Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on December 14, 1988 · Page 11
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page 11

Rochester, New York
Issue Date:
Wednesday, December 14, 1988
Page 11
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DfMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE, ROCHESTER. N Y., WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 1988 U.S. skeptical of Arafat gesture EROM PAGE 1A people, who want dignity, freedom und peace for themselves and security for their state, want the same things for all the states and parties involved in the Arah-Israeli conflict." Thus, his much-awaited speech here appeared to make more explicit the commitments undertaken Nov. 15 in Algiers by the Palestine National Council, the PLO's legislative body. But, reportedly under pressure from hard-line PLO factions, he retreated from his comments at a meeting with U.S. Jewish activists last Wednesday in Stockholm, where he endorsed a statement saying the PLO "accepted the existence of Israel as a state in the region." In a gesture clearly aimed at the United States, Arafat condemned terrorism "in all its forms" and said the international peace conference must be based on U.N. resolutions 242 and 338. These resolutions, which until recently were rejected by the PLO, affirmed the right of all states in the region to live within secure and recognized borders. "The PLO will seek a compre hensive settlement among the parties concerned in the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the state of Palestine, Israel and other neighbors, within the framework of the international conference for peace in the Middle East on the basis of resolutions 242 and 338 and so as to guarantee equality and the balance of interests, especially our s I people's rights in freedom, nation-' I al independence, and respect for the right to exist in peace and se- j Senate GOP ! kills tax hike ! 1 .'ulf V Copper grinches steal warmth from city workers FROM PAGE 1A Tho Associated Press Seats of the Israeli delegation were empty during Arafat speech. i FROM PAGE 1A i next fiscal year, a sign that he'll i again ask for higher taxes and i fees. i But later yesterday, after a ! three-hour meeting with his Re-f publican senators, Anderson said he'd agree to tapping into the reserve funds but ruled out for this year raising taxes or boosting other state revenues. Those steps would close the budget gap by some $499 million. Anderson said he'd accept Cuo-mo's proposals to take $385 million from four state reserve funds, refinance the debt on the Empire , State Plaza for another $39 million and allow for a computerized transfer of large tax liabilities that would eliminate the time lag in collection of those funds. That would raise $75 million. All three proposals were included in Cuo-mo's deficit-reduction package on Friday. But the rest of the problem would have to be dealt with next year, if at all, Anderson said. Anderson, who retires at the end of , this year, will be replaced as majority leader by Nassau County Republican Sen. Ralph Marino. For his part, Marino said he'd only consider the tax increases and other revenue raisers being pushed by Cuomo and Assembly 1 Democrats if he felt the additional money was really needed. Senate Republicans have said that the $500 million budget gap was a "cash shortage" that would cure itself when New Yorkers settle their tax bills with the state next year. "I'm not a strong voice for sin taxes," Marino said of the proposed tobacco and alcohol levies. Miller, speaking to reporters after a meeting with his own members, said he wouldn't agree to Anderson's proposal. "The one thing the Assembly majority is not going to do is just come in and do some one-shots and go home," Miller said. "It's not responsible to just do one-shots now. . . . It's not addressing it at all." A spokesman for Cuomo said the governor would have to meet with Anderson "and discuss with him exactly what he has in mind." In other action, legislative lead ers said they were set to approve a measure that would give immediate 5 percent pay raises, retroactive to June, for the state's 15,000 top bureaucrats. The measure was the subject of talks yesterday between Senate Republicans and Assembly Democrats. The measure would raise the annual salaries of Cuomo's top commissioners, such as Health Commissioner Dr. David Axelrod and Transportation Commissioner Franklin White, from the current $93,713 to $98,400. "If that's true, then that's good news for the holiday season for a whole lot of people in this state," said Cuomo after being told by the legislative leaders that they would pass the pay-raise bill. H.Y. LOTTERY Yesterdav's winning number was 803. The Win Four was 5891. Keno numbers were 9, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, 27, 28, 29, 39, 40, 41, 43, 61, 64, 71, 72, 75, 76. 79. curity for all," he said according to the PLO's English-language text of his address. Arafat, dressed in a khaki uniform and his customary checkered headdress, several times said this means the PLO is seeking a peace accord creating a Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state. But at the same time, he stopped short of a clear-cut declaration in so many words that he and the PLO therefore accept the right of Israel to exist. The Palestinian leader's exact words on this subject were under particular scrutiny because of reports from Washington that the Reagan administration had conveyed willingness to open a dialogue with the PLO provided Arafat met U.S. conditions on renunciation of terrorism, acceptance of resolutions 242 and 338 and recognition of Israel's right to exist. Under a 1975 commitment to Israel later expanded into law, the United States has refused to deal with the PLO until it meets these conditions. Using Swedish diplomats as go-betweens, the administration believed late Monday that it had obtained a commitment from the PLO that Arafat's speech would meet the U.S. test. State Department officials even informed Israel that Washington was ready to open substantive talks with the PLO, touching off a flurry of objections from Jerusalem. But State Department spokesman Charles Redman, delivering the administration's formal response in Washington just hours after Arafat finished speaking in Geneva, said that the PLO leader's declaration failed to meet the United State's test of sincerity. "These issues must be addressed clearly, squarely, without ambiguity," Redman said. "That didn't happen, and, as a consequence, the speech did not meet our conditions." ager of the co-operative. "We resorted to an emergency generator which operates one small boiler, and we were able to send some steam to Genesee Hospital but nowhere else." Power was restored by 1:37 p.m., but it was 3 p.m. before most buildings began to feel the thaw from out-side temperatures that hovered from the high teens to low 20s throughout the ordeal. For about 600 court workers and jurors in the Hall of Justice, however, there was a double dose of misery. After freezing inside, they froze outside when fans that were turned on at 3 p.m. to distribute warm air managed to trip fire alarms. "We need this like we need a hole in the head," grumbled Linda Merlo, a receptionist at the Monroe County District Attorney's Office, as she stood shivering on the sidewalk in a long wool coat with fur trim. RG&E security personnel think the cable-tampering took place Monday, but the damaged cables and the theft of more than 100 feet of copper wire were discovered yesterday morning when inspectors went into the subway bed to find the cause of the cable failure. Copper is in high demand because of a worldwide shortage. Prices surged this month to more than $1.52 a pound on commodity markets, and analysts predict they will top $1.60 a pound next month. Peck said this was not the first time RG&E cables had fallen victim to copper thieves. The utility reported the latest cable-tampering incident to Rochester police, he said. The thieves apparently opened THE SYSTEM The Rochester District Heating Co-operative was formed in 1985, to rescue the city's 100-year-old steam-heating system after Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. abandoned It as too costly to operate. The co-operative is owned and operated by the owners whose buildings are served by eight miles of steam tunnels under the city. Three large, new boilers installed last year can convert 1.2 million gallons of water into steam every hour. Although the boilers are fueled by natural gas or No. 2 fuel oil, electric power supplied by RG&E is needed to run fans that supply air and the pumps that distribute the steam. a manhole cover in the subway bed and used a ladder to climb down. The ladder was still there yesterday, Peck said. "A couple of lines in the vicinity were cut and quite a lot of copper wire stolen. Someone appears to have started cutting the live, high voltage cable, but maybe it flashed or they got a shock, because they abandoned it. "It's a wonder no one was killed. It's a powerful live wire and extremely dangerous to mess around with. You cut into that, and you'll be fried to a crisp." For hundreds of workers in federal, state, county, city and private office buildings downtown, temperatures started to drop noticeably by mid-morning. Many employees at the Monroe County Office Building on Main Street bundled up in sweaters and a few placed small space heaters close to their desks. Joyce Nichols, a secretary in the office of Elections Commissioner Ronald Starkweather, was wrapped up in the thick "emergency sweater" she keeps in her file drawer. Even when she went out to lunch there was no relief. The building she chose to dine in also was served by the co-operative. "I ate lunch at the First Federal Plaza with one glove on. I'm not kidding. ... It was that cold." Shortly before the fire alarms tripped at the Hall of Justice, Chief Administrative Judge Joseph Fritsch sent word to office personnel that they could leave work at 3 p.m., two hours early, if the cold office air was too uncomfortable. "Least of all, you don't want them to catch cold," said Fritsch. But the fire alarm and subsequent evacuation made people realize that compared to 30 degrees and blustery winter winds, the offices didn't feel too bad. "There was a purpose to this fire drill," quipped state Supreme Court Justice Raymond Cornelius as he took off his coat on the fourth floor, which he said felt toasty after he had been outside. At the county jail, temperatures cooled considerably after 10 a.m. but did not warrant special arrangements, said Christian De-Bruyn, jail superintendent. "It stayed pretty comfortable," he said. "It just got a little frosty on the street (level) floor." Reporters J. Leslie Sopko, Kathleen Driscoll and Craig Gordon contributed to this story. 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