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N.Y. enacts law aimed at preventing R.I.-type nightclub fire

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  • N.Y. enacts law aimed at preventing R.I.-type nightclub fire

    By JOEL STASHENKO
    Associated Press Writer
    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The chances of a fire in New York like the
    one that killed 100 people at a Rhode Island nightclub in February
    are diminished under a new law, Gov. George Pataki said Thursday.
    The bill requires the owner or lessee of an entertainment venue
    to get a permit from local government officials when indoor
    pyrotechnics are to be used. It also requires the filing of a
    written plan outlining details about the fireworks and their use,
    including the qualifications and experience of the pyrotechnics
    operator.
    The measure requires sets, scenery and performers' clothing to
    be fire resistant in venues where indoor fireworks are planned and
    mandates that at least two fire extinguishers be at hand.
    The fire at the West Warwick, R.I., nightclub, The Station,
    which also injured more than 200 people, was sparked by the
    pyrotechnics used by the rock band Great White.
    The New York statute makes the unpermitted use of pyrotechnics
    that recklessly causes deaths or serious injuries a felony
    punishable by up to seven years in prison.
    The new statute takes effect Nov. 1 outside New York City. The
    city's fire codes will continue to govern the use of indoor
    pyrotechnics within the five boroughs.

    In other measures addressed by the governor:
    -Pataki signed into law a measure lowering the blood alcohol
    level for operating a snowmobile while intoxicated to 0.08 percent.
    The measure mirrors the state's action over the summer to lower the
    blood alcohol limit for drivers of automobiles from 0.10 percent to
    0.08 percent for purposes of driving while intoxicated charges.
    -The governor said a measure he signed will allow New York entry
    into an Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision along
    with 47 other states. The new multistate compact will allow members
    to better track offenders on probation or parole when they
    relocate.
    -Pataki vetoed a bill that would have loosened up the
    requirement that New York City Fire Department dispatchers live in
    the city. The measure would have extended to dispatchers the same
    exceptions enjoyed by firefighters in the department - that they be
    allowed to live in counties contiguous to, or no more than 15 miles
    from, the city.
    The governor said the Bloomberg administration urged him to veto
    the bill. Pataki said one argument for approving the measure - that
    a department is having trouble finding qualified employees within
    city limits - does not exist in this case and that the city has
    comfortably filled all 141 of its fire dispatcher slots.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Last edited by NJFFSA16; 10-24-2003, 01:22 AM.
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