Who's doing what at the rollovergreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
From the London Evening Standard: Who's doing what on New Year's Eve
by Evening Standard Reporters
Up to two million people are expected to pack into central London on millennium eve to enjoy what is being billed as the biggest party the capital has ever seen. Many others have their own extravagant plans while some people plan to ignore it completely. Today the Evening Standard takes a straw poll on what some of Britain's best-known names will be doing on the big night
Anita Roddick, founder of Body Shop, said: "Forget midnight, no matter what anyone says, for me the millennium will start at dawn. My family and friends will have a celebration in the garden and let's hope we don't freeze our buns off.
"Everybody will receive a special millennium box which I will have designed and made. Each box will have a tiny camera in it so everyone can record the moment when the new millennium dawns and there will also be a tape machine for people to record a millennium message to go with it. We will certainly not be watching TV, nor will we be listening to the radio. We will just be celebrating as a family."
Staying in for the New Year. Left to right: Ken Livingstone, Jilly Cooper, Trevor McDonald, the Spice Girls, Celia Hammond, Spike Milligan and Michael Palin
Ruth Lea, head of the policy unit at the Institute of Directors, said: "I'm going out with some friends to a restaurant in Cockfosters for an Italian meal. I don't mind paying a little bit more than normal because it is a special evening, but if they decide to charge the earth, then I'll probably not go. When I get home I shall have a drink with the neighbours and get very merry."
Sir Terence Conran plans to be "at one of his restaurants" - although he doesn't yet know which one. All of them except Zinc Bar (completely booked by a private company) are about to announce special menus for the evening.
Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes is having a party at home on Exmoor with his family and "some of the other geriatrics who used to go exploring with me in the Sixties and Seventies. I shall then be about to remove myself from the UK for about four months of nasty activity - cold and nasty rather than hot and nasty, unfortunately. So what I am planning will be sybaritic with lots of wild walks for New Year's Day. I suspect it will be here on Exmoor because it lends itself to that time of year."
Tory mayoral hopeful Lord Archer will be at his Vauxhall flat enjoying a prime view of a huge fireworks display to be staged on barges along the Thames. "Mary and I will be admiring the fireworks dis-play with about 50 or 60 guests," he said, promising cryptically that he will also be involved in a mystery event on the night that will grab the public's attention.
Virgin boss Richard Branson has yet to make plans, as a friend explained. "He doesn't know whether he is going to be in Edinburgh, where we are sponsoring the biggest street party in the world, or on Necker, his own paradise island in the Caribbean."
Former Tory MP Rupert Allason, also known as the spy novelist Nigel West, said: "On millennium eve I will be skiing down a mountain holding a flame torch and ending up in Klosters."
Anti-sleaze MP and veteran BBC war reporter Martin Bell said: "I will be in my usual restaurant in Hampstead where I always spend it. For me this New Year will be no different from any other."
Inventor Trevor Baylis, the man behind the wind-up radio that has sold millions in the Third World, said: "I am getting my motor boat fixed for me and a couple of guests to go up the Thames to watch it all happen. There may be a bit of a pub crawl beforehand but I will be careful not to become a hazard."
Welsh rugby star Jonathan Davies said: "I may be involved as an MC at a pop concert in Wales, although I can't say too much about that at the moment. If not though, I will be at home with my wife and neighbours in Cardiff. I'm more of a Christmas man really, having kids. I hope the millennium doesn't turn out to be a damp squib."
Susan Kramer, the Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor, said: "I have already said that I intend to explore every high street in London in the run-up to the mayoral contest, so I will probably be walking the streets. In general, I enjoy any excuse for a party."
Comedian Bernard Manning said: "I will be getting all the family together - my son and three grandchildren - and we will go out for a drink, come back for a meal and that will be it. Nothing barmy. Millennium night will be like everything else - after a couple of weeks everyone will have forgotten it and get back to paying the bills."
Promoter Harvey Goldsmith, who is helping to organise the entertainments on the Thames, said: "I will be lighting up the biggest fireworks display ever produced in England, which has been bloody hard work to organise. I doubt I will be particularly relaxed at midnight. I will be standing there with a big box of matches in my hand and hoping it all goes off."
Television personality Michael Palin is not planning anything different for the night, said his wife Helen: "We are going to have some friends round for a meal and celebrate the New Year like we do every year."
Television chef Ainsley Harriot said: "I don't care where I am or what I'm doing on the night as long as my wife Clare and children Jimmy, nine, and Madeleine, six, are with me."
Tony Combes, director of Corporate Affairs at Monsanto, the genetic engineering company, said: "I intend to have a drink, relax and finish off some genetically modified tomato purie before it reaches its end-of-the-century sell-by date."
Writer Malcolm Bradbury will attend an academic and literary soirie: "We will be having a party in Norwich with a lot of writers and colleagues from university. It will be a dinner-jacket affair and we have been doing it for the past 20 years. We haven't decided yet whose house we will end up in."
Michael Eavis, the owner of the Somerset farm on which the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset is held, said: "We are not planning a big bash. I think one big whoopee a year is enough for the people of Pilton. I'm probably going down to Devon to spend it with some friends."
Lady Thatcher will be seeing in the millennium with "family and friends", although for security reasons, no further details were given by her spokeswoman.
Getting away from it all
Archie Norman, chief executive of the Conservative Party and deputy chairman of Asda, intends to travel north of the border to celebrate Hogmanay. A spokesman said that Mr Norman planned to be "on an island somewhere off Scotland".
Film-maker Michael Winner plans to head for a hotel in the Caribbean. "I will be with my friend Robert Earl of Planet Hollywood and other friends in a hotel on the Turks and Caicos Islands," he said.
Howard Marks, the author who wrote about his drug-smuggling days in the bestseller, Mr Nice, will be in Ibiza, where he spends much of the year as cult writer in residence. "I certainly won't be in England, I'll be in Ibiza, probably celebrating with something illegal."
Tailor Ozwald Boateng will be ensuring he is dressed up warm on the night. He is spending New Year's Eve in Moscow with his Russian girlfriend, Gunnel Ibragimova.
Chef Antony Worrall-Thompson will be in Dublin with his Irish-born wife "unless someone offers me an outrageous sum of money to open one of my restaurants". Mr Worrall-Thompson, who runs Wiz in Holland Park and Bistrorganic in North Kensington, is giving his staff the night off "so they can enjoy themselves or go off and earn lots of money working elsewhere". New York-based best-selling author Barbara Taylor Bradford is to stay with friends in Florida: "We always visit the Tollmans, a British couple who have four hotels in London. They live at Palm Beach and they are doing a gala New Year's party this year."
Agents for the following stars said that: The Rolling Stones "turned down an invitation to play Madison Square Garden in New York because Charlie Watts wanted to stay at home in Devon with his family". Tom Jones is "performing in New York, but only because no one in Britain offered him a gig".
The Spice Girls will be "at home with their families". Boyzone and U2 are "at home with their families". Tina Turner is "having an enormous bonfire in her garden in the south of France, with boyfriend Erwin Bach and 100 friends".
Stereophonics are "playing the biggest tent in the world in front of 30,000 fans at the Cream club's millennium celebrations in Liverpool, with The Lightning Seeds, Space and Orbital". Manic Street Preachers will be "playing at Cardiff Arms Park - now renamed the Millennium Stadium". Eric Clapton is "giving his annual teetotal concert for fellow Alcoholics Anonymous members at a leisure centre in Woking".
A quiet night in
Lord Hanson, whose business empire stretches both sides of the Atlantic, is having a quiet night in with his wife. "As we have done for the past 40 years, we shall be spending the evening at home together and we shall be asleep by midnight," he said.
Sir Tim Rice was singularly under-whelmed: "I don't have any plans. A cup of cocoa, I expect. I have found it's the same with a lot of my pals. I suspect we are all waiting for better offers. I think I will stay in England, but the most unlikely place I would be is the Dome. Have the invitations been sent out yet? I have been bewilder-ingly passed over if they have."
Writer Jilly Cooper hasn't planned anything in particular: "My husband Leo doesn't do millenniums, so he is going to bed at 7.30pm. But I think we will probably just stay at home with the family."
Would-be London Mayor Ken Livingstone will not be allowing the small matter of the millennium to break his habit of refusing to go out on New Year's Eve. "I never go out on New Year's Eve. Who wants to spend it with drunks getting maudlin and sentimental? I will be passing the night at home in the company of close friends and family, and then maybe going away somewhere when the flights won't be over-priced and over-crowded".
John Major's brother, Terry Major-Ball, said: "I have been invited to a do at the Cafe Royal but I shall be staying at home with my wife. We will do exactly what we always do on New Year's Eve - watch TV, have a glass of champagne at midnight and then go to bed. I expect John will be doing the same."
Food critic Egon Ronay will have a quiet night at his home in Berkshire with his wife Barbara. "We shall have a bottle of champagne and I hope to be asleep by midnight. Even if we wanted to go out we can't - I've got two large Dobermans and there is no one available to look after them."
Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks will do what he, like all practising Jews, does every Friday night. He will attend the regular Sabbath eve service, then go home for the traditional Friday night dinner with his family. And because it is Sabbath eve, he won't be watching TV.
Comedian Spike Milligan said: "On the stroke of midnight I will take my wife Sheila in my arms and sing Auld Lang Syne. I've always done it. I used to dance on my own when I was single."
Working on the big night
BA chairman Bob Ayling, who is also chairman of the New Millennium Experience Company, will be in attendance at the Dome. He will be taking one of the first flights out of Heathrow on 1 January, confident that the millennium bug will not cause aeroplanes to drop out of the sky.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Condon will be in London in his official capacity. "He has yet to finalise where he's going to be but for security reasons we can't discuss exactly where," said a spokesman.
Opera director and writer Dr Jonathan Miller said: "I shall be in Switzerland rehearsing a new opera, The Magic Flute, in Zurich."
Former model and cat rescuer, Celia Hammond, said she would probably be at the Celia Hammond Animal Trust offices in Canning Town tending to a sick animal. "When you do this sort of work, one day is much like another. If someone has called up with an injured animal I will be in the clinic. At that time of year it is highly likely. We get a lot of reject pets from Christmas which end up wandering the streets. If we don't have any calls a few of us will probably raise a glass and hope for a better life for people and animals."
Ivor Spencer, former Dorchester chef and president of the International Guild of Professional Toastmasters, said: "On the evening of 1 January I will be organising a reception at Claridges in honour of the Queen, which is to be attended by Baroness Thatcher. For that reason I haven't organised anything yet for New Year's Eve. Something will certainly come up, and it will be the toast to end all toasts."
Former madam Cynthia Payne will be working as a TV reporter at the Treetops Hotel near Sevenoaks. It specialises in "unusual" cabaret with "a lot of way-out people. It's an interesting place - if a place is boring I don't go back. The food is good and deserves my luncheon vouchers. I am not going out of England - you might not be able to get back with the flights affected by the millennium bug."
Newscaster Sir Trevor McDonald doesn't know whether he will be off-duty or not. A spokeswoman at ITN said it had not been decided whether Sir Trevor would be presenting the early evening news on 31 December.
Charles Fraser, chief executive of St Mungo's, the charity for the homeless in London, is planning to combine business with pleasure. "Apart from hoping that there will be some concerted determination to end the causes of homelessness, I hope to get around some of our hostels - which are open every day of the year - and of course I shall be spending the rest of the time with my family," he said.
Millennium? What millennium?
Performer Larry Adler has no special plans: "I couldn't give a good goddamn about the millennium. As far as I am concerned, it's just another day. I think the hype is worse than for Diana, Princess of Wales's funeral. I will probably have dinner and go to bed."
PR guru Max Clifford said he would ignore it all: "You can do anything. You can get away with murder. It has no substance. It means nothing to anybody ... It is an excuse for us to dream up all sorts of nonsense. You can do anything as long as you put the word millennium in front of it. But me - I shall be doing nothing. I shall be at home with my family and friends as I always do."
Agony aunt Claire Rayner said: "I may not be the most numerate woman in the world but I do know when the millennium ends - at the end of the year 2000. So I will be spending New Year's Eve in the nicest place I know - in bed with my husband Des.
"We'll go to bed at a civilised time and if we are still awake at midnight we will wish each other a Happy New Year."
-- Old Git (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 20, 1999
Me and Jane Garvey are going to be playing pinochle in the first class section of the Concorde.
-- Not Whistlin' Dixie (email@example.com), October 20, 1999.
For educational purposes only
Amid chaos, signs of recovery
Progress only emphasizes how far to go
By MATTHEW EISLEY, J. ANDREW
CURLISS and NATALIE P. MCNEAL,
Staff Staff Writers
The torrent of water unleashed by Hurricane Floyd is ebbing in Eastern North Carolina, only to reveal more mud-stained wretchedness:
bodies, ruined homes and recovery challenges immense almost beyond belief.
The ugliness is still under water in some areas.
Flooding lingers along the lower reaches of rivers and creeks and flat land where no one had seen standing water until last week. Parts of the Tar, Neuse and Lumber rivers remain far above flood stage.
But as the water drops elsewhere, the scenes revealed are more grim than some had expected.
The state's official death toll rose Friday to 47, with four more people presumed dead. The count may go higher as the water recedes.
With adrenaline giving way now to dull fatigue for thousands of flood victims, weary Down East residents are making a gradual transition from the immediate crisis to its agonizing recovery.
"I'm moved and proud of the spirit of North Carolinians, and how quickly we all pull together in tough times," said Richard Moore, the state's secretary of crime control and public safety. "But I am also overwhelmed at how long it's going to take to get some of our people and some of our communities back like they were 10 days ago. I think we're talking about five to 10 years to get everything back."
Friday, there were some small signs of the return to normalcy: For one, the number of homes and businesses without electricity fell below 7,800, down from the peak of 1.2 million. But 29 emergency shelters remained open, housing 2,790 people. And about 400 roads were closed late Friday, including U.S. 70 in Kinston and Goldsboro.
Among other developments:
In some ways, the environmental news got worse. Fewer hogs are dead than first supposed, but Floyd's flooding has swamped at least two dozen sewage treatment plants, state environmental officials said. Gov. Jim Hunt said Friday that Kinston probably will need a new one.
Many flooded sewage plants still aren't working, so raw and partially treated sewage is flowing into several rivers -- joining animal waste, fertilizer, other chemicals, gasoline and other fuels.
The search for corpses continued in submerged Princeville, where roads and waterways are off-limits and the murky water may not go away for two more weeks.
The governor appeared on national television to plead again with the nation for hurricane-relief money. And he toured flood-damaged areas, where he heard estimates of staggering farm losses, worries about lost jobs, lost revenue for flooded towns and details of needed assistance.
Greenville still had more than 1,300 people in shelters Friday -- down from a peak of 2,000, Bobby Joyner, Pitt's emergency-management director, told Hunt. And the county was running 80 missions a day to take food, water and supplies to shelters. Moore said he's convinced the agricultural losses will go up as the waters go down. "Nobody's laid eyes on the main streets of Princeville for eight days, and we have other areas like that. ... It's going to be catastrophic in some places."
The state Attorney General's office began to address complaints of price-gouging and fraud. The office received about 50 phone calls and e-mails from people complaining about price-gouging, said Phil Telfer, special deputy attorney general. They have not been verified, he said.
Most of the complaints concerned hotel rates being raised as people evacuated, he said. In some cases, posted rates apparently were doubled. He said other complaints have come in about building-supply prices.
For some areas, rebuilding is a long way off. The most immediate challenge is clearing away the muck.
In downtown Tarboro, where President Clinton stood Monday as he promised federal help, stores and offices that got several feet of water are beginning to clean up as the Tar River creeps back toward its banks.
Main Street looks like a flea market, with rugs, furniture, clothes and supplies hung out to dry.
Realtor Carlton Jones, 39, spent part of Friday pulling the blue carpet from his warp-walled office out to the sidewalk. There sat five years of his business records, subdivision drawings and leases, passing their unwelcome moisture to the cool, dry air.
"This is the start of a long process," Jones said. "Right now we're just trying to dry out so we can rebuild." Down the street at the wrecked law office of Jack Hopkins, 66, hung 67 photos of the flood at its peak, taped to the front window facing out. Hopkins, who also owns two buildings across the street, said he photographed much of the street to help neighboring business owners with insurance claims.
Most of Tarboro sits a respectable distance above the river that snakes around it. But nearby Princeville lies across the Tar in the river bottom, protected only by a levee the flood broke through. The town is still waterlogged up to its windows -- and may be for some time.
Army engineers are there, trying to figure out what to do with Princeville's levee.
Linwood Rogers, a Corps hydraulic engineer from Wilmington, said the river breached the levee in three or four places. When the river drops, the engineers will tear out what remains of the levee at the bottom of the breaches. Then the water still covering Princeville will flow back into the Tar, he said.
That could take two weeks, he said. For now, he said, the problem isn't that the levee is holding the water in; it's that the river is still high.
"It'll drain as the river goes down," he said. "It's not backed up."
Another team of federal officials got to work Friday in Princeville and Tarboro: the Federal Disaster Mortuary Team, which began retrieving floating and dislodged caskets. The "DMort" team, called in by Edgecombe County, has morticians, archaeologists and DNA experts to help identify the unburied.
They've found similar work in just about every big flood, from the Midwest to the lower Mississippi to South Georgia.
South of Edgecombe County in Lenoir County, Kinston is a little better off.
But the city is still flooded badly. The Neuse is dropping, but had fallen less than a foot by Friday afternoon to about 27 feet, 13 feet above flood stage.
Along U.S. 70, the main business strip, a tractor-trailer advertising around-the-clock water damage restoration floated aimlessly amid other vehicles.
At the George Green Harper Bridge, also known as the King bridge, the Neuse River was muddy green and reeked of waste.
Hunt said Kinston probably will need a new sewage plant once the flood has gone. "We have got to find the money for it," he said.
In downtown Kinston, a makeshift storefront FEMA site was filled with people looking for help.
"We have definitely had an increase since yesterday," said Bill Reardon, FEMA's site manager.
Reardon said that Thursday 40 people came in seeking loans and grants, but Friday he expected about 200 people.
One of them, Sandra Melton, 34, sat on the bench outside of the FEMA office with her three children, waiting for her husband. After staying with extended family for a week, she's ready to get her own place. "I just miss my own home," said Melton, whose house was totally submerged.
The Melton family is moving into a trailer sometime next week, when it also expects a FEMA check.
The two-bedroom trailer the Meltons will move into is not the same as the three-bedroom home the family had before Floyd, but Melton said it's a start.
"I'm more positive now," she said, her weary look and soft voice unconvincing. "But there's been a lot of bureaucracy."
Selena Phillips, 44, has been displaced from her double-wide trailer for a week and hasn't complained much. When the Neuse gobbled up her house and the rest of her eastside Kinston neighborhood, she didn't cry. When she had to wait in long lines at the Red Cross and FEMA sites for assistance, she didn't shed a tear.
But Wednesday, she broke down. After seeing on the news that people were looting the homes of the displaced, she cried much of the day.
"It just hit me," Phillips said. "We're already devastated, and people would try to take advantage of others. I just couldn't hold it inside."
Despite Friday's discovery of new losses, new heartbreaks and new deaths, some communities are well on their way to recovery.
"I think we're in a better position today than obviously we've been for the last week," said Tom Hegele, spokesman for the State Emergency Response Team.
"Floodwaters are receding. People are able to start to get back into areas that were inundated. We still have a long way to go. There's a tremendous amount of cleanup that has to be done.
"The waiting for most people is nearly over with -- to be able to see what impact the floods had on their homes and their property, their businesses. And knowing what impact it has had, I think the victims are going to have a better feel for what they are going to need to do. The uncertainty often is worse than the actual knowing."
Staff writers Jerry Allegood, Carol Byrne Hall, Ned
Glascock and John Wagner contributed to this report.
-- Cherri (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 20, 1999.
Thanks for the reminder, Cherri. I'm embarrassed to post any more pleas for help for our down-east neighbors (human and animal); there must be at least half a dozen of 'em in the archives. aven't noticed any on Biffy or Debunky though. Maybe you ought to post the article over at those two fora. Poole creates cartoons about the flooding and its victims--I think it would do a lot more good over there. By the way, you forgot to attribute the article to the Raleigh News & Observer--and it's several days old. Here's today's editorial from the N&O. It's really good advice about the importance of uinsurance. Many people didn't ahve flood insurance because they were given faulty information. Ring a bell, does it, Cherri?
Wednesday, October 20, 1999
Editorial: Hard lessons learned
In the wake of Hurricane Floyd, property owners without flood insurance find their troubles compounded. Consumer education and enforcement of existing laws are the key.
Word that tens of thousands of property owners in Eastern North Carolina were not covered by flood insurance is like another heavy rain on top of Hurricane Floyd. Yet as The News & Observer's Carol Frey reported Tuesday, more than 115,000 homes and businesses located in 100-year floodplains were not protected with insurance against flooding -- some by choice, some owing to lax enforcement of regulations, some caught in loopholes. As a result, even federal emergency help cannot make everyone whole. Consider the town of Princeville in Edgecombe County, a place essentially wiped out by Floyd's floods. Most of the homeowners had no flood insurance even though the town is in a floodplain and has seen five floods from the Tar River this century. Who's responsible for the absent coverage? It's not simple. In some cases, homeowners made the decision not to buy flood insurance when they bought their homes; in other cases, mortgage brokers and other companies not covered by the federal flood insurance regulations (which govern state-chartered banks, credit unions and savings and loans) did not require customers to buy the insurance. In still other cases, where mortgages were issued by institutions subject to regulations requiring flood insurance in 100-year floodplains, federal regulators were not as vigilant as they should have been. It's possible some of those institutions gave customers a "break" from buying flood insurance simply because they were competing with the mortgage broker across the street. Some consumers who were on the borderline with regard to what was and was not a floodplain rolled the dice of their own volition. But they might have been forced to buy the insurance for their own good if maps of floodplain areas used by lenders had been more accurate, or if lenders required personal inspections of property on the market to determine flood vulnerability. Many maps have not kept up with development patterns that might have changed a particular piece of property's susceptibility to flooding. Now, federal officials should level the playing field for all lenders, requiring them to abide by the same regulations for required insurance in 100-year flood plains. Regulators must be more vigilant in their compliance exams on banks and other lenders covered by the law. Equally vital, there should be a high priority on consumer education. Hurricane Floyd should be Example A in the homebuying classroom as a case study in how seemingly long odds on flooding can suddenly become short, dangerous -- and deep.
-- Old Git (email@example.com), October 20, 1999.
Perhaps a brief prayer. Power on? Good--to bed. Out? Bad--begin hours of bringing stuff up from basement, for soon the marine battery back-up on the sump pump will fail, and I'll have that indoor pool I've always dreamt of.
-- Spidey (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 21, 1999.
Me and the wife will be, as usual, trying to wear out the marriage license. (Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more!)
-- Y2Kook (Y2Kook@usa.net), October 21, 1999.
Old Git, too bad the London Evening Standard didn't mention that some Russians will be spending the evening with the Americans at NORAD in Cheyenne Mountain.
-- Betty Alice (Barn266@aol.com), October 21, 1999.
Betty, I expect it's because the focus of the article was on what "some of Britain's best-known names will be doing on the big night."
As for Sweetie and me, we shall be celebrating the 13th anniversary of our Hogmanay wedding in Edinburgh. That is we were married in Edinburgh, not that we shall be there at the rollover. And, believe me, there's lots of rolling over in Edinburgh at any Hogmanay!
-- Old Git (email@example.com), October 21, 1999.