The State of Putnam County, Part II:Free Access


Sometimes, you run across an artifact from another time. Seen at the State of the County speech earlier this month at the Putnam County Golf Course. As a reporter years ago, I used to carry quarters for the phone, and small bills in case I needed still more change. Photo by Douglas Cunningham

Sometimes, you run across an artifact from another time. Seen at the State of the County speech earlier this month at the Putnam County Golf Course. As a reporter years ago, I used to carry quarters for the phone, and small bills in case I needed still more change. Photo by Douglas Cunningham

State Sen. Terrence Murphy, who was all over the generally pathetic storm response by utilities (save for Central Hudson), is holding a hearing this morning in Albany. He’s chairman of the State Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, and hopes to study whether the utility companies were prepared to manage the massive outages caused by the storm, and prevent a second occurrence. Good luck with that.

“They were slow in getting repair crews out, and dispensed vague or incorrect information about when the power would be restored,” said Murphy in a statement. “Residents deserve answers and assurances that when the next storm hits they will be able to rely on their utility company to respond in a much more timely and efficient manner.”

I will be shocked if the NYSEG CEO shows up. I am told by Murphy’s spokesman, as of late Monday, that all three CEOs, from NYSEG, Con Edison and Central Hudson, are expected to testify. But I’ll believe it when I see it.

The CEOs should be grateful this hearing is being held in Albany. I’m thinking that had it been scheduled for Mahopac or Putnam Valley, where tens of thousands were without power for days, the reception would be frosty indeed. Particularly for the NYSEG executive.

**

A few more bits from County Executive MaryEllen Odell’s State of the County speech earlier this month. I spoke with attorney Joseph J. Tock, for one. Turns out he enjoys a good Manhattan now and then, as do I. He had seen the piece written by our Katherine Whiteside, who writes about gardening and food for us, as well as the occasional bit on cocktails. We agreed Old Overholt is quite a good rye, surprisingly so. Also, hard to find. His father taught him how to make a Manhattan, as his grandfather had taught his father.

**

Judge Lewis J. Lubell and I spoke after the speech. I’d wanted to meet him, and here he was. Plus, we were both sporting bow ties. He’s a Supreme Court justice, normally stationed in White Plains. Of all the cases he sees, he told me it’s the matrimonial ones that most upset him. “People break kids, and that bothers me,” he said. Litigate the divorce with your ex, not the kids. Certainly if you’re appearing before Lubell.

**

It’s spring, or close to it. The kids were home Sunday. We are deep into the last games of the college basketball season. My team (Kansas) made it to the Final Four. Passover starts Friday evening, and Sunday is Easter.

Fleeting. Time is fleeting. Send a kind note. Reconnect with a friend. Praise a good job. Go to your church or synagogue. Don’t wait. Fleeting.

Until next week.

Douglas Cunningham is publisher of both the Courier and its sister paper the Putnam County News and Recorder, in Cold Spring. Letters on this or other topics are welcome; limit to 500 words. Send to editor@pcnr.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *