Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Worshippers Celebrate Easter Near Ground Zero - Mar 31, 2002
Worshippers filled a chapel a block from the World Trade Center site Sunday for a candlelight sunrise Easter service. "The message of Easter is a message of hope, and hope is something to which we cling amid the devastation of ground zero," said Father Lyndon Harris, who delivered the sermon at St. Paul's Chapel. Newsday has a slideshow of photographs taken at the mass. (Associated Press)

Those Left Unemployed After September 11 Relying On Credit Cards - Mar 31, 2002
Thousands of New Yorkers who lost their jobs after Sept. 11 have exhausted their savings and are using high-interest credit cards to pay for everything from medical bills to their rent. Many have no health insurance and little hope of getting it. Interviews with jobless men and women, union leaders, advocates and industry analysts paint a disturbing picture of families struggling to get by on meager unemployment checks and soon-to-end handouts from charity. (New York Daily News)

Firefighters Retiring at Triple the Usual Rate In 2002 - Mar 30, 2002
New York City firefighters are retiring at more than triple the usual rate this year, according to fire officials who say the surge in departures is another lingering impact from the collapse of the World Trade Center. Since January, 343 firefighters have filed their retirement papers, compared with 93 who had retired by this time last year. The Fire Department usually loses no more than 500 firefighters a year to retirement. (New York Times)

Tribute In Light May Be Part of Permanent Memorial After Going Dark - Mar 30, 2002
The twin beams of light forming a nocturnal memorial to World Trade Center victims will go dark in mid-April as planned, but may be incorporated into a permanent memorial, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said yesterday. The temporary memorial, Tribute in Light, costs hundreds of thousands of dollars a month to maintain, Mr. Bloomberg said, adding that the agreement with the residents of Battery Park City limits its glow to about a month. (New York Times)

West Street and Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel Reopened - Mar 30, 2002
The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and West Street fully reopened for the first time since Sept. 11. Mayor Bloomberg said the city's ban on single-occupancy cars between 6 and 10 a.m. will be in effect for the tunnel - as well as a new, high-occupancy vehicle lane for Manhattan-bound drivers, stretching from the Verrazano Bridge to the Gowanus Expressway into the tunnel. (New York Post)

Rebuilding Authority Opens Space For Victims' Families To Oversee Ground Zero - Mar 30, 2002
The city-state agency overseeing Ground Zero rebuilding yesterday turned over part of its office space at One Liberty Plaza near Ground Zero as a private viewing room where victims' families can look at the entire site. (New York Post)

Judge Rules That Man's Public Praise of World Trade Center Attack Not Protected By Free Speech - Mar 30, 2002
The First Amendment right to free speech does not protect a group of men who, on Sept. 15, allegedly stood shouting in Times Square that "more cops and firemen should have died" in the World Trade Center collapse. The remarks, which cops said were yelled directly in the faces of pedestrians, "were plainly intended to incite the crowd to violence, and not simply to express a point of view," Manhattan Criminal Court Judge William Harrington wrote in a decision made public yesterday. (New York Post)

Union Square Subway Station Host To A Memorial - Mar 30, 2002
Erected this month by the Manhattan-based nonprofit group ArtAid was a 30-foot long memorial to September 11 victims. There are more than 2,800 names of those killed in the World Trade Center attacks listed in the Vietnam Memorial-like tribute. Beyond memorializing the missing, the tribute invites relatives and friends of the victims to sign their names and leave personal messages. (New York Daily News)

Tent For Ground Zero Workers Will Remain Open - Mar 30, 2002
A giant tent where Ground Zero workers can find respite will remain open a bit longer instead of the site reverting to a parking lot, Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday. The 35,000-square-foot tent at West and Vesey Sts. was to close because the Battery Park City Authority wanted to reclaim the land as a pay parking lot for reopening businesses. The tent, where workers can eat and take hot showers, is run by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Following an outcry at reports the tent would be closed, officials said it would stay open several more weeks, or possibly a month. (New York Daily News)

Good Friday March Leads To Ground Zero - Mar 30, 2002
More than 1,500 people walked from St. James Cathedral in Brooklyn across the Brooklyn Bridge to a church near Ground Zero. In a spiritual trek known to the faithful as "The Way of the Cross," the throng paused four times to reflect on the various stages of Jesus' suffering and death described in the Bible. (New York Daily News)

Environmental Protection Agency Accused of Neglect in 9/11 Cleanup - Mar 29, 2002
A watchdog for the Environmental Protection Agency has accused the agency of neglecting its responsibility and urged a cleanup of buildings contaminated by World Trade Center debris. "EPA has abandoned its responsibility for cleaning up buildings [both inside and out] that are contaminated, or that are being recontaminated, as a result of the uncontrolled chemical releases from the World Trade Center terrorist attacks," Ombudsman Robert Martin wrote in a March 27 letter to Jane Kenny, head of the agency's New York region. (New York Daily News)

Undocumented Immigrant Mexican Families Grieve Relatives Lost on September 11 - Mar 29, 2002
They still can't definitively prove their loved ones worked at the World Trade Center or even lived in New York City, but at least two dozen families -- mostly from Mexico -- say they're grieving over the loss of a relative on Sept. 11. All of these victims were in the U.S. illegally and had been working off the books in or around the Trade Center, their families said. (New York Daily News)

Towers Withstood Impact, but Fell to Fire, Report Says - Mar 29, 2002
A draft of a study by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Society of Civil Engineers shows that the towers survived the initial impacts of the planes, but eventually collapsed due to the effect of the fire and heat on the steel support structures. Under normal circumstances, fire suppression systems are designed to allow a high-rise blaze to burn itself out before the building collapses. But the report concludes that there were across-the-board failures in the towers' fire suppression systems. (New York Times)

Performance Artist Discusses His Tribute In Light - Mar 29, 2002
Paul Marantz, the illumination wizard behind the 88 mega-bulbs that form the Tribute In Light, talks about his feelings and thoughts about his popular interim memorial. He took no fee for the project and says, "It's clear that this idea is owned by everybody." (New York Times)

Survey Reveals New Yorkers Support Keeping Tribute In Light Past End Date - Mar 29, 2002
Quinnipiac University released a poll yesterday showing that 39 percent of 1,038 registered voters in the city feel the Tribute in Light should stay on until a permanent memorial is built and that 36 percent feel the lights themselves should be permanent. Twenty percent feel the lights should be turned off April 13, as planned. And that is what will happen, said Kent L. Barwick, president of the Municipal Art Society, the chief sponsor of the project, in part because it was approved by various community groups, government agencies and victims' family members as a brief, finite gesture. (New York Times)

Legal Firm Assisting Victims' Families Asking For Ten Percent Of Any Awards - Mar 29, 2002
Kreindler & Kreindler, a private law firm helping victims' families secure awards from the federal Victims Compensation Fund, is charging families 10 percent of any award they will eventually receive from the fund even though free legal representation is available to the widows elsewhere. (New York Times)

A Wave Of New Yorkers Make Downtown Their New Home - Mar 28, 2002
Just six months ago, residents of the area surrounding the World Trade Center evacuated apartments that were without water, electricity or telephone service. The occupancy rate in the Battery Park City complex, which has 6,400 apartments, fell to 60 percent, from near capacity. But now a new cohort of New Yorkers is starting to move in. Some are drawn by the promise of bargain apartments, others by the gaping wound left by the attacks. (New York Times)

City Official Who Coordinated WTC Emergency Operations Quits - Mar 28, 2002
Richard Sheirer stepped down as head of the city's Office of Emergency Management on Thursday. In the initial hours, he coordinated evacuations, rescues and triage, called for harbor and air protection, and shut down the streets of lower Manhattan. And in the six months since, Sheirer has directed a massive recovery and cleanup operation at the site, which has progressed far more quickly and economically than anyone predicted. (Newsday)

September 11 Victims' Families Sought To Aid Prosecutors In Getting Death Penalty - Mar 28, 2002
Justice Department officials want the relatives of those killed and to those injured in the World Trade Center disaster last Sept. 11 to put their emotions to practical use and to help win the death penalty for a suspect charged in the attacks. Officials are interviewing hundreds of people to find 30 individual stories that illustrate the impact of the losses and help prosecutors get a death sentence against Zacarias Moussaoui, who has been charged with conspiracy in the attacks and is scheduled for trial this fall in Alexandria, Virginia. (New York Times)

Manhattan Hotels Coming Back On A Slow Rebound - Mar 28, 2002
The number of hotel rooms occupied in Manhattan was at its lowest level in seven years this January. But, despite dire predictions after the World Trade Center attack, some numbers are giving hope to those in the industry. The average occupancy rate in February 2002, at 74 percent, was only 1 percentage point lower than it was in February 2001, according to HotelRevMax, a research firm. Other analysts have slightly less rosy numbers, but none suggest the doom-and-gloom scenarios of late last year predicting that occupancy would be down 10 to 15 percentage points. (New York Times)

New Study Finds Thousands in Manhattan in Need Of Psychiatric Treatment After September 11 - Mar 28, 2002
In the aftermath of the World Trade Center collapse, tens of thousands of Manhattan residents suffered emotional difficulties severe enough to warrant psychiatric treatment, according to a report in the new issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, out today. The study, a random telephone survey of 1,008 adults living below 110th Street, is the first to appear in a peer-reviewed journal. The overall rates of post-traumatic stress and depression found in the study were two to three times as high as those normally found in any given year, the researchers said. (New York Times)

Engineering Organization Suggests Building Skyscrapers Shorter - Mar 28, 2002
Whatever is rebuilt on the World Trade Center site should be no more than 50 or 60 stories tall, according to a new study by the nation's leading engineering organization. The study, by the Construction Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers, also recommends that all buildings at the site be designed to accommodate mass evacuations. In addition,biological and chemical attacks top the list of threats that the new buildings must protect against. (New York Times)

Liberty Zone Bonds Could Build New Apartment Buildings in Battery Park City - Mar 27, 2002
Officials at Battery Park City say Liberty Zone bonds created after Sept. 11 could help spur the development of seven new residential buildings with up to 3,000 apartments at the riverside complex. There are seven empty lots at Battery Park City zoned for residential use -- with the capacity to add a total of some 3,000 apartments to the complex's existing inventory of 6,400 units. (New York Post)

Destruction of World Trade Center Leads To Decrease in Summer Electricity Burden - Mar 27, 2002
The destruction of the World Trade Center, among other factors, eased New York City’s demand for electrical power enough so that no power crisis is expected this summer, a state power official said today. (Associated Press)

Boxing Match To Raise Funds For 9/11 Victims' Families - Mar 27, 2002
The organizers of Champions and Heroes ...A Corporate Night at the Fights hope to raise $100,000 for police and firefighters' widows and children. At $500 a ticket for dinner and nine fights at the New York Sheraton Hotel and Towers, the event is an upscale version of the fund-raisers usually organized by the NYPD Boxing Association. (New York Daily News)

Tent for Food and Showers Used By Ground Zero Workers To Be Replaced With Parking Lot - Mar 27, 2002
A huge tent where Ground Zero workers can eat and take hot showers is being dismantled because the Battery Park City Authority wants to reclaim the land as a pay parking lot for reopening businesses. The 35,000-square-foot tent at West and Vesey Sts. -- nicknamed the Taj Mahal by recovery workers -- will close completely on April 14 unless the authority relents, officials said. (New York Daily News)

40,000 Kennedy Photo Negatives Missing After Attack - Mar 27, 2002
Tucked inside several manila envelopes in a safety-deposit box at 5 World Trade Center were some 40,000 negatives of John F. Kennedy taken by Jacques Lowe, one of his personal photographers. Chase all but confirmed that they were destroyed in a series of letters to Lowe's daughter, Thomasina Lowe, dating to Sept. 19. However, after investigating the remains of the safe where the pictures were stored, it is still unclear whether the pictures were destroyed or are instead missing. (New York Times)

Years of Work Underground Before Steel Reaches Skyward - Mar 27, 2002
Nothing will be built above ground for several years at the site of the World Trade Center because of the extensive underground construction that must be completed first, the chairman of the group overseeing the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan said yesterday. Corporation officials also said yesterday that they will lay out details of major components of their building proposals in a yearlong series of publications beginning in May. Those publications will focus on individual subjects, like transportation, residential and commercial development, and the attraction of arts and cultural institutions. (New York Times)

Rebuilding Head John Whitehead Says Consensus Emerging, Supports Biotech Downtown - Mar 26, 2002
Speaking Tuesday at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan, head of the rebuilding authority John Whitehead said there is general agreement that the two 110-story towers destroyed on Sept. 11 should not be duplicated but should be replaced by smaller, mixed-use buildings. However, Whitehead would not answer specific questions about plans for the site. The head of Lower Manhattan’s rebuilding effort also threw his support behind a downtown bio-technology hub proposed by the New York City Partnership and a coalition of the city’s leading medical institutions. (Newsday)

First Day of Expanded Ferry Service Encourages Increase in Ridership - Mar 26, 2002
More-frequent ferry trips from New Jersey, meant to attract thousands of new commuters, drew about 500 more riders yesterday morning in the first day of the expanded service. (New York Post)

Broadway Officials Donate $1 Million To City - Mar 26, 2002
In a surprise announcement, Broadway officials said they were donating to the city a $1 million profit from the $2.5 million in tickets that the city bought to prop up several Broadway shows after the World Trade Center attacks. Mayor Bloomberg quickly re-allocated the windfall to several nonprofit organizations that help fund small arts and education programs. (New York Post)

University Groups Propose Developing Biotech Industry in Lower Manhattan - Mar 26, 2002
Nine university executives sent a letter to Lower Manhattan Development Corp. Chairman John Whitehead last month, asking for help in attracting biotech firms to the World Trade Center area in a bid to help boost the downtown economy. The city's numerous universities and medical schools give it an edge in attracting and spawning biotech businesses, said the group. (New York Post)

Rebuilding Head John Whitehead Speaks At Business Forum - Mar 26, 2002
Speaking at a Crain's New York Business breakfast forum on Tuesday, Mr. Whitehead gave an update on rebuilding. He acknowledged that the rebuilding of 7 World Trade Center should begin as soon as possible, because construction must start this year on a Con Ed substation on the lower floors of the building to ensure that lower Manhattan has enough power in the summer of 2003. He also said that he expects his agency to have the major components of a plan for rebuilding downtown completed in June. (Crain's New York Business)

Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports To Split $5 Million in Federal Aid - Mar 26, 2002
Kennedy and LaGuardia airports will receive more than $5 million from the federal government to cover costs incurred as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The U.S. Department of Transportation will reimburse $2,275,000 to LaGuardia Airport and $2.9 million to Kennedy. The funds will be allocated to the Port Authority, which manages the airports. (New York Daily News)

Recovery Workers Using Global Positioning Satellite Technology To Locate Human Remains - Mar 26, 2002
Using global positioning technology, the Fire Department has created a detailed and gruesome index of exactly where nearly 4,000 body parts, personal belongings and pieces of firefighting equipment have been found at Ground Zero. The data is expected to be used for law enforcement and engineering investigations, identification by the medical examiner's office and for families who want to know where their loved ones were found. A visual depiction of how it works is presented as well. (New York Daily News)

Chapel Near World Trade Center Site To Remain Open - Mar 26, 2002
The leaders of St. Paul's Chapel in Lower Manhattan, which has served as a haven for rescue workers at ground zero since September, said yesterday that they had decided to keep it open until the excavation of the World Trade Center site was completed. The Episcopal chapel was going to be closed for a cleaning after Easter Sunday services, but chapel officials announced last night that it would continue to provide food, rest and counseling to the workers until the end of May. (New York Times)

Fire Department Has Pinpointed 700 New Human Remains - Mar 26, 2002
The effort to find remains at Ground Zero has proven especially productive in the last three weeks, as Fire Department searchers mapped more than 700 new discoveries. In all, 3,069 remains have been cataloged during the cleanup, and searchers classified about 600 as remains of firefighters or police officers based on bits of clothing or equipment. The Times has a map of the discovered remains on its site. (New York Times)

Bloomberg Defends Whitehead After Fundraiser Flap - Mar 25, 2002
Mayor Bloomberg yesterday defended John Whitehead, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., who was forced to drop out as headliner of a GOP fund-raiser. Bloomberg said yesterday the suggestion that Whitehead's role as the event's honoree had business and real-estate leaders feeling pressured to make donations to the fund-raiser was "laughable." (New York Post)

Rebuilding Authority Head Pulls Out Of Republican Party Fundraiser - Mar 24, 2002
Lower Manhattan Development Corp. chairman John Whitehead pulled out of a fundraiser after questions about the appropriateness of his appearance. Whitehead's role as an honoree at a Republican party fundraiser - at a time when his agency is set to award lucrative contracts and approve rebuilding plans - had business and real-estate leaders feeling pressured to make donations to the fund-raiser. Democrats were also voiced concern about the Republicans using Whitehead to play politics. (New York Post)

Twenty More Bodies Recovered From Ground Zero - Mar 24, 2002
Ground Zero rescue workers recovered 20 more bodies late Friday night and Saturday, bringing to at least 73 the number of remains found in the rubble of the World Trade Center this month. The bodies included nine firefighters, four Port Authority civilian employees, one Port Authority cop, one Emergency Medical Service worker, one court officer and four civilians. (New York Daily News)

Tourism Promoters For New York Cite September 11 To Attract Visitors - Mar 24, 2002
The destruction of the World Trade Center has emerged as a powerful selling point for New York City, invoked again and again over the last six months to make the case that big events like the Super Bowl, the Grammy Awards ceremony and a proposed joint meeting of Congress all belong in New York. The case being made is striking in its appeal, in part, to sympathy for the purpose of drumming up tourist business. It appears to link notions of patriotism and civic duty to things like hotel bookings. (New York Times)

As Chapel Closes For Cleaning, Workers Miss A Sanctuary From Ground Zero - Mar 24, 2002
When St. Paul's Chapel closes its doors after the Easter sunrise service for an interior and exterior cleaning, the recovery workers who have relied on it for warm meals, quiet reflection and a place to sleep are not sure where they will go. The cleaning, which is expected to last a month and cost several hundred thousand dollars, is necessary to reopen the church to its congegration and visitors. (New York Times)

$1 Billion in Federal Aid to Help Cover City for Ground Zero Liability - Mar 24, 2002
The Bush administration wants to provide up to $1 billion to shield New York City and scores of contractors against lawsuits stemming from the World Trade Center cleanup. For months, insurers have refused to provide liability coverage to the city and contracting companies working there, arguing that the cleanup is far too big and the risk associated with it too hard to measure. New York officials contend that the infusion of cash would enable the city to pay the sort of sky-high premiums that could persuade insurers to assume the risk of providing liability coverage. (New York Times)

Rebuilding Authority Head To Appear At Republican Fundraiser - Mar 23, 2002
Lower Manhattan Development Corp. boss John Whitehead is lending his name to a big-bucks Republican fund-raiser next month. Whitehead's starring role in the gala event with Gov. Pataki has some businessmen quaking over whether they'll have to pony up donations if they want to get lucrative contracts related to the reconstruction of downtown. A prominent business leader who received an invitation said Whitehead's presence at the fund-raiser -- and the use of his name to promote the event -- was a "clear signal" to would-be World Trade Center-area contractors, consultants and developers that a contribution was expected. (New York Post)

Senator Schumer Calls For Funds For Downtown Rebuilding To Be Spread Around City - Mar 23, 2002
Sen. Charles Schumer wants funds earmarked for lower Manhattan groups to be spread to nonprofits all over the city - including the Bronx Zoo, according to The New York Post. Schumer has been talking with Lower Manhattan Development Corp. chairman John Whitehead, as well as Mayor Bloomberg, about allocating funds slated for nonprofit groups near Ground Zero to the five boroughs. (New York Post)

Terminal at LaGuardia Airport Evacuated After Security Mishap - Mar 23, 2002
The Delta terminal at LaGuardia Airport was evacuated Friday after two paramedics carrying an ill passenger were not screened while going through security. Hundreds of Delta and Northwest passengers were stranded in the main check-in area for about 90 minutes as police searched the terminal. Several planes that had been taxiing for takeoff were called, and passengers were forced to be rechecked. Flights later resumed as normal. (Newsday)

120 Ground Zero Firefighters Suffering Breathing Problems - Mar 23, 2002
As many as 120 city firefighters are suffering from moderate to severe breathing problems likely caused by working at Ground Zero, according to a top FDNY medical expert, the Daily News reported. Of the 10,000 pulmonary tests administered after Sept. 11, about 1 percent had moderate to severe changes in their lung capacity and can no longer perform the rigorous job of firefighting. (New York Daily News)

New York City Colleges Cite September 11 For Drop in Number of Applications - Mar 22, 2002
While applications at many selective colleges around the country grew this year, New York University, Columbia and Barnard College all experienced declines, with some admissions officials blaming Sept. 11 jitters by families uneasy about sending their children to New York City. (New York Times)

Rebuilding of Winter Garden Near Ground Zero Begins - Mar 22, 2002
The $50 million renovation of the 10-story Winter Garden, in particular its shattered clear dome, has begun. Everything from the entire floor to the 2,000 skylight panes is being replaced. (New York Times)

23 Accused of Taking Money Meant for Sept. 11 Victims - Mar 22, 2002
Officials announced the arrest of 23 people accused of falsely claiming their relatives had died in the terrorist attacks. All told, 15 of them successfully obtained $740,465 from charities and government agencies, the authorities said. The defendants filed false death certificates for people they said were spouses, children, nieces, nephews and siblings and received amounts from $1,000 to $272,800 from reilef agencies. (New York Times)

Identification of World Trade Center Victims By DNA Tests To Be Completed By Next February - Mar 21, 2002
The identification through DNA testing of the thousands of pieces of human remains collected from the World Trade Center will be largely finished by next February, the medical examiner’s office said yesterday. The medical examiner, Dr. Charles Hirsch, told victims’ relatives at a meeting Monday he expects DNA testing to be completed eight months after all remains have been recovered from the trade center rubble. The recovery work is due to finish in May. Technicians have already made 161 identifications solely on the basis of a DNA match. (New York Post)

Ground Zero Contractor Excluded From Federal Contracting - Mar 21, 2002
AMEC Construction Management Inc. of New York, a construction company working at Ground Zero, has been placed on a list of companies suspended from obtaining federal construction contracts, officials said yesterday. Under normal contracting process, the city comptroller's office performs a background check on a company that bids. The Giuliani administration hired the company on an emergency basis without competitive bidding due to the urgency of the situation. (Newsday)

Standards for Measuring Asbestos Used By Federal Officials Not Meant To Determine Health Risks, Says Scientist - Mar 21, 2002
In the days after Sept. 11, EPA officials used standards to determine dangerous asbestos contamination that were never intended to measure health risks, according to a new 43-page memo by a dissident Environmental Protection Agency scientist. The memo raises new allegations that the standards the EPA publicized as benchmarks for judging asbestos contamination in both dust and air were intended only to measure the presence of asbestos in building materials. (New York Daily News)

Large Wall Street Companies Offered Grants for Staying Put - Mar 21, 2002
The state and city have begun to send letters offering the first of dozens of multimillion-dollar federal grants to some of the most important financial companies in the world, in an effort to keep jobs in Lower Manhattan or lure them there. The money is part of $500 million in federal aid intended to protect the vibrancy of the city's historic financial district. While cash incentives to stay in New York are not new, these new grants have unusual characteristics. First, the national spotlight after Sept. 11 means that this will be more public, as opposed to the usual hush- hush business of economic incentives. Also, these grants are discretionary, and the criteria are not crystal clear. (New York Times)

Parents, Residents Protest WTC Dumping Operation - Mar 20, 2002
Dozens of students, parents and teachers gathered today to protest World Trade Center debris-hauling barges moored near their schools. The protesters said they are concerned about dust from the debris-hauling operation, and diesel fumes from trucks and other heavy equipment. (Associated Press)

City Council Proposes Plan To Help Small Businesses Downtown - Mar 20, 2002
City Council leaders argued yesterday that businesses with fewer than 10 employees are being automatically shut out from receiving the federal grants and rent subsidies being offered to larger employers through the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and other agencies. They called for giving the smaller businesses rent subsidies of up to $5,000 a month for six months if they commit to staying in lower Manhattan. The City Council also called for grants of up to $50,000 for each of several hundred mom-and-pop businesses that were in the destroyed World Trade Center. (New York Daily News)

Officials Defend Plan To End 24-Hour Fighter Jet Patrols - Mar 20, 2002
The Air Force secretary and the White House spokesman defended plans today to reduce combat flights over American cities and end round-the-clock fighter patrols over New York, saying the steps were justified by the increased security at airports and aboard jetliners. Neither official discussed details of how or when the patrols will be reduced, but both said much had changed in airline security since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. (New York Times)

While Some Civic Groups Seek Streamlined Environmental Review, Others Wary of Speed - Mar 19, 2002
A leading civic group seeking to give the public a voice in the rebuilding process, the Civic Alliance, is on the verge of supporting fast-track redevelopment via accelerating the pace of legal appeals. But reactions from urban planners, lawyers and other community-oriented members of the Civic Alliance range from anxious to furious. Many are concerned about the dangerous precedent for decreased public input and glossing over environmental review. (City Limits)

Federal Government Set To Extend September 11 Special Unemployment Benefits - Mar 19, 2002
The White House today is set to grant a 13-week extension of unemployment benefits to thousands of New Yorkers who may have lost out due to 9/11. The measure - which could then be approved by the Senate later this week - applies only to people who don't qualify for regular unemployment compensation, such as someone who was only working for a few days when the Sept. 11 disaster struck. (New York Post)

Police Chief and City Council Press for More Aid From Feds For Police Overtime - Mar 19, 2002
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly got a boost from the City Council yesterday in his quest to get the feds to reimburse the NYPD for $100 million in post-Sept. 11-related police overtime. The $100 million Kelly wants would be in addition to $197 million in terror attack-related NYPD overtime costs that were picked up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency before a November 24 cutoff date the agency had established. Members of the committee assured Kelly they intend to press federal officials for the unpaid overtime reimbursements. (New York Daily News)

DNA Evidence Identifies September 11 Victim - Mar 19, 2002
The remains of a passenger aboard one of the hijacked jets that crashed into the World Trade Center has been identified through DNA, officials revealed yesterday. It was the first time DNA has been able to determine the identity of any of the victims aboard the two doomed planes. The city medical examiner's office said it had determined that a hand found in the rubble at Ground Zero belongs to James Trentini -- a retired Massachusetts school teacher aboard American Flight 11, family members said. (New York Daily News)

New York Officials Say Ending Jet Patrols Puts City at Risk - Mar 19, 2002
The Bush administration's decision to halt 24-hour fighter jet patrols over New York City came under intense criticism today from New York lawmakers, who raised concerns about the city's security. In addition, these lawmakers, all Democrats, questioned why the Bush administration would suspend round- the-clock patrols over New York when it plans to continue such patrols over Washington. (New York Times)

State Legislature Bill Proposes Videoconferencing for Lawmakers - Mar 18, 2002
Worried by the possibility of another 9/11-style emergency, the state Legislature may allow lawmakers to hold sessions by video conferencing. Under a proposed bill, the governor could invoke video meetings if the state is facing a disaster and significant numbers of legislators can't get to Albany. (New York Post)

As Enrollment Plummets At Downtown School, Some Try Homeschooling - Mar 18, 2002
With many parents and students still concerned about air quality near Ground Zero, enrollment at Public School 89, located in Battery Park City, plummeted after the terrorist attacks to 235 from 415. Board officials said most of the students who left went to other schools, public and private. Three families have even hired a private tutor to homeschool their three boys. (New York Daily News)

Return of WTC Cars Halted by EPA - Mar 18, 2002
Concerns about asbestos-tainted dust have slammed the brakes on the city's plan to return hundreds of cars towed from streets around the World Trade Center to their owners. The city planned to start giving back the dust-covered vehicles today. But a report about the dangerous coating of asbestos on the cars prompted federal environmental officials to step in. Many of the cars have little body damage. (New York Daily News)

24-Hour Fighter Jet Patrols Over New York To End - Mar 18, 2002
The Bush administration has decided to stop round-the-clock patrols by fighter jets over New York and to reduce intermittent combat flights over other major American cities, senior defense officials said. They said stricter airport security, stronger cockpit doors and more federal marshals on flights had sufficiently reduced the threat of attacks to allow the military to scale back patrols. (New York Times)

After Many Volunteers Have Left, Some Feel Compelled To Stay - Mar 18, 2002
Most of the far-flung volunteers who have come from all over the country to Ground Zero have returned home. And others have arrived to relieve them. But one of the striking aspects of the magnetism of ground zero and the impulses it has ignited is that a number of the itinerant do-gooders are still here, months after they arrived. Some intend never to leave. (New York Times)

Renewed Feelings Of Loss And Urgency At Ground Zero As Cleanup Nears Completion - Mar 17, 2002
With more bodies being found in a newly uncovered area of Ground Zero, the feeling of urgency to recover the bodies has returned to the site, something not felt since the early days of the cleanup. At the same time, a feeling of loss hangs over the workers, and not just for their fallen brothers found in the site. With the amount of dirt and rubble rapidly diminishing, workers who have developed a kinship with their recovery team, many having worked seven days a week since September, are having a hard time letting go. (New York Times)

Museum Looking For Home For World Trade Center Photo Exhibit - Mar 17, 2002
A gripping photo exhibit of the devastated World Trade Center by a renowned New York photographer could skip the city because of a dispute involving the Museum of the City of New York. The exhibit, originally slated to be held at the Tweed Courthouse, is now uncertain because Mayor Bloomberg cast doubt recently on the move to the courthouse as a result of the city's financial crisis. (New York Daily News)

Chapel Near Ground Zero To Be Cleaned for Reopening - Mar 17, 2002
St. Paul's Chapel, which has served as a 24-hour sanctuary for World Trade Center rescue workers since Sept. 11, will be temporarily shut so it can be thoroughly cleaned and then reopened to the public, church officials said yesterday. The cleanup will begin after Easter, according to the church's Web site. St. Paul's expects to resume daily prayer services for the public in May. (New York Daily News)

Promotions Approved By Judge For Police Unit Decimated By 9/11 - Mar 16, 2002
A judge ruled yesterday that the Police Department has the right to reward members of its 9/11-decimated elite Emergency Service Unit with promotions. The city's police union had sued to block the promotions of the 15 ESU officers to detective specialist on grounds that the action by violated the union's collective-bargaining agreement. (New York Post)

Lower Manhattan Residents Seek Air Quality Testing - Mar 15, 2002
People in Battery Park City yesterday submitted a $15 million proposal asking that the city test every building and apartment there for toxins. The proposal by the Lower Manhattan Tenants Coalition calls for testing all 6,814 residential units. Dr. James Miller of the city Department of Health said the city would consider the report. (New York Daily News)

Mayor: Expect Many Lawsuits Over Asbestos At The World Trade Center - Mar 15, 2002
Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday that the city had worked out a plan with the federal government to protect the city from potentially huge legal claims as part of the $21.3 billion aid package promised last week by President Bush. Up till now, most private insurers have refused to underwrite liability coverage for the city, citing the huge risks and a host of environmental unknowns at the site. The Mayor also remarked that there could be many impending lawsuits in coming years over asbestos at the site. (New York Daily News)

More Ferry Service Announced For Downtown - Mar 15, 2002
Ferry service between Manhattan and New Jersey will be expanded later this month, state and local officials announced yesterday, citing increased demand stemming from the loss of PATH service downtown since Sept. 11. Extra ferries will run until PATH service is restored to Lower Manhattan, scheduled for late next year, and could serve about 63,000 passengers a day. (New York Times)

Imagine New York Workshops To Begin Involving Average Citizens in Rebuilding This Week - Mar 14, 2002
“Imagine New York,” an innovative project that could give all New Yorkers a chance to speak their minds about the rebuilding of downtown, kicks off with their first workshop this Thursday. Leaders hope that through written and artistic activities in the small sessions, common themes will begin to emerge. Those ideas can then be forwarded to decision makers. (Newsday)

Police Cracking Down On Illegal Parking Near Ground Zero - Mar 14, 2002
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday that police have begun a new parking enforcement campaign in the streets around Ground Zero to ease traffic congestion. But the crackdown has irritated some Ground Zero workers, who are suddenly receiving tickets after parking wherever they could ever since Sept. 11. (Newsday)

Utilities Set For A Big Dig Downtown To Repair Infrastructure - Mar 14, 2002
In what may very well be the largest utility reconstruction project in history, workers from Con Edison, Verizon and several additional utilities are digging up 26 miles of roadway to repair the infrastructure beneath street level downtown. They are removing rocks and other debris, some from the trade center and some from more than 100 years of accumulation, checking out the systems, making repairs and then installing new conduits and piping. (New York Times)

As Jets Get Bigger, No Towers Will Be Able To Withstand Future Attacks - Mar 14, 2002
Speaking at a talk at the New-York Historical Society, the chief structural engineer for the trade center project said last night that as commercial jets grow larger, faster and carry ever-greater amounts of fuel, no skyscraper can be built to withstand a terrorist attack of the kind that destroyed the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, "We have to conclude, we cannot fail to conclude, that it's not practical to design buildings as we know them -- buildings that we'd want to live and work in -- to resist the impact of these jet aircraft," said the engineer, Leslie E. Robertson. (New York Times)

Bloomberg Visits Washington To Talk About Federal Aid - Mar 14, 2002
The mayor visited Washington D.C., although he says his intent was not to make any requests beyond the $21.5 billion that President Bush recently said he would provide New York to help it rebuild. Rather, he said, he wanted to assure top lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the money Washington sends to New York "will be well spent." Congressional leaders welcomed the mayor's visit and made vague pledges to continue helping the city through difficult times. But Mr. Bloomberg did not request or receive any firm commitments beyond those general reassurances. (New York Times)

Many Victims Unable To Get Assistance Six Months After Attacks - Mar 13, 2002
The New York Immigration Coalition anounced this week that six months after the attacks of September 11, many low-wage immigrant workers and family members of victims are hindered in their attempts to access relief programs. The obstacles include geographic restrictions, language barriers, and confusion on eligibility due to immigration status restrictions on certain relief programs. The coalition called for a a late filing process and an emergency eviction and utility cut-off prevention program to help those in need. (Gotham Gazette)

Ferry Service To Expand, Says State Top Economic Official - Mar 13, 2002
City and state officials will announce a plan this week to stimulate redevelopment in downtown Manhattan by increasing ferry service, said Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, on Tuesday. Eventually, Gargano said, the rebirth of Lower Manhattan could be boosted by a tenfold increase in ferry service. (Newsday)

Federal Agency on Workplace Safety To Study Evacuation of World Trade Center - Mar 13, 2002
Federal workplace safety officials will study the Sept. 11 evacuation of the World Trade Center, officials said Tuesday. Over the past six months, investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have received about 100 formal complaints from survivors and relatives of the lost regarding the evacuation. In the six months since Sept. 11, it has emerged that most of the people in offices below the impact zones escaped. But some survivors described confusion in navigating escape routes, conflicting announcements, and locked or jammed doors. (Newsday)

Head of Rebuilding Authority Pushes for Quick Start for 7 World Trade Center - Mar 13, 2002
A new 7 World Trade Center should rise from Ground Zero as soon as possible now that major differences that threatened the project have been overcome, lower Manhattan's rebuilding czar John Whitehead said yesterday. Whitehead said speed is a concern with 7 WTC because the building will house an electrical substation needed to ensure adequate power supplies by the summer of 2003. (New York Post)

Fifteen Bodies Recovered From Ground Zero - Mar 13, 2002
The discovery of a firefighter's boot touched off a painstaking, day-long dig at Ground Zero yesterday that led to the recovery of 15 bodies — 13 of them firefighters. It was the biggest single-day body find in months — and it gave grieving families hope that more bodies will be found. (New York Daily News)

Another Ted Rall Cartoon Draws Anger, This Time From Firefighters - Mar 13, 2002
The cartoonist who sparked outrage with a swipe at World Trade Center "terror widows" has a new target — the city's Bravest. Ted Rall's latest offering offends too. A new strip by Ted Rall depicts firefighters surrounded by cash, wearing fur coats and riding to fires in limousines. (New York Daily News)

Tribute in Light May Last Longer Than A Month - Mar 13, 2002
The powerful "Tribute in Light" -- the two columns of light evoking the fallen World Trade Center -- may have a life beyond its one-month stand. Although many officials said the beams of light were not a viable option as a permanent memorial, they allowed that they might be brought back on a case-by-case basis, including possibly for the one-year anniversary on September 11 of this year. The mayor said he will defer to the judgment of the Municipal Art Society. (New York Daily News)

Guidelines for Downtown Rebuilding To Come Next Month - Mar 13, 2002
The group overseeing the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan expects to issue guidelines for the redevelopment project next month and offer detailed plans about many of its proposed projects by June, the group's chairman said yesterday. While not giving details, John Whitehead did acknowledge that there is an "emerging consensus" about several ideas, including restoring at least part of the street grid through the World Trade Center site, converting West Street to a tunnel, and building a transportation hub in Lower Manhattan that might include extensions of the Long Island Rail Road and the Metro-North Railroad. (New York Times)

Vacancy Rates Decreasing After Announcement of Grants Plan For Downtown Residents - Mar 12, 2002
A proposed $200 million grant program to attract new residents to Lower Manhattan and retain those who are already there has already begun to bear fruit, weeks before the program receives final approval and the final qualifications for the grants are clear. Vacancy rates have fallen noticeably and applications to rent apartments have jumped by several hundred, according to area landlords. The program, announced February 20 by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, would offer up to $12,000 over two years to people who sign leases or buy apartments below Canal Street and remain there for two years. (New York Times)

State Legislature Split on September 11 Remembrance - Mar 12, 2002
The State Assembly voted yesterday to make Sept. 11 a state holiday -- yet the State Senate passed a bill establishing a "Day of Remembrance" that would not give state workers a day off. Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R-Rensselaer) said making Sept. 11 a holiday in New York could cost the state between $20 million and $25 million. But Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) said a full holiday is appropriate to honor the victims and heroes of Sept. 11, and would cost substantially less than Bruno estimated. (New York Daily News)

Former Mayor Giuliani Praised at Memorial Ceremony - Mar 12, 2002
At a morning memorial in Battery Park, Giuliani received the sole standing ovation after Mayor Bloomberg introduced him as the personification of compassion and courage. Yesterday, he attended memorial services, stopped at St. Paul's Chapel to help read the names of victims and returned to the lower Manhattan school where he visited with Gov. Pataki and President Bush a few weeks after the attacks. (New York Daily News)

Memorials Mark Six-Month Anniversary of Attacks - Mar 12, 2002
Two memorials were unveiled yesterday in somber ceremonies. In the morning, Mayor Bloomberg led a ceremony with a moment of silence at 8:46 AM, the time the first plane hit the first tower, at Battery Park in front of the "Sphere" memorial. At the end of the day, the daughter of a Port Authority police officer flipped a switch and lit up the skies with the "Tribute in Light," a memorial of two light beams reaching into the sky only blocks from Ground Zero. (New York Times)

Best Viewing Spots for Tribute In Light - Mar 11, 2002
Gotham Gazette provides a list of the best viewing spots in each borough and New Jersey for seeing Tribute in Light, the interim memorial that opens tonight. Aside from the spots listed here, the Tribute in Light can also be seen anywhere from where the original Twin Towers could have been seen. (Gotham Gazette)

Schumer Urges $225 Million for Nonprofits - Mar 11, 2002
A $225 million plan to help dozens of local nonprofit organizations survive the impact of Sept. 11 was unveiled yesterday. The nonprofits range from such large institutions as the Bronx Zoo, which has lost $5.5 million in revenues, to smaller centers that provide food and nutrition, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said at a news conference held at another organization in jeopardy, the Downtown Athletic Club. (Newsday)

Clergy-Based Group To Help Black World Trade Center Victims - Mar 11, 2002
A group of black clergymen and churches will sponsor a program tonight to remember Sept. 11 and publicize a new organization, known as CUSH -- Churches United to Save and Heal -- to help African-Americans affected by the World Trade Center attack. The organization comprises about 600 pastors and congregations from all boroughs and New Jersey. They plan on providing counseling and other services. (New York Daily News)

Mental Health Experts Say Problems Still Abound Six Months Later - Mar 11, 2002
Mental health professionals across the country say the psychological fallout from Sept. 11 — affecting people with chronic psychiatric and addiction problems and people who had never experienced anything like the wrenching angst they are battling now — is strikingly pervasive. They say that they are seeing more serious problems now — and more evidence of a widespread anxiety — than they did in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, attributing it to a delayed reaction after the shock of the attacks wore off. (New York Times)

Memorial Ceremonies Around The City This Week - Mar 11, 2002
A listing of the dedications and moments of silence taking place this week. Starts with the tribute at Battery Park at 8:46 AM with the unveiling of "The Sphere," and includes the opening of the Tribute of Light at 6 PM in Battery Park City. (New York Times)

True Toll On Firefighters Still Untold - Mar 10, 2002
The toll on the New York Fire Department is staggering: 343 members; 91 vehicles; the chief of the department; a beloved chaplain; and 4,400 years of collective experience lost in the space of 100 minutes. The toll on the department has included medical leave for ground zero workers, hours of psychological counseling, and survivors guilt. Meanwhile, the department looks to rebuild itself. (New York Times)

World Trade Center Stamp To Be Unveiled - Mar 10, 2002
The U.S. Postal Service will unveil a special World Trade Center memorial stamp on Monday at a White House ceremony marking six months since the terrorist attacks on America. The special stamp will be worth 34 cents in postage but will cost 45 cents. The extra 11 cents will go to a fund set up by the Federal Emergency Management Administration to aid families of perished World Trade Center rescue workers. (New York Daily News)

Lower Manhattan Residents Doesn't Want Terrorism Trials Downtown - Mar 10, 2002
In a letter to the U.S. Office of Homeland Security, Manhattan Community Board 1, which consists of residents near the World Trade Center site, asked the feds to move likely upcoming terrorism trials to other locations. Two federal courthouses downtown have been the site of six major terrorism trials since the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. (New York Daily News)

Support Group Helping 9/11 Families With Coney Island Outing - Mar 10, 2002
Rich Fontaine and Mike McGovern, two longtime friends from Mill Basin, founded an organization called Helping the Heroes and a Web site — — to provide guidance and support for the families of the World Trade Center victims. Among their plans is a Coney Island outing at Astroland Park for the families to take place on March 24. Other outings are planned for the summer. (New York Daily News)

Poll Shows New Yorkers Find City Safe As Anywhere, Show Distrust Of Government Over Air Quality - Mar 10, 2002
A poll conducted by the Daily News and cable station NY1 revealed that 68% of New Yorkers feel the city is as safe or safer than any other place in America. 70% of those polled said they do not believe the Environmental Protection Agency or other government agencies' reports that the air quality around Ground Zero is safe. 59% of all New Yorkers — including 67% of those living or working downtown — say they suffered financial setbacks after the terror attacks. And 56% also admit that at some point after Sept. 11 they were racked by depression, sleeplessness, anxiety or nightmares. (New York Daily News)

Laura Bush Visits School Near Ground Zero - Mar 9, 2002
Keeping a promise she made in September, First Lady Laura Bush paid a visit to Public School 234 on Chambers St., two blocks from Ground Zero. She came to listen to the personal accounts of fifth-grade students who fled their school after the attack on the twin towers. (New York Daily News)

Solemn Service To Unveil Sculpture Memorial on March 11 - Mar 9, 2002
Monday's somber ceremony in Battery Park marking the six-month anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks will begin with a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. — the moment the first plane struck the World Trade Center. Surrounded by victims' relatives, Gov. Pataki and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani will make brief remarks. Then the Fire Department will conduct a ceremonial ringing of bells to commemorate the 2,820 innocent lives lost there that day, among them 343 members of the FDNY and 60 cops from the NYPD and the Port Authority. The 25-minute ceremony will end with a second moment of silence to mark the attack of the second hijacked plane. (New York Daily News)

Rebuilding Will Take 10 Years, Says Head of Rebuilding Authority - Mar 8, 2002
It will take at least a decade to rebuild the World Trade Center site, the head of the agency overseeing the redevelopment of lower Manhattan said yesterday. John Whitehead, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., also said his agency will issue broad guidelines next month on how the devastated 16-acre parcel should be revitalized. (New York Daily News)

Federal Aid for Victims' Families Officially Increased - Mar 8, 2002
Months of furious and often heartbreaking debate over the federal Sept. 11 victims' compensation fund ended yesterday with the announcement of final regulations and an average payout of about $1.85 million. In last-minute changes, fund administrators decided not to subtract personal pensions and retirement accounts, such as 401(k) plans, from fund payments. But other benefits, such as life insurance payouts, will be deducted from the awards. Payouts from the fund will total about $7 billion. (New York Daily News)

Silverstein Seeking Deal With Port Authority In Exchange For Smaller Building - Mar 8, 2002
Developer Larry Silverstein is negotiating with the Port Authority over changes in his lease for 7 World Trade Center, including the possibility of lower payments in exchange for erecting a smaller building that allows Greenwich Street to pass through the site. Silverstein is seeking some form of compensation for concessions he made in the design of 7 WTC to meet the demands of downtown residents and planners, sources told The New York Post. (New York Post)

More Than 100 Face 9/11 Fraud Investigations - Mar 8, 2002
More than 100 people are under investigation for allegedly scamming more than $1 million from charities set up to help victims of the Twin Towers attack. Investigators say they are poised to charge at least four dozen suspects with cashing in on the tragedy by falsely claiming they lost loved ones who never existed, were still alive or had died earlier, law enforcement sources said. (New York Post)

Bush Offers Details of Aid to New York Topping $20 Billion - Mar 8, 2002
President Bush declared that he was moving to fulfill his promise to give the city at least $20 billion to help rebuild from the attack on the World Trade Center. The president's decision, which seeks to provide $1.5 billion on top of his original $20 billion pledge, includes $2.7 billion in disaster relief for cleanup at the site paid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency; $1.8 billion to rebuild the subway and PATH lines that were destroyed in Lower Manhattan; $750 million to reconstruct Con Edison and Verizon facilities, a cost that was going to be passed on to customers; and $167 million to repair roads, like the West Side Highway. The Times provides a chart detailing the aid package. (New York Times)

Rebuilding Authority To Hold Closed Door Meeting With Wall Street Execs - Mar 7, 2002
An advisory committee of executives from top Wall Street corporations will meet in secret today with the state-city agency in charge of redeveloping lower Manhattan - drawing fire from downtown residents and good-government advocates alike. "It needs to be a more open process. I don't see what they have to hide," said Sudhir Jain, president of the Lower Manhattan Tenants Coalition. (New York Post)

Congressional Hearing Shows Problems With Disaster Investigation - Mar 7, 2002
A lack of clear authority and poor cooperation among government agencies has hampered engineering studies of the World Trade Center collapses, a congressional committee was told yesterday. Investigators complained of lack of access to the site and difficulties acquiring blueprints of the buildings that collapsed. Furthermore, no single agency stepped forward to perform a comprehensive collapse investigation until just last month. (Newsday)

September 11th Fund To Set Aside $250 Million for Future September 11 Needs - Mar 7, 2002
Administrators of the September 11th Fund, created by the United Way of New York City and the New York Community Trust, will set aside $250 million -- more than half its collected donations -- for future needs related to the terrorist attacks. The money will pay for counseling, job training, health care and other programs to help people and communities harmed Sept. 11, officials said yesterday. This is in contrast to the decision of the American Red Cross to reserve more than $200 million of its contributions for future terrorist attacks and other programs unrelated to the Sept. 11 tragedy. (New York Daily News)

Bloomberg Gives Six-Month Update On Lower Manhattan - Mar 7, 2002
All across lower Manhattan, roads are being repaved. Phone service is 90% restored. Seven out of 11 damaged subway stations have rumbled back to life. And perhaps most remarkably, the massive, seemingly endless pile of rubble that was once Ground Zero is now 83% gone. Nearly six months after terrorists ripped a hole in lower Manhattan, Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg outlined the city's recovery in a presentation yesterday clearly intended to underscore cooperation between different levels of government. (New York Daily News)

Governor Pataki To Share Power With Mayor on Rebuilding Authority - Mar 6, 2002
Gov. George E. Pataki said yesterday that he was ceding to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg equal control of the agency created last fall to oversee the rebuilding of downtown Manhattan. Bloomberg will be able to appoint three new members of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, bringing the total number to fourteen - seven appointed by Pataki, the other seven appointed by Giuliani and Bloomberg. (New York Times)

Visitors May Be Able To Touch Sculpture In Interim Memorial - Mar 6, 2002
Visitors to a temporary memorial will be allowed to touch part of a damaged spherical sculpture that survived the Sept. 11 terror attack, according to a plan under consideration by the city. The 15-foot-high Fritz Koenig sculpture "Sphere," which once stood in the plaza of the World Trade Center, will be the centerpiece of a new memorial in Battery Park. The memorial will be unveiled on Monday, the six-month anniversary of the attack. A low fence will surround the sculpture, and an opening on one side will let visitors touch the monument's bronze surface, the source said. (New York Post)

Relatives of Victims To Get More From Federal Government - Mar 6, 2002
Spouses and children of Sept. 11 victims will get more cash than they expected — an extra $50,000 per survivor — but less than they hoped for from the federal compensation fund, under final regulations to be announced tomorrow afternoon. The average family will receive about $1.7 million, $100,000 more than forecast previously. Payments for survivors' pain and suffering and loss of companionship are doubled to $100,000. However, life insurance payouts, Social Security payments to children, workers' compensation and federal death benefits for public employees will all be subtracted from awards, the sources said. (New York Daily News)

Editorial Cartoon Angers Widows - Mar 6, 2002
An editorial cartoon that ridicules widows of World Trade Center victims as greedy and shallow publicity hounds drew instant outrage last night from the grieving survivors. Ted Rall's drawing, "Terror Widows," abruptly yanked from The New York Times Web site yesterday, skewers the women as getting rich from charity aid and preening for TV cameras. The cartoon can be found at Ted Rall's web site. (New York Daily News)

In 2001, City Suffered Worst Job Loss In A Decade, Mostly Due To 9/11 - Mar 6, 2002
New York City lost 132,400 jobs last year, the steepest drop since 1991 and almost 36,000 more than originally estimated, according to the New York State Department of Labor. Private employment in the city fell by 3.8 percent in the last 12 months as opposed to 1.5 percent nationally. The job loss was largely due to the economic effects of the attack on the World Trade Center, but New York was feeling the impact of the national recession even before September 11. "As someone said, the economy was headed down and September 11 was like a shove in the back," James A. Parrott, chief economist at the Fiscal Policy Institute, told the New York Times. (New York Times)

Second Wave of Emotional Trauma Beginning To Hit New Yorkers - Mar 5, 2002
Nearly six months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, psychologists say a second wave of emotional trauma is hitting New Yorkers, and it may be tougher to treat than the first. After a lull in November and December, calls to employee-assistance programs and private counselors in the city have started up again. And while it was acceptable -- even desirable, in a way -- to confess to feelings of stress a few months ago, now revealing anxiety may be riskier and more difficult than immediately after the attacks. (Wall Street Journal)

FEMA Extends Aid Deadline - Mar 5, 2002
Individuals and businesses affected by the Sept. 11 attacks now have an extra six months to apply for federal aid, thanks to a deadline extension by recovery officials. The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Monday that applicants may submit requests for state and federal aid until Sept. 30. The deadline had been March 11. (Newsday)

Congress To Hold Hearings on World Trade Center Collapse - Mar 5, 2002
Questions about the engineering probe of the collapses will be the subject of a hearing tomorrow in Washington before the House Science Committee, chaired by Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, an upstate Republican. The probe's leader, engineer Gene Corley, is to testify, as are officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Institute for Standards and Technology. John Jay College professor Glenn Corbett said he will ask for backing of research into the evacuation and emergency response and argue for a formalized federal disaster probe process. (Newsday)

JFK Airport Among First To Get New Aviation Security - Mar 5, 2002
Federal officials began recruiting some 30,000 passenger and baggage screeners yesterday and announced that Kennedy Airport would be among the first to get the new aviation security workers. (New York Daily News)

Relief Agencies Overwhelmed By Response - Mar 5, 2002
Relief agencies were overwhelmed by donations and then requests for help in the weeks following September 11. The New York Times Neediest Case Fund released a report today with its findings about the distribution of relief funds, citing speed, organization, accountability, and creativity as key factors in getting the funds distributed in the best way possible. (New York Times)

Officials Say U.S. Should Have Shared Tip on Nuclear Threat - Mar 5, 2002
Officials from former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to Senators Hilary Clinton and Charles Schumer said yesterday that the federal government should have shared information with them and other local authorities about the threat of a nuclear bomb being smuggled into the city. Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday that he understood the need to evaluate the quality of the information before sharing it with the public. (New York Times)

New Rules In Store For Sept. 11 Federal Compensation Fund - Mar 5, 2002
The Bush administration is close to a decision on several changes in the Victims Compensation Fund that could result in scores of families' receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars more than the fund's original rules would have allowed. The new rules would open the fund to hundreds of additional rescue workers and World Trade Center employees who were injured in the attack, including those who suffered disabling lung ailments. In the most significant financial adjustment, the amount to spouses and children for noneconomic damages like loss of companionship would go to $100,000 from $50,000. (New York Times)

The Nuclear Threat To Manhattan: Can Another 9/11 Be Stopped? - Mar 4, 2002
A report from Time magazine details the nuclear threat to New York City last October that has been drawing reactions lately from local New York officials. The report says that terrorists were thought to have obtained a 10-kiloton nuclear weapon from the Russian arsenal and planned to smuggle it into New York City. While the threat was later deemed not credible, one official described the stress on intelligence officials by saying "It was brutal." (Time)

Focusing On The Tribute of Light - Mar 4, 2002
The Tribute of Light memorial will be made of 88 searchlights pointing at the sky. With a cost of $500,000, the idea from the memorial went from simple illustration in New York Times Magazine to reality within months, thanks to the help of the Municipal Art Society, financing from corporations and foundations, and a lot of lightbulbs. (New York Times)

Widows Seek To Ask Congress for Broader Investigation Into Collapse - Mar 4, 2002
Several dozen widows and parents of World Trade Center victims, as well as New York City firefighters, intend to travel to Washington on Wednesday to urge Congress to expand the federal investigation into the structural failure of the twin towers. The group plans to attend a hearing before the House Science Committee, where several fire and engineering experts will review the progress of the inquiry. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. (New York Times)

New Yorkers Never Notified of Nuclear Threat - Mar 4, 2002
Top federal officials reportedly feared in October that terrorists were planning to detonate a nuclear bomb in New York — potentially annihilating 100,000 people and flattening a hunk of Manhattan — but never told senior FBI officials, then Mayor Giuliani, or New York residents in general. The doomsday scenario was kept secret because of concerns that it could panic the city, already shaken to its core by the Sept. 11 attacks, Time magazine reported. (New York Daily News)

Interim Sculpture Memorial Set For Battery Park - Mar 3, 2002
A bronze-and-steel spherical sculpture that is to be part of a temporary memorial to the victims of the World Trade Center attack will probably move to Battery Park, rather than to Battery Park City as originally planned, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Saturday. Residents of Battery Park City were unhappy with the idea of their home becoming the site of yet another memorial. (New York Times)

Last Large Pile of Rubble At Ground Zero To Be Cleared - Mar 2, 2002
The construction of a massive steel ramp that will allow Ground Zero workers to clear a large pile of World Trade Center rubble believed to contain human remains will be completed by tomorrow, the engineering firm overseeing its construction says. Monahan said the ramp will enable workers to start removing and sifting through the last mountain of Twin Towers debris. (New York Post)

Diesel Fuel Fire Led To Collapse of 7 WTC - Mar 2, 2002
Investigators believe a fire fed by diesel fuel stored in 7 World Trade Center may have led to the building's collapse, according to a published report. The fire, which was ignited by falling debris from the burning twin towers, raged for about seven hours before the 47-story building collapsed on Sept. 11. According to a preliminary report, the fire may have caused a group of steel beams that supported the skyscraper _ called "transfer trusses" _ to fail. (Associated Press)

Friday March 8 A Key Deadline for Post 9/11 Unemployed - Mar 2, 2002
Workers who lost their jobs because of the Sept. 11 attacks have until Friday to make appointments to apply for aid from three major New York agencies. The American Red Cross in Greater New York, the Salvation Army and Safe Horizon are scheduling appointments at the Disaster Assistance Service Center at 141 Worth St. The program applies to people who were working below Canal Street and lost their jobs by Dec. 31 (for Red Cross aid) or by Jan. 11 (for Salvation Army and Safe Horizon). (New York Post)

Battery Park City Residents Ask For New Site for Interim Memorial - Mar 2, 2002
Battery Park City dwellers asked Mayor Bloomberg yesterday to come up with another site for an interim memorial to World Trade Center victims after officials unveiled a surprise plan to put it in the southern half of their neighborhood. The area already is home to several other memorials, including the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Irish Hunger Memorial, which is under construction. "We live in Battery Park City. We don't want to live in memorial park city," said Linda Belfer, president of the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association. (New York Daily News)

Families Group Asks CBS To Postpone September 11 Video - Mar 1, 2002
Bergen County Prosecutor William H. Schmidt, writing on behalf of families of September 11 victims, has asked CBS to postpone a March 10 documentary featuring exclusive videotape shot inside the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. Schmidt suggested that CBS wait at least six more months before showing "9/11," because it could be upsetting to family and friends of those lost in the terrorist attacks. He did not threaten to take any legal action in a bid to stop the broadcast. (Newsday)

200 Ground Zero Firefighters On Sick Leave With Breathing Problems - Mar 1, 2002
Nearly 200 firefighters who worked at the World Trade Center disaster site are on medical leave — most of them stricken by breathing troubles.More than 100 others have been placed on desk duty because of Ground Zero-related respiratory problems, officials said. Fire Department officials are hopeful that the firefighters' respiratory woes will lessen with time and treatment, though they acknowledge some may be forced off the job. (New York Daily News)

Families Approve of Two Interim Memorial Ideas - Mar 1, 2002
At a meeting of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation's advisory council last night, families of those who perished in the World Trade Center attacks approved tentative plans yesterday for two temporary memorials near the site. (New York Daily News)

American Express Coming Back To Lower Manhattan - Mar 1, 2002
American Express is abandoning Jersey City and moving its employees back to its building in Lower Manhattan to consolidate operations that were scattered across the New York region after the World Trade Center attack. This reverses an early decision to significantly reduce the number of workers in Lower Manhattan by shifting some of them to Jersey City. (New York Times)

Mayoral Report Describes Decline In City Services After 9/11 - Mar 1, 2002
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's final collection of facts about the performance of city services, exhaustive yet carefully edited, was released yesterday by the Bloomberg administration, illuminating in many ways how those services suffered after the attack on the World Trade Center. Most notable, all sorts of arrests, as well as enforcement actions within the Police Department, declined, largely because the department was busy at ground zero or maintaining the high security alert, according to the report. (New York Times)