NEWS STORIES FROM OUR FORMER WEBSITE
Sandy Slams Juniper Hill (Originally Posted October 2012)
Our hearts go out to those who still don’t have power. We on Juniper Hill had 9 days and some of us nearly 11 days without power. We are very grateful that our power has been restored and to my knowledge no one was injured. Thank you to you and all the wonderful Town of Greenburgh people who worked like demons to help all of us back to normalcy. We want to understand how we ensure the continued blessing of power does not end due to “temporary fixes” necessitated by the emergency.In some instances, particularly on Juniper Hill Road where a utility pole sheared off and several trees went down, the damage was quite severe. Although power was eventually restored, the pole currently hosting the cables is leaning over the road and going around the first curve of Juniper Hill between Walnut andSaratoga is a scary proposition with branches from downed trees hanging over the road on one side and cables that just hang loosely from the aforementioned pole which is obviously doing double duty on the other side- that pretty much covers the whole roadway.There was another pole to which a 2×4 was nailed to extend it for cabling at the corner of Midway Rd. and Allen Place. I’m sure there are many more of these all over Juniper Hill, the Town and throughout the whole tristate region. What is the plan to correct these temporary solutions?Are we to assume this temporary fix will be seen to as soon as everyone in town has power again? Will this mean the road will again be shut in order to replace the sheared pole and to straighten the leaning one? We should probably be told when this will be done as I’d imagine the power will have to be shut down to do this work. I would also hope the work will be coordinated with the appropriate Town of Greenburgh departments and other utilities. Please let us know what to expect and when – if you can get the info from your contacts at Con Ed. Otherwise, how should we proceed to make sure this situation doesn’t slip through the numerous cracks in Con Ed’s system?
A meeting was held at Greenburgh Town Hall on Monday, April 11 2011 on the status of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in Peekskill, NY. Town Supervisor Paul Feiner spoke about his frustration regarding current evacuation plans stating “I am concerned that as a police commissioner of the Town of Greenburgh I would have no idea what to do if there were ever an evacuation. We’ve never been told.” He was joined by former assemblyman Richard Brodsky, members of the Peace March for Nuclear Safety (organized by the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Order) and activists from Clearwater, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Riverkeeper, the Westchester Citizen’s Awareness Network, and the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition, and a seismologist from Columbia University.
A roster of experts convened to present the facts about Indian Point and why Governor Cuomo has called for non-renewal of the plant’s license to operate. Indian Point is due for relicensing in 2013 and 2015. Unfortunately, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has sole jurisdiction over relicensing — and it has never failed to relicense a nuclear plant.
The facts are chilling in light of the disaster at Fukushima. The aging Indian Point reactors are over 35 years old and need major maintenance to address:
1) Corroded water pipes carrying water to and from the reactor and spent fuel pools. There is radioactive ground water under the plant that leaches into the Hudson River. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission agrees with Entergy that replacement of the leaking pipes is too expensive.
2) Insufficiently insulated electrical cables that may fail to support AC power needed to cool the reactor and spent rods in the event of a fire. Back-up Generators –- if they work — that are only intended to provide 4 hours of power. Indian Point claims it’s too expensive to replace the cables. Inadequate regard for safety was highlighted after a large transformer blew up. A second similar transformer wasn’t replaced until it also blew up.
3) Inadequate storage for spent fuel rods in buildings we know will not contain emergencies such as fire, explosion etc., and which lack back up cooling systems. Spent fuel has a half-life of thousands of years.
4) The impossibility of evacuating fifty-square miles of population. Imagine evacuating 20 million people on our roads! Laughable security from terrorist attack. A small plane recently got within 1,000 feet of the reactor without a challenge.
5) Indian Point sits at the juncture of the Ramapo and Peekskill-Stamford earthquake faults. Entergy says Indian Point can withstand a magnitude 6.1 quake. The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University says there have been several magnitude 5 quakes in New York State (including a 5.6 quake in 1929) and that a magnitude 7 quake is within the realm of possibility.
6) Two large high-pressure natural gas lines run through Indian Point adding to the risk of explosion and fire at the plant.
7) Indian Point’s cooling system is a one-time use system that draws 2.5 billion gallons of water from the Hudson daily, warms it in the reactor, and then releases the warmed water back into the Hudson where is harms the aquatic ecology. Approximately one billion fish, fish eggs, and fish larvae are killed by Indian Point in any given year. That’s not counting any effect from the water containing radioactive tritium that has leaked into the groundwater and the river. Rockland County is currently considering plans to draw drinking water from an area less than two miles downstream from Indian Point.
Our newest Westchester County Board of Legislators representative Mary Jane Shimsky (she replaced Tom Abinanti in a recent special election) is co-sponsoring a bill to the NY State Legislature to insist on a 50 mile evacuation zone (currently a 10 mile zone) along with Alfreda Williams and others on the Environmental Legislation Committee.
Juniper Hill Traffic Study Completed
The Greenburgh Police Department put a speed sensor down on Juniper Hill the week of July 27th to assess traffic volume and speed. The sensor was placed just east of the curve after Saratoga Road. During that time some 6,869 vehicles traveled on Juniper Hill, an average of 981 vehicles per day. The average speed of the vehicles was 27 miles per hour. 98.3% of the drivers traveled at or below the speed limit, and only 0.6% of the drivers exceeded 40 miles an hour. Traffic Enforcement Officers were sent to Juniper Hill during the study to enforce the speed limit during the peak times the counter had recorded higher speeds but they didn’t detect any speeders.
Of course even one driver traveling above the speed limit puts our residents at risk, especially pedestrians given the lack of sidewalks and shoulders and the presence of blind curves on Juniper Hill. There were six speeders per day on Juniper Hill that week, but the Police Department seems to have concluded that speeding is not enough of a problem to warrant deploying additional resources on Juniper Hill. Sergeant Thomas Fultin, Commanding Officer of the Traffic and Safety Unit, commented that “perception plays a large part in situations such as this. With the tight curves, narrow streets and hills, it could appear that vehicles are moving faster than they are, which we find throughout the town.”
The results of the report were presented at the November 17th Civic Association Meeting. Many association members expressed continuing concerns about traffic problems on Juniper Hill, and a committee was formed to present continuing concerns and recommendations to Police Chief DeCarlo.
Dr. Hooker is Grand Marshal
Dr. Olivia Hooker of Juniper Hill served as Grand Marshal for two parades this summer! She served as Grand Marshal for the White Plains Juneteenth Heritage Parade this past June 12th, and again as Grand Marshal for the Unity in the Community Parade in Greenburgh on August 21st. Dr. Hooker was the first African-American woman to serve in the US Coast Guard. She also served as Director of Psychology at the Kennedy Child Study Center, was an Associate Professor of Psychology at Fordham University, and worked as a psychologist at the Fred Keller School in Yonkers until 2002. She is a survivor of the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921 in which hundreds of African-Americans were killed and a thousand African-American homes and businesses were burned, and has been active in efforts to get restitution for survivors of that atrocity.
Town to Begin Road Work
Greenvale Circle and Juniper Hill Road will both be undergoing significant work in the near future, according to Richard Fon, the Town’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Works. Fon toured the neighborhood’s roads with members of the Civic Association on June 26th.
The work on Greenvale Circle will be most extensive. Temporary resurfacing will be done sometime soon, but at a point later in the year most of the road will need to be torn up to replace the aging, leaky water main below its surface. Replacing the main is a project that will take some time. In addition, once the main is replaced the ground will have to settle for a year before a permanent and complete repaving can be done. Greenvale Circle residents can look forward to a lengthy, messy project, but once it is completed they can look forward to a road (and water main) that will last them thirty years.
Juniper Road will undergo a less dramatic transformation. Fons says that their will be improvements made to the curbing from Russell Street to the top of the hill. This should make the road safer for pedestrians. In addition, Fons said they will do what they can to make the intersection of Walnut and Juniper Hill safer. Right now visibility to oncoming traffic is poor at the intersection due to the angle of the intersection and overgrown shrubbery. The town inspector has since issued a code enforcement notice to the property owner at that intersection instructing the owner to trim the shrubbery.
Heavy equipment traffic on these roads should be somewhat lighter now that the commercial parking lot at the foot of Russell Street is ceasing operations. The settlement with the Town calls for the parking lot to be vacated no later than July 27th.
Illegal Parking Lot Vacated
The illegal parking lot on Russell Street has finally been vacated in time for the July 27th deadline established by agreement with the town attorney (see the copy of the agreement on the Civic Association Files page). The property is now up for sale. The closing of the parking lot should ease traffic congestion and road wear-and-tear, cut down on noise, and eliminate a neighborhood eyesore. Thanks for everyone in the community whose persistent efforts were able to eliminate this problem.
Juniper Hill 2012 BBQ a Success! (Originally Published August, 2012)
Gloria Mitchell Obituary