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Posted: 6/2/2003 5:00:28 AM EDT
[url=http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0601homeland01.html][b]Arizona may ignore next orange alert[/b][/url] Judy Nichols The Arizona Republic Jun. 1, 2003 12:00 AM As the nation lurches from orange to yellow on the terror alert scale for the fourth time, Arizona officials are considering not following the federal moves in the future. "It creates incredible problems: overtime, financial, functional," said Frank Navarrete, the state's homeland security director. "It's not quite to the point where it creates havoc, but it's quite disruptive." Navarrete said that if a recommended security increase is based on threats specific to certain cities or parts of the country, such as the coasts, Arizona might not need to implement the heightened level. "I believe that, based upon our own intelligence, I'm of the mind-set that we don't have to follow suit," he said. On the other hand, he said, some specific locations within the state may be at orange, even though the rest of the state and country is at yellow. The designations are based on "chatter" about specific types of targets: power facilities, water sources or certain types of buildings, for example. The Homeland Security Advisory System has five threat levels with corresponding colors: low, green; guarded, blue; elevated, yellow; high, orange; and severe, red. When it was implemented in March 2002 after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the nation started at orange. It has reached that level three more times. And although nearly all cities, counties and states follow the federal recommendations, they are not required to. "The Homeland Security Advisory System shall be binding on the executive branch and suggested, although voluntary, to other levels of government and the private sector," according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Officials in Charlotte, N.C., and its home county of Mecklenburg declined to go to orange until the war in Iraq, according to reports in the Charlotte Observer. It would not be the first time Arizona asserted its independence from the pack: The state also declines to move to daylight-saving time years ago. Arizona's Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano supports the view of Navarrete, whom she appointed, spokeswoman Kris Mayes said. "We're most likely to continue to follow the recommendation, but we will look at our own intelligence," Mayes said. Moving to orange means increased security at obvious places such as the airport, electrical transforming facilities, water treatment plants, governmental buildings, the U.S.-Mexican border, Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Hoover Dam, and large gatherings like Diamondbacks ball games. And there are other security measures that Navarrete declines to discuss. The state is beginning to compile the costs, but Navarrete said he couldn't even guess at the final total. The federal government has appropriated $28 million for Arizona for homeland security, he said. About $3.5 million will cover past expenses, and the remaining $24 million will be for costs over the next two years. Twenty percent will go to the state and 80 percent to the counties. Each of the state agencies has plans for every level of the alert ladder, and other institutions have been encouraged to draw up similar plans, Navarrete said. "We also have a continuity of government plan on where to take the governor and key staff members," he said. "It has to be a place with data capability, telephone and satellite." Navarrete said several undisclosed locations are available. There was speculation about going to the highest alert level, red, when the war in Iraq began, Navarrete said. "I can't say that red would never happen, but it would be a tough call," he said. "For economic reasons, fear, emotional factors, you'd really have to think that one through." The changes in terror alert status often are felt in private business. America West Airlines officials said they have seen drops in bookings after the level moves to orange, although the drop this time was small, and reservations quickly rebounded. Navarrete said the yo-yo nature of the alerts may diminish their effectiveness. "We have to be mindful of the fact that if we continue to do this and nothing happens, that it loses impact with the citizenry," he said. "It becomes a 'Here we go again' mentality." The alerts are making people ill, said Margaret Heldring, a clinical psychologist who heads America's Health Together, a non-profit research group in Washington, D.C. "The whole color-coded alert system has raised anxiety more than helped lower it," Heldring said. "It may be useful for helping security or police departments, but it's not good for the general public." But Navarrete said the threat scale is important for the general public, not just government agencies. "I think the public has the right to know," he said. "To do it and hide it would be improper." Staff reporter Hal Mattern contributed to this article.
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 5:30:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By fight4yourrights: [url=http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0601homeland01.html][b]Arizona may ignore next orange alert[/b][/url] Judy Nichols The Arizona Republic Jun. 1, 2003 12:00 AM said Frank Navarrete, the state's homeland security director. "It's not quite to the point where it creates havoc, but it's quite disruptive."
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So does another plane into a building. If they don't want alerts, the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, et al can email them to me.
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 5:51:27 AM EDT
I don't pay much attention to whatever alert level we're at. I drive 8-9 hrs. a day. I better be alert. I think if I was a raghead terror type mamasboy, I'd wait until the level was at blue or green before I tried to kill myself and a bunch of "infidels".
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 6:28:04 AM EDT
Opponents have warned that this may happen. Too many and people just ignore them, which is what happen in AZ, and potentially other states, especially since they are so cash strapped.
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 6:53:05 AM EDT
[b]"Arizona may ignore next orange alert"[/b] Just like we continue to ignore the nightly foreign invasion across our southern border by thousands of 'undocumented workers'.
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 6:59:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: [b]"Arizona may ignore next orange alert"[/b] Just like we continue to ignore the nightly foreign invasion across our southern border by thousands of 'undocumented workers'.
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Northern states too, remember.
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 1:54:28 PM EDT
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