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Rebuilding NYC January 2002

by Administrator, Feb 14, 2004
 

Developer's Pace at 7 World Trade Center Upsets Some - Jan 31, 2002
Larry Silverstein, who bought control of the trade center complex two months before the attack, said he hoped to begin construction at 7 World Trade Center by June, with the proceeds of an $861 million insurance policy. Silverstein's plans to begin rebuilding so soon are seen by some as a sign of renewal downtown, and by others as a rush to get into the ground before civic groups, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the families of victims and survivors of the attack can impose an overall development plan. But the developer, state officials and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey say that Mr. Silverstein has a legal right to rebuild and, ultimately, he needs only the approval of the Port Authority, which owns the land. (New York Times)

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Near Ground Zero, a Vote to Return to School - Jan 30, 2002
Parents and teachers at Public School 89, which was evacuated after the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, have voted by a wide margin to return to their school on Feb. 28, after five months in temporary quarters. The vote was 191 to 114, or 63 percent to 37 percent, in favor of returning. About 30 teachers cast votes; the others were cast by parents. The vote, tallied yesterday, apparently ends weeks of bitter conflict over the date of the return: parents questioned whether their children would be harmed, physically or mentally, by returning to the school, which is within a few blocks of ground zero. It will make P.S. 89 the sixth of the seven public schools near the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan to return to their regular buildings, bringing the schools a step closer to normality. (New York Times)

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Before the Towers Fell, Fire Dept. Fought Chaos - Jan 30, 2002
The Fire Department's most senior commanders have provided new and, in some cases, alarming revelations about the events of Sept. 11 in an internal inquiry. They said they had little reliable radio communication that morning, could not keep track of all the firefighters who entered the towers, and were unable to reach them as the threat of a collapse became unmistakable. Although they feared that the buildings were doomed, they could not bring their troops back in time. One chief estimated that at the moment the north tower fell, nearly every civilian below the floors directly hit by the airplane had already evacuated, and that only firefighters remained inside. (New York Times)

Tenuous Grip on Rebuilding Could Hurt Bloomberg's Term - Jan 30, 2002
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's performance as mayor is likely to be measured in large part by his success at leading New York City to a consensus on what should happen with the World Trade Center site, and the pace and quality of the subsequent rebuilding. Bloomberg's role in the rebuilding was constrained, however, before he ever set foot in City Hall as Pataki grabbed the reins early on. The standings of both men will be enhanced with a successful resolution of this project; just as surely, each could be hurt if the project falters, or if there is any perception that the two men are quarreling over a project of such import. (New York Times)

PATH Rebuild Plan On The Fast Track - Jan 30, 2002
Port Authority officials will meet tomorrow to award a $300 million contract for the reconstruction of the ruined World Trade Center PATH station. Work will begin within a week on the tunnels, while engineers and architects finalize plans for the station - which is envisioned as a temporary facility that will be used until officials agree upon overall plans for the makeover of the downtown transit map. Gargano said PA officials hope to have trains running again in 18-24 months. (New York Post)

State GOP Senators Form Own WTC Panel - Jan 30, 2002
State Senate Republicans, miffed over being excluded from panels overseeing the World Trade Center redevelopment, created their own oversight panel yesterday. Senate sources said Bruno formed the panel because of growing frustration with John Whitehead, chair of the redevelopment authority. The sources said Bruno was initially disappointed that Pataki failed to include a Senate appointee on the redevelopment commission's board, but had hoped Whitehead would be open to naming Senate representatives to soon-to-be-named advisory panels. When Bruno concluded the Senate would not be properly represented on either the board or on the Whitehead-named panels, he decided to create the task force, the source continued. The new Senate group, in a highly unusual move, will consist of all 35 Senate Republicans. (New York Post)

Race To Build At Ground Zero - Jan 29, 2002
Powerful developers Larry Silverstein and Edward J. Minskoff are racing head-to-head to find tenants for two giant office towers they plan at or near Ground Zero. But there's a big difference between the schemes: Silverstein can build without tenants, but Minskoff can't. Silverstein plans to rebuild 7 WTC without pre-leasing, a luxury he can afford thanks to insurance payments from the destruction of the Twin Towers. Minskoff is wasting no time promoting 270 Greenwich, even though he doesn't have the land yet. (New York Post)

Thousands Turn Out For Fourth Twin Towers Job Fair - Jan 29, 2002
Hundreds of prospective employers met Tuesday with thousands of New Yorkers who lost their jobs in the September 11 terrorist attacks. The Twin Towers Job Expo is the city's fourth job fair since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, and the line to get in began forming before dawn. The last three job fairs were held at Madison Square Garden, but so many people showed up, applicants had to be turned away. The Javits Center provides more space for the thousands of people who turned out today. For more information, go to www.twintowersjobs.org. (NY1)

Seeking Safety, Manhattan Firms are Scattering - Jan 29, 2002
Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs & Company, Marsh & McLennan and a slew of other companies have recently completed deals for office space outside of Manhattan that will allow them to disperse their operations. These are only the latest developments in a corporate world in which dispersing workers and the "corporate diaspora" became the order of the day after the attack on the World Trade Center in September.Companies are looking at Long Island City, other parts of Queens, Brooklyn, and the suburbs. M. Meyers Mermel, chief executives of Tenantwise.com, a real estate company, estimates that 23,000 jobs went to the suburbs from downtown after Sept. 11 and that another 144,000 jobs are in jeopardy in a second wave of departures. (New York Times)

World Trade Center Stop On E Line Reopens - Jan 28, 2002
The E subway line resumed service to the World Trade Center stop Monday morning. The station is on the edge of the World Trade Center complex but was not damaged in the September 11 attack. It has remained closed - with E trains terminating at Canal Street - to avoid interference with the recovery and cleanup efforts at the site. Two exits at the station are still closed: the stairwell at Vesey Street and the old entrance to the World Trade Center mall. For now, the name of the station remains "Chambers/World Trade Center," but the MTA expects there will be a push to change it. (NY1)

Rudy Named His Judi To Twin Towers Fund Board - Jan 28, 2002
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani had his girlfriend Judith Nathan appointed to the board of directors of the city's Twin Towers Fund during his push to take over the charity. Nathan is one of 14 of the mayor's friends, supporters or former employees named to the volunteer board, which will oversee the $100 million fund, according to documents filed with the state Attorney General's Office. Giuliani will chair the board, which will have some entertainment muscle, with Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger and NBC Chairman/CEO Robert Wright. According to the documents, the fund plans to hire as many as 12 people, with the total annual payroll reaching as much as $1.44 million. To date, the Giuliani-established fund has distributed nearly $50 million of the $145 million collected. (New York Post)

City’s Medical Examiner Releases Names Of WTC Attack Victims - Jan 28, 2002
For the first time since Sept. 11, a city agency has released a list of people who remain missing after the attack on the World Trade Center. In an effort to solicit additional DNA samples, the New York medical examiner today published its list of those who have been reported missing but whose remains have not been identified. That list contains the names of 2,189 people at the towers, on the airplanes and the rescue workers at the scene. The medical examiner has identified the remains of 693 people, including 117 people who have been identified through DNA alone, according to Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the department. That brings the total of dead or missing compiled by the medical examiner to 2,882 victims. (Newsday)

WTC Advisory Groups To Be Announced - Jan 26, 2002
On Monday, the group will announce the members of four advisory councils - for the families of victims, downtown residents, restaurants and retailers, and arts, education and tourism - which will make recommendations to the corporation's board by March 15. Beyond the initial four advisory councils, others dealing with a range of downtown industries will be added, each with about 15 members, said John Whitehead, the corporation's chairman. To help the group develop those plans, Whitehead plans to hire a full-time staff of 10 to 20 people, he said. He also said the corporation would sublease office space in One Liberty Plaza, facing Ground Zero. Whitehead made it clear he thought that some of the site should be saved for commercial development, rather than saving it all for a memorial. (New York Daily News)

Many Voices, but Little Dialogue on Memorial for Trade Center Site - Jan 26, 2002
The rebuilding of Lower Manhattan has the makings of a bitter New York struggle, a dialogue of disparate views of grief, money, power, politics and design, inflamed by differing passions, but with no framework to reconcile them. In all likelihood, that struggle will begin with a memorial. Absent any official guidance, hundreds of people in roughly a dozen ad hoc groups have already started gathering in small numbers and discussing plans for a memorial. But many of the participants say that until their efforts are coordinated… little progress is likely to be made. This contrasts sharply with what happened after the Oklahoma City bombing (New York Times)

Pataki Asks to Oversee 9/11 Aid - Jan 26, 2002
Gov. George E. Pataki has asked the State Legislature to give him the authority to oversee about $10 billion worth of federal aid that he expects to flow to the state to repair the damage done by terrorists, but legislative leaders are balking at the governor's request. While most of the money is yet to arrive in Albany, once it arrives, the governor may not spend it without legislative approval. The legislature wishes to see detailed plans for the use of the $10 billion before granting its approval. While $6 billion of the aid is Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursements for cleanup downtown, over $3 billion of the aid is in the form of block grants for economic development and housing, the use of which is much more open to debate. (New York Times)

Redevelopment Committee Wants WTC Debris Removed By May 31 - Jan 25, 2002
The Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Committee met Friday morning to set May 31 as a tentative deadline to remove all debris from the World Trade Center site. The committee also said it will begin moving its offices to One Liberty Plaza and the Battery Park Ritz Carlton Hotel sometime next week. Reports from the meeting indicate that recently two of the committee members made a trip to Oklahoma City to study the memorial built there for the victims of the 1995 terrorist bombing. (NY1)

Centers Open for Biz Hurt by 9/11 - Jan 25, 2002
Two business recovery centers opened yesterday in lower Manhattan to distribute $700 million in grants to small businesses struggling since the World Trade Center attacks. The centers are at 2 Rector St. and 110 Maiden Lane. The recovery program targets businesses and not-for-profit organizations that were on or south of 14th St. before Sept. 11. Businesses seeking to open in lower Manhattan also may apply. Grants to individual business owners, as high as $300,000, will be based on proximity to the Trade Center and revenue lost. The program is run by the Empire State Development Corp. with funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (New York Daily News)

Makeover for WTC Area? - Jan 25, 2002
Seeking to influence the agency charged with rebuilding downtown, a number of government, planning, transportation and civic groups are coming forward with ideas to alter not only how the area looks, but how people travel through it. Proposals include breaking up the 16-acre Trade Center superblock; creating limited car zones for security reasons and to improve pedestrian flow; and widening sidewalks and adding benches and greenery. (New York Daily News)

Bush Repledged $20 Billion to Aid City, Official Says - Jan 25, 2002
According to John Whitehead, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, President Bush renewed his pledge to send the city $20 billion in federal aid. Mr. Whitehead said that he met with the president earlier this month, and reported that President Bush said, "As you need it, we will provide it.'" (New York Times)

E Train to Stop at WTC Soon - Jan 24, 2002
The E train stop at the World Trade Center will be reopened as soon as Monday. It is possible that the stop will ultimately be renamed in the future. To keep straphangers away from Ground Zero, access to the station will be via underground passageways between the E station and nearby Chambers St. and Park Place subway stops. (New York Daily News)

Charities Mull Closing Sept. 11 Funds - Jan 24, 2002
Some charities have stopped soliciting money for September 11 relief and several others are debating whether to shut down fund-raising. Since the attacks, charities including the Red Cross and the Twin Towers Fund have raised $1.5 billion, with much of it distributed already. The September 11th Fund, created by the United Way and New York Community Trust, just called for a halt to donations, while Red Cross stopped soliciting donations for September 11 relief at the end of October. (Associated Press)

Victims fund demands spur backlash - Jan 23, 2002
America opened its heart to the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but a growing number of taxpayers aren’t happy about opening their pocketbooks. From disgusted emails addressed to members of Give Your Voice, one of the victims families' organizations, to editorial cartoons depicting construction cranes pulling money out of Ground Zero, there is growing criticism of the debate now raging over the distribution of federal compensation funds. (Wall Street Journal)

Sept. 11 Fed Fund Tops $6B - Jan 23, 2002
Payouts from the federal Sept.11 victims fund will reach a whopping $6 billion, Kenneth Feinberg, the fund's special master, said yesterday. Unpopular rules that say families have to deduct life insurance and pension benefits from the federal compensation will be modified somewhat, he said. "People who do net out to zero [after these deductions] will get something," he said. Issues concerning undocumented immigrants who died at the World Trade Center and domestic partners are also being reviewed. Final regulations will be announced at the end of February. (New York Daily News)

Push for 2nd Crisis Center - Jan 23, 2002
City officials are working feverishly to create a new emergency command center to replace the 23rd-floor bunker destroyed when 7 World Trade Center collapsed. After the attacks, the command center was relocated - temporarily - to a pier on the West Side of Manhattan. A permanent backup facility is being readied in Brooklyn. (New York Daily News)

Downtown School Closed Since Sept. 11 Reopens - Jan 22, 2002
Above the objections of parents, a school in Lower Manhattan opened Tuesday morning for the first time since the September 11 terrorist attacks. I.S. 89 opened this morning with P.S. 89 scheduled to open in February. (New York Daily News)

Firefighters' Fund Gives $100M in Aid - Jan 21, 2002
By the end of last year, a fund created by the International Association of Fire Fighters had donated over $100 million to the 343 families of dead or missing firefighters. Each family received approximately $300,000. This rapid distribution of relief funds is in stark contrast to the debate over compensation for so-called "civilian" victims of September 11. (Newsday)

September 11 Kin To Meet Bush - Jan 21, 2002
A group of families of World Trade Center victims will be traveling to the White House tomorrow to witness President George Bush's signing of the Victims of Terrorism Tax Relief Act. In an effort to get the federal government on their side, they reportedly will urge the president to set aside the entire World Trade Center site for a memorial. (New York Post)

Hazardous Chemicals Were Stored In 7 World Trade - Jan 20, 2002
Con Edison reports show that 7 World Trade Center contained 109,000 gallons of oil and hundreds of pounds of hazardous chemicals in two electrical substations operated by the utility company. It is unknown what happened to the substances after the building collapsed. The substances included PCBs and sulfuric acid, both suspected carcinogens. The possibility of contamination of soil or groundwater has not been ruled out. (NY1)

SoHo Photo Exhibit a WTC Shrine - Jan 20, 2002
A gallery in Soho filled with 4,000 donated photographs chronicling the events of September 11 has been trying to close its doors since Thanksgiving. However, the demand of 3,500 visitors streaming in every day has kept it open indefinitely. The exhibition does not single out any individual photographers - there are no names on the pictures, and no rights owned on any of them. The pictures, which can be seen at the 116 Prince St. gallery or online at their website (http://www.hereisnewyork.org) will eventually be moved to an archive somewhere else in the city. (Newsday)

Terror Attacks Take Hidden Toll - Jan 20, 2002
Posttraumatic stress disorder is afflicting much of the NYPD and FDNY since September 11. According to their own departments, 1,150 police officers and 1,800 firefighters have sought counseling since September 11. At any given time since September 11, there are 75 firefighters "off-line" for stress-related reasons - an exponential jump from the pre-September 11 average of 5 to 10. Both departments are urging their members to seek counseling, despite cultures that discourage seeking help. Experts warn that those who are not manifesting posttraumatic stress symptoms now may still do so a year or more later. (New York Daily News)

Fund Package Nearly Set to Aid Survivors of 9/11 - Jan 20, 2002
With the commenting period ending this week for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001, Kenneth Feinberg, appointed special master of the fund, will now spend the next few weeks finalizing a plan for compensation and distribution of the fund. Feinberg said the plan will be "based on equity, justice and need." (New York Daily News)

Hil Says Senate to Probe WTC Air Quality - Jan 20, 2002
Hillary Clinton announced that the Senate will hold hearings on February 11 to look into the air quality issue in Lower Manhattan, particularly for the emergency workers who have been toiling at ground zero every day since September 11. Clinton also announced that she has secured $12 million to study the long-term health of firefighters and others exposed to asbestos, PCBs, and other toxins at ground zero. (New York Daily News)

Ground Zero Cleanup Defies How Jobs Are Usually Done - Jan 20, 2002
The cleanup job at Ground Zero is unprecedented in the history of the city - not only in its size and scope, but also in the speed and efficiency with which it is taking place. While initial estimates for time and cost hovered around $1 billion to $2.5 billion and a year's worth of work, it now appears that the job will be finished in nine months and cost only $750 million. Why? The primary reasons leading to this "construction miracle" have been oversight to prevent corruption, self-policing and unprecedented flexbility of the unions, and the government's willingness to expedite the cleanup. (New York Times)

Gallery Shows WTC Design Proposals - Jan 18, 2002
At an exhibition in a Chelsea art gallery, about 50 architects and artists are showcasing their proposed designs for what to build on the site of the World Trade Center. "This is what I could do to help," said Max Protech, the owner of the gallery. The designs vary in size, shape, and range. A few called for making the entire 16-acre space into a memorial, and others focused more on the conceptual and abstract. There were also proposals for smaller-scale buildings and mixed development of residential and office buildings, including an interactive display where people could create up to 81 potential designs for the area. The show will likely run for about a month, after which it will tour the country. (Associated Press)

Contractors at Ground Zero Denied Insurance for Cleanup - Jan 18, 2002
For four months, contractors have been working without any liability insurance covering injury and property damage claims. Insurance companies have simply declared the risk too high and the project too big. Building contractors will now be turning to Congress to provide them with coverage. They hope to convince Congress to indemnify the city and the contractors for any lawsuits stemming from the cleanup. Workers for the contractors are covered by workers' compensation and health insurance. (New York Times)

U.S. Agency Not Protecting Public Health, Officials Say - Jan 18, 2002
Representative Jerrold Nadler blasted the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to ease concerns about health concerns near the World Trade Center site. In particular, he cited the agency's failure to conduct widespread indoor tests to allay people's concerns about working or living near the site. The EPA has insisted that it has been the role of the city to conduct testing on nearby buildings while they focused on outdoor air issues. The city's Department of Health, which has done some indoor air testing, said that some residential downtown buildings were tested after the attacks but that the results would not be published for months. (New York Times)

Victims Kin Slam Aid Fund - Jan 18, 2002
Over 600 people rallied yesterday at the Park Avenue Armory to protest the proposed distribution of the federal compensation to World Trade Center victims' relatives. The main point of the contention is the deduction of money received from 401(k) and life insurance benefits from the compensation. Furthermore, any relatives that accept compensation from the fund waive their right to sue the airlines and other possible defendants. Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg were present at the rally and pledged to fight for a more equitable compensation program. (New York Daily News)

Firefighters Block a Plan for Statue in Brooklyn - Jan 18, 2002
After a series of complaints from firefighters, plans to honor firefighters with a statue memorial have been abandoned. The bronze statue would have depicted a now-famous Bergen Record photograph of three firefighters raising the American flag after the collapse of the World Trade Center. However the statue would have represented a black, a white, and a Hispanic firefighter instead of the three white firefighters in the original photograph. Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said that the
Fire Department will now be reevaluating what kind of memorial will be erected for the firefighters. Opponents of the statue had collected the signatures of more than 1,000 firefighters who objected to the design. (New York Times)

$1M-a-Day Fix for WTC Subway - Jan 16, 2002
The fastest-paced project in the history of the subway system will begin on March 1, as the MTA, with the blessing of Governor Pataki, approved a plan to begin reconstruction of the 1/9 subway line below Chambers Street (graphic available). With a one million dollar a day price tag, the Transit Authority will be able to complete a job that would normally take three to four years and finish it by November. Plans currently do not call for the hard-hit Cortlandt Street station, which will have its platforms and entrances sealed off. (graphic available) (New York Daily News)

Families Meet Privately With Overseer Of Sept. 11 Compensation - Jan 16, 2002
Relatives of the September 11 victims held a private meeting yesterday with Ken Feinberg, the federal Victim Compensation Fund Special Master. One person who attended the meeting said that Feinberg would not budge from the $250,000 cap on pain and suffering compensation, though he said he would do everything he could to maximize awards. Feinberg is accepting recommendations on how to change the rules until January 22. (NY1)

Idled Workers to Protest At Marriott - Jan 16, 2002
Marriot workers from the Marriott World Trade Center who were laid off a month after the attacks are expected to protest in front of the midtown Marriot Marquis today. They are angry about not given priority to work at other Marriott locations as well as a lack of financial compensation from the company after September 11. (New York Daily News)

Facts Find Sept. 11 Myths Misleading - Jan 16, 2002
The common myth of a nicer, more unified America since the September 11 attacks apparently does not match up statistical reality. While Laura Bush has touted a drop in divorces and an increase in marriages since September 11, the available numbers tell the opposite story, with marriages down in Reno, Nevada (the marriage capital of the country) and divorces up. Also, while Americans cite the increased role of religion in their lives, church attendance has not increased since the attacks. And military enlistment has not, contrary to Colin Powell's belief, increased in the last few months. Analysts cite the pre-existing economic downturn as the most likely cause for these numbers rather than the attacks themselves. (Associated Press)

WTC Owner Sets Aside Tower Footprints For Memorial Site - Jan 15, 2002
Sources say that Larry Silverstein has instructed architects he has commissioned for the rebuilding of the site of his former World Trade Center to make space for a memorial in their plans. The space set aside would be at the "footprints" of the former Twin Towers.

Meanwhile, September's Mission, a group of relatives of World Trade Center victims, will hold a meeting with designers and architects tomorrow to come up with their own proposals for a memorial covering the entire WTC area. (New York Daily News)

Winter Garden at the Attack Site Looks to Spring - Jan 15, 2002
The 45,000-square-foot Winter Garden near the World Trade Center, one of the city's great public spaces, must now go through an extensive rebuilding effort. The public space, which featured a performance stage and a pedestrian bridge used by 80,000 people a day to get to 1 World Trade Center, is structurally sound but was significantly damaged by what engineers say was the "top ten floors of the north tower" falling on the complex. (New York Times)

Part of City Hall Park to Reopen - Jan 15, 2002
Historic City Hall Park, closed since September 11, will reopen today after police officials and Mayor Bloomberg have deemed it safe. The south end will reopen, while some of the lawns and other areas will remain closed. Access to the plaza directly in front of City Hall will still be restricted for security reasons. (New York Daily News)

3 New View Sites on Hold - Jan 15, 2002
Plans to construct three more viewing platforms at the World Trade Center site are now being put on hold as officials determine the necessity of extra platforms. While lines for the first platform initially extended a few city blocks, since the use of the current ticketing system, crowding in the area has diminished greatly. (New York Daily News)

Representatives Seek Changes to Fund - Jan 14, 2002
A dozen members of Congress from New York on Monday urged changes in the proposed rules determining federal compensation for victims of the World Trade Center attacks. Carolyn Maloney, a Manhattan Democrat, and her colleagues urged the fund's overseer, Kenneth Feinberg, not to use outdated labor statistics which discriminate against women. (Newsday)

Plan to Start 7 WTC Rebuild 9/11/02 - Jan 14, 2002
Larry Silverstein, the leaseholder of the destroyed World Trade Center complex, has expressed a desire to begin rebuilding a new 7 World Trade Center building on September 11, 2002. His intentions have been met with opposition from the victims' families, all in full support of a memorial, and by groups who wish to see a rebuilding effort more integrated with the rest of the site. (New York Daily News)

Clinton: WTC Fund Unfair - Jan 14, 2002
After meeting with loved ones of those killed September 11 in the World Trade Center, Senator Hillary Clinton called for changes to the proposed federal compensation plan. Clinton proposed a minimum compensation amount for families, rather than the current proposal which deducts money based on pre-existing life insurance, IRA, or 401(k) accounts. (Newsday)

Forum Helps Those Near WTC Vent - Jan 13, 2002
A forum organized by Manhattan Civil Court and the Manhattan borough president's office attracted Lower Manhattan residents attempting to resolve landlord-tenant disputes. Tenants asked questions about relief from rent obligations on their lease in the wake of September 11. (New York Daily News)

Downtowners Worried Sick - Jan 12, 2002
A federal report concluded in December but just released last week confirms what many Lower Manhattan residents already know: many people are displaying symptoms of post-traumatic stress and physical distress due to the World Trade Center attacks. The report describes a "high proportion of the population" experiencing symptoms related to respiratory irritation. (New York Post)

From parks to twisted towers, designs for WTC memorial multiply - Jan 11, 2002
There is no shortage of design ideas for the World Trade Center site, from a 70-story sundial to two towers spiraling down to a 35-foot deep pit. One firm has contemplated a design consisting of 440 evergreens and a below-street waterfall. This initial burst of ideas has been described as therapeutic by some but banal and overly sentimental by others. (Wall Street Journal)

Studies Will Take Sept. 11's Measure in Health Effects - Jan 11, 2002
Public health researchers from New York hospitals and universities are are beginning an ambitious series of long-term studies to identify and then track a wide range of people who lived through the World Trade Center attack. These studies range from investigating cases of pregnant women near ground zero to building a registry of every single person that has worked, even if only for one day, at the World Trade Center site. (New York Times)

Pataki: 'Serious Concerns' on WTC Fund - Jan 11, 2002
Governor Pataki voiced concern yesterday about the distribution of federal funds for the compensation of victims' families. Referring to estimates that the average family could receive $1.6 million, Pataki said the numbers are misleading. "The numbers sound very high," he said, "but they can be reduced by collateral sources," such as life insurance and pension payments. About 1,000 relatives of victims will be holding a rally next Thursday to urge changes in the compensation. (Newsday)

Expert: WTC Probe Underfunded - Jan 11, 2002
The engineering investigation into the Twin Towers' collapse is woefully underfunded, a former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said yesterday. James Lee Witt, who led FEMA in the Clinton administration, said in an interview that the $100,000 the federal government allocated so far for the probe is far from enough. "It wouldn't even make a dent," Witt said. "We [the United States] have some of the best engineers and architects. If they have the funding, they can show how the collapses happened and why." (Newsday)

Migrants Did Dirty & Dangerous Work - Jan 11, 2002
Contractors have plucked up to 600 illegal immigrants off street corners to scrub potentially toxic dust out of buildings near the World Trade Center - without giving the workers safety training or protective equipment, the Daily News reported today. State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office is investigating labor law violations allegedly committed by several cleaning companies near the disaster site. (New York Daily News)

Mike: Hold Contest For Tribute At Ground Zero - Jan 11, 2002
Mayor Bloomberg supports holding a competition to choose the designer of the memorial tribute to the World Trade Center victims that will be built at ground zero, officials said yesterday. (New York Post)

Job Loss from September 11 To Impact For Years - Jan 11, 2002
A study released Friday predicts the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will reverberate through the U.S. economy for years, wiping out more than 1.6 million jobs in 2002 alone. The losses will hit cities with exposure to the tourism and airline sectors hardest, but will also spread across a wide range of industries, from dining to financial services, according to the Milken Institute, a Santa Monica-based economic think-tank. New York City will lose nearly 150,000 jobs in 2002, followed by Los Angeles with 69,000 jobs, and Chicago with at least 68,000 jobs. Already, 248,000 jobs have been lost nationwide because of the attacks, the institute said. (Newsday)

Bold New Agenda - Jan 10, 2002
Invoking the enduring trauma of Sept. 11, Gov. George Pataki yesterday pledged to lead the state's psychological and financial recovery but offered few novel legislative proposals or sure cures for New York's ailing economy. In his eighth annual address to the Legislature, built on the emotional scaffolding of the World Trade Center tragedy and delivered at the outset of an election year, Pataki urged cooperation and change as part of a "bold new agenda of reform and renewal." (Newsday)

Insurers: WTC Collapse Was One Event - Jan 10, 2002
A lawyer for Travelers Indemnity Co. told a federal court Wednesday that one hijacked airliner could have felled both the World Trade Center towers because they shared a six-story basement. After a plane hit the first tower on Sept. 11, it "may well have rendered the second building unusable even in the absence of a second airplane," attorney Harvey Kurzweil argued at the hearing. (Associated Press)

PATH Train Found at Ground Zero - Jan 10, 2002
Recovery workers at Ground Zero have uncovered a commuter train lying
underneath the rubble of the World Trade Center, but no bodies were found inside the train, officials said. (Associated Press)

NYC to End Count of WTC Victims - Jan 9, 2002
City officials are close to determining a final count of the people who were killed in the attack on the World Trade Center, police said Wednesday. The city's total has stood at 2,893 for three days, decreasing from near 7,000 in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11 attacks. Officials eliminated mistakes and duplicated entries in missing-person reports, and the tally could still be reduced further, said police department Chief Charles Campisi, who heads the effort. "We're very, very close," Campisi told The Associated Press. "I would say we're 99 percent there." (Associated Press)

Tickets Ease Ground Zero Waiting - Jan 9, 2002
The huge lines leading to the Ground Zero viewing platform all but disappeared yesterday as the city began handing out free, time-stamped tickets to the daily throngs of visitors. Now, instead of waiting in the cold for hours, visitors must go to the South Street Seaport to pick up tickets good for a specific half-hour period. Under the new system, 5,500 people per day can visit the platform. (Newsday)

Pataki Confidant to Direct Rebuilding Effort - Jan 9, 2002
Louis R. Tomson, a former top adviser to Gov. George E. Pataki, has been selected to be the executive director of the state corporation in charge of rebuilding Lower Manhattan, government officials and downtown executives said yesterday. Tomson was Pataki's first choice and beat out a list of candidates that included Carl Weisbrod, head of the Alliance for Downtown New York, the business improvement district for Lower Manhattan; Rebecca Robertson, former president of the 42nd Street Development Project; and Richard A. Kahan, a former state official. He will be officially appointed within a week. (New York Times)

Expert: Impact Would Have Brought WTC Down - Jan 8, 2002
Richard Gewain, a member of the federally designated panel of engineers investigating the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, said yesterday that the impact of the two hijacked planes was so great that the buildings could have collapsed even without the ensuing fire. Gewain's view is in opposition to that of other fire experts, who have questioned whether the towers were adequately fireproofed. The panel, formed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Society of Civil Engineers, is investigating a wide range of theories. (Newsday)

Dozens of Ideas are Floated For WTC Development - Jan 8, 2002
Designers, planners and architects along with politicians and the relatives of the victims of Sept. 11 have offered up a number of ideas for what to develop at the World Trade Center site. Ideas range from permanent memorials to mixed use of commercial and memorial space. In the next ten days, a number of design proposals will be made public at a Chelsea gallery and from the Institute of Urban Design. Ultimately the process will go through the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corporation, most planners agree. (Newsday)

City to Give Out WTC View Tickets - Jan 8, 2002
In an effort to control the huge throngs that line up daily for a glimpse of Ground Zero, the city will issue free, time-limited tickets to the public viewing stand starting tomorrow. Starting tomorrow afternoon, time-stamped tickets will be distributed free - two per person - at the South Street Seaport Museum. Up to 100 people will be allowed on the viewing stand for 15 minutes at a time. (New York Daily News)

Ground Zero Panel Still Listening - Jan 8, 2002
The head of the ground zero redevelopment panel yesterday said the group won't make decisions about rebuilding for at least "a month or two." At the group's second meeting since the state-city panel was created in November, Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp. Chairman John Whitehead also said the search for an executive director should come to an end in about a week. Whitehead said the 11-member board will be in "listening mode" for the next four to eight weeks. (New York Post)

Agency Has $2B, No Plans - Jan 8, 2002
Despite having $2 billion earmarked for the group by Congress, the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corporation still has no plans for what to do with the money. "I think we are the only organization in history," said Chairman John Whitehead, "to get $2 billion that we never even asked for." The $2 billion is part of an $11 billion aid package proposed by Congress for emergency aid for the city. (New York Daily News)

Big Transit Ideas Downtown - Jan 8, 2002
The Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corporation is looking into plans to create a downtown transit hub around the World Trade Center site. Proposals include an underground mega-hub with retail space and connections to the PATH and 14 subway lines. While short-term needs of resuming PATH and subway service will be addressed quickly, long-term plans could include the construction of a major transportation center and renovation of the nearby Broadway-Nassau/Fulton St. stations. (New York Daily News)

Still Digging for Lost Sons After a Million Tons of Pain - Jan 8, 2002
There exists a sad fraternity of men at ground zero, a dozen or so who lost their sons or brothers in the cataclysm of Sept. 11. For almost all of the 118 days since, most of these men have spent the daylight hours in search of their kin. While the news turns to rebuilding and memorials, these firefighters and rescue workers continue their search. (New York Times)

Financial Center Marriott Reopens - Jan 7, 2002
Declaring New York City open for business, Mayor Michael Bloomberg snipped a red, white and blue ribbon in the lobby of the Marriott Financial Center yesterday as dozens of hotel workers applauded the reopening of the first downtown hotel since Sept. 11. The terror attacks on the Twin Towers left the 504-room hotel on West Street covered in layers of dust and debris, and it also sustained water damage. The hotel plans to open just 125 rooms. (Newsday)

Cleanup's Pace Outstrips Plans for Attack Site - Jan 7, 2002
With the cleanup at the World Trade Center site proceeding faster than previously imagined possible, plans for rebuilding the area must now try to keep up. Officials concede that by the beginning of the summer, a sixteen-acre hole will occupy the site. Public hearings organized by the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corporation could begin in six weeks, with a final long-term plan emerging possibly in three months and an interim memorial finished by the end of the year. (New York Times)

Fund Formula an Insult to Their Injuries - Jan 7, 2002
Four members of Congress and forty relatives of victims appeared at a news conference in midtown to denounce the compensation formula created by Kenneth Feinberg, the special master administering the federal Victim Compensation Fund. The families complained the formula sets arbitrary limits on estimated lost earnings and caps compensation for pain and suffering. Victims' families also met yesterday for the first time with Mayor Bloomberg since he took office. (New York Daily News)

Until 9/11, the City's Museum Magnet - Jan 6, 2002
Attendance and donations are way down at Lower Manhattan museums. While lines for the World Trade Center viewing platform stretch for blocks, visitors to the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the South Street Seaport Museum, and the George Gustav Heye Center of the National Museum of the American Indian find they have these museums mostly to themselves. (New York Times)

Wall Street Biz Group's Mission: Rescue Downtrodden Downtown - Jan 6, 2002
Wall Street Rising, a new nonprofit business group that formed after Sept. 11, hopes to drum up downtown shopping, dining and tourism - as visitors stream into the area to mourn and pay their respects. The group is launching a Wall Street Rising discount card offering price reductions at local shops and restaurants. It's also planning a Wall Street Weeknights dinner program, with restaurants offering $30 "I love New York" menus. (New York Post)

Anguished Search for Traces of the MissingAnguished Search for Traces of the Missing - Jan 6, 2002
Investigators are combing through literally billions of pieces of debris at the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, now home to the 900,000 tons of rubble carted away from the World Trade Center site. So far, 1200 wrecked and burnt-out vehicles have been found at the site, as well as 2900 human body parts. The effort includes hundreds of New York police detectives and federal agents working from 5 A.M to midnight every day. (New York Daily News)

Mercury Concern at WTC - Jan 5, 2002
Workers at Ground Zero called for more comprehensive health tests yesterday after four Port Authority police officers assigned to the site showed elevated levels of mercury in their blood. According to Port Authority spokesman Allen Morrison, it is unclear how they were exposed to the mercury. Air and water samples taken near Ground Zero since September by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have not turned up any detectable levels of mercury, officials said. (New York Daily News)

Bloomberg Vision for Ground Zero: Memorial and More - Jan 4, 2002
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and John Whitehead, the chairman of the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corporation, want the former World Trade Center site to be used for more than just a memorial. After a meeting, Bloomberg and Whitehead supported the use of the site for office space, as a memorial to the victims, and possibly retail space as well. (New York Times)

Subway Line in Attack May Reopen Much Earlier - Jan 4, 2002
Transit officials said yesterday that two of the three stations for the 1 and 9 subway lines that were damaged in the World Trade Center attacks may reopen as early as November, more than a year earlier than originally planned. However, rather than rerouting the line to increase convenience for Battery Park City residents, the subway will be rebuilt mostly to its state before September 11. (New York Times)

Changes Continue at Ground Zero - Jan 4, 2002
Changes continue at Ground Zero as a viewing platform opened to the public at Church Street and Fulton Street last week. Now that most of the larger rubble has been cleared away, two of the largest cranes at the site are being dismantled. Cleanup work will now be consolidated under the direction of Bovis Lend Lease, one of the four contractors that have been assisting in the cleanup since September 11. (Associated Press)

Pitched Battle at Ground Zero - Jan 3, 2002
Larry Silverstein is facing increased opposition to his plans to develop the World Trade Center site. Former Mayor Giul,iani and relatives of some of those who died at the Trade Center are arguing against economic development. But the real threat to Silverstein's plans may come from his fellow real estate developers, some of whom say that new buildings on the site could further depress real estate and actually hinder lower Manhattan's recovery. (New York Observer)

Back to Square 1 for Tribeca - Jan 2, 2002
Residents and business owners of Tribeca struggle with the aftermath of September 11. At one restaurant, menu prices have been slashed an average 15% across the board, while at a local clothing store, business has been down 40%. Long-time residents feel that they have been set back a generation and must now start at square one again. (New York Daily News)




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