Indian Point in Buchanan. Photo Credit: Daily Voice File
Marlon Peterson Photo Credit: Provided
Andrew Stewart Photo Credit: Provided

Around The Towns: Indian Point Closure Meeting(s), New City Manager, MLK Day Commemoration

This story has been updated.

The second meeting of the Indian Point Nuclear Decommissioning Citizen Advisory Panel is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 15.

Meanwhile, two state lawmakers are calling for public decommissioning meetings sponsored by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Among the public officials attending Wednesday's meeting will be village of Buchanan Mayor Theresa Knickerbocker and town of Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi.

The Jan. 15 discussion will entail preparing for the closure and eventual decommissioning of the Indian Point Energy Center by next year. The 6 p.m. meeting is open to the public at Buchanan Village Hall, 236 Tate Ave. in Buchanan.

In a related development, state Assemblywoman Sandra Galef and state Sen. Peter Harckham called on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to hold a meeting that is open to the public in the Town of Cortlandt to address the closing of Indian Point Energy Center.

The state lawmakers said that closing will have a profound impact on the Village of Buchanan, Town of Cortlandt, those who work at the plant, and the community as a whole.

As Indian Point moves from being an energy generator to entering decommissioning there are many unknowns that we are likely to encounter.

The NRC has hosted meetings for elected officials for years, providing

updates on plant operation and safety. At such a time of transition, having

this meeting open to the public will ensure everyone is on the same page, the legislators said in a letter to the NRC.

"We have a closing nuclear power plant, a possible transfer of the license

to a little known company without technical decommissioning experience, and

a proposed blueprint for that decommissioning over the next several decades." Galef said.

"Naturally each of these topics raises a slew of questions. We call on the

NRC to participate in a dialogue about what all of this means for our

communities in the years to come," said Galef. "The plant will be gone, but

the repercussions of decisions we make now will endure. Therefore, we want

everyone to be as informed as possible, and for that we need the NRC."

Harckham added: "The complex effort of decommissioning the Indian Point nuclear power

facility requires a thoroughly transparent process of communication and

sharing of pertinent information between all of the stakeholders, especially

the impacted communities."

"Any reluctance to

engage fully in this communication process risks being interpreted by the

community as a lack of good faith. This is why I am urging, along with

Assemblywoman Galef, that the NRC begin to hold open meetings with the

community as soon as possible to address growing concerns on a number of

issues relevant to the facility's closing," Harckham said.

Peekskill Hires New City Manager

The Peekskill City Council has appointed Andrew Stewart as its new city manager, officially succeeding Richard Leins on Jan. 27. 

Stewart will work for Peekskill on a transitional basis starting Tuesday, Jan. 14.

Stewart served three terms as Supervisor of the Town of Orangetown in Rockland County from 2012 to 2017. 

After his tenure as Orangetown Supervisor, Stewart was a senior vice president for Research & Analysis at Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, a not-for-profit policy, planning, advocacy and research organization.  

“I am honored and excited to serve Peekskill, a very special place, as city manager,” Stewart said. 

Stewart holds a Ph.D. in geography from Rutgers and B.A. from Wesleyan University.

33rd Annual MLK Day Commemoration

Our criminal justice system was "reimagined" during the 33rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Program in Mamaroneck.

The Larchmont Mamaroneck Human Rights Committee welcomed Marlon Peterson as keynote speaker on Sunday. Jan. 12 at Hommocks Middle School Auditorium.

Peterson is a leader in criminal justice reform who will challenge attendees to consider where Dr. King’s dream lives in the face of mass incarceration. Formerly incarcerated himself, Peterson brings new narratives and perspectives to this topic, including a call for prison abolition.

Peterson's 2017 Ted Talk ​"Am I Not Human?" has over 1 million views.

There was an opportunity to engage in a question-and-answer session led by local students.

The Human Rights Committee also gave its annual Social Justice Recognition Award to Elizabeth Baird Saenger and the Westchester Youth Shelter Program of Westchester (YSPW).

Since her early work as an educator, Saenger has always had a strong interest in alleviating the evils of mass incarceration and structural racism.

Her work spans decades of local service ranging from leadership in supporting the Bail Fund to coordinating programs to visit prisons and provide prisoner family assistance to establishing the YSPW. For over 40 years, the YSPW has been providing a homelike alternative to jail for young men awaiting disposition of various criminal charges.

The program was created in the early 1970s by Westchester Judge Joseph Clifford and Saenger—a school teacher at the time—who recognized the need for early intervention in the lives of young offenders. Its initial mission was to formulate a plan and solicit funds for a temporary shelter or residential facility for youth prior to trial.

This MLK Day Commemorative program is led by the Larchmont Mamaroneck Human Rights Committee with sponsorship support from CURE, the Coalition for Understanding Racism through Education, and the Community Resource Center in Mamaroneck.