Sep 01, 2003 — Last week, the New York State Assembly opened hearings into the blackout that darkened much of New York and Ontario Aug. 14. Assembly members heard from the head of the Public Service Commission, which oversees regulation of the state power grid, and the Independent System Operation, which runs it. Both men said the system responded well under the circumstances, but that improvements in the big regional grid are needed to make sure it doesn't happen again. State Senator James Wright of Watertown is chairman of the senate energy committee. The Senate is not planning its own hearings into the blackout. He told Martha Foley the massive power failure was an international event, and the Senate will wait to hear results of the US and Canadian governments' coordinated investigation.