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Kris
March 30th, 2003, 06:29 AM
March 30, 2003
New York Officials Complain of Unfair Share of Security Money
By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ

WASHINGTON, March 30 — Iowa is set to get nearly $8 million in homeland security money from Washington in the coming weeks, with a chunk of it possibly going to train veterinarians, cattlemen and others working with livestock to spot signs of biological attacks.

Wyoming will receive nearly $5 million, but officials there are still trying to figure out how to spend it. "It's just so early at this point," said Lara Azar, a spokeswoman for Gov. Dave Freudentha.

Idaho's roughly $5.8 million share of the nearly $600 million pot of federal money will in part be spent on emergency drills and exercises, though the homeland security agency there acknowledges that it has no intelligence suggesting that the state has been singled out for attack.

The list goes on, across 50 states. But to politicians in New York, the state hardest hit by terrorists, the way the federal government is doling out this money makes no sense.

Even as New York officials take care not to disparage the concerns of other states, they say the federal government's financing arrangement — apportioning millions of dollars to every state, regardless of known threats or vulnerabilities — does not recognize New York's special status and pressing needs at a time when the White House says that there is an increased likelihood of terrorist attacks.

It remains unclear how New York will fare as Congress prepares to enact yet another round of spending for homeland security. But the complaints of city and state officials are beginning to get the attention of some influential people in Washington. Testifying on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Tom Ridge, the secretary of homeland security, said the current aid formula did not adequately recognize the needs of places where the threat was perceived to be greatest.

While not specifically mentioning New York, Mr. Ridge said: "I've concluded that the formula we've used in the past shouldn't be the formula we use in the future, because it doesn't take into consideration some of the special needs that certain communities have and certain states have that are substantially greater than others."

In the last round of spending approved by the president and Congress last month, New York will receive about $26.5 million, according to officials in New York. Only Texas and California will receive more.

But New York officials complain that the $26.5 million works out to $1.40 per resident, far less than the national state average of $3.29 per person, placing it behind every state except California. The concerns of officials in New York were deepened last week when the president proposed a homeland security budget that uses the same funding formula that they had been complaining about. The president's plan calls for $1.5 billion to be distributed to states and localities by the Department of Homeland Security.

According to city officials, that proposal calls for providing only $32 million to New York State, even as the city is spending $5 million a week to be on a heightened state of alert. New York City officials had requested $900 million.

The president's plan also calls for another $500 million, money that the Bush administration says states like New York can use to reinforce bridges, tunnels and other landmarks. It is not clear how much New York will receive from that money.

"When the country goes to threat level orange, New York goes to red alert. Why is that?" said Representative Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat from Manhattan. "Well, it is my understanding that the vast majority of the `chatter,' the basis for setting the threat level, is about New York. This while the Bush administration is giving the vast majority of security funds to the rest of the country."

New York lawmakers, including Gov. George E. Pataki, who broke ranks with the White House last week when he accused Washington of shortchanging New York, are pushing Congress to change the president's proposal. Some note that the state gets substantially less than the nation's other presumably major target, Washington.

The president's budget request, for example, calls for a special appropriation of $125 million to defend the capital, according to New York officials who are reviewing the document.

Now both Mr. Pataki and Senator Charles E. Schumer, a Democrat from New York, have had discussions with Mr. Ridge over how to get more money for New York's antiterrorism efforts, either by tweaking the formula or just setting aside a lump sum, as was done for Washington, according to officials here and in New York.

But any effort to provide more money to New York, a heavily Democratic state, may meet with resistance in a Congress dominated by Republicans from other regions of the country, New York officials acknowledge.

States are demanding their share of the pie, much in the same way that they demand a share of federal highway aid.

Mr. Schumer said that New York is caught between the Bush administration's desire to keep a lid on overall spending and the demands of other states to get as much money as they can.

He says that is unfair. "New York City doesn't ask for a share of Idaho's farm subsidies," Mr. Schumer said. "They shouldn't try to grab a share of our high-risk, antiterrorism funding." Delaware, for example, is set to get about $5.2 million, or $6.62 per person, which will help state and local officials buy, among other things, equipment to detect hazardous materials, protective suits and masks, and radios. Not only that, the money will be used to pay for emergency drills and exercises.

"We need more money," said Rozanne Pack, a spokeswoman for the Delaware Emergency Management Agency. "We've already had mock exercises that have involved 500 people at a time."

In Wyoming — where officials expect about $5 million, or $9.78 per person — the governor sent out a letter last week encouraging mayors, county commissioners, ambulance directors, fire chiefs, sheriffs, police chiefs, public works directors and hospital administrators to submit proposals on how they intend to use the money.

"We're going to see how the applications shape up," Ms. Azar, a spokeswoman for the governor, said when asked how Wyoming intended to use its share of the money. "We haven't seen any applications yet."

Iowa plans to spend part of its $7.7 million (or $2.62 per person) on, among other things, protecting livestock and crops. That means training farmers, along with state and local authorities, to identify chemical or biological agents that might be introduced into the food supply in a terrorist attack.

Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa, a Democrat who is calling on the Bush administration to provide more homeland security money across the nation, suggested that protecting the nation's food supply was as important as, say, protecting major ports and borders.

"If they taint the food in Iowa that's shipped to a restaurant in New York, does it really make a difference that New York got more money?" he asked.

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2003/03/30/nyregion/0330_met_SECUREch.gif

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

JMGarcia
March 30th, 2003, 03:50 PM
New York has been pumping its tax money out into the US as a whole for decades. This certainly doesn't surprise no matter how illogical.

DominicanoNYC
March 30th, 2003, 04:11 PM
That's ridiculous and unbelivable. The state with one of America's largest population and we end up second to last! How sad. And then the government wonders why terroist attack New York City.:(

dbhstockton
March 30th, 2003, 04:40 PM
The two most likely targets or foreign terrorism (next to DC) are last and second-to-last. * I doubt Al-Qaeda has any intentions in Wyoming or Vermont. *They'll attack densely-populated symbols of American global hegemony -- NYC, DC, Hollywood (maybe Texas too). * I think the disparity in funding is more a symptom of our system of government than anything else.

TLOZ Link5
March 30th, 2003, 07:53 PM
Well, Texas is third-to-last. *It only got two cents per person more than NYS did.

::sigh...:: *It's politics as usual, though. *Bush has little hope of winning New York in 2004, nor does he need it either. *If you'll notice, California's dead last on the population-to-funding ratio; they could run anybody on the Democratic ticket and still win. *Most of the states with a larger proportion of anti-terrorism funding are the tossups that could go to either party.

Kris
April 1st, 2003, 06:17 AM
April 1, 2003
A Red-Blue Terror Alert
By PAUL KRUGMAN

As recriminations fly over Operation Predicted Cakewalk, some commentators look back wistfully to the early post-Sept. 11 era, when — or so they imagine — the nation stood united against the terrorist threat. On my beat, that era was brief indeed: less than 48 hours after the atrocity, Congressional Republicans tried to exploit the event to pass a cut in the capital gains tax. But on national security issues, there was at first some real bipartisanship.

What happened to that bipartisanship? It fell prey to two enduring prejudices of the right: its deep hostility to nonmilitary government spending, and its exaltation of the "heartland" over the great urban states.

You might have expected the events of Sept. 11 to temper the right's opposition to some kinds of domestic spending. After thousands of Americans were killed by men armed only with box cutters, surely everyone would acknowledge that national security involves more than mere military might. But you would have been wrong. In a remarkable recent article titled "The 9/10 President," Jonathan Chait of The New Republic documents how the Bush administration has systematically neglected homeland security since 9/11. In its effort to keep spending down, the administration has repeatedly blocked proposals to enhance security at potential domestic targets like ports and nuclear plants.

What Mr. Chait doesn't point out is the extent to which already inadequate antiterrorism spending has been focused on the parts of the country that need it least.

I've written before about the myth of the heartland — roughly speaking, the "red states," which voted for George W. Bush in the 2000 election, as opposed to the "blue states," which voted for Al Gore. The nation's interior is supposedly a place of rugged individualists, unlike the spongers and whiners along the coasts. In reality, of course, rural states are heavily subsidized by urban states. New Jersey pays about $1.50 in federal taxes for every dollar it gets in return; Montana receives about $1.75 in federal spending for every dollar it pays in taxes.

Any sensible program of spending on homeland security would at least partly redress this balance. The most natural targets for terrorism lie in or near great metropolitan areas; surely protecting those areas is the highest priority, right?

Apparently not. Even in the first months after Sept. 11, Republican lawmakers made it clear that they would not support any major effort to rebuild or even secure New York. And now that anti-urban prejudice has taken statistical form: under the formula the Department of Homeland Security has adopted for handing out money, it spends 7 times as much protecting each resident of Wyoming as it does protecting each resident of New York.

Here's how it works. In its main grant programs, the department makes no attempt to assess needs. Instead, each state receives a base of 0.75 percent of the total, regardless of its population; the rest is then allocated in proportion to population. This is a very good deal for states with small populations, like Wyoming or Montana. It's a very bad deal for states like California or New York, which receives only 4.7 percent of the money. And since New York and other big urban states remain the most likely targets of another major attack, it's a very bad deal for the country.

Why adopt such a strange formula? Well, maybe it's not that strange: what it most resembles is the Electoral College, which also gives disproportionate weight (though not that disproportionate) to states with small populations. And with a few exceptions, small-population states are red states — indeed, the small-state bias of the Electoral College is what allowed Mr. Bush to claim the White House despite losing the popular vote. It's hard not to suspect that the formula — which makes absolutely no sense in terms of national security — was adopted precisely because it caters to that same constituency. (To be fair, there's one big "red state" loser from the formula: Texas. But one of these days, sooner than most people think, Texas may well turn blue.)

In other words, the allocation of money confirms Mr. Chait's point: even in a time of war — a war that seems oddly unrelated to the terrorist threat — the Bush administration isn't serious about protecting the homeland. Instead, it continues to subordinate U.S. security needs to its unchanged political agenda. *


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
April 1st, 2003, 08:34 AM
http://mwhodges.home.att.net/city-vote.gif

dbhstockton
April 1st, 2003, 11:26 AM
Very interesting, Zippy. *It confirms a lot of stereotypes and intuitions that I had. *Do they have it grouped by education level?

ZippyTheChimp
April 1st, 2003, 05:21 PM
Can't have that demographic on actual voting. Exit polls show vote was even by educational levels.

Education is overrated.

This was interesting:

Which Quality Mattered Most?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Gore * Bush * Buchanan *Nader
Understands Issues * * 75 % * 19 % * *0 % * * *4 %
Honest/Trustworthy * * 15 % * 80 % * *1 % * * *3 %
Cares About People * * 63 % * 31 % * *1 % * * *5 %
Has Experience * * * * * 82 % * 17 % * *0 % * * *1 %

Kris
April 2nd, 2003, 06:58 AM
April 2, 2003

House Moves to Give Millions in Security Aid to New York

By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ

WASHINGTON, April 1 — House Republicans today moved quickly to fulfill New York's request for tens of millions of dollars in federal aid to help pay for antiterrorism measures, after a fierce lobbying campaign by New York Republicans and Democrats.

The Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee approved a measure that sets aside $700 million for New York, Washington and other localities across the country that are believed to be most vulnerable to attack.

The aid package was included as part of a $74.7 billion spending bill that President Bush requested last week to pay for the war in Iraq and security measures around the country. The package still must go before the full House, where it is all but certain to pass. Then, it must be reconciled with a similar spending bill that is being put together in the Republican-led Senate.

Nevertheless, today's action was a significant victory for New York lawmakers, who complained that the president's proposal shortchanged New York at a time when both the city and state are spending more than $12 million to secure streets, landmarks, subways, harbors, bridges and tunnels.

The plan proposed by President Bush would have given New York about $32 million, far less than the $900 million that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had been seeking to shore up security in the city, according to New York lawmakers.

The plan approved by the House committee today does not specify how much money New York will receive. But lawmakers here said it guarantees that New York will get a substantial share of the $700 million by stipulating that it must be allocated to states and localities with dense populations, high security costs and known vulnerabilities.

The action came after days of intense negotiations among officials in the Bush administration, leaders on Capitol Hill, lobbyists for Gov. George E. Pataki and members of New York's Congressional delegation, chiefly Senator Charles E. Schumer, a Democrat, and Representatives John E. Sweeney and James T. Walsh, two upstate Republicans on the Appropriations Committee.

The negotiations reached a critical phase on Monday, prompting Mr. Bloomberg, a Republican, to rush to Washington that evening to make the city's case before influential Republicans on Capitol Hill.

"New York has had a good day," Mr. Schumer said. "Are we going to get everything we wanted? No. But are we a lot better off than we were yesterday? For sure."

Mr. Pataki's spokeswoman, Lisa Dewald Stoll, said the governor was still reviewing the details but "obviously this is an improvement." She added that the governor was also urging Congress to allow some of the money to be used to reimburse states like New York for costs they have incurred providing security to localities.

The debate over money for New York now shifts to the Senate, where Mr. Schumer and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, also a New York Democrat, plan to introduce a measure that would set aside slightly more than $1 billion for New York and other states that are perceived to be at high risk of attack.

In the round of homeland security money that Congress and the president approved last month, they point out, New York was given $26.5 million, a figure that works out to $1.40 a resident, far less than the national state average of $3.29 a person, placing it behind every state except California.

The concerns of New York officials — including Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Pataki, also a Republican — were deepened last week when the president proposed divvying up about $1.5 billion in new security aid through the same formula that New York officials have been complaining about.

The president's proposal prompted Mr. Pataki to take the unusual step of publicly breaking ranks with the White House. Mr. Pataki, who up to then had refused to criticize the president publicly, complained that the federal government had failed to give New York the money it needed to defend itself against future terrorist attacks.

The measure approved today created a new pot of money for high-risk areas by squeezing money out of other programs the president proposed in his budget request last week, chiefly $450 million that states and localities could use to reinforce bridges, tunnels and landmarks.

The measure passed in the House would give Tom Ridge, the secretary of homeland security, a major say in how the $700 million is spent. But New York lawmakers noted that the measure requires him to direct the money to states and localities facing a high risk of attack.

Tonight, Edward Skyler, a spokesman for Mr. Bloomberg, said the mayor was "encouraged by the actions of his committee today." He added, "The mayor will continue to work closely with leaders of the Congress so that homeland security funds are distributed based on need."


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Kris
November 19th, 2003, 06:17 AM
November 19, 2003

ABOUT NEW YORK

The Bull's-Eye Versus the Pork Barrel

By DAN BARRY

LIFE in New York has its own math: a series of formulas to help inhabitants make sense of an urban environment that might lead to madness if dwelt upon too long.

Rain + 4 p.m. = no taxis.

Street corner + two blocks = Starbucks.

Paris Hilton + nothing = Page Six.

But what equation can address the fear of imminent terrorist attack in this city? How can New York's risk be quantified? And how can government possibly calculate the cost of securing everything from the subway system to that pizza place in the Port Authority?

These disturbing questions may be exactly what compels one to find distraction in Ms. Hilton's latest reported antics. But they are not too daunting for the federal Department of Homeland Security, which actually has a formula for how to parcel out counterterrorism funds to cities like New York.

To determine how to split $675 million among cities that are presumably "at risk," the federal agency did not apply the formula that seems most logical to those who live here, that being: New York + 9/11 + security intelligence + common sense = lots of money — and keep it coming, because this is New York we're talking about.

Instead, the agency used a formula that mixes facts and alchemy. It gave the most weight to a city's population density, lesser weight to critical infrastructure and, finally, the least weight to the gathered intelligence about credible threat. Agency officials explained that intelligence is mushier than the hard data of population figures.

In the end, 50 cities were blessed last week with allocations from a program called the Urban Area Security Initiative. The New York region received the largest amount, $47 million, but city officials were not happy. Was New York only six times more likely to be attacked than Sacramento ($8 million)? Or just four times more likely than Pittsburgh ($11.9 million)?

"The aid is not based on threat," one high-ranking city official said. "It's based on formulas that allow the government to spread it around the country. That's politics; that's not threat assessment."

Yes, city officials say, New York has received $280 million since the program began, much more than what was given to the next largest recipient, Washington. But they argue that the city has the unwanted distinction of deserving it. It took the brunt of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it remains the financial center that Al Qaeda seems intent on bringing down and, for many in the world, it represents the United States. It also remains hot.

JUST last month, a Pakistani immigrant from Columbus, Ohio ($8.7 million), was sentenced to 20 years in prison for plotting with Al Qaeda to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge. The story of the immigrant, Iyman Faris, remains unsettling, no matter how grandiose his plot. He met with Osama bin Laden, came to New York after 9/11, ate at a Pakistani restaurant near City Hall and scoped out the bridge for possible destruction. Again, after 9/11.

Mr. Faris's famous assessment that "the weather is too hot" for such a terrorist endeavor may speak well of the Police Department's counterterrorism strategy. But that strategy costs money. The department spends $200 million a year on personnel costs alone for such efforts as increasing security at landmarks like the bridge.

Representative Christopher Cox, a Republican from California who leads the Select Committee on Homeland Security, has criticized the grant formula used by the federal agency, and has proposed legislation to redefine the process to emphasize threat analysis. "Terrorism shouldn't be conducted through the same funding formulas that are used for paving roads," said his spokeswoman, Liz Tobias.

But Josh Filler, who oversees state and local government coordination for the Department of Homeland Security, maintained that the formula is working well, and is "getting money to those areas with the greatest need and at greatest risk."

Those areas include Louisville, Ky. ($8.9 million), which Mayor Jerry Abramson pointed out is the main air hub for the United Parcel Service. And Las Vegas ($10.5 million), which Sheriff Bill Young of Clark County, Nev., said has 250,000 tourists a day. And Baton Rouge, La. ($7.1 million), which JoAnne Moreau, its director of emergency preparedness, said has a concentration of oil refineries. "We have a lot of hazards," Ms. Moreau said.

Baton Rouge deserves to be protected, of course, as do Louisville, Las Vegas and other cities. But most people there do not know what it is like to be in New York when things are jumpy again, and all you want to do is get out of the rain, find a Starbucks and read all about Paris Hilton.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Kris
January 15th, 2004, 02:31 AM
January 15, 2004

Mayor to Quadruple Size of Security Aid Request to Washington

By MICHAEL COOPER

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg plans to call on the federal government to quadruple the amount of security money it sends to New York City when he unveils the outline of his third city budget today, a mayoral aide said yesterday.

Mr. Bloomberg, who has long complained that the federal government shortchanges the city on homeland security money, plans to ask for $400 million, the aide said. The city received about $100 million in such aid last year, he said.

In unveiling his budget proposal, Mr. Bloomberg will have to walk a fine line between spreading good news about the city's economy while still seeking help from Albany, municipal unions and Washington. He will also have to explain how he intends to close a nearly $2 billion budget gap for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

"The message I am going to give tomorrow is upbeat but it is cautionary," Mr. Bloomberg said at a news conference yesterday.

For the mayor, who has sometimes been criticized by opponents for not being aggressive enough when it comes to seeking money from Albany and Washington, the demand for more federal money will be a slight departure in tone if not in substance.

The city will ask the state to take over part of its Medicaid expenses, including all of the payments for the Child Health Plus insurance program, according to another aide. It will continue to press for initiatives the city has sought in the past, including a fifth pension tier for future employees that would pay less generous benefits.

The mayor announced the biggest budget news last week when he said he would call for a $400 property tax rebate for the owners of one- to three-family homes, co-ops and condominiums, more or less wiping out the 18.5 percent property tax increase that he pushed through in 2002. That tax rebate would cost the city $250 million.

Yesterday the mayor suggested that the rebate might become permanent, saying in an interview on WOR radio that "it is going to be an annual thing."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Ninjahedge
January 15th, 2004, 05:22 PM
Can't have that demographic on actual voting. Exit polls show vote was even by educational levels.

Education is overrated.

This was interesting:

Which Quality Mattered Most?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Gore * Bush * Buchanan *Nader
Understands Issues * * 75 % * 19 % * *0 % * * *4 %
Honest/Trustworthy * * 15 % * 80 % * *1 % * * *3 %
Cares About People * * 63 % * 31 % * *1 % * * *5 %
Has Experience * * * * * 82 % * 17 % * *0 % * * *1 %

So Bush would make a good dog?

ZippyTheChimp
January 18th, 2004, 08:34 AM
Only if he's housebroken.

Kris
February 3rd, 2004, 03:44 AM
February 3, 2004

Antiterror Budget Rises, but Critics Say City Is Shortchanged

By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 - The budget President Bush proposed on Monday would nearly double the pool of money that the federal government would set aside for the 2005 fiscal year to help defend New York City and other localities considered vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

President Bush proposed to increase federal antiterrorism funds for so-called high-risk cities by $721 million, to $1.44 billion, according to city lawmakers reviewing the budget.

But his proposal did not include a major change that New York lawmakers had been demanding in the federal budget: a strict limit on the number of cities entitled to the money. That means that the best New York can expect to receive is $94 million, a figure that New York lawmakers say would be much higher if the president and Congress agreed to revise the formula and spread the money among fewer cities.

For months, New York officials have been complaining that federal antiterrorism money specifically intended for the most vulnerable cities is being funneled to a growing list of cities that do not have urgent security needs.

In April, for example, the first installment of money from a fund established by the president and Congress for high-risk areas was distributed among seven cities, including New York, Washington, Los Angeles and Chicago. But in recent months, the number of eligible cities has grown - first to 30 and then to 50 - thereby reducing the share of money available for New York and other major cities.

The reaction to the president's budget proposal was strong and swift. Members of the city's Congressional delegation complained that Mr. Bush's plan would shortchange New York and other more obvious terrorist targets if Congress did not move to limit the number of cities eligible for the antiterrorism money.

"They have taken a tightly targeted program and made it into a run-of-the-mill pork barrel program,'' said Representative Anthony D. Weiner, a Democrat who represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens, who proposed legislation that would limit the number of cities entitled to such money to no more than 15.

Mr. Weiner continued: "If we are at the point where the terrorists are targeting the Charlotte Raptor Museum, or whatever it is they have down there, then we are in big trouble. That was not what this program was intended for.''

But Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said he was satisfied with the president's budget. "I am pleased that President Bush's budget has nearly doubled the amount of Homeland Security funding for high-threat localities,'' the mayor said. "Washington is listening to us, abandoning its population-based funding schemes and moving more money toward New York City, where it is needed."

The president's proposal is an opening bid in budget negotiations with Congress, where lawmakers will very likely make extensive election-year revisions before giving their approval.

In his budget proposal, the president also called for spending cuts on a handful of programs important to New York City and State, with education and law enforcement hit the hardest, according to Congressional budget analysts.

The budget would eliminate $120 million to hire police officers nationwide, including $10.4 million for New York City, where the money was to be used to hire as many as 139 officers, according to New York Congressional officials.

New York lawmakers also complained that Mr. Bush was not living up to his word in the area of education.

His budget, they said, would give New York an additional $72 million in Title I education money for poor and disadvantaged children.

But Democratic lawmakers from the city pointed out that that was $505 million less than what the president and Congress agreed to provide for the program two years ago when Mr. Bush's major educational initiative, the No Child Left Behind Act, was enacted.

New York Democrats also sharply criticized the amount the Bush budget set aside for housing. They said the proposal provided $2 billion less than the Congressional Budget Office estimated was needed to provide vouchers for people enrolled in the Section 8 housing program nationally. With 80,000 New Yorkers in the Section 8 program, that means 7,800 are at risk of losing their vouchers, they said.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
June 1st, 2004, 04:59 PM
June 1, 2004

As New York Fumes, Wyoming Says It, Too, Needs Antiterror Funds

By EDWARD WYATT

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/06/01/nyregion/01WYOM.jpg
Antiterror money got a chemical identifier set for Cheyenne's Fire Department.

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/06/01/nyregion/01WYOM.airbase.jpg
Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, just off the Interstate, is home to the 90th Space Wing, which oversees an arsenal of 150 Minuteman III and 50 Peacekeeper nuclear missiles. Their locations are on the Internet.

CHEYENNE, Wyo., May 27 - It is hard to imagine there are many terrorist threats in a place where tumbleweeds regularly blow down the streets, as they do here in Wyoming's largest city and state capital.

For those who doubt, however, Wyoming officials point to the two men who were stopped by a state trooper in February on Interstate 80 about 10 miles east of Cheyenne, near the Nebraska border. The men, thought by the state police to be white supremacists, had nine pipe bombs in the rented trailer attached to their rented truck. Wyoming officials disposed of the bombs using a robot bought with a federal antiterrorism grant.

That grant was part of the very antiterrorism program that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg recently called "pork barrel politics at its worst." Testifying in May before the commission investigating the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Bloomberg said too much money was going to places that face limited threats - like Wyoming, whose population is about half a million, the smallest in the country - which this year will receive more than $38 a person in antiterrorist financing, more than any other state and seven times the per-person amount that will flow to New York.

But as with the nuclear missiles that stand hidden in silos beneath the rolling hills and grassy plains here in the state's southeastern corner, the logic of why so much homeland security money seems to be flowing so freely in Wyoming can be found only below the surface.

As was made clear recently by the vague descriptions of terrorist threats highlighted by Attorney General John Ashcroft and Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the F.B.I., no one except the terrorists themselves can know when or where the next strike will come.

"If we understand anything about the psychology of terrorism," said Larry W. Majerus, deputy director of the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security, "it is that attacks in the future are likely to be multiple and designed to get the biggest psychological effect they can possibly get. One way to do that is to attack in areas where there is the least capacity to respond," like Wyoming.

Upon inspection, it is not terribly hard to find potential targets for terrorists here. If the exit on Interstate 25 marked "Missile Drive" is not enough of a hint, for example, then the models of three intercontinental ballistic missiles standing at the entrance to the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, just off the Interstate, makes it clear that there is more going on here than meets the eye.

The base is home to the 90th Space Wing, which oversees an arsenal of 150 Minuteman III and 50 Peacekeeper nuclear missiles. The missiles are spread across a network of underground silos in eastern Wyoming, western Nebraska and northern Colorado. Although military and state officials have kept extra-quiet about the arsenal and have tightened security around the base since 9/11, the locations of the missile silos can still be found on the Internet.

Cheyenne, population 53,000, sits at the intersection of Interstate Highways 80 and 25, two of the nation's busiest arteries. The Union Pacific and Burlington Northern lines also intersect here, and rail freight cars are perhaps one of the few things that outnumber cows, buffalo or elk in this state.

Both the railroads and the highways, of course, are used to transport large amounts of chemicals and hazardous waste, in addition to providing prime routes for terrorists to travel across the country. Wyoming is one of the country's biggest suppliers of beef and agricultural products, making the safety of the food supply a primary concern for state officials. Much of the coal used on the East Coast, meanwhile, originates here, and the state produces significant amounts of oil and gas. A power plant in southwestern Wyoming, near Rock Springs, provides power to much of the West Coast.

To address these threats, Wyoming is scheduled to receive $18.8 million this fiscal year - six-tenths of 1 percent of the $2.9 billion in counterterrorism grants being awarded by the federal Department of Homeland Security.

A majority of antiterrorism money is distributed to states based on population, with each state receiving a minimum amount. The rest is distributed according to a formula that takes into account relative risks faced by a state. Another pool allocates money to 50 cites and 30 transportation systems that are deemed to face the highest risks of terrorist attack.

Under this formula, Wyoming does receive the largest amount per capita, but its dollar total is the smallest of all 50 states. It is also about 11 percent of the $174 million of the federal antiterrorism money flowing this year to New York State, which receives about $1 for every $15 in antiterrorism funds that go elsewhere in the country. Still, Mr. Bloomberg argues, that is not enough.

"This is pork barrel politics at its worst," the mayor told the 9/11 Commission. "It's the kind of shortsighted 'me first' nonsense that gives Washington a bad name. It also, unfortunately, has the effect of aiding and abetting those who hate us and plot against us."

Edward Skyler, the mayor's press secretary, said the mayor was not opposed to letting places like Wyoming receive any federal money. But he added, "Spreading federal funds through all 50 states made perfect sense when you're talking about Medicaid, highway funds and things of that nature, but not when you talk about homeland security."

A better system, Mr. Skyler said, would rely almost exclusively on an analysis of threats, either from foreign or domestic terrorists. "New York City is the economic engine for the country," he said. "We deserve the lion's share of the funding."

New York City is at the top of the list of 50 urban areas that receive money specifically because they are more tempting targets for terrorists. No cities in Wyoming receive any of those funds. But Mr. Skyler said that New York City would receive only about $104 million of the amount flowing to the state this year, with the rest of the state's allocation going to other cities and to the state generally.

The needs of New York and Wyoming are vastly different, of course. In Wyoming, some local law enforcement agencies did not even have computers until recently, and 90 percent of the state's firefighters are volunteers.

Maj. Keith R. Groeneweg of the Wyoming Highway Patrol said that state troopers had no protective helmets until recently, just the standard-issue flat-brimmed hats they wear on patrol; with the grants, the department is buying helmets. Police, fire and emergency medical officials were responding to incidents like chemical spills and train derailments without any protective gear beyond their normal uniforms.

"For years and years and years they've done that, but they've never had the money to buy the equipment to do it properly," said Kim Lee, who oversees the state's six regional response teams for the Department of Homeland Security. "The firemen's wives have had to have bake sales just to buy fire helmets," he added. Chemical suits were out of the question.

Realizing that, the state recently used its federal antiterrorism money to issue kits with chemical suits and other supplies to every one of the 2,470 police officers, emergency medical technicians and coroners in the state. Fire departments received several kits for each fire truck as well.

Not all of the fault lies at the federal level, of course. At least some of the responsibility for the lack of preparedness lies with the states themselves, particularly those, like Wyoming, whose citizenry demonstrates a pronounced antipathy toward taxation.

Wyoming and most other states have also been slow to spend much of the money they have received. Laramie County, Wyo., which includes Cheyenne, received $809,627 in homeland security grants in the fiscal year 2003. The county has until the end of this calendar year to use the money, but so far less than half of it has been spent, according to figures provided by John W. Kluever, the county's grants coordinator.

Of the money that has been used, 70 percent of it went for one item, a mobile command post for the state emergency management agency. Meanwhile, no money has yet been spent on 21 of the 30 budgeted projects.

Some of the budgeted projects in Laramie County also appear to be directed less at terrorist threats than at everyday operations. The town of Pine Bluffs, for example, is spending $10,000 of its $26,200 grant on portable generators and an additional $4,000 on medical equipment, including catheters, blood pressure cuffs and gauze.

But that has been the case around the country, according to a recent report by the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, led by Representative Christopher Cox of California, who has also complained that his state has not received its rightful share of antiterrorism money.

Mr. Majerus, the Wyoming homeland security official, said he did not fault Mr. Bloomberg or others for arguing for a bigger share of the antiterrorism money. "They simply are trying to do the best they can for their first responders," he said, "just as we are."

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/06/01/nyregion/WYOMING_MAP_040601.gif

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
June 5th, 2004, 10:58 AM
June 5, 2004

Mayor Scolds Security Chief on U.S. Funds to Protect City

By WINNIE HU

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg called yesterday on the homeland security secretary, Tom Ridge, to stand up to Congress over what the mayor has repeatedly characterized as its efforts to shortchange New York City on anti-terrorism money.

The mayor, appearing on his weekly radio program on WABC-AM, charged that Congress had turned the distribution of homeland security money into a political "slush fund," in which small states receive far more dollars per capita than those states at greater risk, like New York.

"This is a time for Tom Ridge to stand up and say, 'Enough of this craziness,' " the mayor said. "He has got to be out there screaming. If we are going to protect this country, we've got to send the money where the threat is, and I don't think there's any question that the No. 1 targets for anybody overseas would be New York and, arguably, Washington."

In recent months, Mr. Bloomberg has directed his criticisms only at Congress, but after coming under attack from some of its members, he has begun to focus more on the Bush administration. Yesterday, the mayor said that he had placed a call to Mr. Ridge.

"Everybody is at fault here, and everybody's got to get together and stop this craziness. This is not a pork barrel slush fund - or shouldn't be," he said.

Brian Roehrkasse, a spokesman for the Homeland Security Department, said New York City had received more homeland security money - about $300 million since 2002 - than any other city. He added that the president's 2005 budget request allocated additional money to urban areas with greater security needs.

"We believe that every state needs a minimum level of homeland security funding," he said. "However, we recognize that areas with greater homeland security needs require more funds."

Mr. Bloomberg, expressing his frustration with Congress, said yesterday that its members "all feel they have to deliver something for the hometown crowd, and sometimes, the leaders need a little prodding from the rest of us." He said that since terrorist threats were not distributed evenly across states, the money should not be, either.

"People that don't have a great threat should feel relieved, but they shouldn't be getting the money," he said. "People that do have the threat should be worried, but that's where the money should go."

The mayor also objected to proposed federal legislation that would allow a portion of the homeland security money to be spent on responding to natural disasters.

"Somebody said to me, 'Well, we have to protect our crops because we need food supplies,' " the mayor said. "Yes, you need food supplies, but I don't think there's many Al Qaeda members walking around with maps of cornfields."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
June 14th, 2004, 01:26 AM
Gotham Gazette - http://www.gothamgazette.com/article//20040614/202/1006

Homeland Security Funding

by Joseph Crowley

June 06, 2004

New York City's first responders continue to suffer severe shortages in funding and can expect to see their limited resources diminish even further under the Bush Administration’s proposed Budget for 2005. The safety of New Yorkers has already been compromised by, a 15 percent reduction of the police force since 2001, extremely low access to vital equipment and HAZMAT material and the closure of six firehouses, which has resulted in dramatically higher response times. Frankly, this is unacceptable.

Although the Department of Homeland Security has recently awarded over $103 million to New York State for the training and equipment of first responders, it does not come close to compensating the budget cuts already suffered, or those proposed for 2005. The budget for fiscal year 2005 cuts $2.3 billion for first responder programs. This includes both a $1 billion cut in the State Homeland Security Grant Program that assists first responders, and the removal of the Law Enforcement Block Grants, currently worth $225 million, that specifically assists police officers.

The budget cuts $800 million from state and local homeland security grants. It cuts state and local grant funding for first responder training, exercise, and technical assistance from $320 million in 2004 to $178 million in 2005. It also cuts Firefighter Investment and Response Enhancement Act grants for equipment and personnel to local fire departments by $246 million.

The bottom line: Critical needs of first responders will be under-funded by $98.4 billion over the next five years.

These radical reductions will consolidate the mounting burden placed on state and local governments. It will also prove to be a disatrous setback in aquiring the equipment and training first responders need to fulfill their increasing duties in preserving our homeland security.

In one way or another, we were all affected by the tragedy of 9/11. We saw the brave response of our police, fire, emergency medical personnel and other first responders and we still harbor a great sense of admiration and respect for them. In the time that has since passed, we have come to more fully appreciate our dependance on their service to our communities. Yet we have failed to demonstrate our support for them; we have failed to ensure they are provided with the very tools they need to keep us secure.

We know what needs to be done.

The New York City Fire Department recently made a list of requirements for the adequate preparation for response to future terrorist attacks. It included:
A reliable communications infrastructure for first responders
A secure dispatch network for fire and EMS personnel
An expansion of Fire Department Operations Center as a fully functioning emergency center
A back-up emergency location
12 months of emergency preparedness training for personnel.
It would cost about $277 million to acquire these and other equipment and infrastructure -- more than double the amount granted to New York State by the Department of Homeland Security.

As an effort to remedy the reduced funding and skewed allocation of funds for First Responders, I have introduced the Homeland Emergency Response Act of 2003 (HERO Act), which allocates $15 billion to protect New York City and other American cities. It creates a $3.5 billion first responder program in the first year and maintains a $3.75 billion program per year for three years thereafter. The bill protects high threat urban areas by mandating that 1/3 of all first responder funding be earmarked to the five cities with the greatest vulnerability or threat risk as determined by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction CIA, FBI and HHS.

The bill also creates a new Anti-Terrorism Account for firefighters, while changing the Federal Firefighter Grant Program that is currently in place. The HERO Act also ensures that the allocation of funds is more equitable and based on threat ratio, thereby directing valuable funds to cities with the most need.

Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress are holding up this important piece of legislation.

I have also proposed fundamental changes to the Firefighter Investment and Response Enhancement Act Grant Program, the nation's homeland security funding program targeted specifically for fire departments. Currently, grants are limited to a sum of $75,000 and are distributed according to population. The pre-9/11 cap imposes an unnecessary restriction on access to funds for New York’s first responders.

If, as I propose, the cap were lifted and the $750 million of funds available through the FIRE Act grant program were distributed based on population, New York City would receive $20.5 million, much more than the current cap of $75,000, or even the $2 million cap proposed in President Bush's budget.

Furthermore, it is important to distribute these funds according to threat. While distributed according to population, Montana, for example, receives $9.07 per person while New York City receives only .09 cents per person.

To stand by and allow important funding for First Responders to be so drastically cut is to increase the vulnerability of our great city and undermine the huge strides we have been taking in protecting New Yorkers.

http://www.gothamgazette.com/graphics/crowley.jpg

Josephy Crowley, a Democrat, represents the seventh Congressional District in the Bronx and Queens.

Kris
June 19th, 2004, 10:23 AM
June 19, 2004

House Rejects Extra Security Aid to High-Risk Cities

By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ

WASHINGTON, June 18 - In a blow to the New York metropolitan region's antiterrorism efforts, the House rejected a move Friday to provide nearly $500 million to pay for security initiatives in cities believed to be at greatest risk of attack.

By a vote of 237 to 171 that largely split lawmakers along regional lines, the House rejected an amendment that sought to shift $446 million from a nationwide antiterrorism program to one specifically aimed at New York City and other high-risk cities.

The action brought swift condemnation from New York officials, who have long complained that the federal government gives out millions of dollars in security money to every state, regardless of its vulnerability, in pork-barrel fashion.

The harshest criticism came from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a Republican who announced that New York City was canceling its membership in the National Association of Counties to protest the group's opposition to the measure.

"We are not getting our fair share of Homeland Security money," Mr. Bloomberg said. "To say it's a disgrace is being too charitable."

"The fact of the matter is that when you catch a terrorist with a map in their pocket, the map is of New York City," the mayor said. In Albany, Gov. George E. Pataki, also a Republican, expressed his disappointment with the vote, noting that New York was far more vulnerable to a terrorist attack than other parts of the country.

"To allocate funding across the board to states as opposed to on a threat-based analysis is wrong," Mr. Pataki told reporters.

The battle over money for high-risk cities now moves to the Senate, where members of both parties have been more evenhanded in determining how aid is distributed.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, did not rule out offering an amendment seeking additional money for high-risk cities when the matter comes to the floor in the Senate.

"I'm going to continue to explore every legislative option we have in order to provide an adequate level of funding for New York's security needs," Mrs. Clinton said.

The measure defeated in the House was advanced by a group of New York lawmakers who spent days trying to round up support. Its two chief sponsors were Representative John E. Sweeney, a Republican from the Albany area, and Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, a Democrat from Manhattan.

If the votes are any indication, the dispute is more complicated than a mere partisan fight. Seventy Republicans - many of them from large urbanized states like California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania- joined with 101 Democrats to support the measure. But 89 Democrats - many of them from heavily rural states - joined 147 Republicans to reject it.

The measure seeking the additional $446 million for high-risk cities was offered as an amendment to a bill that calls for providing $33 billion for the Homeland Security Department next year. The House later on Friday approved the overall $33 billion Homeland Security spending plan by an overwhelming 400 to 5.

The additional $446 million would have been squeezed out of roughly $1.2 billion set aside for emergency workers in communities across the nation, no matter their size or their vulnerability.

In all, the Homeland Security bill the House considered calls for providing slightly over $1 billion for cities believed to be at the greatest risk of an attack. The Senate version of the bill sets aside $1.2 billion for high-risk urban areas.

The issue is crucial to New York City officials. The city spends as much as $1 billion a year on antiterrorism measures, and the Bloomberg administration is seeking $400 million in federal security aid for the budget the mayor proposed for the fiscal year that begins in July.

In his comments on Friday, Mr. Bloomberg seized on the House vote as an opportunity to emphasize his concerns about the way Washington apportions security money.

He said "the political pressures" in Congress had turned the allocation of security money into a pork-barrel program in which small states received far more dollars per person than those states at greater risk, like New York.

The mayor said that New York, for example, gets about $5.47 a person in antiterrorism financing, while Wyoming receives $38 a person and Vermont receives $31.

In rambling comments that reflected his frustration and dismay, Mr. Bloomberg also criticized officials from largely agricultural states who have argued that they, too, desperately need federal money to protect the nation's food supply.

"Everybody can always say, 'Well, we have security issues,' " he said. "You know, one guy said to me that, 'Yeah, the corn and soybean crops are our food supply and therefore this country needs a food supply, we've got to protect it.' You know, I've never seen a terrorist with a map of a cornfield in his pocket. Come on. Let's get serious to what this is about, why this money should be going to places like New York City."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
June 22nd, 2004, 12:00 AM
June 22, 2004

Mayor Rescinds Invitation to a G.O.P. Congressman

By MICHAEL SLACKMAN

A lunch planned for two Republican Congressional leaders at Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's town house was canceled when the mayor disinvited an Ohio congressman who had voted against a plan that would have sent nearly $450 million to New York for domestic security, according to people who were scheduled to attend the lunch.

The lunch had been scheduled for the Republican leaders to tap wealthy New York donors. While the mayor has in the past called for wealthy donors to stop writing checks to politicians who act against the city's interests, his decision to personally withdraw an invitation to a member of Congress was the starkest example yet of his willingness to punish fellow Republicans when they go against the city's interests.

Mr. Bloomberg had originally agreed to hold the luncheon in his Upper East Side town house with the two Republican leaders, Representative Thomas Reynolds, who is from the Buffalo area and is chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, and Bob Ney, an Ohio Congressman who is co-chairman of the committee's incumbent-retention effort. The purpose of the lunch was to help sell tickets to a July dinner at which President Bush is the scheduled keynote speaker.

But the invitation to Mr. Ney was canceled after he voted on Friday against an amendment that sought to shift $446 million from a nationwide antiterrorism program to one specifically aimed at New York City and other high-risk urban areas, according to people who were scheduled to attend the event. Mr. Bloomberg agreed to still host the lunch, but Congressional Republicans decided to cancel it altogether, said someone who was scheduled to attend the event. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 237 to 171, with lawmakers split largely along regional lines.

After the vote, Mr. Bloomberg accused Congress of making domestic security a pork-barrel program by giving money to rural areas at the expense of New York, which he said is more at risk as a terror target.

Mr. Bloomberg's aides declined to comment, though it was clear that while Washington officials were not eager to promote the conflict, City Hall had no such reservations. Mr. Bloomberg, who became a Republican shortly before running for office, has continually had to work to reconcile his loyalties to the party that helped make him mayor and to a constituency that is overwhelmingly Democratic. That balancing act has become even more delicate as the city prepares for the Republican National Convention, to be held in the city from Aug. 30 through Sept. 2.

In Washington, some Congressional aides questioned the mayor's motivations in rescinding the invitation.

"Perhaps they feel this can benefit the mayor in New York," said a Republican congressional aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "It is not necessarily a smart thing to do, attacking members of your own party in Congress when you will continue to need to work together."

Mr. Reynolds and Mr. Ney had planned to ask people attending the lunch to buy tickets to the annual presidential dinner, an event to raise money to help elect and re-elect Republicans to Congress, said Carl Forti, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. Mr. Forti would not say why the lunch had been rescheduled.

Mr. Reynolds, an upstate congressman, has supported New York's efforts to get more security dollars from Washington, but in his Republican leadership role he also has strong obligations to the national party.

One potential donor to the party, who also spoke on the condition of not being identified, said that other would-be contributors from New York support Mr. Bloomberg's decision.

"We have been talking about this for a long time," the potential donor said. "Anybody who knows the disparity between the amount of money we send to Washington in tax dollars and fund-raising, and what we get back, knows we lose out."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Ninjahedge
June 22nd, 2004, 09:58 AM
You mean to tell me that these missile silos were never protected against enemy attack before the 9-11 strike?

That we need to spend more money on the risk that a few white supremicists in a pickup truck were found with a bunch of pipe-bombs rolling around in the back 10 MILES away from a missile site?

What are these sites made of? Paper?

Oh, I'm sorry, they are made of MONEY.

I almost forgot... :P

Kris
June 23rd, 2004, 03:34 AM
June 23, 2004

POLITICAL MEMO

If Votes Fail to Favor City, Mayor's Allies Become Foes

By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ

WASHINGTON, June 22 - A few months back, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg urged New Yorkers to help raise money for Representative Harold Rogers, a Kentucky Republican who, as chairman of a House subcommittee on homeland security, was in a position to help New York City get more antiterrorism dollars.

The mayor even coughed up $5,000 of his money to help the congressman, hoping it would sway Mr. Rogers into funneling more homeland security aid to New York.

But last week, the object of the mayor's affection turned on him. Mr. Rogers helped lead an effort in the House to defeat a measure providing hundreds of millions of dollars in additional security aid for cities facing high risk of terrorist attack.

Mr. Rogers's action was a setback for Mr. Bloomberg, who seemed to be at a loss for words when John Gambling, a radio talk show host, asked him about the role Mr. Rogers had played in the vote.

"I've tried to help him," Mr. Bloomberg began by saying. "I've been to the Kentucky Derby with him, and there's always - you know, you've got to live to fight another day. I will be back pressuring him tomorrow the way I was yesterday."

Mr. Rogers's decision was not the only bit of humbling news the House vote brought the mayor last week. The additional money that the mayor was seeking for New York and other high-risk cities was supported by no less a political rival than Representative Tom DeLay, the Republican majority leader in the House.

Mr. Bloomberg has been extremely critical of Mr. DeLay, a conservative Republican from Texas. In the fall, for example, Mr. Bloomberg suggested, in an offhand remark, that New Yorkers might want to think twice before making campaign contributions to Mr. DeLay because he was out to shortchange the city on a critical source of federal financing.

On Tuesday, Mr. Bloomberg offered kind words for Mr. DeLay, albeit grudgingly. "I don't always agree with Tom DeLay," he said. "But when he does what is right, he should get the credit for it."

In the meantime, Republicans close to Mr. DeLay wasted little time in noting the irony behind the fact that it was Mr. DeLay who tried to come through for the city, while Mr. Rogers did not. These Republicans said that Mr. Bloomberg should perhaps abandon his practice of punishing Republicans who he believes are acting against the city's interest.

But on Tuesday, Mr. Bloomberg made it clear that he would continue to take New York City's needs into account when deciding whose Congressional campaign he will support.

"I'm going to help those who help New York City," he said. "Congress comes here to this city to raise money. They want to have photo ops showing all the good things they do. Well, I think you should have photo ops for everything you do good or bad - and then let the public decide. And I don't think that I should be supporting somebody who voted to take away moneys that we need to protect us against terrorists."

Republicans close to Mr. Bloomberg said that that last line of the mayor's comment was a veiled reference to Mr. Rogers. At the same time, Mr. Bloomberg singled out another fellow Republican who voted against the additional money for New York City: Representative Robert W. Ney of Ohio.

Mr. Bloomberg said he had disinvited Mr. Ney from a Republican fund-raising lunch at his town house. "I looked at who was coming to my house and how they voted to help or not help this city," he said.

As for Mr. Rogers, the Kentucky congressman, he strongly defended his vote the night the House defeated the effort to provide additional money to high-risk cities. He expressed concern that big cities like New York would drain money from federal antiterrorism programs and thus leave crumbs for smaller communities.

"Just because you are not a large urban area does not mean that you are not at risk from terrorist attack," Mr. Rogers said. "Hundreds of U.S. agricultural documents have been found in the Al Qaeda caves in Afghanistan and other places. It has been reported that a significant part of Al Qaeda's training manual is devoted to agricultural terrorism, a frightening fact when you recall the reported terrorist interest in crop dusters."

In March, Mr. Bloomberg contributed $4,000 to Mr. Rogers's primary and general election campaigns; a month earlier, he contributed $1,000 to a political action committee run by Mr. Rogers.

Those are the only contributions to a Congressional candidate that Mr. Bloomberg has made so far this year. They are also the largest contribution by an individual to Mr. Rogers's campaign, according to federal elections records.

But that was not the only time that Mr. Bloomberg has used campaign contributions to curry favor with powerful figures in Washington who are in a position to help or hurt New York City.

Last year, Mr. Bloomberg raised money for Senator Richard C. Shelby, an Alabama Republican and chairman of the Banking Committee, who can help determine whether the city will get the billions of dollars in transportation funding that it is seeking from Washington.


Breaking Chops, Not Bread

In a move that had the political world buzzing, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has delivered the back of his hand to Representative Bob Ney, an important Republican from rural Ohio. As the G.O.P. convention in August draws near, Mr. Ney was looking forward to a political power lunch this week at the mayor's Upper East Side town house. But he was disinvited right after he voted against a $446 million proposal to help New York and other high-risk areas fight terrorism.

What may get lost in the gossip is the importance of Mr. Bloomberg's political point. The rebuff may be a rocky prelude to the convention, but Mr. Ney had it coming, as did all the lawmakers who are from places known to be low security risks but still grab large chunks of homeland security money.

For too long, Mr. Bloomberg and other leaders from high-risk locations have pointed out endlessly that remote areas with sparse populations and no famous sites likely to draw a terrorist's attention are getting more money per person for homeland security than places like New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco. Mr. Ney's defenders point out that the antiterrorism money would have been taken from a nationwide program; rural lawmakers — Democrats as well as Republicans — would not risk their own constituents' ire by voting yes.

That's politics. But this is one case in which we suspect that even the average voters in Wyoming or rural Ohio would agree that places like New York need the money more than they do. At any rate, supposed leaders like members of Congress have an obligation to explain that there are at least a few times when national priorities trump pork.

Plenty of 9/11 tributes to the city will resound at the convention. Let's hope that more Republicans than the mayor keep in mind that the ultimate tribute in politics is on the budget line.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Ninjahedge
June 23rd, 2004, 09:02 AM
Mr. Bloomberg should perhaps abandon his practice of punishing Republicans who he believes are acting against the city's interest.

Yeah! Who is he to say anything if he thinks the guys are harming the city!!! He is a Republican!!! And all Republicans should support each other when they shoot each other in the feet. :P


And I don't think that I should be supporting somebody who voted to take away moneys that we need to protect us against terrorists


Republicans close to Mr. Bloomberg said that that last line of the mayor's comment was a veiled reference to Mr. Rogers

Thanks, like we really needed someone to tell us that... :roll:


"Just because you are not a large urban area does not mean that you are not at risk from terrorist attack," Mr. Rogers said. "Hundreds of U.S. agricultural documents have been found in the Al Qaeda caves in Afghanistan and other places. It has been reported that a significant part of Al Qaeda's training manual is devoted to agricultural terrorism, a frightening fact when you recall the reported terrorist interest in crop dusters."

I suppose they are going to go kill a field of CORN??!?

Dude, WTH do you think they were going to do with the dusters, fly around Kansas killing cows??!?


but Mr. Ney had it coming, as did all the lawmakers who are from places known to be low security risks but still grab large chunks of homeland security money

Pork anyone?


But this is one case in which we suspect that even the average voters in Wyoming or rural Ohio would agree that places like New York need the money more than they do. At any rate, supposed leaders like members of Congress have an obligation to explain that there are at least a few times when national priorities trump pork.

Ahhhhh, pork.

The other politicians meat.

krulltime
July 23rd, 2004, 10:09 AM
FED$ TO CITY: DROP DEAD


By VINCENT MORRIS
July 23, 2004

WASHINGTON - New York City's anti-terror resources are being grossly underfunded by the White House and Congress, which treat the critical money as "pork-barrel spending," the new 9/11 report charges.

Instead of helping New York arm itself against another attack, Washington lawmakers are engaged in a "free-for-all" for the federal aid, the panel concluded.

The bipartisan criticism echoes complaints from Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn, Queens) and others, who say millions in Homeland Security money goes disproportionately to remote states like Wyoming and Alaska instead of New York.

Mayor Bloomberg, in a written statement, said, "It is nothing short of scandalous that New York City and New York state still rank almost at the very bottom of anti-terrorism funding, and I urge Congress to immediately take steps to allocate money where the greatest risks lie."

In a separate section, the commission's report offers unflinching criticism of Bloomberg's effort to improve Police and Fire department coordination, and spotlights many of the failings of the NYPD, FDNY and Port Authority in the first hours after two planes slammed into the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

"The FDNY, as an institution, proved incapable of coordinating the numbers of units dispatched to different points within the 6-acre complex," the report found. "As a result, numerous units were congregating in the undamaged Marriott Hotel and at the overall command post while chiefs of the south tower were still in desperate need of units."

The report did exonerate Battalion Chief Joseph Pfieffer, who had come under fire for failing to properly turn on the repeater - which relayed messages across the radios — in the north tower, the first one hit. The report found the repeater system "seemed inoperable."

It also disproved a widely held theory that cops didn't relay evacuation orders to firefighters, noting that at least 24 of the 32 fire companies in the north tower received the orders.

The commission did dodge a key question: whether screw-ups among the uniformed personnel cost lives.

"Whether the lack of coordination between the FDNY and NYPD on September 11 had a catastrophic effect has been the subject of controversy. We believe that there are too many variables for us to responsibly quantify those consequences," the report says.

On the question of spending federal resources in the war against terror, the 10-member commission was crystal-clear.

"Homeland-security assistance should be based strictly on the assessment of risks and vulnerabilities. In 2004, Washington and New York City are certainly at the top of any such list. Congress should not use this money as a pork barrel," the report says.

But just hours after the report was released, several powerful Republican lawmakers expressed doubts about adopting the recommendations.

Sen. Kit Bond (Mo.) pointed out that "there's a lot of other targets," adding, "Should homeland security focus only on Washington and New York City, you can be sure terrorists will strike elsewhere."

"We need to worry about agri-terrorism," Bond added.

Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas agreed that the threat from terrorists to Kansas corn, wheat and soybeans is "very real."

On the question of New York's current emergency-response plan — which lays out which agency will take the lead on terror incident — the 9/11 commission was disappointed.

"This falls short of an optional response plan, which requires clear command and control," the report says.

Additional reporting by Stephanie Gaskell


Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

krulltime
July 23rd, 2004, 10:14 AM
Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas agreed that the threat from terrorists to Kansas corn, wheat and soybeans is "very real."

What? Oh yeah like the terrorist will like to just get rid of all the people left in Kansas... The fact that it is a boring place to live is not enough to rid of the population in that state... please. :roll:

Ninjahedge
July 23rd, 2004, 02:52 PM
We all know the Soy lives in fear!!!!!!

What would happen if these terrorists unleashed a bio-toxin that decimated Soy fields!!! i mean!!! What would we do for Soy Milk!!!!!!!?!

And CORN?!?!? We all know there is only one genetic variant of CORN! One little bug could wipe out our surplus!!!!

It is a concern, but not a terrorist concern. These guys should be applauded for suggesting these things and keeping a strait face.

krulltime
August 4th, 2004, 05:54 PM
Mike: Cut us a break on terror war funds


BY DAVID SALTONSTALL
DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU CHIEF

With New York spending millions a week on anti-terror efforts, city officials made a new plea to Congress and the White House: Show us the money!

The city's stepped-up security, which includes posting cops outside major financial firms and checking trucks for possible explosives, is costing New York an estimated $5 million a week, NYPD sources said.

But don't expect the feds to pick up much of the tab, which comes amid new evidence Al Qaeda plotted to blow up the New York Stock Exchange and the Citigroup building.

The city is already spending $200 million a year on police staffing and overtime to keep the city safe from terror. An additional $700 million in needed equipment also is being sought by various agencies, NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said.

But the federal Homeland Security Department only funneled about $100 million to the city in fiscal 2004 - or roughly half the $180 million it sent in fiscal 2003.

New York currently ranks 49th out of 50 states in the amount of homeland security aid it receives per capita - a situation Mayor Bloomberg has blasted as "pork-barrel politics at its worst."

"I don't think we need more evidence" that New York is a prime terror target, Bloomberg said yesterday on CNN. "What you need to do is have the political courage to stand up and say enough with the pork barrel."

Others chimed in as well. City Council Speaker Gifford Miller (D-Manhattan) called for $355 million in new aidfor the NYPD and FDNY, while Sen. Hillary Clinton urged President Bush to sign an executive order so that at-risk cities like New York get more money.

"Let's put our money where our mouth is," Clinton said, adding that if Bush won't sign an executive order, an emergency session of Congress should be called.

Homeland Security Department officials countered that New York gets far more in total aid than any other city, and that the President is seeking to double funds for high-risk cities in his next budget. "We agree that more resources are needed going forward," said Josh Filler, director of state coordination for the department.

The city's push got some support from powerful House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), who told the Daily News Editorial Board that big cities like New York - and Chicago - should get more homeland aid.

"I think that money ought to go to the places that need it most," said Hastert, who blamed the Republican-controlled Senate for the current situation. "A viable New York is good for the nation."

With Maggie Haberman, Frank Lombardi and Corky Siemaszko
Originally published on August 4, 2004


All contents © 2004 Daily News, L.P.

BrooklynRider
August 5th, 2004, 10:30 AM
I generally like Bloomberg, but his continual lap-dog style relationship with the President and RNC is going to cost him my vote - especially his total lock-down of Midtown Manhattan to protect the same folks who are failing to allocate funds to protect us when they're not here.

Kris
August 9th, 2004, 05:58 AM
August 9, 2004

METRO MATTERS

Is a Fair Share in the Cards for New York?

By JOYCE PURNICK

MORE. Send more. Within hours of learning about the terrorist alert last week, New York's political establishment had renewed its demand that Washington reform its ways and recognize that the city needs a larger piece of the homeland security pie.

There's a broad bipartisan consensus about that - in New York, anyway. There is also a quite fundamental problem. To whom, and where, exactly, should New York direct its demands? Because a close look at the antiterrorism programs reveals a case study in Washington diffusion, responsibility passed from Congress to the White House and back again.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at first condemned Congress for treating the money as a "pork barrel," feeding 50 states. But he has taken the advice to "make nice'' with his party, and has never blamed President Bush's tolerance of the terror money game. Nor has he complained of Gov. George E. Pataki's apparent acquiescence. The governor limits himself to mild calls for change, and the most the mayor has said is, "Everybody is to blame.''

The precise degree of discrimination against New York City is hard to calculate. And because responsibility has been fragmented, it is hard to know who is really dealing the cards. The White House, Congress and the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have played a form of three-card monte with the terror budgets, leaving the public in dizzy confusion.

Soon after Sept. 11, Congress authorized special spending for local security and, as is its custom, insisted that a significant portion - about 40 percent - be disbursed equally among all 50 states. The Justice Department, then in charge of security, decided that the remaining 60 percent would be allocated on a per capita basis.

The total appropriation for this year is $2.2 billion. So each state received $16.5 million, and United States territories also got some money. The remaining $1.32 billion was apportioned by state population, no matter what the actual burden. Over all, New York State gets a great deal more than most states, but, it argues, less than it needs given its risk.

Lawmakers from the more threatened places objected, and proposed a program - the Urban Area Security Initiative - that would give special aid to cities at special risk, based mainly on intelligence assessments and population density.

In April 2003, the White House's Office of Management and Budget chose seven cities for that special help: New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco and Houston. But observe the monte - by this year, the Department of Homeland Security and its secretary, Tom Ridge, had expanded the program to 50 cities and 30 transportation agencies. Each gets a different share of the munificent $725 million allocated for the program.

In short: Congress dreamed up the equal shares for the states; the Bush administration chose the population formula that Congress later adopted; and Homeland Security spread the danger formula paper thin.

"Most people just don't understand how much of it is discretionary - one-third at the discretion of Congress, one-third at the complete discretion of the White House and one-third at the discretion of both,'' said Senator Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat who led the fight last year for the second program with Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania.

FOR the next fiscal year, the Bush administration says it wants a better recognition of risk factors. But the president has not lobbied for the change, which would, after all, benefit a blue city and state in an election year. A Homeland Security spokeswoman says New York State has been well served, with $660 million since Sept. 11, 2001 - or 8.25 percent of the $8 billion national total.

City Hall calculates that it cost New York an additional $1.5 million for its police force to respond to the warnings last week, and at least $200 million a year for police antiterror activities. The city's homeland security dollars: $165 million in the current fiscal year (including an anticipated $50 million for convention security) - somewhat less than the $188 million last year.

Not enough, said Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. "The president has the authority to change the formula if he chooses,'' she contends. "The last time I looked, his party was in the leadership in both houses of Congress, and I have seen what happens when this White House decides it really wants something.''

Washington budget negotiations are idled for a while. In the meantime, remember, New York: make nice when the president brings his party to town later this month.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
December 4th, 2004, 01:37 PM
December 4, 2004

Homeland Security Reduces Aid for Jersey City and Newark Areas in 2005

By JOSH BENSON

TRENTON, Dec. 3 - Less than a month after lowering a heightened terror alert for northern New Jersey, the Department of Homeland Security announced on Friday that it would sharply decrease its financing for the Jersey City and Newark areas next year.

The amount of money earmarked for security expenditures in Jersey City will drop to less than $7 million in 2005, from $17 million this year, and in Newark, to $12.4 million from nearly $15 million. The cuts to these port cities coincide with increases in federal spending for security in 50 other urban areas, including New York City and Washington. New York will receive urban area grants exceeding $200 million, up from $47 million this year.

Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey reacted angrily to the reductions, releasing a statement that labeled them "unconscionable" and "a slap in the face to New Jersey and all of our residents."

Mr. Codey telephoned the incoming homeland security secretary, Bernard B. Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner, to express concern about the possible effects of the reduced grants.

State officials responsible for homeland security said that the cuts took them by surprise, and that the change could mean that the authorities will have to alter their plans for protecting the two cities. "We were expecting, at a minimum, flat funding," said Roger Shatzkin, a spokesman for the state's counter-terrorism office. "We didn't anticipate cuts. We're obviously going to have to look at the programs in place and, if there's no additional funding, make decisions based on this decreased funding."

In the past, the state has used grants, which come from a fund called the Federal Urban Area Security Initiative, to increase the protection of critical sites in and around Jersey City and Newark. The grants were also used to improve the equipment of emergency workers and the coordination between police, fire and emergency medical workers.

Valerie Smith, a spokeswoman for the Homeland Security Department, said that the new allocation of money was based on a formula that factored in population, critical infrastructure and credible threat information, which can change substantially from year to year. In addition, federal officials took into consideration population density and the ability of more than one city to share resources - a factor in play for Jersey City and Newark, which are about two miles apart.

"We receive a specific allocation for our grants programs and we run the formulas," Ms. Smith said. "So this is using a conglomeration of data accumulated throughout the year."

Based on intelligence reports of terror threats, the financial districts of northern New Jersey, along with New York City and Washington, were placed on a heightened alert status by the Department of Homeland Security on Aug. 1. The heightened alert remained in place for all three areas until Nov. 10, when they were downgraded to normal status.

The decreased financing comes as the state braces for lower overall aid levels from the federal government, which is decreasing its national spending on homeland security grants to states to $1.7 billion in 2005, from $2.1 billion last year. That money is separate from the financing set aside for urban areas.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
December 22nd, 2004, 08:24 AM
December 22, 2004

Big Cities Will Get More in Antiterrorism Grants

By ERIC LIPTON

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 - Responding to repeated calls from big-city mayors, the Department of Homeland Security is shifting a larger share of its annual $3.5 billion in antiterrorism grants to the nation's largest cities, allowing them to accelerate purchases of equipment and training needed to better defend against - or at least rapidly respond to - an attack.

The biggest beneficiary of the shift is New York City, which has been awarded a $208 million grant for the 2005 fiscal year, compared with $47 million in the 2004 fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30. That should allow the city to buy more devices that can detect chemical, biological or other hazards, increase training for its police and firefighters and spend more money on an intelligence center where it analyzes possible terrorist threats, one state official said.

Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago and Boston also are getting larger grants, although the increase is not nearly as substantial as in New York.

"We've been protecting the nation's financial and communications center on our own dime," said Raymond W. Kelly, New York City's police commissioner. "It's a national responsibility."

Proponents of the shift say they hope it is only a first step in a more fundamental revamping of homeland security grants. But the change has evoked protests from cities that have dropped off the list or whose allocations have shrunk, including Orlando, Fla.; Memphis; and New Haven.

"We are at the crossroads of America, for cars, for trains, for river traffic," said Claude Talford, director of emergency management services in the Memphis area, which received a $10 million grant for 2004 but is not slated to get any direct grant in 2005. "We are a prime location, a prime target, any way you look at it."

Lobbying efforts are under way to try to reinstate financing to these communities. But homeland security officials said the grant allocations were final.

Two shifts in homeland security financing are resulting in the reallocation of the grants. First, in the 2005 fiscal year, at the urging of President Bush, a larger share of the grants will be distributed directly to cities, instead of through a state program set up to ensure that both urban and rural areas got a cut.

Second, of the money earmarked for high-risk cities, much more of it is going to the biggest cities: in the 2005 fiscal year, New York, Washington and Los Angeles will get 42 percent of the money, compared with 16 percent for the top three cities in 2004. This shift took place, homeland security officials said, because more possible targets - bridges, signature buildings, government facilities and other importanat structures - have been added to a database they use to calculate threats. Domestic terrorism incidents, whether actual attacks or just false reports, also are now factored into the formula. And instead of taking into account only population density, the department also now factors in a city's overall population.

These changes explain not only why New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are getting larger grants, said Marc Short, a Homeland Security Department spokesman. They are also part of the reason that cities like Fresno, Calif.; Albany; and Richmond, Va., were dropped from the 2005 high-risk grant list, while cities like Jacksonville, Fla.; Arlington, Tex.; and Oklahoma City were added, Mr. Short said.

Mr. Bush and some members of Congress had wanted to give an even greater share of the money directly to cities using a threat-based formula, instead of a state-by-state system, responding in part to criticism that states like Wyoming now get more per capita in terrorism grants than New York. But Congress this year curtailed the extent of the shift to threat-based grants.

"This is a huge, huge step in the right direction, but it absolutely does not answer the need," Washington's city administrator, Robert C. Bobb, said of the $91 million the capital area will get in the two major homeland security grants, compared with $45 million this year. "We are the face of the United States, one of the most visible centers of government power and strength."

For now, cities like New York, Washington and Los Angeles are preparing plans for spending their bigger-than-expected grants. In the Los Angeles area and New York, officials want to invest more in an intelligence clearinghouse to collect raw information on possible terrorist threats and then decide how to respond to them.

"This will allow us to make some investments into some items that were just out of reach before," said Mark Leap, the assistant commanding officer in the Los Angeles Police Department counterterrorism bureau, of the $61 million grant to the Los Angeles area, compared with $28 million in the 2004 fiscal year.

Washington wants to enhance its capacity to communicate with area residents in an emergency and to improve the ability of the capital region's public safety departments to communicate with one another, Mr. Bobb said.

New York City officials also want to build a backup computer system allowing them to maintain operations in the event of an attack, as well as spend more money on training and, when necessary, station officers around possible targets.

The Homeland Security Department still has more grants to give out for the 2005 fiscal year, so it remains impossible to predict how urban states like New York, California and Illinois will end up, on a per capita basis, compared with more rural states. But elected officials from these states say their push to direct money to the highest-risk cities is far from over.

"The system is still flawed," said Representative Christopher Cox, Republican of California, who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. "It is at the intersection of threat and vulnerability that our money should be directed. But right now we are using a seat-of-the-pants analysis."


Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
December 22nd, 2004, 08:12 PM
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2004/12/21/politics/22GRANTS_GRAPHIC.gif

NewYorkYankee
December 22nd, 2004, 11:44 PM
December 22, 2004

Big Cities Will Get More in Antiterrorism Grants



It's about damn time!

TLOZ Link5
December 23rd, 2004, 06:53 PM
"We are at the crossroads of America, for cars, for trains, for river traffic," said Claude Talford, director of emergency management services in the Memphis area, which received a $10 million grant for 2004 but is not slated to get any direct grant in 2005. "We are a prime location, a prime target, any way you look at it."

With due respect to Mr. Talford, can anyone outside of the United States even point to Memphis on a map?

NewYorkYankee
December 23rd, 2004, 07:22 PM
Ummm....No.

ZippyTheChimp
December 23rd, 2004, 07:45 PM
You folks are so uninformed.

Rock n' Roll is the cultural symbol of America and must be safeguarded at all costs. Graceland is a prime target of Bin Laden.

Thank ya ma'am.

Kris
February 20th, 2005, 12:19 AM
February 20, 2005

Audit Faults U.S. for Its Spending on Port Defense

By ERIC LIPTON

http://graphics10.nytimes.com/images/2005/02/20/national/20secure.jpg
Christiansted harbor on St. Croix in the Virgin Islands was one of the ports that received grants from the Homeland Security Department.

http://graphics10.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/w.gifASHINGTON, Feb. 18 - The Department of Homeland Security has allocated hundreds of millions of dollars to protect ports since Sept. 11 without sufficiently focusing on those that are most vulnerable, a policy that could compromise the nation's ability to better defend against terrorist attacks, the department's inspector general has concluded.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars has been invested in redundant lighting systems and unnecessary technical equipment, the audit found, but "the program has not yet achieved its intended results in the form of actual improvement in port security."

In addition, less than a quarter of the $517 million that the department distributed in grants between June 2002 and December 2003 had been spent as of September 2004, the inspector general found. The report also questioned whether grants allocated for small projects in resort areas and some remote locations should have been considered as critical to national security needs as larger projects at ports that are more vital to the national economy.

The findings, released earlier this week, were the latest to criticize the Homeland Security Department's antiterrorism grant program, which has come under attack by people who say it has set poor priorities. For example, Wyoming received four times as much antiterrorism money per capita as New York did last year, according to a Congressional report.

A Department of Homeland Security spokesman, citing the department's defense of the port grants that was included in the audit, declined requests for further comment. In remarks included in the audit, a Homeland Security official said the department had taken the higher risk factor of larger ports into account.

Ninety-five percent of all international commerce enters the United States through its roughly 360 public and private ports. But nearly 80 percent of that trade moves through only 10 ports, with the biggest loads passing through Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland in California and New York. That is why the nation's biggest ports are seen as particularly attractive as terrorist targets. Severely damaging one would not only cause deaths, injuries and property damage, but could also disrupt the flow of many basic goods into and out of the country, port officials say.

Part of the problem, the audit found, is that the annual grants were given out based on applications submitted by individual ports and then awarded even when department staff members found that many of the submissions lacked merit. Instead of withholding money because of a shortage of viable projects, the department disbursed the money to finance dubious security initiatives, many of which are detailed in the 70-page report. The grants are described in some detail, but the names of the winners and losers are not disclosed.

The grant program was intended to limit awards to what were considered strategic ports, meaning terminals that handle a large volume of cargo or a high number of passengers, are next to military facilities, or handle hazardous cargo.

After examining four separate rounds of port grants, the inspector general found that the department appeared to be intentionally distributing the money as widely as possible across the country, instead of focusing it on the biggest ports or on other locations that intelligence reports suggested were most likely to be future targets.

Major ports like New York, Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland received large allocations. But smaller grants went to ports in places like St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, Martha's Vineyard, Mass., Ludington, Mich., and six locations in Arkansas, none of which appeared to meet the grant eligibility requirements, the audit said. The department, as a result, "had no assurance that the program is protecting the nation's most critical and vulnerable port infrastructure and assets," the audit said.

Grants to ports were just a small piece in the more than $2.5 billion given out last year by Homeland Security to local and state governments, as well as to private enterprises. The money is to be used to help prevent attacks and to help equip rescue personnel and other public safety crews in case they need to respond to an attack.

The audit results appear to support criticism voiced last September by Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, Democrat of New Jersey, who complained in a letter to President Bush that the methods used to grant the awards did not make sense.

"Your administration awarded port security grants in the states of Oklahoma, Kentucky, New Hampshire and Tennessee," Mr. Lautenberg wrote. "While there may be some form of maritime facilities in these locations, I question whether, of the nation's 361 maritime ports, these locations are truly the front lines on the war on terror."

In California and New York, officials have repeatedly expressed frustration at what they say is insufficient federal financing for their port security projects. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, predicted in 2003 that with nearly half of all port trade going through her state, "there is an almost a one-in-two chance" that any radiological explosive device, known as a "dirty bomb," sent to the United States in a ship container would pass through California.

"Clearly, we need to allocate a considerable portions of seaport security resources to California ports to prevent or respond to such an attack," Ms. Feinstein wrote to the Department of Homeland Security.

In objecting to the findings, an administrator at Homeland Security, Anna F. Dixon, wrote that the grant program "continues to enhance security and address real or potential vulnerabilities in our nation's ports and waterways." Ms. Dixon said the grants were given "where they are needed most to improve security in U.S. ports."

But Ms. Dixon, who works for the department's chief financial officer, also said that Homeland Security intended to adopt several of the auditor's recommendations in order to allocate the money in the future to the highest-risk ports.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in four rounds of port security grants, received $6.2 million, or 1 percent of the total grants given out through the primary port security financing source, according to federal documents.

When other New York-based government agencies and private corporations are added in, the grants to the New York City area rise to about $35 million, about 7 percent of the total. The port handles 12 percent of the nation's cargo traffic. Much of the grant money directed to New York went to profit-making oil terminal companies, like Sunoco Logistics Partners, to help them pay for security enhancements.

Anthony R. Coscia, chairman of the port authority board, said it had long been obvious to him that the grant-making criteria needed to be changed.

"We have only gotten a fraction of the money we have requested," Mr. Coscia said. "We have to start dealing with security based on what intelligence analysis leads us to conclude are greatest areas of vulnerabilities, and not on geographic distribution or political considerations."

According to the audit, the questionable projects that were financed include:

¶$130,000 for a closed-circuit television system at one port, awarded even after the department ranked the project 27th of 29 applications and stated in its internal review documents that "these initiatives would be redundant to what the port authority has in place."

¶$180,000 to install security lights at a port that the department noted is a "small, remote facility that receives less than 20 ships per year."

¶$10,000 to one port for encrypted radios that the field staff concluded were not needed and perhaps not compatible with federal and state radios.

Grants were also given to private-sector projects that "appeared to be for a purpose other than security against an act of terrorism," the audit said, or simply to replace existing security.

At one port - next to which stood a luxury entertainment pavilion that included restaurants, a hotel and spa - a $25,000 grant was given to install video surveillance equipment and alarms, a project that department staff members had ranked last among the applications. The auditors concluded that it "appears to support the normal course of business" and was unrelated to any potential terrorist threat.

In another case, a $935,000 grant was awarded for general security improvements to a port where an industrial park was being built, leading department staff members to question if the money was in fact an economic development grant, instead of antiterrorism financing.

The Department of Homeland Security requires that the grant money be spent within a year of the award, but few of the recipients met this provision, the report says. The auditors found that few of the projects were ready to start construction at the time of the award, despite the one-year requirement.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

TLOZ Link5
February 20th, 2005, 03:41 PM
You folks are so uninformed.

Rock n' Roll is the cultural symbol of America and must be safeguarded at all costs. Graceland is a prime target of Bin Laden.

Thank ya ma'am.

Isn't Memphis more of a blues city than a rock one?

Not to mention that it's heavily Democratic.

ZippyTheChimp
January 3rd, 2006, 08:55 PM
anuary 3, 2006

New Rules Set for Giving Out Antiterror Aid

By ERIC LIPTON

Facing cuts in antiterrorism financing, the Department of Homeland Security plans to announce today that it will evaluate new requests for money from an $800 million aid program for cities based less on politics and more on assessments of where terrorists are likely to strike and potentially cause the greatest damage, department officials say.

The changes to the program, the Urban Area Security Initiative, are being driven in part by a reduction in the overall pool of money for antiterrorism efforts. For 2006, Congress has appropriated $120 million less in these urban grants than for 2005.

Domestic security grants in general, including the urban area ones, have been criticized because they have sent more antiterrorism money per capita to sparsely populated states like Wyoming and Alaska than to states like New York and California.

The shift in policy, to be announced by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, could mean less antiterrorism aid for the 50 cities that received money last year under the program. Or, as is more likely, the department could reduce the number of cities on the list or cut grants for cities deemed at lower risk.

Until the application process is under way, it is unclear what the impact may be in cities now receiving money under the program, including New York.

Set up after the 2001 terrorist attacks, the Homeland Security Department's local and state grant programs have drawn repeated criticism from members of Congress and budget watchdog groups because the early emphasis on spreading the money around resulted in tens of millions of dollars going to some communities where, critics said, the terrorist threat was not as urgent as elsewhere.

Examples cited in recent testimony to Congress include $557,400 awarded to North Pole, Alaska, a city of about 1,700 residents, to buy rescue and communications equipment, and $500,000 to Outagamie County, Wis., population 165,000, to buy chemical suits, rescue saws, disaster-response trailers, emergency lighting and a bomb disposal vehicle.

Mr. Chertoff, in a speech last month, said the changes he was considering would require an acknowledgment that the nation could not protect itself against all risks.

"That means tough choices," he said. "And choices mean focusing on the risks which are the greatest. And that means some risks get less focus."

Officials from some smaller American cities that have received grants said they deserved a reasonable share of the antiterrorism aid.

"We certainly are much smaller than a city like New York or Los Angeles," said Don Thorson, administrator for the grant program in Omaha.

But, Mr. Thorson said: "We still are an urban area. And we still have risks. No one can predict where a terrorist might strike. Look where Timothy McVeigh struck. It was Oklahoma City."

Omaha received $5.1 million last year, which it used to buy bomb suits and communications equipment, among other items.

Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York, who is chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said the shift properly made risk a more meaningful factor in allocating the money.

"The more risk-based they can make it, the better," Mr. King said. "It sends a message to Congress that homeland security is a serious matter, it is not a public works project, that we are not going down the pork-barrel road. That is vital."

Homeland Security officials would not offer predictions of what the likely outcome would be in terms of how many cities would see their grants eliminated or cut significantly.

The Urban Area Security Initiative represents $765 million of the $2.5 billion budgeted in the 2006 fiscal year for state and local antiterrorism programs. A separate Homeland Security grant program, which gives money directly to states, has been allocated $550 million by Congress this fiscal year. That money will still be distributed, in part, based on a formula that sets a minimum for each state. But for the first time, money not obligated by this formula will be distributed based on risk.

When the Urban Area Security grants were first announced in 2003, only seven cities were given money: New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco and Houston. But the list quickly grew to 30 cities and finally to 50 as more cities were deemed eligible for the grants.

Last year, even though the number of cities remained about the same, a much larger share of the money went to the biggest cities, with New York getting $207.5 million, compared with $49.7 million in 2004.

The system to be unveiled today evaluates applications for aid based on how well cities meet emergency preparedness standards recently established by the Homeland Security Department.

The standards include detailed steps that local and state governments would be required to take in response to potential threats, like the release of the nerve agent Sarin in office buildings or the truck bombing of a sports arena. The applications will also be ranked based on a significantly expanded database that the agency has set up to try to objectively measure the risk level in each city, department officials said. The database includes, for example, an inventory of high-profile government buildings and major structures like bridges, as well as daily ridership on a subway system and how many subway stations a city system has.

Risk is defined as a combination of the perceived threat, the vulnerability of a particular city or asset, and the consequences of an attack.

"The system before was fairly Neanderthalic," one Homeland Security official said, on condition on anonymity because he did not want to pre-empt Mr. Chertoff's announcement. "It was very, very sophomoric."

Mr. Chertoff has made clear that he expects protests when the final grant awards are announced.

"To each individual, the risks that touch him or her personally are the most urgent and of greatest concern," he said in his speech last month. "But I know you also know that as someone who has responsibility for making decisions that touch on all Americans, I have to weigh, with limited resources, the allocation of resources based on the greatest risk, and that means some people are going to be disappointed."

The prospect of increased competition for the money comes as no surprise to officials in some smaller cities.

"We anticipated there would be a point soon where Bush would be concerned about throwing so much money out there," said Samuel Simon, director of public safety in St. Louis.

The city received $7 million last year, money spent - wisely, Mr. Simon said - to prepare for the possibility of a pandemic flu outbreak or small-scale terrorist attack.

* Copyright 2006The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
January 4th, 2006, 08:48 AM
Mayor Scores Bush Anti-Terrorism Funding Plan

BY JULIA LEVY - Staff Reporter of the Sun
January 4, 2006
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/25278

The Bush administration's new plan for linking anti-terrorism funding to the threat of natural disasters met with criticism yesterday from Mayor Bloomberg and a Democratic congressman who last year sought to challenge him for mayor, Anthony Weiner.

For the past four years, Mr. Bloomberg has argued that cities that are the most likely terrorist targets should be the largest recipients of Homeland Security aid. Yesterday, the Homeland Security chief, Michael Chertoff, said a "risk based" approach was the department's goal. But at the same time, he said, the $765 million the department will distribute under the urban area security initiative this year will be linked to the threat of natural disasters, not only to the likelihood a city will be attacked by terrorists.

"I think we should keep monies for the risks of terrorism and the risks of natural disaster separate," Mr. Bloomberg told reporters at a morning news conference in Brooklyn, soon after Mr. Chertoff made his announcement in Washington.

The mayor, who entered office less than four months after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, said he is certainly not opposed to federal money being directed at the threat of natural disasters.

"I don't have a problem if they add extra money and decide how to allocate that, as long as it is done based on threat and not on pork barrel politics," he said. "So they should come up with a standard for how you decide what cities are threatened from natural disasters. Every city potentially could have something. We plan all the time in this city. We have evacuation plans if there's a hurricane that strikes. We certainly have plans for what to do if there is an outbreak of a contagious disease that is life-threatening. We deal with what happens if there is a natural disaster like a blackout or if there were to be a strike that takes away mass transit or something else that's necessary. And we can make the case then as to why we deserve monies in the event of a natural disaster, but I think they are two very separate things and I think they should certainly keep them separate."

But the new Homeland Security plan doesn't include "extra money," as Mr. Bloomberg put it. In fact, this year, the Bush administration will distribute $64 million less under the urban area security initiative than it did last year. The overall budget for the program will be $765 million this year, down from $855 million last year.

Mr. Weiner, who represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens, had even harsher words about the new Homeland Security plan.

Calling the plan "one step forward and three steps back," Mr. Weiner said, "Not only will more cities be eligible, but now the money will be used to protect against weather and natural disasters. Homeland Security funding should protect against terrorism, not for any other purpose."

Mr. Weiner, who is a member of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, criticized the Bush administration for "slashing" Homeland Security funding and complained that New York City would still have to compete with small cities including Omaha and Milwaukee for the critical money.

The New York Sun reported yesterday that Rep. Vito Fossella, a Republican of Staten Island, also opposes the idea of directing Homeland Security terrorism money to other purposes, such as natural disaster preparedness.

Mr. Fossella said: "It seems that out of left field they are now going to take that limited funding, which is already insignificant for New York, and open it up to other initiatives. I think Homeland Security should put the brakes on this thing until Congress has an opportunity to review what this is all about."

Yesterday, Mr. Chertoff announced that under the new plan, 35 metropolitan areas - cities and the regions that surround them - would be eligible for the urban area security funds this year, but only if they show an "investment justification" that they will use the money wisely. An additional 11 areas that previously received money under the program are still eligible, but were told they may be dropped from the list next year.

"If we're not using the money for critical capabilities, then the money is being wasted," Mr. Chertoff said. "Now, we are being, again, common-sensical and taking a reasonably broad view of what these critical capabilities are."

Mr. Bloomberg said yesterday that cities should be required to fill out "investment justification" applications, like those detailed by Mr. Chertoff.

"I think that's exactly what we have been screaming for all along," he said. "I think, for the last four years, that they should be given out based on risk, and asking cities to make their case is exactly the right direction to go."

In a statement, Senator Schumer said he is optimistic but is reserving judgment until the money is distributed: "Before Michael Chertoff took over as the Secretary of Homeland Security, he assured us that homeland security money would go to places like New York where the need was greatest. This seems to be a good step in that direction and we applaud it. But the proof in the pudding will be when the funds are distributed to New York and other very high threat areas."

Ninjahedge
January 4th, 2006, 08:55 AM
With due respect to Mr. Talford, can anyone outside of the United States even point to Memphis on a map?

There is that song, "Living in Memphis".

And who could forget that Klinger on M*A*S*H was originally from Toledo...... :p

Ninjahedge
January 4th, 2006, 09:00 AM
He is deliberately putting all the eggs in one basket so that some delegations can get funding with less battle on its appropriateness of allocation.

It is hard to argue that Huntsville Alabama is not entitled to $80M of Hurricane/Tornado help in the year #### as opposed to getting anti-terrorist closed circuit TV systems at all of its animal shelters....

ZippyTheChimp
May 31st, 2006, 06:06 PM
May 31, 2006

Homeland Security Grants to New York Slashed

By ERIC LIPTON

WASHINGTON, May 31 — After vowing to steer a greater share of anti-terrorism money to the nation's highest-risk cities, Homeland Security officials today announced grants to New York City and Washington that would be slashed by 40 percent, while dollars headed to spots including Omaha and Louisville, Ky., would surge.

The release of the 2006 urban area grant allocations, which total $757 million, drew an immediate condemnation from leaders of Washington and New York, the two targets of the 2001 terrorist attacks, as well as expressions of befuddlement by anti-terrorism experts.

"When you stop a terrorist, they have a map of New York City in their pocket," Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said. "They don't have a map of any of the other 46 or 45 places."

Homeland Security officials said a more sophisticated grant evaluation process—combined with a smaller overall allocation of funds from Congress—were responsible for the unexpected results.

For the first time, they also said, teams of law enforcement officials from around the nation evaluated the effectiveness of the proposed spending plans submitted by the 46 eligible urban areas, cutting grants for cities that had shoddy or poorly articulated plans.

"We want to make sure we are not simply pushing dollars out of Washington," said Tracy Henke, assistant secretary for grants and training. "The reality is you have to understand that there is risk throughout the nation."

The net effect was that the grant to New York City, which was $207.6 million last year, will drop to $124.5 million this year, while Washington will see its grant dollars drop a similar 40 percent, to $46.5 million this year.

Meanwhile, grants for cities like Louisville, Omaha and Charlotte, N.C., each jumped by about 40 percent, to about $8.5 million each. Newark and Jersey City, which received a combined grant, also saw a large increase, rising 44 percent to $34 million.

Representative Peter King, Republican of New York, who is chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said the allocation formula is obviously flawed.

"This is indefensible," he said. "It's a knife in the back to New York and I'm going to do everything I can to make them very sorry they made this decision."

Senior department officials, in explaining the cut in funding for New York during a private briefing for Mr. King, made clear that they were unimpressed with the city's spending plan, he said.

Major pieces of the grant to New York, for example, are spent to cover overtime costs for police officers who are guarding high-risk targets, particular during times of elevated alerts.

"The overtime is not spent on guys sitting around doing crossword puzzles," he said. "They are out defending human life in what is the most aggressive counter terrorism force in the country."

The $757 million in so-called Urban Area Security Initiative grants was just one piece of a larger $1.7 billion pool of grant funds awarded to states today, $500 million less than was available last year and $342 million less than what President Bush had requested that Congress approve.

Overall, New York State will get $183.7 million, which is a 20 percent drop from last year. That means New York State's per capita share of grant funds, which totals $2.78 per person, will drop to an even lower level compared to some rural states, like Wyoming, which will get $14.83 per person this year.

Ms. Henke, who recently took over the office that distributed anti-terrorism grants, said the relative changes in the grant dollars are based on just the kind of detailed analysis of threat and vulnerability that officials in Washington have been calling for in criticizing past awards.

But despite repeated questions from reporters at a news conference today, she would not provide any detailed explanation of why cities like New York and Washington saw such large drops, when other seemingly less high-risk targets saw such an increase in funds.

"It does not mean in any way that the risk in New York is any different or changed or any lower," she said, in responding to one of the many questions on this point. "It means that we have additional information, additional clarity. Our risk analysis has been a maturing process. It is the best we currently have."

The competition for the grants this year kicked off in January when Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced that in the fourth year of these awards, which were started after the 2001 attacks, the department would put much more emphasis on directing the money to the most likely possible terrorist targets.

"The department is investing federal funding into our communities facing the greatest risk and demonstrating the greatest need in order to receive the highest return in our nation's security," he said.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

antinimby
May 31st, 2006, 06:32 PM
:mad: :mad:
I swear, if god forbid anything should happen to this city, the Feds and George W. Bush will have blood on their hands. I will never forgive them. Bastards.


Overall, New York State will get $183.7 million, which is a 20 percent drop from last year. That means New York State's per capita share of grant funds, which totals $2.78 per person, will drop to an even lower level compared to some rural states, like Wyoming, which will get $14.83 per person this year

ablarc
May 31st, 2006, 06:34 PM
...and I'm going to do everything I can to make them very sorry they made this decision."
Better would be to fix it.

ablarc
May 31st, 2006, 06:35 PM
I will never forgive them. Bastards.
They won't ask you to. Bastards.

JCMAN320
May 31st, 2006, 11:26 PM
NJ gets good and bad news with Homeland Security funding

5/31/2006, 9:02 p.m. ET
By DONNA DE LA CRUZ
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — New Jersey will get far fewer federal dollars for homeland security in the next fiscal year, but the Jersey City-Newark area will see a dramatic increase in funding, officials announced Wednesday.

The Jersey City-Newark area will receive a total of $34.3 million in anti-terrorism grants for fiscal 2006, a 76.8 percent increase from the $19.4 million awarded the previous year. The two cities and their surrounding areas were considered as one locale in the grant process, so it will be up to local officials to divvy up that pile of cash.

The region is one of 46 areas nationwide declared at high risk of attacks which are dividing up $710 million. The Department of Homeland Security this year combined cities with shared boundaries into single entities. The agency studied vulnerability and risk of a terrorist attack in awarding the high-risk grants.

New Jersey's congressional delegation has long argued that the region that includes the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic and Union is at a high-risk of attack. Several tunnels and bridges, a major airport and highway are included in this area. This region covers 1,164 square miles and has a population of 3.8 million, more than 44 percent of the state's total population, according to information from New Jersey's Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.

"When the criteria for homeland security funding is based on risk, New Jersey gets its fair share, but when these funds are weighed down by pork, our state loses," said Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.

Overall, New Jersey will get $51.92 million in DHS grant money, a figure that includes the high-risk grant. Last year, the state got a total of $56 million.

"It's extremely small compared with what our needs our are," said Richard Canas, New Jersey's Homeland Security director. He said New Jersey had requested approximately $800 million in grants.

Gov. Jon Corzine said he was disappointed the overall size of homeland security grants has been reduced nationwide. DHS said it was distributing $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2006, a 29 percent decrease from the previous year's total of $2.4 billion nationwide.

"The amount of funds available should be growing, not declining," Corzine said. "Protecting families and communities is the most important role of government, and I will continue to work with our congressional delegation on this pressing issue."

Canas said individual counties will learn in July how much DHS money they will receive.

"The counties will be funded based on clearly articulated guidelines related to the specific risks we face in New Jersey," Canas said.

The state received money in the form of several other DHS grants, but saw a decrease of about 27 percent across the board, state officials said. For example, the state last year got $27 million for a program designed to fund homeland security strategy, and this year got $9.1 million.

In the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program, the state last year got $9.7 million and this year is getting $7.5 million. That program funds law enforcement and public safety functions.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said he could not understand why all the DHS grants aren't based on risk. Some grants are doled out according to population.

"So long as Homeland Security grants are awarded based on factors other than risk, those states most at-risk will continue to lack the necessary resources to protect the people they serve," Menendez said.

___

On the Net:

Department of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic

Kris
June 1st, 2006, 01:57 AM
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/05/31/washington/0601-nat-subSECURITY.gif

List of Allocations (http://graphics.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/national/grants_list.pdf) (pdf)

Ninjahedge
June 1st, 2006, 09:59 AM
They are playing politics again.

Is there a reason Omaha needs more money? Because they have a better more formulated plan of defense of an area that is at very low risk of attack?

I can see Newark/JC, being targets just because of Newark Ariport, all the shipping depots and the buisness district development of JC. So long as the money stays OUT of the hands of the towns themselves (Mayor, etc), I think that it can be well spent.

I am still wondering why Alaska is getting ANY $ whatsoever. They really have to cut the BS and get back to reality on this.

stache
June 1st, 2006, 10:18 AM
I've pretty much given up on our government doing *anything* effective.

MrSpice
June 1st, 2006, 10:54 AM
At least we know that peolpe in Omaha are safe. I heart it's a top target of Warren Buffet protesters (they want him to have less money).

lofter1
June 1st, 2006, 11:08 AM
Not that I agree with the new allocations, but ...


Is there a reason Omaha needs more money? Because they have a better more formulated plan of defense of an area that is at very low risk of attack?

SAC Bases: Offutt Air Force Base


Location: OMAHA (http://www.strategic-air-command.com/bases/Offutt_AFB.htm), Nebraska
Home of: SAC Headquarters, 55th Strategic Recon Wing (http://www.strategic-air-command.com/Wings/0055rw.htm), 385th Bomb Wing (http://www.strategic-air-command.com/Wings/0385sw.htm)
Status: Headquarters of U.S. Strategic Command

kliq6
June 1st, 2006, 12:26 PM
NYC gettting funding cut is a kick in the gut from a country that has never liked the place anyway going back to Lincoln sending in the troops on us, so this should come to know surprise

Ninjahedge
June 1st, 2006, 12:36 PM
Not that I agree with the new allocations, but ...


SAC Bases: Offutt Air Force Base


Location: OMAHA (http://www.strategic-air-command.com/bases/Offutt_AFB.htm), Nebraska
Home of: SAC Headquarters, 55th Strategic Recon Wing (http://www.strategic-air-command.com/Wings/0055rw.htm), 385th Bomb Wing (http://www.strategic-air-command.com/Wings/0385sw.htm)
Status: Headquarters of U.S. Strategic Command


The only thing you have to ask is:

Were these bases insecure to begin with?

Was the SAC located in the downtown Mini-mall or was it already on an isolated military base?

I understand what you are saying, but what major unprotected resource/facility do we have there that needed a boost in fundage? (honest question, not trying to infer that they have nothing)

lofter1
June 1st, 2006, 12:38 PM
The irony is that no matter how much money is allocated to any given location there is a dang good chance that the gov't will screw up anyway -- and basically everyone will be on their own to figure out how to deal with whatever the situation might be.

BrooklynRider
June 1st, 2006, 03:02 PM
The best Homeland Security plan for this nation is to impeach, try, convict and jail George W. Bush and jail Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Delay, Frist, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Alberto Gonzalez.

ablarc
June 1st, 2006, 03:05 PM
Add Karl Rove, and you've got the Gang of Ten.

BigMac
June 1st, 2006, 04:01 PM
NY Daily News
May 31, 2006

Feds to city: drop dead

Homeland honcho cuts funds by 40%

BY MICHAEL SAUL in New York and MICHAEL McAULIFF in Washington
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

http://www.nydailynews.com/ips_rich_content/775-chertoff.JPG
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff

http://www.nydailynews.com/ips_rich_content/612-skyscrapers.JPG
A new report from the Homeland Security Department deems that New York City has no national icons that deserve special protection from potential terrorist threats.

The city was stunned yesterday to find that its share of federal anti-terror funds was slashed nearly in half by bureaucrats who said it has no national icons to protect and lousy defense plans.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff determined, however, that cities that have never been targeted by Al Qaeda — like Louisville, Atlanta and Omaha — deserve whopping increases.

"This is a knife in the back," fumed a furious Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. "As far as I'm concerned, the Department of Homeland Security has declared war on New York."

Mayor Bloomberg ridiculed Homeland Security's reasoning.

"When you stop a terrorist, they have a map of New York City in their pocket. They don't have a map of any of the other 46 places or 45 places [that get funding]," he fumed.

The city will get $125 million from the feds' high-threat bank account, a 40% cut from the $207 million it received last year. The Homeland money pot was smaller overall this year, but the rest of the country is being trimmed just 14%.

The lowball dollar amount puts at risk the NYPD's plan to build a "ring of steel" of security measures around lower Manhattan — surveillance cameras, computerized license plate readers and vehicle barriers.

The NYPD had asked the feds for $89.1 million for the system, modeled after London's security program. London's system gained worldwide recognition last summer when police cameras provided images of the bombers who attacked its transit system.

Heaping insult on injury, Homeland Security reviewers slammed some of the city's key anti-terror programs as among the worst in the nation — including the vaunted NYPD counterterrorism unit.

Emergency plans for the police, fire, hospitals and other city departments were considered so inferior that "a special condition will be included in the grant award prohibiting drawdown of funds ... until they have been approved through DHS," Homeland's assessment concluded.

"These are the same bean counters who think that the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge are not national monuments or icons," scoffed Bloomberg spokesman Jordan Barowitz.

A Homeland Security spokesman insisted New York's cut was based on a powerful new matrix that crunches millions of bits of data to figure out where money is most needed.

"We're quite frankly getting highly sophisticated in our ability to analyze threat," said Russ Knocke.

Knocke would not address specifically why a threat-based assessment cut funds for a city that has been attacked twice and targeted repeatedly by Islamic terrorists.

"It's not so much fighting the last war, it's taking in the threat picture today," he said. "We've got to apply dollars where they will have the greatest impact."

But a document obtained by the Daily News that explains what Homeland Security reviewers were looking at in their analysis suggests key data were missing.

For instance, in the category "national monuments and icons," the feds list none. For banking and finance businesses, they could find only four worth more than $8 billion, when the Bloomberg administration estimates there are at least 20.

"How do you leave every single landmark in the most famous city in the world off of that list?" said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who along with King was demanding a meeting with Chertoff.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) blamed the White House and said, "I don't think the President should come back and express solidarity with New York until there is more funding."

Bloomberg said the city wouldn't change its approach. "We're going to continue to do what it takes to keep this city safe and then worry about the money," he said.

With Alison Gendar and Dorian Block


More money to guard nothing

The fire chief of Charlotte, N.C., admits his city doesn't have any national monuments in danger of being bombed. And a spokesman for Omaha is "not aware" of a single credible threat against his municipality since 9/11.

Yet these cities are among 15 that received an increase in homeland security funding this year, while New York City's allotment was slashed.

Most of the lucky localities are using their windfall to buy equipment, beef up training or create emergency response plans.

In Louisville, Ky., for instance, the money will go toward creating a new communication system for first responders to a disaster.

A spokeswoman drew on the failure of FDNY radios in the World Trade Center attack on 9/11 — even though the tallest building in Louisville tops out at 35 stories.

Here's how some cities are faring under the new budget:

- Jacksonville, Fla. 2005 funds: $6.8 million. 2006 funds: $9.2 million. Increase: 26%. Major landmark: Alltel Stadium, home of Jacksonville Jaguars.

- St. Louis; 2005 funds: $7 million. 2006 funds: $9.2 million. Increase: 23.6%. Major landmark: Gateway Arch.

- Louisville, Ky.; 2005 funds: $5 million. 2006 funds: $8.5 million. Increase: 41.2%. Major landmark: Churchill Downs race track.

- Omaha 2005 funds: $5.1 million. 2006 funds: $8.3 million. Increase: 38.2%. Major landmark: Offutt Air Force Base.

Tracy Connor

ablarc
June 1st, 2006, 04:09 PM
Not just untrue, but insulting.

MrSpice
June 1st, 2006, 04:39 PM
This is just ridiculous, but reflects the problem with distributing the federal dollars that is decided based on political realities. The way to do this would be to shift more power to the states (i.e., cut federal taxes and shoft some of the burden to the individual states). If New Yorkers did not pay so much of their taxes to the federal government and did not subsidize with our Wall Street payouts all those people in Nebraska and Oklahoma, we would have plenty of money to provide for our own security.

But frankly, we should not overstate the importance of this money. We are talking about a hundred million dollars or so for the whole state. New York State has a budget of over 100 billion dollars. But it's outrageous and unfair nontheless.

antinimby
June 1st, 2006, 08:12 PM
Heaping insult on injury, Homeland Security reviewers slammed some of the city's key anti-terror programs as among the worst in the nation — including the vaunted NYPD counterterrorism unit.
Emergency plans for the police, fire, hospitals and other city departments were considered so inferior that "a special condition will be included in the grant award prohibiting drawdown of funds ... until they have been approved through DHS," Homeland's assessment concluded.And of course we all know that the Feds themselves have such a good track record at protecting the country from attacks / disasters. Hypocritical bastards.


A Homeland Security spokesman insisted New York's cut was based on a powerful new matrix that crunches millions of bits of data to figure out where money is most needed.But aren't they ultimately signed off by humans. They think we're stupid or somethin'?


"We're quite frankly getting highly sophisticated in our ability to analyze threat," said Russ Knocke.Mr. Knocke, be ready to eat those words and my foot if something does happens. Bastard.

antinimby
June 1st, 2006, 08:14 PM
They won't ask you to.Fine, then they shouldn't ask for my tax dollars, either.

Kris
June 2nd, 2006, 02:45 AM
June 2, 2006
City Has Itself to Blame for Terror Cuts, U.S. Says
By AL BAKER and DIANE CARDWELL

The federal agency distributing $711 million in antiterrorism money to cities around the nation found numerous flaws in New York City's application and gave poor grades to many of its proposals.

Its criticism extended to some of the city's most highly publicized counterterrorism measures.

In a report that outlines why it cut back New York City's share of antiterrorism funds by roughly 40 percent, the Department of Homeland Security was so critical of some highly viewed local measures — like Operation Atlas, in which hundreds of extra police officers carry out counterterrorism duties around the city each day — that the Police Department and other city agencies must now seek further federal approval before drawing on the money they were given to pay for those programs.

In a flurry of charges and countercharges, federal officials said yesterday that the city not only did a poor job of articulating its needs in its application, but it also mishandled the application itself, failing to file it electronically as required and instead faxing its request to Washington.

City and state officials insisted that they had made no mistakes. And a state official provided a written acknowledgement from the federal government saying that the city's application for grant money has been "successfully submitted" and said that the city could "log in" any time to view the application.

New York City received $124.5 million from the Department of Homeland Security, about 40 percent less than the $207.5 million it received the year before. Many smaller cities around the country, like Charlotte, N.C., saw their shares increase sharply.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg questioned yesterday whether old-fashioned pork barrel politics was at play in doling out the money in an election year. He was one of several elected officials who moved on different tracks to uncover how the decisions were made, with an eye toward revising that process.

"We tried to do an analysis of some of the moneys and whether or not they were given out for political reasons, and in fact in many of the places where they got money — but arguably there's no threat — there are close elections either at the Senate level or the House level," the mayor said. "Now, whether that was their motive I have no idea."

The White House tried to minimize the effect on New York. The grants will be reconsidered each year and could change if "some grand and unforeseen need arises," said Tony Snow, the White House press secretary. "The point of homeland security, as I said before, is to provide security for the entire homeland," he said. "And certainly no disrespect meant to New York with $124 million for this coming year."

The report, obtained yesterday, pointed out opposing views held by cities and the federal government over how antiterrorism money should be spent and, as an extension of those views, how terrorism should be fought.

City officials have used federal money to subsidize continuing costs, like paying overtime to officers. The federal government, on the other hand, wants the grants to pay for semipermanent safeguards that can increase security over the long term, like improvements in communications systems, better gas masks and increased training.

The report faulted the city for not adequately explaining why the money being requested could reduce risks.

Though the report said the city was in the top 25 percent of urban areas at risk, it rated the city in the bottom 25 percent in the quality of its application. It rated the Police Department's counterterrorism program and Operation Atlas as below average in sustainability, a criticism of the continuing overtime costs.

Eight of the city's programs including the counterterrorism division and Operation Atlas, as well as some health and training programs — fell in the bottom 15 percent, meaning any federal money used toward them will need to be specifically approved.

Elected city officials were especially stunned that the report said New York had no national monuments or icons. The city's application was evaluated by so-called peer-review panels of five to seven people with varying backgrounds from 47 states and affirmed by government analysts at the Department of Homeland Security.

Angry officials in New York zeroed in on the peer review process yesterday, trying to determine who evaluated the programs and whether their judgments were clouded by a desire to steer security money to their own areas. City officials questioned whether the reviewers had expertise in antiterrorism efforts.

Members of New York's Congressional delegation presented a united front in pledging action to change the allocations. Representative Peter T. King, a Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said he would hold hearings to investigate the process, while Senators Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, both Democrats, wrote letters to Michael Chertoff, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, demanding a full explanation.

In Washington, Mayor Anthony A. Williams described the decision to cut his city's allocation by 40 percent as shortsighted.

A spokeswoman, Sharon Gang, said the Homeland Security Department did not give much of a rationale for the cuts and that their proposals rated average or above average on almost all counts.

"It sounds like they made a unilateral, gut decision not based on our application," Ms. Gang said. "And they scored other locations higher."

Officials in New York said the impact of the cash drain would be felt.

"We have a counterterrorism center that would deal with all of the potential scenarios that we have been studying that we have to be prepared for that could be dramatically affected by any cut in funding," said Fire Commissioner Nicholas A. Scoppetta. "It's as though Washington is not going to be convinced of the need until they have another terrible incident in a place like New York or Washington."

Paul J. Browne, a senior aide to Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and the department's chief spokesman, said: "The N.Y.P.D. will continue to do what it needs to do to keep the city safe," he said. "We'll just be doing it without D.H.S. stepping up to the level expected of it."

He said the department's counterterrorism work had been essential in defending the city since 9/11 "What more evidence do they need?" he said.

Stephen C. King, a lawyer who specializes in emergency-response and domestic security issues at Hunton & Williams in New York, said he could not understand the 40 percent cut to the city. "I'll have to look at it closer," he said, "but I can't wrap my arms around that one."

Though the federal officials said the city did not file properly, the city said state officials filed its package, and a state official said its package of applications was filed electronically on March 2, the deadline.

In an interview, George W. Foresman, under secretary for preparedness as the Department of Homeland Security, applauded some of the security work being done by New York, while raising the question of just what is the proper use of the federal funds.

"Do you pay for what are viewed as basic capabilities; law enforcement, fire, E.M.S., public health, emergency management?" he asked. "Whose role is it to pay for that, versus whose role is it to pay for specialized training and equipment for fire, E.M.S. and law enforcement?"

Mr. Chertoff said yesterday: "There was no suggestion about anything we did that New York is not the No. 1 terror target. But I do think it's fair to ask this question: After a city gets $500 million, more than twice as much as the next-largest city, is it correct to assume they should continue to get the same amount of money year after year after year after year with everybody else dividing up what remains?"

Still, Mr. Schumer called the episode an "absurdity," saying the grading system did not make sense.

"It would be as if you got 800's on your boards and Stanford Law School rejected you because you put the stamp on upside down," he said.

Reporting for this article was contributed by Kareem Fahim, Winnie Hu, Eric Lipton and Jim Rutenberg.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

ablarc
June 2nd, 2006, 07:10 AM
federal officials said yesterday that the city not only did a poor job of articulating its needs in its application, but it also mishandled the application itself, failing to file it electronically as required and instead faxing its request to Washington.
Now that is a serious lapse. The city should be made to pay for that one with several thousand deaths.

Or maybe these federal outlays don't have the potential to reduce deaths. Maybe they should be scrapped altogether?

Jerks.

Bob
June 2nd, 2006, 10:43 AM
I'm not overly concerned about this cut in funding. It will simply force NYPD to establish priorities. Although NYPD is still the greatest, it's not serious about terrorist activity. If it were, it wouldn't waste one dime on its idiotic jack-booted speed traps on I-95 and the Clearview Expressway. Oh yeah...those people doing 70 MPH are real terrorists, alright. And NYPD is really using its resources wisely. Uh huh.

Thethinkingman
June 2nd, 2006, 10:45 AM
DC is full of idiotic bums. They shouldn't even consider them-selves as patriots, if they're not going to defend the countries largest and most imminent terrorist targets. Homeland Security is an agency with MAJOR flaws. Chertoff went as far as to say that there weren't any landmarks to defend in NYC. Is that a joke? I'm not laughing. And for some reason they cut funds to the two cities that were attacked on 9/11. What is the logic behind that. Then they give us illogical excuses. Thanks Homeland Security for screwing Americans once again.

Ninjahedge
June 2nd, 2006, 11:05 AM
Since when is a landmark a target?

WTC was just "lucky" to be a major hub AND a landmark.

If any of teh bridges were taken out, or a bomb went off on Wall Street, I think the effect would be more pronounced than just property damage.

ZippyTheChimp
June 2nd, 2006, 02:20 PM
New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com

She gave us the ax

BY MICHAEL McAULIFF in Washington
and TRACY CONNOR in New York
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Friday, June 2nd, 2006

The Homeland Security official who signed off on funding cuts for New York and extra cash for the heartland is a small-town gal whose back-door appointment to the job was mired in controversy.

Tracy Henke, 37, assistant secretary for grants and training, wasn't quickly confirmed by the U.S. Senate after her nomination last year because of allegations she played politics in her previous post.

So an impatient White House appointed her while Congress was in recess, drawing howls of outrage from lawmakers and sparking questions about her qualifications.

After six months on the job, Henke is already on President Bush's radar screen - he thanked her by name yesterday for help on immigration reform, even as her anti-terrorism funding handiwork was being pilloried.

Henke is from Moscow Mills, Mo., a town of 1,700 that touts a strip-mall pizzeria, a tractor dealership and a Citgo station as amenities on its Web site.

She majored in political science at the University of Missouri and worked for two GOP senators from her home state, John Danforth and then Kit Bond.

Incidentally, Henke just approved funding increases for two Missouri cities. St. Louis' funding increased by 24% and Kansas City, Mo., got an extra 12%.

Another Missouri native, former Attorney General John Ashcroft, brought Henke to the Department of Justice, where she oversaw a grant program and the Office of Domestic Preparedness.

At Justice, she caused an uproar when she demanded changes to a press release about a study that found minorities were more likely to be arrested or handcuffed during traffic stops.

Accusations that she undermined the objectivity of the department dogged her when the White House submitted her name for the high-level Homeland Security job the next year.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) questioned whether Henke had "politicized" the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and he fumed when the White House gave her the job before her nomination was even voted on.

White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said Henke's appointment was pushed through because the Senate dragged its heels. "She's a highly talented individual who has an impressive record," she said.

Before Henke had her say on funding levels, Homeland Security relied on an anonymous panel of more than 100 reviewers to rate security plans from around the country.

According to sources and documents obtained by the Daily News, the department drew the reviewers evenly from 48 states, 43 cities, three territories and several federal agencies.

Many were officials from emergency management offices or grant experts. They were each given 60 projects to evaluate - with about an hour per project - before meeting for a week in April in Emmitsburg, Md., to hash out the results.

That's where New York City's terror plans ended up rated among the nation's worst. Homeland Security officials refused to discuss how they decided New York City had no national monuments and few major banking institutions.

It's true.
http://www.moscowmills.com/modules/tinyd1/index.php?id=4

OmegaNYC
June 2nd, 2006, 02:29 PM
man that's a small town!!! :D

MrSpice
June 2nd, 2006, 02:56 PM
I very much hope that all that noise and outrage that was sparked by this dumb decision will lead the Homeland Security department to reconsider it. I think Chertoff is in big trouble. One of the reasons he got such a ennthusiastic support was from the NY/NJ congressional delegation who thought he would allocate the security money based on threat level. They though that the very fact that he is from NJ and was a judge there would make him more sympathetic to the needs of New Yorkers. Now, all NY senators are going to war aganist him. And after Katrina debacle, he does not have much fuel to go on. I think he is toast.

lofter1
June 2nd, 2006, 03:59 PM
We can't get rid of this gang of thieves soon enough ...

Eugenious
June 2nd, 2006, 04:13 PM
New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com

Tracy Henke, 37, assistant secretary for grants and training, wasn't quickly confirmed by the U.S. Senate after her nomination last year because of allegations she played politics in her previous post.



Lol, http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/Art/weedseed1.jpg


She definitely didn't get the job for her looks!

I bet Missouri is real proud.

Ninjahedge
June 2nd, 2006, 04:21 PM
Make her lose 75 pounds and I think she would be a real cutie.

I wasn't able to find any pics of her from when she was appointed to all these posts....

MrSpice
June 2nd, 2006, 04:23 PM
I think we can't even use this pig to guard food supplies for the NYPD.

lofter1
June 2nd, 2006, 05:44 PM
Tracy Henke "file" at SourceWatch (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Tracy_A._Henke)

Henke page at DHS (http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/display?theme=11&content=5352)

DHS GRANT (http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/display?content=4206) page

CONTACT (http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/contactus) info at DHS:

To reach the Department of Homeland Security headquarters please write to or call:

Mailing Address:

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528
Citizen Line:

Operator Number: 202-282-8000
Comment Line: 202-282-8495

lofter1
June 2nd, 2006, 05:49 PM
Tracy Henke, 37, assistant secretary for grants and training ... is from Moscow Mills, Mo., a town of 1,700 that touts a strip-mall pizzeria ...

When not doing dastardly deeds from her office in D.C. Henke can be found at some of these favorite hometown hang-outs:

Hwy C Plaza (lunch)
http://www.moscowmills.com/uploads/img42c21d217a136.jpg

Harry J's Steakhouse (dinner)
http://www.moscowmills.com/uploads/img42c21cd0de2d7.jpg

Thethinkingman
June 2nd, 2006, 10:21 PM
Since when is a landmark a target?

WTC was just "lucky" to be a major hub AND a landmark.

If any of teh bridges were taken out, or a bomb went off on Wall Street, I think the effect would be more pronounced than just property damage. Well couldn't the Brooklyn Bridge be considered a landmark? The Statue of Liberty? Empire State Building?

antinimby
June 2nd, 2006, 11:02 PM
^ Of course not.
Don't you know?
New York doesn't have any iconic landmarks and has few significant financial institutions. All the landmarks and important banks are all in the Midwest. That's where all the terrorists are chomping at the bits to get to.


That's where New York City's terror plans ended up rated among the nation's worst. Homeland Security officials refused to discuss how they decided New York City had no national monuments and few major banking institutions.

antinimby
June 2nd, 2006, 11:11 PM
I'm not overly concerned about this cut in funding. It will simply force NYPD to establish priorities. Although NYPD is still the greatest, it's not serious about terrorist activity. If it were, it wouldn't waste one dime on its idiotic jack-booted speed traps on I-95 and the Clearview Expressway. Oh yeah...those people doing 70 MPH are real terrorists, alright. And NYPD is really using its resources wisely. Uh huh.It looks like you bought into their bull--hook, line and sinker. While the god damn, Midwest-loving Feds had you convinced that what the city and NYPD are doing is inadequate, do you realize what the other cities, say, Kansas City or Omaha is doing with their share of the funds? Until you or they can convince me that what everyone else is doing is so much more justified than the NYPD, all your and the Feds' claims are nothing but BULLSH*T.

antinimby
June 2nd, 2006, 11:25 PM
Let me add one more thing.
I'm fine with them slighting New York on this. In fact, they shouldn't even give the city a single penny.
But in exchange for them not paying the city right now, they should be held accountable for any terror-related attacks that should occur in this city.

EACH and EVERY one of them: Bush, Cheney, Chertoff, Ms. Henke, you name it, they should all serve life sentences for the murder of the people that will die because of them.

Kris
June 3rd, 2006, 03:08 AM
June 3, 2006
Who Divides Antiterror Money? That's a Secret
By DIANE CARDWELL and AL BAKER

The panel that guided the distribution of $711 million in antiterrorism money in a process that led to New York City's share being reduced by 40 percent is a shadow player in the war on terror, its work kept secret and its members shielded from view.

A collection of about 100 law enforcement officials and government bureaucrats from all over the country, the so-called peer reviewers who evaluated proposals for the Department of Homeland Security, took vows of silence, signing agreements that they would not reveal the substance of their deliberations.

Speaking of the reduction in New York's share, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg assailed the process yesterday, telling listeners of his weekly call-in radio program that he had complained to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and planned to fight the cut.

"I said, 'Look, you know I'm going to go out there and fight as hard as I can to get this changed,' " Mr. Bloomberg said. "I just think the ways they went about it was wrong."

Even some of the panelists were frustrated by the evaluation process, which involved a complex and rigid system for grading the highly detailed proposals, according to an official who had been briefed on the deliberations by a member of the panel.

Homeland Security officials say that in creating the panel this year, they were seeking to institute a new system of evaluating aid applications that would for the first time engage people from around the country, making the judging impartial.

Panelists got to work in March at the National Fire Academy in Emmetsburg, Md. The panel evaluates applications for domestic security aid, but the actual decisions on how much aid to award, based in part on the panel's findings, are made by Homeland Security officials.

Officials promised to guard the identities of the panel members to keep them from being pressured, although they were free to come forward themselves, said George W. Foresman, the under secretary for preparedness at the Department of Homeland Security. Thus far, he said, only four have agreed to do so.

Mr. Foresman added that the secrecy surrounding the work stemmed from security concerns about not divulging the vulnerabilities of certain localities.

He said the department sought to ensure that there was "no disincentive for a local jurisdiction to be honest and up-front about what their needs are, where their shortcomings are, and what they are trying to fix and improve."

He added, "You do not want your doctor talking about your medical conditions, do you?"

Working in groups of five to seven from geographically diverse, urban and rural regions, the panelists were given almost three weeks to grade the applications. They were to review the proposals and supporting documents and then rate the individual programs and overall applications on a scale of 1 to 5, using criteria like "shows clear purpose" and "describes expected outcomes."

After the panelists completed that work, they met in groups with a consultant from Booz Allen Hamilton who helped the groups reach a consensus score. Once the evaluations were complete, analysts at the Department of Homeland Security signed off on them and determined the amounts of the allotments.

Mr. Bloomberg said he would investigate whether, as Homeland Security officials maintain, there had been problems with the city's application. At the same time, city officials continued to vigorously defend their work and criticize the federal process. They said they suspected the new system of judging applications was intended to ensure a broad geographic dispersal of the money away from New York.

One of the reviewers who agreed to be identified, Lt. Timothy N. Fisk, said that they judged the effectiveness of the proposals and whether the budgets seemed in line with the declared needs. He emphasized that the panelists made no judgments other than whether it was an appropriate amount of money to support the program in question.

"We did evaluate the investments based on the needs and how they presented the projects," said Lieutenant Fisk, who is commander of the Homeland Security section and Tactical Operations for the Orlando, Fla., Police Department. "We did not determine how much money anybody got."

According to Mr. Fisk, the peer review process was only one-third of the formula that ultimately determined how much money each state and urban area was to receive. The balance was the risk portion determined by the Department of Homeland Security.

As they faced mounting political pressure and public relations problems, Homeland Security officials said that an overwhelming majority of panelists had found the results objective and geographically balanced. But some panelists have questioned that balance, arguing that security officials from smaller locales would have a tough time judging the needs of a larger city like New York.

Officials pointed to another reviewer who agreed to be identified, Chris Geldart, the assistant director of the Maryland governor's office of homeland security, as someone with a rich range of life experience. As a United States marine for 12 years, he served several tours in the Middle East and worked on ways to protect government installations from possible attacks by weapons of mass destruction, a spokesman for the Maryland office said. Now Mr. Geldart is involved in the state's leading intelligence initiative, and "lives and breathes grant funding here," said the spokesman, James M. Pettit.

New York's police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, said that in forming the peer review panel, the Department of Homeland Security had abdicated its responsibility to make threat-based financing decisions. Abandoning a system of decision-making based on real intelligence inevitably hurt New York because it shifted the focus to potential risks rather than to actual threats, he said.

City officials also complained that they had received mixed signals from the department in their battle over how to use antiterrorism funds.

The Bloomberg administration has used the money to pay for continuing costs, like overtime for police officers, while the federal government wants the grants to support semipermanent safeguards like improvements in communications systems, better gas masks or increased training. But city officials have argued that spending on overtime and the like clearly reduces the risk of terror attacks. They say that tactics like stationing patrol cars at the feet of the Brooklyn Bridge should be considered a legitimate use of federal counterterrorism dollars.

This year, according to city officials who spoke anonymously for fear of retribution from the Department of Homeland Security, Mr. Chertoff indicated to Mr. Bloomberg that he was open to a philosophical shift toward the city's viewpoint. But when the city tried to follow up with departmental staff members, the officials said, no progress was made.

Others in the administration complained that the decision-making process has been opaque, and they criticized the anonymity of the panelists.

"They made it sound like The New England Journal of Medicine," said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department's chief spokesman, "but we have no idea of who these people are."

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

lofter1
June 3rd, 2006, 09:36 AM
HEY PAL, WE GOT YOUR LANDMARK - RIGHT HERE!


NYer: "I was yelling at the radio ... It was more like, 'What the f---?' "

By DOUGLAS MONTERO and RITA DELFINER
NY POST (http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/69553.htm)

June 3, 2006 -- Angelyn McSwain is mad as hell at Michael Chertoff and the New Yorker is teaching the landmark-challenged Homeland Security boss a lesson.

"How many national icons can you see on this card alone?" the 34-year-old interactive media consultant asked on a postcard she fired off to him yesterday with an aerial shot of lower Manhattan north to the Empire State Building.

"New York deserves more federal dollars, not Louisville, Ky.," McSwain declared on the card - where Chertoff can't fail to spot the Brooklyn Bridge and the Wall Street area as well as King Kong's world-famed perch.

McSwain, of Manhattan, was one of the New Yorkers, including two former mayors, who have joined a grass-roots postcard brigade to send a loud message to the man whose department slashed federal anti-terror aid to the city.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rep. Peter King launched the postcard protest by sending Chertoff picture postcards of city landmarks - which the clueless feds don't believe exist.

Yesterday, Clinton's campaign took the postcard drive to the Internet, making "virtual" postcards available on her Web site.

"We've done 4,000 postcards in the first three hours that the card's been out," Ann Lewis, director of communications for Friends of Hillary, said yesterday afternoon.

"Based on this response, we're sure those numbers will grow," she said. "It's clear there's a high degree of outrage out there about this decision and people are really eager to send Secretary Chertoff a message."

McSwain, who was having lunch with a friend in Midtown yesterday, said, "I think it's important for citizens to have a say in matters that affect their personal safety."

When she first heard about the cuts, "I was yelling at the radio," she said. "It was more like, 'What the f---?' "

She recalls in sorrow where she was on 9/11 - at work, trying to comfort a heartbroken friend who had just found out her boyfriend was among the dead in the Twin Towers.

McSwain believes when it comes to the huge 40 percent cutback, the buck stops squarely with Chertoff's boss.

"George Bush is responsible for this mess," she said.

Meanwhile, former Mayor Ed Koch urged every New Yorker to inundate Chertoff with postcards - so that "the cards he receives, if put together, should be higher than the Empire State Building. That should be our goal."

In fact, Koch sent Chertoff a postcard of the 34th Street icon, writing him that "you have successfully united all New Yorkers against you and your decision to forsake us."

"We are at war with al Qaeda. They want to kill us and blow up our landmarks.

"How could you forget the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge? Please reconsider. All the best. Wish you were here. Ed Koch."

In a backhanded compliment, he said that Chertoff "has done something nobody has been able to do in the history of politics. He's united New Yorkers on a political issue" regardless of their party.

http://www.nypost.com/photos/news060306004.jpg
Photo: Dan Brinzac
NEW SQUAWK CITY: Former Mayor Ed Koch
sent a postcard to Homeland Security
skinflint Michael Chertoff.

Former Mayor David Dinkins said he too is sending the Homeland Security chief a picture postcard to "express my dismay and dissatisfaction at the fashion in which our city is being treated."

"One does not have to be a genius or fiscal expert or a security expert to understand that New York City is by far more vulnerable, more likely to be a target than anyplace else in these United States," Dinkins said.

Copyright 2006 NYP Holdings, Inc.

lofter1
June 3rd, 2006, 09:42 AM
New York Congressional Delegation Demands an Explanation from Chertoff for Crazy Homeland Security Funding Plan

Reps. King, Maloney and entire delegation want meeting with Secretary

Press Release
Rep._Carolyn_Maloney (http://maloney.house.gov/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=1111&Itemid=61)
For Immediate Release
June 01, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC – Irate New York Members of Congress are demanding that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff meet with them to explain his department’s anti-terrorism funding scheme that results in a $83 million cut for New York City and a $114 million cut for the State of New York this year. Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens), Chair of the House Democratic Task Force on Homeland Security, and their 27 colleagues in the New York delegation today sent a letter to Chertoff demanding the meeting (letter to Chertoff (http://maloney.house.gov/documents/homeland/20060601HSFunding.pdf)).

“With this cut, DHS has displayed an incredible lack of understanding of the threat that New York City faces,” said King. “It is absolutely unacceptable, and I will fight this all the way.”

“If they think they can announce such a bone-headed funding plan and not answer the tough questions, they’ve got another thing coming,” said Maloney. “We need to find out first hand if they’re as incompetent as they seem. Maybe the Secretary will come meet us at the Empire State Building so we can show him the many national icons in New York.”

Despite promises from Chertoff earlier this year that his department would finally use a more risk-based formula for funding of local security funding, the distribution announced yesterday includes huge cuts for New York and the Washington, D.C. area, while increasing funding for smaller communities, such as Omaha, Louisville and Jacksonville. According to published reports, the government’s new risk-assessment formula accounted for no “national icons” and only four major financial assets in New York City.

Last year, New York City received $207.56 million from the Urban Area Security Initiative program, but this year it will receive $124.45 million. The total funding for all of New York State will drop from $298.35 million last year to $183.67 million this year.

An estimate based on recent Census population figures shows that New York will receive $2.78 per person this year out of the grants to states, while Wyoming will receive $14.75. Meanwhile, out of the total homeland security funding, New York will receive $9.54 per person, while Wyoming will receive $15.07 (per capita Homeland Security fund distribution (http://maloney.house.gov/documents/homeland/20060531HSpercapita.xls)).

lofter1
June 3rd, 2006, 09:47 AM
Statement of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on Cuts to New York’s Homeland Security Grant Program Funding for FY2006


Calls on DHS to Explain its Rationale; Calls for Senate Hearings

May 31, 2006
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (http://www.clinton.senate.gov/news/statements/details.cfm?id=256341)

Washington, DC – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton issued the following statement today on cuts announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to New York’s Homeland Security Grant program funding for fiscal year 2006.

Additionally, Senator Clinton is writing to DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff requesting an explanation as to how the Department of Homeland Security reached its funding decisions. Senator Clinton is also writing to Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) requesting that their committee hold hearings on the matter.

Click here to read Senator Clinton's letter to Secretary Chertoff. (http://clinton.senate.gov/documents/news/05_31_06_Letter_to_Chertoff.pdf)
Click here to read Senator Clinton's letter to Senator Collins and Senator Lieberman. (http://clinton.senate.gov/documents/news/05_31_06_Letter_to_Collins_and_Lieberman.pdf)

Senator Clinton’s statement:

“The Department of Homeland Security should ensure that our limited homeland security funds get to where they are needed most and that our American cities and states living under the greatest threat receive the funding they need to protect themselves from harm. As we approach the solemn and tragic fifth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, we are sadly reminded that New York is on its own when it comes to protecting our citizens from future terrorist attacks.

“With all of this in mind, it is outrageous that New York will receive more than $106.5 million less in Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) funds than it did last year. While I understand that HSGP funds were cut across the board nationwide, DHS slashed New York’s funds by a disproportionately higher amount than most states. Funding under the Urban Area Security Initiative – a program designed to enhance security and overall preparedness to prevent, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism – was cut in New York City by more than 40 percent and in Buffalo by 48.5 percent. These cuts demonstrate this Administration's continued failure to grasp the unique security threats that face New York. I intend to press Secretary Chertoff for answers about DHS’s calculations. Our nation remains at risk and eliminating funding for areas most in need – like New York – demonstrates a pre-9/11 mentality that we should not tolerate.”

ablarc
June 3rd, 2006, 12:20 PM
Chertoff fits right in with Cheney and the rest of the gang.

Villains all.

And willing to be blatant about it.

Even the Christians are getting turned off by these blackguards.

ManhattanKnight
June 3rd, 2006, 06:13 PM
The campaign to send Michael Chertoff postcards of New York monuments:

http://clinton.senate.gov/postcards/index.cfm

milleniumcab
June 3rd, 2006, 11:27 PM
Once this money comes ( whatever the amount may be ) to NY State, are we going to have to fight Pataki for a fair share of it.. We are certainly not getting the fair share for our schools, that's for sure...

Kris
June 4th, 2006, 05:06 AM
June 4, 2006
Senator Clinton Criticizes Cut in Antiterror Financing
By ANNE E. KORNBLUT and NICHOLAS CONFESSORE

WEST BABYLON, N.Y., June 3 — Intensifying complaints about a cut in antiterrorism money for New York City, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton challenged President Bush on Saturday to take responsibility for the action, saying that "at some point, the buck stops in the White House."

"We're going to have to go to the White House and just make it very clear: We don't appreciate being used as a prop," said Mrs. Clinton, appearing with Representative Peter T. King, a Long Island Republican, at a news conference. "We don't appreciate people coming here and having conventions and doing photo ops and then sticking us where it hurts with a decision like this."

But in a letter sent to the New York Congressional delegation Friday night, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff noted that New York City has received far more money under the program in question, the Urban Areas Security Initiative, than any other city. The cut between this year and last year, he wrote, was the result of an unusually high appropriation for the program in 2005, itself meant to offset an unusually low appropriation in 2004.

In response to one particular criticism by Mrs. Clinton, Mr. King and others — that the department deemed New York to have no national icons or monuments — the letter said that the Empire State Building had been classified as commercial infrastructure and the Brooklyn Bridge as transportation infrastructure. Both categories, the letter said, gave New York City's application a higher score than if they had been classified as monuments.

Those categorizations represent a greater potential for loss of life as well as economic damage, a spokesman for the department, Russ Knocke, said Saturday.

The decision in question was the allocation of $711 million in federal antiterrorism financing across the United States. New York's share of the 2006 grants was reduced by 40 percent, to $124.5 million this year, from $207.6 million in 2005.

Since the grant allocations were announced last week, members of the New York delegation have directed their ire at Mr. Chertoff. They launched a postcard campaign, urging voters to send postcards to Mr. Chertoff featuring New York icons like the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty.

Mr. Chertoff's letter said that the city had received about 19 percent of all grants to high-risk metropolitan areas from 2003 to 2005, and received about 18 percent this year. "New York City received a funding percentage roughly equivalent to the average it received in the preceding three years," he wrote.

The letter did not mention a report by the department that found flaws in the city's grant application, including criticism of overtime costs for police officers assigned to counterterrorism duties.

Mr. Knocke said that the department's analysis had included roughly 7,000 critical sites in the five boroughs. The actual grant allocation for the city, he added, "would not have changed at all if these monuments or stadiums had been listed as icons and monuments."

The Statue of Liberty, he said is a federal property under New York State jurisdiction, and so it was included on the state's list of critical sites, not the city's.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg also has criticized the reduction. During his weekly radio program on Friday, he questioned whether there had been a "breakdown" within the agency and said that Mr. Chertoff had pledged to look into the matter over the weekend. Among the outstanding questions was whether New York officials had made mistakes in submitting the grant application, as some Homeland Security officials had suggested. A mayoral spokeswoman said yesterday that the application had been submitted properly.

Mr. Knocke confirmed that the mayor and Mr. Chertoff had had "a very productive conversation," but said that the department was not yet contemplating an increase in the city's grant money.

"We're not going back to review the awards," he said. "If somebody comes to us and says that, in our review, there has been a factual and substantive error, we'll go back and take a look at that."

The back-and-forth came after several days of harsh criticism by Senator Clinton of the Bush administration on an array of subjects, including energy policy and the environment, as she toured the state on a campaign swing following her nomination by the state Democratic Party in Buffalo last week. Although Mrs. Clinton is not facing any formidable opposition for her Senate seat, she is considering whether to run for president in 2008, giving her remarks about national policy and the Republican leadership extra resonance.

In Port Washington, on Long Island, Saturday morning, where she accepted the endorsement by the League of Conservation Voters, Mrs. Clinton skewered the Republican leadership in Washington for "putting ideology before science" in addressing global climate change.

Two days earlier, in an informal gathering of patrons at the Carmel Diner in Putnam County, Mrs. Clinton digressed from answering a question to remark, "We are now in a time in our history when the leadership is very secretive, very controlling, and very much wanting to do everything without having to answer any questions."

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

Kris
June 4th, 2006, 05:10 AM
June 4, 2006
Big Job in Antiterrorism, and Less Cash to Do It
By DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI

HAMILTON, N.J., June 2 — As angry New York City officials continue to fight a planned 40 percent reduction in federal antiterrorism aid, their counterparts in New Jersey face an easier predicament: figuring out precisely how to spend what is a comparatively generous allotment.

City officials and members of New York's Congressional delegation have been fuming since Wednesday's announcement that the Department of Homeland Security had cut the total amount of counterterrorism grants to New York City to $127 million, down from $204 million the previous year.

New Jersey had a mix of good and bad news. The federal agency gave a 77 percent increase in financing to six counties in northern New Jersey, bringing their allocation to $34.3 million, up from $19.4 million. That area is home to a stretch from Newark to Elizabeth that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has dubbed "the most dangerous two miles in America" because it contains a concentration of deadly chemicals in one of the nation's most densely populated areas.

But for the rest of the state, there was a sharp cut in grants, to $17.7 million, down from $36.3 million last year.

Although some elected officials criticized the Bush administration for cutting New Jersey's total financing for homeland security by 15 percent, the state's new director of counterterrorism said that the allocation would still allow the state to make some significant improvements.

Richard L. Cañas, who was appointed director of New Jersey's Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness in March, said it would take several weeks for his office to determine would programs will receive the funds.

But in an interview on Friday, Mr. Cañas said his priorities included increased surveillance and security around several chemical plants and railyards where huge amounts of toxic chemicals are stored and shipped. He also said he hoped to improve communications systems used by hundreds of police, fire and emergency medical service departments, and to double the number of inspectors for facilities where hazardous chemicals are stored, to 40.

"Is it enough? No. It will probably never be enough," Mr. Cañas, a former White House National Security Council staff member, said, referring to the financing. "We're going to have to make some tough calls, and a lot of people are going to be disappointed."

While it is a ritual for local governments to complain about their share of federal financing, the outcry from the have-nots in this year's homeland security grants was particularly shrill. Federal officials used a new formula to determine grants this year, saying they would place more weight on potential risks. That led many officials in New York and New Jersey — one of the main staging grounds for the 9/11 attacks — to assume, erroneously, that they would see a generous increase in funds.

The total amount of money distributed nationwide was also cut, to $1.7 billion from $2.4 billion; many terrorism experts and members of Congress say the new allocation is far too small considering the immensity of the task.

Senator Frank S. Lautenberg, a Democrat from New Jersey, said it was "inexcusable" that the state's financing had been reduced, and that the total federal outlay for homeland security was woefully inadequate.

"That speaks volumes about the president's priorities," Mr. Lautenberg said. "The president is drastically cutting homeland security funding at home at the same time we are spending over a billion dollars a week in Iraq."

Gov. Jon S. Corzine was more measured in his response. While administration officials had hoped for an increase in funding, he noted that New Jersey had gotten a larger piece of a smaller pie, moving from 11th in overall funding to seventh. The governor said he also took solace in the fact that for the first time, the Homeland Security Department had taken risk into account when dividing up the money, an approach Mr. Corzine pushed for when he was in the Senate.

"New Jersey has one of the nation's busiest airports, major international seaports and a two-mile stretch the F.B.I. has called the most dangerous two miles in America," he said. "We need to allocate homeland security funds based on risk and vulnerability."

Mr. Corzine has proposed more than $20 million in state funding for homeland security, but with the state facing a projected shortfall of $4 billion, it is uncertain how much of that money will survive the budget negotiations later this month.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

Kris
June 5th, 2006, 08:57 AM
June 5, 2006
Bloomberg Is Not Expecting Change in Antiterror Aid
By SEWELL CHAN

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said yesterday that he was not optimistic that federal officials would change their minds about a 40 percent reduction in annual antiterrorism money for New York City. "I think the way Washington tends to work is, once they make announcements, it's very difficult for them to change it and they tend not to do that," the mayor said before marching in the annual Salute to Israel parade. "But hope springs eternal, and in any case, remember, we've got next year to fight for." The mayor's comments came as top officials continued to assail the Department of Homeland Security's handling of antiterrorism grants. New York City and the states of New York and New Jersey saw an overall drop in their grants, although the combined grant for Jersey City and Newark increased.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

BrooklynRider
June 5th, 2006, 11:19 AM
The best thing anyone reading this thread can do to reverse this latest ridiculous outrage by Bush and Co. is GET INVOVED IN MID-TERM ELECTIONS. I don't mean jump on the re-elect Hilaryu bandwagon. I mean seek out candidates in other states and cities who stand a chance of unseating rubber-stamp Republicans and Democrat enablers. John Tester in Montana. Ned Lamon in Connecticut. Eric Massa Upstate NY. Tammy Duckworth in Illinois.

Until a majority of anti-war, progressives moves into one or the other chamber of Congress, we are going to see more of the same.

MrSpice
June 5th, 2006, 12:49 PM
Until a majority of anti-war, progressives moves into one or the other chamber of Congress, we are going to see more of the same.

Do you really think that anti-war progressives would be our best chance to get more security funding? It seems like this is the answer to all the society's ills for you. I think the reason we got the cut in funding is not the pro-war republicans and rubber-stamp democrats but the culture in Washington, D.C. where most of thse kinds of decisions are political and are not based on the real threat or genuine security need. It's quite possible that the newly elected "progressive democract" from the state other than New York, would work just as hard to move as much of the security money as possible towards her state. After all, all New York pro-war republicans, like King, are just as outraged as most of us.

You seem to have the same answer for all our problems - remove Bush, remove republicans, remove pro-war people as if this pro-war stance affects everything they do. That's not the case.

TomAuch
June 5th, 2006, 03:56 PM
Do you really think that anti-war progressives would be our best chance to get more security funding? It seems like this is the answer to all the society's ills for you. I think the reason we got the cut in funding is not the pro-war republicans and rubber-stamp democrats but the culture in Washington, D.C. where most of thse kinds of decisions are political and are not based on the real threat or genuine security need. It's quite possible that the newly elected "progressive democract" from the state other than New York, would work just as hard to move as much of the security money as possible towards her state. After all, all New York pro-war republicans, like King, are just as outraged as most of us.

You seem to have the same answer for all our problems - remove Bush, remove republicans, remove pro-war people as if this pro-war stance affects everything they do. That's not the case.
While Congressman King may be opposed to cutting funding, he and the House leadership enable this President to push through his agenda unimpeded. Wasn't Speaker Dennis Hastert the one who called for not even rebuilding New Orleans? This is also the same Republican House that voted to cut student loans while extending tax cuts that help Paris Hilton.

Thethinkingman
June 5th, 2006, 03:57 PM
Even more disturbing now is that bio-terrorism money is being cut from NYC. What is going on in Washington?

antinimby
June 5th, 2006, 05:41 PM
June 5, 2006 (http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/letters/64691.htm)-- According to The Post, us "hicks from the sticks" apparently don't need protection from terrorism ("Terror? What Terror?" June 1).
If terrorists had any brains, they could target the nuclear-fuel plant in southern Ohio and the entire East Coast would become a ghost town.

One 747 in the Piketon A-Plant would release radiation equal to 5,000 Chernobyl meltdowns just a few hundred miles upwind from New York City.

But you New Yorkers are stupid to think you are entitled to have all the security money spent in your town.

We'll see how well you like living in the big city when a real crisis hits this nation. Us farm-owning hicks will have people like you begging us for food.

How soon you forget the way we chipped in to help out the family members of 9/11 victims.

You repay us by hurling childish insults and acting like crybabies because the rest of us actually want to be protected from terrorism, too.

For the life of me, I wonder why we cared so much when you were attacked.

Your kind has insulted us for 200 years, and you haven't learned better yet.

Jeff Phelps
Franklin Furnace, Ohio

Edward
June 5th, 2006, 05:57 PM
No wonder I don't read New York Post

BrooklynRider
June 5th, 2006, 06:30 PM
Do you really think that anti-war progressives would be our best chance to get more security funding?

No, I think anti-war progressives would get the country's priorities in order, which would mean ending the war and ending the financial hemorrhaging it is causing. Ending the war is the priority.

Then, we can begin working on a real foreign policy that is based on more than using our big military to intimidate others. A stronger foreign policy and a cooperative approach will help us regain our stature in the world and will, hopefully, make the U.S. less threatening.

I'm not looking at simply getting more "security funding." I seek to create a real sense and realm of security.


It seems like this is the answer to all the society's ills for you.

You mean this seems like my answer to all society's ills to you.


I think the reason we got the cut in funding is not the pro-war republicans and rubber-stamp democrats but the culture in Washington, D.C. where most of thse kinds of decisions are political and are not based on the real threat or genuine security need.

Well, face the facts MrSpice. The culture in Washington, DC, is Republican. The congress had been Republican controlled for ten years. The presidency for 6 years. The judiciary since the addition of Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. It is a wingnut REPUBLICAN problem.


It's quite possible that the newly elected "progressive democract" from the state other than New York, would work just as hard to move as much of the security money as possible towards her state. After all, all New York pro-war republicans, like King, are just as outraged as most of us.

Peter King is a scumbag. He is posturing as he faces re-election during an incredible low point for Republicans. He is facing re-election in a county and region that has been shifting toward Democrats in the last two election cycles. He isn't standing on principle. He votes with Bush (regardless of his "protests") EVERY SINGLE TIME.


You seem to have the same answer for all our problems - remove Bush, remove republicans, remove pro-war people as if this pro-war stance affects everything they do. That's not the case.

Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize that YOU had all the correct answers. As usual, another blathering post supporting the status quo and apologizing for a criminal regime. Only a true Stalinist could support this administration and its policies. Throw in a couple of cartwheels and some pom-poms and the cheerleading routine is complete.

Thethinkingman
June 5th, 2006, 06:44 PM
No wonder I don't read New York Post
Tell me about it. Why would you print something like that?


If terrorists had any brains, they could target the nuclear-fuel plant in southern Ohio and the entire East Coast would become a ghost town.

One 747 in the Piketon A-Plant would release radiation equal to 5,000 Chernobyl meltdowns just a few hundred miles upwind from New York City.

But you New Yorkers are stupid to think you are entitled to have all the security money spent in your town.

We'll see how well you like living in the big city when a real crisis hits this nation. Us farm-owning hicks will have people like you begging us for food.

How soon you forget the way we chipped in to help out the family members of 9/11 victims.

You repay us by hurling childish insults and acting like crybabies because the rest of us actually want to be protected from terrorism, too.

For the life of me, I wonder why we cared so much when you were attacked.

Your kind has insulted us for 200 years, and you haven't learned better yet.

Jeff Phelps
Franklin Furnace, Ohio

Thank you Jeff Phelps for being a true patriot. For voting for a stupid aministration that has screwed up so many times that it's only a matter of time until another 9/11, Katrina, Iraq War happens. Thank you Jeff for not giving a damn about 9/11 families. Hey Jeff, how about this, the next time a terrorist attack happens on US soil, why don't you just say they deserved it.

antinimby
June 5th, 2006, 07:05 PM
Why would you print something like that?Ummm...isn't that what a newspaper is supposed to do, bring you both sides of the story?

lofter1
June 5th, 2006, 07:28 PM
An inversion of a "fair weather friend"?


For the life of me, I wonder why we cared so much when you were attacked.
Your kind has insulted us for 200 years, and you haven't learned better yet.

Jeff Phelps

lofter1
June 5th, 2006, 07:45 PM
Thanks, Jeff, for the back-handed instruction ...

PIKETON (http://www.usec.com/v2001_02/HTML/Employment_current-AC_Piketon.asp) would be a wise place for the HSD to keep a watchful eye on.

And we'd be idiots not to protect a facility such as American Centrifuge (http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr1834/).

It it weren't for the obscene amounts of money being spent daily in Iraq we'd be in a far better position to protect our own interests at home (including -- hopefully -- the health, educational and other interests of our fellow citizens).

Thethinkingman
June 5th, 2006, 08:29 PM
Ummm...isn't that what a newspaper is supposed to do, bring you both sides of the story? Yeah but what he said was just obscene. It was an insult to New York, not just another plain argument for why NY's terror funds got cut. I don't mind both sides, but that was just too extreme. If he would have said the 'facts' without throwing insults at NYC it would have been ok.

Kris
June 6th, 2006, 03:36 AM
June 6, 2006
Mayor Pessimistic on Prospect of Restoring Antiterror Aid
By DIANE CARDWELL

A decision cutting antiterror grants to New York by roughly 40 percent appears unlikely to be changed, despite intense lobbying from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and other officials.

Mr. Bloomberg appealed yesterday to Michael Chertoff, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, to reconsider how the department distributes aid to high-risk cities, but the mayor and his administration have all but given up hope for this year and are now focused on other sources of money and future years, Bloomberg administration officials said.

"In terms of what we'll do next year, I don't know," Mr. Bloomberg told reporters before a planned conversation with Mr. Chertoff. "You don't want to have another disaster to be able to say I told you so; quite the contrary." The better the performance of the 1,000 police officers whom the Police Department has assigned to intelligence and counterterrorism, the mayor said, the harder it will be to prove that New York is the city that is at the greatest risk.

Members of the city's Congressional delegation also continued to battle over the money. Senator Charles E. Schumer said that he would introduce legislation requiring that Homeland Security base allocation of money earmarked for cities exclusively on the threat of terror attacks, using credible threats, risks and previous attacks as gauges. He also said he would look at other federal grant programs from the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Transportation to make up for the reduction to the city.

Homeland Security officials have emphasized that their job was to worry about the security of the nation, not just New York, and that part of the job involves helping smaller locales improve their operations.

"The objective is to continually increase the baseline of security," said Russ Knocke, a department spokesman. "We don't want to continue to triple-bolt the front door and leave the back and side doors vulnerable."

Behind the scenes, Bloomberg officials expressed skepticism that they would be able to persuade the federal government to restore the money. After pressuring the department to award counterterrorism aid to cities based on their risk of attack, city officials were disappointed to see the city's share drop so sharply.

One reason for the reduction is that Bloomberg administration officials are at odds with the Bush administration over the use of the grants. The federal government favors paying for semi-permanent safeguards like improvements in communications systems, in gas masks or in training, while the city applied to use federal aid to pay for certain continuing costs, like overtime for police officers.

During a 40-minute conference call with Mr. Chertoff and other city and federal officials, Mr. Bloomberg again lobbied to revise the criteria for distributing aid, said Stu Loeser, Mr. Bloomberg's chief spokesman, but the chances of swaying Homeland Security seemed low.

Mr. Knocke said that although the department remained open to finding "ways to further refine our processes," he "would hesitate to forecast on what next year's grant picture is going to bring."

According to Mr. Loeser, Mr. Chertoff told the mayor that the Homeland Security Department would fast-track the city's requests for aid through other programs, and suggested that financing for New York could increase in the future, once the security capabilities of smaller cities had improved.

"I think the mayor recognizes and agrees that we do need to do more as a country to raise base-line security around the country, and the department has to look at the overall national risk picture," Mr. Knocke said.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

Ninjahedge
June 6th, 2006, 09:30 AM
Wouldn't it be nice if NYC and NYS had teh ability to withold taxes from the state and the country if it found things not to its liking?

I mean, it is common practic ein the buisness world to withold payment or hold up things if something is not being done. If we only get $$ out of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for something that is a major threat to this countries largest, most dense collection of infrastructure, we should be able to simply say "OK, don't give us a penny" and then refuse to give any $$ for federal aid.

Of course, that would mean bolstering the state militia and such to make sure we had enough to protect ourselves rather than wait for the US to come to our aid... but that is expected.


It is such an odd thingthat the city of NY has to fight tooth and nail to get money BACK from the gavernment when it is one of the largest contributors out there!

Kris
June 22nd, 2006, 03:23 AM
June 22, 2006
Mayors Protest Cuts in Antiterrorism Funds
By ERIC LIPTON

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/06/22/us/22grants.600.jpg
Mayors Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, foreground, and Anthony A. Williams of Washington, far right.

WASHINGTON, June 21 — Protecting major American cities against terrorism requires investing federal dollars not just in high-tech gadgets but also in police officers working in uniform and under cover, the mayors of New York and Washington told a House committee on Wednesday.

The joint message, from Mayors Michael R. Bloomberg of New York and Anthony A. Williams of Washington, came as the two protested a plan by the Department of Homeland Security to cut grants to the cities by 40 percent in the coming year.

New York and Washington still received some of the biggest grants announced on May 31, which totaled $711 million. New York got $124 million, 18 percent of the total, and the Washington area received $46.5 million, 7 percent.

But their allotments were cut, at least in part, because of plans to use the money to pay police officers instead of investing in antiterrorism tools or training, Mr. Bloomberg told the House Committee on Homeland Security, calling such a choice shortsighted.

"Time and again, human intelligence has disrupted terrorism planning," Mr. Bloomberg said, "from a plot to bomb a major subway station in our city during the 2004 Republican National Convention, to the conspiracy revealed earlier this month to attack targets in Ontario, Canada."

Mr. Bloomberg said the Department of Homeland Security seemed almost too caught up in the fictional, high-tech world of antiterrorism and crime fighting as portrayed on television, forgetting that cities like New York and Washington would need financial help for years to pay for antiterrorism teams.

Mr. Williams agreed. "There are just probably many more examples of where you've had great technology but you haven't invested on the ground in people, and it's been a tremendous flop," he said.

George W. Foresman, the under secretary for preparedness at the department, told the committee that Congress had imposed restrictions on how much of the urban grants could be spent on personnel and overtime, and that Congress was also responsible for an overall reduction in grant dollars.

But Mr. Foresman acknowledged that the department must do a better job explaining its decision-making process.

The New York City police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, gave the committee details on what he said were 18 attempts or successful plots by terrorists to attack New York since 1990, which he said was why the city has about 1,000 officers assigned to a counterterrorism unit. Since the federal urban area grant program started in the 2003 fiscal year, Mr. Kelly said, the Police Department has been allocated $280 million, spending 40 percent on overtime, 35 percent on equipment and the rest on training.

The cut this year will most likely mean delaying a plan to install a surveillance system in the financial district in Lower Manhattan, Mr. Kelly said, similar to the so-called Ring of Steel in central London.

"These programs cost money," he said. "There's no question about it."

The pleas from the two mayors and their top police officials were endorsed by many members of the House committee, including its chairman, Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York.

"This was a stab in the back to the city of New York," Mr. King said of the 40 percent cut in the antiterrorism grant. "It was indefensible. It was disgraceful."

But some members expressed sympathy for the hard choices that the Homeland Security Department must make.

"I hope the political forces will not undermine you," said Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee, Democrat of Texas. "Rather than administration funding and Congressional funding going upwards, it was going down. So you were operating with a much smaller pot."

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

ablarc
June 22nd, 2006, 07:53 AM
So, will Bloomberg run for president?

ZippyTheChimp
June 22nd, 2006, 09:02 AM
He may test the waters, but I don't think the time would be right soon after his term as mayor. He needs to gradually shed his Republican clothing of convenience.

milleniumcab
June 24th, 2006, 10:37 PM
We got a lot of support from all over the country, that's a fact.. But I am certain it wasn't from Mr. Phelps and likes of him..

lofter1
July 2nd, 2006, 08:09 PM
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/misc/spacer.gifhttp://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/07/02/opinion/02mccall_lg.gifhttp://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/misc/spacer.gifhttp://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/misc/spacer.gif

Map prepared by Halliburton Cartographix

Bruce McCall is the author of "All Meat Looks Like South America."

http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2006/07/02/opinion/20060702_MCCALL_GRAPHIC.html

Copyright 2006 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html)The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

Kris
July 7th, 2006, 04:02 AM
July 7, 2006
More Antiterror Funds for New York Area
By ERIC LIPTON

The New York City metropolitan area will receive $53.8 million in federal antiterrorism grants to protect its rail, bus and ferry systems, a 25 percent increase over last year, the Department of Homeland Security announced yesterday. The additional money may curtail some of the criticism of a 40 percent cut announced on May 31 in a separate, larger antiterrorism grant program. The new grant money — $47 million for rail, $5.5 million for bus systems and $1.3 million for ferry security — means the New York area will get nearly 44 percent of the total transit grants distributed this year. "The Department of Homeland Security is finally putting some of its money where its mouth is and seems to have realized that New York City's subways and buses remain under constant threat," Senator Charles E. Schumer said.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

lofter1
July 11th, 2006, 11:56 PM
U.S. Terror Targets: Petting Zoo and Flea Market?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thenewswire/archive/ap/indianaweb2.jpg (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/12/washington/12assets.html?hp&ex=1152676800&en=6b0502da91a3d945&ei=5094&partner=homepage)
From shareyourstate.com

NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/12/washington/12assets.html?hp&ex=1152676800&en=6b0502da91a3d945&ei=5094&partner=homepage)
By ERIC LIPTON
July 12, 2006

WASHINGTON, July 11 — It reads like a tally of terrorist targets that a child might have written: Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo, the Amish Country Popcorn factory, the Mule Day Parade, the Sweetwater Flea Market and an unspecified “Beach at End of a Street.”

But the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, in a report released Tuesday, found that the list was not child’s play: all these “unusual or out-of-place” sites “whose criticality is not readily apparent” are inexplicably included in the official federal antiterrorism database.

The National Asset Database, as it is known, is so flawed, the inspector general found, that as of January, Indiana, with 8,591 potential terrorist targets, had 50 percent more listed sites than New York (5,687) and more than twice as many as California (3,212), ranking the state the most target-rich place in the nation.

The database is used by the Homeland Security Department to help divvy up the hundreds of millions of dollars in antiterrorism grants each year, including the program announced in May that cut money to New York City and Washington by 40 percent, while significantly increasing spending for cities including Louisville, Ky., and Omaha.

“We don’t find it embarrassing,” said the department’s deputy press secretary, Jarrod Agen. “The list is a valuable tool.”

But the audit says that lower-level department officials agreed that some older information in the inventory “was of low quality and that they had little faith in it.”

“The presence of large numbers of out-of-place assets taints the credibility of the data,” the report says.

In addition to the petting zoo, in Woodville, Ala., and the Mule Day Parade in Columbia, Tenn., the auditors questioned many entries, including “Nix’s Check Cashing,” “Mall at Sears,” “Ice Cream Parlor,” “Tackle Shop,” “Donut Shop,” “Anti-Cruelty Society” and “Bean Fest.”

Even people connected to some of those businesses or events are baffled at their inclusion as possible terrorist targets.

“Seems like someone has gone overboard,” said Larry Buss, who helps organize the Apple and Pork Festival in Clinton, Ill. “Their time could be spent better doing other things, like providing security for the country.”

Angela McNabb, manager of the Sweetwater Flea Market, which is 50 miles from Knoxville, Tenn., said: “I don’t know where they get their information. We are talking about a flea market here.”

New York City officials, who have questioned the rationale for the reduction in this year’s antiterrorism grants, were similarly blunt.

“Now we know why the Homeland Security grant formula came out as wacky as it was,” Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said Tuesday. “This report is the smoking gun that thoroughly indicts the system.”

The source of the problems, the audit said, appears to be insufficient definitions or standards for inclusion provided to the states, which submit lists of locations for the National Asset Database.

New York, for example, lists only 2 percent of the nation’s banking and finance sector assets, which ranks it between North Dakota and Missouri. Washington State lists nearly twice as many national monuments and icons as the District of Columbia. Virginia lists 2,126 schools, while eight states or territories list none.

Montana, one of the least populous states in the nation, turned up with far more assets than big-population states including Massachusetts, North Carolina and New Jersey.

The inspector general questions whether many of the sites listed in whole categories — like the 1,305 casinos, 163 water parks, 159 cruise ships, 244 jails, 3,773 malls, 718 mortuaries and 571 nursing homes — should even be included in the tally.

But the report also notes that the list “may have too few assets in essential areas.” It apparently does not include many major business and finance operations or critical national telecommunications hubs.

The department does not release the list of 77,069 sites, but the report said that as of January it included 17,327 office buildings, malls, shopping centers and other commercial properties; 12,019 government facilities; 8,402 public health buildings; 7,889 power facilities; and 2,963 sites with chemical or hazardous materials.

George W. Foresman, under secretary for preparedness at the Homeland Security Department, said the audit misunderstood the purpose of the database, as it was an inventory or catalog of national assets, not a prioritized list of the most critical sites. “It provides the universe from which various lists of critical assets are produced,” Mr. Foresman’s written response to the audit says.

The inspector general recommends that the department review the list and determine which of the “extremely insignificant” assets that have been included should remain and provide better guidance to states on what to submit in the future.

Mr. Agen, the Homeland Security Department spokesman, said that he agreed that his agency should provide better directions for the states and that it would do so in the future.

“We are constantly making sure that our list of assets is the most accurate and most informative,” Mr. Agen said.

One business owner who learned from a reporter that a company named Amish Country Popcorn was on the list was at first puzzled. The businessman, Brian Lehman, said he owned the only operation in the country with that name.

“I am out in the middle of nowhere,” said Mr. Lehman, whose business in Berne, Ind., has five employees and grows and distributes popcorn. “We are nothing but a bunch of Amish buggies and tractors out here. No one would care.”

But on second thought, he came up with an explanation.

“Maybe because popcorn explodes?”

Copyright 2006 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html)The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

antinimby
January 9th, 2007, 03:02 AM
Mayor Says City Risks Losing Grants for Security


By DIANE CARDWELL
Published: January 9, 2007 (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/09/nyregion/09security.html)

New York City stands to lose access to a $1 billion pool of federal homeland security money to finance improved communications between public safety agencies because its system does not meet federal guidelines, according to a letter that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg sent yesterday to Bush administration officials and Congressional leaders.

Last month, Mr. Bloomberg wrote, Congress approved the release of $1 billion for state and local grants to develop systems allowing radio communications between agencies on a dedicated frequency. New York has spent the past decade developing such a system for use in the 400 megahertz band of the spectrum, while federal regulations call for the systems to operate on the 700 megahertz band.

“Congress should not use that re-allocation to compel New York City and other localities to invest (or over-invest) in that particular portion of the spectrum,” wrote Mr. Bloomberg, who plans to testify on the matter today before the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

The letter also says that the Federal Communications Commission granted the city a waiver to use UHF Channel 16, at 482 megahertz to 488 megahertz, in 1995, and assigned the channel to the New York metropolitan area for public safety communications use three years ago.

“This spectrum has been invaluable, as it provides the most effective coverage and performance for police and firefighter communications in New York City’s dense in-building and underground urban environment,” Mr. Bloomberg wrote.

Russ Knocke, a homeland security spokesman, said the department shared Mr. Bloomberg’s view that each major city has its own singular challenges in achieving full communications ability between emergency response agencies. He added that homeland security officials anticipate “continuing to work closely” with the administration in addressing those challenges.

The city has been receiving mixed signals from the Department of Homeland Security on this year’s antiterror grants. Michael Chertoff, the department’s secretary, said last week that under one set of grants, the city would share $411 million with five other metropolitan areas considered at the highest risk for attack, while 39 other areas would compete for the remaining $336 million.

The financing is being closely watched by New York politicians who were outraged last year by the cuts to the grant. Mr. Chertoff has said that last year’s process was flawed and that he hoped to steer as much money as he could to the cities with the greatest needs.

But New York officials have expressed concern that too much of the overall $1.7 billion in antiterrorism grants will go to states based on politically driven formulas, and that New York is being linked to Newark and Jersey City, which could potentially diminish its share.

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
July 7th, 2007, 05:58 PM
Pols: NY stiffed again on terror funds

By LARRY McSHANE, Associated Press Writer

The city where a terrorist attack destroyed the World Trade Center towers has again been stiffed in the distribution of federal anti-terrorism funding, members of the state's congressional delegation complained Saturday.

The numbers are not official yet, but Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Peter King said the city is scheduled to receive about $134 million from an urban security grant program — an increase of about 8 percent from last year but still $73 million less than the city received two years ago.

"Why do they persist in giving money to places that need it a lot less than New York City?" said Schumer, a Democrat. "It's a disgrace. It's confounding. ... It's once again unfair to New York. Our needs are different than any other city."

Last year, New Yorkers complained long and loudly after the Department of Homeland Security slashed anti-terrorism funding for the city by $83 million. The nation's largest city lost 40 percent of its funding just five years after the World Trade Center terrorist attacks, while federal money was increased in such places as Louisville, Ky., and Omaha, Neb.

"They still just don't get it," said King, the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee. "New York is by far the No. 1 terrorist target in the country, and no one else is even a close second. That's the reality. I'm disappointed and angry."

Word of the $10 million increase over last year was particularly painful since it came around the same time as terrorist activity in Britain, which led New York City officials to heighten security, Schumer said.

Russ Knocke, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, declined to comment, saying it was unclear when the anti-terrorism grants would be officially announced.

Both Schumer and King expressed hopes — and doubts — that the funding would be increased before the announcement.

"I doubt it, but hope springs eternal," King said. "We need to keep the pressure on."

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press.