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deinitely at the ight time,”Momaney says.She and Taylo quicklyomed a deep iendship aswell as a mutual eliance.“When you’e eally limitedwith what you can do, you haveto eally enjoy the people youkeep company with. Thee aen’ta lot o distactions,” she said.“We have a vey simila senseo humo, simila pesonalities,and an openness and willingnessto engage with people. I have myown disabilities, so I can elate tohim on that level as well. I knowwhen he needs to be illed in andI ecognize and undestand hisdisability.”“Laua gets it,” Taylo ageed.“She has become such a geatiend, and we have a lot in com-mon. You wouldn’t even knowthat I was blind when we walkaound town, we just cuiseaound.”The two oten take “jaunts”though Battleboo, Momaneywheeling ahead o Taylo, whoollows by holding on to the han-dles o he wheelchai.“It’s the one time in my lieI don’t eel blind,” Taylo said.Momaney assists Taylo as“chie secuity dog” in his pac-tice, whee she spends much o he time assisting clients, helpingwith payments, o doing somelight housekeeping.Since the pactice at 160 HighSt. is also univesally accessible — a aily uncommon installationin a small pactice — Taylo hasteated an inceasing numbe o patients in wheelchais, lagely asa esult o Momaney’s inluence.“Thee’s always somethingto be doing, and when thee’snot, just hanging out with Neilis geat,” Laua said.
Although Jeemiah Cioi hasnot lived in the aea o mucho the time that his mothe hasknown Taylo, Momaney’s e-quent communications have e-lected the positive change theiendship has bought to he lie.“My mom’s been though alot, especially in the past ewyeas,” Cioi said. “He woldcumbled, and she’s been in thepocess o building it back up.It’s had to see a amily membego though something eally di-icult, and I saw Neil as a maincatalyst in this pocess o hecoming back up.” Jeemiah and Kim Cioi hadwanted to un a maathon oseveal yeas, and ate heaingabout the Livestong maathonin neaby Austin, the oppotu-nity to hono Taylo seemed toogood to pass up.“I saw thee was this eal bond[that Laua and Neil] have andI wanted to do something,”Cioi said. “I thought [unningthe maathon] was peect; Neilloves the outdoos, and has beena blessing to my mom, and bydeault to my lie too.”“I just eel so honoed that Imean that much to Jeemiah andhis new wie, especially becauseshe’s neve un a maathon be-oe,” Taylo said. “I have suchlove and gatitude o that.”The couple kept Taylo up-dated thoughout thei tainingand, o ace day, made t-shitsthat ead, “The Blind Masseuhas my back.”
A deeperunderstandingof disability andfriendship
Cioi also sees new depth inhis undestanding o the diicul-ties Taylo aces daily.“When I was unning the ma-athon, thee wee a ew times Iimagined being blind,” Cioisaid. “I would ty to un withmy eyes closed. Obviously, Icouldn’t do it o moe than aew seconds.”“But pesonally, I developedmoe o an undestanding o what it’s like o him, puttingmoe thought into his pedica-ment and situation,” he contin-ued. “Othe than the physicalchallenges, what sots o emo-tional poblems exist as you e-lean how to live?”“You can’t do the same po-ession as in the past, you househas to be set up dieently, youcan’t walk down steps easily. Igot moe o a glimpse into Neil’slie. I got close to him becauseI undestand moe,” Cioi said.And Cioi sees the beneits inhis elationship with his motheas well, as two o the peoplemost impotant in he lie havebecome close to one anothe.As o Taylo and Momaney,they continue to cook, spendtime outdoos, and take jauntsaound town, dealing with dailychallenges with thei mutuallycoloul sense o humo.They ae able to discuss someo the deepe issues at play ineach o thei disabilities.Taylo admits that he’s sadthat he can’t notice someone’shaicut o a new outit. Momaneyegets that Taylo, who has somuch physical stength, is phys-ically limited due to his lack o sight. Both agee that they’eboth the bette o it.“We have a vey non-tadi-tional elationship in many ways — ou age dieence, ou dis-abilities, ou non-sexual elation-ship,” she said. “But it’s been oneo the most wondeul elation-ships o my lie.”Taylo agees.Even though he’s not physi-cally pesent to see thei ela-tionship gow, Cioi knows thatthe two ae even close now thanthey wee beoe.“Thei elationship has takenon a dieent dimension be-cause I’m moe involved withNeil,” Cioi said. “I just eallyadmie both o them. They’vebeen though so much, and itdoesn’t get easie.”“They have to make a con-scious eot to tuck on,” hecontinued. “They have to havea positive attitude to enjoy andembace lie. I’m blessed to bein thei lives.”“With cance, you neve knowi you battle with it is done,”Momaney said. “I pay that ev-eything o Neil would be moein a staight line.”
Laura Momaney and Neil Taylor together write “Blind inSight,” (
)a column for Vermont Views. To find out more about Taylor’s prac-tice, visit
or call 802-451-9651.
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013
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eithe the Vemont SupemeCout o in edeal cout.
‘The end of the line...’
The CPG heaing epe-sents the “last egulatoy po-ceeding o Vemont,” Shadissaid ate diving om theheaings in Montpelie toBattleboo last week.Accoding to Shadis, theCPG poceedings epesentthe inal stage o Vemonthaving a say in VY’s opeation.“It’s liteally the end o theline o those contolling ac-tivities [such as equiing aCPG]. I Entegy pevails,they’ll neve have to come tothe state o appoval o any-thing,” said Shadis.Entegy could edevelop thesite, sell the plant, o inceasethe powe geneation withoutstate input, he said.Shadis said he thought thePSB’s behavio elected anundestanding o the citicalnatue o the heaing.Entegy has deined pe-emption outlined in Mutha’s2012 uling as the boadestpossible deinition o peemp-tion, said Shadis.In its aguments beoe thePSB, said Shadis, Entegy at-toneys went beyond agu-ing that adiological saety ispeempted: The legal teamagued o taking all plant op-eations o the table.In Shadis’ view, intevenesDPS and PSB give Mutha’speemption uling a naowedeinition.Pio to 2001, Vemont util-ities owned VY.Accoding to Shadis, whenEntegy eyed puchasingVemont Yankee in 2001,the copoation’s plan o theplant had thee phases: in-cease powe geneation by 20pecent; stat onsite dy caskstoage o spent nuclea uel;and extend the plant’s opeat-ing license beyond 2012.The NEC asked how muchcontol the state would haveshould the plant become awholesale mechant plant asEntegy said it intended.Shadis said multiple pa-ties in 2001 woied Entegywould “call peemption” i the state tied to maintainsome say in the plant’s utue.Entegy ageed, in tun, say-ing it would seek a CPG oall thee phases.“The only eason they[Entegy] have to come tothe PSB at all … is because o this ageement,” Shadis said.
Enough non-nuclear safety issues
Accoding to Shadis, themain point o his testimonybeoe the PSB centeedon Vemont Yankee havingenough multiple non-nucleaand non-adiological saetyissues to ax it eceiving a newCPG.The plant has “big negativesto be thown on the scale,”said Shadis, pointing to VY’scooling towes.Cooling towes, accodingto Shadis, emit mostly vapothat is “cleaned” o toxins.Howeve, cooling towes o all sizes, and not exclusive topowe plants, also emit watedoplets. These doplets cantavel as much as a mile onthe wind and can contain con-centated amounts o contami-nants such as biocides used toclean the plant, o heavy met-als that may pool in the cool-ing towe basin.The NEC has askedEntegy o the chemical con-tent o VY’s cooling towedoplets. Entegy eplied thatan analysis has not occued,said Shadis.The doplets might not posea health concen, said Shadis.But without igoous analy-sis, it’s impossible to knowo cetain.Accoding to the Centeso Disease Contol andPevention, Ameican Legionmembes at a convention inPhiladelphia in 1976 con-tacted a pneumonia latetemed Legionnaies’ disease.The inection’s souce wastaced to bacteia gowing inneaby cooling towes.VY also has multiple main-tenance issues elated to theplant’s age and the expenseo othcoming equipmentupgades developed in thewake o the nuclea accidentat fukushima, said Shadis.Shadis believes the copo-ation is “unning to ailue”by not popely maintain-ing components o the plant.Some o these mechanicalcomponents, although notconsideed saety-elated bythe NrC, could shut the plantdown i they malunctioned.Accoding to Shadis, an- and many nuclea plant op-eatos, pactice onlinemaintenance.Powe plants, he said, haveedundant saety systems inthe event o an emegency.Tests o epais to the sys-tems ideally occu by takingthe systems “o line,” shut-ting them down and checkingeveything out.With online maintenance,epais take place duing plantopeation.The powe companies“make a bet” with onlinemaintenance that the sys-tem unde epai is eithe notneeded duing an emegencyo that the system won’t con-tibute to a sevee emegency,he said.Shadis likened online main-tenance to climbing onto thewing o a two-engine aicatin-light to epai an engine.Accoding to Shadis, aew yeas ago, an inspectionpot on the eed wate systemusted and leaked. The eedwate system, pat o the steamsystem that geneates powe,pipes wate into the eacto.Employees investigated andixed the leaky pot.The same poblem hap-pened with anothe pot theollowing yea.Shadis said the NEC aisedthei concen about the steamwate system. The NrC e-sponded that as the systemwasn’t saety elated thee wasno issue.Aiming o ewe outagesdue to maintenance o saety isa “numbes game” most utilitycompanies play, said Shadis.When Entegy bags aboutunning 500 days without anoutage, they’ve been makingthe same bet, Shadis said. “Itdoesn’t come without a pice.They’e pushing thei luck andeveybody else’s luck.”
“We’e tying to igue outwhat the game is,” said Shadiso Entegy’s ight to keep VYopen.Entegy has eused to dis-cuss its plans o VY o dis-close its inances, said Shadis.Still, Shadis said he eelsthe plant’s inancial utuelooks dim.VY has not tuned apoit since 2007, he said.Meanwhile, the NrC inthe wake o fukushima hascalled o expensive upgadesthoughout the industy.Shadis speculated thatEntegy’s motive does notest with saving VY. Instead,he said, the copoation likelyis thinking ahead to saving itsothe mechant plants, suchIndian Point in New Yok.Pee pessue not to thowthese cout battles om othenuclea plant ownes may alsoplay into Entegy’s avo.In Shadis’ view, VY’s i-nancial viability hinges onEntegy’s maintenancepactices.Entegy is weighing howmuch money to invest in e-placing, epaiing, o upgad-ing the plant against lettingpats “un to ailue,” saidShadis.“On balance, we think that’swhat’s going on,” he said.He said he believes Entegyhas instucted its employes atVY that it doesn’t want to i-nance all epais and to bejudicious with what epaisemployees epot. Accodingto Shadis, Maine Yankee,which closed in 1997, tookthat stance.Shadis said he also basesthis assetion on inomationom Entegy’s 2004 busi-ness plan the copoationsubmitted to the PSB duingthe powe upate heaings. Inthat plan, Entegy said thatVY must be mindul o main-tenance and opeation costs.Shadis called Entegy’s legalstategy “swamping.”“It’s mind-boggling howmuch [pape] they geneate,”he said.I the intevenes wee base-ball playes swinging at ev-ey ball Entegy pitched, saidShadis, “ou ams would beako.”Shadis admitted thatighting Entegy in coutwas stetching the NEC’sesouces.The heaing maked themidway point in NEC’s nine-month timeline. Entegy is ex-pected to ile ebuttals to theinomation in the technicalheaing in a ew weeks. Legalback and oth o discovey,and intevenes iling ebut-tals to Entegy will ollow,said Shadis.The next phase o technicalheaings will involve naow-ing and ocusing aguments.filing o bies and eply biesollows in August.
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