Davis urges calm in aftermath of terror attacks
SACRAMENTO (AP) – Gov. Gray Davis urged Californians Wednesday to remain calm, donate blood and refrain from ”finger-pointing and scapegoating” in the aftermath of the nation’s terrorist attacks a day earlier.
California, Davis said, ”is open for business,” even as many residents grieved loved ones, government buildings reopened under tight security and stranded travelers scrambled to get home.
Davis said only one of the state’s airports, San Francisco International, had completed the requirements and inspection required by the federal government after the attacks stopped all commercial U.S. air traffic.
In the wake of the attacks, Davis said, four California hospitals received threats Wednesday. None was found to be credible, although they forced authorities to divert ambulances and search the hospitals, which Davis did not name.
During a Wednesday briefing, Davis said California had received no credible threats.
Law enforcement officials, however, have told Davis they worry about reprisals and Californians acting against each other, according to a statement from Davis’ office.
Davis called on Californians to remain calm and let the federal government deal with the attacks.
He also offered prayers to the families of residents killed on the four California-bound airplanes used to carry out the attacks on targets in New York City and Washington, D.C.
Davis and Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante planned to attend an interfaith prayer and healing service in Sacramento Wednesday evening.
Relatives may be eligible to receive financial assistance from the state Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board, Davis said, adding that families of crime victims may receive up to $70,000 to assist with grief counseling, burial costs and other needs.
Those seeking more information can call 1-800-777-9229.
Davis sent three urban search-and-rescue teams from California to New York to help in recovery efforts. The teams – which comprise 62 rescuers each – were formed following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and assisted in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing rescue efforts.
New York City may need emergency supervisors, Davis said, and another team and several supervisors were on alert to go if needed.
Meanwhile, California’s state buildings reopened with heightened security Wednesday, Davis and his staff moved back to the Capitol building from a makeshift command center in West Sacramento, and the Legislature resumed proceedings Wednesday.
Access to the state Capitol was restricted to employees Wednesday, and guards patrolled the grounds and checked identification of those entering.
Davis moved back to his office in the state Capitol after spending much of Tuesday running the government from a temporary command post in West Sacramento.
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