County Executive Latimer will Take a Hard Look at Impacts of County Legisalature Bill BANNING vape and flavored Tobacco Products before possible signing.

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WPCNR COUNTY CLARION LEDGER. By John F. Bailey. November 29, 2022:

Monday evening the Westchester County Board of Legislators passed a bill that in effect would ban sale of “vape” and flavored tobacco products in Westchester County.

This morning on his weekly report on WVOX 1460 radio on the Dennis and Tonny Good Morning Westchester program, Westchester County Executive George Latimer said he and his staff would be analyzing the economic impacts of the ban as well as other unrelated economic issues, and indicated he was not committed to sign the bill  until those factors were examined.

The County Executive said he had 10 days to sign the bill into law.

Dennis Nardone, the morning show asked him why the bill was being considered when persons could go New York City Connecticut and other neighboring areas to buy the possible to be banned products or by mail. Mr. Latimer did not comment on the merits of the bill or the widespread availability of the products , but said he reserved judgment before he and his staff had analyzed the economic impact.

A two hour hearing was held November 14 by the County Board of Legislators to gather public comment on the ban.

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12,000 Cases of Covid Possible in Week before Christmas in Westchester. 38th consecutive week of 1,000 new Covid Cases. 30% MORE CASES of Covid than November of Last Year (1,214 MORE Ahead)

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WPCNR CORONA VIRUS SURVEILLANCE. From the New York State Covid 19 Tracker. Observation and Analysis by John F. Bailey. November 28, 2022. UPDATED 1:15 p.m. EST:

WESTCHESTER COUNTY spread covid in November at a rate that will produce 5, 500 new cases by the week before Christmas.

IF the rate Westchester residents are spreading the disease spreads it any faster than it is now, (1 person infected– infecting 2 others), the county will likely see 12,000 infections by the week leading up to Christmas duplicating last year’s December wave.

Westchester is spreading covid at a positive rate of 8.6% postive rate, more than New York City rate.

(Editor’s Note: Saturday new Westchester covid cases were reported at noon today: 148 new persons were lab-tested verified with covid Saturday in Westchester giving the county 1,379 cases for the week ending November 26, giving this November 5,288 cases compared to last November 2021 total of 4,074. That means covid this November is spreading at 30% more than covid last year at this time (when there was no vaccine!) WPCNR congratulates New York State Covid Tracker faithfully reporting the day by day issuance of covid cases over the Thanksgiving holiday to keep citizens up to date on new cases on the ground.)

With Saturday new cases of covid to be reported today, Westchester County Lab-verified persons testing positive for covid Friday pushed County new cases to 1,231 for the 6 days ended Friday November 26.

The 1,214 cases reported the end of the second week of November infected 1,460 persons through Friday. The rate at which those 1,214 persons spread the disease to 1,460 others was 1 new person with covid two weeks ago passed through personal contact to 2 others.

Persons who came down with the disease in the last two weeks caught it faster (if you caught covid on a weekend, results showed the last two weeks that midweek new positive persons rose Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursdays and for the first time Friday new infections verified by Lab Friday hit 188, for the first time since November 4.

Top Line: The disease is infecting faster, and regenerating strong new infections in the middle of the week. Look at these numbers last week:

Monday the 21st: 237; Tuesday, the 22nd: 289: Wednesday the 23: 220; Thursday the 24: 134; Friday, the 25th: 188.

As people socializing over the last three days interacted over the Thanksgiving holiday in Westchester County it remains to be seen how cases will go up from the trend WPCNR sees now.

Officials are not telling people what is happening. They are not isolating or tracing whom these positives infected that we know of. No hot spots are being addressed.

Westchester and the Mid-Hudson region, Nassau and Suffolk are spreading the disease at a rate of 65% positives of tests lab-verified which is higher than New York City percentage of positives (9.2%) with New York City having 3,755,983 Million people(total population 8,930,002) more than the 9 surrounding counties which have combined population of 5,174,019.

The disease is spreading.

Authorities are unable apparently to create a ratio of how many persons testing positive with antigen self-tests are going to get lab-confirmed tests.

There appears to be significant lag between lab positives and the weekly totals of lab verified tests compared to the percentage rates of positive tests creating a gap (meaning more cases than have been actually lab-verified)

Why do I believe this is the case?

The Westchester rate of daily infections last week based on lab-verified tests reported by the state said Westchester County averaged 19.4 daily cases a week on Friday per 100,000 people. Westchester has 1,004,457 Million persons.

This means each day last week persons last week tested positive, 966 a week, which if the disease spread continues at that rate means 3,864 in a month.

So far in November 2022 we have 4,040 new cases. So we are already there at the 4,000 level a month now.

IF we spread from 1 to 2 persons, this means in one month the week of Christmas we will have 8,100 cases, just 4,000 less than the week before Christmas last year.

Through 6 days of last week we see a 8.3 infection rate on tests which if you extended to higher testing levels, you will see more infections. Does this mean not enough people are using antigen tests or worse, if positive, not reporting them or verifying with a lab?

Westchester has spread previously on a 1 new infected covid person spreading to 1 person. Now in the last two weeks we have seen that go up to 1 infected covid person spreading to 2.. It leads me to believe the spread rate has to be kept in mind.

We have to stay safer folks and only we can do that. Incomplete vaccinations need to be finished.

In New York City there was little masking that I saw. It is important to test yourself. and If positive, do not socialize or hug children, or best stay home.

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WPCNR NEWS AND COMMENT By John F. Bailey. (reprinted from November, 2001) UPDATED. November 22, 2022:

Someone made a big mistake this year. The papers this morning have no reference to the day John F. Kennedy was shot and killed. 

He was gunned down in the streets of Dallas like the 5 young people gunned down in Colorado Springs.

Today is the day in Dallas 59 years ago when President John F. Kennedy was shot riding in his motorcade in front of the Texas Book Depository Building. Just about 59 years ago to the hour: 12:30 Dallas Time

November 22,  1963. A most unfortunate coincidence that someone should have noticed.

Fifty-nine years ago today at about midday eastern standard time, President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas, Texas.

When I heard the news, I was heading up the steps of  Gray Chapel at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. It was sobering news. Then within the hour it was reported that the President was dead, and the search was on for potential suspects.

It was the first time in my life a national event had ever affected me.

Persons in their late 60s can probably remember exactly what they were doing when they heard that electrifying news.

Disbelief. Concern. Sadness.

Who would shoot the President?  How could they? The President no matter who he was was revered and respected at that time — not ridiculed, mocked, vilified, and criticised for his every move as he is today.

President Kennedy’s popularity was ebbing at that time. The public was initially inspired by the vision of Camelot and the likable, energetic young president. However, by the time he was assassinated, President Kennedy was coming under harsh criticism for his foreign policy and his inability to move an agenda through congress.

He was ridiculed by impressionists and pushed around by congressional heavyweights — eerily not too much different from our President today.

When Kennedy was shot, the American public, even those who disagreed with his politics and considered him in over his head in the presidency, were stunned by grief and horror.

Nothing had happened like that in America since 1901 when President William McKinley was assassinated.

An entire nation reflected in guilt for a week as the three television networks showed 24 hours a day assassination and funeral coverage. Walter Cronkite shed a tear on camera when he reported Kennedy was dead.

There is no “guilt” today. Instead each shooting. Each vile statement from a politician about gay people, immigrants, crime, inflation fans hate and worry.

Until the Trade Center Horror in 2001, this nation had not experienced anything on that national scale of reaction to an event.

Were we a more sensitive nation then? More sensitive to what killing actually is? I wonder. In the fast-moving sensationalism of news today, would the same sensitivity be there today?

Or, have we been hardened to violence, and do we now see violence as more of an acceptable solution to problems than to be avoided at all costs? Yes, we do. Politicans — and you know who you are — do.

It seems so. With disgruntled misfits just taking guns and shooting innocent people on a weekly basis.

I remember how Americans sat mesmerized in front of their televisions as the Kennedy goodbye played out.

I remember, too how Kennedy’s death swiftly paved the way for the landmark Civil Rights act of 1965, legislated by Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon B. Johnson. That legislation, without Kennedy’s assassination would probably never have been passed. I believe it passed because of collective guilt over Kennedy’s demise.

For 59 years, politicians, when their charisma is measured, have always been compared to Mr. Kennedy.

However, charisma does not get things done.

Does not make for change by itself. It is nice but it achieves nothing unless you have some solid ideas, management skills, and are willing to work hard for it.

Even, then, as a recent Kennedyesque President, Barack Obama found out, it may not happen.

However, the political rancor and hysterical hatred of our President  Obama that was expressed in the Republican debates, on talk radio and by candidates who should know better one year ago created an atmosphere of disrespect for then President Obama and the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton exceeded even that aimed at George W. Bush.

The lack of respect for President Trump today has created an atmosphere that is far more dangerous for the President and the country  than we can ever tell.

Mr. Trump polarized the nation into two warring camps with unprecedented name-calling, purely nasty, hurtful policies towards minorities and immigrants, and planned takeaways of health care, and blatant giveaways to robber barons on poshly covered crags in concrete canyons.

The toxicity against the Presidents, both Obama and now President Trump (though much is of Mr. Trump’s own immaturity and inability to manage) has been further inflamed by the whining of rich little brat Mitt Romney who has been given everything he wanted and bought everything else except the Presidency. His comments after losing to President Obama years ago alluding to what was needed was revolution to change things were historic as well as despicable. And dangerous.

It was a rich boy’s whining. It was reckless and immature. No defeated presidential candidate has ever made remarks like that. Even Al Gore when he lost the election did not, to my memory come out and call for revolution. Romney’s petulance showed the voters saw right through this Guy Smiley of a candidate they in their guts knew the phoney he was. He continues to be the phoney. Not voting with his conscience but his party.

Romney’s comments two years ago to his donors, were echoed by  Michael Steele’s statement about Emperor Obama and his “reign of lawlessness” is exactly the sort of talk that paved the way for the Republican campaign of hatred in 2016. It was irresponsible of Romney and Steele.

A losing Presidential candidate has one job, unite behind the new leader. Romney is the only President in my memory ever to act this way. Donald Trump was the second. Now these tactics were used again in 2022.

Elon Musk is reinstating those great humanitarians, Donald Trump and Marjorie Taylor Green to Twitter to save his worst investment ever.

Memo to America: the rich are never out to help you. They always act in their self-interest. Every charitable gift is a tax deduction from the negligible taxes they pay. They also love interns working for them for free. They want you to buy into their IPOS then go bankrupt and you lose it all–I can hardly wait for the Cryptos to go under….what kind of bailout will those shellbanks get?

The Republicans’ inability to compromise stalled the nation on recovery, immigration, health care…you name the issue, the Republican Party has stalled progress in their frantic effort to roll back the clock to the 1800s. And smoking big cigars and drinking expensive whisky, they are ready to do it again in January.

We should always remember The Republicans’ whining. Bullies always whine. Fixers always are sore losers.

Ideas and rhetoric are one thing, but to vilify the President on the scale of what we heard in 2016 was irresponsible. Because the disgraceful hate was listened to by persons across the country who suddenly got the “OK” from Republican candidates and “leaders” that it was ok to hate, to blame America’s problems on immigrants, and trade policies, and ignore science.

When “educated” leaders (if they ever graduated) in congress endorse the policies of hate and punishment people can be OK with that. Leaders are giving people license to hate and hurt, discriminate, exploit, and build up themselves at the expense of others and do not forget..kill.

So when you sit down to turkey Thursday give a thought to be thankful for a nation that once did not rise up in arms whenever a leader is elected that a portion of the populace does not like.

Be thankful that the American people once spoke and felt as one, and hopefully will learn to do so again even though we disagree.

I hope so.

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WPCNR CORONAVIRUS SURVEILLANCE. Statistics from NY State Covid Tracker. Observations and Analysis by John F. Bailey. November 22, 2022:

Ending Saturday, Westchester recorded its 37th consecutive week (going back to March 1 , 2022 of 1,000 new covid cases in a week with 1,339 last week.

THE FIRST 3 WEEKS OF NOVEMBER 2022 IN COVID: 1,339 cases last week, with vaccines! Last week ended Saturday was the 37th consecutive week of 1,000 new covid cases a week

In  the week of November 14 to 20,  2021, when there were no vaccines available the total infections for the week was 1,041–298 persons less than last week in Westchester County– 1,339 infections last week.

 The average number of cases last Nov 14-20 was 148 a day, (with no vaccines in any arms).

Last week in Westchester the infections of 1,339 mean 192 persons a day were  testing positive (lab-verified).

The infection rate of Westchester residents testing positive last week was 6% compared to a 2% infection rate the month of November 2021. Why is the infection rate more now with vaccines?

Persons are not getting vaccinated fully. They are not going in for boosters. And most of all society has gone back normal. Few wear masks. Masks are not required wearing in school, or restaurants. Socialization is burgeoning.

It would do well to remember that we were feeling very good about covid in November 2021. However, the 1,041 cases one year ago, were the first over 1,000 cases numhers turned in by Westchester County since the third week in September. Infections stayed under 1,000 for the full month of October, averaging around 500. Then on the week of November 14-20 , with a 2% infection rate the number hit 1,041 for the week

After that November infections built over Thanksgiving, and the first 3 weeks of December to 12,063 infections the week before Christmas, December 19 to 25:

Sunday: 957; Monday: 825; Tuesday: 1,400; Wednesday:1,800; Thursday: 2,400; Friday: 2,900; Saturday, Christmas Day: 1,900 : 12,063 infections. As you may recall, this set the stage for 26,000 infections in mid January as socializing spread the disease.

Schools spread it too even though we were on a combination of remote and class learning.

Today Westchester is infecting at 192 persons a day. However there is thanks to all of those of you who have completed their full vaccinations and boosters, Westchesterites infected with covid two weeks ago only infected  1 other person. This keeps the spread even. This infection or spread rate as I call it, is derived by dividing 1,339 infections ended last Saturday by the 1,356 infections the week of October 30 through November 5.

This 1 new infection spreading Covid to  1 other person is the positive we take away from this analysis.

My concern though is the the 6% positive rate of lab-certified positives afflicting Westchester. Why? Because there is a difference between the average number of daily new cases in Westchester by population and the number of cases that should produce. If people are not testing or worse not quarantining and socializing when they ignore an antigen self test positive. You could expect the 6% positive going ahead to apply across the board of test quantities.

Last week Westchester averaged 13.2 new daily cases per 100,000 of population. Westchester has 1,004,457 according to the 2020 census.  Multiply 10.04 times 13.2 and you get 1,325 daily cases in Westchester a day, multiply that by 10.4  times and you get 137 cases a day in Westchester County multiply it by 7 times that is  959 a week a little less than the rate we are now at 1,339 a week. You are running  380 above the average number of daily cases a week. Multiply that by 4 weeks from now and you reach 5,356 cases a week by the week before Christmas at the 1 to 1 infection rate.

If the socialization factor goes out of control due to uncaccinated, or not fully vaccinated people stronger covid variants. You are conservatively guessing as low as 5,000 spreading the disease the week before Christmas;

The concern I have, and that is just my opinion, is that the 6% positive rate on lab-certified tests is a possible hidden covid spread.

Here’s why last week’s testing averaged 6% positive a day in Westchester County, but that was based on 3,000 Lab-verified tests a day. That yielded 180 new positives a day 1,260 new positives a day (a 100 less than the actual total of 1,339, which I attribute to persons infected towards the end of previous weeks. Just a note here: infections have been coming faster and higher in the middle of week again for the first three weeks in November, again a commingling factor is at work here.

Suppose we tested 6,000 instead of  2,912 average tests per day last week. Six percent of 6,000 a day is 360 positives a day or 2,520 a week, resulting in 10,080 infections the week before Christmas even the infected new cases continued to spread to only one person;

Make out that we test 10,000, the figure we used to do at the heights of the disease last January, If 6% of Westchester residents testing in a 10,000 universe you get that is 600 a day, 4,200 infections a week, or over 4 weeks,  that is 16,800 new covid cases by Christmas

Now 6% positives on lab-verified tests may go down. It had better;

Remember, socialization with care, masking, and getting shots those of you who have ignored them is essential in keeping that ability to spread only to 1 person or less.

If the unknown gap of how the current 6% positive rate the county is sustaining compares whether spreads at 6% across a whole quantity of tests, is looming big;

Because when persons infected last number were spreading at 2% we produced 12,000 new cases by December 25.

Shots, please. Masks for your own safety. Self test with antigens as Dr. JetelIna advises.

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Crescent Moon at Dawn this morning.

The symbolic meaning of a crescent moon offers hope to the broken-hearted. Whenever you are going through difficult times, the crescent moon is a sign that you should not lose hope. Help is going to come, and you will enjoy your life to the fullest. The crescent moon is a sign that something good is about to happen in your life. The crescent moon is a powerful symbol with a rich history. In many cultures, the crescent moon represents the goddess, the feminine principle and the cycle of life. The crescent moon is often used as a symbol of rebirth and renewal. The meaning of the crescent moon (and all other lunar phases) inspires respect for inner knowledge and insight that comes naturally as opposed to the knowledge we actively seek out throughout life. Much like the moon, we reflect our inner light and knowledge to shine on those around us. The Cycle of Life and the Universe

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By Dr. Katelyn Jetelina November 21, 2022: Reprinted with permission

Happy Thanksgiving week! This is a friendly reminder that although there are a ton of circulating viruses, you and your family can have a healthy gathering while taking care of the larger community (i.e., overflowing hospitals). Here are a few key steps for this week:

If you’re sick today…

There’s a good chance you’ll be contagious on Thursday, regardless the type of virus. I would seriously consider, unfortunately, staying home. The infectious windows for the “triple threat” viruses are as follows:

  • Flu: Contagious for 5-7 days after start of symptoms.
  • RSV: Contagious for 3-8 days after start of symptoms. Some infants and people with weakened immune systems can spread the virus even after they stop showing symptoms, for as long as 4 weeks.
  • COVID-19: We see strong evidence (herehere) that an Omicron infection lasts, on average, 8-10 days. Some people will be infectious for less, and some will be infectious for more. You won’t know unless you test.

Cadence testing (COVID-19)

Cadence testing will help catch false negatives for COVID-19. Antigen tests are not perfect, especially among asymptomatic people, but they can help. (You can expect the average antigen test to catch 44% to 70% of asymptomatic cases).

For cadence testing, it’s best to test tomorrow morning and again on Thursday morning before getting together.

  • Both negative: You’re good to go, especially if you have other measures in place.
  • Positive tomorrow: Bummer. But you could be at the end of your viral journey. Test again on Thursday, but be prepared to cancel.
  • Positive Thursday: Stay at home. Sorry.

Mask before event

Mask everywhere in public for the next four days leading up to the event. Masks work against all respiratory viruses. Be sure to wear a good one (like N95).


On Thursday, get that air moving. Buy a CO2 monitor if you want to ensure good ventilation.

Newborns at event

If you have a newborn (under 6 months), I would be a little more cautious this Thanksgiving. For example, wear your baby in a carrier so that people won’t ask to hold the baby. If you do let people hold them, don’t let them kiss the baby or ask them to wear a mask.

Sick after event?

If you’re over age 65 or high risk, get tested and get an antiviral as soon as possible. We have them for the flu and COVID-19.

For children under 2, sometimes it’s hard to know when and where to get care, and pediatric hospitals are under incredible stress right now. As a mom, I found this interview helpful on what signs to look for. When in doubt, call the pediatrician.

Bottom line

Have a wonderful and healthy Thanksgiving! See you on the flip side.

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WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Department of Communications. November 21, 2022:

Fitch Ratings has assigned ‘AA+’ ratings to bonds issued by Westchester County, and has upgraded the County’s Rating Outlook to Positive from Stable.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “As stated by Fitch, the County’s outlook has been upgraded to ‘Positive’ from ‘Stable’ because of our improved financial operations. This is all done by good strategic planning and budgeting, we have increased the County’s unrestricted general fund balance, bolstering the County’s overall financial resilience.  This is a promise I made on the campaign trail, I will always do right by the people of this County.  We have been able to increase our credit rating and cut taxes – again.”

The rating from S&P is expected this week, Moody’s rating is expected by next week

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Governor Kathy Hochul today updated New Yorkers following the historic winter storm that buried upstate communities in the Buffalo and Watertown areas with more than six feet of snow since Thursday evening.  

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that President Biden approved her request for an Emergency Declaration for Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Lewis, Niagara, Oneida, Oswego, St. Lawrence, Wyoming counties, following the historic winter storm that buried some of New York’s upstate communities with nearly seven feet of snow this past week. Under an Emergency Declaration, direct federal assistance is available for the previously listed counties and FEMA is authorized to provide emergency protective measures for the State that includes search and rescue operations, as well as actions to protect critical infrastructure such as roads and bridges, water control facilities, utilities, and mass transit facilities. At Governor Hochul’s direction, State agencies’ emergency response assets remain on the ground in affected areas of Western New York, Central New York and the North Country, assisting local governments with cleanup and restoration efforts. 

“I thank President Biden for immediately granting our emergency declaration request and for our ongoing strong partnership as well as Senator Schumer for his assistance in securing relief for New Yorkers,” Governor Hochul said. “My team and I will continue working around the clock to keep everyone safe, help communities dig out, and secure every last dollar to help rebuild and recover from this unprecedented, record-shattering historic winter storm.” 

Over the weekend, Governor Hochul submitted a request to the federal government for an Emergency Declaration, which was granted Sunday evening. The last time New York State submitted an Emergency Declaration request for a similar winter storm was in 2014, when it took weeks to grant the request. An Emergency Declaration can be declared for any occasion or instance in which the President determines federal assistance is needed. These declarations supplement State and local efforts in providing emergency services, such as the protection of lives, property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States. Governor Hochul will also ask the federal Small Business Administration to evaluate how it can help small businesses harmed by the storm in the 11 counties and contiguous counties, once state operations transition from response to recovery mode.  

Governor Hochul and New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) Commissioner Jackie Bray encouraged local officials in impacted counties to continue working with their County Emergency Managers to submit any resource needs directly into NY Responds, the state’s web-based system that enables both local governments and state agencies to submit and share vital emergency-related information and resource reque

“Thank you to all Western New Yorkers and our emergency management experts and personnel who continue to show up for each other during this historic winter storm,” Governor Hochul said. “We are working around the clock to keep everyone safe and urge all New Yorkers to stay vigilant and prepared during this potentially life-threatening weather event.”

Prior to the arrival of lake effect snow on Thursday, Governor Hochul declared a State of Emergency for 11 counties and contiguous counties, which remains in effect. Additionally, New York’s emergency management experts have been in constant communication with their local counterparts for days leading up to the event.  

New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, “Thanks to Governor Hochul’s leadership, there has been unprecedented coordination, communication and action taken by state agencies to assist our local counterparts in keeping New Yorkers safe. Eleven counties remain in a State of Emergency and DHSES is working with Governor Hochul to secure federal assistance to help recover from this historic storm.” 

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Office of Emergency Management and Office of Fire Prevention and Control, the Department of Transportation, New York State Police, and Thruway Authority also pre-deployed the following resources to Western New York and the North Country:  

NYS Equipment in Western New York and North Country  

  • 484 large and medium plow trucks  
  • 14 tow plows  
  • 98 large loaders  
  • 24 snow blowers  
  • 39 tracked vehicles (of which 24 are snowmobiles)  
  • 533 generators in the regions  
  • 202 chainsaws in the regions  

NYS Personnel in Western New York and North Country  

  • 1,056 DOT and Thruway operators and supervisors  
  • 142 State Police members  
  • 150 National Guard members  
  • 24 ICS (Incident Command System) personnel  

Snow began to fall in parts of upstate New York on Thursday and as of today, more than six feet of snow was reported in Erie County and Jefferson County, including Hamburg, Blasdell, Orchard Park in Erie County and Natural Bridge in Jefferson County. Throughout this time, these areas experienced a peak of six inches of snowfall an hour, which created extremely dangerous travel conditions. 

The Lake Erie snow band is now south of Erie County in the Southern Tier (Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and Allegany counties). Snowfall totals up to six inches are expected in these locations with snowfall rates of one to two inches per hour. Tonight, the band is forecast to lift north again bringing another one to three inches of snow to the city of Buffalo.  

Gusty winds up to 50 mph are forecast today for many locations, resulting in blowing and drifting snow in the western counties.  

An intense lake effect snow band pushed south of Jefferson County and is impacting southern Lewis, Oswego, and far northern Cayuga counties on Sunday. Oswego County is expected to receive two to three feet of snow through tomorrow morning. Snowfall rates of up to four inches per hour and wind gusts up to 40 mph are possible. 

Governor Hochul and local officials continue to urge New Yorkers to avoid travel in the impacted areas in both regions to continue to allow plow crews and emergency responders to continue  

Federal Emergency Declaration  

The Governor has submitted a request to President Biden for a federal Emergency Declaration for Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Lewis, Niagara, Oneida, Oswego, St. Lawrence, and Wyoming Counties. If approved, the Emergency Declaration will provide access to federal funding for impacted counties to support ongoing response and rescue operations.  

Agency Activities  

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services  

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services is closely monitoring weather and travel conditions, coordinating State agency response operations, and communicating with local governments throughout the event. The State Office of Emergency Management began interagency coordination calls with the National Weather Service on Wednesday to prepare for the impacts of the storm across upstate regions. 

The State’s Emergency Operations Center in Albany was activated on Thursday, as well as a Regional Operations Center in Cheektowaga, Erie County, where DHSES is coordinating field response with State Agency partners including NYSDOT, State Police and the Thruway Authority. Additionally, OEM staff are embedded at the Erie County Emergency Operations Center and command centers for the Towns of Hamburg, Orchard Park, and Evans to support coordination between state and local response. The State’s stockpiles are prepared to deploy assets to local governments to support any storm-related needs.  

The State Office of Fire Prevention and Control assisted with rescuing more than 150 people from trapped vehicles and moving them to safety. State Fire personnel continue to assist local governments with performing wellness checks on residents and structural integrity assessments. 

Department of Transportation 

In Western New York, Route 219 from I-90 to Peters Road is currently closed. Working in coordination with state and local officials, the Department is monitoring conditions and will update the public when these roads are reopened. 

The State Department of Transportation is responding with 3,287 supervisors and operators. Staff can be configured into any type of response crew that is required, including snow and ice operations, drainage, chipper, load and haul, and cut and toss. Additionally, 75 Incident Command System personnel are available to support the event. 

The Department sent additional plows and operators from other regions to Erie County on Friday to further assist with snow and ice removal operations, including on local roads in the Town of Hamburg, the City of Buffalo, the Village of Blasdell and the Town of Orchard Park.  The Department has also helped the City of Niagara Falls with plowing operations on main arterials. DOT plows are also assisting with snow and ice operations on primary routes within the City of Watertown and Village of Black River.   

In addition to existing resources, DOT is bringing in contractor resources to Western NY from Finger Lakes, Central NY, and Western NY. This includes 64 loaders, more than 130 large dump trucks, one skid steer, and about 200 more personnel. 

All residency locations will remain staffed for 24/7 operations throughout the duration of the event and priority cleanup operations. All available snow and ice equipment is ready to deploy. Fleet mechanics in affected areas will be staffing all main residency locations 24/7 to perform repairs and keep trucks on the road. 

Commercial Vehicle Ban 

The commercial vehicle ban remains in place on Route 219 from Route 39 to I-90 – the road remains closed.  On I-81 from Exit 33 to the Canadian border, trucks are still required to use the right lane only.  

DOT has lifted its full commercial vehicle ban at the following locations:   

  • Interstate 190 – Route 62 to I-90  
  • Interstate 290 – full length  
  • Interstate 990 – full length  
  • Route 33 – expressway portion only 
  • Buffalo Skyway Route 5 – full length  
  • Route 400 – full length 

Thruway Authority 

Thruway Authority personnel continue cleanup efforts following the significant lake effect storm with 657 operators and supervisors ready to respond statewide. Thruway has shifted and deployed additional staff and equipment from its New York, Syracuse, and Albany Divisions to support snow and ice operations and snow removal efforts in Western New York. Deployed resources include operators and supervisors, mechanics, large plow trucks, and large snowblowers. 

The Thruway has reopened to all traffic and there are no commercial vehicle restrictions at this time with the following exceptions: Thruway (I-90) exit 55 (Lackawanna) remains closed to all traffic to support the closure of Route 219. Additionally, exit 56 (Blasdell) and exit 57 (Hamburg) remain closed to commercial traffic to facilitate cleanup efforts in these areas.  

Variable Message Signs and social media are utilized to alert motorists of winter weather conditions on the Thruway. The Thruway Authority also encourages motorists to download its mobile app which is available for free on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides motorists direct access to real-time traffic information, live traffic cameras, and navigation assistance while on the go. Motorists can also sign up for TRANSalert e-mails which provide the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway. You can follow the Thruway Authority on Twitter: @ThruwayTraffic and @NYSThruway and on Facebook at NYS Thruway Authority

National Guard

At the direction of Governor Hochul, the New York National Guard has 109 Soldiers and Airmen on duty Sunday supporting the state response to the snowstorm. An additional 75 Soldiers and Airmen, with engineer vehicles to remove snow, will come on duty today, Nov. 20. Additional equipment being deployed includes four front-end loaders and eight, 10-ton dump trucks from the 204th Engineer Battalion and the 152nd Brigade Engineer Battalion; additional Humvees and personnel from the 102nd Military Police Battalion in Auburn, and the 174th Attack Wing in Syracuse, also will provide general purpose response and debris clearance. 

On Saturday, National Guard troops assisted the New York State Thruway Authority with clearing part of the Thruway, cleared roads in the town of Hamburg and transported people to medical appointments. Other troops deployed for the mission come from the 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry Regiment, and the 107th Attack Wing and the 105th Military Police Company. The National Guard personnel are using Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station as a base to support the snowstorm mission. 

New York State Police  

The State Police added extra patrols to the areas most impacted by the lake effect snow, and has staged additional specialty vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles, utility task vehicles and snowmobiles, in those regions. All four-wheel drive vehicles are deployed, and troop emergency power and communications equipment has been tested.  

Department of Public Service  

New York’s utilities have approximately 5,780 workers available statewide to engage in damage assessment, response, repair, and restoration efforts. This includes an additional 280 external FTEs secured by National Grid. NYSEG has an additional 224 contractor line workers and 99 contractor tree workers staged to respond as needed. DPS staff will track utilities’ work throughout the event and ensure utilities shift appropriate staffing to regions that experience the greatest impact.  

Winter Safety Tips  

Winter Travel  

Some of the most important tips for safe driving include:  

  • When winter storms strike, do not drive unless necessary.  
  • Use caution on bridges as ice can form quicker than on roads.  
  • If you must travel, make sure your car is stocked with survival gear like blankets, a shovel, flashlight and extra batteries, extra warm clothing, set of tire chains, battery booster cables, quick energy foods, and brightly colored cloth to use as a distress flag.  
  • If you have a cell phone or other communications device, such as a two-way radio, available for your use, keep the battery charged and keep it with you whenever traveling. If you should become stranded, you will be able to call for help, advising rescuers of your location.  
  • The leading cause of death and injuries during winter storms is transportation accidents. Before getting behind the wheel, make sure that your vehicle is clear of ice and snow; good vision is key to good driving. Plan your stops and keep more distance between cars. Be extra alert and remember that snowdrifts can hide smaller children. Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions.  
  • It is important for motorists on all roads to note that snowplows travel at speeds up to 35 mph, which in many cases is lower than the posted speed limit, to ensure that salt being dispersed stays in the driving lanes and does not scatter off the roadways. Oftentimes on interstate highways, snowplows will operate side by side, as this is the most efficient and safe way to clear several lanes at one time.  
  • Motorists and pedestrians should also keep in mind that snowplow drivers have limited lines of sight, and the size and weight of snowplows can make it very difficult to maneuver and stop quickly. Snow blowing from behind the plow can severely reduce visibility or cause whiteout conditions. Motorists should not attempt to pass snowplows or follow too closely. The safest place for motorists to drive is well behind the snowplows where the roadway is clear and salted. Never attempt to pass a snowplow while its operating.  

Heavy Exertion  

Heavy exertion, such as shoveling snow, clearing debris or pushing a car, increase the risk of a heart attack.  

To avoid problems:  

  • Stay warm, dress warm, and SLOW DOWN when working outdoors.  
  • Take frequent rests to avoid over-exertion  
  • If you feel chest pain, shortness of breath, or pain in your jaw radiating down your arm, STOP and seek help immediately.  

Power Outages  

  • Call your utility to determine area repair schedules  
  • Turn off or unplug lights and appliances to prevent a circuit overload when service is restored; leave one light on to indicate when power has been restored  
  • If heat goes out during a winter storm, keep warm by closing off rooms you do not need  

Heating Safety  

  • Use only safe sources of alternative heat such as a fireplace, small well-vented wood or coal stove or portable space heaters  
  • Always follow manufacturer’s instructions  
  • When using alternative heat sources such as a fireplace, woodstove, etc. always make sure you have proper ventilation  
  • Keep curtains, towels, and potholders away from hot surfaces  
  • Have a fire extinguisher and smoke detectors and make sure they work  
  • If you use kerosene heaters to supplement your regular heating fuel, or as an emergency source of heat, follow these safety tips:  

-Follow the manufacturers’ instructions  

-Use only the correct fuel for your unit  

-Refuel outdoors ONLY and only when the unit is cool  

-Keep the heater at least three feet away from furniture and other flammable objects  

-When using the heater, use fire safeguards and ventilate properly  

For more safety tips, visit  

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WPCNR Thanksgiving Portfolio, all photos by WPCNR:

On this Thanksgiving, let us remember the band of hardy intrepid souls who crossed an ocean in a boat no  bigger than a large Chris Craft and settled in an unforgiving landscape and started a country in the cold landscape of New England.

They were immigrants.

They were helped by Indians who welcomed them, without Indians’ compassion they would not have survived. And, remember, those pilgrims were immigrants.

A salute to this brave band. A salute, too, to the indians who accepted them without visas, without jobs, with no background checks no green cards. No border wall. No cages for children. No fear on the part of the Indians and their humanitarian leader, Squanto

The pilgrims sailed into a bay, dropped anchor and just carved out a living after living in incredible conditions in a ship’s hold for weeks, crossing the storm-tossed North Atlantic. Here are some views of America’s hometown by the WPCNR Roving Photographer.


Plymouth Rock Landing. Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The Mayflower II. Plymouth Harbor.

Indian Statue of Squanto welcoming the Pilgrim Settlers. Plymouth.

Governor William Bradford Statue on the Shores of Plymouth Harbor

“Plymouth Rock,” The landing place of the pilgrims.

Settlers Home, left, circa 1690.

Church, Plymouth late 1700s. .

The Jury: Old Burial Ground, Plymouth. Last resting place of the pilgrims overlooking Plymouth Harbor. The sacrifices, bravery and perseverance of these persons stand as examples to Americans today.

How are we doin’?

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