business career, with a focus over the last 12 years on the environment, energy conservation and sustainability fronts. He is responsible for the creation of several successful organizations and programs across the County, including Sustainable Westchester, Inc., Eastchester’s Environmental Committee, Friends of Twin Lakes and the Southern Westchester Energy Action Consortium. McCartt has been named United Way’s “Volunteer of the Year” for his work on environmental issues in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam, and has been cited for his distinguished public service to our region.

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County Board Approves Funding for 56-unit Mount Hope Zion in Eastview Neighborhood Senior Affordable Housing Project

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WPCNR COUNTY CLARION LEDGER. From the Westchester County Board of Legislators. June 7, 2018:

A project to create 56 new units of affordable housing for seniors in White Plains is moving forward after unanimous approval by the Westchester County Board of Legislators Monday night.

The long-in-the-works project is Mount Hope Plaza at 65 Lake Street in White Plains which will create affordable housing units for seniors 62 years and older.

The apartments will be available to seniors whose household incomes are no more than 50% or 60% of the area median income, depending on the size of the apartment.

On Monday, the Board unanimously approved the county’s acquisition of the .75-acre site for $2.1 million dollars.

The county will transfer the property to the Mount Hope Community Development Corporation with the stipulation that the housing built there remain affordable for at least 50 years.

Further funding from the project principally will come from New York State sources. The county has not agreed to finance the project.

The site has been considered by church as a location for affordable housing since 1972 according the pastor of the church in a LoHud article on this project which was introduced to the Common Council in February 2017.

“This is a dream project,” said Board Chair Ben Boykin (D – Harrison, Scarsdale, White Plains). “It will offer the truly affordable housing for seniors that the county so desperately needs, with all the best possible attributes for this kind of project: a park across the street; shopping, restaurants and services in downtown White Plains less than half a mile away; and mass transit accessibility with a Bee-Line bus stop nearby and a Metro North train stop just a mile away.  These are the kinds of projects we need more of in Westchester County and I’m thrilled to see it moving forward.”

The county, the City of White Plains and Mt. Hope AME Zion Church – which currently owns the site — have worked together for years with other local religious institutions, community members, and housing advocates in planning the project.

But the county played a pivotal role in shepherding the project through the early stages of the development process.

 

The Rev. Dr. Gregory Robeson Smith, pastor of Mount Hope AME Zion Church, said, “Providing truly affordable housing is not a mission, it’s a mandate — to maintain sustainable communities and provide for continued, effective quality of life for those in need.   We are excited and very appreciative about the Mt. Hope partnership with Westchester County government and the City of White Plains.  This is how it can and will work, and it’s only the beginning — from a little acorn, a mighty oak can grow.”

 

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CNA FORUM TUESDAY ON DEVELOPMENT ISSUES, AIRBNB LODGING, LIME BIKES

WPCNR CNA NEWS. From the Council of Neighborhood Associations. June 6, 2018:

The June Meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 7:30 pm at Education House, 5 Homeside Lane, White Plains, NY.

The meeting will be a Roundtable on three topics of concern for our neighborhoods: Airbnb, White Plains’ new Dockless Bike Sharing Program, and the spread of new high-rise construction outward from City Center to suburban neighborhoods.

Bike share, Airbnb, new constructionAIRBNB

Airbnb is an online broker for short-term lodging rentals and leases, for travel experiences such as tours, walks, concerts, workshops, etc., and for restaurant reservations.

What is disruptive about its business model is that most of the lodging is leased or rented from unlicensed, private individuals offering a room or suite in their house or apartment or sometimes the use of their entire house.

Hotels lose bookings, cities lose tax revenue, and neighbors get unexpected and sometimes unwanted transients. Have you used Airbnb? Should it be permitted in White Plains? Should it be regulated by the City?

DOCKLESS BIKE SHARING
Another segment of the sharing economy debuted in White Plains on Monday, June 4, when two app-driven dockless bike sharing companies — LimeBike and ofo — put 300 two-wheelers on City streets at $1 a ride.

What’s different about the new program is that at the end of the ride, bikes can be parked almost anywhere. The City sees Metro North commuters using dockless bikes and existing bike lanes to scoot to the station on time.

Naysayers see vehicular traffic slowed by bikers, pedestrians tripping over hastily “dropped” bikes, and vandals sabatoging the program, as happened in Yonkers where bikes were tossed in the Saw Mill River. What do you think about the program? It costs taxpayers nothing or does it?

HIGH-RISE CONSTRUCTION AND URBAN SPRAWL
A number of new high-rise apartment complexes have been reccently completed, are under construction, or are planned for the near future in White Plains.

These include 52 Broadway, 65 Lake Street, Broadstone White Plains, 440 Hamilton Avenue, 1 Dekalb Avenue, 121 Westmoreland Avenue (Norden Lofts), 136 Westmoreland Avenue, 55 Bank Street (The Continuum), 60 South Broadway (The Pavilion), and 95 South Broadway and 4 Lyon Place (The Esplanade). The newer projects bring traffic, noise, and congestion to neighborhoods once dominated by single family homes and open land. For the City, urban sprawl promises relief from a disproportionate reliance on the City sales tax and nuisance revenues. For residents, the sprawl signifies an unwelcome change in the quality of life.

The meeting will be a Neighborhood Roundtable for WPCNA delegates, residents and the public. We hope to facilitate a healthy dialog to better understand the issues, opinions and ideas coming out of our neighborhoods. We all look forward to your input.

The meeting is open to the public — bring your friends and neighbors — and will start promptly at 7:30 pm. Light refreshments will be served.

This is sure to be a lively evening so please come early to allow time for audience participation and networking.

NOTE:

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Legislators Are STILLLLLL Looking for Answers on Storm Response from Con Ed, NYSEG. No Specifics on How they are improving Communications, Addressing “Broken” Mutual Aid. More Talks to Come. Boykin Says He is “Disappointed” with Con Ed Testimony

 

Still Looking for Concrete Answers After Monday Showdown: County Board of Legislators Majority Whip MaryJane Shimsky, Majority Leader Catherine Parker, Chair Ben Boykin, Vice Chair Alfreda Williams. 

WPCNR THE POWER STORY. From the Westchester County Board of Legislators. June 6, 2018 (EDITED):

While County Legislators did get responses to some of their previously unanswered questions on Consolidated Edison and New York State Electric & Gas utilities performance during March and May storms, after the meeting, Board Chair Ben Boykin (D – Harrison, Scarsdale, White Plains) called the lack of specific plans for improving the reliance on help from far-away utilities in response to storms “disappointing.”

Legislators intend to hold further meetings with the companies, including inviting CEOs to answer questions from the Board.

The meeting was a follow-up to a March 19 meeting at which representatives agreed to return answer questions that had been left unanswered and to address other necessary steps to improve storm response.

“Mutual aid is broken,” said Boykin. “The current system only seems to guarantee the residents of Westchester at least a three-day black-out until line workers begin arriving from far away. There is too much reliance on mutual aid and just not enough locally-based experienced utility staff who can jump right into work tackling downed poles and wires.”
He added, “We certainly didn’t hear from Con Ed and NYSEG today how communications systems will be dramatically improved over the disastrous track record from the March Nor’easters and the May 15th storm.“

Legislators Mike Kaplowitz (D – New Castle, Somers, Yorktown) and Kitley Covill (D – Bedford, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, North Salem, Pound Ridge, Somers), ripped into NYSEG for the company’s choice not to reimburse customers for losses of food after extended power outages – a decision Kaplowitz called “outrageous.”

Covill also noted that NYSEG requested mutual aid in the early days of storm preparation but none came, a fact that was revealed in records the company filed last month with the New York State Public Service Commission, as an illustration that mutual aid does not work.

The two legislators also repeated their call for an independent assessment of NYSEG’s electric delivery operations paid for by the company but conducted by an investigator the County would choose.  Kaplowitz also faulted NYSEG for failing to conduct cost/benefit analyses of burying overhead wire or replacing poles with sturdier ones, and for its five-year tree trimming cycle.   
Legislator Margaret Cunzio (C – Mount Pleasant, North Castle, Pleasantville) faulted Con Ed for its tree trimming program which leaves wires running through cutaways in the center of some trees, as well as for the lack of a master plan for the preventive replacement of aging transformers and poles, an item also mentioned by Majority Leader Catherine Parker (D – Harrison, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Rye).

Parker additionally took exception with the companies’ repeated claims that nobody predicted the first March storm would be as bad as it was, citing a local newspaper report from days before the storm warning of a large scale nor’easter – essentially a category 1 hurricane.

Legislators said they would be forwarding the results of their meetings with the companies to the New York State Public Service Commission, which is currently investigating the utilities’ recent storm response.

“We take this very seriously as representatives of the people of Westchester,” Boykin said.
UTILITIES ON THE CARPET:  Leg. Terry Clements; Con Ed’s Jason Litwack, Steve Parisi, Kyle Kimball; NYSEG’s Patricia Nilsen, Cindy Chadwick; CREDIT: Jaevon Boxhill.

 

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TODAY, 74 YEARS AGO, THOUSANDS FACED FORMIDABLE FIRE TO RID THE WORLD OF THE NAZI TERROR. TYRANNY. HATRED. D-DAY. 1944.

 

D-Day-Remembrances

WPCNR MILESTONES. June 6, 2018: 

It is 74 years today since allied troops died and lived on Normandy’s beaches in France in the largest military operation in history to turn the tide against Nazi Germany, the ultimate evil Third Reich.

It is a day to remember, reflect. Examine ourselves. Would we have the courage those men and women did?

I thought in preparing my simple news program yesterday, what kind of a visual should I put up to remember those brave who faced massive, withering fire hitting them and killing them instantly on those beaches? Should it be the sobering pictures of the wounded? The sobering lineups of  corpses in the sand? The overhead awe-inspiring photographs of the landing?

I chose this: thousands of crosses to remember who died together fighting tyranny and evil because you must always fight tyranny and evil and hate together. You cannot negotiate with it. There is no excuse for it.

The crosses are all the same. There are thousands of them in graveyards like the one shown here. The legacy of spent humanity, all the same in death, united in death no matter their nationality, creed, religion.  Next time you hear the speeches of hate and prejudice and superiority, please remember this picture and this day.

Seventy four years ago this morning, thousands of troops stormed the beaches in Normandy, France in the largest invasion in history.The bloody assault against a heavily defended coastline, requiring incredible courage and sacrifice by allied troops, landing craft, paratroops, signalled the beginning of the end of the Third Reich and the evil regime of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany.The quiet beaches of Normandy today. The hundreds of rows of white crosses in cemeteries around the little town bear silent eternal vigil to the sacrifice of those brave men and women who fought, died, and triumphed this day 74 years ago today.

 

We can in no way, or through any motion picture know what any veteran experienced that day. The veterans who still are with us do not like to talk about their combat experiences. And they do not.

One veteran of D-Day, asked what he thought of Saving Private Ryan, the movie of a few years ago depicting the landing and the realism of it, said the real D-Day was worse. However, veterans we have interviewed remark that they think of their combat experience every day. It is always with them.

The great battle was at its height this morning. Horror. Hell. Suffering beyond imagination.

It is inconceivable to me that I could ever be able to do what these men and women did. I would like to hope I could have. However, the veterans have.

They left ordinary lives as teenagers office workers, factory workers, farmers, accountants, and what have you and were able to go to war and “rise to the occasion,” or as they say today, “step it up to the next level.” The highest level.

Few of them are left now. But today their sacrifices should be remembered.

 

 

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COUNTY LEGISLATURE RAISES AGE TO PURCHASE TOBACCO PRODUCTS TO 21. BILL AWAITS COUNTY EXEC SIGNATURE

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Board of Legislators Communications Director. June 5, 2018:

The Westchester County Board of Legislators has voted to raise the age limit for the sale of tobacco and related products in Westchester from 18 to 21.

The measure will prohibit the sale not only of cigarettes and tobacco products but also e-cigarettes and vaping products to those under 21.

The measure passed Monday night on a bipartisan basis by a vote of 16-1

Westchester is just the latest local municipality to raise the age for tobacco sales.  Earlier this month, the town of New Castle raised the age there to 21.  Last month Rockland County did the same.  New York City established 21 as its age limit in 2013.

Many counties across New York have already established 21 as the tobacco-sales age limit – from Cattaraugus in Western New York to Schenectady County upstate to Onondaga County in Central New York to Suffolk County on Long Island.

Lawmakers believe the new measure will dramatically reduce the number of new smokers and the likelihood of new addictions to vaping products, some of which have a higher nicotine content than cigarettes.

Board Chair Ben Boykin (D-Harrison, Scarsdale, White Plains) said, “This measure will protect the health of young people in Westchester, not only those ages 18 to 21 but also younger people who are more likely to have an 18 or 19-year-old willing to buy them tobacco and nicotine products in their social circles. This is especially important with the explosive growth of high-nicotine vaping among middle schoolers and high schoolers today.”

The measure now goes to County Executive George Latimer for his signature.

 

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City Adds DOCKLESS Bicycle Rentals to Downtown

WPCNR MAIN STREET JOURNAL. From City of White Plains. June 5, 2018:

The Common Council adopted a dockless bike share ordinance in March. The ordinance creates a one-year pilot program and authorizes the City to establish a permit process through which dockless bike share operators can operate within the city.

The ordinance includes detailed operating standards as well as standards for the bikes themselves. Permitted operators will be able to deploy up to 150 bikes in the first 30 days of operation. Additional bikes would need the approval of the City.

The operators will be responsible for maintaining their fleet of bikes and for “rebalancing” the bikes around the city on a regular basis. Because these bikes are “dockless” they do not need to be parked in a docking station at the end of a ride (think CitiBike in NYC).

The dockless bikes can be parked in any bike rack, painted bike parking area, or any other legal and appropriate place for a bike to park (For ex, Just like regular bikes, bikeshare bikes cannot block pedestrian access to the sidewalk, accessibility ramps, or entrances to public or private property. Neither can they block vehicular access to the street.).

“We applaud Mayor Roach for building on his record of supporting transportation on two wheels by introducing dockless bike share to the city. Under his leadership, White Plains has also expanded its bike lane network and installed bicycle racks in key areas, such as near the Metro North Station. We are thrilled to begin serving this community with our affordable, accessible and sustainable mode of transportation,” said Anna Wan Christie, ofo’s General Manager for New York.

Gil Kazimirov, Lime New York General Manager said, “We’re excited to bring Lime’s subsidyfree bikesharing solution to a city that is already heavily invested in the safety and mobility of their residents. Our bikes will help the entire White Plains community take advantage of the City’s expanding bike lane infrastructure by offering a sustainable, healthy, and affordable way for people to get around.”

Dockless bike share is easy to use and is an affordable transportation option. Watch for Lime and ofo at upcoming community events. Representatives will be on hand to help introduce the bikes to residents and workers alike.

About ofo: Founded in 2014, ofo is the world’s original and largest station-free bicycle-sharing platform. ofo was created for sharing and aims to unlock every corner of the world by making bikes accessible to everyone. To date, ofo has connected users to more than 15 million bikes in over 300 cities across 22 countries, generated more than 32 million daily transactions and has provided over 250 million global users with 7 billion efficient, convenient and green rides. To learn more, visit www.ofo.com.

About Lime: Lime is revolutionizing mobility in cities and campuses by empowering residents with a greener, more convenient, and affordable transportation option that also improves urban sustainability. By partnering with local key stakeholders and systematically deploying a fleet of smart-bikes that are enabled with GPS, wireless technology, and self-activating locks, Lime is improving how residents move around their communities by making the first and last mile faster, cheaper, and healthier for riders. Learn more at www.limebike.com.

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WHITE PLAINS WEEK INSTANTLY ON YOUTUBE AND WHITE PLAINS WEEK DOT COM — ON THE CITY BUDGET, THE ASSEMBLY POWER HEARING, BUCHWALD ON WHAT’S AHEAD

1-opener-ANNIVERSARY

YOUTUBE:
the whiteplainsweek.com link is

THIS WEEK:

THE CITY BUDGET

THE FREE PARKING ON HOLIDAYS THAT’S NOT FREE.

THE BIG HEARING ON POWER RESPONSE

THE MAYOR STRONGLY DEFENDS THE CITY BUDGET.

WORRY ABOUT REVENUES — BUT CONFIDENT!

MGM RESORTS TO BUY EMPIRE CITY YONKERS CASINO

BURKE REHAB LAUNCHES THERAPEUTIC CENTER.

AND MORE.

AND THE INTERNET AT

www.wpcommunitymedia.org

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PUBLIC HEARING HELD BY STATE ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE AT MICHAELIAN BUILDING NOW ON STATE ASSEMBLY WEBSITE AS OF THURSDAY A.M. INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO FIND IT IN FOLLOWING ARTICLE

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The opening of the May 29  Public Hearing of the State Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions Tuesday at 10 A.M  on the subject of storm response by utilities. It was not streamed on the internet on either the State Assembly website which gave NO instructions on their website on how to see the live stream or streamed live the Westchester Government website. This morning the complete video of the hearing was posted on the Assembly website, 48 hours after it happened, with again NO INSTRUCTION on the Assembly Main Page where to see the video, not even a photo and headline.

WPCNR THE POWER STORY. By John F. Bailey. May 31, 2018 UPDATED 3:35 PM EDT:

The public hearing that lasted 7-1/2 hours Tuesday held to ascertain the extent of the failure of area power companies to restore power across Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, and Putnam counties and points north for two weeks is now available for viewing on the New York State Assembly website.

Since this morning, WPCNR has learned  through an informed source who was watching it that the Assembly did stream it live, but there was no instruction Tuesday morning on the  NY Assembly Site Homepage, the source said. They also noted that less than 100 persons were viewing the stream at the time.

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Westchester County Executive George Latimer addressing the Public Hearing Tuesday.

It me be of interest to Westchester residents and across the state, since this hearing was not streamed live by Westchester County government existing streaming technology, which they do for proceedings in that Michaelian Building Legislative chamber on virtually a daily basis.

To compound this inexplicable failure to communicate of how to see coverage  an important hearing on the Westchester.gov website, the hearing was not streamed live on the New York State Assembly website.

I know that because I looked for it at 10:30 AM on the Assembly website and it was not there. It was not there. If it was being streamed, there is no way you could discover how to find it. When I punched  the “Watch Live” button on the Assembly Home Page, I got a bunch of pictures with no promo of the current stream whatsoever. So either the assembly team had started it late. The Assembly Press Office has not responded to WPCNR for an explanation of this communications gaffe.

The hearing, also I am told by a responsible media person who was there was not covered by the local press or the New York metropolitan area outlets while it was live. No cameras were observed by the media expert contacted by WPCNR

There was also no coverage yesterday in the news outlets, paper or electronic. Where was the New York Times? The most crucial local story in the last month ignored by all the news fit to print.

Inquiries to Westchester County Board of Legislators Chair Benjamin Boykin, and the county press office as to whether the New York State Assembly denied Westchester County the live televising of the hearing have not been responded to.

The Assembly press officer contacted yesterday afternoon by WPCNR did not respond when asked when the Assembly would be finished posting the 7-1/2 hour hearing. I do note however it is up this morning. Good work, Assembly!  It only took 48 hours.

The media source WPCNR spoke with yesterday said the State Assembly had brought in their own streaming equipment and crew to record the meeting.

So to catch you up on this hearing, here is where you can find it on the New York Assembly website.

The link to the public hearing is not splashed on the front  Assembly Homepage, as if they almost don’t want you to look at it.

I mean if used taxpayer dollars to record something for 7 and a half hours I would think you would ballyhoo that. Splash it on the front page of the website. I would if I wanted you to see your state assembly at work.

The Assembly press office also did not respond to the WPCNR question asking if the assembly denied Westchester government the right to stream live from their own chamber.

Finding the video on the New York State Assembly is difficult. so here is how to find it, step-by-step:

1. Paste this in your browser:

http://nyassembly.gov/av/hearings/

2. In upper right hand corner of the website page, Click on

Video Camera Icon  with the words “Watch Live” near the Facebook icon in the upper right.

You will be presented with the “Assembly Proceedings” Page, and in the center you will see a pic entitled “Committee Hearings”.

Click on that Committee Hearings  photo and you will be taken to the video list, the hearing you want is this one entitled, and click on MP4 Video. It has all 7-1/2 hours of this marathon hearing.

5-29-18 Public Hearing on the Response of Utilities to Winter Storms in the Hudson Valley May 30, 2018 07h 01m Agenda Video MP3 Audio MP4 Vid

 

In the first 20 Minutes you will hear Amy Paulin of the 88th Assembly District, Chair of the County Board of Legislators, Benjamin Boykin, David Buchwald, Assemblyman.

County Executive George Latimer repeats his demand that the Public Service Commission examine and evaluate the mutual disaster aid plan the utilities now use (sending for convoys of equipment and crews from out of state) and that has failed repeatedly to restore Westchester County in a timely manner in storm after storm the last 18 years.

Also of note is the  Public Service concerns in which their representative seems to be indicating according to a person who caught the testimony that their jurisdiction may not enable them to demand changes of the utility procedures that it is a matter of the state legislature to consider.

 

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