tv Larry King Live CNN May 2, 2010 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT
jihadists. we don't know who it is, but it seems a plausible theory. >> we have a great panel with us. we have reporters all over as we track the times square investigation. a nissan pathfinder loaded with explosio explosions. the investigation continues. a second hour begins right now. welcome back to the second hour of a two-hour "larry king live." we have continuing coverage of the bomb attack in times square. we will also check in on the situation in the gulf coast. can the oil slick be stopped? >> we are going to get the latest from susan candiotti. she's been on top of it all night long and joins us from
times square. susan. >> reporter: hi, john. what a difference a night makes. last evening at this hour, much of times square was blocked off. now, things are almost back to normal. the investigation is going on with a lot of intensity. they are trying to find out where the vehicle is and who the registered owner was. police tell us they know the name of the person to whom the car was registered. they tell us the car is in the tri-state area. that means anywhere with a new york or new jersey or connecticut. they haven't pinned it down just yet. john. >> suzanne, hours and hours of video tapes from the surveillance cameras. what have they released and what are the questions we are waiting to have answered? >> reporter: one of the things is they have images they were able to capture from
surveillance cameras. there are thousands around new york city. they show the nissan pathfinder as it was coming down the strip near times square and turned on west 45th street. they did not get it parking, but did get it making the turn. the video shows how crowded it was at the time. people going to the theater and people going to dinner at 6:30 in the evening. police tell us they have isolated another surveillance camera image that shows a man they describe as white and in his 40s who shortly after the car would have pulled over. this individual was seen in an alley and they see him, they describe him as looking in either direction taking off one shirt, putting on another shirt and sticking the original in a bag and walking away. they are trying to determine whether that is the person connected to the pathfinder.
in addition to that, they are in pennsylvania at this hour because a tourist in the area thinks he might have taken a picture of that individual. they are going to pennsylvania to track that down in an area north, about a half hour north of philadelphia. john. >> lastly, based on your reporting that the fertilizer was nonexplosive. thank god it did not fully explode. what is the worst case scenario had it gone to a different level? >> reporter: a recap. this car was said to contain a few cans of gasoline, a few propane tanks as well as some alarm clocks and a big metal gun locker. inside that were several bags of fertilizer. however, we are hearing from authorities preliminary tests are indicating it was a nonexplosive grade fertilizer. it was incapable of blowing up.
they add this. the combination of the gasoline that was inside the car as well as the propane, if they exploded could have created a huge fire ball that certainly at the very least could have broken some windows and if people were standing by could have produced casualties as well. it would not have been capable of bringing down a building. in addition, i talked to other bomb experts who tell me the fertilizer would have had to have had a few things to make it dangerous. it would have had to have a blasting cap and detonator, in addition, another booster and would have had to have been combined with fuel oil to mix it up with the fertilizer as we have seen in previous bombings. simply putting gasoline in cans next to the fertilizer would not have been enough. you would have to mix it all together. that combination did not exist
in this case. john. >> susan candiotti with the latest on the investigation. wayne ratigan, was at work. he coached his daughter's lacrosse game. tonight, he's having dinner with the mayor of new york. vendors tracked him down when they saw the car susan was speaking of. may ran and found the officer on his horse. he cleared thousands of tourists, theater goers. wayne is one of the many heroes. listen. >> just walking my horse down broadway and wayne robinson, the vender alerted me to a car that was smoking. i was with my partner, pam duffy. we knew something was up as soon as we smelled the gun powder. with the rookie's help, we kind
of started a perimeter. it was a combined effort of everybody. it's what we do. there were two guys in bomb suits. they are incredible heroes. amazing what they did. esu, canine, search and secondary device. combined effort by the fire department. it's what we do. this is our job. >> wayne ratigan is 46 years old, a humble hero having dinner with the mayor tonight. we continue the second hour of "larry king live." we'll be right back.
been in touch with michael bloomberg. let's go to the white house and dan lothian with how the white house is tracking the. >> reporter: the president has been in touch with mayor bloomberg. the president saying he did call him. he wanted to make sure the federal resources and state resources were working together to move forward with the investigation. the president promising to provide whatever assistance would be needed in the investigation. now, he's been getting his updates, his briefings from john brennan his top counter terrorism adviser. he received a briefing about the latest information about what the government knows. on the way back to the white house after spending the day in louisiana, going and checking over the oil spill situation there, robert gibbs spoke with reporters asking questions about what the administrations reactions were to the reports
the pakistan taliban was claiming response blgt. robert gibbs saying he views them with skepticism. the administration is working hard to prevent these kind of attacks from happening in the future. in terms of continued reports of claims or other possibilities of who is behind it, another official saying they are premature and unwarranted. john. >> john lothian tracking things at the white house. thank you, dan. cell phone cameras, pda cameras, we get the first images from people close to the scene. among them is matthew derby in times square last night. as you join us, i want to take a look at the behind the scenes and on the scenes video now shot as it unfolded. >> we have to go. everyone. wrap your food up.
let's go. >> head northbound. go that way. you can only go this way. >> what's going on. >> great work with the camera there. take us. why were you there on the scene? why in the city? >> i'm on vacation from hawaii in new york and enjoying the city. walking around times square, walking and enjoying the city and this takes place. >> how did you hear? were people telling you to get away? did you hear the popping from the car? >> i wasn't around for the initial 6:30 incident, but i walked into it probably around 6:45, 6:50. the police were out with the barricades. everyone asking what's going on here. a million questions from everybody. it finally hit us, something is wrong with the car.
somebody said a fire. other people saying a bomb scare, a bomb threat. the police acted according toly and started pushing everybody back from 46th to 47th avenues. between 46th and 47th is when i went into the mcdonalds and got a soft drink. i was thinking how long is this going to go on for. i went to the second story and shot more video from my iphone. the police told everybody to evacuate, wrap up your food and get out of the building. we were outside the mcdonalds. it's when we were by the tickets booth near 47th with the big red seating area. people were being evacuated from there. we heeded the warning when the new york police detective said that this is an emergency. everybody needs to wake up and get out of here. >> what kind of language did
they use? what kind of language were the police and people using? words like terrorism? >> no. nobody knew what was going on. i mean the police weren't really telling the crowd. the crowd was asking, what's going on. they said this is an emergency we need to clear the area. what was interesting about it was that it was kind of like controlled chaos. the new york police department, the first responders did an excellent job. they were in control and they were very like commanding and telling everybody you need to get to safety. the people in times square, the visitors and residents, they listened. they weren't running around, screaming and yelling or anything like that. it was controlled chaos. people wanted to see what was going on. people like me with my iphone and social media and twitter, my space and facebook recording what was going on in times
square, not knowing what was exactly happening. the rumor out there, i think when we were pushed all the way back to 47th was that they were saying it was a bomb in an suv. it's when we saw the remote robot on the street going toward the suv. >> what did that look like? you were close enough to watch as part of the bomb squad. describe that. >> well, you know, everybody was doing their own urban legend on what was taking place. when we saw the mechanical robot come out, we knew it was a bomb. so, in a car or something. we saw the remote robot drive across the street and head toward the suv. at that point, i think people really understood what was happening. again, not much was being shared with the general public. probably the best for their interest because it controlled the chaos a bit. the police were commanding.
they did a great job, got everybody back in an orderly fashion. 99% of the people were listening. people were out with twitter and facebook trying to report the event. >> not the vacation you expected. are you going to stay in the city? >> i love the city. i have been coming here for years. honestly, as a visitor, nothing can keep me away. as new york moves on from this incident, it's a great place to visit as mayor bloomberg says he has one of the best police forces in the world, here in the city. i feel safe and i feel safe coming back to the city. >> we appreciate your time tonight and your pictures so we have a better understanding. it's remarkable everyone can be a contributor to journalism here. we'll have more when we come back in a second. it's actually my iphone, but everyone in the family loves it.
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like a small, small hand grenade in the car. the windows stayed in. it smoked. >> live pictures now of times square tonight after listening to the iwitness accounts of what happened 24 hours ago. you heard the i witnesses there. smoke and explosion. a lot of chaos as police cleared the area in an orderly way. we try to track what happened and who did this. peter bergen is here with us. often, what we think we know 24 hours later is not what we know 72 hours later. >> christmas day is a good example. officials were saying it was a lone act. they say when they get off a plane, they have a bomb in yemen, it's part of a large conspiracy. they are cautious in the first several days. here, we have a 40-year-old
white male. could that be a right wing terrorist or jihadist? we have plenty of caucasians that are part of militant groups. most right wing ter terrorists are caucasian males. right wing terrorists don't try to do mass casualty. al qaeda has a long history of it. >> peter bergen says jihadist. the mayor doesn't see evidence of an al qaeda connection. people might think international terrorist, not necessarily. maybe inspired by. >> in pennsylvania we have a case of a female caucasian, jihad jane, in her late 40s, traveled to europe to try to kill a swedish cartoonist. is there a connection?
i don't know. the fact that there are caucasian people in this country inspired by these ideas, they are converted to islam. it's routine. >> when you hear the i witness accounts, they heard explosions, but it did not fully explode, maybe had the potential to be so. is there anything -- does it tell you anything, we know certain groups and things and technologies available. does it tell you anything or is the device predictable? >> the first thing is when people say it's amateurish. if it goes off successfully, it's not amateurish. on the other hand, we have seen this in al qaeda attacks. it's a homage to insurgency. it's vehicle born improvised. it's a fancy word. we saw it in 2007.
those weren't successful. it's a similar motive. it's not something we have seen typically from other terrorist groups. >> connect the dots. the fbi is involved. the joint terrorist task force and people whose names we will not hear are looking at every bit they can. after something like this, you want to rule out international or domestic home grown. who is involved in the conversations and how does it go about? >> you have the terrorist center that brings everybody together, the central intelligence agency, they are linked to the task forces around the country. press secretary said earlier in the program is the message going out to the other police departments saying look out. in the london case, there was another attack in glassgo.
>> i want to come back to the point so people understand this. when people say they are looking for a, white male. the surveillance video, he was in the vicinity of the vehicle. hard to imagine where some of the vin numbers have been stripped. you have plates taken from another vehicle. you have all these explosives in the car. crude explosives, but significant. one person or is the suspicion always somebody had to be helping? >> oklahoma city, this has some potential parallels, too. it's at least two or three people involved. this doesn't seem like a lone wolf. stripping the vin number is premeditated. >> thanks for your thoughts. we're going to take a quick break. back with more on the attempted car bombing in the heart of times square. , our bodies can steal it from our bones.
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tracking of the license plate on the vehicle but didn't belong to the vehicle? >> it's one of the first leads we have. the vin number has been found. they know the vin number and the registration. the license plate did not match the vehicle assigned to the vin number. we now know, according to law enforcement that the license plate was taken from a junk yard. it was an auto body shop as well. an f-150 pick up truck had a license plate taken off it and placed on the nissan pathfinder before it drove into manhattan. the tag wasn't stolen. it wasn't reported stolen. it was missing from the vehicle. we know this person at least took the care to take off a license plate of his or the car he used and put on this license plate in an attempt to evade detection by the cameras all
over manhattan and at least get a jump start. >> are they anywhere in getting to where is the vehicle and where it belongs? >> my gut reaction is they probably know all of that. they probably have the vin number. you can't scrub a vin number from a car. itis gotten many terrorists caught in the past. timothy mcveigh. this vehicle would have vin numbers in other locations other than the dash board. my guess is the fact they know the vin number, they know the car came from the tri-state area. they probably know to whom the car was registered to. the question is, was that person involved? raymond kelly said the car was not stolen. you have to at least assume the
potential the person who owns it car knew the person who drove it into manhattan. >> we continue to track the investigation into the attempted car bombing. when we come back, we go back to the scene in times square. police try to put together what drew was talking about. the latest when the special two hour edition of "larry king live" returns in a moment. hey -- who's our best presentation guy? carl.
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i think i'll go with the basic package. good choice. only meineke lets you choose the brake service that's right for you. and save 50% on pads and shoes. meineke. we want to go to times square to get the latest from mary snow. she's been on the ground all day. a remarkable scene considering 24 hours ago, the police were telling everyone to get away. >> reporter: it really is. it's in stark contrast of what your iwitnesses were describing. as you can see, times square is business as usual. streets that were frozen off to traffic and pedestrians were reopened early this morning. tourists from all over the world are swirling around. a beautiful night in new york
city. many have the same sentiment. people are resilient here. they were concerned about what happened. they say they cannot live in fear. there are more officers on the streets and is subways. can't see a dramatic difference here in times square. it's home to dozens of theaters. many don't have shows on sunday night. they did this afternoon. the matinees all went on as planned and last night the theaters were saying some shows started late, but all went on. >> unique place. thanks so much. how do police and other law enforcement piece together what happened and follow the leads? the cnn national contributor. jack rice is a former cia officer, criminal defense attorney and larry johnson deputy director for the office of counter terrorism.
larry, let me start with you in the sense that 24, 27 hours in, the police say they don't think it's an al qaeda connection. how do you put the pieces together to be sure in. >> the confidence, whoever assembled this, to go through the effort of getting the vehicle, they had money there. erasing the vin number, they are show i showing premeditation. if they turned ton propane and filled the car with the gas and managed to ignite it, you would have had a fire ball inside the car, broken the windows out. it's not going to be devastating. what captures me is it was so incompetent. i'm glad they are incompetent. it's odd the taliban would want to take credit for it. it's a failure.
you are taking credit for a failure. if that's what we are up against, thank god. we are having some success in killing off the leadership of the islamic jihadist groups overseas. >> does incompetent tell you anything about lone operator, angry guy, coordination, group involvement? does it tell you anything? >> it might. it can show how thin they have become if they don't have a direct connection. we haven't seen anything directly to pakistan. it's shocking when they say we were responsible for something that incompetent. if you don't have good planning and capability and good intelligence, you get an operation like this. this is pitiful. we have been building this up, but it's little and not much more. >> but, we, i don't know if building it up is the right term, but we have been covering it aggressively.
when they talk about it, using the term they, that is a bit presumptuous not to say he or she. >> that's right. i don't disagree with what jack and larry have said. i think it's true, if you judge it against an al qaeda central leadership type of operation about how incompetent it is, you don't want to take credit for it. the most difficult thing to disrupt and detect are the lone wol wolfs. inspired by al qaeda. i think it's where this probably more will end up. it's not clear yet. lots of investigating to be done. the way to get to the bottom of the lone wolves is by community based policing. it's a tremendous lesson learned. it's a tremendous credit to commissioner ray kelly.
he has the see it, say it program. the vendor who identified the problem mentioned it. you showed it early. citizens taking responsibility, notifying police officers so they can respond, it's the success here. it's the lesson we ought to take. bomber incompetent? absolutely. the only way to identify and disrupt these attacks is by the community based efforts. >> bomber incompetent, to stick on that term, means bomber who left more evidence. >> sure. it would be one thing if, let's say the fertilizer was properly treated with fuel oil, then you still need a detonator to set it off. an m-88 is not significant. if they used the traditional, al qaeda, explosive of choice, tapt. it's found in traces of the
under wear bomber and the shoe bomber back in 2001. it's a highly explosive detonator. there are signatures. it strikes me as odd. it could be a disgruntled employee trying to create an incident. we shouldn't jump to terrorism. it doesn't become terrorism until you have a political connection and what they are trying to achieve other than trying to crank of a bomb in times square. >> i want to follow up. this makes it easier. now, there may be latent prints, dna, there are all sorts of things to follow up with if you get a massive explosion that melts everything to the asphalt, it's more complicated to get
what you want. i'm a former prosecutor, so i'm thinking of it like that, too. >> we'll take a quick break here. when we come back, susan candiotti has new information. don't go anywhere. [ female announcer ] it's red lobster's festival of shrimp... a chance to get everyone together for a night where everyone gets just what they want. combine two or three favorites, from new creations like crab-stuffed shrimp and pecan-crusted shrimp to classics like decadent shrimp scampi. it's everything you want in a night out. starting at just $11.99, during the festival of shrimp. communities. industry. energy. her. this. lives. how ? by bringing together... information. ... people ... ... machines ... ... systems ... ideas...
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we have a lot of people at krvrks cnn trying to figure out what happened in times square. none working harder than susan candiotti. susan. >> reporter: john, here is the latest. a federal law enforcement agent tells cnn the nissan pathfinder was thought to be in texas. the leads indicated the vehicle was slated to be destroyed there. it was a surplus vehicle. however, as the investigation went on, additional leads to investigators to here in the new york tri-state area. it's where the investigation is continuing. so, as you can see, this investigation is reaching points far and wide. >> susan candiotti in times
square. thank you for that. let's get back to the panel. fran, let's start with you. does where the vehicle is from or where it was and where it is now tell you anything or that some guy had enough time to premeditate it and find a car that's more difficult to trace. >> the fact it was scheduled to go through, but didn't go is interesting. where, physically, did it start and what's the path it was on? they will look at the records. they are going to look for credit card receipts, gasoline, tolls, gps, the sort ofs things we use all the time. used to be paper maps, now, we have gps, cell phones and blackberries. they tell your location at specific times. they will try to get all the information to paint the picture, a chronology of where the car was minutes, hours and
days before it ended up at 45th and broadway. >> they are looking, based on the video, the first person of interest is a 40-something white man seen leaving the scene. the secretary of homeland security, janet napolitano says it was a aun off. what do we make of that? >> go ahead, fran. >> i think it's too soon for us to tell. does it sound like it could be a one off? sure. we can jump to the conclusion of terrorism. that's right. we can't deny our experience. we understand al qaeda and those inspired by it. we know in the past, the glasgo bombing was al qaeda inspired. they use propane tanks.
the africa bombings came up in the 2004 threats in new york. it's too early on. the little pieces like we get from susan candiotti are very, very important. they are the facts that paint the picture to understand who it was and what caused the incident to occur. >> when we come back, we'll get a quick update on the situation in louisiana. stay with us. aflac is not how do i fit it in my company's budget insurance.
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back to the investigation to the times square incident in a minute. first, another big story breaking. the president of the united states went to louisiana to view firsthand the oil spill. reynolds wolf is there to bring the latest. >> reporter: when the president came here, they greeted him with bad weather. it's still inically mat for the time being as the rain falls and the conditions with the wind and the effect on the ocean and the gulf of mexico. it's continuing to push the oil closer to shore.
report ofs waves from six to 12 feet. it's very, very rough out there to say the least. speaking of the oil, where is it? there have been reports it's three to nine miles away from the mainland. there have been traces of the sheen, the thin coating of oil, traces making it to the barrier islands. the federal government placed a ten day, not exactly a delay, but restriction on fishing from the mississippi river clear over to pensacola. keep in mind, john, and viewers across america, it's a $2.4 billion industry. it's crucial for the people who work on the ocean. john. >> what is the latest, i know you were talking earlier about the marine life coming on shore. the impact on birds and sea turtles. you talked the economic impact.
the closing of the fisheries is huge. what about the environmental impact in. >> reporter: sea life is something we have seen. a northern gannet that migrates is a diving bird, drops and picks up fish. one was rescued a few days ago and is at a rescue center and expected to be ten days and released farther into the gulf. recently, today, there have been reports of some 20 different instances of turtles altogether, mainly into mississippi, that were actually found dead right along the search. some were kemp ridley turtles. those are an endangered turtles. not exactly sure if their death is a direct cause or link to the oil, but it's a possibility that they ate fish that had been swimming through the oil. they'll find out with an investigation in a couple of days. right now at my absolute back or two our back a few miles southward, we have the delta
national wildlife refuge. it's home to some 400 species of endangered animals and they'll really be susceptible to that oil when it comes closer. so will the grasses. and when that happens, these islands can virtually fall apart. >> a few months back, i flew over that area in a helicopter. it is beautiful and critical from an environmental standpoint and also to protect that coast from hurricanes and the like. it's a tragedy. reynolds wolf on the scene for us. we'll continue to follow this in the days ahead. and when we come back, we'll have the latest on the times square investigation. and tomorrow on john king usa, we'll have the latest on both stories. the investigation into the sometimes square attempted bombing and the spilling of oil into the persian gulf -- gulf of mexico, excuse me. ♪
tonight, a little more than 24 hours after someone attempted to blow up a car in the heart of times square, a 19-year veteran of the new york city police department. he's a mounty. irani wattgan was there last night when a vietnam veteran ran up to him and said he heard an explosion and some popping from a car. he got the crowds to move, emptied the theaters and got everyone pushed back to a safe dwa distance. but if you listen to wayne ratigan right here, he's a humble hero. >> i saw the car running, and when i was by the car, i asked a
couple of vendors, is this your guy's car, and they were like, nah, don't know whose this is. and i looked back and saw the ignition running and saw the hazard lights on and saw it was parked haphazardly. i was like, this is more than a parked car with a cigarette in the ashtray. and it was emitting smoke from the rear quarter panels and it just reeked of gun powder. >> long night in times square. still, he made his daughter's la crosse game today. he's the coach and gets dinner with the new york city mayor tonight, wayne ratigan. let's get back to our panel. you see a cop like that that's just a hero. he notices details, the ignition's running, parked haphazardly. how do you start in the first 24 hours to take, here's what we know so far, and i assume you put up a map, connect your dots, try to go from there. what are you looking for now? >> they're going to look for the unexpected. they don't start -- they start with some assumptions in terms of how people think and act, but they push beyond that. you know, the nice thing about new york city, probably more so
than any other city in the united states, is they've had a long record of doing terrorism drills and exercises and they've integrated it down to both the police and the fire department. as a matter of fact, i was involved with one back in 1996. so they've worked at it for a while and it becomes second nature. they don't have to learn this. they don't start assuming it's terrorism or not terrorism. it's just, we'll go with the facts and let the facts take us where they will. >> and fran, they most likely know a whole lot more than they're telling us they know right now. >> that's right. and as larry and jack both know, what they'll be doing to make sure, was there any foreign intelligence overseas, cia information? but right now they're focused on what they do know as well. they're really focusing on the car, as susan candiotti mentioned, they're looking at surveillance tapes, physical evidence, they're going over that car with a fine-toothed comb for dna, fingerprints. anything that will lead them to that driver. the critical issue right now is identifying and locating the driver of that vehicle.
>> and we live in a world where many people, sadly, to some extent, but understandably, to another extent, when they hear an attempted bombing in new york city, your reflex is to worry about terrorism and your reflex might also be to do something that is dangerous, and sometimes irresponsible. and that's profiling. thinking it might be something, you might think, are you looking for an islamic terrorist, looking for this. the police tonight are saying that they're looking first, at least, for a white male, roughly 40s. >> well, that's logical. i mean, based upon the information that we have before us. what i really like here is there are two tracks going at the same time. you have the police who are doing what police do and they're reaching out nationally, so they're grabbing everything they can, including potentially video. they're reaching out past philly, trying to grab more there. if there are eyewitnesss, let's go down that path. and then on the international side, they're trying to reach out to see, is there anybody else reaching back. is there somebody from here reaching out? so you can grab both directions at the same time. both are key, because if you can
grab both, you may be able to make this not just a lone wolf, there may be two, three, five, ten, think abdulmutallab, all of a sudden we're looking at yemen, looking at other parts of africa too. it's not necessarily that, but at least you go down the path quickly and as fast as you can. >> and fran, one of the question's that's always asked is the coordination. in the past, some investigations go very well. others you have questions about whether the left hand is talking to the right hand, whether the state is talking to the federal. do you have any questions tonight or have you seen anything in the last 24 hours that would make you say, maybe there's a problem here? >> interestingly, john, normally you begin to hear this almost immediately that there is criticism back and forth. i will tell you, i spoke both to a very senior federal counterterrorism official, who's directly involved in the investigation, and to a very senior new york city police department official, also directly involved, and both said, unprompted, how well they were working together, sharing information. it's clear the nypd's got the lead here and the feds are in
support. the president set that tone from the top and it's clear that it's working really well. this may be -- this may turn out to be a good example of how they should be working together on these sorts of cases. >> and larry, you've worked in counterterrorism, you're a cia officer. play big cop for me. based on all the information you've heard from our reporters about what they know from the investigation and from the police so far, what would you be looking at if you had your notes spread out on your desk right now. what's your question? >> i would say, which tollbooth did he get into new york city from? did he come from new jersey, did he come from connecticut? where'd he come from? it's fascinating that you've now got -- an eyewitness wants the first degree and police department and an fbi guy walked through the door, they stopped, and they both began attacking him. that's when you know that new york's back to normal. >> i want to thank fran townsend, jack reich and larry johnston. we'll end on a positive note with the coordinio